Friday, April 20, 2007

The state of the nation

In order to rule the lives of its citizens the Dutch government is enacting and enforcing legislation to, e.g.:

ban smoking from the workplace
ban smoking from public places like bars and restaurants.

This, they think show that they care for our well-being.

On the other hand the government has to perform its oldest duty. The core of what a state has to do. To protect the public from violence.

Two stories:

1. A "very dangerous criminal (Dutch)" has escaped recently in Rotterdam. Police is looking for him, but only a SWAT team is allowed to make an arrest. That is how dangerous he is. However, the public prosecutor (OM) does not want to publish his picture, in order not to injure his privacy.

2. In Enschede a man burglared a house. The owner of the house defended himself with a baseball bat and injured the burglar. The houseowner has been arrested and is accused of assault. The burglar has been taken to hospital, to be nursed back to health at public expense.

The state cares about the well-being of the criminals, their privacy and safety. They do protect us if we voluntary go to places were we may be harmed by smoking. However, the state treats with contempt its duty to protect the public from wrong-doers.

This phenomenon was first given a name by the late Sam Francis. Anarcho-tyranny. He wrote: "a combination of anarchy (in which legitimate government functions—like spying on the bad guys or punishing real criminals—are not performed) and tyranny (in which government performs illegitimate functions—like spying on the good guys or criminalizing innocent conduct like gun ownership and political dissent).

The result of anarcho-tyranny is that government swells in power, criminals are not controlled, and law-abiding citizens wind up being repressed by the state and attacked by thugs."

Anarcho-tyranny is a sign of the crisis of ligitimacy of the state. This is clearly shown on online forums of populist Dutch newspapers. Here commenters make constant comparisons of the laid-back attitude of the state in crime surpression contrasting with the harshness of the state when productive citizens are caught speeding or self-defending. It would seem they well understand the idea of Anarcho-tyranny.

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