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Old 05-13-2010, 05:21 PM
hamandcheese hamandcheese is offline
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Default Re: What are the philosophical merits of libertarianism? (jimM47 & hamandcheese)

Originally Posted by Unit View Post
There is a difference though between private plunder and govt plunder, which I think makes govt plunder "morally" worse. If tomorrow I'm mugged at the street corner I can try to fight back, and my act of self-defense will be recognized as legitimate by the larger society. But no one can fight back govt plunder. ...
Your mugger analogy is seriously flawed. Trying defending yourself against mobsters and oligopolies, or price gauging of inelastic services, or "pre-existing conditions", or debt collectors and drug lords. Its not quite as easy.

You might point to voting, but that's such a weak remedy from an individual point of view that it becomes almost irrelevant.
The history of the unionist movements around the world are, in the eyes of the members, attempts to resist the muggers. And they do so by giving workers a vote on the nature of their employment. So, ironically, you apparently think the remedy against some types of private coercion is almost irrelevant too.

Again, if my neighbors kidnaps me and makes me his slave, society's norms deem this unacceptable and will back me up if I try to fight back, or people will try and come to my rescue.
This might be true. Libertarians will further argue that in a market private power is limited through competition. Some Austrian economists even deny private natural monopolies as being possible. They too must think private power is a bad thing for them to spill so much ink trying to refute it as being even possible in their personal utopias.

Yet I agree with the libertarian that a well oiled market, and the work of individuals in society, is extremely capable at suppressing the imposition of power of one over another. I only argue that it is not flawless.

This is the point I wanted to make with supply and demand: you can call it coercion, but I don't, I call it coordination.
I agree with you that markets are more like a system of co-ordination than coercion -- when they're working. Its only ever been in areas of market failure (monopoly power, costs not being fully accounted for, information asymmetries, discrimination and inequality, surpluses and shortages, races to the bottom, boom and busts, property and contract violation) -- areas where supply/demand gets thrown out the window, that I bring up the notion that the market can be violently coercive, and the state a freedom enhancer.
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