Protection from Protectionism

What do the government and a condom have in common? They both try and protect you while you get screwed. Unfortunately, unlike a condom, you can't easily dispose of the government. In fact, the more the government tries to screw you, the more it does so in the name of protection. At least with condoms, people can choose whether or not they want to get screwed and whether or not they want to protect themselves.

While this may be a juvenile kind of analogy, it raises an interesting point. As much as I try to ignore all the propaganda about how important it is to vote for one of two absurdly rich, Christian, privileged Caucasian men who will supposedly protect me and my loved ones from terrorism, same-sex marriage, and the lack of health insurance, I cannot escape the barrage of obnoxious force-supporting signs, pins, and bumper stickers. I would love to be protected from presidential proselytization instead because it does so much damage to my psyche when I see how in love the human race is with force.

As an anarchist, my opinion doesn't count for much of anything but a scoff from the mainstream. Anarchy has such a negative connotation that it really isn't worth mentioning. That's why libertarianism seemed to come about. It's a toned-down kissing cousin of anarchy that tries to stop the bleeding with a band-aid of big promises about smaller government. I find it ironic that libertarianism resorts to less government force to try and stop more government force. Maybe I'm not seeing things straight, but isn't force the same thing regardless of the degree to which it is carried out?

I'm willing to admit that I'm crazy, but why do a good number of libertarians support putting a president in office when the presidency is the foundation of force? To me, this is the equivalent of the Democrats supporting George W. Bush. Why aren't more libertarians convening to end the whole charade that we call a presidency? The equation doesn't add up if you think about it. I don't support force so let's vote a libertarian into office?! This strikes me as alarming. Force is force and a president is a president. The two are conjoined twins in love with each other.

I've wagered that good intentions have a lot to do with it. Most humans tend to have a nurturing, protective gene that cries out for equality and justice in the world. When we don't see the world we envision, we tend to do what comes almost instinctually: we force it. And the way we force it is through politics, plain and simple.

Libertarians are not immune from the protectionism bug. They implore us to get the government out of our lives by voting for their brand of government. They claim that they want to protect individual rights. Gosh, that sounds familiar, doesn't it? Pardon the skepticism, but the Libertarian Party sounds like a GOP or a DFL in the making. Both of these parties basically started with the same line of thinking, and look at 'em now. They're impregnable beasts who lust for more and more of our hard-earned money in the name of protecting us (mostly from ourselves).

I nibbled on the Libertarian Party bait and I've chosen to spit it out. Government is government no matter how you size it up. I love libertarian/anarchist principles, and that means no president, thank you very much. A president and his party, regardless of which one it is, cannot protect me. Nor can a Constitution protect me from the government that drafted it. Nothing about the government can protect me unless I resort to racketeering with the State through lobbying and destroying the rights of the underprivileged in the process.

Regrettably, this logic doesn't really seem to matter in America . As state-supporter Kathy Simcox put it, 'A 'kum-by-yah' approach will not keep our country safe. George W. Bush will.' You could insert John Kerry, Michael Badnarik, or Ralph Nader in place of George W. Bush to obtain the same effect. Force has nothing to do with protection no matter who's in office.

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Chris Basten is a freelance writer in the Minneapolis, MN area and a strong proponent of libertarian/anarchist values. He can be found as a guest columnist from time-to-time on