The below is a reply to the quote I posted here. I respond below, though I don’t think there’s much hope. I’ll try keep it as concise as possible, endeavoring to strike at the flawed premise.
Firstly, the statement that there exists no contract between a state and its citizens cannot at all be applied to the United States. We do have a contract with the state, it’s called the Constitution, and this contract is amendable by the majority of the population of the country.
The “social” contract is illegitimate. This short video I posted earlier lays waste to this concept. I’d be interested in you defining your use of the word “contract” though, then trying to apply that to concept of society - which does not exist in reality. Trees exist in objective physical reality, the forest does not. It is a concept that helps with categorization & language etc. You cannot have a contract with a concept. Methodological individualism - check it out.
Furthermore, if the state fails in its duty or charges too much, then the politicians who run it are thrown out by the voters and these problems are fixed. The state cannot “change the rules of the game” at its leisure, because it must answer for these changes every 2 and 4 years in elections.
(1) The state fails in its duty by it’s existence.
- “A tax-funded protection agency is a contradiction in terms - an expropriating property protector - and will inevitably lead to more taxes and less protection. Even if, as some - classical liberal - statists have proposed, a government limited its activities exclusively to the protection of pre-existing private property rights, the further question of how much security to produce would arise. Motivated (like everyone else) by self-interest and the disutility of labor, but endowed with the unique power to tax, a government agent’s answer will invariably be the same: To maximize expenditures on protection - and almost all of a nation’s wealth can conceivably be consumed by the cost of protection - and at the same time to minimize the production of protection.” ~ Hans-Hermann Hoppe
(2) You assume your vote counts.
(3) “The plans differ; the planners are all alike…” – Frederic Bastiat
(4) The state changes the rules all the time. Ex post facto law, look it up.
(5) Please provide examples of what you state, actually happening. Then compare those to where it does not - eg. War in Iraq opposition - 70%, yet the war still goes ahead. Democracy? “We the people”?
The libertarian bogeyman of the big, bad state would only be justified in an Orwellian world that does not exist.
The United States Government, the greatest power and empire the world has ever seen. Right… because when you get sexually assaulted at the airport it’s not a crime because they wear a uniform & the state says so. The morality of actions change, when someone changes their clothes?
It’s more like a mixture of 1984, a Brave New World and This Perfect Day.
Last, I want to take issue with this market fetishism that is so central to libertarianism. The government is not run on market principles and never should be, so comparing it to the market, to ride off an old cliche, is like judging an apple by how much it tastes like an orange.
What is the free market? Market fetishism? Do you mean this:
- “The Free market is a summary term for an array of exchanges that take place in society. Each exchange is undertaken as a voluntary agreement between two people or between groups of people represented by agents. These two individuals (or agents) exchange two economic goods, either tangible commodities or nontangible services.[…]
Both parties undertake the exchange because each expects to gain from it. Also, each will repeat the exchange next time (or refuse to) because his expectation has proved correct (or incorrect) in the recent past. Trade, or exchange, is engaged in precisely because both parties benefit; if they did not expect to gain, they would not agree to the exchange.”
Guilty. And you’re absolutely right the government isn’t run on voluntarist[market] principles. It is coercive to the core.
When the state is treated like a market, votes will be replaced with checks, the rule of law with justice that is bought and sold, and representative republicanism with an unelected oligarchy.
You’re right on the money… the problem is the state though, not the market.
- “However, this argument in favor of democracy is fatally flawed. Free entry is not always good. Free entry and competition in the production of goods is good, but free competition in the production of bads is not. Free entry into the business of torturing and killing innocents, or free competition in counterfeiting or swindling, for instance, is not good; it is worse than bad. So what sort of “business” is government? Answer: it is not a customary producer of goods sold to voluntary consumers. Rather, it is a “business” engaged in theft and expropriation - by means of taxes and counterfeiting - and the fencing of stolen goods. Hence, free entry into government does not improve something good. Indeed, it makes matters worse than bad, i.e., it improves evil.” - Why Bad Men Rule, Hans-Hermann Hoppe
“When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.” – P.J. O’Rourke
Greed is inherent in human nature. I do not think that the state can change human nature. On the contrary, the state, just like the market, is run by greed. What’s the difference? The market is greedy for money, but the state is greedy for votes. Votes can only be won by those who most reflect the will of the people. That is something the market can never, and will never, do.
Ok, so greed exists and the state agents are also greedy. Very good. And what pray tell happens when you own the printing press? When you have a monopoly on law & order, including the ability to make decisions in your own cases of conflict?
- “Assume a group of people, aware of the possibility of conflicts; and then someone proposes, as a solution to this eternal human problem, that he (someone) be made the ultimate arbiter in any such case of conflict, including those conflicts in which he is involved. I am confident that he will be considered either a joker or mentally unstable and yet this is precisely what all statists propose.” ~ Hans-Hermann Hoppe
Onto your point about the market & votes:
- “The democracy of the market consists in the fact that people themselves make their choices and that no dictator has the power to force them to submit to his value judgments.” ~ Mises, Human Action p. 384.
- “Within the market society each serves all his fellow citizens and each is served by them. It is a system of mutual exchange of services and commodities, a mutual giving and receiving.” ~ Mises, Omnipotent Government, p. 49.
- “The market process is a daily repeated plebiscite, and it ejects inevitably from the ranks of profitable people those who do not employ their property according to the orders given by the public.” ~ Mises, Liberty and Property, p 10.
Wait two & four years?! How long is the average voters memory? The market is essentially instant.. so it’s not much of a comparison.
In summation, please put down the metaphorical gun, withdraw your support of the state & resist the urge to be a dictator. Cheers.