June 25, 2013 by Liberty
Before loading your muskets, I hope you give me the chance to explain. I’m more libertarian than most and this article is written with love and hope. Many libertarian’s are frustrated at the government and what it does. They struggle day after day trying to come up with some political solution. They talk. They teach. They work day after day spreading the message of non-aggression only to hear the crickets chirping a few weeks after any big scandal.
I love the free market and it’s the only way that I will be gung ho about the ethical implications of a system. Despite that, there is no way to go about discussing the free market honestly without admitting how the free market failed.
The Free Market CANNOT Protect Us
A common question for hardcore libertarians and anarcho-capitalist’s is:
Who will protect people from gangs taking over if government isn’t there?
The average libertarian can launch the answer back at the asker faster than a moth flies into a candle to kill itself.
Of course, the free market will protect the people from the gangs. People will start private protection agencies that don’t need to tax to survive. Their survival will be based on the amount the companies customers support the company.
Most askers then go to ask the question:
Well, then who’s going to keep the companies with guns from taking over and becoming a violent dictatorship? (or something like that.)
That’s the wrong way to go about continuing the conversation. The libertarian already has the answers that can almost always be logical. State supporters should start listening hard now because this is the question that a libertarians could never answer logically.
The question that needs to be asked is this:
Assuming the government is a monopoly on violence like you believe, then why hasn’t the free market found a way to protect people from this violent monopoly?
The Government Are The Gangs
The free market has yet to consistently protect the individual from prosecution of this violent monopoly. Almost everywhere in the world is covered by this violent monopoly of government. Hundreds of millions of people are being extorted through the American government alone.
Every other government in the world has its own little monopoly. These are sets of monopolies that are controlled by violence. Where is the free market eliminating governments? If there was ever a problem that needed to be solved it’s these violent organizations that control the way that millions of people think. There are financial incentives for people to shut down the government. There are moral incentives to shut down the government. It’s all in place but… government is still there…
The free market doesn’t often take down a government. Just about every country in history was eliminated through violence. Perhaps you’d consider it free market violence but it seems that free markets without violence have never taken over a major government.
We cannot give the free market the benefit of the doubt. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that the free market is capable of taking down a violent monopoly. Until there is some evidence created, the free market has failed to deliver its promises to stop violent monopolies.
If government was to disappear today, what would happen? Would everyone in the free market suddenly live peacefully?
I highly doubt it. In fact, I bet there would be people starting new “governments” within hours of waking up that morning. Violence is a decision that people are making. The choice of the free market is offered every single day and the violent government is the one being chosen by… the free market.
We Live In Anarchy
I love anarchists. I hold so much sympathy for their position but every once in a while an anarchist will come out in a conversation completely missing the point.
Anarchists believe that anarchy is a way that people will be able to live without excessive aggression being applied against anyone. I believe that would be a wonderful world to live in. Unfortunately, people aren’t making that decision.
Many people are forgiving of the libertarian position saying “it’s against the law to fight the government,” that means it’s not a free market. That’s like saying no one in the world speeds because it’s against the law. Anyone that’s driven down a highway in America knows that the vast majority of people do not follow laws that they do not want to follow.
People make their decisions daily. There is no government that can control it’s people completely. Even the United States government fails to enforce rules for many of the drug offenders in the country. Most people just don’t care about the “punishment” because they know it’s a completely stupid rule. That means there is a “black market” for the drug products.
The free market is what we live in. Anarchy is what we live in. The laws only mean as much as people choose to listen to them.
Where are the companies that fight against the state without using the state?
Where is the protection agency that protects you from being arrested for a non-violent crime?
They’re just not there.
The Free Market is A Technology
The free market, as a practical reality, is a rather new concept in history. It’s only even been considered a possibility in the last few hundred years. Even then, it’s barely been put into practice. While all this doom and gloom about the free market failing may sound like I’m against it, that’s not true.
History has consistently shown that the more free the market is, the more the world improves. A government free market would, logically, be a vastly improved world. While it may not have happened yet, its not out of the picture.
As is, the free market is similar to a computer from the seventies that takes up a whole room. Sure, it can do some cool calculations and it has some real crazy awesome potential, but we probably shouldn’t be trying to shove it, as is, into every home in America. It took a few decades for the computer to evolve into something everyone owns. The free market might take centuries to develop into every home in the world but I believe that it will come into its own someday.
Our responsibility is not to protest the government and try to clear room for the free market. That’s just silly. It’s like saying we need to jump off a cliff to get your flying machine to work. Sure, it might work but when your flying machine involves millions of other people, you’re not going to get off that cliff (for good reason.)
We believe in the technology.
We need to be the ones trying to make it work.
Our responsibility is to build the free market that eliminates the need for government. Bitcoin is an amazing example of this. The free market is building a non-commodity decentralized currency. The people that developed Bitcoin did more for the libertarian movement than every talking head combined. They opened doors.
Our responsibility is to build the world that doesn’t need government. Heck, someone will someday form a protection agency that protects individuals from their own government. Maybe you’ll be the one that wants to build it. Their are millions of possibilities. If you believe in the free market then you need to be the one running for the cliff. You need to build the structure that others say is impossible. You need to be willing to live and die with the market.
Sure, it’s not easy.
But if you can’t get yourself to do it then how can you ethically want everyone else to do it.