Statist say annoying things all the time. Generally, they never use logic or critical thinking when it comes to saying these things or when they are trying to be critical of the libertarian position. Here are 5 annoying things they say all the time when they find out you are against government.
1. But who will build the roads?
We have tackled roads here before but it should be mentioned a little here as well simply because it is one of the first things statists say in order to critique the libertarian/anarchist position. As an anarchist, this is really one of the first things they say to me. They usually smirk as they say it too, as if they have you pinned in a corner with no escape. Personally, I feel insulted when they bring this topic up. That is because they ask it like I had never thought of roads before until they brought it up. Unfortunately for them, we are not as simple minded as they are.
Roads are brought up because it is one of the only things people can look out their window and tangibly see that government has created. But a government itself does not build roads, they hire private companies to do so. Road building is not some secret technology that only government has access to. Roads would simply become another commodity like cars and gas in a truly free society. In fact, you could argue that roads would become safer and better if they are created under a competitive market system.
2. You must hate the poor.
My God, if had a dollar for every time I was accused of hating poor people, I could give millions away to the poor in order to prove them wrong and still have plenty left over to live comfortably. This accusation is rooted in the statist mind so deeply because they are completely incapable of thinking of other ways to accomplish something in society without using the violence of the State. This one is rooted in the same mentality as the roads idea. Government is the only tool to be used in order to create social order and services. Therefore, in order to help the poor, we only have one option: We must use an inefficient and violent institution in order to steal from one person in order to give to another.
The kicker is that statists have the balls to call this “charity”. For them, Charity involves reaching their hands into another persons pocket in order to give. They mask plunder and thievery as virtue and societal order. This has to be one of the most morally twisted and perverse things they advocate for. The institution of plunder in the name of charity and compassion.
3. Capitalism is cruel and you can only succeed at the expense of others within it.
My God I hate this accusation. I feel like Statists just project their own system’s inadequacies on those that disagree with them thereby refuting their own position. Statists, particularly on the left, always assume that if you succeed in a free market, it’s because you ripped someone else off. They seem to believe that capitalism is a zero sum game in which every transaction has a winner and loser. This simply isn’t the case when you look at what voluntary exchange is.
Voluntary exchange means two individuals are exchanging commodities of their own accord. The capitalist is not forcing his customer to buy from him but rather his customer is engaging in exchange with him because he offers a superior product or service. Should he fall out of favor, the customer may seek to exchange with a competitor.
The other issue with this accusation is that voluntary exchange means both people involved are winners. Somebody exchanges $5.00 for a latte because they think that they will be better off with the latte than the $5.00. The coffee shop owner thinks that he will be better off with the $5.00 than the latte. Both parties walk away from the exchange with what they want.
The only entity that does not follow this principle of offering competitive services and choice is government. They are monopoly themselves and a monopoly with all the good guns. Therefore, they don’t have to offer you anything of quality yet you are forced to exchange with them. The only entity that engages in a zero sum game is government simply because they rip everybody off. After an exchange with government, government is always the winner and the individual the loser.
4. But without government, monopolies would control us!
This one is completely illogical. I wish that people that said this would think before they speak. They have to work through the giant contradiction within their argument here. Namely, that government is itself a violent monopoly. This means that what they are saying is that we need a monopoly on force and violence called government in order crush any other potential monopoly that could arise. We need evil in order to fend off the very kind evil we supposedly need? This makes no sense and is counter productive.
5. Government is a necessary evil.
This one tries to appeal to the pragmatic nature of humanity. Humans seek to ease their perceived uneasiness by using methods that work, and this argument tries to appeal to a middle of the road mentality. It tries to concede that yes, government is evil, but it produces order so it works in the long run. People can get hurt, but the greater good (society) is protected. But all this phrase says is that evil is necessary. It highlights the one of the biggest issues within statism. That is that statism is the idea that just the right amount of violence used by just the right people in just the right way means a better society. If your ideology hinges on “the right people” in power, your system will never work.