A No-Reserve Auction of Other People and Their Stuff

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Recently by Eric Peters: Safety… Defined for You By SomeoneElse

People vote for too many things.

Mostly they vote to take things from other people – either their property or their freedom of action. Each election in modern America is for all practical purposes a no-reserve auction of other people’s stuff. Vote for me, says The Candidate – and I will give you some of their stuff. Or something even worse: Vote for me and I will force them to do This or That.

It is never phrased quite so honestly, but this is the essential character of what goes on. Everything is up for bid. There is no off-limits. No “not for sale at any price.”

Apparently, the idea doesn’t appeal to most Americans anymore. Most Americans view their fellow man with proprietary interest.

And they, he.

But the vote is just a mechanism. A tool. It is neither good nor bad in itself. It is people who are bad. Envious, malicious, vengeful, controlling people. Or simply ignorant people. Give them the franchise and nature will take its course.

Envious, malicious people vote for wealth transfers to themselves – theft by process, rendered lawful. You have more and I have less. Give me more.

Voters with the itch to control their fellow man – but lacking the courage to do so directly – get proxies to do it for them, via the ballot box. It makes them feel good without requiring them to confront the nature of the thing – and of themselves. People who would never in a million years march over to their neighbor’s house and knock a cigarette from his lips will self-satisfiedly vote to have someone else do it for them – never stopping to consider that they have just given license for their neighbor to exact revenge using precisely the same method.

The simply ignorant, in their naivety, vote for laws that seem to them humane and “liberal” – never following the sequence of events down the line, to the unfriendly end of the gun that will impose their “humane” and “liberal” policies. Or, if they are “conservatives,” for laws they may genuinely believe will “keep us safe.” Likewise never following the thought-chain to its necessary conclusion. Never realizing what they’ve just endorsed and how it will inevitably be used in ways they may not like very much at all.

But the franchise is itself morally neutral. Like a gun. A gun can save a life – or take one. The gun itself is neither good nor bad. It is the hand that wields it – and the mind that controls it.

And it is the minds of millions of Americans that’s at the root of our predicament. Minds that have been molded (twisted) by great historical forces, embodied by a few very specific persons:

Abe Lincoln taught Americans to fear the government. He laid waste to the South as an object lesson: Washington’s authority is unassailable – and eternal. The union, at bayonet-point, forever. Like a bad marriage from which there can be no escape save death.

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Eric Peters [send him mail] is an automotive columnist and author of Automotive Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his website.

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