Showing posts from October, 2010

Cranick Fire Fund

Tom Knapp has just alerted me to the existence of a PayPal account, CranickFireFund@Yahoo.Com, designed to help the victims of the Tennessee fire that’s received so much attention of late. I would encourage readers to consider supporting this fund.

The Fulton Fire Fiasco

The decision by a Tennessee fire agency to deny service to a family with a burning house because the family had failed to pay the agency’s subscription fee (the agency was operated by the city of Fulton but provided service to non-residents on a subscription basis) has prompted sustained discussion throughout the blogosphere, with repeated claims that the incident demonstrates inherent difficulties with the fee-based provision of fire services. Implicitly, then, statists are inclined to see the incident as supporting an argument for state provision of such services, and thus for statism more generally. The story is complicated, as such stories always are, by the facts. The incident happened, it appears, because the homeowners’ grandson started a fire too close to their home. The decision not to provide service was evidently a long-standing city-council voted policy, and the fire-fighters’ insurance apparently wouldn’t cover them if they provided service to a non-subscriber. On the o

Cultural Roots and Collective Identity in a Libertarian Society

In general, a libertarian society would be hospitable to people’s cultural roots and col­lec­tive identities. Placing one’s life story in the context of a larger, more inclusive narrative can help to give one a sense of meaning and direction. Some of the tales we tell for this purpose are religious, some metaphysical, some scientific, some ethnic, some cultural. Political libertarianism would not deprive anyone of the sense of identity conferred by any of these stories—unless, of course, it could only be preserved by force—and would doubtless contribute to the flourishing of a significant number. Cultural libertarianism might undermine some of these stories, but would certainly leave many undisturbed. Varieties of Libertarianism Political libertarianism opposes aggression—the initiation of force—by individuals, including those acting under the color of law. Cultural libertarianism seeks peacefully to undermine hierarchies in workplaces and other social institutions; to promot