An-Cap Asymptote

It’s been said, that if you get three libertarians in the room, they will immediately begin determining who is the true libertarian. Unfortunately, we’re seeing this play out on the national stage within the Libertarian Party. Particularly between the anarcho-capitalist wing and the left-leaning pragmatist wing.

I have great sympathy for the an-caps. For those who do not live within the libertarian world, anarcho-capitalists base their worldview on the first principles of the non-aggression principle (no one should initiate violence on another, but may use violence in self-defense) and strong property rights. All exchanges and associations should be voluntary, which would inviolate the coercive force of a state.

It’s a great ideal, but an an-cap society will always be an asymptotic ideal. We can strive for it, and get as close as possible, but we will never actually achieve it. At least, not on a national scale. There might be some communities that could, but I doubt anything over a small town. Not in a country of 330 million people. Not with a two-hundred-year history of governments being perceived as neutral or even beneficial.

In the mean time, I think libertarians should strive for that ideal. Remove the coercive force of the state from our lives as much as possible and show people that the world will not come to an end if the state does not provide everything.

Friday Quote – H.L. Mencken

I believe that it is better to be free than to be not free, even when the former is dangerous and the latter safe. I believe that the finest qualities of man can flourish only in free air – that progress made under the shadow of the policeman’s club is false progress, and of no permanent value. I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave.

Police and The Punisher

A mildly disturbing trend over the past several years is for cops to decorate their equipment with some version of the Punisher logo. It probably filtered in from the troops using it. Here’s the problem. The Punisher murders people. We enjoy him because he only murders bad guys. Kinda like Dexter Morgan from Dexter. Except that show thrust the protagonist’s insanity to the forefront of the show, whereas the Punisher’s writers rarely deal with Frank’s issues.

Soldiers in a combat zone using the image of a character who straight up murders his opponents? I get that. For police to use it shows a dangerous mindset.

The writers for Punisher addressed the issue in a recent issue.

You boys need a role model? His name is Captain America, and he’d be happy to have you.

Reason Roundup

My browser is getting pretty full, and of course, a lot of those are links to articles from Reason. So, in the interest of closing browser tabs…

Irish democracy lives in New Zealand. Since the nation is pretty much an archipelago, I wonder how many “tragic boating accidents” gun owners have had down there.

From the Volokh Conspiracy comes an article about why we shouldn’t treat victims as policy experts. Both sides do it, and it’s just as wrong. Can victims become policy experts? Of course. However, using their stories to drive public policy is not a good idea. Laws named after victims are never good.

Clarence Thomas rarely speaks during SCOTUS sessions so he can bring his full force in written word. At least, that’s my head cannon. He’s disappointed me some over the last few years, but he’s still my favorite justice. Although Gorsich is quickly coming up fast.

Another good article on getting rid of qualified immunity. It’s a legal principle made up of whole cloth by judges to protect prosecutors and cops. Let the whole thing go over to the malpractice world, like most other professions.

Confessions Of a Former Climate Skeptic. A lot of folks I know think climate change is a hoax. Or if not a hoax, then it’s not as bad as the dire projections (some truth to that). I blame the activist scientists for that. The ones who immediately said that economies must be wrecked through invasive government schemes in the hopes that the Iron Law Of Bureaucracy can be subverted in this one instance. Unfortunately for both sides, climate change is real, but government cannot get us out of it. Human ingenuity and bringing people out of poverty are the keys.

Finally, we have a new law that stops the IRS from stealing money from people who have not broken the law. It’s like you need an actual crime to take people’s stuff.