Sunday, October 16, 2016

Liberty, anarchy go hand in hand

(My Clovis News Journal column for September 16, 2016)

 Libertarians advocate best government (my chosen headline)

What's the difference between a libertarian and an anarchist?

Libertarians advocate liberty. Specifically, maximum liberty and minimum government, because the two are inversely related. The more of one you have, the less you have of the other.  What's the minimum level of government you can impose on others?

"That government is best which governs least" wrote Henry David Thoreau. The best government is zero government.

In the Tao Te Ching, written around 2,600 years ago, Lao Tzu observed "When the government is quite unobtrusive, people are indeed pure. When the government is quite prying, people are indeed conniving." Unfortunately that's what it takes to survive being governed. Government breeds distrust and dishonesty.

There can't be "too much liberty" because liberty, being the freedom to do anything which doesn't violate others, is self-regulating. If an act violates someone, it's not liberty.

Anarchy isn't about chaos, "Mad Max", or "kill or be killed". Those popular misconceptions come from people taught in schools controlled by the state, which has an interest in promoting fear and ignorance concerning a lack of government.

Anarchy isn't a rejection of rules, but of people who rule. You govern yourself, without imposing control on anyone else. The buck stops with you. You are responsible for your own choices; there is no one else to blame.

Anarchy isn't about throwing bombs and growing bushy beards. It isn't against free enterprise. It most certainly isn't socialism or communism- although those groups sometimes misuse the label for propaganda.

Libertarians who don't eventually become anarchists fail to mature. They are ignoring inconsistencies in order to avoid discomfort. They seem to be trying to justify the government functions they support by pretending those aren't based on theft and aggression.

Anyone who carefully considers what liberty means, without making excuses, will eventually see there can be no such thing as a good government, and that evil is never necessary. He may not want to call himself an anarchist, but labels are only words. What matters is what you do, not what you call yourself.

As long as you don't use violence against the non-violent, you respect the property of others, and don't make excuses for people who refuse to follow these non-negotiable rules of society, you are on the right side.

Besides, hasn't this presidential election shown you the folly in seeking political answers to anything?

So, what's the difference between a libertarian and an anarchist? About six months. Or so the joke goes.

My subscriptions are down about $65 from a year ago. That may not sound like much, but when you live on the edge as I do, it's a lot. I desperately need to replace (or surpass) those subscriptions. 
A big "thank you!" to supporters of this blog. I probably couldn't keep doing this without you.



  1. "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."
    - Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970)

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then there will be true peace."
    - Sri Chinmoy Ghose (1931-2007)

    “The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

    "We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace."
    - William Gladstone (1809-1898)