Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Violence and Voting

I'm convinced the terrible shooting that took place in Arizona, with the heartless murder of an innocent child only adding immeasurably to the tragic nature and horror of the attack, had no political motive on the part of the alleged killer. It was political only in the sense that a politician was targeted, but it could probably have been any celebrity. The lone assassin has a personal agenda to do something "important" but no real reason beyond that.

However, even if the gunman had a coherent political outlook and stated that he acted out of conviction for some cause, like anarchy or a libertarian revolution, the result of such an act (aside from the moral considerations) doesn't accomplish anything. Kill one congresswoman, and another representative takes her place. Kill President Kennedy and you get the much worse President Johnson. Violence may be legitimate in limited, last resort situations, but in general, it does nothing to move the cause of freedom forward. It can even have the opposite effect, leading to more draconian measures by the state restricting liberty in the name of "safety" and "security". And it gives a propaganda weapon to the masters of deceit in government, who can repeat a lie through their puppets in the media so often it becomes the "truth".

The state is violence; it is the state's method of achieving compliance from the population and "legitimacy" for itself and it's agents. Just as we must reject voting as illegitimate and hopeless as a means of achieving the goal of lasting freedom, and only a form of deception to create the illusion of popular control of the government, we must reject, except in the most extreme circumstance where self-defense requires it, violence as well. Violence is behind every state action, and to resort to it is to employ the methods of our liberty-hating enemies and turn us into the the same "might makes right", "the end justifies the means", and "collateral damage is an acceptable price to pay in order to defeat the enemy" monsters that they are.


  1. The fact that killing a political figure makes their message and ideals immortal is also not very appealing.

  2. What "message and ideals"? Did this killer have any coherent message or ideals that we can discern? And John Lennon wasn't a political figure (strictly speaking), but targeting him achieved the same "immortality" for the murderer.

  3. He made movies and I've read screen caps of his myspace. Maybe because I was a writing tutor I have no trouble sorting through the disjointed writing (kind of reminds me of one student who recently moved to the US from Taiwan). He had some very clear political views.

    But I think you misunderstood my comment. I don't mean the killer's message and ideals are immortalized. Few people realize Manson and McVeigh hoped to spark a race war, after all. Quite the contrary, I mean the person killed. King, the Kennedys, Gandhi, Jesus... killing them sort of does their cause a great service.

    Everyone loves a victim.

  4. Oh, and I would be remiss if I left out Socrates.

  5. Yeah, they become martyrs. I get it. I'll need to tutor you on making clearer comments, though.

  6. Hey, at least the comment actually had something to do with what you posted, so I'm improving.

  7. [If I get any more incoherent, look out... I might go on a killing spree.]


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