Re: the libertarian transition

Wayne Hayes (
Sat, 25 Oct 1997 11:28:13 -0400

Anton Sherwood <> writes:
>Weapons don't mean dictatorship. *Concentration* of weapons in
>the hands of an elite means dictatorship over the disarmed masses.

I'd amend this to say *exclusive* concentration of weapons. Otherwise,
you've just called Canada a dictatorship, since we (I'm Canadian) have
much more restrictive gun laws than the US. It's legal to own a gun
in Canada, but there's plenty more red tape to get through to do it.

>Where weapons are widespread, dictatorship becomes far more difficult.

True, but the price is that petty crime has far more potential to
develop into violent crime, and gangland-style crime has the potential
to become more common. For example, being mugged at gunpoint is
*completely* unheard of in Toronto, because the kind of people who'd
like to mug can't get their hands on a gun. I'm under the impression
that "mugging at gunpoint" style robberies are more common in large US
cities than here. That's what I mean by "petty crime developing into
violent crime". As for gangland crime: it becomes easier for young
gangster-wanna-be's to fulfil their dreams of gangster-dom if guns are
easily had. I know that in Toronto, a few schools are becoming more
violent these days than any schools were when I was young, but it's
mostly knife violence. I shudder to think how bad it could be if the
kids could buy a gun at the local pawn shop. Heck, it could become as
bad as some places in the US.

>(I hear that Albania is quieter now that most households have
>machine-guns looted from the army!)

Could you substantiate that? Where did you "hear" this? And can
you be sure that there's a cause-and-effect? Maybe it's quieter
because, now that everybody has guns, all the violent people have
killed each other. (Which is not necessarily, bad, I'll admit...)

>But I claim the right to defend myself against aggression, which
>includes aggression by tax-collectors and narcs.

If you actively "claim" this right, then you're saying that you
claim the right to ignore the laws of your land at your discretion.
I think that your ideals are noble, but your plan-of-action is less
than admirable, if you actually try to "claim" this right. If you
don't like the law in a democracy, there are avenues to try to change
it. If you can't change it, then there are only 3 choices left, as
I see it: (1) avoid the laws by hiding your actions that break them
(ie, tax evasion & smoking joints in secrecy, which is the current
method) (2) Try to change the laws in an unlawful way, ie, violently.
As Kristen points out, this should be self-contradictory to a
libertarian. (3) Move to a place where the laws are more in line with
your views. Are there any countries in the world that libertarians
could move to that would be more in line with their views? I don't

>In my favorite scenario (not necessarily the most likely) for a
>libertarian transition, there's no upheaval; people just stop
>cooperating with Big Brother, until it collapses of its own weight.

This just ain't gonna happen, at least in our lifetimes, because there
are far too few libertarians to stop co-operating. You'll just have
Big Brother in your face, with his gun.

>There will be an uneasy period, as everybody waits for the
>"inevitable" crime wave - but I bet it won't happen.

I agree that there will probably not be a crime wave, but I'd put even
money on there being more violence, probably gang-land related, as
power-hungry organized crime leaders fight it out. Toronto is beginning
to see a bit of this, unfortunately. There have been a few gangland
style shoot-outs in the past few years, which were unheard of until
recently. And by-standers have been hit. I'd prefer not to live in
a world where there was no deterrent to that kind of crime.

>As the
>drug trade comes from underground into daylight, violence should

Again, could you justify this? I can see that as a possibility, but
I can also see the possibility of turf wars being even more violent
than they are now.