Consider this quote: “Self determination, equal justice, and mutual aid are the core of libertarianism.” — Nicholas Sarwark, Executive Director of the Libertarian Policy Institute.

If advocates of a libertarian system don’t talk about compassion as a core principle (i.e. mutual aid) then people will assume libertarians lack compassion, even though in action Libertarians trend towards generosity.

Most people expect life to be as Thomas Hobbes described it: “nasty brutish and short”. If advocates for a smaller government don’t tell people about a system in which people believe in helping each other voluntarily, they will continue to lose elections to people who advocate for a system with more “helping” even if it is less voluntary.

Government has started to provide charity as a justification for increasing its power and finances. You will often hear the phrase “taxes are the price we pay to live in a civilized society” parroted by those who want to use force to create safety nets for themselves and others. A safety net is a good thing for a society to have in place — but long before governments, people took care of their own. In many respects the definition of humanity is showing compassion to other humans.

When government abstracts that compassion, it actually tears us apart as a society. We live in a more fractured world today because government has broken the personal relationships between people. If you talk to people who engage in clubs or are members of houses of worship, they feel a bond to each other, regardless of political beliefs. Why is that bond, that all Americans used to share, now broken?

It’s because government took away the care that bonded people together. Charity does MORE for the giver than it does for the recipient. First the government took over certain charities, like feeding the hungry (though hunger still exists in America). More recently they eliminated the tax deductions for giving money to charity. Most Americans now make NO donations to charity or do anything to help their fellow man — not because they are heartless people — but because they have believed the lie that government is taking care of everyone fairly.

Advocates for smaller government need to find a way to show that government isn’t needed to feed the hungry, provide shelter for the homeless or educate the young. Joining a mutual aid society is one of greatest way for people to reconnect with their neighbors and to show that we don’t need government to own charity. People working together for mutual aid societies brings us closer together than a government system in which people fight against each other for tax dollars.

Restore the true Spirit of America — the one that reminds us that we were all down on our luck at some point. Don’t say “that’s what I pay taxes for” as an excuse to not show compassion to those who may only need to know that someone else cares about them.


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