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Robert Higgs

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One Nation . . . Indivisible?

As a child in government schools, I must have recited the pledge of allegiance thousands of times. And not once did it occur to me that the “one nation . . . indivisible” part of it is simply an embrace of the Lincolnian heresy, a preemptive attack on the potential for any kind of organized withdrawal whatsoever. At this point in history, can we not see what a terrifying affirmation this doctrine really is? No matter how oppressed people may be, their secession from the overbearing super-state is obstructed by invisible ideological walls. Thus the words of the Declaration of Independence have turned inward and eaten themselves like an absurd snake consuming itself from the tail forward. Recall those words?
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Is a National Government Necessary for National Defense?

Gordon Tullock used to taunt anarchists by asserting that if the USA abolished its government, people would not have to worry about the Russians taking over the country because “the Mexicans would get here first.”

This little story actually incorporates a common objection to anarchy—namely, the idea that because, if a country abolished its government, other countries would not necessarily follow suit, the governments of those other countries would be free to, and would, simply take over the country that, lacking a government, also lacked an effective means of defending itself against takeover by a foreign power.
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Sometimes the Only Thing to Do is Nothing

When libertarians (or simply people with common sense) argue against proposals to solve a certain class of perceived problems (e.g., mass murders by odd-ball lunatics or crazed zealots) by imposing more stringent government controls, closer surveillance, and so forth, the proponents often reply: well, if you don't think my idea for government action will work, what do you propose instead to solve the problem? They are never happy when told that a better idea is to do nothing to solve it.
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