Re: Gov't NOT Coercion? [John K Clark]

kristen brennan (
Fri, 24 Oct 1997 12:09:53 -0700

> >I generally agree with Libertarianism in theory. But as far as I can

> >tell, for it to globally replace other systems of interaction, one

> >of two things would need to happen: 1. Everyone would need to

> >voluntarily adhere to it.



>Why? Nobody on this list is foolish enough to be talking about a world where

>everybody can do anything they want to, if you want to bash in my head with a

>baseball bat and I'd rather you didn't then we can't both have our way.

>What many of us are talking about is a world without government and the

>reasons this would encourage libertarianism. All police would be private

>police who work for various private protection agencies, and people don't

>like to PAY to restrain the private behavior of others in most areas, child

>abuse and perhaps a few others excepted. If you try to enforce your private

>law that most people hate and find intrusive then it's going to be very

>expensive for you, however if everybody except me thinks it's important to

>ware a funny hat every Tuesday and are willing to pay big bucks to enforce it

>then I'm just going to have to ware a funny hat on Tuesday. Everybody can't

>have total control over what laws they want to live by, but we can have a lot

>more control than we have now.

I'm not sure if the Libertarian advocacy is for (1) no government globally,

(2) personal refusal to obey any outside government, or (3) something else.

What's the difference between the theoretical large-scale private police force

and the US government? Just scale? Or is it that the US Government doesn't ask

newborns to sign a contract? If the latter, would requiring toddlers to either

sign a contract agreeing to pay lifelong taxes in return for citizenship, use

of roads, etc., or leave the country immediately satisfy the contraints of


> >2. Some group would need to impose Libertarianism on the world.

> >Of course, this imposition would go against Libertarian values.



>This is how I think government will die, unless the singularity happens first

>and changes the world so radically that it renders these matters moot.

>Nations will die not with a bang but with a whimper because modern worldwide

>communication, cryptography and untraceable digital cash and signatures will

>make it increasingly difficult to collect taxes. My confidence comes from the

>power of exponential growth. In general, if I increase the complexity of my

>encryption algorithm so that it takes me twice as long to encrypt it, I have

>made it not twice, but billions of times more difficult for an attacker to

>break it. The government has access to more powerful computers than I do,

>but not that much more powerful. There is just no getting around it, recent

>developments in mathematics and communication have tipped the balance away

>from the tax collector and in favor of the tax evader. For the first time in

>human history 2 people on opposite sides of the world will soon be able to

>make enforceable contracts without anybody else knowing about it, and even

>they might not know or need to know the physical location of the other.


>Governments will undoubtedly draft many new laws to try to protect themselves

>in this brave new world, but making rules is easy, enforcing them is not.

>Short of dismantling the internet and confiscating all home computers it's

>impossible to dictate what form of encryption or digital cash you must use

>in your home. When people are given a choice between one form of cash that

>government likes and you pay tax on and another that you don't it won't take

>them long to make a decision.


>Regardless of the rules, you can't collect the tax if you can't find the

>money. Even the traditional standby of "tax by inflation" would not work as

>people would just switch to a competing currency (untraceable of course) that

>suited their needs better. The tribute that could still be extracted, like

>property taxes and building permits, would have to be increased to astronomic

>levels and collected with a heavy hand, I think a tax revolt would follow.

>Without money government will grind to a halt.

Okay, this is starting to make sense to me. Are you saying that:

1. Libertarianism disallows imposition of noncensensual government.

This can be brought about in one of two ways:

2. It can be ENFORCED by resisting privately (or in consensual groups)

3. Technology may offer an economic model that supercedes government's

ability to enforce noncensensual rule.




</bold>Kristen Brennan

codewarrior princess


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