Where Is the Line Between a Libertarian State and Anarchy?
This question is actually a response to a comment in Whiskey Sam’s On Civility where he said an inflammatory post title would be “Why Are Libertarians So Afraid to Admit They’re Anarchists?” I agree that would be an inflammatory post title, but the underlying question is actually a good one.
I’m sure Sam doesn’t believe that Thunderdome is the ideal libertarian state, and neither do I, but it seems to me that most of the libertarian comments I’ve seen on Ricochet are mostly about what libertarians are against.
Fred Cole is the libertarian member I’m most familiar with, although I know we have several others that are prominent, and they’re against some things I don’t necessarily wish to dispense with in toto (the War on Drugs, no-knock warrants) and some things I agree with them on doing away with (property taxes). Fred has plenty of thought-provoking and alarming examples of government overreach, but it seems to me that if you take libertarianism to an extreme, as people are like to do when arguing against a viewpoint, anarchy is the caricature that emerges.
To the libertarian members I ask: What level of government, if any, is acceptable from your viewpoint? What level of oversight would be best for organizations such as the FDA or SEC? Would you have a national police force such as the FBI? Could the government own land or levy income or property taxes?
If the government that rules best rules least, where is the least you would propose? And how do we reconcile that with the conservative who looks at the existence of the Department of Education and says “too much” but looks at the DEA and says “just right”?