Comment: Life without government

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Life without government

Four people ganging up to violate the rights of the fifth would indeed be typical "governmental" action. If the four bother to name themselves "Government of the Woods," and have the power to enforce their "laws," I have no problem accepting their self-description. They can name their gang whatever they like, probably with as much moral justification as is possessed by any other "government." Which is to say: none at all. Do you know what distinguishes "government" from a gang of thugs who claim a certain area as their "turf?" Tell me, if you do.

Can people live without trying to control one another? Sure they can. Most of us spend most of our lives dealing peaceably and voluntarily with other people. We trade our products and labor for money, with which we buy the products and services we desire from others. We live practically our whole lives using trade and love and other voluntaristic motivations -- rather than coercion -- to deal with the people we meet. Most of our private lives are "anarchy," lived according to our own wishes rather than to the demands of some "authority."

About the only time average people use coercion is . . . wait for it . . . when they participate in "the political process." People who wouldn't steal a dollar from a neighbor go to the polls and vote for "laws" and "taxes" that steal thousands of dollars from the same neighbors. They do this under the illusion that stealing isn't really stealing, if "government" does it and calls it "taxation." People who would never use violence against peaceful, innocent people go to the polls and vote for politicians who propose to murder thousands in the name (taken in vain) of "national defense."

It isn't peaceful coexistence that is alien to normal people. Most of the evil and violence in our society isn't done by people who believe that stealing and killing are good things. It is done by people who believe in the superstition that guys who call themselves "government" have a moral right to do things that "normal" people shouldn't be able to do. Murder isn't wrong, if "government" "declares war." A thousand different violations of individual liberty are okay, if "government" writes a "law." People can and do get along extremely well with one another, for the most part -- EXCEPT when "government" enters the picture. Sure there are exceptions; violent criminals will never become totally extinct. Still, I believe the general level of violence in society would dramatically decrease if "government" were not given a moral pass on its use. The existence of evil, violent, sociopathic individuals does not make it a good idea to give one small band of the MOST evil, violent and sociopathic people a legal monopoly on the use of force, and a moral right to rule everyone else. Freaking insanity is what that is. Called "government."

Liberty (aka "anarchy") does not require that all men become saints, fully respecting the rights of every other person. Bad people will exist in any society. But the effect of those bad people effect will be minimized when they are regarded as illegitimate gangsters -- rather than "lawful authorities." Makes it easier to shoot the bastards, hm?

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition, http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Superstition-Larken-Ros...