More Libertarian questions

kristen brennan (
Mon, 27 Oct 1997 13:29:44 -0800

Okay, I think I'm getting this Libertarian stuff. "Violence ethical only when used to defend

personal liberties" - check. "Digital cash and other new technologies make it difficult for

traditional governments to control the currency of power" - check.

Thanks for everyone who's contributed to my understanding. I've still got a few devil's

advocate caveats I'm happy to be talked out of:

1. I agree that the still-burgeoning, information-based economy is fostering the profitability

of libertarian-style models. But I suspect that (a) the cost/benefit ratio of dominating

others will always be more attractive than self-suffiency to a minority of persons willing to

use coercion, (b) most people will succumb to governance over self-rule (if handled correctly),

and (c) the greater the % of population willing to be governed, the more difficult it is for

those who do not wish to be governed to retain autonomy.

Therefore, I submit that although libertarianism will advance to a degree, it will never fully

replace current systems of government.

2. Hypothetically, if coercive government did disappear completely, wouldn't power-mongers just

switch their mechanism from coercion to persuasion? John Clark noted that Germans probably

wouldn't have attempted genocide against the Jews en masse without the Nazi military machine.

But would a Nazi propoganda machine have been equally effective? It's my understanding

that a large percentage of the American population believe that welfare recipients are

responsible for much of the country's ills, but have no idea that USA spends 150 billion/year

on corporate welfare. Isn't that governance by persuasion rather than coercion? And although

I'd like to believe that the only factor influencing the market value of my work is the work

itself, I'm fully aware that public perception of my race, gender, sexual preference, education,

etc., are extremely influential. If any body can control the factors that set the prices for

my work, does it really matter that they use persuasion rather than coercion? Is it only

an ethical victory, or is there something I'm not seeing?

What's the libertarian position on this? That population control through media, while sometimes

unfortunate, is not unethical?



</bold>Kristen Brennan

codewarrior princess


Version: 3.1

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t+['60s only] 5? X+ R++[recovered] !tv b++++ DI++++

D--- G e* h+ r++ x++/z**


The child says, "Give me what I want because I desire it."

The teenager, "Because it is ethical." And the adult,

"Because I am holding a gun."