Saturday, July 05, 2014

Pro-Government Libertarians?

I'm not sure "Pro-government libertarian" is a sensible concept.

But I do like the idea of "Pro-liberty libertarian."

And there are some circumstances--we'd have to argue about which--where the existence of a state can enhance liberty. 

I'm not really a fan of either (1) the state is never right, or (2) the state is always right.  Both are religious observations, rather than policy prescriptions.


Tom said...

"Government"? It's a soft term.

A meeting might be governed by a parlimentarian, a company by a board of directors. A person facing some social adversity could be governed by his attorney's advice and sporting event governed by referees and a sporting association's rules. None of these "governments" is an enemy of liberty. The unending enemy of liberty is The Autoritarian State (TAS), that group that arrogates to itself a right to aggress. It's a monopoly right; others doing the same thing as TAS in its claimed venue will be attacked.

Different versions of TAS may allow for some "rights" of those it claims to rule, even including a limited right of self defense. But no TAS ever recognizes a self defense against the TAS itself; TAS rules. TAS defines its venue, usually territorial; no individual in the chosen venue can disassociate with TAS; TAS rules.

The State itself - by its very essence - is the enemy of liberty.

John Covil said...

If the question is "Government: Yes or No?" then "pro-government libertarian" could make a lot of sense.

If the question is "Government: more or less than we have now?" then "pro-government libertarian" makes little to no sense.

Anonymous said...

I don't know man. I need some examples of something a gov't has done well. Otherwise it seems more religious to suggest that the gov't could do something well than to suggest that it can't.

Gene Callahan said...

@Tom: "The State itself - by its very essence - is the enemy of liberty."

The State is the creator and guarantor of the rights you enjoy. The fact that states often act badly and destroy those rights does not change that one bit.

John Covil said...

I know this is getting into values that can't empirically be tested, but I strongly reject the idea that the state creates our rights, and thank God this nation was not founded on the belief that it does.

Guarantor perhaps. Indeed, that is why we have the state.