33757Imagine the following scenario:

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You awaken to find yourself alone in a furnished apartment. This is confusing, as you clearly remember going to sleep in your own bed in your own home the night before. The apartment is nicer than many others, clean, and has all the material goods needed for a happy and satisfying existence. You find that you are unable to leave the apartment, and decide to make the most of the experience. After a few days of relaxation, a large man carrying a baseball bat walks in and delivers a solid blow across your back with the bat. He leaves immediately and you struggle to regain control of your senses.

The next morning he again enters and delivers another blow.

This continues for several days. The pain is severe at first but soon you become accustomed to the beatings and adjust your mental state to accommodate them.

After some time, you forget that there ever was a time when you did not receive daily beatings, and you even come to see the large man as a protector of sorts. After all, he may deliver regular beatings, but at least his presence seems to keep away others who may deliver worse beatings.

One day you decide to inquire a little more about your circumstances. The large man explains that the apartment is only one of several hundred in the building, and that you may be permitted to leave to another apartment, under certain circumstances. When you press him, he says that only those with his permission may leave, and they must go directly into another apartment.

You ask him if you might be permitted to leave, as you would actually prefer to not be beaten. He chuckles and shakes his head and then says that each apartment has its own large man, and each large man performs daily beatings of the tenets in their respective apartments. There are some large men who beat their tenets until they are nearly dead, while others have a bit more compassion. He thinks for a moment and then estimates that his beatings are probably among the least painful.

Given this, you decide not to take your chances in the other apartments and instead resign yourself to daily beatings from the large man. At least he’s kind enough not to kill you outright.

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In this scenario, are you consenting to beatings simply by virtue of being in the apartment?

Does the fact that you never choose to enter the apartment in the first place have any bearing on whether or not you consented to the beatings?

Does the quality of furnishings in the apartment justify the beatings?

Is the quality of furnishings in the apartment a result of the beatings?

Are you free to leave if you must ask permission to do so?

Does the fact that you prefer the less severe beatings to more severe beatings mean that you have consented to the less severe beatings?

Does the fact that other people are beaten more severely justify the less severe beatings you receive?

Does the long history of consistent beatings justify their continuation?

Do you have any obligation of loyalty to the large man as a result of the mildness of his beatings?

Are you ungrateful if you do not thank the large man for not beating you more severely?

Finally, in what ways is this situation analogous to national governments, national borders, and apologists for the State?