Re: The Libertarian action?

From: William Sullivan (
Date: Thu Nov 02 2000 - 14:36:19 MST

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

> (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.

I'm not clear on the above two options. My understanding of the libertarian
position (if I can be excused for discussing the vast, conflicting body of
libertarian opinion as one position for a moment) was not that there are no
conflicts of interest and therefore initiation of force is improper, but that
initiation of force is improper and especially so when interests conflict. So,
it would seem to me that the second half of option (D) (after the second 'and')
is a bit weird; if one agrees with the first half of the option's description of
the problem, then "libertarian ethics" help to simplify the issue, not
complicate it.

As it so happens, this last is my position. I agree with the first half of (D)
(before the second 'and') and the entirety of (A) (with the possible exception
of the last five words, which I could quite happily live without). And I think I
would also hold this position from the perspective of the bar owner, the condo
owner, and a third-party; the issue of precedence and legitimacy is of the
utmost importance and regardless of the benefit the condo owner may gain from
the closing of the bar, empowering and/or encouraging a government like this is

William Sullivan

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