Coercion is used in libertarian propaganda to brand things they don't like. Property and rights are fundamentally coercive; pretending that they are not coercive with the excuse "defensive force" is one of the great libertarian lies. We choose public government to perform our desired coercion, because people are too partial to their own interests to be trusted.
- Non-Aggression (17 links)
- The "non-aggression axiom" , also known as non-coercion, is one of the most widely repeated bits of libertarian propaganda. It simply means "we want to coerce you to live by our rules whether you like it or not." "Steal my candy bar? Then you must die!" It is an incoherent piece of rhetoric.
- Initiation of Force (4 links)
- Another deceptive libertarian shibboleth. All property and indeed all real rights are based on violence, coercion, initiation of force. Libertarians claim there is an invisible right to property which magically exempts property from being intrinsically violent. In other words, they deceptively hide the violence they like as a mystical, made-up "right".
- All Rights Are Coercive (6 links)
- All rights have correlative duties, and duties must be enforced by coercive means (either threat or actual force.) If I have a right, then everybody else has a duty to respect that right at some cost to themselves. Few will bear that cost for free unless they are coerced. When we are choosing which rights to create, we should create rights that have benefits greater than the costs of coerced duties.
- Property Is Coercive (17 links)
- Claims that government is coercive but capitalism and markets are not overlook the coercion involved in property.
- Capitalism Is Coercive (6 links)
- Libertarians pretend that there is no coercion in capitalism, but its foundation in private property is coercive and allows further coercion through economic power and Private Government.
- Coercion and Distribution in a Supposedly Non-Coercive State [More...]
- Property systems are coercive. Robert Hale points out in 1923: [T]he systems advocated by professed upholders of laissez-faire are in reality permeated with coercive restrictions of individual freedom and with restrictions, moreover, out of conformity with any formula of "equal opportunity" or of "preserving the equal rights of others." A difficult read.
- Come See the Violence Inherent in the System [More...]
- "The video is violent and repulsive, but only insofar as all property and contract enforcement is. The forceful removal of the passenger is not an extraordinary aberration from our civilized capitalist order. Rather, it is an example of the everyday violence (and threatened violence) that keeps that capitalist order running."
- Defense (1 link)
- Defense against predation both external and internal is a classic public good which libertarians have no real way of providing short of re-inventing government. Even Nozick thought private defense agencies would consolidate into a monopoly which would justifiably tax. Individualist plans for defense are fundamentally fantasy.
- Expropriation (6 links)
- Libertarians generally ignore or make excuses for the fact that essentially all property in land has been coercively expropriated (often repeatedly) from preceding peoples. Including acquisition from the commons. Any philosophy of just property in land must deal with this historical fact.
- Libertarians Are Huge Fans of Economic Coercion [More...]
- "Hale showed that all economic regimes rely upon economic coercion, laissez-faire ones just as much as socialist ones."
- Look at the Violence Inherent in the System! [More...]
- Libertarian Gene Callahan points out that private property is a social invention, which explains why some nations have "trespass" where others have "right to wander".
- No violence but personal violence [More...]
- "When I use the word violence in the context of discussing theories of property, I mean a specific thing by it: acting upon the bodies of others without their consent. This is as neutral a definition of “violence” as you will find. It is the definition of violence implied by the concept of self-ownership. It is the definition of violence implied by the concept of negative liberty, which is defined as freedom from external restraint."
- Society (3 links)
- Humans live in societies, and societies are inescapably political because humans have conflicting interests. All societies rely on coercion to enforce their rules. A libertarian society would be just as coercive (primarily about property) and political (enacting rules by force) as any democratic society, but libertarians don't usually seem to realize that: they often believe their rules are "natural". The difference is that libertarians don't want to allow any changes to their rules, no matter how unpopular they are.
- The big lie of libertarianism [More...]
- "The big lie libertarians make is that membership in the State and any collective mutual advantage insurance agreements it establishes is not voluntary, when everybody knows that there is a market in State memberships, and if one does not like to be a member of the UK for instance one can shop around and say purchase membership in the Monaco Principality."
- Violence, Property, Theft, and Entitlement [More...]
- Libertarians do not actually care about force or coercion, but instead have strange ideas about entitlement (and then are happy to use force or coercion to protect their entitlement.)
- Voluntary (6 links)
- Libertarians conflate many senses of the word voluntary (and consent) and exclude others to suit their ideological needs of the moment. To libertarians, being forced to live in a system of laissez faire capitalism is voluntary for everyone because you could die instead. All government is considered involuntary, even though you can exit. And paradoxically, all voluntary exchange is based on involuntary systems of rights (primarily enforced by government.) See also Voluntaryism and private charity (voluntarism).
- We libertarians are peaceful, statists are violent! (2 links)
- All social systems require violence and coercion if they have ANY types of rights, because ultimately All Rights Are Coercive. Libertarians often delude themselves that their rights are natural and do not require force, but if you ask them what happens when their rights are violated they start talking about "defensive force" which somehow they think is not violent. All property, all rights are ultimately held coercively.
Far from denouncing coercion, libertarians celebrate it -- provided that it is deployed for the benefit of the possessors of property.
Rob Hunter, "A Philosophy for the Propertied"
Until unemployment no longer holds out the prospect of death or dishonor every employment contract is made under duress.
Dale Carrico, "Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies"
Contra Locke, property is not made by mixing labor: it is made by mixing coercion.
Mike Huben, "Interview With Mike Huben, Creator Of Critiques Of Libertarianism"
This notion, that the preservation of freedom sometimes requires the restriction of freedom, may induce incomprehension or apoplexy in the libertarian—but it should not. After all, [minarchist] libertarians are themselves committed to such a thought in their basic justification for the state: the coercion of the state frees people from the “wild” coercion of lawless individuals.
Chris Bertram, "Let It Bleed: Libertarianism and the Workplace"
What’s amusing about libertarians and laissez-faire people (and the loose way certain economists talk) is that they will describe my choice to pay rent as non-coerced and voluntary while describing my choice to pay income taxes as coerced and involuntary. But there is no neutral construction of “coercion” that would ever support such a distinction. As Hale aptly demonstrates, coercion occurs when there are “background constraints on the universe of socially available choices from which an individual might ‘freely’ choose.”
Matt Bruenig, "Libertarians Are Huge Fans of Economic Coercion"
All ownership derives from occupation and violence. [...] That all rights derive from violence, all ownership from appropriation or robbery, we may freely admit to those who oppose ownership on considerations of natural law.
Ludwig von Mises, "Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis" Ch. 1, section 2.
Those who "abjure" violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf.
George Orwell, "Notes on Nationalism" May, 1945
[W]e have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.
George Orwell, "Review of Power: A New Social Analysis by Bertrand Russell"
[Libertarians] don't denounce what the state does, they just object to who's doing it. This is why the people most victimized by the state display the least interest in libertarianism. Those on the receiving end of coercion don't quibble over their coercers' credentials. If you can't pay or don't want to, you don't much care if your deprivation is called larceny or taxation or restitution or rent. If you like to control your own time, you distinguish employment from enslavement only in degree and duration.
Bob Black, "The Libertarian As Conservative"
Right and authorization to use coercion therefore mean one and the same thing.
Immanuel Kant, "The Metaphysics of Morals" pg. 26.
My goal, in the immediate stage, is to force libertarians to stop pretending that things like non-aggression, coercion, and force initiation do anything in the debate. They don't. Since the words get their meaning from an underlying theory of entitlement, the debate is always and anywhere about theories of entitlement. It is not about aggression or coercion or force. All arguments that turn upon those concepts are vacuous and question-begging. All of them.
Matt Bruenig, "Violently Destroying Liberty Is Important For Flourishing, Libertarian Argues"
... all legal systems, including libertarianism, coercively enforce rules that assign the “ownership” of all persons and all bits of the world. Every legal system throws a net of coercion over the entire society it covers, prohibiting by force any deviations from its definitions of rights. Inasmuch as there is just as much of the world to be parcelled out under each system’s set of property rules, and the rights governing all of this property are just as coercively enforced in all systems, there is no difference in the “amount” of coercion -- or, conversely, the amount of (negative) freedom -- under different legal systems, including libertarianism... So, strictly in terms of negative liberty -- freedom from physical coercion -- libertarianism has no edge over any other system
Jeffrey Friedman, "What's Wrong With Libertarianism"