Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The State's territorial monopoly on decision-making in action

Hans-Hermann Hoppe has pointed out the conflict of interest of granting a territorial monopoly on ultimate decision-making in many places in his writings. In the article above, he says,

"... a monopolist with ultimate decison-making powers is particularly bad. While other monopolists produce inferior goods, a monopolist judge, besides producing inferior goods, will produce bads, because he who is the ultimate judge in every case of conflict also has the last word in each conflict involving himself. Consequently, instead of preventing and resolving conflict, a monopolist of ultimate decision-making will cause and provoke conflict in order to settle it to his own advantage.

... The result of a state, then, is not peaceful cooperation and social order, but conflict, provocation, aggression, oppression, and impoverishment, i.e., de-civilization. This, above all, is what the history of states illustrates. It is first and foremost the history of countless millions of innocent state victims."

Hoppe's analysis of the state's territorial monopoly on ultimate decision-making is not the incoherent rantings of an academic madman aloft in some philosophical ivory tower. A judge in New Jersey has just dismissed a lawsuit against the Federal government over its invasion of Iraq. Underscoring the media's complicity in state aggression yet again, the AP news story covering this rather important event could not be more perfunctory.

The judge in the case claims that "second-guessing Congress is not the judiciary's duty." But that is exactly what the judiciary's duty is! What else is the Supreme Court doing, other than second-guessing Congress, when it strikes down a law or portions of a law as unconstitutional? Furthermore, Congress and the Executive have begun colluding against the public by circumventing the Constitutional requirement for a declaration of war before commencement of armed aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan (not to mention Vietnam, Grenada, etc.) making relief from the judiciary our only recourse against the warfare State.

The courts will allow us to get abortions. They'll allow us to ride anywhere on the bus we like, even if we're black. They'll allow us to attend any public school we choose no matter our skin color. They'll allow us to marry if we're gay. But they won't allow us to directly challenge the State's right to wage war because war is the health of the State and war is the single biggest argument by which the State justifies its astronomical expenditures. To challenge the State's wars of aggression is ultimately to challenge the State's power to tax. The judge's paycheck being drafted on the US Treasury, he will never directly challenge the State's power to tax or its power to wage war in order to justify its power to tax.

The territorial monopolist of ultimate decision-making, in Hoppe's words, not only produces inferior goods at unconscionable prices (tax/inflation rate), it invites conflict and aggression in order to settle the dispute in its own favor. No one can really challenge the State's decision to wage war in Iraq, ultimately killing nearly 100,000 innocent people so far, not to mention the torture and state-sponsored terrorism of the Bush administration. Politicians in Congress can't challenge it because they have to worry about re-election. The President will never challenge it because war is the reason the Presidency exists (under the umbrella of the MIC, that is). And now, the people also have no recourse through direct complaint within the courts. Not that this should be surprising, the State's courts have never allowed the people to challenge the legality of the State's wars. It's just that this goes to show that the American State is no different than any other State. Its claim to be morally exceptional is falsified.

The US judicial system is devolving into a bunch of Star Chamber courts. The Federal government has become as bad as the British crown used to be. Maybe it's time to go back to the basics, like our parents did in the 60's, challenging the status quo, challenging the pat answers and moralisms of elected and religious leaders. Maybe it's time to start challenging authority and demanding answers that make sense and hold up under anything more than superficial examination. Like in a courtroom.

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