Killers Part 2

     An ancient principle of the law holds that he who aids or abets the commission or the concealment of a crime is as guilty of that crime as the perpetrator of the criminal act. Clearly, the abettor must condone the crime. Equally clearly, the abettor and the perpetrator share certain convictions, whether about the rationale for the crime or the priorities involved. Sometimes, the shared convictions go all the way to the bedrock of belief.

     Consider that if Smith should hand a gun to Jones at a moment when Jones is inclined to murder Davis, Smith willed that the murder of Davis should occur. Indeed, he may have wanted it even more strongly than did Jones. Perpetrator Jones might have managed to restrain himself were the instrument of death not placed in his hand. That both Smith and Jones are to be punished for Davis’s death follows naturally.

     In such a case, the shared conviction is at minimum that Davis has no right to his life. But it could go deeper. It could be that neither Smith nor Jones believes that anyone has a right to his life.

     Yes, there are such persons. I’ve known one.


     In the previous piece, I addressed specifically the question of nationalized or socialized medical care, a proposition that has a lot of advocates. I asked why those advocates believe that giving control of medical care to a government would improve it somehow. In returning to that question, let’s partition the advocates into two groups:

  1. Private citizens,
  2. Government employees.

     The private-citizen advocates would probably say that for government to “distribute” the nation’s medical resources would be “fairer.” Some who “can’t afford” medical care would be taken care of at no cost…to themselves. “The government” would pay for it. The implications of that stance aren’t often addressed in public.

     My Gentle Readers don’t need for me to explain where – or how – “the government” gets its funds. It highlights the special characteristic governments have that private citizens and organizations lack:

     Break a government rule and it throws you into a reinforced concrete prison with real iron bars. It hires full-time skilled employees, at your expense, to catch you, lock you in, and watch you, plus (if you try to escape) expert marksmen, to shoot you with bullets you paid for.

     [Allan Sherman, The Rape of the APE]

     “Do what we say or we’ll kill you.” You and I can’t get away with an ultimatum like that, Gentle Reader. But governments can. Ergo, to award the power over medical care to a government is to award it to brutes who possess the privilege of killing you for disobeying them.

     Not all those who advocate socialized medicine are fully aware of that. But some are. They want it that way.


     I chose the subject of socialized medicine as an arguendum: a subject chosen to highlight a point that (I hoped) would emerge from the discussion. But really, any power awarded to a government will imply the same rationale: “The government should control this because it can kill you if you disobey.” It won’t matter if the proponent is explicit about that rationale. Indeed, it won’t matter that he’s not aware of it himself.

     Were a private organization to do to medical care what its advocates want the government to do, that organization would be committing a crime of the most serious kind. By the “aids or abets” principle I stated in the opening paragraph, anyone who assisted or encouraged that organization would be equally guilty of that crime. The more conscious advocates of socialized medicine would prefer that you not think about that, but no matter. For the only way to maintain a monopoly over some otherwise peaceful activity is to threaten anyone who would infringe upon your monopoly with death.

     And there are quite a few people – not all of them employees of the State – who think that’s quite all right.

     More anon.

1 comment

1 ping

    • Steve on February 20, 2024 at 10:34 AM

    I’ve often wondered whether the “aids and abets” precept is a good idea. Both in theory and in practice, all parties then have a personal incentive to conceal the crime after the fact. But if not, if both parties go into this eyes open, knowing one can at any time and for any reason turn the other in, and he will hold whip hand over the other, won’t that discourage the commission of the act, the “perp” knowing that from now to the seventh generation, some other person controls his person and his progeny?

    Does he really want Davis dead that badly?

  1. […] If you’ve read the previous two pieces in this little series, you’ve probably got the idea that I don’t much like governments. […]

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