Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 674, June 10, 2012

"The World is run by fools who kill children
as they pray and practice hymns in Church. And
that's what I remember learning in third grade."

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The Will of the Majority Sometimes Trumps the Will of the Individual?
by Matt Sims

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Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

As has been the case in many of my blentries, this was prompted by a comment made to one of my wall posts on FB: Someone said: "You say the same shit all the time." To which someone replied: "There's a word for that. Consistency."

Yes, consistent with a certain fundamental principle. That each person has a right to his own life. So I ask questions and pose situations that in some way violate that principle to see if anyone gets the contradiction.

I am trying to get someone, anyone, to think outside the cube of politics as competing groups of thugs claiming monopoly authority to wield initiatory violence over a certain geographic region. Nothing of substance will change until a sufficient number of people understand this.

Most people think I believe in some sort of Utopia. The truth is I understand this cube you all desire to live in though none of you can explain it to me in terms that do not violate that principle.

"Sometimes the will of the majority has to override the will of the individual."

Okay, I'll bite. How does that NOT violate the principle of each individual person's right to his own life? Or they admit it does and claim this action is somehow more fundamental than that principle. I see it (the principle of each individual person's right to his own life) as axiomatic. Or does there exist a principle more fundamental than each person's right to his own life?

What is the more fundamental principle? If there is one, you have to be able to apply it universally.

50% + 1?

All those of Chinese and Indian descent in the world join forces and vote the rest of the world is using up all the scarce resources and must be exterminated. Each person not of Chinese or Indian descent would have to go willingly without trying to defend himself. He agreed in principle majority rules.

So what else might supersede it?

The most guns and ability to conscript enough bodies to be heroes and sacrifice their lives for "this gang," whatever motivates people to do this.

How well does this work?

The KKK gets to lynch all the negroes they want for whatever reason they want until a bigger gang can be raised to stop them.

How does that other gang, just because they are bigger and claim a superior monopoly territory, get to decide the fate of those negroes? Superior firepower and an ability to conscript a superior number of bodies to be heroes and give their lives for the ones who claim the jurisdiction.


Is that the walls of the cube I am trying to get people to think outside?

If you say either of those is more fundamental than each person's right to his own life you can't claim a limit on the actions based on the principle. Since the principle itself is 50%+1, how do you get to tell me where the line is drawn? Do you claim to be the +1 in agreement with the 50%?

See, the principle of each person's right to his own life provided that 100% of negroes lived. Where the "principle" of 50% + 1 or the "principle" of most fire power and ability to conscript the most heroes to die for the rulers seems to have failed quite a few of them.

There are also those who say that there is no such thing as "rights" that "rights" don't exist as a tangible entity, so to use the concept of rights is a fallacious position. To them I just have to wonder what it is they use as a frame of reference? Is there some world view that does not include the concept of "rights" as a short hand with which to evaluate situations and actions that would be consistent in such things as the KKK lynching negroes in the south of the USofA or the government of the USofA murdering hundreds of thousands in other countries or even not having someone else move into the house you live in (can't really say "your" house, since possession pretty much implies the right to possess which has as its root the right to ones own life) or drive the car that is parked in the driveway of the house you live in or take the wallet out of the pocket of the pants that are on the body that houses the person reading this.

Man, not having the concept of "rights" as a short hand sure makes it take a lot of words to say something.

And people think I don't realize I have to live inside this cube.

"We" have to figure these things out one at a time over time. Why can't we extrapolate that every one of these discoveries had as a root the violation of the principle Of each person's right to his own life?

That's why I always say the same shit. Including the "shit" of finding contradictions and bringing them to the surface to see how they can be resolved.

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