This week was the the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp used by the Nazi’s to murder over a million people. I’ve written about genocide; the signs leading up to genocide, the many many cases of governments carrying out genocide, and the real story told by Hersch Altman about how he survived the Holocaust at age 11, while the rest of his family was murdered by Nazis.
I want to remind everyone, genocide is not a Nazi problem, it is a government problem. Those calling themselves Nazis may never have significant power again, but unfortunately, genocide is certain to happen again, as it occurs right now under many regimes in various forms. Directly after WWII genocide was allowed to continue and escalate in the Soviet Union. The Nazis were punished, the Soviets were rewarded with half of Europe. Individual’s lost, governments won.
Government oppression is the norm, while peaceful governments have never existed. People often argue that we need a government by using only examples of relatively good government, at a relatively good time of governing. Anarchists on the other hand must defend every foreseeable scenario for what negatives might occur without government.
Yet statists will generally try to argue in abstracts, about what the government could do, should do, or would do; where the government incentives supposedly lie, and that if we would just elect the right people, government could be good; or how good government would be if it was designed properly and kept small.
But here’s the thing: I always humor the statists and explain how the worst case scenarios for their dire predictions of what would happen without government, are already happening right now under some government. But statists weren’t talking about those governments, they were talking about the fairytale government in their heads, like, admittedly, I talk about the fairytale absence of government in my head.
Yes I can admit it, anarchy has never been attained. But neither has “good government” and the closest we came to relatively good government lasted… at most arguably 3 years (time between the ratification of the Bill of Rights, and the federal quelling of the Whiskey Rebellion). And during that entire time, western Pennsylvanians were in open rebellion against the whiskey tax, discussed secession, and finally had their rights violated by the federal government (literally, the same rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights 3 years earlier were completely ignored).
The point is we have never had anarchy, and we have never had good or limited government: don’t pretend my fairytale world is any less attainable than yours. The difference is governments have solid crimes I can point to as evidence of their evil. The evidence of evils under anarchy do not exist, or can only be applied to individuals. A government is to blame for crimes of individuals in the government when it comes to the aid of and protects said individuals, supports the evil act, or ordered the evil act. Anarchist aggressors have no such cover, funded through extortion. (You may want to claim the mafia or a gang is an example of anarchist aggression, however the mafia or a gang operates despite the government, with the help of the government, or is the government).
And there is no proven method of preventing government oppression, though some would argue there are proven methods of slowing down the road to serfdom. So the argument between statists (especially minarchists and limited government libertarians) and anarchists should essentially involve the statists arguing that the benefit of government outweighs the costs. A hard case to make: start by explaining the government benefits that outweigh the hundreds of millions of people murdered by government in just the last 100 years.
The anarchist must argue how the costs of not having government pale in comparison to the benefits. And this especially is where the limited government folks stand on shaky ground. They will argue that the government hurts the economic sector. So what is different about intervention in other areas of life? What is it about force that is bad when applied to economics, but good when applied to disputes between individuals? What if no one was forced to associate, and everything was accomplished through agreements, and mutual benefit?
I don’t think it is a coincidence that government holds a monopoly over the sectors of the economy statists think could not be handled by a free market. The idea is to never show people how effective the free market is at various things, and use fear to continue the government monopoly on security, investigation, courts, and defense.