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Author Topic: Education/Defense?  (Read 7944 times)
Will
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« on: October 22, 2011, 08:21:25 PM »

Hi guys, I'm new to these boards and new to the anarchy as well (read: within the past couple of weeks) and got into one of my first full on debate with one of my best friends about it. I've managed to convince him of the immorality and inneficiency of the state as well as the benefits of a truly free market. Yet he still clings to the belief that anarchy is too simple, and the government is a necessary evil argument. His main gripes are: How will the poor be educated and how would an AnCap society defend themselves from outside attack?

I've argued these points the best I can, but he is still unconvinced. I was just wondering how you veterans would answer these questions.
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helio
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2011, 08:55:35 PM »

Patience, my friend.

It is a hard lesson to learn because when the light finally goes on in your brain that government monopoly of law, security, and defense is best provided through market competition the first impulse is to tell everyone you know and care about how awesome this new idea is.  They will usually react very negatively.

Pick your battles, especially with people you already have relationships with.  The reason is because statists have a strong emotional bond with the idea of government.  It is part of their identity and challenging the moral underpinnings of that idea is a direct challenge to their worth and sense of belonging.  Only they can sever that bond.  If you try to do it, it will be nasty. 

No one told me that and I alienated quite a few people to begin with, but I'm learning.  I still make mistakes in that regard.

Instead, try to find common ground with them.  Find a topic that they deeply care about and build bridges on the things you agree on by showing how the state creates the problem.

Examples would be:

Do they like drugs?  Talk about how the drug war is wrong because it violates people's personal sovereignty.

Do they think healthcare is too expensive?  Talk about how the big pharma, fda, regulatory agencies, the insurance companies are all in bed together and how that drives prices up by limiting competition.

Do they think gay people should be allowed to get married?  Talk about how it is only a problem because the government creates an unfair tax and income system of privileges.

Do they think the big banks are ruining the country?  Talk about how the fed has the privilege to create money from nothing, give it to their banker friends, and stick the taxpayer with the bill.

Are they against the wars?  Talk about how if people could opt out of paying taxes that fund wars, how they would all end immediately.

Anarchism is a beautiful picture puzzle that has to be assembled slowly, one piece at a time.  Eventually, they'll see enough of the picture and they'll start asking you questions and filling in the remaining pieces themselves, depending on how much of the puzzle they have already.

Just be patient.
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ff42
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2011, 09:58:30 PM »

It looks like you and/or your friend is using the 'argument from effect'.  I humbly submit that is the wrong approach and encourage you to try the 'argument from morality', which is (IIRC) basically "It is immoral to use force to take from one and give to another - it doesn't matter if the form of the 'gift' is education, roads, health, defense, etc.".  The initiation of force (theft via taxation in this case) is always wrong.

Another way to think about it is to mentally transport yourself back to USA late 1700 and argue about slavery.  Instead of trying to convince your friend that man will figure out some other method to pick the cotton so we should therefore free the slaves convince your friend that initiation of force (slavery in this case) is wrong.

I have some ideas (and the free market - if free from government intervention - will eventually pick the best ideas), but I don't know or care HOW the children will be educated or HOW we will be defended, but only that the current method of doing is highly immoral.  

The state says "I will defend you from foreign and domestic thugs taking your property" but in actuality takes about 50% of my money and has (according to the US courts) no specific responsibility to protect me.  That is not only immoral but highly insane.
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nhwulf
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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2011, 10:30:12 PM »

Quote
Patience, my friend.
   Yeah, what he said. Go slow.
 In the early days and months of my coming out of the anarchic closet my over zalous presentation cost me many friends also.
 Seperating someone from their belief in the State as an evil nessesity or even a net benefit, is tantamount to seperating a christian from God. Belief in the State or God hinge on the idea that ones life is subservient to, and ruled by another. There is a great deal of commitment involved in turning control of yourself to someone else.
 The majority of both beliefs come from one of two sources. Either it was taught at an early age, blindly accepted and never questioned. This is the hardest group, in my opinion, to crack. Having never questioned their own beliefs, another doing it for them will likely terrify and bring out hostility as a defense.
 The other group are those who have analyzed their beliefs and have made the best judgement with the evidence at hand. This group is a more rational and curious set of people. They are more likely to hear evidence. They are also more likely to make thier own decisions. So let them come to their own conclusions.
 Either way, beliefs are immortal. You cannot slay anothers demons. He/she must abandon them of their own freewill.
 As helio said, find the common ground. A topic they are more interested in will be processed more thouroghly. And be patient. It took you some time too, didnt it?
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Will
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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2011, 11:13:43 PM »

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It took you some time too, didnt it?

18 years Wink

Quote
Patience, my friend

Yeah, I'm starting to learn how to be less dogmatic and more subtle. The whole argument started over a paper he was writing about why marijuana should remain illegal. I gave the response that people don't need the government to protect them from themselves. To which he responded that the government would then have to spend lots of money taking care of all the bums... To which I responded that's why I'm an anarchist, no government, no problem.

You would have thought I just said I was going to bomb an orphanage or something by the look on his face. Roll Eyes
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nhwulf
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2011, 11:19:05 PM »

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You would have thought I just said I was going to bomb an orphanage or something by the look on his face
    Thats because most people confuse anarchy with chaos. Anarchy is true freedom. What you do with it is another story.
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Script
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2011, 11:29:33 PM »

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It took you some time too, didnt it?

18 years Wink

Quote
Patience, my friend

Yeah, I'm starting to learn how to be less dogmatic and more subtle. The whole argument started over a paper he was writing about why marijuana should remain illegal. I gave the response that people don't need the government to protect them from themselves. To which he responded that the government would then have to spend lots of money taking care of all the bums... To which I responded that's why I'm an anarchist, no government, no problem.

You would have thought I just said I was going to bomb an orphanage or something by the look on his face. Roll Eyes

Well, look, everyone knows that without government you'd have anarchy!  That is to say, you'd have chaos, violence, looting and blood running through the streets.  Children and kittens might get hurt.   Cheesy

Is your friend attached to a certain political or religious ideology?  Different argument styles and approaches work better for different people and ideologies.  For example, if he's the typical Republican Christian who wants to ban marijuana because it's "bad" then you can take him to the Bible and examine the (lack of) evidence for prohibition of marijuana or drugs in general.  If he's a Democrat and is worried about the increase in welfare funding necessary...well deconstruct the necessity of welfare and how free markets provide better services in that area.

With some people the moral argument works well, some people don't care about the morality aspect of it and want to argue consequences and utilitarianism all day long.  Those are the hardest arguments for me, because they try to trap you into proving how everything will work in an anarchy.  Which of course, you nor I, nor even Seth King can do.

If we knew how it was all going to work we might as well become monarchists and attempt to turn ourselves into royalty as we are obviously the best fit to rule.  The whole point of free market anarchy is the division of labour to solve problems that we can't on our own.  The market isn't a perfect mechanism, but given time and freedom it allows humans to exert their amazing potential for cooperation to solve problems and create wealth.
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JustSayNoToStatism
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« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2011, 02:06:44 PM »

The first person I converted took a very long time. But we were really good friends and there was no risk of pissing him off to the point that we wouldn't be friends anymore. So I was a little bit bold.... It took about a month and a half of very regular discussion before the state started to crumble. I think if you've been an anarchist for a little while, and done most of your homework on it, then you have the knowledge and arguments to win. It's all about your execution. Seriously, take your time, present things clearly, try to stay focused, and prevent the discussion from becoming a shotgun spray of arguments back and forth. One point at a time. You can even say this from time to time, "hey, the desirability, possibility, and sustainability of anarchism are three separate topics, and we cannot discuss them all at once. Until you see how the state causes the problems we observe today, we cannot proceed to any of these arguments. Even when we do, I'll have to take them one at a time." But this person was already an atheist, and a skeptical person, so that was a huge advantage for me, since he had already cast one layer of superstition and belief off his back, making the second layer a lot easier.

If someone is already used to the idea that "most people are brainwashed idiots" then the knee jerk reactions to taboo subjects won't be nearly as violent...like statelessness.

Good luck!!
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« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2011, 02:29:46 PM »

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some people don't care about the morality aspect of it and want to argue consequences and utilitarianism all day long.  Those are the hardest arguments for me, because they try to trap you into proving how everything will work in an anarchy

Those are my favored arguments to go up against because it is like Aikido in using your opponents attack to throw them off balance and to the intellectual floor.  Usually, when they ask 'How will X be done under anarchy', you can bet that the state sucks at doing that now.  All you have to do is point it out.

Q: How will poor kids get educated without government? 
A: What makes you think poor gets are getting educated now? What do the test scores show? What is the dropout rate? Have you talked to any high school kids lately and carried on an intelligent conversation with them?

Q: How will the police get paid and what will stop them from just becoming a gang without government?
A: Why do you believe they aren't a gang now?  Have you seen any youtube videos, or read any articles about about police abuse?

You don't have to be an expert in each of the subject areas.  Just have to ask questions to undermine their certainty and get them to start doubting.
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JustSayNoToStatism
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« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2011, 12:35:18 AM »

Oh, the quote that helio responded to also reminded me...

In addition to deciding which point you are arguing (undesirability of the state, desirability of anarchy, possibility of anarchy, or sustainability of anarchy), it is useful to establish which intellectual plane you are sparring in. By this I mean decide let your opponent say whether this is a moral or practical argument...Again, it seems tedious to establish these rules, but I promise it will help. What I have observed is that the sooner you can casually back them into a corner (of course, appearing non threatening) the sooner you can start to win. If you never establish the rules, they will jump back and forth between morality and practicality, and then say "oh well, a government would just come back" and things like that. If you know what you are discussing and how you are discussing it, they will run out of room really quickly. You can corner them in a matter of minutes, instead of spending hours launching shotgun style spray attacks back and forth, where they can ignore your hits, because there is too much going on.

Even for all I have against NAP, it is useful if the person still believes in morality and things like that. Then I choose to "derive" the NAP from the concept of self-ownership, literally checking with them to make sure they agree with each step in the proof.

The first stage in what I consider to be the 4 stage process of conversion is recognizing the failures and obvious undesirability of the state. As you decide how to approach this task, you must choose moral or practical. If they choose practical, then helio's point is an excellent approach, probably much quicker than what I started with.
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Will
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« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2011, 08:11:35 PM »

Made some positive progress yesterday. He was genuinely interested in those law videos Seth posted a few days ago and after a bit more discussion, he said, "It almost sounds like it could work, the way you explain it." Planting the seeds. Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2011, 10:00:40 PM »

Despite the fact that we should be driven by what is moral, we really aren't entirely. While I love arguing against the state on moral grounds, in order for most people to accept the reality that the state is immoral, and that a voluntary society based on self-ownership is the only moral alternative, they must also be presented with a practical defense or description of what a voluntary society would look like.
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« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2011, 01:04:41 AM »

Ahh.. another old post.  I want to take a crack at this from the practical side though.

How will the poor be educated?

This one is actually pretty easy (in my mind anyway, it came out pretty massive once I started typing).

The obvious driver for this question is cost of education.  The USA has some incredibly expensive education to start with.  Near monopoly status enjoyed by the government on this makes costs difficult to control on the K-12 system.  Being unable to fire bad teachers sure doesn't help either.  College costs have skyrocketed starting with the introduction of government funded monopoly on student loans.

The costs can and have been addressed in a variety of ways around the world.  Here in the US, private and charter schools already operate on a fraction of the budget per student of the standard schools.  Charter schools are often exempt from the teachers union requiring teachers to have expensive degrees in order to get a teaching position, for topics you learned in elementary school.  They are able to look for teachers who teach well, regardless of if they have the standard government required certificate, and often at lower cost, since the teacher isn't in massive debt from getting the certificate. 

We can also look around to other countries for ideas such as fewer years on the standard system, which is made easier by a year round school cycle instead of having summers off.  Summers off are currently followed by a couple months just getting students back to where they left off.   Other countries have a stronger emphasis on trade schools and on the job training through apprenticeship rather than the university system here.  So by the time students here are in high school and are flipping burgers, they are already employed as electricians etc.

Costs would also be reduced by simply removing that entire federal and state government levels of bureaucracy.  Being able to fire the infamous bad teachers that game the system and pull six figure salaries while not being legally allowed to teach but are tenured will remove some crazy costs too.

Ok, were now looking at a much lower overall cost than the current system. 

Historically charities (especially religious charities) have been and still are very much involved in supporting the poor in health care and education.  Some fund this directly themselves.  For example there is a group of religious based charity hospitals nearby.  They offer free medical care through standard revenue generating service that other hospitals engage in.  (Imagine how much cheaper medical care could be with a truly free market system.)  I have heard of schools that do this as well.

Charities gain their support and funding through proof that they are efficient with money.  They are more effective at eliminating waste and finding fraud than the government is. 

Now lets assume everyone has the current payroll taxes normally spent on high cost education back in their pockets.  Many people don't realize companies have to match some taxes on the back side of their pay checks that they never see.  The USA has long been recognized as incredibly charitable, despite the recent and continuing drop-off due to the moral and financial separation people feel when the government takes over the safety net role in communities.  There would likely be more people willing and able to donate to charity.

Between efficiencies lowering time and cost requirements, funding efficiencies, and a likely increase in charitable funding, there should be ample funding to help those who really need it.



How would an AnCap society defend themselves from outside attack?

I am sleepy, I will look at this one later. 
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Syock
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« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2011, 06:09:57 PM »

http://dailyanarchist.com/forum/index.php/topic,719.0.html

The video in that takes care of defense at about 33:00.

That saved me a lot of typing.  hehe
« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 06:11:30 PM by Syock » Logged

victim77
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« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2011, 12:09:21 AM »

In the past few days I actually have thought of a very good answer to how the poor will be educated. Three words: Free Internet Schooling. Its already here, and I tell you what it is here to stay. I know many people who dropped out of public high school and took online classes and finished school before they were 17. Even the ones you have to pay for are a stipend compared to private schools. This stuff really is the future, and a prime example of how there are solutions to a free society behind every corner.
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