tough issues for libertarians (was: New Libertarian Joan d'Arc)


  It seems to me these issues are not so clear cut. Take war, which you say a genuine libertarian wouldn't believe in. Isn't revolution a form of war (e.g. "the Revolutionary War")? And isn't it libertarian to believe that people have the right to rise up in revolution against tyranny? Are you suggesting that Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, et. al., weren't libertarian?

  On abortion: Roughly half of fetuses are female. If there is a philosophical principle that exempts these "women" from the right to control their own bodies, you haven't named it here. Does living inside someone else make you their slave, and do you become free when you leave, but only if you leave voluntarily? Do children born in assisted births then have fewer rights?

  Capital punishment is most frequently used in cases of murder. One can't provide restitution to a murder victim, since the person is dead. If you think restitution is owed to those who suffer emotionally (i.e. the friends or family of the victim deserve to be compensated for their grief), that raises questions about whether other kinds of emotional suffering (such as that caused by "hate speech") ought to be similarly compensated.

  Please note that I don't necessarily agree with all of the above arguments, I'm just pointing out that the issues are complicated.

Yours in liberty,
              <<< Starchild >>>

Dear David;

I take keyboard in hand to attempt to submit a " true believer " Libertarian position on war, abortion and capital punishment. I will try to be extremely brief leaving out numerous unsaid things.

A genuine Libertarian would not believe in war. War ultimately involves the involuntary taking of another persons property whether real property or their life or their enjoyment of life.

A woman has the right to control her very personal property - namely her body. Based on what her own personal situation is she is the only person qualified to make any such decision. Absolutely no one has the right to tell her how to take care of her own personal property. Any religious arguments about life and taking a life are irrelevant and immaterial. The use of such arguments would be the embodiment of the State imposing a religious belief on a person or group of persons. This is unconstitutional.

Capital punishment is wrong. If the person who committed the crime is executed then that person is unable to provide restitution to the victim. Restitution for wrongs committed against another person or their property is a Libertarian hallmark. In that a person must accept personal responsibility for their wrongdoings and make restitution. A dead person can do no such thing.

Ron Getty
SF Libertarian

> Many Libertarians, estimated to be around 45% of
> the LP membership, supported the action in Iraq.

Seems to me like this is one of those topics that the
lp would do better to take no position on. Like
abortion and capital punishment, there doesn't seem to
be any way to objectively determine a solid moral
principle, from an lp perspective at least. Not as a
cop out, but maybe we shouldn't try to attempt to use
libertarianism to answer all of the world's

Just a thought.


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