Nothing Will Change Until People Refuse To Accept A Government Predicated On Violence/Coercion

Austrian economics is quite clear. The introduction of coercion or violence into economic systems always leads to worse economic outcomes for everyone.

For example, social security is predicated on the use of coercion. It is now bankrupt and a complete ponzi scheme that can only be sustained by the next generation’s income. In the State’s effort to help poor people, it has made everyone poorer.

The war on drugs is predicated on coercion. The US now has more prisoners per capita than the Soviet Union did at the height of the gulag labor camp system. The war on drugs has deprived America of millions of man hours of productive labor that could have been used to produce goods and services that benefit humanity.

Because everything the State does is predicated on coercion, we can say with total confidence that nothing the State does brings humanity more benefit than if people had been left alone to their own devices.  It is a fundamental truth that things which are good for people do not require the use of violence or coercion in order to make people purchase or support them.

Everyone wants security, roads, schools, medical care, housing, food, clothing, electronics, etc.. etc.. etc.. so we know that people will naturally work to produce those things without any coercion at all! For example, the State does not need to take over the restaurant industry in order for us to have restaurants. So if the State is not necessary to have a range of restaurants that everyone can afford, then why is it necessary for the State to take over schooling? Further, even if you believe poor people would not be able to afford an education without the State (which is patently ridiculous, as history has shown us), why not just redistribute money? Why should the State completely take over the curriculum and the management of schools?

This same argument can be made for every aspect of our society. The State is not necessary to have law. The State is not necessary to have peace. The State is not necessary to have schools. The State is not necessary to have medical care. The State is VIOLENCE. The State is COERCION. The State always causes more economic harm than it does good. The State will always be controlled by those with the most money. The State will always be used by the money powers to grant bailouts, government contracts, regulations that destroy competition, and every other manner of crony capitalism.

The only way to have a prosperous and productive society is to create a society that is fundamentally predicated on the rule of law. – If it is wrong for you to steal, it is wrong for the State to steal.

Economist Robert Murphy explains how a voluntarily funded government would work:

  • Choosefreedom247

    Check out “A Way To Be Free” by Robert LeFevre:

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  • This is brilliant.  Thank you!

  • GT

    Anybody with even a passing understanding of economics will realise that it does ‘our’ movement no favours to claim that there is no such thing as market failure, externalities or public goods: that’s what is implied by the claim  (attached to a list including a bunch of quasi-public goods) ‘that people will naturally work to produce those things without any coercion at all’.

    The economic literature shows that the profession understands that ‘publicness’ (non-rivalness, non-excludability) exists, and that therefore the market will ‘underprovide’. This is true even if one does not believe in the ability to properly make interpersonal comparisons of utility (which precludes summations and so forth: the inability to ‘do’ interpersonal comparisons does not mean that utility-interdependence does not exist). 

    A far simpler – and far more correct – point, is that EVEN IF one accepts public-goods arguments, and EVEN IF one accepts that some omniscient State was capable of establishing precisely the extent to which these failed markets underprovide and can correct them at zero additional cost… and EVEN IF one accepts that diminishing marginal utility of money implies that ‘optimal’ taxation will take more from those with more income or wealth… it’s still WRONG to coerce.

    So right off the bat, it is right to oppose the state EVEN IF government could do the minimalist, minarchist, utilitarian Rawlsian ‘thang’… leaving aside that the establishment of a bureaucracy will lead to burgeoning bloat that overexpands – and you can say that a fortiori, based on nothing more than understanding how people respond to incentives… and leaving aside that putting out big pots of money and power attracts those who should least have access to it (again, that’s a fortiori: practically axiomatic)… and leaving aside that in the final summation, all the “welfare triangles” added by government intervention come at higher cost than is ever claimed (by dint of their effects on the SUPPLY functions for ALL OTHER GOODS due to increased competition for resources in factor markets)… and leaving aside the consumer surplus that is blown to bits when States ‘do’ WAR (and ONLY States do large-scale industrial war – each costing tens of trillions of person-hours).

    Our movement suffers when people say things that are economically ignorant: public goods, externalities and other forms of market failure DO exist, and it simply looks stupid to claim otherwise. 

    A far better point is that trying to use a coercive State to ameliorate public goods problems, is like trying to cure the flu by giving oneself typhoid: not only will a coercive state fail to perform the function of amelioration of publicness problems, but it will introduce dynamics that will be welfare-destroying. It will attract the wrong sort of people, it will cost more than it says on the tin, it will fail to perform, it will be suborned, and it will grow faster than the rest of the economy.

    And it will do so by taking money, by force or the threat of force, from those who do not wish to participate in its programs. That – slavery (or forced labour) – is the key issue. That is where the meat is – not idiotic attempts to wish publicness out of existence. Publicness exists, and we need to simply get over it, rather than trying to fix it using things that will not work, and that are funded by slavery.