The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose
- "The primary threat to freedom and justice is not greed, or hatred, or any of the other emotions or human flaws usually blamed for such things. Instead, it is one ubiquitous superstition which infects the minds of people of all races, religions and nationalities, which deceives decent, well-intentioned people into supporting and advocating violence and oppression. Even without making human beings one bit more wise or virtuous, removing that one superstition would remove the vast majority of injustice and suffering from the world."
It appears that Larkin believes that the ubiquitous superstition is that the idea of having a government authority is legitimate. He uses the words "ruling class" interchangeable with the word "government". Then he starts using the word authority as if all authority is bad or assumed by government. He says government is an authority over a person or place and then he suggests and even says that acceptance of authority is the result of a hallucination. He says all these things rather fast and links them together in an apparent logical manner but if we slow his statements down and put them into the context of the whole truth his logic begins to bump into reality.
Besides saying that acceptance of government authority is the Most Dangerous Superstition he also says that Statism is the Most Dangerous Religion. He is somewhat right that governments of the world we call States exist at times as some sort of deity or super human entity. The officers of government claim almost god like powers to decide and dictate what i good and what is evil, what is legal and what is illegal.
The truth is most governments today have a strong religious component. Religion 200 years ago and at times 2000 years ago was about the performance of your duty to your fellow man which was to love your neighbor as yourself. Pure Religion was to take care of the needy according to your personal choices of charity without being spotted or even touching any of the benefits offered by what we see the text call the "world".
Here is where Larkin misses the truth. Throughout the centuries societies developed voluntary systems to help take care of people in society that might fall on hard times. They sometimes looked among the people of their community and found some men and women who were f=very giving and caring people. They were good at helping people and spent a lot of time doing just that in their community. Some people supported their effort to help others by contributing resources to them and they some times worked as a team to make sure that no one was neglected.
These people were called Priests. Over time people sometimes put to much trust or faith in these priests which gave them power over the people. We see the same thing happening with doctors. Some peoples brains seem to shut down when they are listening to a doctor. It also happens with lawyers and even politicians. This power granted by the people has a tendency to corrupt even well meaning men and woman who may abuse that undue power granted by the people.
People are responsible for their own corruption but the people who give them so much power are also responsible for the problem they are creating. What they are doing is being slothful. If it is a doctor they should ask more questions, get other opinions and do some personal or collective research with other people. But they often don't. They just do what the Doctor ordered. The same is true of other people like Lawyers, accountants, priests, ministers, politicians or almost anyone with letters after their name. They even listen to actors as if they know something because they "act".
Larkin is really saying stop giving them so much power. That is not such a bad thing because to give people to much power can certainly tempt them to do bad things. But is all government bad. Can you have a government that does not take away any o your right? Can you have leaders in society that do not have power over the people? People holding some position in a government that cannot exercise authority one over the other?
The slogan "Question Authority" has been around since the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates. I think if Larkin will step back and take a closer look if that is possible he may see something he missed.
So let us question authority.
Does your father have authority over his son?
Does the Mother nursing you have the right to put you to bed and tell you to stay in your room?
Does your father whose house you live in and whose table you eat at have a right to tell you when to come home?
Can you terminate your parents right to tell you what to do and not do?
After all they gave you life, fed you sheltered you, changed your diaper for years. Just because you get a job and your own apartment can you just terminate all the natural or rightful authority of your parents?
The truth is if your natural father builds the house you live in, puts food on the table for you to eat, cloths on your back and protect you from all the things that might stop your life then he has a right to make choices for you. He earned it because you life is something he made, not something you made.
What if the state provides fod, cloths, shelter, education, health care for you? Does the state now have the ome of the rights of the natural father.
“In truth, the belief in "government" is a religion, made up of a set of dogmatic teachings, irrational doctrines which fly in the face of both evidence and logic, and which are methodically memorized and repeated by the faithful. Like other religions, the gospel of "government" describes a superhuman, supernatural entity, above mere mortals, which issues commandments to the peasantry, for whom unquestioning obedience is a moral imperative.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“Pride in being a "law-abiding taxpayer" is not the result of having helped people, which the person could have done far more effectively on a voluntary basis; the pride comes from having faithfully obeyed the commands of a perceived "authority.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“For something to be "government," it must, by definition, do something that average people do not have the right to do. A "government" with the same rights as everyone else is not a "government" any more than the average man on the street is "government.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“Frederick Douglass, a former slave, witnessed and described that exact phenomenon among his fellow slaves, many of whom were proud of how hard they worked for their masters and how faithfully they did as they were told. From their perspective, a runaway slave was a shameful thief, having "stolen" himself from the master.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“The truth is that any form of authoritarian control—any type of "government," whether constitutional, democratic, socialist, fascist, or anything else—will result in a set of masters forcibly oppressing a group of slaves. That is what "authority" is—all it ever has been, and all it ever could be, no matter how many layers of euphemisms and pleasant rhetoric are used in an attempt to hide it.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“The belief in "government" is not based on reason; it is based on faith.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“Legalizing" wrong does not make it right.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“If, on the other hand, you value peaceful coexistence, compassion and cooperation, freedom and justice, then teach your children the principle of self ownership, teach them to respect the rights of every human being, and teach them to recognize and reject the belief in "authority" for what it is: the most irrational, self-contradictory, antihuman, evil, destructive and dangerous superstition the world has ever known.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“Instead of being offended at the insult and injustice of being coercively controlled and exploited—in fact, instead of even recognizing that as injustice— many victims of "government" oppression feel profound loyalty to their controllers.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“There would be a difference between "rule of law" and "rule of men" only if the so-called "laws" were written by something other than men.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“In short, despite all of the complex rituals and convoluted rationalizations, all modern belief in "government" rests on the notion that mere mortals can, through certain political procedures, bestow upon some people various rights which none of the people possessed to begin with.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“When confronted with the idea that it is wrong for them to be forcibly deprived of the fruits of their labor, even if it is done "legally," such people often vehemently defend those who continue to rob them, insisting that such robbery is essential to human civilization.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“If a hundred people were shipwrecked on an island, who would imagine that forcing most of them to serve and obey a "protector" would be necessary or useful? And who would imagine that letting one or two of them forcibly impose their morals on the rest would make such a group more virtuous?” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“Every "government," including the most oppressive regimes in history, has been funded by the payment of "taxes" by loyal, productive subjects.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“Perhaps one of the most heinous examples of this was the dropping of nuclear bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, which constituted by far the two worst individual acts of terrorism and mass murder in history. Together, they resulted in the deaths of around two hundred thousand civilians—about seventy times worse than the number of deaths from the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. The admitted goal was to inflict fear, pain and death on the population of an entire country, in order to coerce the ruling class of that country to bend to the will of another ruling class.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“No political ritual can alter morality. No election can make an evil act into a good act. If it is bad for you to do something, then it is bad for those in "government" to do it.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“In the long run, there is no such thing, and can be no such thing, as "limited government," because once someone is accepted by others as a rightful master, and believes himself to have the moral right to rule, there will be nothing and no one "above" him with the power to restrain him.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“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.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“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.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“Ironically, atheists are often quick to point out the destruction that has been committed throughout history in the name of religion, but fail to notice the gruesome results of the god they bow to: "government.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“people cannot delegate rights they do not have, which makes it impossible for anyone to acquire the right to rule ("authority"). Also, people cannot alter morality, which makes the "laws" of "government" devoid of any inherent "authority." Ergo, "authority"—the right to rule—cannot logically exist. The concept itself is self-contradictory, like the concept of a "militant pacifist.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“To argue that human beings need to have a rightful ruler, one with the moral right to forcibly control all others, and one whom all others are obligated to obey, does not change the fact that there is no such thing, and can be no such thing.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“Whether an old lady is robbed by an armed street thug or by a well-dressed, well-educated "tax collector" makes no difference, morally or in practical terms.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“Just as everyone in a tribe praying to a volcano god would reinforce the idea that there is a volcano god, so begging politicians for favors reinforces the idea that there is a rightful ruling class, that their commands are "law," and that obedience to such "laws" is a moral imperative.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“To be blunt, the belief in "authority" serves as a mental crutch for people seeking to escape the responsibility involved with being a thinking human being. It is an attempt to pass off the responsibility for decision-making to someone else: those claiming to have "authority.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“Your actions are always determined entirely by your own judgment, and your own choices. To try to attribute your behavior to some outside force, such as "authority," is cowardly and dishonest. You made the choice, and you are responsible. Even if you just stupidly obeyed some self-proclaimed "authority," you decided to do that.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“The men who wear black dresses and wield wooden hammers and refer to themselves as "the court" are seen as the madmen they are. Those who wear badges and uniforms, and imagine themselves to be something other than mere human beings, are not seen by the deprogrammed as noble warriors for "law and order" but as confused souls suffering from what is little more than a mental disorder.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“Any "government" that had the consent of its subjects would not need, and would not have, "law" enforcers. Enforcement happens only if someone does not consent to something.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“Mortals cannot alter morality any more than they can alter the laws of mathematics. Their understanding of something may change, but they cannot, by decree, change the nature of the universe. Nor would anyone sane attempt to. Yet that is what every new "law" passed by politicians pretends to be: a change in what constitutes moral behavior.” ― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition
“There is a certain feeling of comfort and safety that one gets by conforming and obeying. Believing that things are in someone else's hands, and having trust that someone else will make things right, is a way to avoid responsibility.”
- 1 Corinthians 8:5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)