Defining Libertarianism (was Defining Terrorism)

Daniel C. dcrookston at gmail.com
Wed Jun 26 19:49:20 MDT 2013


On Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 8:18 PM, Russel Caldwell <caldr704 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Ostensibly is the key word isn't it?

Yes, it absolutely is.  In my response I wanted to specifically
address the question of what makes a government's use of force
legitimate - not what makes the US government's use of force
legitimate.  I tried to be pretty clear that I was addressing
hypotheticals and ideals/ideas, not the current reality of the
American government we're living under.

> How do we implicitly cede our rights to use force to the government by
> participating in society? Exactly what are my options if I decide not to
> participate? Exactly how would I not participate in society?

Move to Alaska and go off the grid.  It is an option open to you, and
you haven't taken it.  That is an implicit acceptance of your
circumstances.

> This whole
> thing would be a moot point to me if the government wasn't so egregiously
> encroaching on my rights to do what I think is in my own best interests as
> long as I don't infringe on the rights of others do likewise.

I kind of agree, but again... political theory vs. current reality.

> Exactly what
> fundamental principle allows the government to take my property and do with
> it what it will without my consent? Isn't this a fundamental question that
> should be treated more circumspectly than it is by the political elite?

Honestly, my reaction to this is to mentally shrug and go "Eh."  Death
and taxes.

> But isn't this a salient point in this conversation? Isn't the current
> government ceding its legitimacy as a wielder of force by the very way it
> exercises that power?

Well, depends on which conversation you mean.  I don't even remember
where we started.  Overall though I'd say no.  Not unless you want to
start a civil war.  Personally I'll vote with my feet before I'll
fight in a civil war.  I like being alive (and, more to the point,
being alive in the company of Swedish women) more than I like saving a
country full of fat, entitled mouth-breathers from their own
inattention and insecurities.

Like someone else said, as long as you're free to leave, that's what
counts.  So far I can still leave - and if someone decides I can't,
well, the Canadian border is awfully long and I can still claim
citizenship there.

> I am painfully aware of the possible weaknesses of the anarcho-capitalist
> view in a "what if" kind of way (not that we've tried anything that comes
> remotely close to know one way or another), but I'm also more presently
> aware of the catastrophe we've got in the present "democratic" system.

Maybe you should just admit that pure systems, on either side of the
equation, are never going to work.  We don't need to try an
anarcho-capitalist system to know it won't work for the same reason we
don't need to try a "let's all just get along" system to know it won't
work.  It's just an obviously bad idea on its face.

> actually gets what he wants. In a free market transaction 100% of the
> participants get what they want.

And the people who can't participate because they're poor just get
screwed.  And we can't have a free market without a government anyway,
so what are you still on about?

> Winston Churchill said, "The best argument against democracy is a
> five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

Yes, and Mark Twain said "Democracy is the worst form of government,
except for all the other ones."

> Isn't that that the fundamental definition of government, an institution
> that has a monopoly on the use of force? Isn't that what the founding
> fathers of this country feared the most?

You mean the founding fathers like George Washington, who used the
militia (which the 2nd amendment guarantees) to put down an armed
uprising just a few short years after we won our independence?  Those
founding fathers?  No, I really don't think it is.

-Dan


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