Throughout the course of history, there is one religion that is responsible for more death and destruction than every other religion combined. Islam? Christianity? Think again. This religion is statism—the belief that the government is necessary to impose force on peaceful individuals. Regardless of whether you identify as a conservative, liberal, moderate, libertarian, minarchist, anarchist, or whatever the case may be, imposing force on peaceful individuals is unacceptable. Using the government to do this for you is no exception. Just because the state is committing the act does not make it moral. The state is a monopoly on violence that has no moral authority over you.
The biggest libertarian criticism of the state is that it violates the non-aggression principle (NAP) by using force against peaceful individuals. The NAP is an axiom that does not permit the initiation of force by one individual against another individual’s life, liberty, or property. Since the NAP is essentially the golden rule, it should be paramount to determine whether an action is just or unjust. Therefore, the state can no longer consider itself just once it has initiated force upon peaceful individuals. Whether it’s harassing tax evaders, invading Middle Eastern nations, declaring war on an inanimate object (and losing), or choking men to death who sell loose cigarettes, the United States government has an extensive record of violating the NAP.
Although nearly all laws claim to be doing good, a good act is not being committed insofar as the NAP is being violated. Even policies that claim to help the poor are morally culpable since they take the possessions of a person in order to redistribute to another.
As Ron Paul has noted several times, the government owns nothing—everything they possess was taken from somebody else. The ends don’t justify the means. Attempting to be a good person by helping the needy is not a valid reason for the initiation of force. Unless somebody is attempting to harm you, you have no moral basis for harming them.
The government should not have special privileges. They are made up of human beings and are not morally superior. This is the largest fault with statism—the belief that a certain degree of evil is necessary. While a common statist proverb is “taxes are the price you pay for living in a civilized society”, a society is not civil as long as the state harasses peaceful individuals in order to accomplish its goals.
The solution to this? Voluntary exchanges. Non-consensual actions that harm another should not be done, regardless of who the actor is. Voluntary transactions are in tact with the NAP and therefore are morally permissible. Anything the state can accomplish can be done voluntarily by the private sector.
As Eric July from BackWordz says in his band’s most recent song Statism, “Yet everyday we go through voluntary exchanges / They say who’s going to build the roads without taxation / So you give them a reason to confiscate my payments”. An idea is only worth considering if it is voluntary and does not require force to fulfill. This is where statism is at fault. It initiates force upon unwilling individuals while believing that only the government can accomplish it’s deeds.
As 2 Corinthians 9:7 reads: “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”