Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Power of Government

The old "whiskey and car keys to teenage boys" thing

From The Libertarian Enterprise, Bill Hartwell sounds off:
I have a livejournal account, and recently have been involved in an exchange with a friend who, as I have discovered through the course of the exchange, is a confirmed socialist because she believes (thanks to what she was taught in government schools and sees on TV) that human beings are, in general, backstabbing selfish scum who would kill one another for the slightest advantage. She has accused me of believing that government is evil because I don't understand human nature.

What follows is my response.

It is because I know human nature that I absolutely believe this.

The only way humans can get along is by operating from the basis of "if you don't hurt me, I won't hurt you"—government violates this with every single thing it does. It hurts you, and then stands over you with a big stick daring you to do anything about it.
Every single thing government does, it does because people somehow believe that wearing the funny hat of government absolves its agents of obeying basic ethical principles. Government, in its very nature, is the violation of human rights and violation of the "if you don't hurt me, I won't hurt you" principle that allows humans to get along. This means that, no matter how bad things might be without government, they will still be better than government has already demonstrated itself to be.

(Found via Bill St. Clair.)