Anyone of a libertarian mind-set has probably had a conversation similar to this:
You: Government sucks.
Bob: Yes, but it’s necessary. People are stupid and evil, and life without government would degenerate into a chaotic dictatorship of corporate mobs and gang warfare.
Another common variant is the more succinct:
Bob: Humanity can’t be trusted with that much freedom.
The obvious problem with this line of reasoning is a heaping dose of self-defeat. If people are, as a rule, stupid, evil and predisposed to chaos and gang-based war, then the most irrational action one might take in pursuit of minimizing these consequences is the deliberate formation of such a gang. After all, those who would serve in government are members of the same human race as the rest of us. It cannot be declared that government is necessary because people are evil, while simultaneously exempting the people in government from this inherent evil.
Of course, the inevitable response to this is the catch-all solution: democracy! We keep the undesirables out of office by simply not voting them in. Power to the people . . . right?
Oh, wait. People. Stupid, evil, chaos-loving, warmongering people — who will almost certainly elect stupid, evil, chaos-loving, warmongering politicians. It seems that democracy does not solve or even manage the problem.