How the property is coercive violence move functions in the debate

Libertarians are not the brightest bulbs. So I want to explain how my obviously correct argument that property is coercive violence works in debates.

As a refresher, property is obviously coercive violence because it involves someone excluding everyone else in the world from some piece of the world without their consent and threatening violence against them if they do not comply with that exclusion. This does not mean you cannot argue for such an institution. It just means that your argument for it cannot be premised upon your being opposed to violent coercion. It has to be something else, generally some theory of positive entitlement.

Pointing out that property is involuntary coercive violence is useful when a libertarian argues against something else, say taxes, on the basis that it is involuntary coercive violence. Their argument in that case goes like this:

  1. If X is involuntary coercive violence, it should not exist.
  2. Taxes are involuntary coercive violence.
  3. Therefore, taxes should not exist.

But then I point out that this same argument applies to property:

  1. If X is involuntary coercive violence, it should not exist.
  2. Property is involuntary coercive violence.
  3. Therefore, property should not exist.

The libertarian does not want to give away property and therefore must admit involuntary coercive violence is not categorically impermissible. By admitting that though, their argument against taxation falls out. Now they have no argument against taxation.

This is a pretty basic argumentative move, but it is slightly more complicated than the linear pounding most people utilize. By detouring into property, you force the libertarian to give up the argument they use to forbid taxation.

To repeat what I said at the top, this does not necessarily mean that they cannot oppose taxation. It just means they cannot oppose it on these specific argumentative grounds. Many libertarians know nothing else and so this becomes an effective bar against them having any argument against taxation.

Smarter people can shift into a desert theory or utilitarian argumentative framework. Those shifts give new argumentative grounds, but do not generate the same kind of anti-tax conclusions libertarians want to reach. This is why libertarians must stick closely to the procedural arguments they use against taxes even though they simultaneously render property impermissible.