Michael Suede of LibertarianNews.org had a wonderful response to Jon Stewart’s 19 pro-government questions (posted below). Early in the piece he beautify describes what the State is, and how it exerts it’s power through coercive force.
The State claims for itself a monopoly on the use of force within a given geographical region and claims to be the final arbiter of all disputes within an arbitrary geographical region that it controls. The State funds itself through the expropriation and coercive theft of resources within its region of control.
As State power expands, freedom is diminished. There is a direct 1:1 correlation between the destruction of property rights and the expansion of State power. The State claims to be a protector of property rights, but clearly this oxymoronic since the State uses coercion to fund itself. In fact, the primary purpose of the State is the destruction of property rights.
If you find yourself discussing politics with others, you must always bring the subject back to how the government operates. When thinking about the actions that a government provide I ask myself this question, “If someone absolutely and passionately disagrees with this law, should they lose their pursuit of happiness, and ultimately their freedom for not following the law?”
When I ask that question, there are very little – if any services that the government should provide.
Jon Stewart’s questions to libertarians
- Is government the antithesis of liberty?
- One of the things that enhances freedoms are roads. Infrastructure enhances freedom. A social safety net enhances freedom.
- What should we do with the losers that are picked by the free market?
- Do we live in a society or don’t we? Are we a collective? Everybody’s success is predicated on the hard work of all of us; nobody gets there on their own. Why should it be that the people who lose are hung out to dry? For a group that doesn’t believe in evolution, it’s awfully Darwinian.
- In a representative democracy, we are the government. We have work to do, and we have a business to run, and we have children to raise.. We elect you as our representatives to look after our interests within a democratic system.
- Is government inherently evil?
- Sometimes to protect the greater liberty you have to do things like form an army, or gather a group together to build a wall or levy.
- As soon as you’ve built an army, you’ve now said government isn’t always inherently evil because we need it to help us sometimes, so now.. it’s that old joke: Would you sleep with me for a million dollars? How about a dollar? -Who do you think I am?- We already decided who you are, now we’re just negotiating.
- You say: government which governs least governments best. But that were the Articles of Confederation. We tried that for 8 years, it didn’t work, and went to the Constitution.
- You give money to the IRS because you think they’re gonna hire a bunch of people, that if your house catches on fire, will come there with water.
- Why is it that libertarians trust a corporation, in certain matters, more than they trust representatives that are accountable to voters? The idea that I would give up my liberty to an insurance company, as opposed to my representative, seems insane.
- Why is it that with competition, we have such difficulty with our health care system? ..and there are choices within the educational system.
- Would you go back to 1890?
- If we didn’t have government, we’d all be in hovercrafts, and nobody would have cancer, and broccoli would be ice-cream?
- Unregulated markets have been tried. The 80’s and the 90’s were the robber baron age. These regulations didn’t come out of an interest in restricting liberty. What they did is came out of an interest in helping those that had been victimized by a system that they couldn’t fight back against.
- Why do you think workers that worked in the mines unionized?
- Without the government there are no labor unions, because they would be smashed by Pinkerton agencies or people hired, or even sometimes the government.
- Would the free market have desegregated restaurants in the South, or would the free market have done away with miscegenation, if it had been allowed to? Would Marten Luther King have been less effective than the free market? Those laws sprung up out of a majority sense of, in that time, that blacks should not.. The free market there would not have supported integrated lunch counters.
- Government is necessary but must be held accountable for its decisions.