Considering your other posts in the last two days, I offer this response with considerable benefits of doubt that you wish to genuinely engage and are sincerely willing to understand (not necessarily agree with) the libertarian position.
a ) To argue that the govt can never use “use of force” or coercion to get anyone to do something is to say that a democratically elected federal government cannot actually govern.
Why is “democracy” legitimate? Subset A has more numbers than Subset B or Subset C, ergo all must abide by the wishes of Subset A? That’s tyranny of the majority. That’s a lynch mob. That’s, as the old adage with the unknown originator goes, two wolves and a lamb deciding on what’s for dinner. There is no minority smaller than the individual, and no majority can usurp the individual’s fundamental claims to his self-ownership, his rights to life, liberty, and property.
It would not be able to enforce any laws or get the populous (sic) to do anything. It wouldn’t be able to get anyone to do anything that is within your ideology or philosophy or anyone elses (sic).
Government is composed of people, you would agree? Often, it’s composed of the corrupt and rich and powerful and corporate and connected - but for now, let’s table that point. Government is composed of people. Why should the people known as “government” have power to get the populace to “do anything,” a power that would be improper for any other individual to employ?
In other words, no one, no matter what group he belongs to, has the right to interfere with the consensual interactions of peaceful individuals.
The govt would be irrelevant.
If you are an anarchist then this makes perfect sense.
But the point you are trying to articulate, considering your concern about being able to “enforce laws,” is the assumption that only a government can or should create or enforce laws, and to eliminate government is to eliminate the protections all individuals have from the coercive force of the unscrupulous masses that surround us.
But we’ve already established the illegitimacy of a state that claims a monopoly on force by either democratic force or otherwise. We own ourselves and thus no one can have a higher claim on our lives. So there is no moral standing to create force in order to replace some other force. Put another way, violating liberty to protect liberty doesn’t actually accomplish the purported goal.
That is the deontological case. And, even with that, your concern remains: what happens? No doubt you would still fear individuals who would seek to harm others.
Minarchist libertarians would tell you that law, courts, police, and defense are legitimate, and many would say the only legitimate, functions of a government. As an anarcho-capitalist/voluntaryist, I do not make this argument as I see even these functions as not only able to be capably serviced in a free society, but they would be less prone to the corruption, abuse, and failure we’ve come to expect with the state’s monopoly services.
How, exactly, would this work? Well, we cannot determine the specific order that would emerge from the voluntary associations of free individuals for the same reason no all-knowing, benevolent angels could ever determine and account for the specific preferences and behavior of millions of people acting freely and engaging in mutually beneficial exchange.
But the truth is that even without a state, there would still be law: the universally preferable behavior of natural law.
Under libertarian law, no one may threaten, or initiate violence against a person or his justly acquired property. All else is open, however. That is, a man can do anything else he wishes, provided only that he respects this one axiom of liberty.
[T]he only just law is that which initiates aggression against none. In other words, one that echoes natural law; that is, one that protects and respects the life, liberty, and property of all equally. Any violation of a person’s self-ownership is illegitimate. So laws against theft, assault, battery, murder, slavery, rape, fraud, trespass, destruction of property, and the threats thereof are all legitimate because they would exist irrespective of a state. They are axiomatic consequences of human self-ownership.
So those would essentially be the likely sum of generally agreed upon laws, with contracts and respect of private property serving the structural basis of all other interactive behaviors - and the enforcement, courts, and protection would happen privately with the consent of all involved.
b) What would be the difference if a state government instead of a federal government coerced an individual to do something against their will? ( Seeing as how libertarians and Republicans are always talking about states rights and states should decide damn near everything.)
This is a bit of a separate argument than above, as this is less about what is ideal than about what is less preferable; but you are absolutely correct in your insinuation: there is no real difference between an individual’s rights being violated by a state government than by a federal government (or a city government, or county government, or another individual…).
(And, consequently, it’s not about “state’s rights” as many claim. States don’t have rights, individuals do.)
The point is that by making government more localized, by pushing the power structure downward closer to the individual, the individual retains more control over his or her own life. Instead of one vote in a nation, he is one vote in a state. It would be much easier to move to another state to flee an oppressive state government (and thus keep states more accountable lest they lose citizens) than it is to flee a country.
Furthermore, there is an additional Constitutional component to the argument. Constitutionally, the federal government should have very little power, and there are specific, limited roles it was established to fulfill. Many libertarians advocate a return to that flawed-but-superior-to-the-status-quo arrangement laid out in the Constitution. I view that as a starting point: we start there and then continue that trend toward as localized governance as possible - ultimately down to governance of the individual.
2. “Might Makes Right” Libertarians apparently HATE might makes right. However, allow me to deprogram you; in a society with no regulation and everything is privatized and the govt cannot coerce anything; “might makes right” would reign…because you would effectively be in a “state of nature”.
Just because there would be no government regulation doesn’t mean there would be no regulation. Every service that the state provides has, does, and can exist absent the state: education, health care, mail, security, etc. I think the deprogramming that needs to take place is the automatic non-sequitur employed by statists that presumes that without government, nothing is possible.
And might doesn’t make right, no matter how that might was attained. But when you advocate for majority rule and for a cabal of ostensibly superior individuals to lord over others, who is really advocating coercion? Who is really advocating “might makes right”?
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