We’ve all heard the refrain from so-called libertarians: “Government is the problem.”
They’re almost right. But they’re also missing the point entirely.
Let’s look at how elected government came to be. Before there were monarchs and warlords and chiefs, society was pretty much anarchist and collectivist. Things we have been we have been taught are bad and, therefore, undesirable.
But it seems to have worked quite well considering how long it lasted and how much innovation and discovery took place during that long era before absolute hereditary rulers who believed in their divine right to rule over a piece of land believed they had the right to dictate to their "subjects". People who were useful to these rulers were given land and became “nobles” mostly in order to cement their loyalty to the ruler. And the Church also got land and power and often was the only body to hold sway over the absolute ruler. Though that wasn’t the case with Henry VIII who created the Protestant branch of Christianity.
Eventually, though, ennoblement wasn’t enough to keep revolts at bay and allow these absolute rulers and the Church unrivaled power and control over affairs of state and the bourgeoisie was allowed a voice which led to the creation of parliamentary democracies but even these limited voting rights to the men of the upper classes. As such it was not a true democracy. It should be no wonder that even today the voice of the people is subverted by political parties and their donors especially after the Supreme Court ruling in favour of Citizens United. Government has always exists to protect the upper classes and enforce the notion of states, of property and of capital for the benefit of those who benefit the most from the existence of these social constructs. Blaming government deflects responsibility from the people it has always existed to protect and enrich: the rich. Look at all the tax loopholes, tax avoidance tactics and corporate welfare that they benefit from with no intervention from government. These are rarely things you hear "libertarians" complain about.
But that’s not the most important reason that blaming government misses the point!
The most important reason is that by separating the taxpayers from their hard earned dollars but also separating the ruling class from the personal liability and costs of running a state, the government has become just another LLC where elected officials, unelected officials and the corporations and individuals who benefit from the status quo can leave the workers with the bill for the profit the upper classes derive from those tax dollars.
They blame legislative gridlock (“I would do something but the other party is blocking it”) or an inability to support legislation that would hurt their electability (“I’d lose too many votes”) or a lack of funding (“We can’t afford that but we won't seek to stop tax avoidance or corporate welfare”) but really in the end it's not about anything except looking out for their own interests and therefore the interests of the people who keep them in power. That shouldn't come as a surprise if you've been paying attention. Protecting the upper classes' interests has been the point of government since humans gave their leaders absolute power and those leaders became absolute rulers keen to protect their position. And that's really what is to blame for the inefficiency of government. Not to mention how budget overruns and foreign aid are also just another way to put tax dollars into private pockets.
Blaming "government" is just a deflection. Capitalism, which is the embodiment of protecting your interests above all else, is the actual culprit. Which begs the question: Are "libertarians" are being wilful about ignoring the history and reality of government?