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Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Euphemism of Libertarianism Christopher Zimny

The libertarian world can be summed up, ultimately, as freedom from crime. Based on the principles of private property and non-aggression, many anarcho-capitalist writers propound and rework “ideal” visions of a “libertarian world”.
What must never be admitted into such a world by writers of this stripe is a coercive government, even when it is admitted that force will nevertheless exist such a world But there seems to be something slightly amiss in this idea, even perhaps at a first glance. Many libertarian writers theorize a world in which no force is used by individuals who make up a State, but wherein force is used by still other individuals, such as petty thieves or gun-wielding extortionists—aggression which is usually admitted as impossible to fully eradicate.

But it must be realized that insofar as one admits the existence of unwarranted force into such a society—and it would indeed be absurd to pretend that it would be otherwise—one must also admit that compulsory states exist in it too.

Read this rest on Daily Anarchist:


  1. I find it intriguing that the examples used in the first paragraph actually existed during the years of the early American Republic. Granted, while there were government courts monopolizing the provision of arbitration services, generally speaking the federal and state governments were so limited in their powers that it was almost as if they were never there. In fact, as libertarian Roger Roots pointed out in his article, “Are Cops Constitutional?,” what you and I understand today to be “police officers” were not only unknown in the United States in 1789, but only came around almost 50 years after the ratification of the Constitution. The Framers, as well as most of the Founding Generation, considered “law enforcement” as the duty primarily that of private citizens. If there ever was a solid justification for the open-carry of firearms (besides the Non-Aggression Principle), this is it.

    Speaking of which, Aaron Hawkins admitted recently that the NAP is in fact a type of social contract. This is very interesting, for it suggests that the social contract can in fact be voluntary. The 1787 Constitution was ratified by the various state conventions, whose delegates were voluntarily chosen by the individuals who lived in those areas. What this would mean is that the Constitution, as another type of social contract, was actually voluntarily contracted into by the People of the United States (at the risk of using a term to describe a collective aggregate of flesh and blood individuals). Correct me if I am wrong here, but I think this demonstrates that the ratification of the Constitution does not violate the Non-Aggression Principle, since it was legitimately contracted into and agreed upon without infringing upon anyone’s property rights. While Lysander Spooner may have a legitimate concern about whether posterity (which would be us) are still bound by the Constitution, I think it is awfully premature for libertarians to flippantly throw away the Constitution into the trash bin of history, especially considering that the Founders were the only individuals in history to conduct the only successful libertarian revolution the world has ever seen by (at least initially) effectively binding the coercive powers of the State.

  2. While I do appreciate intellectual exercises regarding the (non-corporate) free market provision of security and arbitration services, I must admit that the emergence of these Dispute Resolution Organizations would have a much better time getting established and operational once the Republic has been restored (which would be evidenced by the, hopefully inevitable, fall of the current American Empire). I don’t quite see how a DRO (which to my understanding of the anarcho-captialist literature I have read thus far, is still only theoretical) can overcome the beginning inertia and lack of stable consumer demand inherent with any “white market” start-up entrepreneurial venture. Since I don’t think the State would appreciate any DRO challenging their jurisdiction (even if they only perceived it as such, and the DRO in question was not in actuality doing such a thing), it makes sense to me that only agorists have any business, at this time, actually organizing their own DROs. Even then, since they are necessarily trading risk for profit, various privacy and informational security measures (at the very least) should be used by them to lower the probability of either them or their clients getting harassed by agents of the State.

    This now brings me to what is probably the heart of the matter here, which is the viability of civil disobedience. As Henry Thoreau famously said, this method is rooted in the right of revolution. Since the right of revolution is simply collective self-defense for when the Law (as Frédéric Bastiat conceptualized it) fails to prevent an absence of plunder (as evidenced by the domination of the Administrative Agencies), I fail to see why so many libertarians eschew preparing for revolution or even individual self-defense against government agents, especially considering their approval and practice of civil disobedience (as demonstrated by the Free Staters up in the Shire). If your principles dictate freedom and Liberty, then being trained to deal with the violent coercion of others is the only way I can see of practicing internal consistency with your professed values.

    Granted, it is true that you cannot be a “freedom fighter” from prison (for the most part), but if libertarians were knowledgeable about guerrilla warfare theory (at the very least), they would understand that, as a guerrilla, you would operate on your schedule and timetable, not the enemy’s. So, in this regard, there are certain “utilitarian” decisions that you would end up making in a particular situation (such as talking to a cop during a traffic stop instead of shooting the damn bastard), but that is only for the purpose of buying you more time that you can then use to secure your Liberty for the long run. I know this is a touchy subject amongst libertarians since it concerns both tactics and strategy, but I think it is time to start seriously evaluating what options we have left at our disposal all the while the statist Orwellian Nightmare is strangling us tighter and tighter.