Button Pushing and the Radical Libertarian
August 2020: I read this essay and added commentary for Episode 345 of the Everything Voluntary podcast.
Since I claim to be a radical libertarian, the question presents itself, "What is a radical libertarian?" Though I'll give my own thoughts on the question, I could not answer this any better than one of the greatest of radical libertarians, Murray Rothbard:
The true test...of the radical spirit, is the button-pushing test: if we could push the button for instantaneous abolition of unjust invasions of liberty, would we do it? If we would not do it, we could scarcely call ourselves libertarians, and most of us would only do it if primarily guided by a passion for justice.Simply beautiful! He smacks the nail once and it's flattened. I wholeheartedly agree with Rothbard and joyfully claim to be such a radical. So then, in my estimation, what would the button that I've pushed abolish exactly? I'll start at home and move outward:
The genuine libertarian, then, is, in all senses of the word, an "abolitionist"; he would, if he could, abolish instantaneously all invasions of liberty, whether it be, in the original coining of the term, slavery, or whether it be the manifold other instances of State oppression. He would, in the words of another libertarian in a similar connection, "blister my thumb pushing that button!"
- Local (and every city in the world)
- All professional and business licensing laws and other regulations of commerce, local on up.
- All firearms regulations, local on up.
- All licensing of marriage, and marriage regulations, local on up.
- All property taxes, zoning laws, and building regulations.
- City/County ownership of land and buildings, sold to the highest bidder, proceeds returned to residents.
- All public funding of city government.
- All civil crime among local residents.
- All forms of compulsory education.
- All forms of violent, coercive, force-based parenting.
- State (and every State in the Union)
- All income taxes.
- State monopoly on security (police) and dispute adjudication (courts).
- State ownership of land and buildings, sold to the highest bidder, proceeds returned to residents.
- Public schooling, public funding for schooling.
- Bring every national guardsmen home, disband the standing army.
- All public funding of state government.
- Nation (and every country in the world)
- End the War on Drugs, all drug laws, pardon and release all non-violent drug offenders.
- Federal monopoly on security (army) and dispute adjudication (courts).
- Federal ownership of lands and buildings, sold to the highest bidder, proceeds returned to residents (those who paid into entitlements such as Social Security and Medicate first).
- All income taxes and tariffs.
- All regulations on interstate commerce.
- Transportation Security Administration.
- Bring every troop home, close every base, disband the standing army.
- Destroy all nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
- All monetary regulations, legal tender laws, the Federal Reserve System.
- All public funding of national government.
- World (the entire planet, and wherever life is found)
I think that about does it. I may have missed one or two things, but since all public funding of government would be abolished, what I missed will disappear. I encourage the inquirer to explore each link above. That, my friends, is what it means to be a radical libertarian.