Re: Property and the Law, and is it a priority?

From: Charles D Hixson (
Date: Sun Aug 05 2001 - 12:38:03 MDT

On Sunday 05 August 2001 07:36 am, you wrote:
> On Thursday, August 02, 2001 8:49 AM Mike Lorrey wrote:
> ..
> Not so. Cordato's arguments apply both to minarchy and anarchy
> -- in fact, to any-archy as they are not libertarian arguments
> per se, but economic ones. Specifically, he talks about how
> attempts to improve upon free market efficiency are doomed. (I
> ...
Perhaps you should consider that economics is not now and has not
been a science. Any arguments made on an economic basis should be
considered to have a large degree of uncertainty in them. (I.e.,
are not worthy of *belief!*), no matter how appealing they are.
As a more practical matter, Minarchies and Anarchies have a
distressing tendency to be unstable equilibria. There have been a
few small examples that remained stable until perturbed by external
stresses, but I think that one needs to assume that there will be
external stresses, if only of TV or Radio signals. Unless one
intends to run a pre-electric community, which, in fact, all of the
successful - for - more - than - a -couple - of - decades examples
that I can think of were. Some of the were successful for multiple
generations, but they were all small, isolated groups without
complex internal structures (like corporations, insurance
companies, security forces, etc.)

I think it quite possible that as technology improves it will again
become possible to create small, self-contained, communities, of
the macro-life variety. Possibly some of them will be extreme
libertarian, of one flavor or another (but this implies that all
life support is totally automated).

What seems feasible now is to design systems to accomplish desired
ends that don't have locally centralized controls. It's somewhat
interesting that we owe the best current example, the internet, to
the US Army. (They didn't wan an invading army to be able to sieze
control.) It's also noticable, however, and a bit sad, that as it
becomes less regulated by the government it is increasingly siezed
by monoplistic elements. (Cable corporations, the Bell descendant
companies, etc.)

If you are libertarian, and have the appropriate skill set, you
might want to consider becoming involved with the design of the
next net, IPv6, I believe it's called. This is happening now, and
may well have a very strong influence on our lives in the near

Private property is definitely a priority, but it happens only
within an entire social context. It is the social context that
defines what is private, and what is property. This isn't a given.
 We may be headed into an era when our very bodies are not
considered our private property. Or when they are considered
disposable property. And what about your children. Are they
property? At what age? These are social context questions.
(Well, these days, legal questions. But that's a subset of social

 Charles Hixson
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