Law as a Tool to Get What We Want

Since the advent of democracy, meaning, since the advent of public participation, however causal that actually is, in the political process, a growing number of people have viewed politics, and its ultimate function of creating and enforcing law, as a tool to get what they want.

At first, what those who had influence in the process wanted was to protect their property rights, with varying levels of what was meant by that. In time, and as more and more people gained influence, the scope of law went well beyond this, and slowly became a tool to, supposedly, combat any number of evils that befell the public.

There’s been no shortage of wants to fill via the political process. Of course, I’m not so naive as to think that this is the actual reason that law has become so expansive and all-encompassing. But it is a common belief that the law can and should be used to do whatever most people want it to do.

That law should only be used as a means of preventing and resolving conflict over scarce resources is a totally foreign concept to most people in today’s world. But on the other hand, when law is obviously criminal, from their point of view, it’s opposed and viewed as it should be, as a tool for some people to get the want at the expense of other people.

Law becomes the enemy, at least temporarily. Some fortunate souls realize the long con that is democracy and public government and join the ranks of we champions for liberty, the libertarians, anarchists, and voluntaryists.

Too many others, however, are quick to change their tune and resume pining for government solutions to perceived problems, now that the iron glove is on the other fist. What can we do to bring more people to the side of consistent liberty?

I don’t know. I really don’t. Right now, the best I can do is raise my children in liberty, write and speak as often as possible on these ideas, and challenge the state when able. I know for a fact that if enough of us do likewise, the government doesn’t stand a chance.

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Founder and editor of and, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.