Mailvox: opportunity and result

DML and Mikert, among others, appear to be having some trouble understanding the difference:

So the difference between opportunity and result here is a question of citizenship? I think it would be helpful if you’d devote a post to explaining the difference because this doesn’t look like a very good, clear explanation.

I’ll try to type a little more slowly… although I find it very difficult to fathom how and why anyone should have any trouble distinguishing between opportunity and result given the way in which conservatives are often explaining why they support equality of opportunity instead of equality of result with regards to issues such as affirmative action.

Anyhow, it’s not a question of citizenship, the hypothetical concept of 500,000 Chinese immigrating to Delaware and democratically transforming it into a Communist state is merely an example of the way in which liberty of opportunity – in this case, the free movement of peoples – can render a result that is significantly and materially less free for the people living in Delaware. Anarcho-capitalism may sound cool and exciting, but it is an oxymoronic concept as capitalism requires the sort of ground rules that no anarchic society is capable of supporting.

Liberty of opportunity: everyone on the planet enjoys the maximal freedom of choice with regards to where they live, and where are permitted to vote and/or otherwise influence the systems of government whether they happen to live there or not.

Liberty of result: everyone on the planet enjoys the maximal freedom of action with regards to how they live their daily lives in their places of residence, but they are not permitted to enter or even have contact with those communities that do not wish to associate with them.

Libertarianism is not anarchism and maximizing liberty for everyone necessarily involves imposing limits on those whose actions would result in less freedom for others. This is not utilitarianism, this is simply logic and observable fact. One may not ignore the fact that nations exist and are societally significant any more than one can ignore the fact that gravity exists simply because one would like to fly.