Government is an unnecessary evil


Justin Hawkins, Opinion Editor

I accuse government of being an institution of unnecessary evil.

American pamphleteer and author of “Common Sense” Thomas Paine once said, “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil.” Even in its best state government isn’t a good thing because I hold that no evil can be necessary. If the best possible scenario of government is a necessary evil, as Paine says, then it is clearly an inherently immoral institution of man.

Before one can discuss if government is evil, one must accept the universal truth that “aggression is inherently illegitimate.” This means that initiation of force against anyone is immoral. This is known in ethics as the Non-Aggression Principle, or NAP.

If we accept the initiation of force to be immoral, then we can logically pick apart government itself. For the purposes of this I will limit myself to the United States government, which has been considered patriotically by many to be the “freest country on earth.” Ironically, ranks the U.S. outside the top 10.

The clearest violation of the NAP is the taxation of people. First, the citizens earn money justly from their jobs. Then the government “forces” the citizens to pay tribute to them. If the citizens refuse, they are placed in prison: taken from their families against their will and locked away.

It is an objective moral truth that theft, or the taking of property against the will of the owner, is immoral regardless of who does it, whether it’s an individual man or an institution. Since we live in a democracy, saying that it is the “will of the people” to justify theft is ludicrous.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.” Just because a majority wills it does in no way make decisions moral.

Another clear violation of the NAP is the government’s ability to pick winners and losers, an idea that is referred to as “crony capitalism.” The government helps out its political allies in exchange for favors or money. Some of these scandals include the Credit Mobilier Scandal, the Housing and Urban Development Scandal, and the Solyndra Scandal, under presidents Grant, Reagan, and Obama, respectively.

The existence of government cannot be justified. It clearly violates the NAP and therefore ought to be freely abolished, or at least be able to be freely renounced by its citizens. I will respect the right to allow others to have the government abuse them, so long as they give me the same respect of not having to put up with the abuse.

 Justin Hawkins is an Opinion Editor for The Patriot and