Von Mises has some powerful things to say to those who feel the state is not necessary:
‘Without the application of compulsion and coercion against the enemies of society, there could not be any life in society…
…We call the social apparatus of compulsion and coercion that induces people to abide by the rules of life in society, the state; the rules according to which the state proceeds, law; and the organs charged with the responsibility of administering the apparatus of compulsion, government…
…Anarchism misunderstands the real nature of man. It would be practicable only in a world of angels and saints…
…Liberalism is not anarchism, nor has it anything whatsoever to do with anarchism. The liberal understands quite clearly that without resort to compulsion, the existence of society would be endangered and that behind the rules of conduct whose observance is necessary to assure peaceful human cooperation must stand the threat of force if the whole edifice of society is not to be at the mercy of any one of its members. One must be in a position to compel the person who will not respect the lives, health, personal freedom, or private property of others to acquiesce in the rules of life in society. This is the function that the liberal doctrine assigns to the state: the protection of property, liberty, and peace.’
Ludwig Von Mises – Liberalism
‘It is not knowledge that we are short of but the inspiration to transform our life.’
- Christopher Titmuss, The Green Buddha
I find this an interesting quote. I wonder how many use a lack of knowledge as an excuse to put off the change they could make today?
It seems to me that the following words from the Quakers are not only applicable where we agree with the broad approach of someone else (whilst disagreeing with specifics), but also when we disagree with it. Indeed, can we find ways to support the other person, even if we find ourselves on the opposite side of the argument?
‘Do you uphold those who are acting under concern, even if their way is not yours? Can you lay aside your own wishes and prejudices…’
The Buddha says, “It is fine to have doubt. Do not believe in something just because people think highly of it, or because it has come from tradition, or because it is found in scriptures. Consider whether it goes against your judgment, whether it could cause harm, whether it is condemned by wise people, and, above all, whether put into practice it will bring about destruction and pain.”
‘Do not avoid suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the life of the world.’ – Thich Nhat Hahn
‘Do we find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground? Mother Earth will swallow you, lay your body down’
‘Do not utter words that can create discord…’.
So begins the 8th precept of the order of interbeing. I think this one is a bit tough. I wonder whether it should read, ‘do not utter words that will knowingly create discord…’? This seems a more self-manageable precept. I’m sure we all inadvertently set ‘little fires’ through our multiple interactions with people. Yes, we can be careless in our speech, but people can also unintentionally misinterpret what we say and take offense. Whilst I have no wish for this to happen, I’m not sure I can be held responsible for how others react all the time.