In These States, Altruist Germany and Czarist Russia there was a 97% consensus that the deadly force wielded by the Political State was precisely the thing to bring Succor to the Helpless.
The idea apparently originated about a century and a half into the Common Era. Stories were recorded of a Prophet who 150 years earlier brought cadavers back to the pink of health and ordered apostles to Give unto Caesar. That same Prophet preached altruism in simultaneous translation into Glossolalian while multiplying bread and fishes as a sort of fiat currency for huge masses of worshipping admirers. Succoring the miserable with free stuff was the idea, and the loaves and fishes were evidently pirate copies of the originals. This cloning of free stuff (if that is the proper translation of what those primitive languages claimed had occurred nearly two centuries earlier) crashed and burned in collision with conservation of mass, energy, and momentum, principles of thermodynamics and selfish ideas about the value of ownlife rather than sacrifice for others.
The dilemma was resolved 18 centuries later in Russia and Germany along altruistic principles established by the likes of Marx, Kant and Luther as reinterpreted by Edward Bellamy and Jack London for export and retranslation back into German and Russian. Everybody suffered, and millions starved–except the altruists whose bidding the men with guns obeyed. The Russian version discarded the Prophet of God part which German deontological dogma zealously preserved. Huge chemical companies provided the explosives required for the initiation of force, and refined the patented poppy drugs sold to foreigners as a source of revenue. Empires grew fat and their subjects literally worshipped the politicians, bishops and field-marshals.
In America the mystical mythos was weaker and reverence for the Almighty Dollar much stronger. Mining company lobbyists convinced politicians to convert their gold and silver into coins and force distant consumers to pay the cost via tariff revenue. By the time inconvenient supply and demand considerations revealed how dumb an idea this had been, the mining corporations could buy and sell politicians like potatoes. These corporatepreneurs found among the disciples of Bellamy, Kant and Marx the useful voters they needed to keep that money faucet open. A weaker version of the European myth did the same thing: tax the helpless to pay brutes to tax them all the harder, with as many mock trials and executions as needed to overcome resistance. The biggest difference was that American piety and guilt over extermination of natives led to a prohibitionist reaction which contrasted with Germany’s exploitation of primitives, residents and foreigners with chemical drugs.
When these two systems came into conflict, intelligent persons fled in the direction of least coercion and nuclear weapons ended the war. Now would be a good time to ask ourselves whether ancient myths, dogma, charisma, mixed-economy entanglements and charisma are too sandy a foundation for a civilization that is free and not at war. The alternative, the relatively new experiment of individual rights, has been more successful than the European habits that have kept Europe and Asia in constant bloodbaths over the course of nineteen centuries.
Yet the entrenched political parties that propose to write and enforce laws still think in terms of the wonderfulness of ancient dogma rather than the demonstrated value of individual rights. Suckering the helpless with free stuff taken from others by force may no longer be worth the risks. Leaving individuals free to help themselves has produced better results than the approaches that relied on initiation of force by men with guns.
Prohibition and The Crash–Cause and Effect in 1929 tells how the initiation of force by men with guns wrecked the economy after Dry Hope Hoover applied fanatical violence in the War on Beer. Live on Amazon Kindle for the cost of a pint, and readable on cellphones using Amazon’s free app.