I was having a discussion with a couple of people about this issue the other day. My question was, how would a society without government handle a situation in which a parent is horribly abusing his or her children? Or maybe it wouldn't handle it at all, and just let the kids suffer?
I have been a libertarian for several years. But in the last couple of years, and especially since hearing of the FSP and being exposed to the idea of voluntaryism/anarchy, I am now on the fence. I am just not "there yet" as far as voluntaryism. But, if I can see a way it would "work" (that is, somehow take care of (meaning, get the kids out of) the hypothetical situation I have described above, without initiating force), then I would fully convert in a heartbeat. There are probably lots of other difficult situations I could think of, too. I have always been against the concept of sovereign immunity - always believed that it's outrageously unfair that, if the cops screw up, it's basically "too bad, so sad," and there's nothing you can do about it. They should be able to be sued and should have to pay damages to the injured party. In short, no person or entity should enjoy any special rights that any individual does not have - unless it's voluntary and with respect to someone with whom that person has entered into a contract, obviously. Not only is sovereign immunity unfair by itself, but it also encourages those acting under that immunity to violate others' rights because, as we all know, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Now, I agree with the idea that others here have mentioned, that just because the state can and does take kids out of abusive situations, it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be any better for those kids. Another thing I've always said is that, if you really want to F*** something up, let the government handle it. So I get that.
And yes, I also understand that the situation we have today, with government, isn't perfect, either. So some of you reading this may think it's amusing when I want voluntaryism to be "perfect" and it's obvious that our present system is far from it. Maybe it just has to be a smidge better? Obviously, nothing is perfect, and nothing never will be.
So that's where I am as far as voluntaryism. Conceptually, I really like the idea, and it definitely takes care of the sovereign immunity problem. I have read parts of David Friedman's Machinery of Freedom and am beginning to get an idea of how a voluntaryist society would function, but I'm finding that reading about it just isn't enough. I need to discuss voluntaryism with the adherents to it - with people who are passionate about it, so that I can resolve questions like this.
So back to my hypothetical question: if we believe that the initiation of force is wrong, then all you could do is ask that parent that he give up his kids, and you know what the answer to that is going to be. OK, so another idea is that you could pay him money to give up his kids. Not only would the parent likely not accept _any_ price, but even if he did, that would be unethical as you are essentially buying people. So what is the answer, then? Anyone, anyone?.. Bueller, Bueller? lol... That is all I can think of. There is probably something I'm missing, but I don't know what it is. If the answer is "nothing," then I can accept that, although that would certainly make it less likely that I would convert to voluntaryism, because any system, in my mind, although it would of course never be perfect, _must_ have a way to resolve injustices and outrageous violations of the rights of a person, such as this. And saying that the kids can always leave is not really an answer. I mean, sure, they _could_ leave, but a kid's situation is all he knows and he may even think it's normal. Even if he doesn't, he feels trapped. Who is going to take care of him?
I'm also going to take this opportunity to introduce myself, since I've never posted anywhere on the FSP forums before. First name is Chris (male), I'm mid-40s, live in Cincinnati. I'm originally from (northern) Ohio but have lived all over the country when I was growing up, because I'm an Air Force "brat." The closest to New England I've ever been is NJ. I work as a paralegal and have been in the legal field for about 15 years. I consider myself a friend of the FSP but so far am not sure if I want to move to the Shire, so I have not signed the Statement of Intent, although I'm open to it and the idea of the FSP does intrigue me. I think I want to visit NH someday to explore the state and hang with fellow liberty lovers and have some great discussions of political philosophy, drink some local beer, and learn some ways that I can help increase liberty there. The only potential turn-off to NH for me is the above-average real estate prices (the winters wouldn't bother me), especially coming from a state where the real estate is significantly _less_ expensive than the national average. A move would be relatively easy for me, though, as I'm single and childless.
I know that I don't have to be a volunaryist to join the FSP, but I am very interested in discussing this...