Got into one of those discussions this weekend (I don’t know how I manage to do this so often) someone insisting that the use or threat of use of force is required routinely to provide a safe and secure society.
When I offered the counter observation that it was hardly the case, and that most people would rather do anything to avoid a fight it was scoffed at; never mind that day after day, time after time, events transpire to prove that people will tend to avoid confrontation if they can. One might even argue that it would be a better world if only more people felt there were things worth fighting for, but don’t get me started. It is a given fact in my book that there are people who only respect the threat of force.
The fact that some people will only respect the threat of force is the main reason that some form of government will always be necessary. Self government only works if you are intelligent enough to modify your own behavior when your desires drive you to take what isn’t yours or in some way transgress the normal code of conduct that is currently enforced as law. That there isn’t daily killings on the highway for transgressions of driving etiquette is all the proof that I need that most people are capable of self government.
If might made right, then anything achieved by force would be acceptable to the sensibilities of people in general. Logically; if the use of force made the results right or correct or just, then I’m not sure what business anyone has objecting to anything that is done to them. Obviously it’s right if it can be done, given that force is the only measurement of right (being what the word makes means) if you accept the statement as true. That people object, and that some people will respond with force (self defense) proves that might doesn’t make right. Not even right in the form of right now.
This is lucky for the rest of us in the world. I guess I’ll have to add a few more names to the book though. What book? The record of people that I keep; people that I will need to apply force to if I ever want anything out of them that they don’t think is right. People that won’t simply capitulate to a sound argument when one is presented. That’s another name for the list.
It’s getting to be a really long list these days.