I had the good fortune of speaking with Nick Coons, Libertarian from Arizona. He ran for Congress in 2010. He has a lot of interesting ideas that merit discussing. For many these concepts will seem extreme, but maybe that’s what it will take to get America back on track. I hope you will read the following with an open mind.
Our exchange began with my asking:
I like the anti-war idea, but how do you go about that?” It hasn’t stopped people from other countries from attacking us. Are you saying we should not defend America? I like the message and the idea but doubt its practicality.
Nick December 17 at 9:34am
I’m not sure what you mean by “it hasn’t stopped people from other countries from attacking us.” What I’m saying is that without taxation, there will be no war. I don’t think you can make an empirical conclusion about this yet, since we have always had taxes.
I’m not saying “America” should not be defended, because America does not exist in reality. There are people, there are buildings, there is dirt, etc. But “America” is just a concept in our minds. People and their property should most definitely be defended, and the best way to do that is to turn over defense to the market so that people can choose their own defense.
Socialism, as you know, is when the government controls the means of production in a given industry. We know that socialized medicine doesn’t work, because the government has a monopoly on providing health care and they have no competition. Additionally, payment of services is compulsory whether they’re used or not, whether they’re desired or not, etc. These are the reasons why socialism doesn’t work.
However, so many people believe in the merits of what is essentially a socialized military, a socialized police force, and a socialized court system. For the reason socialism provides sub-standard results in health care, education, or anything else, it also provides sub-standard results in defense and the protection of individual rights.
I understand and agree, especially with things like healthcare, but from man’s earliest times there has always been war…even before the concept of money. It sounds too much like survival of the fittest—which in nature is the only way—but for society it should be tempered. I think that’s what makes us human…humane. I think of myself as very conservative and cringe when I hear a pelosi, reid, or obama speak. The country has moved so far left that today’s centrist—as compared to our founders—would be an extreme liberal.
Being a pragmatist, I think extreme concepts—being far left or far right—fail to garner support. What I’m saying is; we can’t get there from here.
“but from mans earliest times there has always been war…even before the concept of money.”
That’s not true. There have been minor skirmishes between a very small handful of people, along the lines of gang fights. But war on a large-scale did not come around until the state and their taxes…the Greeks, the Romans, the British.
It’s not survival of the fittest—That’s what we have now to some degree. The idea is that the free market can provide EVERY service that consumers demand better than government.
This may seem like an extreme idea, and even one that won’t gain support. But keep in mind that slavery existed across the entire world throughout human history until very recently when people understood the morality of slavery and decided to abolish it. The pragmatist view might seem like the way to actually make change because the ideas are tempered and therefore more acceptable, but history shows the opposite effect. Those who believe in smaller government have been trying to limit the size of government in the U.S. since its beginning, but it’s been growing constantly without any slowing in sight. Clearly, the pragmatist method of trying to shrink the size of government through easily acceptable and widely supported ideas does not work, and there’s no reason to think that “all of a sudden” it’ll start working.
One point you alluded to was America is buildings, dirt, etc. I think America is a unique concept and is an example of what Gestalt meant with “the whole is other than the sum of its parts.” As a student of psychology I have learned that as population grows (as in rats in a confined space or people in cities) tension rises. And, as the case with rat studies, the population will begin to deminish—often with killing and lowered birth rates. I’m not sure man is capable of self constraint and open society. Without societal rules we become closer to animal than human. There is no utopia and balance lies somewhere in between.
“One point you alluded to was America is buildings, dirt, etc.”
Not really.. what I said was that these things (buildings, dirt, people, etc) exist in reality. America does not exist, it’s a concept. Concepts do not exist. You can’t bomb a concept, or shoot at it. You can shoot at people and buildings. These are what need to be protected.
I have no problem with societal rules. What I have a problem with is an elite group of people deciding what the rules are going to be for everyone, threatening us with violence if we don’t follow their arbitrary rules, and exempting themselves from them. This is the nature of government.
A free market, on the other hand, which is based on competition and voluntary association, is what actually solves problems and sets up rules that people follow because they find it in their best interest (and it efficiently deals with those who don’t follow the rules).
You can read more by clicking on Nick Coons for Congress