Free Variables In Libertarian Theory

Myriad variations on the Major Schools of Libertarianism can be derived by changing the dials on the many free variables in libertarian theory, such as:

  • Enfranchisement variables
    • rights of animals and species
    • rights of the unborn
    • rights of children
    • rights of the mentally disabled
    • rights of the comatose, the cryonically suspended, etc
    • rights of the dead (e.g. to bind the living with a covenant)
    • rights of inheritance
    • rights of corporate persons
  • Property variables
    • rights in natural (i.e. non-excludable) resources e.g. atmosphere, water, non-solid minerals, spectrum, orbits
    • rights in excludable resources e.g. land, solid minerals
    • rights-of-way and how they get established and maintained
    • rights in intellectual property
      • copyright
      • patents
      • trade secrets
      • trademarks
      • one's own genetic information
      • the genetic information of other persons
      • the genetic information of non-persons
    • rights to sell one's body parts
    • what forms of servitude into which one may contract oneself
    • status of stolen property
  • Aggression/Process variables
    • thresholds for reckless endangerment
    • thresholds for nuisance
    • whether blackmail is aggression
    • forms of allowable judicial punishment
    • rules for allowable extra-judicial defense and retaliation
    • due process: whether to exclude evidence against the accused due to how it was acquired
    • due process: whether the accused may subpoena innocent witnesses
    • extent to which unequal associations are coercive

Furthermore, if one acknowledges the existence of states that are in any sense intended to use their power to protect liberty, then the core libertarian principle of minimizing aggression doesn't give clear guidance on

  • the procedures and organization of the state
    • whether one has a right to sell one's vote
    • whether felons have the right to vote or hold office
    • term limits
  • the extent of one's right to migrate into a liberty-protecting state and potentially engage in free-riding there
  • whether the state's duty to protect liberty vanishes completely at its borders
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