Gus Bailey: First Principles


Well, let’s begin at the beginning.  Did mankind create the state, or did the state create mankind?
That seems like a simple question, but from there arises all power, authority, rights, privileges… everything.  See, the creator is the master. Without delving into Judeo-Christian, Hindu or Buddhist philosophies, whomever does the creating endows said creation with certain rights. 
Again avoiding the alternative creators of humanity; obviously, the state was a human creation, not the other way around.   The state is ostensibly a collective surrender of parts of our rights (our endowment to the state) for the advancing interests of the collective.  As such we have the authority to rescind our endowment, but it is un-natural that the state would attempt to usurp our rights (which were given to us by our creator, not the state).
TL/DR:  We made the state, all the rights of the state were given to it by us and we (collectively) retain all power over the state; the state only has power over individuals according to the will of the collective.  Full stop.



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5 Responses to Gus Bailey: First Principles

  1. agiledog says:

    While I agree with your conclusion, I feel that you may actually be wrong in the reasoning. I would claim that the “state” came before “mankind”, or maybe was created as a predecessor of it. Without social interaction, modes and rules of behavior, and consequences for violating said modes and rules, which is the “state” in its most primitive (i.e. basic) form, there actually is no “mankind”. As an individual roaming the wilderness, without other human interaction, there are no “rights” or “mankind”, there is only survival. A grizzly doesn’t care about your right to the pursuit of happiness or your right to peaceably assemble. And if it is just you, a man, there is no “mankind” – you can’t violate your own rights. It isn’t until we gather in groups, and determine the proper methods of interacting, that rights “exist”. You have to have the “state” for there to be a “mankind”.

    I realize this is all a bit of the chicken vs. the egg question, but that is what it seems to be that you are using as a justification for the supremacy of mankind over the state. I agree with the sovereignty of the individual (not of mankind) over the state, but I believe it stems from the contract we make with each other and this thing we create called the “state” – we create it, but in exchange for creating it, we reserve certain behaviors and actions to be beyond its reach. The issues we are seeing today stem from the fact that many individuals believe that they can alter that deal, without the permission of everyone involved. Some do it for personal gain, others do it from a sense that they are creating a better “state” (and possibly better individuals). Those in this latter group are actually the most dangerous, and the most difficult to oppose, for they are self-assured of their righteousness, and believe any opposition to them to be evil (or at least wrong).

    TL/DR: Molon labe.


    • Gus Bailey says:

      Hee Hee.. That is beautiful. But your first paragraph cements my point; the individual precedes the collective.

      The collective succeeds from there.

      You delve into the difference between the individual and the collective; but that is another discussion.


  2. Paul Krendler says:

    And now for something completely different…

    The citizen created the state, it’s true. But saying that, and hanging your hat on it, ignores the Jurassic Park Conundrum.

    The citizen created the state in a manner similar to the scientist, sucking dinosaur blood from a mosquito trapped in amber, creating velociraptors. Or indominus rex, or that big damn alligator-thing.

    Notoriously easy to control, velociraptors. But everyone who creates one as a tourist attraction seems shocked when it ceases to behave as expected. That is, like property.

    The state is a vicious beast which, left to its own devices, will find a way to tear your throat out.

    Your “Out of the Box” thought for the day.


    • Gus Bailey says:

      No. The human created the state out of abject necessity. Your analogy is born of hubris.


      • Paul Krendler says:

        Very fair point.

        The analogy was weak to begin with, I know that. But even so, in the strict sense of the creation escaping the control of the creator, I still think it holds up.

        Whether it’s hubris, or a combination of greed, power lust and failure to supervise, it’s less the reason for losing control than the actual loss of control that is the driver, in my opinion.

        Liked by 1 person

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