Something All Libertarians Have in Common
Libertarians, of left, center, or right, all necessarily have a few points in common.
Of them one should be clear: libertarians never represent the government.
The American Civil Liberties Union (of which I am a member) is like that, too: it represents an assortment of clients, but the government is never among them.
Why not represent or speak for state power?
It’s because government already has vast powers at its disposal: the power to tax the earnings of others, seize private property in the name of necessity, fund flush insiders’ projects, pay for publicity for those projects, criminalize or regulate the commercial activities of genuine entrepreneurs, conceal information about spending and enforcement, and to limit opportunities for dissent, free expression, and even the franchise.
Along the way, officials find servile reporters who will croak in government-favored tones, at government-favored times.
The state does not need defenders: it creates them.
The disadvantaged, the dissenting, the unassuming – they are the sympathetic concern of libertarians.
Government is more than able to advance its interests without additional assistance.
– JOHN ADAMS