Perhaps the thing that irks me the most about state politics is the simple-minded assumption by mainstream statists that they, unlike “doctrinaire” or “radical” libertarians, are free from having to explain their views or possess some special insight into the human situation that allows them to ignore potentially devastating counter arguments to their almost always incoherent system of ethics.
An example: there is a sign on a house near where I live that says “We support single payer health care.” Fine. You support that and I do not. Now what? Many times, when dealing with mainstream opinions about forcible government, I am told that I “blindly” follow private property rights and from that, I oppose any intrusion in the market for health care. Yet those who oppose my views must have a view as well. What is it? Surely they favor some sort of property rights (or even possession rights) assignment scheme. Instead of assigning property rights to homesteaders/original appropriators, the state gets to decide.
Furthermore, it seems to me that if you keep pushing the issue to see if there is a core belief, it usually either does not exist (that is, they support whatever makes them feel good and are totally outcome-oriented), or their arguments, upon closer examination, are full of holes.
Now, it’s of course possible that the principled libertarian view is incorrect. But then, the statist position could also be incorrect. And here’s another issue that comes up. In a very real sense, we all cannot really “agree to disagree.” If A supports empire and war, welfare, drug and gun control and government-managed health care, and B wants none of that, what are the odds that A will say “fine, I respect your view and will not impose any of those things on you”?
Support for any form of aggression (private crime or the state) necessarily involves forcing others to accept that their arrangement is better than your own: taxes, murder, rape, prohibition, trade restrictions–these are all things that are imposed by one person or group or persons on another, non-consenting group.
Ultimately, politics, at its core, does not offer room for disagreement. And the way it’s presented to the public makes no difference. So down with democracy, of course, but down with monarchy and even with “representative” republic.2:23 pm on April 29, 2009 Email Manuel Lora