Category Archives: libertarianism

Private Property Is Boss: It Decides Who Comes And Goes

Constitution, COVID-19, Healthcare, libertarianism, Private Property

“You are in violation of my f—— constitutional rights and my civil rights,” a man screamed when he was stopped from shopping at a Miami Beach Publix for not wearing a mask.

People really have no clue. Whatever laws we have that govern how private property must behave—these are not grounded in natural law. These originate in case law, or civil rights law—anything but natural law.

All these cases of Antifa-like anger and deadly violence over polite requests from private property to mask are a disgrace:

Last week, a woman, her adult son and husband were charged in the fatal shooting of a security guard who refused to let her daughter enter a Flint, Michigan, Family Dollar because she wasn’t wearing a face mask.

AND:

Two McDonald’s employees were shot inside an Oklahoma City restaurant after the suspect became upset when she was told the dining room was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, police said.

Oklahoma City Police Department said the 32-year-old female customer, whose name has not been released, got into a physical altercation with employees Wednesday evening, left the store and returned with a handgun.

MORE:

Tensions Over Masks, Social Distancing Lead To Violent Altercations, Shooting Death, Pipe Bomb Threats.

Trust Republicans To Sabotage A Safe Return To Work

Business, COVID-19, Free Markets, Labor, Law, libertarianism, Private Property, Regulation, Republicans

“In the absence of clinical therapies or a vaccine for coronavirus, the successful return to work rests, very plainly, on the willingness of the citizenry to cover up, keep clean and keep a distance.” (“The Ethics of Social Distancing: A Libertarian Perspective.”)

If businesses want customers to resume consumption and workers to stay safe and productive on the job—they must, within reason, provide a safe working and shopping environment.

The market incentivizes business to protect customers and employees and thus to also reduce the spread of COVID. If business acts recklessly, customers will stay away. And if companies place workers in a precarious position, then the worker who gets sick on the job generally has recourse through litigation.

The free-market and the law—more so than government regulation—provide corrective mechanisms to ensure workers and customers are safe. Government regulations are generally agreements between industrial special interests and the state. Duly, they mostly benefit those interests alone.

By removing the incentives aforementioned,  so necessary in a society based on ordered liberty, the government sabotages a safe return to work, as it fails to allow corrective mechanisms to work.

Trust the Republicans, then, to strive to remove the incentives for business to fit the workplace for success in the age of coronavirus.

To hell with the desperate young worker, who toils in a crowded, unclean, meatpacking facility, currently a “serious vector for the pandemic.”

Or, the flight attendant who was told by the airline she’d be fired if she wore a mask. If they get sick on the job because their employers refused to set up and suit up for COVID—the worker will have no recourse, courtesy of the Republicans’ liability protection guarantees.

With half of all U.S. states forging ahead with strategies for easing restrictions on restaurants, retail and other businesses shuttered by the coronavirus crisis, business groups have been pushing for protection against COVID-19-related lawsuits …The Trump administration is also pushing for liability safeguards … [Reuters]

GOP lawmakers have warned that without additional protections they believe business owners will be too fearful of litigation to reopen.

McConnell, during an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, called the extra protections his “red line.”

“Let me make it perfectly clear, the Senate is not interested in passing a bill that does not have liability protection. … What I’m saying is we have a red line on liability. It won’t pass the Senate without it,” he added.

Stripped of baffle-gab, this means that Republicans wish to shield business from the consequences of reckless disregards for the safety of shoppers and workers. For the courts will examine cases on their merit, and throw them out if they are frivolous.

Fail to allow corrective mechanisms like litigation to work—and you’ll increase illness, death and poverty and spread more devastation.

* Thanks, Scott Olson | Getty Images, for fair use.

@ Unz Review.

UPDATED II (4/30): NEW COLUMN: The Ethics of Social Distancing: A Libertarian Perspective

Ethics, Healthcare, Individual Rights, libertarianism, Liberty, Logic, Paleolibertarianism, Republicans, WMD

NEW COLUMN IS “The Ethics of Social Distancing: A Libertarian Perspective.” It is currently on WND.COM and The Unz Review.

This column is an honest examination of some highly complex questions and issues, without resorting to the smug self-satisfied SIN OF ABSTRACTION: “I’m so ideologically pure, look at me.”

As I say, “If I appear to be struggling with the ethics of this emergency—it is because I am. I must. This is vexing stuff.”

But readers do not want an honest struggle and a multi-faceted, nuanced examination of the issues. They want dogma; their own. Actually, the objections one critical reader mouthed are simplistic Republican dogma, sounded by almost all creedal Republicans; BUT NOT necessarily by all libertarians.

When libertarians begin to sound like Republicans all the time, it’s time to “check your premises.”

In any event, here is a short excerpt. Follow the hyperlinks to the website of your choice:

I was running up the mountain the other day. A couple was walking down it. I quickly crossed over, so as not to expirate all over them. To my surprise, they thanked me profusely.

I’m healthy; they looked fit. Distancing may not have been necessary in this case. Yet, in this simple act of conscious distancing, in the epochal age of a terrifying, communicable disease—my neighbors and I had come closer than ever before. Fear gave way to fellow feeling.

Having lived in both the developed and underdeveloped world, I have always associated social distancing with civility and civilization.

Cultures that honor personal boundaries have always seemed better than cultures which don’t—more genteel, refined and respectful.

Ditto people who keep a respectful distance: They have more merit than those who get in your face.

Which is why the wish expressed by so many freedom-loving protesters to violate the personal space of others is vexing.

Which is why comments such as the following are anathema:

“Your ‘health’ does not supersede my right.”

“Give me liberty or give me COVID-19.”

“I am not required to descend into poverty for you.”

In the absence of clinical therapies or a vaccine for coronavirus, the successful return to work rests, very plainly, on the willingness of the citizenry to cover up, keep clean and keep a distance. Why would anyone wish to infringe on another’s personal space, when the stakes are clearly so high?

Insisting on unfettered freedom to come and go as one pleases, sans protection, comes at a grave cost to others—it could constitute aggression against innocent others.

By the same token, the shuttering of private property by the State is an incontrovertible violation of private property rights. …

... READ THE REST. NEW COLUMN, “The Ethics of Social Distancing: A Libertarian Perspective,” is currently on WND.COM and The Unz Review.

UPDATE I (4/24): Some responses to readers. These should give you some idea of the intellectual climate out there:

@der einzige

What do we have here? Pointless, filthy, foaming at the mouth, directed at a writer; foul cuss words and hysterics utterly unmoored from the text “addressed.”

This is what my impartial examination of a “vexing” situation from different angles did to you.

The advice of Humphrey Bogart, playing Rick Blaine in “Casablanca,” should be considered: “I never saw a dame yet that didn’t understand a good slap in the mouth …”

You (male or female) qualify. Settle down. Give yourself that slap in the mouth. I write a column. You stepped into its space. Step out. Bow out. You have nothing reasonable or well-reasoned to add. Never will.

But no, you would rather anything that causes YOU cognitive dissonance be removed.

@Weston Waroda

Glad you admit, at least, that you are “railing,” and that, what you wrote, to quote, “wasn’t so much disagreement with [me] anyway as [your] own personal anguish.”

The unfortunate state of “thought” on this thread is that it demands a certain dogma to cheer on.

To thinking libertarians, the pandemic presents dilemmas. To tinny ideologues it doesn’t. I’m not a tinny ideologue. Too easy, too dishonest.

I could offer up rah-rah dogma to those who feel anguish and anger. I won’t.

In addition, I am not “advocating” any position, as you asserted; I am explaining positions. Distortions of my text are of a piece with the hysterical tone that develops on the threads to my articles.

There has been no advocacy for tyranny here and there is no applause for the State; only an honest examination of some complex questions and issues, without resorting to the smug self-satisfied SIN OF ABSTRACTION: “I’m so ideologically pure, look at me.”

Actually, what the reader mouths is the simplistic Republican dogma, sounded by almost all creedal Republicans; BUT NOT necessarily by all libertarians.

See: https://apnews.com/cfcdd563167c5ba60aa0e9011f4446cd

When libertarians begin to sound like Republicans, it’s time to “check your premises.”

It’s odd that an honestly conflicted look at the COVID-19 issues from all sides elicits such outrage. Is this the “Closing of the American Mind,” or what?

I recommend hearing from this New Yorker, who is in the thick of it. Warning: nuanced, closely reasoned thinking:

https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/notablog/archives/002826.html
https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/notablog/archives/002814.html
https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/notablog/archives/002811.html

https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/notablog/archives/002800.html

https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/notablog/archives/002806.html

all the best,
ilana

@Exile

Thanks for the polite comment, in general, and this sharp observation, in particular:

The reason I as an ex-Objectivist still read Ilana Mercer is that she is one of the few libertarians who know [sic] the difference between anarchy and a functioning government that still prioritizes libertarian freedoms.

Your observation comports with my consistent attempts to avoid “that sin of abstraction.” Reality is the ultimate adjudicator of truth, in my thinking.

I presume, then, that you’ve read “Libertarian Anarchism’s Justice Problem” (2015):

http://www.ilanamercer.com/2015/04/libertarian-anarchisms-justice-problem/

Thanks for your thoughtful feedback.
ilana

• Replies: @Exile

 

Exile says:

@ILANA Mercer

That’s another good piece on the “is-ought” dilemma of libertarianism.

I like your citations above re: Republicans as well. The GOP has co-opted many libertarian concepts in the “tactical” fashion I mentioned to WW above, to the discredit of serious thinkers and the concepts themselves.

It’s in the common interest of all anti-establishment thinkers from libertarians to sincere Leftists to nationalist-populists to discredit and ultimately marginalize both major U.S. parties. The GOP is the lowest-hanging fruit. GOP delenda est, then on to the Democrats.

UPDATED II (4/30): If you dare honor the dead …

UPDATED II (4/17): NEW COLUMN: Coronavirus And Conspiracy: Don’t Be A ‘Covidiot’

Conspiracy, Government, Healthcare, libertarianism, Liberty, Political Philosophy, The State

NEW COLUMN (with YOUTUBE video) is “Coronavirus And Conspiracy: Don’t Be A ‘Covidiot.’” The column is on WND.COM and the Unz Review.

An excerpt:

Reality is bad enough; there is no need to explain the world using conjecture and fantasy. The facts suffice.

Government is bad enough. There is no need to explain it using conjecture and fantasy. The facts about it suffice.

In particular, imputing garden variety government evils to conspiracies is based on the following faulty premise: Government generally does what is good for us (NOT). So, whenever we think it is failing in a mission it fulfills so well (NOT), we should look beyond the facts for something more sinister (NOT).

As if The State’s natural quest for expanded power were not enough to explain the events! Why, for example, would you need to search for the “real reason” behind an unjust, unscrupulous war, unless you honestly believed government would never prosecute such a war? History belies this delusion. Even when government prosecutes a just war, it finds ways to turn it into an unjust war by prolonging it. After all, a protracted crisis demands more taxpayer funds. Cui bono? For whose benefit?

There’s no conspiracy here. The constituent elements of the bureaucratic behemoth that is government continuously work to increase their sphere of influence. Thus, grunts don’t benefit from war; the generals everybody reveres do. It is therefore but natural for the soldier’s superiors to pursue war for war’s sake. By virtue of its size, reach, and many usurpations, the U.S. government is a destructive and warring entity—no matter which of one the big government parties is at the helm.

Clearly, conspiracy thinking is not congruent with a view of government as fundamentally antagonistic to the welfare of the individual and civil society, a position held by a good number of libertarians and conservatives.

Some conspiracy claims are more consequential than others. Those pertaining to coronavirus are an example. Let us, then, briefly discuss coronavirus and conspiracy. Watch the YouTube corresponding to this section of the column here. …

READ THE REST. NEW COLUMN is “Coronavirus And Conspiracy: Don’t Be A ‘Covidiot.’” It’s on WND.COM and the Unz Review.

UPDATE I (4/17):

The great Chris Matthew Sciabarra, Ph.D, writes:

I always read my friend Ilana Mercer’s essays with great interest, and whether one agrees or disagrees with her on this or that issue, she never ceases to be thought-provoking, including in this current piece, “Coronavirus and Conspiracy: Don’t Be a ‘Covidiot‘”—which is timely for those among us who are always concerned about the growth of government power in times of crises. Check it out.

UPDATE II (4/18):