Nasty, Brutish Looting
By Arnold Kling
To me, the looting came as no surprise: it was a completely natural phenomenon. It was exactly what my own theory of the social order would have predicted. What else should you expect when a civilized order collapses?
Thomas Hobbes probably would not have been surprised, either. I agree with Hobbes and Harris, which is why I am a libertarian believer in limited government and not a libertarian anarchist.
UPDATE: Don Boudreaux pushes back.
it’s not as clear to me as it is to Arnold that post-Katrina New Orleans points so unambiguously toward his interpretation. The fact is that government there has failed. Formally, government there exists – local, state, and national government, all part of history’s wealthiest society. But government is not providing law.
Indeed. Government is not sufficient to provide law. I still believe that it is necessary.
But I think that the fair point is that New Orleans shows that law and order can break down, and that’s a bad thing. It does not demonstrate, one way or the other, whether we need government.