Defining Libertarianism (was Defining Terrorism)

Russel Caldwell caldr704 at
Wed Jun 26 22:01:47 MDT 2013

On Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 7:49 PM, Daniel C. <dcrookston at> wrote:

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

Isn't this being a bit disingenuous? It's kind of like a liberal calling a
conservative hypocritical if he takes Social Security even though he says
he doesn't believe in it. Yes, theoretically I could do many dumb things
and frankly I've done my share, but that doesn't make this a sound argument.

> > 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.

There's the theoretical and then there's hard reality.

> > 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.
> I've already said that I don't advocate demolishing the system, that it
wouldn't work. I certainly do advocate a reversing of course. We've been on
a course of a more socialist, corporatist, militarist society for over a
hundred years now. How has that worked for us?

> 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?

By definition everybody can participate in a free market. This is in
contrast to the idea that a person can just stop participating in society.
There have been plenty of poor emigrants to this country who have not only
done well but have thrived in generally free market conditions.

> > 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.

I will be the first to admit the hypocrisy of people I revere. I will even
admit that I've been guilty of it a time or two. Have you? Where is
hypocrisy more harmful and dangerous, in transactions between two people in
a free market transaction or when socialist politicians in France hide
their money from their own socialist leaning government which says a 70%
tax on income is good for society? Disparaging people like Washington does
nothing to reduce the real danger of power concentrated in the hands of a
few elite.

> -Dan
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"The legitimate purpose of formalization lies in the reduction of the tacit
coefficient to more limited and obvious informal operations; but it is
nonsensical to aim at the total elimination of our personal participation."
-- Michael Polanyi

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