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Silly Idea # 341,907,774

Floating cities: PayPal billionaire plans to build a whole new libertarian colony off the coast of San Francisco

  • Ocean state would have no welfare, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons
  • Platforms would house 270 people and hundreds could eventually join together

PayPal-founder Peter Thiel was so inspired by Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand’s novel about free-market capitalism – that he’s trying to make its title a reality.

The Silicon Valley billionaire has funnelled $1.25million to the Seasteading Institute, an organisation that aspires to launch a floating colony into international waters, freeing them and like-minded thinkers to live by libertarian ideals.

Mr Thiel recently told Details magazine: ‘The United States Constitution had things you could do at the beginning that you couldn’t do later. So the question is, can you go back to the beginning of things? How do you start over?’

Life on the ocean wave: A design for one of the floating cities which Peter Thiel wants to start constructing next year off the coast of San Francisco

Green land: An aerial view of the city, complete with landcaped gardens. Mr Thiel believes many of the islands could eventually be joined together

Design for living: This island even has a high-level helicopter pad. The cities would be constructed on oil-rig like terminals

The floating sovereign nations that Mr Thiel imagines would be built on oil-rig-like platforms anchored in areas free of regulation, laws, and moral conventions.

The Seasteading Institute says it will ‘give people the freedom to choose the government they want instead of being stuck with the government they get’.

Mr Theil, the venture capitalist who famously helped Facebook expand beyond the Harvard campus, called Seasteading an ‘open frontier for experimenting with new ideas for government’.

After making his first investment in the project in 2008, Mr Thiel said: ‘Decades from now, those looking back at the start of the century will understand that Seasteading was an obvious step towards encouraging the development of more efficient, practical public sector models around the world.

‘We’re at a fascinating juncture: the nature of government is about to change at a very fundamental level.’

Light city: Peter Thiel called the project, Seasteading, an ‘open a frontier for experimenting with new ideas for government’

Mr Thiel and his colleagues say their ocean state would have no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons.

Mr Thiel said: 'the nature of government is about to change at a very fundamental level'

Aiming to have tens of millions of residents by 2050, the Seasteading Institute says architectural plans for a prototype involve a movable, diesel-powered structure with room for 270 residents.

The long-term plan would be to have dozens and eventually hundreds of the platforms linked together.

Patri Friedman, a former Google engineer who is working on the project told Details that they hope to launch a flotilla of offices off the San Francisco coast next year.

‘Big ideas start as weird ideas,’ Mr Friedman said.

He predicted that full-time settlement will follow in about seven years.

But while some Ayn Rand acolytes may think the idea is brilliant, it’s not without its critics.

Margaret Crawford, an expert on urban planning and a professor of architecture at Berkeley, told Details: ‘it’s a silly idea without any urban-planning implications whatsoever.’

Big ideas: A close-up of how one of the islands could look. The billionaire founder of Paypal has invested $1.25million to create a floating island utopia

Mr Thiel told an audience at the Seasteading Institute Conference in 2009 that: ‘There are quite a lot of people who think it’s not possible.

‘That’s a good thing. We don’t need to really worry about those people very much, because since they don’t think it’s possible they won’t take us very seriously. And they will not actually try to stop us until it’s too late.’

I fully support founding such a colony. In fact, I’ll donate $100 for a (one way) ticket for Don Brash to migrate there.

I’ve suggested – on several occassions – that neo-liberals who want to live in a free-market, minimalist government, zero-tax, user-pays society have just such a country to migrate to: Somalia.

Somalia is perfect and meets their criteria in every respect.

Of course, as part of user-pays, they would have to pay for their own security; their own private police force. And why shouldn’t they? After all, why should other taxpayers pay for protection of someone elses’ property, in a User Pays nirvana?

Strangely enough, as far as I’m aware, no neo-lib has ever taken up my offer.

And stranger even still, neo-libs seem to prefer living in New Zealand; a country built on collective efforts by it’s citizens to build up every aspect of present day society; electricity sector, education, railways, health, roading, police, bridges, libraries, etc. Even telecommunications, airlines, and television started off as tax-payer funded services. All paid by our taxes.

Private enterprise was focused on providing citizens with supermarkets, clothing, shoes (once upon a time), and other consumer goods. It was a good balance.

“Mr Thiel and his colleagues say their ocean state would have no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons.”

No minimum wage? But… who would clean their toilets?

No building codes? On a free-standing oceanic city? Oh, I can see that working… not.

Few restrictions on weapons. I can see gun nuts loving that. Including gentlemen like Anders Behring Breivik, David Gray, Martin Bryant, et al.

Call me cynical, but I doubt if Peter Thiel’s  ‘Seasteading’ project will succeed. For one thing, human nature is involved – and as we all know, human nature can be a bugger of a thing to deal with.

Secondly, what happens if Thiel’s ‘island’ gets in trouble? Perhaps struck by a hurricane? Will the Seasteaders expect rescue from the international community? And will they be willing to PAY for assistance? (User pays, of course.)

The article further states,

“The Seasteading Institute says it will ‘give people the freedom to choose the government they want instead of being stuck with the government they get’.”

Uh oh. That sounds perilously close to that pesky concept popularly know as “de-mo-cra-cy”. Damned dangerous, that “de-mo-cra-cy”. What happens if, in time, the population of ‘Seastead’ elect a government that is more interventionist?

Will Thiel then build another libertarian community? To get away from the first ‘Seastead’, taken over over “leftists”?

Personally, I think Somalia would still be a cheaper option.

Let’s be honest here, though.

This is about one thing: money. Thiel wants to keep as much of his money as possible and not pay taxes.  There may be other, immensely wealthy individuals, who feel lifewise.

Well, I say “good luck” to them. Let them set up their little sovereign “Island State”. Let them learn the hard way that a functioning, balanced,  society involves more than just having a bloated bank balance. A dynamic society is a collection of mutually supporting groups and individuals – not just a handful of wealthy people.

My guess is that this little “Profit Paradise” will not last long. Nor will it be self-sufficient. And, the inhabitants will still want to spend (most of) their time on the US mainland, socialising, doing business, and all the other things that the rest of us enjoy.  Their Island State will be nothing more than a taxation “bolthole”; a floating bank account.

And herein lies the dishonesty of such an idea.

But if billionaires want to spend their entire lives on such an Island, and not leave, then they are welcome to it.  Imagine being forced to live your life in one little area; never leaving; and associating only with others of your ilk.

It’s called “prison”.

  1. Miles Lacey
    26 August 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Hell, I think it’s a great idea! At least when these clowns realise their utopian daydreams don’t work they can’t come crawling around to taxpayers to bail them out of their mess. And confining them to a few artificial islands to live out their fantasies means the rest of us don’t have to suffer these imbeciles.

  2. Deborah Kean
    27 August 2011 at 12:07 am

    “It’s called prison ” I like that!

    • 27 August 2011 at 4:38 pm

      Thanks, Debbie. the more I looked at it, the more it reminded me of “gated communities”. And the usual question surrounding such communities and their high fences is, “are they keeping us out; or are we keeping them in”?

      • Miles Lacey
        27 August 2011 at 4:41 pm

        I always saw gated communities as concentration camps for the rich. Just add the guard towers and electrified razor wire fences and hey presto instant gulag.

  3. 27 August 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Miles Lacey :

    I always saw gated communities as concentration camps for the rich. Just add the guard towers and electrified razor wire fences and hey presto instant gulag.

    As an “aside”, Miles, I wonder who will do the menial tasks on such an Island? Will they bring in boatloads of workers from Mexico? The Phillapines? Eastern Europe?

    And with no minimum wage or (I’m assuming) labour laws of any description; will servants be paid as little as 50 cents an hour? Or maybe no payment at all – just board and food?

    And isn’t that called… slavery?

    After all, with no labour laws, I guess anything goes?

    In which case, I suspect that such Island States will not last long. Humans put up with slavery and dictators for only so long, before we get pissed off and fight back. The Libyan people would probably agree with that.

  4. Gosman
    29 August 2011 at 8:47 am

    Ummmmmm….. where in the plan does it state that the people living on these floating ‘islands’ would never be able to leave?

    Also your analogy about the ideal libertarian country being Somalia is completely inaccurate. If you no anything about libertarianism your will know that it doesn’t advocate a society with an absence of a state, just one with minimal interference in individuals lives. Where in Somalia is the government protecting individual property rights and the rule of law?

    Essentially it would be as intellectually lazy for me to claim that you as a Social Democrat should go live in Zimbabwe as that fully reflects your dream of state interference in people’s lives.

    • 29 August 2011 at 10:09 am

      “….. where in the plan does it state that the people living on these floating ‘islands’ would never be able to leave?”

      Why should they leave? If they can pay to create ther own society, then travel elsewhere should be redundant. Unless, for example, society on mainland USA has something more to offer? But hang on a minute – why should they enjoy the fruits offered by another society? Isn’t that living of other peoples’ labours without paying the full costs involved? And I do mean full costs – not just the price of a movie ticket to go see “Rocky XXVIII”.

      Where in Somalia is the government protecting individual property rights and the rule of law?

      Now that’s interesting… why should the State have to pick up the tab for paying for your property protection? As a taxpayer, if I lived in a Libertarian State, why should I have to pay someone to protect your property?

      If User Pays applies equally to everything then, as you accumulate possessions, money, and wealth, you should pay for your own security; protection; and investigation if something goes amiss.

      That’s why Somalia is indeed a prime example; Warlords pay for their own protection.

      You see how the whole concept of Libertarianism becomes absurd if taken to it’s logical conclusion?

      Essentially it would be as intellectually lazy for me to claim that you as a Social Democrat should go live in Zimbabwe as that fully reflects your dream of state interference in people’s lives.

      Zimbabwe is not a social democracy. Hence why would I want to go live there?

      • Gosman
        29 August 2011 at 11:39 am

        “Why should they leave? If they can pay to create ther own society, then travel elsewhere should be redundant. Unless, for example, society on mainland USA has something more to offer? But hang on a minute – why should they enjoy the fruits offered by another society? Isn’t that living of other peoples’ labours without paying the full costs involved? And I do mean full costs – not just the price of a movie ticket to go see “Rocky XXVIII”.”

        Following that great bit of logic we should stop tourists from visiting our country because they don’t pay the full costs of the society while they are here.

        As for why they should leave, well they will be free to do what they want given they won’t have a state telling them where they can and cannot go. This is unlike some places around the world.

  5. Gosman
    29 August 2011 at 8:54 am

    @ Miles

    Why would there be no laws related to labour?

    I am pretty sure it would be similar to places like Singapore where people from low wage economies such a Phillipines would be attracted by the higher wages on offer to perform the more menial roles. Do you regard this as slavery and if so would you prefer they stayed in their low wage economy without a job?

    • 29 August 2011 at 10:01 am

      Why would there be no laws related to labour?

      Well, their own avowed aim of “no minimum wage”kind of gives it away. Plus comments relating to few restrictions or laws, and we start to build up a picture of what this is about.

      I am pretty sure it would be similar to places like Singapore where people from low wage economies such a Phillipines would be attracted by the higher wages on offer to perform the more menial roles.

      That’s a rather large leap of faith to assume that there would be “higher wages on offer to perform the more menial roles“. What do you base that on? Because I can’t see anything to indicate the validity of such an assumption…

  6. Gosman
    29 August 2011 at 11:19 am

    Just because you don’t have a minimum wage doesn’t mean there are no laws relating to labour. It is disingenuine to claim that it does. The law of contract is of paramount importance in libertarianism. Given that labour is merely another contract between two or more parties then it is something that would be protected under any libertarian system of government.

    As for my assumption on wage rates, well I base it on the fact that people don’t tend to leave their homes and travel thousand of kilometers for work unless they can get something they can’t get in their home area. This usually involves better wages. Can you advise another reason why there are so many people from the Phillipines working as domestic servants in Singapore if my view is inaccurate? The other option is the Singapore authorities are abducting these people and forcing them into slavery.

  7. Gosman
    29 August 2011 at 11:25 am

    Your assumption about libertarianism is quite clearly wrong. Libertarianism is not the same as Anarchy. It is more about minimalism in terms of State involvement in people’s lives.

    You might like to frame the debate to be one of an extreme position vis-a-vis Somalia but you have essentially created a straw man argument which merely serves to stroke your own ego about how clever you think you are by coming up with such a great argument.

    Why isn’t Zimbabwe a Social Democracy by the way? It is a society that holds elections involving multiple parties and has the belief that the State should play a large part in the economic and social development in that country. Sounds like a social democracy to me.

    • 29 August 2011 at 8:46 pm

      Following that great bit of logic we should stop tourists from visiting our country because they don’t pay the full costs of the society while they are here.

      Perhaps. But then that raises the issue as to why Libertarians would want to leave their Island Nirvana? Surely if they can build their own vision of an Ideal Society, they have no use to visit other places? What would a non-Libertarian society have to offer?

      Or, could it be that no man is an island – including Libertarians? Even if they do have their own islands?

      Just because you don’t have a minimum wage doesn’t mean there are no laws relating to labour.

      Well, the article clearly states “that Mr Thiel imagines would be built on oil-rig-like platforms anchored in areas free of regulation, laws, and moral conventions.

      So despite your assumptions to the contrary, it is apparent that there will be “no laws relating to labour” as well as “no welfare, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons“. So it’s quite plausible that one of Thiel’s billionaire friends could set up a homestead, complete with slaves hired at $1 an hour, along with a harem of courtesans.

      Thiel’s suggestion that there will be “looser building codes” is perhaps the most bizarre of the whole idea. One would think that stricter building codes would be a matter of sheer survival on an artificial island in the middle of the ocean?

      I can imagine an Island lackey running into Thiel’s office on one of his Island States,

      “Mr Theil! Mr Thiel! The Western side of the island has dropped off into the sea!”

      “By god! Terrorists?”

      “No sir! The Western side was constructed of number 8 fencing wire and paper mache!”

      Thiel: Mutters, “Those bloody Kiwi libertarians…” *facepalm*

      But hey, I’m fine with that idea (as long as children won’t be living there).

      Your assumption about libertarianism is quite clearly wrong. Libertarianism is not the same as Anarchy. It is more about minimalism in terms of State involvement in people’s lives.

      Actually, it is indeed a form of “anarchy” – albeit framed within a legalistic code. But then again, the late Soviet Union had a very civilised legalistic code as well – for all the good it did them.

      The strange thing about Libertarianism is that no modern society on Earth has ever lived by it. Perhaps some have come close – but the inner instinct of human beings to act as a community, for common good, usually prevails. (And by “common good” I do not not mean a politicised “common good”, as dictated by marxist-leninism.) Human beings are social creatures, such as our Simian cousins.

      And when is the last time you saw a gorilla or chimpanzee “buy” his own tree and set up his own domain?

      • 29 August 2011 at 9:24 pm

        It isn’t a form of anarchy though, at least not mainstream libertarianism. As stated the vital component is the rule of law especially around enforcements of contracts. I challenge you to find a Libertarian who doesn’t agree that you need some sort of central authority to help regulate and enforce this.

        I note you haven’t answered two of my questions regarding Singapore and the domestic servants from the Phillipines and why Zimbabwe doesn’t qualify as a Social democracy.

        Does Singapore abduct people from the Phillipines and force them to work for low wages?

        Why exactly isn’t Zimbabwe a Social Democracy again? I could list you a number of social democratic policies which they have followed or that they wish to pursue. Many of which are far more ‘progressive’ than nations in the Developed world. As for democracy it has a coalition Government formed after an election that has been endorsed by the AU and pretty much all nations.

  8. 29 August 2011 at 9:58 pm

    As stated the vital component is the rule of law especially around enforcements of contracts.

    It’s pointless to have a society and economy based on contracts where the parties involved do not enjoy a balance of power. For example, if my choice is to sign a contract and work for $1 an hour – or starve – then that is not freedom. It is coercion, through the fear-threat of starvation, enforced by a sham masquerading as “law”.

    It might be “law”, but it would not be justice.

    I note you haven’t answered two of my questions regarding Singapore and the domestic servants from the Phillipines and why Zimbabwe doesn’t qualify as a Social democracy. Does Singapore abduct people from the Phillipines and force them to work for low wages?

    It’s fairly obvious that people living in poverty do not have the same choices that others with resources enjoy. So it’s no great mystery why domestic servants from the Phillipines, and elsewhere, will go to work in other countries. They have little choice and such people are often vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.

    This is the great failing in the so-called “free market” – and would become even worse in a liberatarian society with few (if any) social constraints.

    This is evidenced by the abuse that migrant workers in some Middle Eastern countries have suffered at the hands of their wealthier Arab employers. These migrant workers have been abused, beaten, raped, and murdered.

    I find it curious that you’d use migrant workers as some sort of example of the “benefits” of libertarianism. It is not. It is the exploitation of those who are powerless and poor.

    “…and why Zimbabwe doesn’t qualify as a Social democracy.

    I assume that’s a rhetorical question?! In fact, I’m not even sure what kind of question that is meant to be. Zimbabwe is as much a social democracy as is Burma, Nth Korea, Syria, etc.

    Why exactly isn’t Zimbabwe a Social Democracy again? I could list you a number of social democratic policies which they have followed or that they wish to pursue. Many of which are far more ‘progressive’ than nations in the Developed world.

    Please do. I’m sure we’d love to see what these “number of social democratic policies” look like?

    After all, I have pointed out why a region such as Somalia fits the bill for a Libertarian society.

    • 29 August 2011 at 10:28 pm

      I note you have now decided to change the goal posts to argue about a power imbalance.

      This is a value judgement. You are entitled to think that it is not possible for two parties to enter into a contract freely and fairly because of it. I would argue that all contracts have a degree of power imbalance and it should not be up to society to work out this out and try and ‘correct’ it.

      However what is clear is that your strawman argument has been well and truly shown up for what it was as you now accept that Libertarians require the rule of law and a central authority to facilitate the enforcement of contracts, something which Somalia lacks.

      • 29 August 2011 at 11:20 pm

        It’s hardly a “value judgement”. In fact, even under National’s Employment Contracts Act, Courts were entitled to strike out contracts between employers and employees that were deemed onerous, unfair, or not bargained in good faith.

        However what is clear is that your strawman argument has been well and truly shown up for what it was as you now accept that Libertarians require the rule of law and a central authority to facilitate the enforcement of contracts, something which Somalia lacks.

        Hardly. In fact, I think I pretty well demonstrated that Somalia is ideal for a Libertarian system; minimal government; very little regulation/laws; and User Pays in all social/economic transactions.

        I’m not certain why you oppose Somalia as the perfect example where Libertarianism could exist – it meets all your criteria.

        As for “rule of law” – laws are fluid and can be made or un-made. It would be up to Libertarians to make law in such a region, and to enforce it with self-funded police. (Not taxpayer-funded police – why should I pay a police officer to protect your property?)

      • 30 August 2011 at 5:19 am

        You continue with this fantasy version of libertarianism. It just highlights your lack of understanding and ignorance of the subject.

        Have you even bothered to read anything on the subject or are these views based mainly on personal prejudice?

        I don’t mind if you don’t aggree or accept the tennants underlying the political philosophy but at least get it right, if only for your own intellectual integrity..

  9. 29 August 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Reasons why Zimbabwe qualifies as a social democracy.

    -Extremely progressive taxation system.with a high top rate of tax.
    – High involvement of the State in ownership of key industries such as Telecomunication, Steel, Coal mining, Railways, Airlines, Farming services..
    – Highly agressive redistribution of assets away from the wealthy to the disadvantaged in society.
    -Education and Health care provided free to majority of the population, especially the most disadvantaged.
    -Policy to restrict foreign ownership of business to less than 50 percent as well as a to transfer the majority ownership to disadvantaged members of society.
    – High itarriffs to encourage local goods and services over foreign made products.
    – State support for key industries such as farming to try and ensure self sufficiency in key areas such as food production.
    -Direct payments paid to disadvantaged members of society to try and ensure they aren’t destitute.
    -Active involvement of organs of the State (e.g. Reserve bank) to ensure private sector does not exploit vulnerable members of society by profiteering

    Aren’t all these progressive social democrat policies and aren’t many of them more progressive than say what we currently have in New Zealand.

    ,

    • 29 August 2011 at 11:09 pm

      You left out two important factors which disqualify Zimbabwe as being a social democracy; respect for civil and human rights and respect for democracy. Without respect for human rights and democracy, Zimbabwe is more akin to a repressive authoritarian regime than social democracy.

      So your example doesn’t stack up.

      • 30 August 2011 at 5:13 am

        I’m sure it doesn’t. Just as your bollocks comparing Somalia to a supposed Libertarian ideal doesn’t stack up.

      • 30 August 2011 at 5:14 am

        By the way Zimbabwean has a demoratically elected government. One recognised by all nations.

  10. 30 August 2011 at 8:48 am

    Just as your bollocks comparing Somalia to a supposed Libertarian ideal doesn’t stack up.

    Why? Because Somalia is an Anarchistic state?

    Now, that’s interesting. Are you saying that Liberatarianism cannot create Order from Disorder? Does this mean that for Libertarianism to work, it must utilise an existing society that is well-maintained and has institutions that promote law and order?

    If so, then consider this; society is a community of people who have joined together for common good. Such a common good is a notion of collective co-operation.

    Institutions of law and order are a product of people acting together for the common good.

    For Libertarianism to thrive, what you are inferring is that it must build on this collective common-good, so as to replace it with the notion of Individualism above Community.

    That sounds quasi-parasitic to me.

    By the way Zimbabwean has a demoratically elected government. One recognised by all nations.

    So? The US government is democratically elected – but no one would call the US government a “social democracy”. Neither is Zimbabwe. And being “recognised by all nations” is not a definition of social democracy.

    Have you even bothered to read anything on the subject…

    Indeed I have.

    • Gosman
      30 August 2011 at 9:29 am

      You say you have read up about the subject yet you persist with this fallacy that Libertarianism = Anarchy.

      Some (in the minority) libertarians have an ideal state where there is no state it is true. However traditional libertarianism has no problem with a minimal state which is controlled democratically and maintains law and order and helps resolve disputes around contracts.

      Even Anarcho-Libertarians would disqualify Somalia as they believe that disputes between people should be managed in a rational and non-violent manner, something that cannot be stated about Somalia.

      Just as you disqualify Zimbabwe as a Social Democracy ideal because of the lack of the rule of law and human rights abuses so too is Somalia disqualified as a libertarian ideal basically for the same reasons.

      • 30 August 2011 at 11:00 am

        Oh , I understand full well. Indeed, you’ve just confirmed it yourself: Libertarianism cannot exist in an anarchy, without law and order, such as Somalia. It can only exist in a structured society where people act together for the common good as a community.

        That is why Libertarianism is a distrusted ideology – much like Marxist-Leninism – because it impacts on conflicting, contradictory aspects of human nature that will not tolerate either extremist Individualism, nor extremist Collectivism.

        It’s interesting to note that most folk don’t really care if Thiel goes ahead with his libertarian Island Nirvana. To be blunt, I wouldn’t give a toss, either.

        What I would find telling is if billionaire-residents still spent a considerable portion of their time on mainland USA (or any other country). That kind of begs the question; why would the residents of Libertarian Nirvana want to leave? What would other societies have to offer that their own Island State couldn’t?

        Quite simple; a human community.

        In which case, what would be the point of Thiel’s Island State(s)? A tax haven?

      • Gosman
        30 August 2011 at 11:46 am

        But mainstream Libertarianism has never claimed that there was no need for a state or collective actions so I don’t know why you keep stating that it does.

      • Gosman
        30 August 2011 at 11:48 am

        As for why they would want to leave and spend time in other places, because they can. Just as I presume you don’t think stopping tourists coming here is a bad idea. unless of course you do. Your previous answer to this was a little evasive.

  11. Gosman
    30 August 2011 at 12:05 pm

    So to recap here.

    Your straw man argument trying to argue that Somalia is the perfect Libertarian society has been blown out of the water. Even you now seemingly acknowledge that Somalia does not meet the criteria of some sort of libertarian ideal.

    You are now reduced to claiming you don’t care if these people do build their libertarian floating ‘nation’ yet you do seem to have a concern where they decide to travel after they have created it for some bizarre reason.

    You wrote an interesting piece about how Generation X’ers are hacked off with your generation. Well as one Generation Xer I can tell you one of the reasons I get annoyed with your lot is the lack of rigorous questioning of received wisdoms as evidenced by your views in this post.

  12. 30 August 2011 at 12:16 pm

    But mainstream Libertarianism has never claimed that there was no need for a state or collective actions so I don’t know why you keep stating that it does.

    And yet Libertarian ideology is opposed to public education, public healthcare, public transport, public-anything?

    You are being disingenous by stating that Libertarianism does not preclude collective actions. Unless your version is markedly different from Libertarianism which espouses minimalist government and no role in society except justice, police, military, and contracts enforcement?

    Your straw man argument trying to argue that Somalia is the perfect Libertarian society has been blown out of the water. Even you now seemingly acknowledge that Somalia does not meet the criteria of some sort of libertarian ideal.

    And you notably have not addressed the point I made: you admit that … “Libertarianism cannot exist in an anarchy, without law and order, such as Somalia. It can only exist in a structured society where people act together for the common good as a community. ”

    You wrote an interesting piece about how Generation X’ers are hacked off with your generation. Well as one Generation Xer I can tell you one of the reasons I get annoyed with your lot is the lack of rigorous questioning of received wisdoms as evidenced by your views in this post.

    As a Generation Xer, you should be more concerned with the fact that my Baby Boomer generation enjoyed many tax-payer funded social services, including free tertiary education. My generation refused to pass on those same benefits to you, and instead implemented User Pays.

    We enjoyed free social services and then tax cuts – you got User Pays. Does that sound even remotely fair to you?

    By the way, regarding your constant reference to me not answering some of your points . I’ve raised several as well, which you haven’t addressed. I don’t harp on about it.

  13. Gosman
    30 August 2011 at 2:47 pm

    What sort of user pays are you talking about here? Health and Education are still largely free with the exception of Tertiary education, which is still heavily subsidised by the state and has interest free student loans.

    I’ll tell you what I’m not looking forward to paying is your lots retirement on the state i.e. taxpayers via National Super. You had 40 to 50 years to save your retirement but instead you decided you want the next generation to pay for your comfy retirement.

    Just because some collective action might be necessary and desirable that doesn’t mean all collective action is better. I’m very wary of the concept of the needs of the many out weight the needs of the few or the one. That way leads to totalitarianism.

    The trouble with your world view is you have painted a simplistic picture of those opposed to certain negative aspects of social democracy and tried to force them into an extreme position. As I pointed out with my Zimbabwe analogy I could equally do the same in relation to Social Democracy and it would be equally silly.

  14. 30 August 2011 at 3:50 pm

    I’ll tell you what I’m not looking forward to paying is your lots retirement on the state i.e. taxpayers via National Super. You had 40 to 50 years to save your retirement but instead you decided you want the next generation to pay for your comfy retirement.

    Ahh! Now you’ve said something sensible and relevant!!

    Yes, you are 100% right in that regard and I’m glad you’ve picked up on where greed can take us.

    In 1972/73, Labour introduced a compulsory super scheme. Very much like the one our Aussie cuzzies implemented in the early 1990s.

    However, Rob Muldoon used it as a political football in the 1975 election campaign and promised to can the Fund and refund all contributions. His “Dancing Cossacks” TV ad – whilst amateurish by today’s standards – truly scared the bejeezus out of the Great Unwashed Masses, and they voted National, en masse. (In fact, the seats won by National in 1975 were a mirror-reversal of the 1972 result.)

    Result; Muldoon axed the super fund and gave us back out money.

    Had that Fund been allowed to be invested and to grow, superannuation in this country would be self-funding; we would have plenty of capital for local investment; we wouldn’t have had the fiscal crisis in 1984; and you wouldn’t be digging deep into your pockets to pay for my retirement.

    By contrast, the Aussie super fund has well over a trillion dollars saved. We were just too damn lazy and selfish to do likewise.

    At the same time, Gosman, I will tell you what else my generation did;

    * we enjoyed near-free Teriary education

    * we even paid ourselves student allowances

    Then, after my lot left Uni, we did the following,

    * we brought in student loans and raised fees

    * we gave ourselves SIX tax cuts

    Angry yet? You should be.

    I don’t blame you one iota for pursuing a Libertarian ideology. Why should I? My own generation’s greed, as demonstrated with tax cuts and user pays, taught your generation a very salient lesson in self-interest.

    As for your “Zimbabwe analogy” – it might have worked had you picked a somewhat more appropriate example.

  15. Gosman
    30 August 2011 at 4:02 pm

    What?!? You picked Somalia as an example so I picked just as stupid example on the other side. What would be a more appropriate example in your view? I wait with baited breath for this.

    So your entire Generational attack comes down to the fact that University students no longer enjoy the same advantages does it? How pathetic. So a bunch of largely white middle and upper class kids can’t enjoy 3 to 5 years of drinking heavily, having random sex with lots of people, getting into mischef, and the occassional period of study on the tax payers expense can they and that is somehow should make me angry why?

    • 30 August 2011 at 6:40 pm

      Funny how you picked Zimbabwe, which is not a social democracy – wheras you could have mentioned any number of Scandinavian nations.

      In offering Somalia, I did so because (a) there are no Libertarian societies anywhere on this planet and (b) Somalia comes close by having only a minimal government; no taxes; and few laws. Those are Libertarian concepts, which you cannot deny. The fact that Somalia is a failed state is irrelevant… or perhaps not.

      Libertarianism simply cannot exist because it fails to meet the needs of human beings. Hence why Thiel has to CREATE an entirely new Nation State – no current society would voluntarily choose such an ideology.

      Just as marxist-lenism also fails to meet the needs of people.

      • Gosman
        31 August 2011 at 8:58 am

        What?!!

        You think I should have used a Scandanavian country to highlight how ridiculous it was for you to use Somalia as an example of a perfect Libertarian society?

        How would have that have made my point?

    • 30 August 2011 at 7:23 pm

      By the way, Gosman, despite your enthusiasm for libertarianism, I note a few issues that you inadvertently neglected to address and which I raised…

      * 29 August 2011 at 10:09 am: “why should the State have to pick up the tab for paying for your property protection? As a taxpayer, if I lived in a Libertarian State, why should I have to pay someone to protect your property?”

      * 29 August 2011 at 10:01 am: “That’s a rather large leap of faith to assume that there would be “higher wages on offer to perform the more menial roles“. What do you base that on? Because I can’t see anything to indicate the validity of such an assumption…”

      * 29 August 2011 at 8:46 pm: “So it’s quite plausible that one of Thiel’s billionaire friends could set up a homestead, complete with slaves hired at $1 an hour, along with a harem of courtesans.”

      * 29 August 2011 at 9:58 pm: “It’s fairly obvious that people living in poverty do not have the same choices that others with resources enjoy. So it’s no great mystery why domestic servants from the Phillipines, and elsewhere, will go to work in other countries. They have little choice and such people are often vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.”

      * 29 August 2011 at 9:58 pm: “This is evidenced by the abuse that migrant workers in some Middle Eastern countries have suffered at the hands of their wealthier Arab employers. These migrant workers have been abused, beaten, raped, and murdered.”

      * 29 August 2011 at 9:58 pm: “I find it curious that you’d use migrant workers as some sort of example of the “benefits” of libertarianism. It is not. It is the exploitation of those who are powerless and poor.”

      * 29 August 2011 at 11:20 pm: “It’s hardly a “value judgement”. In fact, even under National’s Employment Contracts Act, Courts were entitled to strike out contracts between employers and employees that were deemed onerous, unfair, or not bargained in good faith.”

      * 29 August 2011 at 11:09 pm: “You left out two important factors which disqualify Zimbabwe as being a social democracy; respect for civil and human rights and respect for democracy.”

      * 30 August 2011 at 8:48 am: “Now, that’s interesting. Are you saying that Liberatarianism cannot create Order from Disorder? ”

      * 30 August 2011 at 12:16 pm: “And yet Libertarian ideology is opposed to public education, public healthcare, public transport, public-anything? ”

      * 30 August 2011 at 12:16 pm: “As a Generation Xer, you should be more concerned with the fact that my Baby Boomer generation enjoyed many tax-payer funded social services, including free tertiary education. My generation refused to pass on those same benefits to you, and instead implemented User Pays.

      We enjoyed free social services and then tax cuts – you got User Pays. Does that sound even remotely fair to you?”

      Feel free to address any/all of those points. They seem to be fairly pertinent to the discussion.

      • Gosman
        31 August 2011 at 9:39 am

        I have already dealt with many of these.

        Your whole righteous generational anger seems to boil down to the fact that Tertiary education is no longer 100 percent taxpayer funded and we don’t have the compulsory superannuation scheme that Roger Douglas thought up in the early 1970’s. Do you have other examples of what I should be angry about?

        I pointed out to you that Zimbabwe is a democracy, just not one which perhaps meets your standards.

        I explained that people don’t tend to travel thousands of miles to take up lower paying jobs than they can get in their homeland. You point out abuses of this system in places like Dubai yet for some reason thousands of people are still willing to do this. Why is this in your mind? Are they physically forced to do so?

        For about the tenth time mainstream Libertarian thought does not preclude the ability of a society to work together in some ways for the common good. Try and read up on this rather than sarguing from a position of ignorance.

  16. Miles Lacey
    30 August 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Perhaps those who support the idea of creating an artificial island based on libertarian ideas could explain how an island that only allows like minded people to reside on it can be called “libertarian” or claim to be upholding liberty. There’s no liberty or freedom in any society where only those who hold the right viewpoint are allowed in or are allowed to stay. This doesn’t sound like liberty but smacks of totalitarianism of the worst sort.

    Libertarian society can’t be compared to Somalia because the lack of centralized authority in Somalia doesn’t mean there isn’t a form of governance in that country. Part of Somalia has broken away to form the state of Somaliland which is a fully functioning democratic country and clan leaders have largely taken over the functions that used to be carried out by the state and its clan laws that largely determine how day to day society functions.

    The closest comparison to a libertarian society would actually be Myanmar. They don’t tax wealth. They respect private property. They don’t have minimum wage or labour laws. And, most importantly, everyone is free to say whatever they like in Myanmar provided that it is in line with the ideology of the state.

    An island where only those people who subscribe to the island’s ideology – in this case libertarianism – are allowed to enter or stay is not a libertarian or even a liberal society. It is a totalitarian society because the only way it can ensure that ideological purity can exist is to get rid of all that is not ideologically pure. Doesn’t this sound suspiciously like fascism or communism, both of which the libertarians rant and rave against all the time?

    • 30 August 2011 at 6:43 pm

      Ok, I’ll accept Myanmar as another alternative – though the Junta’s denial of free speech might irritate a few Libertarians.

      Then again, what’s a few dissidents if Billionaires can make extra profits (tax free) and not have to worry about funding social services…?

    • Gosman
      31 August 2011 at 9:45 am

      What a load of rot!

      Myammar is a free market paradise is it? Well not according to this article on Wikipedia

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Burma

      Please note the following

      “After 1988, the regime retreated from totalitarian socialism. It permitted modest expansion of the private sector, allowed some foreign investment, and received much needed foreign exchange.[11] The economy is still rated as the least free in Asia (tied with North Korea).[12] All fundamental market institutions are suppressed.”

      What planet do you people reside on and so you actually bother to find out about a little thing called facts before you decide to regurgitate this nonsense online?

      • 31 August 2011 at 12:20 pm

        I have already dealt with many of these.

        No, you have not. You have steadfastly refused to comment on matters such as; why should I pay police to protect your property/ If you accumulate property, it should be your responsibility to protect it. If that includes paying for private security, then so be it.

        Plus other points which you neglect to address.

        Your whole righteous generational anger seems to boil down to the fact that Tertiary education is no longer 100 percent taxpayer funded and we don’t have the compulsory superannuation scheme that Roger Douglas thought up in the early 1970′s. Do you have other examples of what I should be angry about?

        I think that should be enough, don’t you?

        I pointed out to you that Zimbabwe is a democracy, just not one which perhaps meets your standards.

        In which case your definition of “democracy” is at variance with common definitions. The Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Cuba, etc, believed that were democratic as well. Do you think they were/are democratic?

        I explained that people don’t tend to travel thousands of miles to take up lower paying jobs than they can get in their homeland. You point out abuses of this system in places like Dubai yet for some reason thousands of people are still willing to do this. Why is this in your mind? Are they physically forced to do so?

        Yes, they ARE forced to do that, through economic necessity. If a person’s “choice” is to work for $1 an hour or $10 an hour, in an abusive situation – or starve – what would YOU do??? I bet you can’t answer that simple question.

        For about the tenth time mainstream Libertarian thought does not preclude the ability of a society to work together in some ways for the common good.

        And for the tenth time, Libertarianian ideology is opposed to public education, public healthcare, public transport, public-anything. ”

        I’ve also raised points on,

        * “So it’s quite plausible that one of Thiel’s billionaire friends could set up a homestead, complete with slaves hired at $1 an hour, along with a harem of courtesans.”

        * “That’s a rather large leap of faith to assume that there would be “higher wages on offer to perform the more menial roles“. What do you base that on? Because I can’t see anything to indicate the validity of such an assumption…”

        * “why should the State have to pick up the tab for paying for your property protection? As a taxpayer, if I lived in a Libertarian State, why should I have to pay someone to protect your property?”

        * “It’s hardly a “value judgement”. In fact, even under National’s Employment Contracts Act, Courts were entitled to strike out contracts between employers and employees that were deemed onerous, unfair, or not bargained in good faith.”

        * “You left out two important factors which disqualify Zimbabwe as being a social democracy; respect for civil and human rights and respect for democracy.”

        * “Now, that’s interesting. Are you saying that Liberatarianism cannot create Order from Disorder?”

        * “I find it curious that you’d use migrant workers as some sort of example of the “benefits” of libertarianism. It is not. It is the exploitation of those who are powerless and poor.”

        And lastly,

        Try and read up on this rather than sarguing from a position of ignorance.

        Little hint: when visiting someone else’s Blog, take care how you frame your comments. Abusing the host is not just bad form, it’s an invitation to be made persona-non-grata. I welcome your opposing views and debate is good, as I think you have an interesting worldview. But I’m not a fan of denigration.

  17. Gosman
    31 August 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Fair enough I will tone down my comments however it is rather frustrating as you seem to want me to defend your version of Libertarianism not what is considered the mainstream view. Hence when I have told you that certain collective actions such law enforcement are compatible with most Libertarians and you then ask me why should you pay for my police protection. That is your issues with what you perceive to be Libertarian beliefs not mine. I have already told you that some collective action is acceptable however that doesn’t mean that ALL collective action is preferable to individual liberty.

    Thank you for finally answering my question regarding why people travel such distances for such bad conditions. Because the conditions they leave behind are worse. That is the reason why people doing menial jobs on this flaoting libertarian nation would be going there for a better life than what they would have if they stayed at home. You may feel that they should have better opportunities at home but that is a separate matter entirely.

    Zimbabwe has a former opposition party currently in Government. Did the Soviet Union, Cuba, and North Korea allow this? You still fail to understand the reason I used Zimbabwe as an example though. It was to highlight the ridiculousness of you trying to tie Somalia with Libertarianism (this has now morphed in to greater ridiculousness by the linkage to Myammar). You rightly pointed out that Zimbabwe doesn’t meet the criteria of a true Social Democracy, mainly due to it not having the rule of law and human rights abuses. The same applies to Somalia and Libertarianism. You still haven’t told me why it would have been more appropriate to the point I was making to use a Scandanavian country.

    So I was right about the whole generational anger issue. Essentially it boils down to you thinking that I, and others of my generation, should be uset because we now have to pay for a proportion of our tertiary education with Interest free Strudent loans and that your lot wasn’t forced to save for retirement back in the 1970’s. Do you really think this is enough to get all righteous over? I’m more upset that you guys wasted 20 to 30 years while New Zealand drifted economically from the mid 1950’s onwards.

    • 31 August 2011 at 10:49 pm

      Hence when I have told you that certain collective actions such law enforcement are compatible with most Libertarians and you then ask me why should you pay for my police protection.

      You say it is “compatible“, but you don’t explain why it is compatible. Why is is ok for a Libertarian government to take my money, in the form of income tax – http://www.libertarianz.org.nz/policies/taxation/ – and spend it on a Police Force to protect your property – when I might choose not to have property, or, might have property in another country?

      After all, as the Libertarianz website states; “House owners who don’t own a car are forced to pay for roads through their rates.”

      http://www.libertarianz.org.nz/faqs/transport-faq/#490

      It appears to be contradictory that (a) I am forced to pay for a police force I may never need, but (b) I am not forced to pay for a road I may never need.

      I have already told you that some collective action is acceptable however that doesn’t mean that ALL collective action is preferable to individual liberty.

      In fact, ” collective action” in a Libertarian society would be individuals-based, only, such as setting up a company or charity organisation.

      http://www.libertarianz.org.nz/policies/welfare/

      A Libertarian government would not permit society to allow State-owned schools and hospitals to exist. This would be expressly forbidden, as stated here, on the Libertarian website.

      http://www.libertarianz.org.nz/nats-backdown-on-backbone/

      Thank you for finally answering my question regarding why people travel such distances for such bad conditions. Because the conditions they leave behind are worse.

      You still haven’t addressed the issue that many migrant workers travel abroad because their choice is either work for low pay in an abusive workplace – or starve to death. Isn’t that a form of coercion? And isn’t coercion again forbidden in a Libertarian context?

      http://www.libertarianz.org.nz/faqs/welfare-faq/

      That is the reason why people doing menial jobs on this flaoting libertarian nation would be going there for a better life than what they would have if they stayed at home.

      And you haven’t addressed my point; “So it’s quite plausible that one of Thiel’s billionaire friends could set up a homestead, complete with slaves hired at $1 an hour, along with a harem of courtesans.”

      Zimbabwe has a former opposition party currently in Government.

      Just because opposition parties exist is no guarantee that (a) the elections are free and fair, (b) election results are not rigged, and (c) opposition party members are beaten, arrested, harrassed, and often killed by government para-military. All of which happened in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe was a democracy in name only. (Just as Czechoslovakia was nominally a multi-party “democracy” during it’s communist history.)

      At present the opposition party in office is still under threat by the ruling Zanu-PF party.

      You still fail to understand the reason I used Zimbabwe as an example though. It was to highlight the ridiculousness of you trying to tie Somalia with Libertarianism…

      Not at all. The point I was trying to make is that Social Democracies do exist in the world. They have been in existence for many decades.

      Libertarian states exist nowhere in the West. Somalia comes close because, as I pointed out, it has next to no government; no taxation; and few laws to speak of (you may feel that the last point probably isn’t quite Libertarian). You may call that “Anarchy” – but anarchy is subjective, and to many folk a Libertarian “state” would be near-anarchy as well. (Anarchistic in the political sense, I would add.)

      In fact, Somalia could be an ideal candidate to be fully organised along Libertarian lines… (Good luck with that.)

      However, perhaps you could offer an alternative libertarian or near-libertarian nation on Earth?

      By the way… under your definition of democracy (multi-party political system), Czechoslovalia under the communist system (1948-89) qualified. Czechoslovakia actually had several parties, under various marxist-leninist ideologies. They were all marxist-leninist – but that’s pretty much like our Parliament where all parties support the capitalist system.

      Just a thought.

  18. Gosman
    1 September 2011 at 11:00 am

    I’d suggest that the reason why some collectiive action is acceptable and others is not is the outcome of that action. Any collective action that seeks to proect individual liberty and freedom, such as courts and police, is acceptable under mainstream libertarianism. Those that are done for the greater good of society, such as social welfare, are not. But it seems to me your real issue is with the Libertarianz party’s definitions. Why don’t you take it up with them?

    I’m quite happy to offer up Hong Kong as being far more libertarian in philosophy than say Somalia is.

    Under certain conditions and from a certain perspective Czechoslovakia would have indeed been a democracy. I have even read left wingers argue that the Soviet Union was more democratic than the US.

    • 1 September 2011 at 1:52 pm

      I have even read left wingers argue that the Soviet Union was more democratic than the US.

      Yes, I’ve heard the same. However, I think that we can safely conclude that would not be true. Despite the many faults of the US, it is still more democratic than the former Soviet Union. In fact, I would not even class that nation (the late USSR) as a social democracy.

      Under certain conditions and from a certain perspective Czechoslovakia would have indeed been a democracy.”

      Yeah… nah. The Czechs (and other Eastern Europeans) couldn’t wait to get rid of marxist-leninism. That economic system simply did not meet the needs of Eastern Europeans.

      I’m quite happy to offer up Hong Kong as being far more libertarian in philosophy than say Somalia is.”

      Really?

      Let’s check out a few lesser-known facts, regarding Hong Kong…

      Social Welfare

      “The Government is committed to building an efficient, effective, accountable and sustainable social welfare system… In 2003, expenditure on social welfare amounted to $32.4 billion: this comprised $22.9 billion (70.7 per cent) on financial assistance payments, $6.9 billion (21.3 per cent) on subventions, $0.5 billion (1.5 per cent) on contract services and $2.1 billion (6.5 per cent) on services provided by the SWD. Social welfare accounted for 15.2 per cent of the total recurrent public expenditure.”

      Source: http://www.yearbook.gov.hk/2003/english/chapter10/10_00.html

      Healthcare

      Has some User Pays. Uncertain how much is subsidised by the State; “DH provides subsidised healthcare services through its centres and health clinics to citizens of Hong Kong…

      …The Food and Health Bureau is responsible for forming policies and allocating resources for the running of Hong Kong’s health services. It also ensures these policies are carried out effectively to protect and promote public health, provide lifelong holistic health care to every citizen of Hong Kong, and ensure that no one is denied adequate medical treatment due to lack of means.”

      Source: http://www.gov.hk/en/residents/health/hosp/overview.htm

      Housing

      “It is the Government’s housing policy to provide subsidised public housing for citizens who cannot afford private rental housing.”

      Source: http://www.gov.hk/en/residents/housing/publichousing/

      Taxation

      There is income tax, property tax, stamp duties, and import duties on liquor, tobacco, hydrocarbon oil and methyl alcohol. Licensing and permit fees also apply.

      Source: http://www.gov.hk/en/residents/taxes/salaries/

      Education

      Subsidised by the State.

      Source: http://www.gov.hk/en/residents/education/preprimary/
      Source: http://www.edb.gov.hk/index.aspx?nodeid=1475&langno=1

      Hong Kong may embrace a relatively free market economy – but it still taxes citizens and businesses and provides free or subsidised services to it’s citizens.

      Are you sure it’s still closer to the Liberatarian model than Somalia?

      But it seems to me your real issue is with the Libertarianz party’s definitions. Why don’t you take it up with them?

      Not at all. I take their policies at face value and since I won’t be voting for them (or their ‘cousin’, ACT), it’s up to them what they believe in.

  19. Gosman
    6 September 2011 at 8:21 am

    I didn’t say Hong Kong met all the criteria of a libertarian society. Just that it more closely reflected the ideals than Somalia.

    The problem here is that you have created a straw man argument. I hope now you will stop patting yourself on the back about how clever you think you are and refrain from using the analogy in the future.

    • Red
      6 September 2011 at 12:36 pm

      I think he’s actually made his point very well and shown you that your example (Hong Kong) as being close to your libertarian model just doesn’t stack up. So it’s not a strawman argument at all, you just refuse to accept his rebuttal. I think Frank’s made his point fairly well?

      • Gosman
        7 September 2011 at 8:10 am

        You’re not very quick on the uptake are you Red. The strawman argument is Somalia as the perfect Libertarian society. Try and keep up please.

    • 6 September 2011 at 9:49 pm

      I didn’t say Hong Kong met all the criteria of a libertarian society. Just that it more closely reflected the ideals than Somalia.

      Really? Even though Hong Kong has taxation, subsidised social services, import duties, and suchlike?

      Whereas Somalia has none of those?

      Why does Hong Kong meet your criteria of a Libertarian society which has policies that are anathema to Libertarians? I’m sorry, I don’t get that.

      The only aspect that meets your criteria for Hong Kong being closer to libertarianism is that it has a fully functioning law and order system. But even there, Hong Kong’s judiciary and laws can suffer arbitrary intervention from the Communist Party in Beijing, at any time.

      Are you sure you still hold up Hong Kong as “more closely reflecting the ideals” of libertarianism? ‘Cos so far, it ain’t looking too good to me.

      • Gosman
        7 September 2011 at 8:09 am

        I told you numerous times mainstream Libertarianism doesn’t equate to either anarchy or a total absence of a state. The reason why Hong Kong better reflects Libertarian phillosophy than Somalia is because Hong Kong has a strong tradition around ensuring the rule of law around contracts, unlike Somalia. It also doesn’t attempt to place the State at the centre of the economy although it does have a state, unlike Somalia.

  20. 7 September 2011 at 9:13 am

    “The reason why Hong Kong better reflects Libertarian phillosophy than Somalia is because Hong Kong has a strong tradition around ensuring the rule of law around contracts, unlike Somalia. “

    What about the other points I raised?

    “Even though Hong Kong has taxation, subsidised social services, import duties, and suchlike?”

    How does that fit into the ‘mix’? Aren’t you confusing a libertarian state with that of a highly entrepreneurial society?

    For example, 21st Century China is highly entrepreneurial. So much so that it has the highest economic growth rate on the planet, and is now the #2 economy, after the USA.

    But does that make China libertarian?

    And as I pointed out, Hong Kong is (indirectly) part of a one-party , communist state. Any “traditions” it might have had under British colonial rule applies only at the ‘pleasure’ of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing.

    • Gosman
      7 September 2011 at 10:51 am

      You seem to think that I have to give you an example of a perfect Libertarian state to make my point. That is quite incorrect. All I am pointing out is that philisophically Hong Kong is closer to the ideal than Somalia is. I am deconstructing your strawman argument around Somalia and Libertarianism which seems to rely on your mistaken belief that Libertarianism is equavalent to a society without laws and without a state,

  21. Red
    7 September 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Gosman :

    You’re not very quick on the uptake are you Red. The strawman argument is Somalia as the perfect Libertarian society. Try and keep up please.

    Do you often insult those that disagree with you? I’ve noticed that is a common trait of those on the right. Why is that?

    • Gosman
      7 September 2011 at 1:51 pm

      I’m hardly insulting you. Merely pointing out that perhaps you should engage the brain before typing your thoughts. You admit you got the wrong end of the stick don’t you?

  22. 7 September 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Gosman :

    You seem to think that I have to give you an example of a perfect Libertarian state to make my point. That is quite incorrect. All I am pointing out is that philisophically Hong Kong is closer to the ideal than Somalia is. I am deconstructing your strawman argument around Somalia and Libertarianism which seems to rely on your mistaken belief that Libertarianism is equavalent to a society without laws and without a state,

    “Deconstructing” my argument? No, you seem to be playing a game of cherry-picking my statements whilst ignoring others.

    I have outlined to you why your example of Hong Kong as “closer to a libertarian ideal” (than Somalia) is flawed. In fact, your example makes no sense whatsoever considering the facts I’ve outlined above.

    In essence, you’ve picked an example at random that you believe fits your argument – but which actually is the polar-opposite of the point(s) you were attempting to prove.

    By the way, you’ve omitted to address this point I raised;

    “Even though Hong Kong has taxation, subsidised social services, import duties, and suchlike?”

    How does that fit into the ‘mix’? Aren’t you confusing a libertarian state with that of a highly entrepreneurial society?

    For example, 21st Century China is highly entrepreneurial. So much so that it has the highest economic growth rate on the planet, and is now the #2 economy, after the USA.

    But does that make China libertarian?

    And as I pointed out, Hong Kong is (indirectly) part of a one-party , communist state. Any “traditions” it might have had under British colonial rule applies only at the ‘pleasure’ of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing.”

  23. Red
    8 September 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Gosman :I’m hardly insulting you. Merely pointing out that perhaps you should engage the brain before typing your thoughts. You admit you got the wrong end of the stick don’t you?

    Oh dear. Poor boy.

    I admit that you think you’re right and think highly of yourself. Have a nice day.

  24. Theodore
    2 November 2011 at 12:47 am

    Gosman :

    You seem to think that I have to give you an example of a perfect Libertarian state to make my point. That is quite incorrect. All I am pointing out is that philisophically Hong Kong is closer to the ideal than Somalia is. I am deconstructing your strawman argument around Somalia and Libertarianism which seems to rely on your mistaken belief that Libertarianism is equavalent to a society without laws and without a state,

    I’m hoping you’ll grow up and realise how insanely naive your beliefs are. I got news for you sunshine, the world aint as black and white as you think it is. In fact it’s about 99% grey area.

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