Jay4Liberty recently posted a great question in the comments: “Which is worse…flat out socialists who want to increase the size, expense and tyranny of government or minarchists who want to shrink down as far as possible.” And my answer is the minarchists are worse. Counter-intuitive, perhaps, but here’s why.
Government is Inherently Evil
Government can not be saved. It is inherently evil because it can only act via the initiation of force, which is evil because it negates reason, that which man uses to guide his own life. I say it can only act via the initiation of force because without it, government loses its monopoly on the ability to set the rules of social conduct in a given geographic area – its defining characteristic. Without forcing people to obey it, government ceases to be government and becomes voluntary, which is harmless and under the purview of what we call the free market. There is no middle ground between the two.
Evil is Ultimately Self-Defeating
Evil, due to its nature, ultimately defeats itself. Since that which is good is that which aligns with the requirements for man’s survival in the universe, that which is evil is that which doesn’t. If something does not complement people’s lives, it will not exist for long. This is not to say that the evil disappears immediately. People use deception, both of others and themselves. And in some cases good people lend their names and work to promoting and sustaining the evil. Ayn Rand called this the sanction of the victim.
Bringing Good People into Evil is All that Props it Up
So I say the minarchists are worse than the socialists because they deceive good people into putting their hopes and energies into evil government. Minarchists generally have a message that government is necessary anyway so we should work on making it as good as possible. This props up the evil. This is the sanction of the victim. It’s like polishing a turd but much worse. It’s not unlike joining the KKK as an active and enthusiastic member in order to reform it.
We Must Remove Government’s Veil of Legitimacy
Government masquerades as acceptable with its veil of legitimacy. Minarchists reinforce this by saying government is necessary and that it can be reformed. Some claim government is a valid way to free people. But the only way to free people from government is to show them that it is evil. Then they will simply withdraw from it, now knowing its true nature. Thus, government’s weak point is its veneer of legitimacy. We must attack that. Minarchists strengthen it, directly working against liberty.
Minarchists: Government’s Minions
Evil can not exist without these well-intentioned minarchists, proving true yet again that good intentions really do pave the road to hell.
Socialists: Accelerating the Downfall
Socialists will simply accelerate the collapse that is inevitable with all evil schemes. See, for example, Ponzi schemes. They demand more and more government spending, putting pressure on the central banks and weakening government in all areas, even the least vulnerable ones. Socialists pave the way for that lovely day when government will overextend itself and collapse under the weight of its own contradictions. Liberty-lovers must withdraw from government and allow it to die as soon as possible.