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Author Topic: If An-Cap is econ. right then why do econ. left memes crop up in An-Cap circles?  (Read 21761 times)
state hater
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« on: September 12, 2013, 12:17:35 PM »

My mind is geared towards the physical sciences rather than the social sciences, so please be patient with me.  My newby understanding Anarcho-Capitalism is that it is essentially takes Right Libertarian minarchism and subtracts the state (many An-Caps, myself included, came to Anarcho-Capitalism from Right Libertarian minarchism simply by subtracting the state after understanding how a stateless society could function).  However, I have seen a lot of economically left memes arise in some Anarcho-Capitalist circles, and this greatly perplexes me.   A lot of An-Caps profess Agorism, which is said by some to be "Left Libertarian".  One definition of "Left Libertarian" that I have found indicates that it merely emphasizes social issues where Right Libertarians and Anarcho-Capitalists tend to agree with the left (anti-war, the right to use drugs, and so on), in other words, that it is merely a marketing ploy to convert statist liberals to An-Cap.  If this is what Left Libertarianism is, then I have no issue with it, but another definition that I have seen equates Left Libertarianism with Libertarian Socialism (with severe restrictions on what constitutes private property), which, as as someone who strongly believes in the free market, I have a very big problem with. 

Lately, I have seen numerous attacks on this board on the the traditional understanding of private property, which I thought that An-Caps support.  These attacks often spring from discussions of corporations, which I agree should not exist, since if there is no state, there can be no corporations.  However, I adamantly favor the right or people to form large businesses in a stateless society, whereas some people here seem to oppose the existence of any large businesses, corporate or non-corporate, as their peculiar notions of homesteading preclude the validity of all absentee property ownership (I find this odd, since I can think of many who profess both homesteading and absentee ownership).

Granted, I have seen a lot of Anarcho-Capitalists profess Agorism who I have no doubt are still economically right, free market advocates.  For instance, Adam Kokesh is into Agorism, and he is a steadfast opponent of socialism and Anarcho-Communism (in one Youtube video, he ridicules Anarcho-Communists who vandalized businesses during a protest, and even said that as non-propertarians, they are fake anarchists).  I have seen a lot of criticism of Anarcho-Communism on this message board.  However, the recent bashing of large non-corporate businesses and the restrictions on private land ownership that some profess have me confused.  I understand that not everyone here is an An-Cap, but the people spreading these memes certainly seem to portray themselves, in their other posts, as being in the An-Cap camp.

As a newby, is there something basic that I am overlooking?  Is the old stereotype, that all anarchists are some flavor of socialist, true, and An-Cap closer to An-Com than I realized, or are there just some confused individuals, or individuals with ulterior motives, who profess An-Cap (or perhaps there are a lot of individuals who fall on the spectrum somewhere between the absolutist private property, free market end and the anti-private property end)?  Is my perception of An-Cap as extremely economically right essentially correct?  If the answer is yes, then why does so much economically leftist ideology arise in An-Cap circles like this message board?

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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2013, 12:20:49 PM »

Perhaps the people whom I have in mind from this message board and other places fall into one of the two intermediate categories on this graph:  



In any case, any complex society would necessarily have to respect private property as we currently understand it (that includes absentee ownership).  Any form of anarchy that does not respect the right of groups of individuals to pool their wealth and own things like roads, factories, and so forth, would be either primitive or chaotic (probably both).
« Last Edit: September 12, 2013, 12:24:07 PM by state hater » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2013, 12:35:42 PM »

I'm on your side, I have debate anarcho-socialists to death who think that voluntarily working for someone is a crime. They vehemently believe that every business should be a "coop" and that even by private contract people should work for people. >.< This is not anarchism, its just your classic everyday socialism.

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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2013, 01:02:26 PM »

Is my perception of An-Cap as extremely economically right essentially correct?  If the answer is yes, then why does so much economically leftist ideology arise in An-Cap circles like this message board?

Honestly I am as shocked (or more) as you are.
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2013, 01:13:42 PM »

Can you offer some evidence of private property and large business bashing?
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2013, 01:37:53 PM »

I think the problem is basically that there are so many different types of anarchism and so many different ideas tossed around that the issues get muddled up and hard to understand. I've seen that graph before, and it seems to do a fair job, but I'm not sure any graph could give a coherent accounting of all the ideas of different anarchists. (I even saw something on "communist egoism" at one point I think, though I don't recall where now. I can look it up if anyone is interested.)

If you were to try and understand all the different ideas put forth under the label of "anarchist", I'm afraid you'd quite probably just end up drowning in reading material. My own understanding, currently, is that "Anarcho-Capitalism", is absolutely in favor of private property, based on the ideas of homesteading and legitimate-title-transfer, (getting something from someone else through voluntary trade or gift-giving,) as the just methods for gaining such private property. In other words, your perception of an-cap is pretty much correct, private business and private property are supported. Anarcho-capitalists seem to be the ones most vehemently criticizing and attacking communist anarchism. (See Murray Rothbard here.)

The term "Market Anarchist" seems to be a bit looser, sometimes encompassing some of the memes you spoke of, but still seems to hold that the free market is superior to other economic systems and that property ownership based on homesteading and voluntary transactions is the way to go. Sometimes Market anarchism seems to be used in a way equivalent to anarcho-capitalism, and other times it seems to be used in a way that accepts the communist critic of capitalism as far as "wage-slavery" and so forth, but still rejects the idea that property should be communally owned and argues that a truly free market, in the sense talked about by Smith, Mises, and Rothbard, is still the best possible economic system.

Mutualism, from my reading of the Mutualist community of Modern Times, entails private ownership of property but also accepts the labor theory of value, meaning they try to buy and sell things "at cost", trading based on the amount of time put into creating something rather than the subjective value something has to a particular economic actor. Anarcho-capitalism certainly accepts the subjective theory of value, and my impression is that Market Anarchism does as well, though there might be some self-declared market anarchist somewhere who rejects it that I'm not aware of.

Edward Stringham's book Anarchy and the Law gives a good overview of the "economically right" side of the anarchist movement, though I haven't read through all of it yet. (Most of the articles are reprinted from elsewhere and many seem to be freely available online. Here's the introduction for instance. I skipped to the historical case-study section myself, and started looking up the different articles, since that was what I was most interested in.) I think it also has a chapter which describes the differences between the different kinds of anarchism, IIRC.
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2013, 03:12:52 PM »

I think the answer to your question is very simple, and you're overthinking it.

Most people, of any ideology, don't have a well thought out, consistent, framework of beliefs.  It is no different to ask "Why do the Republicans scream about ending entitlements, while simultaneously yelling 'Don't touch Medi-care!'?"

Or "Why is the ACLU Hell-Bent on protecting the Bill of Rights, except Amendment II"?

Personally, I have no problem with "Corporations".  Contrary to popular belief, they aren't a government invention, they've existed since the Middle Ages.  Treating them as if they were people, or citizens, is silly, and the government licensing them is contrary to my view of an-cap, but the point of an LLC, or "Limited Liability Corporation" is that you can invest some of your money in my company and, if I do something criminal, you only lose your investment, not everything you own.  Of course, if you are aware of and involved in the criminal (or civilly actionable) behavior, then you can still be named personally as a co-defendant.

Until fairly recently in this country (post WWII), in order to form a corporation you had to show how it would benefit society at large (i.e. we're gathering investors to build a hydroelectric dam and sell electricity. Besides providing the market with electricity, we will also reduce flooding along the river.), and you had to specify a date (renewable) when your corporation would be dissolved. I don't think the government should be able to mandate that, but investors certainly could, through a contract.
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2013, 06:29:21 AM »

All very intriguing, but shouldn't we focus on the left side of the hyphen instead of the right? With the focus on the right side of the hyphen, we are achieving the state's goal for them, we are dividing ourselves into finite chunks allowing for easy defeat and/or discredit.

The focus needs to remain "I am an Anarchist". Once the state is eliminated, we can return to the debate about the right side of the hyphen. Right now I see too much emphasis on how society functions after the elimination of the state, than how to eliminate the state in the first place. This is commonly referred to as putting the cart before the horse, but I prefer to call it mental masturbation.
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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2013, 06:47:52 AM »

All very intriguing, but shouldn't we focus on the left side of the hyphen instead of the right? With the focus on the right side of the hyphen, we are achieving the state's goal for them, we are dividing ourselves into finite chunks allowing for easy defeat and/or discredit.

The focus needs to remain "I am an Anarchist". Once the state is eliminated, we can return to the debate about the right side of the hyphen. Right now I see too much emphasis on how society functions after the elimination of the state, than how to eliminate the state in the first place. This is commonly referred to as putting the cart before the horse, but I prefer to call it mental masturbation.

On the other side of that equation are violently destructive people.  A few aren't, but many are.  Whenever we speak to them, they talk about how they want to take our stuff and kill us if we don't join them and shut up. 

We would allow them their own autonomy, but that isn't their goal.  They want to destroy all things that isn't their way. 

I think you ought to go give your masturbation speech to them.   
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2013, 01:55:21 PM »

Can you offer some evidence of private property and large business bashing?

Agrarian_Agorist has criticized absentee ownership, as but one example.  Imagine how primitive society would be if you could never leave your property.
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2013, 01:10:31 AM »

Quote
The focus needs to remain "I am an Anarchist". Once the state is eliminated, we can return to the debate about the right side of the hyphen. Right now I see too much emphasis on how society functions after the elimination of the state, than how to eliminate the state in the first place. This is commonly referred to as putting the cart before the horse, but I prefer to call it mental masturbation.

The Left agrees with you we need to focus on how to bring down the authoritative institutions and that's why we can't work together. Because how we go about doing these things are opposed.
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Agrarian_Agorist
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2013, 02:17:27 PM »

Can you offer some evidence of private property and large business bashing?

Agrarian_Agorist has criticized absentee ownership, as but one example.  Imagine how primitive society would be if you could never leave your property.

I am an absentee owner of the entire Universe with the exception of Earth and the artificial satellites which humans have put into space.  Would you like to buy part of it?  I have a paper deed proving it, and upon me selling you part of the Universe I will provide you with a piece of paper which states that you own that particular piece of the Universe.  You could be an absentee owner of part of the Universe; I'm sure nobody will  contest the legitimacy or validity of the claim.

If a majority of the general population -even if it is only in your particular area- don't recognize a claim then the claim -no matter how many pieces of paper exist in support of the claim- are invalid; because you would have to force everybody to accept the claim.
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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2013, 04:05:16 PM »

I am an absentee owner of the entire Universe with the exception of Earth and the artificial satellites which humans have put into space.  Would you like to buy part of it?  I have a paper deed proving it, and upon me selling you part of the Universe I will provide you with a piece of paper which states that you own that particular piece of the Universe.  You could be an absentee owner of part of the Universe; I'm sure nobody will  contest the legitimacy or validity of the claim.

If a majority of the general population -even if it is only in your particular area- don't recognize a claim then the claim -no matter how many pieces of paper exist in support of the claim- are invalid; because you would have to force everybody to accept the claim.

Well then, I guess we need a government.  We can all democratically agree to accept or reject your claim.  This website is now obsolete.  Thanks everyone for posting here. 

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Agrarian_Agorist
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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2013, 04:51:26 PM »

I am an absentee owner of the entire Universe with the exception of Earth and the artificial satellites which humans have put into space.  Would you like to buy part of it?  I have a paper deed proving it, and upon me selling you part of the Universe I will provide you with a piece of paper which states that you own that particular piece of the Universe.  You could be an absentee owner of part of the Universe; I'm sure nobody will  contest the legitimacy or validity of the claim.

If a majority of the general population -even if it is only in your particular area- don't recognize a claim then the claim -no matter how many pieces of paper exist in support of the claim- are invalid; because you would have to force everybody to accept the claim.

Well then, I guess we need a government.  We can all democratically agree to accept or reject your claim.  This website is now obsolete.  Thanks everyone for posting here. 



I didn't say that a government is needed; however if nobody respects your claim than it is pointless.  Either protect what you have or lose it; you cannot really expect other people to put themselves in harms way for your claims of ownership without heavily compensating them -one way or another.  There is a reason police officers become corrupt, and their corruption has been going on long before they've become a protected class.  This corruption will occur in private security as well; it already does.
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SimonJester
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« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2013, 02:38:55 AM »

I am an absentee owner of the entire Universe with the exception of Earth and the artificial satellites which humans have put into space.  Would you like to buy part of it?  I have a paper deed proving it, and upon me selling you part of the Universe I will provide you with a piece of paper which states that you own that particular piece of the Universe.  You could be an absentee owner of part of the Universe; I'm sure nobody will  contest the legitimacy or validity of the claim.

If a majority of the general population -even if it is only in your particular area- don't recognize a claim then the claim -no matter how many pieces of paper exist in support of the claim- are invalid; because you would have to force everybody to accept the claim.

Well then, I guess we need a government.  We can all democratically agree to accept or reject your claim.  This website is now obsolete.  Thanks everyone for posting here. 



I didn't say that a government is needed; however if nobody respects your claim than it is pointless.  Either protect what you have or lose it; you cannot really expect other people to put themselves in harms way for your claims of ownership without heavily compensating them -one way or another.  There is a reason police officers become corrupt, and their corruption has been going on long before they've become a protected class.  This corruption will occur in private security as well; it already does.

In most people, corruption is a direct side-effect of power, and is proportional to the degree of that power.  A person tasting power over others will (in most cases) begin both to be corrupted by it and to thirst for more.  They embrace ever more corruption in the pursuit of ever more power.  The addiction feeds on itself, and expands.  Personally, I think power seekers have something twisted in their brains from the beginning.  Power over the lives and actions of others is a bizarre and perverted thing to want, IMO.
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