Re: More Libertarian questions

Michael Lorrey (
Mon, 27 Oct 1997 21:37:12 -0500

kristen brennan wrote:
> 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.

Its good to see some people can actually reach conclusions. Here are
some more to think about:
> 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,

coercion is more cost effective for short term profit taking, but
negative for long term profit taking in an economy of informed
consumers. If someone gets the word out that company A, individual B or
PPL C is a completely crooked nogoodnik, the negative PR will in the
long run, if the coercion continues toward enough people, become a "bad
thing" for the profitability of A, B, or C. Any libertarian system
requires a certain level of communication freedom to allow the market to
receive and transmit accurate signals, as well as a minimum percentage
of participants having a concious idea of the difference between their
perceived self interest and their real rational long term self interest
(which can often be rather counter-intuitive), basically the market has
to have a minimum level of average intelligence. As intelligence
amplification occurs over time with the singularity, the point of
economic equilibrium will drift toward libertarianism.

(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.

Self governance is avoided by most people because it currently is too
labor intensive, as compared to the alternative services currently
offered by state organizations. With the development of technologies
that make self governance less labor intensive, or that increase
individual productivity, giving them more time to devote to self
governance, people will tend to demand more and more self governance.
Those state organizations which fail to meet this market demand will be
revolted against, voted out of office, or disbanded.

> 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?

If a government is nothing more than a propaganda machine, then it in
effect is little more than a tourist attraction. I would not call Nazi
Germany a particularly attractive tourist attraction, though I imagine
the spa set would probably feel right at home... ;)

> 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?

When a corporation is told by a government that it is only going to
confiscate half of what the government thinks it owes, then that is
merely a reduction in government theft, not an increase in welfare for
the corporation. Whose money is it anyways? The corporation earned it.
Welfare is when a group or individual gets more back from the government
than it puts in in taxes, not when the amount of government confiscation
is merely reduced. You've bought into one of the Great Lies of liberal

The vast majority of our present total federal debt is, in fact, due to
increases in domestic spending, mostly in entitlement growth. Liberals
would have you beleive that the $6 trillion was all spent on defense.
Since $5 trillion of that was racked up between 1980 and the present
day, that means that we must have been spending almost $300 billion
every year since that time on defense. SInce the real numbers show that
this is not the case, that the only time the defense budget was as high
as that was in 1985, and that since then the defense budget has
decreased by half, while the entitlement budget has tripled, that
entitlements are responsible for a greater share of government debt.

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?

Well, as a single white straight male veteran with no dependents, I
can't collect welfare, unemployment, get vocational rehabilitation, win
a suit an employer for wrongful dismissal, or even collect on the
veterans benefits I worked for unless I figure out some con to become
part of a group that has been wronged in some way.

Last year between jobs I tried everywhich way to get any kind of
benefits, just for experiments sake. In the 14 years I've been in the
workforce, I estimate I've contributed around $50,000 to the system yet
have not received one penny back in a direct payment. Now, I wouldn't
mind it if I could specify what services I wanted and what I didn't. I
could specify all of my taxes go to defense and into government debt,
and I wouldn't mind at all not getting anything back but those two
services. But the claims that all of these taxes are for services I am
entitled to when I've found that they always have a loophole to exclude
me tells me that the government is the biggest bigot of all.

When I tried to leave out all data pertaining to my race, gender, etc. I
was told that I couln't receive benefits if I didn't give that
information, yet I can easily get by in a job application without such

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?

If you are willing to expose yourself to media, you get what you pay
for. On the other hand, you should be able to choose what sort of media
to can be exposed to. The Orwellian perpetual wallscreen is not my idea
of freedom of expression.
> -k.
> ___________________________________________________________
> Kristen Brennan
> codewarrior princess
> Version: 3.1
> GO d? s+:+ a-/a? C++ ?U W++$ K- M+ PS++ PE Y+
> t+['60s only] 5? X+ R++[recovered] !tv b++++ DI++++
> D--- G e* h+ r++ x++/z**
> ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
> 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."
> ___________________________________________________________

			Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------	Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
MikeySoft: Graphic Design/Animation/Publishing/Engineering
How many fnords did you see before breakfast today?