Савелий Балалайкин (balalajkin) wrote,
Савелий Балалайкин

Arguing for the Left, while remaining on the Right :)

Thomas Hobbes' idea of a state having a monopoly on violence has a few interesting continuations in our current state of affairs.

1. Speech is violence. This decade-old Leftist mantra, particularly popular in Academia, is not as ridiculous as it seems.

Revolutionary propaganda and agitation are in essence threats of violence against the exiting State institutions and State officials. Propaganda and agitation lead to revolution, and revolution IS violence, then propaganda and agitation are precursors to violence.
Being similar to the precursors of illegitimate drugs that have to be controlled, the hateful speech and dangerous speakers need to be de-platformed, similar to manufacturers of various dangerous substances.

By whom?

By the State of course.
Here we come to the realization that the State by requiring a monopoly of violence has to have a monopoly on speech or at least tight control and regulation of speech.

Liberal solution? Perhaps, no monopoly on violence as such; we have to realize that this is an ideal never to be achieved. Law must be limited and violence to enforce the law has to be limited as well, the rest of violence must be shared as a responsibility between citizenry. Non-violent citizenry is an oxymoron, as much as a silent citizenry. There could be non-violent and silent slavery though.

2. Silence is violence. This new slogan seems to be even more nonsensical.

But viewed through the same Hobbsian lense it makes even more sense. By remaining silent, we, as citizen, give all our political power to the State officials, who monopolize not only the violence, but also all the precursors to violence.

Free speech is not a privilege, not a luxury, not a pleasant weekend activity. It is a responsibility, similar to the requirement to bear arms and be prepared to exercise violence, and each citizen has to be fully trained as a militant speaker.

3. Legitimate use of illegitimate violence.

Looks like we are going further into schizophasia. Does it even make sense?

Yet I would insist that the State, if properly defined and limited in its institutions, must have only a portion of violence, which is fully legitimate and contained within the law system.
All the rest of the violent force must remain in hands of citizenry, if it is free, free speaking, and lives in a free society. Liberty is protected by law, but resides outside of it.

So "defund the police", yeah, I mean, some of the current police functions actually belong to the private citizenry, who may choose to hire private guards to patrol the streets and/or elect a local sheriff instead.

4. State as a Phoenix, not a Leviathan.

State institutions are to be generated and regenerated out of collegial activities of armed and free speaking citizens, not imposed upon them from above or below. The implied threat of violence in culture must be preserved in order to have this Phoenix of a State to be reborn again and again in any given place and time.

5. Privacy as the most important frontier

It seems self-evident that it is more important to guard private affairs and interests against the unwelcome intrusion and growth of state institutions, than state affairs to be kept secret and state borders to be secured against other, presumably unfriendly, or at least self-interested states.

6. State property or shared ownership?

I would argue that if the State assets and all the commons were properly defined in the Law as being in shared ownership of each and every citizen, proportionate to their private tax contributions, there'd be no such nonsense as statue toppling. Moreover, some wars would be either prevented entirely or fought with the exact end goal, and the end result would be scrutinized by the shareholders.

7. State and Church separation. Also State and Academia separation and Academia and Church separation.

State must not have a monopoly on any ideology and moral system, whether it is religious, quasi-religious, or expressly atheistic. Church (churches, the congregation of believers in any fashionable idea, set of memes, etc.) must not have any instruments of conversion and control outside of the realm of the spoken and/or written word. It is a basic precaution.
Not so obvious is a requirement for surgical separation of the Academia and the Church. It is not obvious, but it is happening right here, right now.
Current Academia is parasitized by religious zealots and overrun by State administrators, and this situation requires urgent resolution.
Science cannot be done when the outcome of any experiment is premeditated and predefined by any given ideology, as well as science cannot be done under the duress. Freedom of conscience must be protected by the State, but the State should not be able to enforce any given thought. Science cannot be forced to be moral either, as mores change, but the laws of Nature do not.

Yet the Church (again, broadly speaking) will always be there, as the collegial activity of free citizenry, and the Church activity may give birth to State institutions, as well as it may give birth to Academia (we already had this birth taking place in our medieval history).

Providing they are not mixed up again, I see this arrangement as most favorable.
Tags: political philosophy, политика, философия

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