Category: Articles

Without government, wouldn’t warlords take over?

If you believe government is needed, and someone suggests that it isn’t, you might be rather distressed. You might start to picture bands of rogues roving the land without cease, raping and stealing. In the minds of many statists, this fear is so real that it seems certain. But of course, little is certain in life, and we can no more say for sure that warlords will take over than we can say that they won’t. However, we can at least begin to estimate the likelihood.

If you’re like most people, it’s almost certain that you are threatened by group of people which claims to help you, a group which takes your money without asking first. Just as we can’t be sure that warlords won’t take over in a stateless society, it’s not certain that this violent group won’t grow larger, to expand to a level of control where many are fearful and even people with friends in high places can be destroyed without anyone being punished. In fact, such a case is much more likely to be found in a society with a state, than a society without a state, as the power structures are already there. In a stateless society, if these structures form, they’re likely to be smaller. It’s easier to go from 8 to 10 than it is to go from 0 to 10.

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To get to a society that has no rulers, first there has to be a cultural change. People have to learn to do things without the help of their rulers, and instead depend on each other. The less they can solve problems on their own and working in teams, the more chance they have to be seduced by a person offering easy answers, or threatened by someone who comes along with a few guns and a few demands. If certain states vanished tomorrow, there would be a 99% chance that warlords would take over. However, the more the people learn to support each other, and the more people love liberty, the less chance a tyrant has of taking hold. The tragedy is, the more people cling to these concerns about warlords, the less people who learn to love liberty.

In the end, the reason cling onto these ideas is because of a deep-seated fear. People want to feel like everything is under control, even if it’s by a someone who, in their hearts, they know is a devil. Their fear leads them to fearmonger, spilling endless “what if” cases, none of which can be allayed by logic alone. As I said, nothing in life is certain. Yet, by embracing our uncertainty, and our fears, we can learn to overcome them. It’s scary to stand at the edge of darkness, not knowing what lies within. It takes heart to put your foot over that threshold, yet, that is the only way that humans grow – by putting ourselves in realms where nothing is sure, but everything is possible. Screw your courage to the sticking place, and feel just for a moment, what it would mean to be free.

Trump’s wall: A futile conversation

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Maybe there are still some arguments about Trump’s border wall which I haven’t heard yet… But the ones that I have heard are rather pathetic. The wall conversation seems to go like this:

We need a wall to keep people out to stop them taking welfare.

Really? Do naturalised citizens actually take more welfare than natural born citizens on average? Do you have any statistics to back it up?

Hm I uh… I do have some statistics about how immigrants are more likely to vote Democrat.

Alright, that’s something – not exactly what I was looking for though. You don’t have statistics about why they vote Democrat. You know, even if people come to work in your country, they don’t need to have citizenship, voting rights or welfare. People can get residency or working visas.

Ohhh yeah… I’m sure all the socialist politicians will maintain that rule even if it costs them votes.

Okay… but if you’re going to play that card, there’s nothing you can do politically to solve this problem. A wall certainly won’t help. The socialist politicians will just fix things so people can walk right over.

Alright alright, we can go around like this forever. If we didn’t have welfare, we wouldn’t need a wall. But we have, so we do.

So building a wall that costs billions of dollars is a perfectly reasonable, rational and possible thing to expect, but attempting to curb welfare is impractical and impossible. I see.

Here’s an interesting article which talks about why such a wall would be pretty useless: 8 things you need to know about Trump’s wall

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Catholicism in Mexico: A death cult?

When I walk into a church in Mexico, I can’t help but escape the images of death. There will normally be several idols of Christ, bloody and beaten, on a cross or in a coffin. In the Cathedral in Guadalajara, there is a mummy in a glass coffin, which supposedly belonged to a martyr, a young lady beaten to death by her father, enraged by her ambition to be a nun. I saw a similar mummy in Pachuca, Hidalgo, with a similar story. Apparently this story is repeated in churches all over Mexico – an archetype, a story too good to be told just once, like a rerun of ‘I Love Lucy’.

The other day I walked into the sacred art museum, which is attached to the Cathedral. In the first room we walked into, while looking at the paintings, I had the uncanny feeling that the people in the paintings were looking at me, or waiting to look at me. My companion also felt that there was something dark about the place. (Unfortunately, I can’t show you any pictures of the museum as they asked us not to take photographs.) In another room, there was a stand intended to hold books for a chorus, in the shape of a ziggurat or burial mound, with Christ on a crucifix at the top. The whole thing was painted black. Again, I felt I shouldn’t turn my back on it. I wondered about the dark things this object had seen, wondering if children had been abused while perched on its shelves.

In another room, there was a particularly gruesome picture of Christ, apparently already very dead, with Mary Magdalene by his side, holding his hand. His hand was by her mouth, but instead of kissing it she appeared to be sucking it. In front of Christ stood a dark female figure in a black robe with very white skin, tears streaming down her cheeks. I assume it’s supposed to be Mary, but it looked like Death.

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In the entire museum, I saw Christ as an infant, as a dying man, and as a corpse – almost always in states where he wasn’t capable of teaching anything. The only exception was a handful of paintings depicting the scene “Christ among the doctors”, in which Christ is about 12 years old. The Sermon on the Mount was never portrayed. I wonder if that’s a decision of the curators, or of the Mexican artists over the centuries, or of their commissions from the church. Perhaps there are different ways to interpret it, but to me the message seemed to be: your god is impotent and helpless.

I hope I don’t offend anybody with this post, as this is just my experience as an outsider looking in, and obviously there are subtleties that someone more familiar with Catholicism would notice. However, I do think that people should be wary of these types of images. A man might make a fine idol for you to pray towards, and you might even kiss its feet, as I’ve seen many people do. If the man controls the image that you pray to, you can be sure that he also controls you. God needs no intermediaries.