In today’s statist age, the right to self-defense is very easily forgotten. It is also forgotten that violence is a trademark of a statist society. The more statist the society and outlook of the inhabitants, the more violence is the result. Not only is violence employed by the state and its minions, but for lack of a better problem-solving mechanism tendentially also by the state’s subjects. Instead of encouraging cooperation and civilized interactions, the statist society suppresses a wide range of activities and encourages all sorts of uncivilized behavior (such as blackmail).
This correlation applies not merely to countries – i.e. supposedly sovereign political entities – but also to far smaller entities, such as a city, region or other area.
Case in point – the recent “Silk Road” website takedown and related arrest of Ross Ulbricht. The background is well documented here:
FBI agents gained Ulbricht’s trust online and got him to agree to arrange a beating and murder, false proof of which the agents then staged in photos they sent to Ulbricht. The supposed extortionist, with the screen name FriendlyChemist, seems to have been a fiction created by the Feds. Plus, according to the White Rock, British Columbia, Canada, records there is no record of a murder corresponding to the name Ulbricht passed on to the fake hitmen or any murders corresponding with the supposed date of the murder. So the thieving former employee did exist but was never beaten up or murdered, while the extortionist was just an FBI ruse. The Feds were playing Ulbricht from the start.
The article’s author Gary Gibson continues:
I have to take a moment here to inspire outrage and bile in the comments section and defend Ulbricht’s actions. The non-aggression principle we regularly talk about here is not pacifism. One owns one’s actions and their consequences and sometimes private, violent reprisal will be the morally sound result of one’s actions if one deigns to aggress against others. Someone who is threatening to ruin the lives of thousands of people by turning them over to the state in an attempt at extortion is one who initiates aggression and who deserves what they have coming. You should lose about as much sleep over the death of such an extortionist as you would an armed gunman who stuck up the wrong (heavily armed) victim. I see Ulbricht as protecting the lives of thousands of his customers as well as his own interests as best he could in the black market conditions created by prohibition. Of course, the FBI doesn’t agree.
You might say that beatings and murder are no way to resolve disputes…but that’s exactly the kind of violent dispute resolutions state prohibitions force people to enact in the black markets! Prohibition cuts black markets off from non-violent, legal or reputable arbitration systems. Silk Road was an attempt to make the underground free markets as free of the state-spawned violence that infects them in the world of actual street corners and turf wars. In a bit of irony, the state’s agents had to invent a fictional extortionist to lure Silk Road’s operator into the gangster hit. Mind you, the people who are offended that such a libertarian person would privately pay for violence to defend himself are the same kind of people who have no problem with their stolen tax dollars funding the explosive dismemberment of hundreds of thousands of foreign innocents their governments deem [to be] acceptable collateral losses.
I think Gary pretty much sums up the matter.