"He's a snake in the grass, I tell ya guys; he may look dumb but that's just a disguise; he's a mastermind in the ways of espionage." Charlie Daniels, "Uneasy Rider" A note to Lew Rockwell regarding the reflexive irrelevancy of libertarians on the climate/big government morass - TT's Lost in Tokyo

A note to Lew Rockwell regarding the reflexive irrelevancy of libertarians on the climate/big government morass

Lew Rockwell has a post up on the Mises Economics Blog - "The Left Fell into the Climate Morass" - that has just come to my attention. I`m not from the left, but as a right-leaning, free-market enviro, I offered Lew a few comments, which I copy below:

Lew, I think most of your criticism of the left and of environmentalists is apt, but "libertarians" have only to look in the mirror to see someone to blame for the lack of productive discourse on environmental and regulatory issues, and the reason why libertarians are being marginalized in the confused debate over the legitimate role of the state.

Libertarians in general continue to:

- ignore the opportunities created by widespread concerns about climate change risks to partner with both left and right to seek to undo counterproductive state/federal regulation:

- refuse to follow-up on their own analyses to dig more deeply to see that the roots of the disastrous cycle of regulation (and snowballing fights over the wheel of government) lie in the grant of limited liability to corporate investors, and the resulting externalization of risk and undermining of common law property protections:

- as Ed Dolan suggested, continue to act as the "conservatives" that Hayek despised by refusing to question the legitimacy of the favors provided to statist enterprises under the status quo, and turn a blind eye to the direct role that "libertarians" play in the gamesmanship such enterprises continue (such questions of motives being "ad homs" except when addressed to alarmists, in whch case it is "cui bono"):

- instead of acknowledging the legitimacy of concerns over man`s onslaught on nature and local communities (arising both from a lack of property rights problem and from the hand of kleptocratic governments) prefer a self-comforting irrelevancy, both on climate and on resource issues generally:

- rather than honest engagement, prefer a tribal hatred of misanthropic "watermelons" and a smug love of strawmen and ad-homs:

Time once again for some self-satisfied, but ultimately empty tribal holiday cheer?




Published Sun, Dec 20 2009 6:21 PM by TokyoTom


# re: A note to Lew Rockwell regarding the reflexive irrelevancy of libertarians on the climate/big government morass

Sunday, December 20, 2009 8:18 AM by nskinsella

limited liability is not a privilege nor is incorporation. hessen has shown how contracts can and should be formed by private agreement. And shareholders would not be liable anyway for actions of employees under standard principles of causation and responsibility.

# re: A note to Lew Rockwell regarding the reflexive irrelevancy of libertarians on the climate/big government morass

Sunday, December 20, 2009 5:50 PM by TokyoTom

Stephan, what are you jabbering about?

You know very well that:

(1) I am talking not about what owners could contract with each other, their employees and voluntary creditors, but about the state grant of limited liability to investors/shareholders, which limited liability is something that non-consenting parties injured by corporate acts (acts of employees, managers and owners) certainly could not contract to give to owners in advance, and

(2) this limited liability is not simply and incidental and irrelevant aspect of a corporate structure that could otherwise be cobbled together by contracts, but a key attribute that even today is one of the chief reasons for incorporating (including multiple subsidiaries), has fuelled investments in risky activities that may pay off but leave the injured holding the bag for losses that exceed assets, and led to a spiral of corporate growth, externalization of risk, the growth of the corporation, the subversion of the common law (that Block documents as the reason for the growth of environmental problems), the distrust of corporations and continuing pressures by citizens on government to "do something".

You`ve probably also noted the absurd string of judicial decisions by which corporations, rather than the individuals working in and owning them, have Constitutional rights, and "due process" rights under the 14th Ad (which was drafted with slaves and former slaves in mind, but who are hard to find in the jurisprudence).

You`ve probably also noted that the state grants of unlimited life and purpose, coupled with limited liaiblity, have served to make corporations singularly potent rent-seekers, serving as huge pools of assets by which to corrupt government (as well as sheep to be shorn by government), and engendering both the modern distrust of corporations and of "capitalism".

# Eve of Destruction: As a result of conservatives' quasi-religious love of corporations and statist capitalism, Al Franken's comments about the Supreme Court actually seem perceptive

Sunday, June 20, 2010 2:07 AM by TT's Lost in Tokyo

1. As prologue, I refer to my earlier posts on (1) corporate "free speech", campaqign contributions

# The Cliff Notes version of my stilted enviro-fascist view of corporations and government

Tuesday, July 6, 2010 6:18 AM by TT's Lost in Tokyo

I kinda liked this, so I've cribbed it from an earlier post , where it served as prologue and summary

# re: A note to Lew Rockwell regarding the reflexive irrelevancy of libertarians on the climate/big government morass

Friday, July 23, 2010 1:01 PM by Prevalent One

I think you touched on an area libertarians don't consider. There's no reason to demand corporate immunity and the corporate veil. Any entrepreneur should have equal and full economic freedom, and also accountability to others. It seems that limiting the liability of business is tied to the state's desire to fascistly control business. It leads to prosecutors and agencies respecting/piercing corporate veils as fits their power centralizing agenda. In short its more about tyranny than allowing business to flourish.

# re: A note to Lew Rockwell regarding the reflexive irrelevancy of libertarians on the climate/big government morass

Sunday, July 25, 2010 8:46 AM by TokyoTom

Nice to have a positive word of agreement from someone, PO; thanks.

# Lew Rockwell and Unthinking Libertarians on "The Unthinking Right"

Saturday, February 26, 2011 11:43 PM by TT's Lost in Tokyo

Lew Rockwell has a curiously perceptive yet blind post out yesterday ( The Unthinking Right , Friday