Thursday, January 25, 2007

How do you make people do stuff?

The desire to help others is a major part of everyone's concept of morality. I support anyone who would like to see wonderful things done in society. People often say things to me like "I want to protect the environment" and I smile in agreement. I want to help the environment like everyone else. I want to see other people help the environment, just like you do. The environment is one of my favorite reasons that people argue a need for government intervention. "Look at those poor kittens being killed in China!" Yes, it is disgusting.

In fact, I agree with every one of you in almost every way you want to help others. I don't have a desire to cause others anguish. Quite the opposite. The reason I espouse Libertarian philosophy is because I don't want to see others in anguish. The simple fact of the matter is that there are two ways to convince people to stop doing things they shouldn't be or start doing things they should. The question I present to you all today is "which one do you support?".

What are these two ways? Let's see, hypotheticals are fun for this. Let's say you want a friend to be your designated driver this evening. Often, you appeal to them on their emotional level "PLEASE!!!" but this isn't always effective, especially if you don't know them very well. The easiest way to convince them is to offer them money. "I'll fill up your tank!" This is the first way to convince someone to do something they don't want to do.

The second scenario involves someone attempting to rob you. When a man comes up to you in a mask asking for your money, what does he use to persuade you? He uses fear, through the initiation of force. He will hit you, point a gun at you, or hold a knife to your throat. This is the second way to convince someone to do something they have no desire to do.

There are no other ways to convince someone to do something they do not want to do. There is offering them value (money) and threatening force.

So, the question I leave with you all today is, "Which do you support?"


One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation. – Thomas B. Reed (1886)

Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. – George Washington