Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

I'm not a libertarian in the economic sense. My reason for wanting the state abolished is firstly because it provides support via conferring of private property rights to the bourgeoisie; secondly, because the state's authority is unjustified as the world's entire divison into states results in non-voluntary association, thirdly because the state insists upon censorship and imposition of authority with threat of violence rather than voluntary association, thirdly my belief that man is born free, only constrained by power and class relationships which exhibit themselves currently as government-citizen and bourgeois-proletarian.

But I would like to ask: upon what authority does the state, the private property owner and the landlord declare their dominion? Remember that if the defence of the state is something like "it has been democratically elected" it would follow that any other institution elected via democracy to replace the state would be in legitimate competition with the state, and be just as valid. Furthermore that the officers of the state are not subject to instant recall, and many parts are not democratic at all.

Under what authority? The consent of the governed. Even in North Korea, it comes down to the consent of the governed. At the same time, there's not a lot of interest in relocating to failed states because whatever freedom you would find there, you would find even more threat and even less opportunity.

>Under what authority? The consent of the governed.

That's strange, I don't remember consenting.

I think what he means is that government derives its authority from people respecting its authority and following its laws. If everyone in the US woke up tomorrow and agreed that we were better off if we just abolished the government, it would cease to exist. The fact that that hasn't happened suggests that people on some level feel that we're better off if we don't do that. I don’t think this is a very strong argument though; e.g. in a place like North Korea, it’s very difficult to overthrow the government even if a lot of people might feel that would make them better off.

I agree that people don’t “consent” to being governed just by virtue of being born, but I don’t think it’s possible to have a world where people consent to being a part of every power structure they’re forced to participate in, nor to have a world without such power structures.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact