Part II. “Us against them”-mentality and the dream of an utopia
To fully understand Part II of this series on my anarcho-capitalistic view, I advice you to first read Part I of this series.
What I want to address in this part is that people’s eagerness to force other people to live under their moral principles creates polarisation in society and an “us against them”-mentality that is harmful for everyone. There are a lot of different philosophies and ways how people choose to live their lives, and problems arise when they are forced to give away their power over their own lives to a monopoly of violence in exchange for a vote, and I will explain why.
Everyone has a vision of what the perfect society look like, and you, who still believe in politics and democracy, are dreaming about how good the society would be if only the Social Democrats, the Swedish Democrats, the Moderates, the Church or the Communists could decide everything. What you may not realize is that you give away your power over yourself to the state. The discontent grows when your vote doesn’t prove to be worth as much as you think. It may be that you ended up in the minority group and another group received more votes, or you voted for a party that later turns out to break the promises they gave before the election that you considered to be important. Perhaps you voted for a party that did not even pass the threshold to get one of the seats in parliament (how democratic is that?). Then you see how other people’s moral values are put as legislations and policies, which you do not agree with at all. You start looking for the reasons why society goes against you. In a democracy, there are very few who are satisfied when the election results has been presented. Those who do not share your values suddenly become groups that you take out your frustration on when you do not get to live as you want, and it is at this moment that a society becomes polarised. It is “they” who did not vote as you did or who want a different system that becomes your opponents, and even more demands to curtail other people’s life choices are pushed forward instead of allowing that we have different views of life. Since the democratic system means that you no longer have power over your life, it creates barriers between friendly people who just think differently. Your frustration mislead you to believe that it is the immigrants, the men, the women, the communists, the socialists, the capitalists or those who live in big cities fault (the list grows long), that you can not live your life as you want.
You may also think how good the world would be if only everyone understood that it would be best if you or your favorite party could be the ruler over everyone. However, whether you want to solve world poverty, protect the weak or give all people a roof over their head, neither you nor the state can succeed in doing that no matter how good your intentions are. For, neither you nor the government have the resources to succeed with your goals and the resources must in that case be taken from others who actually produce them. If they don’t agree that you or the state have the best system to solve these problems and refuse to give their resources to you, then you and the state must use force and coercion to obtain the resources you require, and this means that neither you nor the state are better than a thief or a slave owner.
So while you’re fighting to force everyone into your utopia the gap between you and your fellow human beings grows when you forcibly try to control other people and this leads only to conflicts and an “us against them”-mentality .
Instead of treating people as a collective where different groups are forced to take stands against one another in the fear of losing control over their own lives, my anarcho-capitalistic view is rather that people should be treated as free individuals who voluntarily choose the system they want to live with and where it is important that the individual at any time can change system if they no longer feel comfortable with it. If a system is managed badly no one would want use that system any longer and the system would disappear. This requires that there are several systems in the same geographical area. It is only then that people can regain control over their own lives and they no longer need to bother the neighbors who have different values than themselves, because their neighbors moral compass no longer affects your choices and the freedom of how you choose to live your life. This is only possible in an anarcho-capitalistic civil society. The best example that really highlight this is that it would be impossible for anarcho-capitalists, social liberals, Christians, Muslims, socialists and other philosophies of life to have their own system in a communist society. In the worst case, people are tortured and murdered simply because they have different opinions and values. However, the communists and all other ideologies can have their own system in a anarcho-capitalistisc civil society, provided that they do not force anyone to participate against their own will.
So the take home message is that it is possible for you to live in your own utopia, but you will never be able to do so if you want to force other people into the system that you see as the right system.
I want to conclude by recommending a youtube-clip that is well worth watching that gave me the inspiration to write this part, as well as one of the better books I have read about democracy.
Beyond Democracy by Frank Karsten
If I were king by Larken Rose (English):
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