As an anarchist that hangs out with statist libertarians I am often involved in political and philosophical debates. When I mention my belief that we humans don’t need to be ruled my more statist cohorts have to quickly jump in to tell me how wrong I am. According to them government is absolutely critical for a free society (because nothing says free like being ruled). When I ask why they almost always claim that a government is necessary to protect the rights of the citizenry.
This reason has always amused me. Governments have it easy. They get to make all of the rules, including what is considered a right under their legal system. You would think that they would write a set of rules that they intend to follow. But governments are the biggest violators of the very rights they declare. When I point this out my statist friends reply by saying that we need to stand up to the government whenever it violates our rights.
So the theory of statism goes like this. We need a government to protect our rights and we must protect our rights against the government. If we’re worried about our rights why would we want to charge the biggest violator of those rights with protecting them? That makes as much sense as charging the fox with guarding your chickens.
Being forced to choose between defending my rights against smaller groups of vicious people or one large, centralized organization with a monopoly on violence and perceived legitimacy by a sizable portion of the population I’d choose the former. It’s much easier to defend yourself against small mostly disorganized groups who nobody considered a legitimate authority. When you have to defend yourself against a government, which is nothing more than a very large gang, you end up not only having to fight the government but all of the people who believe it to be a legitimate entity (because, after all, it’s their gang so it must be the right one).