Being Pissed-Off Is Not Enough

Being Pissed-Off Is Not Enough
By Paul Rosenberg

If you are busy addressing the evil in the world, who is addressing the good? – Russell Means

The truth is that libertarians spend a huge number of brain-cycles on the concept of justice, and especially on all the ways they’ve been done wrong. These things should not occupy us as they do.

This is not to say that we don’t have reason to complain; after all, we’ve been born into a situation where one group of well-armed men tells everyone else, “Do what we say or we’ll hurt you.” Once you break through the brainwashing of your childhood and understand this, being pissed-off is entirely normal and entirely justifiable. It is not, however, something upon which to build a life, or even a philosophy.

Understand this: The things we complain about are legitimate and we should be mad, but they are surface issues; they are not the real deal. We need to see beyond injustice and our preoccupation with it. Being pissed-off is not nearly enough.


Preventing injustice is not an end in itself – it is merely necessary to allow our work to proceed without molestation.

Does justice matter? For sure! But it is not the central issue – it is only necessary to keep destroyers away from our real work.

The purpose of law is to prevent successful coercion. It is necessary, even crucial, but it is not the end goal. Otherwise, once we kill injustice, we have nothing else; we are abandoned in a void.

Think of it this way: Let’s say that we were fully successful in getting rid of the state; then what? What do we do after the celebration party?

Play with this scenario for a minute:

It’s over. The state is gone. No big boss is telling you what to do any longer. There’s nothing to be angry about except some intermittent, garden variety crime. Now what do we do?

I hope you are not drawing a blank, but most of us do when presented with this scenario.

Here’s the big point I’m trying to make:

Whatever we would do after the celebration ends is what we should be doing now.



Published in: on November 8, 2009 at 12:41 am  Leave a Comment  

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