What is the Libertarian Problem?


I‘m talking about solutions, but have I defined the problem? How do you know if the solution works for you if you haven’t explicitly identified the problem it’s meant to solve? We’ve got to keep that horse in front of the cart.

Short and Simple: Aggression

Some people think the ends justify the means. They think aggression is acceptable as long as it is for a good cause. And they dream up a million great causes to fund via their aggression. Admittedly many of them are fine causes – fine enough to be financed voluntarily. But the fact is that bad means always produce bad ends. If we want good, we must be good. In other words, the problem is the idea that aggression is acceptable – and the people who practice it.

Your Thoughts

Is it more, less than that? Am I all wrong? What problem are you attempting to solve through your liberty activism and education?

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By George Donnelly

I'm building a tribe of radical libertarians to voluntarize the world by 2064. Join me.

4 replies on “What is the Libertarian Problem?”

You are exactly right.
I would go a little further though…
To me the word “aggression” means “strong coercion”.
However, “strong coercion” is but the maturation of the seedling of “mild coercion”, and the seed from which all coercion springs is “fear”.
IMHO … The root of all evil is the choice to use coercion in response to the impulse of fear.

So are you arguing for pacifism? Probably not but someone could be confused if you’re just against coercion. After all, self-defense can involve coercion but there’s nothing wrong with that.

I use aggression as a less obscure synonym of “initiation of force.”

Thanks for commenting, Alex. :)

I think “government does a bad job of protecting rights” is a much better argument than “government uses aggression and therefore is bad.” In fact, I don’t even agree with the latter argument, yet I’m ultra-liberatarian (closest to agorism, though I don’t agree with all their ideas).

Of course, it doesn’t matter what argument you use if you’re a policy libertarian, trying to convince people to vote government away. You’re not gonna get anything done anyway. Government is not the solution to government, and the only way to reliably limit government is to have a way to reliably swap out the elites periodically.

The Zero-Aggression Principle is the foundation of the “government does a bad job of protecting rights” claim tho. You don’t even get to rights without the ZAP.

Thanks for commenting, Sean. :)

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