Imagine for a moment that I have developed plans for a mind control machine. Assume it will work and you have the skills to build it, but it will have limited power. If built nevertheless, the machine would allow you complete control over enough minds to create your model society almost instantly.
I offer you the plans on one condition: once you build and use the machine, it will reside in the public domain for use by anybody. If you refuse my offer, I will destroy the plans and take the necessary steps to ensure no one ever re-discovers the principles that made it go "whir".
Would you build the machine?
Such a machine would be worthless if used on people who agree with your vision of a model society. Likewise, due to the power limitations of the machine, the machine would be no threat to people outside its range.
However, to people within range who disagree with your vision of a model society at the moment you activate the machine, use of the machine is clearly the use of aggressive force. Even building the machine is a threat to use aggressive force against those people.
I point out the aggression for those who object to using force or the threat of force as a means to achieve social ends. To those people, a reminder: the "end" in this case is not just a better society, but your model society. If any end would justify coercive means, it would be this one.
But, even those who have no qualms about using coercive means to achieve social ends may balk at the condition I placed, that once built and used, the machine must be available for use by anybody. There is nothing to stop someone outside the range of the machine when you used it from subsequently using it to create their model society.
However, if your model society is so wonderful, the benefits of retaining it once built should be so obvious that no one would want to change to a different model. Why should you want to create a society that included conflict and strife for control of the machine?
We can identify four groups of potential machine-builders:
- Those who would not build the machine because they are opposed to the force or threat of force that is the machine.
- Those who are opposed to the force or threat of force, but would build the machine anyway because the ends justify the means.
- Those who are not opposed to the machine's force, but would not build it because they are worried about the force being turned on them.
- Those who would build the machine due to their conviction that their model society would eliminate conflict and, thus, any further use for the machine.
Those four groups can be further separated into two classes: those who would not build or use the machine under any circumstances and those who would build and use the machine in certain circumstances.
While there is a definite bright line between "won't build or use" and "would build and use", it would be an act of hubris to declare that morality lies on one side or the other of that bright line. Certainly, if we can imagine a mind control machine, we can imagine a model society that is so moral as to justify its use.
Of course, we don't have to imagine a machine that uses force or the threat of force against people who disagree with you within a certain geographical area. It exists and is called government. Those who would build and use government under certain circumstances are called statists, and those who would not build or use government under any circumstances are called radical loons.
Because the plans to create a government are not secret, regardless of where morality lies (if it lies anywhere), there are statists who would build and use government to their advantage, so it is loony not to preempt their use of aggressive force with aggressive force. The radical loon that refuses to vie for control of a "legitimate" aggressive force is a victim in search of a crime scene and thus an enemy of the "legitimate" aims of the state.
But, just as we allowed for a class of radical loon who will not use aggressive force or threat of force under any circumstances, we must also allow for a class of sadist who will use aggressive force under all circumstances. To the sadist, the use of aggressive force is not the means, but the end itself.
The "legitimacy" of aggressive force when used by the government draws the sadist like a moth to a flame, so we can be 100% certain that government is lousy with sadists. To receive the blessing of the statist who cloaks him in "legitimacy", the sadist must make himself indistinguishable from the statist in words if not deeds. From Marxist to minarchist, the statist is a host for the sadist, willingly milked at every turn, destined to die poor and exsanguinated.
It is only the radical loon that avoids the gnashing maw and insatiable appetite of the sadist. Thus the class that rejects the use of aggressive force or threats of force is declared the enemy of the state and, ironically, painted as the aggressor for failing to submit.
But, the sadists are rustlers, not ranchers, and throughout the history of governments they have gone in search of empires and bled the statists dry to the point of rebellion. At the peak of the statist revolution, the sadists disappear only to reappear as leaders of the rebellion. With the old government gone, the sadists take their rightful places in the new government.
This cycle will continue until that statist middle class, that would use aggressive force or threats of force under certain circumstances, learns to quit building the damn machine.