One of the reasons that so many of us have or had trouble rejecting the concept of “the state” as something good is simply because we don’t approach it with reasoning and critical thinking. The capacity for reasoning is something I believe we’re born with, but is often dulled with age. Children long to understand why things are the way they are–the cornerstone of reason and critical thinking.
So why do so many people lack this simple ability? That’s probably a question for a psychologist, but the most immediately obvious answer to me is the learning environment created by parents and schooling. I’m sure you were told something “just because” or “because I said so” when you were growing up–you probably even knew this was a non-answer, but you had to submit to it or likely be punished in some way, which dulled your ability to think logically. Regardless of the cause, many people accept the “truths” they are given simply because it’s what they’re told.
To open your mind, it really is as simple as asking questions. Challenge the things you’ve come to believe to be true, but don’t yet know the reasons why. When an action is taken, why is it taken? Who benefits? Who is harmed? Does it warrant a reaction? Does that reaction solve anything? Who benefits from the reaction? Who is harmed by the reaction? Does the reaction warrant a reaction? And so on.
These questions can easily bring you to the truth of what government and law is, which is the basis of what I’m talking about here, but they’re also vital in your personal relationships. When you think a few steps ahead about your own actions and the actions of others towards you, you can more easily identify the good and bad behavior. You can strengthen your good relationships, or identify and resolve your bad relationships.
Society is, of course, made up of individuals. For a free, harmonious society, people must be able to work together and have positive associations, and only through logical reasoning and critical thinking is this attainable; without it, we have people believing that their problems and the bad behavior of others can only be solved through the application of force by certain people claiming to be part of the elite–the few wise enough to “fairly” exercise that power against other people.
Now, apply critical thinking to that idea. If people generally aren’t wise enough to make good decisions and must be forced to do good, why should we believe that those who find their way to power are wise enough to make decisions and force it on others?
Sometimes the right questions are difficult to find, sometimes the right answers are hard to accept, and sometimes the wrong answers are easy to accept, but through logical reasoning, you will find the truth.
How to Escape the Psychology of Control