[ExI] Fwd: Under the libertarian yoke was Re: Next Decade May See No Warming

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Sun May 4 06:37:52 UTC 2008

Forwarding a post from Stathis:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com>
Date: Sat, May 3, 2008 at 11:26 AM
Subject: Re: [ExI] Under the libertarian yoke was Re: Next Decade May
See No Warming
To: rafal at smigrodzki.org

2008/5/4 Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>:

 >  If you accept the premises of this intellectual exercise, it won't
 >  help to complain about not being able to force everyone to cooperate -
 >  you are only restating the premise. Also, there is something fishy
 >  about "willingly agree to be compelled", like, an oxymoron, or
 >  something.

 Libertarians allow force in the event of a broken contract, and in
 this case I'll be breaking the contract if I agree to cooperate and
 then don't. But this is a slightly unusual contract in that I won't
 agree to it unless everyone else also does. If *everyone* agrees to
 cooperate provided that everyone else does the same, then I don't see
 how anyone's rights, under a libertarian system, are infringed: each
 individual gets exactly what he has agreed to. This may seem at first
 glance to be equivalent to the situation where everyone is simply
 inclined to cooperate because they see it as a good thing, but it
 isn't. The crucial difference is that the cooperation is not a charity
 that may be withdrawn at any moment, but a tax that has to be paid.

 It's a bit more difficult if most people agree to cooperate but there
 are a few stubborn defectors who don't care that they put the whole
 planet at risk. They might even be rationally pursuing their best
 interests by deciding this way, for example if they don't expect to
 live long enough to see the catastrophe they will cause. Can these
 people be compelled to cooperate? Well, again in a libertarian
 society, I could be punished for doing something which incidentally
 harms my neighbour. Doesn't the destruction of the biosphere count as
 harming my neighbour?

 Stathis Papaioannou

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