IPFS Larken Rose

More About: Philosophy: Anarchism

Government's Contribution: Immoral Violence

It's inefficient, it's corrupt, it's horrendously expensive, and it's bad at almost everything it does, not only failing to solve problems, but constantly making them worse, and making new problems at the same time. Yet so many people still insist that this thing called "government" is needed, even if only for a few particular tasks.

So what, exactly, does "government" add to society? What can it add? If we start with lots and lots of people, living on a big piece of dirt, what does "government" have to contribute to the equation? Well, it contributes no talent or skill, no knowledge or ingenuity--things which come only from individual human beings. "Government" is merely an organization of people, imagined to have the right to rule everyone else. It can't have any abilities or productivity to offer that could not already be found in the people of whom it consists. Calling a group of people something different (i.e., "government") obviously can't add any talents or qualities that the people in the group didn't already possess.

Every "law" and "program" administered by "government" is administered by people. Since organization, cooperation, ingenuity and creativity are all possible without "government"--since those all come from people--how could we possibly need "government" for anything? Since it's just a group of people, how could there be anything which people could do as "government," which those same people, with all the same talents and know-how, could not do without it?

There is one thing, and only one thing, that "government" adds to society: immoral violence. Because people imagine it to have the right to rule, and the right to use force in situations where you and I would have no such right, all it does is add unjust violence to society. (And how many people, looking around, say, "Ya know, what this country needs is more unjust violence!")

Yes, some things are more convenient if you are allowed to ignore morality. For example, a supermarket would have an easier time if it could coerce its customers to show up and pay whatever the store wants them to pay, instead of having to compete for voluntary customers. (The result, of course, would be really expensive, lousy products and services--which is what "government" specializes in.) It's easier to get your way if you have the right to send men with guns to make everyone else behave the way you want. But is that adding something to society, or taking something away?

Every time someone initiates force against someone else, whether they do it on their own or in the name of "government," they are subtracting something from society. They are removing options and choices from people who should be free. They are limiting what people can do, what they can create, and what they can accomplish.

We can easily see this with a common crook. The guy who steals the old lady's purse adds nothing of value to society, and deprives the lady of all the possibilities of what she could have done with that money. In the case of a kidnapper or a murderer, the example is even more significant: to steal some or all of a person's life is to deprive not only that person, but the rest of the world, of whatever that person could have created or produced. whether in terms of physical wealth, emotional support, or anything else.

The same is true of the state. Every "law" is a threat of violence, and the vast majority of them target people who have committed no force or fraud. As a result, the vast majority of "laws" do nothing but limit what people can accomplish and remove options and choices. How can drastically limiting possibilities, with the use of force, contribute to society?

(Before you try to use the example of police stopping a murderer, think carefully. Defensive force is justified without any "law" or special "authority," so the protection of the innocent requires no "government." What makes them "police" is that people imagine them to have the right to use violence in situations where "normal" people don't. What "law enforcement" adds to society is, therefore, not safety, but robbery, assault, kidnapping and murder, all done in the name of the "law." In other words, by definition "government" does not add any right or ability to protect rights--which the people already have without it; it adds only the ability to violate rights.)

To put it bluntly, the reason statists really want "government" is because they aren't content to allow people to solve problems through voluntary interaction and cooperation; they want to force everyone to do things their way. If the statists are scared of foreign invaders, they want to force everyone else to pay for an army (even those who don't think it's necessary, or who morally oppose it). If statists think the poor might go hungry, they want to force everyone to be "charitable." If they are concerned about kids not being educated, they want to force everyone to pay for schools, whether the people want them or not.

"Government" is always a cop-out, advocated by people who don't want to let people be free, but want to coerce them into making the "right" choices and funding the "right" things. Then, not surprisingly, it turns into a giant political free-for-all, fighting over the question of who gets to decide what everyone else should pay for and how everyone else should behave. An honest statist would have to sum up his position thusly: "We need government because otherwise some people wouldn't support what I want them to support, and wouldn't make the choices I want them to make." That is the only reason anyone ever advocates "government," and that's why the only thing that "government" "adds" to society is limited choices, fewer possibilities, and lots of unjust violence.

Allow me to be blunt to the point of rudeness: It's true that, if the whole world isn't forced to do things the way you think it should, you might not always get your way. But don't pretend you have some noble, altruistic motive for wanting "government." You want it so it can do what you know that you have no right to do: force all your neighbors to conform to your beliefs and ideas. Don't pretend you want "government" to "protect" people, or to contribute something to society that free people couldn't create--you want it because you want control over everyone and everything else; you want to force your ideas and "solutions" upon everyone else. (The sad irony is, once the "government" beast is in place, you learn that it doesn't care what you think, and it starts controlling you.)

I hate to break it to you, but the rest of the world has no obligation to think what you think, or to fund your ideas (whether they're brilliant or stupid), or to bow to your will. You own yourself, but you don't own anyone else. If that's not enough for you, go jump in a lake. Stop advocating violence in the name of humanity, and pretending it's necessary.


3 Comments in Response to

Comment by James Falcon
Entered on:

I couldn't have said it better myself. The government is a monster that has been growing out of control since it began. No piece of paper called a constitution or any other name can keep it from doing what it's doing which is killing people, literally. 

Comment by Hazel Carlson
Entered on:

so basically what your saying about approval of the usda is that people are incapable of making free choices. That Dole would not be driven out of business for poisoning people because those same people would continue to buy a product that might kill them?

The reason Dole and other major corps exist is due to government protections, not free market choices. If people continue to buy a product that is harmful or fatal to them then no law will stop that from happening because those people won't take responsibility and won't make good choices, they will find another way to harm themselves and no law or government office will stop that.

 The usda has done nothing to stop harmful products. look at all the meat recalls and tell me they are doing their job?. they don't inspect, they take bribes to look the other way while signing off on tainted foods and meats. They are in bed with Monsanto and as recently as 2004 STOPPED a slaughter house from testing for mad cow disease.  They are not the friends of the consumer, they are in the pockets of big corps. Research it and you will find dozens of articles on the bribes, violations of existing laws, how they actually look the other way when tainted food is imported.

If there was no government to protect the big corps. the ''people'' would shut them down for producing poisoned foods. They would not be given immunity and a pass for having harmed people. People, when left alone, will choose what is helpful rather then harmful. A business might harm a few people but once word got out that business would not get another dime  from anyone but since we have the usda to protect us by force, they keep those businesses open and give them protection and immunity from prosecution.

In a free society people would be free to sue a business for restitution which would very effectively shut them down.  I prefer the choice of a free society to one that stops my choices. I don't need a master to make my choices for me nor should i have it forced upon in a so-called ''free'' society.

Comment by Max Woody Media-ocre Mogul
Entered on:

In relation to "immoral violence". This is just one of many examples why we need govt on some level...it takes a Government entity such as the USDA to control the corporations such as "Dole" that continued to produce poisoned spinach that was killing libertarians,Republicans and Democrats. Babies died grandmothers cried. The corporation just kept producing it regardless if it was killing people. It was all about the bottom line profit at any cost. Not until the government stepped in did Dole corporation do anything about it. That is real immoral violence from the private sector. Thankfully Republican Teddy Roosevelt stood up against the private business sector that was selling tainted meat hanging in windows in NYC and killing 1000's. He pushed for set up the USDA to prevent such immoral corporate violence. So think about that the next time you eat a steak or chicken at your grandmothers or local restaurant. They are continually inspected by city govt inspectors...otherwise roaches would be in your popcorn in the dark movie theater...Crunch Crunch.