Female Genital Mutilation, Anarcho-Capitalism, and More
Radio Q&A: 28 October 2012
I answered questions on circumcision versus female genital mutilation, why anarcho-capitalism is wrong, duties to the government, and more on 28 October 2012. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers was my co-host. Listen to or download this episode of Philosophy in Action Radio below.
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Segments: 28 October 2012
Question: Is circumcision on par with female genital mutilation? Many people decry female genital mutilation, but they regard circumcision as the right of parents. Is that wrong?
Answer, In Brief: Male circumcision is wrong, yet it's nowhere near the horror of most female genital mutilation, which attempts to utterly destroy a woman's sexuality.
Question: What's wrong with anarcho-capitalism? Libertarian anarchists – such as Murray Rothbard, Roy Childs, and Stefan Molyneux – claim that anarcho-capitalism is the only political system compatible with the "non-aggression principle." Is that right? Must any government initiate force by excluding competing defense agencies, as anarchists claim? Should governments be abolished in favor of private markets in force?
Answer, In Brief: Anarcho-capitalism's ideal of a "market in force" is no way to protect rights. In such a market, force – not just retaliatory force but also initiatory force – will be available for a price. As a result, the wealthy, power-lusting, and violent will be able to impose their will on the rest of us.
Question: In a free society, would people be obliged to support or obey the government? Ayn Rand defined government as "an institution that holds the exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct in a given geographical area." She said that a government has – and must have – "a monopoly on the legal use of physical force." Given that, must a person support the government – morally or financially – in order for his rights to be protected? Would a person have to swear loyalty, pay taxes, vote in elections, or serve in the military? What would be the status of an anarchist – meaning someone who regards all government as illegitimate – in such a society?
Answer, In Brief: In a free society, your only legal obligation is not to violate rights. So you can refuse to participate in civic life entirely, and the government will leave you alone, so long as you don't violate rights.
Rapid Fire Questions (1:10:40)
- Isn't binding arbitration a form of private government?
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About Philosophy in Action
I'm Dr. Diana Brickell (formerly Diana Hsieh). I'm a philosopher, and I've long specialized in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I completed my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. I retired from work as a public intellectual in 2015.
From September 2009 to September 2015, I produced a radio show and podcast, Philosophy in Action Radio. In the primary show, my co-host Greg Perkins and I answered questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life. We broadcast live over the internet on Sunday mornings.
My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck." My second book (and online course), Explore Atlas Shrugged, is a fantastic resource for anyone wishing to study Ayn Rand's epic novel in depth.
I can be reached via e-mail to email@example.com.