A trenchant quote from Foseti

From the comments to this thread:

It’s pretty strange that mainstream libertarians believe that companies exist but nations do not.


It continues to distress me that the only semi-major party (defined generously as a party that has ever elected officials) that I agree with on a substantial number of policies is the party whose core philosophy I flatfootedly reject. You can't base sensible policies on non-initiation of force, because that just kicks every policy argument into an argument about definitions. Yet the LP is the only party that actually seems to oppose dysgenic entitlements (as usual, for the wrong reasons).
Hoppe and some others may take things in a very different direction if the circumstances are right but I'm just speculating.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
That quote is ambiguous at best. Could even be called a strawman.

@Olave: The problem with "sensible policies" is they don't exist, unless you want to go grubbing in Relativist land, and compare the best theoretical outcome (no matter how illogical or unsupported) of whatever you like to the theoretical or historical worst case scenario. Anything can theoretically be sensible, depending on who you talk to.

Immoral means never lead to moral ends, and the commonly conceived concept of government is immoral.
"You can't base sensible policies on non-initiation of force, because that just kicks every policy argument into an argument about definitions."

I wasn't trying to hang too much on "sensible policies". What I meant was:
Basing everything on non-initiation of force doesn't lead to consistent or even minimally predictable policies because every policy argument is just an argument about definitions. Either I can or can't "force" my neighbor to listen to my music a 2 AM. Either I can or can't force my neighbor to listen to my lawnmower at 2 PM. Libertarianism can't answer these on its own.

(I do like Hoppe though, and Ron Paul.)
Anonymous said…
You can't have a real debate without defining terms first anyway, so a policy "argument"(or "debate"), should be doing.
Anonymous said…
Overwatch - thank you for your comments. Outside of Hoppe and his group, libertarians seem to reject any notion of a national, collective interest, while explicitly acknowledging the collective interests of, say, shareholders in public corporations, and will defend the right of people to form such interests even though they are unavoidably taking advantage of government externalities to do so. Why not extend the same deference to nations?
Anonymous said…
I won't defend the inconsistencies of "libertarianism", as it is the uncomfortable fence sitting of a pragmatic anarchist or a delusional statist.

Speaking as an anarchist (or more accurately, a "Voluntarist"), the key difference between a group of share holders and/or members of a firm is the voluntary aspect, whereas a nation is never entirely comprised of willful subjects, and always depends on "badges and guns".
But children get born, and without a set of covenants tying their future to their past they are just atomized individuals in a materialist economy. I don't see such a model persisting beyond a single generation.
Anonymous said…
So you are conflating arbitrary systemic violence with familial value systems?

What I teach my children and what the mafia does have no correlation.
Families form clans, clans form tribes, tribes form ethnicities, and ethnicities form nations. Pick whatever point in the process you like and you end up with a geographic redoubt of whatever scale where future generations subscribe to a set of covenants just by virtue of being born there. The pure anarcho-capitalist vision is a society of atomized individuals that must eventually disband or go extinct. I have much sympathy for the anarchist view but have ultimately concluded that it is utopian.
Anonymous said…
I would point out that history has shown all other approaches to be utopian. Voluntarism does not require no hierarchy whatsoever, merely no coercive one. Individuals may or may not be "atomized", but may seek connections with other humans on a mutually agreeable level, and in a voluntary manner.

There will always be problems of various sorts, since humans are not perfect. But to institutionalize the violence (the creation of the state, in any of it's forms) is not the answer. Handing a monopoly of violence to a group of people, no matter how large or small, and expecting it to not be abused is the epitome of a utopian ideal.