Declan McCullagh on Wed, 14 Aug 96 17:18 METDST

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Re: nettime: libertarians

On Sat, 3 Aug 1996 wrote:

> "Libertarians complain that the state is parasitic, an excrescence on
> society. They think it's like a tumor you could cut out, leaving the patient
> just as he was, only healthier. They've been mystified by their own
> metaphors. Like the market, the state is an activity, not an entity. [...]

[I forwarded this message to a friend, whose reply is attached. --Declan]

Comment:  Even if every single good thing in my life, including my own
genetic makeup, was a direct result of government action, I would still be
a libertarian.  All that matters from the standpoint of making good public
policy is the future.  The past is only relevant if it teaches us lessons
about what makes good policy generally.  I think the most pro-government
lesson that past govnt involvement with the internet teaches is that the
govn't can *sometimes* do good things as a completely unintended
consquence of their actions.  This is not a complete surprise, nor does it
require me to back off from the general observation that the unintended
consequences of government action usually range from zero net gain to
very, very bad. 

// // I do not represent the EFF // //

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