Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Your chance to take the stage. . .

Since I’m away for the day lecturing on Froebel (Google it if you’ve got any questions), here’s your opportunity to take the stage with whatever you want to talk about.

Something to get off your chest? Something you just have to say?  Then now’s your chance to take over the comment to talk about anything you want.  This time, nothing is off-topic.

So talk away about whatever you like. Even if it’s just to ask me what the hell I’m doing lecturing on a nineteenth-century German pedagogue.  :-)


  1. What a convenient time for this to be posted. I've just been having a discussion with friends, and have been asked questions I'm not sure I can answer.

    I'd love to get some opinions here.

    Given a true libertarian society, how would the following work:

    1) How do the police carry out "pre-emptive" police work, such as search warrants or other activities which may violate property rights?

    2) Does the right to sue extend to the police for damage of property or wrongful search/seizure - who pays if the police lose?

    3) If we DO have the right to sue the police, but we're too poor to do so, how do we obtain justice?

    I have a reasonable idea of how I'd answer these, but all answers seem to compromise at least one of my principles or another.

    What do you all think? Here's hoping this doesn't become yet another flame fest like the last few discussions on here...

  2. 1) Probable cause, like today, I'd assume.

    2) The Government pays.

    3) What do you mean by 'too poor to do so'? It wouldn't be a violation of principle to have the court appoint a lawyer to somebody who can't afford one - Justice is a legitimate function of Government.

    Check this out:

  3. Daniel, thanks for that. Your answers were the same as the ones we'd hammered out, though it still doesn't feel quite right. I can't put my finger on why though. I'll come back when I have. Any other thoughts in the meantime, feel free to add them! :)

  4. Relating to 2) According to Rothbard in "For a New Liberty" if a person is found innocent in a court of law after being arrested then the police and the judge should be tried for kidnapping.

  5. &Mexaguil; Which is so clearly absurd that it shows how unhinged Rothbard is on any issue other than economics--and even there you have to watch him.

  6. Daniel, well done - bang on the money.

    Greig - perhaps your issue lies with how the government could be held liable when it has no power to tax and when the award may exceed the reserves.

    At that point, a Libz PM might say, "A court has found that the New Freeland police were overzealous to the point of unjustly destroying property and not giving sufficient regard to the victim's other rights. The relevant police officers have been disciplined/ fired. The court's determination of the damages done exceeds the reserves we have to pay the victim and we thus call on all NFers to contribute an extra amount this year to see that the wrong is compensated for."

    Now of course, this would seem loony to the people who are always looking to get what they can out of government and see their fellow men as objects to loot. But for a Libz govt we're talking about a cultural sea change where the vast majority see their fellow men as traders and selfishly want their rights upheld. We'd want justice to be done, which means we'd want an individual suing the police to, if appropriate, win his case and for such an individual to be compensated for his loss (for one day, it might be us in his position).

    We'd also want justice to be done because such a system (where you might be asked to pay more for such a rare circumstance of in a time of war) is much better than the system we have now where we're forced to pay tax so we'd have to make our system work for the benefit of every innocent person.

  7. It's also worth remembering that the Government would only need to collect a fraction of what it does now. For instance using the calculator on the Libertarianz site says that only $1k out of a total of $11k taken from a person earning $50k a year goes to Defense and Law and Order.

  8. Andrew B - spot on... BUT. That's the issue where the discussion with said friend became rather pointless. He (a good chap though stronly left-leaning, who I have encouraged to post here, but he has yet to take me up on it) simply says "I don't believe that would happen", and I say "I believe it would". That's where my unease lies. Attempting to convince someone of the value of moving to a libertarian society is difficult when it comes down to that cultural sea change which is just theoretical.

  9. Daniel

    It's worse than that. The person earning $50k receives $39k after the govt has taken a large portion. Then everything that person purchases is marked up by further govt imposts (GST as well as contribution to other taxes like PAYE, FBT, product specific imposts etc. etc. etc.).

    In the end he gets less than what he works for AND he pays more for everything he buys.


    PS. and we have not mentioned the stealthy expropriations caused by inflation and fractional reserve banking yet....

  10. I was talking to a New Zealand guy on Tuesday night, who's back in Auckland for just 2 weeks and he said that he doesn't pay tax in Dubai. I thought he was bullshitting me but he assured me that he wasn't having me on. He said that there is zero tax over there. I raised a question with him of who pays for road constructions, healthcare services, education and he thinks that it comes from oil revenues.

  11. Greig,
    Surely the police would fine convicts?
    This would act as insurance, and provided the police get it right more often than not, they should never have a lack of funds for when they get it wrong? Or am I missing something obvious?

    Also, and this is just my initial thought, police should never act pro-actively. They will always re-act to evidence of a crime already comitted, which covers point 1.

    On point 3, if a judge does a standard damages ruling with each not guilty verdict, similar to ruling "with costs", then, taken together with my point above, nobody would need to sue the police.

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  13. PC

    It was good to finally see the nature of Greenpeace revealed on Greenpeace's blog by one of their writers. Liberty Scott had a great summary of what threats were made by the writer.

    The Greenpeace writer said:

    "The proper channels have failed. It's time for mass civil disobedience to cut off the financial oxygen from denial and skepticism.

    "If you're one of those who believe that this is not just necessary but also possible, speak to us. Let's talk about what that mass civil disobedience is going to look like.

    "If you're one of those who have spent their lives undermining progressive climate legislation, bankrolling junk science, fueling spurious debates around false solutions, and cattle-prodding democratically-elected governments into submission, then hear this:

    "We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work.

    "And we be many, but you be few."



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