Last week's ZGBlog pointed out the desperation of archist "leaders" in that, stripped of coherent ideas and arguments, they have resorted to a form of censorship, to try to silence us who have plenty. Today let's have a look at what their followers have to do, rather like soldiers out of ammunition. Here are a few actual gems which I saw recently on the Internet.
"The politoical [sic] 'elite' are igmnoring [sic] the will of the ignorant and the misguided [like Trump voters and Brexiteers] but they are not ignoring the will of the wise." This elitist archist favors rule by the wise; a sapiocracy, perhaps. But who is to say who's wise and who's not? - those who are even wiser, I suppose. And who's to choose the choosers? - those who are wiser yet, and so ad infinitum.
It is therefore impossible to form a ruling class of wise persons. Maybe that's just as well, because by Acton's Law, power corrupts - and the more power, the more corruption. So however wise they might be at the get-go, their wisdom would be unlikely to outlast a single electoral term.
"Name one single, functioning libertarian society." This is one of their favorites, since none exist yet; they think it's a "gotcha." It sometimes comes with the free advice Get Thee to Somalia. The unstated premise behind the invitation to point to a free society that already exists is that nothing can happen which has not already happened. That's worth a pause for reflection.
It means there can never be a first time for anything; there must always be a precedent. But since there is no precedent for the precedent, it can never ever take place. My favorite teacher at school was one of the most logical people I've met, but when a boy would bring to him a new idea for approval, he once puffed at his pipe and said "But it's never been done before!" So that catch phrase entered the school language as a way to tease him.
It means that since powered flight has never take place (pre-1904) it never can or will take place. Since carriages have never moved without horses (a bit earlier) there will never be horseless carriages. Since nothing ever escaped Earth's orbit, nothing ever will. Since there has always been slavery, it can never end. Since nothing has ever been written down, keeping records is impossible. Since (in about 8,000 BC) there has never been a government, none can ever arise (now, there's a thought!) Since (about 50 millennia ago) mankind has always lived in central Africa, he can never populate the Planet. And so on. Using this irrational premise, hom. sap. would still be just a hairless ape in the jungle.
Another oft-used archist trick is ridicule. Everyone, but everyone, recognizes the necessity of good government, and here are these silly anarchists with their weird ideas; "naïve theories" was a phrase one of them used against me recently. The writer couldn't wrap her mind around them if she tried, and she didn't try, for scorn was simpler. It works - for now - because a large majority of people do not think; government-school leavers graduate summa cum laude with a degree in non-thinking. It's what the schools are for. "How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think" said Hitler; the systematic indoctrination of multiple generations of school children removes the "fortune" factor and makes quite sure of it.
Another recent attempt at ridicule was aimed at me: "Free market sewers. Free market water supply. Free market law enforcement. You Libertarians are a rediculous [sic] lot." The author supposed his readers would think it silly that sewers, water pipes and justice could exist in a free market. Yes, he's right about "law enforcement", since there will be no laws, but presuming he refers to part of a justice system, dead wrong about that. He evidently forgot that outside the cities, sewage is already handled on a market basis; house owners buy a septic tank and contract with competing suppliers to have it cleaned periodically. Water, likewise, is often drawn from a deep well supplied and maintained by market players. Could competing firms also meet the needs of city dwellers? - of course! And in eager search for profits, they will solve the long-running, government-caused shortage of water in California, a State with the Nation's third longest ocean shoreline.
I caught sight not long ago of a slightly new twist: magic. I'd posed the question "How, precisely, did government acquire title to the land over which it claims dominion?" and an answer was offered: "It's a Möbius strip." I'm still not sure whether the enigmatic respondent was agreeing that there is no rational basis for any such title, or whether he was saying that the answer goes back to ancient history and so doesn't matter. A Möbius strip can be made from a bit of paper much longer than it is wide; give it a single twist, then glue the ends together. The result is a three-dimensional object with two edges but neither beginning nor end. Like the source of government authority, it's a paradox, an insoluble mystery. Okay, magic is just as convincing as the Divine Right of Kings.
One other common archist bleat is that Libertarians are would-be freeloaders; that we complain about having to pay for government services but then go ahead and use them anyway. Arguably this is the most vacuous of all, for it introduces a moral element and falsely claims the high ground! Police and fire services are offered "free", as are many roads and a forest of financial benefits, from Social Security to subsidies that reduce the price of government-favored cars. Is one expected to decline them, having already been obliged to pay for them? Hardly so. The immoral case is the opposite, being forced to pay for something (schools, military...) to which one expressly objects.
These and other nonsensical, vacuous views will continue to circulate for quite a while, because archists have had 10,000 years to practice their lines - and have intensified their propaganda greatly in the last couple of centuries, particularly by monopolizing schools. To deprogram a cultist is non-trivial. But the tools are there; each of us only has to put them to use.