Those who seek to expand state power even in the most dramatic of ways seldom seek to do so for some maligned desire to conquer and rule humanity. Most progressives, social democrats, and even communists I know aren’t what I would describe as evil. They have reacted to our political landscape in a way which I believe is incorrect and second-order, but in their hearts, I know their concern over inequality, exploitation and the quality of life of the worst off amongst us is sincere, not a mere justification for power-seeking. As the old saying goes, most people are for good things and against bad things. I recognize this and it gives me hope.
Chastising conservatives is practically the national sport amongst my demographic, and it’s often easy pickins’! But even the most vociferous and vicious neocons, who seek to marginalize sexual or ethnic communities and froth for indiscriminate war and revenge against the mostly innocent victims of the policies of the ruling class, are manipulated into thinking their interests or their safety actually requires such brutality. Few of them, confronted with the awful truth of this unnecessary course of action, and seeing the humanized burnt bodies, nay, smelling them from a few feet away, would still feel that such policies were acceptable.
Like Darth Vader, they will rise up and hurl the emperor into the core of the Death Star when confronted with visible insanity, when they see their sons tortured at the hands of the policies and rulers and institutions which they support. Few people are like Emperor Palpatine, beyond their own humanity. Most people I know are like Darth Vader; victims of an expertly manipulated political order and the corrupt incentive structures produced through illegitimate power.
Ross Kenyon is the Assistant Editor of The Humble Libertarian.