RE: capitalist religion (was: NANO: _Forbes_ cover story)

From: Russell Blackford (
Date: Wed Jul 18 2001 - 02:05:24 MDT

Lee sez

>Damien writes
> > Jerry Mitchell wrote
> > >You DO NOT have the right to take other peoples property (or
> > >have the government take it for you). You must rely on
> > >voluntary contributions and charity if you want to be moral.
> >
> > However do you get around? It must be rather limiting, restricting your
> > routes to avoid any roads paid for by taxes. Or do you drive along (or
> > in the bus or train) in a state of crushing and unremitting guilt?
>Guilt?? He's talking about the politicians and the voters
>who took the money. Annoyance, or perhaps the feeling of
>being abused, is probably what he feels when using the roads.

Nozick has an interesting essay on this somewhere in his _Philosophical

Personally, I don't make a good libertarian because I can see no principled
way to restrict government activities in the field of building social
infrastructure like roads, public schools, etc, and collecting taxes to pay
for it. This is not an argument for big government, which can be opposed on
various bases, just a view that there is no knock-out argument in favour of
minarchy. I think it can be shown that any pure minarchist position such as
Jerry Mitchell seems to be advocating collapses into either anarchism or
classical liberalism, once a serious attempt is made to defend it.

I do think there is something damn close to a knock-out argument against
passing laws based on the reasoning that "we don't want you to exercise your
freedom in certain ways that we find immoral". That, however, is a classical
liberal view, not strictly a libertarian one.



Russell Blackford
writer philosopher lawyer transhumanist
Active Member: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA)
Member: Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA)

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