A Better Analysis Of Libertarianism: "Why don't I kill you and take your stuff?"
As Camus said, the first problem of philosophy is why we do not commit suicide. But that is followed by the first problem of political philosophy, which is not “how do we best get along?” It is “Why don’t I kill you and take your stuff?” I opt for freedom by advocating the organized application of violence against those who would take my stuff. Violence is a virtue, and the source of the institution of property. Without that violence, there is no property, only slavery to those who have either violence or property. So, property does not insure freedom. Violence insures freedom. Violence is a virtue not a vice. Property is simply a more productive use of freedom, because it allows us to develop fixed capital at lower risk, which then increases production and profits, decreases prices.
Yet, once we consider that there are differences in ability between individuals, and therefore their differences in ability to create and obtain property in real time, the question remains: if we ask people to forgo the opportunity for theft, murder and plunder, how do we compensate them for their costs? All costs are opportunity costs. A man who is very powerful, or a group of weak people who by their numbers are powerful, is most free from constraints if they can rape, murder and plunder at will. Since they sacrifice this freedom in order to respect property, then what is their compensation for it?
If people form a group, organization or corporation for the purpose of plunder, why should others not form a group for the purpose of preventing plunder and creating property and a market for exchange? Is that not exactly the course of development of these organizations?
But once these defensive organizations are founded, and power is concentrated in them the bureaucracy forms, and corruption and predation upon the property of others replaces violence against their ‘person’, people, and things. We then attempt to regulate corruption, rather than replacing bureaucracy with market accountability. We replace violence against the barbarians with bribes so that they will respect our property: redistribution is payment for conformity to the standards property definitions of the organization which defends property.
Since all costs are opportunity costs, and there is a cost born by those who respect property, each person who respects property is therefore a shareholder in the market. One could say instead, that access to the market is paid for by the cost of forgoing opportunity to rape, murder, pillage, and plunder, thieve and fraud, deceive and lie. And that might be true. But the question is, whether access to the market is SUFFICIENT compensation for the ongoing cost of opportunity paid by respecting property. And whether this is quantifiable or not, people ACT as though it is insufficient, and they rebel against the constraints.
Radical individualism is a rational construct for epistemic purposes. But fundamentally, people ORGANIZE to achieve cooperative ends. Individualism is not enough of a solution to the problem of politics.
In effect, propertarianism is an upward redistribution of opportunity costs from the lower to the upper classes. Anarchism is an effort to avoid paying costs of creating organizations that create property and create the market. Anarcho capitalism is a research program that has demonstrated the failure of bureaucracy, and suggested private and competitive rather than public and monopolistic means of achieving group ends. But the question then, is who are the shareholders of this organization that is so costly to implement? The answer is all that forgo opportunities for coercion. And what is their return on their forgone opportunities?
I am a libertarian by epistemic method and a classical liberal by institutional method, and a conservative by social class and time preference. And I do not want to privatize the costs of others, and participate in corruption, by failing to compensate others for their forgone opportunities, from which I benefit. I simply want to stop corruption in the bureaucracy, and to privatize everything. I do not want to steal from others. Therefore redistribution of some sort is mandatory, because without redistribution, we cannot say that we respect property.
The problem then becomes how to make this process calculable. The answer is simple. Run the government like a business network. Make it an EMPIRICALLY CALCULABLE DECISION process rather than a RATIONAL AND RHETORICAL POLITICAL DEBATE process: “Loans Not Laws.” Laws are loosely calculable. Loans are narrowly calculable. Laws are rational. Loans are empirical. There is only one law, and that is property. Citizens are shareholders. And as shareholders they are due returns on their investment in opportunity costs.
This is the grownup version of libertarianism. Most of which has degenerated into a Rothbardian religion supported by Friedman’s monetary analysis.