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Hose Heroes?

Eric Peters Autos – by Eric

Law enforcers aren’t “heroes”  . . .  but what about firemen?

Are they Hose Heroes?

People are pressured to regard them as such. Much as they are pressured to genuflect, North Korean funeral-style, before the Presence of a law enforcer.  

You are probably forced to pay for fire “services” in your community. Just as you are forced to “help” pay for law enforcement – even if you yourself feel no need for either service and would rather opt-out, if that choice were available to you.

But of course, you have no such choice.

And because you are forced to pay, there is no check on what is spent. The formerly small-scale local all-volunteer FD becomes professional – with salaried full-time firefighters who have contracts guaranteeing them large salaries and, of course, benefits.

Multiple ladder trucks and other such vehicles  usually appear – the costs shuffled onto the backs of the taxpayers in the area, who no longer have much, if any, say as regards the need for all this elaborate equipment. Since appearances must be maintained, all this elaborate, over-the-top equipment is often sent out en masse to cat-in-a-tree calls, with much show of emergency lights, special costumes, cones being set up and traffic stopped in its tracks.

Thus, the FD becomes another services-at-gunpoint bureaucracy. And the primary mission of any bureaucracy is to preserve and perpetuate itself.

Expanding itself if possible.

Always, via the use of force.

The fighting of fires becomes of secondary importance, very much as protecting the persons and property of citizens has become secondary to the enforcement of laws.

Firemen write and enforce fire codes – bureaucratic edicts dictating to a private business owner how many customers he may serve in “his” (in quotes to emphasis the irony)  establishment. If the owner balks, the Hose Hero will summon other heroes – heroes with guns – to enforce compliance.

Whether a building is a “fire hazard” – as defined by a Hose Hero – is not the issue. The issue is whether the building is someone else’s private property – and whether the Hose Hero  or any other costumed hero – has the right to interfere in any way with the owner of the private property.

By insisting otherwise, the Hose Hero is asserting an ownership claim over someone else’s property. By what right does he do this?

No one ever asks – much less answers.

Hose Heroes have also been known to prevent actual heroics. For instance, there was an incident a few years back where a man was forcibly restrained by Hose Heroes and prevented from attempting to save his child, who was trapped inside a burning house. Ryan Miller was Tazered for “disobeying the orders of fire officials” who decided on his behalf that the life of his three-year-old stepson was not worth attempting to save. When Ryan Miller ignored them, ” the fire chief then made the call to have Miller handcuffed and taken to the police station” . .  (see here).

Who was the Hero here?

Whether Miller’s actions put him at risk of being hurt or even killed is not relevant – unless you take the view that Miller is your child or your property and you have the right to exert parental/ownership rights over him.

Hose Heroes – like the other form of Hero – believe in exactly such a right.

But Miller’s life was his to risk for the sake of his child. The Hose Hereos at the scene – whose own children were safe in their beds – understandably did not wish to risk being burned alive to save someone else’s child. Which by the way would have been heroic. But it is obnoxious in the extreme for them to interfere with a man willing to put his own life at risk, by his own free choice, in order to try to save his child.

Or his cat, for that matter.

The same arrogance that characterizes law enforcing Heroes also suffuses the mindset of Hose Heroes. They know best – and it is our duty to step out of the way, defer to them, and do as ordered.hero hose man 2

Or else.

Always, underlying everything, there is the threat that violence will be done us if we do not obey.

If these fire fuhrers restricted themselves to offering help there would be no problem. But they do not confine themselves to merely offering.

They insist.

What does it tell you about the nature of their “services”?

When you are no longer free to say no to any “service,” then it is not a service but a racket.

Whether it does some good is beside the point. The essential cretinhood of the fictional mafia thug Tony Soprano or real ones like government workers with badges and guns is not transformed into something benevolent because they occasionally helped out a deserving neighborhood kid.

Just as occasionally catching an actual criminal (viz, someone who has actually harmed another human being) in no way washes away the sin of abusing people who have affronted some arbitrary statute, such as those decreeing what a person may and may not do with their own corpus – which the state asserts an ownership claim over thereby.

Putting out a fire doesn’t make amends for shuttering a business on the basis of a “code violation” and violently assaulting a man for attempting to rescue his child from a blaze.

Fire protection services ought to exist on a voluntary/free-exchange basis. Just like dairy farms or restaurants or any another other provider of a genuine service.

If a service is objectively valuable to people, it is never necessary to force them to pay for it.

When force enters the equation – and you’re no longer permitted to say no thanks – you’ve been enslaved and degraded.

And so, when you think about, have they.

Heroism – the real thing – is a profoundly voluntary act. It is not something one is paid to do, much less something one forces others to pay you to do. It is an act of consciously choosing to put oneself at risk of physical harm for the sake of someone else, without any expectation of compensation.

It’s too bad for us – and for them – that fighting fires (and keeping the peace) has become a rent-seeking authoritarian racket masquerading as “heroic.”

Eric Peters Autos

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