Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Second Reason Libertarian Societies must Fail

In the previous post, we argued that a mechanism for the redistribution of demand was required to maintain a society. In a libertarian society, there can be no such mechanism. In consequence, in a libertarian society the market for production is progressively destroyed, and with the market the entire economy.

There is also a more direct reason libertarian societies fail: Libertarian societies provide no adequate mechanism for protecting your neighbor from  the aggression of others.  There must be a mechanism, because without such a mechanism, there is inadequate motive for you, or anyone else, to help your neighbor resist the bully.

It is in the concentrated interest of the bully to oppress your neighbor.  The bully may profit greatly if he succeeds.  The benefits to the bully will be greater than the cost.  But you, and everyone else, only have a diffuse interest in helping your neighbor resist the bully.  The cost to you to help your neighbor is concentrated, and may be far greater than the benefit to you.  Further, if mutual aid is agreed to, but such protection is voluntary, it is in your interest, and the interest of others who might be expected to contribute, to contribute as little as possible to the protection of your neighbor. Which would likely be nothing.  This is an instance of the free rider problem: If anyone can ride for free, everyone will ride for free, because only a fool, (or a saint, perhaps,) would pay for what is offered for free.

So the consequence is that in the absence of government, and police, and regulation, the bully, the large organization, the wealthy, will dominate and oppress your neighbor, and after your neighbor, you. A government diffuses the cost for the protection of your neighbor across the whole society. In the libertarian state, some are more equal than others, and the more equal shall devour the liberties of the less equal, because the only thing to stop them is: principle.  That is, in libertarianism, the only mechanism to stop the powerful from effectively enslaving the weak is the moral disposition of those same powerful interests.

From the point of view of Widerquist's thesis, there is only the pronouncement of platitudes and the benevolence of the powerful to prevent the establishment of absolute monarchy by force of violence. There is no real reason for the prospective despot to wait on 'legitimate' means.  

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