Defenders of the State are quick to contend that society would be plunged into crime and violence without the State to hold back the floodtides of depravity. America's Founding Fathers rejected this idea in principle, even back in the days when there was a universal consensus that God ordained the State.
But it is not merely the case that the State does a poor job of protecting us from criminals (as opposed to private security agencies), but The State is the Greatest Criminal of all, and the U.S. Federal Government is the most evil and dangerous government on the planet.
Most capitalists and all anarcho-capitalists are quick to point out that it is the State, rather than private criminals, that has caused most of the violence in the world. In fact, more bombs are thrown by “archists” than “an-archists,” and more crimes against property are committed by “archists” than common “private sector” criminals.
The bureaucratic violence of the State depersonalizes all of our lives. Lord Acton said “power corrupts.” While he spoke primarily of those who wield that power, it also corrupts those who are subject to the power. The State legitimizes vengeance, theft and a “might makes right” philosophy in the eyes of its citizens, especially in a democracy, where “we the people” are said to be “taxing ourselves” and protecting our rights through violence. Forgiveness and other distinctively Christian traits are "privatized" and die the death of a thousand political and other more "realistic," or "practical" qualifications. Christian living becomes diluted in the face of "the
banality of evil" which the State engenders.
Would the complete abolition of the State result in an outbreak of widespread crime and lawlessness? Not if the State abolishes itself. Sure, if criminals overthrew the State and gave themselves free reign to compete with the State (whereas before the State had a protected monopoly in certain criminal endeavors), crime would increase. But if those criminals who currently hold political office were to publicly repudiate their acts of theft and murder, the message that would be sent to everyone is "Thou shalt not steal -- even by majority vote." As long as the State is in business, a mixed message is sent to society: some crime -- some theft, some murder -- is OK, if you're among the "in" crowd.
The Fruit of the State:
Many people look to "the government" to solve social problems, but "the government" always makes these problems worse. A prime example: The Government's "War on Poverty." Over 5 TRILLION dollars have been spent in the "war" since the Johnson Administration, and by every statistical measure, poverty increased.
The government has stepped up to solve the following problems (or is looked to as the answer to these problems, even if those in the government might actually be dedicated to increasing them!), and has arguably made them greater problems than they were, and undoubtedly kept them from being solved by widespread decentralized voluntary solutions:
Communism: Made in the U.S.A.
Probably the greatest scandal of the 20th century -- which nobody denies because nobody talks about it -- is the fact that fascism and communism are "Made in the U.S.A." For fascism's American roots, see our Fascism page. The story of the U.S. role in birthing and raising soviet communism is told in the following books:
For the U.S. "military-industrial complex," the Soviet Union has been "The Best Enemy Money Can Buy."
The spread of Communism throughout China is also Washington D.C.'s gift to the world: World War II and its Lessons
Larken Rose writes:
Most people, looking at our troubled world with its long history of injustice and human suffering, will attribute social evils to the greed, ignorance, hatred, or lack of compassion of others.
Rarely does anyone consider the possibility that his own attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs may be the root cause of most of the world’s suffering.
But in almost every case, they are.
The vast majority of theft, extortion, intimidation, harassment, assault, and even murder – the vast majority of man’s inhumanity to man–comes not from the greed, hatred, and intolerance that lurks in our hearts, but from one pernicious and almost universal assumption, one unquestioned belief, one irrational, self-contradictory superstition that infects all races, all religions, all nationalities, ages, and income levels.
could give up this one false idea, even without otherwise acquiring another scrap of wisdom or compassion, the vast majority of injustice and oppression would instantly cease.
But this cannot happen until people are ready and willing to turn their judgmental eyes upon themselves – to objectively examine their own belief systems, to recognize and understand, and finally to abandon, the most dangerous superstition.
If you love death and destruction, oppression and suffering, injustice and violence, repression and torture, helplessness and despair, perpetual conflict and bloodshed, then teach your children that "government is an inescapable necessity, and teach them that obedience to government commands, even if immoral, is a virtue.
If, on the other hand, you value peaceful coexistence, compassion and cooperation, freedom and
justice, then teach your children the principles of self-ownership, teach them to respect the rights of every human being, and teach them to recognize and reject the belief in “government” for what it is: the most irrational, self-contradictory, anti-human, evil, destructive and dangerous superstition the world has ever known.
Contrary to what nearly everyone has been taught to believe, “government” is not necessary for civilization. It is not conducive to civilization. It is, in fact, the antithesis of civilization. It is not cooperation, or working together, or voluntary interaction. It is not peaceful coexistence. It is coercion; it is force; it is violence.
It is animalistic aggression, cloaked by pseudo-religious, cult-like rituals which are designed to make it appear legitimate and righteous. It is brute thuggery, disguised as
consent and organization. It is the enslavement of mankind, the subjugation of free will, and the destruction of morality, masquerading as “civilization” and “society.”
The problem is not just that “authority” can be used for evil; the problem is that, at its most basic essence, it is evil. It supersedes and destroys moral consciences, replacing them with unthinking blind obedience. It cannot be used for good, any more than a bomb can be used to heal a body.
"Government" is always aggression, always the enemy of peace, always the enemy of justice. The moment it ceases to be an attacker, it ceases to fit the definition of “government.” It is, by its very nature,
a murderer and a thief, the enemy of mankind, a poison to humanity. As dominator and controller, ruler and oppressor, it can be nothing else.
"Yes, but he loves small animals."
next: Beat Swords into Plowshares