A while back I was at Gainesville State here in Georgia helping Aaron Rainwater do outreach and recruitment. While doing Operation Politically Homeless there I noticed that his school, like mine, was also recognizing “Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” and had placed yard signs with various facts about it around campus:
When I saw this sign, it inspired a few thoughts: Though they may not know the details or what actions to take, most people are against and at least a little aware of domestic violence as they know it — but all too few are aware of and against domestic government violence!
Then the idea hit me: YAL chapters should help spread “Domestic (Government) Violence Awareness”! We can cover our campuses with information that will make students aware of the countless ways that government initiates and threatens violence against its own citizens.
As Murray Rothbard wrote in his must-read article, “Anatomy of the State”:
The State is … a monopoly of the use of force and violence in a given territorial area; in particular, it is the only organization in society that obtains its revenue not by voluntary contribution or payment for services rendered but by coercion. … that is, by the use and the threat of the jailhouse and the bayonet. Having used force and violence to obtain its revenue, the State generally goes on to regulate and dictate the other actions of its individual subjects.
One thing we can do is put out our own signs (yard signs if possible) with facts and quotes promoting domestic government violence awareness, such as: “In the 20th century, governments of the world killed 262 million of their own citizens — not including war.”
Let’s show people that the government “controls” violence like the Federal Reserve “controls” inflation – by creating tons more of it than there otherwise would be! With taxation, the drug war (with its resulting prison-industrial complex full of non-violent offenders, police (state) brutality, etc., it couldn’t be easier. And since everything from minimum wage laws down to the smallest economic regulation is backed up by the barrel of a gun, the possibilities are endless.
Below is a resource page I’ve compiled, at the bottom of which is a flyer I made to hand out on campus. It is a Microsoft Publisher file, so you can edit it as you like. A friend has suggested adding a backside to the flyer with realworld stats and stories of government violence against its own citizens–Communist regimes committing mass murder and the US treatment of civil right/peace protesters in the 60s and things like that. I think I’ll take him up on this, so please comment with any thoughts, ideas, sound bite talking points, quotes, facts, etc. you have!
- YAL Palm Cards: Don’t forget about the awesome YAL palm cards, which explain the philosophy of liberty!
Recommended Reading: Articles
- Anatomy of the State by Murray Rothbard
- Persuasion vs Force by Mark Skousen
- Can Ron Paul Really be Right About Everything? by Tom Mullen
- Americans Are Oppressed, Too by Paul Craig Roberts
- Government Violence: The Real Evil in the World by Murray Sabrin
- State Violence and Limited Government by Anthony Gregory
- The Violence of Central Planning by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
- If Government Does X, It Is Called Y by Robert Higgs
- Why You Are a Libertarian by Harry Browne
- The Essence of Government by Doug Casey
Recommended Reading: Books
- The Left, the Right, and the State by Lew Rockwell
- Liberty Defined by Ron Paul
- For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto by Murray Rothbard
- Libertarianism Today by J.H. Huebert
- Our Enemy, the State by Albert Jay Nock
- Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse by Tom Woods
- Democracy: The God that Failed by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
- “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master.” – George Washington
- “All initiation of force is a violation of someone else’s rights, whether initiated by an individual or the state, for the benefit of an individual or group of individuals, even if it’s supposed to be for the benefit of another individual or group of individuals.” – Ron Paul
- “The libertarian creed rests upon one central axiom: that no man or group of men may aggress against the person or property of anyone else. This may be called the “nonagression axiom”. “Aggression” is defined as the initiation of the use or threat of physical violence against the person or property of anyone else.” – Murray Rothbard
- “After you cut through all the rhetoric, the doublethink and the smokescreen of altruism that surround the subject, you find that the essence of government is force. And the belief it has the right to initiate the use of force whenever expedient. Government is an organization with a monopoly, albeit with some fringe competition, on the use of force within a given territory.…There are only two ways people can relate in any given situation; voluntarily or coercively. Almost everyone, except overt sociopaths, pays at least lip service to the idea of voluntarism, but government is viewed as somehow exempt. … The laws of Nazi Germany and the USSR are now widely recognized as criminal fantasies that gained reality on a grand scale. But at the time those regimes had power, they were treated with the respect granted to any legal system. Governments become legal or official by gaining power. The fact that every government was founded on gross illegalities – war or revolt – against its predecessor is rarely an issue.
“Force is the essence of government. But the possession of a monopoly on force almost inevitably requires a territory, and maintaining control of territory is considered the test of a “successful” government. Would any “terrorist” organization be more “legitimate” if it had its own country? Absolutely. Would it be any less vicious or predatory by that fact? No … One of the most perversely misleading myths about government is that it promotes order within its own bailiwick, keeps groups from constantly warring with each other and somehow creates togetherness and harmony. In fact, that’s the exact opposite of the truth. There’s no cosmic imperative for different people to rise up against one another – unless they’re organized into political groups.” – Doug Casey
- “The imposition of a government tax on property or income violates a property or income producer’s rights as much as theft does. In both cases the appropriator-producer’s supply of goods is diminished against his will and without his consent. Government money or “liquidity” creation involves no less a fraudulent expropriation of private-property owners than the operations of a criminal counterfeiter gang. Moreover, any government regulation as to what an owner may or may not do with his property—beyond the rule that no one may physically damage the property of others and that all exchange and trade with others must be voluntary and contractual—implies a “taking” of somebody’s property on a par with acts of extortion, robbery, or destruction.” – Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Democracy: The God That Failed
- “A government is a territorial monopolist of compulsion—an agency which may engage in continual, institutionalized property rights violations and the exploitation—in the form of expropriation, taxation and regulation—of private property owners. Assuming no more than self-interest on the part of government agents, all governments must be expected to make use of this monopoly and exhibit a tendency toward increased exploitation.” – Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Democracy: The God That Failed
- “It is common to treat democracy and dictatorship as opposites—as though the only alternative to democracy would be to have a dictatorship. But both these systems force the individual to do what the government commands; it doesn’t make it any easier on the individual that a number of people voted for his enslavement or impoverishment. The one true alternative to both these systems is self-government—wherein peaceful individuals make their own decisions about their own lives and property, decisions which cannot be overruled by the government.” – Harry Browne, Liberty A to Z: 872 Soundbites You Can Use Right Now!
- “Government is force. The only reason anything is turned over to the government is to force people to do what they don’t want to do, force them to pay for what they don’t want to pay for, or forcibly prevent them from doing what they want to. And force is the least efficient mechanism for achieving social objectives. Any businessman can tell you that you get nowhere trying to intimidate employees; you have to motivate them to do what you want them to do. Because government is force, its programs are doomed to fail before they even start.” – Browne
- “Every government program is backed up finally by men with guns. If it weren’t, no one would ask the government to do what individuals have refused to do voluntarily.” – Browne
- “A government program means that, one way or another, many people will be forced to do what they don’t want to do—or will be forbidden to do what they do want. If you fail to comply, you may be forced to pay a fine or may even be sent to prison. This will be true even if you are a peaceful, productive citizen—someone who has committed no violence against anyone, has stolen from no one, and hasn’t defrauded anyone. And after all the lesser penalties have been exhausted—the demands, the fines, the seizure of your house, the jail sentence—if you continue to resist, the government will use a gun. The gun is always there. The gun is the essence of a law. When someone calls for a government program, he is saying in effect, ‘Tell the police to use their guns to get me what I want.’” – Browne
- “The most important element of a free society, where individual rights are held in the highest esteem, is the rejection of the initiation of violence.” – Ron Paul
- “One of [government’s] primary functions is to regiment men by force, to make them as much alike as possible and as dependent upon one another as possible, to search out and combat originality among them.…The ideal government of all reflective men, from Aristotle onward, is one which lets the individual alone – one which barely escapes being no government at all.” – H.L. Mencken
- “The philosophy of libertarianism asks, under what conditions is violence justified? And it answers, violence is justified only for purposes of defense, or in response to prior aggression, or in retaliation against it. This means, among other things, that government is not justified in fining, punishing, incarcerating, imposing death penalties on people who act in an immoral manner—as long as they refrain from threatening or initiating physical violence on the persons or property of others.” – Walter Block
- “The majority of Americans today expect to be taken care of by the government. They care little about where the government will get the resources to satisfy all the needs that might arise. Certainly there’s little concern expressed about the morality of a welfare state associated with massive economic intervention. Those who are on the receiving end of the government transfer system, whether it’s the wealthy, the poor, or the middle class, don’t want to be bothered with the question of whether or not the whole system is based on a moral principle. It would never occur to them that theft and violence are used to carry out these policies. … What moral system should government follow? The same one individuals follow. Do not steal. Do not murder. Do not bear false witness. Do not covet. Do not foster vice. If governments would merely follow the moral law that all religions recognize, we would live in a world of peace, prosperity, and freedom.” – Ron Paul, Liberty Defined (p 210-211)
- “The State claims and exercises the monopoly of crime. . . . It forbids private murder, but itself organizes murder on a colossal scale. It punishes private theft, but itself lays unscrupulous hands on anything it wants” – Albert Jay Nock
- “The state is a human institution, not a superhuman being. He who says state means coercion and compulsion. He who says: There should be a law concerning this matter, means: The armed men of the government should force people to do what they do not want to do, or not to do what they like. He who says: This law should be better enforced, means: the police should force people to obey this law. He who says: The state is God, deifies arms and prisons.” Ludwig von Mises, Omnipotent Government
Here is version 2 of the flyer, with changes to graphics, plus a Ron Paul quote at the bottom: