Trusting the Government Does Not End Well

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.

7 thoughts on “Trusting the Government Does Not End Well

  1. The reason I believe anarchy is a fairy tale is because there will always be people who try to control others. Call it whatever you want, the mafia, the Taliban, the soviets, the executive, the legislative and judicial branches of the United States. They are all people trying to “govern” other people against their will. I too wish that those people did not exist. But they do. Along with the majority of human beings that will go along with these bullies. It’s like the people that say “I wish there was no money” to eliminate greed. Even if we got rid of paper dollars people will always come up with some sort of currency even if it’s a loaf of bread. Just like socialists live in the fairy tale world that people aren’t driven by incentives, anarchists live in the fairy tale world that people are not driven by a desire to control. (Anarchists and libertarians desire is to control themselves but it’s no less powerful) Because of this, the anarchists will innocently be living their own lives and these seagulls will slowly flock around them time and time again trying to take over. Resistance and vigilance are the key. Along with an established set of rules that defer the control freaks and the people willing to be controlled from moving in swiftly and putting in whatever crazy governess they want. Without a group consensus set up beforehand i.e. Rule of law, (preferably a very general constitution that only addresses direct harm to others and cannot be added to and has no taxation) it’s my opinion that the society can be easily taken over by the vultures instead of the inevitable slow creep that takes years to develop. I believe this is why there are no existing anarchies, they are always co-opted. There is no solution to the problem of government. Just constant maintenance.

    • There are no existing limited governments either. America tried to set one up (kind of) and it was quickly taken over by those seeking control. So my point is take away the central legitimized power, and there will be nothing to take over. Then everyone who seeks control will be seen for what they are: criminals. Otherwise the slow creep of control indeed flocks around us, as it has and continues to do. That is why it is hard for me to say anarchy is a bad idea… the worst case scenarios that you talk about are happening now because of government. Rule of law will be set by communities, and people who voluntarily associate with each other. There is no way to legitimize power grabbing under anarchy, while right now there is under government: for the children, for security, for the greater good.

      • The US constitution was NEVER truly free. In the very first section of the constitution they addressed the issue of slaves and Indians to control those groups. They also addressed the ability to tax as a right of the government! Those things nullify the whole thing! It still doesn’t mean people shouldnt band together and decide on how to deal with those that harm others before the inevitable happens and a group who wants to control or “govern” others, moves in! Acting like human nature doesn’t exist is naive in my opinion and it should be addressed. Rules addressing personal freedom to carry on without interference from others that want to harm them is not government. My question is, are anarcho capitalists against rules? Do they view rules as equivalent to “government”? It might be a matter of semantics, but in my mind it’s two very different concepts.

      • No of curse anarcho-capitalists are not against rules. Anarchy means no rulers, not no rules. The rules would be set by whoever owns a certain piece of property, and by the interactions of consumers (who without government would also need to be producers, or at least recipients of voluntary charity) and business supplying their demands. Mutually beneficial transactions. And banding together against an outside enemy does not require government.

  2. I basically agree with you believe me lol. But I still don’t get without established property rights how you can make the leap to “owning” anything. There’s no group consensus to say, if you improve the property, it’s yours. There’s nothing to say, if you made it or created it, it’s yours, 2 basic concepts you refer to often. I understand the private security etc but that system only says to me, the strongest and richest can move in on the weak. Until private property rights were acknowledged as a concept, industrialization would not have happened in my opinion. People lived under constant threat of being taken over. It just makes sense to me to establish this very important concept beforehand in a society (without all the other crap) is all I’m saying. Of course this system has potential for abuse as anything does so has to be constantly monitored but the tragic takeover of the land now known as the USA by the Europeans from the American Indians, who, by any definition lived under anarcho capitalism, could’ve been avoided in my opinion with rule of law and private property rights established beforehand. The founding fathers realized this when they’re own anarcho-capitalist society started falling apart when Britain started getting overly pushy with taxes etc but they just took it too far with the constitution they set up. Thanks Joe for hearing me out!

  3. And of course private security would still be the way to go in my “ideal” society lol but they just would be held to the same standard of not being able to abuse others or steal property even if they were the strongest and richest security company around!

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