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Old 19th August 2008, 12:29 PM   #1
Alex Libman
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Plutocracy Is Unavoidable, But Some Forms Are Better Than Others

Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post
I'd really like Alex Libman to explain how it's possible for an anarcho-capitalist society to avoid becoming a de-facto plutocracy, and how he distinguishes one from the other.
It will in the sense that financial inequality would be much higher. It won't in the sense that the very definition of plutocracy (or even oligarchy) mentions control of "government", and the very definition of Anarcho-Capitalism mentions either its theoretical non-existence or perpetual resistance to it.

Every human society is a plutocracy, the difference is in details. And my argument is that an anarcho-capitalist plutocracy is much better than the plutocracy we have now, including in terms of economic mobility.

Rich people would live longer than the poor, be better educated, eat better food, etc - even more so than today. There could someday be rich people owning entire solar systems, but, unlike current governments, they would not be exempt from the non-aggression principle.

Bill Gates cannot tax you or devaluate the currency he forces you to use, and a lot fewer naive fools would risk their lives in the Microsoft Army.

With no government to "make things fair" the consumer culture would be very different: doing business with large market entities would be seen as undesirable, and that would put an upper limit on how consolidated the human economy can get.
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Old 19th August 2008, 01:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
With no government to "make things fair" the consumer culture would be very different: doing business with large market entities would be seen as undesirable
Back on the ignore list you go.
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Old 19th August 2008, 09:48 PM   #3
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I like it when people who'd want to ignore me do so - beats the alternative of reading their incoherent replies.

Was that particular passage quoted for a reason? Does anyone believe consumers won't take company ethics into consideration even if that was the only outlet for their "politics"? What would Oprah have to yap about then?

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Old 20th August 2008, 02:06 AM   #4
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Anarchy in the sense of no government just ain't gonna happen -- not unless everyone becomes a hermit. A group of people will always want a system of making decisions. Even if they don't elect/designate a leader/decider.

How else can it work?
One day you say that a thing is decided because the majority voted for it. The next because the loudest voted for it. The next because the guy who owns the football has threatened to take it home unless we play by his rules.

How long are people going to live like that?


If I've understood...
In anarcho-capatalism, things like the police force are funded voluntarily. Which means that advertising is going to play a factor. Which means ownership of resources is going to play a factor.

So on what basis is anarcho-capitalism better than what we have? Is it supposed to be a purer form of capitalism? If so, then surely that gives even more power to those with capital -- ie: it aims to be even more of a plutocracy.



I like the idea of anarchy in the sense of no ruling class. Democracy, in theory, is such anarchy -- anyone can run for office. There is no particular class which is favoured.

Of course, in practice, those running for office need advertising in order to get votes. Which means that those with resources have a bigger voice regarding which candidates get heard. And so we edge back towards plutocracy.
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Last edited by FireGarden; 20th August 2008 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 20th August 2008, 06:42 AM   #5
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"Income Inequality" is a fraudulent concept used by the remnants of class warefare politicians.

The correct metric, if one so desires, is the buying power of the average wage earner, something along those lines. If the average buying power goes up while "the rich" skyrocket, more power to 'em.



To put this kind of thing in perspective, people are claiming "the middle class is shrinking!" Yet it's shrinking because they're primarily moving up into the upper class, not because they're dropping down.

Lies, damned lies, and statistics.
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Old 20th August 2008, 11:36 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
The correct metric, if one so desires, is the buying power of the average wage earner, something along those lines. If the average buying power goes up while "the rich" skyrocket, more power to 'em.
Nonsense. You know more statistics than that -- the "average" wage earner may not even exist, if you take "average" to mean "mean." In a car with a millionaire and his minimum-wage secretary, the average wage may be in six figures -- but no one in the care actually makes that.


Quote:
To put this kind of thing in perspective, people are claiming "the middle class is shrinking!" Yet it's shrinking because they're primarily moving up into the upper class, not because they're dropping down.
That's a good example of what I mean.

My understanding is that "mean" income has been increasing, but that both median personal income has been flat (in real dollars) since approximately 1975; the rich have been getting richer faster than the middle class and poor have been getting poorer. (Median household income has increased, roughly in proportion to the increase in the percentage of multiincome households). In light of this, the increasing disparity in income suggests that, yes, the poor are getting substantially poorer.

And, in particular, the middle class is not moving up into the upper class. Some are moving up, others (about an equal number, if you look at the numbers) are moving down.
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Old 20th August 2008, 01:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
There could someday be rich people owning entire solar systems, but, unlike current governments, they would not be exempt from the non-aggression principle
Why wouldn't they be exempt?
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Old 20th August 2008, 01:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
"Income Inequality" is a fraudulent concept used by the remnants of class warefare politicians.

The correct metric, if one so desires, is the buying power of the average wage earner, something along those lines. If the average buying power goes up while "the rich" skyrocket, more power to 'em.



To put this kind of thing in perspective, people are claiming "the middle class is shrinking!" Yet it's shrinking because they're primarily moving up into the upper class, not because they're dropping down.

Lies, damned lies, and statistics.
You need to learn some basic economics.
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Old 20th August 2008, 02:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
doing business with large market entities would be seen as undesirable,
Why? Won't some consumers make their choice based only on price? If a large market entity has a lower price they will capture those consumers.
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Old 21st August 2008, 02:02 AM   #10
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I don't remember hearing about a supermarket being bailed out by government. They seem more popular than the small corner shops.
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Old 21st August 2008, 02:19 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by FireGarden View Post
If I've understood...
In anarcho-capatalism, things like the police force are funded voluntarily. Which means that advertising is going to play a factor. Which means ownership of resources is going to play a factor.
It's called mercenaries or Private Security/Military companies.

Quote:
I like the idea of anarchy in the sense of no ruling class. Democracy, in theory, is such anarchy -- anyone can run for office. There is no particular class which is favoured.
Nah...in an anarchy, the richest or most powerful become the ruling class. They can buy or take anything they want. No difference except more anarchy and less help for the poor.
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Last edited by paximperium; 21st August 2008 at 02:22 AM.
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Old 21st August 2008, 02:21 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
Why? Won't some consumers make their choice based only on price? If a large market entity has a lower price they will capture those consumers.
Exactly. In such a society, monopolies and predatory practices become the norm. Destroy all opposition and competitors and control the market completely with no checks or balances. It happened in the late 1800s to the1920s.
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Old 21st August 2008, 02:24 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by FireGarden View Post
I don't remember hearing about a supermarket being bailed out by government. They seem more popular than the small corner shops.
Recently the UK government had to step in to stop the largest chain, Tesco, from buying up land purely to stop their rivals from building a supermarket on it themselves. Who would stop that in fantasy, sorry, anarcho-capitalism land?

It's medieval Feudalism without the chivalry.
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Old 21st August 2008, 02:25 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
My understanding is that "mean" income has been increasing, but that both median personal income has been flat (in real dollars) since approximately 1975;
What's a "real dollar"?

I'm typing this post on a computer that was not available at any price in 1975, or, at any rate, would certainly have cost millions of dollars. Does that mean I'm a millionaire in "real dollars"?
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Old 21st August 2008, 02:52 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by 69dodge View Post
What's a "real dollar"?
I'm assuming it is Inflation adjusted dollar.

Quote:
I'm typing this post on a computer that was not available at any price in 1975, or, at any rate, would certainly have cost millions of dollars. Does that mean I'm a millionaire in "real dollars"?
No. It means things have gotten cheaper but it does not mean you've gotten richer.
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Old 21st August 2008, 03:07 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by paximperium View Post
Nah...in an anarchy, the richest or most powerful become the ruling class. They can buy or take anything they want. No difference except more anarchy and less help for the poor.
If you're going to say "or most powerful", then your prediction just matches mine stating that anarchy isn't going to happen.

I don't think a ruling class can be avoided. But, so far anyway, democracy seems the closest to a classless society.

Originally Posted by martu View Post
Recently the UK government had to step in to stop the largest chain, Tesco, from buying up land purely to stop their rivals from building a supermarket on it themselves. Who would stop that in fantasy, sorry, anarcho-capitalism land?
The Sainsburys Special Forces!
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Old 21st August 2008, 03:22 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by FireGarden View Post
The Sainsburys Special Forces!
The French Carrefoure Paramilitary Forces Vs the British Special Tesco Company...who will win?
Perhaps the US Army (Sponsored by Wal-Mart and Target) will get involved?
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Old 21st August 2008, 05:24 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by paximperium View Post
No. It means things have gotten cheaper but it does not mean you've gotten richer.
You might want to think about that.
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Old 21st August 2008, 05:52 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
You might want to think about that.
Well it is relative isn't it?
A middle class person nowadays has a lifestyle superior to a European king with better food, transport and spices. Does that make a modern middle class person richer?
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Old 21st August 2008, 09:42 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by FireGarden View Post
Anarchy in the sense of no government just ain't gonna happen -- not unless everyone becomes a hermit. How else can it work?
Once again, my usual disclaimers: (1) Calling Anarcho-Capitalism pure anarchy is like calling a chickpea a chicken. (2) Anarcho-Capitalism is a personal philosophy that I believe in, not a political system I am proposing for society at large. (3) Politically, I am a (small-l) libertarian / Minarchist, and I understand that even the most moderate changes would take many years to accomplish.

I look at government as an inherently evil entity that exists by violating the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP), most notably by collecting taxes and not giving individuals a choice. (Voting does not produce individual results.) And in some cases tens of millions of people have been murdered by their governments - though the powers that be only resort to those measures if seriously threatened. No large society can ever be 100% aggression free, but it must still be resisted at every opportunity.


Originally Posted by FireGarden View Post
A group of people will always want a system of making decisions. Even if they don't elect/designate a leader/decider.
The individual is sovereign, and all delegation of individual sovereignty must be justified.

In a small group of people, like a family, the leader's authority is direct. If a father is the head of the family, then he convinced his spouse(s) to marry him based on whatever terms they agreed to (hopefully a partnership of equals), and it was their decision to bring any children into this world. The spouse(s) can get a divorce (in accordance to their marriage contracts), and children can sue for emancipation / adoption, or someone else can sue on their behalf, or they become automatically emancipated upon reaching a certain age. Without a government to regulate family law, families would be very explicit in what their rules are, and many would voluntarily choose to delegate some authority to organizations that they trust -- a church, a secular family counseling NGO, a free-market arbitration organization, etc -- to help resolve disputes.

The vast majority of individuals and families will want to live without being raped, kidnapped, stolen from, or murdered; and thus it would be in their interest not to do those things to others (principle of reciprocity), and to protect themselves from the small fraction of society which does not accept the NAP as the one and only universal commandment necessary for existence of human civilization, a "social contract" if you will. Since a person who robbed / raped / murdered someone else might come after you next, it is within the self-interest of all good people to cooperate in the efforts of establishing justice. The justice system can be centralized (i.e. a Minarchy with a tiny constitutionally-bound government) or decentralized (based entirely on voluntary organizations like competing free-market arbitration companies and charitable organizations). The former is close to what the founders of this country envisioned, but government power found a way to escape its bounds and grow. The latter is a theoretical concept, and would first be practiced in self-selected enclaves of society and spreading if successful.

I know I make it sound too easy, but the main cause of criminality throughout human history has come from non-recognition of individual human rights based on the principle of self-ownership. (See flash video here.) This was mostly based on early man's tribal economy and the need for violent competition with the neighboring tribes. After man has found the means to use the earth (not to mention the rest of the universe) to allow for survival of all humans (even working as a prostitute for 10 minutes will buy you bread for a week), violent competition became inefficient, and improvements in communication and information technology continue to make cooperation easier (ex. self-driving cars playing a virtual game of rock-paper-scissors to decide who yields to who).

Another cause of criminality has always been the idea of legislating morality in the tribe's mutual interest (i.e. victimless crimes): ban recreational activities that can cut into work time, decrease the birthrate, reduce the willingness and ability to fight for the tribe, etc. With advances in individual ability for survival by exchanging value for value (i.e. capitalism), this too is an inefficient and unnecessary ideology. Society works better when each individual can decide how to live one's life, as long as he harms no one but himself and his rightful dependents.


Originally Posted by FireGarden View Post
One day you say that a thing is decided because the majority voted for it. The next because the loudest voted for it. The next because the guy who owns the football has threatened to take it home unless we play by his rules. How long are people going to live like that?
The former two examples ("majority" or "loudest") have nothing to do with Anarcho-Capitalism. The property rights of "the guy who owns the football" must certainly be respected, but ultimately it's the guy who owns the playground that makes the rules. Don't like the rules? Exit the playground.

As humanity continues to advance, the number of other playgrounds a person will be able to access (say in 10 minutes of travel time) will continue to increase, and if you're willing to pay a membership fee you will find plenty of businessmen interested in building new and better playgrounds with rules more appealing to whatever customers they care to attract. And if someone donates money for this cause, more accessible charity playgrounds can be built as well.


Originally Posted by FireGarden View Post
If I've understood... In anarcho-capatalism, things like the police force are funded voluntarily. Which means that advertising is going to play a factor. Which means ownership of resources is going to play a factor.
They would probably be called "security attendants" (like in a shopping mall or a train station) or "peace officers" (like in a residential community). I'm not sure if I understand what you mean by advertising, but ownership of resources will definitely be a major factor. If you run a successful bank, you definitely have enough money to afford awesome security, and at a much lower cost than the taxes you'd pay to the state. If you're a charity housing project - good luck. But ultimately it will be in the best interest of various competing security agencies to cooperate (perhaps with the aid of independent industry organizations), and a bank security agent who catches a bank robber today prevents him from mugging some poor old lady in her front yard tomorrow, and vice versa - by protecting poor old ladies a bank-funded security firm will reduce the odds of it being robbed, and get good publicity in the process.


Quote:
So on what basis is anarcho-capitalism better than what we have? Is it supposed to be a purer form of capitalism? If so, then surely that gives even more power to those with capital -- ie: it aims to be even more of a plutocracy.
Yes, as I've said, the rich will become richer. In some ways they will become more powerful - if Bill Gates can ever afford to buy the Grand Canyon, fill it with cocaine, and dive into it from a helicopter, the government won't be there to stop him. (He'd also have to pay to make sure any cocaine blown by the wind doesn't get on other people's property, but more on that later.)

In some ways, though, they would become less powerful. There's no way Bill Gates can do what the government gets away with - forcing people to pay taxes, fight wars, follow silly laws, etc. If he tried to do that, his popularity rating would fall past Hitler pretty darn fast, and not only would most people stop buying software from him, they would also boycott any businesses that use his software. Free market soldiers cost lots of money, and pretty soon Billy G's little army would be wiped out, he would have to answer for his crimes, and billionaires (or trillionaires) everywhere would find it in their interest to donate lots of money to mutual defense charities to improve their public image after the damage Evil Bill has done.


Originally Posted by FireGarden View Post
I like the idea of anarchy in the sense of no ruling class. Democracy, in theory, is such anarchy -- anyone can run for office. There is no particular class which is favoured.
Democracy, in practice, is very easy to manipulate to maintain status quo - those who are in power influence public opinion, and public opinion keeps them in power. All they need to do is convince the most gullible 51%, and power is theirs. This is particularly easy through fear: tell the public the bogeyman is out to get them and they will vote for anything. Another trick the government elite can use is create fake opposition: have your voters argue whether Communist A or Communist B is better or worse, in the end they're merely voting for their favorite artificial flavor on the same corn cracker.

Last edited by Alex Libman; 21st August 2008 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 21st August 2008, 09:57 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman
The vast majority of individuals and families will want to live without being raped, kidnapped, stolen from, or murdered; and thus it would be in their interest not to do those things to others (principle of reciprocity), and to protect themselves from the small fraction of society which does not accept the NAP as the one and only universal commandment necessary for existence of human civilization, a "social contract" if you will.
In my view, the bolded is an assumption integral to your whole scheme that is critically flawed. Do you not know any humans? For your utopia to succeed, you will need a massive re-education project. How will you do this? Throw the poets out of the city and re-work their verses ala Plato?

If you are basing your theory on near-universal acceptance of the NAP, you are talking about completely re-engineering human nature. If you think that the NAP is human nature, you have about 2500 years of politcal philosophy to refute.
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Old 21st August 2008, 10:16 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
There's no way Bill Gates can do what the government gets away with - forcing people to pay taxes, fight wars, follow silly laws, etc. If he tried to do that, his popularity rating would fall past Hitler pretty darn fast, and not only would most people stop buying software from him, they would also boycott any businesses that use his software.
This is the most ridiculous thing I have read from you in this thread and it's up against some pretty stiff opposition. Very well done.

Dogma leads to stupidity young man.
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Old 21st August 2008, 10:43 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by 69dodge View Post
What's a "real dollar"?
A dollar adjusted for inflation, of course.

Quote:
I'm typing this post on a computer that was not available at any price in 1975, or, at any rate, would certainly have cost millions of dollars. Does that mean I'm a millionaire in "real dollars"?
No, obviously. No more than your owning a 2005 edition of an encyclopedia means you're a zillionaire compared to 1995, because your 2005 edition would not have been available. Instead, economists look at "comparable" goods in terms of their effects on your life. Depending upon what you do with your computer today, the 1975 equivalent would probably have been a Pong machine and a TV set.
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Old 21st August 2008, 10:59 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by martu View Post
It's medieval Feudalism without the chivalry.

Feudalism is the opposite of anarchy.

Well... not the opposite...

But Feudalism involves multiple complex tiers of government.
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Old 21st August 2008, 11:03 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
The vast majority of individuals and families will want to live without being raped, kidnapped, stolen from, or murdered; and thus it would be in their interest not to do those things to others (principle of reciprocity)

History tends to suggest that the way most social groups (given the opportunity) avoid being raped, kidnapped, stolen from, or murdered is to rape, kidnap, steal from and murder their neighbours first. (Not necessarily in that order).
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Old 21st August 2008, 11:18 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
History tends to suggest that the way most social groups (given the opportunity) avoid being raped, kidnapped, stolen from, or murdered is to rape, kidnap, steal from and murder their neighbours first. (Not necessarily in that order).
Precisely.
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Old 21st August 2008, 11:21 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
Once again, my usual disclaimers: (1) Calling Anarcho-Capitalism pure anarchy is like calling a chickpea a chicken.
Apologies if some of my comments went off topic.

Quote:
(2) Anarcho-Capitalism is a personal philosophy that I believe in, not a political system I am proposing for society at large. (3) Politically, I am a (small-l) libertarian / Minarchist, and I understand that even the most moderate changes would take many years to accomplish.
So government limited to "courts, police, defense, prisons and taxes." (I thought you didn't like taxes).

What about health care? Education? Do the poor have to rely on charity?

Quote:
I look at government as an inherently evil entity that exists by violating the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP), most notably by collecting taxes and not giving individuals a choice. (Voting does not produce individual results.)
Choice was a catch-phrase for New Labour, in the UK. Especially when it came to education. A variety of schools, all paid for by the government, and parents get to choose which school they send their children to. I'm not a parent, so I've got no idea how well that works.

If people want choice, then government can provide it. There's no reason why it has to be one size fits all.

There is, however, a national curriculum, set by the government. The point of that is so pupils reach a minimum level of competence in the things government has judged essential for the economy/good of the nation. You can't let everyone (or even too many people) send their children to Rock School and ignore maths/science/history/geography.

And it's difficult to opt out of this system. Even those that home school have to prove that their children are learning to a minimum standard.

Do you find this to be too aggressive? I don't.

Quote:
The individual is sovereign, and all delegation of individual sovereignty must be justified.
I don't see how democracy fails in this regard.

Quote:
The justice system can be centralized (i.e. a Minarchy with a tiny constitutionally-bound government) or decentralized (based entirely on voluntary organizations like competing free-market arbitration companies and charitable organizations). The former is close to what the founders of this country envisioned, but government power found a way to escape its bounds and grow. The latter is a theoretical concept, and would first be practiced in self-selected enclaves of society and spreading if successful.
So you want a way of keeping government in its box.

If you allow competing security services, then what happens to those who can't afford the best company? Or do you expect the rich districts to pay for the policing of the poor districts? Enlightened self interest, after all.

I think the result would be very "heavy handed" policing in those districts where the police are employed by what are, effectively, foreigners. Take a look at Blackwater/US troops in Iraq -- immune to prosecution except by the US government.

Do you want police walking the beat outside your door who can only be prosecuted by the rich folks that hired them? Rich folks who live maybe 100 miles from you.

Quote:
In some ways, though, they would become less powerful. There's no way Bill Gates can do what the government gets away with - forcing people to pay taxes, fight wars, follow silly laws, etc.
As above, Tesco Vs Sainsbury.
Who is going to stop Bill Gates and the people he has convinced to follow him? You're suggesting that people will unite to stop other people grouping together. As soon as they try that, they become competing groups. We already have competing groups.

Quote:
Democracy, in practice, is very easy to manipulate to maintain status quo - those who are in power influence public opinion, and public opinion keeps them in power.
You haven't offered an alternative to powerful individuals influencing the opinion of millions of people.
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Old 21st August 2008, 11:32 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
Why? Won't some consumers make their choice based only on price? If a large market entity has a lower price they will capture those consumers.
In a society without a government, your market activism will become the ultimate statement on who you are and what you represent as a human being. In absence of political circus, what would serious journalists cover if not what the large market entities are up to? What would CNN yap about 24/7? In other words, what large mega-corps are doing would seem as important as what's going on in Washington DC, the UN, your state legislature, your town hall, political action groups, etc - and some people would feel very strongly about some corporations they see as evil.

Would you buy Kim Jong-il's brand of socks (or whoever represents your worst example of evil) to save some money, even if it meant losing the respect of your friends, possibly losing your job, or even being kicked out of restaurants when someone notices what socks you're wearing? I, being a super activist, would hire some poor people to stand in front of restaurants that don't with protest signs, or whatever the most effective equivalent of such an activity would be.

And what does evil Chairman & CEO Kim Jong-il do to make his socks so cheap? Sure, he might be able to brainwash some people to work for him for rice and water, but those won't be the brightest of people. (Remember, he'd no longer have the recognized authority of being a national leader. Even now his power rests on the story that American tanks stand ready to rape and pillage North Korea if its people ever let him down.) He might use those dummies as cheap labor to make socks, but they won't invent him robots to automate production, and when someone will he'll go bankrupt.

You can't take over the world, or even become a major regional hegemon, if only dummies are willing to follow you... unless you convince smarter people that democracy justifies power!

I honestly cannot think of any scenario in which a self-interested Anarcho-Capitalist society would come to be dominated by a centralized authority against its will. Can you?


Originally Posted by paximperium View Post
Exactly. In such a society, monopolies and predatory practices become the norm. Destroy all opposition and competitors and control the market completely with no checks or balances. It happened in the late 1800s to the1920s.
I cannot think of any true monopolies that ever existed without government help. Can you provide some examples?

A 19th century rail-road, for example, could achieve a very high market share, but that's because its owners created something valuable that didn't exist before. But if it ever stops providing value for its customers, what's to keep them from going back to horses and steamships for transportation? And what's to keep someone else from creating another railroad, or inventing the automobile or the airplane?

And, yes, some early railroads used government loans and land grants (which helped limit competition), but capitalist hero James J. Hill was able to build his railroad entirely through private means.

Last edited by Alex Libman; 21st August 2008 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 21st August 2008, 11:41 AM   #29
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Old 21st August 2008, 11:57 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
In a society without a government, your market activism will become the ultimate statement on who you are and what you represent as a human being.
I knew it wasn't going to be worth taking you off ignore to follow the thread; I just knew it, but I had to go and do it because I'm a masochist or something. This is just so completely stupid that I can't believe you can possibly believe it, but then I read the rest of the thread, and I remember some of the rest of your posts and I have to remind myself that you are, at the very least, incredibly stupid at a consistant rate.

Your system doesn't account for non-publicised ownership. Your system doesn't account for the fact that as soon as any one country announces the end of its government that it will be annexed really bloody quickly. Your system doesn't account for human *********** nature, for crying out loud. It cannot possibly work.

Wait, let me just pick out a tidbit that's bugging me. Assume that we get past the previous three hurdles(unlikely as that is) and riddle me this:

Let's posit that someone is kidnapped and held in a room shielded from all currently available surveillance. The corporate police have, apparently, no authority under your system to invade the private property of any individual. Is the kidnappee just completely screwed?
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Old 21st August 2008, 12:07 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by paximperium View Post
Well it is relative isn't it?
A middle class person nowadays has a lifestyle superior to a European king with better food, transport and spices. Does that make a modern middle class person richer?
Well, contrary to what a lot of people from the previous generation say, we have a whole lot more of our salaries left, on average, to buy useless stuff, than they did, even if everything costs more. Suits me fine.
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Old 21st August 2008, 12:09 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
The vast majority of individuals and families will want to live without being raped, kidnapped, stolen from, or murdered; and thus it would be in their interest not to do those things to others (principle of reciprocity)
Are we talking about fantasy or reality, here ?
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Old 21st August 2008, 12:11 PM   #33
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I look at government as an inherently evil entity that exists by violating the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP), most notably by collecting taxes and not giving individuals a choice.
How old are you, Alex ? Really, I mean. Your stance reeks of inexperience.
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Old 21st August 2008, 12:47 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by D'rok View Post
If you are basing your theory on near-universal acceptance of the NAP, you are talking about completely re-engineering human nature. If you think that the NAP is human nature, you have about 2500 years of politcal philosophy to refute.
Self-interest for oneself and one's family / friends is at the very core of human nature. Some people are prone to initiate aggression, yes, but mainly it's in situations that benefit them, and I am arguing that in a vast majority of cases this benefit is a direct result of the government violating the NAP first.

Consider theft - anything that's worth stealing represents a value, and value can be in part used (or borrowed against) to pay to protect it, unless a corrupt and unaccountable government agency monopolizes the market on protection services. And the government steals from everyone who creates wealth, and far more than you think. How much cheaper would renting an apartment cost, for example, if landlords weren't taxed and regulated by the government? If someone uses poverty as a mental excuse to steal to pays one's rent, that fraction of the blame goes to the government. The same applies to people stealing to feed their drug habit, since drugs would be much cheaper and safer if they weren't illegal.

Consider rape - is it a cost-effective strategy for the rapist in the long run, compared, for example, to going to a prostitute (perhaps one that specializes in simulated rape)? No, but by regulating free market sexual activity the government created an incentive for aggression to get what can't be bought. And maybe this murderer became desensitized to violence while serving a prison sentence for a victimless crime?

Consider murder - what is the most people that any criminal organization has killed that wasn't profiting from either taxation or government prohibition (i.e. alcohol, drugs, etc)? Psychopaths like Ted Bundy are rare, and are less of a danger to society (especially a well-armed society) than lightning. Compare that to the hundreds of millions who have been killed by government wars, repression, and artificially-created famines during the 20th century alone! And I'm pretty certain the Columbine massacre wouldn't have occurred if those kids weren't herded into a part-time government prison it calls a "public school"!

And Anarcho-Capitalism is a long-term idea, and human nature is not entirely constant. For example - for most of human history, it was considered that cheap agricultural labor (serfs or slaves) is essential for human civilization, but the industrial revolution reversed that completely. How can you assume that the Information Revolution, or the progressive revolutions to come, won't bring any social changes as well?
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Old 21st August 2008, 12:58 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
Self-interest for oneself and one's family / friends is at the very core of human nature. Some people are prone to initiate aggression, yes, but mainly it's in situations that benefit them, and I am arguing that in a vast majority of cases this benefit is a direct result of the government violating the NAP first.
This is, unfortunately, transparently and self-evidently false.

Consider theft -- it is always in my best interests to take an object of value from you and use it myself, unless the cost to me for doing so exceeds the use. The amount you choose to spend on protection is irrelevant. Even in the absence of government, it is still better for me to steal your food than to starve myself.

The only difference is whether the government pays for security, or you pay for security, or both. But in any case, the government has no causal effect on whether not it's in my best interest to commit theft.

Quote:
And Anarcho-Capitalism is a long-term idea,
So is Hello Kitty. The difference is that Hello Kitty is a smarter idea.

Quote:
How can you assume that the Information Revolution, or the progressive revolutions to come, won't bring any social changes as well?
Make up your mind. Either Anarcho-capitalism is a long-term idea that has always been out of touch with human nature, in which case the historical analysis that shows that it doesn't work is both relevant and damning --- or it is a short-term idea that can only be justified against a new social order that has not yet arisen, in which case it cannot be analyzed historically and you have no data to justify your support.
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Old 21st August 2008, 01:01 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
I look at government as an inherently evil entity that exists by violating the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP),
Has anyone else noticed that the stupider the political theory, the more acronyms its proponents need to justify it?

Part of the old Soviet COMINTERN legacy, I guess. Newspeak in action --- if the proponents used words, they might think about the meanings of the slogans they were spouting.
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Old 21st August 2008, 01:03 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
In a society without a government, your market activism will become the ultimate statement on who you are and what you represent as a human being. In absence of political circus,...

...I honestly cannot think of any scenario in which a self-interested Anarcho-Capitalist society would come to be dominated by a centralized authority against its will. Can you?
What are you talking about?! You seemed to be claiming that doing business with any large market entity would be seen as undesirable...

Originally Posted by Alex Libman
doing business with large market entities would be seen as undesirable,
Originally Posted by Ladewig
Why? Won't some consumers make their choice based only on price? If a large market entity has a lower price they will capture those consumers.
That was the assertion I was challenging. If people have a choice of buying apples from farmer Brown or from The Happy Orchard Farm Collective, and the latter has lower prices (perhaps from larger scale operations), then many will choose the H.O.F.C. apples. Furthermore, if the H.O.F.C. treats its workers as fairly as farmer Brown, then they are well on their way to becoming a popular large market entity.

I also expect without state and federal laws regulating the lists of ingredients, clearly marked amounts of fat and sugar, and any health claims, then a large number of food producers would be printing labels that would say "all organic, all natural, 100% fat free and sugar free, now with added cancer fighting agents." Who would stop them?

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

As for all that other stuff about Kim Jong-il's brand of socks, Mark Felt has it right:
Quote:
Your system doesn't account for non-publicised ownership.
Furthermore, do you have any evidence that buying socks made in sweatshops would result in "losing the respect of your friends, possibly losing your job, or even being kicked out of restaurants when someone notices what socks you're wearing"? What if the person wearing the socks explains that it was all he could afford. You believe that friendships will be broken because some people cannot afford quality clothing? I personally don't want to live in a society where employers might fire me for wearing the wrong brand of socks. Your hypothetical would result in people who cannot afford the right clothes not being able to find fair and equitable employment - therefore unscrupulous business owners could then hire these people at lower wages and take advantage of them.
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Old 21st August 2008, 01:12 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
How much cheaper would renting an apartment cost, for example, if landlords weren't taxed and regulated by the government?
Not cheaper at all considering that it would even out to the same amount if all tax was dropped tomorrow.

Quote:
The same applies to people stealing to feed their drug habit, since drugs would be much cheaper and safer if they weren't illegal.
This would only be true if there was regulation. If there's no regulation, why are you saying that it'd be safer? What's that? Consumers wouldn't buy drugs that are unsafe once people start dying? Why, it's suddenly repackaged in a new form! In a new name! With a ton of marketing driving the price up!

Quote:
Consider rape - is it a cost-effective strategy for the rapist in the long run, compared, for example, to going to a prostitute (perhaps one that specializes in simulated rape)?
Yes, considering how much decent prostitutes charge. Rape costs you nothing.

Quote:
No
Uh...

Quote:
but by regulating free market sexual activity the government created an incentive for aggression to get what can't be bought.
We need a facepalm smilie.

Quote:
And maybe this murderer became desensitized to violence while serving a prison sentence for a victimless crime?
I thought he was a rapist? Check your statistics on this, I'm pretty sure that's not how it works. Most murderers don't start out on victimless crimes, they start out on assaults and work their way up.

Quote:
Consider murder - what is the most people that any criminal organization has killed that wasn't profiting from either taxation or government prohibition (i.e. alcohol, drugs, etc)?
Well, this took a turn for the non-sequiter.

Quote:
Psychopaths like Ted Bundy are rare, and are less of a danger to society (especially a well-armed society) than lightning.
There are, last count that I read, though this was a statistic from 1998 that I'm not entirely sure is still relevant, estimated to be at least 2000 serial killers at large in the US.

I like how you're completely ignoring the murders that weren't done by serial killers. Ignore everything that doesn't fit into your worldview!

Quote:
Compare that to the hundreds of millions who have been killed by government wars, repression, and artificially-created famines during the 20th century alone!
Let's look at Africa for many examples of what happens when there's no government, shall we?

Quote:
And I'm pretty certain the Columbine massacre wouldn't have occurred if those kids weren't herded into a part-time government prison it calls a "public school"!
Your solution isn't to fix them, it's to get rid of them. Your solution sucks **** through a straw.

Quote:
And Anarcho-Capitalism is a long-term idea, and human nature is not entirely constant. For example - for most of human history, it was considered that cheap agricultural labor (serfs or slaves) is essential for human civilization, but the industrial revolution reversed that completely. How can you assume that the Information Revolution, or the progressive revolutions to come, won't bring any social changes as well?
How can you assume that it will bring the changes you see coming? It follows logically from the development of the machine that slave labour is no longer the economically efficient solution. The same can't be said of the internet and anarcho-capitalism.
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Old 21st August 2008, 01:12 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
Self-interest for oneself and one's family / friends is at the very core of human nature. Some people are prone to initiate aggression, yes, but mainly it's in situations that benefit them, and I am arguing that in a vast majority of cases this benefit is a direct result of the government violating the NAP first.
So, you are stating/implying that self-interest only (or mostly) results in interpersonal aggression with the presence of government. Remove government, and the source of self-interested aggression and therefore such aggression itself is removed, correct? I'll be sure to remember that at my next beer-league soccer match when some 20-year old dipsh*t takes out my ankle.

Quote:
Consider theft - anything that's worth stealing represents a value, and value can be in part used (or borrowed against) to pay to protect it, unless a corrupt and unaccountable government agency monopolizes the market on protection services. And the government steals from everyone who creates wealth, and far more than you think. How much cheaper would renting an apartment cost, for example, if landlords weren't taxed and regulated by the government? If someone uses poverty as a mental excuse to steal to pays one's rent, that fraction of the blame goes to the government. The same applies to people stealing to feed their drug habit, since drugs would be much cheaper and safer if they weren't illegal.
I can't quite parse your claims here. You seem to be saying that prices for things of value would be cheaper without government to a) protect those things from theft, and b) regulate commerce, and that these price reductions would result in less theft. Seems specious to me.

Quote:
Consider rape - is it a cost-effective strategy for the rapist in the long run, compared, for example, to going to a prostitute (perhaps one that specializes in simulated rape)? No, but by regulating free market sexual activity the government created an incentive for aggression to get what can't be bought. And maybe this murderer became desensitized to violence while serving a prison sentence for a victimless crime?
You jumped right from rape to murder without a proper connecting idea. Nonetheless, your claim here is that a rapist is doing a cost-benefit analysis when he rapes and if government stopped regulating/criminalizing the sex trade, the rapist could just get a hooker for cheap instead of committing sexual assault. I'm sorry, but rape is not an act of economic calculus.

Quote:
Consider murder - what is the most people that any criminal organization has killed that wasn't profiting from either taxation or government prohibition (i.e. alcohol, drugs, etc)? Psychopaths like Ted Bundy are rare, and are less of a danger to society (especially a well-armed society) than lightning. Compare that to the hundreds of millions who have been killed by government wars, repression, and artificially-created famines during the 20th century alone! And I'm pretty certain the Columbine massacre wouldn't have occurred if those kids weren't herded into a part-time government prison it calls a "public school"!
Don't forget religion. How will anarchy prevent religious violence? Nonetheless, your claim is that government or government regulation is the primary source of murder - remove government, do away with most murder. Once again, the premise seems to be that murder is mainly done as part of a cost-benefit analysis. Listening to some good old murder ballads should help disabuse you of that notion.

ETA: here's a good one:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the JREF. The JREF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


Quote:
And Anarcho-Capitalism is a long-term idea, and human nature is not entirely constant. For example - for most of human history, it was considered that cheap agricultural labor (serfs or slaves) is essential for human civilization, but the industrial revolution reversed that completely. How can you assume that the Information Revolution, or the progressive revolutions to come, won't bring any social changes as well?
Your last sentence is, of course, a straw man. Please point out where I said social change is impossible. Social change is not the same thing as changing human nature. You are basing your entire theory on the premise that, without government, humans will co-exist with minimal interpersonal or inter-group aggression. That is something far more profound than social change, and is, franky, unsupportable other than by assertion.

Your "state of nature" is even more fanciful than Rousseau's.
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Last edited by D'rok; 21st August 2008 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 21st August 2008, 01:18 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Who builds the roads?
Quoted for emphasis.
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