If it were known with 100% certainty that electing a state socialist
to office would result in more aggression, would it be acceptable
under libertarian theory to seek to prevent people from having this
choice? What if it were only 95% certain? Fifty percent?
Perhaps along similar lines, it seems to me that may be no clear
bright line that ultimately distinguishes a large business operation
from a government. Yes, in the world today the vast majority of
institutions in these two categories are clearly one or the other.
But I don't think that's a natural phenomenon, but rather a result of
the particular socio-political reality that exists today. What is
theoretically to stop a government from taking on corporate
characteristics, or a corporation from taking on governmental
characteristics? I believe that a good rule of thumb is that the
larger the institution, the more screwed up it is likely to be from a
libertarian perspective. It seems to me that many of the problems
with big government derive not only from the fact that it is
government, but also from the fact that it is big, independent of its
role in society.
I don't think it's good if the U.S. and Europe wish to merge, and I
don't think it's good if Coke and Pepsi wish to merge.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
Completely agreed, Starchild. In the Coke/Pepsi merger example, we
vote for representatives that understand and would enforce the Sherman
Anti-Trust Act. In the case of big government we step up our efforts
in trying to convince our fellow voters of the folly behind big
government. Simple, no curtailment of choice involved!
Regarding your question whether I would limit choice if the outcome of
a choice would likely result in aggression, I would like to offer the
example that I would never prevent McCain from running for President,
I would simply work in alternative candidates' campaign.
I don't care if there is only one gigantic corporation on the entire
planet that sells brown sugar-water. It ain't a government.
Governments have guns, and you don't get to opt-out of "buying" the
government's product. Private cola companies (or software companies or
nowadays thanks to competing technologies even telecom and
transportation companies) are never big enough that they can point a gun
at me and force me to use their product. Let's not ever confuse giant
corporations with governments, unless in those specific and rare
instances (electric/gas/water/sewer/trash) where it's literally
impossible to not use their monopoly services without moving outside a
given geographic area, and they're so intertwined with the local real
government that refusal to pay will get a gun in your face.
Getting back to JROTC -- this is only analogous to the McCain campaign
insofar as McCain accepting non-voluntary taxpayer campaign funding.
This isn't a case purely of choices, as political contests tend to be.
This is literally a case of whether to continue taxing San Franciscans
to pay for putting U.S. Military representatives in the high schools.
If I could have JROTC be in the high schools without taxpayers having to
fund it above the cost of funding the rest of the school in general, and
then I could "simply work in alternative" clubs at the school, then I'd
be happy. But this question on the ballot is about whether or not to
use taxpayer money to put U.S. Military representatives in the high
schools. Let's not gloss over that point.
Amarcy D. Berry wrote: