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Brilliant piece, Laura! (Please, don't become an anarchist, I am just starting a campaign to win back them prodigal sons, er, daughters, to liberty.)

"What's wrong with this picture? (your posts's title)

It is not nearly as beautiful as this picture:


Work towards anarchism, Laura. If we pass classical liberalism during the deconstruction, so much the better for the direction.

If we stop at Georg's level, I'm fine with it except for the fact that such a state will ultimately grow itself back into your enslavement description above.

Work to distance yourself from anarchism, Laura.

Hey, Eric, look, we are rivals for Laura.

I can hardly think of a more worthy object of some serious fighting.

Looking forward to some tussling with my dear, dear friend Eric.

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That is an AWESOME video.  Just what I needed to lower my blood pressure.  

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LOL, Eric.  I agree, though, that even if we get to Georg’s level, the state will eventually grow again, absent a great deal of vigilance.   I’m always reminded of the quote on our masthead.  Reagan was certainly an imperfect libertarian, but he was a great libertarian rhetorician. 

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Never have my affections been fought over by two men for whom I have such high regard and affection!  This should be fun. 

Anarchism provides the laden of a certain psychological disposition (which may be situationally or personality induced) with easy answers in a complex world.

Too many taxes this year, get rid of the state.

I do not mean to ridicule you, Laura, or your complaint. It is only that the context in which you mention anarchism happens to be typical for the emotional appeal that the doctrine holds, especially to adherents habituated to it. It's an addictive form of avoiding deeper analysis, a perfect means to vent anger, and, owing to its simplicity, it gives you the pleasant sensation of being always right.

I increasingly come to realise that it is also a great means to neutralise people politically, for what makes anarchism big in the eyes of the confessor, i.e. its maximal demands, makes it small in the real world which is not adapted to those maximal demands.

It makes its adherents blind to the intricate, difficult and less than clear cut conditions of liberty, while at the same time they think they are all about liberty.

And since matters are so easy and clear for the anarchist, he feels his rage is holy and he loses the self-control of a self-critical attitude as all self-righteous do, like George White at Cafe Hayek, one of the peaceful anarchists that serve as the Café’s body guards of adverse selection - needless to say that I have never used foul language in my comments or comported myself in uncivil manner at the blog:

"Georg, relax man, your ass is so puckered with indignation that if you fart you'll shoot turds like BBs.

Out of curiosity, just how many of those of us here who you see as dedicated to an supporting liberty, freedom, and want to experience it, actually seem to believe that liberty is alive in the USA? The only ones who seem to think liberty is alive in the USA are the looney lefties who comment here. The rest of us know that liberty is dead, and that is exactly why we can equate our government with the Mafia.

The reason the looney lefties think they have liberty is because they do have their version of freedom, no responsibility, and a guaranteed safety net for all the sustaining things of life..........and, they don't give a crap about what they have given up to have that.

You're just not paying attention Georg."

Sorry for the delay. The family & I were 3 hours away in Gaffney, nestled within the foothills of South Carolina, for my 9th grader's honor band clinic at Limestone College. He's a percussionist. It was a three-day event and everyone had a musically great, albeit chilly, time.

Georg, sorry for the ad hominems. It has always seemed that ridicule trumps cogent, lucid argument.

Laura, I've always found agreement with Reagan's words, but hardly ever with 'his' actions. In my heart of hearts, I truly believe it to be a case of oligarchy vs the man. Reagan couldn't get past his own cabinet without being confronted with big-gov policy types (Baker et al.). If those closest to him were beyond control, it stands to reason that very little good would come out of that sausage machine known as Congress.

En Garde, Georg! With my anarchistic saber (made in China) I thrust, perfectly balanced, at the heart of the matter. If you believe that government should be removed from some of its present day obligations, you are working toward anarchism. If you believe that all things are, at present, proper roles for government due to (how'd you put it?) the state "competitively evolving", you are working toward totalitarianism.

Can there be competitive evolution via taxation, regulation and monopoly? My meager frame would win marathons if I could command a military phalanx to guard the finish line on my behalf. Such competition ultimately leads to an insurmountable and all-consuming state - vividly portrayed today by lost rights, a burgeoning debt, and Laura's indentureship.

Dear Eric, I am glad you had a great time in Gaffney.

What I am trying to get across with my posts and articles on "the state" is that the issue quite simply isn't a binary one. There is no such an option as "either state or no state."

A realistic assessment of the chances and possibilities of liberty must take this insight into account. The state is a most complex composite phenomeneon, a üprism of which one cannot meaningfully say it is exlusively useless and/or evil.

In fact, a lot of liberty is happening everyday in your and in my country - thanks to state structures that have been designed to enable and are indeed capable of protecting such freedom.

I might have a post coming up on the issue, tonight or tomorrow.

The pronblem with a lot of libertarians today seems to be that they have lost the ability and the will to be radically critical of the state AND recognise its importance for liberty.

Even a highly imperfect state is preferred by people all over the world and thoughout history vis-á-vis anarchy, because they have so much to gain even from a bad state compared to the hell of anarchy. The nationally victorious Taliban, for instance, attracted popular support with many people in Afghanistan, not because they were particularly liked, but because they porovided a measure of law and order that everyone preferred to violent chaos.

Freedom works in doses; I feel, it is disrespectful of liberty for a person to deny - out of unconditional hatred for the state - freedom's incremental presence in situations that make the lives of people considerably better, whether in Afghansitan or in the USA, Germany or anywhere else.

"There is no such option as 'either state or no state.'"

True, but there are only two directions: toward more state or toward less.

"The problem with a lot of libertarians today seems to be that they have lost the ability and the will to be radically critical of the state AND recognise its importance for liberty."

I don't see it as a problem, since it is the desire of the libertarian to develop systems outside the realm of the state. The state, as it exists to any extent, can be of vital importance when it recognizes a non-state system as legitimate and opts to not capture it. But this has never been the case and is why classical liberal assumptions no longer appeal to me and others. It is just as much a romantic notion to think that the state is vital to liberty (as if liberty can long coexist beside the state) as it is to believe that systems can be developed which do not require a state at all.

I understand your concept of the need for a state to protect rights and property. But what I believe to be important is the enforcement mechanism - something must be there to enforce contracts and I believe that there is potential for private self-enforcement. The caveat being that I remain unconvinced that this is not just government by another name. The appealing aspect of it however is that such self-enforcing entities are not deemed above the "law". This is where the state proper gets into trouble every time.

I may have to write a post as well since this one is all over the place. I've been busy putting together a video montage from our trip to Gaffney. We're also taking a trip to the in-laws this week as well as the next several weekends are chock-full of band functions. My son the percussionist auditioned and got 2nd chair in the state and also won the vibes audition for the all-state jazz band. So there are 3 weekends in a row where we will be involved with more band clinics: all-state orchestra, all-state jazz, and all-state concert. Whew!

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