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The Real Purpose of "Government"

(originally launched into cyberspace on 04/07/2007)

Dear Subscriber,

Time for another simple line of reasoning which leads to a fairly
disturbing conclusion. Once again, the challenge is not
comprehending something complex; it's letting something painfully
simple drill its way through the many years of indoctrination we've
all had.

Most people agree that there are many kinds of unjustified, immoral
force (a.k.a. violence), and a few kinds of justified force (mainly
defensive). When a mugger swipes a little old lady's purse, that's
bad. When a guy tackles the mugger to get it back for the little
old lady, that's good. No doubt we could bicker endlessly about the
"gray areas," and where we think the dividing line between moral
force and immoral force is, but for this point, you don't need to
use MY measure of what is or isn't justified. Use your own. But for
now I'll use an example that most of us would agree upon.

The mugger has the ABILITY to take the purse by force, but does not
have the RIGHT. The little old lady, on the other hand, has the
RIGHT to use defensive force to stop the purse-snatcher, but she
may not have the ABILITY. However, everyone ELSE has the right to
use force on her behalf, either to be nice or because she pays them
to (e.g., if she happens to be a rich little old lady with a

The context of the use of force is what determines whether it is
moral or not. The little old lady's right to use force doesn't come
from who she is, or from legislation. The right to use defensive
force, to protect person or property, is an inherent right that
every human has. No one had to give it to her. Likewise, the force
used by the mugger is unjustified and immoral, not because of who
he is or because "the law" says so, but because it's an
infringement upon the little old lady's inherent rights.

So far, this is pretty basic stuff. But one little step of logic
exposes something pretty disturbing. If the little old lady, and
every one of us, already has the RIGHT to use defensive force
(though we can bicker about where exactly to draw the line), then
we have the right to have someone else use such force on our
behalf. That's what private security guards and bodyguards are:
people hired to exercise the right of self-defense on behalf of
someone else. We as INDIVIDUALS have the right, so we can delegate
it to anyone we wish, without the need for any "law" or special

So, what DO we need "government" for? What DOES require
"legislation," if not inherently justified force? Simple: people
use statutory "law" to exercise inherently IMMORAL force--which
they as individuals do NOT have the right to use--to achieve
desired ends. They want "free" stuff, and since they can't take it
by force from their neighbors without unpleasant consequences, they
have "tax collectors" and "government programs" do it for them.
They want the poor cared for, or a military funded, or any number
of other "programs" carried out, but they don't have the right to
FORCE their neighbors to fund those things, so they ask "authority"
to do it. They want certain vices and habits forcibly combated,
even though those behaviors do not constitute force against anyone
(e.g., drug use, prostitution, gambling, etc.). The average citizen
has no right to forcibly interfere with those, so they want
"government" to do it instead. In short, people want "government"
to use force in situations where average people have NO RIGHT to
use such force. (I hope most people on this list are already aware
of the fact that EVERY "law," no matter how much rhetoric and
euphemism it's hidden under, is a threat, backed up by the ability
and willingness to use force.)

So here is the punch line, which is glaringly self-evident, but is
vehemently denied by the vast majority of people. Read it a couple
of times carefully, to let the meaning sink in.

"Government" is the addition of IMMORAL force (unjustified
violence) into society.

And people wonder why "government" corrupts everything it touches,
and why it doesn't fix the problems of society. Hint: you can't
IMPROVE society by adding more UNJUSTIFIED VIOLENCE into it. (Duh.)
It doesn't get any simpler than that, but the millions upon
millions who have been thoroughly indoctrinated into the worship of
the state--and I sadly confess to having been one for a long time--
will come up with all manner of explanation, rationalization, and
justification to try to make the insane sane. No election, no
constitution, no legislation--NOTHING can alter that simple fact:
the entire purpose of "authority"--the ONLY reason people want it
to exist--is to exert violence (under the guise of "law") which is
INHERENTLY IMMORAL AND UNJUSTIFIED. They don't need it for anything

For those who would deny that, I make this simple, unilateral
pledge: I will never initiate force against you, or advocate that
anyone else do so. I will use force, and advocate force, only when
used in defense of person or property. Care to make that pledge as
well? If so, you'll have to first give up your belief in elections,
and constitutions, and legislation, and democracy, and authority,
and government, since all of those are nothing more than excuses to
use inherently immoral violence.

(I warned you this wouldn't be your average political discussion


Larken Rose