How does a libertarian government get money to pay for police, for example, or the head of state, or armies? Answer: taxes, or else it isn't a government, it's a private security agency. Ayn Rand's scheme of lotteries wouldn't work either, because private lotteries, because of the reduced overhead, could pay out bigger prizes.

The very nature of something being a government means that some initiation of force is necessary. Most minarchists want to minimize the size of government, but recognize the necessity of initiating the force in the first place. The only people who look to really do a libertarian "government" are the ones who want to get rid of the governments altogether, the anarcho-capitalists.

I've read of people who want to eliminate all taxes except for tariffs, but even that is initiation of force against the people shipping the goods, unless the theory is that the government owns the borders, and in that case the initiation of force is against the rightful landholders. This is another reason why it can be dangerous to be overly dogmatic with a philosophy when it comes to actually implementing it in the real world.

It was pointed out to me that tariffs aren't threatening violent force, but if I refuse to pay the government (since they aren't actually providing any service in my hypothetical international transaction), how do they get me to pay? By either taking my property or throwing me in jail is the probable answer. My point is not to say that this would be a bad form of government, it is merely to say that the philosophical idea of libertarianism, the non-initiation of force, is not acheived. We have greatly reduced the amount of initial force, which is a good thing, but we haven't eliminated it with this type of government. But at least the likelihood of millions of people dying in wars would be reduced, since this government wouldn't go about attacking governments that didn't attack it.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.