South Africa Post-Mandela

Yesterday Nelson Mandela, who led the African National Congress to the reigns of power in South Africa in 1994, passed away. Much of the global media is praising Mandela’s impact as a leader, but is claiming the right to control others the mark of someone who should be lauded? That question isn’t posed with Mandela alone in mind, but for anyone who believes it just to force their views on others at the barrel of a gun.

Government – and by that I mean an association of individuals who claim the right to steal money from others within an arbitrary political boundary, and who claim the sole ability to provide a certain goods and services (often included is protection, and thus police) – always suffer from perverse incentives.highwayman-police-lysander-spooner-copblock

Albert Camus wrote that, “Men who have greatness within them don’t go in for politics.” Yes, it’s clear that Mandela was charismatic and spoke to many people, but true, positive change can never happen through the ballot box – which is just a symbol to legitimize the double-standards claimed by one group over another.

Mandela’s government promised housing and better standards of living to millions, yet, unsurprisingly, that has failed to materialize. Again, that’s said not to castigate Mandela as a person, but to make clear the futility of granting allegiance to a coercive monopoly, despite the figurehead, banner or rhetoric. The sooner we each stop looking externally for what’s acceptable or not, and instead, govern ourselves and engage in consensual interactions, the sooner the problems government actors claim to address will be mitigated or eliminated.

The six weeks spent in South Africa as part of the Police Accountability Tour underscored to me that most people are generally good, and that the same factors exist everywhere – just to a different degree. For example, in South Africa, a police employee might demand from another a ransom, while in the states that ransom claimed happens only after a more polished veneer – a bureaucratic process or a visit to legaland. Some see the former as more barbaric and the latter more civilized, yet at the end of the day, both are still theft.

I’d rather live free with some peril than be a protected slave of government.
– Dave Duffy

Admittedly, the statements made above are a bit sweeping for inclusion here at (and to be clear, this is a decentralized project, they come from me alone), but broad as they may be, as is expounded-upon in the second video below Focus on the Institution, I believe it holds true not just for the provision of safety, but for every good or service.




Pete Eyre

Pete Eyre is co-founder of As an advocate of peaceful, consensual interactions, he seeks to inject a message of complete liberty and self-government into the conversation of police accountability. Eyre went to undergrad and grad school for law enforcement, then spent time in DC as an intern at the Cato Institute, a Koch Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, Directer of Campus Outreach at the Institute for Humane Studies, Crasher-in-Chief at Bureaucrash, and as a contractor for the Future of Freedom Foundation. In 2009 he left the belly of the beast and hit the road with Motorhome Diaries and later co-founded Liberty On Tour. He spent time in New Hampshire home, and was involved with Free Keene, the Free State Project and The Daily Decrypt.