These opinions warrantied for the lifetime of your brain.

Loading Table of Contents...

Saturday, May 3, 2008

RE: An Open Letter to David Nolan

David, thank you for replying, but your response only leaves me more confused.  I expected you to either 1) say that minimal state authority is an unavoidable evil until somebody can square the circle of a 100% voluntary society, or 2) agree with Rand that the state in principle needs some minimal but exclusive authority.  Instead, you apparently say that the state should not have any exclusive authority whatsoever.
Can you please give us a brief explanation, in terms of force initiation, about what would qualify your "State" as "non-market" in how it non-exclusively makes and enforces laws?  For example, when the agents of this "State" come to collect its "tax" on land values, would I be free to treat them like Jehovah's Witnesses (and of course lose all benefits/protections for doing so)?  Would I be free to opt out of all the "laws" of this "State", or would it initiate force against any non-aggressive but obstinate holdout who disagrees with some legal technicality?
If the "laws" of this "State" are not mandatory, then this is seems identical to David Friedman-style anarchism with market production of laws. The "State" you advocate seems to have no power or authority beyond that of a voluntary neighborhood watch group.  Again, I urge you to (re)read Roy Child's 1969 open letter to Ayn Rand.  He explained, far more verbosely than I, exactly why a state does not qualify as a state without a monopoly on retaliatory force, and why such a monopoly can only be maintained with (the threat of) force initiation.   His letter, and my four-paragraph digest of it, is at
I apologize if this topic seems like a distraction, but it's clearly the central conundrum of libertarian theory, and if anybody can help the rest of us grapple with it, surely that would be you.