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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Mises on Secession

Alex, while it's true that the pre-Portland Platform didn't explicitly call for elimination of the state quasi-monopolies on justice and defense, it also didn't defend them, and the Omissions plank clearly said that silence does not mean approval.  It remains the case that the 18,000-word pre-Portland Platform was asymptotically close to an anarchist's wet dream, and systematically contradicted the foundational premises of the non-anarchist schools of libertarianism.
I asked you for a specific example of principles or policies that a 2/3 majority of delegates would agree aren't covered in the proposed 2008 Platform, and all you said was that it "throws the baby out with the bathwater".  Can you please give it another try?  Your hypothetical about rent control is quite wide of the mark, as the 2008 draft plainly says "We oppose all controls on wages, prices, rents, profits, production, and interest rates."
it appears that Mises did not support personal secession.  The quotes there consistently refer to "villages" as the smallest of the sorts of things that may secede.  The one outlier quote is extremely hypothetical: "If it were in any way possible to grant this right of self-determination to every individual person, it would have to be done."  I would have no problem replacing the old personal secession language with this sentence from Mises.  Again, I don't see how personal secession isn't the functional equivalence of anarchism.
Re: "Government exists to protect the rights of every individual including life, liberty and property."  I read this line from the 2006 Platform as echoing the other lines about "the only proper role" and "the only proper purpose" of government.  I hardly think that the Portland delegates were trying to vouch for the moral rectitude of governments generally or even the U.S. government in particular.  Rather, I suspect that they were simply invoking the Jeffersonian justification for government in support of the LP's incrementalist agenda for rolling back the nanny state.