The right to vote
I think the “right” to vote (in government elections) should be taken away from women. It should be taken away from men too. (The NYTimes will undoubtedly quote me only on the first of these two preceding sentences). We should only vote on occasions in which we have all agreed to be bound by the decision of the majority. The next major U.S. election will take place on November 2016. But, have we all agreed to be bound by its results? Hardly. (Anyone who doubts this should read Lysander Spooner’s “No Treason”). In sharp contrast when the chess club votes on whether to meet on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, and all participants have agreed to be bound by the results of the election, then this is a valid one.
Defending the Undefend... Best Price: $1.99 Buy New $10.80 (as of 07:55 UTC - Details) As for stereotyping, that’s merely making broad empirical generalizations, or engaging in induction. Induction, along with deduction, are two pillars of the scientific outlook. We as libertarians should reject it holus bolus? There is nothing wrong with stereotyping, let alone anything incompatible with libertarianism in that mode of thinking. For example, Men are taller and stronger than women (on average). Whites are better swimmers than blacks; blacks are better runners and jumpers than whites (on average). Child novelists are very rare. Old people are more likely to contract cancer and Alzheimer’s disease than young people; the opposites rarely occur. Ceteris paribus, gays have higher time preference rates than straights (Hans Hoppe got in trouble with the politically correct academics at his school, UNLV, for saying this); heterosexuals tend to have more children than homosexuals, and thus have, again on average, a longer time horizon. These are all stereotypes. They are all correct empirical generalizations. Their opposites are also stereotypes, but incorrect ones.
The libertarian opposition to collectivism is a vestige of Ayn Rand’s in some ways baleful influence on our libertarian movement. There is nothing wrong with collectivism, nor is there anything incompatible with libertarianism in it. Team sports are collective efforts; individual sports are based on individualism: individual efforts. Are libertarians supposed to be against team sports? Should we ban them? A barn-raising is a collective action. Chopping wood is usually done individually. Chess playing is a collective effort; the card game, Solitaire, is played by only one person. Should the former set of activities be banned by libertarian law? That notion is silly.
Pigeon-holing, Categorization The Privatization of R... Best Price: $1.94 Buy New $20.00 (as of 07:45 UTC - Details)
Similarly, pigeon-holing, or categorization, is yet another important aspect of science. I won’t say that biology (genus, species, family, etc.) or chemistry (the table of elements) consists of nothing but pigeon-holing or categorization; however, that statement has an important core of truth in it. An awful lot of what biology and chemistry consist of is nothing but pigeon-holing, or categorization. These scientists debate over whether a given entity should be placed in this category or that one. Something similar occurs, too, in astronomy. Is Pluto a planet or not? This is also an issue of pigeon-holing, or categorization.
Indeed, language itself is (almost) nothing but pigeon-holing or categorization. We pigeon-hole, or categorize, some things as “elephants” others as “sadness” or “musical” or “medicinal.” Pretty much every word in every language makes distinctions (except for synonyms?); that is, all words pigeon-hole, or categorize. We libertarians are supposed to oppose this manner of careful thinking and correct language use? The precision of language is important. Language is the major weapon we libertarians have in order to promote and attain liberty. We do ill to our movement when we make errors of the sort indicated above.
We once had the word “liberal” in our armament. It was taken away from us. Should we try to regain this linguistic territory? Indeed, there are some such as Noam Chomsky (who is pretty libertarian on foreign policy, but awful on economics), who are trying to seize the very word Ron Paul for President... Buy New $25.95 (as of 06:47 UTC - Details) “libertarian” from us. Should we oppose this? In my own view, it is far more important to maintain the word “libertarian,” then to regain “liberal.”
As I write, the Libertarian Party (LP) is holding its convention to select a president and vice presidential candidate for the coming election. Some of these “libertarians” favor anti-discrimination laws that compel religious people to officiate at gay weddings, and Jews to bake cakes for Nazis; this, of course, is incompatible with a core principle of libertarianism, free association. No one should be forced to associate with anyone against his will. Some favor the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Others attack another core principle of libertarianism, the non-aggression principle (NAP). In contrast, the sole libertarian objection to rape, kidnapping, slavery, is that they violated the law of free association and the NAP. William Weld, former governor of Massachusetts, no libertarian he, is a leading candidate for the vice presidential candidacy of the LP. Here is what Murray Rothbard and others had to say about the libertarian credentials of some of these candidates. With “libertarians” like these, we need not fear the likes of Noam Chomsky seizing the honorific word “libertarian” from us. The LP will do it for us, thank you very much.