Sunday, April 15, 2012

Violence against the State

Imagine a colonial slave tried to escape the plantation, and in a violent struggle killed his master who tried to stop him. Is this unethical? No, the law was unjust and therefore anybody enforcing the law deserved equal force used in self-defense.

Take for example the final scene in Star Wars, when rebel Luke Skywalker blows up the Empire's Death Star. Audiences cheered. There were surely many stormtroopers and maintenance crews killed in the explosion who merely took that job for their technical skills, even though they didn't shoot the planet-death-ray. Did they all deserve to die? Not necessarily, but working in a support function is not innocent either.

In my estimation, those who are most closely supporting the arm of the law are the most guilty. If you are a lawmaker, you are the most unjust. If you are a cop or judge or juror enforcing the law, you are also unjust. If you are a clerk or paper-pusher, you might possibly evade some blame by ignorance of the law. However, if you are a voter who supports the unjust law... you are more guilty than that clerk just doing their job.

If the drug laws are unjust (and they are), then if a cop busts into my home to lock me away, am I justified defending myself with equal force? Absolutely I am. Sadly, the odds would be against me... but it would be the exact same as the colonial slave trying to escape the plantation.

So, violence against the State is just. This is because the State itself is violent. It has a monopoly on violence which it abuses towards unjust laws about non-violent acts (e.g. drugs, prostitution, tax-evasion, etc). There is only one reason I do not wage war against the State... it's because I'm selfish. I care too much about my kids and family, and my own life to undertake such a brave yet self-destructive mission against overwhelming odds.

A couple years ago Joe Stack flew a plane into an IRS building. Joe Stack flew his X-Wing straight into the Death Star. Today, Tax Day April 15th, I will make a toast to that american Luke Skywalker and his last brave kamikaze flight. News headlines will always draw Joe Stacks as disturbed radicals, and those shot by police as a criminals. They give cops and soldiers free pass for murder. I know better. Sometimes that cops victim was just someone suffering from addiction who desperately wanted not to be locked up. (Rest in peace, DD)

The only way to reduce the unjust violence is to have just laws. If you don't support this, you share guilt for the blood of innocents on both sides.