Freedom or Government?
by Harry Hoiles
Number 106 - Oct 2000
In the foregoing editorial we discussed the idea of freedom or government.
We suggest that you read that editorial before proceeding.
"But how about the criminals?" those who are afraid of freedom again
In answering this let's make two observations.
First, as stated above, this is a much smaller problem than is generally recognized.
And it would be even smaller were it not for the fact that mankind has sanctioned
government power to such an extent that power in itself has thus been sanctioned.
By sanctioning government power, mankind has increased the tacit acceptance of
power as a means to an end. The criminal believes that the end justifies the
means. The increased acceptance of power as a means to an end leads to increased
criminality. This is a logical inevitable development of mankind's acceptance
of government power as a means to an end.
Second, power attracts criminals. The bigger government gets, the more power
it has, the more criminals are attracted to get in government and use this power
for their [own] benefit. This is the nature of things.
Therefore, the size of the criminal problem is increased in two ways by mankind's
acceptance of government. One, the sanction of government power increases the
sanction of power per se, and causes lack of recognition of abuses of power.
Two, the existence of government power attracts the criminal and makes it possible
for him to do much more harm than he could without this power.
Remove mankind's sanction of government power and the problem of criminality
would be greatly reduced.
Another factor which would cause this reduction is increasing individual responsibility.
Government today, far from claiming only to protect the individual from criminals
has become a great factor in penalizing the productive and rewarding the non-productive.
As a result individual responsibility is on the wane. "Let government do
it," is the cry on all sides when a problem arises. The only way government
can "do it" is to take assets from those who have responsibly saved
these assets and distribute them in a way people who have not saved them desire.
This by its nature reduces responsibility and increases irresponsibility. Since
criminality is irresponsibility, the actions of government in redistributing
the wealth increases criminality.
A person who fears freedom then might say, "Granted government in three
ways increases criminality but, even so, there would still be criminals. How
would I be protected from them?
The answer is, by private protection agencies. Some of the largest organizations
in the world today are insurance companies which now provide protection in areas
which have not been usurped by government. Under freedom these companies provide
protection which works in these areas. Under freedom, these or other companies
could and would provide protection which would work much better than the illusion
of protection which we now have in the areas usurped by government.
Freedom works when not outlawed by government. The history of these United
States proves that. It cannot work effectively in fields dominated by government.
Who can compete with government? Who can compete with dictatorship which is inherent
in every government ever organized in human history?
The choice is not between government and anarchy.
The choice is between government and freedom. Or more accurately expressed:
The choice is between dictatorship and freedom.
[Editor's Note: These editorials probably first appeared in the Colorado
Springs Gazette-Telegraph, and were copied from A Voice For Freedom,
published by Register Division of Freedom Newspaper, Inc. on September 1, 1962.
Readers who question Mr. Hoiles' view of human nature may wish to consult Murray
Rothbard's comments in The Voluntaryist in Whole No. 95 where he refutes the
myth that "Libertarians are utopians who believe that all people are good,
and that therefore state control is not necessary."]
[Editor's Addendum: The editorial by this title first appeared in the Colorado Springs GAZETTE-TELEGRAPH on July 16, 1962.]