By Insula Qui


Having established thus far that an entire field of libertarian inquiry exists by using statecraft for the maximization of profit within a libertarian system, we can now start looking at the problems that arise from certain systems. The most problematic political system that could arise from libertarian statecraft is a totalitarian system. This is any system in which superficially libertarian contracts could lead to a complete abandonment of all rights. We must now determine whether this is a problem for libertarians, and if so, whether voluntary totalitarianism must be fought.

Totalitarianism and Profit

It is possible to form a seemingly totalitarian society within the libertarian framework. One can imagine a contract that requires signing away all rights and joining a totalitarian government. However, this is a very poor value proposition. If this sort of totalitarianism helped maximize the personal collection of profit, then it could be a thriving system under libertarianism. However, this leaves one’s property liable for resale and is thus infinitely unprofitable due to regime uncertainty.

One must keep in mind the propertarian concept that property is not only the material well-being of each individual, but their own lives and social interactions as well. A totalitarian government places itself in a position of being an effective state through the impact that it has on society. Totalitarianism is the only way that one can have one’s property resold in a libertarian framework. However, this serves as a powerful condemnation of statism and argument for libertarianism, in that only the absolute worst result of libertarianism is comparable to the state.

Libertarian Absolutism

A totalitarian system within a libertarian framework would remove the ability to revoke consent, and is thus a horrible strategy for maximizing profit. However, there could be a system which allows people the right to exit yet otherwise gives the voluntary government absolute power, so absolutism can exist within a libertarian framework. As long as property is not liable for resale, this form of absolutism is not contrary to libertarianism.

Absolutism as a strategy would also be profit-maximizing if there was an incredibly wide gap of knowledge and ability between the governing class and other private individuals. If the governing class always makes better decisions than private individuals, then it is profit-maximizing to have absolutism. And when interests do not conflict, absolutism still allows for freedom. If members of the governing class have such a degree of wisdom that all conflicting desires should be resolved on the side of the government, then there is nothing wrong with absolutism. Even without reserving any individual rights and even whilst voluntarily giving up all power, libertarianism can accommodate this theoretical possibility. All arguments for technocracy and absolutism are replicable within libertarianism if the technocrats can demonstrate their own value and refrain from aggressive violence.

Conversely, if absolutism is regarded as a subsidy for the political class, then there can be no absolutism within a libertarian framework. If absolutism did not maximize individual profit, then it would be contrary to individual goals and thus would be abandoned as a viable strategy by the property owners employing the government. If a strategy of government organization becomes unprofitable, then that strategy cannot maintain itself as the government has no popular consent. If it was understood that withdrawing consent from government was possible, no person would have the capacity to sustain that government. Coercively seeking subsidy without popular agreement is impossible; such interactions become a matter of either war or trade. There is no parasitism in a libertarian social order; as such any non-parasitic system can flourish without that burden.

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