Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Government’

A Genuine Check and Balance: Privatize Law and Order | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on February 6, 2023

by Michael Huemer

Here, I explain the anarcho-capitalist solution to the basic social problem (from fakenous): Recap from two previous posts: 

– The basic problem of human social life: People are selfish. How do we stop them causing enormous amounts of harm to others, to benefit themselves? 

– A traditional solution: Have a government to police the people. 

– The basic problem of government: Government officials are selfish. How do we stop them from causing enormous amounts of harm to others, to benefit themselves? 

Traditional solutions to the problem of government are pretty lame. They really aren’t thought through at all well, and they don’t work very well empirically. 

Here, I explain how the libertarian solution is better. I’m only going to talk about police and courts here, though; I’m not going to discuss national defense or anything else. 


  1. The Private Solution 


The anarcho-capitalist solution to the basic social problem is similar to the government solution, except that there are multiple, competing agencies for enforcing rights, instead of just one. In other words, anarcho-capitalists want to privatize the essential functions of governments (i.e., the functions that we actually need; other functions can be eliminated). 

So your neighborhood could have an homeowner’s association that would hire a private security company instead of government police. Many competing security companies would operate in the same area (like security guard companies in the status quo; today, there are more private security guards in America than there are government police). In case of a dispute (including disputes about whether someone committed a crime), you would go to a private arbitration company instead of government courts. Many competing arbitrators would operate in the same area. 


  1. Two Differences 


You might wonder whether this arrangement counts as an instance of the “government” solution — if your HOA is hiring security guards and enforcing rules, maybe it is just a small government?

That is a semantic question that doesn’t matter. But here is a substantive question that matters: Is the anarcho-capitalist solution subject to the same problems as government? Why don’t we just have the problem that, since the people running security companies and arbitration companies are selfish, they will do things that benefit themselves and harm the rest of society? 

In reply, there are two important differences that explain why an-cap is better than traditional government: 


2.1. Voluntariness vs. Coercion 


In the anarcho-capitalist society, individuals (or private organizations) voluntarily choose to hire a security company; in our society, everyone is forced to “hire” the government, whether they want to or not. 

See the rest here

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How Much Better Society Would Be If Government Followed The Constitution

Posted by M. C. on January 26, 2023

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Why Doesn’t The Government Believe Its Own “Climate Change” Propaganda?

Posted by M. C. on January 14, 2023

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100 Years of Being Too Afraid of Freedom — Government Has Capitalized on That Fear

Posted by M. C. on January 7, 2023

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I Support Western Values More Than The West Does: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Posted by M. C. on January 3, 2023

Caitlin Johnstone

It’s so stupid. Like yeah, powerful plutocrats and secretive government agencies are scheming to normalize LGBT rights because they stopped caring about power and domination and just love wokeness now.

I’m often criticized as being “anti-west”, but I am not anti-west, I am pro-west. I am so pro-west that I want our values of peace, freedom, democracy, truth and justice to be real life things that exist in actual western civilization and not just a fiction that is taught to western schoolchildren.

I am so pro-west that I want the west to embody the actual western values it pretends to embody. I am so pro-west that I support the practice of spreading western values to the west. I’m a western cultural imperialist, except I want to do western cultural imperialism to the west. I’m like a conquistador, a western colonialist setting sail to spread the wonders of western civilization to these godless western savages. Except instead of actually just bringing them murder, slavery, theft and disease I really am trying to bring them western civilization.

I am so pro-west that I want the western values that were sold to me as a child to be actual things that actually exist. And because I support western values much more than the actual west does, I get called “anti-west” and told to move to China. Shit, they should move to China.

A guy I follow on Twitter named David Gondek put it very nicely: “There is nothing wrong with western civilization that living up to its own professed principles wouldn’t fix.”

It’s not “anti-west” to want the west to end warmongering, militarism, censorship, propaganda, government secrecy, oligarchy, injustice, oppression and exploitation, it is pro-west. The “western values” of peace, justice, equality, democracy, freedom and accountability that we were taught in school are very good things. The only problem is that the west doesn’t actually value them.

To be clear, the US empire is getting everything it wants out of the war in Ukraine. It claims out of one side of its mouth that this was an unprovoked invasion that it never wanted, while admitting this war is giving it everything it ever wanted out the other side. The US did not just luckily stumble into a happy coincidence that just happens to advance all of its longstanding geostrategic agendas against a longtime geopolitical target. It deliberately created this situation, and only a baby-brained idiot would believe otherwise.

Putin isn’t waging this war because he thought it would be a nice idea to grab a bit more land, he’s waging it because he assessed that he’d need to fight off NATO aggressions in Ukraine at some point and it would be easier to do it now than later. People say “Hurr hurr, if the US provoked this war to advance its own interests then Putin’s an idiot for falling for it,” but anyone who’s ever played chess knows strategy is often about forcing your opponent to choose between two bad options, either of which benefit you.

There’s still this notion in some anti-imperialist factions that Putin is a brilliant strategic wizard who is outfoxing the empire in a game of 5D chess, but really he’s just fighting on the back foot against a far wealthier, far more powerful foe, and it’s costing his nation dearly.

Whether Ukraine “wins” this war or not is irrelevant to the fact that the US empire was for relatively little cost able to create a massive sinkhole for Moscow to pour its energy and attention into, freeing up the imperial machine to focus on turning the screws on China. 

Friendly reminder that China poses a threat solely to the US empire and its agendas of planetary domination, not to the US as a country. Empire architects are intentionally confusing Americans and other westerners by conflating these two issues in a massive propaganda campaign.

See the rest here

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Posted by M. C. on December 14, 2022

Government is a system of human organization that lessens individual liberty, nullifies family, and emaciates community, invariably working to enlarge its power at the expense of other organizations.  It does not matter what kinds of people are running it, what various combinations of checks and balances may be tried, whatever benefits it may be attempting to achieve, it cannot escape its inherent nature:

By Kirkpatrick Sale

I was going to start this essay with a long argument to prove that governments are always bad, but the more I thought about it the more it seemed to be self-evident—I mean, look around.  And if we were not all perpetually saturated with propaganda to the contrary, telling us that government is always benevolent and necessary for human well-being—what I would call a monumental case of the victors writing history, and the news—we would have come to this conclusion long ago.

Start with what a government is.  At a minimum, it is a system of control over the members of a political body—Max Weber said that it was “the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory”—that includes the power to levy and collect taxes and raise and maintain an army.  You will notice the centrality of “control,” and its ancillary, “power.”

Now you can either like the idea of a large and usually distant body telling you what to do, how much money you can keep, whether you need to serve in its army, and such other limitations on your life as it may think of from time to time. Or feel that the fundamental values in a political society are, by contrast, individual liberty, familial integrity, and communal sovereignty, none of which are taken care of by government, nor even in the purview of  government. It is the Hobbesians who argue for the first, saying it is the well-being of the whole, of the state, that takes precedence over the status or interest of the individual, hence government control and power is good, since only governments have the competence to see to the many needs of the entire populace. It is selfish, and therefore wrong, to put individual liberty over the public good, to argue for the primacy of the family over the primacy of a state looking out for all families, to value community autonomy over wider national interests.

But it is the Rousseauians who argue for the second, saying if one values liberty, family, community, one knows, or very quickly comes to see, that government is wrong.  Government by its nature is in the business of control, the antithesis of liberty, calculates in terms of populations, not families, takes as its form the nation-state or empire, caring little about community.  And its instrument is power, the power to create laws or edicts, to regulate, to tax, to raise armies, to declare war, to control the public in fact in any way that it sees fit or can get away with without resistance or rebellion.

But there is more: government by its nature tends to get bigger and stronger, to enlarge its scope, to expand its reach.  The rulers of any government, if only to expand the welfare of all, need continually to increase taxes and expand bureaucracy, and sometimes, again in the interest of all, to conquer other lands and rule other people.  Individual rulers may not hunger for more influence but they are at the head of a system—of princes and priests, of generals and bureaucrats, of satraps and underlords, of bankers and brokers—that does, with the result that inevitably the ruler oversees more power.

See the rest here

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Thoughts That Should Probably Occur More Often

Posted by M. C. on November 15, 2022

Caitlin Johnstone

I wonder if my own government is being truthful about its actions in that part of the world?

I wonder if my own government is in the wrong on this issue?

I wonder if the news media are telling the truth right now?

I wonder if the news media tell the truth about things generally?

I wonder if the “Evil Dictators versus Virtuous Liberal Democracies” framework I’ve been taught by teachers, pundits and politicians is the most accurate lens through which to view world events?

Could I have been deceived about the way my government operates, at home and abroad? 

Is it possible that my beliefs about my society, my government and my world are completely wrong?

What if the teachers, preachers and parents who helped form my worldview were relying on inaccurate information?

Who has benefitted from the beliefs that are in my head? Is it possible that those beliefs were placed there, directly or indirectly, by people who have benefitted from my having them?

Are there any power-serving falsehoods that I believe because it is cognitively easier to believe them than to let in information that might hurt my ego or require me to restructure my entire worldview?

Does civilization really have to be organized in this way? Is it possible to create better systems that work for everyone? Do I only assume things can’t change because the current systems have been deliberately normalized for me?

Are there any beliefs that were put in my head by people I love and trust that are untruthful or unhelpful? Beliefs about myself? Beliefs about my place in the world? Beliefs about my family members? My culture? My religion?

Is there anyone in my life who regularly tries to manipulate me into thinking a certain way about things? Anyone who regularly tries to influence how I think about them? How I think about myself? How I think about others? Why are they doing that?

What beliefs am I still holding that don’t serve me? That don’t serve the world? Could I be holding some unhelpful beliefs without even consciously realizing it?

In what areas of my life am I in the wrong? Who have I wronged and who am I currently doing wrong to? What can I do to make it right?

Are there beliefs that that I hold on to because I believe they are me, but when I look at them in the clear light of day I can see they are only fossilised ideas forged long ago in a moment of fear? Have I been defending those false ideas with such force that I have actually been in attack?

How has my childhood affected my way of experiencing life and behaving in the world? Are there any psychological habits I formed when I was small and lacking in knowledge that I am still maintaining? Can I now as a strong adult begin to consciously relinquish them?

What is thought? Am I quite sure I’m using and relating to it in the healthiest and most skillful way possible? Is it possible to move thought and thinking into a more wholesome and efficacious role in my life?

Is it possible that I’m not perceiving reality accurately at all? That not only is the information in my head inaccurate, but my most fundamental assumptions about life and perception as well?

Is it possible that I’ve been holding inaccurate beliefs about not only my world, my government, my society, my culture, my family and myself, but about my very nature?

See the rest here

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We Are Not the Government, but America Is No Longer Anything More than the Government

Posted by M. C. on October 7, 2022

Connor Mortell

We must, therefore, emphasize that “we” are not the government; the government is not “us.” The government does not in any accurate sense “represent” the majority of the people.

Murray Rothbard wrote this in his popular Anatomy of the State. His point still stands to this day. The state cannot be said to represent “us” in any accurate or serious way. It may be even more true today than ever before. However, what is murkier today is who “us” even is. If “we” are not the government, then who are “we?”

“We” would logically reference what Rothbard described as separate from the state, the nation:

Everyone is necessarily born into a family, a language, and a culture. Every person into one or several overlapping communities, usually including an ethnic group, with specific values, cultures, religious beliefs, and traditions. He is generally born into a “country.”

While this would make sense as who “we” are, I struggle to believe this—in any meaningful way—describes anything that brings “us” as Americans together. Taking Rothbard’s descriptors piece by piece, almost none of them still apply. Everyone is born into a family which includes ethnic groups, but America has long been known as a melting pot with any number of ethnic heritages among its people, so it would be nonsense to say this played a role in bringing together the American nation. Generally speaking, there is a common language across America, however, it is merely the language of our former rulers—the British. If this drew us together as a nation, then we’d be equally drawn to Australia.

As for the “overlapping communities” we have almost no such communities drawing Americans together. Ethnic groups and cultures we’ve already addressed vary widely within America. Specific values have never been less cohesive than they are today. In the state of Texas, the average person likely believes that an abortion is committing murder against a child. In the state of California, the average person believes that an abortion is a sacred right for women.

In the state of New York, it was quite recently believed that going out without a mask was posing imminent harm to vulnerable people. At the same time, in the state of Florida it was almost ridiculous in many places to wear a mask. To pretend these groups have shared values is simply something of the past.

Religious beliefs do not hold as a common thread considering the country was founded in part on the freedom of religion. From that, many traditions diverge among the people. In fact, even the few traditions that are common among the residents of America are extremely varied across regions. While we are born into a specific place and are somewhat geographically together, we’ve expanded far beyond any real sense of vicinity.

See the rest here

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Posted by M. C. on October 4, 2022

To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.”

~ Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century

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How To Spy on the Government

Posted by M. C. on September 24, 2022

By Allan Stevo

As part of the activism that my team and I do, I like to follow public records laws and the latest activity happening around public records. 

This is especially necessary now that I am running Project Accountability, a group of 70 folks who have signed up to help hold their local public health officials accountable for the crimes committed in 2020 and beyond. 

So much information can be learned by just asking. 

Just Ask 

In a recent newspaper story, I saw that the City of Palm Springs, California has been trying for months to get records related to a school in nearby Palm Desert named College of the Desert. The school said it would provide records two weeks after the upcoming election. The city did not find that acceptable and is now suing the school over the matter. 

Someone involved in the matter obviously wants to have more information before the upcoming elections about someone else involved in the matter. Perhaps that person even wants to hold the other accountable. Elections are good at doing that. It might be a bunch of political shenanigans, or it might be an earnest effort at holding a misguided band of fellows accountable. The distinction is not relevant to my purposes, for in either example, both you and I are able to gather knowledge and to steel ourselves for the battles in our own lives. 

I was eager to have a look at the original records request and the legal documents from the City of Palm Springs. I could poke around courthouse websites to see if any data existed, and I could poke around on other online databases. Such searches can be time-consuming and take a great deal of effort. They do not always promise to be fruitful. Admittedly, that particular search is likely to be fruitful since there are only two courthouses that this lawsuit would take place in — the country courthouse or possibly, but not likely, in the nearest federal courthouse. 

Rather than search court records, I sometimes try a different approach. An Andrew Jared was mentioned as counsel for the City of Palm

Springs in this matter, making this a particularly useful time to employ this alternate method. 

The Way That I Asked 

Here’s what I did: 

1.) Find the attorney involved. 

Don’t just use Google for this, try a better method, which will find you the attorney’s contact information more reliably than any common search engine.

2.) Go to the search function of the state bar association, and find the phone number and email for that attorney. 

Every state has a bar association. You may even end up with a private cell phone number from this search. 

3.) Contact the attorney asking if he would kindly send you the court documents you are looking for. 

Truthfully, that attorney doesn’t even owe you a response, but a lot of attorneys will respond to a properly phrased request. 

With that article naming Andrew Jared as counsel for the City of Palm Springs, I gave him a call, left him a message, and sent him an email. If I had had his cell phone number from the search, I would have text messaged him too. 

I also took it a little further. 

See the rest here

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