People who don’t understand liberty often say that people who want liberty are selfish. People know that libertarians oppose government controlled healthcare, government controlled unemployment insurance, government controlled education and government controlled social security. What they don’t realize is that people who are for liberty don’t oppose any idea that create any social safety net so long as these ideas are implemented without taking money from someone else by force. People who understand real liberty understand the difference between persuasion and coercion.

If you can persuade me to do something, I consent to be involved. If you have to coerce me, I have not consented. We should seek a culture built on consent. Coercion, (the use of force or threats to compel compliance) should never be used against another person.

If you want to form a health insurance group, please do, and invite everyone you want to join you! The more people sharing the risk, the better! And you should point out to people how much it benefits them to be in your group, because it protects them should they have a medical catastrophe. That’s excellent persuasion. Just don’t throw them in jail if they don’t join your healthcare plan. That’s coercion.

If you want to create a pool of money to sponsor a “social safety net” and have others participate with you, that’s a great idea! Many houses of worship do this already. And religions are already experts in evangelizing. They are trying to get people to convert and join them. They are engaged in the fine art of persuasion. It is however nauseating to contemplate the idea of using coercion to force someone to join a religion. That should never happen.

Of course it’s just as ridiculous to force someone to join your house of worship as it is to force them to participate in your “social safety net.” Great ideas don’t require force to implement. If you look at the plethora of non-profits in the United States, you can see that there is plenty of willingness to support causes. And you can find a group working for almost any cause you want to support.

The problem with almost every government program that is funded by taxes is not the outcome! The problem is that the program is funded by taxes that are collected the coercion that the government will use the coercion of force against you and throw you in jail if you don’t pay. If you think the government isn’t using force to collect taxes, try not paying them!

So the next time you hear someone say “Libertarians are against [insert political thing here]” you can tell them “We aren’t against anything except coercion.”

*We only support policies that people consent to participate in. #ConsentCulture

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