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The Standard Anti-Libertarian Argument


The basic arguments against libertarians follow the same structure. First they point out a problem. Then they suggest that the government can and should solve (or at least try to reduce) the problem. In closing, they suggest that anybody who opposes a government solution must be selfish or evil (or both!).

But government solutions bring their own problems, such as taxation, corruption, and bureaucracy. And government solutions don't always work. And if you tried to solve every problem using a government solution, then everybody would have to work for the government and all our income would go to taxes. There'd be no room left for freedom of choice, we'd all be slaves to government edict. How would you fix that problem? With even more laws?

A person isn't selfish just because she doesn't want to use the government to try to fix a problem. She might believe that voluntary solutions are better than coercive ones. She might believe that fixing the problem will require more resources than it's worth. She might believe that the problem "ain't my problem". She might decide to live with the problem and move on. She might decide to help fix the problem without involving the government.

Government is really just a bunch of people, with all the same flaws as any bunch of people, except that government people can legally back up their demands with guns, prisons, property seizures, and executions. This doesn't make them angels, or devils, and it certainly doesn't give them the ability to fix every problem.


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