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