Spangle: Protests Prove Government Power is Illusionary

During the pandemic, I tried to drive home the point that government power is mainly illusionary, and politicians end up following the lead of public opinion. If they say shut down our businesses and we don’t, there isn’t much they can do about it. There is power in numbers.

Protestors and rioters are proving that none of us ever had to stay inside. None of us had to close our businesses. We could have ignored their authority if we had chosen to do so. Conservatives have internalized “law and order” so profoundly that they’re terrified of government.

The hairdresser’s civil disobedience in Dallas transformed policy there because politicians realized the population was no longer controllable. Americans are beginning to lose the Stockholm Syndrome created by the two-party system, and they’re looking for a better way.

I am a libertarian because I believe in organizing society through nonviolent means. I want to live in a world where problems are solved through peaceful, voluntary interactions. I got here through utilitarian arguments: The current system based on violence can never work.

Our worlds are made up of the 100 people we regularly interact with. Centralizing power means we are forced to expand our sphere of concern to billions of people we will never meet. It is driving us all to insanity because the human brain is not designed for it.

The first steps to staying sane are as follows:

  1. Choose to seek out alternative solutions to the ones we’ve chosen in the past.
  2. Choose peaceful solutions to personal interactions.
  3. Choose personal responsibility for yourself and take responsibility for your community.
  4. Choose peaceful politics based on these values.
  5. Stop participating in politics that don’t.
  6. Spread the word.

So often I am asked, “What is the libertarian solution to this problem?” The solution is that you have to ask yourself how you’d handle this situation if you were faced with it. THAT is the libertarian solution as long as you’re not hurting people or taking their stuff.

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Chris Spangle is the publisher and editor of We Are Libertarians, a news site and podcast that covers national and Indiana politics from the libertarian perspective. Spangle previously worked in marketing for the Englehart Group on behalf of the Advocates for Self-Government. He also served as the Executive Director of the Libertarian Party of Indiana and producer of the Abdul in the Morning Show. He now works as the web director of a nationally syndicated morning show.

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