In advocating voluntary government, I am not defending the initiation of force. I am saying that no one has come up with a realistic plan for preventing it altogether, so we should opt for the solution that appears to offer the best prospects of *minimizing* its use. I'm trying to work this into his wife-beating analogy, but I don't think that analogy is broad enough to cover it. I believe that a system of small, voluntarily-funded governments is as close as one can get in practice to his ideal of non-aggression, at least in any world largely resembling ours.
For instance, what happens under anarchy to people who don't have protection agencies? When they are accused of committing crimes, how are they brought to justice? Not being under contract, they would have no agency to work out some kind of deal with the agency of the alleged victim. If someone accuses such a person of shoplifting, she might simply say, "I didn't do it. I'm not going to go to court. You're just harassing me." Now she might be innocent, and she might be guilty. But without a mechanism to compel her to stand trial, then what? Death feuds over shoplifting charges? A mechanism to compel people to appear in a neutral court strikes me as the lesser evil.
Yours in liberty,
<<< starchild >>>
by Gene Callahan
"While I am perfectly willing to cooperate with anyone who shares a
political objective with me, I believe the above conception, that
minarchists and anarchists are practically indistinguishable aside from a
minor and practically irrelevant disagreement is profoundly mistaken. In
fact, when it comes to what I regard as the most vital political question
of them all, the gulf between minarchists and anarchists is immense,
whereas that separating minarchists and, say, Stalinists is relatively
small: Anarchists reject the notion that it is permissible to employ
violence against someone who has not themselves committed an act of
aggression, no matter how much one wants to get that innocent person to
cooperate in forwarding one's desired ends, and no matter how important one
believes that end to be. Minarchists, to the contrary, defend their right
to initiate aggression in any circumstance where they see the use of
coercion as being really, really useful. The difference between minarchists
and totalitarians is one of degree ..." (04/11/06)
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