Do We Assume People Will Behave Like Angels? Do We Ignore Evil Nature?

Some critics say that libertarianism, which involves freedom from most government control, assumes that all people will behave well by themselves and that it ignores the bad nature of people, especially bad rich people. They say that a lot of government control is needed in people’s lives in order to handle the bad nature of people. There are two reasons why this is false.

  1. Libertarians never assume that we are angels, but always remember real human nature, including the bad parts. In fact, this is built into the definition of libertarianism that no one has the right to harm someone else, violate their property rights, or coerce them, and that the government’s only legitimate job is to enforce that system through police, courts, military, etc. So, most of us still believe in that one small area of government control, your basic law enforcement and nation protection.
  2. It is precisely because of the acknowledgement of the evil parts of human nature that we need small government. The rich, corrupt, and evil ALWAYS gravitate toward government and use it to enrich themselves and do harm to others. If you decrease government power, you decrease their favorite tool of corruption and power. You decrease their opportunity of legal evil acts.

On the contrary, it is the progressive statist who ignores evil human nature and believes that the politicians that would micromanage our lives would do so in a way that benefits us, because they think that politicians love us and want the best for us and would never think of using their power selfishly.

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