I saw a a comment on a post that deserved a quick blog entry. The original commentary is interesting and well done, but a commenter suggested that:
There erroneous assumptions here. The commenter assumes the individual(s) are too stupid to work together without the use of force. Self interest is completely ignored. He assumes Libertarian = Anarchy, which simply isn’t the case.
I stop at a stop sign not because the sign is there. I stop because it is in my best interest not to get broadsided by another car. At a crossroads where there is no clear right of way, everyone will stop in order to avoid collision. Those who do not and cause property damage will be held accountable (if one continues the Libertarian philosophy). So I stop because I don’t want to wreck my car, and I stop because if I don’t and I hit you, I will be held accountable for the damage at a minimum, and could be punished for violating your property rights.
There is virtually no need for traffic enforcement because of how this works, and it’s why the focus of traffic enforcement is on revenue, not on safety.
When it comes to issues like health care, the crossroads analogy works as well. It’s in my self interest for people to be healthy and live for a long time. (It’s also in my self interest for people to be wealthy.) So I will act accordingly. When you introduce the use of force, you cross a moral barrier I’m not willing to accept (slavery), and you introduce the collective as if the collective has feelings and acts as an individual… but the collective is an abstract, with no feelings and no morality.
Which explains why government intervention is so often a failure, and why the attitude prevails that ‘if we just had the right people running it…’ Which of course isn’t possible, and even if it were, at some point someone who you don’t agree with will be running the show. But if you keep your liberty, you are always running the show.