The Solution

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An excerpt from The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose

Nearly everyone can see at least some problems with the “government” he lives under, whether it be corruption, war-mongering, socialist redistribution, police state intrusions, or other oppressions. And many are desperate to find a solution to such problems. So they vote for this or that candidate, support this or that political movement or party, lobby for or against this or that legislation, and almost always end up disappointed with the results.

They can easily identify and complain about various problems, but an actual solution always eludes them.

The reason they are always disappointed is because the problem does not reside in the people called “government”: it resides in the minds of their victims. Tinkering with “government” cannot fix a problem that does not come from “government”. The dissatisfied voter fails to realize that it is his own view of reality, his own belief in “authority”, that is the root cause of most of society’s problems. He believes that a ruling class is a natural, necessary, beneficial part of human society, and so all of his efforts focus on bickering over who should be in charge, and on what the power of “government” should be used for. When he thinks of “solutions”, he thinks inside the box of statism. As a result, he is powerless from the beginning. Begging masters to be nice, or asking for a new master, never leads to freedom. Instead, such behaviors are dear indicators that the person is not even free inside his own mind. And a man whose mind is not free will never be free in body.

People are so accustomed to engaging in the cult rituals collectively referred to as “politics” (voting, lobbying, petitioning, campaigning, etc.) that any suggestion they not bother participating in such pointless and impotent endeavors amounts, in their eyes, to suggesting that they “do nothing”. Because they view voting, whining and begging as the entire spectrum of possibilities open to them when it comes to “government”, they are unable to even comprehend anything that might actually accomplish freedom. So when a voluntaryist or anarchist explains both the problem and the way out of it, but without presenting a new candidate to vote for, a new political party to support, or some new movement or campaign to get behind-in other words, without proposing anything that coincides with the superstition (of “government” and “authority“) the average statist will complain that no solutions were offered. Prom their perspective, anyone who does not play the game of “politics”, within the rules set down by the ruling class, is “doing nothing”. They enthusiastically declare, “You have to participate!” They fail to realize that participating in the game created and controlled by tyrants is “doing nothing”. Nothing useful, at least.

In truth, rather than some event needing to occur, or some particular thing needing to be done, the real solution — the only solution to the problems involving “government” — comes from not doing certain things, and from certain things not happening. In one sense, there is no positive, active solution to “government”. The ultimate solution is negative and passive: Stop advocating aggression against your neighbors. Stop engaging in rituals that condone the initiation of violence and reinforce the notion that some people have the right to rule. Stop thinking and speaking and acting in ways that reinforce the myth that normal people should be, and must be, beholden to some master, and should obey such a master rather than follow their own consciences.

When people stop bowing at the altar of “government” stop playing the games of tyrants, stop respecting arbitrary rules written by megalomaniacs, the problem will go away on its own. Being a mythical entity, “authority” does not need to be overthrown, or voted out, or “reformed”. The people need only stop imagining something that is not there, and never was. If the people stopped allowing an irrational superstition to warp their perceptions, their actions would immediately and dramatically improve. Most aggression, which is now done in the name of “authority”, would cease. No one would issue commands, enforce commands, or feel an obligation to obey commands, unless the commands themselves were seen as inherently justified based upon the situation, not based upon the one giving the command, or his supposed “authority”. That alone would eliminate the vast majority of theft, extortion, intimidation, harassment, coercion, terrorism, assault and murder which human beings now perpetrate against one another.

When the people recognize and accept no master, they will have no master. Ultimately, their bondage, and the means to escape it, exists entirely inside their own minds.

Human society does not need anything added to it to fix most of its problems, nor does it need the institution of some new “system” or the implementation of some new master plan. Instead, it needs to have one thing — one all- pervasive, extremely destructive thing — removed from society: the belief in “authority” and “government”. What will “make things work” is not any centralized plan, not any authoritarian agenda, but the mutually voluntary interaction of many individuals, each serving his own values and following his own conscience. Of course, this does not fit at all with the way almost everyone was trained to think: that society needs a master plan with “leaders” who will make it happen.

In truth, what society needs the most is the complete lack of a master plan, and the complete absence of authoritarian “leader” to whom the people must surrender their free will and judgment. The solution is not to add some new thing to society, but simply to understand and dispel the most dangerous superstition.