Rocco: Our Politicians Don’t Work for Us.

One of the more curious things that I’ve learnt about writing for a site, rather than just leaving comments, is that there’s a feeling of responsibility that accompanies it. Perhaps a feeling of being slightly  constrained or ‘hemmed in’ would be a better description. At least for me there is as Bogpaper’s only anarchist. I think it’s fair to say Bogpaper can properly be called a Right-wing site, with a predominantly conservative readership. And while I’m sure you all want smaller government that taxes and regulates less or whatever, you still believe that the State should exist and do various things, whereas I don’t. So, because I want people to read my posts, I feel like I have to rein myself in a bit.

I say this not to elicit your sympathy, but because in what follows I’m going to be letting my hair down, so to speak. Naturally, I mean it all as friendly advice. It’s for your own good. But it will sting.

Do you want to know why you Right-wingers are losing? Why you aren’t making any significant headway? Why you’re destined to spend the rest of your lives living with ever-expanding government? It’s you. You’re the problem. No one else. Just you. It’s not Cultural Marxism. It’s not Socialism. It’s not the ghost of Tony Blair. It’s not trades unions. It’s not benefits cheats. It’s not immigrants. It’s not the EU. It’s not David Cameron. It’s not the Guardian. No. It’s you. You are to blame. You are your own worst enemies, and you have brought disaster upon your own heads. In the literal sense, your own words have condemned you.

You Right-wingers talk about the need to “not play by the Left’s rules”. You talk about how it’s important to be aware of how the Left uses certain words to “re-frame the debate”, and to “move political discourse on to its preferred ground”. Oh yeah, you talk a good game, I’ll give you that. But then you say things like this: “Politicians work for us”. You see that there? That phrase, that Right-wing cliche, “Politicians work for us”? That is why you’re losing.  Rather, that is why you’ve already lost.

If you genuinely believe that politicians work for you, go out and sack one. Or demote one. Or promote one. Or cut one’s hours. Or cut one’s wages. Or give one of them a raise. Or call one of them into your office and give them a bollocking. Ask one of them to work late to meet a crucial deadline. Go on, see what happens. Or don’t bother, because you know as well as I do, that nothing will happen. Because politicians don’t work for us. None of the characteristics of the employer/employee relationship are present in the politician/citizen relationship. None.

Ah! But we each have a vote, don’t we! So we get to vote politicians we don’t like out of office. That means we are their bosses, doesn’t it? No. It doesn’t. If I don’t want the bloke who cleans my windows to clean my windows anymore, I just tell him not to clean my windows anymore. That’s it. And I can do that at any time I want, without begging permission from anyone else. Do you know what I don’t have to do? I don’t have to wait for a specified time, chosen by my window cleaner once every five years, where I and everyone else whose windows he cleans vote on whether or not he carries on cleaning my windows (the cost of the voting procedure being paid for by all his customers including myself). Moreover, should the vote go against me, I don’t have to accept his continued washing of my windows, and carry on paying him for a service I don’t wish him to perform in the first place. No, I just say “Thanks, mate. But I don’t want you to clean my windows anymore”. It’s remarkably simple.

Perhaps you think I’m being cute? That, rather than being their bosses as individuals, we – all of us together – are like a board of directors, or shareholders or some such, to whom politicians have to justify themselves. But this is ludicrous. Where is the contract between “us” that we are an “us”? When did we become an “us”? Who asked if we wanted to become an “us”?  We didn’t voluntarily join together to become the politicians’ ‘bosses’, nor – most importantly – are we allowed to resign from our position of ’employers’. Furthermore, at what age are we allowed to become a ‘boss”? How long must you have lived in a geographical area (which, note, the ’employee’ specifies as belonging to him) before you can become a ‘boss’? What previous relations with the prospective ’employee’ and our fellow  ‘bosses’ can we have had before becoming a ‘boss’ is disallowed to us? How many ‘bosses’ must agree before a request for a certain performance becomes an official one? What are the penalties for failure to perform given tasks? What hours should the ’employee’ work? How long should the ‘contract’ last? How much is the ’employee’ to be paid? All these questions, and many more, are decided unilaterally by one party. In case you’re wondering, that party isn’t “us”.

Or take non-voters. If we consider non-voters for just a moment we can see how absurd it is to attempt to apply any kind of employer/employee label to the politician/citizen relationship. The non-voter actively rejects a relationship with the politician, yet the politician forces himself on the non-voter regardless, and has the audacity to charge him for this. If I came to your house, and mowed your lawn without your asking me, then demanded payment, threatening you with violence should you not pay – could you call yourself my ’employer’ and keep a straight face? Would I then “work” for you? To ask the question is to answer it.

Ultimately it comes down to this: whereas the employer/employee relationship is a voluntary one, this is clearly not the case with  the politician/citizen relationship. Yes, the political class might permit you to choose between a few different politicians every now and then, but they won’t let you choose whether to have politicians at all, will they? Furthermore, whether you like the results or not – indeed even if you didn’t want to be asked – you will be forced to pay whatever the political class demands on penalty of physical violence, imprisonment and confiscation of property. If you are absolutely determined to resist the political class’ depredations, they do not even rule out killing you.

The relationship between the State and men is not a voluntary one. It is one of ruler and ruled; exploiter and exploited; parasite and host. Nonsense like “politicians work for us” obscures this fundamental fact. And it does much worse than this. It normalises, dignifies and justifies it.

8 comments on “Rocco: Our Politicians Don’t Work for Us.

  1. Brian the Rhetaur
    December 2, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    Good one!

  2. Rocco
    December 2, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    Thank you, Brian.

  3. therealguyfaux
    December 2, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    Not sure how this plays into your thesis, but here goes anyway:

    A quote from US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes has often been cited in conjunction with Lord Clyde’s famous pronunciamento about how nobody is obliged to pay penny one more in taxes than absolutely necessary. Holmes’s quote, “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilised society,” seems to imply that there can be some sort of consensual transaction in which the taxpayer, although limited in his choice of provider of government services, can still nonetheless bargain over just how much quantity and quality he expects, for what little he wishes to pay for it.

    If the society in general should somehow take a turn to where it has reached the exhaustion of its patience with the ever-burgeoning state, and cries “!Basta ya!”, a certain amount of renegotiation of the present deal may need to take place. It is more a question of convincing the public that the game has been rigged to where the state has made it well-nigh impossible to dismantle the structure of the state without there being incurred a possibly intolerable amount of dislocation by so doing, a condition where people may believe it’s a house of cards in the pre-FU sense as well as in the modern sense too.

    In the meantime, a “sitdown strike of the mind” variation of Ayn Rand, i.e., “going Galt,” may be all we can do to countervail the Cloward-Piven tendency of the present sad state of affairs.

    • Rocco
      December 3, 2013 at 11:13 am #

      Oliver Wendell Holmes, eh? A bloke whose livelihood depended upon involuntary transfers of wealth, reckoned involuntary transfers of wealth are a good idea? How incredibly surprising!

      In North Korea hairdressing is nationalised. Perhaps 100% taxation is the price they pay for neat hair?

  4. silverminer
    December 2, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    You are certainly right, Rocco, and that is easily proven.

    If you were wrong, then each of us would be able to opt out of the systems of control, stop voting, cease using the services provided by the State and cease paying the taxes. We would be able to self govern under the Common Law, or natural law, and would only have to involve ourselves with the State if there were a breach of the Common Law, either by us or against us, and we came before a jury in a Common Law court.

    Now, what would happen if we tried doing this? Well, we know the answer because people do try to live their lives this way, calling themselves Freemen on the Land or Sovereign Citizens, and the full force of the State is brought against them. They are even considered to be domestic terrorists. That is despite there being a documented legal right to Lawful Rebellion in Magna Carta. This doesn’t seem to matter to the State who are apparently above the law.

    So there you have. We are in a condition of involuntary servitude to the State and those who control it, who are most certainly not the politicians we elect. It appears to me that democracy has become a facade to give legitimacy to a system of control which is not in the interests of the vast majority of the people.

    What can we do about this unfortunate circumstance? Persist with the ballot box and hope that the public will eventually wake up and elect some people who at least recognise the problem and start to move in the right direction, or, adopt the peaceful non-compliance route and try to live a life as far away from the State and it’s control systems as possible, hoping enough follow suit and the whole thing collapses?

    • Rocco
      December 3, 2013 at 11:38 am #

      Become very comfortable with the idea of suicide, and cultivate schadenfreude.

  5. Mots
    December 2, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    What you say is a statement of fact Rocco – but I still don’t see why anarchy is preferable except insofar as it is ‘true’. If you think things are very black-and-white; things are either all bad or all good – then maybe I disagree. Things are better in some places than others at different times in different systems.

    Explain why now is the right time for anarchy.

    • Rocco
      December 3, 2013 at 11:25 am #

      As a thought experiment, imagine you’re being kicked repeatedly in the balls. Explain why now is the right time for you to stop being kicked in the balls.

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