A question of value

Sarah asks: my qualm with this is that *if* the government doesn’t (I know it doesn’t sound too libertarian but…) ask/demand(?) for some money from the populace, then you have a potential for anarchy? How could we pay for police officers, judges, politicians? I know that we should not have *big* government, that is not what I mean..but if we have basic laws established that demand we not murder or steal, how can we pay for those laws to be enforced.

There is always potential for anarchy, contraintuitively it is usually when government becomes most repressive, although I note that anarchy is much better than democidal government, which, by the way, is far more common than anarchy. There is no need to pay for police officers, judges or politicians. There are already ten times the number of individuals working in private security than work for all the police forces of America combined. There are already many professional adjudicators despite the existence of public judges, who almost to a man ignore the written law in favor of their own manufactured case law. And politicians were unpaid for most of American history.

There will always be a market for those protecting property rights, public or private. The only reason that people expect the protection of property rights to be “free” is that they are used to the government promising such protection, which it not only does not provide but does not even claim to provide when push comes to shove. See the several lawsuits where federal courts have ruled that individuals have no expectation of protection from the police, thereby freeing the police of all liability for failure to provide it. Divine and natural law aside, laws are only as real as the individuals of a society deems them to be, and the reality tends to rest on a much slimmer thread than most people like to think.

Question deeper. Think harder.

Why I don’t write for National Review

The Cornerites are all taking the Libertarian Purity test. The difference between my score and theirs was rather shocking – going in I had no idea that it went up so high. The test is crude, as is necessarily the case in a yes/no test, but it is interesting to see how the results differentiate rather clearly between the conservative strong government right and the libertarian minimal government right.

37 Andrew Stuttaford

40 Rick Brookhiser

41 Jonah Goldberg

72 Charles Murray

73 Ramesh Ponnuru

79 Jonathan Adler

126 Vox Day

To each according to his needs

Jay Nordlinger writes: Speaking of love and marriage, let me leave you with this: A reader of this column, reacting to an item about the gay-marriage debate, wrote, “If marriage is a civil right, can I sue the government to appoint me a spouse?”

Why stop there? If sex is a civil right, then where are our government-funded prossies? Do we not have a right to happiness? And since upholding well-being is the primary purpose of liberal government – who could argue in this day and age that one could possibly be well without sex – if the Federal government can spend billions on Iraqis, they can surely find the wherewithal to provide regular sexual acrobatics to all healthy adults.

I think I just solved our unemployment problem too. Actually, I’m a little surprised that no one has run on the guaranteed sex for all platform yet. It isn’t much dumber than LBJ’s free money for all idea, and it promises a lot more fun even if it fails. Why mess around with bread and circuses when you can offer pizza and prostitutes?

John Kerry: Gay Preacher Man

The New York Times watches Kerry self-destruct: “My point is homosexuality is an idea,” she said. “You have never heard a doctor say, `Mr. and Mrs. John Doe, you have a bouncing baby homosexual.’ It’s an idea.”

Mr. Kerry replied: “Well, I know the deep beliefs, I respect, I’m a Christian, I’ve read the Bible, and I know you can find the clauses that go both ways. I’m not here to argue that with you.”

What clause was that, mon ami? “A man shall leave his parents and cleave to a wife, unless he happens to enjoy bad dance pop, in which case with our blessing he shall worship in my stead a divine trinity of goddesses which I shall send to you in the fullness of time, and engage for all joy in acts considered to be fornication if only the tainted flesh of Eve were involved.

– The Gospel of Saint Judy

Taxation and theft

Theft according to Webster: 1. The act of stealing; specifically, the felonious taking and removing of personal property, with an intent to deprive the rightful owner of the same.

The question of whether a hypothetical benefit has been conveyed has nothing whatsoever to do with whether a taking of property is theft or not. If I steal your Playstation, sell it, and use the money to buy you a sweater, then you have received a benefit directly due to the theft. But the theft has still occurred. Your Playstation is still gone. You were deprived of it, your new sweater notwithstanding.

But furthermore, the notion suggested by Webster that the taking and removing of personal property is not theft if the government happens to be amenable to the taking is both dangerous and absurd. This assumes that all property is at the disposal of the state – an assumption that I argue is at the root of all modern liberal thought. Otherwise, one must accept the notion that the killing and burying of individuals is not murder if the government happens to be amenable to that. And since there are plenty of socialist governments that have put that very concept into action, it cannot possibly be dismissed as a reductio ad absurdum.

Mailvox: they love the word "obliged"

CB writes: I did not sign nor was ever given the opportunity to reject putting my signature on the Constitution…must I obey it? Must I therefore respect the President and Congress and the Supreme Court as the three branches of our government? Can I take away the guns, religious freedoms, and speech freedoms of others because I never signed the document protecting those rights? How about this: Must I adhere to the Ten Commandments? Not only did I never sign a contract to obey those decrees, I wasn’t even there when they were presented to man as to have the opportunity to voice my dissent if I felt the need to do so.

We are all obliged to participate in an unsigned and informal social contract. Whether it is from God or another higher power, as some feel, from the government, as others feel, or just from an unspoken but accepted notion that since we all live here, we all need to respect the rights of others. I am not even going to comment on your ridiculous (and incredibly unoriginal and redundant) blasting of the label of “liberal” and how taxation is therefore evil and constitutes theft. I simply hope that, in the future, you avoid trying to score petty points with ridiculous claims such as that printed above; it insults the intelligence of us all.

Let me try to put CB straight. Since he is not the Federal Government, he is not bound by the Constitution. Nor am I surprised that he won’t comment on the “taxation = theft” point, since, like all so-called liberals, he has no answer for it except to give away his belief that all property belongs to the collective.

No one is going to put him or anyone else into jail simply for violating the Ten Commandments. He would also have to violate a law that happens to run in parallel with one of the Commandments, as he can certainly hope to sacrifice to as many idols as he likes without fear of jail, depending, of course, on what he is sacrificing and assuming that he is not violating any safety codes or backyard-burning bans.

There is no such thing as a social contract. Once again we see, as Hayek pointed out, adding the adjective “social” completely destroys the meaning of the following noun. What a sad butchery of the language. As for insulting his intelligence, I think he’s done a rather nice job of that all by himself.

Well, this kind of makes my point

ES writes: Our senator from Indiana, Richard Lugar, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is attempting to get the “Law of the Sea Treaty” adopted without any floor discussion or voice vote.

This is America’s MOST CONSERVATIVE senator, John Kerry’s supposed polar opposite. I never thought I’d miss Jesse Helms the way I do. Even the so-called conservatives are working against US national sovereignty now, and attempting to do so behind the people’s backs.

Mailvox: Welcome, stranger

PL writes: What a pathetic shill you are for the con movement. Member of Mensa? Must have bought your way in. Stupid cocksucker.

I don’t think this particular fellow is very familiar with my writing. I’ve been called many things before, but never a shill for the conservative movement. I always wonder, too, at cutural liberals using insults derived from things they are defending as good, natural, healthy and Constitutionally protected. Apparently the irony escapes them.