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Stupid or Evil?


The Stupid Party versus the Evil Party

A question that occurs commonly in libertarian discourse is whether government agents are stupid or evil.

The reason this question comes up is because government agents do things that are detrimental to the economy (and life in general). They impose price controls that lead to shortages. They enforce edicts that have numerous unfortunate consequences. Etc, etc.

So, does an agent do these things because they don’t understand the consequences of their actions? Do they understand the consequences, but do them anyway?

The question turns out to be incidental from an ethical point of view. Not understanding the consequences of your actions does not indemnify you. “I didn’t know that feeding your dog anti-freeze would kill it” is not a valid excuse.

So even if a government agent thinks that killing foreigners in their own countries (and in their own homes) is self defense, that does not exonerate him.  He is still a murderer, just as he would be if he, in fear of his life, killed someone who was just walking in his general direction.

Some will say, “both” and then go on with their lives. Case closed. Yet, it is important to think about why stupid and evil people are in positions of power.

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