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Saturday, February 26, 2005

Gene the Sellout

I was quite amused by Mr. Fuller's tsk-tsking of Gene's reaction to his (Gene's) mugging. (Please read his analyis to assure yourself that I am not mischaracterizing his post.) He quotes Gene saying that the cops sincerely wanted to catch the guy and then says, "Yeah right." He then goes on to ask if they had done routine follow-up (sketch artist, etc.) and says "I doubt it." Then to prove that he is right, and apparently to justify his rhetorical quesion, "And Gene calls himself an anarchist?", Fuller relates an anecdote from Chicago. Gene then responded in the commentary and pointed out that Fuller's a priori deduction was completely wrong in the case of the bobbies, and then Fuller apologized.

Heh heh, got you there at the end. Of course Fuller didn't apologize, he explained that he was going on his own experience from Chicago (and that's why he wondered whether Gene knew how to interpret the desires of others across an ocean) and then ended with, "I am also curious as to how you think a private police force would have handled the situation. The same, better or worse?"

Let me go out on a limb (since we're not afraid to speculate on the motivations and thoughts of others) and say, "Yes, Mr. Fuller, Gene thinks private police would have done a much better job. He calls himself an anarchist, after all."

Incidentally, for those who like to psychoanalyze, let me admit that I'm touchy about this stuff. I myself had to quit visiting a certain forum (that shall remain nameless) when I just couldn't handle daily criticisms from anarchists who were oh-so-much purer than I was.

A final thought: Not everyone who works for the State is a minion of Satan. It is entirely consistent for someone to claim that "the police officers who interviewed me wanted to catch the guy" and "the police force is no good at catching criminals." Yes, we anarchists should never allow politicians' speeches or police slogans on their cars convince us of their good intentions, but we should also not lose sight of the phenomenon of unintended consequences. I.e. the institutional forces governing an agency that holds a monopoly on force will lead to gross corruption and ineptitude of the type Fuller described (and I believe his story, btw), even if the average cop is a decent guy.

The thing that is so horrible, sad, and yet hopeful about the State is that it takes people who have good intentions (in the beginning) and turns them into agents for evil. (And when I say "hopeful" I mean that there is hope if we could just get most of these people to see the light; if it really were true that every single government employee were as cynical and evil as Fuller believes, there would be no hope at all.) No, I don't deny that many despicable people are attracted to the State, but I think it does its own to create them.

"The Worst Get on Top," as Hayek explained, but getting there makes them worse still. I bet George W. was really cool to hang out with back when he was doing blow in college. But make him the most powerful man in human history and tell him that God expects great things from him, and look what happens.

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