Saturday, September 26, 2009

OK, I think we can officially call it a hobbyhorse now


"States' rights," that is. I've been flogging it quite a bit here at KN@PPSTER, and my latest column at the Center for a Stateless Society hits it from an explicitly anarchist angle. Teaser:

While the constitutional argument for "states' rights" is exceedingly weak, the libertarian arguments for it are even weaker. Its advocates claim that because it promotes "decentralization," it enhances freedom -- but that's wrong on at least two counts.

First, "states rights" offers at least as much utility for suppressing freedom as for enhancing it, and historically its successful use has always been anti-freedom in effect.

Secondly, "decentralization" doesn't weaken the state -- quite the opposite, in fact. It strengthens the state by allowing the state's subdivisions to more specifically tailor their policies in ways that maximize their overall power.

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