Argument: Libertarianism contravenes the need for government monopoly of force

Issue Report: Libertarianism


Stephen Holmes. “What Russia Teaches Us Now”. November 20th, 2002 – “Classical liberal theory deemed political authority necessary because individuals are partial to themselves and, left to their own devices, the strong and the deceitful have an irresistible proclivity to exempt themselves from generally valid laws. That old insight is amply confirmed in Russia today. When the state that once owned everything is now so easy to despoil, why play by rules that apply equally to all? Libertarians sometimes argue that the coercive authority of the state extends only to the prevention of harm and the protection of property rights. In the Russian context, the word “only” here strikes a very false note. Limited government, capable of repressing force and fraud, turns out to be mind-bogglingly difficult to erect in a chaotic setting.”

  • “Liberalism demands that people without guns be able to tell people with guns what to do.”[1]