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L. Neil Smith's
Number 500, January 4, 2009

"We jump-start the Libertarian Revolution"

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Well-Intentioned Insanity
Kent McManigal
dullhawk -+at+-

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

I don't believe most statists (those who believe "government" is a legitimate human endeavor) are bad people. I believe they are mostly well-intentioned. I also think they are a bit insane. Or at least in serious denial.

According to its supporters, government is established to protect "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". It is also claimed to be necessary to promote the "common good", which invariably turns out to mean whatever the government decides it means. Some people also point to "big projects" that "only government", using pooled resources (money stolen from the entire population) can accomplish.

Government has been tried for all of human history (that's several thousand years by anyone's measure) in every conceivable form, and has always failed to do what its supporters claim it will do. Failed utterly. Every single time. What makes the "good" statists keep believing that they can "get it right" with a little more adjusting of this or that? There are no "right people" for a job that is wrong at its very foundation. There is no way passing another "law" (and adding to the already overwhelming "law pollution") can solve anything. Folks, it isn't the details of government that are flawed, it is the entire concept.

You can point to grandiose words and documents that promise the moon, but cold reality demonstrates that the result is always the same: tyranny, death, and misery. Those things are the immutable consequence of thinking that government is legitimate just as surely as the result of sticking your bare hand into molten lava is a really bad burn. All the wishful thinking in the world won't change the reality. Sorry to offend you, well-meaning "conservatives" and "liberals", but it's time you face the facts. Your fantasies have been causing irreparable harm for millennia. It's time for the rest of us to move forward, with or without you.

No group can protect my life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness without violating those same things in someone else. It is an unavoidable consequence of making "one size fits all" laws to cover every contingency. Only free individuals can successfully accomplish these goals without harming others.

The "common good" is the blanket excuse used for everything from victim disarmament schemes to genocide. That which is good for the individual will elevate society. That which harms or limits the individual unnecessarily will always cause a societal decay.

Those "big projects" that statists claim only government can accomplish always seem to fall short. Despite some claims to the contrary, the government's manned missions to the moon really did occur around 40 years ago. And then..... nothing. They dropped the ball. No real advance, other than some consumer goods, came from it. They retreated to earth like scared kittens. The risk was too great; the cost was too high; the benefits too hard to visualize. "We" beat the Soviets and that was all that mattered. This is what happens when you allow government to do your job for you. Private business could have done it better, cheaper (and without using stolen money), and the right way. Without government prohibitions and red tape, there would probably be pioneers living on the moon, or beyond, today. Instead we have a government near-monopoly on space exploration. Can't allow the tax-cows to escape the grasp of the revenuers, now can we?

So what is to be done? Ignore, monkey-wrench, confront, challenge, disband, tar-and-feather, shun, humiliate, oppose, and otherwise confound the state in all its manifestations, using whatever methods seem right to you for the particular situation. Live free in spite of the tightening grip of Darth Vader's minions. Don't make excuses for supporting any branch or "function" of government. Not even if it pays your bills. Rely on yourself, help others, and enjoy your free associations. Relish your self-ownership with gusto. Live, exercise your liberty, and pursue your bliss within the wide-open "confines" of the ZAP. Be happy. Laugh whenever someone has anything good to say about the state. You are bright enough to realize the joke is on them. And most important of all, always remember that Liberty really comes down to YOU.

Kent McManigal's website is


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