Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Man Has Only One Look, For Christ's Sake!

A comment on someone else's blog provides an opportunity for chuckles... 

...There is no choice. Don’t pay your council tax and they won’t let your house burn down... But they will put you in prison.

Here we see a prime specimen of the genus Libertarius Ballbagus Toryensis in his natural environment, bewailing the inherent cruelty of liberal democracy.  If you don't pay your taxes, men with guns will go all Charles Bronson on your oppressed ass!  O, cruel fate, why must you mock etc. and so on and so forth.


This argument is floated aloft so often that I'm amazed it doesn't get shot down, riddled with bulletholes and belching thick black smoke, every single time it appears on the horizon.  Am I the only one who sees this?  I feel like I'm taking crazy pills here! 


I mean, even the crankiest right-wingers accept that there are just some things that the state is better at providing.  If I recall correctly, even Hayek - being a man of reason as opposed to a meths-drinking, compulsive public masturbator - thought some state activity, such as basic medical care, was at least acceptable.

Once you admit that the state should provide some services, you accept that it must levy a mandatory tax on those capable of paying for it.  If that's the case, then the idea that taxation backed by coersion represents some frightful, totalitarian affont to liberty is worse than a bad argument.  It's an argument that rides into the conversation on a unicycle, juggling buckets, wearing a big red nose, an orange wig and kicking itself up the arse with a pair of giant shoes. It's barely fit for the Big Top, let alone the internet, because you can only just hear it over the loud whirring of the comedy spinning bow tie. 

Look, if the state can provide healthcare, is that so very different from, say, gender equality laws that the latter constitutes an entirely different and inherently fascistic category?  Are workplace health and safety regs more totalitarian than police search and seizure powers, if both are legitimately used in the public interest?  

If not, then what the fuck are these people talking about, and how come they can open their mouths without being instantly showered in the hot piss of public derision?

I don't know.  Maybe it's just some wibbling political theorists' gag that internet smartarses with blogs don't get.

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