Asteroid Impact

I’m going all-in on this one.

I’m taking the absolutely most insane thing about libertarianism and bringing it up for debate. If I can win this one, then all other points are moot.

If an asteroid is headed towards Earth, and is about to annihilate all of humanity, I say the government should not be able to impose taxes on the people to try to stop it.

Yes, you heard me. And no, I’m not a suicidal nihilist indifferent to the destruction of the human race.

Basically, it’s just not the government’s job to be stopping asteroids. The government’s job is to protect the equal rights of all by preventing individuals from violating those rights of others. Violence should only be used to stop violence or other forms of coercion. I hold to this principle even when faced with the potential destruction of the entire human race.

But is it really so crazy to hold to your principles, even when billions of lives are at stake? For example, many people are against the use of torture to extract information from non-citizen combatants. Would you hold to that principle even if thousands of lives were at stake? What about millions? Billions? Does that make you crazy?

If you would hold to your principles in those cases, you may understand why I’d consider it wrong for the government to steal money from its citizens to try to stop an asteroid disaster. The ends simply never justify the means. And really, if the demand is great enough for something (like for preventing the destruction of the human race), then people will certainly voluntary contribute to the cause anyways, without the government forcing them to. That asteroid would be deflected without the government having to violate individual rights to do it.

So if you follow my argument on this, then consider all lesser threats- lack of health care, lack of education, poor infrastructure, high drug usage rates…like an Armageddon Asteroid, these are all threats which I feel should be averted through voluntary action, not through government thievery and intimidation. And libertarian principles are no more crazy than principles of any other kind.

You can read more about this argument here.


One Response to “Asteroid Impact”

  1. Robert Brown Says:

    I see two flaws in your argument. 1) The federal government is charged with protecting our borders. A case could be made that an asteroid crashing into the earth would violate our borders. 2) The constitution does allow the government to tax the people with their consent in order to finance the government’s undertakings. Therefore a tax for asteroid defense would not be stealing.

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