THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 487, October 5, 2008
"What makes genocide and other kinds of
government-sanctioned violence possible?"
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in response to the letter by Paul Bonneau:
First of all, he makes a sarcastic comment that I have 'cleared up a point' by stating that an area in which public sex was outlawed could be a valid subset of a free society if it were a 'gated community' and not a 'town'. He misses my point, which is not that such an area would be a 'gated community' specifically. My point was that if such an area were a valid subset of a free society, it could not then be a town, in the sense we normally think of the word, because it would not be possible for those who lived there to actually own their own property. If they DID own their own property, it would be inappropriate in a free society, or any subset thereof, for there to be rules existing that dictate what they can do on their own property. Including having sex in their front yards. The entire area would have to be owned by an individual or corporation, not by the people who lived there, who would have the status of employees or tenants, not property owners.
If you fail to understand this point, consider the situation of a truck driver. A truck driver who drives a truck owned by someone else may be bound by rules that person sets, such as not having a pet in his truck. If he is an owner operator, he is not bound by such rules, he can keep a pet in his truck if he wishes, and it doesn't matter how many other trucking companies or truck drivers think he should not.
As for the ordinance against public sex being adopted 'unanimously', and therefore the society is 'free', that is nonsense. Bonneau is proposing a society based on mob rule, not on human rights. That is NOT a free society.
He then says that my example of a town that would vote unanimously to enslave blacks is nonsense, because the blacks would not vote to enslave themselves. But he is missing the very point which is such a large problem with his proposal of a society that would vote unanimously to ban public sex: It is entirely feasible for a town composed entirely of WHITES to vote for such a thing, which, since it had passed unanimously one time, could therefore not be changed, except by another 100% unanimous vote, if any black people happened to move into the town, or if (to move past your claim that black people have a choice not to move there), some white resident in the town had a biracial child that was defined as black.
And under the system he proposes, this would be true of ANY nonsense which you are once able to get a unanimous vote for. If you ever once get all the people in an area to unanimously agree that they should be taxed at a rate of 90%, unless you can get them to ALL agree to change it, including the welfare leech who is getting money but not paying any taxes, that rate is still going to be paid 10,000 years from now, never mind if 50 million of the people hate it, and only one approves. My statement about enslaving any and all human beings for all time is quite accurate, and an inevitable result of this system.
I would like to also point out to Mr. Bonneau that my mention of the *Shiv Ling* is not an attempt to open a discussion regarding the penis of the God Shiva as he asserts, but rather an attempt to point out his extreme narrowmindedness and lack of specificness when he claims to want a place that is 'safe for people who believe in God'. Not everybody believes in the Christian God, the deities some people believe in are not necessarily sexually repressive in nature, in fact, the deities some people believe in might encourage or even require sex (Other than Hindu worship of the Shiv Ling, the 'Great Rite' practiced by certain branches of Wicca comes immediately to mind).
As a matter of fact, there are even some people who believe in the Christian God, who do NOT necessarily believe that the Christian God is sexually repressive in any way, since for among other reasons, the sexual repression that is to be found in most Christian churches today, actually came from St. Paul, St. Augustine, and Queen Victoria, rather than Christ. Absent any concrete proof or disproof of the existence of any deities, Bonneau cannot accurately make the statement that the sexual repression associated with his religious beliefs is any more theologically correct, or deserving of a place for it's followers to be 'safe', than the lack of sexual repression to be found in followers of other religious beliefs. In this, he resembles people of several hundred years ago, such as the Puritans, whose concept of wanting 'religious freedom', really meant that they wanted to be free both to practice their particular religion, and to persecute the practioners of any other religions.
Mr. Bonneau also admits he has not addressed my point about children (who have NOT voluntarily moved to his town) being bound by the agreements of their parents. He claims it IS addressable, but has not done so to my satisfaction. His proposed solution is that children under the age of 18 should be bound by their parent's agreements, at which point they would then have the option to either agree themselves, or be expelled from the town.
First of all, this is NOT a solution to the problem. In a free country, nobody of ANY age can be bound by an agreement made by anyone else. This is a major point made in L. Neil Smith's book 'Pallas' in which a tyrant (Altman) tried to claim that the 14 year old hero (Emerson Ngu) was permanently bound by an 'agreement in perpetuity' signed on his behalf by his parents.
Secondly, Bonneau is trying to deny human rights to a particular group of people (those under 18) in order to avoid dealing with the fact that his claim that nobody would have to move to such a town against their will, holds true ONLY so long as no children are born in such a town. Yes, that IS a serious argument. Either complete abstinence, sterilization or 100% foolproof birth control are required if the claim about nobody living in the town involuntarily is to hold true. A single birth negates that statement. Human beings are not rightless non-entities under a particular arbitrary age of his choice, in order to justify what is essentially a false argument.
I might also point out the obvious, that since a unanimous vote (which is unlikely ever to be obtained) is necessary, according to Bonneau, to change the anti-sex ordinance in this town, what you ultimately are going to have is not merely children bound by the agreements of their parents, but in 1000 years, children AND adults bound by the agreements of their great-great-great (40 or 50 times removed) grandparents, so long as there is even one single person who still agrees with it (out of thousands or millions who might disagree)
As for my scenario being 'outlandish', that is not an argument, it is merely his way of dismissing something he doesn't want to have to deal with. The universe is FULL of outlandish and extreme things. Mr. Bonneau wants to disregard extreme situations when it comes to defining freedom, in order to justify a particular brand of theocracy he feels more comfortable with than complete freedom. You simply can't do that. It is rather like insisting that Newtonian physics are 100% correct, despite their not working in situations of extreme acceleration or gravity. Such situations may be outlandish or extreme, but nevertheless, they are situations which do occur in at least some places and times in the universe. If your theory of physics does not include what happens close to the speed of light and close to a black hole, disregarding those situations as 'outlandish' does not make your theory of physics any more correct. Likewise, extremely peculiar, but non-harmful behavior, such as public sex, is something that does occur in at least some places and times in human society. If your particular version of freedom does not include the possibility of such a thing, excusing the imposition of tyranny by claiming such behavior is 'outlandish' or whatever other negative but meaningless adjective you come up with, does not make your system a free and correct one.
Regarding his other statements: I suppose I am a 'provocateur' in that I want to 'provoke' people to examine their own moral codes and inconsistencies. This does not cast freedom in an 'unsavory' light so much as it is casting freedom in a harsh and honest light, one that doesn't allow either for certain uncomfortable aspects of it to be ignored OR for little bits of comforting tyranny to be hidden in any convenient shadows. Nor does it 'disqualify' freedom so much as it disqualifies someone from claiming they want freedom when they really don't, or claiming that a particular system is 'freedom' when it really isn't.
As for people with 'sense' sticking only to certain sorts of statements, and not others; what would you think if someone said that physicists with sense should only study certain parts of the universe, and not the interior of black holes, or that authors with sense should only write certain types of books and not others?
From what I can see, Mr. Bonneau's goal is not freedom but a tyranny that forbids anything he finds personally offensive or uncomfortable. Not only does he have a problem with human sexual behavior (despite his claims to the contrary), but he is now expressing a problem with human freedom of speech. I will say or write anything I like, thank you very much. I will not 'stick' to those statements the Bonneau, or anyone else, think make 'sense'. Furthermore, if the price I have to pay for the right to say any sort of statements I like is to be a 'libertine' (another fairly meaningless adjective) and encompass the possibility that someday, I might see someone having sex on their front lawn, it is a price I am willing to pay. If I don't like what I see, I will simply mind my own business and walk on my way.
As it happened over at the Mises blog...
So here's the story...
Sean Corrigan, in reaction to the excessive and generally foolish character of the LvMI regulars' responses to the current bailout mess, wrote a post which set itself as a voice of reason against a Greek chorus of florid shrieking. Charley Hardman put up a complete copy of the post here.
However that post, titled "Overegging the Pudding", is no longer to be found in its original location, or anywhere else, on the Mises.org site. Corrigan's blog post archive page still (as of 1:32 PM Eastern Time, 10/4/08) has a note listing it and noting it had fifteen commentsincidentally, search results for "Overegging the Pudding" referred to it having sixteen commentsand now the only place to read it is at the above link.
Questions fielded to the Mises Blog's webmaster, Jeffrey Tucker, yielded the response that Mr. Corrigan had apparently 'lost his temper' (Tucker's own words) and so his privileges had to be suspended. If based upon the above critical commentary, it's not in any sense a reasonable charge. Corrigan's commentary has been shunned by those most in need to hear it. The Mises Institute has entered into a decline of late, and anyone who might reverse it or even slow it down is now shunned.
I think you misunderstood my intention when I wrote this. It was originally a response to a theocrat who actually thought God ordained the United States as "Christian" country.
The key points I was trying to make seemed to have slipped by you:
"These things are crimes, not because the Bible tells me so, but because they violate individual sovereignty. Had the Bible never been written they would still be crimes."
"These virtues would be applauded both in ancient Greece and the Han Empire. Violating them brings their own punishment in the form of misery and discord. Again, had the Bible never been written this would still be true."
Perhaps I was being too subtle, but my point was the Ten Commandments are superfluous. Everything in them that is true is true whether or not they had ever been written.
I grew up in fundamentalist family rife with incest and alcoholism. I abandoned Christianity for all the wrong reasons when I was young: I hated the Christians I knew. I returned to it years later only to abandon it again for the right reasons: my rational mind finally reasserted itself and I learned the difference between myth as reality and reality informed by myth.
There's not much point in me going over your response point by point since I pretty much agree with most of themthough I tend to prefer harmony to discord. The only real disagreement I have with you is your equation of spirituality with religion. They are two sets that intersect, but neither contains the other.
A person can lead a spiritual life and have no religion. A person can be religious and spiritually dead. It is a matter of definition I suppose.
"Libertarians live by One Commandment. Thou shalt not initiate force."
I agree, I just have a different was of expressing it: see my sig.
C.K. Kahn's SIG: "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbor. This do, and thou shalt live." http://theonerule.blogspot.com/2008/09/one-rule.html
If I am nothing else (and some would agree loudly with that) I am a sucker for a straight line.
Mr. Perez said:
Hokay, here is the "list of jobs that we don't need the state for after all", both the long and short versions:
"All of them."
I am trying a new argument form with the statists. I point out that there are two categories of activities that the state engages in:
1) Stuff that I want to be done. (The provision of products and services.)
There is nothing in category (1) that I cannot get, today, from my neighbors (business folk) for an average of one-quarter the price or four-times more (or better), or a combination of the twocompared to the state, as Mr. Perez points out later in his letter. I then point out that while the state does nothing that I want done that only it can do; it is sucking up (stealing, category 2 above) about 85% of everything that I earn or create.
So no, "Mr. Statist", you have nothing to offer me other than poverty,
pain and the four basic functions of all government:
So far the statists just stand staring, with their mouths hanging open, and wander off.
Then Mr. Perez "stepped in it" with both feet:
Jeeze, Alex, protecting anybody's freedom has never been the job of police. Ever since Robert "Bobbie" Peel invented municipal police in London, their job has been to control and oppress the commoners and collect taxes from them. It has never been to protect freedom or keep the peace. Crime rates vary directly with police presence and activity. The more police, the more non-governmental (as well as governmental) crime. You pointed that out in you letter.
Police agencies at all levels of government are the local arm of the standing army that the founders warned us against. They are a "foreign" army of hostile occupation in our country. They are the enemies of all good and decent people. That is why they wage war against us. That is why they hunt us. And that is why we should hunt them.
However, I do not think that we should target and kill them on sight just yet, as that would be fighting the current civil war from the bottom-up, as the politicians want us to. Instead, kill the vile mastersthe politicians, and the tax collectors first. That "top-down, distributed order of battle" works better to defeat the state. Use Fifth-Generation War (5GW) strategy.
You won't rat me out, will you?
When I was a kid it was an insult to call someone a pimp. One of the reasons this was so was that a pimp could be trusted to sell out his friends and kin, not just line up customers to rent their asses. It was commonly assumed that they kept out of jail by snitching to the cops. This is the stereotype the character "Huggy Bear" played into in Starsky and Hutch.
When the Stasi's files were busted into after the Fall of the Wall (Something achieved by Conservatives that Liberals have been stealing credit for over the last couple of decades.) it turned out that about a third of East Germany's population was informing on the other two thirds. German friends tell me that most were being blackmailed into being snitches.
If you track the Ruby Ridge case you will find out that the whole mess started when the Feds tried to entrap Randy Weaver into committing a crime so that they could force him to become an informant.
Strange how a society that is slipping into tyranny makes heroes of people who enslave others and keep out of jail by ratting out their neighbors.
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