As the territorial dominance of coercive (non-contractual) control grows, there are glimmers of relative hope. Some of the coercive controllers have noticed that reducing coercion to the defensive protection of private-property rights has the surprising effect of most effectively producing prosperity. The flourishing of choice and contract always takes place in such places. The analysis of this has been done most effectively by the Liberty Index of the Heritage Foundation. Empirically, the correlation between earthly prosperity and liberty is established. But what do facts matter when the power of aggression and coercion is the traditional way?
Where liberty flourishes the coercive controller does not. He will not go willingly or quietly. He has become fat on the produce of others. He is akin to an addict. Aggression against private property is a minor cost to he who joneses for a hit. He is legion. He is leviathan. He is hungry and so far he has not needed to ask in order to satisfy. He merely demands and takes without asking.
He, so far, thinks that he decides what counts as your property. He thinks that he decides with what instruments you may defend your property. He thinks that he decides at what price you may offer your property for trade. He thinks that he decides what of your property that you are permitted to trade (sex and drugs he frowns upon unless he controls them under his regulatory structure).
He maintains the primary institutions through which children are reared (public school). And they are reared to trust him. He maintains the institutions through which disputes are settled–even disputes that involve him (courts). He maintains the institutions that house the law breaker (prison). He both decides what laws, whether they are broken, and what the costs are. Right now he has miserably failed by imposing the weird cost of hanging out, well-fed and well-sheltered, with other law breakers for extended periods of time. This is catastrophe. But he will have it no other way…for now. He maintains units of enforcers, collectors and inspectors at almost every level of private life. The data he gathers he uses to his advantage. Note, he is different from Jack Dorsey who does not demand that you use his services. You MUST hand over data to the Department of Commerce or the IRS.
Under his behemoth like monstrosity he talks like all should be well. The human spirit should be able to both carry his weight and carry its own. The human spirit should be able both to meet its contracted obligations and support the non-contractual expectations of this bloated and stinking mass of coercive demand.
The good news? The gospel? Reality always beats appearance. Reality always wins. While appearance can be preserved far longer than expected (witness the staying power of fiat currency divorced from any real material good) it cannot last. While the Puritanical Libertarian does not claim deep insight into deep reality he willingly asserts the following which he takes to be too obvious to ignore: where rational social animals (humans) respect property things go best. Where the human spirit is allowed expression in word and deed and respects the expression of other human spirits, there is the greatest flourishing of prosperity.
The Puritanical Libertarian does not produce here a consequentialist argument that private property is best because of its results. No. Neither would he produce an argument that virtue is best because its results are best. How silly that would be. He does not wish to get lost in predictions about the future, and the effort to follow the complex web of this or that set of earthly conditions. He leaves this to the empirical data collector. In what follows he takes up the arguments of another type. Arguments that depend on an understanding of the human and arguments that depend on the apriori truths available to human reason independent of consequences or experience.
By producing such arguments the Puritanical Libertarian does not expect to end coercive control. He merely expects to maintain in his own heart and mind the deep truths about reality in the face of the appearance of weighty counter-evidence. He must plod along under the weight of leviathan. But he may also follow Plato in treating the soul like it is deserving of a fortress. The walls must be strong and the guardians watchful. This protection of soul is the protection of private property. This soul does not receive all appearances. Nor does it permit entry to all. The thief and aggressor are barred from entry. Reason and argument are the walls and guardians.
And to any who read: the Puritanical Libertarian is loyal to you who fight for private property and liberty. He wishes you well. He hopes he may count himself a member of your club assuming it is a club of voluntary contractors. But he also is loyal to your right to evict from your private property. Evict when and where you will! Only let us leave he who minds his own business alone. He is not to be aggressed against. What a world that would be.