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1  General Category / General Discussion / Milgram Experiment - Anyone read Gina Perry? on: January 24, 2014, 02:47:18 PM
Pretty much every libertarian-anarchist I've ever met is familiar on some level with the Milgram experiments, and reference to Milgram's work is very common in libertarian literature.

I just recently found out about Gina Perry's book "Behind the Shock Machine" (http://www.amazon.com/Behind-Shock-Machine-psychology-experiments-ebook/dp/B007NOI2YC) which is claimed to be an analysis of Milgram's work that finds much to criticize about his methodology, honesty, and the validity of his conclusions.

I'm curious if anyone here has ever read the book and might be willing to let me know if it's worth spending time on. Is Perry credible in her case, or is she herself suspect of stretching the truth to fit a predetermined narrative?

One thing that seems a counter-point is that even if Milgram himself manipulated his data to produce a conclusion he wanted, I've read that his experiment has been replicated many, many times all over the place, and the results, while not identical, support the same conclusion (that people are willing to torture and even kill when an authority figure instructs them to). So even if Gina Perry is convincing in showing Milgram was an outright fraud (not saying that's her actual claim; I don't know having not read her book), it would seem that those replications that have happened since still add support to the conclusions we associate with Milgram.

So it would seem that in order to be worth considering, Perry, in addition to genuinely exposing Milgram as untrustworthy, would also have to demonstrate convincingly that these replications were fraudulent/flawed as well. Anyone know if she does this, or at least makes a compelling attempt worth evaluating?

Thanks,

Brian
2  Questions And Challenges / Questions About Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: Rothbard and air pollution on: January 09, 2014, 05:41:54 PM
One would need to (1) be able to measure the pollution, and (2) demonstrate that it came from you.  I don't think that these two things could be done for a bonfire.

Really?

Obviously it's going to depend on the situation, but if it's your next door neighbor, and huge plumes of smoke are blowing onto your property, then whipping out your iPhone/camera to satisfy (2) is quite easy. Or if you aren't there to witness, if you come home and all your lawn furniture is blackened with soot, or the white carpet in your house (if you left the glass part of your window open to allow air-flow) is all dirty, then asking around to your neighbors should provide enough witnesses to identify the source.

As to measuring the pollution, that's not always necessary (or really ever, that I can think of). Demonstrating damage is. So the cost of cleaning things that have been dirtied, or the cost of going to the doctor for health problems caused by smoke inhalation; these things can be used in your torte case to demand restitution and require "injunction" against further bonfires.

The bonfire is the easiest case actually. It's the more subtle cases like toxic chemicals released into air/water that are harder to detect, and may only have damaging effects over a long-term exposure so damage is more difficult to prove. Maybe not impossible, but certainly not as easy as the bonfire example.
3  Questions And Challenges / Questions About Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: Rothbard and air pollution on: January 02, 2014, 10:11:54 PM
I don't know this for sure but it seems to me that suing your neighbour over the smoke would be more trouble than it's worth...

Well of course, that'd be an individual choice based on situation. If you've had clean air for years, and your neighbor suddenly has a bonfire where the smoke that drifts onto your property causes all your expensive lawn furniture to be stained (ruined or at least requiring cleaning), or even gets into your house (since you left the windows open, not expecting smoke) and dirties or ruins belongings in there...then yeah, I can see someone being motivated to seek remedy.

For most of us, a little smoke now and then isn't a big deal. But just because you don't mind a certain trespass (de facto "forgiving" the trespass/granting post hoc consent and thus negating it) doesn't mean someone else has the same opinion. The only person whose opinion is of importance is the owner of the property being infringed by the pollutant.
4  Questions And Challenges / Questions About Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: Rothbard and air pollution on: January 02, 2014, 05:59:04 AM
I can't quote Rothbard off the top of my head, but my thinking on this issue was basically molded from reading him. So the following is all me, but probably pretty close to Rothbard.

First, think about the smoke if it wasn't smoke. What if it was just wood scraps? Clearly, it'd be trespassing to just dump wood scraps onto your neighbor's lawn. It'd be trespass against his body to shove chunks of wood up his nose too. So the fact that the smoke is fine particles shouldn't make a difference. The size of what you're depositing on his property doesn't change trespass into something else.

Second, Rothbard sometimes uses the idea of a particular property being a "bundle of rights". This is sort of his way of addressing easements. Basically, you have to consider the chronology to determine if there is trespass.

Let's say person A homesteads some land and on that land burns fires, causing smoke to drift beyond the boundaries of his property. Later, person B homesteads some land "down-wind" to person A and then complains about the smoke. They don't have a claim though, because person A already had an easement for his smoke to pass through the land B eventually homesteaded. Another way to think of it is that the smoke passing through was part of the defining properties of the land B homesteaded, so he cannot complain his land isn't smoke-free, since it wasn't smoke-free in the state he found it.

Reverse the chronology, so that A comes along after B and starts creating smoke, and in this case, B DOES have a claim, since his land was initially smoke-free and thus A had no easement.

Of course, A and B can always come to some sort of additional arrangement. If B was there first, he can still grant permission to A to allow a certain amount of smoke to pass through (either as a friendly gesture, or for payment). But if B was there first, and he will not agree to such an arrangement, then A must stop producing smoke that drifts onto B's property.

Now, most of us are living in situations that are long past the simplicity of the original homesteaders. Without solid documentation of agreements between the original homesteaders, arbitration may be necessary to establish what easements currently exist. For example, if you've been having bon fires in your backyard for a while, and none of your neighbors have complained so far, then it would be unlikely their sudden complaint would be found to be valid (since you've had a defacto easement this whole time). But if you suddenly started producing some other type of pollution, like building a factory that spews out toxic gas into the air, this would be a new form of pollution and not subject to existing easements and thus your neighbors could rightly stop you.

Some object to such strict application of property borders (which, barring existing easements, would prevent ALL pollution), speculating that had such a strict regime been in place, many technological advancements wouldn't be possible (factories, cars, etc.). But this is simply an example of how the state (by not upholding property rights) distorts the market by allowing for externalities. If you were not allowed to pollute (i.e., trespass others' property), you wouldn't cease production. You'd simply have to find a way to capture your pollution to keep it within your property. So you'd probably still have internal-combustion engines in cars, but rather than an exhaust pipe, you might have an exhaust tank that requires emptying everytime you fuel up. Or maybe the added cost and hassle of cars that retain their exhaust would make research into non-polluting technologies more attractive and we'd all have some non-polluting form of car by now.
5  Questions And Challenges / Challenges To Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: arguments from a statist on: December 19, 2013, 05:07:13 PM
Don't back down Disengage. Your post was dead on. Righteous anger is...righteous. Statist "arguments" are 99% of the time just a shallow pretense to obscure the evil the statist supports. Calling their bluff comes off as "mean", but in context of what they're proposing, it's freaking ludicrous to apologize for not being polite to the person arguing for the right to enslave you to get what they want.

That's recognizing that TonyPeck isn't proposing those arguments, only reporting them. But if I were you Tony, I'd use the approach Disengage did. It cuts through the crap and exposes the true issue.

Again, bravo Disengage.
6  Questions And Challenges / Questions About Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: Total Anarchy vs Anarcho Capitalism on: December 13, 2013, 01:33:26 PM
Well, I think that language, like value is subjective. You're free to define words however you want, just as long as you are consistent in your usage (otherwise, you engage in equivocation). So on that level, I have no problem with your definition. I don't think it's one I've encountered before, and if not unique to you, it's definitely not common in usage. So especially with this consideration, I think it would serve you well to declare ahead of time when you're going to employ a personal/obscure definition to a word that is commonly employed with a different meaning.

I am having a little difficulty understanding "most of today's capitalist distribution is unjustly acquired" while employing your unique definition of capitalism. Would you mind elaborating?


If you're basing your definition of "capitalist" on the commonly understood concept of capital, then I think you're a bit off. Capital doesn't necessarily involve trade. Capital is just the means of production (i.e., goods that are not destined for consumption, but rather to be utilized in the chain of production of consumables). Crusoe economics demonstrates this when Robinson reduces his consumption of hand-caught fish so that he can save the surplus to spend time building a net (during which time he's not fishing, which is why he needed the savings). He engages in SAVING (reducing consumption below production levels) so that he can INVEST (the saved fish that sustain him when he's not fishing) in the creation of CAPITAL (the net) so that he can increase his PRODUCTION of fish for CONSUMPTION. None of this requires SOMEBODY ELSE in the equation, fundamentally.
7  Questions And Challenges / Questions About Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: Total Anarchy vs Anarcho Capitalism on: December 13, 2013, 08:39:39 AM
Fair enough. I misinterpreted "most of today's capitalist distribution is unjustly acquired" to be targeting the rich. My mistake.

Out of curiosity, how are you defining "capitalist"?
8  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Libertarians who are fawning over the life of communist butcher Mandela on: December 12, 2013, 05:31:31 PM
Molyneux's video was a bit less polished than I would have liked. But I don't think he was stating HE thought blacks WOULD be better off under colonialism, only that by the statistics he read, blacks WERE better off before the end of apartheid and that many currently report to polsters that they preferred apartheid to what they have now.

Molyneux outright said he's not in favor of colonialism (or any statism, as anyone who knows anything about Molyneux would know), but like Hoppe comparing Democracy and Monarchy without being an actual monarchist, Molyneux was using statistics to show that if SA is going to have a rotten statist system, that things are worse off under the current "democratic" government and the end of apartheid was not the step forward people wish it was.
9  Questions And Challenges / Questions About Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: Total Anarchy vs Anarcho Capitalism on: December 12, 2013, 02:34:25 PM
Quote
We anarchists are in the minority.  Until that changes, I consider every non-anarchist to be guilty of aiding and abetting the state. 
I do not have proof about the "most" declaration but I am ready to gamble that most of them would refuse to reject the state to the extent we do.  Would you not agree? 
As far as I am concerned, anybody who refuses to reject the state or who refuses to endorse a pure free market or who rejects the non-aggression principle is guilty.  You may judge people differently -- I am cool with that because none of that matters once the lights go out.

I'm of two minds on this. One part of me agrees with you wholeheartedly. Statism is so freaking evil and yet, when you start to converse with most people about it, they show pretty quickly that they don't care about right and wrong, they just want whatever they think the state is necessary to give them.

But even in this mindset, I think it's wrong to single out the rich. Virtually everyone is a statist, so the poorest poor is as guilty by this standard as the richest rich. Since moral principle is obviously not what's guiding the majority, then the poor are just as morally guilty as the rich and on top of that, they're just even bigger losers since they haven't figured out how to play the evil game they support as effectively as those who have prospered more from it.

During the occupy movement, I was really annoyed by this. Certainly, the occupy movement was not homogenous, so I can't accurately criticize everyone involved. But the majority that I saw or interacted with had a common view. They were super-upset that the state was screwing everyone else on behalf of the 1%. So far so good. But their proposed solution? They wanted the state to screw the 1% for their benefit. So fundamentally, they weren't upset with the state screwing people, they were just pissed off that they were on the losing end. The game of the state is completely evil, so the only moral option is to refuse to play. But if you're going to play it, don't whine like a loser when you suck at playing....losers.


But on the other hand, I try (not always successfully) to be more compassionate and fair minded.

I haven't lived my entire life as an anarchist. It took a fairly long intellectual and moral journey to get to where I am. To be fair, it wasn't as though I read Murray Rothbard or Lysander Spooner (or pick one) right away and was just stubborn for a long time. Actually, it took a long time to even come in contact with coherent arguments against the state, and I did "convert" shortly after encountering them. But it still wasn't an instant process.

So I try to temper my criticism of others in light of my own process. I do think that I wouldn't have taken as long if I had been exposed to the right ideas much earlier, so I try to speed the process up whenever I'm talking with people. But I still recognize that rejecting the state is a HUGE paradigm shift that requires moral and intellectual integrity on a level not normally required in our society.

Let's also not forget that nearly everyone in the US was raised a slave. Did you ever watch "Roots"? If not, it's a TV miniseries (based on a book, based on - I think - a true story) showing a multi-generational story starting with an African man captured and sold into slavery in America, then following his descendants through to post-slavery. Kunte Kinte, the original man, was a very defiant slave. He was born free and so slavery was an unnatural imposition. It took a lot of cruel punishment to finally "break him". But by the time we get to his grandchildren, the concept of "being free" was completely foreign. Being a slave to white people was the natural way of things as far as they knew.

Likewise, virtually everyone is raised a statist. This is the world they know. Their parents teach them statism. The school they attend for most of their developing life teaches them statism. The media teaches them statism. Their churches teach them statism. Celebrities teach them statism. Public intellectuals teach them statism.

And the reality is too that the vast majority of people have never heard the arguments against the state. Can we really condemn them for rejecting the case for liberty, when they've never even heard it (and most often, they've heard a heavily distorted strawman version which inoculates them even further; e.g., "libertarianism is just a philosophy the Koch brothers dreamt up so they can screw everyone over for their own profit")?

So can we really blame them for being statists? I'm not saying we absolutely can't, but I'm also not sure that we can either. I'm just trying to be fair minded here. This is why I think it needs to be an individual case-by-case judgment. Some people enthusiastically embrace the system and will screw whoever they need to get to the top. Others just play because that's the only game they know. I think we need to be at the top of our game in communicating these ideas, be patient with our audience since it's a lot to process (i.e., deprogramming the worldview they've been indoctrinated into their entire life), and only when it's black-and-white clear that they understand the principles involved, but then still choose to reject liberty, can we justly condemn them as guilty.

But that's just on my good days. The rest of the time, I'm right there with you. Screw 'em all. Statists got no souls! Wink
10  Questions And Challenges / Questions About Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: Total Anarchy vs Anarcho Capitalism on: December 12, 2013, 06:45:10 AM
Charming,

"most of today's capitalist distribution is unjustly acquired"

I can't agree with that statement outright.

"today's capitalist"

Again, how do we define terms? If "capitalism" means free markets, or "the private ownership of the means of production", then overall, the world has seen very little actual capitalism, and it is mercantilism/facism/socialism that we've mainly seen and thus those terms deserve the blame for the current outcome. If "capitalism" just means whatever Western societies have, because, well, that's what we're told they have, then I would have to reject capitalism. That's fine (defining it that way), as long as we don't equivocate and mix the definitions.

"Distribution"

I also have a problem with this word. It tends to come from a perspective that doesn't understand how wealth is generated and also ignores one of the most fundamental facts of reality: value is subjective. I don't believe there is a finite amount of "wealth" (because "wealth" is also ultimately a subjectively defined concept), nor do I believe there is a just or ideal "distribution" of wealth.

"most...is unjustly acquired"

Here is where I really see red flags. I've observed with disapproval a tendency from those self-describing as "left-libertarians" to make blanket accusations against "the rich" without any individual proof for those targeted by the accusations. It seems for many on the left, just "being rich" is proof enough of unjust acquisition. I happen to think that the burden of proof is on the accuser, and "rich people" is not an entity, so any accusation of unjust acquisition needs to be proven for each individual accused of it before I would condemn that individual, rather than lumping all/most of them together and concluding injustice just based on financial status alone.


What I do agree is that the state just messes up everything.

There definitely are people who are rich because they gained their financial largess through state privilege. But as I wrote before, I think it's crucial to only condemn those who have actually sought such privilege, because the state is so invasive, that many people benefit, but that doesn't make them guilty.

E.g., during eras of forced racial discrimination laws, if you were white, you had an advantage over a black person and thus were much more likely to be more financially well off (even at lower and middle class levels, since blacks faced additional hurdles). But unless you voted for those laws, or were directly involved in their passage/enforcement, then just being white didn't make you guilty of these laws nor would your additional financial wealth compared to blacks be an injustice on your part. It could be said that the system was unjust, but not all beneficiaries were guilty.

So are most of the rich guilty of collusion with the state? I haven't seen evidence to justify the "most" declaration. Perhaps it's true, though I'm skeptical. I'd want to see proof for each person before agreeing they should individually be added to the guilty roster.

The state distorts the market heavily, true, so is it possible that even if innocent of injustice, those who have become rich in such a system would not be in a truly free market? This is one of those, "let's get rid of the state and see what results" sorts of issues, where I don't think anyone truly knows what the outcome would look like.

So for example, we know how members of the "Military Industrial Complex" have become very wealthy as a result of the state (I know enough to add the management of Lockhead Martin, Ratheon, Boeing, etc. to the "guilty list") and that certainly in the US, the amount spent on armaments is not driven by actual need (the US spends more on its military/"defense" than all the rest of the countries of the world combined). While defense solutions will definitely still be provided on the market absent the state, we know that it will be a competitive environment that will continually drive costs down overall. So is it likely that General Dynamics, as currently constituted, would survive on an open-market? Almost certainly not. However, as immoral as it is to latch on to the state, profiting off theft and murder, I don't think we can completely write off the above-average talents displayed by the top people at General Dynamics. It's quite possible they're a bunch of evil leaches who couldn't make an honest buck. But it's also possible the cunning, ability to network, ambition, ability to create opportunity, risk assessment and other skills/talents that they currently employ to be the most successful leaches, could be applied in a just framework to still achieve higher-than-average success. I'm not asserting this will happen, and I'm quite aware that a cronyism system does tend to have a lot of worthless people rise to the top, but even then, there are reasons those on the top got to the top, and those reasons might be a counter-argument to declaring those people "worthless".

In other words, it's true that Steve Jobs became very successful due to intellectual property protections and other state privileges and distortions of the market. But from what I know of the man and his above-average intellect, vision, ambition, work-ethic, and pure will, I think it's ludicrous to think he'd have roughly the same amount of wealth as I would had we lived in a free-market instead.

It's currently a rigged game, but the fact that even people with the same initial advantages (like inherited wealth) don't all end up with the same level of success within the game, indicates to me that we'd likely see at least some of the current "winners" doing better than average in a more just society.

But to reiterate, let's get rid of rulers (have actual an-archy) and we'll see what happens. As long as aggression (violation of consent/ruling) isn't institutionalized, if we end up with a society completely homogenized in financial wealth acquisition, or one with similar "inequality" to today, I don't care.
11  Questions And Challenges / Questions About Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: Total Anarchy vs Anarcho Capitalism on: December 11, 2013, 08:18:57 AM
"I think it is the primary disagreement between the anarchist camps."

I don't think this is true at all. I think it is the "supposed" disagreement that Anarchists are always trotting out, but I have found zero substance to the objection. Find me an honest libertarian anarchist (often the same, but necessarily the same as an "anarcho-capitalist") who is in favor of state privilege and I'll show you a fake libertarian anarchist. In my experience, the request for evidence that libertarianism indeed favors the system of state privileges currently in place is never satisfied. Empty strawman. Its regular usage makes it tired.

As I've demonstrated in my first post, the things Anarchists object to regarding anarcho-capitalism are actually completely possible without a state and would require actual ruling (i.e., antithesis of an-archy) to prevent. It is for this reason I remain skeptical that Anarchists are actual an-archists and thus I would point to this issue (to rule or not to rule) as the primary disagreement between these two specific camps. I choose the side that unequivocally rejects ruling.
12  Questions And Challenges / Questions About Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: Total Anarchy vs Anarcho Capitalism on: December 10, 2013, 06:05:07 PM
Charming,

If you read the "edited to add" remark at the end of my first post, you'll see I anticipated such a tired objection.

"you are missing a large part of the equation"

Wrong. The equation I was dealing with was not "and there's a boss who is directly responsible for taxation". It's not honest to modify the equation with new information and then criticize my response to the initial equation.

The "boss" in the equation was an employer, not the state. So your "maybe if the boss never came along" is equivocation since the negatives you attribute to the boss are only accurate if you're referring to the state or are asserting that this particular employer directly lobbied for state action that lead to the impoverishment of the worker in the first place. Or that the boss is an outright private criminal who engaged in consent-violating activity that lead to the scenario. But that wasn't the hypothetical presented to me.

Likewise, I definitely would not offer the same conclusion regarding the man outside the pit if he's the one who dug it as a trap for the man stuck in it.

"most often, the "boss is a man who is ruthless and gets special government favors."

As a libertarian, I reject the state, so clearly I'm not arguing in favor of employers who seek government favors. Notice I said "seek", because plenty of people "benefit" from preferential legislation, but they cannot be held accountable for this privilege unless they actively sought it. I find it absurd to assert that this condemnation applies "most often" (i.e., to most employers) and I happen to subscribe to a "the burden of proof is on the accuser" philosophy, so I'd appreciate evidence to backup your blanket condemnation of those offering employment.
13  Questions And Challenges / Questions About Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: Total Anarchy vs Anarcho Capitalism on: December 10, 2013, 04:02:45 AM
Hi Victor,

First, "force" as I was using it referred to the use, or credible threat of the use, of physical violence against another human being. While I suppose a loose application of this term can apply to non-violent theft, I think the term "consent" (or inversely, consent-violation) is more easily all-encompassing (anarchists/libertarians do not oppose force per se; they oppose aggressive/consent-violating force). However, I think I used "force" appropriately in my post as I was referring to situations where violence, or its credible threat, would be required to prevent a certain type of exchange that an Anarchist objected to and that force would, in those cases, constitute violating the consent of the parties that desired that exchange.

If Anarchists do define "force" as actions that limit a person's options and change their behavior, then they have to object to a whole lot of things that are consensual. When a woman declines a sexual proposition from a man, that has limited his options (she's no longer an option) and will change his behavior (he now has to seek sexual gratification elsewhere). Market competition would fall under "force" by that definition as well. You're selling homemade pies, then I move down the street and start selling pies too. Customers like my pies so much more, that they stop buying from you and exclusively buy from me. You'll either have to "change your behavior" (compete with me by increasing the quality of your product and/or reducing its price), or go out of business, which will "limit your options". Do you think it's reasonable to object to declining sexual advances, or peaceful market competition?

Such a nebulous definition of "force" is clearly nonsensical and useless.

Even in your examples, the objection of "force" by the definition you provided doesn't even apply.

The boss is INCREASING (not limiting) the options of the worker by offering a job. Evidently, in this scenario, the person being offered a job is so bereft of options, they will starve without the job. So before the "boss" came along, they had X options, and then the boss offers them a job and they now have X+1 options. This is an increase, not a decrease. It might still be a less-than-perfect option, but it's still an increase in options. Are we to flip math on its head and say that the addition of anything less than an arbitrarily idealized option is actually a decrease?

Same with the man in the pit. Until the man outside the pit came along, he had very few options. The man offering the help out for an extremely high price is still increasing the number of options available to the man in the pit. That you might disapprove of the option being offered doesn't change the numerical fact that the offer constitutes an INCREASE.

The idea that not helping someone for free equates to aggression has absolutely no logical basis and is puerile and absurd. To assert that you have a default obligation to help those in need equates to stating that those in need have a form of ownership (right to control) over those who could lend assistance. That would make those in need (a highly subjectively-defined state)...rulers. This is supposed to be an-archy? It would seem to be the logical consequence of Anarchy, but I think that would just more clearly show how defiant against the clear etymology of the term such a philosophy insists on being.

As always, moral disapproval and consensual actions stemming from it (such as boycott, "shaming" campaigns, orchestrated ostracism) are perfectly fine (for to forcefully prevent them would be an act of ruling), and I can certainly agree that the guy offering to help for $1 billion is being a jerk and might not ever be his friend or do business with him as a result. But I have no grounds to claim his offer is violating anyone's consent, nor even using "force" by the definition you provided (limiting options) should I even find such a definition useful (I don't).
14  General Category / Bitcoin / Re: Police Chief asks to be paid in Bitcoin. City Council approves on: December 07, 2013, 04:26:31 AM
Does this make any sense?

The man will basically still be paid in dollars, since they mention withholding "tax" (a cute accounting trick, since gov employees don't pay taxes) before converting the rest to bitcoin. So the man is not actually asking to be paid in bitcoin, he just wants his employer to buy bitcoins for him. His salary is still going to be denominated in dollars.

This is like the nonsense of your employer "providing" medical insurance for you (which mainly started as a way around price controls in the Great Depression). In a free society, why would you want your employer to buy things for you? Why not just take the entire amount and buy your own goods and services?

15  Questions And Challenges / Questions About Anarcho-Capitalism / Re: Total Anarchy vs Anarcho Capitalism on: December 05, 2013, 05:16:33 AM
It obviously all boils down to how you choose to define words.

E.g., I could say "anarchy means a totalitarian dictator". By that definition, anarcho-capitalists are clearly not "anarchists".

This is why it's important to define terms, and be consistent in applying definitions (otherwise, you engage in equivocation).

"Anarchism" is indeed a political philosophy or movement with a history to it. This movement, calling itself "anarchist", includes concepts and values that are at odds with anarcho-capitalism. So, if the term "anarchist" refers to that ideology, then it is correct to say anarcho-capitalists are not anarchists. I'm going to capitalize Anarchist/Anarchism when referring to this definition (the historical movement).

However, anarchy can also be defined by the breakdown of the word's etymology (which is Greek): an = "without" and arkhos = "ruler". So anarchy, by this definition, means "no ruler" (not "no rules"). I'm going to use anarchist/anarchy (lower case) to refer to this definition.

Now of course, you need to have an agreed upon definition of "ruler". The functional definition I'll employ, which I think is generally acceptable among libertarians/ancaps, is "a person (or group of persons) who has the recognized authority to impose their will upon another person without that person's consent".

So if you define "anarchy" as a society without anyone being recognized with the authority to impose their will upon others without consent, then the tables turn a bit. It is the anarcho-capitalists that are anarchists, and the anarchy "cred" of the Anarchists becomes less certain.

Let's look at the most common Anarchist objections to anarcho-capitalism: interest, exploitation, unforced hierarchy, private property.

Interest: I am recognized to own 100 units of the commonly accepted medium of exchange (i.e., money). You don't have any money, but need some. So you ask me if you can borrow my 100 units and I agree, on the condition that in 1 year, you return to me 110 units (10% simple interest). There are some people that have a problem with this. That's fine. Whine all you want. But if a 3rd party uses force to prevent/negate such an agreement (or the borrower refuses to pay the interest as agreed upon), then aren't they assuming the authority to impose their will without my consent? How is this different than a ruler? It's perfectly ok to boycott people who engage in exchanges involving interest, but the moment you impose your objection to interest through force, you're acting as a ruler.

Exploitation: Same story. If a worker agrees to build chairs for $10/chair (with all the materials and tools being provided to him by the employer), and the "employer" (an arbitrary term, since "employment" is just an ongoing exchange, but how else can you use class warfare terms like "worker" and "capitalist" unless you arbitrarily define the parties of an exchange?) turns around and sells that chair for $20/chair, what's the problem? That may violate your sense of aesthetics, and you're free to whine all you want. But as long as the worker consented to the $10/chair rate, what grounds does he or anyone else have to shriek "exploitation!!" as long as he's paid the $10/chair? Anyone who would impose their objection to such an agreement is basically setting themselves up as a ruler.

Unforced hierarchy: The pattern repeats. As long as the decision to subject yourself to the will of another is consented to, then anyone who forcefully prevents such an arrangement is acting as a ruler. Maybe I prefer working for a company with a vertical authority structure. How are you not a ruler when you prevent me from consenting to such an arrangement? Maybe I'm a young woman and the only way I can get the approval of my father is if I obey him ("patriarchy"). Is he not free to give or withhold his approval? Am I not free to desire or not desire his approval and if I desire, consent to the requirements he places upon it? It may be emotionally manipulative and unhealthy, but it's still consensual and imposing to prevent this is the action of a ruler. The most totalitarian hierarchy I can think of is an orchestra. The conductor waves a stick at people to dictate when they can and cannot inhale and exhale. Are orchestra's incompatible with anarchy? As long as the musicians are there by consent, it's certainly not incompatible with the libertarian/AC/etymological definition of anarchy. As to the historical Anarchists, it seems the pattern is revealing they have appropriated a word and defined an ideology at complete odds with the etymology of that word. Historical Anarchy starts to look more and more like any other "archy" variant.

Private property: Law as "expression of fact, not of will" is basically the argument of possession/occupation superseding "title". Of course, taken at its direct logical application, this equates to defining away theft, since once I forcibly, covertly, or decietfully take anything from you, the "fact" is my possession, and your claim of theft is only based on "will"/title. I doubt any Anarchists would agree to that, but I'm not picking up on a strong valuation of logical coherency among that crowd. But let's even take such a concept as a starting point (possession = ownership). I currently possess/occupy some land on which I build a house. I don't want to forfeit that land/house, but I do want to travel around for a year. You need a place to live. I offer to let you move in on the condition that you pay me money each month (rent!! the horror!), and at the end of the year, you will vacate the land so I can resume residing there. This establishes me as a...duh duh duh (ominous music): "landlord"!! Oh heavens. Now, if you consent to this agreement, how does the voiding of that contract by a third party (since it offends their delicate notions of fairness) not establish them as a ruler? Or, if you enter that agreement, with the intent to violate it by not paying me rent, and/or by not vacating when I return, how are you not a thief (and in some sense, a ruler, as you declare your preferred definition of property as justification for your violating the contract)? It was not my plan to abandon the land/house, so I would not have allowed you access in the first place (i.e., ended occupation) unless you agreed to my terms.


Libertarianism really boils down to respecting the consent of others. Though we can each have different predictions on how a stateless society would evolve, the above concepts seem perfectly compatible with consensual human interactions and are likely to continue to exist. These ideas do not require "rulers", thus are completely compatible with anarchy.

Though it is perfectly fine to be "morally" or aesthetically opposed to these things, the moment someone imposes their objections, they are establishing themselves as a ruler, and certainly can't be considered an anarchist by the etymological definition of the term. That there exists a historical movement, calling themselves "Anarchists" that propose things that require either universal adherence (like that will ever happen), or the literal violation of the consent of those who disagree, brings into question the value of such a movement, or the value of associating with it.



Edited to add:
I'm well aware that historically, the concepts above have been enabled/established by the state and thus were not always truly consensual. However, those historical examples do not violate the fact these concepts can be established consensually, anymore than pointing to a instance of rape is proof that sex cannot be consensual.
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