[ExI] your big chance

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Mon Jan 6 23:12:28 UTC 2020

On Jan 6, 2020, at 12:50 PM, William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> dan wrote   On the issue of libertarianism: Does anyone have a right to rule over anyone else? Does anyone have a duty to obey anyone else?
> You can go live in the woods.  But if you want to live among us, you have to follow the rules. 

That really sidesteps my questions. Does anyone have a right to rule you or anyone else isn’t a question about rules but about rulers. And it’s about a right to rule — not about living outside society. One can follow rules without saying someone or some group has a right to rule. A right to rule means that person or group has a just claim to telling you what to do regardless of any other considerations.

Similarly, a duty to obey means you (or whoever has such a duty) must obey. Again, this isn’t about doing whatever you want — if you have no duty to obey a person or a group. You’d still be bound by other just claims. (Of course, no offense, but the fact that we’re having this libertarianism 101 discussion here tells me you don’t know what libertarianism means or entails.)

> The key issue for me is this:  governing by the consent of the governed.  If you don't consent, you will get into trouble with every aspect of the law, especially the tax people!   I don't like to be told what to do, and I don't like it that most politicians are corrupt.  But we keep electing the same old same old, and so we are just as corrupt, in a way, as they are.  

This is entirely a different matter. Let me try an analogy. There’s a crime boss in your neighborhood and the cops are paid off by him. Does he have right to rule over the neighborhood? Do the residents there have a duty to obey him (and his cronies)? No and no. However, in any run in with him (and his cronies) you might just do what he asks (depending on what that is). But this kind of compelled obedience doesn’t mean that he has a right to rule and you have a duty to obey. (If it did, then only dogged resistance would mean you don’t consent. Compelled consent isn’t consent. If you need another case, think of robbery or rape: the criminal offering a choice between compliance or extreme violence isn’t being consented to when their victim complies to avoid the violence.) 


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