Matt Kibbe's Rules for Liberty

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“The Rules for Liberty[edit]

Don't Hurt People and Don't Take their Stuff: A Libertarian Manifesto is a 2014 book by Matt Kibbe, author of Hostile Takover: Resisting Centralized Government's Stranglehold on America.[1] Kibbe is a graduate of George Mason University and was most recently a senior advisor at Concerned American Voters®, a Rand Paul® political action group. He was previously president of FreedomWorks®, formerly known as Citizens for a Sound Economy®, a conservative/libertarian advocacy group founded by the Koch brothers.

Chapter One of Don't Hurt People and Don't Take their Stuff lists and describes six "Rules for Liberty":

"Rules for Liberty" (by Matt Kibbe)Possible liberal commentary
1. Don't hurt people.

"We should always be skeptical of too much concentrated power in the hands of government agents. They will naturally abuse it. Outside government, an unnatural concentration of power -- such as the extraordinary leverage wielded by mega-investment banks or government employees unions -- is always in partnership with government power monopolists."[2]

Yes, too much concentrated power is dangerous, but how does one define "too much"? How are we to curtail the "unnatural concentration of power" in banks and unions without government regulation?

2. Don't take people's stuff.

"Stealing is wrong...But what if the stealer in question is the federal government? Is thieving wrong unless the thief is our duly elected representation in Washington, D.C., or some faceless "public servant" working at some alphabet-soup agency in the federal complex? It seems to me that stealing is always wrong, and that you can't outsource stealing to a third party, like a congressman, and expect to feel any better about your actions."[3]

This is an invitation to anarchy, basically saying government should run on donations only. No one should be compelled against his/her will to pay any tax on anything at any level of government. If it's stealing when the feds do it, then it's stealing when the city council does it, too. Taxes are compulsory. That's why it's called a "tax!"

3. Take responsibility.

"It does take a village, but villages are made up of people choosing to voluntarily associate with one another...'Social justice,' the seeming opposite of plain old justice, requires someone to rearrange things by force. It's all about power, and who gets to assert their power over you. The rules are always situational, and your situation is always less important than the situations the deciders find themselves in. Someone else, defined by someone else's values, gets to decide...Without liberty, any sense of community that binds us might just unravel."[4]

It is all about power. Highways are built near the politically disenfranchised, rather than through wealthy neighborhoods.

Desperate poor people are easier to exploit.

Kibbe trusts the wonderful, upstanding, angelic CEOs, but not the faceless, demonic "public servants."

4. Work for it.

"Entrepreneurship can be a lonely business. It's hard work...For all the debate about 'the rich' paying their fair share, the real question we are arguing about in America is not about the proper redistribution of the diminishing spoils between rich and poor. Every country throughout history has had its privileged class, usually favored and protected by government cronies. The real question is more fundamental: Are we still a country where anyone can get rich, where there are no government-enforced class distinctions that prevent the poor from climbing the economic ladder?"[5]

It's a bit unclear, but Kibbe doesn't seem to take much exception to there being a privileged class protected by government cronies. And can anyone get rich? It sure helps if you're from the privileged class to begin with. Entrepreneurship is harder when you're competing with a monopolistic, unregulated, "faceless" corporation. Government should promote entrepreneurship and small business development.

5. Mind your own business.

"Consider the definition of marriage. Why does the federal government have an opinion about my marriage?"[6]

Hear, hear! But there's no reason to assume your state government should have any say in your marriage either. Why do libertarians demonize the feds and ignore state government?

6. Fight the power.

"Our system of constitutional checks and balances, and adversarial and separate branches of government, is intended to limit monopoly government power."[7]

No argument here. The Constitution is a wonderful thing. But fight abuse of power by people, corporations, and states, as well.

The rest of the book is about how progressives, Barack Obama, ObamaCare®, and the IRS all suck.