Sunday, August 16, 2009

Isn't advocacy of a national welfare system an expression of racism?

I keep thinking about what occurrences in my life may have facilitated my departure from statism, and there's another thing that's certainly worth mentioning: Throughout much of my childhood and all of my adolescence, I have been fiercely opposed to the existence of countries. Some anarchists have told me that their allegiance to their country has been something of a hurdle on their journey to anarchism, whereas I would still be pretty happy to bid all countries farewell.

Why was I opposed to countries at such a young age? That's pretty easy. I grew up in Luxembourg, an extremely international speck of land where everything is right around the corner from Germany, France AND Belgium, I'm a citizen to both Germany and Switzerland, I was raised bilingual and went to an international school. So I suppose it was essentially in an attempt to parade the accident of my international upbringing as a virtue that I opposed the existence of countries. That may have been a stupid reason, but I think there are good sides to this.

When statists argue for any kind of coerced solidarity, it still escapes me how they can simply overlook the sheer arbitrariness of the choice of the group of people that individuals should be forced to support. I never got a good answer to the question "If you value helping the poor, then why oh why are you so concerned for unemployed people in frickin' Germany (if it's a german person I'm talking to) to the extent that you want people to be forced at gunpoint to give money to those germans, while you're not expressing even a shred of interest for, and even seek to divert resources from helping people in subsaharan Africa or elsewhere, people who can only dream of the wealth and opportunities of an unemployed person in Germany?"

Maybe some reader can help me out with this, since no statist I've ever asked this question has been helpful in clearing my confusion. Isn't advocacy of a national welfare system, of protectionist policies, or of any national subsidy a blatant expression of racism?

3 comments:

  1. I enjoy your blog, either!

    Actually, I asked this question very often, too and am glad that I am not the only one (too many libertarians only seem to ponder ideas like how to get rich fast). But I don`t think the answer is that mysterious and not even racist. Socialists tell you some crap about "relative poverty" and that you have to care for the poor in your direct environment because they fear they could experience the same fate as those unemployed. That`s why they don`t actually think about the real poor and if so, look for solutions like development aid that do more harm than good. Most socialists care most for their own job and - even more so during the current crisis - have nightmares about being on social security without being able to afford two cars for their family... Honestly, your thought inspires me. I think I break off now and am going to expand on this on my blog soon.

    Simon

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  2. Oh, I only just noticed somebody had commented on this. I thought I would get an email when comments are posted, but I didn't. I'm going to have to fix that.

    Thanks a lot for your feedback and your thoughts! This "relative poverty" issue is certainly relevant, and I've also had people bring it up a number of times. I'll get back to that, unfortunately I have to catch a train now, and then I'll be taking exams throughout next week. (Which is why I haven't written too much on this blog yet, but I'm pretty sure that's going to change when my exams are over.)

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