07 Dec 2013

The Man With the Plan

Libertarianism, Pacifism 32 Comments

I thought I should actually state my long-term vision for liberty.

32 Responses to “The Man With the Plan”

  1. Gamble says:

    Nobody will ever be able to war against the American government, They have more firepower than most people could ever comprehend let alone match.

    Education is great but will never be enough albeit required.

    Civil disobedience is great but will never be enough albeit required.

    America is a political machine Libertarians must engage the political machine. Libertarians must be willing to raise and spend the money required. Learn the game, play the game, beat the game with principle.

    I will say it again. If the right is to tight to fight, they deserve to lose.

    • joe says:

      The Federal Govt will always be more popular than the John Birch society.

      • Major_Freedom says:

        Al Capone is more popular than Richard Feynman.

        What’s your point?

  2. Anthony H says:

    What about the hundreds of thousands of students that graduate each year from government school? Seems impossible to compete with such a output of new statist each year.

    Wouldn’t a plan for succession be the most effective?

  3. Alan Furth says:

    Hey and let’s not forget that it only takes a small percentage of the population to hold an unshakable belief for it to reach a tipping point and spread like wilfire to the rest of the population… salud!

  4. Ken B says:

    Property requires enforcement.

    • Gamble says:

      Yes property requires enforcement. What is your point?

      • Ken B says:

        Bob mentioned an all voluntary society free of coercion. It must then be free of property.

        No property? I don’t think that’s what Bob really wants.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          Not necessarily Ken B (and Gamble).

          Property does not necessarily require enforcement.

          Private property is created through individually motivated activity: Homesteading. You don’t need to ask anyone’s permission to create your own private property through homesteading out of the natural world.

          In a social context, coercion is not necessary either. For if you and I agree that you own what you produced, and I own what I produced, and we don’t threaten the other with violence to take possession of the products produced by the other, then there is no coercion, and yet there is private property!

          Private property is actually grounded on individual activity, not coercion after the fact. People just have to identify, correctly, who owns what, and private property will exist no less than it would in a society full of robbers and thieves!

          What you and Gamble should say is that enforcing protection of private property, given there are individuals who do not agree, requires physical (what call defensive) force. But that is after private property has already been established by individual activity vis a vis the natural world!

          Private property is not a social convention. It is not something that arises on your land only when your neighbor says so. Your neighbors are not your keepers. You are entitled to that which you homestead, and nobody else has to agree. If they do not agree, then their disagreement has not eliminated your private property rights. Their disagreement only violates what exists. It exists based on your homesteading actions, which are very much real and not imaginary.

          • Keshav Srinivasan says:

            Major_Freedom, what if someone was able to homestead all the natural resources in the world? (Say the Earth was a much smaller planet.) Is it really the fault of someone born later that he wasn’t around homestead the land?

            • Ken B says:

              Laws die with their creators, but property is forever. Be born earlier next time.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                No Ken B, property dies with its creators AND BUYERS.

                If A creates property, and trades it to B, then A has given his permission to transfer ownership to B. If B dies, then it’s up for grabs. But if B trades it to C, then B has given his permission to transfer ownership to C.

                Property isn’t staying alive, it’s the individuals who are alive and transferring ownership rights.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                “Be born earlier next time.”

                Not that this is crucial to my point, but there are still lots of non-homesteaded land all over the world. In fact, the overwhelming majority of land is still non-homesteaded. Almost the entirety of Russia, Canada, two of the world’s largest countries, is non-homesteaded.

                Keshav has lots of opportunity to homestead land. But he isn’t doing so, because homesteaded property is not actually the only valuable property. Traded property is also valuable, and in a division of labor, more often more valuable. So he stays as a “wage slave”. Should tell you something…

            • Major_Freedom says:

              He is not at fault, he just isn’t entitled to own it by virtue of being alive.

              Is it my fault that I can’t be over the whole planet at once? Seems like you are suggesting that because it’s not my fault for not being everywhere at once, that I should be compensated for my finite depravity via ownership of your house across the country.

          • Gamble says:

            Hi Major Freedom,

            There are many ways to enforce private property. For example, mankind could have a better relationship with God. This respect for God, could lead to greater respect for others property. A self government if you will. Then there is always a gun. Neither of these solutions required the traditional government.

            Finally, if a government did somehow limit itself to the role of protecting against force, theft and fraud, property could be enforced without any of the items Ken B mentioned such as coercion. I think Ken B purposely neglects the coercion we are talking about stems from government not private individuals acting in a voluntarily matter.

            Finally, I wans not necessarily agreeing with Ken B when I said Ken B was correct regarding enforcement requirement.. I was merely trying o understand his point. His response was childish at bet. A wannabe Bob Murphy gotcha moment.

            What Humanity really needs is more people who keep their hands to themselves and refrain from force, theft and fraud. It is a personal decision. Impulse control. Conscience. Aware. Polite. People need to evolve from the inside out. All the government in the world will not save us from a degenerating humanity. Mankind is supposedly evolving, so they say…

            I think there is no substitute for a large helping of fear and respect for the Lord. There are some things government just CAN NOT do.

        • Joseph Fetz says:

          Ken, it is impossible for property not to exist. So long as humans use scarce and rivalrous resources, there is property. All humans use property, if this weren’t true, you’d die. Further, every human inherently has some theory or idea of property rights (the system by which we determine the owner of a good), the only thing that differs is how those rights are allocated. If you have a burger in your hand, and I take it from you, I am asserting a property right in that good. Certainly, that isn’t a universal right, but it is still asserting a right.

          The simple fact is that society cannot exist without property rights, because resources are scarce and we cannot both control a single resource, therefor without property rights there would be nothing but a chaotic state of might is right (i.e. a state of nature).

          It’s dumb to say that in order to have zero coercion that there then must also be zero property, because this implies that property is coercion, when in fact the word “coercion” is everywhere and always referring to property (i.e.. a conflict over actual things that exist in reality). Property exists prior to coercion, as well as with or without coercion.

          I do disagree with Bob using the word “coercion”, because I don’t see any problem with coercion, it is aggression that I am against (the initiation of violence against property). After all, if you aggress towards me, I will certainly coerce you to stop.

          • Major_Freedom says:

            “Property exists prior to coercion, as well as with or without coercion.”


            It’s almost as if Ken B and Keshav believe that violence is the datum for reality.

            • Joseph Fetz says:

              I should have gone one further and said that Ken couldn’t exist without property, because after all, his body is certainly a scarce and rivalrous resource. I just didn’t want to inflate his ego.

              • Keshav Srinivasan says:

                What’s wrong with saying that a human only owns his own body and can’t own land, just as presumably an animal only owns his own body and can’t own land? (Note that I don’t endorse that position, just that it’s a point of view that needs refutation.)

              • Ken B says:

                Why can’t I own – To pick an animal at random – a cow?

              • Ben B says:


                The minute you make a claim that a human being can’t own a piece of land, aren’t you then implicitly stating that you own the piece of land “that can’t be owned”? Are you not making a claim on how it will be used and under what conditions it will be used?

  5. John says:

    I started reading this blog because I read Paul Krugman’s column in the Times, and was curious about other views. I am myself a professional of relatively conventional outlook. All I can say after watching the video and reading the comments is, I certainly agree with Bob that if by some chance a majority of Americans become convinced that the principles of the Liberty movement are correct and that society should be organized accordingly, I think by necessity the country will move in that direction and the violent overthrow of the US government won’t be necessary.

    I didn’t know this movement actually contemplated violence. That strikes me as a very bad idea. As of right now, the theories the people on this blog advocate have not persuaded many Americans (at least according to all the polling and general social research with which I’m familiar), and it may be some time before they do. Indeed, to me it seems more than likely that anarcho-capitalism will not survive as anything other than a very fringe movement on line. However, I am by no means clairvoyant, and many views that seemed extraordinarily odd or totally unworkable (no enforcement of contract or property rights? Private police forces?) have later become widely accepted. Until that happens, however, I think talk of armed resistance sounds pretty crazy to people of conventional views like me, and makes it much less likely that average people will give Libertarian ideas a fair hearing.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      I started reading this blog because I read Paul Krugman’s column in the Times, and was curious about other views.

      Wow, thanks for giving it a chance, John. I hope I come off as at least sincere. 🙂

    • Bharat says:

      Haha John, I’m part of this movement and didn’t realize people were actually talking about violence (aside from politics at least? I think Murphy isn’t discussing that though) as a solution. It is disturbing from my point of view too.

  6. joe says:

    Problem is that the liberty movement is not about liberty. It’s the John Birch movement with emphasis placed on positions that appeal to college kids.

    “So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy constructing a Bible-based social, political, and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God. Murder, abortion, and pornography will be illegal. God’s law will be enforced. It will take time. A minority religion cannot do this. Theocracy must flow from the heart of a majority of citizens, just as compulsory education came only after most people had their children in schools of some sort. ” – Gary North

    • Major_Freedom says:

      “Problem is that the liberty movement is not about liberty. It’s the John Birch movement with emphasis placed on positions that appeal to college kids.”

      Nonsense. That is what someone locked in a basement for the last 20 years would say.

  7. John says:


  8. Bala says:

    “Education is the plan.”

    My words precisely. Felt good to know I have not been babbling.

    • Gamble says:

      So long as you take this education to the levers of government, it will not be in vain…

      • Bala says:

        Not necessary. If enough of those being moved around like pawns refuse to be treated thus, the levers will not have anything to move.

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