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Re: OT: Politics [Was:Social Contract]

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On Monday 01 May 2006 10:30, John O'Hagan <johnohagan@iprimus.com.au> 
was heard to say:
> I don't agree: 

Keep that statement in mind...

> a democratic government can legitimately - and must 

That is your OPINION. Think of something sacred to you. Something that 
you feel is beyond any "legitimate" reach of government. Is it who to 
marry? What to smoke? What to eat (not safe or not, just "what")? 
What to watch on TV? What to think? What computer OS to use?

The only difference between you and I is that what we consider beyond 
the "legitimate" reach of government is different.

> - impose restrictions on anti-social behaviour like gun-use,

Non-sequiter. Mere "gun use" is in no way anti-social. I can use a 
fire-extinguisher to crush someone's skull in, the largest mass 
murder in American history was perpetrated with airplanes. Neither of 
these acts reflects upon fire-extinguishers or airplanes, or the 
people who own or use them daily.

Even more important, guns, fire-extinguishers and airplanes do not 
have "behavior", they are inanimate objects entirely subjet to the 
will of the individual wielding them. This is an important 
distinction often lost in the emotionally heated debate over 

> profiteering, polluting and other selfish behaviour (obviously
> including regular crime);

I have to ask, how is polluting not a "regular" crime?

http://www.mises.org/story/2120 An interesting discussion of air 
pollution, if you're interested.

It is a crime because there are victims. My carrying a bazooka does 
not create a victim, only my abuse of it would. But as I said above, 
anything can be abused. Might as well try to prohibit breathing.

> and even in the absence of any government 
> at all (like, say, the Anarchists of the Spanish Civil War), or in
> a traditional community, these problems and issues are important
> and must be dealt with.

It is my impression you have read none of the dissertations on 
voluntary, as opposed to coercive, interactions between people.

I can suggest http://www.mises.org/rothbard/newliberty.asp if you want 
the full-court treatment, or just http://www.mises.org/story/1855 
which is entitled, "But Wouldn't Warlords Take Over?"

> > The dollars donated by private Americans was in the $billions.
> The world appreciated this generosity; what I was referring to was
> the resistance to domestic welfare,

Again you err. There is as much resistance to the coercive transfer of 
money from the productive to the non-productive as there is from my 
wallet to that of the thief.

Unfortunately, the American media are overwhelmingly made up of people 
who believe that government intervention always has net-positive 
effects (except if the intervention is against freedom of the press). 
Thus when the abuses and harm of coercive "welfare" programs are 
pointed out, they make very loud noises about the detractors being 
selfish. It is no surprise to me that you have only heard the loud 
screaming, not the quiet objection.

> and its tying to certain 
> behaviour, i.e. tsunami victims are seen as blameless and worthy of
> assistance, whereas someone standing on a New York street corner
> with a paper cup is seen as the author of their own misfortune,
> without any consideration of whether they may have experienced
> poverty, racism, mental illness, social or family dysfunction, etc.

How well you read peoples minds. However, this article will 
demonstrate that your premise is entirely false:


I don't mind if you want to dismiss me as a hopeless romantic, 
anarcho-capitalist, an-archist, whatever. Just don't advocate the use 
of force against me when I have done you no harm. Please?

> That is what I mean by "apportioning blame".

And you could not be more wrong.


- -- 
September 11th, 2001
The proudest day for gun control and central 
planning advocates in American history

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