Re: Were to put our money (was PHIL: The (im)moral state)

Arjen Kamphuis (
Sat, 28 Mar 1998 13:33:33 +0100 (CET)

At 19:29 26-03-98 -0500, Dan Fabulich <> wrote:
>If I understand your argument correctly, however, you're concerned that if
>(admittedly money-losing) welfare programs were NOT in place, violent
>revolution would result. I am dubious of this argument... if we take this
>argument to its logical conclusion then we must necessarily choose between
>a capitalist welfare state and socialism; we could never be, for example,
>libertarian, because any attempt to try it would be rejected in favor of
>something more authoritarian.
>Also, I still disagree with you about the rioting. I don't think that
>violence is inevitable, but rather that the poor, being generally honest
>and intelligent people, will refrain from violent upheaval if it's in their
>best interests in the long run. I'm still open to the argument that
>abandoning welfare may not be better for the poor in the long run... but
>that's different from saying that the poor will revolt EVEN IF IT'S AGAINST
>You argue that if we deny the poor welfare payments, they will steal, riot
>and kill to get it back, no matter how good it might be for them in the
>long run. It seems to me that no rational person would do such a thing
>unless it was absolutely the only way to avoid death.

If most people (both poor and rich) make their decisions rationally and
based on their long-term interests and those interests are best served by a
libertarian style of governing then why aren't the libertarian parties huge?

Two possibilities (AFAIKT):

1. Most people do not make al of their decisions rationally and don't
always take their long-term interests into consideration. This would
explain why there are still many people smoking cigarettes, climbing
mountians and riding bikes without a helmet.

2. Libertarianism is not in the best interest of most people and they vote
accordingly (for a minority group it is, or seems to be, in their best
interests and they also vote accordingly).

Personally I think it's a combination of both. If a true libertarian party
wins a national election in the US or a major European country and that
country is still well (preferrebly better) after few years I'll change my
opinion and congratulate everybody on this list who had more foresight than
I did.

Untill then,


Arjen Kamphuis | "Here Be Dragons", read the ancient maps | in all the white spots that seemed large
enough to hold the fabled creatures.

let's go dragon hunting.

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