LIBERTARIAN: What Kind of Libertarian … … am I?

Monday, March 12, 2018

https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/what-kind-libertarian-are-you

MAR 7, 2018
What Kind of Libertarian Are You?
by Aaron Ross Powell  Facebook

Libertarianism comes in many varieties. Here, Powell sets out his own off-the-beaten-path version, with intellectual roots among the Ancient Greeks.

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I was recently asked on Twitter whether my libertarianism is of the consequentialist or deontological variety. For those not hip to the terminology, the question is about what sort of moral theory underpins my political theory. Those two—consequentialism and deontology—are, for many, the default choices when it comes to libertarianism. You can believe in political liberty because free people in free markets lead to the most wealth and happiness—and so liberty is valuable because of that, in which case you’re a consequentialist. Or you believe that there exist hard and fast, unavoidable moral rules—about obligations or prohibitions or rights—that we must respect, and doing so demands, at least in part, respecting the liberty of individuals. If that’s your line of thinking, you’re a deontologist.

My answer to the question-as-framed is “Neither.” I’m not a consequentialist, nor am I a deontologist. I believe, of course, that the consequences of actions and of political systems matter a great deal. But I don’t believe that consequences are all that matters in moral or political considerations. And I believe, of course, that we live with certain obligations towards others, among these a respect for rights. But I don’t believe that articulating a set of rules and then following them is the most fruitful or psychologically authentic way to think about morality.

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My libertarianism, with its virtue ethical foundations, thus boils down to a deep conviction that good people, acting out of virtue, will treat each other will kindness, benevolence, respect, and so on. They will seek to engage each other through our most human of faculties, namely conversation and persuasion, and will not seek to get their way as animals do, with violence and threats. A political system built on that will be one of liberty, not coercion. That’s the kind of libertarian I am.

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My libertarianism is rooted in my early Catholic grammar school being taught by the good Christian Brothers. These war vets were definitely scared by that experience and communicated it to their students. Not that they were pacifists, just that any war should be for only great reasons. And, that we all had a moral duty to the Works of Mercy — charity is one. It was emphasized that it was an individual; not a collective obligation. They were very contemptuous of Government “charity” as immoral, ineffective, and inefficient. 

I’m not so sure I drank the Kool Aid of “religion”, but the “morality” did stick. In my lessons, I distilled that “capitalism” has lifted humanity out of the abject substance poverty around the globe. Hence that led me to Austrian economics and the whole travesty of Government abuse of Constitutional “money”.

That’s my journey to Libertarianism.

I’m not sure what kind of libertarian I am.

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LIBERTARIAN: Re-Privatize “street sweeping” again!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

https://www.howtogeek.com/trivia/ben-franklin-wasnt-just-a-u.s.-founding-father-but-the-founder-of-modern/

Ben Franklin Wasn’t Just A U.S. Founding Father, But The Founder Of Modern?

Street Sweeping

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In fact, the very idea of having someone clean the streets besides the men hauling away the mud after the storms wasn’t even a consideration. All of that changed though when an impoverished woman swept the stoop of Ben Franklin’s home in London. The woman explained to him that she swept in front of the doors of the wealthy with the hope of getting small tokens in return. Franklin offered her money to sweep not just in front of his home—a home still standing and seen here on Craven Street in London—but to sweep up the dust from the whole street.

She returned only a few hours later after cleaning up the entire street. He was astounded at the speed with which she was able to tidy the street and set about contracting London’s night watchmen to sweep the streets, furnishing them with equipment and carts. Not only did the watchmen work on the project (effectively becoming the first street sweeping work force), but they also carried extra supplies with them and would hire the poor to help them (which made Franklin’s street cleaning efforts an early example of public works projects deployed to assist the poor through work).

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Why can’t “we” do this again?

Individual actions can provide cost-effective solutions.

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LIBERTARIAN: Lysander Spooner “critique of taxation”

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/quotable-lysander-spooner

JAN 12, 2018
The Quotable Lysander Spooner
by George H. Smith  
Smith discusses Spooner’s critique of taxation.

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so let’s let Spooner speak for himself.  

It is true that the theory of our Constitution is, that all taxes are paid voluntarily; that our government is a mutual insurance company, voluntarily entered into by the people with each other; that each man makes a free and purely voluntary contract with all others who are parties to the Constitution, to pay so much money for so much protection, the same as he does with any other insurance company; and that he is just as free not to be protected, and not to pay any tax, as he is to pay a tax, and be protected.

But this theory of our government is wholly different from the practical fact. The fact is that the government, like a highwayman, says to a man: Your money, or your life. And many, if not most, taxes are paid under the compulsion of that threat.

The government does not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the road side, and, holding a pistol Edition: current; Page: to his head, proceed to rifle his pockets. But the robbery is none the less a robbery on that account; and it is far more dastardly and shameful.

The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be merely a “protector,” and that he takes men’s money against their will, merely to enable him to “protect” those infatuated travellers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of protection. He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these.

Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful “sovereign,” on account of the “protection” he affords you. He does not keep “protecting” you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy to your country, and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands. He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villanies as these.

In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave.

Spooner continued his analysis as follows:

The proceedings of those robbers and murderers, who call themselves “the government,” are directly the opposite of these of the single highwayman.

In the first place, they do not, like him, make themselves individually known; or, consequently, take upon themselves personally the responsibility of their acts. On the contrary, they secretly (by secret ballot) designate some one of their number to commit the robbery in their behalf, while they keep themselves practically concealed. They say to the person thus designated:

“Go to A— B—, and say to him that “the government” has need of money to meet the expenses of protecting him and his property. If he presumes to say that he has never contracted with us to protect him, and that he wants none of our protection, say to him that that is our business, and not his; that we choose to protect him, whether he desires us to do so or not; and that we demand pay, too, for protecting him. If he dares to inquire who the individuals are, who have thus taken upon themselves the title of “the government,” and who assume to protect him, and demand payment of him, without his having ever made any contract with them, say to him that that, too, is our business, and not his; that we do not choose to make ourselves individually known to him; that we have secretly (by secret ballot) appointed you our agent to give him notice of our demands, and, if he complies with them, to give him, in our name, a receipt that will protect him against any similar demand for the present year. If he refuses to comply, seize and sell enough of his property to pay not only our demands, but all your own expenses and trouble beside. If he resists the seizure of his property, call upon the bystanders to help you (doubtless some of them will prove to be members of our band). If, in defending his property, he should kill any of our band who are assisting you, capture him at all hazards; charge him (in one of our courts) with murder, convict him, and hang him. If he should call upon his neighbors, or any others who, like him, may be disposed to resist our demands, and they should come in large numbers to his assistance, cry out that they are all rebels and traitors; that “our country” is in danger; call upon the commander of our hired murderers; tell him to quell the rebellion and “save the country,” cost what it may. Tell him to kill all who resist, though they should be hundreds of thousands and thus strike terror into all others similarly disposed. See that the work of murder is thoroughly done, that we may have no further trouble of this kind hereafter. When these traitors shall have thus been taught our strength and our determination, they will be good loyal citizens for many years, and pay their taxes without a why or a wherefore.

It is under such compulsion as this that taxes, so called, are paid. And how much proof the payment of taxes affords, that the people consent to support “the government,” it needs no further argument to show.

If a better critique of taxation has ever been written, I have yet to see it.

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I agree “taxes are theft”.

I don’t understand why people don’t see it? 

Have “We, The Sheeple” been so brainwashed by the Gooferment Skrules — another unConstitutional abomination — that they would be unrecognizable by the Dead Old White Guys?

Sigh!

The the current 20T+ national debt and the guesstimated 300T+ in unfunded liabilities that our posterity will have to deal with will be their wake up call. And, how they will curse us!

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LIBERTARIAN: Decentralization and secession as a perfectly little L libertarian strategy

Sunday, December 10, 2017

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/11/bionic-mosquito/decentralization-an-essentially-libertarian-vision/

Decentralization: An Essentially Libertarian VisionBy Bionic MosquitoNovember 30, 2017

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I almost skipped this edition when I saw the title, “Mailer for Mayor.”  I am not terribly interested in reading about a failed mayoral candidacy from almost 50 years ago.  I changed my mind within the first three lines (I should have known better than to shortchange Rothbard).

The candidate is Norman Mailer, announcing his candidacy in the Democratic primary.  Rothbard described this as “the most refreshing libertarian political campaign in decades.”  What about Mailer’s campaign brought on this glowing comment from Rothbard?

The Mailer platform stems from one brilliantly penetrating overriding plank: the absolute decentralization of the swollen New York City bureaucracy into dozens of constituent neighborhood villages.

Rothbard is not waiting for the big bang – seven billion people simultaneously seeing the light:
Each neighborhood will then be running its own affairs, on all matters, taxation, education, police, welfare, etc.

As opposed to the idea that there is something un-libertarian about people living next to each other and sharing some desires in common for the neighborhood.  In any case, the smaller and more local the political unit, the more control each constituent has and the more that those in government will be known individually – in person, face-to-face.

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I too almost breezed over this summary. It has the essence of a great strategy. Should have expected this gem from Rothfarb.

If us little L libertarians can just agitate for smaller and smaller political units (i.e., break up big Gooferment into lots of little ones), then maybe we can eliminate the politicians and bureaucrats from our daily lives.

Now it may cost a little more in efficiency (i.e., more bureaucrats initially), but it’ll be more than made up in effectiveness (i.e., fewer politicians and bureaucrats deciding stuff they shouldn’t be involved in) in the long run.

We should keep Gooferment small, barefoot, and penniless.

IMHO

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LIBERTARIAN: Of course, no bailouts for anyone, anytime, anywhere

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2017/10/a-potential-alliance-between-socialists.html

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2017
A Potential Alliance Between Socialists and Libertarians Over Puerto Rican Government Debt 

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The debt in question is debt run up irresponsibly by past Puerto Rican governments. Every hardcore libertarian would, of course, support default on this debt rather than have the decent people of Puerto Rico or US taxpayers bailout the owners of this debt. From a libertarian perspective, this should be the position on all government debt.

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Why should the taxpayers pay?

Clawback from the politicians and bureaucrats!

Argh!

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LIBERTARIAN: Elections suck

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/07/commentary_on_u.html

Commentary on US Election Security
Bruce Schneier 

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Good commentaries from Ed Felten and Matt Blaze.

Both make a point that I have also been saying: hacks can undermine the legitimacy of an election, even if there is no actual voter or vote manipulation.

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I’ve always been of the opinion that “we” have too many elections and elected offices.

It would seem the logic of Dead Old White Guys was to keep elections as local as possible (i.e., the House of Representatives; the Senate selected but the State Legislatures). 

My suggestion is that each residence (i.e., house or apartment) would get one “vote” per person. Then, each street or apartment house would vote for their representative. That rep would vote for a neighborhood rep casting the number of proxies they hold. And so forth and so on, until we eventually got mayors. Mayors would vote for county execs. County execs for governor. All based on those underlying proxies. The Fifty governors would then elect a President. 

Fraud would be virtually impossible. Yes it’d take some effort , but look at the results.

Mad at any politician? Take it up with the “elected rep” closest to you. Real easy!

Totally responsive to the electorate. 

Go ahead and try and  hack that!

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LIBERTARIAN: “Who will build the roads?” — an OBVIOUS answer!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

http://tomwoods.com/ep-802-way-beyond-the-roads-libertarian-solutions-for-other-parts-of-the-built-environment/

Ep. 802 Way Beyond the Roads: Libertarian Solutions for Other Parts of the Built Environment
13th December 2016 Tom Woods

The hosts of the Anarchitecture podcast join me to discuss the differences between libertarian and conventional statist solutions to everything from roads to city planning and garbage collection.

Guests’ Podcast: Anarchitecture Podcast

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I took away from it an EXCELLENT

“Who will build the roads?”

“Who should build the roads?”

“Next time that person is sitting in traffic, instead of him thinking ‘why don’t they build more public transport, maybe they will think ‘why hasn’t supply met demand on this strip of expensive capital infrastructure that I can use for free?’— DUH as Tom observed “the question answers itself”!

Argh!

Great answer.

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