Podcast (kinsella-on-liberty): Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:15:00 — 85.1MB)
Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 095.
This was my appearance on Daniel Rothschild’s youtube channel on Nov. 8, 2013; we discussed a variety of topics, getting really into the nitty-gritty of a lot of aspects of libertarian legal theory. Links to related material below:
- How We Come To Own Ourselves, Mises Daily (Sep. 7, 2006) (Mises.org blog discussion; audio version)
- Causation and Aggression (co-authored with Patrick Tinsley), The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, vol. 7, no. 4 (winter 2004): 97-112
- Punishment and Proportionality: The Estoppel Approach, 12:1 Journal of Libertarian Studies 51 (Spring 1996)
- “What Libertarianism Is,” Mises Daily (August 21, 2009)
- A Libertarian Theory of Contract: Title Transfer, Binding Promises, and Inalienability, Journal of Libertarian Studies 17, no. 2 (Spring 2003): 11-37
- “Argumentation Ethics and Liberty: A Concise Guide,” Mises Daily (May 27, 2011)
- KOL004 | Interview with Walter Block on Voluntary Slavery
- KOL018 | “Libertarian Legal Theory: Property, Conflict, and Society: Lecture 1: Libertarian Basics: Rights and Law” (Mises Academy, 2011)
Your last remark about picking legislators at random is very insightful. As a matter of fact, in Ancient Athens, the birthplace of Democracy, for two hundred years, the political system was organized in this fashion :
– power resided in the popular Assembly where any citizen could attend to vote, propose and debate laws
– magistrates which had the task of executing the decisions of the Assembly were picked at random among all citizens for short and non-renewable mandates under the oversight of another committee of randomly picked citizens to ensure accountability
Athenians considered elections to be oligarchic and anti-democratic. Democracy used to be synonymous with Lot until the 19th and 20th century where the word slowly started being used to describe our current electoral system which the founders called a Republic and not a Democracy (many of them were elitists and as such opposed the establishment of a pure Democracy).
Of course, Athenian Democracy wouldn’t solve the fundamental problem with political power being an initiation of force and a subjugation of others to one’s will, but I would take it any day over our current plutocratic mess.
Your estoppel defense of rights doesn’t make sense to me, I can imagine many principles according to which the criminal can say that he was justified in using force against you but you would not be justified in using force in response:
“Force is only justified when someone is doing something immoral against you. You insulted me, which is immoral, so I was justified in using force against you. But I haven’t done anything immoral against you, so you’re not allowed to use force against me.”
“Force is only justified against someone to stop them from engaging in an immoral activity. You were smoking marijuana, so I was justified in using force against you. But I’m not doing anything wrong, so you’re not allowed to use force against me.”
“Force is only justified when God tells you to use it. God told me to use it, but he didn’t tell you to use it, so you’re not allowed to use force against me.”
“Force is only justified if you happen to be me. But you’re not me, so you’re not allowed to use force.”
“Force is only justified against people who haven’t hit anyone without provocation. I’ve just hit you without provocation, so you’re not allowed to hit me.”
“Force is only justified if it’s for someone’s own good. I hit you so you’d get over your bad breakup, but your hitting me wouldn’t be for my own good, so you’re not allowed to use force against me.”
“Force is only justified when it’s necessary to help others. I hit you to entertain other people, since they had no other means of enjoyment. But you wouldn’t be entertaining anyone if you hit me, so you’re not justified in hitting me.”
Some of these are intentionally silly, or caricatures of serious purported moral principles, so how would your estoppel argument get around moral principles like these?