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"Statist Libertarians"

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  • Russell Madden
    A new issue of Atlas Magazine is available. In Statist Libertarians, I consider the claim that anyone who supports the existence of the State in any form is
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 4, 2007
      A new issue of Atlas Magazine is available. In "Statist
      Libertarians," I consider the claim that anyone who supports the
      existence of the State in any form is little better than the worst
      dictators in history:

      http://www.russellmadden.com/Atlas_Magazine.html

      Russ Madden
      ----
      Buy my latest novel, DEATH IS EASY, at:
      http://www.lulu.com/content/173588
      My collection of nonfiction, FREEDOM, AS IF IT MATTERED, is at:
      http://www.lulu.com/content/339170
      Available in both electronic and print editions. Preview available.

      Articles, short stories, novel excerpts, and other items of interest to
      Objectivists, libertarians, and sf fans:
      http://www.russellmadden.com

      ATLAS Magazine: Objective Reality, Reason, Individualism, Capitalism:
      Freedom As If It Mattered:
      http://www.russellmadden.com/Atlas_Magazine.html
    • Space Patroller Laser
      Such persons who make that claim can be easily refuted and embarrassed, which is good too, by simply saying Well, I certainly can t argue with such a strong
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 5, 2007
        Such persons who make that claim can be easily refuted and embarrassed, which is good too, by simply saying "Well, I certainly can't argue with such a strong ad hominem violation of logic, so I will take you at your word and not bother, besides which, it doesn't merit anything other than to be ignored by perosns with an IQ above 48"

        To attempt to engage in rational dialog with such a person is, like resistance, futile. They've already played their ace by trying to frame the debate in emotional terms rather than reason. So, as Ayn Rand said "take them at their word'

        >From: Russell Madden <rdmadden2@...>
        >Date: 2007/01/04 Thu PM 04:44:40 CST
        >To: Russell Madden <rdmadden@...>
        >Subject: [Starship_Forum] "Statist Libertarians"

        >
        >A new issue of Atlas Magazine is available. In "Statist
        >Libertarians," I consider the claim that anyone who supports the
        >existence of the State in any form is little better than the worst
        >dictators in history:
        >
        >http://www.russellmadden.com/Atlas_Magazine.html
        >
        >Russ Madden
        >----
        >Buy my latest novel, DEATH IS EASY, at:
        >http://www.lulu.com/content/173588
        >My collection of nonfiction, FREEDOM, AS IF IT MATTERED, is at:
        >http://www.lulu.com/content/339170
        >Available in both electronic and print editions. Preview available.
        >
        >Articles, short stories, novel excerpts, and other items of interest to
        >Objectivists, libertarians, and sf fans:
        >http://www.russellmadden.com
        >
        >ATLAS Magazine: Objective Reality, Reason, Individualism, Capitalism:
        >Freedom As If It Mattered:
        >http://www.russellmadden.com/Atlas_Magazine.html
        >
        >


        Space Patroller Laser

        Live the Continuing Adventure at...

        http://www.SpacePatrol.us/dpage0.html

        Where Pluto is STILL a planet!
      • Technotranscendence
        Russell does not tell why such a government would have the right to prevent any competition (i.e., other legal authorities) or how, once having the right to
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 5, 2007
          Russell does not tell why such a government would have the right to prevent any competition (i.e., other legal authorities) or how, once having the right to prevent such competition would remain libertarian.  Some would argue that merely having a legal monopoly on force already violates rights -- already is anti-libertarian.  Others would argue that once such a monopoly exists, there would be little to restrain it from abusing its power.  (I actually hold both these positions.*)
           
          Also, to be against government as such, on libertarian grounds, one need not deny that government might exist without taxation.  One might hold either the position that government, as such, violates rights -- because there's no right to monopoly in this area** -- or one might hold the practical position that any government is much more likely to become statist (or rights violating) than a society without government.
           
          Nor need one hold the position that every last supporter of government is the moral or even the political equivalent of Stalin or Hitler.
           
          Russell also seems to think that no anarchist has ever considered the, IMHO rather flimsy, arguments of Rand on government.
           
          Regarding Space Patroller Laser, he or she should consider that just because some ad hominem arguments have been presented for a position doesn't mean that position is invalid.  To be truly objective would require consider the position aside from its supporters and any false arguments they make.  I hope Laser has that ability -- to separate the message from the messenger.
           
          Later!
           
          Dan
           
           
          **  I'm sure Russell would agree that taxation does not exhaust the field of rights violations.  By what right does anyone or any group have the right to impose a legal monopoly of force on anyone?  Also, if Russell agrees with me on this, doesn't he see that his ideal government is no longer a monopoly -- and, therefore, no longer a government...  If Russell allows for secession, up to individuals being able to break away from his ideal government -- whether to form another government or to live without one -- then, as a practical matter, his ideal government is unable to enforce its monopoly, so isn't really a government at all.  (This leaves aside the matter, as pointed out above, whether one forms or allow any form of government in the first place, that such a government would actually remain limited.  The reason history is full of examples of governments -- granted, none are close to Rand's or Russell's ideal, but she and he still have to show how the ideal would differ here -- that break their limits.  It appears this is the case because once such monopolies exist, short of a general rebellion, there's little to stop their power from expanding, whether quickly or gradually.)
           
           
           
          Sent: Friday, January 05, 2007 7:37 AM
          Subject: Re: [Starship_Forum] "Statist Libertarians"

          Such persons who make that claim can be easily refuted and embarrassed, which is good too, by simply saying "Well, I certainly can't argue with such a strong ad hominem violation of logic, so I will take you at your word and not bother, besides which, it doesn't merit anything other than to be ignored by perosns with an IQ above 48"

          To attempt to engage in rational dialog with such a person is, like resistance, futile. They've already played their ace by trying to frame the debate in emotional terms rather than reason. So, as Ayn Rand said "take them at their word'

          >From: Russell Madden <rdmadden2@yahoo. com>
          >Date: 2007/01/04 Thu PM 04:44:40 CST
          >To: Russell Madden <rdmadden@earthlink. net>
          >Subject: [Starship_Forum] "Statist Libertarians"

          >
          >A new issue of Atlas Magazine is available. In "Statist
          >Libertarians, " I consider the claim that anyone who supports the
          >existence of the State in any form is little better than the worst
          >dictators in history:
          >
          >http://www.russellm adden.com/ Atlas_Magazine. html
          >
          >Russ Madden
          >----
          >Buy my latest novel, DEATH IS EASY, at:
          >http://www.lulu. com/content/ 173588
          >My collection of nonfiction, FREEDOM, AS IF IT MATTERED, is at:
          >http://www.lulu. com/content/ 339170
          >Available in both electronic and print editions. Preview available.
          >
          >Articles, short stories, novel excerpts, and other items of interest to
          >Objectivists, libertarians, and sf fans:
          >http://www.russellm adden.com
          >
          >ATLAS Magazine: Objective Reality, Reason, Individualism, Capitalism:
          >Freedom As If It Mattered:
          >http://www.russellm adden.com/ Atlas_Magazine. html

          .

        • Dennis L. May
          Dan Ust wrote: Some would argue that merely having a legal monopoly on force already violates rights -- already is anti-libertarian. Others would argue that
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 5, 2007
            Dan Ust wrote:

            "Some would argue that merely having a legal monopoly on force already
            violates rights -- already is anti-libertarian. Others would argue
            that once such a monopoly exists, there would be little to restrain it
            from abusing its power."

            Peikoff holds the view [Rand would not elaborate] that the state could
            and should prevent individuals from possessing many kinds of firearms
            [his view describes bannning things approximating a level prior to the
            American War Between the States]. Thus there is no chance of the
            individual or any group short of total civil war from resisting the
            power of the state once established. This follows the example of
            Fascism, Communism, and hardcore Socialist nanny states - ban
            individual weapons to maintain total control.

            Dennis May
          • Space Patroller Laser
            Now THIS is what I m looking for. a good dixcussion The notion that the government has a legal monopoly on force is sociological more than philosophical. It
            Message 5 of 10 , Jan 5, 2007
              Now THIS is what I'm looking for. a good dixcussion

              The notion that the government has a "legal monopoly on force" is sociological more than philosophical. It is a product of liberalism.

              I have broken with mainstream Objectivism. Rand said that she was not convinced either way about the right of the State to ban individual ownership of weapons that kill and the purpose of which is to kill other humnas. This has to be weighed against the right to self-defense, which is implicit in the right to life, liberty and property. the Objectivist-libertarian publication Erto held that the right to own such arms as you can "keep and bear" was absolute and "Gun Owners Action League" or one scuh was headed by an Objiectivist (Gottlieb)

              First, Government, in an rational schema does not have the "monopoly on the use of force", it holds the monopoly on the *retaliatory" use of force.. As far as Peikoof is concerned, I might quite to him Geroge Mason "When a state seeks to disamr it's people that is the final line of tyranny". Anyone who's tiara is on strgaight can tell that there is a master-slave paradigm here. A Maister is to be obeyed and the Slave is not to resist. One of the biggest and best ways to enslave persons is to deprive them of the tools of resistance.

              this is what a lot of my so-called Conservative associates don't want to say: The purpose of the Second Amendment is spacifially to put the means of resistance in the hands of the individuals who make up, "the Poeple". As I put it "The guns that the second amendment gurantees the right to keep and bear are aimed specifically at the Federal Government".

              On the other hnnad, since the Constitution pertained to the Federal Government, the States were free to do otherwise and even the localities were permitted to ban firearms. The role of the Superem Court in adjuticating such cases hinges on whether a State that infringes upon it's own "right to keep and bear' clause is acting fraudulantly

              If what is said of Peikoff is true, it must be noted that the first thing tyrannical govnerments do is confiscate weapons. The act that precipitated the American War of Indepence was one such, The Soviets and Nazis did the same.

              This is why, amongst other reasons, and for Reason, I am a Randite and not an Objectivist.





              >From: "Dennis L. May" <determinism@...>
              >Date: 2007/01/05 Fri AM 07:39:45 CST
              >To: Starship_Forum@yahoogroups.com
              >Subject: [Starship_Forum] Re: "Statist Libertarians"

              >
              >Dan Ust wrote:
              >
              >"Some would argue that merely having a legal monopoly on force already
              >violates rights -- already is anti-libertarian. Others would argue
              >that once such a monopoly exists, there would be little to restrain it
              >from abusing its power."
              >
              >Peikoff holds the view [Rand would not elaborate] that the state could
              >and should prevent individuals from possessing many kinds of firearms
              >[his view describes bannning things approximating a level prior to the
              >American War Between the States]. Thus there is no chance of the
              >individual or any group short of total civil war from resisting the
              >power of the state once established. This follows the example of
              >Fascism, Communism, and hardcore Socialist nanny states - ban
              >individual weapons to maintain total control.
              >
              >Dennis May
              >
              >


              Space Patroller Laser

              Live the Continuing Adventure at...

              http://www.SpacePatrol.us/dpage0.html

              Where Pluto is STILL a planet!
            • Technotranscendence
              I don t recall Rand being for gun control. Peikoff s and others in the ARI crowd who are for gun control -- at whatever level, because I recall some of them
              Message 6 of 10 , Jan 6, 2007
                I don't recall Rand being for gun control.  Peikoff's and others in the ARI crowd who are for gun control -- at whatever level, because I recall some of them not being against guns per se, but being against so called military weaponry being privately owned -- are merely being inconsistent.  I don't believe gun control is inherent in the concept of minarchy or that to be a minarchist one must embrace gun control.
                 
                That said, however, once one has a government set up, minarchist or some flavor of statist, one already is a long way along the road to gun control.  Why?  Any government worthy of the label will likely be the strongest agency of coercion in its region, so will, at least, have the might to carry out such measures.  (Yes, it might have internal restraints and its society might not go for this, but it's one less obstacle for such a government.)
                 
                Regarding the "War Between the States," I think this, too, is a misnomer.  Yes, that war was not truly a civil war.  Civil wars are usually two or more groups warring for control of the same government.  The Confederates certainly weren't vying for control of the whole Union.
                 
                But "War Between the States" makes it seem like the various states were fighting each other.  They were not.  New York was not fighting North Carolina.  Instead, the truth is closer to North Carolina, teaming up with several other states was fighting against the federal government.
                 
                Instead, I feel "War of Southern Secession" or "War of Southern Independence" better because both strike closer to what was happening: some of the states were trying to break away from the Union.  The U.S. federal government -- and not the other states acting alone or together -- was their adversary in this conflict.
                 
                Also, what do you mean by "hardcore Socialist nanny states"?  I see the world mainly littered with welfare states -- many of which ban or severely limit private access to weapons.  This includes the various Western European states.  They (and their detractors) might prefer the label "socialist," but they're really just welfare states -- they still have stock markets and private ownership -- albeit regulated -- is still the norm in all of them.  Calling them socialist dilutes the meaning of the term.
                 
                Regards,
                 
                Dan
                 
                Sent: Friday, January 05, 2007 8:39 AM
                Subject: [Starship_Forum] Re: "Statist Libertarians"

                Dan Ust wrote:

                "Some would argue that merely having a legal monopoly on force already
                violates rights -- already is anti-libertarian. Others would argue
                that once such a monopoly exists, there would be little to restrain it
                from abusing its power."

                Peikoff holds the view [Rand would not elaborate] that the state could
                and should prevent individuals from possessing many kinds of firearms
                [his view describes bannning things approximating a level prior to the
                American War Between the States]. Thus there is no chance of the
                individual or any group short of total civil war from resisting the
                power of the state once established. This follows the example of
                Fascism, Communism, and hardcore Socialist nanny states - ban
                individual weapons to maintain total control.

                Dennis May

                .

              • Space Patroller Laser
                For much of what I say here I rely on David Brudnoy who did tons of work regarding gun control Spaceifically exempted from the Second Amendment by the Malitia
                Message 7 of 10 , Jan 6, 2007
                  For much of what I say here I rely on David Brudnoy who did tons of work regarding gun control

                  Spaceifically exempted from the Second Amendment by the Malitia Act to clarify this matter in the very late eighteenth century, were "crew serverd" weapons; cannon, mortars, howitzers, etc. the othe military weapons that apply here are Ordinance, hand grenades, RPG's and that sort of things. These were to be kept at the Armories as part of a "well-regulated militia"

                  As to the strength of the central government, the standing army was to be small enough to be the largest single coercive agency, but not large enough to stand against the combined power of several or all of the States.

                  In re The War between the States, the two belligerents were the United States of America (USA) and the Confederate States of America (CSA). I think the term applying to the States having at each other would be "the War Among the States". I've seen and done sci-fi scenarios where the states almost function independently and I proposed the "Altair-Alaska War"

                  Miss Rand said that she "...could be persuaded either way" on gun control. Certainly one wishes to keep weapons out of the hands of felons, habitual criminals the criminally insane and unsupervised minors.


                  >From: Technotranscendence <neptune@...>
                  >Date: 2007/01/06 Sat AM 10:13:46 CST
                  >To: Starship_Forum@yahoogroups.com
                  >Subject: Re: [Starship_Forum] Re: "Statist Libertarians"

                  >
                  >I don't recall Rand being for gun control.  Peikoff's and others in the ARI crowd who are for gun control -- at whatever level, because I recall some of them not being against guns per se, but being against so called military weaponry being privately owned -- are merely being inconsistent.  I don't believe gun control is inherent in the concept of minarchy or that to be a minarchist one must embrace gun control. That said, however, once one has a government set up, minarchist or some flavor of statist, one already is a long way along the road to gun control.  Why?  Any government worthy of the label will likely be the strongest agency of coercion in its region, so will, at least, have the might to carry out such measures.  (Yes, it might have internal restraints and its society might not go for this, but it's one less obstacle for such a government.) Regarding the "War Between the States," I think this, too, is a misnomer.  Yes, that war was not truly a civil war.  Civil wars are usually two or more groups warring for control of the same government.  The Confederates certainly weren't vying for control of the whole Union. But "War Between the States" makes it seem like the various states were fighting each other.  They were not.  New York was not fighting North Carolina.  Instead, the truth is closer to North Carolina, teaming up with several other states was fighting against the federal government. Instead, I feel "War of Southern Secession" or "War of Southern Independence" better because both strike closer to what was happening: some of the states were trying to break away from the Union.  The U.S. federal government -- and not the other states acting alone or together -- was their adversary in this conflict. Also, what do you mean by "hardcore Socialist nanny states"?  I see the world mainly littered with welfare states -- many of which ban or severely limit private access to weapons.  This includes the various Western European states.  They (and their detractors) might prefer the label "socialist," but they're really just welfare states -- they still have stock markets and private ownership -- albeit regulated -- is still the norm in all of them.  Calling them socialist dilutes the meaning of the term. Regards, Dan  From: Dennis L. May To: Starship_Forum@yahoogroups.com Sent: Friday, January 05, 2007 8:39 AM Subject: [Starship_Forum] Re: "Statist Libertarians"
                  >
                  >Dan Ust wrote:
                  >
                  >"Some would argue that merely having a legal monopoly on force already
                  >violates rights -- already is anti-libertarian. Others would argue
                  >that once such a monopoly exists, there would be little to restrain it
                  >from abusing its power."
                  >
                  >Peikoff holds the view [Rand would not elaborate] that the state could
                  >and should prevent individuals from possessing many kinds of firearms
                  >[his view describes bannning things approximating a level prior to the
                  >American War Between the States]. Thus there is no chance of the
                  >individual or any group short of total civil war from resisting the
                  >power of the state once established. This follows the example of
                  >Fascism, Communism, and hardcore Socialist nanny states - ban
                  >individual weapons to maintain total control.
                  >
                  >Dennis May .
                  >


                  Space Patroller Laser

                  Live the Continuing Adventure at...

                  http://www.SpacePatrol.us/dpage0.html

                  Where Pluto is STILL a planet!
                • Technotranscendence
                  Regarding keeping weapons out of the hands of dangerous people, therein lies the rub: How do you do that? Or better: Can you do that? So far, it seems far
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jan 6, 2007
                    Regarding keeping weapons out of the hands of dangerous people, therein lies the rub: How do you do that?  Or better:  Can you do that?  So far, it seems far better to allow the chance that some people who you'd rather not see with a weapon get one that to give the government the power to take away weapons at all.  Why?  Any limited ban tends to spread: it sets up the context in which more widespread bans come about.  (And any agency with the power to ban in a limited fashion likely has the power to ban in an unlimited fashion.  I call this the Zapata Effect after the 1952 movie "Viva Zapata!"  The basic point is he who has the power (weapons) eventually gets to make the rules.  The lesson is: don't give anyone or any group, no matter how regulated or how many promises he or they make, that kind of power.  Be ever distrustful of such power and suspicious of those who want it or propose it.)
                     
                    The problem with "crew served weapons" is that that changes over time and with technology or training.  Even some in your list are not truly crew served: RPGs, hand grenades.  Certainly, military small arms are mostly not crew served or could be used in a non-crew served fashion.  Also, why make such a distinction?  Surely. people ought to be able to defend themselves alone or in groups.  I can easily imagine a crew served self-defense situation: a riot.  (I'm not going to bring up self-defense against paramilitaries or against the government itself.  The latter case is perhaps the most important because if private individuals are limited in the weapons they may possess, then it'd be quite easy to send in the tanks when a given part of population decides it's had enough of government oppression.)
                     
                    Also, the distinction between military and non-military weapons is pretty arbitrary.  Limiting private individuals to the latter would -- unintentionally or not -- allow for the government to keep redefining the latter category in an ever more restrictive fashion.
                     
                    I'm also aware of the talk about keeping the military small.  That sounds good -- until a crisis comes up or a war.  It's obvious that in the American case, having a military at all led to ever more adventures and eventually to today's global empire.  Maybe the real problem is having a government at all.
                     
                    Regarding the "War Between the States" and "War Among the States," my point was that it wasn't between or among the states at all.  On one side was the Union/federal government; on the other the rebellion.  The rebellion did state out as individual states breaking away.  Yet these soon formed into a separate union, the CSA, that was fairly centralized -- especially given the rhetoric about States Rights.*  The Union side was NOT similarly composed of individual states that decided to band together.  Instead, the federal government never allowed most of those states to choose sides.  During the war, too, the federal government made sure to supress not only criticism of the war but also any further attempts at secession from the Union.  (West Virginia did secede, but that was a secession not from the Union but from the Confederacy -- or, more precisely, from one state in the Confederacy.)
                     
                    Dan
                     
                    *  Some have argued this was the downfall of the CSA: that it became exactly the thing it was fighting against.  Of course, it's hard to tell how history would've turned out had the CSA been more loose and perhaps adopted more defensive and decentralized strategies early on.  Mark Thornton recently talked about how he feels the South might have won the war.  Listen to his "The Economics of the Civil War," especially the last lecture, at:
                     
                     
                    Sent: Saturday, January 06, 2007 11:34 AM
                    Subject: Re: Re: [Starship_Forum] Re: "Statist Libertarians"

                    For much of what I say here I rely on David Brudnoy who did tons of work regarding gun control

                    Spaceifically exempted from the Second Amendment by the Malitia Act to clarify this matter in the very late eighteenth century, were "crew serverd" weapons; cannon, mortars, howitzers, etc. the othe military weapons that apply here are Ordinance, hand grenades, RPG's and that sort of things. These were to be kept at the Armories as part of a "well-regulated militia"

                    As to the strength of the central government, the standing army was to be small enough to be the largest single coercive agency, but not large enough to stand against the combined power of several or all of the States.

                    In re The War between the States, the two belligerents were the United States of America (USA) and the Confederate States of America (CSA). I think the term applying to the States having at each other would be "the War Among the States". I've seen and done sci-fi scenarios where the states almost function independently and I proposed the "Altair-Alaska War"

                    Miss Rand said that she "...could be persuaded either way" on gun control. Certainly one wishes to keep weapons out of the hands of felons, habitual criminals the criminally insane and unsupervised minors.

                    >From: Technotranscendence <neptune@superlink. net>
                    >Date: 2007/01/06 Sat AM 10:13:46 CST
                    >To: Starship_Forum@ yahoogroups. com
                    >Subject: Re: [Starship_Forum] Re: "Statist Libertarians"

                    >
                    >I don't recall Rand being for gun control.  Peikoff's and others in the ARI crowd who are for gun control -- at whatever level, because I recall some of them not being against guns per se, but being against so called military weaponry being privately owned -- are merely being inconsistent.  I don't believe gun control is inherent in the concept of minarchy or that to be a minarchist one must embrace gun control. That said, however, once one has a government set up, minarchist or some flavor of statist, one already is a long way along the road to gun control.  Why?  Any government worthy of the label will likely be the strongest agency of coercion in its region, so will, at least, have the might to carry out such measures.  (Yes, it might have internal restraints and its society might not go for this, but it's one less obstacle for such a government.)  Regarding the "War Between the States," I think this, too, is a misnomer.  Yes, that war was not truly a civil war.  Civil wars are usually two or more groups warring for control of the same government.  The Confederates certainly weren't vying for control of the whole Union. But "War Between the States" makes it seem like the various states were fighting each other.  They were not.  New York was not fighting North Carolina.  Instead, the truth is closer to North Carolina, teaming up with several other states was fighting against the federal government. Instead, I feel "War of Southern Secession" or "War of Southern Independence" better because both strike closer to what was happening: some of the states were trying to break away from the Union.  The U.S. federal government -- and not the other states acting alone or together -- was their adversary in this conflict. Also, what do you mean by "hardcore Socialist nanny states"?  I see the world mainly littered with welfare states -- many of which ban or severely limit private access to weapons.  This includes the various Western European states.  They (and their detractors) might prefer the label "socialist," but they're really just welfare states -- they still have stock markets and private ownership -- albeit regulated -- is still the norm in all of them.  Calling them socialist dilutes the meaning of the term. Regards,  Dan  From: Dennis L. May To: Starship_Forum@ yahoogroups. com Sent: Friday, January 05, 2007 8:39 AM Subject: [Starship_Forum] Re: "Statist Libertarians"
                    >
                    >Dan Ust wrote:
                    >
                    >"Some would argue that merely having a legal monopoly on force already
                    >violates rights -- already is anti-libertarian. Others would argue
                    >that once such a monopoly exists, there would be little to restrain it
                    >from abusing its power."
                    >
                    >Peikoff holds the view [Rand would not elaborate] that the state could
                    >and should prevent individuals from possessing many kinds of firearms
                    >[his view describes bannning things approximating a level prior to the
                    >American War Between the States]. Thus there is no chance of the
                    >individual or any group short of total civil war from resisting the
                    >power of the state once established. This follows the example of
                    >Fascism, Communism, and hardcore Socialist nanny states - ban
                    >individual weapons to maintain total control.
                    >
                    >Dennis May .
                    >

                    Space Patroller Laser

                    Live the Continuing Adventure at...

                    http://www.SpacePat rol.us/dpage0. html

                    Where Pluto is STILL a planet!

                    .

                  • Space Patroller Laser
                    Well, the arguments against not having a government are to be foind in 1991 Somalia, Present-day Iraq (Saddam was resposible for the deaths of 350,000 in 20
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jan 6, 2007
                      Well, the arguments against not having a government are to be foind in 1991 Somalia, Present-day Iraq (Saddam was resposible for the deaths of 350,000 in 20 years. The three years since his ouster has seen 750,000 deaths in 3-1/2 years, which puts it on track for over 1,000,000in 5 years, and the imminent rise of theocracy; which Iraq would you rather live in?) It's easy to talk the anarchist line. Aks the sruvivors of anarchy aka the war of all against each. What evolves out of that is the Taliban. That is a strong private group who promises order (Afghanistan has been a mess for the last 155 years since the British created that state to set up a buffer against the Russians). Look no further than the "Ghetto" to see that in action.

                      Also I specifically identified "dangerous and incompetent people" and "ordinance" and I also said that the private groups could have "crew-served weapons" and "ordinance", just not tote them around. The problem with ordinance is, in the contest of self-defense, If I toss a grenade a fleeing robber, I'm apt to take out a dozen innocent poersons. Furhter, these were not considered weapons that could be "kept and bourne". The brake against oprression put in by the founders was that the Federal Army would be small. Besides which, you would need to have the soldiery willing to attach their own people. The Shah of Iran and the folks who ttied the Russian coup of 1990 as well a Batista, Samoza and others found that to just not be the case.

                      Besides which If we had no military, what language would we be writing in now, if at all?

                      it seems to me that your premise is the "one molecule of arsenic will kill you". the "slippery slope" argument only goes so far before it descends into lunacy. the world just doensn't work that way. If you know how many "imminenent" US dictatorships I've seen in the last 40 years, you'd cry.

                      Also, what you are talking about is the misuse of government power and that was foreseen by the founders "the tree of liberty will be nourished by the blood of tyrants and patriots" As Ayn Rand put it; "...the road to fascism will not be a march but a tired lurch".

                      I cannot guarantee that the presense of a givernment will not lead to oprression, but I CAN guarantee that its absense WILL. Would it make any material difference to you if you died from a governemt bullet or a gang's stomping? or being burned at the stake for being an atheist or lynched by the KKK?



                      >From: Technotranscendence <neptune@...>
                      >Date: 2007/01/06 Sat AM 11:18:42 CST
                      >To: Starship_Forum@yahoogroups.com
                      >Subject: Re: Re: [Starship_Forum] Re: "Statist Libertarians"

                      >
                      >Regarding keeping weapons out of the hands of dangerous people, therein lies the rub: How do you do that? Or better: Can you do that? So far, it seems far better to allow the chance that some people who you'd rather not see with a weapon get one that to give the government the power to take away weapons at all. Why? Any limited ban tends to spread: it sets up the context in which more widespread bans come about. (And any agency with the power to ban in a limited fashion likely has the power to ban in an unlimited fashion. I call this the Zapata Effect after the 1952 movie "Viva Zapata!" The basic point is he who has the power (weapons) eventually gets to make the rules. The lesson is: don't give anyone or any group, no matter how regulated or how many promises he or they make, that kind of power. Be ever distrustful of such power and suspicious of those who want it or propose it.) The problem with "crew served weapons" is that that changes over time and with technology or training. Even some in your list are not truly crew served: RPGs, hand grenades. Certainly, military small arms are mostly not crew served or could be used in a non-crew served fashion. Also, why make such a distinction? Surely. people ought to be able to defend themselves alone or in groups. I can easily imagine a crew served self-defense situation: a riot. (I'm not going to bring up self-defense against paramilitaries or against the government itself. The latter case is perhaps the most important because if private individuals are limited in the weapons they may possess, then it'd be quite easy to send in the tanks when a given part of population decides it's had enough of government oppression.) Also, the distinction between military and non-military weapons is pretty arbitrary. Limiting private individuals to the latter would -- unintentionally or not -- allow for the government to keep redefining the latter category in an ever more restrictive fashion. I'm also aware of the talk about keeping the military small. That sounds good -- until a crisis comes up or a war. It's obvious that in the American case, having a military at all led to ever more adventures and eventually to today's global empire. Maybe the real problem is having a government at all. Regarding the "War Between the States" and "War Among the States," my point was that it wasn't between or among the states at all. On one side was the Union/federal government; on the other the rebellion. The rebellion did state out as individual states breaking away. Yet these soon formed into a separate union, the CSA, that was fairly centralized -- especially given the rhetoric about States Rights.* The Union side was NOT similarly composed of individual states that decided to band together. Instead, the federal government never allowed most of those states to choose sides. During the war, too, the federal government made sure to supress not only criticism of the war but also any further attempts at secession from the Union. (West Virginia did secede, but that was a secession not from the Union but from the Confederacy -- or, more precisely, from one state in the Confederacy.) Dan * Some have argued this was the downfall of the CSA: that it became exactly the thing it was fighting against. Of course, it's hard to tell how history would've turned out had the CSA been more loose and perhaps adopted more defensive and decentralized strategies early on. Mark Thornton recently talked about how he feels the South might have won the war. Listen to his "The Economics of the Civil War," especially the last lecture, at: http://www.mises.org/media.aspx?action=category&ID=71 From: Space Patroller Laser To: Starship_Forum@yahoogroups.com Sent: Saturday, January 06, 2007 11:34 AM Subject: Re: Re: [Starship_Forum] Re: "Statist Libertarians"
                      >
                      >For much of what I say here I rely on David Brudnoy who did tons of work regarding gun control
                      >
                      >Spaceifically exempted from the Second Amendment by the Malitia Act to clarify this matter in the very late eighteenth century, were "crew serverd" weapons; cannon, mortars, howitzers, etc. the othe military weapons that apply here are Ordinance, hand grenades, RPG's and that sort of things. These were to be kept at the Armories as part of a "well-regulated militia"
                      >
                      >As to the strength of the central government, the standing army was to be small enough to be the largest single coercive agency, but not large enough to stand against the combined power of several or all of the States.
                      >
                      >In re The War between the States, the two belligerents were the United States of America (USA) and the Confederate States of America (CSA). I think the term applying to the States having at each other would be "the War Among the States". I've seen and done sci-fi scenarios where the states almost function independently and I proposed the "Altair-Alaska War"
                      >
                      >Miss Rand said that she "...could be persuaded either way" on gun control. Certainly one wishes to keep weapons out of the hands of felons, habitual criminals the criminally insane and unsupervised minors.
                      >
                      >>From: Technotranscendence <neptune@...>
                      >>Date: 2007/01/06 Sat AM 10:13:46 CST
                      >>To: Starship_Forum@yahoogroups.com
                      >>Subject: Re: [Starship_Forum] Re: "Statist Libertarians"
                      >
                      >>
                      >>I don't recall Rand being for gun control. Peikoff's and others in the ARI crowd who are for gun control -- at whatever level, because I recall some of them not being against guns per se, but being against so called military weaponry being privately owned -- are merely being inconsistent. I don't believe gun control is inherent in the concept of minarchy or that to be a minarchist one must embrace gun control. That said, however, once one has a government set up, minarchist or some flavor of statist, one already is a long way along the road to gun control. Why? Any government worthy of the label will likely be the strongest agency of coercion in its region, so will, at least, have the might to carry out such measures. (Yes, it might have internal restraints and its society might not go for this, but it's one less obstacle for such a government.) Regarding the "War Between the States," I think this, too, is a misnomer. Yes, that war was not truly a civil war. Civil wars are usually two or more groups warring for control of the same government. The Confederates certainly weren't vying for control of the whole Union. But "War Between the States" makes it seem like the various states were fighting each other. They were not. New York was not fighting North Carolina. Instead, the truth is closer to North Carolina, teaming up with several other states was fighting against the federal government. Instead, I feel "War of Southern Secession" or "War of Southern Independence" better because both strike closer to what was happening: some of the states were trying to break away from the Union. The U.S. federal government -- and not the other states acting alone or together -- was their adversary in this conflict. Also, what do you mean by "hardcore Socialist nanny states"? I see the world mainly littered with welfare states -- many of which ban or severely limit private access to weapons. This includes the various Western European states. They (and their detractors) might prefer the label "socialist," but they're really just welfare states -- they still have stock markets and private ownership -- albeit regulated -- is still the norm in all of them. Calling them socialist dilutes the meaning of the term. Regards, Dan From: Dennis L. May To: Starship_Forum@yahoogroups.com Sent: Friday, January 05, 2007 8:39 AM Subject: [Starship_Forum] Re: "Statist Libertarians" <BR>> <BR>>Dan Ust wrote:<BR>><BR>>"Some would argue that merely having a legal monopoly on force already
                      >>violates rights -- already is anti-libertarian. Others would argue
                      >>that once such a monopoly exists, there would be little to restrain it
                      >>from abusing its power."
                      >>
                      >>Peikoff holds the view [Rand would not elaborate] that the state could
                      >>and should prevent individuals from possessing many kinds of firearms
                      >>[his view describes bannning things approximating a level prior to the
                      >>American War Between the States]. Thus there is no chance of the
                      >>individual or any group short of total civil war from resisting the
                      >>power of the state once established. This follows the example of
                      >>Fascism, Communism, and hardcore Socialist nanny states - ban
                      >>individual weapons to maintain total control.
                      >>
                      >>Dennis May .
                      >>
                      >
                      >Space Patroller Laser
                      >
                      >Live the Continuing Adventure at...
                      >
                      >http://www.SpacePatrol.us/dpage0.html
                      >
                      >Where Pluto is STILL a planet! .
                      >


                      Space Patroller Laser

                      Live the Continuing Adventure at...

                      http://www.SpacePatrol.us/dpage0.html

                      Where Pluto is STILL a planet!
                    • Technotranscendence
                      There are many things that can be said about your first sentence. One is that like governments, not all anarchies are equivalent. I.e., not all anarchist
                      Message 10 of 10 , Jan 6, 2007
                        There are many things that can be said about your first sentence.  One is that like governments, not all anarchies are equivalent.  I.e., not all anarchist societies are better than any given government society.  This is no different than asking you if you'd prefer to live under a minarchy where some violent criminal enters your home and shoots you dead or a welfare state where you live a long life even if you're taxed and regulated.  (This is turning your example on you.*:)
                         
                        Another is that Somalia does not seem to have been as bad as critics made it out to be.  It must be examined in context.  When it had a government, before 1991, conditions were bad and nearly uncivilized.  The collapse of the government there didn't seem to make things much different and some even claim they were better.  Certainly, I hope you won't make the claim that pre-1991 Somalia was a great place to live and the collapse of its oppressive government was a totally bad thing.
                         
                        And are the present conditions in Iraq caused because of lack of a government?  The US government now occupies vast parts of the country and it has a client state that controls some areas too.  It seems more like a civil war is going on and, to my knowledge, the various factions in this civil war don't appear to be trying to stop a government from forming.  Rather, each of them wants that government to be run their way if not by them.  Some of this is also an insurgency against US occupation.  You might equally argue that Vichy France or Soviet occupied Afghanistan were anarchies because insurgents were at work in those areas.  (If that qualifies as anarchy to you, then be prepared to multiply anarchies beyond most conceptual uses of the term.)
                         
                        Still another is that the responsible for many of these deaths is government actions in Iraq.  When the US government or one of the governments cooperating with it kill people, is that anarchy in action?  (Surely, it might be debatable, too, whether the US and its allies left Iraq that the death rate would fall, but a good part of the current death toll is due to the occupation -- whether from government forces killing people or from insurgents and terrorists acting against the government or to terrorize people because they don't like the government.  This is not to excuse the latter or claim some moral equivalency, but just to point out that the latter are not acting in a vacuum.)
                         
                        Regarding Afghanistan and the "Ghetto," two points.  One, something of an Afghan kingdom or state existed before the first British interventions there.  The British merely tried to play kingmaker -- as Peter Hopkirk puts it in his _The Great Game_, a very readable account that covers 19th. century British interventions in the region.  Two, both these things are examples of government meddling and actions.  The Ghetto is not a natural outcome when there is no state; it's the outcome of state policies.  The Afghan mess is, likewise, not the lack of too little government, but of massive government intervention (by British, Russian, Soviet, Pakistani, and US governments) on an existing government (that of Afghanistan).  I suppose next you'll argue that the Nazi attack on the Soviet Union was because the Soviets allowed anarchy to flourish in the Western Ukraine.  :)
                         
                        Finally, I'm not sure the lessons of Iraq or Somalia apply to all societies at all times.  It would seem, at least with Iraq, the problem lies in having a antagonistically divided society that doesn't have the experience with living in a low violence culture.  That type of society would likely not do well, government or not.  Why?  People likely to run a government are likely to think along the lines of using violence to get their way as their first option.  (So what should be done?  I don't have a clue, but I think probably the best thing, given the circumstances, would be to just break up the society.  Each little group would then have one less reason to use violence.  It's unlikely that minarchy will solve the problem here either.  Why?  None of these groups are likely to respect a minarchist government.  Heck, they probably, given that they're all statists, see minarchy as anathema and try to overthrow it before the first election.)
                         
                        I don't disagree about the problems of tossing a grenade or using strategic bombing.  However, governments can and do use such things.  Yes, sometimes they won't, but for every instance you find where they don't, I bet I can find as many or more where they do.  For instance, China used troops against civilians in the Tiananmen Square Massacre.  In Waco, Texas, the US government likewise used military weapons to massacre the Davidians.  And so forth.
                         
                        As I pointed out, too, keeping the federal army small has not happened.  It'd be nice if it did happen, but it hasn't, so you're left with a large federal army and mostly unarmed civilians.  In the end, it appears only tradition (one of civilian control and of respect for freedom) and perhaps internal mistrust (between parts of the federal government and between the officers and enlisted men) has kept any sort of praetorian revolution in America.  The traditions are eroding fast, however, and given that US troops not only have recently been used internally but are starting to be stationed all over the place might make most people complacent and accommodating.  (This is a speculation on my part, but I don't think that the federal military will grow much smaller or less powerful in coming years.  Whether it's against used against US civilians remains to be seen.)
                         
                        Your comments about having no military -- I'll assume you mean no government military -- highlight some problems with your view.  How would a US government without a military mean that Americans would speak another language or not be able to write?  Did America, which started out as one of the most literate nations on the planet, really learn English and how to read and write from its military?  Were their divisions of commando teachers in Colonial Times?  Or did they come in after 1776?  :)
                         
                        Also, without a military, the US federal government would've likely remained small and not violated many rights.  Certainly, it wouldn't have gotten involved in naval actions against France or in a war against the British in 1812.  (It's notable that one big American success during the war of 1812 was privateers -- private person allowed to prey on British shipping.  US naval victories were not to be seen, but the privateers did quite handsomely against British shipping** -- showing, perhaps, the superiority of a free market approach to war over a government approach.)  So?  What would've been the outcome here?  No wars with two major European powers and their attendant loss of American blood and treasure.  Moving ahead a century, the US federal government wouldn't have gotten involved in WW1 and that war might have ended with a better settlement without the disastrous treaties and the rise of Bolshevism, Fascism, and Nazism.  The entire 20th century might have been one of American commercialism without American imperialism.  Seems like a good outcome to me.
                         
                        But let's say the Germans, Soviets, or Japanese -- or pick your favorite bogeymen -- decided to invade anyway, despite America being uninvolved in global politics.  What would be the outcome if we had an anarchist libertarian society or at least a libertarian society where weapons ownership was not limited?  Well, why wouldn't private individuals and private militias be a deterrent to such invaders?  The invaders would have to worry not about a centralized enemy or capturing the capitol, but a highly decentralized enemy with no capitol to be captured.  Capturing Boston would not mean that the people around Boston wouldn't snipe or attack the invading army.  Each town and hamlet would present obstacles.  The invaders would have to expend huge resources just maintaining their beachhead much less expanding it.  They wouldn't be able to negotiate with a Vichy-style regime, since there'd be no guarantee a basically anarchist nation would obey any such authority.  Would be Quislings would likely have no power outside of the invaders armed camps.  Such invaders might think twice about invading and select targets that already had governments in place, especially ones with governments that disarmed their citizens.
                         
                        Regarding the slippery slope, rest assured, I don't think that because there's one that every case will slip to the worst case.  My point is merely that under the better forms of anarchy, one would be more toward the better part of the slope and there'd be more obstacles to power increasing.  That the US hasn't yet slipped to dictatorship doesn't mean things are okay or they're getting better.  (Of course, I'm reminded of Dickens' phrase "it was the best of times and the worst of times."  Perhaps it's always both and can go either way.)
                         
                        On your other comments, while it might not matter by whom one is violently (and wrongly) killed, the point is what's more likely.  To my knowledge, gangland killings, burnings at the stake, and KKK lynchings all took place under government -- often with government complicity.  Heck, in some cases, it was the government -- as in many a stake-burning -- or government agents -- as in many police belonging to the Klan -- carrying out the actions.  If these are your examples of anarchy, I wonder what qualifies as government action?  There are plenty of examples of stateless societies that have lower crime, especially lower murder, rates.  The American Old West, though not a perfect example of anarchism, seems to have had a much lower crime rate and a murder comparable to the better parts of the US today (in other words, a lot fucking lower than in US cities and incredibly fucking lower than in Westerns:).
                         
                        Regards,
                         
                        Dan
                         
                        *  We could take this further: would you prefer to be shot dead in your ideal society or live a long life in, say, Somalia?
                         
                        **  Look at some numbers on privateering at:
                         
                         
                        and see also Larry Sechrest's work on the subject.  He has a web page at:
                         
                         
                        Sent: Saturday, January 06, 2007 2:00 PM
                        Subject: Re: Re: Re: [Starship_Forum] Re: "Statist Libertarians"

                        Well, the arguments against not having a government are to be foind in 1991 Somalia, Present-day Iraq (Saddam was resposible for the deaths of 350,000 in 20 years. The three years since his ouster has seen 750,000 deaths in 3-1/2 years, which puts it on track for over 1,000,000in 5 years, and the imminent rise of theocracy; which Iraq would you rather live in?) It's easy to talk the anarchist line. Aks the sruvivors of anarchy aka the war of all against each. What evolves out of that is the Taliban. That is a strong private group who promises order (Afghanistan has been a mess for the last 155 years since the British created that state to set up a buffer against the Russians). Look no further than the "Ghetto" to see that in action.

                        Also I specifically identified "dangerous and incompetent people" and "ordinance" and I also said that the private groups could have "crew-served weapons" and "ordinance", just not tote them around. The problem with ordinance is, in the contest of self-defense, If I toss a grenade a fleeing robber, I'm apt to take out a dozen innocent poersons. Furhter, these were not considered weapons that could be "kept and bourne". The brake against oprression put in by the founders was that the Federal Army would be small. Besides which, you would need to have the soldiery willing to attach their own people. The Shah of Iran and the folks who ttied the Russian coup of 1990 as well a Batista, Samoza and others found that to just not be the case.

                        Besides which If we had no military, what language would we be writing in now, if at all?

                        it seems to me that your premise is the "one molecule of arsenic will kill you". the "slippery slope" argument only goes so far before it descends into lunacy. the world just doensn't work that way. If you know how many "imminenent" US dictatorships I've seen in the last 40 years, you'd cry.

                        Also, what you are talking about is the misuse of government power and that was foreseen by the founders "the tree of liberty will be nourished by the blood of tyrants and patriots" As Ayn Rand put it; "...the road to fascism will not be a march but a tired lurch".

                        I cannot guarantee that the presense of a givernment will not lead to oprression, but I CAN guarantee that its absense WILL. Would it make any material difference to you if you died from a governemt bullet or a gang's stomping? or being burned at the stake for being an atheist or lynched by the KKK?

                        >From: Technotranscendence <neptune@superlink. net>
                        >Date: 2007/01/06 Sat AM 11:18:42 CST
                        >To: Starship_Forum@ yahoogroups. com
                        >Subject: Re: Re: [Starship_Forum] Re: "Statist Libertarians"

                        >
                        >Regarding keeping weapons out of the hands of dangerous people, therein lies the rub: How do you do that? Or better: Can you do that? So far, it seems far better to allow the chance that some people who you'd rather not see with a weapon get one that to give the government the power to take away weapons at all. Why? Any limited ban tends to spread: it sets up the context in which more widespread bans come about. (And any agency with the power to ban in a limited fashion likely has the power to ban in an unlimited fashion. I call this the Zapata Effect after the 1952 movie "Viva Zapata!" The basic point is he who has the power (weapons) eventually gets to make the rules. The lesson is: don't give anyone or any group, no matter how regulated or how many promises he or they make, that kind of power. Be ever distrustful of such power and suspicious of those who want it or propose it.) The problem with "crew served weapons" is that that changes over time and with technology or training. Even some in your list are not truly crew served: RPGs, hand grenades. Certainly, military small arms are mostly not crew served or could be used in a non-crew served fashion. Also, why make such a distinction? Surely. people ought to be able to defend themselves alone or in groups. I can easily imagine a crew served self-defense situation: a riot. (I'm not going to bring up self-defense against paramilitaries or against the government itself. The latter case is perhaps the most important because if private individuals are limited in the weapons they may possess, then it'd be quite easy to send in the tanks when a given part of population decides it's had enough of government oppression.) Also, the distinction between military and non-military weapons is pretty arbitrary. Limiting private individuals to the latter would -- unintentionally or not -- allow for the government to keep redefining the latter category in an ever more restrictive fashion. I'm also aware of the talk about keeping the military small. That sounds good -- until a crisis comes up or a war. It's obvious that in the American case, having a military at all led to ever more adventures and eventually to today's global empire. Maybe the real problem is having a government at all. Regarding the "War Between the States" and "War Among the States," my point was that it wasn't between or among the states at all. On one side was the Union/federal government; on the other the rebellion. The rebellion did state out as individual states breaking away. Yet these soon formed into a separate union, the CSA, that was fairly centralized -- especially given the rhetoric about States Rights.* The Union side was NOT similarly composed of individual states that decided to band together. Instead, the federal government never allowed most of those states to choose sides. During the war, too, the federal government made sure to supress not only criticism of the war but also any further attempts at secession from the Union. (West Virginia did secede, but that was a secession not from the Union but from the Confederacy -- or, more precisely, from one state in the Confederacy. ) Dan * Some have argued this was the downfall of the CSA: that it became exactly the thing it was fighting against. Of course, it's hard to tell how history would've turned out had the CSA been more loose and perhaps adopted more defensive and decentralized strategies early on. Mark Thornton recently talked about how he feels the South might have won the war. Listen to his "The Economics of the Civil War," especially the last lecture, at: http://www.mises. org/media. aspx?action= category& ID=71 From: Space Patroller Laser To: Starship_Forum@ yahoogroups. com Sent: Saturday, January 06, 2007 11:34 AM Subject: Re: Re: [Starship_Forum] Re: "Statist Libertarians"
                        >
                        >For much of what I say here I rely on David Brudnoy who did tons of work regarding gun control
                        >
                        >Spaceifically exempted from the Second Amendment by the Malitia Act to clarify this matter in the very late eighteenth century, were "crew serverd" weapons; cannon, mortars, howitzers, etc. the othe military weapons that apply here are Ordinance, hand grenades, RPG's and that sort of things. These were to be kept at the Armories as part of a "well-regulated militia"
                        >
                        >As to the strength of the central government, the standing army was to be small enough to be the largest single coercive agency, but not large enough to stand against the combined power of several or all of the States.
                        >
                        >In re The War between the States, the two belligerents were the United States of America (USA) and the Confederate States of America (CSA). I think the term applying to the States having at each other would be "the War Among the States". I've seen and done sci-fi scenarios where the states almost function independently and I proposed the "Altair-Alaska War"
                        >
                        >Miss Rand said that she "...could be persuaded either way" on gun control. Certainly one wishes to keep weapons out of the hands of felons, habitual criminals the criminally insane and unsupervised minors.
                        >
                        >>From: Technotranscendence <neptune@superlink. net>
                        >>Date: 2007/01/06 Sat AM 10:13:46 CST
                        >>To: Starship_Forum@ yahoogroups. com
                        >>Subject: Re: [Starship_Forum] Re: "Statist Libertarians"
                        >
                        >>
                        >>I don't recall Rand being for gun control. Peikoff's and others in the ARI crowd who are for gun control -- at whatever level, because I recall some of them not being against guns per se, but being against so called military weaponry being privately owned -- are merely being inconsistent. I don't believe gun control is inherent in the concept of minarchy or that to be a minarchist one must embrace gun control. That said, however, once one has a government set up, minarchist or some flavor of statist, one already is a long way along the road to gun control. Why? Any government worthy of the label will likely be the strongest agency of coercion in its region, so will, at least, have the might to carry out such measures. (Yes, it might have internal restraints and its society might not go for this, but it's one less obstacle for such a government.) Regarding the "War Between the States," I think this, too, is a misnomer. Yes, that war was not truly a civil war. Civil wars are usually two or more groups warring for control of the same government. The Confederates certainly weren't vying for control of the whole Union. But "War Between the States" makes it seem like the various states were fighting each other. They were not. New York was not fighting North Carolina. Instead, the truth is closer to North Carolina, teaming up with several other states was fighting against the federal government. Instead, I feel "War of Southern Secession" or "War of Southern Independence" better because both strike closer to what was happening: some of the states were trying to break away from the Union. The U.S. federal government -- and not the other states acting alone or together -- was their adversary in this conflict. Also, what do you mean by "hardcore Socialist nanny states"? I see the world mainly littered with welfare states -- many of which ban or severely limit private access to weapons. This includes the various Western European states. They (and their detractors) might prefer the label "socialist," but they're really just welfare states -- they still have stock markets and private ownership -- albeit regulated -- is still the norm in all of them. Calling them socialist dilutes the meaning of the term. Regards, Dan

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