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CWilliams
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It's been a long time since I've read something that fits the term "floating abstraction" as well as what CWilliams is talking about.  Apparently, all voters have to do is "vote" for the government to "provide a service" and it magically happens.  I think he has been reading too much Rothbard.  A government does not provide a service.  It provides a system of laws to protect individual rights.  Using his scenario, the govt. would have to pass a law creating his system of schools (or whatever other "service" he deems some group wants), and such law would have to be applied to everyone, as any objective law would.  So his suggestion is outright contradictory: his voluntary service immediately becomes coercive.  

 

CWilliams asserts "a Government's purpose is to protect the rights of its citizens" without providing any evidence as to why this is so or how it achieves its purpose, as if providing services is all that a government does, as if providing other voluntary services could possibly be within the purview of government action.

 

For what it's worth, you haven't provided any detail either.

 

Also, a government that only provides a "system of laws to protect individual rights" and doesn't have, say, an army and a police force and courts etc. etc, isn't going to protect anybody's individual rights...

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Are you implying that armies and police and courts will be formed without laws?  I didn't raise the issue so it's not my responsibility to provide evidence of it or any detail for it.    

If a government only provides the system of laws, well, clearly, it doesn't have a means to do anything. It requires money. Then you also add in the need of property for lawmakers to convene, acquiring weapons, etc, so that is past what a government is narrowly supposed to do. You're right, but the point is your answer doesn't resolve the issue of what the -precise- limits of government ought to be.

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Are you implying that armies and police and courts will be formed without laws?  I didn't raise the issue so it's not my responsibility to provide evidence of it or any detail for it.    

 

A government that only provides a "system of laws to protect individual rights" and doesn't have, say, an army and a police force and courts etc. etc, isn't going to protect anybody's individual rights...

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A government that only provides a "system of laws to protect individual rights" and doesn't have, say, an army and a police force and courts etc. etc, isn't going to protect anybody's individual rights...

I'm not sure if you're referring to what Crow said about what he said I said, but if  either of you are going to attempt to cite something I said, please cite it accurately.  Nowhere did I say or imply "only".

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You're getting off topic.  The original question was "Basically my question is if no force is exercised why should government be limited, if i decide that it is in my rational self-interest to fund a basic education for children who otherwise couldn't afford it (and enough others also decide this) would it become a justified function of government?"

 

My answer above stands to this question, and Crow's and Eluol's response to me is out of context of addressing the question.  I was not formulating a theory of the functions of government.

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I'm not sure if you're referring to what Crow said about what he said I said, but if  either of you are going to attempt to cite something I said, please cite it accurately.  Nowhere did I say or imply "only".

 

Um, I just repeated myself after you misquoted me--emphasizing a critical word you seem to have missed. I thought that was obvious. I guess not.

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You're getting off topic.  The original question was "Basically my question is if no force is exercised why should government be limited, if i decide that it is in my rational self-interest to fund a basic education for children who otherwise couldn't afford it (and enough others also decide this) would it become a justified function of government?"

 

My answer above stands to this question, and Crow's and Eluol's response to me is out of context of addressing the question.  I was not formulating a theory of the functions of government.

 

You accused the writer of "floating abstractions" which I usually take to mean somebody who makes very broad statements with no facts to back them up. You said he "had been reading too much Rothbard" without citing what he said relates to Rothbard or what that even means (since the statement alone is meaningless). You attack his position in vague terms--floating abstractions, to be sure.

 

And now you are accusing us of responding out of context. Irony much?

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