Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Good Locks Make Good Neighbors
Opinion © 2006, by Guy L. Evans

December 5, 2006

Do you lock your front door before you leave your house or apartment? Why? Don’t you know that you’re unfairly discriminating when you do that?

Just teasing. It’s silly to suggest that you’re unfairly discriminating against anyone when you lock your doors. You are fairly discriminating against everyone. And rightly so.

I would certainly object if someone entered my home and tried to confiscate my private property on the assertion that I am less needy than he is. I don’t care how needy anyone is, no person has the right to personally confiscate my property. That’s why I lock my house. It’s my stuff. I earned it. It’s mine. And you can’t have it.

Locking my door before I leave the house is an act of brute force. By locking the door, I bar entry to everyone, including myself if I forget to take my keys with me.

When I lock my doors, I want to make certain that I have the keys. I want to have control of when my doors are locked. I don’t want to hand over that control to government. It would be ludicrous to suggest that some government agency should be responsible for locking and unlocking my doors for me. Government can’t defend my safety every minute of every day. Nor can government defend my rights every minute of every day. I have to do that myself. I understand and accept my responsibility in this matter.

Security is the first concern of every household. Without security, neither life nor property has any value. Your stuff isn’t worth anything to you if you don’t have it, and you certainly don’t want to trust your security to strangers. Security is accomplished by force. Any person attempting to enter my house without my permission will have to use brute force to enter.

Every claim of every right must be backed with the credible threat of brute force. Like the mercenaries say, you can’t get paid if you’re dead. In the same manner, you can’t exercise your right to free speech if you’re pushing up daisies. Since all people are susceptible to death, it seems to me that the first rule of life is to survive. If any person uses deadly force against you, you risk being killed if you do not use sufficient force to defend yourself.

History demonstrates that those who have the power make the rules. Political power cannot be maintained without a credible threat of force. A credible threat includes having some force to use in the first place, and periodically demonstrating to friend and foe alike that you can and will use that force at your discretion.

In your daily life, you use the credible threat of force every day by locking your doors. In international relations, and in any other situation where there is no law enforcement, those who exercise force exercise the greatest influence.

The practical fact is that the relationship between nations is similar to the relationship between rival tribes or gangs. Force is the final tool by which gangs, tribes, and nations exercise influence. If you don’t have force, or if you don’t use the force you have, then you have less influence. You can’t hit a home run if you don’t swing the bat.

My experience is that it’s easier on everyone if you back your opponent down before a fight than it is to try to beat him once the fight starts. It’s also easier to keep your stuff locked up than it is to try to recover it after some creep has stolen it. A credible threat of force accomplishes this in both situations.

Being American, I prefer that America, for better or for worse, be the most influential nation on Earth. If we wait until America is perfect to exercise our influence in the world, then we will never exercise any influence.

Guy L. Evans
Aurora, Colorado

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