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 on: February 27, 2016, 12:53:36 PM 
Started by Abdabs - Last post by Abdabs
Ask a starving man: Should that rich man feed you?-Yes of course
Ask a sick man: Should that doctor heal you?-Yes of course
Ask the dying: Should your relatives and community bury you?-That is my wish.

All of us expect our fellow human beings to help us when we are vulnerable. Whether you are a Anarcho-capitalist or not.
Human Rights are a reflection of our innate human need to be part of society. Codified Human Rights are a reflection of this need.

Human Right are innate to mankind.

I'd say you're just pointing out obvious biases.  Human rights are not based on needs or material goods and services that we expect other people to provide to us.  Rights are concepts about what we expect we should be free to act or do, and the only thing we need from other people is a recognition of our rights, and ask that they do not violate our rights.

How one should respond if/when rights are violated is the purpose of law and a legal system.

If we force a doctor to take care of a sick man, we are violating the doctor's rights.  If he's not willing to voluntarily help sick people, then he's not much of a doctor.  But even if he is, he still has expenses.  Medicine and medical procedures cost money, i.e. take resources to provide.  A doctor can sit at your bedside and try to comfort you, but if he can't give you medicine or operate on you when you need it, because the resources aren't available, he can't help you very much.

And that's just the doctor.  There are similar problems with forcing people to 'help' the poor.  Even burying a person takes a certain amount of resources, although it's not nearly as expensive or difficult as the other two.

What you seem to be saying is that no one has an economic right. Like-I don't have a right to say to a person: feed me I'm hungry and if you don't do your "duty" you are evil. Also, you seem to say that people have rights under law - I have no problem with that.

I said: Ask a starving man: Should that rich man feed you?-Yes of course
Ask a sick man: Should ...

But I see the point that my need and perceived right is subjective unless God is in the question.

I definitely don't want to be robbed by the needy; but I personally feel it is in my interest to give voluntarily.

Should then a government tax me - by force - to feed the hungry? It's an Interesting question.

 on: February 27, 2016, 12:34:34 PM 
Started by Abdabs - Last post by Abdabs
I believe Life is Sacred that doesn't mean it is objectively and it doesn't mean that life is a right objectively. Rights are intellectual, they are subjective.

I totally understand where you are coming from. Perhaps your have been reading Max Stirner or other nihilistic authors? From this perspective the sacredness of life and your belief in it can be subjective. I've been reading Stirner since 2012; at the moment I'm reading the Nihilistic Egoist: Max Stirner by Paterson.
I have to say this concept of subjective values has given me the most problems. All I have to say that this time is that I actively trying to ditch that idea. Mainly because it feels absurd. Yet, if there is no God it may be true - my mind has hit a brick wall. Now I want to read Marx critique of Stirner in The German ideology.

But yes I get what your saying. It doesn't make it palatable though and I am unable to accept it at this moment based on my ongoing investigation.

 on: February 21, 2016, 07:55:43 PM 
Started by MAM - Last post by Victor
I have gravitated pretty close to a moral nihilist position too. I find it interesting to hear that we've both ended up there.

I have moved, gotten a stable job, and I'm working through reading my now enormous collection of nonfiction books. I still deal with depression, (who doesn't these days?,) but I have finally gotten around to doing something about it, seeing a doctor and such.

I kinda miss this site and the people here. I notice the blog hasn't been updated in a really long time, anyone know what happened to that? Do any of the people who used to frequent this forum still stop by to check in at all? I haven't been here in a while because I had my password hidden away behind two layers of encryption on a computer I stopped using, and I started using Internet mostly through my phone, and had some trouble getting tor working on my phone til recently. But I'd like to at least see the blog start receiving new updates again.

Are you still around Seth? I heard the free state project got its required number of signatures to trigger the move. Are you excited about that, if you're still here?

 on: January 28, 2016, 04:55:25 PM 
Started by assasin7 - Last post by macsnafu

And yet if societies knew only this principle of equality; if each man practiced merely the equity of a trader, taking care all day long not to give others anything more than he was receiving from them, society would die of it. The very principle of equality itself would disappear from our relations. For, if it is to be maintained, something grander, more lovely, more vigorous than mere equity must perpetually find a place in life. And this greater than justice is here.

Kropotkin, from Anarchist Morality (1897)

It's hard to see why Kropotkin would be hostile towards trades of equal value, but more importantly, it shows a mistake or misunderstanding that Kropotkin has made about trade.  To illustrate, suppose that I had a Hank Aaron baseball card and you had a Roger Staubach football card (I suppose that's showing my age, but bear with me).  If you and I decide to trade cards, it might seem like an even trade, especially to non-sports fans, a sports card for a sports card.

But Austrian economics and the concept of subjective value show that this is *not* an even trade.  If I liked the Hank Aaron card equally as much as I liked the Roger Staubach card, I would have a hard time deciding to go ahead with the trade, as there would be no benefit to me for doing so.  However, if I like the Roger Staubach card MORE than I like the Hank Aaron card, then it's obvious that I would want to trade.  I would be gaining a greater value than I would be giving away, at least from my subjective viewpoint.

But it takes two to trade, and you would only agree to trade if you value the Hank Aaron card more than you value the Roger Staubach card.  So while it might seem like an even trade, in fact it is not, because we each value what the other person has more than what we have; we each benefit from the trade.  If we did not, then we would not make the trade.

So Kropotkin's view that trade makes people no better off than they were is clearly fallacious.   

 on: January 25, 2016, 09:07:02 PM 
Started by assasin7 - Last post by macsnafu
As I said, I had trouble finding anything too specific about Kropotkin and money.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but in addition to abolishing the state, he apparently wanted to abolish private property, and he fully supported mutual aid.  His work, Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution (1902) had some interesting things in it.


It was primarily intended to be a response to the Social Darwinists of the time who mis-used Darwin's theory of evolution to justify the political and economic status quo of their time.  And I do mean "mis-used", because it was an improper application of a scientific theory on the development of life to the socio-political structures of mankind.  Kropotkin didn't try to argue against it in that way, however.  Instead, he thought that undue attention had been given to competition (not that he thought it was entirely wrong), at the expense of the cooperative aspects of life.  "Mutual aid" was, in this book, primarily a generic term for cooperative behavior among men. 

While he was certainly right about this, what he may not have seen is how much cooperative behavior exists in capitalism, as well.  It is perhaps, not given enough stress, but whenever someone talks about division of labor and voluntary exchange, they are certainly talking about cooperative behavior, as well. Finished goods don't just appear on store shelves by magic.  It takes many people cooperating, from the people who gather the raw resources, to people who develop and provide the tools for working those resources, to people who distribute them to retail outlets, not to mention the people who transport the resources and goods at the various stages to the necessary locations.  Leonard Read's essay, "I, Pencil" http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/rdPncl1.html, attests to the extensive cooperation necessary to produce a pencil. 

Kropotkin spends a lot of time showing examples of mutual aid throughout the history of mankind, to show that without the State, people still organize spontaneously to solve various social problems and provide certain social functions.  But Frederich Hayek also talks much about spontaneous order, arguing that market economies *are* a spontaneous order. 

Most ancaps take it as a given that without a State, people would still find ways to voluntarily organize and deal with various social functions. 

Kropotkin's examples of mutual aid tend to be matters of common or customary behaviors and habits, even specifying examples of medieval common or customary law.  He mentions Iceland and its medieval legal system at one point, as an example.  David Friedman wrote much more extensively about Medieval Iceland and its legal system in the essay: PRIVATE CREATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF LAW: A HISTORICAL CASE.


Certainly, as an ancap, I think it is inevitable that without the State, society would switch to some form of common or customary law.  Furthermore, I don't think that this conflicts with capitalism as I know it.  With examples like Merchant Law and modern private arbitration and mediation services existing smack dab in the middle of businesses and business operations, it seems to me that "mutual aid" as Kropotkin called it, is really complementary to capitalism, not hostile towards it.  Private Defense Agencies, or PDA's as many ancaps refer to them, may well be for-profit businesses, but they would have to rely extensively upon common or customary legal procedures to successfully operate their businesses. 

Charles Rembar is no libertarian, as far as I know, but his book "The Law of the Land", http://www.amazon.com/The-Law-Land-Evolution-System/dp/0671243225, is an interesting history of the Anglo-American legal system, and spends some time on common law, and how the "King's Law" was greatly increased at the expense of common law as part of the monarchy's power struggles with English barons. 

Bruce Benson's, "The Enterprise of Law: Justice Without the State", http://www.amazon.com/The-Enterprise-Law-Justice-Without/dp/1598130447, is, in my opinion, an excellent book that details how private common and customary institutions can provide law without the state, and contrasts it with the current authorian legal system and how it works.  He has much to say about incentives, institutions, and customary legal systems.

Another thing Kropotkin may not have seen is that money itself is a good example of spontaneous order and mutual aid.  Money, a medium of exchange, resolved the problems of barter, allowed for greater trade among people, and also provided other social functions as a means of accounting and a store of value.  The State didn't create money; it merely appropriated its social functions as it did the other social functions that mutual aid had been providing, as Kropotkin pointed out. 

So you can see that there are several things that ancaps can agree with Kropotkin about, and hopefully you can see where Kropotkin's own statements and arguments can be used to defend capitalism, even if he couldn't. 

What I haven't found yet in Kropotkin's works is why he was anti-capitalist, although I may eventually come across it.  I certainly hope it's more than simply mistaking the existing government-manipulated, mixed socialist/crony-capitalist system as being "capitalism".  Many leftists think that capitalism can't work without government, but as you *should* already know, ancaps tend to argue that capitalism would work better (that is, for the betterment of humanity) without government interference. 

One problem I see with mutual aid, and why I think it is complementary to capitalism, is that it seems limited in how much it can do.  Can we agree that people willingly help other people in times of need or distress, especially if they are people we know, like family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and the like? If so, we can then ask questions that relate to the limitations of mutual aid.  How willing are people to help complete strangers, even strangers in distress, people that they know little or nothing about?  As a modern example, look at the current backlash against Syrian refugees, a backlash that is occurring not just in the U.S., but in many countries. 

A second question is this: if mutual aid is primarily to help people in extreme or uncommon situations, how much help are people willing to provide in the more ordinary or common situations?  Perhaps you have had the experience of a friend or relative who lost their home or job and needed a place to stay, "just temporarily".  You may have been glad to let them stay at first, but if the days turn into weeks or months, and they still haven't gotten back on their feet, how long are you willing to put with them being freeloaders, contributing little or nothing to your household? At what point do you say you can't help them any more?

Finally, mutual aid doesn't really seem to be an economic system of its own, as it provides little guidance for resource allocation, determining where goods and services are most urgently needed or desired.  This is, on the other hand, one of the things that capitalistic markets are good at doing.  Voluntary exchange is, of course, non-coercive, and therefore non-oppressive.  Division of labor creates an interconnecting network of voluntary exchanges, even among complete strangers, allowing people to help other people be more productive (mutual aid).  Concentration of capital allows us to invest in ways to make people even more productive.  Financial institutions provide better ways of managing exchanges and to borrow capital so that it can be reinvested in improving productivity.

So as I see it, there's not really too much overlap between Kropotkin's mutual aid and capitalism as I see it; they are complementary, each working in areas where the other doesn't work very well.  Kropotkin should have been an anarcho-capitalist, not an anarcho-communist.    Tongue

 on: January 25, 2016, 03:26:31 PM 
Started by assasin7 - Last post by macsnafu
I couldn't find anything short and specific on Kropotkin and money, so I've been forced to take a broader look at his work and views.  But geez, why could he not write something short and to the point?  He actually says several things that an ancap can agree with, although he ultimately comes to some mistaken conclusions that are startlingly similar to modern liberals and leftists.

I'll follow up with another reply after I've done more research.

 on: January 22, 2016, 02:18:19 PM 
Started by assasin7 - Last post by macsnafu
As near as I can make out, and correct me if I'm wrong, but Proudhon basically just wanted to replace current money with another form of money, "labor money" or "labor notes". 



Naturally, if that's the case, he would not really have gotten rid of money, just changed its form.

Found an interesting debate between Proudhon and Bastiat:



They provide interesting, technical issues to consider, although well above the basics of money.  Primarily the argument seems to have been about interest.

 on: January 22, 2016, 01:58:54 PM 
Started by assasin7 - Last post by macsnafu
Here's some more links on money.  Concentrate on the basics of what money is, don't worry too much about M1, M2, and other technical crap. 




I drew from multiple sources so you wouldn't think I was selecting for bias, but as you can see, the basic definitions of money are pretty well agreed upon:  medium of exchange, medium of account, store of value.

Some talk about barter and the double coincidence of wants problem, which money solved.  The Wiki article also notes that historically, money is an 'emergent market phenomenon'.  In other words, governments didn't create money; it was created by people voluntarily agreeing to use some commodity as a medium of indirect exchange.  This is obvious when you see that a wide variety of things were used as money: eggs, seashells, etc.  Nobody forced people to accept the idea of money in general; it made market transactions easier for everyone.  But the features that make a better money eventually led to the use of precious metals like gold and silver as a preferable form of money for most people.  The development of money substitutes like a gold certificate, where instead of gold, you got a piece of paper that represented some amount of gold, was a banking development. 

Here's an article that talks about Ludwig von Mises' view on money:


Still basic, but quite interesting.  It included references that can be followed up on.  Mises was always concerned with the bigger picture, how things fit together. 

I'm going to look up Proudhon and Kropotkin on money to see if I can address those issues, as well.

 on: January 22, 2016, 12:17:41 PM 
Started by assasin7 - Last post by macsnafu
We don't have to have dollars, we do have to have workers.

Money makes 0 pairs of shoes per hour, money loads ZERO trucks per hour, investment banksters live from a level of unawareness that is truly stupefying,.....do I need to continue?

I will if I have to,....

Hasn't anybody on this board read Proudhon or Kropotkin?


I've tried to explain money to you, but you don't seem to get it.  Without a halfway decent understanding of what money is, you're doomed to continue with your economic fallacies.  In itself, there's nothing bad about money; no inherent slavery or coercion is involved.  It's only when the government decides to monopolize the production of money that it becomes a problem. 

You need to read more about money.  The current Wikipedia article actually isn't too bad as a starting point, although I'll see if I can find a more authoritative source to refer to as well.


 on: January 19, 2016, 08:23:29 PM 
Started by assasin7 - Last post by Syock
People can and do live without money at all.  Your belief that anyone is a wage slave is just ignorant.  People can choose to spend less money to the point that they begin to save money.

No one here is advocating some rich bank guy controlling the money supply.  Your insistence on that being our stance is just ignorant yet again.  This whole thread is full of ignorant comments that really can't be defended because they are not what we advocate anyway.   You are looking at the world as it is now, mixed economies, and assuming it is capitalism.  No one with a basic understanding of economics calls what we have capitalism.  Your biased ignorance leads to an unending argument when really you should be over at mises.org learning economics.   

... you have completely failed to read anything on this forum.  I would suggest you reconsider your stance against ancap because you have a completely fundamental misunderstanding of capitalism, and anarchy. 

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