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Author Topic: Stupid Statist With Stupid Questions Awaiting Brilliant Answers  (Read 36540 times)
George Clinton
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« on: August 03, 2013, 09:57:24 AM »

Hi.

I am a stupid libtard statist with some stupid questions. Seriously though, I am a libtard and I have some questions/challenges, take them how you will.

First, the biggest problem I have with anarcho-capitalism, and perhaps anarchy in general, is that it is untested. As long as it remains untested I must remain skeptical. You can give me all the well reasoned arguments (and I think they are very well reasoned, for the most part) in the world, but until I see evidence of an anarchist society functioning and doing as well, or at least nearly as well as the staunch believers think such a society can do, I just can't see any reason to jump in head first. And I think it is a mistake to get too emotionally invested in such things. However, I like the move to put things to the test. I honestly can't wait to see what will happen in New Hampshire, and perhaps in other locations I am unaware of. Though I am not entirely sure what the goals of the New Hampshire thing are, as their website is rather vague.


Now on to some questions, if anybody finds the will to answer. And no, I am not going to ask you about the roads. Cheesy


Other than what I have mentioned above, probably the next biggest problem I have with ancap philosophy is the NAP, the idea of ostracism, DRO's (to use Molyneuxs terminology) and the anti democratic rhetoric that seems to be usually associated with these things.

To begin, the NAP on its surface sounds like a really great idea, however it would seem there are some rather significant holes. One of the better objections I have read was Zowlinski on pollution. I have heard Molyneuxs attempt to square that round peg, but in my opinion he failed, dropping the NAP in favor of a consequentialist argument. The question is, can anybody offer a better argument than what Molyneux has offered, one that keeps within the confines of the NAP? And continuing on with the NAP questions, if a blind friend of yours were running towards a cliff, from which if he fell would mean certain death, do you think you would be justified in clothes lining him to keep him from falling off the cliff? How would you feel if you were the blind person? Would you be grateful, or would you want to seek "justice?" And do you think you would be justified in doing so, considering he hurt you, but he saved you life?

I have heard arguments in support of the NAP when confronted with these sorts of questions, suggesting that "it is just a guiding principle," or something similar. If that is all it is, why does there seem to be such an aversion to consequentialism, which is what seems to be what you are left with?


And now on to DRO's and ostracism and the apparent aversion to democracy, and how I think they are at their roots ideas governed by democratic processes. It seems as though capitalism is inherently democratic, instead of voting by checking a box, you are voting with your money/resources. And since a DRO would function as a private for profit company it would seem that it would be governed by those with the most votes (money). DROs would have a financial incentive to uphold the laws from which they stand to profit. And if a DRO is not available within a community, perhaps a small village somewhere, ostracism would be the peoples only option. Ostracism however would not be based on a monetary vote, but a popular vote. In a smaller community without a DRO, the people in that community would get to make up whatever arbitrary rules they like, whenever they like, and "vote" out whoever they dislike. And that is entirely democratic, and could be abused very easily.


Question being, why so much hate for democracy? And if you think that these ideals are not governed democratically, then what would you call it?


I would also like to delve more into morality, but until I get more of a feel for the people around here I think it might be best to wait on that for now. I don't want to make any more assumptions than I already have. Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2013, 11:28:40 AM »

There are a lot of good questions here.  I'm not going to try to address all of them, but I'll take the first and the last, put them together, and ask YOU a question:

Why so much love for democracy when it has proven to be a failure?  It has been tested over and over again... and it has failed.  It's currently failing right before our eyes.      Yes, democracies can last a long time compared to the lifespan of a human being, but not so much on a historical time scale   Yes, people WANT democracy and will fight and die for it.  But I'm not asking about what they want.  I'm asking about what they actually GET:  ever-increasing restrictions in freedom followed by economic collapse.   Exactly what we have now.     Do you like what we have now?

Perhaps you don't see these failures as failures... perhaps you LIKE the current state of affairs both globally and locally.  After all, things could be worse, right?    In which case that opens up an whole new avenue of discussion because you and the regulars of this board probably see the current state of the world VERY differently.  But if you do have a problem with things the way they are... why hang on to the system that brought it into being?

This isn't an argument or an attempt to answer your questions.  I'm just curious as to where your head is at concerning where "democracy" has brought us thus far.
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2013, 12:42:34 PM »

On the NAP, that has been discussed quite a bit on this forum.  In general it is seen more as a suggestion, or guideline, to avoid causing consequences to come back on yourself.  It isn't like it would be instituted as a law.  There is nothing really set in stone in a market based society.  As you said, it just seems like a good idea.  Just like not mugging a cop today seems like a good idea.  

Not everyone agrees on the ostracism part either.  There are already a variety of solutions proposed for that issue and it isn't even a real issue currently.

As for the police issue, basically what is suggested is private security.  There are private security companies all around the country already.  They never make the news for abusing their power.  They are completely liable for their actions.  Government police tend to rarely see consequences or jail when they break the same law. 
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2013, 12:45:15 PM »

1. "Untested" - This is interesting, as no political philosophy has ever been entirely implemented and perfected in such a way that you can definitively say, "This society right here is THE definition of X." There are always different interpretations and ways of doing things. This is what is unique about anarcho-capitalism, it accepts and celebrates the fact that all individuals are different and for everybody to live happily they must have the freedom to find their own solutions through personal trial/error and cooperation with others.
There are some who might say that the time before the constitution (the time of the articles of confederation) is a great example of absolute sovereignty, this lead to tremendous growth in an unprecedented amount of time. It skyrocketed a new nation into top dawg status and it was gaining all the attention from immigrants, entrpreneurs, philosophers and intellectuals alike.
If you want to take a step further back in history you can simply think of the colonies that were popping up across America; Britain, Spain and France all had colonies but British colonies were notably "free" (comparatively) and because of that freedom, they were able to secure homes and declare sovereignty. (As opposed to people like Spain who was only interested in the Americas for military purposes.) Or if you want to look deeper you can look at the incredible success of places like Hong Kong and compare Somalia with then and now, it's not a great place right now, but it is better off without government.
You can also look at old viking laws and societal structures, primitive times before government existed at all, there are examples, you just have to look and be willing to accept that there is no one perfect representation as anarcho-capitalism is purely subjective.

2. Pollution/NAP - Rothbard gives a great explanation of how pollution problems COULD be resolved. I stress could because once again it comes down to individuals, communities and interpretation of property rights. As Rothbard explains, bad stuff floating down a river has a much better chance of being punished when water can be owned as private property. That pollution is quite simply property damage. When it comes to smoke and things in the air, if you can prove that it is damaging you or your property, then you have a fair case.
If my blind friend was about to go off a cliff then I would certainly stop him in any way possible. I want to let you know that I can help but interpret this as a straw man argument and has nothing do with the NAP. Helping a friend in such a situation is certainly not comparable to, say, forcing them to donate to someone with low income. (ie. stealing their money and giving it away). Maybe I'm not seeing your point clearly on this, feel free to expand.

3. Democracy - You're right, voting with your dollars is highly regarded in the ancap society, DRO's may want "votes" from their customers on different changes. However, when an anarchist speaks against voting in democracy what they are referring to is the fact that it is involuntary. Nobody has a choice with regards to the government they live under. (Yes, you could "always leave" but that really doesn't fly in a philosophy that has respect for private property.) So when people vote for a president or a representative they are forcing an ideology on everyone else (mob rule). On the other hand with a DRO, there are always competitors and other options. With government, one can not vote with their dollar, there is no voluntary choice and any decision is made final for everyone, without exception.
Communities may pop up in the anarchist society that become communist and very authoritative, in principle that's OK, so long as no one is force into that system. Let's create an extreme example to address this:
You own a piece of land and a house in a fairly well populated area (a small town). You are the only person there who believes in freedom and the rest of the community all sells their land to a central governing body (by their own choice) and asks it to manage things, they all decide for it to manage their paychecks and create wealth redistribution and create free public services. You, stubborn as you are, don't participate but keep your land and you are now surrounded by public roads and public property and public services... oh my! A nightmare! You have every right to continue living there but they have every right to reject your business unless you comply. However they can not keep you on your property as this would mean imprisonment, you must have the ability to come and go as you wish (an interesting conundrum to build on at a later time).
...That was a HUGE digression, I apologize, the point is voting with your dollar and using competing companies voluntarily is much different that being forced into a system based on arbitrary borders despite the fact that you own you and you own your property. No one can take those things away from you.
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2013, 02:08:39 PM »

George,

I'm surprised since you mention Molyneux you haven't heard his take on 'untested'.   I don't remember his exact numbers (which were probably estimates anyway), but let's say 90-95% of you life IS anarchy (i.e. without rulers).  Has a ruler told you whom to date, whom to marry, how many kids to have, with whom to spend your free time?

Democracy is, in my opinion, WORSE than socialism/dictatorship/etc.  because it appears 'fair' but the evil, lazy, ignorant, greedy have learned how to harness it to transfer wealth from the productive to themselves.  If one don't like what a king, dictator,  or fascist leader does than one can attempt to take out the oppressor.  Who does one take out in a democracy?

Pollution:  With every breath/piss/shit you release you have 'polluted' the environment.  So I think we need better definitions on what you mean. 

I'm not sure you (or I for that matter) understand the Non-AGGRESSION principle.    If we do a 'small' harm to someone to prevent a 'larger' harm are we initiating aggression?  If the blind man was trying to commit suicide then yes, and you ought to apologize and  perform restitution.    Haven't you heard Molyneuxs flagpole example?
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2013, 03:12:10 PM »

First, the biggest problem I have with anarcho-capitalism, and perhaps anarchy in general, is that it is untested.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-capitalist#Historical_precedents_similar_to_anarcho-capitalism
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George Clinton
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2013, 03:41:34 PM »

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Why so much love for democracy when it has proven to be a failure?

I don't necessarily and that is not what I am suggesting. What I am suggesting is that anarcho-capitalism is inherently democratic absent a central governing body, and absent standardized laws.


Quote
But if you do have a problem with things the way they are... why hang on to the system that brought it into being?

I think I have more or less answered this in my first post. Until I can see that any alternative is feasible, I don't see any reason to ditch what we have now. What we have now may not be great, ideal, etc but it does work to some degree. Like I said in my initial post, I am curious to see what happens in New Hampshire.





Syock
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There are private security companies all around the country already.  They never make the news for abusing their power.

I think that is a weak comparison. Security companies in our current society are not afforded the same authority as law enforcement officers, and are subject to the authority of law enforcement officers. And I am sure you would say that private security would not be afforded the same authority in an ancap society, but you must admit that in a society that does not have a centralized police force, the private security will certainly have more authority/ability to impose rules/laws, and with which to abuse. Perhaps that is a better alternative, but you can't pretend like it is going to be all sunshine and roses.




Thorax232
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There are some who might say that the time before the constitution (the time of the articles of confederation) is a great example of absolute sovereignty, this lead to tremendous growth in an unprecedented amount of time.

I seriously beg to differ. I think what allowed the US to advance so quickly and become not only a top country, but thee top country is the fact that we had a massive land mass with almost entirely untapped natural resources to trade with the rest of the world. if you could find a new untapped land mass comparable to the US, I don't think the type of government, or lack there of is going to play such a massive role in its ability to become at least a heavy hitter in the world economy. So long as people are willing to cooperate and get shit done.


Quote
Rothbard gives a great explanation of how pollution problems COULD be resolved.

I am am not sure about Rothbards position on pollution, but I will reply to what you have said. Suing a large company may be a way to recuperate your losses, but if that company finds that they stand to make more profit continuing to pollute and just pay people off, then that is what they will do. And when it comes to pollution that affects a persons body, smoke, and the like, how are we to put a monetary value on such things in an anarchist society? Without some sort of standard, it would seem it would be completely arbitrary, or based upon the value of the individual person. And the value of an individual would, I assume, be based on that persons productivity. And that could lead to all sorts of major issues, stemming from what I think could lead to apathy for the mentally disabled, physically disabled, physically weak, mentally weak, elderly, etc.





FF42
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I'm surprised since you mention Molyneux you haven't heard his take on 'untested'.

Molyneux has a ton of videos. And to be quite honest, I really don't like Molyneux enough to go through all of his old stuff, unless prompted by others during a discussion or similar. I have very little regard for Molyneux, I do watch most of his stuff as it comes out on Youtube however. Molyneux seems like a smart man, but he is no genius, nor somebody I think deserves to be the or a head of the ancap movement. I watch his stuff because he is one of the first libertarian/ancaps I stumbled upon on Youtube as I was just starting to get interested in learning about libertarian ideologies.


Quote
let's say 90-95% of you life IS anarchy

We are talking about two completely different things. Anarchy on a personal level, versus anarchy as a regional/national/international social system and the problems that arise at that level. Sorry, but that argument is quite simply BS.
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2013, 04:05:21 PM »

We are talking about two completely different things. Anarchy on a personal level, versus anarchy as a regional/national/international social system and the problems that arise at that level. Sorry, but that argument is quite simply BS.

Many governments dictate(d) such trivial personal matters, so the other poster had a valid point which you completely missed. 
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2013, 04:10:13 PM »


Syock
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There are private security companies all around the country already.  They never make the news for abusing their power.

I think that is a weak comparison. Security companies in our current society are not afforded the same authority as law enforcement officers, and are subject to the authority of law enforcement officers. And I am sure you would say that private security would not be afforded the same authority in an ancap society, but you must admit that in a society that does not have a centralized police force, the private security will certainly have more authority/ability to impose rules/laws, and with which to abuse. Perhaps that is a better alternative, but you can't pretend like it is going to be all sunshine and roses.


You can't pretend the ability to hold people accountable for their actions won't have a significant impact on their behavior. 
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George Clinton
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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2013, 04:29:26 PM »

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Many governments dictate(d) such trivial personal matters, so the other poster had a valid point which you completely missed.

Perhaps you are right, and if you are, then I still don't understand the argument...

Could somebody link to wherever Moly makes the argument perhaps? Or maybe explain this argument in a bit more detail?



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You can't pretend the ability to hold people accountable for their actions won't have a significant impact on their behavior.

Police are held accountable, just not to the same standards as average citizens. And I don't see why you think that officers of private agencies aren't going to be protected from prosecution by their agencies. Even if an opposing agency tries to prosecute the offending officer.
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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2013, 05:39:30 PM »

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Many governments dictate(d) such trivial personal matters, so the other poster had a valid point which you completely missed.

Perhaps you are right, and if you are, then I still don't understand the argument...

Most of our daily lives are anarchic, so anarchy of the type that we envision isn't the scary dystopia that TPTB have brainwashed the masses (via Hollywood, etc.) into believing that it would be.

Quote
Police are held accountable, just not to the same standards as average citizens. And I don't see why you think that officers of private agencies aren't going to be protected from prosecution by their agencies. Even if an opposing agency tries to prosecute the offending officer.

There would probably be more than just two DROs in the Free Territories, so if one DRO went rogue (such as by letting its security wing behave like oinks are allowed and encouraged to behave in the present society), then they would not merely have one DRO opposing them:  they would likely have several (perhaps dozens) DROs countering their misbehavior.

An Anarcho-Capitalist society entails the ultimate system of checks and balances.
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2013, 07:17:23 PM »

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Most of our daily lives are anarchic, so anarchy of the type that we envision isn't the scary dystopia that TPTB have brainwashed the masses (via Hollywood, etc.) into believing that it would be.

If that is the case, then I would refer back to my initial comment on that argument as that is what I was responding to. Making your own decisions that effect only you and perhaps a few people around you is not the same as instituting policies that affect an entire society. And as I have mentioned twice now, I am not necessarily against anarchy, and I don't hold that it would be a chaotic dystopia. However, I am not sold on the concept.

For future reference, what does "TPTB" stand for?


Quote
There would probably be more than just two DROs in the Free Territories,

I will get back to this one later, I need to argue with myself for a bit before I decide how to respond. Your argument seems reasonable, I just need to think about the possible consequences, and if they are in fact legitimate concerns. Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2013, 02:09:47 AM »

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Most of our daily lives are anarchic, so anarchy of the type that we envision isn't the scary dystopia that TPTB have brainwashed the masses (via Hollywood, etc.) into believing that it would be.

If that is the case, then I would refer back to my initial comment on that argument as that is what I was responding to. Making your own decisions that effect only you and perhaps a few people around you is not the same as instituting policies that affect an entire society. And as I have mentioned twice now, I am not necessarily against anarchy, and I don't hold that it would be a chaotic dystopia. However, I am not sold on the concept.

If most of our daily lives are free from state interference, is it too much of a leap to suppose that the world could function without states?

Anarchic interactions go beyond the everyday affairs of individuals.  International trade, for example, often involves little to no interference from the respective states.

Quote
For future reference, what does "TPTB" stand for?

"the powers that be"

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« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2013, 05:33:26 PM »

Thorax232
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There are some who might say that the time before the constitution (the time of the articles of confederation) is a great example of absolute sovereignty, this lead to tremendous growth in an unprecedented amount of time.

I seriously beg to differ. I think what allowed the US to advance so quickly and become not only a top country, but thee top country is the fact that we had a massive land mass with almost entirely untapped natural resources to trade with the rest of the world. if you could find a new untapped land mass comparable to the US, I don't think the type of government, or lack there of is going to play such a massive role in its ability to become at least a heavy hitter in the world economy. So long as people are willing to cooperate and get shit done.


Quote
Rothbard gives a great explanation of how pollution problems COULD be resolved.

I am am not sure about Rothbards position on pollution, but I will reply to what you have said. Suing a large company may be a way to recuperate your losses, but if that company finds that they stand to make more profit continuing to pollute and just pay people off, then that is what they will do. And when it comes to pollution that affects a persons body, smoke, and the like, how are we to put a monetary value on such things in an anarchist society? Without some sort of standard, it would seem it would be completely arbitrary, or based upon the value of the individual person. And the value of an individual would, I assume, be based on that persons productivity. And that could lead to all sorts of major issues, stemming from what I think could lead to apathy for the mentally disabled, physically disabled, physically weak, mentally weak, elderly, etc.

1. Do you think it would have happened if the country were immediately socialist? If the government took total control? In that case I'm sure the British would have won which is a totally different subject.

2. Suing people for money is not the only legal action in the world. I don't know where people get this idea. The company owners would have to stop, leave or go to jail. When companies are not protected by government and buildings (corporations) are not considered "people" the single owners take responsibility.
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George Clinton
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« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2013, 11:39:40 PM »

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If most of our daily lives are free from state interference, is it too much of a leap to suppose that the world could function without states?

Let me ask you something. If hippy communist communes can work on such a small scale, then why do they not work on a regional/national/international level? What I am getting at is that just because something works on a smaller scale does not mean it will work on a much larger scale.

And I think you should re-think your assertion about international trade, it comes across a bit like something a statist apologetic would say, or could very easily turn against you.





Quote
1. Do you think it would have happened if the country were immediately socialist? If the government took total control? In that case I'm sure the British would have won which is a totally different subject.

If the government controlled the means of production and trade, I would suspect that the government would offer incredibly high wages/land/resources in the early days of the US, and they would have been able to afford it. What better way to manipulate people than to offer them wealth, in whatever form. And back in those days, the government was literally giving away plots of land, 10s-100s of acres to individuals/families if memory serves. Those people didn't pay shit for that land, other than perhaps pay with their lives when the natives showed up.

And I don't know why you would assume people would lack any incentive to fight off the Brits. No matter what the governing system is, the people still have incentive to protect their resources, whether the resources are owned by everybody, or as individuals. In such a system, personal prosperity would rely heavily on the prosperity of the nation (this is true in any system, perhaps more in a socialist society however), thus you would have incentive to defend the nation. Not to mention, most people were trying to escape religious persecution, and I think  it is safe to say that everybody knows religion can be a major motivator.
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