X-Message-Number: 21838
Date: Sat, 31 May 2003 10:25:08 -0400
From: Francois <>
Subject: Re: Cryonet #21826, 21834

Please don't be so naive. Individual freedom and self responsability are
very good, but they will not lead to a stable society. The reason for this
is very simple. We can assume that a great majority of people will happily
adopt this kind of lifestyle, but not all. A small minority, the true greedy
bastards, will always see such a society as something ripe for plundering,
and they will plunder away. When the communist revolution happened in
Russia, it was all helping each other, and sharing, and working together in
making the perfect society. Then Stalin and his ilk came on the scene, and
you know what happened after that. I feel very confident in predicting that
all societies based solely on individual freedom and self responsability
will soon degenerate into this sort of mess because they will always have
Stalins lurking among them.

No, I do not work to support my neighbor, I do indeed work to support my own
greedy needs. I suspect he does the same, and so do you. That's human
nature, and in fact it is at the heart of Life itself. Every living thing
works for its own self interest. But there are things that cannot be handled
on an individual to individual basis. There is an obvious example of this in
front of my house, the road I use to drive to work, to the market, to the
movie theater and to all the places I want to go. These roads have to be
built and maintained and we have governmental agencies who handle this.
Taxes are not a form of theft. Well, they were when the world was run by
kings, dukes, barons and other kinds of warlords, but in a democracy they
are more like a rent. There is a society that we benefit from, so we give it
part of our income to finance it and keep recieving the benefits. So my
taxes do not benefit my neighbor directly, but they do contribute to the
society we both live in. Share the risks, share the resources, share the
benefits. This provides a playing field where individual freedom and self
responsability can become a way of life, protected from abuse by the power
hungry predators lurking among us.

Are there alternatives to such a system? Possibly. Many have been tried, few
have succeeded and none have gone very far past the small groups who have
adopted them. But humanity is still young and has a lot of imagination, so
we may just see something interesting emerge in the future. And of course,
our current system is itself not perfect. The predators have learned ways to
enter and plunder it too. A few of the most obvious ones have been listed
and there are many others. We have some in Canada also. Yet, individual
freedoms are maintained because our system has checks and balances that
prevent those predators from gaining absolute power the way Stalin, Hitler,
Hussein, etc., did. I do have faith in humanity, but I will not let that
faith blind me to the fact that we are capable of great evil just as we are
capable of great good. Something must keep our darkside in check and that
something is the society we currently live in. It is not a perfect society,
but it is a stable, workable and prosperous one. To me, that's worth paying
taxes in order to keep it that way, until something better comes along.

No lifespan shorter than eternity is acceptable

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