Clarifying the cost of liberty
Just to clarify a few things for those who are arguing on another thread, NZ Libertarianz maintain:
- that the job of governments it to protect individual rights [See 'Cue Card Libertarianism: Government', and 'Cue Card Libertarianism: Rights'];
- that anarchism is in fact destructive of rights [See 'Cue Card Libertarianism: Anarchy']; it is essentially self-defeating [see 'Anarchism is Self-Defeating']
- that in concrete, practical terms, protecting individual rights means protecting against the initiation of force and fraud -- which means, as a corollary, bringing the right of retaliatory force under objective control [See 'Cue Card Libertarianism: Force', and 'Law' in the Ayn Rand Lexicon];
- that governments should be constitutionally limited only to the protection of individual rights [See 'Cue Card Libertarianism: Constitution'];
- that the essential branches of government required to protect individual rights are a police force, a defence force, and law courts -- all members of which are sworn to uphold the constitution [see Libertarianz policy on Defence, Justice and Law & Order]
- that the cost of a government so constituted would be similar to the amount that people pay voluntarily for insurance -- and would give citizens the same motivation for voluntary payment [see Libz Budget 2007 (.xls), my own 2001 'Gun-to-the-Head Budget': 'Would You Kill Your Mother to Pay Michael Cullen?', and PJ O'Rourke's far funnier 1991 budget for the US -- 'Would You Kill Your Mother to Pave I-95?' -- from which I pinched the idea];
- that support for the Libertarianz Party in these views does not necessarily mean support by the Libertarianz Party for all the views of supporters.
Let me stress too that my own silence on a thread does not necessarily indicate assent with any comments in those threads.
Now, it's not a bad thing to have summarised all that this week, because this week is Budget Week -- the week when the government announces how it plans to pluck the taxpayer goose this year with the minimum amount of hissing. On such a bleak occasion, it's not a bad idea to reacquaint ourselves with the reason we have governments in the first place (which is to protect our rights, not to do us over) and just how little a proper government would cost.