Patri Friedman makes a comment about disaster liability.  Brian Doherty, as an excuse to mention Reason’s dumbassed cruise (which I’m surprised Patri is planning on attending), quotes him.  Of course, hilarity ensues, primarily in the form of site regulars actually defending limited liability via strawman — “Really, you would sue every single insignificant shareholder?” — followed by a couple mainstream liberal passersby making remarks such as the following:

Libertarians, like it or not, are de facto Republicans, who deliberately weaken regulatory agencies, fill them with cronies, and ignore any checks on conflicts of interest – and then claim, when the agency fails, that it must be some inherent flaw in government. *facepalm*

Corporatism — hell, corporate existence itself — requires a state so that there’s an entity for large, politically connected businesses to leech off of the populace through, and a complex regulatory structure so that the people being robbed can’t easily track what is happening.  Without this, the corporate form as we know it would be dead, as if each business owner had to openly ask for the same privileges and loopholes that are currently assumed by existence alone they would be overwhelmed by the amount of negative response.  A consistent libertarian response to this form being rendered impossible would be “good, fuck ’em!”, as keeping it leads to injustice. Someone with this view would much rather, instead of merely weakening the regulatory agencies, do away with their reason for existing in the first place, and as such has both no desire for control over them and no chance in hell of obtaining it anyway.  The ones that do gain control are about as far from such radicalism as is possible: they don’t want to get rid of government, they just want it to work for them.

Actually, I agree that crony capitalism is not an inherent flaw in government.  Calling it a flaw would imply that it was unintentional…  


About b-psycho

Left-libertarian blogger & occasional musician.
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One Response to Liabilities

  1. Joe says:

    I think the comments section at reason exists solely for the purpose of giving credence to the liberal caricature of libertarians.

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