What We Fight For
So there you are, sitting in your living room with someone you know, when a rock comes flying through the window. Broken glass is flying everywhere, and some scary-looking psycho wielding a huge knife appears at the opening, a malicious grimace on his face, and he starts trying to climb in. You jump up, yell at the guy to get out, and threaten to kill him if he doesn't. Meanwhile, you try to think where the nearest weapon would be - gun, knife, fire poker, whatever--to fend off this hostile attacker. You're frantically looking around, as the intruder gets one foot through. You grab a chair and smash it over the guy's head, which slows him down a bit.
Then the person you had been visiting with says to you, "Hey, what's your problem? You seem so negative and hostile. Why can't you just enjoy what you have, and not be so angry and stressed, so selfish, judgmental and confrontational?"
Okay, that wouldn't really happen--not unless you hang around with really weird people--but it's analogous to what freedom advocates have to deal with on a regular basis. We see a malicious, aggressive, destructive thing (the gang called "government") trying to rob, control and attack innocent people, so we verbally criticize and condemn it, and try to figure out how to fight against it. And to a lot of people, that comes across as being negative, being a complainer, trying to start trouble, not wanting to just go with the flow and be content.
Those who don't recognize the beast of "government" for what it is, and don't understand that humanity, morality and justice need to be defended against aggressive evil done in the name of "authority," really do often view us as angry malcontents, for trying to free ourselves--and them--from the parasites and tyrants of the world. They don't understand that we're so vehemently against certain things, not because we love conflict and violence, but because we love peace and harmony.
Back to the analogy of the home invader, why would you be so zealous and emotional about combating the intruder? Is it because you just love engaging in mortal combat? Is it because you're just a greedy, hateful person? No. It's because all the good things you love and cherish--peace, tranquility, security, love, justice, and so on--are being threatened by a malicious, violent aggressor. There is a very good reason, in such a situation, to focus all of your attention and effort on repelling the invader. Does that make you a negative, hateful person? Of course not.
Nonetheless, those who love power, and whose primary love is dominating their fellow man, love to characterize "anti-government" types as hateful, angry, violent extremists. And they have propaganda helpers, in "government" and out (the ADL and SPLC come to mind), helping to spread this lie.
(As an aside, I would encourage people to not be so squeamish about embracing the "anti-government" label, since "government" is always anti-human, always an aggressor and thief, a thug and murderer. I'm "anti-government" for the same reason I'm "anti-rapist" and "anti-thief": because all of those initiate violence against innocent people. And that's bad, in case you needed me to tell you that.)
Those of us who want real freedom--those of us who even know what that means--have a huge challenge when dealing with those who have been thoroughly indoctrinated into the cult of "government"-worship. While we're spending all our time and effort fighting against certain things, the average statist spectator really doesn't understand what we're for, what we want the world to be instead of this. Ironically, a lot of them, having no understanding of what's going on or what we believe, actually view us as a threat to them, as if our goal is to rule and control them. They don't understand that we do what we do, not just because we want freedom for ourselves, but because we want freedom, prosperity, and peaceful coexistence for all of mankind. They don't understand that what may look like anger and discontent is driven by our love of what human society is supposed to be, and what it could be if people would surrender their statism in favor of the non-aggression principle and the concept of self-ownership. We're trying to unchain everyone, including them, yet more often than not, we're the ones they get angry at. They're more attached and loyal--emotionally, psychologically, and philosophically--to the parasitic gang which robs and controls them, than they are to those of us trying to free them.
To be blunt, most people are comfortable in the cage they've always lived in, and are scared of the unknown. They've been trained to be terrified of the idea of life outside the cage, so when they see us trying to open the cage door, they get angry at us, and treat us as the enemy. When we criticize the cage, and the people who built it, the victims of oppression see us as a threat. They literally cannot comprehend what it is we want to see happen. If they could, they'd immediately be on our side. My basic message to Joe Statist could be summed up as this:
I don't want a state robbing you, because I think you would spend your own money in a far more useful, productive and humane way than the politicians will. I don't want you to be forcibly controlled, because I believe that if you run your own life, you will have a more peaceful, productive, comfortable and fulfilling life, as will everyone else. I want you to be free because you rightfully own yourself, and because your own conscience and your own judgment, your own virtues and good intentions, will contribute to society in a far more positive way than you would as the subject of any ruler. I want to see a world in which everyone deals with each other peacefully and voluntarily, not with threats and coercion. I want a world in which, instead of you and I using the game of "politics" and the beast of "government" to try to forcibly dominate, extort and control each other, we coexist peacefully, interacting without threats and violence, even if we have different values, different beliefs, and different viewpoints. I want humanity to abandon the myth of "authority," and instead embrace the principle of "live and let live," so the creativity and productivity of every person can flourish, to create a non-violent, mutually beneficial society in which every individual can pursue his goals and dreams, can seek for truth and strive for justice, unhindered by the threats and commands of liars and thieves, the schemes and deceptions of thugs and tyrants. I may not be in the running for Miss America--and let's all be thankful for that--but my goal really is a fundamental change in the philosophical paradigm, in order to achieve ... well ... world peace.
Does that make me a hateful, dangerous extremist? I think not.