Re: Private armies
Thu, 17 Dec 1998 11:14:59 -0700

den Otter writes:
>If by "coercion" you mean giving up some of your freedom so
>that cooperation with not completely like-minded people becomes
>possible, than they certainly aren't mutually exclusive, but rather
>a basic necessity for progress.

No, of course that's not what I mean by coercion. Coercion is infringing on someone else's freedom, not giving up your own.

>Semantically speaking,
>cooperation and coercion aren't mutually exclusive either, as
>the former is defined as "working together to same end", not
>*voluntarily* working together to same end.

Strictly speaking, you're right, but I think that most people associate cooperation with mutual consent, at least by default, don't they?

So that our dialog is unambigous as possible, when I use the word "cooperate", assume I mean "voluntarily cooperate". When I write "coerce" I mean "initiate or threaten force in order to compel another's compliance".

>It's all nice and well to be a lone
>rebel, but it doesn't really get you anywhere.

I don't advocate being a lone rebel. I advocate association for the purpose of rebellion.

>It's more rational to
>sacrifice a little freedom now, and reap unprecented autonomy later.

I don't think it's rational at all. If you sacrifice freedom, you've already defeated yourself. How are you going to reap autonomy by a process of surrendering it?

>Because one person's freedom is another person's oppression.

This is a fundamental misconception. To make clear what libertarians mean by freedom: my freedom is the ability to live _my_ life, using _my_ resources as I see fit, without forcible interference; so is yours. It's not possible to uphold my freedom without at the same time upholding yours. Freedom in this sense cannot be oppression.

>At the very least you can't allow people to steal, rape, murder,
>pollute and damage property freely.

Of course not. To allow such things is to betray freedom. You may have noticed that these are common practices of our supposed protectors who call themselves "government". Exactly what I stand against.

>Due to human nature it is currently impossible to create a non-coercive

You need to support this. I hope to hell you're wrong.