But who would take care of the roads?


Regarding all the “How would the courts and policing work in LibPar (libertarian paradise)?” in many discussions I have, it comes down to the same arguments as “But who would take care of the roads without the government?” and “But who would feed grandma and starving children without the government?” ……

I’m really fond of something Stefan Molyneux said on this subject, I think it’s dead-on correct, better than anything else I’ve heard or come up with on my own, and it’s my new go-to argument in these situations….I’m paraphrasing, but it’s basically this:

Worrying about “How would it work” isn’t the real argument. The real argument is “Government is immoral, because government is based on aggression.” Dismissing a desire for the absence of government because of “How would it work?” is like someone in 1850 America saying “I’d like to get rid of slavery, but we can’t because the cotton won’t get picked.” No, you get rid of slavery because it’s the moral thing to do. Then the cotton gets picked anyway. People find a way.

I would add this: We don’t really KNOW how any of this would work in the absence of government, because they won’t let us try. They have a monopoly on all this stuff. I hate simplifying it to “the free market would take care of it”, but think about how computers were when only the government had them: they were slow, unreliable, required a team of scientists to run them, they cost millions of dollars and filled a building. Then the free market got a hold of computers, many great minds worked on them, and now the cheap iPhone that fits in your pocket is a far better computer then the giant government computers of 1955. Computers are the one major piece of technology that the government has had the least amount of monopoly involvement in. Cars haven’t advanced nearly that much, because the government so closely controls their production.

There is plenty of good conjecture of how cops and courts would work in LibPar, in fiction written by Heinlein or L. Neil Smith. But I think that worrying about the minutia of “how would it work?” is intellectual masturbation. It’s fun intellectual masturbation, and I’ve done a lot of it. But it’s not the really important thing.

The really important thing is teaching as many people as possible (especially young people) that all government is immoral, and teaching them why government is immoral (all nanny laws and all taxes are enforced with the threat of the gun and the cage, and you can’t opt out). That’s the basic nut of it. Once they get that, you can follow with examples of how things would work better without the government. But the moral argument is the most important part.

We need many more minds on the side of non-aggression before we can draw up the detailed blueprints for LibPar.

I only ever “debate” statists (including minarchists) if I think there’s a chance they may be statists only because of their schooling and that underneath they’re not. (Like I was.) If they cling to their statism, I don’t want to even be in the same room with them, let alone be in business with them. They are advocating theft, fraud and murder. I can’t hang with people like that.

I am not embarrassed that I was a “libertarian Republican” before becoming an anarchist. It allows me to speak to people who still believe in some state. It’s similar to how a recovering alcoholic does not hide his past, because it allows him to speak to the active drunk who’s still suffering and say “I’m not some doctor or priest or judge looking down at you, I AM you.”

Here’s the quote from AA that would also apply to the statists you can’t reach with logic: “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way.”

In short, I’m done yammering with people about “how would roads (defense/police/etc.) work without the government?”. If you really need to hear my opinion on it, there’s hours of me talking about it in the older episodes of Freedom Feens. But repeating myself is a waste of energy, especially with people who won’t accept the basic fact that, no matter what, they’re advocating theft, fraud and murder by defending ANY amount of state.

–Michael W. Dean