“Political Views: anti-war, anti-State, pro-ketchup,” says my facebook profile.
“Why ketchup and not mayonnaise?” someone asked.
Well, the truth is that this statement has nothing to do with ketchup’s relative standing with mayonnaise, but rather its relationship with war and the State. Here’s the gist of my idiosyncratic phrase:
The State exists through usurpation. It finances its operations through the coercive confiscation of the private property of its citizens. It also looks out for its own interests by violently looting other societies; this is otherwise known as war. At times the State even usurps the vocations (and often the very lives) of its male citizens through conscription. In summary, the State is a parasite; it sucks the blood out of every lively and wonderful thing it can get its hands on.
Contrast this with whomever it was that made ketchup. (Shall I now attempt a “ketchup hoax” in tribute of Mencken’s bathtub hoax? Actually, I haven’t the time.) Somewhere out there, somebody discovered this wonderful condiment and began offering it for sale to those who wanted it. This situation was mutually beneficial: the ketchup makers made money, and the ketchup buyers obtained a product which is probably the closest that many people get to eating actual vegetables.
One’s relationship with the State is more one-sided. Sure, you may receive “benefits” from the State in return for the blood it sucks out of you, but it is always on the State’s coercive terms. You have little choice in how much it takes or how much it gives. But when you buy ketchup, you can buy as much as you want, and spend no more than you’d like.
The bottom line here is that nothing is as wonderful as the mutually beneficial free market which makes ketchup available, and nothing ruins the free market and personal liberty like the parasitical, coercive State. It doesn’t matter what the product is; ketchup just came to mind first.
So, go ahead and be pro-mayonnaise. Just don’t be pro-State or pro-War.