Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Addressing Brian Holtz's alleged "asymmetry"


The alleged asymmetry:

[A]narchists get to complain if the LP doesn't say nearly everything anarchists believe, but smallarchists have to shut up and smile if they disagree with anything the anarchists make the LP say. And heaven forbid the LP actually say anything the anarchists disagree with.

I don't think any LP radical has ever even grasped this asymmetry, let alone tried to justify it.


My response:

That particular alleged asymmetry exists entirely in Holtz's fevered imagination.

There is, however, an asymmetry built into the Dallas Accord.

The anarchist end of the Dallas Accord is that the Libertarian Party's official dogma isn't to be used to demand that the state must, or should, be abolished.

The minarchist end of the Dallas Accord is that the LP's official dogma isn't to be used to demand that the state must not, or should not, be abolished.

This does leave anarchists with a somewhat more free doctrinal hand than minarchists:

Anarchists can seek to put the LP on record in favor of the abolition of any particular state function or program without violating the Accord, because the abolition of this or that government function or program (or even any particular set of such functions or programs) does not necessarily imply abolition of the state itself.

Minarchists, however, fall afoul of the Accord if at any point they seek to put the LP on record in favor of retention or expansion of any existing state function or program, or the introduction of any new state function or program, because such retentions, expansions or introductions do necessarily imply retention of the state itself.

I don't see that this asymmetry is necessarily a bad thing. Anyone care to argue that it is, and why?

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