Foundational Principles of Liberty: Government versus private sector.

A fundamental difference between government action and private action is that the government gets to use force to help it accomplish its ends while private people get what they want by cooperating with others. It is illegal for private people to accomplish their ends by force unless the force is responsive force to aggression. An example would be self defense.

The farmer sells you food for the money the farmer wants.

The farmer gives his money to the computer store for the computer the farmer wants.

The computer store sells the farmer a computer for the money the computer store wants.

The computer store owner gives her money to the furniture store for the dining rooms set she wants.

The farmer can’t force his buyers to buy. The buyer can’t force the farmer to sell. And so on through all these examples. Each party to each transaction must benefit the other. Without mutuality of benefit, one or both parties will call off the negotiation and go find someone else to deal with. There is mutuality of benefit in each example. Even when one “drives a hard bargain” both sides still benefit.

This is not so with government action. The government has a near monopoly on the “legitimate” use of force. Of course, the “legitimacy” is declared by the government. The government self declares its own legitimacy. Since it is too powerful to thwart, it’s will stands. I say “near monopoly” because private citizens have very narrowly defined areas where the use of force is permitted–primarily self defense, defense of property, and defense of others. The circumstances in which the government can use force to achieve its are universal. There is nothing the government does that is not foundationally based on force (all government action starts by funding via taxation).

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