no third solution

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The Greatest Threat

June 28th, 2007

Think back over the history of civilization… Pick pretty much any major tragedy – any event that caused human suffering on an unfathomable scale. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that said tragedy was either caused directly by government, or indirectly, by a government which failed to protect its citizens. Usually it’s a combination of the two.

For example, the Second World War is just such a tragedy. It would only be partially accurate to describe the conflict as one caused by a totalitarian regime in Germany, bent on world domination and Aryan supremacy. The allied governments share the blame, for permitting such a man to take power across the table from them (Mein Kampf had been around for 14 years), and then merely appeasing him once he was in office. And also for failing to heed J.M. Keynes’ warnings at the end of the first great war (which itself was caused by the Failure of the State Elites), 20 years earlier, in The Economic Consequences of the Peace.

Cholera epidemics in London in the mid 19th century, the Black Plague that swept Europe in the 14th (?) century, I’m sure I could make those arguments, too.

Furthermore, many (but not all) natural disasters, although not caused by states, are undoubtedly exacerbated by complacent states. Think Hurricane Katrina.

The Soviet reclamation? Government at its finest: “From each according to his…”
The Great Depression? Reckless fiscal policy.
Osama Bin-Laden and Al-Qaeda? Funded and trained by your American tax dollars.
The American Civil War? Government impotence.

The list is endless. Nothing on these orders of magnitude could be perpetrated privately.

Throughout 10,000 years of human history, the biggest threat to any man – a threat from which States have proven utterly powerless to protect him – has been one State or another, whether it be his own, or his neighbor’s.

This is not an exception to the rule, this is the rule.

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics