Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Order without coercion is possible

Order without coercion is possible

(My Clovis News Journal column for May 3, 2013)

I have seen people say that there is no point in being libertarian because there will never be a libertarian society. Or because there will always be bad guys who will take advantage of others, or because someone will always be setting up some form of government.

That seems to be a very myopic view of the situation to me.

I'm not libertarian because of a belief that the future won't have problems.

I am libertarian because I know it is always wrong to initiate force- to throw the first punch. I am libertarian because I know it is wrong to steal. Calling theft something else doesn't make it right.

Perhaps there will never be a libertarian society. No one can really know that for sure. It would be a missed opportunity, but it changes nothing for me. It seems silly to refuse to do what's right because there will always be uncooperative troublemakers who will look for excuses to keep attacking and stealing.

Should you refuse to do anything good because it may never quite arrive where you want to end up? Maybe humans will never live on any other planets, but that doesn't make the study of science, which could be used for space travel and extraterrestrial colonies, pointless. Knowledge is power.

Living by libertarian principles gives an ethical foundation that serves you well here and now, making your life better today; not only in some hypothetical future society.

That there will always be bad guys is obvious. Why let them dictate your choices? Why give them power over your life?

True, some people are addicted to telling others what to do, or being told what to do. Those people will forever be trying to set up some sort of system to force everyone to join, "or else". Some people are simply in favor of being stolen from and being coerced to live by someone else's rules. So? Let them.

When you claim some job can't be done without government, remember that slavery was once considered necessary for farming cotton. You can have organization without coercion and theft. Your organization can be fluid, changing to fit the evolving needs of those who are a voluntary part of it at the moment. If you are afraid of allowing people to opt out, it shows you know how unpopular your scheme really is.

If you wait until there's a bandwagon to jump on you may jump too late. If you wait until everyone else is already doing it, does it really count in your favor?

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