The penalty is always death

2 June 2008 by Mike Gogulski
Posted in mind control, police | 65 Comments »

One of the great triumphs of civilization touted by liberal-minded thinkers around the world these days is the abolition of the death penalty in most of the planet’s “more-civilized” countries, with some notable exceptions. Without question, it is an advancement that the State’s premeditated, long-calculated and coldly applied murder of helpless prisoners, separated mostly by gulfs of time, space and sometimes personal reform,  has come to be seen widely as an abomination which cannot be tolerated.

I would submit, though, that these thinkers celebrate too soon. The State’s ultimate penalty for real crime (initiations of force or fraud against people or their property) as well as all those non-crimes the State takes umbrage at is always death. This is the nature of the State; killing is the instrument by which it maintains itself.

To be sure, the State is mostly careful to not exercise the penalty too often. The system of compulsion and coercion, backed by the ultimate tool of death, is one which States have learned functions much better when the sword is cloaked in layers of misdirection and abstraction. The simple — and perhaps more honest — compulsion of the local tyrant demanding of his subjects, “Do it thus, or I shall kill you,” has been replaced with a long chain of escalation beginning with paper things like demands for compliance and citations, leading through more forceful papers such as summonses and warrants, but ultimately grounded upon the power of that barely-concealed blade.

If we accept the natural-rights view of self defense as given by libertarian theory, we can see that the penalty for every infraction is death.

Fail to pay your taxes? You will be killed.

Consume a proscribed substance? Death awaits you.

Neglect or ignore some trivial regulation? Murder is your fate.

“Oh come now,” they will cry, “the government doesn’t kill people for not paying their taxes!” In general this is true. In general people are compliant, whether out of worship or fear. But as situations escalate from non-compliance to the State’s demand for enforcement, be sure that the blade remains ready to plunge into the belly of the scofflaw.

I’m quite fond of hyperbolic examples. Let’s make one now.

Imagine that Bob is a fruit vendor. He sells apples, oranges and plums, and prices them by the piece. He advertises them at “12 for $3” or “20 for $5”, or at whatever price he determines he can sell them profitably.

One day a policeman comes around to Bob’s stand and tells him about a new law. The State has adopted a new numbering system, duodecimal, which uses base-12 instead of base-10 decimal notation. The State has passed a law saying that all transactions, offers, sales, etc., must be denoted in duodecimal.

The policeman informs Bob that his signage is out of order. “12 for $3” must be replaced by “10 for $3”, and “20 for $5” must be replaced by “18 for $5”. Because Bob is in violation of the law, the policeman issues Bob a citation ordering him to comply and imposing a fine for breaking the law.

Bob naturally looks at this as ridiculous. Everyone he sells fruit to understands decimal notation, and to change it would only create confusion. Further, Bob knows that he’s committed no crime, no offense against the person or property of another. Bob refuses the citation and tells the policeman to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.

A few days later, Bob receives a letter saying that the fine has been imposed on him by a judge, that he has 30 days to pay it, and that he must comply with the new duodecimal law. As before, Bob ignores this letter and this judge, harming and having harmed no person or thing.

Thirty days pass, sixty days, ninety. Bob keeps on selling his decimal-denominated fruit during the day and going home to enjoy time with his family in the evening. One day another letter arrives stating that the judge has issued an order which says that if Bob does not comply with the first letter within 5 days, he will be in criminal contempt of court and subject to arrest and a term of imprisonment. Bob is disturbed, of course, by this threat against his person, but ignores it as he might ignore the taunts of a bully on the street.

A week later, a group of armed men wearing clown suits appear at Bob’s door and say they are there to arrest Bob and take him before the judge. Bob tells them he won’t go, as he’s done nothing wrong, but the uniformed thugs are insistent. He closes the door in their faces. They break down the door and enter Bob’s home, guns drawn against Bob and his family.

Bob then, in fear of his life and the life of his family, perhaps draws a pistol and tells the clowns to go away. Perhaps he attempts to flee. The clowns shoot him dead.

In the aftermath, the killing is sanctified among the State’s organized criminals as justifiable, since Bob failed to comply with lawful demands, threatened police officers and resisted arrest. The State’s worshipers and pawns fall all over themselves to praise the brave uniformed thugs and denounce Bob as having “had it coming.”

The penalty is always death.

  1. 65 Responses to “The penalty is always death”

  2. By magiclife on 28 July 2010

    The crime is to make up shit laws like that, and the state(s) do it all the time. And no matter how silly the law is, they enforce them. “They” being the minions. In this case I think Bob would probably just get fined multiple times, not pay it, not be able to get his vehicle inspected because of database cross-referencing (so much for the internet being a tool of freedom), go bankrupt, lose his business, his family, his sanity (according to popular sanity norms) and either kill himself or take off into the wilderness (which actually can’t be found any longer). So he’d have to become one of those registered homeless people who gets your tax money.

    Regardless, the state is wrong and always has been wrong. I mean hell, in my “home” town, you are not allowed to pay a parking ticket in person while wearing cologne or perfume. And it has to be a money order, no checks.

  3. By oby on 18 August 2010

    this site and the points of many cannabis smokers are very similar. a guy smokes some reefer his nabor calls the cops he get arrested gos through the same shit that bob went through and in the end he has done no harm to any one. but the state now has him in prison and a shit ton of fines.

  4. By Ronin on 14 November 2010

    Can’t we all just play nice and get along like in kindergarten? The answer is NO! The bullys have always ruled the schoolyard, and now they are government goons who lord it over the people who just want to live in privacy and peace. So, get out of the schoolyard! Go for a walkabout.

  5. By LokeRundt on 4 June 2011

    So what do you say then about States like Norway, where the police are not allowed to kill you (they do not carry firearms and are trained to disable/subdue without injury), prison terms are short (22 years is the maximum term you can serve), and the State enrolls you in (and pays you for) job training, therapy, anger-management etc.

    What happens to the argument about taxes and all, when there is actually no gun in the room? (In fact, private citizens are allowed to posses firearms, and the police are not)

  6. By Mike Gogulski on 5 June 2011

    @Loke: I say: try it and see. Just because you can’t see the gun doesn’t mean it’s not there.

  7. By 1love on 10 October 2013

    Coming late to this party but wanted to say thanks for talking about this subject. People try to rationalize away the sword or gun buried under the pillows and sheets of rules and regulations and turn the victim into the aggressor.

    An example that might resonate more with a few more people is war. Say I am appalled at a war the govt has started and I believe it to be illegal, atrocious, and the murder of innocents. Should I be required to fund murder?

    A large portion of the govt’s budget is for “defense” therefore a large portion of my taxes are for defense (ignoring that taxes probably only pay interest on the debt at this point). What happens if I refuse to fund murder by refusing to pay taxes?

    The govt will get its money by force and the threat of violence. If I attempt to defend the innocent victims of by resisting paying taxes I may eventually end up with armed men breaking into my home to drag me to some rape room prison. If I am the breadwinner of my family and fear for their welfare when I am taken away and they are left abandoned and destitute and I resist at that point…

    We all know what will happen. I could very well be shot and the govt will say I am the bad guy. It’s ridiculous that people defend the state when it is obvious that they are the aggressors at every turn in this and your example.

    If people are not hurting anyone else, they should be left alone. If someone is so concerned about people not paying their share when they drive down a road or for any particular service, charge a fee at the road or for the service. Don’t force people to pay taxes for “roads, police, and emergency services” when that is a lie to cover up funding wars, entitlements, and corporate welfare.

    The solution is so simple yet people can’t imagine a world without compulsion. As if all men would be rapists without the threat of jail time.

    I know I am ranting at this point, but my final point for those worried the impoverished will not be able to pay for using roads and emergency services: charity will take care of them. Charities have done superior jobs to govt institutions in the past and will do so again. Why should people pay taxes when most of it goes to a bloated inefficient bureaucratic middle man and a small portion actually makes it to those in need? Give them the freedom to donate a much higher amount directly or nearly directly to the truly needy in their own communities.

  8. By Mike Gogulski on 10 October 2013

    @1love: Indeed. Something I like to use in response to people who say “but taxes are the price we pay for civilization” or other such rubbish is: “How do you know you’re not paying less than you ought to? If you think taxes bring us civilization and that the ‘civilization’ produced is a good thing, why don’t you regularly make excess deposits to the state’s treasury?” This is usually followed by a dumb silence.

  9. By 1love on 10 October 2013

    Ha, perfect! Those are the best types of questions — they force people to examine the soundness of their logic and the fairness of their judgments.

  10. By flarpy on 7 January 2014

    So what you’re saying is Bob is used to killing people on his property and because property rights are above civil rights that’s amazeballs. All this bla bla about police, but capital also needs tons of police to enforce capital. Capital needs the state, and it is in constant fight with labour over controlling the state. So that autistic farmers in Texas can murder anyone if their bicycle’s being stolen.

  1. 6 Trackback(s)

  2. 30 June 2010: Militant Libertarian » Who kills your freedom?
  3. 9 December 2010: » Yes, it is absolute, and no, it is not debatable
  4. 4 July 2012: Militant Libertarian » It’s OK to hate government. Really.
  5. 9 July 2013: Ken's Weblog» Blog Archive » What government is all about
  6. 16 September 2013: » The Penalty is Always Death Christopher Cantwell
  7. 24 January 2016: Why Good (Government) Police Cannot Exist – The Zeroth Position

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