Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The state is magic


Most are quick to turn to the state in the belief that without it, certain things could not be done, be it health care (for all, not just the rich!), armed defense, and just general aid for those in need, among other things.

This is attributing traits and abilities in government, on the assumption that these do not exist in a people. But government can only emanate from a people.

If people of their free will would or could not accomplish something, neither would or could government.

Perhaps someone who still believes the state has some good purpose would say, “But the state is precisely how so-and-so is carried out. It’s not that free people can’t accomplish them, but that these free people choose government as a means.” This is also to assume that coercion accomplishes what freedom can’t. Which ultimately implies people must be at war with others, as determined by class. Not to mention the irony or illogic of people choosing coercion/slavery.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

‘Les miserables’ is great and libertarian

OA naman.

I much prefer the Liam Neeson-Geoffrey Rush version of ‘Les miserables’ than the musicals. But I can use the new 2012 film musical as an excuse to talk about the injustice of the penal system.

I don’t believe in involuntary prisons. At most, asylums for deranged murderers. But incarcerating criminals itself would be needless in a society that affirms private property. This would mean those convicted after a voluntary trial can be ostracized and prohibited by property owners from stepping foot or availing of their goods and services.

Non-violative restrictions

In addition, if people find a tracking service worthwhile, the whereabouts of such offenders can be known at all times as well, and this need not be contrary to a ‘right to privacy’ since such a right concerned is that of property owners and not the criminal, and property owners would be voluntarily assisting the trackers as necessary.

A criminal will thus be deprived of things to the degree that individuals in a society frown on certain crimes. This may even be more restrictive than a system that coerces people via taxes to pay for prisoners’ lodging, or for their execution for that matter.

‘Les miserables’ as example

In ‘Les miserables,’ the only reason Jean Valjean is oppressed in so incommensurate a manner to his crime of stealing a loaf of bread, is the monopoly on arbitration and reprisal as exercised by the state and (ab)used by Javert.

Whereas, if the limiting of one’s mobility was an option rather than coerced, people would be less begrudging if Valjean refused the recommendations made by any convicting court (for convictions in a stateless society could only be recommendatory). And considering the extreme circumstances that impelled Valjean to steal, it is unlikely that competitive courts would be too hard on Valjean. Furthermore, he and his family would be more likely to receive aid, rather than be shunned by members of the community.

Conclusion

‘Les miserables’ can easily be cited as supportive of ‘social justice,’ meaning, for most people, state intervention as a means of uplifting the plight of the less fortunate. In fact, it is only by affirming private property in full, and eliminating the monopoly of the state and any conceivable mandate for it — including of helping the poor — that the desired ‘social justice’ — whatever that’s supposed to mean — can come about.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The delusion of government


One justification for government is that through it, people manifest being ‘socially aware.’ This is in contrast to the rugged individualism of profit-oriented markets.

Apart from the fact that ‘society’ is a mere after-the-fact abstraction of individuals in the composite — rendering all notions of ‘national pride’ as non-ends in themselves — it is neglected that the means of government always involves violence or the threat thereof. 

Never in history has a government acted without abridging at least one person’s freedom. It is axiomatic that government is anti-freedom.

Luckily, society and community are not equal to government. All our actions that do not involve threatening people with violence are a testament to the advantage of freedom over non-freedom/government in fostering good will among people.

But for now, government remains the delusion that cooperation entails doing things against another’s will. Indeed, it doesn’t make sense, but government is usually not spelled out so clearly. Not in most minds.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The injustice and impracticality of drunk-driving laws


All government laws are worthless, even those against murder. You don’t stop certain phenomena by prohibiting them. Such are reduced naturally when conditions for maximizing utility are upheld. Outright bans merely create black markets. Even with murder. It is adequate self-defense of would-be victims, and not anti-murder laws, that stop would-be murderers.

But then, rules as decided by private property owners serve a purpose. Engaging in certain activities remains a matter of choice. For example, a restaurant owner may not permit smoking in his establishment, but you’re still free to do so in your property, or in that of another restaurant owner. No ‘black market’ for smoking emerges even if all restaurant owners do not allow smoking, because these owners, being profit-oriented, would merely be reflecting clients’ general sentiment against smoking. True democracy has nothing to do with government, and everything to do with private property.


Rules against drunk driving still impractical

I contend that even in a purely private system of transportation, where roads are controlled by actual owners, there would be little sense to impose rules against ‘drunk driving.’

It is the sober person who decides to drink on occasions where driving afterwards is likely. Rules that outline the consequences of being found liable for traffic accidents, should appeal to such a sober person, not to the future drunk person who couldn’t be expected to make good decisions.

A person, knowing the trouble associated with vehicular accidents, thus makes the decision, even before drinking, to drink less than he otherwise would without the limitations of being a driver.

To charge a person who could hold his liquor and drive safely is thus no precaution. Intoxication levels, if they can be measured so conveniently, may serve as guides for would-be drivers, but for these to be more than recommendatory would not make roads safer.