Comment: there's a great deal of

(See in situ)


there's a great deal of

there's a great deal of difference. even under identical conditions, the two came to a fundamentally different conclusion: one accepted the necessity of government and one did not.

that says nothing about how far the two basic approaches would produce difference conclusions in vastly different conditions of life that are entirely plausible.

rothbard did not start from property, he started from an arbitrary claim of self ownership in nature. no such postulate can have meaning, as ownership is a legal concept not a natural one. possession and control are natural concepts, and always fall to the stronger individual or group if there is a conflict in nature. nature grants no legal title to any ownership by right, only by force. right is an invention and makeshift to bring about peace where conflict exists. when the conflict is resolved, the resulting agreement of terms becomes the "rights" for a time of the parties.

i hope i never gave the impression that i adhere to any utilitarian system of ethics. i am a complete moral subjectivist and see that different individuals and groups can be in conflict while considering themselves to be acting entirely morally. i don't believe in any universally applicable measure of morality for all individuals, places and times. if there is one meal and two people, neither acts immorally to stake their claim and fight for it. social cooperation is premised on the utility to both parties in cooperating. absent that condition, there is no natural moral or rightful compulsion to act cooperatively.

nature is a world of conflict, and that conflict is merely sublimated in civilization and the legal and market order, and moved to an economic plane in which larger and larger groups of cooperating individuals compete for their own ends. the principle of competition is thus maintained, and individuals can seek their own ends on the basis of their own moral choices. whenever a group of sufficient size and power feel that their interests are not served by the system of cooperation, they resort to organized violence without moral qualm. the overall or universal social utility of some kind of action does not compel them.

culture, the context of one's birth and the conditions one is born into, have a great influence on what attitudes one adopts. how people cope with the challenges they're faced with to survive, prosper and pass their heritage on to the next generation are dealt with according to different cultural strategies in different times and places.

the only constant is that everyone is their own center of gravity with their own concentric circles of cares and priorities, loved ones and things, and the restraints they adhere to go only so far as serve those most basic interests.

if your children are starving and you steal to feed them, you may be acting illegally, but no one can convince you that you acted immorally, no matter who's rights you violated. of course, stealing, if tolerated, would destroy the fabric of the market order. no one can advocate theft as having social utility. but on the simplest level of right and wrong, it is impossible to condemn morally the person struggling to survive. morality and utility are entirely different.

if we adhere to a legal order and forgo violence to engage in peaceful trade, it isn't based on an abstract right, it is based on the utility of that course of action to the attainment of the ends we seek as individuals and as family units bound by an unconditional altruism.

feelings of love for the community or nation are weaker, and extend outward in concentric circles, and fade completely at some point. this love is based on a sense of relation and shared interests, of the need to cooperate to achieve the best outcome for all in the group.

few humans ever acts with the idea that there is a universal right or morality we must all adhere to, to all people, or all creatures. that is the realm of fantasy. it may exist and persist for some time among some radical religious or ideological sects. but it is in such conflict with the more permanent human nature that it does not become widespread or persist indefinitely, and requires a great religious commitment.