As a libertarian, I hold certain distinctions and assumptions in my mind when I talk about ‘the government’ that differ from those held by most people.
I have learned that I need to make others aware of those distinctions in order to communicate effectively.

Distinctions and assumptions:

  • 'The government' is not America.
  • Criticisms of the government are not criticisms of America.
  • America the country refers to the people, their character, culture and values.
  • The People are distinct from the government.
  • At the core, there is no distinction between governments, all distinctions between them are a matter of degree and form.
  • The fundamental nature of all institutional governments is to control people through use of force and threats of force; coercion.
  • Libertarians use the term state to refer to institutional governments.
  • No one ”controls“ the government.
  • Among the values that have made America (the country) great are: freedom, individualism, the voluntary community, productivity, and limited government.
  • Collectivist fads of the past century motivated people to seek the removal of many limits on government.
  • Unlimited government threatens the values that helped make America great.
  • We, the people, are ultimately responsible for the expressions of government.
  • Obedience is a value of fascist societies not of free societies.
  • Freedom and democracy are two different things.
  • Free markets are essential to human freedom.
  • The majority can be as terrible a tyrant as the despot.

  • I am aware that these distinctions will raise questions and objections, that is part of my purpose in stating them.  This is not the entire list; I don’t even know how long such a list would be, but it’s a fair starting place.