Re: POLI: Random democracy

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Mon, 17 Feb 1997 15:44:39 -0800 (PST)

> I haven't read Coase's original work, just Friedman's essay on his web
> page. The latter didn't seem to show that all gov't solutions were
> unnecessary, just that exercising them would take more analysis and
> consideration. LA auto pollution? Widespread atmospheric pollution?
> Ocean overfishing? Coase seemed to push the problem to one of
> transaction costs; what if for a few problems coercive solutions are the
> best practical solution?

"Practical" is a value judgment, and presupposes a standard by which
one must judge what works "well" and what doesn't. If one's standard
of judgment includes the total repudiation of coercive force, as does
mine, then no coercive solution can be practical by definition. It
may be difficult to create free-market solutions to some problems, but
I have never found such a problem. The ones you name above are quite
trivially solved by assigning private property rights in clean air and
healthy oceans to individuals, and letting the market trade itself
into equilibrium; basic A-C 101.

Again, I place the burden of proof where it belongs: on the agents of
force. I do not care to prove to you that I am free--you must prove
to me that to enslave me is justified. Resorting to history is no
excuse. That only proves that slavery is natural and compatible with
our evolutionary design. I thumb my nose at that nature; I know I can
do better, and I assume that others can as well.

> One item is that peaceful voluntary disgovernance involves something like
> forcing Congress to disband. It might be easier to force a replacement
> of Congress with a random government, and then to convince those
> legislators to disband, as they would have less personal stake in their
> power.

The "steps along the way" argument is not without merit, and I am
sympathetic to libertarians who, for instance, advocate a flat tax or
school vouchers as intermediate steps in the direction of abolishing
taxation and state indoctrination. I voted for vouchers myself. But
there is a fine line between manipulating a system that exists in
order to dismantle it later, and buying into the system's fundamental
claim of power and then merely tweaking it. I think a far better
path is to manipulate the system to the point at which it no longer
is able to interfere with the lives of individual sovereigns trading
among themselves, and then simply ignore it and let it die of its
own weight. I call that "underthrowing" the government. All these
ideas like "random democracy" or "hyperdemocracy" start from the
premise that democracy itself is somehow moral, and neither serve
to undermine the power of the system, only to move it around like
shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. Democracy doesn't need to be
fixed, it needs to be crippled and then abandoned.

Lee Daniel Crocker <>