Sunday, July 2, 2017

For Tahn

A continuation of our dialogue, from this post, the comment thread beginning at Unhappy Conservative (2.0) June 29, 2017 at 1:42 PM

The entire dialogue is worth reading; I would like to offer my further replies via this new post.


When they went to shop for groceries or gas or to buy property…

Amazon delivery, whether by UPS or drone, would overcome any such issue – these guys don’t want to spend their time shopping; they have a lifetime supply of little blue pills and they intend to use them.  But I don’t want to digress too much on this minor issue.

Which One of Us Lives in Utopia?

If he or you ARE ON YOUR OWN PROPERTY and there is no aggression, what right do you have to interfere? Your morality is not enforceable on others in a free society and leads to tyranny.

Than, we are still not communicating.  I agree with you.  I am not talking about “right,” I am not talking about libertarian theory; I understand the theory perfectly well.  I also understand you perfectly well, please try and understand me.

How will normal human beings act in the scenario I describe?  Not “how will utopian libertarians act?”  Now, you and I will agree that if the neighbors show up with baseball bats and beat the libertines, it is a violation of the NAP.  But they will do it – please don’t tell me that you believe otherwise.  Do you really believe that the two dozen fathers in the neighborhood, each with 2.7 children, will tell their wives “don’t complain, dear, we believe in the non-aggression principle?”

Do you think the fathers will sit quietly in their living rooms while their children stand out front to sell lemonade and popcorn to those who want to watch the show?

So, carry this further: after they get their beating handed to them, what action will be called for?  The sex orgy community will call for someone to do something about this.  “They violated my rights.”  And you would agree that the neighbors violated their rights.  And someone will gladly take up the request to do something about it – maybe even you.  Eventually, that someone will become a government.

I am suggesting one simple thing: is there a better chance that we see a libertarian world if all of the neighbors held to a common culture?  I use the example of sex orgies on the front lawn, but could use many others.  Because if they held to a common culture on this issue, no one would have to call for someone to do something about it.

I am suggesting that libertarians recognize that humans are human and will react as humans would.

You and I agree, Liberty and Utopia are not synonymous.  You are asking that the compromise be made by expecting human nature to peacefully accept any and all libertine and / or culture destroying behaviors.  I am asking that the compromise be made by libertarians accepting the requirement for some form of common cultural norms.

In other words: your non-utopia compromise still requires humans to not be human; my non-utopia compromise understands that humans will be human.

Which one of us is living in utopia?


I touched on this briefly, when I mentioned CCR's.

You and those who agree with your belief systems, whatever they are, buy up property and attach covenants, conditions or restrictions to that property, BEFORE, you resell it to others.

There are so many problems with this.  First of all, that property was not mine to sell.  Joe got a new job and had to move; he was looking for the highest price.  I have no right to tell Joe what to do.  Even if I and my neighbors decided to buy it first and then resell it, the ultimate buyer never said anything about his sexual proclivities before he bought the house.  How would we know?  Why should we suspect anything?

Now, you might suggest “well, the covenant should have been there from the beginning.”

But this gets to my point.  This community has been in existence for hundreds of years.  In their wildest dreams, no one in all of that time believed anyone would even think of committing such actions on the front lawn.  It would be like having a covenant restricting the sale of the property to Klingons or tigers.  Why would anyone even think of doing this?  Such a possibility would never cross their mind.

Jesus Christ, Libertarian?

If you felt my libertarian answer to your thoughtful question was insufficient, I refer you to a greater power, the originator of the Non Aggression Principle, who has spread the message over the centuries to mankind.

If you are introducing the Bible, you are advocating for things outside of the non-aggression principle.  That is an entirely different discussion, although consistent with my point…not yours.  But I will offer some thoughts on your chosen verse.

The Bible teaches the non-aggression principle; it also teaches so much more – your own verse even offers this.


Who says I must do good?  The NAP places no requirement on me to do “good,” certainly not as “good” is defined in the Bible.  Are you speaking as a libertarian or something else?

Who says I must turn away from evil, evil as the Bible describes it?  The NAP allows for me to commit many of the evils that the Bible speaks against.  Are you speaking as a libertarian or something else?

8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,

“Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
and their lips from deceitful speech.
11 They must turn from evil and do good;
they must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Peter is citing Psalm 34.

Peter is writing to the Christian community; he opens this passage with advice: “all of you be like minded.”  What does this suggest?  It suggests that they should hold to a common culture, a common set of beliefs, a moral code. 

Now, before you say “he is advocating for the NAP….”

What is this like-mindedness that Peter is suggesting?  They should “be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.”  None of this is required under the NAP.  But he advises this because he believes that a compromise by all believers on such issues will allow the greater mission to survive and thrive.

A common culture; a culture that extends beyond requirements of the NAP.  Peter knows that this is the only way for the community to survive and thrive.

And this is my point.


  1. Excellent post, BM. I'm glad that you decided address Tanh on this matter. At this point I find discussions along these lines very frustrating.

    Tahn made a point to condemn "racism" while obviously referring only to the racism of white people. The fact is that a libertarian society is guaranteed to be more "racist" than society as it is currently ordered, because people will have skin in the game and the moral hazard aspect of anti-racism will no longer be a factor (meaning that people won't be able to force others to shoulder the burden of their anti-racism).

    The statistics don't lie. Total exclusion of black people for example is absolutely advantageous.

    Isn't it odd that Tahn and many other libertarians just happen to support government policies like anti-racism and open borders?

    1. White Guilt, It's a Helluva disease!

    2. Matt,

      Tahn's argument seems to be that all groups are equally amenable to libertarian ideas. If it can be demonstrated that some groups are more prone to respect property rights than others (it can) his argument is shown to be nothing but moral posturing.

      In South Africa there are state sponsored PSA billboards that attempt to explain the concept that "rape is bad." Let that sink in.

    3. UC -

      One of the catechisms which progressives have successfully inculcated into the medullae of the masses is that racism is a one-way street. Put another way, whitey hurts the negro but the negro is incapable of hurting whitey.

      This catechism has taken root and resonated with otherwise intelligent and rational white men.

      It appears our friend Tahn is afflicted with this malady.

      Liberty Mike

  2. Here you go again wirh sex on gront lawn. You must live in an interesting and colorful neighborhood. ;)

    The obvious solution is for all to have a minimum of 40 acres and a mule. Everyone needs space, for privacy rights. Then, all goes all private lands and ... utopia.

    No, you absolutely do not chose neighbors. People can exchange lands and hopefully move.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  3. Bionic Mosquito,
    I thank you for supplying the platform for this dialog and your participation. I have always found your observations both thoughtful and insightful.

    You asked, “is there a better chance that we see a libertarian world if all of the neighbors held to a common culture?”

    Yes, I believe the more aspects a group of people have in common, the greater likelihood of success for that group but for it to be a libertarian world, as we agree, its root must be in property rights and the NAP and to me, THIS trumps all other cultural commonalities. IF this is established as a base, the more commonalities the better.

    In your example, we agree that the outraged bat wielding assaulters have violated both the NAP and property rights of the libertine pervert. Incidentally, in my community, this action would be described as “bringing a baseball bat to a gunfight”. If the NAP and property rights were superior to outraged morality or other cultural norms, as it should be in a libertarian community, the attackers would certainly be liable for harm or damages, while the defending libertine would not.

    Your second question concerned the process for establishing guilt and harm, when aggression inevitably happens and regardless of the commonality of a culture, as you suggest, it will happen. This could vary from area to area with pre-established consequences or procedures, which could vary from shunning or the stocks to arbitration, jury trial or even personal retribution by the victim. In my opinion, the victim or their heirs, should be the one to decide and the goal of any action should be to make the victim whole. I do not believe a government need be involved nor do I believe that victim retribution, would lead to a government, if the NAP were the community standard. Justice and retribution are closely linked concepts.

    I believe that “libertarian” communities may successfully and peacefully congregate in similar likeminded groups, varying from religious sects, to libertine cults, bikers, cowboys, hippies, whatever. Excluding those of different beliefs is tricky but shunning, land swaps, CCR’s and property buyouts are libertarian methods of doing so. There may be others but generally people like to group together with their own kind. This is something that might take some time to work out but I believe it can be done, without violating the NAP. As we agree, utopia is not as option, humans are human, you can’t plan for everything and there will always be conflict, sometimes deadly but if the underlying philosophy of a community is libertarian, people can work it out. Even if they enjoyed a “common culture”, their children might not. Change is life and humans deal with it but I believe the common philosophy of libertarians, help them to do so peacefully. “An armed society is a polite society”.

    When I mentioned the quote from Peter, I was thinking of those bat wielding hypocrites. I was speaking as a libertarian who believes in a Creator and who believes that the NAP, is a philosophy that allows people to live in harmony and has been passed down through many cultures and generations as the Greatest Commandment, per my previous link. There are many who think the concept of Jesus as a libertarian is valid.

    BM, culture can be many things as wiki shows. Complete commonality is not possible but a common acceptance of the NAP, I believe, is. I also believe it is the most critical commonality to have.

    Peace, Love and Brotherhood
    Through Equal Rights, Equal Firepower and Civility

    1. NAP as a standard? But even libertarians can't agree on what aggression is in specific circumstances.

      I've mentioned this before, but take libertarian theorist Walter Block. He says that slant drilling for oil is OK and not aggression. Yet slant drilling will get you shot dead in Texas, and was a major contributing factor to the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. How on earth are you going to have people basing their lives on non-aggression when people don't know what that is?

      Let's extend BM's orgy analogy. Let's say the libertines are flashing their private parts to kids on the way to school, while on their own property. It it is the case that they are living in an anarchic libertarian society, that won't be the case for long because people will be begging for government to stop this nonsense from happening.

      I'm afraid you fit into the "autistic libertarian" box, in which your theories are not fit for this world, but some other.

    2. My reply in two parts:

      "IF this is established as a base, the more commonalities the better."

      Without some reason to be in common, it can’t happen. In any case, it is an “if” that has never happened in the history of the world for anyone other than the outcast; it was usually life-threatening to be an outcast. There has always been a leader – patriarch, tribe, clan, whatever.

      How will you establish it as the base if you don’t have some commonalities to begin with? Will you form communities with unknowns and hope for the best? For reasons of the un-commonalities, they will outvote you or kill you or shun you.

      We have all of recorded history telling us that people coalesce around culture, beginning with family and kin.

      The next closest we come to is religion - Christianity, Islam, etc. People have coalesced around this outside of family - albeit a Christian in Oklahoma would not be very comfortable moving into a Christian village in Uganda; a Christian in Oklahoma would probably be more comfortable living next to a relatively peaceful (or even somewhat not-peaceful) non-Christian in Oklahoma. But in a given community, it can serve the purpose I describe via the term culture.

      We have almost nothing in recorded history that man will coalesce around an idea. They tried this via the Enlightenment and its foundations beginning in the Renaissance; that has not worked out very well at all.

      The NAP is an idea. It is an idea that presents vagaries in application. Just to begin with…aggression must be commonly defined and commonly applied. For examples, on libertarian grounds I hold completely opposite views from Walter Block on topics such as abortion, immigration, the disposition of government-controlled land, and open borders. Which one of us is right? The most I will concede is that the answer to “right” will not be found in the NAP; some other philosophy must be brought into the discussion.

      As to Christianity and libertarianism…I believe the connection between the two is very strong. However, Christianity places many obligations on me that are not required under the NAP; further, if I have God’s faith in me this prevents me from many actions allowed under the NAP (or at least places a heavy burden on me if I trespass).

      The simplest way to say it: the Golden Rule places responsibilities on me that the NAP never would; the Silver Rule is closer to the NAP, but this is not the calling in Christianity.

      I believe the NAP is the only political philosophy compatible with Christianity. I cannot say the same about the NAP with other religions – partly because I don’t know enough about the other religions. So…what happens when Christians are the minority? In most cases, it hasn’t ended well. In fact, life as a minority of any type usually isn’t very good:

      “If the NAP and property rights were superior to outraged morality or other cultural norms, as it should be in a libertarian community, the attackers would certainly be liable for harm or damages, while the defending libertine would not.”

      From my plea in the post above: “But they will do it – please don’t tell me that you believe otherwise.”

      So, I guess you do believe otherwise. This is a bigger “if” than the first one; on top of this, you add a big “should.”

      I find your statement to be a very naïve statement. This belongs in the world of a fiction novel. I think you and I have a very different view of human nature – surprising, given your leaning on Christianity.

    3. For the reminder of my comment, I will speak in the language of Christianity. I will not debate my views on the following with you or anyone else – I normally avoid any of this, but your arguments lead me here.

      “When I mentioned the quote from Peter, I was thinking of those bat wielding hypocrites.”

      Well, I was thinking of something else.

      You don’t get to ignore Peter’s (and God’s) context. In a world made of man and original sin, how does evil man turn away from evil – something that you expect they will do? Peter is writing to believers to turn away from evil; he is not writing to your supposedly NAP-committed neighbors. Do you expect evil man to swear allegiance to the NAP, the same evil man that ignores and blasphemes God?

      Ephesians 2:2: “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.”

      We are all cursed by original sin. Whoever is not a believer is a “child of disobedience.” How do you expect to build your base with “children of disobedience,” people who are under the control of this “prince of the power of the air”?

      It cannot be done.

    4. Matt, Many libertarians do disagree on exactly “What” aggression is. I believe it would vary between communities. There might be “snowflake” communities where even verbal disapproval would be considered aggression but that would not be a place I would feel comfortable, just as I would not feel comfortable on today’s college campuses, where government decides such issues. . But local control of such decisions (and the ability to move away) is better that having bureaucrats and control freaks a thousand miles away, make that decision for you.

      My definition of “aggression” would be similar to the following:
      “Aggression” is defined as the initiation of the use or threat of physical violence against the person or property of anyone else. Aggression is therefore synonymous with invasion."

      There are many who are not comfortable with having to think through such problems or having to assume the mantle of self control and self responsibility and want big brother to do it for them.

      If people are exposing themselves to kids, most libertarians I know, in a libertarian world, would handle the problem privately and hopefully, peacefully (no promises), without crying to Mama Government to “save them”.

      Have we fallen so far in personal responsibility, that we must beg for help in all matters? Would any of the founding fathers have cried for help in such matters? What if your “government” decided it was a right for perverts to do such things and backed it up with an army of cops. Government can be used for good AND evil as Obama’s restroom edict showed.

      Take responsibility yourself. Do not be afraid and don’t leave the control of yourself and your family to others. It doesn’t always work out for the best.


    5. Tahn

      With this comment to Matt you have confirmed to me that either a) you really are not trying to understand anything I or others have written, or b) you are just confused and lost, or c) you are a troll.

      Why do I say this?

      “Many libertarians do disagree on exactly “What” aggression is. I believe it would vary between communities. There might be “snowflake” communities where even verbal disapproval would be considered aggression…”

      You can so easily write that a culture beyond the NAP is conducive to peace, yet you will not admit that a culture beyond the NAP is conducive for peace. You speak of segregated libertarian communities yet cannot accept the benefit of segregated less-than-libertarian communities.

      Whatever your reason for this behavior, you have convinced me that you are a lost soul.

    6. BM, I am not a troll and I may be “confused” but I am trying to understand. I can accept the idea that non libertarian communities, may be “successful” or “peaceful”, depending on your definitions of those terms. They may be a Theocracy, as you seem to prefer, with controlling moral rules or other restrictions. Whether its sex on your own property or burning a Koran on your own property, I prefer the NAP over others desire to control me and I respect that right of others. Your property, your rules.

      I also see no contradiction in having a variance in local customs with different standards but with the underlying understanding of non aggression. Definitions can and will vary and the only way to allow those variances is “home rule”. Ultimately, self defense is the requirement for liberty, regardless of your principles.

      In your example of initiating aggression to enforce your desire to not witness consensual sex, are you going to also use violence against those who broadcast it on the internet, or praise it in song? After you and your neighbors beat the couple up (assuming you survive the attempt) will you be prepared to defend yourselves and family against his 200 biker friends, who are riding hell bent to enact revenge or extract retribution? What have you started? Why not turn your back or build a fence rather than initiating aggression?

      BM, I have many people I know and trust that establish a base, a libertarian base. Certainly more trustful than some glorious leader, esteemed preacher or socialist committee. I agree that family, then tribe (including church), then community provides leaders but leaders and tyrants are often confused. The commonality I want to establish is the Non Aggression Principle.

      You say that nowhere in history has man coalesced around an idea. I respectively disagree. The Magna Carta, the Common law and more specific, The Declaration Of Independence and The Bill Of Rights. Americans have coalesced around the concept of “Freedom”, an idea. This idea, this concept of freedom, IS the base.

      The Nap is a fundamental statement of that concept. Freedom and limited “government” was attempted and ratified in the Constitution but as Spooner has stated, the attempt failed. It is indeed difficult to establish some type of hierarchy of control, whether religious or otherwise, that provides true freedom. I am not saying it cannot be done but you must admit, it has not been done. I would return the attempt of individual freedom, to the individual, operating under a principle of non aggression and equal rights.

      I would ask you, in all sincerity, if self rule, operating under a concept of equality is not possible, then what is the solution? Who is to control us if, as you suggest, we cannot control ourselves. I believe we can. I believe the philosophy of self control is the next step in human evolution.


      “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it." ~ Thomas Jefferson

    7. Tahn

      I find this difficult to read; I cannot get past the first few sentences. I have already told you that we agree regarding theory and what that would mean in the situation I describe. What more do you want from me?

      Conversely, you cannot accept that there are many more people in this world who would behave aggressively as I have described regarding the front-yard sex orgy as opposed to your method, which is talk it over during tea time.

      This reality has real ramifications; you refuse to understand or acknowledge this.

      I give up.

    8. As do I BM. Lock and load.

      "May The Long Time Sun Shine Upon You
      All Love Surround You and
      The Pure Light Within You,
      Guide Your Way On."

      Thank you again for your platform and conversation.

      Peace, Love and Brotherhood,
      Through Equal Rights, Equal firepower and Civility


  4. Matt,
    Racism does and will happen. I believe that libertarian principles, allow it to happen peacefully. I personally would prefer a black, brown, yellow or red neighbor who believed in property rights and the NAP than a white statist.

    Your beliefs are your choices and I would never try to dictate terms to you or anyone. You should re-read my previous posts. I totally agree with BM about closing the borders. While I have not said so, I do not believe in government or anyone demanding quotas or integration. Personal choice and personal responsibility rules.


  5. "I am suggesting one simple thing: is there a better chance that we see a libertarian world if all of the neighbors held to a common culture? I use the example of sex orgies on the front lawn, but could use many others. Because if they held to a common culture on this issue, no one would have to call for someone to do something about it.

    I am suggesting that libertarians recognize that humans are human and will react as humans would."

    The mission of the movement is to legalize libertarian-based societies (plural). Libertarianism is a platform so diverse cultures can get along, not one big Libertarian Society. People who talk about 'a libertarian society' for all display an unconsious collectivism.

    This mission was re-affirmed by the Libertarian International Organization and the US LP back in 1985 or so.

    I get the impression you're also confused about small-l libertarians (appliers) of any culture and large-L Libertarians (advocates) of the LIO who do have a common culture to enable all cultures that are consistent with the US Bill of Rights.