Firsts are often memorable—and I got my first comment yesterday, on my post from March 8, on the Role of Government. I’m excited, because it’s a good comment and really making me think. I happen to know Brett, who made the comment, and am aware of his Libertarian viewpoint. He’s young and extremely bright, as well as what I describe as civilized. I’ve said in “The Political World Is Round” that we’d be better off if the debate were actually between conservative Republicans and Libertarians.
It’s like the debate during our founding between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. I tend to identify with Jefferson, among the Federalists (more often Jefferson than
), but the Anti-Federalists were often (maybe always) right in their concerns about granting any power to a central entity. We owe them the Bill of Rights. The Federalists had thought these basic rights were so well understood by the people that listing them in the document was unnecessary. But, however well the people understood them in the 1780s, it’s amazing how difficult they are for some people to understand today, even with them written out. Hamilton
So (I hope Brett doesn’t mind) I’m including Brett’s response below, which is enough hard thinking for one day. Tomorrow—assuming I am up to the challenge—I will respond. (If you want to read the post he’s responding to, it’s here.)
BRETT: If I have a right to tend to personal illnesses and do my best to maintain my personal health, then surely I have a right to bank together with my neighbors and if one of us is especially good at taking care of others then we can appoint him/her a doctor to protect us all of illness to his/her best ability. In that sense we have a right to defending our selves against not only human aggression of our life and property, but also bacterial and viral aggression. In what way is this different from getting together to appoint a sheriff for protection of property. Getting together with my neighbors to appointing an electrician or any other person to perform a service or provide a good.
In short, arising from a right to property is the right to contract.
If it is unjust for say 60% of the population to create a system of healthcare for all of the population, requiring all (or certain people based on ability) to pay for it since all will receive it. How is it just for a portion of the population to appoint a sheriff to defend property for all of the population and require all to pay since the service is being provided for all?
In short, if it is unjust to steal from others or to coerce them to pay for services they do not wish to receive or have not contracted for (Medical Care, Education, Municipal Waste Collection, etc.). Then is it not incumbent upon you to be consistent with military spending? For unless there is voluntary contract with ALL that is involved, force and coercion is used, which is something no person has a right to use against another. Only completely voluntary military spending is legitimate, otherwise, it too is a form of income redistribution.