Who Are The Real Greedy Bastards?
By Chris Rossini
A terrible mind virus has spread across the American population over the last 100+ years. Being a mind virus, it comes in the form of an idea. The idea is that government is necessary because it curbs the natural greediness that men are susceptible to.
Let's accept the notion that all men are greedy. Let's not debate that idea. All men are driven by selfish desires. With that being the case, there are two primary ways for men to satisfy those selfish desires: peacefully or violently.
A man can get what he wants through peaceful and voluntary interactions with others, or he can aggressively use force against others to satisfy his greedy desires. This latter option removes the voluntary aspect of the other party. The other party must involuntarily comply.
If greed is a given, and all men are greedy, wouldn't logic dictate that all interactions be voluntary? It would be a nightmare if all interactions between men were violent, right? I hope your answer is "Yes".
Let's examine the option that all interactions must be peaceful and voluntary.
Let's say that you're rapaciously greedy for the feeling of admiration. Boy do you love when others display admiration for you. You can't get enough of that feeling. So you tailor your actions to achieving that feeling. You're nice to people, you're respectful, you give of yourself and your time. Whatever it takes. You're greedy for that feeling.
As long as your actions are peaceful and do not aggress against another person's property, I say knock yourself out. Satisfy that greed to the best of your ability.
Now let's say that you're consumed with collecting an object. You love baseball cards so much that every time you see a pack displayed at a store, you have to pick one up. You can't have enough baseball cards. If you could, you'd ask UpperDeck to bring their printing press into your basement and just crank them out.
As long as your actions are peaceful in acquiring those cards, that is, you buy them, trade for them, or they're voluntarily given to you as a gift, I say knock yourself out. Collect those cards and pile them up if it makes you happy.
Next, let's suppose that you love to create objects, not only for your own consumption, but also to sell them to others. You love solving life's most pressing problems and get an incredible high from others benefitting from your creations.
So long as you voluntarily purchase your capital goods, and consumers voluntarily exchange for your creations, I say knock yourself out. You, as an entrepreneur, are the lifeblood of a peacefully functioning society. That very same society can be filled with greedy people just like yourself. It wouldn't make a difference. So long as all interactions are peaceful and no aggressive violence is permitted, you are an admirable individual in my eyes.
Now let's introduce the mind virus...the idea that government is necessary to curb man's natural greedy desires.
Government, of course, is institutionalized violence. It is a monopoly on the use of aggressive force. I shouldn't have to say another word. Alarm bells should be going off in your mind. The following thoughts should come to the forefront: "If men are naturally greedy, wouldn't it be a bad idea to create an institution with a monopoly to use violence? After all, wouldn't greedy men always be in control of the government?"
If men are naturally greedy, that greed doesn't disappear once a person enters government. Don't be fooled by the words "public service" either. In fact, with the existence of an institution that can force people against their will, what types of people do you think will flock to it? Wouldn't the worst types of people imaginable fight to gain control of government?
Yes again. A person interested in a peaceful and voluntary society is not going to seek a monopoly to use force. Such a person has need for force, unless of course he has to defend himself.
The worst greedy bastards that you can imagine will seek a monopoly to use force. They're not interested in voluntary interactions. They're interested in making others obey. That is how their greed is satisfied. They can't get enough of it. The more that they can force to obey, the bigger the rush they get. Some imagine making the entire world obey their commands.
To those people, I don't say knock yourself out, I say knock it off. Society not only doesn't need you, it suffers because of you.
To those who have been infected by the mind virus and who believe that a monopoly of violence is necessary to curb man's natural greed, I say to you:
Knock it off! You now know better!