23A001 Yes, But... by Jim Davies, 1/3/2023
Upon hearing the suggestion that we'd all be many times better off without any government at all, some people use those two words as a preface to some problem they perceive. If there were nobody in charge, what about X? How would Y work? For starters, how about defense?
As Kent McManigal likes to put it, "Those who want you to doubt that anarchy (self-ownership and individual responsibility) is the best, most moral, and ethical way to live among others are asking you to accept that theft, aggression, superstition, and slavery are perhaps better."
It was partly to answer several of those worries that I wrote A Vision of Liberty a few years ago, and noted at Page 8 that "Its description of the resulting free society does not include any account of war, or defense." The reason given is that absent government to provoke one there is no occasion for war, and that with a quarter billion well-armed and -educated Americans the cost to a potential invader will be prohibitive; he'd face a "porcupine defense" and go bully somone else instead.
That's part of it, but by no means all. I've recently been reading my father's WW2 diary, and was reminded how that conflict - the bloodiest in history - began. He was in England, but the same day the UK declared war on Germany, so did France, and France was obviously closer to the line of fire. Let's assume then that some time around 1930, French folk had taken the advice of Etienne de la Boëtie and stopped supporting their government and so watched it vanish. Come the Fall of 1939, there would therefore have been nobody "in charge" in Paris.
Result #1: France would not have waged war on Germany, even if the UK had. No-one to declare it.
Result #2: the UK probably wouldn't either. It was stupid anyway, Poland being so inaccessible, but without a strong ally on the Continent I think even Churchill would have seen the folly of it.
Result #3: the UK aside, there'd have been no war between Germany and France and hence no humiliating surrender by the latter after 6 weeks of battle. Even if there had been, nobody in Paris would have been there to surrender; if Hitler had wanted to subdue the country his soldiers would have had to fight it village by village - against the "porcupine" guerilla attacks mentioned above.
Result #4: The German offensive would therefore have continued Eastwards, no doubt conquering the USSR swiftly, say by 1941. Empire complete, war over.
Result #5: No US involvement, hence no reason to provoke Pearl Harbor, hence no WW2 for the US of A. The USSR being finished, no Cold War to mar the rest of the Century; no Korea, no Vietnam, no NATO, no proxy War of Russian Independence in Ukraine.
All this, because just one society threw off the lethal parasites that presumed to govern it.
One of the Bright Stars of '22 named in 2022's final ZGBlog is Margaret Anna Alice. She has had one of the blogs in her Substack turned into a beautiful short video. "Do You Remember?" is at TinyURL.com/DoYouRem