Re: The Libertarian action?

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Thu Nov 02 2000 - 14:01:06 MST

Running update: So far, we have three votes for A, two votes for D, and two
votes for C (including Michael Bast), received in that chronological order.
Most respondents gave detailed reasons for their opinions, which I will
post/summarize when all responses are in. Please note, however, that you
don't need a detailed argument to respond! I'd like to know what the
respected long-time Extropian regulars think, even if it's just a single
letter expressing an off-the-cuff reaction.

Eliezer Yudkowsky wrote:
> 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.

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

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