Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A Confused Look at Libertarianism?

Gene Callahan writes:
Many libertarians like to point out that it is an alliance of "Bootleggers and Baptists" that drives legislation like Prohibition.

But that is just a two-legged and stool, and it won't stand without its third leg: libertarians! By presenting complete license as the only alternative to full prohibition, the libertarians serve to drive people into the camp of the bootleggers and the Baptists: if the only alternative to having prostitution publicly marketed to one's children is a complete ban, then a lot of people will opt for the ban.

We used to have more sensible options on the table: prostitution was permitted, but in a defined red-light district, and certainly couldn't be widely marketed. But we live today in an age of extremes.
First of all. government interventions are not in any way a stool, they are always hammers (If not machine guns).

Second, the libertarian perspective does not state that any act must be allowed on any property. It is about respect for private property, which can include the banning of prostitution on a property by its owner.

At least that's the view of libertarians who subscribe to a Private Property Society perspective. Maybe Callahan is thinking of libertarians who believe in some sort of over-ruling body based on "culture" etc.



  1. A lot of people only see things in black or white. You say legalize all drugs, they hear "give kids meth". They can't understand how reputations affect interactions in society in the absence of laws. Nor can they envision the myriad of independent ratings agencies that would spring to life without govt intervention.

    Ratings agencies which would give GMO food a lower rating by the way!

  2. "Maybe Callahan is thinking of libertarians who believe in some sort of over-ruling body based on "culture" etc."

    How would private courts fit into your vision of a PPS? Would they be setup as an "over-ruling body" on purely a contractual basis?

    If so, would they still be justified to seeking remedy for NAP violations from those outside the contract?