What are the lessons from the recent Boston Marathon bombing? That evil does exist. But, also that good vastly outnumbers evil. The moment the bombs exploded the world witnessed evil engulfed by good as people ran toward the source of the blasts. Not just police or emergency medical personnel, but ordinary people who just happened to be there. Following the orchestrated disorder of sick and twisted minds came a response of spontaneous order to cure as quickly as possible the destruction that was wrought. Everyone helped as they were able, the strong carried the injured, the knowledgeable provided first aid, and runners, who had just finished a 26 mile marathon, ran further to local hospitals to give blood. Individuals came together spontaneously and voluntarily to fix what had been destroyed. These self-less acts only serve to undermine the narrative of the statist who believes mankind is fundamentally incorrigible and only through compulsive state coercion can any true good come about in society.
Now some might argue “first responders” who are supported through taxation played an essential role. You’ll get no argument from me on that, they did indeed play a vital role. However to imply, as David Sirota of Salon did, that such first responder would not even exist in society absent taxation is to reveal oneself to posses an extraordinarily limited imagination (“they should remind a tax-hostile country of the value of public investment — in this case, in first responders who miraculously limited the casualties” http://goo.gl/pPpaj). To question how such and such could exist absent the state is to join the intellectual ranks of those in the 19th century who would question the abolition of slavery (a government supported institution in society by the way) with their queries of: “but who will pick the cotton?”
Some might then argue how would we have caught the suspects absent the state providing an overwhelming police/FBI (military?) presence. Yes, indeed, how would we pick the cotton? Of course with one suspect dead and another on life support through the process of capture it would seem the tool of the state is perhaps not the sharpest one in the shed. As they say “your tax dollars at work” – thanks, but I’d like a refund please as I didn’t get what I paid for. Those in charge of capture always try to take all the credit in these types of cases (publicized manhunt) but more often than not (as in this case) it is a tip off from that disorganized, decentralized mass we call “the people” that provides them with the “who” and “where” in order to make such arrests. Once again, spontaneous order of the good attacks and flushes out the cancer in our midst.
The tragic events in Boston only reinforce the idea that We the People are in fact fundamentally good and can take care of ourselves.
Thanks for sharing – my week isn’t complete without reading Porcupine Musings! Regarding first responders – there was a time when first responders were volunteers! It was only a few decades ago in my home town that all the firemen were volunteers, and the community donated funds to supply the trucks and equipment. We the People do a much better job than “the government” any time!
Thank you for the comment, that’s a good point I now wish I had brought up in the article, first responders in many rural communities today often are volunteer (feeling even more stupid now since right here in my own county we have an all volunteer firefighter force! although I do think the equipment is funded by the county taxes). People can always figure out solutions toward desired ends without resorting to coercive means. Glad to hear you enjoy reading the column each week!