Free Movement vs. Muh’ Roads: A Libertarian Contradiction

I know that my feelings aren’t an argument, but I find that my consternation with the inconsistencies of other libertarians and anarchists is coming to rival my hatred for the state. Given that the former stems from the latter, the two could never reverse roles, but it’s still an awkward position to be in.

On one hand, I agree that taxation is theft given that there’s no capacity to consent to it. I agree that territorial monopolists of ultimate decision making are inherently less efficient at everything they monopolize than entrepreneurs who compete for market share.

On the other hand, I’m quickly losing tolerance for the idea that free movement can be universalized as a normative claim without coming into conflict with property norms and the non-aggression principle to which they give rise. It makes about as much sense as artificially inflating demand for welfare as a means to collapse the state. The people who create that demand won’t disappear when the present form of the state’s territorial monopoly does, nor will the people who are willing to supply that demand. What’s even worse still is the pacifistic attempt to neuter libertarianism and hang it by its own conclusions through a constant conflation of defensive force with the initiation of physical conflict.

If libertarians and anarchists are going to maintain that it’s not okay for the state to provide a service after monopolizing its production — like defense against invasion and forced inclusion, for example — they need to be able to universalize this normative claim without coming into contradiction with the property norms from which libertarianism springs forth.

For example, it is widely held among libertarians and anarchists that the state should not prohibit or restrict travel after monopolizing the means by which travel is facilitated. If it’s not okay for the state to prohibit travel absent the ideal standard of privatization, why is it okay for the state to prohibit the production of defense against invasion, forced inclusion, and attempts to use the state to facilitate further increases in the wrongful expropriation of previously appropriated resources absent the ideal standard of privatization?

There are a lot of libertarians and anarchists out there who are okay with the state prohibiting the latter but not the former. This is a double standard, and it’s logically inconsistent. If those who hold these positions concurrently wish to be logically consistent, they need to either explain how they aren’t contradicting themselves or they need to admit that they are wrong on at least one position.

I suspect they’ll choose to double down, but their Trotskyite / Saul Alinsky-esque tactics may have already reached the sell-by date.

Photo credits:(AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) A group of migrants walking on the road near Bezdan, Serbia, towards Croatia Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. Thousands of migrants poured into Croatia on Thursday, setting up a new path toward Western Europe after Hungary used tear gas and water cannons to keep them out of its territory.