by Pejman Yousefzadeh on September 4, 2012
But you know something? Government belongs to me. Not the other way around.
If you agree with me, you know whom to vote for in November.
2012 Presidential Election,
I’m on your side, politically, but I have to ask, aren’t you confusing two meanings of “belong” here, for partisan effect? One belongs to a church without the church owning the member, right? One meaning is “to be in the relation of membership to” and the other is “to be the property of”.
TO be fair, though, I agree — it’s outrageous for someone to say for me that I am a member of something. After all, no one signed any “social contract”.
It’s not *quite* the same, though, as saying I am the property of something.
And in fact, I think it can be argued that we are the state’s property (you aren’t allowed to kill yourself, it’s against the law, etc.)
But I think you’re maybe stringing convenient but unrelated truths into a logical harness they don’t quite fit into.
If an alternate interpretation of “belonging” is so innocuous a relationship as simply being a member of something, then why don’t we say that we “belong to” our cities, states, and indeed our nations? I have never once said that I “belong to” the United States of America, though I am indeed a member of the body politic (or citizen, if you’d rather). Since the “belonging” relationship already applies colloquially to both serious and frivolous affiliations, such as churches and clubs, why not also apply it to countries? I think the fact that we don’t should be a linguistic clue that there are some unaddressed problems in your argument.
And to address both your comments at the same time: I grant you that anything can be argued, in the strictly logical sense of possibility. I can argue that the world is really flat, or that the New York Yankees beat the Green Bay Packers to win last season’s NBA championship. Of course, those would be ridiculous arguments, since I would be both facially wrong and wasting my time…but I could make them.
If that’s what you mean when you say “it can be argued that we are the state’s property” — that some contrarian can take the obviously wrong side of a senseless debate just because they want to pick a fight — then I concur. If, on the other hand, you mean that you believe someone can *legitimately* argue that we are in some sense owned by the state, then you are not only wrong, you are certainly not “on my side” politically. Try the Democratic Party. They’re finally coming clean about their statist and collectivist attitudes, and they have ScarJo and Eva Longoria and Novalee Padme. (Though I must confess I don’t see why any of those could be considered a plus.)
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