Your Toughest Breakup

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This is probably not news to you. You can get used to a state of mind, a way of life, a person. People measure their dependency on another person differently, but regardless of the situation, breakups don’t tend to be enjoyable.

Let me therefore tell you about the toughest breakup you could possibly experience. This relationship is by far the longest you’ve had, marked by its closeness to the other side. This partner has been horrifically bad for you, not only financially but the constant abusive behaviour has you left in situation of utter desperation and dependence.

I’m talking, of course, about the state.

Now you might be saying: ‘there is no way you could compare this to a relationship’. You’d be surprised, since this relationship is even more of a marriage. Remember your first courses in philosophy in secondary school, when they told you about Rousseau’s social contract. That’s right, the implication has been, from the start, that you are contractually bound to the state. It claims that after all that it cares for you, provides you with essential services (which is was only able to by monopolising the marketplace in its own favour), so why would you mind the minor restrictions on your freedom of choice?

The school you visited was either a state-run school or forced through an intricate system of subsidy-requirements into respecting state-curricula. They graciously taught you that you were supposed to question your government. What they meant is that you should question the people in charge, in order to replace them, not to question the existence of the state itself.

So what have you got? You got the worst possible partner, which spends at least half of your money, goes through your phone, listens to your calls, picks fights in your name – which leaves people angry at you for no reason – and, above all, expects you to thank you for all of it. In the meanwhile, your friends are not supportive at all. Quite in contrary: every time you even get the slight idea that this entire system is consequentially reprehensible, you are being told how without the state you would be a mess, lost in convoluted musings of what your next step in life should be. The state is supposed to give you meaning and guidance, yet fails to do either.

And then there are those who decided on their breakup quite some time ago. We go by different names: classical liberals, libertarians, voluntaryists. I’m not bothering you with the details on the differences of the different names. The beauty of the liberty movement is that it doesn’t advocate that you live your life in one way or another, but that you live it according to your own choosing, as long as you don’t hurt someone else. The question we ask is not, “is it legal?”, but “is it right?”. It’s where fairness and justice still have more meaning than just being stamped on the front the door of a building.

This advocacy for freedom can take different shapes and forms: it can mean that you advocate for freedom to others, by making them understand that drugs are an issue of self-ownership and actually become more dangerous under prohibition, that government debt is unfair to the unborn who will have to pay it back in the future and that free markets are lifting thousands out of absolute poverty every year. But it can also mean proving government wrong by leading by example, through volunteering for those in need or creating the business opportunities of the future as an entrepreneur.

The state has infested the debate on freedom with so much fear that it often seems unthinkable to people that something could be achieved better through voluntary cooperation. It is, by any means, the most unhealthy relationship you could think of.

For those who came to the realisation that this relationship they had with the state is not working out anymore, that it makes them fundamentally unhappy, I say: you’ll get over it.

We’re here. We got you someone something way better for you.

Welcome to the world of those who love liberty.

Bill Wirtz is the Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) and Rare Media. He is also currently working as a policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center.


The views expressed on austriancenter.com are not necessarily those of the Austrian Economics Center.

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