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Mr.Mister
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« on: October 29, 2014, 12:06:26 AM »

This next one is EXTREMELY long, so let me do something to help you out: just refute the four key points enlisted. You'll know what I mean when you read it...

This one is gonna take a while, so feel free to hop in and out (i.e., refute a portion of it one day, come back and refute the rest some other time). I'm not trying to kill anyone, so PLEASE take it easy and do it piece by piece, alright?  Grin

Of course, you COULD do it all at the same time, if you're willing to go that far...

Good Luck!

"It does not take much imagination to figure out whose interests "prosperous" arbitrators, judges and defence companies would defend: their own, as well as those who pay their wages -- which is to say, other members of the rich elite. As the law exists to defend property, then it (by definition) exists to defend the power of capitalists against their workers.

Rothbard argues that the "judges" would "not [be] making the law but finding it on the basis of agreed-upon principles derived either from custom or reason" [Rothbard, Op. Cit., p. 206]. However, this begs the question: whose reason? whose customs? Do individuals in different classes share the same customs? The same ideas of right and wrong? Would rich and poor desire the same from a "basic law code"? Obviously not. The rich would only support a code which defended their power over the poor.

Although only "finding" the law, the arbitrators and judges still exert an influence in the "justice" process, an influence not impartial or neutral. As the arbitrators themselves would be part of a profession, with specific companies developing within the market, it does not take a genius to realise that when "interpreting" the "basic law code," such companies would hardly act against their own interests as companies. In addition, if the "justice" system was based on "one dollar, one vote," the "law" would best defend those with the most "votes" (the question of market forces will be discussed in section F.6.3). Moreover, even if "market forces" would ensure that "impartial" judges were dominant, all judges would be enforcing a very partial law code (namely one that defended capitalist property rights). Impartiality when enforcing partial laws hardly makes judgements less unfair.

Thus, due to these three pressures -- the interests of arbitrators/judges, the influence of money and the nature of the law -- the terms of "free agreements" under such a law system would be tilted in favour of lenders over debtors, landlords over tenants, employers over employees, and in general, the rich over the poor, just as we have today. This is what one would expect in a system based on "unrestricted" property rights and a (capitalist) free market. A similar tendency towards the standardisation of output in an industry in response to influences of wealth can be seen from the current media system (see section D.3 -- How does wealth influence the mass media?)

Some "anarcho"-capitalists, however, claim that just as cheaper cars were developed to meet demand, so cheaper defence associations and "people's arbitrators" would develop on the market for the working class. In this way impartiality will be ensured. This argument overlooks a few key points:

Firstly, the general "libertarian" law code would be applicable to all associations, so they would have to operate within a system determined by the power of money and of capital. The law code would reflect, therefore, property not labour and so "socialistic" law codes would be classed as "outlaw" ones. The options then facing working people is to select a firm which best enforced the capitalist law in their favour. And as noted above, the impartial enforcement of a biased law code will hardly ensure freedom or justice for all.

Secondly, in a race between a Jaguar and a Volkswagen Beetle, who is more likely to win? The rich would have "the best justice money can buy," as they do now. Members of the capitalist class would be able to select the firms with the best lawyers, best private cops and most resources. Those without the financial clout to purchase quality "justice" would simply be out of luck - such is the "magic" of the marketplace.

Thirdly, because of the tendency toward concentration, centralisation, and oligopoly under capitalism (due to increasing capital costs for new firms entering the market, as discussed in section C.4), a few companies would soon dominate the market -- with obvious implications for "justice."

Different firms will have different resources. In other words, in a conflict between a small firm and a larger one, the smaller one is at a disadvantage in terms of resources. They may not be in a position to fight the larger company if it rejects arbitration and so may give in simply because, as the "anarcho"-capitalists so rightly point out, conflict and violence will push up a company's costs and so they would have to be avoided by smaller companies. It is ironic that the "anarcho"-capitalist implicitly assumes that every "defence company" is approximately of the same size, with the same resources behind it. In real life, this is clearly not the case.

Fourthly, it is very likely that many companies would make subscription to a specific "defence" firm or court a requirement of employment. Just as today many (most?) workers have to sign no-union contracts (and face being fired if they change their minds), it does not take much imagination to see that the same could apply to "defence" firms and courts. This was/is the case in company towns (indeed, you can consider unions as a form of "defence" firm and these companies refused to recognise them). As the labour market is almost always a buyer's market, it is not enough to argue that workers can find a new job without this condition. They may not and so have to put up with this situation. And if (as seems likely) the laws and rules of the property-owner will take precedence in any conflict, then workers and tenants will be at a disadvantage no matter how "impartial" the judges.

Ironically, some "anarcho"-capitalists point to current day company/union negotiations as an example of how different defence firms would work out their differences peacefully. Sadly for this argument, union rights under "actually existing capitalism" were created and enforced by the state in direct opposition to capitalist "freedom of contract." Before the law was changed, unions were often crushed by force -- the companies were better armed, had more resources and had the law on their side. Today, with the "downsizing" of companies we can see what happens to "peaceful negotiation" and "co-operation" between unions and companies when it is no longer required (i.e. when the resources of both sides are unequal). The market power of companies far exceeds those of the unions and the law, by definition, favours the companies. As an example of how competing "protection agencies" will work in an "anarcho"-capitalist society, it is far more insightful than originally intended!

Now let us consider the "basic law code" itself. How the laws in the "general libertarian law code" would actually be selected is anyone's guess, although many "anarcho"-capitalists support the myth of "natural law," and this would suggest an unchangeable law code selected by those considered as "the voice of nature" (see section F.7. for a discussion of its authoritarian implications). David Friedman argues that as well as a market in defence companies, there will also be a market in laws and rights. However, there will be extensive market pressure to unify these differing law codes into one standard one (imagine what would happen if ever CD manufacturer created a unique CD player, or every computer manufacturer different sized floppy-disk drivers -- little wonder, then, that over time companies standardise their products). Friedman himself acknowledges that this process is likely (and uses the example of standard paper sizes to indicate such a process).

In any event, the laws would not be decided on the basis of "one person, one vote"; hence, as market forces worked their magic, the "general" law code would reflect vested interests and so be very hard to change. As rights and laws would be a commodity like everything else in capitalism, they would soon reflect the interests of the rich -- particularly if those interpreting the law are wealthy professionals and companies with vested interests of their own. Little wonder that the individualist anarchists proposed "trial by jury" as the only basis for real justice in a free society. For, unlike professional "arbitrators," juries are ad hoc, made up of ordinary people and do not reflect power, authority, or the influence of wealth. And by being able to judge the law as well as a conflict, they can ensure a populist revision of laws as society progresses.

Thus a system of "defence" on the market will continue to reflect the influence and power of property owners and wealth and not be subject to popular control beyond choosing between companies to enforce the capitalist laws."
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macsnafu
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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2014, 11:57:41 AM »

Someone's obviously put a lot of thought into ancap ideas, but they're still mired in the faulty premises and unwarranted assumptions that we've confronted in earlier posts.

They equate money with the power to oppress, for example, but fail to understand that no company can exist without customers, and thus a company must preserve their reputation, both for the sake of their customers and their employees.  Any company that overtly used coercion would be recognized by the public for its criminal actions and the public would react accordingly--there's no need to call a vote of the general public for people to determine when a company is evil, and thus avoid doing business with them or working for them.

Yes, it's possible a company might engage in covert criminal activity, they want to preserve their reputation, but that's what detectives, investigative journalists, and whistleblowers are for.  An ancap society won't make things work right automatically--there's no option for utopia--it simply provides strong incentives for people to do the right thing.

I'll respond to specific points when I've got more time and have considered comments more carefully.
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Mr.Mister
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2014, 11:19:55 PM »

Like I said, this is a huge fish, so a straightforward debunking of JUST the 4 key points will do.

I understand that thought as deep as this requires even deeper thought for a refutation,so I'm willing to wait.

Here's a hint; macsnafu's comment sort of ripens the quote I posted for a debunking...so good luck!
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MAM
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« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2014, 04:47:15 PM »

Quote
"It does not take much imagination to figure out whose interests "prosperous" arbitrators, judges and defence companies would defend: their own, as well as those who pay their wages -- which is to say, other members of the rich elite. As the law exists to defend property, then it (by definition) exists to defend the power of capitalists against their workers.

Quote
"prosperous" arbitrators, judges and defence companies
henceforth called "the Firm" or collectively in part or whole "Firms".

Quote
as well as those who pay their wages
Henceforth called "the client" or "clients".

A for profit firm operating in a market economy requires the support of clients. Without clients a firm makes no money. What about counter-intelligence (the ability of a firm to deceive people)? If there is freedom of information and press which is a key aspect of any "free" society counter intelligence becomes much more difficult especially with the internet. The ability for firms to deceive is countered by the ability of clients to educate themselves.

This means that clients must be responsible for their education. They must take it seriously.

I recommend using reason, logic, empiricism and the scientific method.

In the above the only proposed clients of the firms are
Quote
other members of the rich elite
. This is pathetically simplistic ignoring a number of variables, including coops, federations, charities, non profits and volunteers, insurance and other things I haven't thought of...

Quote
. As the law exists to defend property, then it (by definition) exists to defend the power of capitalists against their workers.
The Athenians put forth the idea of equality under the law thousands of years ago... The law can be used to prop up an authoritarian regime or used to slow the progress of tyranny, or if the people make the right moves keep tyranny away. I'd refer those interested to Rudolph Rummel particularly his works on democide.

The law is a code used for dispute resolution. In a Polycentric legal system people could belong to insurance firms to protect them from legal action by third parties. Part of the Stipulations/ member requirements could be to follow certain "laws". Dispute resolution could be client to client, firm to firm, firm to client etc...

If client a, or a; is a member of firm A or, A has a dispute with client b, b who is a member of firm B. Then A and B can agree on a third party court or DRO to resolve the dispute.

Quote
Rothbard argues that the "judges" would "not [be] making the law but finding it on the basis of agreed-upon principles derived either from custom or reason" [Rothbard, Op. Cit., p. 206].
I just want to say that Rothbard is not god.


Quote
However, this begs the question: whose reason? whose customs? Do individuals in different classes share the same customs? The same ideas of right and wrong? Would rich and poor desire the same from a "basic law code"? Obviously not.

Custom is defined as: "a traditional and widely accepted way of behaving or doing something that is specific to a particular society, place, or time." An example of a custom is standing in line. Customs exist independent of the law. Laws can be based on customs but customs do not require laws.

Do Rich folk and poor folk share ethics? Sometimes yes. Consider Bill Gates who is one of the richest people in the world and gives billions of dollars away to various charities and education outlets (he's given at least a million dollars to Khan Academy for example). Consequentially he does more good then the poor anarchist doing the struggle that gives his shirt away. Though both are altruistic.

In a Polycentric system clients would support law and custom that agreed with their ethics.

For a real world examples of polycentricism one can look at Singapore (also highly ranked on the economic freedom index). Or in Punjab India where Muslims use Sharia and Hindus don't. 

Quote
Although only "finding" the law, the arbitrators and judges still exert an influence in the "justice" process, an influence not impartial or neutral. As the arbitrators themselves would be part of a profession, with specific companies developing within the market, it does not take a genius to realise that when "interpreting" the "basic law code," such companies would hardly act against their own interests as companies

Firms can be motivated by a number of reasons. Think about the Red Cross, it's not always about profit. Further a competitive law market introduces natural selection into the legal equation. Firms are selected based on Populism. While it is true that in a market more dollars means more votes the market also represents minorities, In Commodities for example people can be gluten free, there are also a wide variety of vehicles for different economic classes. It's important to note that economic class does not always inform ideology. I've already addressed the other assertion in this paragraph with polycentrism.

Quote
A similar tendency towards the standardisation of output in an industry in response to influences of wealth can be seen from the current media system (see section D.3 -- How does wealth influence the mass media?)
I'd agree that the mainstream media represents certain interests. There are alternative media sources. One of my favourites is Vice News

Quote
Firstly, the general "libertarian" law code would be applicable to all associations, so they would have to operate within a system determined by the power of money and of capital.
False. I do not see why polycentrism need only have market solutions. Seeing communes operate a gift economy next to a functioning capitalist market would be awesome, and since this purely hypothetical (as is anarchy in general).


Quote
Secondly, in a race between a Jaguar and a Volkswagen Beetle, who is more likely to win? The rich would have "the best justice money can buy," as they do now. Members of the capitalist class would be able to select the firms with the best lawyers, best private cops and most resources. Those without the financial clout to purchase quality "justice" would simply be out of luck - such is the "magic" of the marketplace.

All of these industries could be non profit or have non profit options and again insurance.

Quote
Thirdly, because of the tendency toward concentration, centralisation, and oligopoly under capitalism (due to increasing capital costs for new firms entering the market, as discussed in section C.4), a few companies would soon dominate the market -- with obvious implications for "justice."
This only make sense in the context of the piece itself and by refuting previous statements I think I've removed the need to refute this one. I.E. Polycentrism, and non monopolistic legal structures.


Quote
Different firms will have different resources. In other words, in a conflict between a small firm and a larger one, the smaller one is at a disadvantage in terms of resources. They may not be in a position to fight the larger company if it rejects arbitration and so may give in simply because, as the "anarcho"-capitalists so rightly point out, conflict and violence will push up a company's costs and so they would have to be avoided by smaller companies. It is ironic that the "anarcho"-capitalist implicitly assumes that every "defence company" is approximately of the same size, with the same resources behind it. In real life, this is clearly not the case.


Consider NATO vs the Soviet Union. Federations and alliances can and will exist.

Quote
Fourthly, it is very likely that many companies would make subscription to a specifi
Pure speculation. I could easily speculate in a different manner.

I'm not sure that the rest of this needs consideration.




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"A stone is heavy and the sand is weighty but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both"-Tuek

"Knowledge is power, and it's light weight. The more you know the less you need."-Cody Lundin

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Democracy is
Two Zombies and a Sheriff
Deciding on Lunch."-Davi Barker
Mr.Mister
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True Capitalism is a Hellish road to Heaven


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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2014, 02:42:02 AM »

You're real good at surprising people, MAM. It seems like you can make a good argument for any political position, given the fact that you've educated yourself deeper on statism and both forms of libertarianism than most.

In the end, well done and thanks Cheesy
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MAM
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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2014, 11:49:41 AM »

You're real good at surprising people, MAM. It seems like you can make a good argument for any political position, given the fact that you've educated yourself deeper on statism and both forms of libertarianism than most.

In the end, well done and thanks Cheesy

Then my autodidact-ism is paying off! I'm trying man.

Welcome to the information age.  Still got a ways to go.
 
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"A stone is heavy and the sand is weighty but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both"-Tuek

"Knowledge is power, and it's light weight. The more you know the less you need."-Cody Lundin

"Hey... it's a haiku

Democracy is
Two Zombies and a Sheriff
Deciding on Lunch."-Davi Barker
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