Defining Libertarianism (was Defining Terrorism)

Jeff Nyman jnyman at americanleadership.net
Thu Jun 27 07:22:54 MDT 2013


So, how much was the armor?


On Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 3:47 PM, S. Dale Morrey <sdalemorrey at gmail.com>wrote:

> LOL the ads in my gmail are getting more and more frightening.
> One recent ad was for Browning rifles.
> The ad attached to this email is for AR500 Body Armor, evidently the most
> affordable level 3 body armor on the planet and also made right here in the
> USA!
>
> Ok yeah I really need to get off gmail, the topic relevance of ads is
> getting moving from humorous to creepy.
>
>
> On Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 3:43 PM, Daniel C. <dcrookston at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 5:01 PM, Russel Caldwell <caldr704 at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> > > What makes government force so legitimate?
> >
> > Did you realize, when you asked this, that you were opening a
> > philosophical can of worms that has been addressed / tackled from
> > various perspectives over at least the past two centuries?  I guess
> > that sounds kind of accusatory, and that's not my intention.  It's
> > just such a perfectly phrased question, in a subject area that is
> > pretty commonly addressed in civics classes (or in my case, writing
> > classes where your professor happens to be a civics nut,) that it rang
> > my "college professor is opening a discussion" bell.
> >
> > Some broad strokes on the issue:
> >
> > - Governments are (at least ostensibly) accountable.  This is part of
> > why agents of the government who are authorized to use force (e.g.
> > police officers and soldiers) wear uniforms with identification on
> > them.  The uniforms identify the person wearing it as someone who is
> > acting on behalf of the government.  It establishes accountability for
> > the actions of the person wearing the uniform.  If you don't like what
> > someone in uniform does, you can go to the person that he or she is
> > accountable to and complain.  Ultimately, in the United States, the
> > government is accountable to the citizens.  (In practice we know that
> > this is not 100% true, but it is what we strive for.)  This has all
> > kinds of ramifications when it comes to wars, the ability of police to
> > make arrests (an arrest being a use of force,) etc.
> >
> > - Governments are (again, ostensibly) an extension of a social
> > contract.  (See Hobbes's Leviathan.)  If I'm remembering my readings
> > correctly, Hobbes posits that humans enter into a society and grant
> > our governments the sole authority for force in exchange for the
> > increased freedoms and protection that joining the society give us.
> > The alternative, he claims, is for us to live in a state of nature, of
> > a constant and continual war of all against all.  Obviously this is
> > more of a philosophical enterprise than a statement of historical
> > fact, but it does make for a good thought experiment.  So, to bring it
> > back to the question of what makes government force legitimate: it's
> > legitimate because everyone who participates in a society implicitly
> > (or explicitly, in some cases) cedes the right to use force to their
> > government.
> >
> > > As was pointed out earlier most
> > > people are disillusioned with the system to the point that there are
> more
> > > and more of us that see no point in participating in the political
> > process.
> >
> > This does bring into question the legitimacy of our current
> > government, but that doesn't necessarily intersect with the question
> > of whether governments are the sole legitimate wielders of force in a
> > society.
> >
> > > In a free market every transaction is freely entered into by both
> > parties.
> >
> > This is probably a good time to mention the tyranny of violence.  It
> > is often proposed that we should all "just get along" or that humans
> > should work toward an end of violence.  These ideas are fantastic in
> > both meanings of the word.  They are fantastic ideas that I agree with
> > and which I hope we can bring to fruition, but they are also fantastic
> > in that they pretty much come from the realm of fantasy.  This isn't a
> > statement about the fallen nature of man or anything.  (I personally
> > think that the human future is bright and that we can overcome our
> > darker nature, but that's a separate topic.)  It's just the nature of
> > violence: there is no room for consent when violence gets involved.
> >
> > In this fantasy world where we all live without violence, all it takes
> > is for one person to decide that they're going to be violent and
> > suddenly everyone else loses their agency.  The choice to live in
> > peace no longer exists: you can either be violently subjugated, or you
> > can try to stop the violence... which ironically requires being
> > violent in return.  And of course you didn't choose violence -
> > somebody else did, and when they chose it your ability to live in
> > peace disappeared.
> >
> > Without a government (which is the sole authorized proprietor of
> > violence) in place, a free market is only free so long as everyone
> > plays nice.  Alternatively you could create a free market in which
> > mercenary protection is available to those who can afford it, but you
> > probably didn't even finish reading that statement before you realized
> > how wrong that situation would go.
> >
> > > When the government does something most of us have no idea what
> > transpired,
> > > and we cannot possibly know. There is not enough time in the day to
> keep
> > > track of what these jokers are doing. Just look at the Obamacare mess.
> > How
> > > many, even in congress, really know what is in that bill, much less
> what
> > > the consequences will be.
> >
> > Our current American government, yes, absolutely.  It's a damn mess.
> > But that doesn't mean that all governments everywhere must be a damn
> > mess.
> >
> > >In my mind, destructive monopoly power is derived from the government.
> >
> > A government (which, as defined in this email, is the sole arbiter of
> > force / violence) can certainly create monopolies.  But free
> > capitalism, with no government, will also result in monopolies.  As is
> > typical, the truth and the best option both lie somewhere between the
> > extremes.
> >
> > -Dan
> >
> > /*
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> >
>
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-- 
*Jeff Nyman*
*IT Coordinator*
American Leadership Academy


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