In a Compromising Position
Posted by PintofStout on January 25, 2006
No, I’m not referring to the compromising position good ol’ Uncle Sam puts the supine populace in (watch out for dirty uncles!). I was thinking of the way most things get done; by compromise. I was discussing, last week with B__, my opinion that I may hold too rigidly to some of my ideals and become unwilling to compromise. I viewed this as a likely character flaw in myself, where B__ disagreed. (The name thing comes from reading too much Twain, who referred to proper names in this manner.) I will try to reason this out some. I’ll give you my choo-choo train of thought and you can see where I’m coming from. It originates with politics, of course, and ends with things related to politics and control of others.
I have notions of what I would consider right or moral pertaining to governance. These include the non-initiation of force or zero aggression principal (ZAP). Stemming from this, government (with a capital G; The State; Statism.) and every aspect of it like taxes, voting, wealth distribution, war, conscription, laws governing morality, and much more, I would consider wrong or immoral. I will use voting as an example of why I think I haven’t compromised.
I find involuntary government immoral. I choose not to participate or associate with it as much as is humanly possible while still maximizing my freedom (see, a compromise already). I also try not to participate in political movements (I came about this after the 2004 election) as they are directly part of the political process that statism disguises itself as. I would no sooner propagate the disguise of a murderer to those seeking justice as I would help disguise government to the ruled. So by not participating politically I am not propping up a system that is morally corrupt and certainly physically so. The same argument is used for voting with some additions or parallels. By voting I’m imposing my will, through the force of government guns, on the minority who opposed what I am voting for or the multitude who didn’t even vote. This would be a violation of ZAP. (By declaring that a majority in a vote represents the majority will of the populace and is therefore entitled to act upon such a vote is as ludicrous as the divine right of kings. “This 25 percent say it is so; therefore, it is so,” isn’t that far of a stretch to “God said I am king; therefore, it is so.”) This is part of the non-compromise I’m concerned with, and it is the most active.
A very passive part of the non-compromise is simply opinion and discussion. When talking of societal problems, in the United States and the world, the solution is usually offered that the government acting differently or enacting certain laws (or repealing others) would solve the problem. My view is usually that it may make things a little better, but it is not a solution. If the outlook is made big enough, the “solution” will be as bad as the problem. A prime example of this would be federalism. It would be better if the government wasn’t so centralized and the States held more power, especially in regards to the Federal government, but that would mean that our tyrants and crooks (the biggest of them anyway) would work closer to home. Returning once again to federalism would only multiply the rulers and give them a smaller domain. So regarding the problem of too centralized a government, I haven’t compromised to the federalist position. Instead, I’d advocate doing away with it altogether and taking the State governments with it.
Does my non-compromise mean that I’m not playing well and thus we must maintain the status quo? I guess it’s a value judgment. I’d rather hold out for fundamental change than settle for some non-change allowing the perpetrators off the hook. Am I making a difference by not voting? Probably not. Are you making a difference by voting? Besides giving your greedy, blood-thirsty rulers an air of legitimacy, no. I will continue to live as closely as possible to ZAP, without exception, because a principle with exceptions is hardly worth it. As far as compromising on things outside the purview of ZAP, I don’t really have a problem with that at all.
“Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may.”
—- Mark Twain