donderdag 24 juni 2010

Vraag aan Gene Callahan

Callahan is een van de meer intrigerende bloggers die ik ken; overgestapt (zover ik weet) van libertarische anarchist tot meer communautaristisch geïnspireerd. Hier mijn vraag aan hem; als hij antwoordt; dan post ik het ook.
Maybe a similar set of questions (which could be a blogpost on it's own?) There is the natural law tradition in libertarianism; which 'proves' libertarianism from natural rights. Obviously - I think - you disagree with that interpretation. But even if you are a communitarian (If I can characterize you like that; given the numerical references to Oakeshott; that doesn't seem to be totally of the mark); then still libertarianism should have (I think) a certain attraction, depending on how you judge the validity of 'analytical anarchism'. To be more precise; I'm personally convinced by the idea that there is something of a 'natural law', that is a priori, but that doesn't mean the rigid interpretation and application (e.g. Murray Rothbard, who I think was a better economist than 'libertarian', in 'the ethics of liberty') has to be the only one. The possibility of an 'anarchist' society, i.e. without the presence of a 'universal' organization who has the supreme authority in lots of cases, regulates, controles a great deal of help to the poor and the sick, etc. is very attractive to me, even on non-strict libertarian grounds. E.g. Rasmussen & Den Uyl their vision of a meaningful life on 'libertarian' grounds is very attractive to me. I usually advocate a 'free society' in terms of something like that (think also of Nozick's book part 3: utopia, with all the different communities and 'their' vision of 'the good'.) Even if one thinks one can have positive obligation towards a political group or community, that doesn't (imo) entail the 'state' as such, i.e. an organization with very high opt out costs, that (sort of) monopolizes within a territory and organizes and regulates a lot of things. Even if one thinks that one can have positive obligations similar to taxes, assistance to the poor, etc. that doesn't entail a state as such. (I believe one can have 'forced' redistribution even without a state; just look at other societies where there isn't something like a (modern) state and which does enforce redistribution through the legal institutions of that society. I think of the Xeer (in the book 'the law of the somaliis' is this explained in detail.) This all sort of requires that one doesn't 'believe' in the Hobbesian fear, which, I admit, I do not. I think societies can function without an overal organization that has sort of the legal right to interfere with a lòt of things, that 'normal' citizens can not. In principle; I don't have that much quarrel with 'I take your x to serve the immediate need of this person here and now', but this is most obviously _not_ the case with the welfare state - something I think you will admit too? In short: one can have meaningful communities and positive obligations without the need to defend a state as it exist to day. To be fair; I really don't believe in something like a 'minimal state'; I think De Jasay (I think) is really spot on when he says that this requires an (powerful) organization to limit his own existence and that this is very difficult and requires a véry, véry strong ideological awareness with the people; something that is unachievable. I also believe that the ideal 'anarcho-capitalist society' from Rothbard will 'fail' for the same reason; it requires a very (very likely, imo) strong ideological awareness. I, however, believe that 'anarchy' is a real possibility and this will have comparative more libertarian tendencies than the status quo. (Basically: the 'somali-argument': Somalia isn't perfect but anarchist somalia is better than statist somalia; you probably know the work of Leesson and Powell too?) I'm also one of those people that sort of thinks that the state has parasitic tendencies; maybe not as only organization, but there is something strange (and imo bad) on how it works. One can have meaningful communities and societies without it and that alone should (imo) attract people towards this idea. A lot of things - maybe not all clear: I'm sorry for that - but I hope it can sort of intrigue you in answering in full. :) So; I'm sort of, I think, challenging to give a more detailed explanation of your (positive) vision (and maybe comment on my interpretation.)

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