| Below are seven musts for the devout statist:

1.       Be Afraid. Fear is the essential ingredient for every government program. Understand that if we don’t pass [insert name of any bill] then our society will surely crumble by lunch. It doesn’t much matter if you are more afraid of the rich, the poor, the people that live in different geographic regions, the uncertainty of retirement planning, or the folks that want to grow their own vegetables. The important thing is that you are really afraid of something and look to the government as the solution. Mother America is the only thing keeping you safe and warm.

2.       Don’t think for yourself. Blind obedience and strict loyalty to groupthink is essential for any well-ordered society. Free thinking is dangerous. We must have elected officials, bureaucrats in government schools, ivory tower academics, and a handful of elites in the media inform us of the acceptable talking points to use during our narrowly-bounded social discussions. It helps to be especially ignorant of history, economics, and philosophy.

3.       Deny the Antecedent (1).You want to make sure to commit this logical fallacy every chance you get. It is a waste of time to try to imagine how something might work in the absence of state intervention (or might have actually worked in the absence of state intervention in the past). Any service that is currently provided by government can only be provided by government. There is no possible way that education services, unemployment insurance, or the provision of money could ever exist if not for the state. Obviously, it would be absurd to believe that the humans who currently construct the roads or deliver the mail would be able to do so if not for the direction of some central planner.

4.       Compromise on principle for the sake of expedience. There is no absolute truth. There is no black and white. Since all morals are relative, it does no harm to compromise your values for any perceived short-term gain. We must be practical if we want to make progress. Everyone knows that you must give to get in politics. This is why the two major political parties in the U.S. are such a model example. “You give us our welfare, and we will give you your warfare. You give us our warfare, and we will give you your welfare.” Obstructionists who rigidly cling to principles merely impeded the glorious growth of the state.

5.       Make Utopian promises. If only we had more government, we could eliminate [insert any problem], and we could have [insert any benefit]. The state, and only the state, has the unique ability to transcend the economic law of scarcity and deliver an infinite abundance of goods and services at no cost. Every problem in the world is the result of some market failure. If a government program “fails” it is because there were not enough resources dedicated to its success. If any government solution “fails” to fix a problem it is just evidence that the problem was much worse than we thought. Things most certainly would have been all the more disastrous without the government stepping in to save us from the abyss. Our progressive march to utopia on earth is impeded by extremists and ideologues who want to limit the size and scope of the state.

6.       Grab it before someone else does. The world is like a giant piñata with a set amount of candy inside. When that papier-mâché donkey spills its contents out to the ravenous public, you better use both hands to get yours. Statists understand that economics is a zero-sum game. For every winner there is always a loser. Since there is only a set amount of goods, if one person has something, it must mean that they took it from another. If one person is wealthy, it must mean they exploited the weak. The state helps to make sure everyone gets their fair share of candy, but while we are waiting for true equality it is ok to use the state to get as much from the system as possible. Politics is an excellent way to internalize benefits to yourself while externalizing costs to someone else.

7.       Use violence to get what you want. Ultimately it is violence or the threat of violence that is backing every government program.  There are great lessons we can learn from young toddlers who don’t waste their time with rational persuasion. Like an unruly child, you should hit, scream, kick, bite, and take what you want. If you are too weak or too cowardly to use physical violence on your family and neighbors, you can always look to employing the blunt force of government to make people bend to your preferences.

(1) Denying the antecedent is a formal logical fallacy pertaining to the form or structure of an argument.  For example, let’s consider the following:  “If it rains, then the grass is wet. It is not raining. Therefore, the grass is not wet.” We would say this argument is invalid. The grass could be wet from the sprinklers not rain. Similarly, a statist argument is frequently “If the government delivers the mail, then we get our mail. In a free society, the government doesn’t deliver the mail, therefore we don’t get our mail.” Of course we could still get our mail. Just because government employees wouldn’t deliver mail doesn’t mean that private companies wouldn’t deliver mail.

If you do not think you want to dutifully follow the 7 Essential Statist Maxims, maybe you would like some of the resources we have in the Liberty Library.