I realize that you probably dislike thinking of yourselves as primitive beasts wedded to uncivilized methods and goals. In fact, you probably have quite the opposite conception of self. You consider yourself to be sophisticated, educated and possessing an appreciative and lucid regard for that ever elusive “third way” of moderate centrism. I know because I have studied carefully comrades who, like you, voted for Obama.
And while I confess that you bear a superficial veneer of sophistication as far as dress, speech and appearance go, closer examination confirms that you are indeed beastly savages. You may not consume raw meat or dwell in caves, but you share with cavemen the single most crucial element of distinction; that is, you think like one of them.
You deny this? Perhaps I must remind you of your not-so-distant brothers and their ways. Cavemen carried large sticks with them everywhere which served a two-fold purpose: as a means of self defense and a means of procurement. The caveman mentality was simple; if you want it, take it. That’s what the club is for. If your neighbor’s woman strikes your fancy and your neighbor is reluctant to accommodate your lechery, beat your neighbor until he is more cooperative, and then beat his wife too, if need be. The same applies to your neighbor’s property, whether it is his goat or his fields or any other possession of his which appeals to you.
“But that was then,” you protest. “We are reformed. We do not use clubs anymore.” True, you’re too advanced for simple sticks. Perhaps you will recognize them easier as rifles. And now you are at ease, for how can I possibly draw any link between you and cavemen where firearms are concerned? For you are vocally anti-gun, and consistently elect representatives to enact legislation that hampers and restricts gun ownership.
But do not put your backward, barbaric consciences to ease so readily. You may well deny yourselves and your fellow man the right to own any useful clubs of his own, but that does not mean that you are a peaceable society which no longer recognizes or employs the function of clubs.
Of course not. They are too integral to your aims to ever throw away. You want many things – “free” education, “free” healthcare, a “greener” economy, etc. – and you naturally want to spend as little as possible of your own funds to achieve such. Predictably, when it comes to your neighbor, you are much less reserved about spending his money.
“But don’t scold us so,” you stutter innocently. “We only want to make our rich neighbors pay.” How sensible of you, and so obviously selfless; I must applaud! Convenient, is it not, that no matter what one’s station in life, it is but a small chore to identify a neighbor materially better off than oneself? Of course, your wealthy neighbors do not necessarily share the same impulse when it comes to your ambitions to spend their money. They may even resist weakly and vote Republican. This is unfortunate because theirs is not a very effective or meaningful vote as recent years of Republican leadership have demonstrated, but that’s an aside. In any event, you wish for many things and all your coveting leads to clubbing. It has to. For which of your grand schemes can you truly achieve without your ever constant companion, compulsion?
Still, you resist my allegation, confidently insisting that you do not club, for you do not own clubs. Yes, I remember now, you’re the camp that’s decidedly against clubs. And here is the point upon which you are ensnared in a deceptive delusion. It is true that you do not personally club your neighbor, for you yourself do not possess a club. Yet to whom have you entrusted all the clubs? It’s Uncle Sam. And are you not continually insisting that it is Uncle Sam alone who can be entrusted with all the clubs? And is there not very little which you ask of Uncle Sam that does not require him to use the clubs on your behalf as a means of procurement? I don’t see you collecting the taxes necessary to fund all your wild schemes on your own, do I?
Do not mistake me for advocating a society without clubs, though I certainly long, as I’m sure you do, for the day when clubs are not necessary. But in the meantime, while humans remain the same sordid, sinful lot they’ve so long been, I recognize, along with other Libertarians and our Founding Fathers, the right to self defense and, concomitantly, arms. Indeed, Libertarians are thoroughly adamant about the right to self defense, recognizing it as a principle human right, without which the other rights are in constant danger.
But just because I and other Libertarians and our Founding Fathers are principled defenders of clubs does not put us in the same primitive class to which you belong. Note carefully this distinction: we acknowledge the right to clubs and their usage only in their proper, lawful sense, that is, the right to self defense.
You are the primitives who predatorily utilize clubs as a device of procurement, a powerful and effective tool for getting the things you want without actually having to work for them and earn them lawfully. Of course, you claim innocence because you entrust to Uncle Sam all the dirty details of your craven ambitions. You have forsaken clubs, and so you call yourselves sophisticated gentlemen. Nonsense, you are still Neanderthals; you’ve simply lost all your fur.
Jeremy Hicks is a 2008 political science graduate, the founder of the Cal Poly Libertarian Club and a Mustang Daily political columnist.