The state-religionist who asserts the right of the state to aggress against the liberty of its citizens for their eternal welfare is only different in conception of welfare from the state-welfarist. The latter asserts the right of the state to aggress against the liberty of its citizens for their earthly welfare.
According to Socrates one of the signs of soul sickness is contradiction. That the state-welfarist so vehemently objects to state aggression on the one hand but not on the other is a sign that it is not really state aggression that they mind at all, only that it is done when they want it.
There is little surprise in the consistency between want and the promotion of aggression to satisfy want. It is the common description for the fraudster, the thief, the one who waits to assault.
The state-welfarist is sure that disagreement about religion is to be respected. But disagreement about the earthly good of individuals? Here you will find dogma, every bit as tightly grasped as that of the state-religionist.
How long before the analogy is furthered? Banishments? Confiscations of property? Burning of books (social media)? Forced conversions (speech codes)? Imprisonments? Burning at the stake? We’ll see.
If only the state welfarist could be brought to see the aggression that they cherish. In the Crito, where Crito tries to persuade Socrates to pay off the guards, escape jail, and go into exhile, Socrates says that he will take that course if it is permitted by his own moral principles. After some work dissuading Crito from caring about popular opinion as a principle Socrates names his. First, do not aggress. Do no harm. Second, keep contracts, commitments. For how long the principle of non-aggression has been a in seed form in our tradition. And how its implementation has grown. Slavery now is rare in its most nefarious form.
But the mob rages. Popular opinion has reasserted itself that initiated aggression is legitimate when…when it aligns with what WE want. A cursory look suggests that roughly 35% of GDP of the United States is spent by government. This means that roughly a third of the life of a working individual is confiscated by aggression. How is this terribly different from a group of semi-free-in-some-things individuals living on a feudal estate? A third of my productive life is confiscated by force?
Add to that that roughly 1/2 of United States citizens pay no federal income tax and the picture immediately complicates. These citizens do still pay sales taxes and others. The government will get in other ways besides the federal tax. But, once one begins to look closer at how the confiscators of wealth select the picture only becomes murkier.
There is no fixing the situation immediately. I do not call for violent revolution. I call for clarity, dialogue. In such a setting he who is in favor of initiating aggression when he wants to can be asked to state clearly his goals. This is a good place to start.