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George Ought to Help

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Imagine you have a friend called George. You've been friends since childhood. Although, you're not as close as you were back then, you still see each other once in a while and get along very well. One day you and George are approached by an old mature friend Oliver. Oliver explains that he's had a run of bad luck and is raising money to cover tuition fees for his kids. You want to help Oliver out, so you give him some money. To your surprise, George doesn't offer Oliver any help. You trie to persuade him, but it's no use. Imagining yourself in this situation, do you think it's ok to threaten to use physical force against George to get him to do the right thing? Now imagine a slightly different situation: This time a group of your friends take a vote. 6 out of 10 are in favour of threatening George to get him to help Oliver. Does this democratic process make it ok to threaten George? One last change to the situation: This time imagine that many thousands of people have democratically agreed that a group who we'll call The Agents should do whatever is necessary to take money from George and give it to Oliver's family. The Agents don't explicitely threaten George at first. All they do is send him a bill. Like everyone else, though, George knows what will happen if he doesn't pay the bill. First, he'll get more letters demanding payment and the bill will get bigger. Eventually, if he still doesn't pay, Agents with guns will break into his house and take him away against his will. Almost everyone pays the bills without protest. They know that the Agents are prepared to use as much force as necessary to overpower you if you resist. Do you think it's acceptible for the Agents to threaten violence against George if he doesn't give his money towards helping Oliver's family? If we approve of state programmes that redistribute wealth, we must also approve of threats of violence made against peaceful individuals. Because this is how the funds are collected. On the other hand most of us feel uncomfortable about threatening peaceful people when we imagine having to make the threats ourselves. If we feel negatively towards the idea of threatening George personally, can we really be comfortable with the threats made against him by Agents of the state? Some people believe that voluntary interaction and spontaneous order are realistic and preferrable alternatives to state coercion as a way of organising society. Do a web search for some of these terms if you're interested in learning more:

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 5 seconds
Country: Netherlands
Language: English
Genre: Animated
Producer: Tomasz Kaye
Director: Tomasz Kaye
Views: 76
Posted by: galinalacheva on Jan 23, 2013

Pro-liberty animation by Tomasz Kaye

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