This is a repost from here. A friend mentioned a dilemma from his father with the ideas of freedom. Put shortly, imagine a valley cut off from the rest of the world, and there is only one location possible to build a bridge. What if nobody doesn't get around to building one, due to disagreements or other reasons? And what if someone does, but abuses the exclusive position (a 'natural monopoly')?
The hypothetical dilemma has several weaknesses that we have already talked about, but let's take it by itself.
Ultimately, there is no way for you to get everything you want.
And sometimes, you don't get things which you REALLY want or need, even things every single person in the world would say you deserve. That's not free market, that's life.
What can be said about the free market, or voluntary cooperation, if you want, is, that it motivates people to meet the needs of other people. If there are hard to reach parts of the world, with people wanting to reach them or be reached, there is profit to be made by connecting them to civilization. If one way seems unreachable, there is profit in devising alternatives (for the mountain valley, there are planes, helicopters, even cable cars - or build a tunnel). If the expense to build that bridge is too high, one can turn to charity of other people to help funding it. If there is disagreement, or people acting as assholes, there are voluntary ways to exercise social pressure to guide them to reason. But we've been through this.
Value is subjective, so there is no real way to compare the needs of different people (except by saying "I like this more!"). What if someone wants to use that crucial piece of property for another purpose? Is your goal more important than his? What if by building bridges and roads into every inaccessible corner of the world requires the resources, that would be needed to create a Cure for Cancer? (See, you can beat one crass hypothetical example by another. :) )
Without being cruel, one could say, that maybe those people in that remote valley don't deserve that bridge. If they can't make it on their own, nor can those most inclined, then perhaps the time has not come yet. "Society" is not wealthy enough to afford it yet.
You can't get everything you want by voluntary means. You can't get everything by involuntary means either. But let's say, you can get this one thing, this time, without too much violence. Somebody would have to pay for it, of course. But you would be better off, so why not?
If this is acceptable to you, the question is, what becomes of the precedent? If you force other people in person, even if you don't become an outlaw, somebody else may get the same idea and start forcing other people. If there is an institution you persuaded or created to force others, somebody else will try to convince them, too - and there is absolutely no lack of good intentions out there.
You have chosen to force other people to improve your own life. What if somebody else starts forcing you to improve their life? Maybe it will be a small inconvenience. Maybe they'll ruin your existence.
So let me turn the dilemma on its head. You wanted to be better off. What if somebody makes you worse off, in the name of the same grand ideas? How can you defend yourself from an infinite number of people eager to change your life, because they need something, too! You have already agreed to it in principle.
What do other folks think? The essence if the dilemma is this: people want many things, and sooner or later will want something, that the free market, or voluntary cooperation can't provide (or not in the way they want, or not quickly enough, you get it). Why shouldn't they turn to force, and what happens if they do?