UPDATE: Also see a debunking of Sean’s arguments at Division by Zero.
I have already mentioned that the belief “man is innately evil” is a fundamental part of understanding people’s opinions about politics and society. Perhaps there are people who believe that what I describe is not really taken seriously by the indoctrinated. In fact, this is a belief which is taken very seriously by a lot of people. Certainly there can be no doubt that Christians take it very seriously. But statists take it equally seriously. One only has to look at all the “law and order” rhetoric to realize that.
That being said, I wanted to show you an example of a particularly indoctrinated individual. Sean Prophet, a former collaborator of mine, has recently argued with me on Facebook on the subject of human rights (he believes in “might makes right” and that people must be controlled). Here are some choice quotes from this discussion, written by Sean:
No, we can decide what is right democratically. We just have to be willing to back it up with force.
Before civilization, might used to make right. Since the Magna Carta, we began to agree on a broader definition of what was right, and used armies to enforce it. As time went on, the agreement of what was right evolved, and so the concept of “rights” evolved. All the while, it is backed up by threat of force. Slaves were … Read Morefreed because of superior force in the American North. It’s bald-faced obvious. Otherwise, the strongest and best-armed people in your neighborhood would come, rape you, and steal your stuff.
Again, Francois, not *reality*, like gravity or physics, but politically enforceable freedoms.
(which leads us to the strange conclusion that freedom, that which he strives for, is actually not real)
You pick your poison. Be a thug or hire thugs to do it for you. We call that government. It’s the lesser evil.
And now to the “man is innately evil” rants:
People spend about 98% of their time and energy trying to manipulate, negotiate, and get what they want from each other or society. Some fulfill their agreements and obligations while others scam the system in whatever way they can. You can either play the game or get played, whether by government or by others. Your place in the social hierarchy is determined by luck, skill and cunning. Or you can just deny such competition exists, and still end up on the losing end.
Brad, you guys have fun with your idealism. It would be “Lord of the Flies” in no time. I’d just love to watch a bunch of card carrying anarchists duke it out on a desert island. Last man standing wins. Hey, that’s a great idea for a reality show!
(apparently Sean thinks Anarchism is exactly like the Highlander movies- THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!)
People don’t cooperate. People won’t agree to relinquish their self-interest. They won’t stop trying to undermine each other.
People smile at each other while they are secretly working to underbid their associates, eat their friend’s lunch or bang their other friend’s wife.
(if you’re one of Sean’s friends, beware! HE MIGHT BE BANGING YOUR WIFE!!! seriously, how hilarious/sick is this?)
Still, Communism and Anarchy rely on almost identical erroneous assumptions about human nature. Even when people have the best of intentions, they still don’t end up cooperating. They do it until it is no longer in their interest. Then comes the knife in the back.
I’ve had the same arguments with believers. People love to insist on a basic goodness in human nature. Because the alternative scares the hell out of them. But what if it were true? I thought you always put truth over comfort?
I don’t think it’s dark. I think human nature can be harnessed with the proper structure, which accepts it for what it is and creates a system of checks and balances.
I’m amoral, I think you are amoral. I just don’t think you’ve been pushed to the limit yet. Put you in a cage match, and see what happens.
The state uses corrective force when people lose sight of their own longer term interests.
Thus ends the sad saga of Sean Prophet, liberal, Greenie, serial lunch thief.