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Author Topic: CATO discovers anarcho-capitalism  (Read 14728 times)
kunkmiester
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« on: March 09, 2012, 07:26:07 PM »

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YfgKOnYx5A" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YfgKOnYx5A</a>

Might be worth putting on the front page.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 12:00:10 AM by Seth King » Logged

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Syock
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2012, 11:54:39 AM »

Is CATO against the central bank yet? 

When I first heard of CATO, I thought it was cool that there was a libertarian think tank.  Then I heard what they were for and against and they sounded very neo-con republican in their approach to economics.  I stopped caring about CATO since then. 
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JustSayNoToStatism
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2012, 12:41:59 PM »

Friedman is really intelligent and a superb writer. The arguments he provides don't ever depend upon NAP and things like that (a huge plus). He always argues from economics, and never resorts to moralizing. Now that I've seen this video, I would recommend it over Stefan's arguments any day, because he doesn't ever talk about morals or non-aggression.

Did anyone else notice that his voice seems to trail off at the end of his sentences?
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Tom J
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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2012, 04:02:48 PM »

From the chapter "NATIONAL DEFENSE: THE HARD PROBLEM" of his book "The Machinery of Freedom", available online:

"These arguments suggest that it may be possible to defend against foreign nations by voluntary means. They do not prove that it will be; I am only balancing one imperfect system against another and trying to guess which will work better. What if the balance goes the other way? What will I do if, when all other functions of our government have been abolished, I conclude that there is no effective way to defend against aggressive foreign governments save by national defense financed by taxes — financed, in other words, by money taken by force from the taxpayers?

In such a situation I would not try to abolish that last vestige of government. I do not like paying taxes, but I would rather pay them to Washington than to Moscow — the rates are lower. I would still regard the government as a criminal organization, but one which was, by a freak of fate, temporarily useful. It would be like a gang of bandits who, while occasionally robbing the villages in their territory, served to keep off other and more rapacious gangs. I do not approve of any government, but I will tolerate one so long as the only other choice is another, worse government. Meanwhile, I would do my best to develop voluntary institutions that might eventually take over the business of defense. That is precisely what I meant when I said, near the beginning of this book, that I thought all government functions were divided into two classes — those we could do away with today and those we hope to be able to do away with tomorrow."


« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 04:05:21 PM by Tom J » Logged
kunkmiester
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2012, 11:41:03 PM »

That's another reason I think government abolition would be gradual.  Too many would go ahead and endorse one to form a military to defend the territory at first, which would work, and it would only be when larger areas form more libertarian governments that some areas become completely free.  It's a gradual process.
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2012, 06:42:15 AM »

I'm not sure we will ever see that trend on a consistent basis. 


First: A thief comes over to you, and you are just as well armed, but willingly give up your wallet.
Second: A thief comes over to your home with his friends, and you willingly give up your savings.
Third: The thief gang comes over to your home very well armed from stolen weapons, and takes yours too. 


By not fighting back when governments are weak, you end up with massive gangs of heavily armed thieves.  The same can be said of the mafia.  If you give them an inch, they will always take a foot.  It is the nature of things. 

No matter how people try to justify it, as protection or necessary, remember that the people that make and use today's advanced weapons are still just people.  If there is a market for weapons to protect the country, there will still be people to create them and people to defend the country.  That resource doesn't go away just because people resist the theft and eventual enslavement of themselves to a government. 
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Tom J
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« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2012, 02:19:44 PM »

Freidman’s view quoted in my previous post is in the category of a minarchist, AISI. And the idea all “functions of our government” can be “abolished” except for what he considers “national defense” is impossible, as a significant degree of the former is needed for the existence of the latter.  
« Last Edit: October 11, 2012, 02:05:04 PM by Tom J » Logged
JustSayNoToStatism
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« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2012, 09:27:19 PM »

Freidman’s view quoted in my previous post is in the category of a minarchist, AISI. And the idea all “functions of our government” can be “abolished” except for what he considers “national defense” is impossible, as a significant degree of the former is needed for the existence of the latter.  
Friedman is not a minarchist. He follows his arguments where they take him, without caring how you or I classify him. His point is that he doesn't have a good explanation for how to replace something, and instead of just waving his hands and making something up, admits he doesn't know. He says there may be ways to do it voluntarily, and if there are, he's all for it. But under the assumption it's impossible, then he wouldn't expend effort to get rid of the last sliver of the state. He never even said he would support it, simply that he wouldn't act against it. He would still see it as a criminal organization. Sounds anarchist to me, not that the label matters.
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BobRobertson
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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2012, 08:19:11 AM »

... and instead of just waving his hands and making something up, admits he doesn't know.

It astounds me how often I get told that if I don't have a plan for how to perfectly replace some function that govt does, I therefore have nothing to offer and should shut up.

Reminds me of religion, where just because I say I do not know what the ultimate Answer to Everything is, I am therefore an ignorant amoral hedonistic nihilist.

Self defense is something I cannot delegate, but I can hire an insurance company. I see no reason that, faced with an actual military threat, those same insurance companies won't act. Or individuals. Just look at how effective the RPG is against modern military might.

RPGs are cheap, and, in a truly free society, easy to buy, "Just in case", by the case.
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Tom J
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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2012, 05:45:46 AM »

... and instead of just waving his hands and making something up, admits he doesn't know.

It astounds me how often I get told that if I don't have a plan for how to perfectly replace some function that govt does, I therefore have nothing to offer and should shut up...


If you picked up that sentiment in my post you're mistaken.
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BobRobertson
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2012, 09:36:54 AM »

... and instead of just waving his hands and making something up, admits he doesn't know.

It astounds me how often I get told that if I don't have a plan for how to perfectly replace some function that govt does, I therefore have nothing to offer and should shut up...


If you picked up that sentiment in my post you're mistaken.

I was referring only to the words I quoted, which weren't even yours.
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Tom J
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« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2012, 12:33:00 PM »

Freidman’s view quoted in my previous post is in the category of a minarchist, AISI. And the idea all “functions of our government” can be “abolished” except for what he considers “national defense” is impossible, as a significant degree of the former is needed for the existence of the latter.  
Friedman is not a minarchist. He follows his arguments where they take him, without caring how you or I classify him. His point is that he doesn't have a good explanation for how to replace something, and instead of just waving his hands and making something up, admits he doesn't know. He says there may be ways to do it voluntarily, and if there are, he's all for it. But under the assumption it's impossible, then he wouldn't expend effort to get rid of the last sliver of the state. He never even said he would support it, simply that he wouldn't act against it. He would still see it as a criminal organization. Sounds anarchist to me, not that the label matters.

He calls himself an anarchist. Below is his definition of government and "coercion":

Quote

In Part 1, I described myself as an anarchist and asserted that government has no legitimate functions. In this part I shall attempt to justify that statement.
...

Before I proceed with my argument, I must define what I mean by 'government'. A government is an agency of legitimized coercion. I define 'coercion', for the purposes of this definition, as the violation of what people in a particular society believe to be the rights of individuals with respect to other individuals.

For instance, people in this society believe that an individual has the right to turn down a job offer; the denial of that right is a form of coercion called enslavement. They believe that an individual has the right to turn down a request for money or an offered trade. The denial of that right is called robbery or extortion.

Government is an agency of legitimized coercion. The special characteristic that distinguishes governments from other agencies of coercion (such as ordinary criminal gangs) is that most people accept government coercion as normal and proper. The same act that is regarded as coercive when done by a private individual seems legitimate if done by an agent of the government.


I assume by “coercion” he means aggression, because coercion is the act of forcing or threatening and isn’t, in itself, opposed by anyone (essentially). It’s certain types of circumstances it’s used that are opposed, and what those circumstances are varies a great deal amongst people. By “people” in his definition of “coercion”, he apparently means “most people”, if you go on what he writes 2 paragraphs later. This is a collectivist use of the word “people” (politicians typically use the word “people” this way); it shows no recognition for the existence of the minority(s) in a population.

It’s a very flawed definition of government in 3 ways because (1) it doesn’t apply to the rule of states or empires over populations where there’s less than majority support (which covers a great deal of the world), (2) because “most people” don’t all believe the same on what they consider “the rights of individuals with respect to other individuals”, and (3) those “rights” don’t have to be property rights.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 12:05:49 AM by Tom J » Logged
BobRobertson
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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2012, 08:12:53 AM »

He calls himself an anarchist. Below is his definition of government and "coercion":

I don't see anything wrong with his definition. I'm sure I wouldn't use exactly the same words, but that's about it.

"Legitimate" coercion: If I take your money without your consent, it's theft. If the state does it, it's taxation. The latter is "legitimate" specifically because the state says it is.

Another example. The state changes the tax codes, laws, regulations, etc, at will. I am then held to the terms of those changes, even if I not only did not agree to them but did not know they existed. That is the unilateral alteration of contract, which is "wrong" when done by a private party, but "right" when done by the state.

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Tom J
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« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2012, 07:41:22 AM »

He calls himself an anarchist. Below is his definition of government and "coercion":


"Legitimate" coercion: If I take your money without your consent, it's theft. If the state does it, it's taxation. The latter is "legitimate" specifically because the state says it is.



Define “legitimate”. He never did, and you haven't either.

Without the threat of penalty for non payment of taxes and the means to back up that threat, the state wouldn’t be able to collect taxes, no matter what it “says it is”. No different than a civilian with a gun robbing you.
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BobRobertson
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« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2012, 08:07:32 AM »

Define “legitimate”. He never did, and you haven't either.

Really?  Undecided

Legitimate:
  • 3
  • a : accordant with law or with established legal forms and requirements <a legitimate government>
  • b : ruling by or based on the strict principle of hereditary right <a legitimate king>
  • 4
  • : conforming to recognized principles or accepted rules and standards <a legitimate advertising expenditure> <a legitimate inference>
Quote
Without the threat of penalty for non payment of taxes and the means to back up that threat, the state wouldn’t be able to collect taxes, no matter what it “says it is”. No different than a civilian with a gun robbing you.

What you seem to be missing is that it is "wrong" when a man with a gun does it, but "right" when a man with a gun and a badge does it. The difference between the two is solely that one is an agent of the state, and the other is not. It is wrong for a thief because the thief is not an agent of the state. The tax collector is not a thief because he is an agent of the state.

The state is the institution with the territorial monopoly on legitimate coercion.
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