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Author Topic: An Open Letter to Anarchists of all stripes  (Read 25709 times)
JustSayNoToStatism
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« Reply #45 on: March 23, 2012, 09:32:12 AM »

... Its the Marxists and especially the Trotskyists that want to force communism on you for your 'own good.'

It would be great if they would just call themselves "Marxists" or "Trotskyists" rather than claim to be anarchists. If you have some "ruling counsel" then you have "rulers". Can they not see that? (or maybe they do and don't care to admit it?)

I can also say that anyone who wants to use force on you "for your own good" does not really have your own good in mind.
People use force to enforce property rights. In a world where all land is claimed, they rule over you if you don't inherit land from your family. And most land was acquired through anti-free market means. You could think of the state as being free market. Free market in the sense that it owns all the land. So all its demands on us are justified. See? Who's right and who's wrong comes down to how you define just claims on property. I'm not endorsing ancom, but I'm trying to explain why it's arbitrary who's right or wrong, what's real anarchism, and what's not.

There is some shred of truth in every philosophy other than market anarchism. Extract that little bit, even if it's just one or two thoughts.
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Tom J
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« Reply #46 on: March 23, 2012, 11:36:15 AM »

People use force to enforce property rights. In a world where all land is claimed, they rule over you if you don't inherit land from your family. And most land was acquired through anti-free market means. You could think of the state as being free market. Free market in the sense that it owns all the land. So all its demands on us are justified. See? Who's right and who's wrong comes down to how you define just claims on property. I'm not endorsing ancom, but I'm trying to explain why it's arbitrary who's right or wrong, what's real anarchism, and what's not.

There is some shred of truth in every philosophy other than market anarchism. Extract that little bit, even if it's just one or two thoughts.

From Stephan Kinsella's "What Libertarianism Is":

"The answer must also take into account the presupposed goals of those seeking this answer: rules that permit conflict-free use of resources. For this reason, the answer cannot be whoever has the resource or whoever is able to take it is its owner. To hold such a view is to adopt a might-makes-right system, where ownership collapses into possession for want of a distinction.[22] Such a system, far from avoiding conflict, makes conflict inevitable.[23]

Instead of a might-makes-right approach, from the insights noted above it is obvious that ownership presupposes the prior-later distinction: whoever any given system specifies as the owner of a resource, he has a better claim than latecomers.[24] If he does not, then he is not an owner, but merely the current user or possessor. If he is supposed an owner on the might-makes-right principle, in which there is no such thing as ownership, it contradicts the presuppositions of the inquiry itself. If the first owner does not have a better claim than latecomers, then he is not an owner, but merely a possessor, and there is no such thing as ownership.

More generally, latecomers' claims are inferior to those of prior possessors or claimants, who either homesteaded the resource or who can trace their title back to the homesteader or earlier owner.[25] The crucial importance of the prior-later distinction to libertarian theory is why Professor Hoppe repeatedly emphasizes it in his writing.[26]"
http://mises.org/daily/3660
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Tom J
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« Reply #47 on: March 23, 2012, 11:48:11 AM »

I didn't say these were my preferences, so this is not "my anarchy." I'm not an anarcho-communist. I'm trying to help people understand what ancoms think. Anarcho-communism is different from market anarchism. But which one is voluntary or nonaggressive depends entirely on which property rights, if any, a person chooses to respect. And you cannot prove that your system of property rights is inherently good or moral. That is my point. I'm not endorsing ancom, I'm explaining why it is still anarchism. I certainly don't like it any more than you do.

I’ve observed that you mix up 2 different issues on this subject. Whether or not the committing of a particular act is moral, is a separate issue from whether or not a particular act is the initiation of force or aggression. Morals are not objective, I agree; but acts (or types of acts) certainly can be objectively defined.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2012, 05:41:49 PM by Tom J » Logged
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« Reply #48 on: March 23, 2012, 04:39:38 PM »

It would be great if they would just call themselves "Marxists" or "Trotskyists" rather than claim to be anarchists. If you have some "ruling counsel" then you have "rulers". Can they not see that? (or maybe they do and don't care to admit it?)

Mostly they do. I'm not sure I understand what you mean by ruling counsels, the traditional perspective on counsels is that anyone who is affected by its decisions has a say in it. So there isn't a whole other class of representative rulers. Generally they are some sort of syndicalist so they believe these councils should be mostly at an individual business level. Sure its probably democratic, so it is oppression by the majority, but the anarchist version is completely voluntary so it is not all that unlike our PDAs.

I don't have a problem with the AnComms philosophically, but there is just no way communism could survive economically. I have a feeling that a truly free version would evolve into some sort of mutualism.

Quote
I can also say that anyone who wants to use force on you "for your own good" does not really have your own good in mind.

Certainly, that's why I put it in quotes, those are Trotsky's exact words. He was one sick elitist bastard.
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JustSayNoToStatism
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« Reply #49 on: March 23, 2012, 08:12:37 PM »

I didn't say these were my preferences, so this is not "my anarchy." I'm not an anarcho-communist. I'm trying to help people understand what ancoms think. Anarcho-communism is different from market anarchism. But which one is voluntary or nonaggressive depends entirely on which property rights, if any, a person chooses to respect. And you cannot prove that your system of property rights is inherently good or moral. That is my point. I'm not endorsing ancom, I'm explaining why it is still anarchism. I certainly don't like it any more than you do.

I’ve observed that you mix up 2 different issues on this subject. Whether or not the committing of a particular act is moral, is a separate issue from whether or not a particular act is the initiation of force or aggression. Morals are not objective, I agree; but acts (or types of acts) certainly can be objectively defined.
Sorry if I'm mixing things up, blending concepts or something like that. My mistake. You are right, you are describing two different things. Morals are not objective, I'm glad we agree. As for acts being objectively defined...Definitions are made with words, and words are merely attempts at describing concepts. For practical purposes we can usually assume words are objectively defined....without this assumption we couldn't have conversations. But as we find all the time, disagreements often stem from different understandings of some word. Ha. I wonder if our understandings of objective match up? From what I've just described, would you say I think acts can be objectively defined?
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Tom J
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« Reply #50 on: March 27, 2012, 04:14:43 PM »

I didn't say these were my preferences, so this is not "my anarchy." I'm not an anarcho-communist. I'm trying to help people understand what ancoms think. Anarcho-communism is different from market anarchism. But which one is voluntary or nonaggressive depends entirely on which property rights, if any, a person chooses to respect. And you cannot prove that your system of property rights is inherently good or moral. That is my point. I'm not endorsing ancom, I'm explaining why it is still anarchism. I certainly don't like it any more than you do.

I’ve observed that you mix up 2 different issues on this subject. Whether or not the committing of a particular act is moral, is a separate issue from whether or not a particular act is the initiation of force or aggression. Morals are not objective, I agree; but acts (or types of acts) certainly can be objectively defined.
Sorry if I'm mixing things up, blending concepts or something like that. My mistake. You are right, you are describing two different things. Morals are not objective, I'm glad we agree. As for acts being objectively defined...Definitions are made with words, and words are merely attempts at describing concepts. For practical purposes we can usually assume words are objectively defined....without this assumption we couldn't have conversations. But as we find all the time, disagreements often stem from different understandings of some word. Ha. I wonder if our understandings of objective match up? From what I've just described, would you say I think acts can be objectively defined?

I miswrote a bit in my last sentence; I should have written “but acts (or types of acts) certainly can be objective".

If someone acquired land for use, without the use of force, directly or indirectly, and then an outsider forcibly takes it from them, it seems pretty objective to me, that the outsider initiated the use of force; and any attempt by the prior land possessor to resist the invaders force was not an initiation of the use of force. That’s not to say there aren’t situations where it may be difficult to determine if someone’s land wasn’t acquired, at least indirectly, without the use of force. But the communist belief that all “property is theft” is a very different matter.

« Last Edit: March 27, 2012, 04:17:58 PM by Tom J » Logged
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« Reply #51 on: March 27, 2012, 10:03:50 PM »

Very interesting thread.

My own two cents is, yes, we should team up with the anarcho-socialists and use them as cannon fodder.  They are so good at getting arrested and filling up jails and court dockets...

Seriously though, I'm beginning to think that socialism is a weapon to be pointed at the statist system.  Socialism is poison.  Alittle bit and the patient just gets sluggish, too much, the patient dies.

The masses respond to the socialist message.  Maybe what this civilization needs is a massive injection of socialism to cure it of any illusions of its grandeur.

As to Rothbardian's desire for political action, I can see using political action to inject populist socialist absurdities into the polity could be very effective.  Why, if a platform of doubling old people's welfare and quadrupling education, and forgiving all student loans was introduced by a believable party, then it would reduce the lifespan of the present state drastically.   

And I can easily see anarcho-socialists getting on board with such a movement, perhaps. 
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JustSayNoToStatism
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« Reply #52 on: March 27, 2012, 10:42:53 PM »

I didn't say these were my preferences, so this is not "my anarchy." I'm not an anarcho-communist. I'm trying to help people understand what ancoms think. Anarcho-communism is different from market anarchism. But which one is voluntary or nonaggressive depends entirely on which property rights, if any, a person chooses to respect. And you cannot prove that your system of property rights is inherently good or moral. That is my point. I'm not endorsing ancom, I'm explaining why it is still anarchism. I certainly don't like it any more than you do.

I’ve observed that you mix up 2 different issues on this subject. Whether or not the committing of a particular act is moral, is a separate issue from whether or not a particular act is the initiation of force or aggression. Morals are not objective, I agree; but acts (or types of acts) certainly can be objectively defined.
Sorry if I'm mixing things up, blending concepts or something like that. My mistake. You are right, you are describing two different things. Morals are not objective, I'm glad we agree. As for acts being objectively defined...Definitions are made with words, and words are merely attempts at describing concepts. For practical purposes we can usually assume words are objectively defined....without this assumption we couldn't have conversations. But as we find all the time, disagreements often stem from different understandings of some word. Ha. I wonder if our understandings of objective match up? From what I've just described, would you say I think acts can be objectively defined?

I miswrote a bit in my last sentence; I should have written “but acts (or types of acts) certainly can be objective".

If someone acquired land for use, without the use of force, directly or indirectly, and then an outsider forcibly takes it from them, it seems pretty objective to me, that the outsider initiated the use of force; and any attempt by the prior land possessor to resist the invaders force was not an initiation of the use of force. That’s not to say there aren’t situations where it may be difficult to determine if someone’s land wasn’t acquired, at least indirectly, without the use of force. But the communist belief that all “property is theft” is a very different matter.
I like this post, because there is a progression to it. We start out by saying that they acquired the land without force. Someone else uses force to take it. We conclude the outsider used force. When stated in these simple terms it's tautological. Which makes what you wrote after all the more important, when you said there are situations where it's difficult to determine whether or not the assumptions we made before were satisfied. A lot of the time, you can be pretty confident you know who aggressed, but not always. The fact that we don't always know is why we can't say our measure is objective.....it's not well defined. The best we can do is develop a somewhat fuzzy understanding of some of the properties of the function we are thinking about, and then try to "figure it out" in the "obvious" cases. But there is not an algorithm we can write to determine who is the aggressor.

Just because our best judgment "works" in certain cases, that is, almost all of us agree, doesn't mean that EVERYONE agrees. So even the seemingly obvious cases aren't truly objective, when you try to think about cases in the real world. The only ones that objectively work are those that are defined tautologically, as in the original case...but that isn't a real world example.
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Tom J
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« Reply #53 on: March 28, 2012, 05:11:43 AM »


I like this post, because there is a progression to it. We start out by saying that they acquired the land without force. Someone else uses force to take it. We conclude the outsider used force. When stated in these simple terms it's tautological. Which makes what you wrote after all the more important, when you said there are situations where it's difficult to determine whether or not the assumptions we made before were satisfied. A lot of the time, you can be pretty confident you know who aggressed, but not always. The fact that we don't always know is why we can't say our measure is objective.....it's not well defined. The best we can do is develop a somewhat fuzzy understanding of some of the properties of the function we are thinking about, and then try to "figure it out" in the "obvious" cases. But there is not an algorithm we can write to determine who is the aggressor.

Just because our best judgment "works" in certain cases, that is, almost all of us agree, doesn't mean that EVERYONE agrees. So even the seemingly obvious cases aren't truly objective, when you try to think about cases in the real world. The only ones that objectively work are those that are defined tautologically, as in the original case...but that isn't a real world example.


Who initiated the use of force between the two parties, isn’t predicated on “If someone acquired land for use, without the use of force, directly or indirectly”.  The prior-later distinction doesn’t require it, and in no way is it invalidated by the existence of difficult to determine cases, which seems to be your logic.  

Also, I never defined objective as “EVERYONE agrees”, and don’t; such a definition is essentially meaningless, ISTM. If someone believes the earth is flat, is it not objective that it's essentially round? What does "EVERYONE" agree on?
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 11:15:09 AM by Tom J » Logged
JustSayNoToStatism
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« Reply #54 on: March 28, 2012, 08:17:15 AM »


I like this post, because there is a progression to it. We start out by saying that they acquired the land without force. Someone else uses force to take it. We conclude the outsider used force. When stated in these simple terms it's tautological. Which makes what you wrote after all the more important, when you said there are situations where it's difficult to determine whether or not the assumptions we made before were satisfied. A lot of the time, you can be pretty confident you know who aggressed, but not always. The fact that we don't always know is why we can't say our measure is objective.....it's not well defined. The best we can do is develop a somewhat fuzzy understanding of some of the properties of the function we are thinking about, and then try to "figure it out" in the "obvious" cases. But there is not an algorithm we can write to determine who is the aggressor.

Just because our best judgment "works" in certain cases, that is, almost all of us agree, doesn't mean that EVERYONE agrees. So even the seemingly obvious cases aren't truly objective, when you try to think about cases in the real world. The only ones that objectively work are those that are defined tautologically, as in the original case...but that isn't a real world example.


Who initiated the use of force between the two parties isn’t predicated on “If someone acquired land for use, without the use of force, directly or indirectly”.  The prior-later distinction doesn’t require it, and in no way is it invalidated by the existence of difficult to determine cases, which seems to be your logic.
You seem to be putting a NOT in front of what I wrote, and I'm not sure why.

Quote
Also, I never defined objective as “EVERYONE agrees”, and don’t; such a definition is essentially meaningless, ISTM. If someone believes the earth is flat, is it not objective that it's essentially round? What does "EVERYONE" agree on?

I'm saying you have nothing else to go off. What criterion do we use to objectively decide who is the aggressor? If we had objective criteria, even the difficult to determine cases would have clear, definitive answers. Since we don't have criteria, even the cases that seem simple only have general agreement as the criterion to work with. What else do we have?
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Tom J
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« Reply #55 on: March 29, 2012, 12:59:16 AM »


You seem to be putting a NOT in front of what I wrote, and I'm not sure why.
...

I'm saying you have nothing else to go off. What criterion do we use to objectively decide who is the aggressor? If we had objective criteria, even the difficult to determine cases would have clear, definitive answers. Since we don't have criteria, even the cases that seem simple only have general agreement as the criterion to work with. What else do we have?


“Everyone agrees” is nothing to “go off of”. It's not known if or what “everyone agrees” about.  You didn’t answer my question: is it objective that the earth is essentially round, and not flat, if not "everyone agrees" that's the case? Does it matter if “everyone agrees” that George Washington was the first President of the US, or if "everyone agrees" the earth orbits the sun?

The criterion is the prior-later distinction mentioned in my earlier post, with the quote by Stephan Kinsella. Evidence or proof is looked at, and a judgement is made about whether or not the criterion is met. Legal bodies usually help in that regard, some better than others. And by “difficult to determine cases”, I had in mind situations where the facts were hard or impossible to determine due to destruction of evidence, or something else; not an inapplicability of the prior-later distinction.  

Furthermore, you may have read something into what I wrote, I didn’t intend to convey. What you’re calling a non real world example is my own case, a great many people in my neck of the woods in the US, and it seems to me, most people in the US. Do you think the 2 million living native Americans would have a just property claim to the entire US mainland?

Regarding your claim that what I described was a tautology, tell that to the anarcho-communists you earlier commented about who believe "property is theft".
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 09:02:09 AM by Tom J » Logged
JustSayNoToStatism
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« Reply #56 on: March 29, 2012, 10:11:31 AM »

Whoah, a lot of miscommunication here.


You seem to be putting a NOT in front of what I wrote, and I'm not sure why.
...

I'm saying you have nothing else to go off. What criterion do we use to objectively decide who is the aggressor? If we had objective criteria, even the difficult to determine cases would have clear, definitive answers. Since we don't have criteria, even the cases that seem simple only have general agreement as the criterion to work with. What else do we have?


“Everyone agrees” is nothing to “go off of”. It's not known if or what “everyone agrees” about.  You didn’t answer my question: is it objective that the earth is essentially round, and not flat, if not "everyone agrees" that's the case? Does it matter if “everyone agrees” that George Washington was the first President of the US, or if "everyone agrees" the earth orbits the sun?

The criterion is the prior-later distinction mentioned in my earlier post, with the quote by Stephan Kinsella. Evidence or proof is looked at, and a judgement is made about whether or not the criterion is met. Legal bodies usually help in that regard, some better than others. And by “difficult to determine cases”, I had in mind situations where the facts were hard or impossible to determine due to destruction of evidence, or something else; not an inapplicability of the prior-later distinction.  
I'm not arguing that agreement is something good to go off. I'm saying it's all you have in the area of figuring out who is the "aggressor." And you yourself are the one who keeps saying that is nothing to go off. I don't disagree at all. There really isn't any way of deciding.

As for the Earth being round, we can measure, and we have strict criterion of what it means. The Earth does indeed possess round properties, but is not a sphere. By difficult to determine cases, I was referring to breakdowns in NAP, where you don't know who is the aggressor. It's because the NAP is not some magic doctrine that prescribes absolute morality. It has flaws.

Quote
Furthermore, you may have read something into what I wrote, I didn’t intend to convey. What you’re calling a non real world example is my own case, a great many people in my neck of the woods in the US, and it seems to me, most people in the US. Do you think the 2 million living native Americans would have a just property claim to the entire US mainland?
I actually have no idea what you are writing about here. The non-real world example is true theoretically, because you described it using terms like, "one person didn't use force to do this, one person did use force to do that, and then asking who used force." As I've been trying to say this entire time, you don't have objective criterion for determining who used force, so it doesn't apply to reality. So your ability to make claims about who did what might work in the abstract, but cannot be objectively applied in the real world. I'm not sure what you living in America has to do with anything....

Quote
Regarding your claim that what I described was a tautology, tell that to the anarcho-communists you earlier commented about who believe "property is theft".

As defined, it's still tautological. You assigned/assumed who used force, and then made a claim about who used force. It's true regardless of someone's beliefs.

Regardless, I feel we've had so many miscommunications that we're spiraling out of control here. I think there is some valuable discussion to be had , but we might need to start over and explain to each other what we're talking about. I'm equally responsible for this mess. Sorry.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 12:26:05 PM by JustSayNoToStatism » Logged

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