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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Obligation

is the crucial idea denied by libertarian political theory. We can have obligations that we did not agree to take upon ourselves.

Here is David Walsh on that fact:

"The political is never merely an option, for we are embedded in a network of obligations before we even begin. This was the weak point of all social contract explanations of civil society, with their inevitable implication of the arbitrariness of a state founded on individual choice. Kant reminds us of the extent to which the state provides the conditions for the exercise of free choice and is thus beyond the realm of choice. We are obliged to support the political constitution under whose order we exist, not because we derive benefits from it or because we have given our consent, but because it is part of the order of being." -- The Modern Philosophical Revolution, p. 62.

57 comments:

  1. "We are obliged to support the political constitution under whose order we exist..."

    Who are the residents of the stateless region of Somalia obliged to support?

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  2. Like the obligation to show up and truthfully answer questions when someone is charged, tantamount to conscription.

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  3. Do you think it's impossible that libertarianism can be combined with obligations which are not implicit agreed upon, or do you just say that most, if not all, libertarians claim that there are no positive obligations without implicit consent?

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  4. Hi Gene,

    First, I enjoy your blog very much. You usually write on interesting topics that I find myself thinking about long after reading the post.

    Second, I would clearly fall under #2 in your "Why I Blog" post. Reading philosophy/economics/political theory is a hobby for me so I am far from an expert. As such, I was hoping you could flesh out the ideas in this quote a little more.

    It seems to say that, for some reason that is unclear to me, life free of politics is not an option. Kant is cited as support for this in that we cannot choose to be with, or without politics, because it is the state itself which provides the conditions for free choice in the first place.

    What would these conditions be? Could this mean "only the state is capable, but it usually fails to provide conditions of free choice" or "the state (any state) provides the conditions of free choice - end of story, live with it."

    Then, in what seems to be a non sequitur, he says that we should support whatever political constitution we live under because it provides order and is part of who we are. Really? Any political constitution?

    I would really like to understand this quote better if you can help. Thanks!

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  5. "In short, by what right does a government compel someone to testify against another? Here is a flagrant invasion of liberty, a flagrant abuse against the rights of the individual, and an initiation of force and violence against an innocent person."

    Man, if I made that guy up people would say I was exagerating. Is the Mises Institute trying to embarrass him by publishing this stuff?

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  6. "We are obliged to support the political constitution under whose order we exist..."

    So the blacks in 1600-1860 were obliged to support the politcal establishment that kept them enslaved?

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  7. Right now I am limited to phone access to the Internet, so I must be brief, but, no, bestquest, they were not, because they were excluded from that constitution and employed as mere means to an end, something Kant held to be always unacceptable in regards to our fellow humans.

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  8. "We are obliged to support the political constitution under whose order we exist . . . because it is part of the order of being."

    The author's syllogism seems to be:
    We cannot exist without "order."
    The state is "part of the order."
    Therefore we are obliged to support the state under whose "order" we exist.

    You have pointed out that this syllogism Is false because it does not grant an exemption for people "excluded from that constitution." But if the slaves weren't obliged to support the state that imposed it's "order" on them without their consent, then why am I?

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  9. It is not a question of consent, but of inclusion.

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  10. Gene, I think you are fighting a losing battle here. You want to justify the State, and yet you can't bring yourself to condone Nazi Germany etc.

    OK blacks weren't adequately represented in 1800 in the US, so they had no obligation to that government.

    Well, I don't think I am adequately represented by the Republicans or the Democrats.

    And even if you say yes I am, are you then going to say I am obligated to support whatever that government does? I doubt it. If they conscript me and tell me to kill an Afghan 10-year-old girl, are you saying I have a moral obligation to obey that order? I hope not.

    And so we are driven once again to having to use our moral code to determine how to act. I don't see what you are adding to that. You've apparently given up on even trying to justify the State from an individual, consensual point of view, and now you are falling back on some type of inevitability argument.

    I'm not trying to be a jerk, and I really think I'm giving your views consideration, but so far I don't see any coherency (unless you bite the bullet and say Germans had an obligation to the Nazi regime, etc.).

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  11. Posting from a phone again, but...

    I'm sure you're trying to be fair, Bob, but you seem to be reading some other text than the one I wrote. Where did I mention, for instance, "representation"?

    Or:

    "You've apparently given up on even trying to justify the State from an individual, consensual point of view, "

    "Given up" on that, have I? And when was I doing that?

    "and now you are falling back on some type of inevitability argument."

    Uh, inevitability? I mentioned inevitabilty somewhere?

    In any case, the "cheap trick" being played here is to contend that, if one cannot specify a precise condition for accepting some state of affairs (or not) in advance, then one has absolutely no coherent view of what is acceptable and what not. Rubbish. I say, "One has an obligation to support one's child." You say, "Ah, but what if he sneaks into your bedroom every night and tries to kill you?" I say, "Well, no, then you wouldn't."

    "Incoherence!"

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  12. OK you're right Gene, you didn't say "represent" you said "inclusion." So, I don't feel included in the US federal government's decisions. They take half my money and on top of that, use it to do things that horrify me.

    So to be clear, you don't have a problem with libertarians objecting to any current or historical States, right? I mean, if it's OK for a guy to say, "In general I have an obligation to support my child, but not if he tries to kill me," then is it OK for Rothbardians to say, "In general we have an obligation to the State, but not if it steals from me or kills innocent people"?

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  13. With government decisions You still talk about reublicanism and democratic involvement. What you have to part of is the society governed by the state. Of which you are undeniably a fully fledged member with the same rights and obligations as basically anyone else.

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  14. But Bob, no one said anything about your "feeling" included "in it's decisions" --as Shiny RAM points out, you certainly ARE included in its political constitution. Consent is not necessary to generate obligation.

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  15. Gene, can you please try to anticipate my obvious responses so we can move this thing forward?

    (A) OK Oskar Schindler was definitely included in the Third Reich. (And if he wasn't for some reason, then pick some other Aryan who clearly was.) So was he a traitor, acting against the institution whose purpose is to enforce law and make civil society possible (not an exact quote but I think that's how you've been describing the State lately)?

    (B) You say consent is not necessary for obligation. OK, but you also said if someone is trying to kill me, then my default obligation to him is void. Sooo, why can't Rothbardians use the same trick with the State, which kills innocent people?

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  16. I'm not sure that you aren't attacking a strawman here: I don't think that libertarians do deny that there are obligations that people have not chosen to accept. For instance, some libertarians are perfectly happy to say that charity is morally right, something we ought to engage in. Or, for another, that drug use is immoral.

    Beyond this, libertarians believe that people have rights and that there are things that people are therefore obliged to do/refrain from doing, whether they have accepted those obligations or not. No libertarian thinks that a would-be rapist's consent is needed prior to that would-be rapist being obliged to refrain from rape.

    In fact, this is why consent to particular things is so important to libertarians. They believe, for instance, that "taxation without consent is robbery." people are obliged to not to engage in robbery whether they have consented to such an obligation or not, and because they are so obliged, they need a taxpayer's consent before imposing a tax.

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  17. Gene, can you please try to anticipate my obvious responses so we can move this thing forward?"

    vice versa, buddy

    (A) OK Oskar Schindler was definitely included in the Third Reich. (And if he wasn't for some reason, then pick some other Aryan who clearly was.)"

    yes, except the Third Reich had no political constitution -- it was dissolved in 1934. No one owed it any allegiance. And this is not some verbal "trick" -- this is pretty standard political theory. Germany had a führer, and politics was outlawed.

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  18. Ok, Richard, to be clearer: one can have POSITIVE obligations one did not consent to. Like feeding one's children, or testifying in court, or paying one's taxes. The fact I am not creating a strawman is illustrated by your own assertion that taxes must be voluntary.

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  19. "...Third Reich had no political constitution..."

    Neither does Great Britain, if you're talking about a piece of parchment.

    If you're talking instead about a conceptual political power structure then the Reich had one in the same sense that Great Britain has, and all the people within its "order" were expected to defend it.

    So I'm obviously not understanding what you mean by "political constitution" or "inclusion." Elaborate, please!

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  20. The logical conclusion of Kant's moral philosophy is libertarian anarchism, for the record. Whether Kant himself went that far or not is not the point, though of course Kant *was* a classical liberal/libertarian.

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  21. "The logical conclusion of Kant's moral philosophy is libertarian anarchism, for the record."

    that a practical course of political action could be the "logical conclusion" of a "moral philosophy" is absurd, for the record.

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  22. It should be pretty obvious that only non-coercive political systems can treat people as ends, not means. I'm not sure what's absurd about that...

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  23. And it should be pretty obvious that "non-coercive political systems" is empty verbiage.

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  24. Bestquest: "Constitutionalism is a set of ideas, attitudes, and patterns of behavior elaborating the principle that the authority of government derives from and is limited by a body of fundamental law." (wikipedia)

    so the US and UK have constitutional governments, and Nazi Germany did not -- that is very standard analysis. And under a standard usage of 'political' dating to Aristotle, Nazi Germany did "political" power structure, since it had no politics. (I'm not Kant scholar so I'm not sure he was following that usage, but I suspect so.)

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  25. Gene wrote,

    "Ok, Richard, to be clearer: one can have POSITIVE obligations one did not consent to."

    But, again, libertarians do not, or need not, deny this thing. Libertarians frequently claim, for instance, that charitably supporting those who cannot support themselves is the right and proper thing to do, that we may have a duty to do so.

    All a libertarian qua libertarian is saying is that people have duties that they ought to respect that restrain how enforcement of these positive duties is carried out. Because you have a duty not to rob me, you may not use robbery to get me to give money to charitably support somebody who cannot support themselves without breaching your duty. Likewise, because you have a duty not to coerce me into performing labour I have not consented to perform, you cannot coerce me into working to support people who cannot support themself without breaching your own duties.

    Claiming "People have duties to refrain from using means X in order to ensure that others comply with positive duty Y" is not the same as saying "positive duty Y does not exist."

    So, a libertarian could easily say that he doesn't deny that people ought to pay their taxes, support their children, and truthfully give evidence in court when asked to do so. All the libertarian is saying is that everybody else has duties that restrict particular ways of enforcing his compliance with these duties. Threatening to lock people in cages if they don't give others money is in breach of these duties; therefore threatening to lock people in cages unless they hand over money is a prohibited way of getting people to pay their taxes, for instance.

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  26. >And it should be pretty obvious that "non-coercive political systems" is empty verbiage.<

    Oh yes. Because you say so =]

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  27. "Consent is not necessary to generate obligation. "

    Even by the current system, yes it is.

    It's called the law of frauds. Any contract above a certain value must be written. In addition for a written interment to be binding it must be signed.The constitution was never signed by anybody as a party to it, nor was it even offered to anybody to sign.

    Lysander Spooner gives a through argument in his pamphlet series "No Treason"

    And this whole order of being stuff is is no affirmation to the question of obligation to those who do not already agree.

    Translated into literal language it just means the state exists. It does not outline a reason, purpose, or value for the state existing and does not even attempt to bridge across the is/ought dichotomy.

    However it strikes me if this passage is offered in a quasi-religious setting up authority which you are obliged to accept as authority simply because it claims to be an authority and has been treated as one in the past.

    But that is the very matter in question; weather this or that exercise of authority is legitimate and moral. If such and arrangement improves the human condition and aides the cooperation and coadjuvancy which is the incentive to any social bond. It seems very unlikely to me that something could be obligatory if it were detrimental on the whole.

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  28. "Even by the current system, yes it is."

    So, in the "current system" where you live, there are no taxes or child support awards? How interesting!

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  29. Long has replied to this here.

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  30. Hmmm ...

    Starts with a strawman (libertarian theory doesn't deny obligation, or even unchosen obligation -- in point of fact it asserts an obligation not to initiate force, chosen or not).

    Ends with a foot-stomping "it is that way because ... well, because that's the way it is, because I SAY SO!" (from Walsh, but quoted with what seems to be agreement/approval).

    Not one of your better outings.

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  31. "Starts with a strawman (libertarian theory doesn't deny obligation, or even unchosen obligation -- in point of fact it asserts an obligation not to initiate force, chosen or not)."

    Oh Christ. Not only did I already explain this above, but this is just a willful misreading. Yes, I could have been more precise and written "positive legal obligations" but that ought to have been obvious to someone as intelligent as you. In common usage, an obligation is an obligation TO DO, not an obligation NOT TO DO. ("I can't come -- I have some obligations to fulfill" does NOT mean I'm going to be sitting around not assaulting people.) Yes, I could have been clearer, but this is just dumb playing "Gotcha!" Tom.

    'Ends with a foot-stomping "it is that way because ... well, because that's the way it is, because I SAY SO!" (from Walsh, but quoted with what seems to be agreement/approval).'

    Yeah, if this was intended as a complete argument, you'd have a tiny point here. This is blog post just taking note of an existing argument (see "Why I Blog" post). Go read friggin' Kant.

    Not one of your better comments, Tom. In fact, if you weren't known to me, this is the sort of nonsense that I usually just delete.

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  32. Thanks for the heads up, Shiny RAM!

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  33. "Oh yes. Because you say so =]"

    OK, xx, you've been a polite poster, so this one gets by, but its asinine -- you know quite well have I have argued for this point at length on this blog. You may think my arguments have failed -- that's fine. But you know damned well I DO have arguments, and not mere assertion.

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  34. Richard, OK, "enforceable positive obligation."

    "Because you have a duty not to rob me, you may not use robbery to get me to give money to charitably support somebody who cannot support themselves without breaching your duty."

    Richard, if I am the legal authority tasked with feeding the poor, and you have an obligation to help feed them, then when I come to collect the money I need, that is not robbery.

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  35. "Richard, if I am the legal authority tasked with feeding the poor, and you have an obligation to help feed them, then when I come to collect the money I need, that is not robbery"

    There seems to be a lot riding on that word "authority." Oxfam is an organisation tasked with feeding poor people. I have a positive obligation to help those that can't help themselves, which includes at least some of the poor that Oxfam feeds. When they come and collect that money... is it robbery? Well, if they threaten to lock me in a cage unless I give it to them, sure. Any court in the land would convict them for extortion then.

    The issue is not that they are collecting money I may have an obligation to give them. The issue is what means they are entitled to use to get that money.

    Beyond that, you have the issue of whether my duty to give them the money is correlative to any right they hold against me. Not all duties we owe people are correlative to rights they hold against us. I would suggest that, since the money is mine, this duty is not correlative to any right held against me.

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  36. Yes, Richard, I did not expect you to instantly agree. But at least I think you can now see, even if I expressed myself badly at first, that I was not going at a strawman here -- there is a significant difference of opinion here when it comes to obligations.

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  37. Yes, now the language is clearer, I see that the straw man is not there. However, you original post is still unclear. You say "We can have obligations that we did not agree to take upon ourselves," and this we may or may not agree on (I disagree that it means you can lock me in a cage if I fail to give to charity, but you and I would both agree that you could enforce my positive obligation to do so with ostrasism, which may, under the correct circumstances, even make my life almost unliveable if I do not). However, taken as an assertion or a hypothesis, I can't see what purpose the Walsh quotation serves in the post at all. It doesn't seem to contain any supportive argument for your assertion or hypothesis; also, as Roderick Long pointed out, your assertion is about general obligations which we can accept exist, but the quotation seems to be about specific ones to one's state - accepting the existence of the enforcale positive obligations does not necessarily translate into accepting the existence of obligations to any state; and, taken as an argument for political obligation the contents of the quotation seem, as I have said, pretty weak.

    Incidentally, I apologise if on Roderick Long's blog I sounded as though you had purposefully not approved my post, or decided to ignore debate. It was perfectly reasonable that, given that comments don't appear until approved, and given that you have a life beyond this blog, there be some delay in my comment appearing, and so it was unreasonable for me to object to its not doing so.

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  38. Gene wrote:

    Richard, if I am the legal authority tasked with feeding the poor, and you have an obligation to help feed them, then when I come to collect the money I need, that is not robbery.

    Gene, out of curiosity, are you just showing that the above is a logically coherent position, or is it your current opinion of the role of the State?

    For an analogy, I got sucked into a months-long argument with Silas Barta about the global warming stuff, only to found out at the end that he was making hypothetical points about flaws in my logic. It wasn't that he necessarily agreed with the climate models predicting catastrophe.

    So in this case, I just want to understand where you're coming from: Do you now think that the State has the task of feeding the poor, and that it can rightfully take portions of most people's incomes even against their will? Or are you just showing that the standard libertarian arguments can't rule out such a possibility (sort of like we showed a theist could evade Hoppe's argumentation ethic, whether or not one believed in God)?

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  39. "So, in the "current system" where you live, there are no taxes or child support awards? How interesting!"

    It's not necessarily consistently applied, but the foundational principles and laws are in place. And this is necessarily to be the case in any legal system. What is called natural law is those principle that when applied do or at least ought to lead to peace. That a written instrument (a class to which the constitution is a member) is not binding unless signed. The conflict that would result from people being able to foist obligation on another with an unsigned written instrument would be great and severely disrupt the social cooperation by which individuals achieve most of their ends.


    Child support is not claimed to arise from a written instrument, but an action.It is the norm that the behavior capable of creating a child is by consent,and if not it is a crime. Though there are objectionable parts of the current system, the essence is not stickily impcompatible with a libertarian framework. That consent to sex is consent to the natural consequences thereof is not an irrational presumption.

    Gene:"Richard, if I am the legal authority tasked with feeding the poor, and you have an obligation to help feed them, then when I come to collect the money I need, that is not robbery."

    Aside from your willingness you use violence, factually how did you become a legal authority over me?

    Additionally am I be obliged to support a program which in my estimation will actually harm the poor or be ineffective. What if I believe your program capable, but just not as capable as some other program or course of action? Or are the agents of this thing in the order of being simply infallible?

    Setting aside the opinion of a lay person, there is great disagreement on the topic of the best course of charity even among experts who have studied the topic for decades. Even if you had the legal authority in fact, and I the obligation, your particular course or program has been determined by your own judgment.

    To try to punish vice is to place men at conflict, as to just what counts as virtue and what vice differs from each man according to circumstance and knowledge.

    In addition the benefit of charity being help to the poor, there is the fraternity between benefactor and benefiter. The affirmation of human equality and dignity. Forced charity prevents this bond from forming, and creates hostility and indifference. It impedes the full fruits possible from the exercise of charity. A miser who is forced to give is not less a miser after, and may have become solidified in such a sentiment.

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  40. I see, WorBlux, by "the current system" you meant "the current system as I imagine it should be."

    Your imagination is quite consistent and well-ordered.

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  41. And the image is not incorrect, rather you have misinterpreted my focus. Weather by intention or inattention, I know not.

    99 % of individuals are bound by the requirement of consent in fact. 99% cannot make a written instrument binding or obligatory through the courts without a signature.

    Only 51 corporations and their subdivisions operate under the exception to this with legal impunity.

    While in fact not based on consent the rhetoric claims otherwise. As example the claim the income tax is voluntary, or that all political power is inherent in the people and government must be by the consent of the people. Claims and alleged requirements of government included in the foundational documents.

    Even the legal definition of a citizen reflects this. A citizen is a member of a body politic who has a duty of allegiance in return for a duty of protection. These duties are reciprocal, one given as consideration for the other.

    The language is contract language, the language of consent and agreement. This is however of no surprise. A society and any legal system requires that most people are a peace with most others most of the time.

    A requirement of consent for legally enforceable obligations other than those not to commit torts is necessary to keep peace. When men and women act outside this, either under the alter ego of a government or not, they create conflict and retard the cooperation which makes society so beneficial to each individual.

    The average man is quite aware that a thief does not make a good neighbor, so that those operating under the label of government do their best to pass their work off as a matter of consent.

    That other alternative (aside from abandoning such antisocial behavior completely) is, as the author quoted in the article,to pass such actions as being obliged by a superhuman entity as communicated by a select group. This though is the essence of theocracy, a source of irreconcilable conflict, and illiberal on the whole

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  42. WorBlux, you are correct that contract theories of the state are nonsense. But ancapistan can offer no solution to this -- there will still be people bound by agreements they did not consent to (e.g., communists who do not recognize private ownership of land). The choices are:
    1) Give up society; or
    2) Realize that consent was never the right way to look at it, even if the founders -- after all, a bunch of criminals rebelling against their king! -- wanted to put it that way.

    And "order of being" is NOT supernatural language.

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  43. "Who are the residents of the stateless region of Somalia obliged to support?"

    Huh?

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  44. "Do you think it's impossible that libertarianism can be combined with obligations which are not implicit agreed upon, or do you just say that most, if not all, libertarians claim that there are no positive obligations without implicit consent?"

    Sorry for the slow answer here Adriaan. (Why so many a's?) I think one can certainly have libertarian leanings and recognize obligations. (Jefferson, for instance, did not believe a citizen could opt out of paying taxes.) It's the "axiomatic' libertarian who will have problems with this.

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  45. I don't know where Wor got that definition of citizenship, but it's nonsense. All immigrants, legal or illegal, are bound by federal, state, local laws, must pay taxes, enjoy the protection of the courts and police simply by being there. Citizens just can participate in the political process.

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  46. "99 % of individuals are bound by the requirement of consent in fact."

    Nonsense. Children are entitled to child support and spouses to alimony even if they aren't a state or federal government.

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  47. There is the natural law tradition in libertarianism; which 'proves' libertarianism from natural rights. Obviously - I think - you disagree with that interpretation. But even if you are a communitarian (If I can characterize you like that; given the numerical references to Oakeshott; that doesn't seem to be totally of the mark); then still libertarianism should have (I think) a certain attraction, depending on how you judge the validity of 'analytical anarchism'. To be more precise; I'm personally convinced by the idea that there is something of a 'natural law', that is a priori, but that doesn't mean the rigid interpretation and application (e.g. Murray Rothbard, who I think was a better economist than 'libertarian', in 'the ethics of liberty') has to be the only one. The possibility of an 'anarchist' society, i.e. without the presence of a 'universal' organization who has the supreme authority in lots of cases, regulates, controles a great deal of help to the poor and the sick, etc. is very attractive to me, even on non-strict libertarian grounds. E.g. Rasmussen & Den Uyl their vision of a meaningful life on 'libertarian' grounds is very attractive to me. I usually advocate a 'free society' in terms of something like that (think also of Nozick's book part 3: utopia, with all the different communities and 'their' vision of 'the good'.) Even if one thinks one can have positive obligation towards a political group or community, that doesn't (imo) entail the 'state' as such, i.e. an organization with very high opt out costs, that (sort of) monopolizes within a territory and organizes and regulates a lot of things. Even if one thinks that one can have positive obligations similar to taxes, assistance to the poor, etc. that doesn't entail a state as such. (I believe one can have 'forced' redistribution even without a state; just look at other societies where there isn't something like a (modern) state and which does enforce redistribution through the legal institutions of that society. I think of the Xeer (in the book 'the law of the somaliis' is this explained in detail.)

    This all sort of requires that one doesn't 'believe' in the Hobbesian fear, which, I admit, I do not. I think societies can function without an overal organization that has sort of the legal right to interfere with a lòt of things, that 'normal' citizens can not. In principle; I don't have that much quarrel with 'I take your x to serve the immediate need of this person here and now', but this is most obviously _not_ the case with the welfare state - something I think you will admit too?

    In short: one can have meaningful communities and positive obligations without the need to defend a state as it exist to day.

    So; I'm sort of, I think, challenging to give a more detailed explanation of your (positive) vision (and maybe comment on my interpretation.)

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  48. "I don't know where Wor got that definition of citizenship, but it's nonsense. All immigrants, legal or illegal, are bound by federal, state, local laws, must pay taxes, enjoy the protection of the courts and police simply by being there. Citizens just can participate in the political process."

    I got it from the supreme court, and tradition going back centuries.

    "Citizenship is membership in a political society and implies a duty of allegiance on the part of the member and a duty of protection on the part of the society. These are reciprocal obligations, one being a compensation for the other. "

    LURIA v. UNITED STATES 231 U.S. 9, 58 L. Ed. 101, 34 S. Ct. 10 (1913)

    Websters dictionary also makes reference to the two duties in its entry on citizenship.

    States are political, and not geographic. Where was the united states in 1775?

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  49. Hi, Mr. Callahan. I tried posting a reply regarding the matters you raised in the discussions in this thread, but there is a limit of 4096 characters, which wasn't enough for my reply. So the following article is my response:

    James Redford, "Libertarian Anarchism is Apodictically Correct", Noegenesis, July 22, 2010. http://noegenesis.blogspot.com/2010/07/libertarian-anarchism-is-apodictically.html

    See also my below article on the logically unavoidable anarchism of Jesus Christ's teachings. It is logically complete on this subject, in the sense of its apodixis.

    James Redford, "Jesus Is an Anarchist", Social Science Research Network (SSRN), October 17, 2009 (originally published December 19, 2001). http://ssrn.com/abstract=1337761 , http://theophysics.chimehost.net/anarchist-jesus.pdf , http://theophysics.110mb.com/anarchist-jesus.pdf

    Below is the abstract to my above article:

    ""
    ABSTRACT: The teachings and actions of Jesus Christ (Yeshua Ha'Mashiach) and the apostles recorded in the New Testament are analyzed in regard to their ethical and political philosophy, with analysis of context vis-á-vis the Old Testament (Tanakh, or Hebrew Bible) being given. From this analysis, it is shown that Jesus is a libertarian anarchist, i.e., a consistent voluntaryist. The implications this has for the world are profound, and the ramifications of Jesus's anarchism to Christians' attitudes toward government (the state) and its actions are explicated.
    ""

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  50. James, you were a nut 8 years ago, and you're still a nut today! But you're an entertaining nut.

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  51. Hi, Mr. Callahan. Jesus Christ is history's all-time greatest nut, so I'm in good company. In an insane world, sanity is regarded as crazy. Truth is the most hated thing in the world.

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  52. Ha ha, James, I've got you beat: Last night, I was playing cards with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, and they both said anarchism is shite. So I win 2-1.

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  53. Hi, Mr. Callahan. I don't appeal to special revelation in order to make my case. Rather, I prove my case apodictically: in the case of libertarian anarchism, by using true synthetic a priori propositions, or, that which cannot be denied without necessitating its use in the denial. In the case of the logically unavoidable anarchism of Jesus Christ's teachings, I use his teachings as recorded in the New Testament (in addition to analyzing their context in relation his to actions, to the Old Testament, and to his apostles) in order to apodictically prove that Christ's teachings are anarchistic. See in particular Section 2: "The Golden Rule Unavoidably Results in Anarchism" of my "Jesus Is an Anarchist" article.

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    However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. [Paul, 1 Corinthians 2:6-8, NKJV.]

    But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. [Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:23,24, NKJV.]

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  54. The idea that you can apodictically prove an historical proposition is pretty nutty in itself.

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  55. Hi, Mr. Callahan. The phrase "an historical" is antigrammatical, unless you pronounce the word "historical" as " 'istorical".

    As I said in my previous post, in the case of the logically unavoidable anarchism of Jesus Christ's teachings, I use his teachings as recorded in the New Testament (in addition to analyzing their context in relation to his actions, to the Old Testament, and to his apostles) in order to apodictically prove that Christ's teachings are anarchistic. See in particular Section 2: "The Golden Rule Unavoidably Results in Anarchism" of my "Jesus Is an Anarchist" article.

    So your objection doesn't touch upon what I said. One could suppose that, historically, Jesus Christ never existed. Or if he did exist, that, historically, he preached a doctrine concerning grass-filled baskets, and painted boiled eggs hidden near buildings with steeples, deposited there by a peculiar sort of bunny.

    Rather, what my analysis concerns is what is recorded in the bible. And based upon what is recorded therein, Jesus Christ is logically unavoidably an anarchist. And not just any kind of anarchist, but a free-market, libertarian anarchist to be specific. Again, see my "Jesus Is an Anarchist" article for the details on this matter.

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    However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. [Paul, 1 Corinthians 2:6-8, NKJV.]

    But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. [Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:23,24, NKJV.]

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  56. Mr. Redford, blessed are the cheesemakers, and the manufaturers of dairy products in general.

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