Friday, March 7, 2014

What are you doing and why?

Suppose that someone came to you one day out of the blue, handed you a shovel, and told you to start digging. And when you asked what you were digging, he told you that you were digging a ditch. And when you asked him why you needed to dig the ditch, he pointed a gun at your head and said that if you don’t dig, he will shoot you. And when you asked what right he had to command you to dig, he said that the fact that he held the gun gave him that right and that you could choose either to start digging immediately or take a bullet.

Suppose that you decided to start digging.

Suppose that someone else wandered along, saw you digging, and asked you what you were doing and why. What would you say? The situation is pretty clear cut. You are being forced to dig a ditch against your will by a man threatening your life with a gun.

Now consider the same scenario, but replace “man” with “government bureaucracy.” And replace “shovel” and “ditch” with “job” and “amassing corporate wealth,” respectively. And replace “gun” with an impossibly vast system of economic, legal, and physical coercion involving private property and debt and prisons and millions of trained professionals with weapons of every imaginable configuration.

Now suppose that someone wandered along and asked you what you were doing and why.

1 comment:

  1. You always hit the nail right on the head!