Libertarianism and Private Corruption

Discussion in 'Human Rights' started by ibshambat, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. ibshambat

    ibshambat Banned

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    Libertarians, objectivists and some conservatives all make the same error. They see federal government as an organ of corruption and oppression, and nobody else as such.

    In fact there are many organs of corruption and oppression that aren't the federal government. Violent husbands. Oppressive religions. Suffocating communities. Corrupt networks in law and medicine. In Western countries, these exercise far greater levels of corruption and oppression than does the federal government.

    In Western countries, the governments are elected, official, and made accountable to the public. The same is not the case for these other entities. This results in them having an unchecked potential for brutal, corrupt and oppressive practices. And while the libertarians are out there hunting for corruption potentials in the federal government, real corruption sprouts up under their noses and puts them in its service.

    You may ask my friend Celeste, an MD who had three of her relatives murdered in American medical health system. Corrupt doctors enlisted corrupt coroners and corrupt lawyers to bury the evidence and draw away from her any lawyer that she would hire. Or you may ask any number of women who escaped serious domestic violence in the American South, only to see the courts award their children to the perpetrators. Or you may ask someone I know who tried to escape from Jehovah's Witnesses, only to see his family commit him indefinitely in a mental hospital and manipulate him to become hateful and abusive to his loving and generous girlfriend.

    Obama did not do this. Corrupt local entities did.

    What is more worthy of authority: An entity that is official, accountable, checked and balanced, or entities that are unofficial, unaccountable, unbalanced and unchecked? There is no official check on the power of communities and religions. There is no official check on the power of corrupt entities in law and medicine. There is no official check on the power of Jehovah's Witnesses. The problem gets no attention at all from the libertarians, as they spend all their time and energy scrutinizing the federal government. And thile they are out there spouting New World Order conspiracy theories and claiming “statism” or “socialism,” real corruption and real oppression grows up in their hometowns. The entities that are responsible for this corruption, being the manipulative little jerks that they are, then, ridiculously, direct the energies of the libertarians toward fighting those in the government who seek to fight this corruption under the false – and ridiculous – claim that in doing so they are protecting values and freedom.

    Values and freedom that they violate to a far greater extent than does the federal government; and which violations, with the energies of the scrutinizers spent on the federal government, goes unnoticed and unchecked.

    That an entity is unofficial does not make it any less capable of corruption and oppression than the official entities. Indeed, being unofficial, it is un-scrutinized; which gives it an unlimited potential for corruption and oppression. This is the case with the doctors who murdered Celeste's relatives; this is the case with the community courts that award children to child rapists and batterers; this is the case with Jehovah's Witnesses; this is the case with many others.

    A person truly interested in defending liberty and integrity will do so from all entities that infringe on these things, whether they be official or unofficial. A true libertarian will be just as willing to take on private corruption and oppression as to take on public corruption and oppression. Once they do, they will have earned their title as defenders of freedom. And until they do, they are cowards and hypocrites who attack an entity that is easy to attack while doing nothing to fight real wrongs.
     
  2. Hoosier8

    Hoosier8 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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  3. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    In the Libertarian school of thought, the role of government in preventing corruption is to uphold privately agreed-upon contracts.

    Libertarians have no objection to government stopping fraud. For example, a corporate board making a decision that is clearly not in the best interest of the shareholders of the company, to gain personal benefit.
    The only question is exactly how government goes about doing this, and precisely what the laws should be, where the line should be drawn to allow government to stop the fraud without giving government excessive legal powers that could be prone to abuse and excesses.

    In addition, there are also separate issues of jurisdiction surrounding fraud. For example, the U.S. extraditing and prosecuting someone in Jamaica who tricked a victim into sending money would raise issues of concern in Libertarian circles. Because that's only a step away from countries enforcing their laws in other countries. In the Libertarian mind, it's bad enough to be subject to the laws of one government, but also being a slave to the laws of every other government that exists in the world is intolerable, and there needs to be some safeguards.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2024
  4. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    That is not entirely true. It depends on what you mean exactly by power.
    Isn't it true that religions are subject to pretty much all the same laws that apply to private companies?
    Most of the other power of religion is voluntary, even if there can be social pressures.
    There are of course some cult-like religions such as Scientology that really push the boundary of what is legal and acceptable, but I think that would be a separate discussion.

    And for a big enough religious organization, such as the Catholic Church, I do not think corruption is any more likely than in any government.
     
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  5. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I think that is a straw man argument.
    Any of the government checks on corruption in law and medicine which you can think of, I do not think Libertarians would object to. I can't think of any examples.

    I do think that could be an interesting discussion in itself, whether we think that Jehovah's Witnesses would be given more free reign under a Libertarian government than they already currently have in the United States.

    Certainly there are some countries which restrict the freedom and scrutinize the activities of Jehovah's Witnesses more than others.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2024
  6. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    In my opinion, you almost seem to be subtly changing the issue.

    It seems you want a strong central government to have total power over and police the corruption in smaller local governments.
    The issue of course with that is who is going to police the big government at the top, if there's ever a corruption problem there?

    You are not really addressing the issue of Libertarianism at all. This seems to have more to do with level of government.
    Is your argument here against more regional local control? It's not really clear what exactly your argument here has to do with Libertarianism.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2024
  7. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Can you cite a recent example of the federal govt being held accountable for its corruption?

    The problem is not that fedgov is the only corrupt entity, clearly it isn't the only one. The problem is the amount of power and scale of influence corrupt fedgov wields, which at this point is rapidly growing to absolute. America was founded on the idea that the govt would always be corrupt by the very nature of the power of governing, which is why we were sposed to keep it small- to limit the power and influence of the inevitable corruption.
     
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  8. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Awww damnit. Kaz is raising zombie threads.

    Necromancy!
     
  9. AARguy

    AARguy Banned

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    I always wanted to be a Libertarian but I could never quite master the Dewey Decimal System.
     
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  10. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I agree there is some trade-off and tension between the two.

    The difference is that if a private organization is corrupt, individuals legally have the choice not to associate with that organization; whereas if government is corrupt, government has a monopoly and it is much harder to escape or for an individual to choose not to have dealings with them.
     
  11. Jakob

    Jakob Newly Registered

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    So, what does corruption mean? To bribe someone or an institution for the own benefits.

    For me, there's a lot of corruption going on in he USA. The NRA is a mighty corruption institution. Or the food industry bribing the FDA to feed hormones to rise beef or use cancer inducing colors to their sweets. Weak governance against strong corporate interests.
     

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