—“What’s your view of the contemporary drug war? How does the Propertarian framework handle the externality effects of drug use? Conservatives obviously seem to feel strongly about it that they license a monolithic state to fight it, and libertarians seem to adopt the opposite libertine position, at best hoping that it somehow reduces the negative externalities in the end (something something free association). Exposure to your framework has taught me that there may be an interesting, novel response, one that (as intended with your system) doesn’t lose information and fairly negotiates between interest groups.”— Josh
Great Question Josh.
Alcohol, Drugs, and Religion – and, yes I’m including religion for a good reason.
0) What one does in the mind, toilet, and home, is irrelevant if it does not externalize costs into the commons, court, or sacred places and events.
1) Prosecution of drug users has nothing to do with the users, but to the externalities caused by their drug use. In other words, the that prosecution is an act of prior restraint by the insurer of last resort on behalf of the insured.
2) Contract of any kind requires sentience, and without sentience one cannot adhere to contract.
3) Restitution is not possible since not all things are open to substitution – particularly living things like people and pets, but also art, and sacred things.
4) Restitution of information is not possible and this is a serious issue for mothers who must regulate the information available to their children in order to reduce the cost of raising competitive civic offspring.
5) Moral hazard – The problem with degenerative drug use, is that if one doesn’t take care of one’s mind and body the rest of society is put in moral hazard (just as unwed mothers put society in moral and economic hazard), by forcing us to either provide (costly) care, imprison, or kill.
6) Organizations can be held accountable for the actions of their members on behalf of the organization’s and their interests. A religion can prevent knowledge, or it can distribute knowledge. It can prevent bad civic behavior, or distribute bad civic behavior. It can use numbers to create and limit normative behavior, and create and limit economic and political behavior – even military behavior. So religions can externalize objectively good or objectively bad information, and restitution (repair) is almost impossible due to the unique method of teaching used by religion – the natural ‘drug’ ( endorphins ) provided by the submission-to-the-safety-of-the-pack response caused by gatherings of groups in ceremony, listening or chanting myths (prayers).
( Note: as you suggested, the addition of informational analysis helps us better understand these problems. )
SO THE QUESTION
How can one insure others against the externalities?
Well, one can engage in recreational use of drugs in the home, the home of friends, or somewhere not in the commons – admitting that it’s precisely the entertainment of the commons, and relief from the pressure of normative obedience in the commons most of us seek release from.
One can limit one’s use of these things to the non-detrimental. As far as I know alcohol pot and most non-opiates are safe in small numbers. But anything that alters brain chemistry is a serious problem for all of us.
One can engage in ‘celebrations and rituals’ with others who provide insurance when you are not able to (‘ someone who doesn’t drink – much – for example ‘).
THE REAL ISSUE
As far as I know the most significant issues creating this problem are the tragic danger of automobiles, the moral hazard of universal health care, the externalization of un-civic behavior to the young and ‘impulsive’, the retaliation invoked by the desecration of the sacred – of which to westerners, the commons simply is a part.
Evidence is that extremely severe prosecution of violators of the commons has greater influence than prosecution of the manufacturers and distributors. So my suggestion is that one serious strike or three minor strikes get you hung. This fear will be enough to control aberrant behavior in the commons while permitting what I see as necessary release for the ‘impulsively impaired’ in the home.
Like prostitution, if manufacture and distribution are not taking place in the commons, and if use is not taking place in the commons, and if externalities are not produced in the commons, then there is no meaningful consequence.
THE HIDDEN BENEFIT
Pot has the amazing benefit of both pacifying the underclasses and rapidly increasing male sterility, thereby reducing the rates of reproduction. The opposite is true of alcohol.
The Propertarian Institute