Phil Arena interrupts his hiatus with this delicious piece of snark:
I'm sure by now you've heard someone point out that Libertopia has already arrived, and its name is Somalia.
Well, in the same vein, I'd like to inform you that there is a country where the average person's carbon footprint is a negligible (at less than one tenth of one percent what the per capita carbon emissions in the US, based on carbon emission data here and 2010 population levels), obesity rates are enviably low (standing at 15% of the population, lower than is true of 178 other countries in the world, compared to roughly 75% in the US, which is one of the ten most obese nations in the world), population growth is eminently sustainable (at 3.8%, the third lowest in the world), and almost all trade is local.
What is this magical land, you ask?
Afghanistan. A glorious place to which US progressives are emigrating in droves.
This silly exercise in no way demonstrates that it would be a bad idea for the government to adopt ambitious new policies to try to reduce carbon emissions, obesity, and population growth while encouraging people to buy local? Really? You don't say?
I suppose then that perhaps...well, I'm sure you see where I'm going with this.
I feel the same way about any argument -- deontological or consequentialist -- that involves a state of nature, whether as a historical claim or for-instance. So take that, Western philosophical tradition.