Why Won't They Leave Us Alone?

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by Eric Peters EricPetersAutos.com

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The simple answer is – because they can’t.

Cloverism is a one-way street.

Libertarians, anarchists and others who hew to the philosophy of live – and let live – aren’t the least bit interested in controlling other people. It does not occur to them. In fact, it goes against their nature. It’s an affront to their very core because, after all, if you wish to be left in peace you must also wish that others be left in peace, too. And more, you must accept this as just – as the right and proper order of things. The liberty of others must be as sacred to you as your own liberty – and require a defense (when necessary) every bit as vigorous.

Otherwise, you’re not just a hypocrite – you’re a narcissist and possibly, a psychopath.

The freedom philosophy is an outgrowth of empathy. Of a gut awareness of the other as a mirror image of oneself. It therefore deeply troubles the Libertarian and the anarchist to think about someone else, anyone else, being bullied – a more honest term than merely controlling someone else. It is literally nauseating to contemplate. It makes one physically ill – then angry – to witness blue-shirted TSA goons degrading old ladies and children (and adult males, too). It is enraging to hear about people who are harming no one being thrown into cages as a result of having offended against some manufactured statute. It is depressing to look about one and see a world in which men feed on men – via the ballot box, via the bureaucracy. In which all it takes to take your neighbor’s property – perhaps even his life – is a voting majority in the next election.

The Libertarian and the anarchist do not want anything from others that isn’t the result of peaceful, free consent. The Libertarian and the anarchist proceed from the old common law idea that for their to be a crime there must be a victim – and that absent a victim, any harassment or prosecution is itself a crime. Where we, as individuals, personally disagree with the choices made by others is insufficient cause for forcible interference. It does not mean approval. It can even mean avoidance – or censure. But it can never mean force in the absence of a victim. The “greatest good” is liberty – free will, free choice – and can never flow from the barrel of a gun.

We accept that we must live – and let live.

Even when it chafes.

Even when we see it as foolhardy.

And even when there will be negative consequences – because we know that it is better for individuals to face the negative consequences of their individual actions than it it is to impose negative consequences wholesale on others who have given no cause to warrant it. We know there is no justice in this – and much tyranny.

Clover is the dark matter opposite of this at the core of his being. Though he will speak in terms of “cooperation” and “helping” others, his voluntarism ends when the volunteering does. Decline – and you will face force. Clovers cannot abide agreeing to disagree. If you do not agree to “help” – you will be forced to help. If you are not interested in “cooperating,” you will be compelled to cooperate.

It is the Clover’s way – or much worse than merely the highway.

There is no yours. Only ours. The collective, with Clover as its arbiter. “Society,” “our children.” The relentless We.

Read the rest of the article 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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