Re: The Libertarian action?

From: William Sullivan (
Date: Fri Nov 03 2000 - 11:25:22 MST

"Brian Atkins" <> wrote:

> Just to clarify we are talking about a NEW bar trying to open up next to
> an existing condo. The new bar's property has never been used as a bar
> previously. Does your answer still hold from all perspectives?

Although this is a complication (especially if there was a change in zoning that
made the bar unexpected to the condo owner), I still think the answer holds from
all perspectives. Regardless of the particular cost-benefit analysis for this
action (petitioning to close the bar), the full cost includes granting
legitimacy to the government and allowing the precedent that reacting to a
petition of this sort is an action within its purview. Now, as a radical
libertarian, I don't think this is a legitimate action, so I'd like people not
to encourage the government thinking it is legitimate.

Do I think that someone other than me who owned the condo would think this way?
No, probably not. I don't think my view of the government or my view of strategy
in dealing with the government is terribly widespread. I think the likely action
by the condo owner is to petition. But if I were the condo owner, I'd seek a
non-governmental solution or suck it up and live with the noise.

As we don't live in a fully police state, the operations of government are
dependent on social support; they need the sanction of the people to law claim
to legitimacy. And I don't mean that in a philosophical social contract sort of
way; I mean in a riot in the street, bloody revolution sort of way. If one is
against government (which one should be as government rather the dangerous
institution), then you should minimize your sanction of it and go around it as
often as practical/possible. The will of the people is not primarily expressed
in voting, but in everyday uses of government and taking the legitimacy of
government for granted. It is this legitimacy that must be challenged.



William Sullivan

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