Aged white cheddar mac & cheese, Applewood smoked thick cut bacon on organic shepherd white with Tillamook medium cheddar cheese.
This is my lunch right now you guys. You guys, THIS is my lunch.
God, thy name is foodtruck.
[I hope Ricardo’s online so he can see bacon and be disgusted.]

Aged white cheddar mac & cheese, Applewood smoked thick cut bacon on organic shepherd white with Tillamook medium cheddar cheese.

This is my lunch right now you guys. You guys, THIS is my lunch.

God, thy name is foodtruck.

[I hope Ricardo’s online so he can see bacon and be disgusted.]

That Awkward Moment

When LALiberty and I simultaneously make the same assessment of a quote and post on it at the same time

…and his answer is not only more articulate, but doesn’t resort to snark.



Well, it finally happened: I finally read a libertarian post so silly I couldn’t resist a response.

Yet you could resist directly responding… (thanks to huskerred for bringing this post to my attention).

To simplify, the libertarian in question claimed…

Laliberty is my freaking hero. This is a very good read and I highly recommend everyone to click through and view the exchange between Laliberty and an Illinois State University political professor.

TL;DR: Political professor’s bad arguments get completely—and somewhat embarrassingly considering his profession and all—CRUSHED by Laliberty.

[The best part about this is that while Laliberty does an incredibly thorough job of addressing the post, OP’s arguments (? I don’t know if analogies are technically arguments) are so terrible that any mildly intelligent person could dismantle the bad logic.]


Considering your other posts in the last two days, I offer this response with considerable benefits of doubt that you wish to genuinely engage and are sincerely willing to understand the libertarian position.



a ) To argue that the govt can never use “use of force” or coercion to get anyone to do something is to say that a democratically elected  federal government cannot actually govern.

Well, yeah.

Why is “democracy” legitimate? Subset A has more numbers than Subset B or Subset C, ergo all must abide by the wishes of Subset A? That’s tyranny of the majority. That’s a lynch mob. That’s, as the old adage with the unknown originator goes, two wolves and a lamb deciding on what’s for dinner. There is no minority smaller than the individual, and no majority can usurp the individual’s fundamental claims to his self-ownership, his rights to life, liberty, and property.

It would not be able to enforce any laws or get the populous (sic) to do anything. It wouldn’t be able to get anyone to do anything that is within your ideology or philosophy or anyone elses (sic).

Government is composed of people, you would agree? Often, it’s composed of the corrupt and rich and powerful and corporate and connected - but for now, let’s table that point. Government is composed of people. Why should the people known as “government” have power to get the populace to “do anything,” a power that would be improper for any other individual to employ?

In other words, no one, no matter what group he belongs to, has the right to interfere with the consensual interactions of peaceful individuals.

The govt would be irrelevant.


If you are an anarchist then this makes perfect sense.


But the point you are trying to articulate, considering your concern about being able to “enforce laws,” is the assumption that only a government can or should create or enforce laws, and to eliminate government is to eliminate the protections all individuals have from the coercive force of the unscrupulous masses that surround us.

But we’ve already established the illegitimacy of a state that claims a monopoly on force by either democratic force or otherwise. We own ourselves and thus no one can have a higher claim on our lives. So there is no moral standing to create force in order to replace some other force. Put another way, violating liberty to protect liberty doesn’t actually accomplish the purported goal.

That is the deontological case. And, even with that, your concern remains: what happens? No doubt you would still fear individuals who would seek to harm others.

Minarchist libertarians would tell you that law, courts, police, and defense are legitimate, and many would say the only legitimate, functions of a government. As an anarcho-capitalist/voluntaryist, I do not make this argument as I see even these functions as not only able to be capably serviced in a free society, but they would be less prone to the corruption, abuse, and failure we’ve come to expect with the state’s monopoly services.

How, exactly, would this work? Well, we cannot determine the specific order that would emerge from the voluntary associations of free individuals for the same reason no all-knowing, benevolent angels could ever determine and account for the specific preferences and behavior of millions of people acting freely.

But the truth is that even without a state, there would still be law: the universally preferable behavior of natural law

Walter Block summarized it thusly

Under libertarian law, no one may threaten, or initiate violence against a person or his justly acquired property.   All else is open, however.  That is, a man can do anything else he  wishes, provided only that he respects this one axiom of liberty. 

As I wrote just a few days ago:

[T]he only just law is that which initiates aggression against none. In other words, one that echoes natural law; that is, one that protects and respects the life, liberty, and property of all equally. Any violation of a person’s self-ownership is illegitimate. So laws against theft, assault, battery, murder, slavery, rape, fraud, trespass, destruction of property, and the threats thereof are all legitimate because they would exist irrespective of a state. They are axiomatic consequences of human self-ownership.

So those would essentially be the likely sum of generally agreed upon laws, with contracts and respect of private property serving the structural basis of all other interactive behaviors - and the enforcement, courts, and protection would happen privately with the consent of all involved.

This is obviously a topic with too broad a scope to cover such details here, but Murray RothbardHans-Herman HoppeRothbard (again)Hoppe (again)Gustav de MolinariBob Murphy, David Friedman, and Walter Block (Ch. 9) - for starters - have covered the topic thoroughly.

b) What would be the difference if a state government instead of a federal government coerced an individual to do something against their will? ( Seeing as how libertarians and Republicans are always talking about states rights and states should decide damn near everything.) 

This is a bit of a separate argument than above, as this is less about what is ideal than about what is less preferable, but you are absolutely correct in your insinuation: there is no real difference between an individual’s rights being violated by a state government than by a federal government (or a city government, or county government, or individual…).

(And, consequently, it’s not about “state’s rights” as many claim. States don’t have rights, individuals do.)

The point is that by making government more localized, by pushing the power structure downward closer to the individual, the individual retains more control over his or her own life. Instead of one vote in a nation, he is one vote in a state. It would be much easier to move to another state to flee an oppressive state government (and thus keep states more accountable lest they lose citizens) than it is to flee a country.

Furthermore, there is an additional Constitutional component to the argument. Constitutionally, the federal government should have very little power, and there are specific, limited roles it was established to fulfill. Many libertarians advocate a return to that flawed-but-superior-to-the-status-quo arrangement laid out in the Constitution. I view that as a starting point: we start there and then continue that trend toward as localized governance as possible - ultimately down to governance of the individual.

2. “Might Makes Right” Libertarians apparently HATE might makes right. However, allow me to deprogram you; in a society with no regulation and everything is privatized and the govt cannot coerce anything; “might makes right” would reign…because you would effectively be in a “state of nature”.

Just because there would be no government regulation doesn’t mean there would be no regulation. Every service that the state provides has, does, and can exist absent the state: education, health care, mail, security, etc. I think the deprogramming that needs to take place is the automatic non-sequitur employed by statists that presumes that without government, nothing is possible. 

And might doesn’t make right, no matter how that might was attained. But when you advocate for majority rule and for a cabal of ostensibly superior individuals to lord over others, who is really advocating coercion? Who is really advocating “might makes right”?

Look at this. NAOW. All of you. Wake the fuck up and smile, because something in the world has gone right tonight.

(Source: artdrugsnirvana, via laliberty)

On Communicating About Liberty

So today seems like a good day to make this post, as LALiberty and HipsterLibertarian have been speaking on quality, civility, and the general tone of political discourse on Tumblr.

I attended the 2011 Students For Liberty Northern California Regional Conference (quite a mouthful I know) last Saturday and picked up a few tips on communicating effectively and civilly with others about our ideas, so I’d like to share them here.

First, some illustrations of what DOES NOT work:

#1: Throwing books at them

#2: Lapel-grabbing

#3 Insulting your listener

#4 Not knowing the issues

#5 Not listening

Now that we’re through with the fun illustrated section of the post, if you would like to read some tips on what may work better, please click below

Read More