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a question for libertarians concerning death

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now when I say libertarian, I mean the US Libertarian Party whose constituents are much closer to minarchism than the anarchism that libertarians like Murray Rothbard was. I am also not asking as critic of any form of libertarianism because I consider myself to be a principled adherent to nonaggression.

What kind of role should Government have when somebody dies? I would imagine that many problems would arise if there was no oversight over death, as weird as that may sound. I think most of the problems would be civil and only some of the problems would be criminal. As someone who considers themselves to be a classical liberal constitutionalist federalist (haha, sorry) I don't know where to stand because I do not stand at all. All I know is that there shouldn't be a federal system for the dead.
 

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obviously the state should report it to the federal government; as far as things like draft numbers or taxes etc. are concerned.

other than that ; assuming the person didn't die in a federal crime, it's a state or local matter, dependent on how the state wants to run it. States should provide basic safety codes (no leaving dead bodies in the streets etc), in keeping with their role of solving problems of the commons.
 
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Alright, that works for a society we have right now. How about a society where almost all property is private, including roads, and there are no draft numbers or taxes. What then?
 

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Alright, that works for a society we have right now. How about a society where almost all property is private, including roads, and there are no draft numbers or taxes. What then?

I think that we're not going to ever see a society quite that privatized.

Seriously, I'm a libertarian-ish moderate conservative (lol). I don't think we'll ever be able to entirely get away from certain public properties (like roads) or entirely do away with taxation, so the scenario just doesn't seem pragmatic.

But let's look at the past... there have been periods in this country where death was chiefly a private matter, (much as birth was... many people pre-19something didn't have a birth cert). People were buried in private cemetaries or even backyards, in pine boxes. Mostly we had enough sense not to locate those where they would contaminate the water supply. If there was anything odd about the death, local law enforcement investigated. If there were any inheritance issues, someone took it to court.

Population density is far higher now and greater care has to be exercised to avoid infringing on a neighbor's prerogatives, but that is manageable under a libertarian system.

In short, I'm wondering if you could spell out what you think the problem would be.
 
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Thank you for the post.

A problem I foresee.. it's a feeling mostly. But I have a feeling that more suspicious deaths and investigations there of would occur. Since there's an absence of Government-- I really hate saying this which is why I asked this question because my feeling goes against my principles-- would cause an absence of truth since what we have now, any discovery of an unreported death is criminal (right?). So because of this people are coerced into being truthful(if you can even say that since lying is aggressive) about the death of others. So if there's no mechanism like this, then more deaths would go unreported and more people would be filing for investigation. I guess theoretically in a free society like this, people could afford to report deaths(if that makes any sense) and since in this society, criminal justice would be much smaller so it would be much easier for all of these investigations to take place since the state isn't going after people for drugs and music and transfats and guns and you name it anymore. I suppose I satisfied my own doubt but I wouldn't have if your post didn't stimulate me intellectually to look at the issue more in a more objective and theoretical way.

Thanks again.
 

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Thank you for the post.

A problem I foresee.. it's a feeling mostly. But I have a feeling that more suspicious deaths and investigations there of would occur. Since there's an absence of Government-- I really hate saying this which is why I asked this question because my feeling goes against my principles-- would cause an absence of truth since what we have now, any discovery of an unreported death is criminal (right?). So because of this people are coerced into being truthful(if you can even say that since lying is aggressive) about the death of others. So if there's no mechanism like this, then more deaths would go unreported and more people would be filing for investigation. I guess theoretically in a free society like this, people could afford to report deaths(if that makes any sense) and since in this society, criminal justice would be much smaller so it would be much easier for all of these investigations to take place since the state isn't going after people for drugs and music and transfats and guns and you name it anymore. I suppose I satisfied my own doubt but I wouldn't have if your post didn't stimulate me intellectually to look at the issue more in a more objective and theoretical way.

Thanks again.
Well, libertarian doesn't mean a lack (absence) of gov't, it just means much less gov't. Again, looking to the past, even in the "wild west" frontier in unorganized territories, there were still mechanisms by which deaths were investigated. If there was any suspicion of foul play, a doctor would look over the body and report to a marshal, or there would be a "coroner's jury" which would consider whether charges ought to be preferred against someone.

Even in a fully libertarian (right-libertarian, minarchist) system, you'd still have to have a certain amount of law enforcement. As you say, freed from worrying over trivia like who is ingesting what, they would certainly investigate any deaths deemed questionable.
 
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If there was any suspicion of foul play, a doctor would look over the body and report to a marshal, or there would be a "coroner's jury" which would consider whether charges ought to be preferred against someone.
What if the body is missing?
 

Goshin

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What if the body is missing?
Then it is a mysterious disappearance, just as it is today.

Currently, disappearances are not treated as seriously as murders or mysterious deaths, unless there is evidence of violence (ie bloodstains) and many missing-persons cases are never solved. Again, since even a libertarian society would need law enforcement, I don't know why this would be different to any great degree.
 

VanceMack

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now when I say libertarian, I mean the US Libertarian Party whose constituents are much closer to minarchism than the anarchism that libertarians like Murray Rothbard was. I am also not asking as critic of any form of libertarianism because I consider myself to be a principled adherent to nonaggression.

What kind of role should Government have when somebody dies? I would imagine that many problems would arise if there was no oversight over death, as weird as that may sound. I think most of the problems would be civil and only some of the problems would be criminal. As someone who considers themselves to be a classical liberal constitutionalist federalist (haha, sorry) I don't know where to stand because I do not stand at all. All I know is that there shouldn't be a federal system for the dead.
Well Dale...most people I know of that are libertarian believe in a constitution...a federal government...one that provides rules and laws and one that secures the rights of individual first, state second, country third. I know of no one OTHER than the Dale Gribble/Rusty Shackleford types that think there should be NO law. Point of fact without a strong foundation and constitution you could have no libertarian rights.

IF you mean death as in the crime of murder, again...I know of no THINKING libertarians that dont believe that there should a society and rule of law. When it comes to society the states make the laws and the citizens follow the laws. The only time there is fed involvement is if it becomes a federal crime.

IF you mean what should happen to a persons estate...I think that part is pretty easily understood...the property and assets should go to the family wihout taxation. There is NO justification for taxing earnings twice.
 
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I know of no one OTHER than the Dale Gribble/Rusty Shackleford types that think there should be NO law. Point of fact without a strong foundation and constitution you could have no libertarian rights.
You're very defensive.

I've seen differently. The anarchist roots in libertarianism are deep and evident. I would love to believe that most libertarians are constitutional minarchists but for the sake of appeasing so called anarcho capitalists the libertarian party likes to be vague about if there even should be a government. Which is why the US Libertarian Party platform says, "where governments exist".

Some people who consider themselves to be adherents to nonaggression view that law and currency are aggressive and they've got silly marxist reasonings behind it. Of course this is ridiculous because there is nothing aggressive about a state having laws that empower defense of our rights and free markets are voluntary trade of not just currency but anything the market values (which would be mostly currency, albiet).

Just wondering what a libertarian society would do about death. Just wondering if there is any reasonable argument about how investigation might be considered aggressive since what we have now in death is very aggressive.
 

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I've seen differently. The anarchist roots in libertarianism are deep and evident. I would love to believe that most libertarians are constitutional minarchists but for the sake of appeasing so called anarcho capitalists the libertarian party likes to be vague about if there even should be a government. Which is why the US Libertarian Party platform says, "where governments exist".
I think that many of the “anarchist” libertarians you see are among the young and uneducated and/or rebellious. Most of the mature libertarians who have legitimate reasoning for their beliefs have given the concept much thought and consideration, and they have the ability to live their lives in a non-aggressive manner and they value their freedom to live life as they see fit as long as it isn’t harmful to society as a whole.
Some people who consider themselves to be adherents to nonaggression view that law and currency are aggressive and they've got silly marxist reasonings behind it. Of course this is ridiculous because there is nothing aggressive about a state having laws that empower defense of our rights and free markets are voluntary trade of not just currency but anything the market values (which would be mostly currency, albiet).
I personally (and I believe it to be common among more serious and thoughtful libertarians) view aggression as a waste of lives and resources. I believe we should be friends and do business with other nations, but stay out of their affairs, leaving them to live as they deem appropriate for their own cultures and the desires of their citizens.

As for your concerns about how deaths would be handled differently, it sounds like you are referring to suspicious and violent deaths, which are by far a very small minority. The vast majority of deaths are explainable and/or natural. I see no reason why unexpected deaths cannot be handled more locally, just as many currently are. Maybe I’m missing the concerns you have.
 
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Thank you everyone who has posted. I'm at peace with death in libertarian society.

I was reading up on some more Murray Rothbard and I couldn't understand the anarcho in anarcho-capitalism. Maybe Murray Rothbard knows something I don't or maybe I'm forgetting something but if private property incorporated itself with private defense and dispute resolution organization service contracts, then you've just created a State, rather than abolished it.

Next step for me is to be at peace with the actual term. The more I'm reading about the etymology of the term and the history of the movement and the state creation side effect of anarcho-capitalism, the more I see that the term libertarian has been used to retroactively describe "libertaire" leftists, rather than libertarianism having come from it. Still though, I cannot avoid the fact that Muuray Rothbard is THE so-called anarcho-capitalist and that term, I think, is going to be something libertarians will have to constantly explain.
 

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Thank you everyone who has posted. I'm at peace with death in libertarian society.

I was reading up on some more Murray Rothbard and I couldn't understand the anarcho in anarcho-capitalism. Maybe Murray Rothbard knows something I don't or maybe I'm forgetting something but if private property incorporated itself with private defense and dispute resolution organization service contracts, then you've just created a State, rather than abolished it.

Next step for me is to be at peace with the actual term. The more I'm reading about the etymology of the term and the history of the movement and the state creation side effect of anarcho-capitalism, the more I see that the term libertarian has been used to retroactively describe "libertaire" leftists, rather than libertarianism having come from it. Still though, I cannot avoid the fact that Muuray Rothbard is THE so-called anarcho-capitalist and that term, I think, is going to be something libertarians will have to constantly explain.

If you were talking about European libertarianism, you might have more of a point. American Libertarianism (AL hereafter) is a very different critter, whose foundations are as much in the Classical Liberalism of the Founders and Constitutionalism as in anything written by Murray, Rothbard or Godderd.

AL isn't really related to Anarchism at all. American Libertarians DO believe that government is necessary, just that there should be a lot less of it and what there is should be more State and Local than Federal. The main difference between AL's and Conservatives in America is that AL's are more inclined for the government to be "hands off" of anything that doesn't HAVE to be handled by gov't, including far more social issues.

AL can't be "liberal" or leftist because, in America, those terms are irrevocably associated with large government and massive social spending and wealth redistribution.
 

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You're very defensive.

I've seen differently. The anarchist roots in libertarianism are deep and evident. I would love to believe that most libertarians are constitutional minarchists but for the sake of appeasing so called anarcho capitalists the libertarian party likes to be vague about if there even should be a government. Which is why the US Libertarian Party platform says, "where governments exist".

Some people who consider themselves to be adherents to nonaggression view that law and currency are aggressive and they've got silly marxist reasonings behind it. Of course this is ridiculous because there is nothing aggressive about a state having laws that empower defense of our rights and free markets are voluntary trade of not just currency but anything the market values (which would be mostly currency, albiet).

Just wondering what a libertarian society would do about death. Just wondering if there is any reasonable argument about how investigation might be considered aggressive since what we have now in death is very aggressive.
Defensive? Not at all...just pointing out the connection between your name and the stereotype you have attached to libertarians.

Look...MOST PEOPLE are at their core libertarian. MOST PEOPLE believe in strong individual rights and states rights. MOST people believe in a reuced role and an effecient and responsible federal government.

On the poliutically active scale of the spectrum indutrialists and capitalists are nopt libertarian. They are conservative but contribute to whoever can help and benefit them the most. Since there is ZERO representation congress, that aint libertarian politicians. Most younger libertarians I know of are really enthused about one artgument...legalizing drugs. The more conservative libertarian types I know believe in a constitutional government. They want a responsible constitutional government. Frankly...I cannot see how ANYONE can look at our current system of government...the 13.5 trillion in debt...the regular intrusions into any and everything except what they are SUPPOSED to be dealing with...and be enthused about the current two party system.
 
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I agree with you but what you call a stereotype is true. What does, "where governments exist" mean in the libertarian party platform? Murray Rothbard was an advocate for the privatization of justice and military, an anarchist who I admire but who also did not see that the policies made by private military and justice when incorporated with a network of people and property, is a creation of a State. The Committee to Form a Libertarian Party in 1971 included anarchists like Murray Rothbard. And then you got this http://www.lprc.org/index.html .
 

VanceMack

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I agree with you but what you call a stereotype is true. What does, "where governments exist" mean in the libertarian party platform? Murray Rothbard was an advocate for the privatization of justice and military, an anarchist who I admire but who also did not see that the policies made by private military and justice when incorporated with a network of people and property, is a creation of a State. The Committee to Form a Libertarian Party in 1971 included anarchists like Murray Rothbard. And then you got this http://www.lprc.org/index.html .
AT one point the democrat party contained open Klansmen...David Duke ran for president as a republican...and Im sure idiots that called themselves Anarchists believed what they were doing was pithy and smart. You might note...idiots like that are responsible for the libertarian party having exactly ZERO influence in American politics.

Look...you just have to THINK a little bit...use your brain. Ive given you my opinion and the opinion of most libertarians I know. Im sure in colleges around the world there are mindless fools celebrating the great notion of anarchy and thinking they are the future framers...the movers and shakers. Thats OK...some day they will grow up...graduate...get jobs...and get past this phase.

How many elected libertarians are there in local, state, and federal politics? Why?
 
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AT one point the democrat party contained open Klansmen...David Duke ran for president as a republican...and Im sure idiots that called themselves Anarchists believed what they were doing was pithy and smart. You might note...idiots like that are responsible for the libertarian party having exactly ZERO influence in American politics.
How many elected libertarians are there in local, state, and federal politics? Why?
Most libertarians who run for office do it for publicity and have no intention of gaining new voter support. They also do a very pisspoor job at communicating their solutions to current problems. Instead they spout libertarian rhetoric and when they come to an unpopular subject like immigration they almost blame libertarianism and hold the political theory accountable for not having a good solution to the problem. And then you have state libertarians parties who have not taken positions on things that would reduce spending, require a vote by the people, and even prevent the creation of a state service because the proposal doesn't handout individual rights out like complimentary candies. This is libertarian history and libertarian platform and libertarian leadership. If the libertarian party platform didn't use words like "where government exists" to appease anarchists, if the libertarian leadership had a tendency to be as you say libertarians are, then I would not have a reason to constantly acknowledge the faults that haunt the party still today.
 

VanceMack

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Most libertarians who run for office do it for publicity and have no intention of gaining new voter support. They also do a very pisspoor job at communicating their solutions to current problems. Instead they spout libertarian rhetoric and when they come to an unpopular subject like immigration they almost blame libertarianism and hold the political theory accountable for not having a good solution to the problem. And then you have state libertarians parties who have not taken positions on things that would reduce spending, require a vote by the people, and even prevent the creation of a state service because the proposal doesn't handout individual rights out like complimentary candies. This is libertarian history and libertarian platform and libertarian leadership. If the libertarian party platform didn't use words like "where government exists" to appease anarchists, if the libertarian leadership had a tendency to be as you say libertarians are, then I would not have a reason to constantly acknowledge the faults that haunt the party still today.
Ive been to libertarian party meetings. It will probably not come as a shock that they are as close minded as to party rhetoric and platform as are democrats and republicans. "I laugh when I hear people say you cant believe that and be a libertarian."

The message is such that the party remains a fringe 3rd party with no hope of ever garnering support. Independents and "tea party" advocates have more credibility and influence. Its very frustrating, but no more so I suppose than being an independent conservative or liberal and being bound by their party ideologies.

I spoke out on several occasions against the inclusion of drug legalization in party rhetoric. You can imagine how well that went over. And when I pointed out that for the fed to 'legalize' drug use was no different than the fed criminalizing it...and ultimately it isnt the ROLE of the fed to do so...well...thats went ovder not well at all.

Legitimate candidates do run...they just dont stand a chance. Bob Barr was a solid choice. unfortunately the party gets lost in the Smokey McPott candidates and rhetoric and no serious response is ever given to the very common sense ideas of individual and states rights, responsible and constitutional federal government, etc.
 
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