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August 5, 2015

Should we call it government or something else?

Should we call it government or something else? You need better labels. #tlot Retweet

MEDIA ALERT: On Thursday, Jim Babka guest-hosts a radio talk-show. See details in the P.P.S.…

We’ll share some stunning new information with you on Friday. Evidence shows that our so-called government intentionally allied itself with al-Qaeda, even though…

They knew this would lead to the rise of a group like ISIS.

This evidence is so damning that it calls into question the very nature of our current approach to governance.

It also raises doubts about the long-standing U.S. policy of foreign intervention. Before we share that evidence, we want to discuss the following questions…

  • What is government?
  • Do really we have a government?
  • What should we call it, if it isn’t a government?

What is government?

It’s simple. Initiated force is a crime. We’re talking about kidnapping, extorting, assaulting, stealing, and murder.

Government should only use force defensively. We have police and courts to defend ourselves from domestic criminals. We have a military to defend us against foreign criminals.

But when a government kidnaps, extorts, assaults, steals, and murders, it’s committing crimes. These actions are NOT legitimate.

So how does our current government rate?

It seems clear to us that our current so-called government mostly initiates force.

  • Arrests for peaceful, victimless activities are kidnapping
  • Taxation requires threats of violence to extort money from people
  • Forcing people into retirement and medical programs against their will, along with dictating various forms of “charity” is stealing
  • Killing civilians in the name of foreign policy is murder

Examples of initiated force by government far outweigh instances of defensive force. This argues that we do not have a legitimate government. But let’s dig a bit deeper…

You recognize that when an individual kidnaps, extorts, assaults, steals, and murders, we call it crime. This is not controversial. But…

What if a self-proclaimed “government” does the same thing?

Does wrong suddenly become right if politicians say so? Does a crime cease to be a crime? Should we use some sort of weasel word to avoid calling it a crime? Or should we be honest, and apply the same standard and the same label to similar actions?

Logical consistency requires this answer…

If an action would be a crime for an individual then it’s also a crime when committed by a group, even if that group calls itself a government.

Should any group that behaves this way be allowed to call itself a government? It seems to us that an organization that routinely commits crimes cannot be considered a crime fighter.

So what should we call it instead, if it’s NOT a government?

We’ve begun using labels like these

  • Political government — to denote our being ruled by mere men (politicians) rather than by universally accepted moral laws (such as the Golden Rule and the Zero Aggression Principle).
  • So-called government or “Government” — the scare quotes suggest that we’re talking about a government in name only
  • So-called government — the purpose here is the same as with the scare quotes
  • The State — we capitalize the “t” and the ”s” to distinguish the label from the “little states” that comprise our 50 states. This would NOT be necessary in the rest of the world, where the term “state” is clearly understood to mean an institution that has a monopoly power to initiate force against its subjects.

Why is this important?

Words matter. Define or be defined. We libertarians are constantly accused of being anti-government, but is that really true? Isn’t it the case that…

Only libertarians are arguing for legitimate government.

And isn’t it true that those who advocate the initiation of force to achieve some supposed good are actually urging the negation of government, in favor of criminality?

We want to stress these points now because the ISIS evidence we’ll share with you on Friday raises an important question about the defensive role of government.

The military defense of the country, and of others outside the country, are both legitimate government functions. After all…

The moral legitimacy of defensive force permits more than self-defense. It ALSO allows for the defense of others!

This suggests that…

There should be no libertarian argument against foreign interventions to protect others.


Why do most libertarians oppose foreign intervention?

We want to address this question directly in our Friday message.

In the meantime…

We encourage you to think of government in the ways described above, and to use our alternative labels.

We’d also like to know if you value this kind of original thinking — new and better ways to present your values. If so, please make a contribution or start a monthly pledge. We accept many forms of payment, and all amounts help us continue our mission.

Thank you for helping us promote the cause of legitimate governance,

Perry Willis & Jim Babka

Co-founders, Downsize DC

P.S. If you’d like to explore this issue further we recommend the following article — “Should libertarians embrace the word government.”

P.P.S. On Thursday (August 6), LIVE on talk radio, Jim Babka will guest-HOST Gary Nolan’s top-rated, radio show. It airs from 9 AM to Noon Central time.

The show broadcasts in Columbia and Jefferson City, MO. You can listen live at — click on Listen Live, top right side of the page.

Jim also hosted earlier this week. On Tuesday, he addressed support for the military, when libertarians support intervention, and sex with robots. You can hear Tuesday’s episode for yourself.

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