Gene Callahan on Anarcho-Capitalist Ideology

Gene Callahan over at La Bocca della Verità writes:

. . . someone posted a bit of nonsense from Mike Huemer, claiming that if we don’t accept the head of a charity organization simply go around seizing the funds he needs to help the poor and jailing those who won’t pay up, then we shouldn’t accept a government doing the same thing. I noted that this argument is ridiculous: in a constitutionally ordered government, officials are also not allowed to simply demand funds from people for anything they think is needed, but instead must pass legislation according to constitutional procedures to raise funds for a project.

The response? “Oh, so you think the Nazis were perfectly justified in taking the property of Jews because they passed laws permitting this?”

It is as if a couple of thousand years of literature differentiating legitimate governments from illegitimate ones, and legitimate government actions from illegitimate ones, simply did not exist. It is as if when the people of a Swiss canton meet and vote funds for a new bridge, it is exactly the same as when a group of thugs seized control of the German government and used it to enact their racial prejudices.

I am not begging the question here: someone can argue that both the Swiss government and the Nazi government are illegitimate. But if they cannot even recognize the vast difference between them, and do not even acknowledge the huge amount of thought that exists differentiating them, they are completely lost in an ideological haze. There is no sense trying to reason with anyone in such a condition: their ideology acts as a filter, turning any opposing view into a ridiculous caricature of that view, the ridiculousness of which then confirms the truth of their ideology.

I dropped out of the discussion, and asked Facebook not to show me posts from the person in question anymore, in order to stay out of that tar pit. I am sure the anarchists who had participated in the thread then all high-fived each other, assuring each other that “Callahan left because he cannot refute our arguments!”

And that is how ideologies sustain themselves.

And this just happens to be my 200th post.


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