Re: Definition of Libertarianism (was: prejudices)

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Wed, 17 Sep 1997 10:13:18 -0700 (PDT)

> "A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right,
> under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human
> being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation. Those who act
> consistently with this principle are libertarians, whether they
> realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are
> not libertarians, regardless of what they may claim."
> This is an interesting and somewhat curious definition. According to
> the above it would seem that any person who applied force to stop the
> rape or murder of someone they loved would not be libertarian.

It works pretty well if you strain the definitions of "initiate" and
"force" a bit. Most libertarians would consider not only self-defense,
but post-hoc retaliation (such as arrest, trial, jail, etc.) not an
initiation. And some conveniently redefine "force" to include things
like intellectual property violation or blackmail to justify laws
against those things. Most also include the threat of force or
reckless endangerment as "initiations of force" that one may defend
or retaliate against.

Complete LeFebvrian pacifists are a rare subset of libertarians.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC