War on Freedom

Commentary: Should government really have any power in a crisis?

on . Posted in War on Freedom

By Allan Stevo

March 18, 2020 - Please forgive what may appear as fatalistic to some. It is quite the opposite. Fatalism would be the belief that all events are predetermined and therefore inevitable. No events are predetermined as far as I can tell. Free will is everywhere.

Humans tend to be imperfect. To date I’ve yet to meet a perfect human. The better I know a person, the more flawed I realize he or she is. Which is okay.

What is not okay is putting so much power in the hands of someone so flawed.

To take it a step further, what is not okay is to put so much power into the hands of institutions, like government, that are so predictably net negative utilizers of the power already handed to them.

Marketplaces leave lots of room and lots of methods for competition, alternatives, meritocracy, ways of opting out or opting in, rationing, preparing, providing, predicting, and so much more.

Government has its single tool: fiat; and the demi-tool: threats; and the quasi-demi-tool: implications of threats.

So when outcomes matter most, we often seem to turn to government and get the predictably awful outcome that comes when you turn to an inefficient bureaucracy that rules by force and threat of force to do the work best suited for individuals: making decisions for themselves.

This is not fatalism. This is a tool (government) that is possibly useful for some activities, which is instead being used for many other activities that it simply isn’t equipped do well. You would never use a pair of scissor to tie your shoelaces, or a hacksaw to trim a baby’s fingernails. Those tools aren’t well equipped for that work. The outcome would be disastrous.

Government is well equipped to be a make-work program for sociopaths and to provide cover for theft, plunder and murder. It is incredibly useful for this.

It is not a well equipped tool to handle an array of other concerns, such as managing disease outbreaks or providing useful and unbiased information about said outbreaks, or ensuring high quality and affordable care for those afflicted. These matters are best left to individuals cooperating voluntarily in a marketplace.

“Oh, but their health affects others,” comments the eager statist, “How can you possibly suggest they have the right to decide for others?”

“Exactly,” would be my answer.

No one has the right to decide for others. Decide for yourself. Leave everyone else alone to decide for themselves. The outcome can’t possibly be worse than whatever government will produce.

If you understand freedom, you don’t see a need for government to coordinate coronavirus responses. If you believe in free markets, you don’t see a need for government to coordinate coronavirus responses.

You are merely grasping at straws when you turn to government. It isn’t a god. Its powers aren’t supernatural.

You’ve seen the best and brightest who run the government having a smoke break every time you pass a government building.

Have some faith in your values. There can also be utility in following your values. If one must speak about the collective and utility - time and again, we’ve seen that the worse the situation, the better freedom is at managing society’s resources.

The more minor the situation, the less government involvement is able to screw things up royally. The less damage can be done. By that, I mean turning to government to build a great dog park is probably asking too much.

Why would we trust the people who can even screw up a dog park so badly with responsibilities far more significant?

That’s exactly the kind of bad choice that is made when we foolishly pretend there is such a thing as a collective “we the people,” and that there is a collective common interest that can be satisfied by government. Needs and wants are individual. They can be satisfied by individuals. Talk of “the greater good,” merely distracts from this detail with some romanticized lie about an imaginary collective interest that does not exist. Talking in such fanciful ways brings us no closer to understanding reality. We must speak concretely about individuals and their needs and the solutions required for each individual.

The response to coronavirus should be to laugh at and ignore every political edict on the topic and to go about life as you think appropriate under the circumstances. The people making the edicts are desperate to feel relevant and are surrounded by handlers who insist to them how important they are to successful resolutions of society’s problems when in reality they aren’t. The best they can do for anyone is to say a few encouraging words and to leave everyone alone. Their moral support alone is likely to do enough damage, but some people demand government and at least allowing government officials to keep busy by offering kind words of moral support is better than letting them screw up dog parks.

If you let government mess up a dog park, it will. If you let government mess up housing, it will. If you let government mess up education, it will. If you let government mess up human health and happiness, it will.

In March of 2020, with the planet harried by talk of coronavirus, now more than ever we need to trust in the individual to decide for himself and to remember to let the mayor, governor, and president decide for no one but themselves.

They will, reliably, screw it up if we decide any other way.

That is the nature of government. To describe a tool and its known limitations is not in any way fatalistic. In sharp contrast to government, the nature of individuals is uncertain, undetermined, and has gotten us a few million years into the evolutionary process just fine. Nothing new is taking place in society that is any indication that it is time to reform that view, even with the emergence of this latest microbe that has attracted the attention of so many.

Everything looks very similar to the way it always has. Life has challenges. That is the nature of life. Humanity arranges itself in useful ways voluntarily and has done pretty well handling those challenges.

Any other way is mired in idealism and divorced from reality. With coronavirus being identified as having reached pandemic status, reality suggests that now is the right time to tell government to piss off.

Allan Stevo writes about international politics and culture from a free market perspective at 52 Weeks in Slovakia. He is the author of How to Win America, The Bitcoin Manifesto, and numerous other books. You can email him This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Eulogies

Eulogy for an Angel
1992-Dec. 20, 2005

Freedom
2003-2018

Freedom sm

My Father
1918-2010

brents dad

Dr. Stan Dale
1929-2007

stan dale

A. Solzhenitsyn
1918-2008

solzhenitsyn

Patrick McGoohan
1928-2009

mcgoohan

Joseph A. Stack
1956-2010

Bill Walsh
1931-2007

Walter Cronkite
1916-2009

Eustace Mullins
1923-2010

Paul Harvey
1918-2009

Don Harkins
1963-2009

Joan Veon
1949-2010

David Nolan
1943-2010

Derry Brownfield
1932-2011

Leroy Schweitzer
1938-2011

Vaclav Havel
1936-2011

Andrew Breitbart
1969-2012

Dick Clark
1929-2012

Bob Chapman
1935-2012

Ray Bradbury
1920-2012

Tommy Cryer
1949-2012

Andy Griffith
1926-2012

Phyllis Diller
1917-2012

Larry Dever
1926-2012

Brian J. Chapman
1975-2012

Annette Funnicello
1942-2012

Margaret Thatcher
1925-2012

Richie Havens
1941-2013

Jack McLamb
1944-2014

James Traficant
1941-2014

jim traficant

Dr. Stan Monteith
1929-2014

stan montieth

Leonard Nimoy
1931-2015

Leonard Nimoy

Stan Solomon
1944-2015

Stan Solomon

B. B. King
1926-2015

BB King

Irwin Schiff
1928-2015

Irwin Schiff

DAVID BOWIE
1947-2016

David Bowie

Muhammad Ali
1942-2016

Muhammed Ali

GENE WILDER
1933-2016

gene wilder

phyllis schlafly
1924-2016

phylis schafly

John Glenn
1921-2016

John Glenn

Charles Weisman
1954-2016

Charles Weisman

Carrie Fisher
1956-2016

Carrie Fisher

Debbie Reynolds
1932-2016

Debbie Reynolds

Roger Moore
1917-2017

Roger Moore

Adam West
1928-2017

Adam West

JERRY LEWIS
1926-2017

jerry lewis

HUGH HEFNER
1926-2017

Hugh Hefner

PROF. STEPHEN HAWKING
1942-2018

Hugh Hefner 

ART BELL
1945-2018

Art Bell

DWIGHT CLARK
1947-2018

dwight clark

CARL MILLER
1952-2017

Carl Miller

HARLAN ELLISON
1934-2018

Harlan Ellison

STAN LEE
1922-2018

stan lee