The Libertarian action?

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Wed Nov 01 2000 - 15:31:48 MST

Suppose Person A wants to open up a bar, and applies for a liquor license.
Persons B, consisting of the resident/owners of a nearby condominium complex,
are annoyed by this for the standard reasons - increased noise, increased
traffic, violent drunks wandering around, and decreased property values.
Suppose that Persons B sign a petition to deny a liquor license to Person A,
thus annoying Person A and any investors thereof. Do you agree or disagree
with the following statements?

 (A) Signing a petition to deny a liquor license is an improper use of
government mechanisms, constituting the initiation of force.

 (B) Signing the petition may be a minor initiation of force, but that's a
justified response to the bar's proposed initiation of noise (or the other
negative effects).

 (C) The city government deciding the issue is the nearest available
approximation to the dispute resolution mechanisms that would exist in a
libertarian society - for example, distributed ownership of "noise rights".

 (D) This is a straightforward conflict of interest between the bar builders
and the condo owners, and invoking libertarian ethics is needlessly
complicating the issue.


If you don't have anything complicated to say, but you do have a strong opinion, please send me a private email - I'll collate the opinions and post them (with attributions) afterwards.


Sincerely, Eliezer.

-- -- -- -- -- Eliezer S. Yudkowsky Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:50:19 MDT