The Philosophical Problem Every Government Faces. Michael Huemer and Keith Knight

by | Jan 4, 2021

“Why should 535 people in Washington be entitled to issue commands to 300 million others? And why should the others obey? These questions, as I argue in the following pages, have no satisfactory answers.”

Michael Huemer

The Problem of Political Authority: An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey





Links to mentioned works-

The Problem of Political Authority:
Myth of the Rational Voter:


0:00 – Quote from The Problem of Political Authority

0:31 – What is ‘political authority’?

1:18 – If you do not like the government of a country, you should leave

2:57 – Voting for a political representative is morally on par with consent

6:27 – “Liberty depends on taxation” – Cass Sunstein 

9:15 – You benefit from the state, therefore you have an obligation to obey it’s edicts 

15:19 – What about the poor?

18:29 – Does potential wealth inequality justify political authority?

21:11 – The major takeaway from the Trump presidency 

22:38 – Corporations need regulation which justifies a state

Homelessness caused by regulation:

29:05 – In the absence of a state, chaos will exist

32:04 – The mindset of the unattainable perfection objection “who will do X”

35:09 – Huemer’s approach to handling objections to anarchism 

36:05 – High standards for the market, no standards for the government & incentive structures

38:57 – Governments v. HOA’s

42:42 – The market commodifies human beings, therefore should be replaced by the state

46:03 – Where has anarcho-capitalism worked?

49:10 – Why are believers in government so confident in their low information position?

52:06 – How has the state created a double standard in the minds of the masses for thousands of years?

55:30 – Shame is the health of the state

1:00:10 – Most important thing you learned from Bryan Caplan

1:01:15 – Most important contribution of Jason Brennan

About Keith Knight

Keith Knight is Managing Editor at the Libertarian Institute, host of the Don't Tread on Anyone podcast and editor of The Voluntaryist Handbook: A Collection of Essays, Excerpts, and Quotes.

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