Montana governor wants libertarians to move to Idaho ..

Gordon Mohr gojomo at
Fri Apr 25 10:22:02 PDT 2003

Excellent points, all. No community is an island, even if
it is, literally, an island. 

No matter what the laws in a "libertopia", its character would 
unavoidably be colored -- if not completely swamped -- by the 
differential between it and the rest of the world. Any local
libertopia would not be representative of how things might be
in a large, broadly free society. 

But the converse of that localization problem is that authentic 
liberty does exist in this world -- just fragmented and spread 
over many areas, collected in no single place. 

Liberty is already here. It's just not evenly distributed. So 
you've got to move around to experience different parts of it
in different places... as per Russell's "anchor there a bit 
and then move on" suggestion.

- Gordon

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Russell Turpin" <deafbox at>
To: <fork at>
Sent: Friday, April 25, 2003 7:37 AM
Subject: Re: Montana governor wants libertarians to move to Idaho ..

> Tomwhore:
> >So I'm seeing this sort of Online Gambling/duty free tabaco confederation 
> >..
> So here I'm going to say something unlibertarian.
> Or at least, point out how laws spill across
> geographic boundaries. A libertarian would argue
> that a nation is, in some sense, better off if
> gambling is legal. And I might even be persuaded,
> if it were made legal so broadly that it became a
> secondary part of culture. But gambling isn't
> legal in the US. Instead, it is mostly illegal,
> except for state lotteries (of course) and little
> pockets where the state and community have allowed
> casinos, such as Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Biloxi,
> etc.
> This has had an effect similar to zoning. Not only
> are the ill effects of gambling thus concentrated,
> but in the communities that allow it, gaming
> becomes a dominant influence on the local economy
> and the culture. The end result are places where
> most people wouldn't want to go, except when
> they're in the mood to gamble. I can't think of
> one I want to visit, much less move to!
> That makes a problem for any group that wants to
> establish a libertarian island nearby. It WOULD
> become a gaming center. And it wouldn't be gaming
> as might develop in some theoretical, ideal
> libertopia, but gaming as imported from the US.
> That would not be the case, if gambling were legal
> everywhere in North America. But BECAUSE gambling
> is largely illegal in the dominant nation, any
> nearby small island that legalizes it will turn
> into a target for the gaming industry, with
> significant effect on the local economy, culture,
> and politics. Note that this is not a result of
> libertarianism, per se, but of the non-libertarian
> nature of nations surrounding the libertarian
> pocket.
> These effects would filter what immigrants are
> attracted. Most people who think they would be
> lured by a libertarian outpost have some notion
> in their mind of the nature of that community.
> But there are many factors that determine its
> nature other than its own law, including the law
> of its neighbors. If the only way I can move to a
> more libertarian domain is to move to an offshore
> gambling haven, I doubt I would be interested. I
> might anchor my boat there for a bit. But then I
> would move on to more pleasant and cultural places,
> even if they are not as libertarian.
> _________________________________________________________________
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