No not Mark Perry, but a comment to this post.
Lots more below the fold.
Hold on, someone is wrong on the Internet!
No not Mark Perry, but a comment to this post.
Perry posted this:
"Quotation of the day on how conservatives view coercion and arbitrary power…
Mark J. Perry @Mark_J_Perry
August 4, 2016 12:59 pm Carpe Diem
…. is from F.A. Hayek’s book The Constitution of Liberty in the chapter “Why I Am Not a Conservative“:
In general, it can probably be said that the conservative does not object to coercion or arbitrary power so long as it is used for what he regards as the right purposes. He believes that if government is in the hands of decent men, it ought not to be too much restricted by rigid rules. Since he is essentially opportunist and lacks principles, his main hope must be that the wise and the good will rule—not merely by example, as we all must wish, but by authority given to them and enforced by them. Like the socialist, he is less concerned with the problem of how the powers of government should be limited than with that of who wields them; and, like the socialist, he regards himself as entitled to force the value he holds on other people."
Which generated this comment:
"Ken August 4th, 2016
In general, it can probably be said that the conservative does not object to coercion or arbitrary power so long as it is used for what he regards as the right purposes.
First off, everyone believes this.
Secondly, believing in using coercion for the “right purposes” is the opposite of “arbitrary”.
Third, libertarians, including Hayek, believe in the coercive power of the state to define and enforce property rights, as well as a number of other things, among them being criminal statutes.
It’s Hayek’s statement like the one above for which libertarians are often times laughed at and not to be taken seriously. The state derives its power from the use of violence and coercion. If someone is not an anarchist, he, by definition, “does not object to coercion … so long as it is used for what he regards as the right purposes”. The entirety of political debate is about what those “right” purposes are. That conservatives believe those “right” purposes are different from what many libertarians believe does not mean libertarians are not for the use of coercion (nearly all are). By putting it the say he did, all Hayek did was show that he is willing to lie about people with whom he disagrees politically."
Which caused me to reply:
"Maddog August 4th, 2016
I am sorry Ken but this is simply wrong. At its base it misunderstands the US Constitutional scheme, and republican theory. Frankly, to correct this misunderstanding it would take a book, I do not have the time. Here are some thoughts, and readings.
Republicanism Hardcover by Maurizio Viroli If the link does not come through, the book is available at Amazon, and other booksellers.
The case for republicanism:
“Unlike a natural science, political science proceeds not by inventing new theories to replace old ones but by rediscovering and refining forgotten ideas and themes; and sometimes the work of rediscovery helps actual political practice. It is with this in mind that I am proposing this consideration of republicanism, written from an Italian perspective for English-speaking readers.
Republicanism in its classical version, which I identify with Niccolo Machiavelli, is not a theory of participatory democracy, as some theorists claim, having in mind more recent sources. It is, rather, a theory of political liberty that considers citizens’ participation in sovereign deliberation necessary to the defense of liberty only when it remains within well-defined boundaries. Maintaining that sovereign deliberations–deliberations that concern the whole body of citizens–must be entrusted to the citizens themselves, republican theorists derived their principle of self-government from the Roman law that “what affects all must be decided by all.” The idea was that self-interest would recommend to citizens that they deliberate for the common good, since those who participated were all equally affected.
If sovereign deliberations are entrusted to a large body rather than a small one, it is more likely that the council or legislature will have the political strength to carry out the common good against factional interests.”
Republicanism is concerned with liberty not democracy, and republicans will do whatever necessary to protect and enhance liberty, even at the expense of democracy.
“Classical republican writers maintained that to be free means to not be dominated–that is, not to be dependent on the arbitrary will of other individuals. The source of this interpretation of political liberty was the principle of Roman law that defines the status of a free person as not being subject to the arbitrary will of another person–in contrast to a slave, who is dependent on another person’s will. As the individual is free when he or she has legal and political rights, so a people or a city is free insofar as it lives under its own laws. […]
Classical republican theorists also stressed that the constraint that fair laws impose on an individual’s choices is not a restriction of liberty but an essential element of political liberty itself. They also believed that restrictions imposed by the law on the actions of rulers as well as of ordinary citizens are the only valid shield against coercion on the part of any person or persons. Machiavelli forcefully expressed this belief in his Discourses on Livy (I.29), when he wrote that if there is even one citizen whom the magistrates fear and who has the power to break the law, then the entire city cannot be said to be free. It can be said to be free only when its laws and constitutional orders effectively restrain the arrogance of nobles and the licentiousness of the people.”
Your belief that no one “object[s] to coercion or arbitrary power so long as it is used for what he regards as the right purposes” is incorrect. We republicans disagree.
You go on to state: “Secondly, believing in using coercion for the “right purposes” is the opposite of “arbitrary”.” But the use of coercion within republican theory can only exist because individuals have chosen to breach the laws imposed on an individual, which were imposed by the constraints of fair laws imposed by the people themselves. These laws by definition are not arbitrary, and are fair.
“Action regulated by law is free…not when the law is accepted voluntarily, or when it corresponds to the desires of the citizens, but when the law is not arbitrary, that is, when it respects universal norms (when it applies to all individuals or to all members of the group in question), aspires to the public good, and for this reason protects the will of the citizens from the constant danger of constraint imposed by individuals and therefore renders the will fully autonomous.”
You further state, “Third, libertarians, including Hayek, believe in the coercive power of the state to define and enforce property rights, as well as a number of other things, among them being criminal statutes.” You go on, “The state derives its power from the use of violence and coercion.”
While the discussion above answers this issue, another aspect of our Constitutional law handles this issue as well. The Constitution is a compact solely between the peoples of the United States in which they agree to give up specific rights in exchange for an additional modicum of security. This was done within the framework of the republicanism, and comports fully with the theory of political liberty. The result was an agreement which provided for specific, and clearly articulated powers which government could exercise to create that security space. These are the very definition of fair laws, and as such fully comport with political liberty, and so the individual, and the people living under these laws are free.
Hayek understood these political, and economic theories, and expanded upon them.
I post at Maddog’s Lair (maddogslair.com) visit sometime.