The lesson is clear: Government is just as bad at picking winners when intervening in foreign affairs as it is at picking winners when intervening in economic affairs. The same combination of hubris, imprudence, carelessness, misinformation, and myopia that leads government officials to spend other people’s treasure in support of economically calamitous ventures at home (such as subsidies to Solyndra) also leads these officials to spend other people’s treasure — and lives — in support of strategically calamitous ventures abroad (such as subsidies to Syrian rebels).
If your objective were to acquire protectors of your life and property, you would probably not hire psychopaths and sociopaths. In contrast, if your objective were to strike fear in everyone, you would hire psychopaths and sociopaths. Thus, the difference between private security firms and government police.
The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau. What an alluring utopia! What a noble cause to fight!
Imagine: The only people having to worry about cops or facing a judge would be those charged with tangibly causing harm to an actual victim or actual property owned by someone else. There would be an end to this byzantine — and cynical — business of people being put through the system who know they’ve done no harm to anyone — and who quite rightly feel no moral guilt — yet who are nonetheless punished for their manufactured offenses against the state.
- Rights, by definition, are universal, meaning that everyone can exercise them, even simultaneously. For instance, everyone can simultaneously exercise one’s right to property without generating any necessary conflict of interests, let alone a logical contradiction. But since exercising a ‘positive right’ means coercing another to provide one with a specific good or service, everyone attempting to exercise a ‘positive right’ simultaneously results in no one being able to exercise it, since where everyone wants to take, there is no one left to take from.
- Rights, being by definition universal, hold true regardless of time and place. For instance, the right to property was as valid in the early Neolithic as it is today. However, ‘positive rights’ are often ‘rights’ to goods and services whose wide availability is a recent phenomenon. It would be preposterous to claim that, say, the ‘right’ to education held true in the early Neolithic, since education in the modern sense of the term did not exist at that time. This indicates that this and other recently invented ‘rights’ are not genuine rights, but modern privileges.
- Genuine rights cannot clash. For instance, exercising one’s right to property does not violate any right of anyone else. On the contrary, since exercising a ‘positive right’ means coercing another to provide one with a specific good or service, it necessarily violates another’s right to liberty and property, and thus necessarily generates a clash of rights. This indicates that only one of these rights — the one that can be exercised without generating a necessary conflict of interests — is a genuine right rather than a disguised privilege.
did you know that rights dont exist
Of course, in the same way that concepts like forests or mathematics don’t exist. That doesn’t mean we just disregard them.
Government is the only agency which can take a useful commodity like paper, slap some ink on it, and make it totally worthless.
If you are so thankful for government, let me ask you who has taken more of your money through the threat of force, private people or agents of authority threatening you? How many murders are committed by private people compared by those acting with the threat of authority? It’s not even close.