Saturday, June 02, 2007

"Monster": A Consent Theory Sing-Along

Next week, during a lecture I'm slated to give at the Institute for Humane Studies' Liberty and Society seminar at Wake Forest, I plan to discuss some applications of consent theory. Specifically, I aim to share the supply/demand charts that I've worked up to explain the origin and development of government services. I'm not yet done with that particular problem, as I'm still trying, with some help via email from Glen, to figure out how to graph hypothetical consent for public goods. Look for a post on that topic, soon.

In the meantime, allow me to share the lyrics from "Monster," a song I plan to perform in conjunction with my account of the supply and demand of government services. So goes my idea of pedagogy: First, hit 'em with impenetrable theory, then follow-up with awful music! Seriously, though, the lyrics of "Monster" pretty closely track my model of how government originates (as a natural monopoly) and grows (by dint of appeals to hypothetical consent). The song adds some color—nothing in my theory counsels us to "give 'em hell"—but I think I've stayed within the bounds of poetic license.


Verse 1:
We watered the desert.
It grew like a weed,
And sheltered our people,
From violence and need.

Refrain 1:
It drove off the monsters.
It drove off the monsters.

Verse 2:
We wanted it well armed.
They armed it with claws.
We wanted the top hand.
They wrote their own laws.

We raised a cathedral.
They made it a cage.
We wrote up a compact.
They cut up the page.

Refrain 2:
They made it a monster.
They made it a monster.
They made it a monster.
They made it a monster.

Verse 3:
Now, they claim to rule us,
For our own good.
But they've spoken for us.
And misunderstood.

With cunning persistence,
With fire and lead,
They come for our freedoms.
Let's give 'em hell, instead.

Refrain 3:
We must tame the monster.
We must tame the monster.
We must tame the monster.
We must tame the monster.

You can find the chords for "Monster" on this PDF file. (I was especially pleased to work in a chord—Caug5 maj7 sus4—that takes longer to say than it does to play.) If you don't mind listening to a pretty raw version, you can hear to the music in this MP3 file (played with a capo on the second fret). I've not yet recorded a version with the music and lyrics, but the IHS folks might do so at the upcoming seminar.

(Think you've got libertarian geek cred? Identify the shout-out to Randy Barnett. I'll hold off on the hints; I imagine that Agoraphilia's readers won't need them.)


Geoffrey Allan Plauche said...

Sounds good and I like the lyrics. Can't wait to hear them together!

Would this be the shout-out?

"But they've spoken for us.
And misunderstood."

I could think of two other possibilities but this seemed more likely given Randy's recent book.

Tom W. Bell said...

Geoffrey: Thanks for your kind words. Interestingly, I think you pegged the *one* point where the lyrics suggest that my theory of justification differs from Randy's! I plan to detail that difference later, and so won't bore you with the details, now. I'll just say . . . keep looking!

Michael F. Cannon said...

"They cut up the page." Restoring the Lost Constitution: what if a madman with a scalpel broke into the National Archives and started cutting phrases and sentences out of the Constitution? Mmeh?

Tom W. Bell said...

That's it, Michael! Good call.

Milkbuff said...

Tom, here's a link to the video on youtube.

Milkbuff said...