The Stone City

Words Made to Last

Friday, December 24, 2004

The Race for Power

Today, as Samizdata notes, the British government passed a measure requiring national ID cards:

I do not expect a truly repressive state to be implemented for many years yet (hopefully), but the infrastructure of tyranny is now well and truly in place...

Certainly this represents a substantial strengthening of the government. But the balance of tyranny is not determined by the government alone, but also by the strength of the people to resist oppression. National ID cards strengthen the government; gun control laws weaken the people.

Let's split the problem again. Libertarians should support the weakening of government and resist its strengthening; so far, so good. Also, they should resist the weakening of individuals and, crucially, support their strengthening in every way. This last point seems often to be missing from their plans.

This strengthening can be proactive, involving anything from armament to encryption. Governments and corporations will grow in strength; can individuals keep pace?