Paul, please forgive me, but you raised an interesting point in the comments section of my post.
"No, I'd put you somewhere closer to an isolationist anarchist than a conservative.
"I think there are a lot of folks who thing they want what you believe you want.
All I can do is pray that you never get it.
A modern technological society can't run on the governmental division you aspire to, just look at the Balkans."
7/25/2007 10:39 AM
My response was as follows:
Not quite. I'm a minarchist, which is similar (to an anarchist), but unlike anarchists, I at least acknowledge the necessity of the existence of government. I echo a letter from Thomas Jefferson to Isaac H. Tiffany in 1819, "Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual." Yet the paradox that is inherent in this statement is who steps in when the "equal rights of others" are violated? This common defense of the rights of others is the greatest purpose of government, and in fact, the one that is most ethically sound for a government to undertake. Leave charity to individuals, churches, and other organizations. They're far better at administering it, and they're not nearly as likely to misuse the funds for other ends as we've seen with Social Security.
The cite for the Jefferson quote is here, and is available on the University of Virginia website. In short, I believe government is a necessary evil, but one whose scope and power should be as small as possible while defending the rights of the individual from harm caused by others. I'm not opposed to the use of military force; I merely think we as a people should think long and hard before we do so, and that it be done very judiciously.