If Not For Government – Larken Rose

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This is for all the people who don’t think we would have roads, protection, or anything else, without “taxes” (i.e., mass extortion) and the “guidance and management” (i.e., violent domination) of “government” (i.e., a parasitical ruling class).


  1. howdy Larken Rose here. I’m feeling slightly less than entirely patient and polite today. so if this video gets slightly caustic too bad.

    this video is for all the people who are constantly saying: if not for government we couldn’t have roads. or we couldn’t have police. or nobody would care for the poor or we wouldn’t be protected whether it’s from from local thugs. or from from foreign invaders. we wouldn’t have this and we wouldn’t have that.

    so thank goodness we have government and taxes because we wouldn’t have any of these things. and the first way to respond to that is by pointing out the assumptions that underlie that complaint. that argument. basically what people are saying: because let’s be clear about what the terms mean:

    government is: the people who boss everybody else around. and taxes are: those people demanding money for us. so they basically tell us – hand over a bunch of money and we’ll decide how to take of you – we’ll decide how to spend your money – if you don’t like it, too bad, you don’t really have a choice.

    well you can vote in a few years. and maybe something will change. so that’s what people are saying: basically if we didn’t have a ruling class stealing our money, and then supposedly spending it to protect us, how could we possibly have roads or anybody to protect us.

    the implication is that – in this country for example – 300 million people would just sit around thinking: ah we can’t do it. without politicians and tax collectors. we can’t have a road. we can’t protect each other. and it rests on this bizarre assumption: that things that almost everybody wants – they wouldn’t do anything to make happen – unless there were politicians forcing us to give them money, so they can make it happen.

    an example I like to use is: let’s apply the same argument to food. because food is pretty darn important, I think everybody can agree. let’s apply the same argument. that statists use about the roads. or caring for the poor. or protection. or anything like that.

    the argument would go like this: now on the context of food, listen to how idiotic this is. if we don’t have government demanding money from all of us. under the threat of caging us, and that’s what taxation is: here’s the money you have to give us, here’s the nasty things we do to you if you don’t.

    if that didn’t happen, so that they could build a big food production and distribution system. and feed us. we’d all starve. we’d all just sit around saying – gosh I wish we had food. but ya know – there’s no politicians and tax collectors. I don’t know – we’re just gonna sit around and starve to death.

    now in this country. nobody would believe something that stupid. because all you have to do is go to a supermarket and see a perfect example of really efficient organized cooperation that nobody is forced to do. there is no – if you’re going to make the argument that people make about roads – and protection, and all that. you’d say: nobody is forced to make any food for anybody in this country.

    how do you know everyone’s not just gonna say: well it’s not my job – then we’ll starve to death. there’s no guarantee. there’s no master plan guaranteeing they we’ll all have food. so obviously we’re all gonna starve if we don’t have an authoritarian government stealing our money and then making food and giving it to us.

    We couldn’t possibly do it voluntarily ourselves. again in this country nobody makes that argument because they see it happening voluntarily. nobody involved is forced to do that. nobody is forced to make you a single bite of food. there is no guarantee at all from anybody.

    and yet – americans are by large hugely overweight. obviously we don’t have a lack of food. maybe a lack of healthy food. but obviously we see that example. oh – we can handle that. you know voluntarily mutual cooperation – that’s fine for food – but for some reason – it’s not okay, and we can’t even fathom the idea. of the exact same thing. handling roads. or handling protecting us. or other things that almost everybody wants.

    so there’s – in the question – this bizarre assumption that everybody will sit around really really really wanting something. but because there are politicians bossing us around. and stealing our money. well – how could we possibly do it. and one of the most common things is: who will build the roads? which is amazingly stupid to me. just amazingly stupid.

    I have here in my pocket a little tiny thing. with this little tiny thing: I can be most places in this country and call people all over the world. and I own it myself. I’m not anywhere near rich these days. but I own one. almost everybody I know has one of these. a little thing that could fit in your pocket and just on a whim you can open it and talk to somebody who is on the other side of the planet.

    and there is no coercion. nobody forced anybody to make one of these. this is the result of voluntary cooperation. and that’s it, free trade. organization yeah good. cooperation yeah good. coercion – which is what government is – and taxation – which is theft – didn’t need that: to do this.

    so what these people are telling me – we wouldn’t have roads if we didn’t have government. is that somehow – relatively free individuals interacting voluntarily – can make it so I can talk to almost anybody in the world on a little thing that fits in my pocket on a budget that is not a very good budget at the moment – but I still have one of these.

    that freedom, not authoritarianism can supply me with this. but freedom cannot achieve a flat place. because that’s what a road is. it’s a flat place from here to there. because we have these machines that take us from here to there. by the way, we don’t have those machines because of government. we have those machines because of free enterprise. and voluntary interaction and cooperation.

    the idea that freedom can make a car. but can’t make a flat place is just idiotic. you really think we can’t make a flat place? and so I ask people. and they say – who will build roads: are you really telling me. you really and truly think – that if government fell off the face of the earth. 300 million people in this country, seven billion if you want to include the whole planet. would sit around in their houses thinking: golly – I wish I could go visit Fred, but I can’t because there’s not a flat thing from me to him.

    And I don’t know how to do it. and the other three hundred million, or seven billion people, we can’t possibly do it because there aren’t any politicians and tax collectors. if they were here – we could do it. if they were here to boss us around and steal our money and really inefficiently build a flat place. then we be set. then I’d be comfortable. and I can be confident that I can get places. I can visit Fred. I can go shopping.

    but now we’re all gonna sit in our houses wishing we could go to the corner store – but we can’t because golly how could we possibly make a flat place from here to there. we make these – where you talk anybody in the world. we can make machines that you drive around in. but no we couldn’t possibly make a flat place.

    and when people say – well who will build the roads. the first answer is the same damn people who do it now. politicians and tax collectors don’t build the frigging roads. have you ever seen one out there? no you haven’t. they steal our money. waste most of it. do all their corrupt games. and then they pay other people.

    here’s an idea. how about if we pay those other people who actually build the stinking road. and the fact that that doesn’t occur to people is a great indication of how well indoctrinated people are by the rulers who will perpetually tell us – you can’t organize anything. you can’t achieve anything. you can’t do anything unless we are here to force it on you.

    and again, there’s zillions of examples, whether it’s caring for the poor. or protection. or roads obviously. where most of the population will say – I’m really concerned that poor people won’t be taken care of. which means – most of the population wants people in need to be taken care of. and if we didn’t have politicians stealing our money – how would it happen? here’s an idea – take some money out of your pocket and give it to one of the people that you think needs help.

    why would you not comprehend that. but you want comprehend some guy a thousand miles away passing a law to send an armed thug to take your money. to waste 90 percent of it. and then give
    a little bit to somebody who may just be defrauding the system. or may actually need it. and the amount of indoctrination required to make people even ask these questions: how could we possibly do this without government. what do you think government adds to the

    it doesn’t add any resources. it doesn’t create anything. everything it gives away its steals from us first by way of taxation. it doesn’t add any skills. doesn’t add any knowledge. the people who are here would still be here if the institution of government fell over. we have all the know how. we have all the resources. all the technology. the only thing it adds – is one group that’s imagined to have the right to violently assault and control and extort everybody else.

    so what the question really means is – how can we have a road. or how can that poor person be helped. or how would anybody protect us. if there wasn’t a gang of thugs with permission to violently control and rob us. and when you recognize that that is literally what the question means. you already see how utterly idiotic it is. and it’s completely the result of authoritarian statist indoctrination.

    nobody would come up with that on their own. you obviously don’t see that with the example of food or cars or cell phones or anything else. nobody says – we won’t be able to talk to each other – unless there’s a gang of thugs it’s that is allowed to boss us around and steal our money. and just – economically how stupid do you have to be – to think that’s a good idea?

    here are your choices. let’s do this. I’ll give you these two choices for how you will be fed from now on. Either you can go spend your own money wherever you want. union supermarket or local this is local grocer. you can go decide what you want and they’ll tell you the price. you decide what you’re gonna buy and how much in and you can go different places and you can shop around you can do all that. that’s option number one.

    but let me warn you. option number one does not give any guarantee that you will be fed. there’s no master plan forcing people to feed you. so – oh my gosh – you better be really scared of that option. despite the fact that you can do it day after day and it works really darn well and feeds pretty much not only this country but also provides a massive surplus. so that option number one that apparently statists are scared of.

    option number two is politicians will take as much money of yours as they decide to take. then they will decide what if anything they will buy with that money in terms of food to give to you. do you really think that will serve you better? that that will feed you better. yeah I’m much more comfortable that I’ll be fed, I’ll be secure, everything will be okay: if a gang of thugs that doesn’t really care about me – steals my money and then decides what if anything to give me back from what they stole.

    but that is implied in the question – whatever you put in the “blank.” you know, how are we gonna have “blank” if not for government? what you’re saying is – how can we the people who really want roads and food and cell phones and protection and all the things that almost everybody wants – how can we possibly have that unless we get someone permission to steal our money and boss us around and then decide what they’re going to give us.

    and the same thing applies no matter what you put in the “blank.” how will we possibly do “blank” without government. one of the silly ones is caring for the poor. how will we care for the poor. think of what that means. when more than half the country votes for a party to take care of the poor. it’s more than half of the country saying: were really concerned and we want to make sure that the less fortunate are taken care of – but we don’t believe that normal people acting in freedom, will take care of them.

    well if the people didn’t care about the poor, they wouldn’t win the election. by definition – if you vote for a welfare state – you’re an idiot. because either people are heartless bastards – and you’re gonna lose. or people are compassionate and giving and you don’t need to win just give them your stinking money. but people play the game and that’s the Democratic Party – it lives off of the idiotic notion that you’re all so heartless that you should vote for them to steal your money to give to the poor. and half the country falls for it.

    we’re all so heartless that we voted you into office for the specific purpose of taking our money to help the less fortunate. that just freaking brilliant. how about if half the country just gave their stinking money to the less fortunate. and then less the less fortunate would all be rich.
    because it would be a trillion times more efficient than the government version of welfare ever is. also it would be actual charity – instead of mass theft and corruption and fraud and all that fun stuff.

    but what takes the cake. the ultimately insane thing. whatever you put in that gap. how can we have “blank” without a parasitic ruling class and a bunch of hired thieves. it’s just a stupid question. but its extra super stupid, when what’s in the “blank” is: how will we be protected. who will protect us from thieves and robbers if we don’t have government. it’s the most idiotic question. it’s also the most frequent question from statists.

    so here’s what the question literally means: if we don’t give a certain gang of people permission to violently control us and take our money under threat of putting us in a cage. who will protect us from people who might commit aggression against us and take our money. wanting government for that is exactly as brilliant as saying we have to have a carjacker in our town. otherwise somebody might steal our cars.

    government is an appointed thief. if you don’t think taxation is theft. first of all, you’re a really well trained slave. second of all, try not paying. see what happens. see if they say – oh that’s quite alright. or if they say no – you’re gonna pay, or we’re gonna take your stuff. eventually we’ll put you in a cage.

    and when people say – that’s not that theft – we get something back. learn to think. and I use this example all the time and all I ever get is stupid looks from statists in response.

    if I rob you at gunpoint of a hundred bucks. and the next day I give you a sandwich. now everything’s fine because you benefited. I gave you a service. I gave you lunch, so that retroactively makes it okay. that I rob you at gunpoint. would you buy that argument. no, you’d say – that doesn’t make it OK. I don’t care that you gave me a sandwich.

    and yet every statist makes the exact same argument when it comes to government. well we get some stuff for it – after they demand our money under threat of violence and putting us in a cage. then we get services or goods. we don’t get what we asked for. and we get lots of things we didn’t ask for. but we kinda get something and that retroactively makes it okay for them to say – give us this much of every paycheck you make or we’re sending men with guns to take your property.

    and the slaves justify their own enslavement. I’m proud to pay my taxes, I’m proud to get robbed by a parasitic ruling class and get a little bit back and feel good about it. not only is that legitimate and justified, but I feel proud that I let myself get robbed by punch of corrupt parasites.

    but again the ultimate thing is protection. when people say – who will protect us from aggressors and thugs and thieves if we don’t have a government. even though what government is by its very nature is a gang of aggressors and thugs and thieves. they issue commands. every law they pass is a command. backed by a threat of violence. you have to do this. you’re not allowed to do that.

    here re the nasty things we will do to you if get caught disobeying. everybody knows that, they don’t usually say it in terms that blunt and honest and accurate. but to say we need taxes to be protected – is as stupid as you can get. it’s saying we need theft to avoid theft. and the fact that people are trained to use different words so that this theft sounds okay it’s legalized. taxation and we voted for the people who robbed us.

    we got to elect our local carjacker and that means he represents us when he
    demands our car and points a gun in our face, he is serving us as he steals our
    car – because he’s going to use that car and sell it and make money to make sure nobody else steals our car. that is the essence of government. and the fact that you have hundreds of millions of victims of that scam vehemently defending it and saying – I’m not giving that up. I don’t want to give up government. who would protect us. I don’t want to give up the biggest aggressor on the planet. the biggest thief on the planet. look at your tax bill and see how much private crooks steal from you.

    so before you ask that question. before you ask – how can we possibly have roads, or protection, or water, or air, or Christmas, or Santa Claus or any of the zillion things that statists imagine we can’t possibly have without a ruling class. think about what the question actually means. because when you get to the point where you understand the implications of your own question – asking how can we possibly have this without a parasitic gang of thugs robbing us. when you actually understand what you’re really asking – you won’t ask the question because you will realize it’s completely freaking idiotic


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