Mises Wire

Major League Baseball Punishes Georgians for the Acts of a Handful of Politicians

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Georgia has new voter laws, and as could have been anticipated, they are polarizing. For the Left, they are infringements akin to Jim Crow; for the Right, they are commonsense reforms to counter voting fraud. The corporate press—never one to turn down the opportunity to assault a Republican—sides with the Left: the law is racist. Regardless of whether this is true or not, once a frame has been purchased for any topic, those who wish to remain in good standing with the woke crowds must submit and demonstrate their wrath for the picture inside the frame. This led to a surprising (?) announcement from Major League Baseball on Friday. The 2021 All-Star Game, which had been set to occur at the stadium for the Atlanta Braves, will move venues. This All-Star Game fallout has created an interesting subplot regarding the nature of the state.

Some online have been quick to point out that the county in which the Braves stadium lives—Cobb County—went blue in November. Indeed, Cobb County went blue in 2016 as well. To quote from Twitter, “The part of the state that will be affected by this decision most did not support the people behind it.” Another user wrote in response: “You’re right. There are so many victims impacted by this who are likely against the law.”

But au contraire, mon frère! Are not the citizens of Georgia the government? I thought “we” were the government? Through the mysteries of the social contract, people gather together in order to pass rules for society in pursuit of the common good. Any and all legislation enacted this way is the will of the people, or so the story goes. If this line of reasoning is to be believed, then not only are those negatively affected by MLB’s decision in favor of the legislation, but they themselves are the ones who instituted the law to begin with!

Of course, when put in these terms, the entire premise is shown to be preposterous. Murray Rothbard, among others, pointed out the absurdity of such a claim regarding the state in his essay, “Anatomy of the State”:

If “we are the government,” then anything a government does to an individual is not only just and untyrannical but also “voluntary” on the part of the individual concerned…. Under this reasoning, any Jews murdered by the Nazi government were not murdered; instead, they must have “committed suicide,” since they were the government (which was democratically chosen), and, therefore, anything the government did to them was voluntary on their part. One would not think it necessary to belabor this point, and yet the overwhelming bulk of the people hold this fallacy to a greater or lesser degree.

Rothbard goes on to conclude,

We must, therefore, emphasize that “we” are not the government; the government is not “us.” The government does not in any accurate sense “represent” the majority of the people.

Whatever may be said or decided concerning Georgia’s new law, what it definitely illustrates is the absurdity of political representation. When it comes to government, there is only imposition. No common will of the collective can be discerned, much less implemented. Given the state’s coercive nature, there are only two possible categories of people: the imposers and the imposed upon. Georgia voters opposed to Governor Kemp and this new law are not represented by him or it. It is nonsense to pretend that any government decree is representative of any will other than that of the boot pressing upon the neck of the masses.

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