(My Eastern New Mexico News column from July 5, 2017- posted in its entirety now that the paper's exclusivity has expired)
Those who value liberty are often labeled "anti-government" by those who don't understand. It's easy to see how they make this mistake.
People have come to believe liberty-- or "freedom", as they usually call it-- requires government protection in order to exist. Because of this they'll cry out to government whenever they feel threatened or violated. This is a sign the indoctrination has succeeded. However, even when government claims to support liberty, it's harming it.
Government has made itself the enemy of liberty without people noticing. In fact government can't exist alongside liberty; the two are mutually exclusive. Pro-liberty people will appear to be anti-government to those who choose the other side.
I am in favor of legitimate government: self government. I am not in favor of any group, including one chosen by the voting majority, imposing restrictions on people to forbid them from doing what they have a natural human right to do.
What do you have a right to do? Anything and everything which doesn't violate anyone else's rights.
You have the right to keep and use your own property, defend yourself from attackers, smoke Cannabis, and engage in mutually agreeable trade with anyone anywhere, because none of these things violate anyone's rights.
You can't have the right to murder, rob, or enslave, nor to interfere with others doing anything they have the right to do, including things you don't like them doing. You have no right to govern others, and you can't delegate-- to anyone-- a right you don't have. A right which can't exist.
If you somehow create a government which protects property from thieves, but doesn't excuse theft by calling it "taxation", it won't qualify as "government" to most people. If you could create a government which protects everyone's rights, and never allows its employees to commit the very acts it is supposedly protecting people from, it would be different from any government in history. Again, so different no one would consider it government. This is how crooked government has been over the millennia-- it simply couldn't act ethically and be considered "government" by the majority. This is enlightening.
I am against anything most would call government. Not because it is government, but because I oppose theft, aggression, and coercion, no matter who does it; regardless of any justifications they dream up. I am not anti-government, but being pro-liberty looks the same to those who support the State, and place it and its employees beyond accountability.