Top State Evils: A Scorecard of Libertarian Progress

The most evil and harmful state laws, institutions, and policies are, I believe:

  • war;
  • the Fed/central banking/fiat money;
  • government schools;
  • taxation;
  • the drug war;
  • intellectual property (patent and copyright).1
You could also mention the regulatory state and the entitlement state, but the above makes a pretty good listing of the top things we libertarians would get rid of if we could.

How are we doing on these issues? I spoke with some radical libertarian friends—it’s fun musing as to which one you would abolish first, if you could—and here is the basic take:

  • war: not great, but they are getting harder for modern debt-laden welfare-states to afford;
  • the Fed/central banking/fiat money: not great, but bitcoin could pose a threat;
  • government schools: not great, but at least, in the US, homeschooling and private schools are legal;
  • taxation: not great, and getting worse, but there seems to be a limit to the level of taxes the state can get away with imposing on the economy;
  • the drug war: still horrible, but significant inroads have been made in the last election, with marijuana being legalized on a state-law basis by Washington and Colorado; and
  • intellectual property: getting more and more out of hand, but being seen as more and more ridiculous and unjust. Copyright is getting easier to evade with various technologies like encryption and bit torrent; and patents are being seen more and more as ridiculous and protectionist.

Overall, the biggest cause for hope is probably the recent progress made in the insane, evil war on drugs.


  1. See Where does IP Rank Among the Worst State Laws? 

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • I agree that patens are a problem and cause a huge hindrance on innovation,

    However, what do you think the relationship between copyrights and contract law should be?
    Do you think the sale of an item can include terms to not reproduce & resell?

    For example, I work for a company that provides IT training, alot of our content are video lessons.
    Should it be all on us to distribute the content in a way that it’s impossible to be reproduced?
    Or do you we a right to prohibit this behavior in a contract that customers voluntarily sign?

  • oops – *patents

  • You forgot the most harmful one – immigration restrictions.

  • I think you overlooked the basis for all of these problems and more. The “state” and all those who support it presume to own every speck of property and de facto ownership of the people as well. Control equals ownership. As long as most people even remotely accept this condition as somehow normal or necessary, the state will continue to exercise as much control as it finds useful.

    The power to kill and confiscate at will has overshadowed even the evil of taxation as the destructive force of the state. And that power, to one extent or another, has been given to even the least of the state’s minions – all too often with the gushing approval of the very people so easily targeted! The “war” on people will not end until that is stopped, one way or another.