Are libertarians wrong about government?

August 14, 2015
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Is it possible that only libertarians are truly pro-government? #tlot Retweet
Can you imagine saying…

“I wish we had a government. Because what we have now isn’t one?”

This brief 400 word article will make the case for saying exactly that!
Ask people what libertarians are against. Most will quickly say, “the government.” But is that really true? Are libertarians against…

  • Law?
  • Order?
  • Due process?
  • Juries?
  • Self-defense?
  • Compensation to victims?

Of course not! Even libertarians who call themselves anarchists favor ALL these things. In fact…
These functions are the very definition of what libertarians think government SHOULD do, or what libertarian-anarchists think some kind of institution should do. So…
Is it really accurate to say that libertarians are anti-government?
And if NOT, then why do we give people that impression? More importantly…
What if we turned it around? What if we started saying…

“We’re the ONLY people who FAVOR government, because we’re the ONLY people who oppose the initiation of force.”

What if we took it even further and declared…

“Our current so-called government isn’t a government at all, precisely because it initiates force, which is a criminal act contrary to the whole idea of law and government.”

Can you imagine how it would turn heads if people started hearing libertarians say…
“I wish we HAD a government? Because what we have right now isn’t one.”
Talking this way will be a struggle for many libertarians. We’re so practiced at complaining about “the government” that some of us will find it impossible to embrace the word and make it our own. But consider the benefits…
We could STOP sounding like the opponents of law and order, and START sounding like the greatest defenders of those virtues.
Perhaps we would no longer be seen as primarily anti-government. Instead, we’d be viewed as passionate advocates of the Zero Aggression Principle. Might this approach be more attractive? And more linguistically accurate?
We hope this idea intrigues you, and that you’ll adopt it as your own, and share it with others.
If you like our work, and want to promote it, please consider making a contribution or starting a monthly pledge.
ZAP The State and have a nice day,
Perry Willis & Jim Babka
Co-creators, the Zero Aggression Project


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