L. Neil Smith's
Number 337, September 18, 2005

"Prison Time For Gun Confiscators!"

The Power of Government
by Bill Hartwell

Exclusive to TLE

I have a livejournal account, and recently have been involved in an exchange with a friend who, as I have discovered through the course of the exchange, is a confirmed socialist because she believes (thanks to what she was taught in government schools and sees on TV) that human beings are, in general, backstabbing selfish scum who would kill one another for the slightest advantage. She has accused me of believing that government is evil because I don't understand human nature.

What follows is my response.

It is because I know human nature that I absolutely believe this.

The only way humans can get along is by operating from the basis of "if you don't hurt me, I won't hurt you"—government violates this with every single thing it does. It hurts you, and then stands over you with a big stick daring you to do anything about it.

Without the power of government, the cheap thugs who murdered over 200 million people in the last century would not have been able to do so.

Without the power of government, 80 innocent people would not have been murdered in Texas, and their surviving family members would not now be in federal prisons for crimes that they were acquitted of.

Without the power of government, a mother in Idaho would not have been murdered while holding her baby in her arms, after her son had been shot in the back and murdered by a machinegun-toting thug.

Without the power of government, you could live at a higher standard of living than you now have, from a job that you might work for all of 2 to 4 hours a week.

Without the power of government, I could see doctors and pay less than 1/3 what I pay now, and get medication that would actually have a beneficial effect on my medical problems—medication that is currently either outright banned or that the doctors are afraid to prescribe because other doctors who have prescribed it have gone to jail.

Without the power of government, I could visit places like Boston and NYC, and not have to worry about whether I'm going to run into muggers or other violent criminals.

Without the power of government, all of the various charitable organizations that use to help poor and disabled people would still be able to do so without having to spend over half their budgets on complying with intrusive regulations.

Without the power of government, I would have been able to save over $5,000 a year toward supporting myself when I could no longer work.

Without the power of government, the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and Walmart could have been in New Orleans the day after Katrina, and people would not have had to die the way they did in the government concentration camps they were placed in by FEMA.

Without the power of government, I would not have to be concerned about whether people with a several thousand year history of vengeance and feuds are enraged at the atrocities performed against them, allegedly in my name, and whether they are looking for some way to avenge themselves against those they see as responsible for those atrocities.

Every single thing government does, it does because people somehow believe that wearing the funny hat of government absolves its agents of obeying basic ethical principles. Government, in its very nature, is the violation of human rights and violation of the "if you don't hurt me, I won't hurt you" principle that allows humans to get along. This means that, no matter how bad things might be without government, they will still be better than government has already demonstrated itself to be.


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