So what you’re saying is that you want people running around killing each other?

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Whenever a libertarian advocates that an unjust law of the state be abolished, why is it that someone will respond with the line, “You don’t want any laws? You want people going around murdering each other?” It’s almost without fail. It’s frustrating because instead of talking about the unjust law, it ends up becoming necessary to explain that you’re not okay with murder.

Does anyone actually believe their own accusations? How many people are there in the world who think that things like murder and theft are okay? Do they just say it to make their own views appear to be morally superior?

In reality, these people probably (hopefully) don’t think that libertarians actually want rampant murder, but instead just think that is how society would play out. Many of these people act as though they’re the first person to ever bring these critiques up. “That all may sound great to you, but don’t you like having roads? And clean water?”

These comments are usually met with a roll of the eyes and are so common that there are running jokes about them about the libertarian community. Millions of people have thought about libertarianism, free markets, and self-government, but it’s comical that some people think they can poke fatal holes into the logic after only a cursory glance. It actually does take a lot of discipline to not respond with bitter sarcasm.

If you are one of these people I’m talking about, ask yourself this question: who are the people that are going to go on these murder sprees that you worry about? Is it you? Is it anyone you know? Are they the criminals—the people who don’t care about the same laws as it presently is anyway?

Open your mind. Be willing to have a discussion. Put your beliefs on the chopping block. If they’re built on foundations that are strong enough, you should not have much to worry about.

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Ed Goldenberg
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“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.” Frederic Bastiat

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