Jon Stewart held a great and, in my opinion, a hugely important speech at the rally to restore sanity, if only you read between the lines.
It is probably the best case someone has ever made for anarchy/voluntaryism in the mainstream media:
Everyone knows that the concept of government doesn’t work and is doomed to fail miserably. Few people admit it willingly and openly. Few people can fathom the “insane” idea that it should be abolished. Jon Stuart doesn’t admit it openly but you can, in my opinion, clearly see from certain passages in this speech that the idea is at least floating around in his subconscious.
(…)We hear every damn day about how fragile our country is, on the brink of catastrophe, torn by polarizing hate; and how it’s a shame that we can’t work together to get things done; the truth is: We do! We work together to get things done every damn day!!
The only place we don’t, is here [Washington DC] or on cable TV. But Americans don’t live here or on cable TV. Where we live our values and principles form the foundation that sustains us while we get things done, not the barriers that prevent us from getting things done.(…)
I have explained this myself before:
If one took one simple look around oneself, he would find the answer to this question at once. The best example of voluntaryism working … is yourself.
You cooperate in society on a voluntary basis. You don’t use aggression to buy groceries. You don’t use aggression to get your clothes. You don’t use aggression when debating with friends and family. You don’t use aggression to find a job. You don’t use aggression to settle disputes with neighbors, clients, vendors, employees, etc. You are perfectly capable of living peaceful, free, and beautiful lives.
It is in very few cases where we ever interact with anybody from the state. Every April 15th we file our taxes to confirm how much the state has taken from us throughout the year. Sometimes we don’t, and then a tax collector shows up to make us do it or kidnap us at gunpoint if we don’t. Sometimes we go to the DMV to get a driver’s licence. At times we get fined by the police because we do a U Turn where they decree, for whatever reason, that it is illegal. We send our kids to public schools where they spend 14 years of their life being indoctrinated about how great the state is, where diverse talents and opinions are put through the meat grinder of collective thinking and conformity, where opposing ideas such as presented in this article are not even for a second tolerated.
All these interactions we have with the state are, in general, rather unpleasant, boring, frustrating, and un-gratifying. Yet, due to a lack of proper education about the alternative of voluntaryism, we believe that it is utterly necessary to have this group of people with the right to use aggression against us to fund their destructive activities, be it domestic or foreign depredations, to borrow our children’s future into oblivion, and then, out of all things, to EDUCATE those same children for 14 (!!) years of their lives.
It will take years of enlightenment, dedication, and education, to open people’s eyes about one of the most simple facts about themselves: that they are inherently good.
And this one is one where he points out how on the market people work together every day, regardless of their political affiliations, their race, or their religious beliefs. (In my opinion this is of course because on the market you have to work with different people, lest you starve in utter poverty. The market, in that sense by and large forces people to be good, so long as it’s not tinkered with in the form of aggression.)
… and sure, at some point there will be a selfish jerk who sits up the shoulder and cuts in the last minute; but that individual is rare, and he is scorned, and not hired as an analyst.
What a great example of a voluntaryist society that exists even on government built roads! :)
Here is a comparable thing I myself outlined when talking about the provision of court/insurance services in a free society:
But let’s assume the case where one insurer goes all out and begins abusing its power by using massive force of arms against others.
First of all, nobody would ever work with that insurer again. In performing such an act it has just signed its own death sentence as far as its existence in the business community is concerned.
Competing and reputable insurers would join together and smash the rogue agency at once, carried by the support of all their members, and virtually all of society.
Why would any profit seeking entrepreneur take such a tremendous risk? Can anybody give me an example where a business on the free market, unbridled by government subsidies and bailouts, has ever done anything even remotely as risky?? It is simply not going to happen, but even if it were to happen, the problem would solve itself at once.
The point about “not hired as an analyst” is very relevant, too. In my view, the analogy would be as follows: Most people are concerned that there will be bad people who desire power over others and use aggression in a free society. And that may very well be the case. But those individuals will be rare, scorned, and not put in charge of governing an entire country!
To sum it up:
It is simply impossible for a government to operate cooperatively, to “work together with the people”.
The truth of the matter is, that behind all the political hysteria and clamoring, government bureaucrats amongst themselves are cooperating perfectly fine in the business of exploiting the majority and dishing out favors and money to themselves and their friends and lobbyists. But this is not what pundits think of when they say the government should be more cooperative. They are thinking of some sort of collaboration between the people and the state within some imaginary Borg brain where all the problems in matters of public policy will somehow get resolved magically.
But the proposition “Government should be more cooperative” in that sense creates a contradiction in terms. For the government can only exist by using or threatening aggression in the first place. But aggression is the exact opposite of cooperation! It would be like saying “0 should be 1” or “black should be white”.
Overall this was a great speech in my opinion, even though the speaker probably hasn’t admitted to himself that it is for the reasons I outlined above, and not for the restoration of a system that simply cannot be restored.