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Not too much freedom, please!

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Published : September 20th, 2020
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Category : Editorials

I’m feeling grateful today and hope you are too.

I’ve heard it said that the problem with atheists is when they feel grateful they have no one to thank.  Or as it usually written, no One to thank.  That may be true in the case of a hand grenade landing at your feet that turns out to be a dud, but for other situations I can name names and state specifically why I’m grateful.

Oh, you want me to name a few?  At the outset I feel like Leonard Read attempting to explain how a pencil is made.  It can’t be done except in a sketchy way — too many contributors.  But I said “a few,” so I’m going to eliminate a billion or two and focus on my own experience, where it starts with family and certain friends.  Outside that circle, I am especially grateful to Lew Rockwell for making the works of Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard, among many others, available for the effort to read them.  Visit and discover the countless treasures for yourself, and explore the vast library of articles at  In a world dominated by statist crackpots of all stripes imagine where freedom would be without Lew and his ever-expanding influence.  To paraphrase a line from Johnny Depp’s character inDon Juan DeMarco, we can breathe in Lew’s world. 

I am grateful for all this but also bothered by what I consider a failing of most freedom fighters. 

Give them freedom, but not too much 

The problem is this: No matter how destructive the State might get, these libertarians do not call for its abolition.  They want a State held to a constitution, with the constitution serving as a limit on its power.  The problem, they insist, is the State’s transgression of its charter.  Without specifying how, they want the State reduced to the point where it does no more than defend individual rights.  The fact that no state has ever done this, that it forever seeks more power not less, doesn’t discourage them.  To them the State per se is not the problem, it is the State’s size or range of what it can legally do.  They want a small state that stays that way.

Even if that could be achieved not everyone who lived under its jurisdiction would be happy.  There will always be complaints and the temptation is great to use the small State in an attempt to assuage them.  And for that the State will need to expand — more taxes, more regulations, more agencies, a cheaper dollar.  

And what happens when the next crisis arrives?  Will people deal with it themselves or call on the small State for help?  As Robert Higgs has documented, the leviathan State is heavily indebted to crises for its expansion.

It should be abundantly clear that the State can’t protect us from life’s hazards, that given the lockdowns and other mandates of the current panic, the State and its corrupt media have made matters infinitely worse.  It’s only the free market that’s keeping us alive.


Give a neocon and libertarian a box to check if they believe the State is necessary and both will immediately mark it.  The free market can create every kind of imaginable and unimaginable wonder, but somehow it is viewed as fragile.  It cannot protect itself, it can’t stand on its own feet.  It cannot protect you and me and our families from viruses, bombs, thieves, and murderers. For that we need an anti-market force, a monopoly, to keep us safe.  

Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand works “miracles” in a free market, but only in a free market.  Add the State to the mix — add a central bank, taxes, corruption, regulations, welfare, confusion, surveillance, war, bureaucracy, and propaganda — and everything goes to hell.  Hope?  The State has grown so corrupt and people so dependent on it that many libertarians are resigned to waiting for its collapse, rather that try to abolish it.  


If your political goal is a small State you won’t get it.  Or if you do, it won’t stay small.  

Don’t handicap the free market with the imposition of a State.  Make a 100% free market your goal.  Abolish the State.  

I’ve created a video and posted it on YouTube so you can “vote” for a free market by giving a thumbs up to the video.  Imagine if this eventually takes off and greatly exceeds the number of votes the State collects for the winner of its election.  Could the State safely ignore the results?  

I don’t think so.  But you need to watch the video and vote, or it won’t happen.   

Do Not Consent - Think OUTSIDE the voting booth

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George F. Smith is the author of The Flight of the Barbarous Relic, a novel about a renegade Fed chairman and the editor of Barbarous
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I agree with what you have stated above, I am in fact one of those awaiting the collapse. However, a problem I and probably most Libertarians have is that the State exists whether or not I give it my consent via participation in elections. And, if I do not participate in influencing the government via elections, I am still subject to the application of force that will inevitably come if I do not comply with the government that is chosen by "statist crackpots of all stripes".
Aside from not voting in government elections, and up voting a YouTube video, what other actions would you propose? I believe it was L. Neil Smith that said, "Liberty is protected by three boxes: the soap box, the ballot box, and the cartridge box." Ignoring the ballot box removes a tool for peacefully influencing government.
The Free State Project sort of fizzled out, and as far as I know there is no Gulch to 'retire' to, yet. I suppose those with the means could 'retire' to their own personal gulch, but where do you go? There is nowhere that is completely free from government.
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I agree with what you have stated above, I am in fact one of those awaiting the collapse. However, a problem I and probably most Libertarians have is that the State exists whether or not I give it my consent via participation in elections. And, if I do  Read more
J. - 9/21/2020 at 2:16 PM GMT
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