Market Anarchy

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JonScholar
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Market Anarchy

Postby JonScholar » Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:03 am UTC

I don't see anything else here on this subject. I think we should have a discussion about it, since there seem to be more advocates of MA theory these days. I'll start off the thread with a repost from Graveyard of the Gods.

Spoiler:
JonScholar wrote:Education Won't be Available for Many in Market Anarchy

For a simple reason: they won't be able to afford it. The current education system, functions because higher income earners subsidize the cost of education for those who can't afford it on their own. In the current system those of lower incomes pay little to nothing for their education. Because of this, the US is capable of giving an education to just about everyone in the country, giving us an educated and much more diverse market.

This system is by no means perfect. A dependence on property taxes makes it so that rich neighborhoods tend to have better funded and better quality schools. This leads to the poor having an inherit disadvantage when it comes to competing in the market. There is definitely a problem, but the system proposed by Anarcho-Capitalists exacerbates the problem rather than resolving it.

In MA, the funding that was once redistributed to schools in low income to subsidize the costs of schooling, now reside in areas populated by upper class persons. All schools now require a tuition, so now poor folks who were essentially getting a free schooling have to make a decision between spending their limited resources on education or something else that might be more essential. In the vast majority of cases, low income earners simply won't be able to afford school for their children.

I'm sure the Anarcho-Capitalists here will argue that competition will drive down costs to the point where all poor families will be able to afford them. The empirical evidence strongly contradicts this. In the neo-liberal economies of Africa, we witness some of the worst educational enrollment rates in the world. Why does this happen? Because educating everyone in a country is not economically viable from a free market perspective. Many times it's not profitable to provide education in low income areas (though sometimes it is), other times the lower class simply isn't willing to pay tuition opting to use that money for other things instead. Whatever the causes, the empirical evidence is clear: privatization of education leads to drastically reduced enrollment.

And that's just enrollment, we haven't even begun talking about the quality of education in schools that exist in poor areas vs those that exist in rich areas. Of course, this is already a problem in the current system, but it bears repeating that these issues exist, perhaps even to a greater extent, in MA. In the end, even if 40%-50% (the average in African countries with high levels of privatization in schools, as opposed to the 90%-99% we have now) of the country ends up enrolled in private schools, it's pretty obvious that not all of these schools will be giving the same quality of education. Those who go to rich, well funded schools will be much more competitive in the market than those from poor areas. So basically life becomes a giant lottery. If you're born into a rich family you get a good education and a high paying job, if you're born into poverty you get little or no education and end up in the lower rungs of labor pyramid.

And life in an undereducated society, while luxurious for those near the top, is a living hell for the lower class. Lack of proper education essentially assures that the unskilled labor market will be in perpetual oversupply. Wages and working conditions are thus terrible for the people working in the unskilled labor market. You'll have people working below their means, starving to death, most likely resorting to crime before the end of it all. It will be a repeat of the labor oversupply crisis during the great depression. If you've ever read the Grapes of Wrath you'll know what to expect from MA.

Look, I'm not a communist; I have faith in the markets. I honestly believe that liberalized markets and Minarchism could function for the most part if there weren't gigantic barriers to entry (education, existing wealth) on certain professions. But the fact of the matter is there are. If we honestly want capitalism to function as it should, we need to insure that everyone has access to affordable, quality education. The largest problem with privatization of education is... it simply cannot provide that.


An interesting resource for those who haven't heard of this economic system before: http://mises.org/ . In a nutshell, Anarcho-Capitalists believe that every aspect of society should be managed and regulated by the private market. This includes legislation, security, education, etc.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Sharlos » Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:47 am UTC

I'm beginning to think that letting many aspects of our society be managed and/or regulated by a free market would be a good thing but there are some aspects of our society where I don't think it would work very well at all (or at least in its entirety).

I think my ideal system would be almost entirely managed by a free market, but with social safety nets like free or heavily subsidized education (at least for the poor) and some sort of retainer for those who are currently unemployed (whether that be a form of welfare payment, or something like a negative income tax which I prefer) in order to pay their rent, food, and costs of getting a new job.

If we don't have systems such as these in place then I have trouble seeing how those who aren't well off (or their children) will have much of a chance to get out of the poverty cycle and become productive members of society.

Now these systems could be based in the market by having unemployment insurance or education vouchers that can be used to pay for education, while allowing schools to compete for students and their money. Those are two examples that could have minimum government interference, but I can't see how they could accomplish their goals without the government existing at all (at least for education, unemployment insurance is a little trickier).

However that isn't the only concern I have, from what I understand, a market system needs a fair amount of competition to succeed, but what happens (and what is going to stop) businesses from forming monopolies (or duopolies) which would lead to very little competition. I can only see a government being capable of achieving that seeing how the companies themselves are unlikely to do it willingly.

In summary, I guess I favor having markets take control of more of our society but I'm not yet convinced it would be capable of managing our entire society without leaving the worse off in our society behind with no way to catchup or get ahead.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Le1bn1z » Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:24 am UTC

Two things:

First, there are several threads which touch on this, most recently a "Explain Libertarianism" thread which, among other things, talked abut pure market anarchy in the libertarian context.

Second, you may be making a straw man here. There aren't many who agree with market anarchy. Its an extraordinarily poorly considered system, which demands a willful ignorance of any historical analysis as an absolute prerequisite. Often, its invoked by we on the mainline political spectrum to discredit more reasonable free-market advocates, like Communism is for social democrats.

Beyond that, most people understand that market anarchy is anathema to the Adam Smith/John Stuart Mill doctrine of excellence through competition: Without the holy trinity of classical liberal market doctrine (educational opportunity, capital opportunity and competition), "market forces" is just an empty phrase, positions become largely hereditary and you might as well become a caste system or draw straws, you're so far away from a talent and contribution driven economy or society.

I don't think even the most ardent libertarians on this thread will bite for market anarchy without some deference to the classical system.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby skeptical scientist » Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:55 am UTC

Yeah, if you want debate opponents you might want to stick to GotG (if you can stand Francois Tremblay). I don't think there are any market anarchists here.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Judicator » Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:18 pm UTC

I'd hardly say that "nobody will be able to afford education" because education isn't one size fits all - there are tons of options available - technical colleges, 2 year institutions, simply working after high school, certification exams/courses, and so on. If we privatized education more heavily, this would only mean that people might think more seriously about whether or not they really need a 4 year liberal arts degree to become an accountant, when 1-2 years of accounting and business classes, plus some CPA prep classes are sufficient.

Education can be characterized as an investment decision - you're paying tuition/your time/etc in exchange for the increase in wages you expect to get in the future. If the poor are getting education for free, like anything that is free, they will likely consume more than they would have if it were at the market price. This is not necessarily a good thing. This means society is paying $20,000/year on some state school kid's tuition and the student will get a return which is less than that.

I don't think education has flourished in most of Africa because of the terrible institutional environment - governments are extremely unstable - which doesn't encourage foreign investment.

Also, not all jobs have to be skilled or unskilled - there are jobs which doesn't require a university education but can be done via certification - professions like plumbers make something like $45k/year and probably don't require expensive education. Garbage men also are apparently paid quite well http://www.indeed.com/salary/Garbage-Man.html .

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Le1bn1z » Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:33 pm UTC

Judicator wrote:I'd hardly say that "nobody will be able to afford education" because education isn't one size fits all - there are tons of options available - technical colleges, 2 year institutions, simply working after high school, certification exams/courses, and so on. If we privatized education more heavily, this would only mean that people might think more seriously about whether or not they really need a 4 year liberal arts degree to become an accountant, when 1-2 years of accounting and business classes, plus some CPA prep classes are sufficient.

Education can be characterized as an investment decision - you're paying tuition/your time/etc in exchange for the increase in wages you expect to get in the future. If the poor are getting education for free, like anything that is free, they will likely consume more than they would have if it were at the market price. This is not necessarily a good thing. This means society is paying $20,000/year on some state school kid's tuition and the student will get a return which is less than that.

I don't think education has flourished in most of Africa because of the terrible institutional environment - governments are extremely unstable - which doesn't encourage foreign investment.

Also, not all jobs have to be skilled or unskilled - there are jobs which doesn't require a university education but can be done via certification - professions like plumbers make something like $45k/year and probably don't require expensive education. Garbage men also are apparently paid quite well http://www.indeed.com/salary/Garbage-Man.html .


Oh, wow, well, never mind. We got a biter.

Market anarchy does NOT mean simply free market: it means no laws, restrictions or guarentees for anything involving money, (except sometimes some adherents cheat and permit that there be a police force to act as enforcers and collection agents)

Currently, if parents go bankrupt, or die or turn out to be psycho-killers, the children still get an education.

In market anarchy, they do not. Now, how do you suppose that orphans and the like pay for their education? You seem to be labouring under the assumption that the free market of its own accord provides everyone with enough to get by. Historically it has not and, according to any detailed model, it would not. Even Freidman, the Apostle of the New Free Market, conceded that the state would need to at least guarantee the "start up fees" for kids to reach adulthood, educated and healthy, and that a minimalist degree of welfare support was necessary, to stop society from collapsing either into revolution or into feudalism.

The competition driven free-market maximizes wealth and productivity because it gives the freedom and incentive for everyone to make the maximum use of all their potential. However, it defeats itself in generational inheritance, where a talented father or mother hands capital to an untalented son or daughter, while far more intelligent and hardworking people are left to do menial jobs because their parents could not afford education. Inheritance destroys the possibility of meaningful competition and social/economic mobility.

Market anarchy is anathema to classical liberal market economics, and to the competition-driven economy.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Zamfir » Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:26 pm UTC

Le1bn1z wrote:The competition driven free-market maximizes wealth and productivity because it gives the freedom and incentive for everyone to make the maximum use of all their potential. However, it defeats itself in generational inheritance, where a talented father or mother hands capital to an untalented son or daughter, while far more intelligent and hardworking people are left to do menial jobs because their parents could not afford education. Inheritance destroys the possibility of meaningful competition and social/economic mobility.

I never understood this complaint, at least not in this strongly meritocratic flavour. Why is a society better if its nasty menial jobs are done by people selected on lack of intelligence, instead of people selected on the lack of wealth of their parents?

The point should be that no one has to do too nasty work, and that everyone can afford a decent living..

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Judicator » Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:39 pm UTC

Le1bn1z wrote:Market anarchy does NOT mean simply free market: it means no laws, restrictions or guarentees for anything involving money, (except sometimes some adherents cheat and permit that there be a police force to act as enforcers and collection agents)

Currently, if parents go bankrupt, or die or turn out to be psycho-killers, the children still get an education.

In market anarchy, they do not. Now, how do you suppose that orphans and the like pay for their education? You seem to be labouring under the assumption that the free market of its own accord provides everyone with enough to get by. Historically it has not and, according to any detailed model, it would not. Even Freidman, the Apostle of the New Free Market, conceded that the state would need to at least guarantee the "start up fees" for kids to reach adulthood, educated and healthy, and that a minimalist degree of welfare support was necessary, to stop society from collapsing either into revolution or into feudalism.

The competition driven free-market maximizes wealth and productivity because it gives the freedom and incentive for everyone to make the maximum use of all their potential. However, it defeats itself in generational inheritance, where a talented father or mother hands capital to an untalented son or daughter, while far more intelligent and hardworking people are left to do menial jobs because their parents could not afford education. Inheritance destroys the possibility of meaningful competition and social/economic mobility.

Market anarchy is anathema to classical liberal market economics, and to the competition-driven economy.


Whoops - should have looked it up first :oops: . I don't really see how MA would at all be a stable system - just as companies seem to tend towards forming monopolies, I'd imagine the same would happen with governments.

You're right, some people won't be able to afford an education and thus won't get one. Although I think there are a lot of need based scholarships given by private institutions, and they may continue to do so even with less government funding of these scholarships, so poor but talented kids still have something.

Also I don't know that inheritance destroys markets as much as you say it does. An untalented son/daughter sitting on a bunch of cash will either spend it, so it goes to someone else, probably more talented, keep it in cash, so it goes to the US government as the currency inflates, or invest it, so it will go to talented people running publicly traded companies.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Vaniver » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:59 pm UTC

Le1bn1z wrote:The competition driven free-market maximizes wealth and productivity because it gives the freedom and incentive for everyone to make the maximum use of all their potential.
Note, for example, the extremely permissive American bankruptcy laws, designed to let entrepreneurs fail gracefully and try again. In a market anarchy situation, the standard for lending would be loansharking- where there's very little incentive to let defaulters fail gracefully.

Le1bn1z wrote:However, it defeats itself in generational inheritance, where a talented father or mother hands capital to an untalented son or daughter, while far more intelligent and hardworking people are left to do menial jobs because their parents could not afford education. Inheritance destroys the possibility of meaningful competition and social/economic mobility.
But a world without inheritance is a world without parents- the noncash elements of inheritance have seemingly far more meaningful impacts on the lives of children than the cash ones. But it's easy to get inflamed by Paris Hilton, and difficult to get inflamed by the well-adjusted nerd whose parents prepared them to succeed. Human capital impacts lifetime earnings and happiness, while financial capital transferred on death is a tiny part of the picture.

Now, does it make a big difference whether your parents have a college fund for you or not when you graduate high school? Yes, for some people- but scholarships and student loans put college squarely within the reach of people for who it will be financially rewarding. [edit] The main problem with the current system is people who get disowned/unsupported- i.e. they don't have the money individually to go to college, but need-based aid is based on their parent's income/wealth, since it would be easy for parents to pretend to disown their child for them to get a need-based scholarship.

Zamfir wrote:I never understood this complaint, at least not in this strongly meritocratic flavour. Why is a society better if its nasty menial jobs are done by people selected on lack of intelligence, instead of people selected on the lack of wealth of their parents?

The point should be that no one has to do too nasty work, and that everyone can afford a decent living..
The basis is that a "decent living" is always relative- the poorest quintile of Americans has, on the whole, higher standard of living and life expectancy than royalty of ages past- but they're on the bottom of the American social ladder now. So, if you can't equalize everyone, and someone is always going to be doing the less desirable work, they ought to be the less intelligent- particularly if your measure of "desirable" is based mostly on how thought-based it is compared to how physically-based it is. Less intelligent people will probably be more successful in and enjoy more the physically-oriented fields rather than the thought-oriented fields.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Le1bn1z » Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:04 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
Le1bn1z wrote:The competition driven free-market maximizes wealth and productivity because it gives the freedom and incentive for everyone to make the maximum use of all their potential. However, it defeats itself in generational inheritance, where a talented father or mother hands capital to an untalented son or daughter, while far more intelligent and hardworking people are left to do menial jobs because their parents could not afford education. Inheritance destroys the possibility of meaningful competition and social/economic mobility.

I never understood this complaint, at least not in this strongly meritocratic flavour. Why is a society better if its nasty menial jobs are done by people selected on lack of intelligence, instead of people selected on the lack of wealth of their parents?

The point should be that no one has to do too nasty work, and that everyone can afford a decent living..


Because in a society where the most capable are its researchers and managers, there is greater productivity, which allows for the later developments of the liberal system, including collective bargaining and government mandated minimum-wages and working conditions, to make life much better for the people working the "bottom rung" jobs.

There is some merit to the campaign to give everyone a bigger piece of the pie by "baking a bigger pie."

The classical system agrees, there has to be a minimum standard of "decent living" for all involved, if only to ensure everyone stays "in" society (rather than forming a giant communist army and smashing everything) and to ensure that the society is, ethically, worth supporting.

However, when deciding who does the difficult and complicated jobs, and reaps the benefits therefrom, wouldn't you think that ability is a far preferable metric than parentage?
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Ulc » Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:13 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
Le1bn1z wrote:The competition driven free-market maximizes wealth and productivity because it gives the freedom and incentive for everyone to make the maximum use of all their potential. However, it defeats itself in generational inheritance, where a talented father or mother hands capital to an untalented son or daughter, while far more intelligent and hardworking people are left to do menial jobs because their parents could not afford education. Inheritance destroys the possibility of meaningful competition and social/economic mobility.

I never understood this complaint, at least not in this strongly meritocratic flavour. Why is a society better if its nasty menial jobs are done by people selected on lack of intelligence, instead of people selected on the lack of wealth of their parents?


I don't know about you, but personally I really prefer to be judged on my own merits or lack thereof, than to be judged on my parents wealth.

Social inheritance in a anarchy market is fairly significant - unless your parents (and by implication, their parents, and so on) are rich, you're stuck without getting a education. I hardly think that judging on that basis whether people should be able to get a education are fair.

Now, does it make a big difference whether your parents have a college fund for you or not when you graduate high school? Yes, for some people- but scholarships and student loans put college squarely within the reach of people for who it will be financially rewarding. [edit] The main problem with the current system is people who get disowned/unsupported- i.e. they don't have the money individually to go to college, but need-based aid is based on their parent's income/wealth, since it would be easy for parents to pretend to disown their child for them to get a need-based scholarship.


The problem is, in a almost total anarchy market, scholarships and and student loans doesn't exist, since the children of poor parents doesn't even get a chance to attend high school. In a total anarchy market the don't even get primary school.

So can we all just agree that while liberal markets with as little interference of the government as absolutely can work*, but market anarchy is inherently flawed?


*Note that I say 'can work', while not commenting on whether it is desirably.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Vaniver » Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:22 pm UTC

Ulc wrote:So can we all just agree that while liberal markets with as little interference of the government as absolutely can work*, but market anarchy is inherently flawed?
Yes, we can. I am specifically respond to Le1bn1z's statement:
Le1bn1z wrote:Inheritance destroys the possibility of meaningful competition and social/economic mobility.
If inheritance were the entirety of the case, that would be so. But cash inheritance, while it impacts success in modern society, is a very small component- so while it might limit or reduce meaningful competition and social/economic mobility, it does not destroy it- and inheritance has other benefits that seem worth their cost.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Le1bn1z » Thu May 06, 2010 12:20 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:
Ulc wrote:So can we all just agree that while liberal markets with as little interference of the government as absolutely can work*, but market anarchy is inherently flawed?
Yes, we can. I am specifically respond to Le1bn1z's statement:
Le1bn1z wrote:Inheritance destroys the possibility of meaningful competition and social/economic mobility.
If inheritance were the entirety of the case, that would be so. But cash inheritance, while it impacts success in modern society, is a very small component- so while it might limit or reduce meaningful competition and social/economic mobility, it does not destroy it- and inheritance has other benefits that seem worth their cost.


You're right, of course. I was refering specifically to the function of inheretence in "market anarchy," where it causes the anarchy to become a foundation for oligarchical absolutism, rather than radical liberalism.

Within the context of liberal-democratic checks and balances (as generally exist in all major democracies), inheretence can actually be a very positive thing, or at the very least tolerable.

Its when such balances are removed that accumulative wealth can lead to ownership of people and/or the supression of competition, the opposite of what market anarchy, supposedly, wishes to encourage.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Ixtellor » Thu May 06, 2010 4:44 pm UTC

Its a failed concept that not even AnCaps can agree on.

First, and devestating blow, to the philsophy.

Children and the Non-Aggression Principle.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-aggression_principle

Are children property, or do they have full NAP rights?
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Fri May 07, 2010 3:53 am UTC

In my opinion (and I'm basically just paraphrasing Ayn Rand here), anarcho-capitalism commits the "fallacy of the stolen concept". That is to say that it uses a concept while negating a more basic concept on which it relies. Anarcho-capitalism does this by demanding a free market in the use of force, rather than a government monopoly on it. But what do we mean by a free market? Clearly, freedom from the use of force to compel action. Thus, anarcho-capitalism is logically unsound because it assumes freedom from the use of force when "shopping around" for force-using services. While I don't believe that anarcho-capitalism would lead to the nightmare you seem to think it would because of the strong influence of civil society, rights would obviously, as John Locke said best, be very "insecure". This is why government is a necessary good, if limited to the police, courts, and military (as well as ancillary things like a legislature, etc.).

That said, your example about education is unsound in any case. First of all, a free society does not lead to a rigid class system like the one described in the example. Rather, feudalistic/patron-client-based societies do so (coincidentally, the latter is the exact kind of society found in most African countries) because they lead to economic ascendancy based on connections and heredity, not merit. While it's true that in a truly capitalist society, people would have the right to pass down all their wealth to their children, the inherent forces of the market wear down vast fortunes surprisingly quickly, simply because unproductive heirs consume much more than they produce (unless the heirs are their parents' equals). Consider the Vanderbilts: they were once one of the wealthiest families in America, but in less than 100 years they lost the vast majority of their fortune; however, the name lives on in Vanderbilt University, a societally beneficial institution they set up. And what do you know: Vanderbilt University, being a nationally-ranked school that can pick and choose from its applicants, accepts students on a purely merit-based set of criteria and meets 100% of students' demonstrated financial need. Indeed, all the best universities in America do so, and many of them don't even require part of the tuition to be payed via student loans. They literally give money to poor people who meet their standards because they can recoup it from the rich people who also want to go there (and are not considered separately).

Now, at this point, I know exactly what your objection will be: that's all very nice for those elite schools, but how is one supposed to get into one without a good primary/secondary education? And what about middle-range people who aren't good enough to get accepted in any case? The answer is that there's no reason the same sort of system can't work at the level the state currently provides as a subsidized service. High-quality schools want to seek out the best students, regardless of ability to pay, because they know it will increase their stature and encourage applications from people who can pay. Even the private school I attend, which is hardly an "elite" institution, will void over half of low-income students' tuition if they meet certain standards, which aren't very high; I'll tell you. (And they could charge a lot higher tuition from the people who can pay if those people weren't taxed to pay for public education and then made to pay full tuition to a private school, too.) The other point is the simple fact that everyone is not cut out for the same kind of education that "one size fits all" compulsory education and the "send-everybody-with-a-pulse-to-college" mentality calls for. People are different, with different interests and different abilities, and they ought to be given different kinds of education, rather than the current system in which maybe 10% of students (myself included) enjoy learning and function well in the current system and the large majority are bored out of their minds, only to be criticized for being lazy, stupid, and insufficiently self-motivated to learn. The liberal arts/sciences bias in this country's policy forces these people to be strung along when they're best cut out for, say, vocational training, a modern form of apprenticeship, or direct entry into the workforce, not understanding the formation of ATP through electron-transport phosphorylation. As for how students from poor families would be able to pay for the part of the education not sponsored by someone else, I see nothing wrong with a system of student loans for primary/secondary education tied to the student, not the parents. This would encourage schools to accept even the poorest students as long as they could reasonably expect a return on their investment (by producing a skilled worker with the ability to make money and repay the loan).

It's true that children of rich parents still have a comparative advantage: they are given the benefit of the doubt about whether they're really cut out for an advanced education, and poor children are not. But it's parents' right to be able to over-educate their children if they have the money to blow on it. More basically, that's why parents make sacrifices to earn money in the first place: to provide for their children. I think that this is one problem with social democrats in general: they don't want to abolish money, like Communists, but merely to abolish its use in allocating the supply of anything practically useful. In the perfect social democrat world, the only things the market would supply would be diamonds and Ferraris.

In addition, and this is certainly controversial, I think that low-income parents should be able to sell their custodial rights to their children. Now, before you start ranting about the poor being sold into slavery, all I'm saying is that parents should be able to transfer something they can already legally do for no payment (which we call adoption) for a price; rather ironically, this is the same reason prostitution ought to be legal. People who pay for custodial guardianship would have no more rights to "own" or control their children than any other parents (which would probably be slightly less in a free society), and abuse would be prosecuted just as severely. This practice would help struggling people in the "depths of poverty" immensely. Right now, single (or even married) pregnant women in poverty have three choices: raising the child (hugely expensive), abortion (a cost, emotionally, physically, and monetarily), and adoption (also emotionally costly and a huge hassle). I see no reason why they should have to give up their children to others without the right to demand any payment in return for the emotional suffering/time involved that might be incurred by doing so. In addition, because wealthy people would be preferred as adoptive parents and more adoption would be encouraged in general, this would increase the flow of children across "class" lines.

This has gone off on quite a tangent from Market Anarchy as a concept (which, I agree, is very flawed), but I hope you see that a laissez-faire capitalist free society is not, in truth, one where some sort of neo-feudal caste system develops. To say that it would doesn't even make sense, because such a society would be much worse, comparatively, for even the extremely rich. Everyone, including the rich, should act according to his own enlightened self-interest, and medieval social order is in no one's long-term self-interest (it only survived in the first place because the military brute social order was given moral legitimacy by Christianity and its teachings of other-focused morality and obedience to "worldly princes"). The quality of life feudal kings had pales in comparison with that of the middle-class (heck, even the working-class) American in most measurable respects. See this really interesting video.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby snapshot182 » Fri May 07, 2010 3:57 am UTC

I disagree with the idea that market anarchy is an economic system, as though anarchy is somehow an intended goal or effect. Market anarchy is the result of adhering to a philosophy of non-aggression and non-fraud, or more positively, living with philosophical integrity and logical consistency.

I think one of the main reasons that free markets have utterly failed in the philosophical realm is because people are constantly trying to preach their benefits, rather than preaching free markets as simply one of the benefits of a non-violent society. As a result, violence and fraud consistently get tangled up in anti-free market thinking, with people asserting that in order to combat the violence and fraud of the free market, we need a stable governing force to reign them in. This is fallacious thinking that is impossible to point out if one's motive is not first, and above all else, a commitment to non-violence.

We will achieve market anarchy if we, as individuals in our society, understand and achieve a consistently non-violent point of view in our lives. And if enough people understand that violence is the only factor which makes government possible, it will crumble away. Personally, I think a non-violent society will be infinitely better than one in which were worried about whether the poor will achieve an education. I'd much rather worry about that than how to get rid of the violent monopoly that is the state.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Fri May 07, 2010 4:13 am UTC

snapshot182 wrote:I disagree with the idea that market anarchy is an economic system, as though anarchy is somehow an intended goal or effect. Market anarchy is the result of adhering to a philosophy of non-aggression and non-fraud, or more positively, living with philosophical integrity and logical consistency.

I think one of the main reasons that free markets have utterly failed in the philosophical realm is because people are constantly trying to preach their benefits, rather than preaching free markets as simply one of the benefits of a non-violent society. As a result, violence and fraud consistently get tangled up in anti-free market thinking, with people asserting that in order to combat the violence and fraud of the free market, we need a stable governing force to reign them in. This is fallacious thinking that is impossible to point out if one's motive is not first, and above all else, a commitment to non-violence.

We will achieve market anarchy if we, as individuals in our society, understand and achieve a consistently non-violent point of view in our lives. And if enough people understand that violence is the only factor which makes government possible, it will crumble away. Personally, I think a non-violent society will be infinitely better than one in which were worried about whether the poor will achieve an education. I'd much rather worry about that than how to get rid of the violent monopoly that is the state.


While I agree with you on the vital importance of a non-aggressive society and on the fact that most people way over-emphasize the economic part of laissez-faire capitalism over the political/social part, there still must be a limited government, based on objective laws, in order to secure people's rights. Government is not an evil, even a "necessary evil" (which cannot properly exist), if it keeps to its proper limits. If nothing else, a minimal government in place stops the establishment of socialist looter-states, something you and I can both agree is very troublesome for freedom. I'm interested in hearing what you have to say to what I just said in my previous post, since you seem to be the only person here supporting anarcho-capitalism, which is something I can respect for its commitment to non-aggression (a better word than non-violence, since violence in defense of life, liberty, and property—retaliatory violence—is totally justified), if not totally agree with.

Also, another problem with anarcho-capitalism is that it lacks a proper philosophical basis, metaphysically, epistemologically, and ethically, to back it up, unlike minarchy, which is supported by Objectivism. This leads to several gaps in the basic foundations behind it, most notably the fact that it takes liberty as an absolute that comes first before all things. However, properly understood, life comes first in ethics, and life is promoted by the use of reason. Liberty is good insofar as it allows the use of reason without its being limited by the use of force, since reason doesn't work under the barrel of a gun. However, since liberty doesn't actually come first in ethics, it has to make minor sacrifices to promote life, the most basic good.

However, I'm still with you 95% of the way on abolishing government. :D

ETA: I also completely forgot to mention that government must be paid for in some sort of voluntary fashion, not through taxes, in order to have a free, or voluntary, society. This can be donations, user fees, even lotteries, and such a system of payments would be viable because the government would be almost unimaginably smaller and less wasteful (by necessity, since people aren't going to voluntarily fund waste).
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby snapshot182 » Fri May 07, 2010 4:45 am UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:While I agree with you on the vital importance of a non-aggressive society and on the fact that most people way over-emphasize the economic part of laissez-faire capitalism over the political/social part, there still must be a limited government, based on objective laws, in order to secure people's rights. Government is not an evil, even a "necessary evil" (which cannot properly exist), if it keeps to its proper limits. If nothing else, a minimal government in place stops the establishment of socialist looter-states, something you and I can both agree is very troublesome for freedom.

I certainly agree that socialist looter states are a big problem--and I truly appreciate your kind words--but they are a problem for a reason. Looting is not OK in small amounts if it is not OK is large amounts. Stealing is stealing, and a threat of violence is a threat of violence, no matter how large or how small. So I can't logically support a state in any sense if the basis for its existence relies on its moral right to commit violence against me if I don't support it. We don't accept this sort of action of any other person or institution in order society, but with government, it's given a pass. So, why be against the looter state at all? I'm against the looter state for the same reasons I'm against a minimalist government, though I can certainly see why one would be preferred over another if one were given a choice.

I'm interested in hearing what you have to say to what I just said in my previous post, since you seem to be the only person here supporting anarcho-capitalism, which is something I can respect for its commitment to non-aggression (a better word than non-violence, since violence in defense of life, liberty, and property—retaliatory violence—is totally justified), if not totally agree with.

I agree with 90% of what you said, and I honestly thought I was going to hate the rest of your post after I read the first few sentences. I was pleasantly surprised and rather excited, as you seem to be a person to whom I can relate my ideas, as opposed to someone who is completely against the concept of non-aggression (which I wholeheartedly believe is a term more appropos for the philosophy, however, I do think non-violence should be the ultimate goal).

The only part I disagree with is the idea of government being good due to the effects of government rather than the acts of government. I don't believe we can judge goodness based on the effects of our actions if the actions themselves involve aggression and fraud. For example, I don't accept that holding up people on the street for their money, so that we may have money to give to charity, could be considered a good thing. In the same light, I don't accept threatening an entire population with the threat of jailtime or death (should they choose to meet their captors with like force) can be considered good if the result is that roads get built or children get educated. So the part of your post of which I am most critical is your defense of government as a necessary good. I cannot accept the notion of aggression against innocent people ever being considered "good" in any capacity. The act of aggression is still an act motivated by self-interest--however noble the intent may be--and this act of dominating another human being means that human being is not allow to act out his preferences in the same manner as the aggressor. Therefore, aggression wins and prospers while peaceful dwindle. This is also why I see minimal government as being impossible, since not only is the government a beacon for criminals--due to the immense, inherent power of being part of an institution with a monopoly on the use of violence--but the aggression itself stamps out the acts of peace which threaten it. Therefore, I cannot, in good conscience, ever consider government as good in any capacity, other than relative to some worse outcome.

Also, another problem with anarcho-capitalism is that it lacks a proper philosophical basis, metaphysically, epistemologically, and ethically, to back it up, unlike minarchy, which is supported by Objectivism. This leads to several gaps in the basic foundations behind it, most notably the fact that it takes liberty as an absolute that comes first before all things. However, properly understood, life comes first in ethics, and life is promoted by the use of reason. Liberty is good insofar as it allows the use of reason without its being limited by the use of force, since reason doesn't work under the barrel of a gun. However, since liberty doesn't actually come first in ethics, it has to make minor sacrifices to promote life, the most basic good.

However, I'm still with you 95% of the way on abolishing government. :D

I'm a huge fan of freedomainradio. Stefan Molyneux has made huge strides in the area of objective methodology for discovering moral truths. I tried to demonstrate the methodology in my post by pointing out the inconsistency of the basis of government (and I'll try to do it again now), which is, in essence, an institution intended to limit violence and fraud in a society while maintaining a monopoly on violence. If one values the principle of non-aggression, one cannot philosophically maintain an adherence to government. If one does not hold a value the principle of non-aggression, then, essentially, one only adheres to it when it suits him, which I find lacking in integrity.

Keep in mind, I'm not trying to attack you, saying you don't have integrity or are inconsistent. These are just my views and I can't be sure of whether or not you've heard them before. I don't mean anything as an insult and perhaps my method in explaining my views is flawed, but know that I don't mean to offend you. You're absolutely right in that we both agree 95% of the way. I don't want that 5% to ruin the other 95%.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Fri May 07, 2010 4:59 am UTC

Well, I do believe that you can only criticize anarcho-capitalism from a truly voluntarily-funded, minimal government. In that case, I don't think that it is aggression to say, "No, you cannot set up your own military, court system, and police force because this one already protects liberty; the only other possible thing you could do would be to infringe on it to some extent." I've definitely heard what you've said before: I'm generally a fan of Murray Rothbard, and he is basically the founder of modern anarcho-capitalism. By the way, you might want to check out For a New Liberty by him, if you haven't already read it. The Mises Institute has it online for free (yay, anti-copyright, the main thing I disagree with Ayn Rand about!).
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby snapshot182 » Fri May 07, 2010 4:17 pm UTC

I don't think that it is aggression to say, "No, you cannot set up your own military, court system, and police force because this one already protects liberty; the only other possible thing you could do would be to infringe on it to some extent."
To me, this sounds like an argument for a one-world government. Can there be only one? If not, what limits governments from stopping the creation of new governments? Distance? Agreements? Natural barriers?

The thing I have not yet understood about objectivist government is this: who owns the jurisdiction? Governments, by definition, claim their land by force rather than acquire their land through labor or trade. This, to me, is anathema to property rights. If there were to be a government which did not violate property rights, it would have to be consensual among people who own their land. Any other creation of an institution of government would require taking over the property of those within the claimed jurisdiction. If the people in government can maintain a claim over a territory by force, then why can't anyone else. And if a government cannot claim a territory by force--as it conflicts with the concept of property rights--then why can't someone else setup a government right next door?

This seems to me to be a conflicting set of moral rules, a conflict that is the basis for both of our detest of the government in the first place. Why does the government get to tax but we don't? Why the government get to initiate violence, but we're punished when we do? Why does the government get to claim land by force but we can't? There is an arbitrary distinction between who gets to initiate violence and who doesn't, that is only in place because the government has overwhelming force and can protect itself and its jurisdiction. Other than the fact that it can quash dissenters and revolutionaries, there's no reason that it has any of these abilities. The only reason is "because I said so" or "it's in the interest of the greater good" or some other utilitarian argument--just like the utilitarian argument that we need an institution to promote objective law.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Fri May 07, 2010 6:33 pm UTC

snapshot182 wrote:
I don't think that it is aggression to say, "No, you cannot set up your own military, court system, and police force because this one already protects liberty; the only other possible thing you could do would be to infringe on it to some extent."
To me, this sounds like an argument for a one-world government. Can there be only one? If not, what limits governments from stopping the creation of new governments? Distance? Agreements? Natural barriers?


I don't have any problem with a one-world government, in theory. In fact, I think it should be the eventual political goal of the world. Now, that's not to say it wouldn't be a federal government with localized decision-making, but there could at least be an ultimate body of arbitration. This wouldn't damage liberty, but, if properly done, enhance it. Consider the U.S. Constitution, which created a vastly more centralized government than the Articles of Confederation: it protected liberty because it allowed the federal government to stop the abuses the states were inflicting on their own people and on free trade. Now, some anarcho-capitalists support the Articles, which I find quite odd, since high state taxes, trade restrictions, and ridiculous expansion of the money supply were the norm under that system. Of course, when we speak of a one-world government that protects liberty (heck, when we're talking minimal government anywhere), we're talking far future.

The thing I have not yet understood about objectivist government is this: who owns the jurisdiction? Governments, by definition, claim their land by force rather than acquire their land through labor or trade. This, to me, is anathema to property rights. If there were to be a government which did not violate property rights, it would have to be consensual among people who own their land. Any other creation of an institution of government would require taking over the property of those within the claimed jurisdiction. If the people in government can maintain a claim over a territory by force, then why can't anyone else. And if a government cannot claim a territory by force--as it conflicts with the concept of property rights--then why can't someone else setup a government right next door?


I'm not really following you here. The U.S. government currently owns an enormous amount of land, but there's no reason it has to. Certainly governments aren't considered to own everything in their jurisdiction. In a voluntary society, there would be no "public land" (the existence of a commons is precisely what causes the tragedy of the commons). Needless to say, it would not have the power of eminent domain. Now, as for the buildings like courthouses and legislatures, there's no reason the government couldn't just buy those with its voluntarily paid funds (alternatively, some people argue that the government should only lease, not own, real estate, which has some merit).

One thing that you didn't bring up, but which is an important point, is how leaders would be selected for the government of a free society. Personally, I think that, morally speaking, all methods, e.g. heredity, drawing lots, elections, are equally valid. Practically, though, democracy is almost certainly the best way to preserve liberty over time. I think that as long as a government is sticking to objective laws and preserving liberty, then it has legitimacy. However, if it oversteps its bounds, people have the right of revolution to get rid of it and try some other form of government. I would also add that it's quite possible for a libertarian government to fail (e.g. by not collecting enough payments to function) without doing anything "wrong" if the societal culture is not one suited to free interaction and the rule of law. Good government has to rise up out of the cultural base, not be imposed on it from above.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby snapshot182 » Fri May 07, 2010 7:22 pm UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:I don't have any problem with a one-world government, in theory. In fact, I think it should be the eventual political goal of the world. Now, that's not to say it wouldn't be a federal government with localized decision-making, but there could at least be an ultimate body of arbitration. This wouldn't damage liberty, but, if properly done, enhance it. Consider the U.S. Constitution, which created a vastly more centralized government than the Articles of Confederation: it protected liberty because it allowed the federal government to stop the abuses the states were inflicting on their own people and on free trade. Now, some anarcho-capitalists support the Articles, which I find quite odd, since high state taxes, trade restrictions, and ridiculous expansion of the money supply were the norm under that system. Of course, when we speak of a one-world government that protects liberty (heck, when we're talking minimal government anywhere), we're talking far future.
The problem with one-world government is the same problem with government in general, only greater. The government attracts corrupt people, since government is an institution which has a monopoly on the initiation of force. Also, you're saying that the Constitution stopped the abuses that the states were inflicting on the people and free trade; but the problem always comes down to: Who watches the watchers?

I'm not really following you here. The U.S. government currently owns an enormous amount of land, but there's no reason it has to. Certainly governments aren't considered to own everything in their jurisdiction. In a voluntary society, there would be no "public land" (the existence of a commons is precisely what causes the tragedy of the commons). Needless to say, it would not have the power of eminent domain. Now, as for the buildings like courthouses and legislatures, there's no reason the government couldn't just buy those with its voluntarily paid funds (alternatively, some people argue that the government should only lease, not own, real estate, which has some merit).
If in a government, there is no public land, then government land would also have to be private and owned by someone or some group. Those people would only be able to have jurisdiction over those people who voluntarily agreed to be under their jurisdiction. Therefore, governments wouldn't have territories; they would have customers. And there's no reason that different people couldn't be provided services from different governments. And there's no reason that governments would have to function as governments currently do.

One thing that you didn't bring up, but which is an important point, is how leaders would be selected for the government of a free society. Personally, I think that, morally speaking, all methods, e.g. heredity, drawing lots, elections, are equally valid. Practically, though, democracy is almost certainly the best way to preserve liberty over time. I think that as long as a government is sticking to objective laws and preserving liberty, then it has legitimacy. However, if it oversteps its bounds, people have the right of revolution to get rid of it and try some other form of government. I would also add that it's quite possible for a libertarian government to fail (e.g. by not collecting enough payments to function) without doing anything "wrong" if the societal culture is not one suited to free interaction and the rule of law. Good government has to rise up out of the cultural base, not be imposed on it from above.

This is one thing that I was really proud of myself for realizing; I'm glad I have a chance to bring it up here.

In politics, you do not choose outcomes; you choose your leaders. In a free market, you do not choose your leaders; you choose your outcomes.

We can't choose who the CEO of Verizon is, but we can choose whether or not we want to buy their services. You can choose who your politician is, but you cannot choose whether or not you want his services rendered.

The former is freedom. The latter is oppression. The former is freedom because it's a consequence of free association. People should be able to produce and provide services for whomever they choose, as long as they do not use force or fraud in order to achieve their goals. With government, you do not have a choice whether or not someone will have aggressive power over you or whether or not to accept their decrees; the only choice you have is who will have that power over you.

If you associate your vision of government with the former (as many objectivists that I've spoken to have a near identical vision of government as I have when thoroughly debated) then what you have is a free market system in the governing forces in society come from the people rather than from the government. But, this requires getting people to think rationally and giving up on the idea that you have to have government in order to force people to act decently toward each other--since the very idea of using violence in order to get people to act cordially is a contradiction.

I bet if we debated further, and really fleshed out our vision of a future free society, our visions would be incredibly similar. I believe it is semantics that is showing our visions as more separate than they really are.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Fri May 07, 2010 7:43 pm UTC

snapshot182 wrote:If in a government, there is no public land, then government land would also have to be private and owned by someone or some group. Those people would only be able to have jurisdiction over those people who voluntarily agreed to be under their jurisdiction. Therefore, governments wouldn't have territories; they would have customers. And there's no reason that different people couldn't be provided services from different governments. And there's no reason that governments would have to function as governments currently do.


I disagree with your assertion that people would have to voluntarily submit to the government in order for it to take any action against them; outlaws aren't going to do that. I think an optimal government would have jurisdiction over everyone who is not covered by an equally good government. This is why I think people are wrong when they refer to the Iraq War as "illegal, unjustified, aggressive, etc." Of course it was justified: Saddam Hussein was oppressing his people and no one else was doing anything about it, so we certainly had the right to go in and kill him. I think we have the right to do that to any dictator. The Iraq War was unwise, not unjustified. (Not to mention that it was funded by taxes and deficit spending, which a minimal government cannot do, anyway.) Of course, some Objectivists, like those at the Ayn Rand Institute, tend to lose sight of the latter part, there.

I bet if we debated further, and really fleshed out our vision of a future free society, our visions would be incredibly similar. I believe it is semantics that is showing our visions as more separate than they really are.


I agree. Libertarianism suffers far too much from in-house fighting over utlitarianism vs. natural rights and minarchy v. anarchy. (I don't know if you're aware that Murray Rothbard called F.A. Hayek an "evil" man because he was a utilitarian. :roll: ) People have a tendency to sacrifice the good in favor of the perfect.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby snapshot182 » Fri May 07, 2010 9:12 pm UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:I disagree with your assertion that people would have to voluntarily submit to the government in order for it to take any action against them; outlaws aren't going to do that. I think an optimal government would have jurisdiction over everyone who is not covered by an equally good government. This is why I think people are wrong when they refer to the Iraq War as "illegal, unjustified, aggressive, etc." Of course it was justified: Saddam Hussein was oppressing his people and no one else was doing anything about it, so we certainly had the right to go in and kill him. I think we have the right to do that to any dictator. The Iraq War was unwise, not unjustified. (Not to mention that it was funded by taxes and deficit spending, which a minimal government cannot do, anyway.) Of course, some Objectivists, like those at the Ayn Rand Institute, tend to lose sight of the latter part, there.
You're entirely right. I definitely misspoke. What I believe I meant was--and correct me if you're able--is that all transactions between people would have to be voluntary; if they weren't, then that would go against the principle of non-aggression. This is why dispute resolution organizations would likely pop up in place of governments in a free society. These DROs would act as a sort of insurance provider that would seek to minimize risk to its customers. A customer would essentially have the protection of the DRO through insurance and the actions taken by DROs to decrease risk in order to reduce payout. So the DROs take over the safety and security aspect of government.

I agree. Libertarianism suffers far too much from in-house fighting over utlitarianism vs. natural rights and minarchy v. anarchy. (I don't know if you're aware that Murray Rothbard called F.A. Hayek an "evil" man because he was a utilitarian. :roll: ) People have a tendency to sacrifice the good in favor of the perfect.
That's weird. I don't know if I would call anyone evil because they were utilitarian. I may call someone evil if they performed an evil act and then claimed it was for the greater good. I hope you see the distinction.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Fri May 07, 2010 9:41 pm UTC

snapshot182 wrote:
Vox Imperatoris wrote:I disagree with your assertion that people would have to voluntarily submit to the government in order for it to take any action against them; outlaws aren't going to do that. I think an optimal government would have jurisdiction over everyone who is not covered by an equally good government. This is why I think people are wrong when they refer to the Iraq War as "illegal, unjustified, aggressive, etc." Of course it was justified: Saddam Hussein was oppressing his people and no one else was doing anything about it, so we certainly had the right to go in and kill him. I think we have the right to do that to any dictator. The Iraq War was unwise, not unjustified. (Not to mention that it was funded by taxes and deficit spending, which a minimal government cannot do, anyway.) Of course, some Objectivists, like those at the Ayn Rand Institute, tend to lose sight of the latter part, there.
You're entirely right. I definitely misspoke. What I believe I meant was--and correct me if you're able--is that all transactions between people would have to be voluntary; if they weren't, then that would go against the principle of non-aggression. This is why dispute resolution organizations would likely pop up in place of governments in a free society. These DROs would act as a sort of insurance provider that would seek to minimize risk to its customers. A customer would essentially have the protection of the DRO through insurance and the actions taken by DROs to decrease risk in order to reduce payout. So the DROs take over the safety and security aspect of government.


The problem, as I see it, is what happens when Joe, who subscribes to DRO A, claims that Mike, who subscribes to DRO B, robbed him. (I'm taking these DROs to be some kind of police/court hybrid, or at least courts that employ police.) Joe demonstrates to DRO A's evidentiary standard of probable cause that Mike robbed him, so DRO A's agents go to arrest Mike. Mike claims total innocence, and DRO B backs him up, saying that it would be unjust for DRO A's agents to arrest him. What are they going to do, duke it out?

Now, Murray Rothbard discusses this exact situation in For a New Liberty, but he just skates around the problem by saying that the companies, recognizing that violence would be stupid, will agree on an appeals court to arbitrate for the arbitrators. What if Mike doesn't accept that decision either, if it is against him? Mumblemumblemumble. (Actually, he says that people would somehow agree in advance that a decision agreed upon by any two courts would be binding.) Also, anyone who does not subscribe to a DRO would apparently have fall under some sort of outlawry where anyone could kill him without punishment.

Don't get me wrong; I'm all for increasing the use of private arbitration (and indeed it could eliminate most of what our courts currently do, like divorce and small claims nonsense), but there has to be some ultimate standard for cases in which people just can't agree to a judgement.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby snapshot182 » Fri May 07, 2010 10:11 pm UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:The problem, as I see it, is what happens when Joe, who subscribes to DRO A, claims that Mike, who subscribes to DRO B, robbed him. (I'm taking these DROs to be some kind of police/court hybrid, or at least courts that employ police.) Joe demonstrates to DRO A's evidentiary standard of probable cause that Mike robbed him, so DRO A's agents go to arrest Mike. Mike claims total innocence, and DRO B backs him up, saying that it would be unjust for DRO A's agents to arrest him. What are they going to do, duke it out?

Now, Murray Rothbard discusses this exact situation in For a New Liberty, but he just skates around the problem by saying that the companies, recognizing that violence would be stupid, will agree on an appeals court to arbitrate for the arbitrators. What if Mike doesn't accept that decision either, if it is against him? Mumblemumblemumble. (Actually, he says that people would somehow agree in advance that a decision agreed upon by any two courts would be binding.) Also, anyone who does not subscribe to a DRO would apparently have fall under some sort of outlawry where anyone could kill him without punishment.
The way I see it--I guess Rothbard never got into the specifics--there are better solutions than violence. There would be no need to arrest anyone since all arresting someone does is take them out of social interactions. Taking people out of social interactions can be done with no violence whatsoever. What has to be done is increase the cost of living in society based upon your risk rating. This is a lot like a credit rating. If you pose a risk/have committed a crime, you are a risk to everyone, not just the people in your DRO or another DRO. Therefore, there is a mutual desire between DROs to work together. The desire to not use violence--in order to avoid unnecessary disputes between DROs--is what brings about this solution. So when a person who commits a crime attempts to buy, say, a pack of gum, the price is either higher for him than everyone else, or he is restricted to only buying items necessary for survival. Those who choose to sell the gum anyway also pose a risk to society--as they are aiding and abetting--so the incentive will be to not deal with these people.

The person need not be brought in against his/her will, and perhaps may choose to live out life socially ostracized, but the person may always have the opportunity to turn himself in, in order to pay restitution for his crimes, whatever they may be. And if harms comes upon this person in the act of committing another crime, perhaps minimal to no punishment would come to the person who caused the harm, as the accused was free to turn himself in and was free to live his life in the absence of society's benefits and amenities.

Keep in mind, this may not be how it works out; but this is a possible solution. I don't think that the fact that Murray Rothbard's solution--if he had one at all--didn't do anything for you matters at all. The solution, itself, is not what matters. What matters, in my opinion, is that we not give up on trying to find non-violent solutions to social problems. If violence is the main problem with government, then we must strive that much harder to avoid it when seeking to rid ourselves of government. If we can have a free society, free of government, we should. If we can't, it shouldn't be for a lack of will or because we gave up. It would be a shame if we strived for peace but ended up with violence; but I'd rather that than strived for violence and fooled ourselves into thinking it was peace.

Don't get me wrong; I'm all for increasing the use of private arbitration (and indeed it could eliminate most of what our courts currently do, like divorce and small claims nonsense), but there has to be some ultimate standard for cases in which people just can't agree to a judgement.

The ultimate standard is logic and empiricism--since they are not up for debate--and applying the same standards to all people, whomever they may be. If someone thinks that stealing is OK, then stealing from that person is OK. If someone thinks that murder is OK, then murdering that person is OK. I don't believe we have to go to these lengths to prove that these things are wrong, though; I do believe that we will arrive at standards, which will be considered basic human decency, and even objective morality, if we use reason to methodologically determine which acts can be universally conducted and which acts limit the lives of others through force or fraud. I don't accept the idea that we need a government to deal objective justice when it's plainly obvious that murder is wrong and stealing is wrong. We need institutions to handle the disputes when the facts don't present themselves in their entirety--but we don't need government for that.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Fri May 07, 2010 10:41 pm UTC

snapshot182 wrote:The ultimate standard is logic and empiricism--since they are not up for debate--and applying the same standards to all people, whomever they may be. If someone thinks that stealing is OK, then stealing from that person is OK. If someone thinks that murder is OK, then murdering that person is OK. I don't believe we have to go to these lengths to prove that these things are wrong, though; I do believe that we will arrive at standards, which will be considered basic human decency, and even objective morality, if we use reason to methodologically determine which acts can be universally conducted and which acts limit the lives of others through force or fraud. I don't accept the idea that we need a government to deal objective justice when it's plainly obvious that murder is wrong and stealing is wrong. We need institutions to handle the disputes when the facts don't present themselves in their entirety--but we don't need government for that.


Okay, you're first assertion—that it's okay to murder people who think murder is OK—is wrong. Socialists believe in a philosophy that, if taken to its logical extent, would bring murder, theft, and widespread human misery. That doesn't mean I can do a drive-by shooting at a socialist convention. Force can only be used in response to actual aggression, not theoretically implied aggression. Even a Nazi who believes that all Jews should be shot deserves to live, as long as he doesn't actually kill any Jews.

The second problem is that you're assuming that criminals will act rationally, when crime is an inherently irrational activity (ever notice how the average criminal isn't too bright?), and you're ignoring the risk criminals on the loose pose to society. If I am a sociopathic murderer, I am an active menace to society, and I need to be locked up or killed. I can't be relied upon to show in court and submit to whatever judgement it hands down, especially not if I know it will be extreme. Some people must be arrested and taken out of social interactions because those interactions are going to end in violence and death. And if I am declared an outlaw (which, by the way, would be a rather harsh punishment if it were for a petty crime that I escaped punishment for), I am going to do everything possible to establish a new identity, flee to another area, and subscribe to a new DRO. There's a reason why criminals like to flee to foreign countries and establish new identities—it makes catching them very difficult. Extradition is a complex and burdensome process, and anarcho-capitalism would make it a part of almost every criminal case.

Now, I don't believe, with most people, than anarcho-capitalism would lead to total loss of societal order and crime everywhere because people usually act fairly rationally. The problem is that they don't always do so, and you've got to have some way to deal with those people. Minarchy addresses this problem in a much better way.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby nitePhyyre » Sat May 08, 2010 5:38 am UTC

snapshot182 wrote:I don't accept that holding up people on the street for their money, so that we may have money to give to charity, could be considered a good thing. In the same light, I don't accept threatening an entire population with the threat of jailtime or death (should they choose to meet their captors with like force) can be considered good if the result is that roads get built or children get educated.


Can you please give more information on this stance? When is the government threatening larges swaths of the population with imprisonment or death?
sourmìlk wrote:Monopolies are not when a single company controls the market for a single product.

You don't become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard you become great in the process.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Sat May 08, 2010 4:02 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
snapshot182 wrote:I don't accept that holding up people on the street for their money, so that we may have money to give to charity, could be considered a good thing. In the same light, I don't accept threatening an entire population with the threat of jailtime or death (should they choose to meet their captors with like force) can be considered good if the result is that roads get built or children get educated.


Can you please give more information on this stance? When is the government threatening larges swaths of the population with imprisonment or death?


Um...all the time? Unless you think you're free not to pay your taxes, you are threatened with imprisonment if you don't pay and refuse to fight back or death if you do.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby snapshot182 » Sat May 08, 2010 9:31 pm UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:
nitePhyyre wrote:
snapshot182 wrote:I don't accept that holding up people on the street for their money, so that we may have money to give to charity, could be considered a good thing. In the same light, I don't accept threatening an entire population with the threat of jailtime or death (should they choose to meet their captors with like force) can be considered good if the result is that roads get built or children get educated.


Can you please give more information on this stance? When is the government threatening larges swaths of the population with imprisonment or death?


Um...all the time? Unless you think you're free not to pay your taxes, you are threatened with imprisonment if you don't pay and refuse to fight back or death if you do.

This is what I would say as well.

It basically comes down to whether or not the government has a "right" (so to speak/for lack of a better term) to the land which it claims. It can be debated, but many people feel that someone who has entered onto your property has to follow your rules and can't simply break or steal or claim anything on your property. We can look at a store, as a general example, where if you don't follow certain rules--like paying for items, not vandalizing, acting civilized--you get kicked out.

The question is--does the government own the country in the same way that a person or a group of people owns a store or a house or a piece of land? So if the government actually owns the country, does it have the right to tell us how to behave? and would we be wrong with disobeying and the government right for punishing us. I argue that the government can't own anything, and there are quite a few reasons for this. One is the simply fact that the government as a concept cannot own anything, as concepts are not moral actors but are thoughts in our head. A concept can't work or trade for something, so a concept can't own anything. Only people--or groups of people--can own things.

Since government is a concept, and what the government really consists of is just people, the question becomes: Do those people have the right to claim a territory without having worked for it or labored for it, but simply claimed it outright, threatening force upon those who attempt to own land within that territory? I argue that these people do not have a legitimate claim to anything other than what they've worked or traded for, and therefore, any threat made to someone to pay taxes or follow a particular law is an initiation of force--and not the same thing as demanding people act a certain way when they are on your property.

People in government demand that we pay taxes under the threat of force. If we don't pay taxes, men with guns will come to take us away. If we meet them with like force in order to defend ourselves, we will be killed. The problem isn't one of practicality but morality. What I try to do is point out that, no matter how hard you try, you cannot create a government without threatening another person's life in the process. The very basis of government and the way it sustains itself is through the initiation of violence against people in the interests of those committing and promoting the violence. This is what I try to point out. What I try not to do is convince people that we don't need a government. I believe that once people realize the true, violent nature of government, they will want to find a better, more peaceful way to organize society, and decide for themselves that we don't need a government.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby nitePhyyre » Sat May 08, 2010 9:39 pm UTC

Correct me if I am wrong, but there is nothing stopping you from buying a boat, going out to sea, and renouncing your citizenship. Nor is anyone stopping you from becoming a citizen of another country.

[Can this post be deleted please?]
Last edited by nitePhyyre on Sat May 08, 2010 10:14 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
sourmìlk wrote:Monopolies are not when a single company controls the market for a single product.

You don't become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard you become great in the process.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby snapshot182 » Sat May 08, 2010 10:09 pm UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:Okay, you're first assertion—that it's okay to murder people who think murder is OK—is wrong. Socialists believe in a philosophy that, if taken to its logical extent, would bring murder, theft, and widespread human misery. That doesn't mean I can do a drive-by shooting at a socialist convention. Force can only be used in response to actual aggression, not theoretically implied aggression. Even a Nazi who believes that all Jews should be shot deserves to live, as long as he doesn't actually kill any Jews.

I wasn't clear. It's not right to kill someone for their beliefs. What I am saying is that, taken to the logical ends, that's what a person who murders other people is promoting. To put it another way, a person who steals from you, but says not OK for you to steal from them is being illogical. They are setting up contradictory moral rules and, as you probably know, morality must apply to all people at all places at all times, otherwise, it's not morality. There's no real point is calling something moral or immoral if different rules apply to different people.
(e.g.
"It's OK for me to hit you but not OK for you to hit me," he said.
"That's some fucking bullshit," she replied.)

The second problem is that you're assuming that criminals will act rationally, when crime is an inherently irrational activity (ever notice how the average criminal isn't too bright?), and you're ignoring the risk criminals on the loose pose to society. If I am a sociopathic murderer, I am an active menace to society, and I need to be locked up or killed. I can't be relied upon to show in court and submit to whatever judgement it hands down, especially not if I know it will be extreme. Some people must be arrested and taken out of social interactions because those interactions are going to end in violence and death. And if I am declared an outlaw (which, by the way, would be a rather harsh punishment if it were for a petty crime that I escaped punishment for), I am going to do everything possible to establish a new identity, flee to another area, and subscribe to a new DRO. There's a reason why criminals like to flee to foreign countries and establish new identities—it makes catching them very difficult. Extradition is a complex and burdensome process, and anarcho-capitalism would make it a part of almost every criminal case.

I believe that sociopathy is an extremely small problem that affects a minuscule number of people, so I don't believe it's worth discussing whether we need a government simply because of the existence of sociopaths. I also believe it is in error to say that criminals do not act rationally. They know how to feed, clothe, converse, etc. They have weighed the risks and rewards in their heads and have decided to act accordingly. They may not have thought everything all the way through, or are acting out some emotional trauma, but that does not mean they didn't put some rational thought into their decisions. If a criminal cannot go to the local market and buy what he wants, he's going to see the benefit of turning himself in--especially if trying to kill or steal gets him a gun drawn on him by an unhappy civilian every time. That's a big difference between government and anarchic society: known criminals can still walk around and interact with society while in an anarchic society, it's of everyone's interest to make known to all (not just to the government or to the DRO) who the criminals are.

I don't want to offend you, but I can't help having to point this out. One thing I feel you're doing is coming up with problems and not making an attempt to solve them. Take for example your problem with a criminal who attempts to flee to either another DRO or to another country:

Insurance companies talk to each other because they don't want risky customers getting a good deal--that increases their cost when the risky customer engages is their probabilistic behavior. It's mutually beneficial for insurance companies and DROs to share information on customers. So there's no reason to think that a criminal could flee and get away with a crime, except to a country with a government perhaps, but then that solves your problem right there. And why would an anarcho-capitalist society want to extradite a criminal back into the country? They would only want to do that if they wanted to lock him up. The fact that he fled is a good thing. Whatever damages caused by the criminal are insured by the DRO. It would be worth it to have the criminal work off his debt to society, but it wouldn't be worth it bring him back into society only to ostracize him once he's there in order to get him to turn himself in, while he could be causing havoc.

I don't know why you think that violence can ever be the best solution to anything other than aggression. I'm sorry if this is completely wrong, but this is what I feel like you're saying when you come up with these problems and act as though they are the end of the possibility of anarcho-capitalism. So there are problems. So what? It doesn't mean that a government is going to solve the problem. We just have to think harder, which, in an an-cap society, would be worth it, since you'd be monetarily compensated for implementing these solutions.

Now, I don't believe, with most people, than anarcho-capitalism would lead to total loss of societal order and crime everywhere because people usually act fairly rationally. The problem is that they don't always do so, and you've got to have some way to deal with those people. Minarchy addresses this problem in a much better way.

I don't expect you to read all of my other posts to other people, so I'm going to repeat something that I put in the post just before this one. I'm not trying to convince people that we need anarcho-capitalism. I'm trying to convince people that the government consists of violence, and then have them make up their own minds as to whether or not they want a government. And like I did with you--in considering the outcomes of criminal matters--I want to convince people to try to come up with their own solutions, rather than seeing one problem or even a hundred problems and deciding it will never "work." Anarcho-capitalism will simply be the result of government crumbling away, so I don't need to argue for it.

Also, I don't believe minarchy address the problem of violence, but again, I've argued with many an objectivist, and discovered how DRO-like their system, so this arguing about governments and DROs could all be for naught.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby nitePhyyre » Sat May 08, 2010 10:10 pm UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:
nitePhyyre wrote:
snapshot182 wrote:I don't accept that holding up people on the street for their money, so that we may have money to give to charity, could be considered a good thing. In the same light, I don't accept threatening an entire population with the threat of jailtime or death (should they choose to meet their captors with like force) can be considered good if the result is that roads get built or children get educated.


Can you please give more information on this stance? When is the government threatening larges swaths of the population with imprisonment or death?


Um...all the time? Unless you think you're free not to pay your taxes, you are threatened with imprisonment if you don't pay and refuse to fight back or death if you do.


Yes, I am free to not pay taxes. I can buy a boat, renounce my citizenship, and live out at sea (or another country). No taxes.

snapshot182 wrote:I argue that the government can't own anything, and there are quite a few reasons for this. One is the simply fact that the government as a concept cannot own anything, as concepts are not moral actors but are thoughts in our head. A concept can't work or trade for something, so a concept can't own anything. Only people--or groups of people--can own things.

I believe at this point onus is on you to demonstrate:
A) Governments are not groups of people.
B) A Corporation is not a concept, but an objective universal truth.
C) There is a meaningful distinction between the creation of a government and a corporation.
sourmìlk wrote:Monopolies are not when a single company controls the market for a single product.

You don't become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard you become great in the process.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby snapshot182 » Sat May 08, 2010 10:15 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:Correct me if I am wrong, but there is nothing stopping you from buying a boat, going out to sea, and renouncing your citizenship. Nor is anyone stopping you from becoming a citizen of another country.

I don't really feel a need a correct you. The fact that one can become a citizen of another country doesn't change or negate anything I've said about the nature of government.

Although I do believe the US requires ex-citizens to continue paying taxes for some time, even after they've renounced their citizenship. I could be mistaken though. There is, however, a so-called "Exit Tax" which I just discovered while searching for a source for my initial claim.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby snapshot182 » Sat May 08, 2010 10:30 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:Yes, I am free to not pay taxes. I can buy a boat, renounce my citizenship, and live out at sea (or another country). No taxes.
I'm still a fan of society. I'm just not a fan of the government. I'm more willing to live in a society than out at sea. This doesn't change anything I've said about government though.

snapshot182 wrote:I argue that the government can't own anything, and there are quite a few reasons for this. One is the simply fact that the government as a concept cannot own anything, as concepts are not moral actors but are thoughts in our head. A concept can't work or trade for something, so a concept can't own anything. Only people--or groups of people--can own things.

I believe at this point onus is on you to demonstrate:
A) Governments are not groups of people.
B) A Corporation is not a concept, but an objective universal truth.
C) There is a meaningful distinction between the creation of a government and a corporation.

A) A government is a concept in the same way a friendship is a concept. A friendship is not people. A friendship consists of people. Just like a friendship can't own anything, a government can't own anything. When we're referring to governments we're referring to the people in them and not the concept. My point that governments aren't people is just to clarify that when talking about governments doing something, we're really talking about people doing something. Also, just as with friendships, governments don't change the physical nature of those people who are in them. Therefore, the same rules of morality should still apply to them. As this time in our society, many people believe that different moral rules apply to those in government. I contend that this is erroneous thinking.

B)A corporation is a legal fiction created by the government for the purpose of facilitating growth by minimizing risk (if I'm not mistaken). However, group ownership is a valid concept. But, again, a "group" can't own anything. Only people can. Much like if a group commits a murder, you don't sentence the group to jail while letting the people go.

C)I'm not quite sure of the question here, but I believe I may have given a valid response in answer B.

I'm curious as to why you're asking me these questions. What is it that you disagree with?

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby nitePhyyre » Sat May 08, 2010 10:58 pm UTC

snapshot182 wrote:
nitePhyyre wrote:Yes, I am free to not pay taxes. I can buy a boat, renounce my citizenship, and live out at sea (or another country). No taxes.
I'm still a fan of society. I'm just not a fan of the government. I'm more willing to live in a society than out at sea. This doesn't change anything I've said about government though.


So let me get this straight, you admit the fact that governments don't force taxes, but that doesn't change your opinion that governments do forces taxes?

snapshot182 wrote:
nitePhyyre wrote:
snapshot182 wrote:I argue that the government can't own anything, and there are quite a few reasons for this. One is the simply fact that the government as a concept cannot own anything, as concepts are not moral actors but are thoughts in our head. A concept can't work or trade for something, so a concept can't own anything. Only people--or groups of people--can own things.

I believe at this point onus is on you to demonstrate:
A) Governments are not groups of people.
B) A Corporation is not a concept, but an objective universal truth.
C) There is a meaningful distinction between the creation of a government and a corporation.

A) A government is a concept in the same way a friendship is a concept. A friendship is not people. A friendship consists of people. Just like a friendship can't own anything, a government can't own anything. When we're referring to governments we're referring to the people in them and not the concept. My point that governments aren't people is just to clarify that when talking about governments doing something, we're really talking about people doing something. Also, just as with friendships, governments don't change the physical nature of those people who are in them. Therefore, the same rules of morality should still apply to them. As this time in our society, many people believe that different moral rules apply to those in government. I contend that this is erroneous thinking.

B)A corporation is a legal fiction created by the government for the purpose of facilitating growth by minimizing risk (if I'm not mistaken). However, group ownership is a valid concept. But, again, a "group" can't own anything. Only people can. Much like if a group commits a murder, you don't sentence the group to jail while letting the people go.

C)I'm not quite sure of the question here, but I believe I may have given a valid response in answer B.

I'm curious as to why you're asking me these questions. What is it that you disagree with?

I am asking these questions so that I can understand why you think that government is inherently evil. It seems you think government is evil because they exist only through the use of violence. I believe that a government only governs through consent of the governed. I am very curious as to why and where our views differ.

So let's see if we can get to the crux of the issue. How do you differentiate between a group of people that can own property, and a group that cannot?
sourmìlk wrote:Monopolies are not when a single company controls the market for a single product.

You don't become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard you become great in the process.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby snapshot182 » Sun May 09, 2010 12:15 am UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:So let me get this straight, you admit the fact that governments don't force taxes, but that doesn't change your opinion that governments do forces taxes?I'm unsure as to where you believe I said that I admit that governments don't force taxes.

snapshot182 wrote:
nitePhyyre wrote:
snapshot182 wrote:I argue that the government can't own anything, and there are quite a few reasons for this. One is the simply fact that the government as a concept cannot own anything, as concepts are not moral actors but are thoughts in our head. A concept can't work or trade for something, so a concept can't own anything. Only people--or groups of people--can own things.

I believe at this point onus is on you to demonstrate:
A) Governments are not groups of people.
B) A Corporation is not a concept, but an objective universal truth.
C) There is a meaningful distinction between the creation of a government and a corporation.

A) A government is a concept in the same way a friendship is a concept. A friendship is not people. A friendship consists of people. Just like a friendship can't own anything, a government can't own anything. When we're referring to governments we're referring to the people in them and not the concept. My point that governments aren't people is just to clarify that when talking about governments doing something, we're really talking about people doing something. Also, just as with friendships, governments don't change the physical nature of those people who are in them. Therefore, the same rules of morality should still apply to them. As this time in our society, many people believe that different moral rules apply to those in government. I contend that this is erroneous thinking.

B)A corporation is a legal fiction created by the government for the purpose of facilitating growth by minimizing risk (if I'm not mistaken). However, group ownership is a valid concept. But, again, a "group" can't own anything. Only people can. Much like if a group commits a murder, you don't sentence the group to jail while letting the people go.

C)I'm not quite sure of the question here, but I believe I may have given a valid response in answer B.

I'm curious as to why you're asking me these questions. What is it that you disagree with?

I am asking these questions so that I can understand why you think that government is inherently evil. It seems you think government is evil because they exist only through the use of violence. I believe that a government only governs through consent of the governed. I am very curious as to why and where our views differ.

So let's see if we can get to the crux of the issue. How do you differentiate between a group of people that can own property, and a group that cannot?
It's not whether a group of people can or cannot own property. Anyone can own property. It's whether the reasoning behind an argument for the acquisition of property is valid. For example, if I say that property can be justly acquired by "calling it," this poses a contradiction, since anyone can just "call it."

e.g.
"I call the Universe!"
"Me too!"

It also presents a contradiction to say that property can be justly acquired simply by violently defending the land that you claim. It begs the question of how you justly acquired it in the first place in order to say that land is your property. It makes some sense that you can defend your land with force, but there's nothing previous that established that land as yours.

What people in government currently do is promote an institution which claims territory and defends it with force at said people's discretion. The reason I distinguish between people and the concept of government, saying that governments are concepts and they are not people (i.e. there isn't a Mr. United States of America), is to clarify that we're always talking about people--and to maintain that if we are going to be talking about what is just/good/right/moral/fair/whatever, we have to apply the same standard to the people in government as we would to anyone else. When we take our blinders off and see that the people in government have no more and no less moral freedom as anyone else, we are able to point out the inconsistencies in the standards that we as a society have setup. This is why there are no good answers to the following questions:

Why can the government tax people but the government punishes me if I tax people?

Why can the government claim land, but when I do it's called trespassing/loitering/blocking traffic?

Why can the government print money, but when I do it's called counterfeiting?

Why do soldiers kill, but civilians murder?

You can only give reasoned answers to these questions if you initially setup the scenario with different rules applying to different people. The only objectively true answer to those questions is: Because if you don't follow the rules, men with guns will come after you to kidnap you, and will kill you if you resist with like force. That's the only objective reason. All other reasons are mere opinions a la the utilitarian ethic.

e.g.
We need government in order for society to function.
We need government to preserve order.
We need government to regulate business.

All these "need" statements are statements of opinion, not fact. They are statements of preference. People would prefer that government exist in order for society to function, to preserve order, and to regulate business. But it is an objectively true statement that government does not need to exist at all. It's a basic fact of reality that "needs" and "shoulds" don't exist. How society will function without a government is completely outside of my ability to predict. But I don't believe it's my job to predict or plan society anyway--there's a reason planned economies always fail. I believe it's my job to point out what the government does, and then to lead curious people to where they can get their questions answered.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Sun May 09, 2010 1:01 am UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
snapshot182 wrote:
nitePhyyre wrote:Yes, I am free to not pay taxes. I can buy a boat, renounce my citizenship, and live out at sea (or another country). No taxes.
I'm still a fan of society. I'm just not a fan of the government. I'm more willing to live in a society than out at sea. This doesn't change anything I've said about government though.


So let me get this straight, you admit the fact that governments don't force taxes, but that doesn't change your opinion that governments do forces taxes?


Okay, this is a really shortsighted argument that I wish people wouldn't use. The point is not that there is no possible way to avoid government. The point is that you can't live in your own country, work at a real job, earn money, keep your house etc. without hurting anyone else except by giving in to current government's forcible demands. If you try to do the above nonviolent actions without paying taxes, following the drug laws, or moving out of your house when a big development corporation calls in the bulldozers backed up by eminent domain, you are either jailed or killed. There actually is a well-funded (founder of PayPal is behind them) group of people who want to move out into the ocean, but that shouldn't be necessary.

When big government advocates say that government initiation of force is a "necessary evil", they are misguided but honest and debatable. When they say big government does not initiate force, they're just lying. It's factually untrue.
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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Sun May 09, 2010 1:36 am UTC

snapshot182 wrote:A) A government is a concept in the same way a friendship is a concept. A friendship is not people. A friendship consists of people. Just like a friendship can't own anything, a government can't own anything. When we're referring to governments we're referring to the people in them and not the concept. My point that governments aren't people is just to clarify that when talking about governments doing something, we're really talking about people doing something. Also, just as with friendships, governments don't change the physical nature of those people who are in them. Therefore, the same rules of morality should still apply to them. As this time in our society, many people believe that different moral rules apply to those in government. I contend that this is erroneous thinking.

A government is not a concept in the same way that a friendship is a concept. A friendship is a relationship--in my mind, so feel free to contradict me--a relationship between equals (though that is not of course the only part of what a friendship is, it is an important part).

A government, on the other hand, has several constituent relationships which it could not without which be a proper government; e.g. governor-governed, governor-advisor, state-military, lawmaker-law enforcer, &c. To say a government cannot own anything because it is constituted by people is akin to saying that a government cannot do anything because it is constituted by people. A government's purpose is by definition is to govern, which is, I would think, doing something.

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Re: Market Anarchy

Postby snapshot182 » Sun May 09, 2010 2:11 am UTC

Sheikh al-Majaneen wrote:
snapshot182 wrote:A) A government is a concept in the same way a friendship is a concept. A friendship is not people. A friendship consists of people. Just like a friendship can't own anything, a government can't own anything. When we're referring to governments we're referring to the people in them and not the concept. My point that governments aren't people is just to clarify that when talking about governments doing something, we're really talking about people doing something. Also, just as with friendships, governments don't change the physical nature of those people who are in them. Therefore, the same rules of morality should still apply to them. As this time in our society, many people believe that different moral rules apply to those in government. I contend that this is erroneous thinking.

A government is not a concept in the same way that a friendship is a concept. A friendship is a relationship--in my mind, so feel free to contradict me--a relationship between equals (though that is not of course the only part of what a friendship is, it is an important part).

A government, on the other hand, has several constituent relationships which it could not without which be a proper government; e.g. governor-governed, governor-advisor, state-military, lawmaker-law enforcer, &c. To say a government cannot own anything because it is constituted by people is akin to saying that a government cannot do anything because it is constituted by people. A government's purpose is by definition is to govern, which is, I would think, doing something.

"Government" does not exist as its own separate entity. Government is a concept, one that describes the relationships that you mentioned.

The whole point is just to denote that when someone says a government governs, they aren't talking about anything special. They are just talking about people. I say this so we don't get into arguments like, "It's OK for the government to set laws. That's what it was created for." In this sentence, there is no physical entity called "Government" that sets laws. It's just people. And those people are subject to the same moral standards as everyone else on the planet.

I think the best analogy I made was the one about sending the group to jail but letting the people go in order to illustrate the absurdity of considering government as a moral actor.


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