A few thoughts occured to me this evening which have rendered me incapable of sleeping until I put my them on paper, so to speak. I fear my questions and ideas are entirely unoriginal, but I did a bit of due diligence, so please forgive me if I missed some of these questions raised elsewhere. Free Will is an exhausted topic, so much so that I didn't want to spend the next week reviewing it all, particularly since I'm not interested in the free will/determinism dichotomy (preferring my free will). I'm hoping someone can enlighten me, so here goes.
I own my body, and endowed with free will, I am thusly the owner of the effects of my actions. This seems entirely reasonable to me. The implication being, that I would obviously not be morally responsible for the effects of my actions if I didn't possess the free will to choose. Stefan makes it a point to hammer on this; that we should refuse to strip people of moral responsibility, and I agree.
My confusion arises when we start talking about the morality of abstractions made up of groups of individuals. Can a moral judgement be made of Governments, of Armies, of Societies, of Corporations? It seems clear to me that we can make judgements on actions and their effects, but this is where my certainty ends. Consider the following scenarios:
>The State owns itself, and endowed with free will, owns the effects of its actions
>The State owns itself, but deviod of free will, does not own the effects of its actions
>The State does not own itself, and thus cannot exersize free will, nor own the effects of it's actions
>The State is unownable, simply an abstract entity made up of it's individual agents, exersizing the agents' free will in proportion, relieving the abstract entity of ownership over the effects of it's actions.
>The State is unownable, simply an abstract entity made up of it's individual agents, exersizing the free will of it's citizens, relieving the abstract entity of ownership over the effects of it's actions.
>The State is unownable, simply an abstract entity made up of it's individual agents, deviod of free will/choice, and not responsible for the effects of it's actions.
For Corporations: substitute Corporation->State; employees->agents; customers/shareholders->citizens
For an Army: Commander & Chief/General->state; rank & file soldiers->agents; funders/citizens->citizens
Which, if any of these, is true? Is it possible to make a moral judgement against a group, in the same manner that we would treat an individual? If so, how ought the responsibility be aportioned? If not, must we be contented with The State as an amoral entity? It would seem so, as a moral judgement requires a choice, and choice requires a chooser(s?) Absent the legal fiction of The Corporation, the owner of a business would be responsible for the effects of the actions of his business, which I believe to be preferable. I'm reminded of Tolkien's preference for either monarchy or anarchy; at least you can kill the king, and hope the next one acts in his self interest.
My inclination is to hold all parties accountable, to the extent that they have a choice, and act with complicity. As a Statist, I was unaware that Anarchism was a legitimate, rational, preferable, moral position. I'd never heard or read an all encompassing, yet concise, persuasive argument for Anarchism. One day Youtube presented me with a gem of a "related video", and I became an Anarchist very shortly thereafter. As they say though, ignorance of the law is no excuse. I believe we have a responsibility and duty to provide people with the choice, although I feel I've significantly underachieved in that respect so far. Nonetheless, I suspect making converts out of government employees would be quite the fruitless endeavor, and it seems almost everyone I know personally is either a waiter, a waitress, or a government employee. But alas, my need and reluctance to upgrade my own personal relationships...
Enough of my rambling though, I'm curious what y'all think? Am I missing some gaping chasm rendering all my thoughts drivel? Must I grant an abstraction free will, in order to hold "it" accountable? If groups of individuals are individually responsible, how can one escape the deterministic effects of the principal that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely? Surely, that's a pillar in the argument for Anarchism, but it leaves me a bit depressed and pessimistic, if I'm being perfectly honest (could be due to my hunger and tiredness though, I can't say for sure I know he was only a fictional hairy-footed child, but noble as he was, Frodo never tossed the ring in the fire. What do you guys/gals think?