Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Which Aspect of Government Do Anarcho-Capitalists Favor? | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on March 23, 2023

Every fiber of our being cries out against the central state in Washington DC.

Far too many crave it.

by Walter E. Block

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The short answer to that question, and an accurate one, is none of the above. That is the very definition of this philosophical perspective: the state is merely a gang of robbers and murderers, and the ideal is to banish it entirely.

States Mr. Libertarian on this matter: “…if you wish to know how libertarians regard the State and any of its acts, simply think of the State as a criminal band, and all of the libertarian attitudes will logically fall into place.”

However, there is indeed an entirely different and also a proper way to answer that question: whichever aspect of it is most compatible with the libertarian ideal of non-initiatory aggression and private property rights is favored by libertarians in any specific case.

For example, during the New Deal, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was for a time balked by the Supreme Court. The former tried to implement a socialist policy, and the latter was having none of it, continually finding his initiatives unconstitutional. FDR threatened court packing and the nine justices caved in.

What, pray tell, would be the radical libertarian position on this matter? Obviously, to favor the Supreme Court. That is, only in comparison to the president in this case. The support would thus be a relative one. Supporters of economic freedom would rank the initial behavior of the nine justices higher than that of Roosevelt.

Take another case. President Reagan threatened the mayor and City Council of New York City that if the latter strengthened its rent control laws, the federal government would withhold funds from the Big Apple. We stipulate, arguendo, that rent control is an unjustified uncompensated “taking” from landlords, and thus per se unjustified (it also ruins the housing stock of any jurisdiction which implements this policy). Where does the libertarian fall out on this one? In an instance of “strange bedfellows” the supporter of property rights sides with the federal government. Again, not absolutely, of course, only relative to the city authorities.

What about drug legalization? Oregon has decriminalized not only marijuana, but cocaine as well. The federales have not even made legal the former, except for medicinal purposes. On which side of this disparity does the freedom philosophy come down on? Obviously, the former. Hooray for the Beaver State! It is a rights violation to interfere with what adults place into their bodies, on a voluntary basis.

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