The Magic School Bus
I’ve spent the last seven days sleeping with a strict social conservative, and strange bedfellows lead to strange conversations. Perhaps I should elaborate; I’ve been on a government and economics trip to NYC and DC for the past week and have shared a hotel room with a Mexican, Jew, and the aforementioned Republican. During this trip to the North-East, I asked everyone possible where they found the legitimacy in government… No satisfactory answers were found.
Granted, I never got to ask the President or Congressional members, but the Supreme Court guide and UN representative had no idea where legitimacy in government came from.
The simplest way I can think of providing imagery for this conundrum is this; picture a bus. The bus driver is the government or the State, whichever you desire; the road is Existence; the bus itself is Society, and all the people are, well, the People.
When you were born, you woke up on the bus. You weren’t given the option to pick your bus or final destination since from the beginning of your being you were sitting on that uncomfortable plastic seat, and the bus was already in motion.
So, what gives the driver the right to take you anywhere? You didn’t ask to be driven. In fact, you can’t even leave until you reach a station (maturity level, independence level, and funds to move elsewhere perhaps. That’s a completely different topic), and you have no idea how long it will take to get there.
The Implied Consent argument, put forward –I believe– first by Socrates, says that, since we owe our education, protection, and ability to be born to the State, we also owe our loyalty to the State and its laws. That would be true if we were born at the station as opposed to on the bus, but since the location in which we spend our formative years is generally decided by parents or guardians, how can we say that we owe anything that happens to us before we’re fully independent to anyone except parents or guardians?
I merely want to scratch the surface with this essay since I could go on for pages on the topic. Here’s an extremely brief summary of the effects of different political ideologies on the Bus analogy.
*Implied Consent (along with general political opinions within the Democratic and Republican parties) – Sit patiently in your bus seat, and, every now and then, suggest a route for the bus to the take.
*Libertarian – Open a window so at least you can get some fresh air in the bus. Everyone is still at the mercy of the driver, though.
*Anarchist – Kill the bus driver.
I consider myself a Socratic Philosophical Anarchist (Suffer a wrong, but never do a wrong), but I’m not such a big fan of the Implied Consent argument. That doesn’t explain how I want the government to be run, but it does explain how I react to it.
As far as I can tell, there isn’t a name for my government ideas…
I believe we should phase out the bus driver by teaching everyone how to drive. If the bus driver is killed before Man is able to take care of Himself, how would that help anyone?