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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Kevin Vallier Gets It Right

Libertarianism is not a uniquely "non-coercive" political philosophy:

"So let me pose a question to traditional libertarians... you want to set up a libertarian society because you think it is required by justice and to serve the common good. But your free and equal fellows reasonably reject your conception of property rights. As a result, the coercion you are prepared to use to defend your property against their encroachments will be coercion that they have strong reason to reject."

1 comment:

  1. This is a very good point.

    Much of anarcho-capitalist ethics is based on acceptance of Lockean first-occupancy theory as a foundation for property rights.

    Most anarcho-capitalists would defend the right to use force to protect these (thus defined) property rights against other who might seek to violate them (whether from criminal or political motives).

    It is very unlikely that existing property-ownership can be derived from first-occupancy principals, but even if it could be so derived it would not necessary make it ethical. Does the mere act of first occupancy give one the right to claim for oneself and ones descendants the benefits of that land for ever? Others who were deprived of access to land by "first occupiers" may well disagree.

    Much of the appeal of anarcho-capitalist theory derives from the fact that the economic benefits of private ownership spread beyond those who do the owning.

    But nevertheless less I think this is a weak area of their theory that is rarely discussed.

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