"How many innocent people have to die before we've brought justice for all the innocent people that have died?"
Looking around the country in the last week, it's been difficult to find anything positive to look forward to. At one point, the country was united in outrage over the murder of George Floyd. Roughly 5 minutes later, the country was divided yet again.
It's important in times like these to establish a unifying principle. In America, that principle is supposed to be that all humans are created equal. All people are born with certain inalienable rights. All humans are unique and sovereign individuals. Each have their own Liberties, and those Liberties cannot be removed by another individual.
That's really the only unifying principle you need to both be against the killing of a human by a police officer, and against the violent brutality we've seen over the last several days.
Being libertarians, we are often extremely critical of the government, but it's important to remember why.
We're critical of the government because of it's tendency to remove the Liberty of the individual. We are against aggression on peaceful people of all kinds. This leads us to criticize the government on a daily basis. The acts we've seen by police are symptoms of a much larger problem. The increasing size and power of the government has lead to the obvious actions of upholding thousands of unjust laws. Unconstitutional wars, the needless nanny state of drug laws, lockdowns, all lead to negative consequences that affect innocent civilians on a daily basis.
The "why" we criticize the government is the most important part. It is not because we are anarchists, it is not because we simply hate the government. We hate the consequences of giving human beings total power and control over others. This constantly removes Liberty from otherwise peaceful and law-abiding people.
Since we are against the removal of Liberties from innocent people, we must remove the word "government" from the equation, and ask ourselves what the underlying principle is. The underlying principle, as stated above, is that human beings are all born with inalienable rights, and those rights may not be violated by anyone; government officials, or civilians.
What we've seen over the last few days is the removal of rights and Liberties from innocent people. Not only by the hands of the government, but from fellow citizens of our country. In the same way that one year ago we would have agreed that it is an infringement on your rights if someone steals or destroys your property, we must completely condemn the situation taking place in many of our cities.
We've all seen the videos of burning buildings, looted stores, and even people murdered or assaulted in the streets. Some of these are police officers, and some of these are civilians- all of them are human beings.
There is no justice brought to George Floyd by murdering the black owner of BBQ joint in Louisville. There is no justice brought by looting a local shop owner in New York. There is only an increase in hatred and division between the people in our country. There is no justice brought to Mr. Floyd by beating an innocent person to death in the streets. No amount of death and destruction will make it "okay" that Floyd was killed. In the end, this is a negative for society. The division is worse now than it was last week. Racists are stronger now than they were last week.
On the Libertarian response:
As a now former member of the Libertarian Party, I am calling on them to completely condemn the riots. Anger and hatred towards the government should not be carried out by murdering more innocent civilians. Rightful anger towards brutal police officers is not an excuse to loot a Target. A Libertarian's desire to see the system turned on its head is not an excuse to burn down my house. That is not what being a Libertarian is.
We are Libertarians because we care about the rights of ALL people. Even if they are business owners. Even if they are white. This violence must not be excused because we are mad at the government. We are mad at the government because of their removal of individual liberty, and for the same reason, we will completely condemn violence against innocent people.
This will equal more government, not less. Libertarians are fooling themselves if they think the rioters are concerned with the individual liberty of all people. They are fooling themselves if they think the bulk of the protesters wants a smaller government.
Taxation is theft because it removes liberty and threatens violence for the purpose of extortion of its victims. The rioters are no better than a tyrannical government, and it's completely fine to admit that.