Liberty or Security? Perhaps Both by Chris


“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
-Benjamin Franklin

I used to think that quote was true. I was not willing to give up anymore of the very few liberties I have left. I would rather take my chances and live in the woods than graze in the pasture. In order to believe that quote, you have to assume that liberty means you are unsafe, and that the state can provide safety. Well, I just don’t believe that at all anymore. I believe there is a better way, I believe that free market solutions to safety, and security could be superior to the “safety” the state claims to provide.

In the system we have now all kinds of taxes are paid to provide you with so-called security. Taxes, that if left unpaid, could result with armed thugs showing up at your door, and taking you to a cage(or maybe worse). Let us start with law enforcement. First, you have to understand the police have no duty to protect you. They can forcibly extract their salaries, pensions, and benefits from you, in the form of “law” or “code” infractions, but they have no duty to protect. Why would we even look to these thugs for security? They are the ones holding us at gunpoint! Those that don’t think there is a better way are hopelessly lost.

So, what would happen in a voluntary society? Who or what could provide security in this arena? Well, maybe some kind of private security company could provide better service. These companies could offer personal security full time or part time. It could offer security while dad is away on business, or while the children wait at the bus stop. It could offer security to the young bartender driving home late at night. It could offer crime prevention,  and as the market became full of these companies the price for service would become better and better. In the current system, if your rights are violated who is held accountable? Shouldn’t the police be? Why not, you are paying for them! In a free market system, the company that is contracted to provide you security could be held liable to give some sort of restitution.

I read countless stories about trigger happy cops getting off scott free for murder. So, not only are these men taking your money at gunpoint, sometimes they are pulling the trigger.  In a free market system, men would be held accountable for their actions, and would have to suffer the consequences. Basically, you better be sure that you are in the right when the trigger gets pulled. Also, what happens when the cop is found to be wrong? Often times the jurisdiction where the cop resides will have to pay damages. Where does the jurisdiction gets it’s money? That’s right, the taxpayer. Here’s the kicker, if the officer goes to jail, you are paying for that too! Yeah, great system.

OK, lets say in a voluntary system we (as in the individuals residing on this land mass) were under invasion. What would we do then? First, let’s look at this logically. If we had no government, which would mean no regulation, we would have some pretty cool armament! You people think we have cool guns now? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet! So, we would already have 1-up on the enemy. With regulation out of the way, not only can we build ’em, we could use ’em.  Second, with the security theater that was law enforcement out of the way sovereign individuals are taking their security a little more serious. Maybe in this voluntary society, 70% of the country is trained on some kind of firearm. If you were a general, would you send your army up against 200 million well armed marksmen? Not to mention the network of private militias, and private security companies that are charged with the protection of their clients. I really don’t see this as being a big problem, though. One more deterring factor for foreign invasion, these countries will be too busy putting down insurrections in their own countries once their people see the shining example of non-coercive, voluntary society coming from the west.

Liberty and security can live together after all. Security because I can choose what level of security is fit for me; liberty because I wasn’t forced to.

“The pursuit of coercive power over others will someday be universally recognized as a symptom of profound mental illness.”

— L. Neil Smith

4 thoughts on “Liberty or Security? Perhaps Both by Chris”

  1. I like the idea of self-reliance on self-protection. The old cop credo, “To protect and serve” is laughable at best. On the other hand, I don’t think I would no more trust a private security company either. Like any other private industry, whether it by the local mickey-d’s to private run prison systems.. the bottom line is the almighty dollar above anyone or anything else. I would view a private protection firm akin to mobsters extracting “protection money” through extortion. And if you can’t protect yourself from those who wish to do violence to you, how in the world would you protect yourself from a private security firm you hired when all they see are greenbacks when they look at you?

    Second.. no regulation to weapons or armament of any kind. Cool. I’m all for it. Unfortunately… they are out of my reach monetarily. As much as I wish to have an Abrams m1a1 tank parked in my driveway, gov’t or no gov’t, it’s not going to happen. Sure, a field full of freemen with a battle rifles in hand will give any large superpower a run for their money, but the death toll will be extremely lopsided. I’m unsure about those peoples of foreign powers would rise up to usurp their own powers that be. All the foreign army has to do it cast off any shackles of restraint against collateral damage and simply decimate an entire population of our own people. Show their people (who may have even more restrictive gun control) the consequences of facing off against its army. I don’t think a benevolent foreign ruler would be in power that would think to invade another country for land or resources. It would have to be someone pretty mean, a real jerk. This brings me to another point. I would less likely to fear foreign powers to invade than simple thugs with superior firepower.. which brings me back to my first point. Those hired to protect me because they think me a lamb for having to hire someone in the first place to protect me.

  2. Govtman, it’s not that I am necessarily pro-private defense, or pro-market (but I am). I am anti-coercion and anti-aggression. Please tell us, how do we solve such problems, if coercion is not a factor? If we take the gun out of the room that is government, how do we provide needed services?

    The main reasons goods and services are so expensive now is because of inflation, and regulation. Both are hideous creations of the government. You are still free in your mind, if not in body. Think like a free man.

  3. Tricky. Unfortunately, that beings more questions than answers.

    How do we protect ourselves from coercion and aggression when there is no gov’t or some type of gov’t police? So many “what if” scenarios come to mind. I don’t think there is a single “right answer”. First, find and surround yourself with those with a strong moral compass. That doesn’t mean very like minded individuals or religion, or race. Teach everyone self-defense and how to use any and all weapons available, the most important being your brain. This will create self-reliance, and strong self-confidence. If they believe they can take on any and all enemies, that’s half the battle there. In a community, if the individual likes it, they will defend it with the others. If they don’t, they can leave on their own, find another community, or make their own. Will that person draw of friends and family. Will it make the original community stronger or weaker because of it? If the world is a dangerous place, and they know it, they will hopefully know the value of such defensive skills. If one has to rely on the “teeth” of others, what would would stop those very “teeth” from feeding on you? How do we hold them accountable if they become trigger happy.

    In another scenario, what if the paid protector shot someone perceived as a threat? Is there a court system? A justice or legal system? Who is to bring this individual in for court? Another “gun man”? There’s no public police. SO we hire bounty hunters. What if the shooter was innocent and the shooting was justified… do we simply take the word of the shooter? The shooter can say. “Yeah, we was going to attack me, so I shot him.” End of story? Do we ask for volunteers or pay them to be a jury, or judge, or executioner.

    As for costs of goods and services… that goes back to the foundations of trade… supply & demand. In a SHTF scenario, I have no idea how to re-load or make ammo, but I have tons of that stuff (more than I can carry if i had to bug out). It may be worth alot. More than some people can afford, even in a barter system. I’m a server administrator in real life. I’m really really good at it, but I doubt my skills and services in that area will be worth a whole lot where such an environment does not exists. Honestly, if I had to rely on my college education for survival, I would be a very poor man.

    As much as I don’t like govt, I work for the govt (hence my handle). I think, if this country eventually imploded, we would see lots of smaller gov’t take place, whether it’s a single family unit, a small tribe, or a large community or town. You’ll have the “protector of the family”, leader, chief, sheriff, mayor, even dictator, etc. All barking orders to those looking to have someone to follow because that’s what a LOT of people want. They want a leader. They want to be safe, penned up to keep the outside world out, and graze their safe fields, even if it means they give up some freedoms.

    Humans since the we were able to make fire and wield weapons haven’t changed much. We love, we hate, we become jealous, we are caring, we are petty, we are giving, etc. There is going to be in place, a system that is some form of gov’t that regulates us. That gov’t will grow. It will become benevolent and giving, it will become a dictatorship and corrupt, and wane and wax between the two.

  4. @govtman, once again throwing cold water on the concepts of freedom and solutions to protection in a free world without offering solutions of his own. Even though you state you don’t like govt, every statement you make indicates your preference for govt solutions over liberty-inspired solutions.

    Regarding your fear of private security compared to govt “security”, you conveniently ignored the biggest plus in the article for private security. Govt security is not held accountable for its violations of freedom, so they have no incentive beyond their own morals to not violate the rights of others in the course of fulfilling the duties of their job. Shoot someone without being absolutely sure you have the right person and generally the worst you can expect is to be placed off duty for a while. Sure a private security firm could violate the freedoms of people just as well. The big difference is that an individual in a private security firm as well as the firm itself will be held accountable for violating the rights of a person, something that doesn’t happen in govt. Word gets out when a company consistently damages their clients and they would soon go out of business if they didn’t treat their clients and their customers with respect or make damn sure they were doing the right thing before they pulled the trigger.

    Your post indicated a fear of heading towards a freedom based solution because there was no one best solution to the problem. Without realizing it you stated the solution to the entire problem. Govt fails so miserably in part because it tries to impose a single solution for security on the country…namely the imposition of a police-like state to control the movement and behavior of the masses while at the same time taking away its ability to defend itself. The strength of libertarianism is the recognition that there are thousands of solutions to the security issue and the force of the regional marketplace will indicate which ones work best for your area.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top