Tag Archives: Anarchy

The Moral Importance of Autonomy and Responsibility

Crispin Sartwell on how collective action lightens the perceived burden of moral responsibility. I am reminded of a gobbit from Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress: “Under what circumstances is it moral for a group to do that which is not moral for a member of that group to do alone?”

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To Be Governed

I reread this gem and enjoyed it so much I felt I ought to share it. From P. J. Proudhon, but quoted in Nozick’s Anarchy, State and Utopia:

To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so.  To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished.  It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality. 

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