Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Nation of Wannabe Sovereigns

I was reading Why I'm Leaving America, by Michael Fielding.

I think part of the problem is that some people confuse the meaning of "representation" and "sovereignty".

Representation means that someone acts on the collective will of some group; in our country, the majority group. Representation means that sometimes you don't get your way, because you're outvoted, but you at least have a chance to say your piece; and someone who has to listen.

That's not good enough for some people in the minority: They are only satisfied if society (government or not) conforms exactly to their personal desires. That is, they consider themselves sovereign: If things then don't conform to their sovereign desire, they say things like, "I'm being coerced." Our rule isn't always the best, but for these people, any authority contrary to their personal desire, is unacceptable.

See, the founders were unhappy with Great Britain, because they had no representation at all. The colonies were punished even for asking for representation.

But some people, such as Mr.Fielding, have representation. From his perspective, that's not good enough: Because only sovereignty would satisfy him. He uses the Declaration of Independence, which was about representation, as a supporting argument for his personal sovereignty.

No matter how people like Mr. Fielding try to sugar-coat it, they are utterly opposed to society in any form, because in a society you sometimes have to subsume your desires to authority; however that authority is constituted.

For example, the authority of the society might require its members not to steal. That's not acceptable to these people because they see it as their sovereign right to steal.

That's why some people will argue against any regulation whatsoever of business; because the most profitable business model is one involving ripping people off. Rules prohibiting fraud and requiring fitness for merchantability are therefore "completely unacceptable" because they interfere with these people's sovereign right to steal. (We won't even go into the "utter horror" of product liability.)

They're doomed to a life of frustration: Because there is nowhere that humanity goes, where there is no authority; and there is nowhere that they can go where they can be truly sovereign. No one in this world is truly sovereign; not even kings.

They are doomed to a hard life.

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