I want to put my reply to another blog post here as well, because I think the topic is worth thinking about. The original post can be found here: http://cassandrarosekerkman.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/freedom-by-adam-kokesh-a-philosophical-manifesto-for-the-abolition-of-violence/
Here is my response:
I haven’t read the book you mentioned, but I have read this post twice and thought about it some. The idea that government is violence against the individual is too extreme. Maybe a bad government is, but certainly not all government. As Aristotle says, “every community is established with a view to some good,” though people might disagree as to what that good is or should be. Additionally, he notes that “he who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself must be either a beast or a god….A social instinct is implanted in all men by nature, and yet he who first founded the state was the greatest of benefactors.” Consider also the founding fathers, who in the Declaration of Independence listed the inalienable rights of all individuals — life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. They say in the next paragraph that “to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Now this means that responsibilities come with these rights, we have to be part of the government that secures them. Even Henry David Thoreau, who talks about quietly declaring war on the state notes that it has its uses and he takes part in some of it. “I have never declined paying the highway tax, because I am as desirous of being a good neighbor as I am of being a bad subject; and as for supporting schools, I am doing my part to educate my fellow-countrymen now.” Please excuse the lengthy reply, but that assertion got me thinking, and I disagree with it. Since I thought it was worth thinking about, I thought it was worth sharing thoughts.