(originally launched into cyberspace on 08/17/2008)
When people act on their OWN judgment, like grown-ups, they are
stuck with the responsibility and consequences of their actions. A
favorite excuse of people who do stupid and/or evil things is "I
was just following orders." This amounts to claiming that they were
NOT acting as thinking, judging, responsible beings with free will,
but were acting as unthinking tools of someone else. Put another
way, the "obeying authority" excuse amounts to saying: "You can't
blame me! I'm just a stupid, programmable machine, not a thinking
People who believe in self-ownership (e.g., anarchists) don't ever
get to use that excuse. You see, we believe that we are endowed
with thought and free will, and that we are therefore obligated to
judge right and wrong for ourselves, and obligated to act
accordingly. What we do, WE DO. We don't try to dodge
responsibility by pretending that we were possessed by someone or
If the whole world were like that, even if there remained many
differences of opinion, as well as stupidity, carelessness, and/or
malice, the vast majority of evil would stop. Why? Because most
evil is NOT committed by people acting on their own judgment, but
by people "doing what they were told."
One of the most serious decisions a thinking person can make is,
"Should I use violence?" Most people who are acting on their own
will resort to violence only in rare and extreme cases. Those who
act as unthinking tools of "authority," on the other hand, use
force and violence CONSTANTLY, without hesitation, without any
qualms or doubts, and without any guilt or remorse.
My suggestion for ANYONE who uses force is this: use your judgment,
and when you decide to use force, accept the responsibility
yourself, and face the consequences yourself. Don't hide behind "he
told me to" and other spineless excuses. In other words, grow up
and act like an adult.
But people in "government" don't do that. Consider, for example,
the fact that a couple MILLION people are in cages right now for
possessing "narcotics"--a term which means "mind-altering
substances that politicians didn't give their permission to use."
Do you think any of the politicians, cops, judges, prison guards,
paper-pushers, or anyone else in the "justice" system would ever
take PERSONAL responsibility for kidnapping someone and putting
them in a cage for smoking a joint? No. They ALL blame "the law,"
as if it's some magical force that possesses their minds, relieving
them of all responsibility for their actions.
If not for "law"-worship, how many beer-drinkers would feel okay
about locking someone up for possessing pot? Approximately zero.
Incidentally, though I don't drink alcohol myself (or use any
narcotics), I accept that those who do, whether to relax a bit or
to get sloshed, have the right to do so. But every cop, judge,
politician, or paper-pusher who condones the "war on drugs," and
then goes home to chug a few beers or sip some wine--which is
almost every one of them--is a hypocritical, evil coward. All
together they form a machine that unjustifiably locks up MILLIONS
of people, and yet NO ONE in the system accepts responsibility for
doing it. THAT is why the "authority" myth is so horribly
dangerous: its acts of violence and evil are very real, but NO ONE
believes he is accountable for any of it.
A rather dramatic example happened at the Nuremberg trials: "Yeah,
I helped exterminate innocent people, but I was just following
orders! I'm not to blame!" And while Americans condemn the Nazis
for that cop-out, EVERY "law enforcer" in this whole damn country
uses the EXACT same excuse. "Hey, I'm just doing my job." I wonder,
if someone got a JOB as a cop-killer, if the "boys in blue" would
think that was okay.
Many of my past messages have been about "bad cops." But the truth
of the matter is, there are no good cops. Initiating violence
against people who have committed neither force nor fraud--whether
it's done under the guise of "drug laws," "weapons laws," or fining
people for not having that little sticker on their cars--is
unjustifiable force. In other words, committing immoral violence is
an unavoidable part of EVERY cop's job. There cannot be a "good
cop" any more than there can be a "good car-jacker." Every cop's
job is inherently evil, because a cop cannot just decide not to go
after people who commit "victimless crimes," which make up MOST of
the people the police harass, fine, or imprison.
"Hey, I don't make the laws, I just enforce them." They might as
well say, "Hey, I don't use my own judgment, I just commit violence
against whomever the politicians tell me to." And that's supposed
to make it okay? Well, it doesn't. Personally, I have more respect
for car-jackers. Yes, they commit evil, and I wouldn't hesitate to
kill one if necessary, but at least they don't do what EVERY cop
does: complain and whine about it when people suggest that THEY are
responsible for what THEY do.