Do Federalism And Libertarianism Conflict?

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Tom Rogers
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Do Federalism And Libertarianism Conflict?

Post by Tom Rogers » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:06 am

Last edited by Tom Rogers on Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:18 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Do Federalism And Libertarianism Conflict?

Post by Merlin » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:33 am

Agreed on most counts. Federalism in the US does indeed appear to be a balance-of-power arrangement with power sliding more and more towards DC due to technological developments. This appears inexorable although we have recently seen other allegedly inexorable trends reverse.

Further, I agree that the practice of federalism is even more hollow than that, as indicated by the curious anomaly of most states veering to the left of DC, instead of adopting a uniform and symmetrical distribution of practices. It would appear that markedly different state practices in any field are only tolerated when to the left, not to the right of DC.

When the left is weak on an issue, it clamours for states rights to enact the reform of choice when it can (gun laws). When they are strong, they brush states rights ways and impose their pet project on everyone, states be damned (gay “marriage”). So, in practice federalism may be thought of as a sham to create a vanguard of the nation in the form of a few states who lead the way for the rest.

Finally, ill ad my own misgiving with regards to federalism: it creates a tragedy of the commons, where responsibility is shared between two entities and thus little gets done.

Still, taking all of this into consideration, I say that it would be maddens for a decent US administration to try to push for centralisation. Those vanguard states also serve as a warning to others, a function which California performs with excellence, and whatever inch of rightist or libertarian leeway one can get is to be welcomed.

The enemy is better at this game than we are, so we should delay playing it as much as we can. Eight years of increased de facto states rights would be welcome as a way to show that the US is indeed irreconcilable. Let the next administration then try to herd the diverse practices that may have emerged during this period into their straightjacket. They may not be able to.

Trump should (in my humble opinion) push hard for states right to deviate from federal practice in as many cases as possible. Give the left a mess they may well not be able to reform without violence later on.

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