On the surface it appears that there is a vast divide between the Republicans (“right”) and the Democrats (“left”). If you listen to the rhetoric of either side you would believe the Republicans believe in free markets, sanctity of marriage, sanctity of life, and gun rights while the Democrats believe in regulating greedy capitalists, equal rights for homosexuals, women’s right to choose, and prohibiting access to dangerous weapons. Republicans believe they are entirely different from the Democrats and the Democrats believe they are entirely different from the Republicans. The truth, as explained by Jeffery Tucker, is that both sides are exactly the same:
We can and will argue interminably about how government ought to be used. Should government prevent gay people from contracting unions or stop private companies from discriminating against people who chose gay unions? Either way, the state is being brought in to tell people what they can and can’t do. In this sense, the left and the right have more in common than either side cares to admit: Both have a plan for how the state can better manage the social order.
So come November, we will drag ourselves to the voting booth and look at the names and try to remember what these various people promise to do for us and to us if we ratify their right to rule. Having done so, we are told that we’ve made our choice and now we must live with it.
But maybe it is not really a choice at all. Maybe it is time to let go of our dependency and reject the entire master-slave relationship that is the whole basis of the system itself. Fifty Shades of Government has been the best-seller for hundreds of years. It’s time that the governed write an entirely new book.
We shouldn’t be arguing how to use government to manage our lives, we should be arguing why government is used to manage our lives. According to the Republicans they want to legalize gun ownership while the Democrats claim they want to prohibit dangerous individuals from obtaining weapons. What both sides are actually saying is that they own us and whether or not we’re allowed to own firearms is entirely up to them. It doesn’t matter if you vote for Romney or Obama, both candidates believe they own you and therefore have the right to decide what you can and can’t do.
The majority of Americans have become ensnared in the state’s trap. They have been given state sanctioned confines in which to debate and never attempt to venture into territory outside of that. Political choices are illusionary. Whether you ask the state to legalize or prohibit something isn’t a choice, you’re asking the state to control individuals either way. If you ask the state to legalize something you are saying that the state has a rightful authority over that thing, which necessarily implies that the state may later make that thing illegal. If you ask the state to prohibit something you are again saying the state has a rightful authority over that thing, which necessarily implies you approve of the state’s use of violence against those who partake in that prohibited thing.
It is time we stop debating about how the government should use authority and argue against the government having authority.