The Truth About Politics

Rothbard cc

A reminder from Lew Rockwell of the true nature of the state. The government facilitates cronyism, it doesn’t listen to you, it takes your money for itself and its crony allies, it wages wars which need not be waged, it is not – you and me. It serves its own purposes first. We are at best second thoughts. (We are actually thought of quite a bit, but primarily as nuisances.)

And it isn’t because government isn’t run by the “right people.” No shining white knight of socialism or big government conservatism is going to change this. It is the nature of the state. The state extracts from the productive private sector for its own ends. This is hardly ever understood, and when understood hardly ever said.

But it is said occasionally. And said more these days.


The market is about anticipating the needs of our fellow men and exerting ourselves to meet those needs in the most cost-effective manner – in other words, by wasting the fewest possible resources, and making what we offer as affordable as we can for those we serve.

Ah, but we need the state, virtually everyone tells us. Whether it’s “monopoly,” or drugs, the bad guys overseas, or the scores of other bogeymen the state uses to justify itself, we’re constantly being reminded of why the state is supposed to be indispensable. To be sure, these and other rationales for the state sound plausible enough, which is why the state and its apologists use them. But the first halting steps toward intellectual liberation come when someone considers the possibility that the truth about these things might be different from what he hears on TV, or learned in school.

The small minority of people who administer the state with funds expropriated by the productive private sector need to justify this situation, lest the public become restless or entertain subversive ideas about the real relationship between the state and themselves. And this is where the state’s various platitudes about the people governing themselves, or taxation being voluntary, or government employees being the servants of the people, enter the picture.

Think for a moment just about this last claim: that government employees are our servants. These people staff an institution that decides how much of our income and wealth to expropriate in order to fund itself. They will imprison us if we do not pay. And we are to believe that these people are our servants?

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