Radical Agenda EP116 – None of this is Peaceful

I was half tempted to cancel today’s show. Seems all the headlines are election related and I’m sorta sick of doing “The Donald Trump Show” three days a week. The guy was right, I’m bored of winning.

Radical Agenda EP116 - None of this is Peaceful

Radical Agenda EP116 – None of this is Peaceful

So let’s rewind a bit, and go back to basics, shall we? It may seem repetitive to some long time listeners/readers, but this bears repeating given the current political climate and new audience members. Watching all of these talking heads complain about violence and divisive language is really frustrating to me, because violence and divisive language is really the entire point of State politics. They only seem to care when someone they disagree with gains some advantage over them, and understandably so.

No matter the cuddly language it is dressed up in, politics is about violently oppressing one’s rivals. I have an opinion, you have an opinion, and if our opinions differ in civil society we simply live our lives according to our beliefs separately. In politics it is remarkably different. Whoever can get more people to agree with them on that opinion, will win an election. That election will determine who wields the power of the State, and the power of the State will be used to force that opinion on the entirety of the populace.

It matters not whether that opinion is correct or incorrect. It matters not if forcing that opinion on the populace results in catastrophic outcomes. It matters not if we all die. Those are the simple physics of the machine of the democratic State.

So when people resort to violence outside of that mechanism, we shouldn’t act surprised. People realize on some level that their political opponents are a threat to their safety, and they react accordingly. Assaulting one’s political rival, depending on the circumstances, can be seen as a simple and righteous act of self defense.

This misguided notion that we peacefully discuss our political differences is nonsense. The entire thing is a threat of violence and sooner or later people take the violence into their own hands. The collective wisdom of hundreds of millions of idiots is no way to make decisions, and the sooner people figure that out, the sooner we dispense with the popularity contests and vanity of democracy.

All political contests are violent ones, and I for one look forward to the day when a large enough number of people come to grips with this. A democratic election grants no special legitimacy to State or interpersonal violence. A coup d’état, revolution, or ruthless dictatorship of some variety is arguably better in this sense, because it at least demonstrates understanding of this reality. It is perhaps the best thing we can hope for then, and maybe, if we’re lucky, that realization will give way to a more rational preference for private property rights and government by contract.

In other news, Walter Block launches “Libertarians for Trump“. Barack Obama nominates a gun grabber for the Supreme Court. Could a contested convention make Paul Ryan President? All that and more, plus your calls at 747-234-2254 or RadicalAgenda on Skype.

Join us, this and every Wednesday, as well as Mondays and Fridays from 5-7pm Eastern for another exciting episode of the Radical Agenda. It’s a show about common sense extremism where we talk about radical, crazy, off the wall things like democracy.

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  • paendragon

    “Politics” is all about who gets how much of your own money and what they spend it on.

    So I don’t understand the apathy of feral millennial retards who either ignore it or vote to fritter it away on the preposterous outrageous wants of feminist cuckolds, not on needs.

  • Doop-doo-doop

    Someone please arrest the terrorist, George Soros, already

  • Guy From V

    You can’t say fuck on FTL you stupid shit-ass cocksucker mother fuck.

  • IRONMANAustralia

    There’s an episode of the original Star Trek[1] series you might find interesting in relation to the above characterisation of democratic elections Cantwell. Not sure if I’ve mentioned it before. It’s called ‘A Taste of Armageddon‘ and comes immediately to mind in allegorical relation to the above post, (I’d link you but your spam filter is fucking gay).

    It’s about two planets that fight a “cold war” for over five hundred years. Captain Kirk and his mates are initially perplexed as to why the leader of one of the planets claims to be actively involved in a nuclear war, yet there is no visible damage to their cities. They quickly discover that these planets, (by treaty), use computers to fight a simulated war and calculate casualties in order to avoid the actual “horrors of war”, (actual physical damage to their materiel and culture). This explains why their society is still so advanced and prosperous after half a millennium of “war”.

    The catch is, those people calculated to be casualties of simulated attack have twenty-four hours to report to a Futurama-style Suicide Booth for disintegration, which they have been doing in order to avoid violation of the treaty, (and retaliation with IRL nuclear weapons instead).

    If the similarities escape you, I put it to you that democratic elections are simply a form of “non-violent revolution”. Which is to say, if 99% of the US population wanted a particular leader or political policy badly enough, there’s probably not a heck of a lot the other 1% could do about it. Thus elections are a nominal approximation of relative force – in principle not entirely unlike that in the above fictional story. So in much the same way we seem to have concluded that if any given political disagreement actually came down to physically fighting it out, the probable outcome, (at least in a significant number of cases), could be calculated before a shot is fired or anything blown up, so why blow anything up?

    Now I can understand anyone saying they would rather fight, kill, and die in that situation anyway – there’s no tactical reason to just hand your enemies your assets without razing them first, (even if just by 1%). However, when you consider that there are people with opposite views willing to do the same, and an infinitude of political issues major and minor to fight over, democratic elections become a little more economically attractive, (not just in the monetary meaning of the term, but economics in terms of Game Theory, etc), as opposed to perpetual civil war.

    Notice that while the males of many species have an instinct to fight over females – including ours – it would generally be seen as aberrant behaviour to try to kill the female in question when you’re losing, just so the other guy can’t have her. I’d suggest there’s a reason for that – or at least an obvious benefit. You wouldn’t expect a society that did raze their women in the process of sexual competition to be very successful or last very long, (in contrast to just killing her so she does not spread competing genes).

    I’m no fan of Evolutionary Psychology and I’d caution anyone about lapping that just-so shit up as gospel. While there’s a ring of truth to it in broad strokes, one can easily sound like an idiot overextending any one imagined version of the details, (AAAARRRRRR-KAAAAAAYYYYYY!)

    What I am saying is that not destroying what we’re fighting to win seems to be how humans generally roll, for whatever reason, and the human race as a whole appears to more resilient as a result. If we didn’t work like that it would be difficult to maintain any semblance of an advanced civilisation at all. We’d keep decimating each other back to the Stone Age all the time, (which is not to say that particular tendency doesn’t exist at all).

    As you point out though, that “non-violence” option still comes with a cost, and is hardly “non-violent” as advertised. Make no mistake, the 1% in the above example are having specific liberties totally screwed over by the 99%, just as surely as individuals are actually dying “for the greater good” in the Star Trek scenario. Notably they voluntarily walk into the disintegration booths, so the actual violent nature of that isn’t so explicit until they meet someone who doesn’t want to go quietly. Again, pay attention to the allegorical parallels here.

    In the Star Trek story Kirk even goes so far as to explicitly point out there is little difference between simulated war and actual war as far as the death toll is concerned. So by fucking up their status quo,[2] he can hardly make things any worse in that regard. And either way, the war would end more quickly if they actually did blow the shit out each other, because they’d increasingly lose capacity to wage war. So less total people would die compared to an ongoing annual death toll over centuries.

    Kirk figures that these societies are so afraid of the horrors of real war, they’ve become totally reluctant to consider any alternative, and ironically will never have any incentive to end their conflict. So Kirk destroys their computer, forcing them to come face to face with real warfare, turning their intense fear of it into an incentive to start peace talks.

    It seems to make some kind of sense, but I think like a lot of things, it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other. Who really has it better? The Federation fighting real wars with the Klingons?

    I’d say: “It depends”, because Newsflash: Reality sucks balls and shit is really complicated.

    In the real world, I’d suggest that Western political systems, (taken ‘as writ’), are an equilibrium between shitty alternatives. In defence of which I will point out that there’s a reason that countries that are Third World war-torn shitholes are shitholes, and the fact that they are war-torn – if not the only reason – probably ain’t helping. There’s a cultural cost to hair-trigger and/or ongoing war, that seems to include an undesirable mentality amongst the population. To be fair, it’s probably a chicken and egg thing though where war-torn shitholes, are shitholes because they are war-torn, and war-torn because they are shitholes. Either way they seem to be full of shitheads that were/are/perpetuate the problem, and frankly you’re probably better off trying to civilise a bunch of people who have some idea what peace and freedom actually taste like in the first place, (so Kirk doesn’t have that hard a road to hoe).

    Ultimately though, the cost that comes with conflict is the tearing down of civilisation itself. Civilisation, (by which I primarily mean all the mod cons), comes with a benefit that has to be economically weighed against the cost of taking it up the arse at the disintegration polling booth.

    Obviously there’s a point where it’s uneconomical to just keep sucking it up, both individually and as a society, (which is why Kirk seem so right), but if you’re waging nuclear rebellion over whether the people on your planet should be forced to wear silly orange and black jumpsuits, you might need to check yo’self before your Shrek your whole planet.

    To put it another way, deduct the total probable cost of war and if you wind up back at the Stone Age, you’d fucking better have a proportionately important reason. That means you’re going to be taking it up the arse quite a bit. Should you have to? No, if we’re talking about “ought”, but I don’t think it’s so easy to escape that economic calculation. Welcome to reality and THE CURRENT YEAR.

    In a nutshell:

    • You’re saying democratic elections are violence.

    • I’m agreeing with you and giving you an example of a similar supposedly “non-violent” scenario that still actually still is.

    • I’m pointing out you can take your pick, because it’s unavoidable and sucks either way.
    ie. Just as hippies can’t destroy capitalism and keep their lattes and iPhones, you can’t have a bloody revolution over every little violation of any individual’s liberties and not rend modern civilisation with all it’s benefits.

    • I’m suggesting that there’s some non-static point of equilibrium where the cost/benefit is maximised, (on average across the population). Which the West is closer to than your average Third World war-torn shithole.

    [1] Yeah I know it’s just a TV show, but before you just dismiss it consider where sci-fi writers come up with their ideas. Science-fiction is just a particularly well-established art form that has a habit of reflecting philosophical concepts, and the popularity of which has surprisingly little to do with silver jumpsuits, ray guns, and other recognisable superficial aspects. Star Trek is dramatic entertainment, but that doesn’t make it equal to Keeping Up With The Kardashians either – and it’s simplistic to suggest anything of the sort. Gulliver’s Travels is a particularly infamous comparative example of political commentary that uses seafaring ships and strange islands befitting the time it was written, as opposed to starships and strange planets. Same shit, different day.

    [2] Which is pretty much how the United Federation of Planets rolled in the 60’s, unlike those Next Generation pussies under the command of that bald Cheese-eating Surrender Monkey).

    • Richard Chiu

      I suppose the point after we boil all of this down is that, in order to have a serious discussion about whether your political system averts more violence than it requires, you first have to recognize that it does in fact require real violence.

      And if someone that recognizes your system is in fact violence and is armed to retaliate against your system for the violence it directs at them, then the decision of whether to continue using your system or not gets taken out of your hands.

      Which is what is going to happen. We can argue with the mindless drones who refuse to acknowledge that government is violence, but in the end what’s going to happen is that someone is going to blow up their damn computer and force the violence out into the open. And that someone is probably going to be someone their computer claims should report to a disintegration chamber.