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Today: Sun, September 25 2016  -  Last modified: April, 26 2007
 Libertarian Theory
24 April 2016
Rights and Obligations - Part 2
by Neil Lock
 sub-topic» Minarchism

Among the general obligations and rights Iíve examined here, most are negative. Many of the negative obligations turn out to be particular cases of the Golden Rule: ďDonít do to others what they donít want done to them.Ē There is, therefore, a good case for putting this rule first and foremost. Most of the negative rights Iíve listed here, apart from the three expectations of obligations, rights and ethical equality, can be derived from this obligation.

Beyond the negatives, I uncovered four positive general obligations. One is a positive form of the Golden Rule, which in my formulation becomes ďTreat others at least as well as they treat you,Ē and which I see as the right to justice. The others are the restitution obligation, the parenthood obligation and the obligation to keep your contracts. Adding these to the negative Golden Rule gives, in my opinion, a decent candidate basis for a ďcommon law of humanity.Ē

23 April 2016
Rights and Obligations - Part 1
by Neil Lock
 sub-topic» Minarchism

This is the first essay in a planned series, in which I aim to put some flesh on the theory and practice behind a future world of voluntary societies and minimal government.

Today, Iím going to look at ethical obligations, human rights and the relationship between the two. Iíll look at many examples of proposed obligations and rights. Iíll try to classify each into General (humanity wide), Contractual (a fit subject for voluntary mutual agreements) and Misguided.

13 March 2015
Constraining the night-watchman State
by Nathan Goodman
 sub-topic» Minarchism

Beyond applying these constraints, I think we should consider something more radical: abolishing the Night-watchman state. As David Friedman argues, it is possible for private institutions to provide security and law instead of the state. Not only is it possible, but my SFL colleague Jason Byas argues that abolishing the stateís criminal justice system is a moral imperative following libertarian ethics. Abolishing the stateís monopoly on law would be beneficial for much the same reason that competitive federalism would; it would enable ease of exit and thus allow competition to improve the quality of security and law that is provided. Under competitive federalism, exiting a jurisdiction is still a somewhat costly move. Within a market anarchist legal order however, those who provide security, defense, and arbitration services operate within a competitive market, with all the beneficial incentives that entails.

28 January 2015
My disquiet at obligation to others without liberty
by Neil Lock
 sub-topic» Minarchism

Though Iíve found a lot to disagree with in Davidís essay, I do recognize that libertarians and conservatives, radicals and traditionalists, are ultimately all in the same boat. Along, if Iím not hugely mistaken, with all other well meaning, honest and naturally productive people.

We all suffer the predations of a common enemy; the violent, dishonest, immoral, lying, thieving, meddling, out of date political state. And I think that to find and to know the areas in which we can agree, and to illuminate and make clear the areas where we disagree and the reasons why, are good things to be doing in the current phase of the struggle for human liberty.

28 May 2014
The Containment Conundrum
by Christopher Freiman
 sub-topic» Minarchism

Imagine that you wake up tomorrow to the minarchist society of your dreams. The state is limited to the police, the military, the courts, and a social minimum. Things are going wellóuntil even the limited sum of state power finds itself being captured. Suppose, say, police union lobbyists work to insert fine print into some otherwise mundane legislation to create a small penalty for the possession and distribution of certain ďcontrolled substancesĒ to increase revenue for their department.