Friday, May 12, 2006

Following the Lunatic Fringe

Perhaps I am blinded by bias, but every now and again, I think the loonies get it exactly right - in a way that even the most conservative (e.g., mainstream) among us must admit. In this case, I am referring to Lew Rockwell’s latest column in which the czar of Rothbardian anarcho-capitalism makes the case for a market in political rule. Granted, there are a whole bunch of people out there who consider Rockwell’s beliefs to be the extreme fringe of political thought (hence my devotion…); but, when the dude’s right, the dude’s right. In this piece, Rockwell cites the current abysmal polling numbers of Dubya and suggests a remedy for those who oppose the President:
So let's say that we put our politics on the market model. Everyone who is still nuts for Bush would be entitled to be so. They should not be belittled or dismissed or called crazy. They should be permitted to be ruled by him completely and without question.
But there must be a few conditions: his rule must not be allowed to impinge on the person or property of anyone who does not want to be ruled by him. Also, the Bushians must demonstrate a willingness to do more than talk the talk; they must also be willing to pay the bills.
As for the rest of us mainstreamers (no longer on the fringe!) who are against Bush, we should be free to completely ignore his desire to rule over his fans. Neither should we be on the hook to pay for his rule of others. We should be able to choose our preferred systems of governance, and they should be able to choose theirs.
It's this crazy system that forces us all to merge our preferences that causes such conflict. The market, on the other hand, permits us all to live peacefully together while holding radically different perspectives on just about everything under the sun.
Aha. Choice - what a novel concept. As Rockwell aptly points out:
If you don't like a particular kind of food, music, or fabric, the answer doesn't have to be banishment. You just don't need to consume it, and that's all.
The policy answer, of course, in the absence of anarchism (in the Spooner-sense as advocated by the Rothbard/Rockwell anarcho-capitalists), is secession. Indeed, only through a system of functionable self-determination are we actually free. Without the ability to opt out, we are, by definition, enslaved by the system and the whims of any majority that tends to support that system and the participants therein. Some tend to think that the state’s monopoly power on governance is a necessity and but-for its existence, Hobbesian-chaos would be the rule. I am not so sure.