Tag Archives: aggression

In Defence of Booby Traps


Note: As COVID-19 and the ongoing culture war are likely to be saturating our thoughts at the moment, this somewhat lengthy essay may provide a refreshing opportunity to delve into some libertarian theory concerning the defence of one’s home or business premises from trespassers. Self-defence generally is relatively neglected in libertarian theory compared to theories of private policing and court systems. Nevertheless, if political division continues to translate into increasing violence and civil unrest, then the greater clarity on this topic that the essay below seeks to achieve may not be entirely irrelevant to our current problems.

*     *     *

In Defence of Booby Traps

By Duncan Whitmore

Recently, Walter Block began a short thread on the LRC blog concerning the libertarian position on setting booby traps for the purpose of defending private property from trespassers. The discussion by no means exhausted all of the considerations involved in this topic, but a longer treatment may help to clarify some of the principles concerning self-defence in a libertarian legal order.

Every person in a free society is permitted to use defensive force against invasions of their person or property. Booby trapping does not question the principle of self-defence per se; rather, the difficulty is with whether this particular mode of protection may be considered defensive at all or whether the trap constitutes, in and of itself, an aggressive act in the event that it is sprung. Read more

Libertarian Law and Legal Systems Part Four – Liability for Wrongs


Libertarian Law and Legal Systems Part Four – Liability for Wrongs

By Duncan Whitmore

The fourth part of our survey of libertarian law and legal systems will explore causative events of legal liability arising from wrongs – that is a breach of some obligation owed by one legal person to another without the necessity of a pre-existing relationship such as a contract.

There are two issues that demarcate the approach of a libertarian legal system towards wrongs as opposed to that of a contemporary legal system. First is the definition of a wrong and second is the standard of liability – that is, the point at which the defendant becomes legally liable for a wrong.

Libertarian Definition of a “Wrong”

In contemporary legal systems, a wrong is some sort of act on the part of an individual that is viewed as being subject to legal sanction. Unfortunately, we have to start off with such a vague tautology as, looking at the variety of acts that are subject to legal regulation, this is about as precise as we can get. In many cases, of course, the wrong will be some form of harm caused by one individual to another which serves as the causative event to generate a legal response.

“Harm” is very broadly defined and can include violent and physical inflictions, such as murder, serious bodily injury, or damage and destruction to property, all the way to more ethereal harms that may include nothing more than speaking one’s mind such as “defamation” and causing “offence”. However, events currently classified as legal wrongs needn’t have a victim at all as the act may either be wholly unilateral or take place between consenting individuals. As an example of the former we can cite nearly all offences related to drug possession and dealing, and of the latter the criminalisation of certain sexual practices owing either to their nature (such as in sadomasochism) or to the gender of the participants (i.e. homosexual intercourse). Basically, it is no exaggeration to admit that a wrong, legally defined, in our contemporary, statist legal systems means nothing more than some act that the ruling government or legislature doesn’t like and wishes to outlaw, to the extent that even quite innocuous behaviour may find itself being subjected not only to legal regulation but to criminal sanction.

As we outlined in part one, no legal liability is generated in a libertarian legal order unless the wrong, or the “harm”, consists of a physical invasion of the person or property of another – in other words, only those actions that violate the non-aggression principle are subject to legal regulation. Read more

Why Libertarians Should Read Mises – Part Two


Why Libertarians Should Read Mises

Part Two

By Duncan Whitmore

Introduction

In Part One of this series of three essays exploring the significance of Ludwig von Mises for libertarian thought, we examined the specific place that Mises holds in our tradition, and outlined the unique sophistication of his utilitarian theory in favour of freedom compared to that of other theories that can be grouped into this bracket.

In this part we will turn our attention to a detailed analysis of the action axiom – the keystone of Misesian economic theory – and its implications for concepts that we readily encounter in libertarianism.

Somewhat ironically, it was largely as a result of his influence that the wertfreiheit of Mises’ praxeology was regarded as a separate discipline from the search for an ultimate, ethical justification of liberty – a belief that was sustained by Murray N Rothbard.1 In more recent years, Hans-Hermann Hoppe has probably come closest to providing a link between the two through his derivation of “argumentation ethics” within the praxeological framework, and his identification of the pervasive problem of scarcity – a key praxeological concept – as underpinning any system of ethics.

Nevertheless, one may conclude that a full reconciliation, or synthesis, between the two is still wanting and that there remain other important commonalities to which this essay will seek to provide an introduction. Some of what we will learn below will have implications for a general understanding of right, and that the truths we reveal are inescapable for any political philosophy. Others will be specifically pertinent to libertarianism and will provide us with insights as to how we can further the libertarian goal. Read more

Sunday afternoon thoughts on male aggression, and socialism


David Davis

WE watched, as is usual when we have the time, the Belgian Formula 1 GP, which was slightly less unexciting than normal owing to a good pile-up on the first lap. Perhaps we subliminally enjoyed the implied violence? I do not know….

…There is something wrong with today’s car-racing tracks, which I will deal with in time. But in short, they are (1) too short, (2) have got too many really really sharp corners straight after the start, and (3) don’t allow driver/car-changes midstream if you prang or the driver gets killed, and (4) don’t allow you to jump into the spare car (and where is it then?) while the track is still covered with shrapnel. Peter Davis and I did a nice track nearly two years ago on here, about 26 miles long and rather interesting on Googleearth. We will come back to it. You can serch for it in the meantime.

But…..male aggression. It’s probably one of the things that made Homo sapiens sapiens as successful as (he) is, in the battle for survival against shithead short-arsed-bears bureaucrats, sabre-tooth tigers Soviets, and so on. I have been thinking about this for some time as I find that male students vary considerably in their ability to manage or mask or evince aggression as a statement of attitude, and it does seem to vary corelationally by school. (The Governmint might want to know that.)  Janet Daley today examines what she suggests the fascist PC-left have done to being about the explosion of gang culture and knife crime among young boys and young men. It’s worth a read, even though lots of libertarians don’t like her.

In “New Britain”, youth male aggression is not channelled, and so individual directionless crime is rife: why? Because:-

(1) There are no fathers, only “mums”. Girls are born to “mums”, but boys are born by parthenogenesis to “single partners”. “Fathers” are just devices which prodice the necessary gametes, seemingly on demand (I can’t figure out how or why.)

(2) Young boys have to have their heads shaved at three and watch football all day on the Wireless Tele Vision, and “hang out”.

(3) “Schools” have sold their football fields for the building of “affordable housing”, so there are no “competitive sports” which foster “elitism and “inequality” anyway, and so are bad.

(4) The Naitonalised Curriculum has been voided of content and also femiNazised, in order to render school (on purpose) seemingly useless to boys, so that they can be made to prefer streetgangs as a form of daytime outdoor relief.

Socialism (a fungus) of course needs this machinery to propagate within what is otherwise a highly-ordered civilisation, formed sort of accidentally under liberty.

Is socialism a fungus born out of evolution and natural selection, and which exploits a niche? DISCUSS