Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A dose of Chodorov

We would be told, most emphatically, that by not voting we would be turning the reins of government over to "rascals." Probably so; but do we not regularly vote "rascals" out? And, after we have ousted one set, are we not called upon to oust another crew at the next election? It seems that rascality is endemic to government.

Our balloting system has been defined as a battle of opposing forces, each armed with proposals for the public good, for a grant of power. As far as it goes, this definition is correct. But when the successful contestant acquires the grant of power, toward what end does he use it – not theoretically but practically?

Does he not, with an eye to the next election, go in for purchasing support, with the taxpayers' money, so that he might enjoy another period of power? The over-the-barrel method of seizing and maintaining political power is standard practice, and such is the nature of the "rascality."

This is not, however, an indictment of our election system. It is rather a rejection of the institution of the State; our election system is merely one way of adjusting ourselves to that institution.

The State is a product of conquest. As far back as we have any knowledge of the beginnings of this institution, it originated when a band of freebooting nomads swooped down on some peaceful group of agriculturists and picked up a number of slaves; slavery is the first form of economic exploitation.

Repeated visititations of this sort left the victims breathless, if not lifeless and propertyless to boot. So, as people do when they have no other choice, they made a compromise with necessity; the peaceful communities hired one set of marauders to protect them from other thieving bands, for a price. In time, this tribute was regularized and called taxation.

- Frank Chodorov, from Out of Step

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