[ExI] Is there a potential libertarianism / democracy tension?

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Thu Sep 29 16:45:04 UTC 2011

On Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 9:09 AM, Dan <dan_ust at yahoo.com> wrote:
> I'll continue along with your scenario, but the problem I see here with phrasing. Libertarians -- well, true libertarians -- wouldn't want to get into power, but to get rid of power. :) This is like saying, "When anarchist take over the state..." or "When atheists control the church..."

In order to dismantle it, it helps to be in control - however briefly.
 Otherwise, how are
you dismantling it?

> Or, since libertarians would basically dismantle and abolish the state, that the rest of the people would simply reconstitute the state and that would be that. In which case, what would libertarians, either as individuals or en masse, be able to do? Emigrate?

That is Amon's question - except, instead of "be able to do", what
*would* they do?

It is of note that, arguably, this has in fact happened.  Some
libertarian-leaning folk got
into Congress and started dismantling parts of government over the
past few decades.
(They couldn't undo everything all at once - but they didn't have
enough power to do
that.  So they did what they could.)  The eventual popular reaction
was to re-mantle.

So, with evidence that the majority of people (who win in a democracy)
reject the
complete removal of government, and you can't simply impose anarchy
(libertarian or
otherwise) despite the wishes of the majority...what *will* you do?

> The core principle of libertarianism establish a boundary that others -- whether they call themselves the king, the majority, the people, the rulers, the state, the public interest, the nation, the government, the super race, the annointed of God -- cannot cross... Well, cannot cross and remain consistent with libertarianism.

The core problem is those who do not care about remaining consistent with
libertarianism, or any other philosophy.  They do what they want, and
if that means
busting other peoples' heads, they'll do it.  As I posted earlier, it
is impossible to
effectively deal with these people without abrogating libertarianism.
Either you
constrain force response to when they are immediately present - in which case,
they hit-and-run, knowing that you are bound to give up the moment
they are out of
sight and can claim they weren't there - or you allow for eventual
response - in which
case, you very quickly run into situations where you don't know who
initiated force
against you, but none of them wish to cooperate with you, so your use of force
(necessary to discover the perpetrator) will likely initiate force
against people who
had nothing to do with the offense you're retaliating for.

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