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October 12, 2006


Barry Marshall

I am a libertarian, but in a different way. The post is really only thinking in terms of the cash-commodity economy.

So, perhaps this is the wrong question. If you asked, what would you like to do but currently can't because of econmic circumstances, etc., you might head in a different way.

For example, I want to do lots of different things and not be tied down to just one job. It would mean that I make a better contribution to society, but I can't do this because the overwhelming majority of jobs that I have official qualifications for are 9-5 and office-based.

Also, many things that are socially useful, such as caring for children or elderly people, are also very badly paid. Whereas I could get a lucrative job in the "defence" industry developing weapons to kill lots of people. Something which is pretty socially useless.


"We want liberty for others. We want free immigration and gay marriage because others benefit. In this sense, libertarians are altruists."

I disagree. Most libertarian bloggers are in favor of free immigration and I bet most people who read their blogs would consider themselves libertarian but most commenters are hostile to immigration. People obviously feel pretty strongly about the topic because immigration posts normally have more comments and the debate is usually more ill-natured.

I also think libertarians want to be able to carry concealed guns.


I think only #2 holds for right-libertarians.


#1 emerges from #2, so it should hold for all libertarians...

#3 is especially beloved of right-libertarians.

Bearing arms comes from the US libertarians mainly, but it is argued from a freedom point of view - who is to say I cannot carry a gun?

I fail to see how one can be a libertarian and oppose immigration, the other essence of libertarianism is that all people are of equal worth, you cannot deny opportunity to people based on country of origin. You can of course oppose people's views if they are incompatable with yours, so the fight against religious extremeism is fully compatable with libertarian principles (although the methods employed by governments are not).


"what currently illegal thing do you personally really want to be free to do?"

Eat for free and work for fun. (That's why I'm a *left*-libertarian.)

I realise that a certain amount of societal reorganisation would be required in order for this principle to be generalised. (That's why I'm a left-libertarian and not just a dropout.)

james higham

Chris, I'd really like to see your comment on DK's comment on your post.

Raw Carrot

Ok... but I'm yet to be persuaded that immigration is such a good thing... particularly in the present manner it is taking place...

Laurent GUERBY

As westerners we can go and settle nearly wherever we want, but this freedom is not shared by many. Immigration should be a real #1 for this very reason. In addition it allows one to choose his prefered social system amongst those available.


Q. What is the future of globalization where there is an increasingly greater disproportion between the movements of capital and goods and that of people? Nabil El Aid El Othmani Morocco

A. This disparity in the liberalization of capital and labor is a major problem. Enormous energy has been focused on facilitating the flows of investment and capital, while movements of labor remain highly restricted. This is so, even though the gains to global economic efficiency from liberalizing labor flows are an order of magnitude greater than the gains from liberalizing capital flows. Indeed, liberalizing movements of short term speculative capital has been associated with increased instability, but does not bring enhanced economic growth...

This disparity has large distributional consequences. Because capital can move easily, it threatens to leave a country if it is taxed, or if wages are not tamed, or worker benefits are not cut. The disparity in liberalization is one of the reasons for the growing inequality in incomes that have marked most countries around the world. It is one of the reasons that even when globalization has brought increases in GDP, it has led to the lowering of incomes of many workers.

There is a risk that unless globalization can be made more fair, so that there are more winners and fewer losers, there may well be a back lash. We should remember that globalization is not inevitable. ...


Ok... but I'm yet to be persuaded that immigration is such a good thing... particularly in the present manner it is taking place...

Mr Carrot- what is the particular way it is happening at present? Highly restricted and biased towards those with skills? I also have a problem with that.

It isn’t all that clear, but when you say a "good thing", I assume that you are considering only the rich recipient country. This is debatable I guess, but surely when considering the benefits to the immigrants and their families back home immigration is unambiguously good. Perhaps you are only concerned with your country, that's cool, but other libertarians are not, they see freedom of movement as a basic right that shouldn't be violated because some people don't like immigrants.




Expropriate the Royal Family. There are other illegal things I think I'd enjoy doing, but the pleasure of personally kicking them out...

Kevin Carson

Some of us on the free market Left believe that the main effects of state intervention in the economy are economic centralization, income polarization, and reduced bargaining power of labor. What I'd hope for from a free economy is jobs competing for workers instead of the other way around, and an end to ever greater shares of output going to profit and rent while real wages stagnate.


I've just been letting everything pass me by , but so it goes. I just don't have much to say these days. Pfft. I can't be bothered with anything. More or less nothing seems worth doing. I haven't gotten much done recently, but oh well.

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