Ferguson, A Moment of Clarity

Anthony Zurcher of the BBC, in his piece today, asks: “Is Ferguson the start of a libertarian moment?”

The killing of an unarmed man by police in Ferguson, Missouri, (by several gun shots including two to the head) is a moment of clarity, which we can only hope may lead to lasting realisations and a permanent shift in the thinking of the masses. I hope it’s not a “libertarian moment” because moments don’t last, and we all need lasting libertarianism – lasting liberty – not momentary.

When social unrest breaks out like this the State is forced to reveal its true nature, and the realisation that the government boils down to nothing more than a bunch of men with lots of weapons smacks us in the face. It’s very disturbing. Not least because all this time we thought it was a force for social good. It’s like seeing a friend whom you thought was a gentle soul beating someone senseless for bumping into him.

The Missouri tragedy is a particularly glaring vindication of the core premise of libertarianism; which is that “…the State, by its very nature, must violate the generally accepted moral laws to which most people adhere” – as Murray Rothbard put it. The very same moral laws we believe cannot be enforced without the State!

It is not a question of IF the State violates generally accepted moral laws, but to what degree it does so, how violently it does so, and how bad it will get before people start to instinctively fight back.

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