Anthony Gregory Gets It

Good post from Anthony on a FB forum.

“I think bourgeois Americans are not as conservative as Hoppe assumes that are in some of his writings. Even with today’s dominant social values, most Americans would not want to live by rules as strict and culturally rightwing as he implies would be common.

I heard Hoppe say in a talk once that the drug war would be impossible without a state. Conservatives might support a drug war with socialized costs, but they won’t incur the costs themselves to wage a crusade against this personal activity. I think without a state, social oppression is possible but the costs become much more personalized. For social oppression to thrive without the state requires authoritarian pressures running through the culture. It is possible but exhausting. The more these authoritarian currents are softened through free trade, migrations, social interactions, the internet, the media, and so forth, the harder it is to maintain voluntary authoritarianism of the kind we see some rightwing libertarians advocate. A covenant rule against homosexual activity, for example, is possible in a small community, but has a limit to its enforceability, especially insofar as the other values of a free society thrive in the community.

I predict that if we abolished the state today, there’d be private communities with more conservative social pressures than I would personally favor, and probably even a few that we might consider anarcho-fascist. But I think they would be on the fringe, and they would tend to liberalize over time. If there are covenants that don’t allow gays or whatever, they would be few and far between even in modern conservative America A society as free as it would need to be simply to let go of the state would tend toward authoritarianism breaking down on the local level as well. If the truly oppressive social relations were stubborn in this regard, I and other libertarians would probably agitate for peacefully encouraging a move away from reactionary social norms.

There might always be pockets of antiquated and authoritarian controls. But they are not the norm I envision in a free society, nor much of an effective selling point, seeing as how most of the people who want to cling onto such controls are probably not going to join in on the rest of the libertarian project.

I want a world in which there are black-tie dinners where everyone knows the dress code. If a nudist walks in it’s considered rude, but it’s also considered rude to make a scene of their entrance. Yet neither of these would be as rude as calling for the sacrifice of freedom’s tranquility so as to solve this problem. Whoever calls the cops first would be the most gauche of all.”

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