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Author Topic: Are we actually minarchists?  (Read 12192 times)
State-God
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« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2013, 09:58:57 PM »

Who suggested advocating minarchy?

It seems, to me, that we're not actually advocating anarchy; it seems we are/should be advocating minarchy, but at an extremely local level. Is this good, bad, or do y'all not care?
Must have missed that, but I have to disagree with state god (sort of). I don't think an anarchist "advocates" anything- instead, he merely opposes aggression.

In other words, I am an anarchist in principle.

See Stephan Kinsella, "The Irrelevance of the Impossibility of Anarcho-Libertarianism" for my view: http://www.stephankinsella.com/2009/08/the-irrelevance-of-the-impossibility-of-anarcho-libertarianism/

"The anarchist is not someone who has a belief about “what will work”. Rather, he is someone who opposes aggression in all its forms... Conservative and minarchist-libertarian criticism of anarchy on the grounds that it won’t “work” or is not “practical” is just confused. Anarchists don’t (necessarily) predict anarchy will be achieved – I for one don’t think it will. But that does not mean states are justified."

I oppose aggression. I also think that an anarchist society would have aggression. I don't see a conflict.

I suppose you and I are a bit different then. I come from a realist utilitarian view, rather than a moral one.
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« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2013, 10:07:02 PM »

Who suggested advocating minarchy?

It seems, to me, that we're not actually advocating anarchy; it seems we are/should be advocating minarchy, but at an extremely local level. Is this good, bad, or do y'all not care?
Must have missed that, but I have to disagree with state god (sort of). I don't think an anarchist "advocates" anything- instead, he merely opposes aggression.

In other words, I am an anarchist in principle.

See Stephan Kinsella, "The Irrelevance of the Impossibility of Anarcho-Libertarianism" for my view: http://www.stephankinsella.com/2009/08/the-irrelevance-of-the-impossibility-of-anarcho-libertarianism/

"The anarchist is not someone who has a belief about “what will work”. Rather, he is someone who opposes aggression in all its forms... Conservative and minarchist-libertarian criticism of anarchy on the grounds that it won’t “work” or is not “practical” is just confused. Anarchists don’t (necessarily) predict anarchy will be achieved – I for one don’t think it will. But that does not mean states are justified."

I oppose aggression. I also think that an anarchist society would have aggression. I don't see a conflict.

I suppose you and I are a bit different then. I come from a realist utilitarian view, rather than a moral one.
If we are talking practicality, I think the best thing we can do is try to live productive personal lives.

I feel like may anarchists make the same mistake marxists do. If a capitalist points out that communism has killed millions of people, they say "well that's not real communism! The communism I'm talking about involves communal ownership in which everyone's needs are met!!!"

But many libertarians make the same mistake. When a statist points out anarchy leads to civil war, killing, and disorder until a monopoly state takes over a region, they say "that's not real anarchy! The anarchy I'm talking about is a private property based system in which interlocking arbitration companies prevent warlords and settle disputes!!!"

The question that needs to be answered by anarchists is how the hell are we going to reach this "free" society that works so great in theory!

For me, the answer is that it can only be reached on an individual level, for you and I personally. The state system isn't going anywhere on a societal level.
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« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2013, 07:40:22 AM »

But many libertarians make the same mistake. When a statist points out anarchy leads to civil war, killing, and disorder until a monopoly state takes over a region, they say "that's not real anarchy! The anarchy I'm talking about is a private property based system in which interlocking arbitration companies prevent warlords and settle disputes!!!"

The question that needs to be answered by anarchists is how the hell are we going to reach this "free" society that works so great in theory!

For me, the answer is that it can only be reached on an individual level, for you and I personally. The state system isn't going anywhere on a societal level.

In my opinion, we have seen this accomplished in Somalia for a brief time.  Things only fell apart when a U.S. backed military started an invasion.  Lets be honest about that too, surviving a U.S. backed invasion at all is an accomplishment.  It has been ongoing for quite some time, with U.S. warships just off the coast now. 

Hong Kong was a good example of a state approved minarchy.  If all you want to do is advocate the most likely to succeed, yeah, you are looking for minarchy, because existing governments don't mind them so much.  If you are looking for what should be best for people, you are looking for a voluntary society.  It wouldn't be hard for a Hong Kong to turn into a Singapore, where civil liberties are very restricted, but people still think it is good because it is an economic powerhouse. 
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« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2013, 08:26:16 AM »

But many libertarians make the same mistake. When a statist points out anarchy leads to civil war, killing, and disorder until a monopoly state takes over a region, they say "that's not real anarchy! The anarchy I'm talking about is a private property based system in which interlocking arbitration companies prevent warlords and settle disputes!!!"

The question that needs to be answered by anarchists is how the hell are we going to reach this "free" society that works so great in theory!

For me, the answer is that it can only be reached on an individual level, for you and I personally. The state system isn't going anywhere on a societal level.

In my opinion, we have seen this accomplished in Somalia for a brief time.  Things only fell apart when a U.S. backed military started an invasion.  Lets be honest about that too, surviving a U.S. backed invasion at all is an accomplishment.  It has been ongoing for quite some time, with U.S. warships just off the coast now. 

Hong Kong was a good example of a state approved minarchy.  If all you want to do is advocate the most likely to succeed, yeah, you are looking for minarchy, because existing governments don't mind them so much.  If you are looking for what should be best for people, you are looking for a voluntary society.  It wouldn't be hard for a Hong Kong to turn into a Singapore, where civil liberties are very restricted, but people still think it is good because it is an economic powerhouse. 

I'm well aware of all the flaws in minarchy.

However, in my thinking, I work under the assumption that everybody's an Orwellian (or, at least, that Orwellians are a substantial minority). Not that I think that's necessarily the case; but I figure it best to work under a worse-case-scenario when designing a political philosophy.

Working under this assumption,  the conclusion I've reached is that the best way to prevent said Orwellians from achieving any sort of substantial status is to decentralize power to the greatest extent possible; hence, I'm an anarchist.

However, another conclusion I've reached is that in the long run, anarchy is not stable. This is not to say it's not feasible; to the contrary, it is. But the end result- over hundreds of a generations, mind you- is a return to a State.

Not easily, of course. It might begin in a little way; one or two private companies declaring themselves king, or perhaps people voluntarily choosing one single defense company over any other.

Over time, though, it seems to me that the inevitable trend for human societies is to concentrate power- both economic and social- into the hands of a few. And if 1984 taught me anything, it's that an Orwellian will exploit that fact to the fullest extent.

So, when I raise this question of whether or not we're minarchists, it's not because I prefer, say, Hong Kong to a completely voluntary society.

It's because, realistically, even were anarchy to exist in every sense of the word, it would eventually trend towards micro-states, nation-states and eventually entire empires. And although I'd prefer anarchy initially, I think that micro-states have the most longevity in terms of providing the most enjoyable living conditions to the most people.

I apologize for the wall of text, but I've been fleshing this idea out for awhile, and thought it might help to show my backroom thinking.
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« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2013, 12:23:22 AM »

Excellent points friend, especially about how we don't really know what a truly free society would look like, or even if it could exist.


Go raibh maith agat (That's Irish gaelic for "Thank you" if you're wondering)

As for the long-term feasibility of a voluntary society versus a multitude of micro-states with each micro-state ranging in size from a rural small town, to a county (with county referring to the political entity that exists as a subentity in 48 of the 50 states in America) at the largest...I'd lean more toward the latter. Why? Well two (lengthy) quotes from Thomas Jefferson comes to mind:

Quote
God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.

Quote
Prudence indeed will dictate that government long established should not be changed for light and transient causes, and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to set right the forms to which they are accustomed.

To summarize my interpretation of that quote....people are, in general lazy bastards who very easily become complacent. And unless the get the motivation to get off their fat asses and rebel, lethargic apathy will follow...and from there, death to total liberty (liberty being defined as negative liberty, freedom from coercion, that lasts as long as you don't commit aggression.) Thus it is simply human nature that prevents a voluntary society that would last as long as humanity does. Because eventually complacency would cause people to give up liberties for convenience, until little by little they live in micro-states and from there, eventually to Stalinist/Orwellian totalitarian states.
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« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2013, 06:33:32 AM »

To summarize my interpretation of that quote....people are, in general lazy bastards who very easily become complacent. And unless the get the motivation to get off their fat asses and rebel, lethargic apathy will follow...and from there, death to total liberty (liberty being defined as negative liberty, freedom from coercion, that lasts as long as you don't commit aggression.) Thus it is simply human nature that prevents a voluntary society that would last as long as humanity does. Because eventually complacency would cause people to give up liberties for convenience, until little by little they live in micro-states and from there, eventually to Stalinist/Orwellian totalitarian states.

Following that logic, I would say a voluntary society would outlast the micro-states.  That mess of red tape and laws would drive people crazy.  They would want standardization.  The micro-states will work together and become...  wait for it...  United States!
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« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2013, 06:54:30 AM »

To summarize my interpretation of that quote....people are, in general lazy bastards who very easily become complacent. And unless the get the motivation to get off their fat asses and rebel, lethargic apathy will follow...and from there, death to total liberty (liberty being defined as negative liberty, freedom from coercion, that lasts as long as you don't commit aggression.) Thus it is simply human nature that prevents a voluntary society that would last as long as humanity does. Because eventually complacency would cause people to give up liberties for convenience, until little by little they live in micro-states and from there, eventually to Stalinist/Orwellian totalitarian states.

Following that logic, I would say a voluntary society would outlast the micro-states.  That mess of red tape and laws would drive people crazy.  They would want standardization.  The micro-states will work together and become...  wait for it...  United States!

You're right, people want standardization. So why not choose one company?

I mean, for example, for convenience I generally shop at WalMart. If there was a single company providing multiple services- the WalMart in my town has a full food store, a barber shop, a Dunkin' Donuts along with its usual fare- why wouldn't people just use said company?

In the case of an anarchic society, why wouldn't you use a defense company that also provided emergency healthcare services and perhaps a fire department?

In the end, I think, this is all haphazard guessing. There are millions of factors- people's laziness, Mises' calculation problem, rational calculation when choosing a company- at play here. I guess what really matters is we need to be prepared for the very really probability that a entirely voluntary society will quickly return to statism, and from there to an Orwellian nightmare within time.
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« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2013, 07:31:03 AM »

In the case of an anarchic society, why wouldn't you use a defense company that also provided emergency healthcare services and perhaps a fire department?

Again, it is not a problem, because in a anarchic society, we can dump and sue them when they do something we disapprove of, unlike a state sanctioned/protected organization.  This is not theoretical physics we are talking about, this is simple stuff. 
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« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2013, 11:05:32 PM »

But many libertarians make the same mistake. When a statist points out anarchy leads to civil war, killing, and disorder until a monopoly state takes over a region, they say "that's not real anarchy! The anarchy I'm talking about is a private property based system in which interlocking arbitration companies prevent warlords and settle disputes!!!"

The question that needs to be answered by anarchists is how the hell are we going to reach this "free" society that works so great in theory!

For me, the answer is that it can only be reached on an individual level, for you and I personally. The state system isn't going anywhere on a societal level.

In my opinion, we have seen this accomplished in Somalia for a brief time.  Things only fell apart when a U.S. backed military started an invasion.  Lets be honest about that too, surviving a U.S. backed invasion at all is an accomplishment.  It has been ongoing for quite some time, with U.S. warships just off the coast now. 

Hong Kong was a good example of a state approved minarchy.  If all you want to do is advocate the most likely to succeed, yeah, you are looking for minarchy, because existing governments don't mind them so much.  If you are looking for what should be best for people, you are looking for a voluntary society.  It wouldn't be hard for a Hong Kong to turn into a Singapore, where civil liberties are very restricted, but people still think it is good because it is an economic powerhouse. 

I'm well aware of all the flaws in minarchy.

However, in my thinking, I work under the assumption that everybody's an Orwellian (or, at least, that Orwellians are a substantial minority). Not that I think that's necessarily the case; but I figure it best to work under a worse-case-scenario when designing a political philosophy.

Working under this assumption,  the conclusion I've reached is that the best way to prevent said Orwellians from achieving any sort of substantial status is to decentralize power to the greatest extent possible; hence, I'm an anarchist.

However, another conclusion I've reached is that in the long run, anarchy is not stable. This is not to say it's not feasible; to the contrary, it is. But the end result- over hundreds of a generations, mind you- is a return to a State.

Not easily, of course. It might begin in a little way; one or two private companies declaring themselves king, or perhaps people voluntarily choosing one single defense company over any other.

Over time, though, it seems to me that the inevitable trend for human societies is to concentrate power- both economic and social- into the hands of a few. And if 1984 taught me anything, it's that an Orwellian will exploit that fact to the fullest extent.

So, when I raise this question of whether or not we're minarchists, it's not because I prefer, say, Hong Kong to a completely voluntary society.

It's because, realistically, even were anarchy to exist in every sense of the word, it would eventually trend towards micro-states, nation-states and eventually entire empires. And although I'd prefer anarchy initially, I think that micro-states have the most longevity in terms of providing the most enjoyable living conditions to the most people.

I apologize for the wall of text, but I've been fleshing this idea out for awhile, and thought it might help to show my backroom thinking.
Nice post. Some good points. My comment is that I think there are two equilibrium points. Drop the world into any place along the continuum between them, and we converge back into one of those two places. I think global market anarchism would be just as stable as a global statist system.
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« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2013, 07:10:49 PM »

No one has a monopoly on violence are we have is territory where we are strong and territory where we aren't.

I suspect that most anarchists are isolated making us weak...

New Hampshire seems to be a good place to go but I wonder if it was a good idea to pick a zone so near the Centers of Power for the US State.
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« Reply #25 on: July 28, 2013, 06:35:48 AM »

Provided that the owner of the city has gained this ownership by legitimate measures (homesteading of unused land, buying from other legitimate owner or paying free workers to build proper infrastructure) then probably this mini-state would be well-founded within ancap principles - and rules of competition between these cities should prevent them from growing to the point that immediate withdrawing one's "citizenship" from any such city would become impossible.

The difference from the current state of affairs is that nowadays there is no place to hide because the whole land is divided between states, which shouldn't happen if the homestead principle would be commonly adhered to, but indeed if (imagine) in the future this whole land would be "properly" homesteaded by these city-owners then we would end-up with the world of mini-monarchies with the possibility of repeating history again... OOPS?
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« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2013, 11:56:36 AM »

Provided that the owner of the city has gained this ownership by legitimate measures (homesteading of unused land, buying from other legitimate owner or paying free workers to build proper infrastructure) then probably this mini-state would be well-founded within ancap principles - and rules of competition between these cities should prevent them from growing to the point that immediate withdrawing one's "citizenship" from any such city would become impossible.

The difference from the current state of affairs is that nowadays there is no place to hide because the whole land is divided between states, which shouldn't happen if the homestead principle would be commonly adhered to, but indeed if (imagine) in the future this whole land would be "properly" homesteaded by these city-owners then we would end-up with the world of mini-monarchies with the possibility of repeating history again... OOPS?

There's always the possibility that the world once freed will chain itself again. All we can do is work to free it and hope our descendants aren't morons. When I say work to free it, what I really mean is I intend to free myself I don't need or want to free the masses.

As far as Ancapistan really being a bunch of Monarchies that trade with each other, I can see it. Property owners amount little lords. It takes violence to enforce property and in that sense I suppose we could think of each property owner as a little king. Shit each house hold has it's own micro culture so it actually makes sense.

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« Reply #27 on: August 02, 2013, 02:29:25 PM »

Provided that the owner of the city has gained this ownership by legitimate measures (homesteading of unused land, buying from other legitimate owner or paying free workers to build proper infrastructure) then probably this mini-state would be well-founded within ancap principles - and rules of competition between these cities should prevent them from growing to the point that immediate withdrawing one's "citizenship" from any such city would become impossible.

The difference from the current state of affairs is that nowadays there is no place to hide because the whole land is divided between states, which shouldn't happen if the homestead principle would be commonly adhered to, but indeed if (imagine) in the future this whole land would be "properly" homesteaded by these city-owners then we would end-up with the world of mini-monarchies with the possibility of repeating history again... OOPS?

There's always the possibility that the world once freed will chain itself again. All we can do is work to free it and hope our descendants aren't morons. When I say work to free it, what I really mean is I intend to free myself I don't need or want to free the masses.

As far as Ancapistan really being a bunch of Monarchies that trade with each other, I can see it. Property owners amount little lords. It takes violence to enforce property and in that sense I suppose we could think of each property owner as a little king. Shit each house hold has it's own micro culture so it actually makes sense.

Monarchs violate(d) the NAP all the time.  In an Anarcho-Capitalist society, the overwhelming majority of the people would endeavor to not violate the NAP.
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« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2013, 04:31:40 PM »

Provided that the owner of the city has gained this ownership by legitimate measures (homesteading of unused land, buying from other legitimate owner or paying free workers to build proper infrastructure) then probably this mini-state would be well-founded within ancap principles - and rules of competition between these cities should prevent them from growing to the point that immediate withdrawing one's "citizenship" from any such city would become impossible.

The difference from the current state of affairs is that nowadays there is no place to hide because the whole land is divided between states, which shouldn't happen if the homestead principle would be commonly adhered to, but indeed if (imagine) in the future this whole land would be "properly" homesteaded by these city-owners then we would end-up with the world of mini-monarchies with the possibility of repeating history again... OOPS?

There's always the possibility that the world once freed will chain itself again. All we can do is work to free it and hope our descendants aren't morons. When I say work to free it, what I really mean is I intend to free myself I don't need or want to free the masses.

As far as Ancapistan really being a bunch of Monarchies that trade with each other, I can see it. Property owners amount little lords. It takes violence to enforce property and in that sense I suppose we could think of each property owner as a little king. Shit each house hold has it's own micro culture so it actually makes sense.

Monarchs violate(d) the NAP all the time.  In an Anarcho-Capitalist society, the overwhelming majority of the people would endeavor to not violate the NAP.

Have you heard of anarcho monarchism?
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« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2013, 08:06:32 PM »

Provided that the owner of the city has gained this ownership by legitimate measures (homesteading of unused land, buying from other legitimate owner or paying free workers to build proper infrastructure) then probably this mini-state would be well-founded within ancap principles - and rules of competition between these cities should prevent them from growing to the point that immediate withdrawing one's "citizenship" from any such city would become impossible.

The difference from the current state of affairs is that nowadays there is no place to hide because the whole land is divided between states, which shouldn't happen if the homestead principle would be commonly adhered to, but indeed if (imagine) in the future this whole land would be "properly" homesteaded by these city-owners then we would end-up with the world of mini-monarchies with the possibility of repeating history again... OOPS?

There's always the possibility that the world once freed will chain itself again. All we can do is work to free it and hope our descendants aren't morons. When I say work to free it, what I really mean is I intend to free myself I don't need or want to free the masses.

As far as Ancapistan really being a bunch of Monarchies that trade with each other, I can see it. Property owners amount little lords. It takes violence to enforce property and in that sense I suppose we could think of each property owner as a little king. Shit each house hold has it's own micro culture so it actually makes sense.

Monarchs violate(d) the NAP all the time.  In an Anarcho-Capitalist society, the overwhelming majority of the people would endeavor to not violate the NAP.

Have you heard of anarcho monarchism?

No.  Explain how a monarch can be anything other than a state.
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