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Freedom's Phoenix

Murder In The Streets

April 25, 2010 - 6:22pm
Nick Coons by Nick Coons


Of all the arguments against a free society (i.e. one without government, anarcho-capitalism), I think this one is the most used and the most ridiculous. And it goes something like this: "If we didn't have government, there would be pillaging and plundering in the streets." What a load of crap!

If this is your argument, it's important to examine where it came from. Does it come from your own life experiences? In the absence of law, do you normally engage in violent behavior to get what you want? If it weren't for the existence of the police, would you be out raping someone right now? Even simpler, do you have desires to violate the rights of others, but only abstain because there is a law saying that you can't?

"I'm a good person, it's all the other people that aren't good, and we need government to protect us from them," you might respond. Okay, so if there are bad people out there, and we can't protect ourselves from them (or we'd prefer to delegate that responsibility to someone who wants to do it for us), then we need someone to protect us from those bad people. But, why is that someone "government"?

The protection of rights is simply a service like any other that consumers demand. You wouldn't want the gas station in your city to have a monopoly on providing gas, because the prices would be sky high. You wouldn't want your grocery store to have a monopoly on the distribution of food, because they'd have no incentive to provide you with quality produce since you have no alternative. Why then do you want to give someone a monopoly on protecting your rights? In what twisted reality is it understood that monopolies are bad, except in this one case?

And the course of this argument is all too predictable, because the response to the argument goes something like this: "But we vote for our government, and it's supposed to be controlled by the people, so it's not a bad monopoly." Again, where does this idea come from? From your personal experiences? Do you have a better experience when you walk into a business who has a direct incentive to make sure you're satisfied, or the Post Office or DMV where everyone there gets paid regardless of how happy they make you? Have you reported stolen property to the police? How much of it have they gotten back for you? Given that they're paid either way, do they have any reason at all to care whether or not you're satisfied?

This should all be quite clear. There is no problem to which the state is the solution. If there are evil people in the world, then the last thing we want is a monopoly on the use of force, because those evil people will seek positions within that monopoly so they can carry out their evil desires legally. The person to worry about is not the serial murderer that comes around once a decade running around on the street, but rather the person who works to become President so he can send troops halfway around the world to murder thousands. If monopolies are bad, for reasons that I'm sure we all understand well, then surely sanctioning an organization with the legal monopoly on violence is not the solution to any problem.

Related Content:

Look For The Gun - Nick Coons
Dreaming of Freedom - Nick Coons
Are You an Anarchist, or a Statist Thug - Nick Coons

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