Myths/government is the source of all oppression

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Myth: Government is the source of all oppression.

The Myth

The argument seems to be something like this:

  1. government has a monopoly on force in our society.
  2. Business monopolies would not exist without government support.
  3. Therefore only government can coerce individuals into making choices they wouldn't make otherwise.
  4. Without government, therefore, individuals are free to choose the terms of their interactions with others.
  5. When individuals are free to choose who they interact with and how, no individual or organization would acquire too much power because people would stop doing business with them.
  6. Government therefore creates oppression through (a) its monopoly on force and (b) restricting how others may interact (e.g. by creating or encouraging business monopolies).

The Reality

  1. Government does not have a monopoly on force.
  2. Monopolies can exist without government.
  3. Business has many ways of coercing or persuading individuals to make bad choices.

The ultimate basis of this myth seems to be the firm belief that all political power – that is, the ability for one person or group to coerce other people -- originates with government, and therefore if you eliminate government there will be no political power. This is false.