| An objection to state violence is an accusation of injustice. The state’s defenders reject the very concept of state injustice; instead they assert the legitimacy of their state and argue that whatever a legitimate state does is just, and whatever it permits is liberty. While our nature inclines us to think about right and wrong, they distract us with questions of who governs.

We tend to like a government very much when we believe we’re among its net winners. That makes it very hard to think clearly about whether any of its laws are just or unjust.

And because power corrupts, any state unchecked by vigorous public scrutiny and a free press will attempt to become the judge in its own cause and the intermediary of all human interaction. Vengeance is mine, saith the state.

Contrarians stay centered for the same reasons they see so clearly—because rigorous application of fundamental principles aligns thinking with feeling, creating a clear picture of the world that explains how it ought to work, how it does work, and our place in it. Once you achieve a clear and true picture, apparent contradictions fall away. The right road is still steep and treacherous, but at last it’s clearly marked.

This is the predicament of the contrarian hero: his eyes are opened. Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, and every step reveals not only the futility of reaching the peak, but also the impossibility of turning aside. Calling violence by its proper name becomes—tragically and heroically—the only possible moral position.

When ordinary people think clearly, heroes are born. Read Entire Article