FEE and Wall-E

April 28, 2009

Since James was going through his old blogs, I thought I’d post this old draft. It is unfinished, incomplete, but here it is. Enjoy:


The title rhymes. Isn’t that great?

I’m now back in Seattle, amongst the rain, the cool air, and the ‘evil leftists’ (More on this later). If you don’t know, I spent a week in New York (Or Tarrytown if you’re picky. Think of it as New Yorks Everett) to attend a weeklong seminar hosted by the Foundation for Economic Education. (FEE) I attended History and Liberty as the seminar I would attend, and my friend Kelsey made all the arrangements. Booked a flight on American Airlines, and off I flew. (Airport’s taking forever is a lie; I’ve never had to wait more than 30 minutes to get through everything. Granted, I travel light, am white, and generally efficent, but still. Arriving 3 hours before your flight is unneeded.)

Now, before I went to FEE, I did expect it to be a little more conservative. I knew they were economists (I am an econ major, for reference), so they would probably be advocating a more free-market approach to government, liberty, and the economy. I didn’t think that would be much of an issue, the market is, afterall, one of the most efficent ways of allocating resources in a world of unlimited wants.

Boy was I wrong. I sat down for the first lecture, at an hour I wouldn’t normally be ‘learning’, and prepped by brain for information.

“Government is an organized band of robbers, who use violence, or threat of violence to rulle at the expense of others,”

My brain instantly fired up. What about Natural Rights? Social Contract? Mutual Protection? Locke. Hobbs. Democracy. Public Goods. Natural Monoploies… The list in my head ran on and on. I felt the lecturer had a valid point; the government does ‘rob’ us of our money via taxes, does threaten violence via courts and police, and can even take our land if for public use. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and let him continue; but he failed to impress me beyond the original statement. Let’s say for a moment he is correct, and those with a comparative advantage in violence, rule at the expense of others, and that is the only definition of government. Why does government continue to exist? Would the oppressed not overthrow the state? Well, that would simply replace the first ‘state’ with another ‘state’ of violence, but wouldn’t we eventualyl get the hint? History has shown that people can overcome political patterns when looking towards new governments. The United States worked hard to establish a government of least opression, ancient Greece, and later Rome, grew tired of Kings, and developed another system. If violence were the only motivating factor behind government, I doubt it would persist so often through history, especially thousands of years ago when running away or leaving your state was a matter of packing and going…

The works as far back as Plato suggest that government is an establishment for the mutual protection and benefit. The ‘Social Contract; theory. Glaucon offers this definition of Justice to Socrates, who rejects it for a more internal definition of Justice, but it is still offered. (The Republic). Marx addresses this class struggle (which FEE rejects, though I think they are more similar to Marx than they want to admit) in his writings, and suggests that the reason rebellion may not happen, is because the economic base (Capitalism in our case), provides the superstructure of society from which we draw our opinions. Due to this, we don’t see the problems, but what the ‘owners’ want us to see, and continue along being ‘oppressed’. Marx said it, and FEE agrees; though they won’t admit it.


One Response to “FEE and Wall-E”

  1. Dad Says:

    Ah, disguised pinko fellow travellers, creeping into our youth and culture to subvet us to their godless will
    Burn ’em all at the stake, or, more to the times, nuke the bastards back into the stone age!!

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