A Fallacy About Negative Externalities-David Gordon

“An argument that is often used to support government intervention relies on “negative externalities.” People’s behavior, it is claimed, sometimes generates avoidable costs for others in this way: you do something in order to gain an advantage over someone else. But that person may try to do the same thing to you. Even if he doesn’t, he will at least take measures to counter what you did to him. Your attempt to gain an advantage thus fails, and you would both be better off if you were put back at your starting point.”

https://mises.org/wire/fallacy-about-negative-externalities