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It is also important for the State to inculcate in its subjects an aversion to any outcropping of what is now called 'a conspiracy theory of history.' For a search for 'conspiracies,' as misguided as the results often are, means a search for motives, and an attribution of individual responsibility for the historical misdeeds of ruling elites. If, however, any tyranny or venality, or aggressive war imposed by the State was brought about not by particular State rulers but by mysterious and arcane 'social forces,' or by the imperfect state of the world -- or if, in some way, everyone was guilty -- then there is no point in anyone's becoming indignant or rising up against such misdeeds. Furthermore, a discrediting of 'conspiracy theories' will make the subjects more likely to believe the 'general welfare' reasons that are invariably put forth by the modern State for engaging in aggressive actions.
It is curious that people tend to regard government as a quasi-divine, selfless, Santa Claus organization. Government was constructed neither for ability nor for the exercise of loving care; government was built for the use of force and for necessarily demagogic appeals for votes. If individuals do not know their own interests in many cases, they are free to turn to private experts for guidance. It is absurd to say that they will be served better by a coercive, demagogic apparatus.
Since the State necessarily lives by the compulsory confiscation of private capital, and since its expansion necessarily involves ever-greater incursions on private individuals and private enterprise, we must assert that the state is profoundly and inherently anti-capitalist.
It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a 'dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.
It is not the business of the law to make anyone good or reverent or moral or clean or upright.
We must, therefore, emphasize that 'we' are not the government; the government is not 'us.' The government does not in any accurate sense 'represent' the majority of the people. But, even if it did, even if 70 percent of the people decided to murder the remaining 30 percent, this would still be murder and would not be voluntary suicide on the part of the slaughtered minority. No organicist metaphor, no irrelevant bromide that 'we are all part of one another,' must be permitted to obscure this basic fact.
There can be no truly moral choice unless that choice is made in freedom; similarly, there can be no really firmly grounded and consistent defense of freedom unless that defense is rooted in moral principle. In concentrating on the ends of choice, the conservative, by neglecting the conditions of choice, loses that very morality of conduct with which he is so concerned. And the libertarian, by concentrating only on the means, or conditions, of choice and ignoring the ends, throws away an essential moral defense of his own position.
The great non sequitur committed by defenders of the State, including classical Aristotelian and Thomist philosophers, is to leap from the necessity of society to the necessity of the State.
It's ours to right the great wrong done,
Ten thousand years ago --
The State, conceived in blood and hate,
Remains our only foe!
Oh, join us, brothers, join us, sisters,
Victory is nigh!
Come meet your fate, destroy the State,
And raise black banners high!
Murray N. Rothbard Quotes 1-9 out of 9
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