REVISED 05/11/05 (8:57 AM)
Re the preceding post:
Individualist anarchists (like Lysander Spooner) and anarcho-capitalists believe that we'd be better off in the absence of a state. They're right, in one respect: We'd be better off in the absence of a state like most of the states that now exist and have existed in human history.
But anarchy isn't a real option. The urge to control is as deeply rooted in humans as the urge to be free. Anarcy is therefore an unstable state of affairs, one that will always resolve itself into some form of control. The question is: What kind of control? The real choice in the real world isn't between benign anarchy and a state that's entirely evil. The real choice is between a state that's entirely evil (e.g., Soviet Russia), one that's somewhat evil (e.g., France), one that's somewhat benign (e.g., the U.S.), and one that's entirely benign (none that I know of).
We can and should work to make the U.S. more benign, that is, more libertarian. But if we didn't have our somewhat benign state to protect us it's quite likely that we'd live under one that's entirely evil. Remember Hitler and Stalin? Those bad guys were really bad -- even worse than FDR, Truman, Johnson, and Clinton. And there are plenty more where they came from. Just look around you at the world we live in.