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16  Questions And Challenges / Challenges To Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: Why I am not (quite) an anarchist on: January 22, 2012, 11:36:30 AM
Humans impose authority on each other by there mere fact of existing. Two humans always have power of one another.
Humans do not impose rules of their own formulation (their free will) upon each other merely by existing. This sort of imposition is practically universal among humanity, contrasted with other animals, but so are states.

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The trick is balancing that power in such a way that coercion becomes very obviously against every bodies self-interest.
I agree, but I don't see how you ever reach genuine anarchy without returning to the state of nature, in which individuals defend their own claims exclusively by their own force, or essentially abandoning free will. We can agree to join forces, but as long as my will can differ from yours, states emerge from the clash of competing claims.

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Note that I personally believe that ALL coercion is necessarily ALWAYS against your self-interest.
Yes, coercion serves the interests of the coercive authority, as when you and I agree to defend our exclusive use of two parcels of land. Property in the land is also useful more generally as it creates a market in the parcels enabling market prices and market organization to emerge; however, my particular property in a particular parcel benefits me primarily, and yours benefits you primarily, and the scarcity of desirable land leads to a state. Locke essentially reaches this conclusion.

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As long as people believe that coercion is good for their self-interest we will have statism.
The search for a person believing that no coercion is good is like the search for an honest man. The honest man is an ideal that does not and cannot exist in reality, but we can go on searching regardless.
17  Questions And Challenges / Challenges To Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: Why I am not (quite) an anarchist on: January 22, 2012, 11:13:47 AM
Anarchy doesn't mean you can't have help defending yourself.  Wild animals, which I think we can all agree do not have governments, do not act alone at all times.
For me, the issue is not acting alone or in a group. The issue is imposing a rule that the imposing group itself formulates. A pack of wolves does not formulate the rules that it imposes, because the rules are genetic.

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I don't see where you described anything that wouldn't happen under ancap.
You're right. I don't differ much with an-caps in practice. I mostly differ with their semantics. I am open in theory to systems of propriety presuming a state like title expiration and a progressive consumption tax, but systematic propriety generally requires a state.

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The difference is primarily the manner in which it is funded.  The difference in funding is intended to keep some group from turning from a voluntary exchange to one of violence.
I support a market in the defense of propriety, so I agree with an-caps in this regard.
18  Questions And Challenges / Challenges To Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: Why I am not (quite) an anarchist on: January 22, 2012, 11:05:48 AM
I wouldn't call a defense agency of my property a state. To me, the state is an organization that initiates violence against non-criminals. If a person or entity trespasses against another's property the entity that comes to the defense of that property is not a state, although the state currently attempts to do that now.
The question is: what is your property or what is property generally? I came to anarchism years ago through Proudhon, and the question still resonates with me.

My property is not anything I claim. It's what I and my friends aiding my defense of the claim say it is, and if you (being outside of this circle of friends) disagree, we impose our will upon you anyway. Calling our circle a "defense agency" doesn't change this fact. Calling you a "criminal" doesn't change the fact either.

Every state declares its systematic rules universal and declares violators criminal.
19  Questions And Challenges / Challenges To Anarcho-Capitalism / Why I am not (quite) an anarchist on: January 22, 2012, 09:27:50 AM
At the risk of heresy, I'm coming out here as a minarchist. Anarcho-capitalists disagree among themselves, and where all anarcho-capitalists seem to agree, I usually agree with them, but I don't (quite) accept the "anarchist" label for reasons I'll discuss here. I'm not trying to pick a fight with an-caps as much as I'm trying to clarify precisely what we advocate.

My rejection of the "anarchist" label is a matter of semantics, of course. Here's the rub. I want certain rules enforced, namely rules involving what I deem "proper" or property rights. I want you forced to obey these rules even if you don't accept them. An association of persons, including me, will enforce the rules, but we do not require your membership in the association.

This association is a state by definition, because it imposes force upon you even though you do not freely subject yourself to it. An anarchist by definition does not support a state. Since I support a state, however minimal, I cannot be an anarchist.

Again, I will join forces with other people to establish systematically what we deem proper and then to compel others, who have not joined us, to respect it. This willingness makes me something other than an anarchist.

Furthermore, anarcho-capitalists generally are not anarchists in this sense, despite the label. In fact, I've never met a genuine anarchist of any description.

Anarchy is not impossible. The state of nature is essentially an anarchy for example. In the state of nature, an individual defends his claims entirely by his own force, and the successful defense of a claim is itself the only "rightness". No authority imposing systematic rules, constructed collectively somehow by an association of individuals, exists.

The laws of nature exist, of course, but gravity is not a rule formulated somehow by the individuals enforcing it. The genome of a species is not such a system either. Even a rule as fundamental as Lockean propriety is such a rule.
20  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Bitcoin Mining for Anarchists on: January 07, 2012, 11:50:16 AM
Syock, Google for "bitcoin miner virus". It's out there.
21  General Category / General Discussion / Re: A Possible Alternative to PayPal and the banking system on: January 05, 2012, 09:35:08 AM
Given the uncertainty over whether you will be alive a year from now, a month from now, or even tomorrow, a positive interest rate is better than an assumption. It makes a lot of sense.
A long life is more certain than ever before in human history, and life expectancy continues to rise while birth rates remain very low by historical standards and continue to fall. The common expectation of a positive interest rate reflects recent history, but these economic fundamentals in the foreseeable future differ radically from the fundamentals in the recent past.
22  General Category / General Discussion / Re: A Possible Alternative to PayPal and the banking system on: January 05, 2012, 09:21:07 AM
I understand your point, Syock. I like to discuss the counterintuitive, including a negative real interest rate. The free market rate, adjusted for inflation and risk, can be negative. People can value produce delivered in the future more than produce available currently. Ideally, you may offer credit with a positive real interest rate, but if no one is compelled to accept your terms, you may not receive a positive rate.

Of course, in reality, states routinely impose debts forcibly on a massive scale. Treasury securities are only the most obvious example.

If the population consists of ten seventeen year olds owning only their labor and a hundred seventy year olds owning everything else, the seventy year olds will extend voluminous credit to the seventeen year olds at negative interest rates, because they need the seventeen year olds' labor in the future far more than they need it currently.

Creditors are only half of the credit market. Creditors don't want a negative interest rate, but creditees do, and the price of credit in a free market is a compromise between these parties.

A negative interest rate can benefit a creditor compared to his alternatives. Ten seventeen olds can only service so many seventy year olds, and every seventy year old wants to be serviced. If you die earlier than the other seventy year olds, because you were never willing to extend credit at a negative interest rate, you may leave a larger estate, but the seventeen year olds inherit your estate anyway, so what have you gained?

If there was rapid deflation, through a decrease in the supply of money, then you could potentially have a negative rate.
I'm discussing a negative real rate, not a negative nominal rate and a positive real rate.

An inverted population pyramid is really weird. The old outnumber the young. The labor force shrinks while the older population continues to grow. It's already happening in Japan. The demographic transition is unprecedented in modern history. It's hardly precedented in human history. Demography is an economic fundamental. Consequences of the demographic transition occur regardless of monetary policy.

In this example, the creditors do not need to hold collateral as they are not also indebted to someone else for the loan as a bank is.
For small amounts of short-term credit (as with credit cards), creditors typically don't hold collateral, but collateral doesn't require a financial intermediary. If I give you my car in exchange for your personal IOU, I can hold the title to the car until you've kept your promise to pay me. The Ripplepay concept doesn't prevent it, but I agree that Ripplepay is not ready for credit on this scale.

Now it is just something people agree have value because thats what we were stuck with when they took the gold away by force.
FRNs are redeemable for Treasury securities in open market operations. They have value, because the monetary authority (the Federal government) will seize produce from my children and give it to you if you hold the authority's securities, i.e. FRNs are chartal money. They're valuable, because the state forces them to circulate.

I oppose a statutory gold standard, because I want free banking. If you want to promise gold when accepting credit, that's up to you, but the standard of value is a term of credit that traders should be free to choose. The original dollar standard was a silver standard, not a gold standard. The Federal government abandoned the silver standard before it abandoned the gold standard. Taking one step backward by returning to an exclusive, statutory gold standard is not progress.

When new money enters the market, the purchasing value in your account decreases.
I agree, but if the new money bails out your bank, your purchasing power can increase compared with the loss you suffer without the bailout. If I have little money in the bank because I bought a house before the bubble burst, I can lose more purchasing power as the value of my house falls than you lose to inflation. The bank holds title to the house, so it ends up with the house and the bailout money, and its note holders are the principal beneficiaries.

The other beneficiaries are people who sold houses at inflated prices before the bubble burst. In a free banking system, these people hold the inflationary bank's notes, so they do not benefit similarly.

In a free market, without the FDIC and other bailouts, if a contraction leaves many mortgages underwater and many mortgagors bankrupt, the bank's note holders lose money. These losses are my preference of course. The risk of loss should discourage inflationary credit expansion, but losses must actually occur occasionally for this discouragement to exist.

You need to be the one using the money first in the market.
The bank's executives and other interests might benefit more than a depositor, but depositors still benefit relative to others.

The market for mortgaged backed securities was artificial through government edicts to Fanny and Freddy.
It was, but the baby boom also approaches retirement. So many have never before attempted to retire so well for so long by extending credit to so few (relatively) in human history.
23  General Category / General Discussion / Re: A Possible Alternative to PayPal and the banking system on: January 04, 2012, 01:38:37 PM
@Syock I only discovered the site here yesterday, but I'm familiar with the concept. If it's like a similar system, debts are payable on demand, so they aren't necessarily interest free. If you demand payment and your obligor cannot pay, he might owe you something to avoid defaulting; however, you'd need to state the terms in the original offer.

On the other hand, good luck earning a real rate of interest on any credit you extend these days. You certainly won't earn it on a bank deposit or a short-term CD. With a global demographic transition, the baby boom nearing retirement, the supply of credit is large relative to the demand, so the laws of supply and demand suggest a low price of credit, i.e. a low interest rate, even a negative rate. Central monetary authorities arguably lower rates further at this time, but it's hard to say. No law of economics implies that market forces cannot produce a negative interest rate.

It's not obvious to me that central authorities are lowering rates at this time. Following the deflation of a housing bubble (or sovereign defaults or whatever), your bank account likely shrinks without inflationary bank bailouts. The fact that your nominal account balance didn't change in the last few years (in the U.S. at least) reflects a statutory increase in the risk-adjusted, interest rate. Central authorities arguably inflated the bubble in the first place, but that's a separate issue. The demographic transition also contributed to the bubble. The market for mortgage backed securities was real.

Ripplepay is essentially a free banking system, but each creditor issues his own promissory notes, and creditors don't necessarily hold collateral. A more conventional bank guarantees the debts of its debtors while holding their collateral. The bank holds gold or another standard of value only to meet demands of its note holders before it can exchange the collateral for the standard.

What is an actual money transfer? Are FRNs actual money? Under our current monetary system in the U.S., dollars are like Ripplypay IOUs except that losses are socialized. The biggest difference between a dollar and a Ripplepay IOU is that Ripplepay losses are not socialized.
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