Freedom or Government?
by Harry Hoiles
Number 106 - Oct 2000
The other day we received a letter in wich the writer stated that in his opinion
the choice was between government and anarchy. He asked what we proposed in place
of government and we said that we proposed freedom.
Government by its very nature must govern. To govern is to dictate. All governments
are dictatorships of one form or another. They may be one-man dictatorships,
constitutional dictatorships, dictatorships in republican or democratic form,
majority rule dictatorships, dictatorships by bureau or what have you. But the
fact remains that to govern is to dictate.
The alternative to government is freedom. The individual who believes in freedom
does not seek to govern others. He merely wants to govern himself. He is perfectly
willing to let other people govern themselves also.
"Ah, but what about the criminals who would aggress against people who
would be helpless without the protection of government?" say those who are
afraid of freedom.
In the first place, the criminals are a small proportion of the population.
We do need protection from criminals but we should recognize the size of the
problem and not blow it up out of all proportion as is done when we organize
our whole society around an agency (government) whose only [alleged] legitimate
function is to protect us from the small proportion of the population who are
If criminals were more than a small proportion of the population, it would
be impossible to protect the rest of the population from them anyway. As big
as the government now is, it, or any agency its size, could not protect innocent
people from criminals if criminals represented a large proportion of the population.
Most people by nature are not criminals. Most people do not seek to aggress
against others. People are not naturally thieves, murderers, rapists, etc. They
are naturally peaceful and harmless. This is the nature of things as they are.
The nature of government is to govern, to dictate to everyone in its sphere
of influence. Since government dictates to everyone in its sphere of influence
and since most people are peaceful and harmless, most government actions involve
dictation to peaceful, harmless people. This is the nature of government and
this is the nature of people.
Is this what any thinking person wants?
Do we want dictatorship be it by a sole dictator, an oligarchy, a president,
a legislature, a government, a county commission, a city council, the school
board in a school district, or the majority in any political area?
Or do we want freedom?
That is the question of our age.
Either we want dictatorship, which we now have in every governing body constituting
our government, or we want freedom.
Freedom by its very nature is not government. It is self-control, no more no
Editor's note: This is only part of the story. For the balance of it, read
the ensuing editorial entitled: "Protection by Voluntary