Re: Gov't NOT Coercion? [Michael Lorrey]

Michael M. Butler (mbutler@comp*
Sun, 26 Oct 1997 23:58:09 -0800

I'm in an _advocatus diaboli_ mood, having just seen the movie. Prefix all my
comments below with (po) if it helps... :)

Michael Lorrey wrote:

> Ignorance of the law is recognised as a mitigating factor. A few years
> ago I was out waterskiing on Lake Washington with a freind. We didn't
> have a third person to act as watcher. I was driving, so when the Coast
> Guard stopped us, I got a ticket for it. When I went to court, I
> explained that I was a resident of New Hampshire and was not aware of
> the regulations for water skiing there in washington state. The judge
> ruled that as a mitigating factor and let me off.

You were lucky. You could have gone down. The court showed mercy. Did the Judge
dismiss, or were you found "not guilty"? I'm guessing the former. If the latter,
the state could have appealed and won. Not that they'd bother...

I also find it interesting that the USCG was enforcing _state_ laws. I'm not sure
that's within their powers/jurisdiction, though I'm sure they do it all the time.

> > 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. But as long as there's a
> > profit to be made by coercion, I believe that some people
> > will always attempt to do so.
> That is where civil disputes are still a big part of libertarian theory.
> Use of civil legal remedies to counteract coercive acts in a libertarian
> society has been fully hashed out.

You both miss another point: one of the profits of authoritarianism is delegation.
Some people *want* other people to be coerced by yet other people. So some people
will always attempt to create a State. See below...

> > This catch-22 makes me draw a parallel between communism and libertarianism:
> > sounds great, if everyone adheres. But usually the only way to get everyone
> > to adhere is with guns, which means fascism.

> I would by no stretch of the imagination call the US Constitution, nor
> Thomas Jefferson a fascist document or a fascist person.


> The only way
> you can even make any parallel between communism and libertarianism is
> that they are at extreme opposite ends of any political spectrum.
> Libertarians want to be able to prevent others from violating other
> individuals while communists consider violating other's rights as an
> obvious given.

*Ahem*. Well, let me step up to the plate here for a minute. I think the parallel
is between communism and anarchy. They'd both work if you could get there, but
maybe "you can't get there from here." That's my biggest problem with both of them.
"Anarchy at gunpoint" is no fun, and pretty damned low-quality anarchy to boot.

Now this may not be the point the Codewarrior Princess was trying to make, but I
think it's a closer fit.

> >
> > Can anyone talk me out of this?
> Easy, the internet is possibly the largest and most successful
> libertarian experiment in history, and you don't see wars, etc.

Yet. So far it's hard to project power in cyberspace, and impossible to take and
hold territory. This may not hold true forever.

A balance of power, and a bunch of other conditions detailed in Axelrod's _EoC_,
need to obtain for cooperation to be a successful ESS. I wish this were as obvious
to everyone as it is to me. But you can't teach calculus to a starving peasant, and
that fact is not the peasant's fault.

> Obsolescent governments are trying to force sovreignty on the internet
> by have found that to be rather problematic. Since anything crossing
> state lines is legaly interstate commerce, they can't under the
> Constitution legally mess with it, and so long as congress sees a
> libertarian policy vis a vis the internet as a positive business
> environment, they won't change it, and even the Communications Decency
> Act they tried to pass has been tossed out, so even their power is
> limited. Because the internet is predominantly a communications medium
> between people, the First Amendment is paramount with anything done on
> it. WHile there is little case law on the internet, the touchy areas
> with things like porno on the net in the end will I beleive, be found to
> only be enforceable in the originating data's jurisdiction under the
> standards of that jurisdiction. If such a policy is not ultimately
> practiced, we can all shortly expect to be living on the net according
> to the moral codes of the Wahabi sect of Saudi Arabia. SInce that does
> not seem palatable to most people, such a situation would obviously
> naturally encourage people to err on the side of libertarianism.

Until a cyber jihad.

<snip> discussion about property...

There's a real problem, way down deep, about where disputes end and clear title
obtains. It may be as tough a nut to crack as what "fair" means... a Unified "FAIR"
Theory so far escapes me, but I'm working on the cognitive quark model at the
moment. Wish me luck. Good luck on Davis-Lorrey mechanics. If it works, I want to
be a test pilot. :)


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