An Open Letter To The Peace Movement: Reply To A Friend’s Criticisms Continued

In my last blog post; I discussed some criticisms of Roderick T. Long’s, An Open Letter to the Peace Movement, by a non-anarchist or non-libertarian friend. This post continues that discussion. It contains responses to a part of my friend’s response not previously dealt with. The earlier comments will be given a second look in a future blog post. Once again; the Roderick T. Long text is in italics, and my friend’s comments are in bold.

Suppose I go to the polls and vote to maintain or increase income taxation, or gun control, or mandatory licensing, or compulsory education. Am I not calling upon the state to invade people’s lives and properties? To impose my will, by legalised force, on those who have done me no harm? To choose violence over persuasion? Am I acting like a peace activist, or am I acting like George Bush?

It looks like what a well organized society looks like instead of a garbage dump full of idiots looks like. I prefer to live in a society based on taxation and the provision of some collective services. Most people do. People also don’t like being ripped off by charlatans and have convinced the government to regulate business dealings and impose licensing standards for professionals. Maybe you’d like to go to a doctor who got his medical degree from a print shop with fancy scrolly lettering…but I want someone who went to Med School…and on from there. Why is it that the libertarian fantasy always looks like a subterfuge for scoundrels? Like an evasion of responsibility for doing harm by swindling people or running a scam?

Your first comment doesn’t really address Roderick T. Long’s point about “calling upon the state to invade people’s live and properties? To impose my will, by legalized force, on those who have done me no harm?” Unless your point is that such a thing is necessary for an organized society to exist. An assertion requiring evidence and proof. The fact that you or most people prefer a society based on taxation hardly renders it just. You also assume that collective services couldn’t be provided in a non-governmental or non-state mutualistic fashion outlined by anarchist, Kevin Carson.

As for the points pertaining to the licensing of professionals. Who wouldn’t prefer a competent doctor who went to Med School to a charlatan? I certainly would prefer the Med School doctor. Quality can be assured through competitive accreditation associations with a vested interest in policing their members successfully. The state or government isn’t the only source of legitimacy or ensuring competence.

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Markets Not Capitalism
Organization Theory
Conscience of an Anarchist