These opinions warrantied for the lifetime of your brain.

Loading Table of Contents...

Monday, April 7, 2008

LP Reform Essay by A Restore04 Leader

Alex, I agree with every word you wrote except one: "pure".  Each side of the minarchist/anarchist divide says the other's opposition to aggression is adulterated by something, and we minarchists say anarchist opposition to aggression is adulterated by their absolutist insistence on abstaining from it.  So wise minarchists never concede the "purity" of anarchists, just as they wouldn't call a doctor "purist" for refusing to use needles or reduce joint dislocations.  They instead accept any of the labels: simplistic, chaste, devout, celibate, innocent, immaculate, white-glove, or aseptic.  I'd add "sterile" to the list, but I doubt it would be taken as a medical metaphor.  :-)
Also, we geolibertarians note that this particular way to cleave the space of libertarians tends to smuggle in an assumption about about the nature of property.  We call that assumption "royal libertarianism", based on the etymology of "real" estate.  It's the assumption that staking out a location is the precise moral equivalent of making it with your labor.  Geolibertarians point out that spatial locations (like land, spectrum, and orbits) are a fixed pre-existing uncreatable supply, and so do not support the same moral claim for outright title (as opposed to mere possession) as material property that is created by applying effort to natural resources or to other property. Geolibertarians take seriously the Lockean proviso that location homesteaders "leave as much and as good" for others, and do not believe that first use of a site entitles a landholder to monopoly profits from increases in the value of the unimproved site qua spatial location.  We hold that, just as polluters should compensate the community for pollution of a commons, so too should exclusive possessors of locations compensate the excluded community by returning the location's geo-rent.  Geo-rent is the monopoly value of the site -- its excess proceeds beyond what you'd get by going into the wilderness and applying the same inputs to the best available unpossessed site.  The beauty of geolibertarianism is that it solves the libertarian conundrum of financing the community's protection of individual rights without actually violating those individual rights.  For more info, see
LP radical and early Restore04 signatory Alex Peak wrote on Third Party Watch:
There are two camps within libertarianism.

The smaller, purer core of the movement are anarchists. Anarchists are not libertarians who want “small government [and] none at all at the same time,” but are rather libertarians who want no government at all.

The larger, more moderate faction of the movement are minarchists. Minarchists believe, just like anarchists, that we need to limit the government as much as possible. They differ in one way: they do not believe anarchy is realistically possible, they believe anarchism is utopian. (Anarchists would counter that any level of statism is utopian, and that the notion of a perpetually-limited government is even more utopian.)

All libertarians want to limit government as much as we practically can. The two factions simply disagree as to what is practical. In short, it’s not a contradiction in terms to call one self an anarchist libertarian, just as it’s not a contradiction in terms to call one’s self a minarchist libertarian.

Since we both agree that the government is way, way too big, to powerful, too costly, and too interventionist in our lives, it behooves our two factions to continue to work together. Once we reach minarchy, we can debate amongst ourselves whether to stop there or keep going. There's plenty of time for our factions to bicker once we reach the minimal state. Let’s not let our differences divide us now, when we need each other the most.