Re: More Libertarian questions

Gary Lloyd (
Wed, 29 Oct 1997 07:00:21 -0500 (EST)

At 01:29 PM 10/27/97 -0800, 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.
>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.

No system of government is tyranny for those who consent to it, and no
system of government is virtuous for those who do not consent. A truly
libertarian society would allow communities of every sort, so long as
participation is voluntary, and those communities are non-aggressive wrt
other communities. The trick is to somehow devise consensual communities
that are philosophical rather then geographical, wherein you and your
neighbor could subscribe to different governments.

>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
>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?

Persuasion has no value except as prelude to action. If coercive action is
excluded, there can be no problem.

If, by corporate welfare, you mean tax cuts, you are confusing *giving* with
*not taking*. If I take two dollars from you and "give" one back, I am not
giving you anything.

In a free and competitive market, the value of anything, including your
labor, is more than the seller thinks it is worth, and less than the buyer
thinks it is worth.

When the boot of government is on your neck,
it doesn't matter if it's left or right.