Libertarian Platform Act IV

libertarian-party-sealI have to say that I am very pleased with the response to the first three acts in our dissection of the Libertarian platform. There have been hundreds of people visiting the site and reading what we are discussing, which only helps my argument that people are interested in learning what this party is about. But I encourage more of you to post comments! You don’t have to know politics. You know what you believe and that is what we are trying to hash out here! So on to the rest of the “personal freedoms” section…

As most of you have learned I am posting direct quotes from the Libertarian Party website onto these posts and they are written in the orange font. Remember our rules, especially the one about being respectful to differing opinions. We have been doing good on this so far, but it always bears repeating.

1.4    Abortion
Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

OK, I know that this is sensitive for many people. I know there are differing views on when life begins. I have heard all the arguments. I believe that the Libertarians are correct in their interpretation of where the government should stand. Roe versus Wade stands today stating that you cannot ban abortion. I think that should be left alone. I believe a step further, that every person is given the gift of free will and the power to make the choices that they see fit for their lives. 

To that end, the government should have no say on what a woman does with her own body. Likewise the government should not have domain on determining when life begins. I know you staunch Christians out there believe that this is a crime against God. Those on the other side think otherwise. Whichever side you fall on you aren’t going to change your mind. I see it as I don’t know what God thinks, but I know that it is not my place to judge whether it is right or wrong. Christians, have faith that if you are right, then whoever commits this act will be judged by the person who is supposed to do the judging, the Creator. So you make the choices that are best for you and that you believe in and let others do the same. Your bible doesn’t give you the right to tell others how to live their lives, it only gives you the knowledge to live your own. What if the majority of the country believes your bible is a fiction tale, would they have the right to tell you to live outside its principles?

On a further note can we stop using this as a campaign issue? Please? The law around this is never going to change, so it really doesn’t matter one bit where a candidate stands on the issue. To me it is like making an issue of whether the government should have the right to change your race. It can’t happen so why are we debating it. Let’s focus on real issues. In the end this just isn’t an issue that a candidate can affect so why is it even an issue? Roe v Wade will NEVER be overturned. Ever. I personally don’t think it should be.

1.5    Crime and Justice
Government exists to protect the rights of every individual including life, liberty and property. Criminal laws should be limited to violation of the rights of others through force or fraud, or deliberate actions that place others involuntarily at significant risk of harm. Individuals retain the right to voluntarily assume risk of harm to themselves. We support restitution of the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or the negligent wrongdoer. We oppose reduction of constitutional safeguards of the rights of the criminally accused. The rights of due process, a speedy trial, legal counsel, trial by jury, and the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty, must not be denied. We assert the common-law right of juries to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law.

I basically agree with everything written here. There should be no prosecution of victimless crimes. If I want to take dangerous risks, that is my choice. If I want to drink myself to death, that is my choice. If I want to drink and drive, however, I place others at an involuntary significant risk of harm, and should be prosecuted. I understand that there are so many laws and situations that I can’t possibly think of them all. So I am open to discussion on this one and I think that this small statement may simply not be enough to tell me where the party stands in terms of Crime and prosecution. 

I get the restitution aspect and I agree to an extent. What if a drunk driver kills my spouse? What is the restitution to the fullest possible degree that the criminal or negligent wrongdoer can provide? You took the love of my life out of this world. It is this aspect that I really struggle with. How does the party feel about punishment? I do want that answer. Perhaps some of you more enlightened Libertarians can give me some answers around this part because it is the first time I really wonder where the party stands so far.

I 100% agree that the rights of the criminally accused cannot be reduced in any way. The legal system is set up the way that it is for a reason. The question that I have is: when they say that a jury should consider justice as well as facts, are they talking about the justice of the law or the justice of the situation? Because I am all for the justice of the situation part if they are talking about that. I see it as the ability to not allow guilty people to go free on a technicality if the jury is convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that the party is guilty. Technicalities should NEVER free a guilty person.

1.6    Self-Defense
The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights — life, liberty, and justly acquired property — against aggression. This right inheres in the individual, who may agree to be aided by any other individual or group. We affirm the right to keep and bear arms, and oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense. We oppose all laws at any level of government requiring registration of, or restricting, the ownership, manufacture, or transfer or sale of firearms or ammunition.

My first question about this is the only use of force is in defense of individual rights against aggression. Does that mean that the police do not have the right to use force against a criminal? They can only use force if the criminal is at that moment aggressively acting against someone’s individual rights? I just want to understand that part better.

The second part of this is a principle in the Constitution. The right to keep and bear arms. I am 110% with the party on this one. I don’t care if it is a automatic rifle or a bazooka. If they use it to commit an unlawful act then you have the right to prosecute them. But you do not have the right to tell a law abiding citizen that they cannot own any firearm. I clearly believe that banning a weapon does nothing but make sure that the only people with guns are criminals. Do you think banning assault weapons will reduce the number of criminals that use them? Well I think the more criminals think I might have in my own home, they less likely they are to try to let themselves in.

I do have to put some more thought into the one aspect of this part about registration of firearms. In the old days this wasn’t necessary, but maybe it is today. I am not sure. But if we allow all weapons, it sure would be nice to know who to look for in the event that a certain one was used in a crime. Again I am open to debate on this one.

So that wraps up the personal liberties section of the Libertarian platform. I still think that this party doesn’t sound crazy like so many people seem to assume that it is. I am enjoying this learning experience as we hash out the details together. So let’s hear it!

Comments

  1. I would like to congratulate you for your unwavering support for Liberty in America as presented by the only true American Party, the Libertarian Party. I have added you as a link to my political blog [Forastero de Ohio/Ohio Stranger]. I decided that the political blog could be bilingual in order to convert the American Continent to the ideas of Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Happiness.

    This is my political blog.
    http://forasteroohioohiostranger.wordpress.com/
    Please feel free to establish a link with my blog. I have just announced the link.

  2. Personally, I think this should have been 3 separate posts, because of all the issues involved, but I’ll delve into on point at a time.

    Abortion- I have stated my opinions on abortion a couple of times on my blog. Instead of rehashing them here, I’ll post the links: My opinion and More on Abortion

    Crime and Justice- Drinking and driving is an iffy subject, in my opinion. The problem is that many people do it without ever causing any harm. The “law” has also dumbed down the “blood/alcohol content” levels to the point of ridiculousness. There are also so many other things that can impair your driving ability. Once again, I’ll let you read what I have written in the past: Drunk Driving.
    Where the LP platform speaks of letting jurors judge the “justice of the law”, they are speaking of the 1000 year-old right and responsibility of “jury nullification”. If you are unfamiliar with this concept, visit FIJA.org (run by one of my online friends).

    Justice is much too important to allow government a monopoly on it. I think a system of competing courts would be a much better possible solution. The courts would compete for business, and would get more customers based upon their reputation for fair and equitable judgements. People who did not meet their obligations (regarding a judgement agqainst them) would get a bad “rating” and would find it difficult to get people to deal with them. With the internet, anyone’s “feedback” (like with eBay) would be available by anyone at any time. Would you enter into an agreement with a person who you knew only met their obligations 50% of the time?

    Self Defense- In carrying out their jobs, police have no “rights”; only “authority”. This is something many people, especially in government, fail to understand. Individually, a cop has the exact same rights as you or me, and no more. My thoughts, of course, are that there should not be governmental police forces; only private security companies. These would work for their bosses, and the “police” would be individually liable for any harm they caused while doing their jobs, or for any failure to successfully do their jobs. They would be completely accountable to whoever hired them, and if given immoral “orders” would not be likely to obey, knowing that they would be held accountable, AND knowing that any aggression would be met with fully justified self-defense. There would be no professional courtesy of one agency covering up for the misdeeds of another. Any employer who ordered his security company to commit aggression might find himself without any security company willing to work for him.

    The right to bear arms- This is an absolute human right that would still exist even if it were not mentioned in the Constitution. Governments may choose to violate the right, but do so at the cost of making themselves an illegitimate gang of coercive tyrants. Everyone has an absolute right to own and to carry any type of weapon they wish, everywhere they go, in any manner they desire, openly or concealed, without asking permission from anyone, ever. They do not have a right to fire that weapon randomly into a crowd. The problem is not the object; it is the harm done by improper use of an object.

    Registration doesn’t help to solve crimes. It is only good for one thing: confiscation. Criminals who are intent on attacking innocents will never register their weapons. They might, however, choose to steal your registered gun to kill with, and thereby point the finger at you. Therefore it only punishes those who have no ill intent.

    Even the “ballistic fingerprinting” is worthless. It is simple to change your barrel’s “fingerprint” in seconds at home without any special equipment. It may be “illegal” to do, but once again, do you think anyone who robs or murders is concerned about violating a much lesser “law”?

  3. I feel the Libertarian party is right on with these thoughts but my question goes beyond the statments of beliefs. How do we change the current structure of the government to fall within the beliefs of the Libertarian party. I would like to see more discussions on how these changes can be made. We cannot wipe out the current system, but we can discuss ways to begin to chip away at what has been broken for many years.

    I have to disagree with your statement regarding abortion. How do we know this will never be overturned? There are many people in America who believe abortion is wrong and will do anything to have it. How do we know this will not be the next political strong hold?

  4. John,

    Just a suggestion. In the future it seems to me that one subsection or item at a time would make it easier for folks like me to stay on topic. Though there are folks whom can navigate well without veering off the multiple topic subsections; I just do better addressing one topic at a time. And as you’ve probably noticed; I believe I have taken slight tangents during these discussions, thus including somewhat extraneous/unrelated material.

    “1.4 Abortion
    Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.”

    That’s pretty straightforward to me. Government should be kept out of “all” personal choice matters. I personally denounce abortion, though the government is overstepping its limits by promoting or denying the use of abortion.

    As I’ve stated before (paraphrasing)… So called conservatives wear the anti-abortion insignia on their foreheads, claiming to be pro-life, but the same politicians (War Pigs)have no trouble at all eliminating millions of people whom attempt to defend their lives, their country’s and their preferred way of life.

    “1.5 Crime and Justice
    Government exists to protect the rights of every individual including life, liberty and property. Criminal laws should be limited to violation of the rights of others through force or fraud, or deliberate actions that place others involuntarily at significant risk of harm. Individuals retain the right to voluntarily assume risk of harm to themselves. We support restitution of the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or the negligent wrongdoer. We oppose reduction of constitutional safeguards of the rights of the criminally accused. The rights of due process, a speedy trial, legal counsel, trial by jury, and the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty, must not be denied. We assert the common-law right of juries to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law.”

    Another good example of the Constitution With Teeth. I believe the gist of this subsection is directed at abuse of governmental powers. Though it should also be applied to the other wrongdoers as well, such as individuals and corporations.

    The last line should not be taken lightly. If you serve on a jury, you have the power to question the law that is pertinent to the case.

    Earlier this year I served as the jury foreman on a federal trial. The defendant had been indicted and tried in a state trial and found not guilty. The arrogant feds, as they are, figured they would have this guy “in the bag”. He’s a convicted felon. He was indicted on charges of possession of weapons and several other charges. We were to prove that the defendant had physical control of the weapons. I informed the rest of the jury that we are to not only weigh the evidence gathered before us, but we also have the power to find the law moot. The defendant was found not guilty on all counts.

    “1.6 Self-Defense
    The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights — life, liberty, and justly acquired property — against aggression. This right inheres in the individual, who may agree to be aided by any other individual or group. We affirm the right to keep and bear arms, and oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense. We oppose all laws at any level of government requiring registration of, or restricting, the ownership, manufacture, or transfer or sale of firearms or ammunition.”

    John’s question…”Does that mean that the police do not have the right to use force against a criminal?”

    I believe the answer would be no. If there were an imminent threat to the officer’s life or any bystander’s, he would have justified the use of force. But take into consideration, if the majority of the population were carrying. 1) Society would be much more polite. “An armed society is a polite society”. A potential criminal would think twice before threatening somebody that could be armed.

    Picture this… How about all of the anti-firearm, anti-second amendment folks posting a large sign in their yard, stating… “The owner of this property is unarmed, there are no firearms on this property”. What a welcoming post for a potential criminal. It would be like shooting ducks in a barrel.

    Ah, the second amendment with teeth. What’s not to love about it. It boldly affirms and defends the Militia (which consists of every able bodied citizen), to defend their person’s and property, their neighbor’s, person’s and property, their town, county, state and country, from threats, foreign and domestic, including but not limited to their own oppressive, corrupt, tyrannical government(s), if deemed necessary “By The People”. The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

  5. Mo,

    Thanks for the idea. I flirted with the idea of separating each section into its own post, but decided not to do so simply because some sections would be boring, but more so because that would take us somewhere around Act XX. To be honest I want to go through the platform, get people informed, and move on to other topics such as how we can move forward with the party or possibly even dissecting the Republican and Democratic platform (although I am not sure I want to bother with that as the LP really just seems to take the best parts of each party into their own). I have so many topics that people are wanting to cover that I don’t know if I could stick on dissecting the LP platform for a couple of months, which is what it would take one issue a day.

    As for your comments on this section. I agree about abortion. I don’t like it personally but I like even less the government thinking that they have a right to have a say. It is simply too personal a decision. I try to make sure that I don’t judge anyone for their personal choices around this issue and I hope they do the same for me.

    I like what you are saying with the jury stuff. I think that the bottom line is that if someone breaks a law, they need to be held accountable for doing so. I am not about redefining written laws as a jury member, but I also don’t want a technicality to release a guilty person.

    We are certainly in agreement about the right to have our guns. Any form of gun control is not right in a society where the guns are available to the criminals anyway.

  6. Kent,

    I have to put some thought on the competing court systems and the private security force replacing police. I just have to get through it all in my head. But I will reply on the matter once I have thought it through.

    As far as gun registration, I think you may have swayed me there. Criminals won’t register guns anyway, so perhaps all that gun registration does is get in the way. So I then ask you this: Should there be a check of some kind for purchasing a gun? I mean should a murderer with a history of violence be legally allowed to purchase one? I don’t mean the stringent standards that exist today, but certainly there should be SOME limitations on the purchase of guns to ensure that maniacs don’t legally carry them like a ticking time bomb. I know in your ideal scenario they would be held in check because if they use them someone else would ensure that they die in the process. But shouldn’t some level of protection be there? Everyone who would be willing to murder shouldn’t be given the chance to do so before stopping them, right?

  7. Jen,

    Once we are done with the dissection of the Libertarian party I am going to start doing some posts centered around what the right steps are to getting our country back on track. This part is making sure we get the right people on the bus, next we will figure out the best route for the bus to take to get where it wants to go. So you are right on to ask that question, but we have to get the preliminaries out of the way first.

    I don’t believe that Roe v Wade will be overturned in the current climate. Every day, more and more people agree with the pro-choice movement and I feel that the evangelical sentiment in this country is losing its base. Sean Hannity believes that the Republicans lost their evangelical roots and that is why the party is lost. I disagree. I think that the Republican party has stuck a little too much to those evangelical roots while the American public has moved in a different direction. So I don’t think an overturning of that can happen. So it shouldn’t be THE relevant campaign issue. If our country changes course and there is a chance that it could happen, then it should be a campaign issue. But until then, let’s drop that issue and start talking about the things that matter for America.

  8. Anything that might stop a maniac from buying a gun, will make it much harder for a non-maniac to get one. You would have to completely forbid private sales of guns and force everyone to pass a background check. This is called “the gun show loophole” by the victim disarmers.

    I have often spoken against prohibiting the “mentally ill” from owning (buying) guns. One problem that you run into, is: who gets to define “mentally ill”? Hoplophobes think the desire to own a gun is a sign of mental illness. Statists often consider those who do not submit to them to be “mentally ill”. I would be prohibited on both counts.

    Mentally ill people are also much more likely to enjoy the thrill of killing in much more “personal” ways, such as torturing, stabbing, strangling, and smothering their victims. Trying to stop them from buying or owning guns will not stop the killings, it will just make them find other methods (which may even be more horrible). Madness will always find a way.

  9. The Republican Party is failing because they have disenfranchised their libertarian base. The Democrats have lost their base in the past from the same thing. The bottom line is in spite of what the corporate media tells us, Americans like freedom and want to be left alone. I believe that if the Libertarian Party had as much exposure as the Republicans and the Republicans then the LP would be a major party and the Republicrats and Demopublic parties would be third parties.

  10. Ahmnodt,

    I tend to agree with you on this count. The two big parties have enjoyed a monopoly on politics for quite some time and I absolutely feel that the Libertarian party is more in line with the average American today than either of the other two. My hope is that we can get some exposure for the Libertarian platform here and get people active. The one problem that the party seems to have is quite a bit of internal bickering and the affinity for folks to shoot off on their own and form another wing of the party using the same name. It lends itself to making the party hard to define or follow.

  11. moliberty says:

    “We” Are going to make a difference. This also applies to Jen’s response.

    The “Duopoly Party” spent over one billion dollars campaigning. The Libertarian Party can’t feasibly get anywhere near 1/3 that amount any time in the near future.

    What folks can do, is get like-minded folks to run for local office positions in their districts. Tax Increases are the number one attribute to the killing of our individual liberties, freedom and our constitution. Our very sovereignty, if you will.

    Common Ground… Many folks from several major and not so major parties despise the exponential tax burdens laid upon their shoulders every year or so, via the various tax raising scemes. Local and state representatives keep their hands out, ready to to accept the candy-coated poison bait that the unconstitutional federal Department of Indoctrination (oops, I meant Education) dangles in front of them like a carrot on a stick, in front of a jackass.

    As most of us realize, that poison bait comes with regulatory strings attached, via federal regulations, funded mandates(our federal tax dollars), unfunded mandates (our state & local tax dollars) and compliance with draconian departments such as the likes of the Department of Human Services, the Department of Child Services, the department of Homeland Security and the list goes on.

    In other words, we need folks in office, locally, who will just say no to the feds. No handouts for our “PUBLIC” Schools, no handouts for libraries, hospitals, unconstitutional cameras on the streets or highways, no handouts for “Crowd Control Police Actions”. I guess you get my point. The list gets very long. If our local and state representatives chose not to accept the monetary handouts, the states would not have to comply with the rest of the unconstitutional-baggage that’s attached to it. That’s why we need folks in office who’ll govern according to their constitutions.

    I despise the federal Department of Education. The Founding Fathers’ were very well aware of what would take place, if the Central Government were left to teach it’s servants (oops, I meant subjects) (oops I meant citizen-slaves). Well, you know what I mean. We cannot be the governors of our government, if the Government governs us. That’s why the U.S. Department of Education has no mention or provisions within the U.S. Constitution.

    Well, I guess I went off on a rant again, but it feels good to get that off my chest every once in a while.

    -Mo

  12. Mo,

    LOL… I know what you mean. I often feel better just getting it out and saying what I think and knowing that people are hearing me. You make some interesting points here and they are worth debating. Is it simply as easy as saying no to the federal government? If a local person did that, where would the money for the schools come from? Local tax increases? Private funding?

    If the local government decided to completely privatize the school system, could they afford to do so? Even if they could, would this hinder the graduates who, even though better educated, do not have a federally recognized degree? I am not arguing with you, simply asking because I want to understand your view and see your vision.

    It is easy to rail against the machine, but what is the true solution. Give me some details of what the best step forward for a local school system would be. How would it work in your view?

    • Nancy O'Hara says:

      I may sound like some kind of nut, given the current idea that everyone needs an education, so the government should provide one. I don’t believe that a public or private education confers anything on a person who isn’t dedicated to learning. It’s true that opportunity can be provided, as it has been for most of us in this country (publicly or privately); however, no opportunity was provided for A. Lincoln. He just decided that he wanted to learn and set about to find a way to do so. The Founding Fathers didn’t have the “benefit” of public education either — they schooled themselves by copious reading and studying, predominantly the classics, and they came away with far more than a master’s degree. They acquired wisdom and a full appreciation of history and human nature. Why isn’t that good enough for our children? Why can’t we rely on natural curiosity and drive to lead us to enlightenment?

      I truly don’t believe the government can provide, dictate, or even encourage anything the individual isn’t interested in having/doing/learning for himself. We spend fortunes trying to engineer a perfect life (the “American Dream” in government-speak)for people who wouldn’t give a fig for any of it. They’re just afraid not to be part of the lemming crowd. Call me crazy…

  13. I think it is time to go back to non-compulsory schooling, and let parents decide whether to educate their children themselves, hire a tutor, or pay for a private school of their choice. After all, it is a myth that schooling is now “free”.

    Back before “public schools” were created, visitors from Europe commented on the high level of literacy among average Americans. Now, after 150 years or so of government control of “education”, a quick gance at the average person’s attempt at writing a coherent sentence will demonstrate the failure of public schools to educate. I don’t believe “education” is their primary goal however. And I have relatives in public schools (as teachers and as administrators).

    Instead, I believe the primary goal of public schools is to teach acceptance of the status quo, teach the individual to subordinate their lives to schedules and “authorities”, and produce unquestioning drones for corporations.

    A good resource to use to educate yourself about government schooling is the Alliance for the Separation of School and State and John Taylor Gatto, who was the 1991 New York State teacher of the year.

    I am sorry for posting so many links, but I like to take advantage of the great work others have done for us.

    • Nancy O'Hara says:

      If Hurrays count, I give one to you. You expressed my sentiments better than I did.

  14. Kent,

    I have zero problem with you adding the links into the comments that you write. On the contrary, I think it is always nice to have easy access to further education. I apologize that when they are there I have to come in and moderate them, which results in your posts sometimes being delayed in appearing. So please add links whenever you feel they are relevant. As a rule I always try to click them and make sure they aren’t something crazy no matter who is posting them. And crazy does not mean different from what I believe. So unless they are a link to porn or something lewd or offensive, I don’t mind at all. And for the record I want to publicly say how much I appreciate all that you are adding to the discussions. While I don’t always agree with what you say, I do value your input and recognize the right of people to feel differently than I do and express those thoughts in a public forum. There is much to be learned in the world of politics. I have been involved in politics for 20 years and am a “go to” expert for many of my friends, yet find all the time there is so much more to know about every different perspective. So thanks for your contributions and I hope that you will continue to visit and comment for some time to come.

  15. Kent,

    Oddly enough the second I say that I value your different perspective I come across one that I agree with, lol. I agree that the primary purpose of public schools today seems to be minimal education while simultaneously indoctrinating children into a system that fits the will of people not in any way interested in education. I will be writing a post on education in the next few days and I look forward to your input on that. I may, in fact, solicit your thoughts prior to posting if that would be OK.

    I am currently considering many different avenues for how the education system would be optimally run. I am hoping that Mo replies with thoughts as requested above and I look forward to the stream of thoughts that may come from the upcoming posting.

    • Nancy O'Hara says:

      I think we’re far too focused on “what will happen if?” and all the things we think would be the result of government action. Instead, I believe we should be focused on the principles of our freedom, such as who is deciding for us, who is paying for us, and who is enforcing some action in our lives that we don’t necessarily agree with. I think the process of creating an action by working backward from the expected result is the province of the individual, and NEVER the government. Personally, I reserve the right to make wrong decisions, and I am perfectly willing to pay the price for having done so. I don’t believe there is right/wrong, good/evil, etc. — only consequences. It is the essence of discipline as we teach our children and pets. It is the nature of life in the real world. Last I knew, I was a part of nature.

  16. Abortion is a tough one for me, because it does come down to when rights are granted to a human. Is it at birth, as even some religious persons consider a child human when they have breathed the breath of life? Is it at conception? Is the act of a child growing in a mother a violation of her rights by the child, and thus she is justified in defending herself? Is the child, due to being at no fault in the situation, the one being violated, since the existence of the child is based on the actions of the mother and father? Will technology permit an alternate solution whereby a mother can have an embryo removed and incubated elsewhere? Who would be responsible for the child then? Lots of questions I don’t have the answer for. For now, I think no ban, no support. It will have to be a market decision for the time being.

    Crime and justice I find simple. The implementation may not be, but the concept is. As long as there are laws, there will have to be enforcement, else the laws are pointless. If there are no laws, then the society is lawless. This is not to be confused with ruler less, as the anarchists here support. A society without law degrades quickly to a rule of the strong.

    Self defense is an important part of law enforcement. A society cannot be free and perfectly safe at the same time. There must be some personal defense of one’s self and one’s rights. Police are there, not so much for enforcement of rights, but for the assistance of those who are unable to defend themselves, and to take on the task of investigation and mediation in the case of disputes or criminals who accomplish their crimes in secret. Many people do not have the time to enforce defense or regain their property, even if they had the ability. Also, the police can be called upon to deal with criminals through process that supports their rights, rather than the potential revenge-fest on innocent parties that would ensue without them.

    I am with Kent on education. I have been working on a number of new ways to operate the education system myself. I, personally, was home schooled, and I am thankful that my parents made that decision. The next step from where we are, from what I can see, is to implement a voucher system. It is not a fix, nor an abolishing of the public school system, but at least it introduces the market. I will be doing a post on this in the near future, I will link it once its written. So far this week, I mostly have time to post here, lol. I feel like you Kent, I saw your post about this site, that is how I found it. I definitely am spending most of my energy here at the moment.

  17. Jon Smith,

    Well I certainly appreciate all the time you are spending here. And your comments are well thought out.

    I am with you on abortion. I think your comments on crime and self defense are dead on. We simply cannot allow the society to become one where the rule of law is nothing more than he who is strongest does what he or she wants. In the self justice world that Kent and some others envision, I fail to believe that the people will have a fair trial. If my wife is killed and I am justified in taking the life of he who killed her, what happens if I conclude who did it and take action, only to find out later that I killed an innocent person who wasn’t the perpetrator?

    And education is big. As I have stated here previously, I am going to do an entire post on education shortly in order to discuss ideas on how to make the education system in America work again.

  18. I don’t just believe in “self justice”, as I believe there should be courts or arbitors. I just realize the government is not qualified to administer them.

    With abortion: no one but the dogmatic think a fertilized egg has human rights, and no one but the dogmatic believe a newborn baby doesn’t. The truth lies somewhere in between and I don’t believe science has the answer (yet) where that line is. I think they will find it to my satisfaction someday. Until then, in order to not cause more damage out of ignorance, we should keep “the law” out of it.

  19. moliberty says:

    John said…

    “I am currently considering many different avenues for how the education system would be optimally run. I am hoping that Mo replies with thoughts as requested above and I look forward to the stream of thoughts that may come from the upcoming posting.”

    First off, there is nothing “efficient” that is operated by the federal government. It won’t take much to remind folks of the most recent fiasco; the so-called bail out.

    Incompetent businesses and corporations failed to be accountable to maintain the proper functions of their businesses. Poor planning on a certain business’ part, does NOT constitute robing taxpayers at gunpoint so over paid thugs can have a cocktail party, with bonuses. That’s our Organized-Crime-Based-Government for ya’.

    So I cannot support a nationwide “Federal Standard” for schools. As I’ve stated before; funding or control of public schools are not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. Therefor, whenever the federal government oozes its cancerous tentacles into public education and our neighborhoods by means of mandatory inoculations, vaccines, psychotropic drug deployment (Ritalin, etc.), “No Child’s Behind Left Act” surveillance programs and various “Title” numbered programs, don’t you agree that government is getting too big, too expensive and too intrusive for its own britches, let alone the people’s dwindling bank accounts?

    I’m not going to run for any office, but I have pounded the pavement for fiscally and constitutionally-accountable candidates that I “know” will be fiscally accountable. Usually, fiscally accountable representatives seem to maintain some constitutional adherence. And that’s who we need in office.

    Kent is a more eloquent speaker/writer than myself. He seems to mirror what I believe, I just have a more difficult time of elaborating to folks how devastating our federal government is to our sovereignty. So Kent; Please HELLLLLLLLLLLLLP!

    -Mo

  20. Mo, I’m trying to help however I can.

    I believe education is terribly important. I also think government has demonstrated beyond any doubt that it is not up to the task.

    This is ignoring the simple fact that schools are financed through the least justifiable tax there is: ransoming your home.

  21. Mo and Kent,

    Let me first thank you for your thoughts on education. I hope you will participate quite a bit when that post focusing on education goes up in the next day or two.

    I agree that the government has proven one thing in terms of education: they don’t belong in it. There are many different avenues that I think could work optimally, but I certainly think just about any system would work better than the one we have now. I hate the fact that tax money has to be forked over to support it whether it is effective or not and whether you actually have children that will attend or not. Come to think of it I will post that education stuff tonight. It is really more of a thread to discuss ideas for change than an informational thread like I have done thus far. I look forward to your thoughts.

  22. Kent, I would be interested in how you would operate court systems in the private sector. In fact, how you would envision the entire system of law and justice and enforcement ina rulerless society. I see a lot of pitfalls in what I envision, but perhaps I am not realizing how the process/system could be undertaken. A subject on your pwn blog perhaps? Or you may have already written this up and I just havent seen it…

  23. I think I have written about it before, but I can’t find it at the moment. None of these thoughts are original to me, though.

    The plan I have heard discussed the most is for there to be arbitration businesses to settle disputes. Most “crimes” (real aggression or theft/fraud) are “disputes” at their foundation; someone tries to harm you in some way, and you dispute his right to do so. You need to realize that modern technology will enable this and make it easier than would have been the case in the past, and will make it even easier in the future. If Mr X doesn’t wish to do business with your arbitor, you could find a neutral one, but if he is just being obstinant, you and your arbitor would put his name on a list of those who will not resolve disputes. If X tries to retaliate by getting you put in the bad list, the keeper of the list could be shown the facts and if he didn’t remove your name, he would lose his reputation of keeping a fair and honest record. No one would trust his list anymore, and he would lose customers.

    Say Mr. X defrauds you in a business deal. You would try to work it out privately first, but if that didn’t fix things you move to the next step.

    You would go to your chosen arbitor and file a complaint. They would then contact Mr. X (or his arbitor, if there is one he normally has represent him). In order to keep his record “clean”, Mr X would want to resolve the issue. “Ratings”, displaying whether a person kept their obligations or not, would be available for all to see, from competing reporting companies. Few people or businesses would choose to deal with those who had poor ratings (or “feedback” in eBay terminology).

    In a free society, no one is forced to do business with anyone they would rather avoid. People who are dishonest, or are too aggressive, could find themselves shunned to the point of starvation if they don’t change their ways. The electric company might decide it is not in their best interest to keep servicing the home of a violent or dishonest customer. No one would want to enter into a contract with someone known to have broken 50% of their previous contracts. Of course, there might be businesses that would cater to these outcasts as well, for a price.

    Aggression could be handled the same way. If the attacker survives, that is. You would make a complaint. An arbitor would be agreed upon, and restitution would be set. If it was not paid, a black mark would show up on the attackers feedback, and you could freely advertise to the whole town what a dickweed your attacker is.

    Now, suppose someone refuses to participate in the process at all. He is free to flee to parts unknown. The internet (or its successor) will leave him no society to hide in. If he changes his identity, and keeps his nose clean, he will probably go unpunished, but since he will have cleaned up his act, isn’t that more important in the long run? If he returns to his old ways, he will either make restitution, or be forced to run again. If he hides in the wilderness, away from society, he has removed himself from society more effectively than a prison.

    This is, of course, a very bare-bones discussion of some of the thoughts. It goes a lot deeper than this.

  24. I am sure it is more involved and detailed, but there does seem to be a complete lack of enforcement outside of a ratings issue. At lower levels of transactions, or considering minimal violence incidents, this would be ok. In cases of large scale and ruinous swindles or fraud that ends in harm or death to one or more customers, a bad rating is hardly enough to set things right. If the perpetrator received large amounts of money for his or her acts, then he might be able to survive easily in such a situation, despite being ostracized. Someone will work with him for a price, and he need not act up again until he runs out of money. Also, internet or not, there will always be societies or individuals who choose to operate outside of the large scale system and can be taken by a shrewd and evil person. Worse yet, when the victim is killed, is a black mark all that is done to the perpetrator? Removal from society only to return in a year and kill again is not stopped by a forceless black mark.

    I submit that, while it is a nice idea to have a society without any form of coercion, even for criminal acts, it would not be enough. No criminal will agree to an arbiter. It is the same logic as the gun control advocates who say gun registration will help. Only the law abiding will be truly affected. The criminals will be harmed not at all. A black mark means nothing to a thief or a murderer.

  25. I think you underestimate the power of ostracism and the value of reputation in a society based upon freedom of association, but pretend for a moment you are right.

    If you wish to have enforcers, you would probably be free to do so in a free society, but you had better be dang sure they don’t kidnap or kill the wrong person; there will be no such thing as “departmental guidelines” that would protect you or your enforcers in case of an error.

  26. Mr. Hellström says:

    “1.5 Crime and Justice
    Government exists to protect the rights of every individual including life, liberty and property.”

    Well, in order to exist government (i.e. the State) must initiate force against individuals, and is thus not a protector of rights, but rather a violator of them.

    Regards, C.H. Hellstrom

  27. Mr. H,

    I disagree. While the state may in fact find themselves in the position where they are initiating force, I don’t believe that they must do so in order to exist. What we have today is out of control, the government that I believe our founders had in mind was one that rarely, if ever, initiated force except in the protection of rights.

  28. Kent,

    I think on this one you overestimate the power of coercion or ostracizing someone. There are people out there who simply will not care what anyone thinks. Would coercion or ostracizing been an effective tool to stop Enron, Worldcom, and events such as those? I don’t believe so. Billions of dollars can buy you an island of your own with no one to pressure you or dislike you.

  29. I think that those events you mention couldn’t have happened in a free market, since it took government favors to put them in such a position. This is what becoming a “corporation” is all about.

    All these things are interconnected in such a way that I don’t think liberty can be achieved piecemeal. This may mean it won’t happen, but it doesn’t mean I’ll stop knowing what I want.

  30. Kent, I would have to disagree. Let’s take Enron as an example so that we aren’t just generalizing to the point of wasted time. Giant company in a free market with people that contribute to their pensions and stock options and all the other things that are in place. Owners cook books and make off with a couple billion in shareholders money. We didn’t need government to play any part of that.

    However in your scenario, there would be little recourse should these owners simply not care about getting ostracized or shunned. To say that it couldn’t happen because it took government favors to put them in that position is to assume that in your entirely free market, it would never happen that a company could grow to the size of Enron. Is that what you are suggesting? Because growing to that size is the only part that government played in the Enron scandal. It was a lack of any oversight that allowed it to happen rather than a move the government made. I just want to understand what you mean.

  31. Corporations exist by forming a partnership with government. They become a fictional person, recognized as such by government. The owners are somewhat shielded from the consequences of their actions by this “incorporation”. They get favors and protection by signing up for this racket. At least until things get completely out of control and the government decides to look like it is “doing something”. Government “laws” also protect thieves big and small from being shot by their victims. Stolen money could be legitimately recovered by the theft victims. Self defense includes financial self defense.

  32. BlackFlag says:

    Kent, again, hit the nail.

    Corporations are a creature invented by government. They only exist inside government law. Because of that, I have no problem government taxing the living hell out of companies – the company owes its entire existence to government – it is, in every sense, the “God” of Corporations.

  33. My only problem with government taxing corporations is that it puts more money in government pockets to be used to fight liberty and freedom in creative, and tyranical, ways. Plus, any tax expenses will only be passed along to the customers. I’d rather the corporations kept the money.

  34. BlackFlag says:

    Ostracizing is one of the most powerful non-violent forces in society.

    USWep, if you’re expecting vistors, does your wife make sure your home is in good order, clean and presentable? This is but a sliver of the power of ostracizing.

    Go ahead, and have your billions – worthless if no one sells to you.

    A few may…. Do you remember the story of the Great Robbery? The main crook escaped to Latin America with his loot. And they let him live there – all the while the locals charged him huge prices for even the simplest and most mundane things. He went broke and went back to England to face his fate.

    In other cultures, the greatest ‘punishment’ is banishment and ostracizing. Some prefer suicide instead of being so ignored by their people.

    In our society – we’ve been brainwashed to allow government deal with crime on our behalf. Of course, it is not on our behalf – government imposes itself – it takes all the fines for its own coffers. But because we believe government gives justice, and once the crook has ‘paid is due to society’ we assume all is well. Of course it isn’t, but the myths holds.

  35. Mr. Hellström says:

    USWeapon,

    “I disagree. While the state may in fact find themselves in the position where they are initiating force, I don’t believe that they must do so in order to exist. What we have today is out of control, the government that I believe our founders had in mind was one that rarely, if ever, initiated force except in the protection of rights.”

    First of all we may conclude that the initiation of force is morally wrong. The State is an organization that maintains a monopoly of the use of force, but to maintain that monopoly the State must initiate force to exclude competitors, like a person who sets up a defense organization. If the State didn’t initiate force against the person who starts up such a business it would cease to be a monopoly, and thus cease being a State. To maintain itself as a monopoly the state must initiate force against those who intend to start up companies that violate that monopoly.

  36. Mr. H.

    But the state doesn’t have to be a monopoly of the type you speak. The founders did not intend for things to be this way. A careful reading of all the documents of the times, such as the Federalist papers and such, shows that the founders foresaw that the biggest threat to freedom could become the government, and the intention of the Constitution was to set up a series of rules that limited the government’s ability to do so.

    I believe, that however improbable, it is possible for a government to function in a fashion that does not initiate force, but actually answers to the people. We have gotten far away from this but the concept still stands. Individual freedom without government as espoused by Kent and BlackFlag sounds a bit utopian, but is far closer to the intent of the founders than what we are burdened with today.

    I would say it is easy to simply blow off the idea of government, if the only government you envision is a version of what we see today. Today’s government is certainly unable to resist initiating force, but that doesn’t mean that a government that does not do so cannot exist. Live within what the Constitution set forth, and we are a lot closer to what was intended and a lot closer to what is ideal, even if the ideal never happens, it would be a lot closer than today’s predicament.

  37. BF,

    If you think that it is my wife that cleans the house and readies for guests, you are assuming too much, lol. That would be me cleaning up and readying for guests. Not that she won’t or wouldn’t, it is just usually me that is the anal house cleaner. Not very manly of a statement I know, but fact none-the-less.

  38. I have to agree with Kent here. The one problem that I have always had with the Democratic principle of hitting corporations hard in favor of the citizen is that the corporations will not be hit hard. Any tax you place on them, they merely find a way to pass on to the consumer. Perhaps a more free market might somehow restrict this, but not the current one. This is why Reagan’s trickle down theory always worked better than Obama’s trickle up theory is destined to work. Taxing the corporation and giving a break to the citizen in today’s environment is merely creating the extra step of the corporation finding a way to pass on the tax in a way that gets it back from the citizen instead of the government. The whole system is broken, but I favor Kent’s thinking when dealing with this flawed beast we have now.

  39. “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain — that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.” -Lysander Spooner

  40. Mr. Hellström says:

    “But the state doesn’t have to be a monopoly of the type you speak.”

    Yes, it does. The State is an organisation with a monopoly right to use force, or as Hans-Hermann Hoppe calls it – ultimate decision making. It is a monopoly, there is no doubt, and it is a coercive one as well, since it must maintain its monopoly by excluding competitors.

    “The founders did not intend for things to be this way.”

    “A careful reading of all the documents of the times, such as the Federalist papers and such, shows that the founders foresaw that the biggest threat to freedom could become the government, and the intention of the Constitution was to set up a series of rules that limited the government’s ability to do so.”

    That doesn’t change the nature of government. Even the most limited government is built on force. Well, they did want a goverment, but they differed in how they wanted it to be. The Founders were not a group of men with the same view. It really doesn’t matter how small the government is – it must still INITIATE force.

  41. BlackFlag says:

    I agree – without violence, government is merely a really bad Boy Scout group that nobody in their right mind would join.

    And they’d hate that….

  42. Even the most limited government is based upon the setting of guidelines that govern the actions of the people who choose to participate. I just don’t see where they must initiate force. Ours does, and I don’t argue that, but I don’t see it being a thing that must happen, just one that does.

    And BF, it is a bad group right now, I just envision one that is more amenable.

  43. Kent,

    That is a great quote that I am unable to counter at the moment. Perhaps if I think long and hard enough I can come up with an answer to that.

  44. BlackFlag says:

    USWep,

    There is a great article on the impossibility of government without initiation of violence by Hans Hoppe

    http://www.hanshoppe.com/

    If the world was fair, he will win a Noble Prize.

    Essentially, his conclusion is that since without the initiation of violence, government cannot limit competition. By definition, it therefore cannot maintain it’s monopoly on violence.

  45. G. A. Rowe says:

    On 1.4, What about the sanctity of life? Doesn’t 1.4 violate article I? Can’t have your cake and eat it too . . . The uncontrolled rate of abortions just for the sake of the individual is insane. Abortion should only be used to save the life of the Mother, in the case of incest caused pregnancies, and forcible rape caused pregnancies. Not for birth control.

    • G.A Rowe,
      I understand your point and I can appreciate your position. I hope that you can be just as appreciative of those that stand in opposition to you. There certainly is a sanctity of life issue at play. The problem is that no one can define when life begins. Everyone has their own definition that fits into whatever their argument is. Hard line christians say conception because that would eliminate abortion. Hard line liberals say birth because that would make all abortion legal. It isn’t about which one is right, it is about allowing others to have the freedom to make their own decisions. I do not have the right to impose my definitions or my morals on to a pregnant 18 year old that I have never met. If it comes down to a religious belief that sways your opinion, remember that it is not our job to judge those women. God will handle that when they have to answer to him or her. You are free to make whatever choice you want for you, but should limit your reach into making decisions for someone else. If the decision is the wrong one, they will be judged at the appropriate time by the appropriate authority.

  46. G. A. Rowe says:

    USWeapon – Again I thank you for the return. I will not boor you with my personal religious beliefs, as I am one who does not believe in pushing one’s beliefs onto another. However, having said that, I ask only one very important question = Who speaks for the unborn? Personally, I have asked myself should the unborn just be discarded like so much useless garbage? How non-human that seems to me.

    I would encourage anyone, before making any decision as to who should be able to get an abortion and why, to go to any abortion clinic and not talk to anyone, just sit all day long for a month and just see who gets abortions. It is an eye opener, to say the least.

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