Thursday, August 07, 2008

Living With Rules, Libertarian Anarchist Style

I have mentioned this before, but think it may be time to talk about it again. Libertarians don't hate rules, only Rulers. Rules can be right or they can be wrong; depending upon whether they are legitimate or not. Rulers are always wrong; leaders can occasionally be right.

When you have rules for a group of people, the more people you try to include, the fewer (and less specific) the rules must be. Otherwise you end up violating someone's right of self ownership with your counterfeit "laws" that have no moral foundation.

If, for example, I am making rules just for myself, I can be very specific and say "don't smoke, drink Dr Pepper, don't work for government, don't initiate force, wear a hat, etc." It doesn't matter if the rule has any moral basis or not, since the rule only applies to me, and I agreed to it explicitly. If the situation changes, I can change the arbitrary rules, but since morality doesn't change, the rules with a moral foundation would remain. I can't decide that "today, I will kill someone, just because", but I could decide that today I will smoke a cigar while not wearing a hat, just to be different.

If I am trying to decide with another person what rules we are to both operate under, we would need to eliminate those that do not fit the other person. Maybe they like coffee better than Dr Pepper, so that rule gets tossed. Notice that I am not forced to drink coffee under the agreement. The more people you try to cover with your rules, the less specific they can be or they will surely violate someone's self ownership. At some point you must reduce the list down to "don't violate the rights of anyone else". Which, with over 6 billion humans on the planet, is exactly where we find ourselves. No other rules can have any legitimacy when what applies to one, must apply to all.

The current "legal" system is a prime example of the chaos that occurs when the opposite path is taken and it is falsely assumed that the more people you try to cover with your rules, the more specific and numerous the rules must be. It gets to the point that every breath you take is violating some arbitrary rule, which some meddling busy-body decided would be good for you. This helps no one but the state and its sympathizers.