Ayn Rand

Yaron Brook: Ayn Rand vs. Big Government


"People don't vote their pocketbooks, people vote what they think is right," says Yaron Brook, president of The Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights and author of Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand's Ideas Can End Big Government.

"So we need a moral revolution in this country, and that's how we get a free market revolution."

At FreedomFest 2012, Reason's Matt Welch sat down with Brook to discuss what Obama has meant for sales of Atlas Shrugged, why big government hurts the poor, and how Ayn Rand inspired the Tea Party.

Held each July in Las Vegas, FreedomFest is attended by around 2,000 limited-government enthusiasts and libertarians a year. ReasonTV spoke with over two dozen speakers and attendees and will be releasing interviews over the coming weeks. For an ever-growing playlist, go here now.

About 7 minutes.

Camera by Tracy Oppenheimer and Alex Manning; edited by Jim Epstein.

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  1. If an article isn’t posted to the main page yet, does it really exist?

    1. well the gun-nutz full-frontal stupid on the hunting thread certainly exists

      1. You should know, as the inventor of stupidity.

    2. I would like your thoughts on this about Obama’s ‘you didn’t build that’ line:


      1. It’s amazing to see progs publicly repudiating one of their core beliefs.

  2. People don’t vote their pocketbooks, people vote what they think is right

    Bullshit. All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to rationalize evil. How many in this country are net takers and feel they are entitled? A majority.

    1. “feel they are entitled” i.e. “what they think is right”

    2. Yeah, I agree. The term “what is right” clearly is up to individual to decide on their own. If enough people think it’s “right” to get free shit for nothing than the voting itself becomes irrelevant and liberty gets demolished.

  3. “Rand had a very poorly developed sense of humour, which she defended by being almost opposed on principle to humour. She had great scorn for the notion that one should be able to laugh at oneself. By taking up this position, she deprived herself of many long hours of rich amusement.”

    (David Ramsay Steele)

    1. Yes, because the words of a card-carrying British red will obviously have credibility on a majority-libertarian website. No, really — they will.

      1. Tony’s not British, he’s just gay.

        1. I meant Steele, but yeah, Tony’s probably from San Francisco, too.

        2. “Tony” isn’t gay. And he doesn’t live in Oklahoma either. This is a completely phony sockpuppet persona he has adopted solely for this site.

          1. Does he get paid by Soros?

            1. Not as far as I know. He does get paid by the New York Times corporation however.

    2. Rand said that “We the Living” was as close to an autobiography as she would write. Considering what she lived through and what she saw happening in her adopted country, it’s not surprising that she had little room for amusement, at least publicly.

      1. You know who really need to get a sense of humor? North Koreans.

        1. “Ah Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke!”
          -Kim Jung Il

    3. I am thoroughly convinced that Tony is nothing more than an impostor.

  4. “People don’t vote their pocket books.”

    …and that’s when I turned off the video.

  5. Also:

    “Reason does not consist in shrieking the word ‘reason’ all the time. It consists in subjecting one’s ideas to rational criticism, holding every position tentatively, and being prepared to abandon any position if it is successfully criticised. Reason consists, as Socrates put it, in ‘following the argument wherever it leads’, especially, of course, if it leads where you don’t want to go. There is no evidence that the Randists understood the most elementary requirements of rational discourse.”

    1. “Shit on my dick, or blood on my knife.”

      – Prison gang neo-Nazi guy from ‘The Butterfly Effect’ starring Ashton Kutcher and Amy Smart.

      What the fuck’s your point?

      1. Tony has some compulsive response to attack Ayn Rand at every opportunity. Yesterday someone mistook Rand’s ideas and Tony immediately attacked them, not knowing he was actually defending Rand in the process.

        1. One inevitable result of criticizing Rand is that her cultists will be able to rejigger Rand to evade the criticism.

          1. That’s not what happened.

          2. How does criticizing Rand as a person have any effect on her writing?

            I can think of many musicians and actors who are despicable people, yet they churn out some great work.

            1. Oh I find it perfectly simple to criticize Rand without once referring to the fact that she lived her entire life sponging off the charity of others.

              1. I thought she lived off the profits derived from selling her work to voluntary customers.

                How is that sponging off charity?

                Oh yeah. You don’t get the distinction between voluntary and force.

              2. What effect does how she lived her life have on her work or her ideas.

                Should I hate Sean Penn movies because I despise his politics?

                That would be pretty dumb.

                1. Well she was pretty adamant that one should live according to her philosophy, so her rampant hypocrisy is, at least, notable.

                  Tell me sarc, why is it impermissible to harm another even when it is in my rational self-interest?

                  1. Its not in your rational self interest, unless that other person is attacking you.

                    1. Bullshit There are certainly conceivable scenarios in which it is within my rational self-interest to harm another.

                    2. Other than self-defense.

                    3. Give me one example. So I can destroy it.

                    4. I want your money. There are no witnesses.

                    5. You are conflating desires with self interest. There is nothing rational about theft. A rational man knows that he (and everyone he cares about) will be better off living in a society where people are free to produce without fear of some thug taking what he has earned. He also knows that he will gain more value from his fellow men by trading with them, benefiting from their specialization. He also has pride knowing that what he has is his by right, by the fact that he created his own wealth. A rational man could not live knowing that he is a parasite.

                    6. Tony pwned.

                      I swear to Science, this dude is a Reason.com staff member sent here to keep the comment boards interesting. NO one is THAT intellectually dishonest…even that Wasserman-Schultz cunt.

                    7. But say there is a fully functional system of law and order in which most criminals are punished, but I know that I will not be. Taking your money will enhance my well-being. I don’t give a shit about you, as I don’t know you, and let’s stipulate that you’re a horrible, obnoxious human being nobody will miss, and that I have an underdeveloped conscience. It’s in my rational self-interest to murder you and steal from you.

                    8. “…I have an underdeveloped conscience” sounds like you’re not rational…

                      Did you miss the whole part about pride above?

                    9. Rand can’t account for the fact that it is sometimes in one’s rational self-interest to violate the rights of other people. If we are bound ethically to respect the rights of others, then we are not always to act in our own self-interest; we must sacrifice it for the good of others, on occasion.

                    10. You don’t understand Rand’s ethics. Your ethics is something that binds us (your words!). Rand’s ethics is a code of behavior that helps us achieve and maintain our values.

                      And you’re avoiding my response, particularly the part about pride.

                    11. What does pride have to do with rationality or self-interest?

                      Maybe I get a sense of pride from my accomplishment of murdering you and taking your wallet.

                    12. “Maybe I get a sense of pride from … murder…”

                      Then you’re not rational. And you are not pursuing your rational self interest. You are actually being self destructive.

                    13. “Maybe I get a sense of pride from … murder…”

                      Then you’re not rational. And you are not pursuing your rational self interest. You are actually being self destructive.

                      You’re begging the question.

                    14. I may not be moral but I could be perfectly rational.

                      Rand wants to pretend that there is one rational way to be moral. (And one rational way to appreciate music for that matter.)

                      But neither she nor you demonstrates a rational argument for this, you just claim it. By every conceivable measure my self-interest is served by stealing your money without punishment.

                      If what you want to say is that it can be in people’s self-interest to cooperate, well yeah. Up to and including cooperating on redistributionist tax policy.

                    15. Up to and including cooperating on redistributionist tax policy.

                      If everyone cooperates voluntarily, is it still a tax?

                      But one group of people exercising their rational self-interest can gang up on another group, take their stuff and distribute it. They can create a system of taxation and spending, etc. They can create Social Security and Ayn Rand can participate in it. And none of it would violate the principle of “rational self-interest.” (In closing, Ayn Rand was not very smart. )

                    16. let’s stipulate that you’re a horrible, obnoxious human being nobody will miss, and that I have an underdeveloped conscience.

                      A person with an underdeveloped conscience is mugging a horrible, obnoxious human being nobody will miss…?

                      Oh, I get it. It’s a trick question. Both the robber and the victim are Tony, so no crime was committed.

                    17. “..and that I have an underdeveloped conscience.”

                      No need to stipulate, we are well aware of that factoid.

                    18. That’s where the 2nd Amendment comes into play.

                    19. Well I’m the sociopath in this scenario and I have the same 2nd amendment rights you do. Bonne chance!

                    20. Why would a sociopath need ethics? He wouldn’t abstain from killing out of deference to the good of others either. Your scenario is meaningless.

          3. Oh, wait. You’re employing the ad hominem fallacy.

            You and your fallacies, confusing them for fallaces.

            Then again you really don’t care much for distinctions. The words look similar so they’re close enough.

            1. You and your fallacies, confusing them for fallaces.

              I hate to criticize your stroke of wit there, sarcasmic – but I think the word you might have been looking for is phalluses rather than fallaces. 🙂

          4. I think Rand is quite open to criticism, but rarely from the Left, whose cures are almost all worse than any disease we’re seeking to remedy.

            1. “I think Rand is quite open to criticism”

              I laughed pretty heartily at that. So I do have a sense of humor.

              1. and you have an colon so there is a gerbil running about in there?

          5. One usual result of criticizing Rand is that it reveals the critic as a leftist who isn’t intellectually competent to criticize Rand.

            Rand had her shortcomings, but that’s not really relevant to many of her ideas, particularly that man is the standard of values.

            1. Rand was (and is) attacked from the right too.

        2. Evidently, I am the only person who actually gets Nietzsche on this board, judging from that discussion.

          His philosophy can be summed up in this fashion: plucking hairs from an infected boil on ones own neck is the most exquisitely beautiful pain imaginable. Because women don’t grow hair on their necks, they don’t have the capacity for a pure understanding of the aesthetic value of existence that comes natural to men. Any deeper than that, and you are just not getting it.

      2. We are supposed to listen to Tony, declare it reasonable and then force everyone to march in lockstep.

    2. “Reason does not consist in shrieking the word ‘reason’ all the time.”

      And yet that’s all he does. That’s why we call him shriek.

    3. There is no evidence that you, or any other progressive, understand the most basic elementary requirements for rational thought.

      1. There is a lot of evidence. It just indicates the contrary.

          1. needs moar *THEYS*

    4. Tony,

      The fact that you

      1. have absolutely no sense of humor, and

      2. are completely immune to any rational argument

      makes your two posts perhaps the funniest ever put on this board.

      1. 1. have absolutely no sense of humor…

        Never thought about it, but you’re absolutely right.

        Tony can be unintentionally hilarious though. Like when he claims to be for freedom; I always get a chuckle out of that. Or when he brags about getting an ‘A’ on his senior project in college like anybody give a fuck.

        1. Liberals rarely do. And they never have a sense of humor about themselves.

          1. We have encountered a problem of definitions. I do not have a sense of humor as conservatives define it: whenever Rush Limbaugh says something particularly indefensibly idiotic, that’s humor. That nobody laughed is beside the point, of course.

            1. And thus Tony steps in to show that he completely misses the point and is every bit as humorless and nasty as charged.

            2. You defend accusations of humorlessness with the most devoid of humor post imaginable. RUSH LIMBAUGH, HURR FAT DURR! You don’t even see that the only reason Rush Limbaugh has fans is because it pisses people like you off. Not that I think Rush Limbaugh is funny, but his fatass is running laps around you in the lulz department.

              This is beyond politics, Tony. Most of the comedians I really like would probably be considered leftists. There are tons of hilarious liberals out there; you just ain’t one of ’em.

              You are just a humorless wet blanket.

              1. To the extent that Limbaugh is funny it is because he says outrageous things that most people are thinking and bullies on the left prevent from being said out loud.

                1. Notice that Tony will spend hours arguing that theft is moral, but won’t waste nary a post to defend his sense of humor. He knows he’s beat.

                  And for you folks spending time arguing with tony I’ll sum up his position on everything in a few sentences:

                  Tony believes that any law, no matter how tyrannical, is moral if 50% of voters vote for it or it has a nebulously defined “positive social outcome”. Unless it’s gay sex or abortion you’re outlawing, because those are our natural rights. You are a slave to the whims of your countrymen, and they can have the police stomp your fucking head into the curb for any arbitrary goddamn reason… unless it’s for gay sex or abortion then yer safe.

                  1. How can I compete with your charming wittiness?

                    Minority and individual rights are an exception to majority rule, by definition. That includes if a minority supported gun rights according to our constitution, btw. Otherwise majority votes are pretty much the fairest way to decide collective questions. Do you believe something different? Or should all questions be decided by you alone because you know best?

                    1. At least you admit what you are.

                    2. How is a “majority” of individuals each deciding alone what is best any more valid? And of course, each one does have to decide alone – even if it is only the decision to blindly go along with the crowd – though I realize the idea of independent thought and responsibility for one’s own success or failure strikes terror into the hearts of many. A majority, the public, society – those are just groups of individuals coming to their conclusions individually. They aren’t some kind of organic “one”. The number of people who believe or agree with it has no bearing on the truth or validity of a given proposition – that’s just elementary logic.

      2. +1 Sick burn, John.

        As a token of my respect, I’m going to ignore the last stupid thing you said, whatever it was.

        1. be generous, give him a 24 hour amnesty

    5. “Successfully criticized”

      lol @ weasel words. I’m sure that you always successfully criticize your opponents and are never successfully criticized yourself.

  6. spare me the condescension at the end. Elitism is off-putting without regard to your philosophy. He seems to think he is the one we’ve been waiting for.

    1. The metichlorian count in this one is high.

      1. nice Star Wars reference. My thoughts initially went to the Simpsons.

        Lisa: Dad, for the last time, please don’t lower yourself to the level of the mob.

        Homer: Lisa, maybe if I’m part of that mob, I can help steer it in wise directions. Now where’s my giant foam cowboy hat and airhorn?

        Everyone else is the idea man, Im the friggin grunt.

    2. THE O N E

      1. You are referring to the prophesy that Ayn Rand will be re-incarnated and bring balance to the federal budget…You believe it’s this boy?

        1. No. That one was strangled in his crib with his own umbilical chord. Evil won that round. We are now doomed to either left wing or right wing hell in the form of a dictatorship.

          The only question is will the masses be forced to give up sex, drugs and rock n roll (right wing hell) or will they be herded into dormitories so that they all can be equal (left wing hell). No drugs in left wing hell either.

          In Right wing hell fags and Muslims will be burned on every street corner. In left wing hell it will be the Joos, the bankers, priests and the bitches in pink outfits from Avon.


  7. Whoah Matt!

    Did you shave your pubes and glue them to your face?

    Seriously though, it’s a good look. But your glasses contain one too many lenses.

    1. It’s all in the rearview mirror now.

      1. Not if STEVE SMITH comes and gives you one of his signature gorilla masks.

  8. If the government decided to nationalize all parking lots tomorrow, you would hear progressives talking about the impossibility of the market acting on its own to meet the need of parking space without massive government involvement within a few years.

    1. If Congress moved to nationalize food production and distribution, progressives would accuse opponents of wanting people to starve.

      1. If Congress moved to give every American a mechanical pencil, progressives would accuse opponents of wanting people to starve.

        1. Wait up – .9 lead or what here?

          1. .5 or nothing, bitches. All you .9 and .7 people are incapable of precision.

            1. .5 cannot withstand the sheer force of my scribbling. 😀

    2. They don’t want to nationalize them. They just want to control and regulate them, for the good of the little folk. (Yes, the leprechauns)

      1. Well leprechauns have been historically overlooked by and under represented in the government so maybe they are due.

        1. One Robert Reich is enough for any nation to suffer.

      2. That has the added benefit of the State then pointing the finger at those bad ol’ kappeetilists when the plans of the State inevitably go awry. If the State takes ownership, that whipping boy disappears.

  9. The main problem with these guys (like a lot of Reason staff) is that they really don’t believe in free markets. They are stuck on the need for coercively funded police and courts.

    As seen in this http://capitalism.aynrand.org/what-markets-aint/

    Where my comments were mostly ignored and instead I was supposed to read this dreck http://www.hblist.com/anarchy.htm to gain enlightenment. Which is just a circular argument.

    They don’t understand or care that with markets and the price system even a little distorted by force and coercion you can never truly have freedom. Some peaceful person or persons somewhere are getting screwed over in someway by the system required to collect the taxes and to keep out competition.

    I make the point more completely in my comments there.

    1. Should say “, but the thing is just a circular argument.”

      1. Actually Ayn never supported coercive taxation. She held that a legitimate government must raise its funds entirely voluntarily (see “Government Financing in a Free Society” in The Virtue of Selfishness).

        1. So other people freely give to an organization they call ‘government” but I don’t am I still bound to it? Because if not and I can choose to give elsewhere to receive like services it’s an open and free market.

          If not it is a despotism of teh sort we live under today and will exhibit the same pathologies.

          1. Goddammit! I wrote ‘teh’ and missed it on preview.

            I hate leet speak and would never do it on purpose.

            1. What happens when a person from Government A is accused of a crime against someone from government B?

              1. There is always another party to go to arbitrate disputes.

                1. Gov A wants party C, Gov B wants party D …

                  1. I have heard that in some areas each disputant would choose a judge and then those two would choose a third so it could be the same. A chooses C B chooses D and together they choose X.

                    In any event it will get figured out.

                    And technically, they are not really governments if they are funded and subscribed to voluntarily.

                2. “Anarcho-capitalism” is dumb as hell and blindly self-contradicting. Anarchy is not an organized political (or economic) system; it’s anarchy. You can’t say, “I’m an anarchist” and then proceed to tell me about the private government you are going to create.

                  “Anarcho-capitalism” takes the problems of one state and multiplies them across a whole array of states. Anarchy is not freedom, and it sure as hell isn’t capitalism; the price of freedom is keeping the genie inside the (minarchist) bottle.

                  1. Oh, right. Of course. Spontaneous order, what’s that? Peaceful folks engaging peacefully, what the Hell That jus’ cain’t happen!

                    Yes, let us keep a bottle of evil around. Just in case. It probably won’t grow too large for the bottle or end up taking over, say, 45-50% of the economy or anything.

                    1. You still haven’t answered my question on how you will deal with criminals.

                    2. Look a little farther down in a reply to RC Dean.

                      Of course for violent criminals I hope they would be killed in the act, or in their attempt to escape.

                    3. Or by a big titted slut on a reality TV show.

                    4. You still haven’t answered my question on how you will deal with criminals.

                      Reality TV will provide the bounty and add their own twist to make it interesting, like we will only pay you to kill this fugitive if it is done with a crossbow. Anyway, you get the idea.

                    5. Group A says he is a fugitive, Group B says he is innocent. Somebody from Group A kills him. Somebody from Group B retaliates…

                    6. Like Tony below; you are assuming that violence, and lethal violence at that, will be the best option.

                    7. I am not assuming that violence will be the best option. The situation I have outlined is precisely people making choices that aren’t the best option, the initial crime and the retaliation for example.

                    8. The basic problem with that scenario with all the revenge adding to extending the series length, you’ll eventually run out of popcorn and have to go to the store to get more.

                  2. Thank you for my source of retard for the day, Libertarius. Will you be back to dispense more? And, please show at least as much effort in your thought as you did here. You seemed to be straining, a bit, but the results were magnificent.

    2. All you are saying is courts are not perfect. But neither is any other system to resolve disputes.

      You can’t have a market unless you have some way for people to enforce contracts and resolve disputes. Courts and a consistent rule of law has proven again and again to be the only way to do it. It may not be perfect. But there isn’t any alternative other than rule by the gun.

      1. It is possible to sign a contract where you agree that force can be used against you in certain circumstances and have this enforced with out having an overarching coercive structure.

        1. And if you disagree that you have breached the contract and triggered the UOF clause, who resolves that dispute? Nonviolently?

          1. Non-violently or non-lethally?

            If you live in my city and you say you didn’t but I say you did I’ll evict you. That might mean a hands on approach but likely no real harm to flesh or property.

            Of course I have to be careful in my decisions since I don’t want to appear arbitrary and thus lose customers.

            If it is you v. another person and you are found liable and yet don’t don’t make good, you could be shunned by those who support the judgement.

            This could lead to enough complications in your life that you accept the judgement anyway.

            If it is a horrible crime that might cause someone to seek revenge yet you say you didn’t do it but an inquiry concludes you did you might just be better off to put yourself in protective custody as you try to discover new evidence.

            There is a lot than can be discussed on this but the word limit makes it difficult.

            1. “…shunned by those who support the judgement.” Those gang members are quivering in their boots!

              Inquiry A says you did it, inquiry B says you didn’t. What happens?

              I respect many of our An-Caps here at Hit an’ Run, but I just don’t get it. It seems to me that such a system will naturally lead to groups of people living under a single government, as they fear the conflict that will happen if there is a disagreement between the competing gubmits.

              1. Are you really worried about gangs?

                With no prohibition and no black markets there will hardly be any reason for organized criminal societies.

                As a city owner if they got to be a problem I would expel the survivors.

                Or maybe you are envisioning post-apocalyptic Mad Max style biker swarms ravaging an un-policed rural dystopia.

                1. If you’re penalties for crimes are so pathetic there definitely will be gangs.

                  But that is besides my initial question. I’ll rephrase it for you. Your competing governments disagree, what happens?

                  1. Getting killed in the act is not pathetic nor is getting expelled from a city and having a reputation that means that others will not want to deal with you.

                    In addition just like the outlaws of old there would be nothing to stop your victims from hunting you down. By failing to respect the judgement there is no reason for others to respect you.

                    Hardly a pathetic result.

                    To you your mind they are governments. But really they are private organizations whose best interest lies in utilizing the lowest-cost highest-value means to resolve disputes.

                    This would mean choosing something other than violence and they will come to a peaceful agreement. How, exactly, and what the terms are are not any of my concern.

      2. Re: John,

        You can’t have a market unless you have some way for people to enforce contracts and resolve disputes.

        You can’t really enforce contracts, John – people are not slaves. However, you can avoid doing business with those individuals with bad track records. In a world of purely free markets and no or little government, reputation will be a very precious and well kept commodity: Most disputes would be settled through arbitration or private courts under the lingering possibility of losing face or good name.

        You can say that there will be crooks and cheats. Fine – would *YOU* want to do business with crooks and cheats even if you had the protection of government? I certainly wouldn’t. Government becomes an EXTREMELY expensive substitute for wits.

        1. No I’m pretty sure most disputes would be solved with violence.

          1. Really, violence would be the lowest cost option in most cases?

            Well, sure for you. Because your default setting is to to use force on people but most people aren’t like you. They have empathy and an ability to think long term and the wisdom to figure out consequences to their actions.

            1. No I’m pretty sure most people are nasty and brutish without some governing force in their lives. Even if most people were long-term thinking empathetic wise people, a certain proportion won’t be.

              Governments were invented for a reason. If the type of ungoverned society you guys are fantasizing about were possible, it would never have been necessary.

              1. Well then most people who go into to government will be nasty and brutish and we’ll have wars and genocide and mass incarceration of innocent folks and puppycide and wholesale looting of populations…good thing those don’t happen!

                1. Yeah people have used government for some nasty and brutish ends. What makes you think they’ll manage anarchy better?

                  1. You have some extremely nasty, violent and brutish people at the top of the government heap right now, so what’s your point?

                  2. If both are going to be equally violent why not save the money and not pay for a government?

                    1. Well history suggests that despite the horrible things governments have done, less developed governments were more brutal, proto-governments more brutal than they, and pre-civilization most brutal of all, if life expectancy and level of violence count for anything.

                      Even if all governments are inherently tyrannical, they all emerged from a pregovernmnent state, suggesting that anarchy is unsustainable, which additionally is just common sense.

                    2. So pre-technological societies that had nothing that we would recognize as market systems or efficient means for the transfer of information and goods would equal an anarchic society today?

                    3. Assuming you did it fairly and built it from the ground up (another contradiction in a conversation impossible to have without them), as the only modern means of transferring information and goods were built and are maintained by governments.

                      But assuming you were allowed to leach off those accomplishments once you abolish government, it would certainly be different. Deadlier weapons.

                    4. Roadz! Interwebz!

                    5. Look, anarchists are at least consistent, unlike libertarians, who want to place a magical stamp of legitimacy on their preferred forms of collective force, but they suffer from the same basic flaw in thinking: confusing a system you presume to be the most moral with one that is also most efficient. Why isn’t it possible, even likely, that in order to obey your moral strictures we all have to live in a complete hellhole? And in reality that hellhole would only go without government for an infinitesimal period before one form or another emerges, likely much less sophisticated than we already have.

                    6. Why would it be a Hellhole? The more barriers to trade and the movement of gods, labor and capital the worse things are.

                      Since there would be no barriers…..

                    7. Tony is such a hypocrite. He accuses libertarians of arbitrarily creating exemptions for courts, police, etc. when he does the same thing with gay rights, abortion, etc. with regards to majority rule, for way more arbitrary reasons

                    8. Im with Tony on this one. Anarchy always leads to tiranny. Suppose that two people live in the same place, one accidentally injures the other and makes him lose one leg. How much should he receive in compensation? This kind of things happen all the time. What would be your solution without a government with objective laws?

                    9. Government improving the lot of humankind with death camps, mass slavery and endless war! Wait, that would be “reeducation camps”, “voluntary service” and “Homeland Security”, right? The right vocabulary will make it okay.

    3. My own preferred An-Cap system is also of course not reliant on government, but only reliant on private arbitration for more technical purposes, like deals that require a formal contract to actually occur. It differs however, radically from the non-agression principle but otherwise fits in the libertarian view just fine. For small matters, the victor should take all. For instance, in the Martin and Zimmerman matter, given Zimmerman won that dispute, all of Martin’s possession should rightfully be Zimmerman’s. His skittles, his Arizona ice tea, and his girlfriend should all now belong to Zimmerman in a world where justice prevailed. Now, you should only be allowed to murder, if it serves a legitimate purpose like taking the possessions of someone else. So, spree killings and the like are not legitimate as they don’t in anyway advantage the party that is responsible for them. However, going after spree killers is legitimate due to the likelihood of bounty being placed upon their heads to be collected by the fortunate hunter.

      1. You think small. The real money is in coordinated looting. Become a leader and provide organizational and leadership skills in return for a cut of your underling’s loot. Let others loot for you.

        1. Some days, it is like you are the only one who really gets me, John.

        2. In fact, I wrote what I did to back up what you said. No, I don’t think minarchist is quite right for me, but you made the important distinction that many of us an-caps ignore, there will always be benefits and cost, trade-offs, in any social organization, and which of these are the most important are a matter of subjective preference. If general prosperity is not important to you, but fixed outcomes is, then you go with socialism, etc.

          Also, the other point, the non aggression principle isn’t necessarily a deal breaker if not prevalent in a functioning an-cap society.

    4. Well yeah, but that’s a tautology. I am not going to be 100% free until I am 100% free. But I’ll gladly take the watchman minarchist state over what we have now ANY DAY OF THE WEEK!

      Compared to our current situation, a market that is only 99.97% free is a close enough approximation to me! I am sure if we ever got there all you anarchists would still be bitching about how bad it is, how immoral it is for the government to hold bake sales to fund its monopoly courthouse.

      1. I, for one, am heartily sick of libertarian proposals being compared to some unattainable perfection, and found wanting, rather than being compared to what we have right here, right now.

      2. That’s fine. But the point is many want to stop right there at 99.7% and that would be huge improvement over what exists now. But would you fight to preserve that last .3% or just let it fade away?

  10. If libertarians wanted to have more mainstream appeal, they shouldn’t have weirdo names like Ayn or Yaron.

    1. who said they want mainstream appeal. Gnosticism is its own reward.

      1. You complete me.

  11. Wait wait wait.

    Since when are the ARI types speaking to libertarians? Or was Yaron Brook excommunicated recently?

    1. Maybe he didn’t do enough stumping for war on brown people.

    2. He’s the president and I don’t think he excommunicated himself.

  12. People don’t vote their pocketbooks, people vote what they think is right,”

    By an amazing coincidence, most people think that what’s good for their pocketbooks is what’s right.

    1. So that’s what “We are the 99%” means.

    2. By an amazing coincidence, most people think that what’s good for their in other people’s pocketbooks is what’s rightly theirs.

      This^ explains our voting habits a little better.

  13. Come on dude, really? I never thought about it liek that man!


  14. Mowal Owthowidy

    1. Is that a Harry Potter character?

  15. Mr. Brook, what is your opinion on Samson the Sadducee Strangler, Silus the Syrian Assassin, and the seditious scribes from Caesarea?

  16. Seriously, this needs some in-depth explanation. Since when do orthodox Ayn Rand Institute-official Randians like Yaron Brook associate with, speak to, grant interviews to, and generally sanction libertarians, and since when do they attend libertarian events like FreedomFest where they might run into a “nihilist” or — worse! — a Rothbardian? Is this new? Does this have anything to do with a guy on ARI’s board of directors now running Cato? Are cats and dogs finally living together? And what about the apostates at The Objectivist Center, which has always had strong links to Cato (Cato books by Objectivist Center folks, etc.)? What the hell is going on? And what about the fact that ARI’s Leonard Peikoff is a bloody-minded monster who wants to nuke the Middle East? The mind reels!


    2. But you have to admit watching O’Reilly talk about strategic war, as if innocent people aren’t going to die. It was kinda like no no we’re going to have a nice war and people will like us when we are done. If Peikoff did anything, he brought out the ridiculous idea of “humanitarian war” whether he meant to or not.
      If you’re going to have a war, then why not declare it and fight it? With that at least we get to see how they justify their war and whether or not it is Constitutional and no running to UN for mandates on R2P.

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