The principles of liberty rest on an impenetrable foundation. No one (and no group) is permitted to use aggressive force against anyone else. No one is permitted to initiate violence to get what they want.
To sum it up with a few words that any human being can understand: “Live and Let Live”.
Now, since we are all free to choose, there will always be a very small percentage of people that will decide to use violence to get what they want anyway. When that occurs, the use of force in self-defense is permissible. But that’s it! Violence is reserved for defending oneself against an aggressor.
If you think about it, the vast majority of us live our day-to-day lives like this. The local news may pick out the few stories per day that paint a nasty picture of life, but those incidents should never be accepted as the whole picture. They’re the anomalies, and they attract attention.
If the local news was instructed to only report positive stories, they would have an endless selection to choose from. Every second is filled with such stories, and we wouldn’t have a civilization without them.
There are hundreds of millions of us in America. We don’t walk up to our neighbor’s door, kick it in, and ransack their house to get the stuff that we want. We just don’t.
Do an extremely small percentage of people do these things? Yes, of course. Since we are free to choose, the choice always exists to use aggressive violence to get what you want. Some will inevitably do so, and there is no stopping it.
Fortunately, the natural instinct of life is one of “Live and Let Live.”
But here’s where the problem comes in (and it’s a major problem).
What if there was a loophole?
While you would never slam through your neighbor’s door, and demand their stuff, their money, or anything else that they own, what if a third party could do it for you?
What if, in allowing that third party to do the dirty work, you could mentally absolve yourself from committing any acts of aggression?
Such an idea becomes almost too tempting to resist.
You get to go about your daily life, living peacefully and morally as you interact with the world, but in the background you have a brutish thug “taking care of business” for you. You don’t know the thug personally and he doesn’t know you.
You’ve never met him. You’ve just heard good things. He gets ‘the stuff’ for people.
The brutish thug goes by the name of “government.”
Government is the loophole.
Government breaks principle of “Live and Let Live.”
It allows you to do what you would never do on your own. And it’s all legal!
Now you can demand whatever your heart desires! Heck, even call it a “right” if you’d like. The thug doesn’t care. The thug will take care of it.
Want free healthcare? Assign the thug the responsibility to make it happen. How about a “safety net”? Free contraceptives? How about a special bathroom? A free college education?
The skies the limit!
And you can absolve yourself of any guilt. You can even tell yourself that “everybody’s doing it.”
And it’s true!
Everybody is trying to get the thug to do what they want. People form “parties” in order to sway the thug and get in control of it. People bribe the thug … and the thug really likes that. No one turns down cold hard cash.
People pledge allegiance to the thug, and sing songs to it at (every) sporting event.
The government loophole turns into a full-fledged religion.f
But what happens when the brutish thug takes on a life of its own? With all the worship that it receives, the thug may start to think of itself as a god. It may start to think that it is an exceptional entity, destined to make sure that every molecule and every atom on earth is in the place of its choosing.
That would be a bad thing, don’t you think?
After all, you just wanted a “freebie” like everyone else. You didn’t want to contribute in the creation of a Frankenstein!
Well, humans always have the option of changing course. There is an escape hatch, and it’s a much better idea:
Live and Let Live … No aggressive force … It’s illegal … Force is only permissible and legal for self-defense. If it’s wrong for you to steal from your neighbor, or to push him around to live as you want him to live, it’s also wrong to get a third-party to do the dirty work for you.