On Friday, president Donald Trump tweeted:

“The problem is, no matter what the Radical Left Democrats get, no matter what we give them, it will never be enough. Just watch, they will Harass & Complain & Resist (the theme of their movement). So maybe we should just take our victory and say NO, we’ve got a Country to run!”

From a libertarian or classical-liberal perspective, that is indeed the problem. “We” do not have a country to run. “We”—or at least some of us—hope to have a country where to live free, not a country to be run by an autocrat or a minority mob or majority mob. From this viewpoint, Trump and what he calls “the Radical Left Democrats” are not that different: they want to use (and increase) the power of the state to rule over others.

Several liberal theories of the state, from Anthony de Jasay on the radical side up to the moderate James Buchanan, suggest that no matter what we give Leviathan, it will never be enough.

It appears impossible to defend individual liberty without escaping the logic of “running the country.”

P.S.: The featured image of this post is borrowed from the adventures of Tintin by Hergé. General Tapioca and General Alcazar fought to run their country.