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Thread: I have some questions about the running of a libertarian society.

  1. #1

    Default I have some questions about the running of a libertarian society.

    I strongly believe that libertarianism is the way. I know that taxation is sinfully wrong, and that the government needs to be ran without it. I'm just not 100% sure exactly what the government would look like in a libertarian society (although I have a pretty good idea, just need the holes filled in), so please help me.

    In a libertarian society, there are no taxes, but the government size is possibly 1% of what it is now (give or take). Would the government need any sort of funding in order to run itself? If so, how would it acquire it without taxation? Would anyone holding a position in the government need a salary, or would it be a volunteer job? I'm assuming donations would work well. I'd personally be willing to donate if we had a libertarian government because I would respect the government.

    How would the government handle actual crime (murder, theft) in terms of capturing and taking down criminals? Would there be any police? If so, would they be private or public? How would their salaries get paid? By donations? Would there be private or state prisons? How would they be funded? How would they be controlled, especially private prisons?

    In terms of raising children, I believe that the state does have the right to set minimal, but very fair standards for raising a child, and the parent has the right to help the child pursue its best interest, according to their own belief, not the state's. How would the state enforce this? How would this be funded if at all? Do you agree with this? What would be fair laws for raising a child? Just keeping them healthy both physically and psychologically? Or would schooling be required as well? I'm not so sure about schooling being required because the child isn't being harmed in any way although one does owe it to the child to make sure that they do become rational beings, which would give them rights. Then again, schooling doesn't necessarily make one rational.

    In a society where all roads are owned privately, how would the contract between private owner of roads and drivers look like? How would the private owners' rules (if any) be applied? By hired police-type people who have been given authority by both the road owners as well as those going into contracts with the road owners to enforce the contract? How would one deal with someone who wanted to shut down their road at all costs and would not open it for anyone? Even if that practically wouldn't happen, it still needs to be known how one would deal with that.

    I may have more questions as this thread goes on, but let's start with these. Thanks to all who help me form my beliefs.
    "Never compromise. Not even in the face of Armageddon." - Rorschach



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  3. #2

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    Did the government build the Cumberland Trail or the Natchez Trace?

    Counties could elect a sheriff and form posses when they are needed.

    Ending government enforcement of contracts would greatly reduce the court system.
    Member of Ron Paul Forums Double Flat Tariff Only Society - Working towards eliminating all the foreign producer/outsource subsidizing internal federal taxes in favor of an across the board flat tariff applied equally to every country and every product.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by guitarlifter View Post
    I may have more questions as this thread goes on, but let's start with these. Thanks to all who help me form my beliefs.
    Size of government,, a fraction of 1% of present.
    Government service should be just that. Voluntary service and with minimal payment for such.
    Taxes should be voluntary on an "as needed" basis and as local as possible( a community wants a library or courthouse they collect money locally to support it). If people don't support it, it won't be built.

    Police are unnecessary. As is a standing Army. The Militia model is enough to defend land without foreign adventures, and can aid an Elected Sheriff to keep the peace.
    Reduce Laws. Murder, Assault, theft/fraud. These can all be handled at the local level.

    The only place I see for a central government is to moderate and resolve conflicts between states/communities and as a representative of the people to the larger world.

    i believe that was what the founders intended.
    Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.
    Ron Paul 2004

    Registered Ron Paul supporter # 2202
    It's all about Freedom

  5. #4

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    A true libertarian society has no government. Government cannot exist without initiating force against peaceful people. If something does exist that provides services that some people call the "proper role of government" through voluntary means, then it is not a government. Government cannot exist in a just and free society, as it is in direct opposition to justice and freedom.

  6. #5

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    Let government be voluntary. The people that want a govt let them send it money.

  7. #6

    Default

    I have some questions about the running of a libertarian society.
    I have a question to your question.

    Why would Liberty need to be "run" ?

    It seems authoritarian to "run" something
    Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.
    Ron Paul 2004

    Registered Ron Paul supporter # 2202
    It's all about Freedom

  8. #7

    Default

    guitarlifter, you have some studying to do.

    Now, the first step is to learn to be specific about which government you mean. What, I mean which country? No, I mean federal, state or local. Now, the main things the federal government do are provide for the common defense (and, these days, find busy work for them), maintain the Supreme Court as an ultimate arbiter, and take our money by force so they can redistribute it to various local agencies to spend. If those local agencies jump through the hoops the federal government thinks they should jump through. After taking their cut.

    Now, depending on your state, it's more than possible the only difference you'd notice is that the local and state government where you live seems more efficient. That's because they aren't jumping through federal hoops.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Inflation goes to sellers, not to the Fed. If inflation is two percent, the person you buy something from is charging you two percent more. He gets that money- not the Fed.
    The seller has to pay more 'dollars' to cover his expenses, and his expenses 'went up' because the dollar is worth less than it was yesterday, but it's the seller who raised the price--and the poor, beleaguered Fed and the banks that own it didn't get richer devaluing the 'dollar' by printing more of them.

  9. #8

    Default The First Problem I See

    You're confusing a libertarian society with an anarchy. Those two are not synonymous concepts. A libertarian society is under a uniform, accepted, and objective rule of law, which is imposed upon all people who seek to achieve liberty and preserve understood God-given rights in its scope of governance. An anarchy is simply allowing various individuals and groups in society to live by their own dictates, without observing a universal law or moral code that everyone is accountable to.
    "Diverse weights are an abomination unto the LORD, and a false balance is not good." - Proverbs 20:23

    "Federal Reserve-generated increases in money supply cause economic inequality... By the time the increased money supply trickles down to middle- and working-class Americans, the economy is already beset by inflation. So most average Americans see their standard of living decline as a result of Fed-engendered money supply increases." - Dr. Ron Paul

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by guitarlifter View Post
    I strongly believe that libertarianism is the way. I know that taxation is sinfully wrong, and that the government needs to be ran without it. I'm just not 100% sure exactly what the government would look like in a libertarian society (although I have a pretty good idea, just need the holes filled in), so please help me.
    In a libertarian society, there are no taxes, but the government size is possibly 1% of what it is now (give or take). Would the government need any sort of funding in order to run itself? If so, how would it acquire it without taxation? Would anyone holding a position in the government need a salary, or would it be a volunteer job? I'm assuming donations would work well. I'd personally be willing to donate if we had a libertarian government because I would respect the government.
    There is no single "libertarian society", I would like to see a decentralized government where many different government styles are allowed to compete with an anarchist town next to a communist town next to a fascist town. You get to choose.

    As for taxes, I have come to the conclusion that the best way to fund a government is through a "citizenship payment" where you pay once to become a citizen. With citizenship comes privileges but you're not necessarily required to be a citizen to stay there.
    If your town sucks and nobody wants to be a citizen, then you can't charge much. If your town is booming and the services are worth it, then people will be willing to pay more. Someone might be willing to pay $100k to become a US citizen but probably wouldn't pay a dime to become a citizen of Haiti or North Korea...with more freedom comes more revenue. Perhaps even a tax on foreigners. But no citizen should ever be taxed. They even knew that much back in biblical times.

    How would the government handle actual crime (murder, theft) in terms of capturing and taking down criminals? Would there be any police? If so, would they be private or public? How would their salaries get paid? By donations? Would there be private or state prisons? How would they be funded? How would they be controlled, especially private prisons?
    I do believe that there should be some basic government to protect property rights. A basic court system with some enforcement would be good, but it has been shown to be possible by private courts and private police and detectives.

    In terms of raising children, I believe that the state does have the right to set minimal, but very fair standards for raising a child, and the parent has the right to help the child pursue its best interest, according to their own belief, not the state's. How would the state enforce this? How would this be funded if at all? Do you agree with this? What would be fair laws for raising a child? Just keeping them healthy both physically and psychologically? Or would schooling be required as well? I'm not so sure about schooling being required because the child isn't being harmed in any way although one does owe it to the child to make sure that they do become rational beings, which would give them rights. Then again, schooling doesn't necessarily make one rational.
    The child issue is always difficult to pin down in a libertarian society as I'm sure it is for any other type of society. You want the parents to have the freedom to raise their children in any way that you see fit, but when the parent turns on the child who's to protect them and at what point is abuse defined. It's a fine line. The Libertarian Party falls back on "local norms" to define that line.

    In a society where all roads are owned privately, how would the contract between private owner of roads and drivers look like? How would the private owners' rules (if any) be applied? By hired police-type people who have been given authority by both the road owners as well as those going into contracts with the road owners to enforce the contract? How would one deal with someone who wanted to shut down their road at all costs and would not open it for anyone? Even if that practically wouldn't happen, it still needs to be known how one would deal with that.
    What about the government roads do you like? The long delays in traffic, the high number of traffic accidents, the long delays at traffic lights, etc? Many people didn't see how an alternative to the monopolized phone service could work but when the government stepped out of the way solutions started popping up left and right and now we're far beyond the AT&T phone system that we were stuck with for 50 years. It's time to free up the roads so that we can free ourselves of the ancient road system we have to put up with on a daily basis.
    Last edited by Elwar; 04-02-2011 at 11:07 AM.
    Definition of political insanity: Voting for the same people expecting different results.

  11. #10

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    I'll have to agree with Theocrat here. I guess I'm a big ol' statist, but something such as the enforcement of contracts is something that I view as a legitimate function of government. Keep in mind that contracts are voluntary to begin with, so I don't really see contractual enforcement as being an evil big-government action. I'd also not wish for law enforcement to be privatized, since a for-profit system would be ugly.

    I guess it doesn't really matter, since all of this is theoretical and nothing but wishful thinking. At this point I'd view a 25% reduction of government as a stunning victory.
    "I shall bring justice to Westeros. Every man shall reap what he has sown, from the highest lord to the lowest gutter rat. They have made my kingdom bleed, and I do not forget that."
    -Stannis Baratheon

    Quote Originally Posted by otherone View Post
    The reason we have an evil, immoral empire is that it is populated by evil, immoral peons. The State isn't a faceless monster...it is composed of all our petty, ignorant, self-righteous and self-absorbed neighbors.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Philhelm View Post
    I'll have to agree with Theocrat here. I guess I'm a big ol' statist, but something such as the enforcement of contracts is something that I view as a legitimate function of government.
    I just had a job interview with a company that does arbitration between companies. Basically court systems for enforcement of contracts. All private. There's a reason they go through private arbitration instead of the public court system.
    Definition of political insanity: Voting for the same people expecting different results.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by guitarlifter View Post
    I'm just not 100% sure exactly what the government would look like in a libertarian society (although I have a pretty good idea, just need the holes filled in), so please help me.
    No one is 100% sure. Just like no one was 100% sure how society and the economy would function without slavery, but it was still accepted as unfit to exist.

    Suppose, for example, that this were the year 1874 and that someone predicted that eventually there would be a radio manufacturing industry. To be able to make such a forecast successfully, does he have to be challenged to state immediately how many radio manufacturers there would be a century hence, how big they would be, where they would be located, what technology and marketing techniques they would use, and so on? Obviously, such a challenge would make no sense, and in a profound sense the same is true of those who demand a precise portrayal of the pattern of protection activities on the market.- Murray Rothbard

    Quote Originally Posted by guitarlifter View Post
    In a libertarian society, there are no taxes, but the government size is possibly 1% of what it is now (give or take). Would the government need any sort of funding in order to run itself? If so, how would it acquire it without taxation? Would anyone holding a position in the government need a salary, or would it be a volunteer job? I'm assuming donations would work well. I'd personally be willing to donate if we had a libertarian government because I would respect the government.
    Services would be funded through voluntarily means without the state. If people are not willing to voluntarily fund a service or pay for a product, then this means that there is not a demand for it. When funding is achieved by force it takes away the pricing mechanism, there is no rational way to allocate resources, this leads to shortages and overall inefficiency. Mises called this the 'calculation problem'.

    See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6c11sREuEc and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLSxITH-1tE for a better explanation.

    Quote Originally Posted by guitarlifter View Post
    How would the government handle actual crime (murder, theft) in terms of capturing and taking down criminals? Would there be any police? If so, would they be private or public? How would their salaries get paid? By donations? Would there be private or state prisons? How would they be funded? How would they be controlled, especially private prisons?
    Chapter 12 here is a good place to start: http://mises.org/rothbard/newliberty...asp#chapter-12

    Quote Originally Posted by guitarlifter View Post
    In terms of raising children, I believe that the state does have the right to set minimal, but very fair standards for raising a child, and the parent has the right to help the child pursue its best interest, according to their own belief, not the state's.
    The non-aggression axiom applies to children:

    No one may threaten or commit violence ('aggress') against another man's person or property. Violence may be employed only against the man who commits such violence; that is, only defensively against the aggressive violence of another. In short, no violence may be employed against a nonaggressor. Here is the fundamental rule from which can be deduced the entire corpus of libertarian theory. - Murray Rothbard

    It is a mistake to assume that the state currently effectively protects children. Most people care about children, this would create a market for child protection. Right now, people mostly rely on the state to protect children, which causes an artificial decline in demand for the more efficient voluntary market to satisfy the desire.

    Check out:
    Saving Children: The Stateless Society and the Protection of the Helpless: http://www.box.net/shared/a4xvvyqpnc
    How Would An Anarchist Society Handle Child Abuse: http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block167.html

    Quote Originally Posted by guitarlifter View Post
    In a society where all roads are owned privately, how would the contract between private owner of roads and drivers look like? How would the private owners' rules (if any) be applied? By hired police-type people who have been given authority by both the road owners as well as those going into contracts with the road owners to enforce the contract? How would one deal with someone who wanted to shut down their road at all costs and would not open it for anyone? Even if that practically wouldn't happen, it still needs to be known how one would deal with that.
    Chapter 11 here is a good place to start: http://mises.org/rothbard/newliberty...asp#chapter-11

    If someone decided to shut down their road and not let anyone on it then there would be a demand for another road and it would be provided due to this demand. Also don't forget that roads are built before a business or house. Whats the point in building a store or houses in a neighborhood with no road access? In the case of housing, the renter's contract could simply include a guarantee that the landlord wouldn't randomly cut off access to the properties. Most people would want 24 hour access to their house, they would simply not rent from someone who didn't include road rights in the rental contract. If a business decided to shut down their road, I don't think they would get many customers.

    From Stefan Molyneux's book Practical Anarchy:

    Okay heres a scenario for you: a guy builds a road that completely encircles a suburban neighborhood, and then charges $1 million for anyone to cross that road. Isnt he holding everyone who lives in that neighborhood hostage?

    This is fundamentally impossible. First of all, no one is going to buy a house in a neighborhood unless they are contractually guaranteed access to roads. Thus it will be impossible for anyone to completely encircle the neighborhood. Secondly, even if it were possible, it would be a highly risky investment. Can you imagine going to investors with a business plan that said: Im going to try to buy all the land that surrounds the neighborhood, and then charge exorbitant rates for anyone to cross that land. No sane investor would give you the money for such a plan. The risk of failure would be too great, and no DRO would enforce any contract that was so destructive, unpopular and economically unfeasible. DROs, unlike governments, must be appealing to the general population. If a DRO got involved with the encircling and imprisonment of a neighborhood, it would become so unpopular that it would lose far more business than it could potentially gain.

    This video addresses most of your concerns, I highly recommend it:

  14. #13

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Philhelm View Post
    I'll have to agree with Theocrat here. I guess I'm a big ol' statist, but something such as the enforcement of contracts is something that I view as a legitimate function of government. Keep in mind that contracts are voluntary to begin with, so I don't really see contractual enforcement as being an evil big-government action. I'd also not wish for law enforcement to be privatized, since a for-profit system would be ugly.
    ...
    You said "...contracts are voluntary to begin with...". Translation, contracts are not voluntary.

    Involving the government in enforcing of contracts subsidizes the production of contracts resulting in mal-investment. Contracts themselves are of course immoral because they are by nature involuntary. If you have rights derived from your creator or from Nature who are you to proclaim them null and void. You are not God or Nature and thus cannot rescind your own rights any more than you can rescind the rights of others.
    Member of Ron Paul Forums Double Flat Tariff Only Society - Working towards eliminating all the foreign producer/outsource subsidizing internal federal taxes in favor of an across the board flat tariff applied equally to every country and every product.

  16. #15

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    Are there any nations in the world that come close to any of this? Just something we could look at as an example to see how it's worked out in the real world?

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