RE: FW: Property [was Re: The Education Function]
Thu, 17 Dec 1998 17:20:20 -0700

Steven writes:
>I don't hear
>much discussion about how the sick, disabled, or infirm -- or more
>generally, those who either don't have the same choices or believe they
>don't have the same choices -- will fare under A-C. Another participant
>this forum went so far as to say "fuck em".

I think he was directing the "fuck 'em" at those who insist on being able to live at his unwilling expense. I second it.

Someone has already dealt with your concerns about those less able to care for themselves. I'll just add that the more the market is allowed to work unhampered by coercion, the more efficient it will be, hence the more wealth there will be to go around.

>>(Aside: why do you equate "emotional" with "non-rational"? That's a false
>>dichotomy IMO.)

>I don't equate them, but I do think there is a strong correlation.

Depends what you mean. To me, "emotional" does not mean "emotion-driven" or "irrational", though I should have realized that that was your intended meaning. What I meant was that we are emotional animals, but we don't have to let our emotions swamp our rationality.

>(Didn't you say earlier that you'd rather people feel less and think more?
>Sounds like *you* don't think emotions and rational thought are entirely

See above. My complaint about people "feeling" instead of "thinking" was a shorthand way of saying that I wish people would stop *substituting* their feelings for thought. I didn't really mean we should actually feel less. Sorry for the confusion.

>>Anarchy is not a "system". It's simply freedom for systems to arise
>>force of arms.

>It's really a matter of semantics.

No, it's matter of logical analysis. A condition or state of affairs need not be a "system". Perhaps you think I'm splitting hairs, but I've seen that thinking of anarchy as "a system" quickly leads to all sorts of invalid conclusions about it. Anarchists, it's true, have systems of belief about it, and also ideas about possible systems that may arise in a state of anarchy, of course. But as I said, anarchy itself is simply the condition of (maximal) freedom; or to use the dictionary definition, the absence of civil "government".

As you yourself sagely observed, we can't predict the exact system or systems that will arise in a spontaneous order.

>[W]hat will really win them over is when they see how much happier and
>wealthier their A-C neighbors are. Isn't this exactly the mechanism by
>which capitalism gained so many adherents?

Yep - to the extent that capitalism (market freedom) has been allowed to exist, anyway.

>>Perhaps, but it's [dis]ingenuous to imply that the case for freedom
reduces to a
>>mere concern for material success.

>I don't mean to imply this. However, I also don't think the Japanese,
>wrong for valuing social duties over individual gratification.

Insofar as they value *imposing* "social duties" on anyone, I think they're dead wrong.

By the way, referring to individual "gratification" was a subtle poisoning of the well that I can't let slip by. Freedom has to do with control over one's own life and property, not with (presumably sybaritic) "gratification".

>There are (or once were) many American "patriots" who would gladly lay
>their lives for the state. I'm sure these people would all deny that they
>were being coerced.

Of course, to the extent they gladly (read willingly) laid down their lives, I agree they weren't coerced. What's this have to do with the topic at hand?

>I think this part is going nowhere, so I'll be direct. Do I stay awake
>night wracked with guilt that I work for the government? No. I think
>I'm doing is a proper function of a minimalist government, i.e., serving
>an information clearinghouse and helping to keep the economic wheels of
>country turning.

Thanks, you've made it clear now, and I respect your standpoint. No more guilt trips, I promise.

I think you're deluded, though, in thinking that force is required to keep the economy functioning. I think it has the opposite effect. May I suggest you check out (I believe) the second volume of Rothbard's _Man, Economy and State_ at your leisure?