We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
In arguments about government intervention and control, it is usual for the Leftists and statists to produce straw men with whom to debate. There is a lot of space between government intrusion and life in the jungle. Lots of space. None of us Libertarian/Conservatives want no elected government, but we do want to be left alone. We have morals and we have brains. I always thought that a function of government was to provide the basic conditions (eg protection from foreign invasions, etc) so that we can go it alone in life. Americans are not raised to be Euroweenies, but we gather plenty of resources to help us get along in life, and give us avenues in which to do good deeds, which have nothing to do with government: friends, family, neighborhoods, churches, organizations, business affiliations, etc. All the things which so impressed de Toqueville about the American spirit.
The private sector isn't just a bunch of people "acting alone." As Matt Welch pointed out in his critique of the speech, making and selling an object as basic as a pencil is such a complex endeavor that it takes lots of different specialists. No one person has the knowledge to accomplish that seemingly simple task; that's how decentralized knowledge is in society. And with a truly complex product, like a computer or movie, the need for people to work together is even greater still. The private sector isn't fundamentally about everyone being secluded and isolated from each other; it typically involves many people working together. Government regulation often rules out the options people would otherwise want to pursue that would let them work together more. The idea that you're "alone" unless you're being directed by the government strikes me as dehumanizing and almost abusive. So I resist this scare tactic of presenting the government as the alternative to being "alone."
The Barrister: There is a lot of space between government intrusion and life in the jungle. Lots of space.
The Barrister: None of us Libertarian/Conservatives want no elected government, but we do want to be left alone.
Yes, though there are anarcho-capitalists and general cynics who occupy much the same cultural space.
The Barrister: I always thought that a function of government was to provide the basic conditions (eg protection from foreign invasions, etc) so that we can go it alone in life.
That is certainly one aspect of government. You might read the preamble to the U.S. Constitution to see other views of the role of government.
John Althouse Cohen: The private sector isn't just a bunch of people "acting alone."
That's very true. Society is organized non-governmentally on many levels with interactions from a simple handshake to national movements. However, there are many organizational advantages to having all those interactions as well as a central government, such as protection from foreign invasion as you already mentioned.