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1  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Anarcho-Capitalism debunked on: April 21, 2014, 03:31:17 PM
I have no sympathy with this guy's Maoism, but I do sympathize with nineteenth century anarchists like Proudhon and Kropotkin. I agree that anarcho-capitalism is a misnomer, but I'm not trolling for a fight with anarcho-capitalists as Seth imagines. I rather suppose that anarcho-capitalists are radical minarchists, rather than anarchists strictly speaking. I am also a radical minarchist, so when I suggest that anarcho-capitalists aren't anarchists, I am expressing substantial agreement with them, not disagreement. Proudhon himself eventually stopped calling himself an anarchist and started calling himself a federalist.

My principle disagreement with many anarcho-capitalists (other than the semantics) involves their assumption of particular standards of propriety enforced universally (the laws of their state). I rather want people free to choose among a wide variety of standards adopted within free associations governing territories no larger than free association can support. In other words, a free association may govern no more territory (and no more capital generally) than its size warrants. If people choose to disassociate from the association, the resources it governs ultimately shrink. A capitalist governing resources regardless of the preference other persons is inconsistent with this idea.
2  Videos / Other Videos / Re: Amazon Prime Air on: December 20, 2013, 07:04:50 PM
The truck delivers hundreds of packages along the most efficient route beginning and ending at the warehouse. The multicopter delivers only one package, so delivering hundreds of packages requires hundreds of trips to and from the warehouse, potentially covering many times the distance that the truck covers.

Still, I'm a big fan of multicopters and UAVs (outside of the "security" state), and I expect them to find many uses. If you haven't seek the volocopter yet, it seems a very exciting development in aeronautics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNulEa8LTHI

http://www.e-volo.com/

With progress in battery technology that seems to be on the horizon, manned multicopters and related vehicles could finally become the flying car in a decade or two and could become flying taxis available to common people in urban areas much sooner.
3  Videos / Other Videos / Re: The World of Warcraft Effect: Why Bitcoin will always be on top on: December 20, 2013, 06:50:09 PM
Suppose the Bitcoin miners/double-spending-police adopt a revision of the software designed to stabilize the price of bitcoins, at $500/bitcoin say, by 1) raising the ceiling on the number of bitcoins that miners can produce and/or 2) expiring bitcoins that have not circulated for a period of time. If the miners adopt either or both of these revisions, have they defrauded current Bitcoin holders, and if they have, so what?
4  Questions And Challenges / Questions About Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: Too many fees in an Ancap society? on: November 12, 2013, 08:27:40 PM
Anarcho-capitalism doesn't rule out collective ownership. Home owners in a neighborhood may jointly own neighborhood roads through a homeowner's association for example. A covenant between neighbors may require each neighbor to sell his home only to a buyer accepting the covenant and thus agreeing to contribute to the maintenance of neighborhood roads. An association of this kind may also associate with other associations, so persons in different neighborhoods may agree to contribute to roads joining neighborhoods.

Toll roads are also possible, but without a state owning roads, I don't expect most roads to be toll roads. Most roads presumably would be owned jointly by the people using them most, like homeowners in a neighborhood or businesses in a business district. These people would welcome others to use the roads with few restrictions. I wouldn't charge a visitor to my home to drive on my neighborhood's roads any more than I charge visitors to sit on my couch or watch my television now. A business wouldn't charge customers to drive on roads leading to the business any more than it charges customers to park in its parking lot now.
5  Questions And Challenges / Challenges To Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: Why I am not (quite) an anarchist on: January 29, 2012, 10:25:44 PM
Am I wrong?  Wink
I don't say you're wrong, but a state is an entity defending its claims, so I'm not sure the distinction is meaningful.
6  Questions And Challenges / Challenges To Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: Why I am not (quite) an anarchist on: January 29, 2012, 10:19:39 PM
I don't actually believe in rights(or more accurately, what is right is moot) or property. There are only claims and what an entity can defend.
Spoken like a true anarchist.
7  Questions And Challenges / Challenges To Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: Why I am not (quite) an anarchist on: January 29, 2012, 06:10:36 PM
My answer to that is "only if he can defend it without aggressing against others in order to procure the defense."
If he only needs a gun and a willingness to use it to procure the defense, because others are not able or willing to resist his force with their own, then his force is not "aggressive"? We seem only to return to the semantics of "aggression" here.

I can only reply that Locke disagreed. In terms of enclosing the commons, from the state of nature, Locke called this business model "dishonest".

I don't call it "dishonest" myself. Carving the land into parcels and entitling men to their marginal value, either by sale or by rent, is a useful imposition. It is indisputably a forcible imposition, but it is a useful imposition, because it creates a market in the parcels from which market prices and market organization emerge; however, the utility of this organization does not imply the "rightness" of landlords living luxuriously entirely by the marginal value of lands they hold rather than the marginal value of their own labor. The utility of the latter does not follow logically from the utility of the former. The latter may only be an unintended consequence of the former.

I suppose we agree that statutory impositions almost invariably have unintended consequences.
8  Questions And Challenges / Challenges To Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: Why I am not (quite) an anarchist on: January 29, 2012, 09:35:27 AM
Which imposition?
The progressive consumption tax.

You're right. I did discuss many impositions, the enclosure of land, the mastery of live stock and hereditary title for example. Forcible standards accompany all of these practices, and many details of these standards are controversies in the classically liberal tradition. We could discuss any of them, but an-caps take many of these rules for granted and do not take a progressive consumption tax for granted, so I'd like to discuss the latter, to explore the common assumptions here.

By the time we reach a level of economic organization at which I may own a car consuming gasoline produced from petroleum drawn from the earth and drive my car down a highway, we've established a vast system of forcible rules far too numerous and complex to detail here. The details literally fill volumes in law libraries, and any one of them can be a controversy.

An-caps differ on software patents, but many controversies preceded this one. May a man enclose a parcel of land larger than he can fruitfully farm by his own labor and charge rent to others who would farm the same land? Classical liberals debate this question. Read Locke's Second Treatise of Civil Government for example.
9  Questions And Challenges / Challenges To Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: Why I am not (quite) an anarchist on: January 28, 2012, 05:54:44 PM
... if people have differing views about the nature of property, then market anarchists are "aggressing" against them, so to speak.
Market anarchists (or minarchists) with differing standards of propriety would aggress against each other, so we should discuss these standards openly, but we often avoid this discussion.

I sympathize with mutualists but reject the classical labor theory of value. As a marginalist, I recognize that all market value is not the marginal value of labor. Many non-human resources contribute to the price of a bushel of corn, like a fertile parcel of land, the labor of a mule pulling a plow or the fossil fuel propelling a tractor. The "dead labor" of a farmer's father can also contribute.

Some mutualists essentially suggest that the marginal product of all of these non-human (or dead human) resources should be divided somehow among living laborers, so that labor earns its "full product". I reject this division as well as the "full product" rhetoric, because the division requires some sort of authority to govern it, and this authority impedes the profitable organization of resources in capital markets. I want dynamic market organization, so I don't want laborers consuming every product.

I don't therefore conclude that capitalists should consume the marginal product of every resource they govern. Capitalists investing the product of these resources pursuing profit is useful, but capitalists consuming the product is a separate issue. Many resources other than labor are productive, but I suppose that a man has a right to a market exchange of labor for his labor, i.e. if you consume the product of my labor, I expect you to produce commensurately by your own labor, not by a slave's labor or your father's labor or even a mule's labor or by the productivity of a fertile parcel of land or a fossil fuel.

If you govern productive resources other than your labor in addition to your labor, your income reflects the productivity of both. Distinguishing the two precisely seems impossible, but beyond some level, I suppose most of a man's income reflects more the value of resources he governs by writ of forcible propriety than any meaningful value of his own labor. Adam Smith and other classical liberals therefore propose progressive income taxation. We can then distinguish a man's right to consume income more below this level from his right to consume income more above it.

No other authority must govern expenditure of the latter, except to limit the man's entitlement personally to consume it, as opposed to investing it, and this authority need not be centralized. Juries hearing a tax evasion case could decide, i.e. the law progressively taxes consumption by taxing income not accountably invested, and juries hear cases of alleged evasion. No one actually pays much of this tax. It serves only to discourage consumption above a level reflecting the product of an individual's labor.

Every individual has an individual investment account (like an IRA or 401k) with unlimited, tax deferred contributions, and income not invested is taxed progressively, even at rates approaching 100%. "Investment" might include charitable expenditures, but as a practical matter, common law distinguishes investment from consumption, i.e. common juries govern the income not subject to the tax.

So we have something like an economic planning/welfare state, and it has many resources, but no central authority governs it. Wealthy capitalists, becoming wealthy by organizing resources profitably, are the economic planners and welfare organizers, but common juries limit their discretion to consume the product of resources they govern, other than their own labor. This system is basically what anarcho-capitalists advocate except for the role of juries limiting the authority of capitalists to consume all of the product of resources they govern.

I'm curious to know how an anarcho-capitalist opposes this imposition. I concede an imposition, but I deny that the imposition is isolated. The imposition balances other impositions to check the authority, associated with forcible propriety, that other impositions establish.
10  Questions And Challenges / Challenges To Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: Why I am not (quite) an anarchist on: January 22, 2012, 09:03:28 PM
... whether you want to call these voluntary arrangements governments or not isn't worth arguing about.
The people we label "criminal" do not volunteer to accept the arrangements, but I don't oppose a very limited criminal law. As reluctant imposers of force, we should never deny the force we impose. That's my only point.

I'm not going anywhere. I have more in common with your lot than with most anyone else.
11  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Are you conservative or progressive? on: January 22, 2012, 04:16:08 PM
Most of these issues are hot button diversions for politicians, but I'll play along anyway.

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Feminism: equal legal AND social status for females. (while legal status is equalized in many western countries, social status is not. example: slut shaming)
"Feminism" is a highly political term, and I don't much identify with it. Men and women belong to the same species and have very similar abilities, but the few differences, like giving birth, are highly significant.

Sluttiness is hardly exclusive to women, so slut shaming has nothing to do with gender equality per se. The "double standard" is a product of actual gender differences. My mother policed sluttiness far more than my father. If one gender imposes this standard on the other, women impose it on men, perhaps rightly so.

Needless to say (around here), the only impediment to anyone's employment in any profession should be the free market.

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Homo and bi-sexuality
Acceptance. I have participated but not enough or recently enough to qualify as a participant.

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Gender bending: Men looking and acting feminine, woman looking and acting masculine. Cross dressing, Metro-sexuality, etc.
Acceptance. I could hardly care less.

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Transgenderism: Not conforming to the gender role expect of the sex. May result in gender bending or sex-reassignment.
Acceptance.
It's none of my business, but if a friend asked me about surgery for this purpose, I'd advise him to think long and hard about it.

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Prostitution
Acceptance. I've never employed a prostitute, and I'd advise a friend considering it (either selling sex or buying it) to be careful.

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Atheism and religious diversity: People with different or no religious beliefs.
Acceptance. Religous practice could encompass almost anything, so I refer only to religious belief and ceremony here.

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Sexual fetishism: Sexual arousal from certain objects or situations. Especially "deviant" ones. BDSM Necrophilia.
Tolerance.
I accept almost anything between consenting adults, but in some cases, I support a high standard of proof for consent.

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Bestiality: Sex with animals
Tolerance
Sex with animals raises consent, cruelty and public health issues, but I wouldn't jail anyone for it. I would out someone.

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Pre "age of consent" sex:  Sex with a (sexually mature) minor or between minors
Avoidance/Resistance
Define "sexually mature". I support an age of consent. The line is always arbitrary, but respecting it is not an onerous burden for anyone.
If two minors violate the proscription, I would advise their parents to chastise and separate them, and I would shun parents permitting it.
If an adult violates the proscription with a minor, I would resist the adult.

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Pedophilia: Sex with non-sexually mature individuals (children before AoC)
Resistance

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Abortion
Acceptance in some circumstances. Avoidance or resistance in others.

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Free love: sex outside or before marriage.
Acceptance. I am monogamous myself.

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Polyamory: romantic/sexual relationship between more then two individuals. With the consent of all involved.
Acceptance.

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Pornography
Participance.

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Euthanesia/Suicide
I would commit suicide in some circumstances, and I would assist a suicide in some circumstances. I would resist euthanasia beyond assisted suicide, but withdrawing artificial life support is not euthanasia.

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Gene modification/Transhumanism: Artificially modifying the human body by modifying the DNA.
It's a very broad and thoroughly unexplored category, so any conclusion I've reached at this point is meaningless.

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Body Modification: Tattoo's, piercings and "mutilation"
Acceptance.

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Recreational use of soft drugs: using drugs that are considered relatively harmless. Marijuanna, mushrooms.
Acceptance. I have participated but not recently enough to be a participant; however, I would participate again in some circumstances, like if you offered it to me a toke right now.

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Recreational use of hard drugs: using drugs that cause serious harm or sideffects: Speed, Cocaine, Heroine
Acceptance/Tolerance. I would not automatically shun a person using hard drugs. I might intervene.

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Consensual incest: Consensual sex between (adult) relatives
Acceptance. But my sister is not remotely sexy.
12  General Category / General Discussion / Re: A question for Free Banking advocates on: January 22, 2012, 02:23:22 PM
I'm not saying fractional reserve banking is "good."
I am saying fractional reserve banking is good, but I also say that "fractional reserve" is misleading. If a bank uses a gold standard, gold in the bank's vault typically is not the reserve securing the bank's notes, even though its notes promise gold; however, the notes are not therefore unsecured. The bank also holds the titles to mortgaged houses for example. These houses have a value in gold. The value of these houses in gold secures the bank's notes promising gold.
13  General Category / General Discussion / Re: A question for Free Banking advocates on: January 22, 2012, 02:00:32 PM
How would an issuer of some currency under free-banking make a profit?
At the risk of spamming, I'll address the question with an example.

www.favorati.net

Note: Favorati isn't quite open for business yet. You may join and browse the site at this point, but you should not post or accept offers expecting the records to remain. I'm still developing and testing the site, and it's not my day job, so I can't say exactly when I'll open it officially, but I'm close. I plan initially to market the site in my locale near the University of Georgia, but I won't limit membership.

Favorati is similar to other sites, like Ripplepay, that are operational. Favorati is not based on the Ripple project, but I hope eventually to interoperate with sites based on Ripple.

To answer your question, I expect to profit as people acknowledge the favor I've done them by providing the site. Acknowledging the favor is voluntary, but at some point, I would exclude a person from posting or accepting offers without acknowledging the favor.

Favorati is not exactly a bank, because it doesn't hold capital. Individual members hold the capital. If you require collateral before extending credit, you must work it out with the friend accepting your offer; however, I don't expect people to extend credit on this scale at first. I expect most credit at Favorati to be unsecured, like credit cards.

You could also profit by providing a service in which you insure creditors against loss by holding capital. This service is more like conventional banking. You would charge an insurance premium for the service. You could offer this service through Favorati itself.

I don't offer the service, because it raises legal issues that I prefer to avoid and because I'm not sure that a conventional bank is necessary in the information age. In principle, members could form insurance pools while still holding capital individually.

If I need to earn FRNs to maintain the site, I might use Google ads or something, but I'll never require anything but an acknowledgement for full membership. If these promises are not valuable enough to me to maintain the site ultimately, I'll close it down.
14  General Category / General Discussion / Re: A question for Free Banking advocates on: January 22, 2012, 01:05:45 PM
If there are 100 kilos of gold at the bank, and the bank issues more than 100 kilos worth of "notes" then that's not money, it's a money substitute, right?
Money is anything that people use for indirect exchange, in lieu of barter, i.e. if I accept something from you only because I expect later to exchange it for something else, it's money. Promissory notes and bills of credit are money if people use them this way. A banknote promising gold is not money because it promises gold. It's money because people accept it only to exchange it later for something else.
15  Questions And Challenges / Challenges To Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: Why I am not (quite) an anarchist on: January 22, 2012, 11:48:11 AM
Please explain this a bit better.  Would you personally be willing to kill me (the ultimate threat behind every enforced rule) if I 1) didn't do what the association required or 2) did do what the associated forbade?
I would harm you as little as possible. Expelling you from the territory claimed by the association might be sufficient.

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Would you kill me if I didn't contribute resources to rule enforcement?
No. I would withhold rule enforcement from you, unless you are unable to contribute resources. I favor rules entitling the disabled to some support.

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Who defines the rules?  Who interprets the rules?  Who enforces the rules?
My friends and I.

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If it is majority rule, then how are the minority protected?
Rule is by consensus ideally. If you don't like the rules, you leave our territory. A free association might adopt representative authorities if members don't care enough about particular rules to be bothered with the details.

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PS.  If you (or your association) attempt to enforce a rule on me (not me personally, but a generic person) that I don't accept then be prepared to die. (not a threat, just a statement of reality).
Needless to say, I prefer killing you to dying myself.
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