Big Head Press Forum

Online Comics => Escape From Terra => Topic started by: SandySandfort on January 10, 2011, 09:43:32 am

Title: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: SandySandfort on January 10, 2011, 09:43:32 am
I was peripherally involved in an event that illustrates how wrong the pro-statism crowd is about AnCap. They try to limit the discussion to why AnCap would not take care of the disadvantaged, because, they claim, it would not be in their economic self-interest. Try this on for size.

Last night, I received an e-mail asking for my help to find a lawyer in my home state, Missouri. By the time I got back to my computer and responded, though, the parties in question had found a lawyer on their own, so they no longer needed a referral. Today I found out what was going on. Read about it here:

  http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2011/tle602-20110109-02.html

This is how the market anarchists I know behave. We are always willing to not only offer a helping hand to our friends, but to respond to help people they do not even know. Funny, it seems it is only the modern liberal statists who rarely want to get involved. In a market anarchy, freedom trumps the dollar.

Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: mellyrn on January 10, 2011, 05:53:20 pm
OMG, awesome story!

I tried searching for Shaun Lee, to find a way to contribute.  I found this
http://dailypaul.com/node/153964
which has additional commentary by Jim Davidson, which also makes great reading.  And there's a link at the bottom for contributions.

Individual Sovereignty University -- I can't find it online.  Any ideas?
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: SandySandfort on January 10, 2011, 10:35:19 pm
Individual Sovereignty University -- I can't find it online.  Any ideas?

http://www.indsovu.com/tiki-index.php
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: KBCraig on January 11, 2011, 01:12:04 am
There have been numerous similar cases where calls for help were met with overwhelming response and support from the AnCap/Voluntaryist/Agorist communities. Porc-411, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, phone chains, email lists, etc., have all played a part in getting help to people who need it.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: KBCraig on January 11, 2011, 01:45:35 am

  http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2011/tle602-20110109-02.html


Gee, who on earth could "a friend in Central America" possibly be?  ;)
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Karadan on January 11, 2011, 08:30:52 am

  http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2011/tle602-20110109-02.html


Gee, who on earth could "a friend in Central America" possibly be?  ;)
Likely some crazed person who spreads propaganda in a subtle yet effective way in an attempt to both entertain and show people the good side of anarcocapitalism.  I'm sure they use the web for this medium, perhaps even going so far as to make a webcomic.  Uncivilized people, trying to convince and educate and persuade.  We all know the only civilized and logical way to convince people to change their government is to bomb the heck out of them and then occupy them with military forces.

P.S.  Awesome story.  Hope she gets her kids.  Will be interesting to see how this all turns out.  The biggest problem is likely to be obtaining proof that her injury was caused by her husband.  While the fact that he and his father obviously lied about the real cause, and the attempt to institutionalize her are like to work in her favor, it can still be difficult.  Well, legal issues in general are difficult actually.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on January 11, 2011, 08:53:24 am
Heartwarming to hear about Shaun Lee's rescue.

I've noticed and been a part of numerous other efforts, big and small. Voluntary mutual aid plays a very large role in the libertarian community. With the economy as it is, many people are in need, and many others are pitching in.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: spudit on January 11, 2011, 12:47:28 pm
Quote
Likely some crazed person who spreads propaganda in a subtle yet effective way in an attempt to both entertain and show people the good side of anarcocapitalism.  I'm sure they use the web for this medium, perhaps even going so far as to make a webcomic.  Uncivilized people, trying to convince and educate and persuade.  

Wait a minute, this fun stuff is supposed to be educational?  
I dunno about that.      

With the insanity in Arizona going on at the same time and the sneaking suspicion others will be judged by that nut job's actions, even educational good news is more than welcome. Thanks
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: ContraryGuy on January 14, 2011, 09:05:54 am
I was peripherally involved in an event that illustrates how wrong the pro-statism crowd is about AnCap. They try to limit the discussion to why AnCap would not take care of the disadvantaged, because, they claim, it would not be in their economic self-interest. Try this on for size.

Last night, I received an e-mail asking for my help to find a lawyer in my home state, Missouri. By the time I got back to my computer and responded, though, the parties in question had found a lawyer on their own, so they no longer needed a referral. Today I found out what was going on. Read about it here:

  http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2011/tle602-20110109-02.html

This is how the market anarchists I know behave. We are always willing to not only offer a helping hand to our friends, but to respond to help people they do not even know. Funny, it seems it is only the modern liberal statists who rarely want to get involved. In a market anarchy, freedom trumps the dollar.

Hi Everyone,
As most of you know, I have been critical of  some of AnCaps principles and stated beliefs because I cant see how they'd work.
That said, I like to say also that this is a fantastic story of friends riding to the rescue.
You may notice, however, that the person documenting it has a website with a tenuous connection to Star Trek;  We Trekkies are a wide, diverse and friendly group.  We also tend to help out strangers and friends of friends, especially when they are in danger.

Now I suppose this guy might not be a Trekkie, it doesnt really matter.  With Facebook and a phone, you've got all the friends you need.
This guy says it was all due to the power of Libetarianism and the love of freedom.

Not so; it was done by the power of friends and friends of friends.  And Facebook.

Being a member of fandom, I have heard of dozens of similar stories and helped out in a couple of them.  It has nothing to do with AnCap, or Libertarianism.
It has to do with "Oh my gosh, a friend is in trouble; how can I help?"

So, yes, AnCap really is about the money; market anarchists (like Bernie Madoff and Enron) would have it no other way.

But.... score one for the good guys!
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: SandySandfort on January 14, 2011, 10:44:36 am
Ah, a Trekkie. That explains a lot.

As most of you know, I have been critical of  some of AnCaps principles and stated beliefs because I cant see how they'd work.

Your limited imagination is not an argument against market anarchy. You need to actually read about what you don't understand.

This guy says it was all due to the power of Libetarianism and the love of freedom.

You need to improve your reading comprehension skills. That is not what was said at all. Please re-read it. But to save you the trouble, I will rephrase it in terms you may be able to understand.

If all that matters to market anarchists is money (which is what several critics have tried to imply), then situations in which libertarians/AnCaps/market anarchists or whatever, help others without expectation of financial reward, would not exist. Got it now?

So, yes, AnCap really is about the money; market anarchists (like Bernie Madoff and Enron) would have it no other way.

It is tempting to think you are just stupid or ignorant to call Madoff and Enron examples of market anarchism. So I figure you are just being a mean-spirited troll. However, in the off chance that you really are that stupid or ignorant, I suggest you cure your ignorance by actually reading some good books about market anarchy. (Sorry, there isn't any cure I know of to address stupidity, if that is your affliction.)
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: ContraryGuy on January 14, 2011, 12:09:11 pm
Ah, a Trekkie. That explains a lot.

As most of you know, I have been critical of  some of AnCaps principles and stated beliefs because I cant see how they'd work.

Your limited imagination is not an argument against market anarchy. You need to actually read about what you don't understand.

This guy says it was all due to the power of Libetarianism and the love of freedom.

You need to improve your reading comprehension skills. That is not what was said at all. Please re-read it. But to save you the trouble, I will rephrase it in terms you may be able to understand.

If all that matters to market anarchists is money (which is what several critics have tried to imply), then situations in which libertarians/AnCaps/market anarchists or whatever, help others without expectation of financial reward, would not exist. Got it now?

So, yes, AnCap really is about the money; market anarchists (like Bernie Madoff and Enron) would have it no other way.

It is tempting to think you are just stupid or ignorant to call Madoff and Enron examples of market anarchism. So I figure you are just being a mean-spirited troll. However, in the off chance that you really are that stupid or ignorant, I suggest you cure your ignorance by actually reading some good books about market anarchy. (Sorry, there isn't any cure I know of to address stupidity, if that is your affliction.)


I see that I have caused you to disregard all of my statements and ideas because of your misperceptions of Trekkies.
I think you should look past the popular media portrayal of us, and, you know, maybe meet one or two adult fans of Star Trek.

Shauns friends who rushed to her aid did not do so because of a political ideology;  they did so because they were her friends.  I guess you missed the part where I said that.

I would rather have friends and friends of friends come to my aid than I would market anarchists.

Because... friends are more often than not dependable, and anarchists are, by definition, not.
Who knows what an anarchist, market or not, will do?

Friends will rush to your aid.  And they wont ask you for money or anything else except your friendship.  Your friends may even help you if you dont help them back. 
Because that what friends do.

Or are you saying that everyone on Facebook who decided to help Shaun was/is a market anarchist.
I'm on Facebook and if I'd heard of this I would have wanted to help too.

Because I'm a nice guy, not because I share an ideology with the people involved.

Sandy, have you ever heard the parable of the Good Samaritan?  Was he a market anarchist, or an AnCap?  Friends helping friends and strangers helping strangers do so out of a concept called "altruism".  Look it up.  It has nothing to do with Liberal statism.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 14, 2011, 12:36:50 pm

As most of you know, I have been critical of  some of AnCaps principles and stated beliefs because I cant see how they'd work.

Your limited imagination is not an argument against market anarchy. You need to actually read about what you don't understand.

I've been kind of mystified by some of that, and I think maybe I see a pattern.

AnCap principles are very much incomplete if you're looking for something to tell you entirely how to run your life. They say a lot about what not to do, but leave a whole lot of freedom about what to do.

So could a person be a Christian AnCap? I say yes. Jesus said to give away all your possessions to the poor. An AnCap businessman could give away all the profits he extracts from the business to the poor and live on other people's charity himself, and still be a good steward to his business which does good by producing wealth which people buy and also by providing alms for the poor. There's nothing in AnCap to say he can't handle his own affairs that way. There's nothing in Christianity that says he has to oppress anybody.

Similarly I have seen claims that there's nothing wrong with being an AnCap Muslim.

There's nothing wrong with AnCaps starting a garage band which will never make any money, that consumes a part of what they make other ways. They get to do what they want with their profits. AnCap doesn't tell them what to do apart from not oppressing people.

So, somebody who thinks AnCap thinking is supposed to tell everybody everything, may think that AnCaps will have no charity, no religion, and no garage bands. Because the philosophy doesn't tell them they have to.

AnCap thinking is intentionally incomplete. Anything which is not forbidden is allowed. If people want to do tribal things without oppressing anybody with them, that's fine. You can rescue a member of the tribe from bad guys. You can say that your tribe is better than other tribes. The sky's the limit. Get space travel and the sky might be pretty far out there, too.

People who think, for some variable X,

1. X is good.
2. People will not do X unless they are forced to do X.
3. AnCap will not force people to do X.
4. Therefore, X will not happen in AnCap

are failing particularly at step #2. Will people voluntarily do enough X or too much X under AnCap? Who knows? They'll do the amount they want to, and nobody can measure that until the time comes that it's tried.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: spudit on January 14, 2011, 01:10:13 pm
Modern Capitalisim has been tested since Adam Smith's era;. it's as old and mature as steam power.

The American style republic is just as old, tested, mature and well understood.

Applied Comunisim is as old as the mass produced car and as above holds no surprises.

AnCap is not even where Communisim was when Lenin took over Russia, which was mostly theory. We know, now, it won't work very well. But in all fairness no one knew for sure in 1917. It had to be tried, the experiment run, before it was a certainty. I am not endorsing the Bolshivecks, but at least they tried their way and now we know.

AnCap is where Communisim was in Marx's day,  the social experiment yet to be run.

Go Team AnCap!  
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: wdg3rd on January 14, 2011, 03:34:07 pm
People who think, for some variable X,

1. X is good.
2. People will not do X unless they are forced to do X.
3. AnCap will not force people to do X.
4. Therefore, X will not happen in AnCap


If (2) is the case, my suspicion is that (1) is demonstrably false except perhaps in the imaginations of the statists who want to force other people to do it.  Will people do X if they are paid to do it?
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: SandySandfort on January 14, 2011, 05:10:16 pm
I see that I have caused you to disregard all of my statements and ideas because of your misperceptions of Trekkies.
I think you should look past the popular media portrayal of us, and, you know, maybe meet one or two adult fans of Star Trek.

Funny, I didn't say anything about what my perceptions of Treckkies are. Gee, I wonder what you assumed they were.  ::)

Actually, I have a better impression of Treckies than is found in the popular media, because, you know, I know one or two adult (sic) fans of Star Trek. Fortunately, most of the Trekkies I knew in the past, have moved up to science fiction (not to mention reality).

Shauns friends who rushed to her aid did not do so because of a political ideology;  they did so because they were her friends.  I guess you missed the part where I said that.

Not at all, it was just erroneous and irrelevant. They are all libertarians (as is Shaun) and that is why they were friends to begin with. And of course, my point was that even though they are libertarians/AnCaps/etc., they did not behave in the economic manner you say that such types behave. In other words, your assumptions about people with such ideologies is still wrong on its face.

I would rather have friends and friends of friends come to my aid than I would market anarchists.

Have you ever taken any courses in logic, rhetoric, logical thinking or the like? This last statement is a false dichotomy. Do you even know what that means? Friends and market anarchists are not mutually exclusive terms. However, if it will make you feel better about your illogical statements, I promise, as a market anarchist, that I will not come to your aid. So you get your wish.  :P

Because... friends are more often than not dependable, and anarchists are, by definition, not.

Please give us a citation to that definition. My guess it is from the ContraryGuy Dictionary and nowhere else. I prefer the literal meaning of "anarchy," which is "no rulers," not "not dependable" or "having no friends." Man, you are pathetic.

Who knows what an anarchist, market or not, will do?

Well, obviously not you.  ;D

Friends will rush to your aid.  And they wont ask you for money or anything else except your friendship.  Your friends may even help you if you dont help them back.  Because that what friends do.

Yeah, including market anarchist friends, such as Shaun's friends. Aren't you paying attention? Shaun's friend, who are libertarians, AnCaps, and market anarchists rushed to her aid without asking her for money or anything else except friendship. Please tell us your sad little theory about why Shaun's story doesn't completely negate your opinions. Inquiring minds want to know, CG.

Or are you saying that everyone on Facebook who decided to help Shaun was/is a market anarchist.

No, of course not. What I am saying is that the core group that got the ball rolling--Jim Davidson, et alia--are all raving libertarians, anarcho-capitalists and even (shudder) Agorists! And you are the one claiming that AnCaps, etc. don't do the things that these folks have done for Shaun. Res ipsa loquitur, you are wrong based on the facts, your quaint fantasies to the contrary not withstanding.

I'm on Facebook and if I'd heard of this I would have wanted to help too.
Because I'm a nice guy, not because I share an ideology with the people involved.

And did you help Shaun, Mr. Nice Guy? I thought not. But hey, it's not too late. There is a legal fund that market anarchists have started contributing to. If you want, I will get you information about where you can make a donation, because you are a nice guy and all that...

Sandy, have you ever heard the parable of the Good Samaritan?  Was he a market anarchist, or an AnCap?

Psst! The Parable of the Good Samaritan is... a parable (a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson.) Kind of like Aesop and Uncle Remus.  :)

Anyway, if true, the Good Samaritan might have been an anarchist. You know, there was that whole Third Samaritan Revolt unpleasantness. Anyway, I don't know and neither do you. So what's your point?

Friends helping friends and strangers helping strangers do so out of a concept called "altruism".  Look it up.  It has nothing to do with Liberal statism.

Well, I'm not omniscient, as you pretend to be. I am not so arrogant as to claim I know what motivates people to do good deeds. All that I can say for sure is that people do good deeds and some of those people are market anarchist, so put that in your pipe and smoke it, Mr. Nice Guy.

P.S. Please report back when you have made a contribution to Shaun's legal war chest. You talk big, but I think you are altruism deficient when push comes to shove. Please prove me wrong.  :D

P.P.S. As fun as poking the caged monkey can be, I am feeling... compassion. I will stop making you look like a loser for now. Of course, if you say anything that is really, really stupid, I will all over you like stink on shit. Have a nice day.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: quadibloc on January 15, 2011, 02:37:04 am
If all that matters to market anarchists is money (which is what several critics have tried to imply), then situations in which libertarians/AnCaps/market anarchists or whatever, help others without expectation of financial reward, would not exist. Got it now?
I'm going to hasten to clarify myself!

Why, the very webcomic is you entertaining people without expectation of financial reward!

I have no doubt that the AnCap movement is composed of people who aren't trying to get rich on the backs of others.

The stereotypical vicious capitalist would not waste his time with Utopian dreams, but would instead go for the most practical way of getting lower taxes and less regulations - while not losing the aspects of the statist system that benefit him. So I would expect to find these people supporting the Republicans, not the Libertarians.

I have raised the subject of the poor being exploited by big businesses that would have an advantage in market power. That's because, in our existing statist system, the only obvious remedies to that problem which have ever been tried are socialistic in nature. So I ask the question - what does AnCap have to offer them? This has to do with their point of view, not your motives.

Of course, the same thing that would really solve the problems of those who live by selling their labor is also the thing that would make AnCap viable (even if only temporarily) as a political system. An open frontier. Accessible enough for people to get there, inaccessible enough not to be exposed to the danger of conquest by the state next door.

I'm seeing AnCap, therefore, not as a political solution, but as a political phase. Something that could rise up if our existing system does collapse, but not something that could be voted in and start fixing things - yes, I know it's philosophically the wrong route, but it's nonviolent and could be used to facilitate a gradual transition. It still seems to me that if we tried going to AnCap in our present circumstances, it risks making things much worse instead of better - but that it could be a far better way to live under the right circumstances makes sense to me too.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 15, 2011, 07:59:59 am

Shauns friends who rushed to her aid did not do so because of a political ideology;  they did so because they were her friends.  I guess you missed the part where I said that.

Not at all, it was just erroneous and irrelevant. They are all libertarians (as is Shaun) and that is why they were friends to begin with. And of course, my point was that even though they are libertarians/AnCaps/etc., they did not behave in the economic manner you say that such types behave. In other words, your assumptions about people with such ideologies is still wrong on its face.

I kind of feel like it's better not to prolong this, but it really doesn't say much of anything about AnCap. You guys were acting tribal, which is not a bad thing in itself, and AnCap as a philosophy says nothing about people acting tribal while they do not coerce people.

Imagine it going other ways. You have an AnCap friend whose wife is not AnCap, and suddenly she gets a message out; she says he's violent and dangerous, he hurt her and now he's trying to get her committed. What do you do?

Quite likely you call him and ask him what's going on. He explains that she's gone crazy. He just doesn't know what to do. He feels responsible for her, but he's afraid for the children. He can't think of anything better than find a private mental hospital where she can get therapy. It's expensive but what can you do? You sympathize with his problem. It is not a tribal issue in that case.

You are friends with an AnCap couple, and she says he's violent and dangerous, he hurt her and now he's trying to get her committed. What do you do?

Quite likely you call him and ask him what's going on. You suggest arbitration. You point out she feels afraid and maybe she could get a motel for a few days? No? Your wife says she could stay with you.... Or the kids could stay with you and the wife with another mutual friend, just while things settle down. It sounds like they could use some breathing room.

A few friends help out in the most effective ways and everybody else has a strong sense of MYOB. Seems plausible? When it isn't us versus them....

It doesn't prove anything about AnCap that people who believe in AnCap feel tribal while they're a minority living under majority rule. It does defy the stupid idea that people who believe in AnCap are supposed to never ever do anything unless it's obviously in their own individual self-interest.

And regardless of what it proves, it's one for the good guys.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: SandySandfort on January 15, 2011, 08:17:33 am
I have raised the subject of the poor being exploited by big businesses that would have an advantage in market power...

Your question is loaded. It assume facts not in evidence. You are assuming that in a market anarchy, any "big" businesses would exist at all. Of course, "big" is a weasel word. Obviously, if my farm is twice as large as your farm, it is a "big" business from your point of view. However it doesn not obviously or necessarily mean I have an advantage in market power that would allow me to "exploit" anyone.

If you mean "General Motors" big, there is every reason to believe enterprises that large would be impossible in a free market, due to the many dis-economies of scale and the lower barriers to entry by new, leaner, quicker, smarter businesses.

The only way that a business that size is possible, is when it is preferentially upheld and protected by government action. No business entity that large has ever existed on the face on the earth, without government interference in the marketplace. None. Show me a business big enough to exploit anyone and I will show you the man behind the curtain, whom you conveniently ignore.

Until you can show me a business large enough to "exploit" (another weasels word) anyone, that has ever existed without government protection, the assumptions underlying your question fail. Thus the question has no relevance to the real world.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on January 15, 2011, 11:13:53 am
What does AnCap have to offer the poor? A great deal!

AnCap takes away the arguments for the "legitimacy" of oppression.

As Harriet Tubman said: “I freed a thousand slaves; I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”

The poor take it in the nuts when it comes to taxes, direct and indirect. Much is made of progressive income tax rates, but FICA taxes are anti-progressive - a flat rate and a cap on maximum levels. Sales taxes are flat taxes. AnCap encourages the poor to resist taxes; to work and trade "under the table."

The poor are usually educated in substandard inner-city schools.  AnCap encourages the poor to educate themselves and/or to rely upon the private sector - a lesson which many are applying, as home-schooling now reaches 4% of Americans, many of whom are in the lower economic strata. James Tooley documents the extent to which very poor people prefer free-market schools to government schools in African and Asian countries.

The poor are usually ill-served by the police. AnCap encourages the poor to defend themselves. Robert Williams' Negroes With Guns documents how a voluntary militia, the Deacons for Defense, broke the back of the Ku Klux Klan. It also reminds us that the KKK actually depended upon government support.

The poor are harmed by licensing, minimum wage laws, price controls, zoning laws, and so forth. AnCap de-legitimizes these oppressive laws and encourages the poor to find ways to evade them.

The poor are often victims of the monopoly "justice" system. AnCap delegitimizes that tool of oppression and encourages voluntary, responsible, even-handed replacements.

Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Plane on January 15, 2011, 04:05:36 pm
Will the free state project be an experiment that will allow AnCap to prove itself , maybe partially.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on January 15, 2011, 05:00:57 pm
If you look at things the right way, we already have experiments with how people behave in the absence of government. Consider, for example, home-schooling - as government-free a process as one can get, especially compared to the highly-regulated private schools and the government-owned "public" schools.

The result? The average home-schooler scores about 35 percentile points above the average in those schools controlled by government.

Not only that, for those "what about the poor?" theorists, home-schoolers find that socio-economic differences have a much smaller impact on home-schoolers than in government schools. You don't have to be rich, white, and well-educated; you can be poor, black or hispanic, and have a GED, and your home-schooled kids will still be far above the norm.

There are now about 2 million Americans already trying the AnCap way of providing for education.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: quadibloc on January 15, 2011, 10:03:50 pm
Until you can show me a business large enough to "exploit" (another weasels word) anyone, that has ever existed without government protection, the assumptions underlying your question fail. Thus the question has no relevance to the real world.
You're the one who is proposing a new order of things.

Businesses that have had government protection have exploited people, and businesses have hired their own security guards.

Exploit doesn't mean oppress or enslave. It merely means to noncoercively take advantage of a buyer's market in labor.

If that isn't acceptable behavior under the ZAP, this comes as a surprise to me.

Basically, when a voluntary exchange benefits both parties - but one greatly, and one to a small extent, it can happen that the latter party will grumble ungratefully. The moral justice of that is irrelevant to noting that such situations can have consequences inimical to the continued existence of a free society. Discontent attracts demagogues to exploit it the way blood attracts sharks.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: SandySandfort on January 16, 2011, 11:21:37 am
I would have the burden of proof (what you are implying), if I were trying to convince you of something. I'm not. Frankly, whether you get it or not is of little consequence to me.

However, it is you who is trying to convince me and others that "big business" can "exploit" others, absent a government. So the burden, in that regard, is yours. Also, your use of a pejorative term such as "exploit" in a non-standard way is duplicitous. Under ZAP, their is no "exploitation" absent the use or threat of force. So you can call free trade a form of "violence," "exploitation" or "biscuits and gravy," but that does nothing to uphold your thesis about "big business."
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Plane on January 16, 2011, 11:31:23 am
There must be a minimum threshhold of understanding the principals of An Cap before one would expect it to be socially usefull.


If only half the people involved in a society understand AnCap can the population begin to use the principals while half of them do not know how?
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 16, 2011, 02:01:37 pm
I would have the burden of proof (what you are implying), if I were trying to convince you of something. I'm not. Frankly, whether you get it or not is of little consequence to me.

However, it is you who is trying to convince me and others that "big business" can "exploit" others, absent a government.

It has seemed to me all this time that you were making claims.

Now it seems you are not claiming that truly free markets are likely to result in small businesses and not large ones. Nor that monopolies will lose money if they try to set artificially high prices. Nor, well, anything.

Whatever you claimed would leave the burden of proof on you. But instead it seems you make no claim except that societies that did not engage in coercion would not engage in coercion. A is A.

Quote
If you mean "General Motors" big, there is every reason to believe enterprises that large would be impossible in a free market, due to the many dis-economies of scale and the lower barriers to entry by new, leaner, quicker, smarter businesses.

The only way that a business that size is possible, is when it is preferentially upheld and protected by government action. No business entity that large has ever existed on the face on the earth, without government interference in the marketplace. None.

No, this is sophistry. You do make very big claims on the basis of no evidence whatsoever. So far as we know, there has never ever been a society big enough to support businesses like "General Motors" which did not have big governments which interfered in the marketplace. You can argue that no AnCap society can have big business, on the basis that there has never been an AnCap society that had big business.

But it would be just as reasonable to argue that no AnCap society, no matter how large the population, can have a GDP larger than $1,000,000. Because there has never ever been an AnCap society that had a GDP larger than $1,000,000.

The argument that requires no justification is the claim that we will find out what AnCaps societies do when we see AnCap societies. And so claims like "AnCap societies cannot have large businesses" or "AnCap societies can have large businesses" have not yet been proven.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: SandySandfort on January 16, 2011, 02:16:23 pm
I would have the burden of proof (what you are implying), if I were trying to convince you of something. I'm not. Frankly, whether you get it or not is of little consequence to me.

However, it is you who is trying to convince me and others that "big business" can "exploit" others, absent a government.

It has seemed to me all this time that you were making claims.

Not exactly the same thing, but in any case, my point in this particular discussion I made no claims. It was addressed to quad's assumption that (a) "Big" business entities (for some value of "big") could/would exist in an AnCap world, and his claim, based on that assumption that (b) such "big" business entities would be able to "exploit" anyone based on a ZAP definition of "exploit."

So my suggestion is that you try to keep up. If you want to talk about some claim you believe I have made and for some reason need to defend, please name it so we can go a few rounds before I knock you out... again.  ;)
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 16, 2011, 05:08:03 pm
I would have the burden of proof (what you are implying), if I were trying to convince you of something. I'm not. Frankly, whether you get it or not is of little consequence to me.

However, it is you who is trying to convince me and others that "big business" can "exploit" others, absent a government.

It has seemed to me all this time that you were making claims.

Not exactly the same thing, but in any case, my point in this particular discussion I made no claims. It was addressed to quad's assumption that (a) "Big" business entities (for some value of "big") could/would exist in an AnCap world, and his claim, based on that assumption that (b) such "big" business entities would be able to "exploit" anyone based on a ZAP definition of "exploit."

If you deny his claim that X can exist, you are making a claim that X cannot exist.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: SandySandfort on January 16, 2011, 07:42:48 pm
If you deny his claim that X can exist, you are making a claim that X cannot exist.

Have you considered a remedial reading course? I am making no such claim. Hell for all I know, such a chimera might actually exist. What I am stating is that quad has not made a prima facie case for such an entity, and therefore failed to meet his burden of proof. (How many times to you have to hear this before you get it?)
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on January 16, 2011, 08:17:04 pm
There must be a minimum threshhold of understanding the principals of An Cap before one would expect it to be socially usefull.


If only half the people involved in a society understand AnCap can the population begin to use the principals while half of them do not know how?

Spelling nitpick: you almost certainly meant "principles", that is, "ideas", as opposed to "principals", which would be people.

Answer to your question: nothing requires universal understanding of the principles.

In fact, there are already existing AnCap communities. The Amish, to name only one example, are as near to AnCap as no matter; they never use violence to redistribute wealth, nor to settle disputes, nor for any other purpose. They pay taxes only when forced to do so - and have managed to win an exemption from Social Security taxes. They do not accept government "benefits" either.

We who are not Amish do not need to understand how the Amish order their communities, for their efforts to work.

The same is true of many other small-scale AnCap efforts. Start small and build. If you only open your eyes and look, you'd  be amazed at how much happens without depending on force-based systems such as the State.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 16, 2011, 11:39:45 pm
If you deny his claim that X can exist, you are making a claim that X cannot exist.

Have you considered a remedial reading course? I am making no such claim. Hell for all I know, such a chimera might actually exist. What I am stating is that quad has not made a prima facie case for such an entity, and therefore failed to meet his burden of proof. (How many times to you have to hear this before you get it?)



Quote
If you mean "General Motors" big, there is every reason to believe enterprises that large would be impossible in a free market, due to the many dis-economies of scale and the lower barriers to entry by new, leaner, quicker, smarter businesses.

The only way that a business that size is possible, is when it is preferentially upheld and protected by government action. No business entity that large has ever existed on the face on the earth, without government interference in the marketplace. None.

When I say that you are making claims about reality, for which the burden of proof would be on you, it is not my poor reading skills that lead me to make that claim.

I like your comic. I like your ideas. I haven't met you personally but I like you. I'm getting the sense that you are unusually crabby just now, and whatever is doing that is probably affecting your thinking. You are wrong on this point of logic. That does not mean that your claims about how AnCap societies must inevitably work are wrong -- they could be right. You gave arguments that were somewhat plausible.

I wrote up an extended explanation showing how you were wrong and then erased it. I expect if you come back later when you're relaxed and have a clear head you'll see it. It isn't the most important thing in the world and I don't need to burden you with it if you're having a bad week.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: SandySandfort on January 17, 2011, 07:53:33 am
When I say that you are making claims about reality, for which the burden of proof would be on you, it is not my poor reading skills that lead me to make that claim.

And once again, I am not denying making claims sometimes. All this was ever about is the unsupported claims made by quad. If you want to start a thread about my claims, knock yourself out. But do not pollute this thread with other issues. I await your new thread on any claims you feel I have made and which you would like to see supported. (NOTE: Stories aren't "claims" they are stories and therefore require no proof.)

I'm getting the sense that you are unusually crabby just now, and whatever is doing that is probably affecting your thinking.

I will stipulate that I have been intemperate, of late. However, the issues that are making me intemperate are not affecting my thinking in a negative way. In fact, I am at the top of my game, mentally. I have to be. What is being affected is my mood. I have less time or motivation to suffer fools. So yes, I am "crabby." Deal with it.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 17, 2011, 10:39:36 am
When I say that you are making claims about reality, for which the burden of proof would be on you, it is not my poor reading skills that lead me to make that claim.

And once again, I am not denying making claims sometimes. All this was ever about is the unsupported claims made by quad.

In the course of poking at Quadribloc's unsupported claims, you made contradictory claims. You claimed that some of his assumptions could not be true.

For him to prove that AnCap can't work, he has to prove that the problems he proposes are inevitable and horrible. But you said that his argument can't work and you made particular claims to show that his argument can't work. You say he must prove your claims wrong or his argument fails.

It looks to me like you are using two-valued logic. His claim is true or false, unless he can prove it's true then it is false.

But logicly we should use five-valued logic. His claim is true or false or neither or both, and it may be undetermined.

Here is a true statement: Heavy things are heavy.

Here is a false statement: White things are always black.

Here is a neither statement: Water is solid. (Sometimes water is solid and sometimes it isn't.)

Here is a both statement: This statement is false.

Goldbach's conjecture is an example of an undetermined statement. It may be true or false, nobody seems to know yet. Someday somebody may find an example where it is not true, or someday somebody may find a proof.

I say that Quadribloc's conjecture is undetermined. He has not proven it will happen, and you have not proven it won't.

I expect it is undetermined. Some AnCap societies could find ways to prevent the bad things he hypothesizes without using coercion. Some will not.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: SandySandfort on January 17, 2011, 04:29:19 pm
In the course of poking at Quadribloc's unsupported claims, you made contradictory claims. You claimed that some of his assumptions could not be true.

Here's an idea. Instead of interpreting what you think I said/meant, quote me. Hoist me on my own petard. Then I will be more inclined to respond.
 
It looks to me like you are using two-valued logic. His claim is true or false, unless he can prove it's true then it is false.

Well, you need to look again. All I am saying is that his claims are not supported by any evidence or logic. Whether they are true or false isn't really at issue.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 17, 2011, 09:12:47 pm
In the course of poking at Quadribloc's unsupported claims, you made contradictory claims. You claimed that some of his assumptions could not be true.

Here's an idea. Instead of interpreting what you think I said/meant, quote me. Hoist me on my own petard. Then I will be more inclined to respond.

I've quoted you repeatedly.
 
Quote
It looks to me like you are using two-valued logic. His claim is true or false, unless he can prove it's true then it is false.

Well, you need to look again. All I am saying is that his claims are not supported by any evidence or logic. Whether they are true or false isn't really at issue.

Well, here's what he said:

Quote
I have raised the subject of the poor being exploited by big businesses that would have an advantage in market power. That's because, in our existing statist system, the only obvious remedies to that problem which have ever been tried are socialistic in nature. So I ask the question - what does AnCap have to offer them? ....

Of course, the same thing that would really solve the problems of those who live by selling their labor is also the thing that would make AnCap viable (even if only temporarily) as a political system. An open frontier. Accessible enough for people to get there, inaccessible enough not to be exposed to the danger of conquest by the state next door.

I'm seeing AnCap, therefore, not as a political solution, but as a political phase. Something that could rise up if our existing system does collapse, but not something that could be voted in and start fixing things - yes, I know it's philosophically the wrong route, but it's nonviolent and could be used to facilitate a gradual transition. It still seems to me that if we tried going to AnCap in our present circumstances, it risks making things much worse instead of better - but that it could be a far better way to live under the right circumstances makes sense to me too.

He thinks that when there is a labor surplus, poor people who have nothing to sell except their cheap labor will not do well, government or no government. I consider that unproven but quite plausible. There is no necessary relationship between the number of people available for work and the work available for people. There can be limiting factors which determine total productivity, and when those limiting factors are something other than available workers, you get surplus workers.

http://www.avocadosource.com/tools/FertCalc_files/liebigs_law.htm

But when there is a labor shortage, likely AnCap can allow everybody to exploit his own potential better than with governments interfering.

So he says AnCap should be very good for some situations, and for others it can run into problems it does not necessarily solve. Plausible but unproven. Other possibilities are that AnCap can never work well (although Terry Freeman pointed out that the Amish have an AnCap system, though one based on authoritarian elders and intense religious control). Or that AnCap will work perfectly for anybody anywhere, and can never generate social tensions no matter what happens.

You responded:

Quote
If you mean "General Motors" big, there is every reason to believe enterprises that large would be impossible in a free market, due to the many dis-economies of scale and the lower barriers to entry by new, leaner, quicker, smarter businesses.

The only way that a business that size is possible, is when it is preferentially upheld and protected by government action. No business entity that large has ever existed on the face on the earth, without government interference in the marketplace. None. Show me a business big enough to exploit anyone and I will show you the man behind the curtain, whom you conveniently ignore.

Until you can show me a business large enough to "exploit" (another weasels word) anyone, that has ever existed without government protection, the assumptions underlying your question fail. Thus the question has no relevance to the real world.

You did not say that his assumptions are unproven. You said that his assumptions are false. You said the only possible way to get a large business is with government interference. You said that his question has no relevance to the real world, meaning no relevance to hypothetical AnCap societies which have never yet existed.

But later you said,

Quote
I would have the burden of proof (what you are implying), if I were trying to convince you of something. I'm not. Frankly, whether you get it or not is of little consequence to me.

However, it is you who is trying to convince me and others that "big business" can "exploit" others, absent a government. So the burden, in that regard, is yours.

So you say you were not trying to convince him. Who were you trying to convince? Yourself? You claimed definitively that no business can ever exploit anybody without a government.

Quadribloc is concerned that under certain circumstances bad things can happen in some AnCap societies. You insist that those things can never ever happen and the burden of proof is on him to show they can happen.

I say if he wants to claim that they definitely will happen then it's his job to prove they will. And if you want to claim that they definitely can't happen, as you have claimed in responding to him, then it's your job to prove they cannot happen.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: SandySandfort on January 17, 2011, 09:19:41 pm
I never used the word "false." I am convinced you just want my attention. Sorry you lose.

In the course of poking at Quadribloc's unsupported claims, you made contradictory claims. You claimed that some of his assumptions could not be true.

Here's an idea. Instead of interpreting what you think I said/meant, quote me. Hoist me on my own petard. Then I will be more inclined to respond.

I've quoted you repeatedly.
 
Quote
It looks to me like you are using two-valued logic. His claim is true or false, unless he can prove it's true then it is false.

Well, you need to look again. All I am saying is that his claims are not supported by any evidence or logic. Whether they are true or false isn't really at issue.

Well, here's what he said:

Quote
I have raised the subject of the poor being exploited by big businesses that would have an advantage in market power. That's because, in our existing statist system, the only obvious remedies to that problem which have ever been tried are socialistic in nature. So I ask the question - what does AnCap have to offer them? ....

Of course, the same thing that would really solve the problems of those who live by selling their labor is also the thing that would make AnCap viable (even if only temporarily) as a political system. An open frontier. Accessible enough for people to get there, inaccessible enough not to be exposed to the danger of conquest by the state next door.

I'm seeing AnCap, therefore, not as a political solution, but as a political phase. Something that could rise up if our existing system does collapse, but not something that could be voted in and start fixing things - yes, I know it's philosophically the wrong route, but it's nonviolent and could be used to facilitate a gradual transition. It still seems to me that if we tried going to AnCap in our present circumstances, it risks making things much worse instead of better - but that it could be a far better way to live under the right circumstances makes sense to me too.

He thinks that when there is a labor surplus, poor people who have nothing to sell except their cheap labor will not do well, government or no government. I consider that unproven but quite plausible. There is no necessary relationship between the number of people available for work and the work available for people. There can be limiting factors which determine total productivity, and when those limiting factors are something other than available workers, you get surplus workers.

http://www.avocadosource.com/tools/FertCalc_files/liebigs_law.htm

But when there is a labor shortage, likely AnCap can allow everybody to exploit his own potential better than with governments interfering.

So he says AnCap should be very good for some situations, and for others it can run into problems it does not necessarily solve. Plausible but unproven. Other possibilities are that AnCap can never work well (although Terry Freeman pointed out that the Amish have an AnCap system, though one based on authoritarian elders and intense religious control). Or that AnCap will work perfectly for anybody anywhere, and can never generate social tensions no matter what happens.

You responded:

Quote
If you mean "General Motors" big, there is every reason to believe enterprises that large would be impossible in a free market, due to the many dis-economies of scale and the lower barriers to entry by new, leaner, quicker, smarter businesses.

The only way that a business that size is possible, is when it is preferentially upheld and protected by government action. No business entity that large has ever existed on the face on the earth, without government interference in the marketplace. None. Show me a business big enough to exploit anyone and I will show you the man behind the curtain, whom you conveniently ignore.

Until you can show me a business large enough to "exploit" (another weasels word) anyone, that has ever existed without government protection, the assumptions underlying your question fail. Thus the question has no relevance to the real world.

You did not say that his assumptions are unproven. You said that his assumptions are false. You said the only possible way to get a large business is with government interference. You said that his question has no relevance to the real world, meaning no relevance to hypothetical AnCap societies which have never yet existed.

But later you said,

Quote
I would have the burden of proof (what you are implying), if I were trying to convince you of something. I'm not. Frankly, whether you get it or not is of little consequence to me.

However, it is you who is trying to convince me and others that "big business" can "exploit" others, absent a government. So the burden, in that regard, is yours.

So you say you were not trying to convince him. Who were you trying to convince? Yourself? You claimed definitively that no business can ever exploit anybody without a government.

Quadribloc is concerned that under certain circumstances bad things can happen in some AnCap societies. You insist that those things can never ever happen and the burden of proof is on him to show they can happen.

I say if he wants to claim that they definitely will happen then it's his job to prove they will. And if you want to claim that they definitely can't happen, as you have claimed in responding to him, then it's your job to prove they cannot happen.

Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 17, 2011, 11:42:23 pm
I never used the word "false." I am convinced you just want my attention. Sorry you lose.

In the course of poking at Quadribloc's unsupported claims, you made contradictory claims. You claimed that some of his assumptions could not be true.

Quote
The only way that a business that size is possible, is when it is preferentially upheld and protected by government action.

You made the firm claim that single large corporations can never arise or continue to exist in an AnCap society.

You argued as if you believed that single large corporations are required for Quadribloc's hypothetical situation, though I expect he could do without them.

But I'll drop it. It's only a question of logic, and lots of people don't really have the concept.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: SandySandfort on January 18, 2011, 07:07:22 am
But I'll drop it. It's only a question of logic, and lots of people don't really have the concept.

Agreed.  ::)
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on January 18, 2011, 09:29:43 am
What does "labor surplus" mean? More people than jobs.

Considering the unlimited wants of people, why should there ever be more people than jobs?

In all of my experience, labor surpluses have been artificially engineered. For instance:

Minimum wage laws: you and another party may wish to trade labor for other goods, but you can't, because it would violate minimum wage laws. This is based upon the theory that it is better to have no job at all than to have a low-paying job. Considering that most people climb a ladder from low pay to slightly higher pay to higher still, as they gain experience, minimum wage laws effectively saw off the bottom rungs of the ladder.

Licensing laws: you would like to do X for paying customers, but first you must take hundreds of hours of instruction, pay fees, get certified, etc. This artificially limits your options.

Income taxation. You and someone else agree that your labor is worth X dollars to the employer. After taking taxes, you get only X-Y in take-home pay. This reduces the number of jobs on which you can make your preferred income.

Social InSecurity: one of those taxes is a ponzi scheme called "social security". If you were able to keep the taxes for that purpose, you'd be able to invest in a better financial safety net for your purposes - an option which is taken away from you.

I could go on at length, but the short answer is: the worst problems faced by labor are not employers, but the government itself.




Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: ContraryGuy on January 18, 2011, 12:14:07 pm
What does "labor surplus" mean? More people than jobs.

Considering the unlimited wants of people, why should there ever be more people than jobs?

A job is anything that someone is willing to pay a person to do.  Therefore, there will always be more people than jobs.  The money supply is not infinite; if it were, money would be worth nothing.  There can never be more willing employers than employees.

Quote
In all of my experience, labor surpluses have been artificially engineered. For instance:

Minimum wage laws: you and another party may wish to trade labor for other goods, but you can't, because it would violate minimum wage laws. This is based upon the theory that it is better to have no job at all than to have a low-paying job. Considering that most people climb a ladder from low pay to slightly higher pay to higher still, as they gain experience, minimum wage laws effectively saw off the bottom rungs of the ladder.
Min. wage laws have been created to prevent employers who wish for maximum work and minimum payout.  Since you do not remember the world before minimum wage laws, you believe that they stifle employment.
The old saw in Econ. 101 about min. wage laws increasing unemployment has been repeatedly disproven over the last 20 years (to borrow a line from Sandy, look it up yourself).

Quote
Licensing laws: you would like to do X for paying customers, but first you must take hundreds of hours of instruction, pay fees, get certified, etc. This artificially limits your options.

A license merely proves to some standard that you know what you are doing.  Some occupations have lowers standards than others because in most cases the standards for licensing is set by organizations of existing businesses(lawyers, carpenters, contractors. etc.).

Quote
Income taxation. You and someone else agree that your labor is worth X dollars to the employer. After taking taxes, you get only X-Y in take-home pay. This reduces the number of jobs on which you can make your preferred income.
So suggest something else to be taxed.  Unless you are one of those people who thinks that everyday things you take for granted just magically appear and will continue to magically appear without taxation.

Quote
Social InSecurity: one of those taxes is a ponzi scheme called "social security". If you were able to keep the taxes for that purpose, you'd be able to invest in a better financial safety net for your purposes - an option which is taken away from you.

I see that you dont keep up on financial news.  Over the last 40 years, more money has been lost by investing in a "sure thing" than has been made.
Can we say Michael Millken, junk bonds, Enron, Worldcom, Tycho, Bernie Madoff, CDOs, securitization, financial meltdown?
Sure we can.   These events have hurt those same people you suggest are more knowledgeable in investing for their old age needs.  Saving for retirement/old age is tougher than people think.
And, when a panic or a schemer comes along every 10 years or so, investing in the market doesnt always provide the best returns.

Quote
I could go on at length, but the short answer is: the worst problems faced by labor are not employers, but the government itself.

And in the misty past of golden nostalgia, before the buttinsky government made everyone behave, there was forced child labor, company towns, sweatshops, disposable labor.
I also could go on.  There is a need for oversight and some regulation.  History shows us that business will not regulate itself.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 18, 2011, 12:53:50 pm

Quote
I could go on at length, but the short answer is: the worst problems faced by labor are not employers, but the government itself.

While many of the details you have suggested are at best way oversimplified, still there's something to your conclusion. Even when the problem is basicly employers, it gets worse when government enforces the employers' side. There's a folk tradition that Republicans used to be solidly in favor of employers against employees, while Democrats sometimes backed employees somewhat, but I suspect it was never that way. Employers paid good money to get the laws and enforcement they wanted, to any politicians who could deliver. And it was the rare business that could contribute a few million dollars in campaign contributions and bribes to get billions in subsidies.

Quote
And in the misty past of golden nostalgia, before the buttinsky government made everyone behave, there was forced child labor, company towns, sweatshops, disposable labor.
I also could go on.  There is a need for oversight and some regulation.  History shows us that business will not regulate itself.

History shows that business does regulate itself, when it needs to. Business regulates itself about employees when there is a labor shortage.

So for example, in the old days of press gangs, there was enough of a labor shortage that lots of people had good jobs, and hardly anybody wanted to be sailors subject to bad food, floggings, etc. So it was necessary for british ship owners to hire groups of thugs to kidnap sailors who then might be kept for a couple of years at a time. The claim was that they would be paid at the end of their term, but sometimes they were instead held on the ship and involuntarily signed up for another term. with the whole sum due at the end. Cheaper than paying them. Sailors who did not cooperate well enough could be killed, and other sailors did not have much sympathy for incompetent or shirking men -- the work you didn't do they had to do. The laws and the public mostly put up with it, because they needed ships and they couldn't afford to pay what the job was worth, and mostly the people getting kidnapped weren't anybody that important people cared about.

The jobs that people could walk away from got better pay and better conditions, because they couldn't keep people in those jobs otherwise. Business regulated itself when it had to, and not when it didn't have to.

Then and now, government's record at improving things is -- spotty.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 18, 2011, 01:47:35 pm
What does "labor surplus" mean? More people than jobs.

Considering the unlimited wants of people, why should there ever be more people than jobs?

We can't use examples from published history, because they all come from times when there were governments, and there will always be some way to claim that any job shortage came because of government coercion.

So I will create a story from fantasy, and you can say that it is unrealistic, and thus we can both feel that we win.

Imagine that you have a place in the Belt. It belongs entirely to you and everything there belongs entirely to you, and for this story we will suppose that nobody requires you to prove you can defend it against all comers. You own the rocks, you own the oxygen, you own the machines, everything. And there are 200 people who are "visiting" you, that you could hire if you want to. They could move on if you don't have jobs for them, but they are all eager to find work.

You hire one expert engineer to run the factory that builds automated machinery for you.
He builds machinery that produces food for 220 people, and you hire one person to run that machinery.
He builds machinery that cleans corridors and everything else that needs cleaning, and you hire one person to run that machinery.
He builds machinery that provides expert medical care for 220 people, and you hire one person to run that machinery.

Continuing this way, you might find yourself hiring as many as 19 men to provide the necessities for well over 200.

The 20 of you might then hire as many as 40 exotic dancers/masseuses. On average, one man doesn't need more than two masseuses, and more just cause trouble. Lots of men get by with one.

You might want to improve the cultural tone of the place, so you could hire as many as 10 actors, 2 painters, 2 sculptors, and 2 webcomic designers.

At this point we have 76 employees. Could we get more? Sure. Like, if everybody prefers to get haircuts done by hand rather than by a machine, and if they're willing to spend one percent of their income on it, then you could support a barber. And if you personally prefer handwoven clothing, you could hire a weaver. Weaving is so labor-intensive that nobody else could afford hand-woven on what you pay them, but you could. You could hire a cobbler to make handmade shoes for you, if you want. You could hire a doctor to listen to your chest with a stethoscope and grunt. You could hire an astrologer to do your horoscope. If everybody wants a horoscope and the employees all pay 1% of their income for it, they could keep an astrologer without you.

Nobody can compete with you, because you own everything. How much should you charge for stuff? Charge more for things that are in short supply, and less for things you produce a surplus of. Pay people enough that your employees can afford say twice what it takes them to live in a suitable style. Then they might hire enough barbers and masseuses and astrologers etc to double the number of people employed. And you can hire as many people as you want. That's the job supply. Do you hire 100 people to do a job that one man with an automated factory can do better? Probably not.

So if you hire 19 people, that gives us maybe 38 people with jobs, plus the extra jobs you choose to create. Maybe it's 70 people total, if you want footmen and a harem of upstairs maids and such. The other 130 people drift off.

Then 400 more people come through looking for jobs. If you wanted to, could you equip them for an expedition to Saturn's moons? Maybe they'd find great ore to mine and bring back a sphere of pure gold a kilometer in diameter! Can't you just hire as many people as you want? Well, it depends. If you have enough of everything else, you can. If you have enough stuff to make food from, and enough oxygen, and enough rocket fuel, and enough raw materials of all kinds, then you can expand the work to fit however many people you choose to hire to do whatever you want done.

But if you don't have enough rocket fuel and you can't get it, then you can't send 400 people to Saturn. If you don't have enough oxygen then you can't provide air to unlimited people. Etc. If there is any limiting resource other than the number of people, you can't hire surplus people to do anything which uses that limiting resource. And if it's a limit on the number of people you can support, then any surplus people need to leave as quickly as possible.

If you can only get breathing air for 200 people, then you can't put 400 people to work. You just can't. Even as actors. Even as mimes. Whenever you run into a limiting resource other than workers, then you have an absolute limit on productivity and a limit on jobs.

Are there any absolute limits? Can't we go into space and find unlimited amounts of everything? Can't we do scientific research and find substitutes for anything we don't have enough of? Yes. Sometimes. After awhile. But until we do find a way to get past the current limiting factor, it's limiting. And when we get past that one, we can expand until we get to the next one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebig%27s_law_of_the_minimum
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: macsnafu on January 18, 2011, 02:47:36 pm
Until you can show me a business large enough to "exploit" (another weasels word) anyone, that has ever existed without government protection, the assumptions underlying your question fail. Thus the question has no relevance to the real world.
You're the one who is proposing a new order of things.

Businesses that have had government protection have exploited people, and businesses have hired their own security guards.

Exploit doesn't mean oppress or enslave. It merely means to noncoercively take advantage of a buyer's market in labor.

If that isn't acceptable behavior under the ZAP, this comes as a surprise to me.

Basically, when a voluntary exchange benefits both parties - but one greatly, and one to a small extent, it can happen that the latter party will grumble ungratefully. The moral justice of that is irrelevant to noting that such situations can have consequences inimical to the continued existence of a free society. Discontent attracts demagogues to exploit it the way blood attracts sharks.

This whole "market power" thing greatly confuses me.  Why would the latter grumble ungratefully?  If he had a better choice or a better trading partner, he would choose that trade instead of this trade. 
Naturally, I'm sure you're aware of the caveat in your statements--in today's society, big businesses may well have benefited not simply from selling better and/or cheaper products and services, but also from governmental measures that limit their competition.  In an Ancap society, such limits on competition wouldn't exist, or could only exist if businesses engage in criminally coercive activity.

Thus, the question: what is market power?  Does it really exist, or is it merely an illusion brought on by the current status quo, and not really a feature of a free market?  True, big businesses may benefit from economies of scale, that's a real market phenomenon, but then they may also suffer from increased middle-management bureaucracy, which would reduce their competitive effectiveness in the market. Other factors?


Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: mellyrn on January 18, 2011, 06:25:13 pm
Quote
The old saw in Econ. 101 about min. wage laws increasing unemployment has been repeatedly disproven over the last 20 years (to borrow a line from Sandy, look it up yourself).

Don't mind if I do.  I've read a lot in the last few hours; the following pretty much sums it up:

Quote
[wikipedia]From the time of their introduction, minimum wage laws have been highly controversial politically, and have received much less support from economists than from the general public.
and
Quote
[also wikipedia]Despite decades of experience and economic research, debates about the costs and benefits of minimum wages continue today.

(emphasis added in both)

The best you can say is, it's still debated.  And economists evidently are less impressed with it than Joe Public is.  So, your "repeatedly disproven" is, as far as I can tell, your personal fantasy.  Can you cite even one study to support your "disproven" claim -- let alone "repeatedly disproven"?

Quote
And in the misty past of golden nostalgia, before the buttinsky government

You have the gall to suggest we are not old enough to remember a time before minimum-wage laws -- yet you write of a time "before government"?  The time "before government" was hunter-gatherer days, hon.

As for "forced child labor":
Quote
    In 1909 a factory inspector did an informal survey of 500 working children in 20 factories. She found that 412 of them would rather work in the terrible conditions of the factories than return to school.
    — Helen Todd, "Why Children Work," McClure’s Magazine (April 1913)

    In one experiment in Milwaukee, for example, 8,000 youth...were asked if they would return full-time to school if they were paid about the same wages as they earned at work; only 16 said they would.
    — David Tyack, Managers of Virtue (1982)

Only 16 out of 8000.  Something to consider.

Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 18, 2011, 07:06:33 pm

Basically, when a voluntary exchange benefits both parties - but one greatly, and one to a small extent, it can happen that the latter party will grumble ungratefully. The moral justice of that is irrelevant to noting that such situations can have consequences inimical to the continued existence of a free society. Discontent attracts demagogues to exploit it the way blood attracts sharks.

This whole "market power" thing greatly confuses me.  Why would the latter grumble ungratefully?  If he had a better choice or a better trading partner, he would choose that trade instead of this trade. 

I think that in a society of equals this would likely not be a problem. Like, somebody gets a corner on the oxygen market? Like, he owns every oxygen mine, and every smelter that can harvest oxygen? Everybody tells him that's no good and they pay a reasonable amount to get some competition. In a society of equals it just isn't OK for one equal to get a stranglehold on an essential resource. It just isn't right.

Everybody will have an incentive to make sure they have alternate sources for everything they need to buy. Enough alternates to provide a real competitive market, not just two or three. And if you occasionally find yourself paying extra to competitor #8 to keep him in business, that's the price you pay to make sure there are 8 competitors and not just 7. Free markets are not necessarily free, they might require some maintenance expense.

But what if people are not equal? What if there are some poor people? Being poor means you can't afford to pay extra to make sure there's a competitive market. You make the deal you can get. Today in the USA there are some poor people who lack transportation, who have mainly one or two choices for where they buy their food. By coincidence, the corner store and the grocery store they can walk to happen to have rather high prices and rather limited selections. It isn't just that a few businesses make a lot of money off them. Poor people do a lot more shoplifting, and it takes extra staff to watch them. There's a chance there will be riots and the grocery store will get burned down. The biggest grocery chains aren't interested, so they get smaller chains that don't have as much bargaining clout with suppliers. Etc. It isn't just that poor people get oppressed. Also the hottest most competitive markets don't involve selling to people who don't have much money. It isn't obvious how profitable the businesses that sell to them are. But it's obvious that there isn't much competition. People who have cheap transportation have a lot of choices where to buy. People who don't, don't. Their merchants don't have a lot of competition and do have high prices. Maybe coincidence.

Of course, this happens because of government. These people get government checks, and that allows them to live places where there are no jobs. If the government didn't give them handouts, they would have to somehow collect enough money to move to someplace they could get work, and when they inevitably got real jobs they would inevitably have enough money to pay for transportation and enough money that businesses would inevitably compete for their patronage. All that is inevitable, right?

Well, but what if the only place they can find work is in company towns with company stores? Is that possible without government? If it turns out true that some people are desperate enough for work to live in company towns, then they will be desperate enough to take low pay. And then there will not be a lot of reason for competitors to come in and compete for their paychecks. It could happen, if they are desperate enough in the first place.

If there is only one business that will hire you, and you desperately need a job, you are better off taking that job than going without. But the deal you get might be pretty one-sided. If they know you have no other job prospect, they only have to offer you a deal that's better than running out of breathing air.

If you mine your sixteen tons a day and get paid in air and soybeans and corn, you might feel like you're getting a bad deal. Even though you had no better deal available when you took that one.

You should have done something else. Paid to train at marketable skills. (Except you were poor.) Paid to advertise your skills and get preferential exposure to potential employers. (Except you were poor.) Paid to intern at businesses so they could see that you would be worth hirig. (Except you were poor.) Paid to move somewhere there were lots of jobs. Etc. The obvious conclusion is don't let yourself become poor.

What if society develops three classes? There's the poor, and the "lower middle class" who can't afford much, and then everybody else. Everybody else will make sure that for anything they want to buy there are many competitors selling. Can the lower middle class make sure of that? If they can't, if they get stuck in jobs where it's hard to switch to better jobs with other employers, and they get stuck buying from a few sources, won't they get poor too?

What if society develops three other classes? There's the poor, and the middle-middle class, and everybody else. Same argument again. If the middle class can't or won't make sure there's lots of competition among their employers for employees and among their suppliers for what they buy, won't they get poor too?

It's bad for society to have a lot of poor people. A society which recognizes that might find ways to avoid it. The society could carefully offer poor people multiple chances to climb out of poverty with hard work and intelligence. And a Belt society might possibly get rid of persistent poor people by paying for their transportation to Terra. Or some other method.

Societies which allow or encourage lots of poverty tend to have troubles as a result. I'm guessing it will tend not to happen when there's a labor shortage. If you have work that needs to be done and there's nobody to do it except somebody who doesn't look like he'd be a great worker, you can still give him a try. Train him. Apply operant conditioning. Anything that might get him to work, including good wages, because you need him. There will be work that's worth doing which you can't find anybody to do, because everybody who can be trained to do it is already doing something more valuable.

That happens when labor is the limiting resource.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: quadibloc on January 18, 2011, 10:57:33 pm
All I am saying is that his claims are not supported by any evidence or logic. Whether they are true or false isn't really at issue.
I don't expect you to believe me when I say "X could be a problem for AnCap", and change your mind about it being a good idea, unless I prove that X is a problem for AnCap.

But, by the same token, if you want people who think that X is likely to be a problem for AnCap to change their minds, and accept that AnCap might make them more free, then you would have to prove that X isn't a problem for AnCap.

Working-class people have, from bitter cross-generational experience, learned to think about employers not so much as helpful sources of opportunity, but instead as people with sharply conflicting interests that urgently need to be kept in check. In the past, governments took the side of the employers and the retailers and the landlords, but now, finally, the balance has turned, and it restrains those people for the benefit of the ordinary people... so they think.

And you want to take all that away.

You can say that anarchy would result in smaller businesses, and thus a more equal playing field, but it's not at all obvious that this would really make up for what would be lost - you're trying to persuade people to give up two birds in their hands for one in the bush, from their point of view.

So, quite often, I'm not trying to prove that AnCap is wrong - indeed, I hope it isn't, because it offers a hope of greater freedom - but to point out that you haven't proved it right. Which is what you would need for it to get anywhere under present circumstances.

Of course, if civilization collapses under its own weight, AnCap can help organize its rise from the ashes. If the current strategy is not political action, but biding one's time and waiting for circumstance, because it's already realized that AnCap is unpersuasive to the masses, that's another matter.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on January 19, 2011, 08:36:29 am
Quadibloc, how you could live more than a score of years, and not know the degree to which big corporations use the State to their advantage, escapes me.

Google "regulatory capture."

There are more than a few economists who say that today's union laws were devised not for the benefit of unions, but for the benefits of corporations. This could explain why so few private-sector employees are unionized nowadays.

Consider that, in any situation where two entities have unequal market power, the stronger of the two has an even greater advantage with respect to political power.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 19, 2011, 10:39:04 am
Quadibloc, how you could live more than a score of years, and not know the degree to which big corporations use the State to their advantage, escapes me.

Google "regulatory capture."

There are more than a few economists who say that today's union laws were devised not for the benefit of unions, but for the benefits of corporations.

Even apart from the degree that the laws are designed to benefit corporations, what's left is they get designed to support unions rather than employees.

It's only natural for unions to develop a life of their own, so you wind up with union bosses that interact with corporate bosses, and while both of them have some altruistic concerns for the employees to some extent it's just more bosses.

Quote
This could explain why so few private-sector employees are unionized nowadays.

Not just government. Also, corporations can point out to their unions that their products are barely competitive and they can do better to open plants in other countries where labor is cheap. What can unions do about that? Go on strike?

Quote
Consider that, in any situation where two entities have unequal market power, the stronger of the two has an even greater advantage with respect to political power.

Agreed. Government is at best an unreliable tool to help even that out. On the other hand, there is no strong evidence that the problem requires government before it can happen. It would be good to have nongovernment methods to alleviate that if it does happen.

But when there are a lot of people who have nothing to sell but their labor, and there aren't enough jobs to support them all, what can anybody do? We can't create productive jobs out of thin air -- government can create nonproductive jobs easily, but that's no good.

On a personal level, you can avoid some of the problems by making sure you never need to sell your labor in a buyers' market.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: ContraryGuy on January 21, 2011, 10:50:41 am

On a personal level, you can avoid some of the problems by making sure you never need to sell your labor in a buyers' market.

Anytime you are selling your labor and/or knowledge, it is a buyers market.
Even during the dot-com boom, when employers were hiring anyone who could spell HTML(regardless of demonstrated ability), it was still a buyers market.
Having lived through that period, I know what is was like to be selling labor.  My labor and knowledge wasnt worth enough to be bought.  So for me, it was a buyers market.

Older workers, say anyone older than 40, exist in a permanent buyers market.  No HR person wants to recommend hiring a person with exact salary needs, defined work hour needs, and anticipated ancillary costs(such as health care).

Most companies can hire two teenagers for the cost of one 40 year old; including the cost of training and everything else.  If the company outsources, it can get 6 Indian college students for the same price.
If the company is a manufacturer, it can get 20 chinese workers for the price of one American worker.

Now, before anyone complains, there are always outliers and niche markets.  Sometimes your knowledge is so valuable that you are always in a sellers market. 
But if you are that valuable, you are never unemployed. 
Which means that the other 99.9999999999% percent of us workers are usually in a buyers market.

Regardless of how well you keep up your skills and knowledge, there will come a time where you are no longer "economically viable" for an employer.  Your skills and knowledge will make you cost too much for any non-niche employer who wants some teen-ager who will work endless hours for little pay and think he (the teenager) is getting the better deal.

In the mainstream marketplace, it is always a buyers market.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 21, 2011, 02:19:33 pm

On a personal level, you can avoid some of the problems by making sure you never need to sell your labor in a buyers' market.

Anytime you are selling your labor and/or knowledge, it is a buyers market.
Even during the dot-com boom, when employers were hiring anyone who could spell HTML(regardless of demonstrated ability), it was still a buyers market.
Having lived through that period, I know what is was like to be selling labor.  My labor and knowledge wasnt worth enough to be bought.  So for me, it was a buyers market.

Yes, but surely in an AnCap society it would be different. There would be more work to do than people to do it, and anybody with even minimal competence could get a good job that paid well. Surely the only reason there is ever a buyer's market for labor is government. How can there ever be a buyer's market for labor without a government to make it happen?

</irony>
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: mellyrn on January 22, 2011, 09:43:20 pm
Quote
How can there ever be a buyer's market for labor without a government to make it happen?

I don't know.  Without a government wanting "a piece of the action", any given business would have more money available to hire with, for starters.

Here's how I legally pay no "income tax":  I imagine that my nominal pay (let's call it $50K/year, for simple numbers) is not my real pay -- my real pay is $37.5K, i.e., it's what I take home, what I actually live on.  The extra $12.5K is my employer's "hiring tax" -- it's the extra amount they have to shell out to the government in order for me to be there doing $37.5K of work.  My employer does not want to hire an army of accountants to figure their "hiring tax" to the finest degree, so they give me this bonus incentive:  I do the calculation for them (aka filling out a 1040) -- and if I can find any ways to decrease the hiring tax monies, I get to keep the difference (aka "deductions").

If it weren't for government, my employer could afford to hire four people like me (4*$37.5K=$150K), where they can currently only afford 3 (3*$50K=$150K).  The higher the "income" tax, the worse that hiring discrepancy becomes.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on January 23, 2011, 10:17:59 am
Is it a "buyer's market"? Even now, when the economy is in horrible shape - for reasons which have to do with the exact opposite of AnCap - there are still opportunities.

Don't lay today's problems at the foot of an "unregulated economy" - that's the purest claptrap ever devised by unrepentant statists. There are 125 government agencies which regulate the financial markets. The money supply is jiggered by the Federal Reserve System; the mortgage market is jiggered by Freddie Mae and Fanny Mac ( and of course there is a great deal of overlap with the Fed's activities. )

Every corporation above a certain size is subject to Sorbannes-Oakley, which adds little and subtracts much. With Obamacare looming, corporations face loads of costs and uncertainties. Price inflation is starting to rear its ugly head - thanks to the Fed, which is behaving like a man who farts in an elevator, loudly asking "where did that terrible inflation come from?"

I am approaching my 55th birthday. When I'm working (in the IT industry), I make good money - and I save. When I'm not working, I draw down my savings. Younger guys and guys from India haven't been able to keep me from negotiating for a generous income. The government, on the other hand, extracts exorbitant amounts from my paycheck, and returns little in exchange. I could do far better if those tens of thousands in taxes were left in my hands.

I have a son-in-law who has also been unemployed for over a year. He'd tell you the same thing. He, his wife, and five children are doing fine, thanks to frugal living and savings. They paid for the birth of their fifth child from savings. They did this on an income which was not far above poverty level.

People who whine about "buyer's markets" should ask what they can do to reduce their expenses. What "luxuries" are sapping your resources?

Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: mellyrn on January 23, 2011, 01:00:00 pm
I have bought this book:
http://www.liveontenthousand.com/
ten bucks, e-book, and highly recommend it.  I have no stake in it, I just like it.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 23, 2011, 09:07:52 pm
Quote
How can there ever be a buyer's market for labor without a government to make it happen?

I don't know.  Without a government wanting "a piece of the action", any given business would have more money available to hire with, for starters.

No, probably not. You're confusing inputs with outputs.

Government takes money in taxes, and then it spends the money -- it buys stuff.

Everything it buys is stuff that somebody else doesn't get to buy. It takes milk out of the mouths of babies and vodka out of the mouths of alcoholics etc. It takes paper and automobiles and places on commercial airline flights. Everything that government buys is more expensive for consumers because government is using their tax money to buy stuff that they otherwise could have bought.

But businesses produce everything that government buys -- only they produce it for government instead of for private consumers. How does this limit business? It distorts business because to some extent businesses produce what government wants instead of what private consumers would want.

Here's how it limits business. Without government, government employees would instead be on the private labor market. They would be driving down labor prices, and a larger labor force might produce more -- supposing that labor is a limiting factor.

Government which buys important resources and sits on them would limit business. Like, the Strategic Reserves. Government used those to play commodity market maker. Whenever the price of a strategic resource went too high, FEMA would sell some to drive the price down. When it got too low FEMA would buy. When FEMA correctly judged the market, they stabilised prices and prevented speculators from causing big price swings. When they incorrectly judged the market, they lost money. But the economy could have used the stockpile of copper and nickel and chromium etc the government kept out of circulation.

Government can limit business with stupid regulation. My grandfather ran a distillery, and the inspectors saw a box of yeast on the shelf. They shut him down because they had a regulation that fermentation must be "natural", it must happen from whatever yeast float in on the air and not from yeast the vintner chooses. To the extent that businesses actually followed that regulation their production was compromised.

There are lots of ways that government can hinder business. But collecting taxes and spending them, does not hinder business. It only hinders private consumers.

Quote
Here's how I legally pay no "income tax":  I imagine that my nominal pay (let's call it $50K/year, for simple numbers) is not my real pay -- my real pay is $37.5K, i.e., it's what I take home, what I actually live on.  The extra $12.5K is my employer's "hiring tax" -- it's the extra amount they have to shell out to the government in order for me to be there doing $37.5K of work.  My employer does not want to hire an army of accountants to figure their "hiring tax" to the finest degree, so they give me this bonus incentive:  I do the calculation for them (aka filling out a 1040) -- and if I can find any ways to decrease the hiring tax monies, I get to keep the difference (aka "deductions").

I have suggested making that official. Turn the earned income tax into an employment tax that the employer pays, and just drop all the complications about the employees. The result is a simpler tax that does not require as much accounting. Employees who have that as their main or only income wouldn't need to file income tax at all, saving them hours of effort each year. And that part of the population could be less incenses about taxes and where their tax money goes. They would notice that it wasn't ever their tax money in the first place.

I suggested this to my congressmen and senators and to Obama. I got no responses. I think one of the problems with the idea is that a lot of politicians need for voters to be upset about their taxes, so they want those voters to think that money which they never saw was *their* money and that *they* paid it to the government which wasted it.

Quote
If it weren't for government, my employer could afford to hire four people like me (4*$37.5K=$150K), where they can currently only afford 3 (3*$50K=$150K).  The higher the "income" tax, the worse that hiring discrepancy becomes.

Just to keep it simple, let's pretend the government buys one quarter of everything that gets produced. So they buy 25% of your employer's product, and pay for it. Then they tax 25% of the wages that went to produce it. The employees buy the other three quarters of everything that gets produced with their wages.

So now the government vanishes. The employees now buy 100% of the consumer goods instead of only 75%. The employers pay them more to produce the same things. Consumers are 1/3 more prosperous if businesses do nothing different. Would the businesses hire 33% more workers, so ... so ... so they could produce 33% more stuff? Maybe so. But what kept them from doing it before was not that they didn't have the money to hire more people. With full employment your employer couldn't hire that fourth worker because he was already working for the government.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on January 23, 2011, 09:12:47 pm
I have bought this book:
http://www.liveontenthousand.com/
ten bucks, e-book, and highly recommend it.  I have no stake in it, I just like it.

Just reading the table of contents can give a lot of ideas. People have no idea how much of their income is wasted in so many ways. To give just one example, I decided to do without a car these past five years or so - and before that, I bought used cars for about $2500, and saved quite a bundle. A careful shopper can find a low-maintenance car in the $2500-4000 range; it's ridiculous to pay $30,000 or so for that "new car fragrance."
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 24, 2011, 09:36:23 am
I have bought this book:
http://www.liveontenthousand.com/
ten bucks, e-book, and highly recommend it.  I have no stake in it, I just like it.

A careful shopper can find a low-maintenance car in the $2500-4000 range; it's ridiculous to pay $30,000 or so for that "new car fragrance."

Unfortunately that option is not open for everybody. If there weren't a whole lot of people trading in the cars they paid $30,000 for, there wouldn't be many $3000 cars for sale.

Unless somebody started making $3000 cars.

I think it would be good for fuel efficiency in the long run if we had $3000 cars. Say you keep a car for 100,000 miles and gasoline costs you 10 cents/mile. That's $10,000 over the life of the car, when you already paid $30,000 up front. Not such a big deal. If the car cost you $3000 and the gas costs $20,000, then you're really going to look for fuel efficiency. You'll still want better fuel efficiency when you're down to 5 cents/mile.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on January 24, 2011, 09:55:08 am
I have bought this book:
http://www.liveontenthousand.com/
ten bucks, e-book, and highly recommend it.  I have no stake in it, I just like it.

A careful shopper can find a low-maintenance car in the $2500-4000 range; it's ridiculous to pay $30,000 or so for that "new car fragrance."

Unfortunately that option is not open for everybody. If there weren't a whole lot of people trading in the cars they paid $30,000 for, there wouldn't be many $3000 cars for sale.

It's open for everybody who wants it. Let others spend $30k and up for their cars.

Quote
Unless somebody started making $3000 cars.

A firm in India decided to do just that.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 24, 2011, 10:10:02 am
I have bought this book:
http://www.liveontenthousand.com/
ten bucks, e-book, and highly recommend it.  I have no stake in it, I just like it.

A careful shopper can find a low-maintenance car in the $2500-4000 range; it's ridiculous to pay $30,000 or so for that "new car fragrance."

Unfortunately that option is not open for everybody. If there weren't a whole lot of people trading in the cars they paid $30,000 for, there wouldn't be many $3000 cars for sale.

It's open for everybody who wants it. Let others spend $30k and up for their cars.

Sure, but -- demand and supply. The fewer people buying new cars, the fewer used cars for sale when more people are looking.

I used to find cheap cuts of beef -- flank steaks etc, tough meat that wasn't very fatty -- and I found recipes that made them good. Now the best cuts are going for $18/lb or more, and other people wake up to the low-price ones. Ox tail is $7/pound, etc. People I thought of as rich are trading tasty recipes for cheap cuts of meat.

They're still spending big for granite countertops and custom ovens and refrigerators and innovative cabinetry. If you have a big enough kitchen you can get a wide shallow refrigerator so nothing can get shoved to the back -- there isn't any back. You can get an inductive range in your choice of colors. You can get a $2000 blender to go on the island. Listening to it all I wondered what it was about. They weren't going to improve the house and turn it over quick.  Why do it? I could tell why they wanted to talk about it, to prove they were successful....


Quote
Quote
Unless somebody started making $3000 cars.

A firm in India decided to do just that.

I'm hopeful. The last time I heard about something like that it was the Yugo, and with the help of a lot of viral advertising people mostly decided it was worthless.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: SandySandfort on January 24, 2011, 10:30:50 am
Quote
Unless somebody started making $3000 cars.

A firm in India decided to do just that.

http://www.tatamotors.com/
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: ContraryGuy on January 24, 2011, 12:01:40 pm

On a personal level, you can avoid some of the problems by making sure you never need to sell your labor in a buyers' market.

Anytime you are selling your labor and/or knowledge, it is a buyers market.
Even during the dot-com boom, when employers were hiring anyone who could spell HTML(regardless of demonstrated ability), it was still a buyers market.
Having lived through that period, I know what is was like to be selling labor.  My labor and knowledge wasnt worth enough to be bought.  So for me, it was a buyers market.

Yes, but surely in an AnCap society it would be different. There would be more work to do than people to do it, and anybody with even minimal competence could get a good job that paid well. Surely the only reason there is ever a buyer's market for labor is government. How can there ever be a buyer's market for labor without a government to make it happen?

</irony>


Of course it would be different in an AnCap  society.  Governments only exist to make people violent and dis-satisfied.
This is why AnCap is a utopia!  No violence, no aggression, no dis-satisfaction. 
Because there is no government, there is nothing to keep people from being all they can be!

Charity and altruism will be the rule of the day!  No violence, no exploitation, no advantage-seeking!
Oh happy day!

</sarcasm>
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: mellyrn on January 24, 2011, 06:12:21 pm
Quote
Charity and altruism will be the rule of the day!  No violence, no exploitation, no advantage-seeking!
Oh happy day!

Ah, very good:  the open admission of having run out of arguments of substance.  When you have to resort to skewering a caricature of the other guy's position, you're revealing that a man made of straw is as much of an opponent as you have the power to take down.  Viz.:


My adversary's
argument
is not alone
malevolent
but ignorant
to boot.

He hasn't even
got the sense
to state his so-called
"evidence"
in terms I can
refute.


---Piet Hein, Danish mathematician & poet
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on January 25, 2011, 02:29:37 am
JThomas, speculators do a better job of stabilizing market prices than government.

Why? Because those speculators who do a poor job of predicting future needs lose money, and their influence on the market diminishes; whereas those government bureaucrats who fail to predict the future simply rush to the taxpayers' teats for more moolah.

I forget who said "capitalism without loss is like religion without sin - no incentive for improvement" - but that basically describes the problem with FEMA.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 25, 2011, 08:03:03 am
JThomas, speculators do a better job of stabilizing market prices than government.

Why? Because those speculators who do a poor job of predicting future needs lose money, and their influence on the market diminishes; whereas those government bureaucrats who fail to predict the future simply rush to the taxpayers' teats for more moolah.

I forget who said "capitalism without loss is like religion without sin - no incentive for improvement" - but that basically describes the problem with FEMA.

Terry, I don't advocate FEMA doing that. I note that FEMA was doing it at a profit, mostly, but may have been subject to political interference from politicians doing favors to favored speculators. The good things about having speculators stabilize market prices tend to get corrupted when government is involved.

I do want to note that when "speculation" as a way to moderate prices works, usually there is one speculator (who may be deigned the "market maker") who sets prices. Other speculators add noise to the signal. Occasionally -- when one market maker is being pushed aside by a new one, or when he makes a wrong move, or when too much money or too much of the stock in trade gets available to some random speculator -- there can be a series of intense price fluctuations.

So the result is that this method of moderating prices gives us an artificial stability at some times, with periods of chaos between. I say it's an open question whether the whole thing does more good than harm, but my guess is that it does not.

When the Federal government appoints a manager to be a market maker, he will tend to lose his job if he loses too much money -- unless he is following some government strategy which is considered more important. When some giant business appoints a manager to be a market maker, same thing. If they can afford some losses to achieve a goal, they will do so. As a result, your evolutionary argument that market makers will tend to evolve by natural selection, fails in general.

It could be true in an AnCap society where there are no governments and no large businesses, though.

Apart from the question whether speculators do any good for anybody on average, there is the question what to do about them. I think it does hardly any good for government to try to discourage speculators -- that cure is likely to be worse than the original problem. Especially when it's possible that they occasionally do more good than harm. There should be plenty of gambling opportunities available, so that gamblers who do not actually know the details of a particular product will not be tempted to randomize markets. Government can help by legalizing gambling.

It may be possible to set up markets structured in a way that discourages excessive speculation, and if so then markets set up that way may tend to outcompete other markets. This can be done entirely by private enterprise. It would be mostly harmless for government to set up the markets and then get out of the way.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: ContraryGuy on January 25, 2011, 08:53:21 am
Quote
Charity and altruism will be the rule of the day!  No violence, no exploitation, no advantage-seeking!
Oh happy day!

Ah, very good:  the open admission of having run out of arguments of substance.  When you have to resort to skewering a caricature of the other guy's position, you're revealing that a man made of straw is as much of an opponent as you have the power to take down.  Viz.:


My adversary's
argument
is not alone
malevolent
but ignorant
to boot.

He hasn't even
got the sense
to state his so-called
"evidence"
in terms I can
refute.


---Piet Hein, Danish mathematician & poet


Oh, it wasnt really his quote I was being sarcastic about, but the whole idea of AnCap as a society.

You see, the ism of communes works well for small contained societies, like Ceres (and the various historical communities Sandy has pointed out before).

AnCap is just another variant ism of communes.  Except here its not collective ownership and share the wealth, its collective dis-ownership and 'git off'n my lawn afore I shoot you'.

This type of total individualism works great in small batches, but, like the Soviet Union, will eventually end in failure because there is no motivation to keep the society together.
I will admit you dont need any government for that, but the society will eventually look for someone to be a leader.
On Ceres, people recognize that Reggie is a leader type of person.  He has no official power, but people look to him for leader-like decisions.

And then there is the ZAP.  ZAP is what turns AnCap from an ism of the commune into Utopian Idealism.  Do you really think an entire country will adhere to an idea of not punching some fellow when he really, really deserved it?

I thought only Sandy was that kind of idealist.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: mellyrn on January 25, 2011, 12:01:54 pm
Quote
This type of total individualism works great in small batches, but, like the Soviet Union [emphasis added]

WTF??  Equating total individualism with the Soviet Union??

Quote
there is no motivation to keep the society together.

That's the Hobbesian fallacy.  Hobbes is famous for the assertion that the natural life of man is "solitary, nasty, brutish, poor and short" (emphasis added again).  All his work in Leviathan is predicated on that assumption of solitary.

He's dead wrong.  Humans are only slightly less social than bees.  Humans need community.  Robinson Crusoe and Swiss Family Robinson are considered such amazing adventures precisely because humans do not as a rule deal well with solitude.  Indeed, one of our most severe forms of punishment is being put in "solitary".  Our worst criminals don't even get that until they've been a problem in prison, and even then it's almost never for very long.

The only motivation needed to keep a society together is to be human.  The old USSR was an attempt to force a bunch of smaller societies to operate as one larger one; anything artificially held together will fall apart eventually.  But humans have an almost gravitational attraction for other humans -- societies form naturally, spontaneously, and though they may change form or format, it's very, very rare to find humans living completely solitary lives by choice.

As noted in the comic, natural "betas" will tend to find themselves an alpha, sure.  And natural alphas can, and will, hang out together, mutually respecting one another's personal sovereignty.

Quote
Do you really think an entire country will adhere to an idea of not punching some fellow when he really, really deserved it?

Why, yes.  When the alternative is being outcast?  Absolutely.  I'm sure you have no interest in merely taking my word for it; allow me to refer you to the work of Jerry Harvey (http://www.amazon.com/Abilene-Paradox-Other-Meditations-Management/dp/0787902772), who is neither an AnCap nor a ZAP writer but a business psychiatrist.  You, friend, will literally do anything -- even violate your own best judgment -- in order not to be cast out of your society.  Harvey can prove it.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Big.Swede on January 26, 2011, 05:56:24 am
Quote
This type of total individualism works great in small batches, but, like the Soviet Union [emphasis added]

WTF??  Equating total individualism with the Soviet Union??

I think he is trying to compare results rather than methods. As there has been no "Great Social Experiment" with Anarc (Cap or otherwise, please correct me if iīm wrong) we can look towards the other GSE with Communism. On paper Communism is a great idea, everyone getting equal share, all pulling in the same direction and what not. Buuuut, as we have seen, in reality it didnīt work that well due to human nature when scaled up to even the size of a huge country, let alone an entire world. But we do see smaller communities with working Communism (or similar views), even thriving ones.

What i think Contrary was going for is that result equailant. Works well on paper and/or in small scale, but when made a huge reality.... not so much, due to human nature.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: mellyrn on January 26, 2011, 07:26:25 am
Quote
What i think Contrary was going for is that result equailant.

Ah.  Thanks for clearing that up.

Quote
Works well on paper and/or in small scale, but when made a huge reality.... not so much, due to human nature.

I see one other difference between successful communes and the USSR besides scale, and that is the voluntary nature of the communes.  Yep, human nature just does not like to be forced into things.

Imagine if sex were taught the way we teach, say, math or reading: 

Teacher (speaking crisply, in that voice that brooks no opposition):  Johnny, Mary:  come to the front of the room and demonstrate last night's assignment for the class.  You did do the homework, didn't you?  Didn't you?  Oh, for heaven's sake, people!  This is important!

Honest to goodness, one of our most basic drives (speaking of human nature, see) would be so shut down, the population would crash in a single generation, sustained only by those who escaped schooled sex.

Reciprocity is another basic drive (and the reason why waiters may be grateful for weirdly large tips but are also often made horribly uncomfortable by them, even to the point of refusing them -- because they don't have the means to reciprocate) and as the USSR showed, can be completely shut down by trying to enforce it.

Human nature?  Nobody likes to be forced (not for real -- even "bottoms" have a safe word).  And in any state, the people break all the laws they think they can, just because they can and because they still have some vestige of self-respect left -- like the slave who spits in Massa's dinner before serving it.  (I see a lot of safety in being labeled "law-abiding" -- but no pride.  Maybe that's just me.)

How about we have a go at going with human nature, instead of against it?
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 26, 2011, 07:56:22 am

Quote
Works well on paper and/or in small scale, but when made a huge reality.... not so much, due to human nature.

I see one other difference between successful communes and the USSR besides scale, and that is the voluntary nature of the communes.  Yep, human nature just does not like to be forced into things.

Yes, and yet we are very very good at it.

Quote
Imagine if sex were taught the way we teach, say, math or reading: 

Teacher (speaking crisply, in that voice that brooks no opposition):  Johnny, Mary:  come to the front of the room and demonstrate last night's assignment for the class.  You did do the homework, didn't you?  Didn't you?  Oh, for heaven's sake, people!  This is important!

Honest to goodness, one of our most basic drives (speaking of human nature, see) would be so shut down, the population would crash in a single generation, sustained only by those who escaped schooled sex.

This doesn't affect your basic point, but I doubt that. I expect that 90+% would demonstrate a basic competence in the subject. They would notice that they can do it whenever, within reason, with whoever, within reason. Depending on what gets taught they might all notice that they are capable of doing, say, competent oral sex on anyone regardless of gender.

As it is, most students notice that they are capable of taking group same-sex showers without feeling particularly strange about it. They just get used to it, regardless how they were raised to that time. It would probably be the same with sex education. I find it plausible that things would just work out (but that it would be a rather different society).

Quote
Reciprocity is another basic drive (and the reason why waiters may be grateful for weirdly large tips but are also often made horribly uncomfortable by them, even to the point of refusing them -- because they don't have the means to reciprocate) and as the USSR showed, can be completely shut down by trying to enforce it.

Not to defend communism, but the USSR failed on multiple levels. One of the big things was a general lack of room for initiative. People who wanted to do something new and innovative for themselves tended to get forced into crime, because the official system had little room for that. And the concept of entirely top-down control was particularly Russian, even before communism. China similarly, and they have not particularly changed that -- the opportunity to do rote work for a giant private corporation instead of for a giant government is not necessarily a big improvement.

Quote
Human nature?  Nobody likes to be forced (not for real -- even "bottoms" have a safe word).  And in any state, the people break all the laws they think they can, just because they can and because they still have some vestige of self-respect left -- like the slave who spits in Massa's dinner before serving it.  (I see a lot of safety in being labeled "law-abiding" -- but no pride.  Maybe that's just me.)

How about we have a go at going with human nature, instead of against it?

That sounds good. There's  a problem that the more people in the system, the more variability they display. There will inevitably be some whose self-respect demands that they break whatever customs happen to be in effect. There will be a few who actively look for things they can do to break the system. The usual response is to defend society against those people, one way or another. I think it's a noble goal to design a society with no weak points for attack, where everything is voluntary but no one can seriously damage the whole by choosing not to cooperate. I don't know ahead of time how workable that can be, but it's a noble goal and we would surely benefit by going a lot farther in that direction than we are now.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: mellyrn on January 26, 2011, 09:57:03 am
Quote
Yes, and yet we are very very good at it.

For a given value of "good", yes.

Though if you mean, "we are very very good at getting the best out of people by forcing them to do their best", not so much.

Quote
I expect that 90+% would demonstrate a basic competence in the subject. They would notice that they can do it whenever, within reason, with whoever, within reason. Depending on what gets taught they might all notice that they are capable of doing, say, competent oral sex on anyone regardless of gender.

Substitute "math" for "sex" here, and you can still say the same thing -- and yet how many adults are as competent mathematically as they could be, if they'd had a more joyous learning of it?  How many can barely calculate correct change, much less grasp an integral function?  I say sex taught this way would make sex & sexiness as "uncool" among teenagers as math skills currently are.  Hey, I had a daughter who reveled in this competitive mathematics program called "MathCounts", so it does happen (she may have been homeschooled but her teammates, all girls, were not) -- and still the program is not exactly overwhelmed with kids trying to get into it.

Quote
There will inevitably be some whose self-respect demands that they break whatever customs happen to be in effect. There will be a few who actively look for things they can do to break the system.

Not so much "there will be" as "there are".  They are less visible in a state because there's not much distinguishing them from ordinary folk who just don't like to be coerced.

As for these ornery folks themselves:  they're very useful, on the one hand, as a society is wise to check up on its habits & choices from time to time.  Perhaps the attempts at breaking will be instructive.  On the other, I have to note that these breaker-people are not so much free agents as victims of their own patterns.  We all are, of course; it's just that this one is relatively, even pathetically, obvious.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 26, 2011, 11:29:14 am
Quote
Yes, and yet we are very very good at it.

For a given value of "good", yes.

Though if you mean, "we are very very good at getting the best out of people by forcing them to do their best", not so much.

No, I meant "we are very very good at being forced into things".

Lots of people manage to arrange their thinking so they don't even notice much resentment. If we believe what they say.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on January 26, 2011, 11:50:41 am
ContraryGuy, if you think "Git off my land afore I shoot you" captures the spirit of AnCap, then you have not been paying attention.

Much better to think "Don't threaten me, if you know what's good for you."

AnCap is likely to encourage small-scale communities - contrary to your vision of solitary hermits. It will not, however, conflate voluntary communities with large-scale government aggression.

Modern-day Amish communities - except for their abhorrence of technology - are very AnCap in spirit.

Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: macsnafu on January 26, 2011, 12:01:17 pm

On a personal level, you can avoid some of the problems by making sure you never need to sell your labor in a buyers' market.

Anytime you are selling your labor and/or knowledge, it is a buyers market.
....
In the mainstream marketplace, it is always a buyers market.

Nonsense.  The market is *always* about both supply and demand.  You can't make a blanket statement like that without understanding what is affecting supply and demand.  Certainly in today's society, there are numerous laws and regulations that limit business competition, and thus create a "buyer's market" for labor, but it doesn't have to always be that way.   
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Brugle on January 26, 2011, 02:57:26 pm
I note that FEMA was doing it at a profit, mostly,
That's surprising.  Is there a reference?  I don't know anything about FEMA's program, but decades ago when I lived in Houston (where all things petroleum are of interest), I remember reading articles about the Strategic Petroleum Reserve which said that the government tended to buy when the price was high and sell when it was low.

Also, was this actual profit, considering inflation, storage costs, and amortization of capital costs?  Or was it profit using phony "government accounting", which allows the state of California to report about $500 billion of pension liabilities as about $50 billion?
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: quadibloc on January 26, 2011, 03:11:16 pm
And in any state, the people break all the laws they think they can, just because they can and because they still have some vestige of self-respect left --
Depends on the general state of the law.

If you have lots of stupid laws - like a 55 MPH national speed limit, or a national drinking age of 21 - you will indeed engender that kind of relationship between people and the law.

Respecting the rights of others, though, the way people would do in an AnCap society as well, is something that involves pride, not just safety. So if the laws stick to prohibiting the kinds of conduct that people already believed to be wrong, the fact that there is a state shouldn't, by itself, invert people's moral sense.

So all you need is to have politicians obey the voters, and limit what government can regulate, and things should be fine. At least, it seems like they generally were fine for a long period of time, at least for most people.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 26, 2011, 03:16:53 pm
I note that FEMA was doing it at a profit, mostly,
That's surprising.  Is there a reference?

I interviewed with the director of FEMA for a job, and he made that claim. I don't know how much the published or unpublished data support it.

Competent market makers will make a profit most of the time, unless they have other priorities. They can lose big when there's a big change in real demand or supply which they don't find out about soon enough.

There's no particular reason for a market maker to be incompetent just because he gets a government salary instead of a salary from a private company. There's an argument that a government bureaucracy won't care if they lose money -- they can just ask Congress to give them more. And a government employee who's supposed to make a profit will keep the same responsibilities even if he fails, because government has no feedback loops to encourage performance, but instead any outcome is as good as any other. I think this argument is somewhat overstated though there is probably some tendency for it to be true.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: ContraryGuy on January 26, 2011, 03:48:31 pm
ContraryGuy, if you think "Git off my land afore I shoot you" captures the spirit of AnCap, then you have not been paying attention.

Much better to think "Don't threaten me, if you know what's good for you."

AnCap is likely to encourage small-scale communities - contrary to your vision of solitary hermits. It will not, however, conflate voluntary communities with large-scale government aggression.

Modern-day Amish communities - except for their abhorrence of technology - are very AnCap in spirit.

Modern day Amish are neither abhorrent of technology nor market anarchists.
The Amish do not abhor technology, they are merely skeptical of it practical use.  Amish communities often have electricity and running water; some even have telephones.  Not modern phones like you and I have, but telephones nonetheless.
They are quite right to be skeptical of technology, because of its adverse impacts on their way of life.

The Amish are not, however, anarchists.  Capitalist or not.  The Amish way of life does not adhere to the vision of Anarcho-Capitalism as expressed here.
Unless I am mistaken there are no Amish Fortune 1000 companies.  I dont think the Amish even have companies.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Brugle on January 26, 2011, 04:18:27 pm
On paper Communism is a great idea, everyone getting equal share, all pulling in the same direction and what not.
A nice hard-working guy gets the same share as a layabout child molester who talks in the theater?  Pulling in the same direction brings 2 images to my mind: a herd running together off a cliff, and slaves dragging a block of stone to a government monument.  To me, communism is a terrible idea on paper, but to each his own.

A few summers ago the local government library had a campaign something like "Wouldn't it be great if everyone read the same book?"  I suppose some people considered that attractive, but to me it sounded creepy.

One of the things I enjoy in Ayn Rand's stories is the rejection by more thoughtful characters (both heroes and villains) of popular inanities.  I haven't read We The Living in a long time, but somewhere in there Andrei says something like "I suppose you think communism is good in theory but terrible in practice", and Kira responds somewhat like "if your theory is correct then your practice is reasonable--it's the theory that is monstrous."

But we do see smaller communities with working Communism (or similar views), even thriving ones.
Size is not so important.  What allows a communistic society (say, a modern family) to function well is common fundamental interests.  (Obviously, it may be difficult to form a large group with common fundamental interests.)  But voluntary cooperation is important.  Imagine a group of people who don't want to be together but forced (using aggressive violence and the threat of aggressive violence) to form a commune.  It won't work well, no matter what the size.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: quadibloc on January 26, 2011, 05:00:06 pm
A few summers ago the local government library had a campaign something like "Wouldn't it be great if everyone read the same book?"  I suppose some people considered that attractive, but to me it sounded creepy.
It sounded creepy to me too. And I live in Canada, but I heard of this campaign; apparently it was more than local.

Ah, here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_City_One_Book) we are. The bright idea was to get people to read more by having a book be something people actually talk about. The same way they might talk about, say, the latest episode of Friends. So, apparently, this time it wasn't an insidious Communist plot... but I won't say that I'm sure.

To me, communism is a terrible idea on paper, but to each his own.
It depends what you mean by Communism on paper.

Dialectical materialism, the labor theory of value, and the rest of Marxism pretty much has the same relationship to reality as astrology. Thus, at that level, Communism is terrible, even on paper.

When people say that Communism is wonderful in the abstract, though, that's not what they're talking about. Instead, they're likely to mean something closer to this: that it is a noble ideal to work for a society where sharing and cooperation are dominant instead of hoarding and competition.

Human nature allows for a great deal of sharing and cooperation: under favorable circumstances. It's when there isn't enough to go around that trying to coerce more sharing is wasted effort that should instead go into encouraging the baking of a bigger pie.

Thus, to me, the argument against Communism is the same one that I keep raising against AnCap: sure, that's a great idea if you're in the circumstances where it can work, but in other situations, it's going to crash to the ground messily.

Democratic government with free enterprise - the system that America is supposed to have - happens to be a system that's robust. It can cope with the demands of a major conflict like World War II, it can cope with a sustained war of attrition like the Cold War, it can at least attempt to react to an economic crisis like the Great Depression. That last one does need work, I admit.

The Communists would remove essential components like multi-party elections and a free press, required to provide public oversight and control of the government.

AnCap would remove the power of government to tax and conscript, and pass regulatory laws.

You take a robust system, cut wires and pull out circuit boards, and it still seems to work. But for how long? Things that serve an obvious necessary purpose - that are where they are for a good reason - should not be taken out and thrown away. It's asking for trouble.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: mellyrn on January 26, 2011, 05:06:43 pm
Quote
If you have lots of stupid laws - like a 55 MPH national speed limit, or a national drinking age of 21 - you will indeed engender that kind of relationship between people and the law.

Respecting the rights of others, though, the way people would do in an AnCap society as well, is something that involves pride, not just safety. So if the laws stick to prohibiting the kinds of conduct that people already believed to be wrong, the fact that there is a state shouldn't, by itself, invert people's moral sense.

Laws like artificially low speed limits or arbitrary age limits are, I agree, stupid laws which people will break when they will.

Laws that "prohibit[...] the kinds of conduct that people already believe[ ] to be wrong" are also stupid -- while obviously unnecessary, they are worse than unnecessary because, by demanding what people are already inclined to give, they rob the people of the chance to give, and thus also provoke flouting.  And, in this case, it's flouting of otherwise-respected (by themselves) behavior.  Thus the existence of the state, by itself, does invert (some) people's moral behavior.  (The rest of us just ignore the damned laws and act morally -- most of the time -- regardless.)

I've argued elsewhere that laws act as a kind of Dumbo's Feather -- I know more than a few people who imagine that it's laws that create, or instigate, moral behavior, and that people wouldn't act morally if there weren't laws demanding it.  They imagine this even though if they themselves were dropped into a place where there was no law as such (whether proper anarchy, or thug-governed) they would still act morally -- and, if I ask them why, they'd say they were "brought up to know right from wrong", or otherwise avoid acknowledging that they'd be doing the right thing even in the absence of laws to make them do so.

It's as if, just as Dumbo thought he needed his feather to fly when he was perfectly capable of flying without it, they think they need laws to make them behave.  But laws arise from existing moral beliefs (not always successfully, either); laws are not alien, ex-hominem artifacts descended from Elsewhere without which we would be monsters.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: quadibloc on January 26, 2011, 05:19:39 pm
they are worse than unnecessary because, by demanding what people are already inclined to give, they rob the people of the chance to give, and thus also provoke flouting.  And, in this case, it's flouting of otherwise-respected (by themselves) behavior.  Thus the existence of the state, by itself, does invert (some) people's moral behavior.  (The rest of us just ignore the damned laws and act morally -- most of the time -- regardless.)
I can see your point, but not being an anarchist at heart, I disagree with it.

While most people believe it to be wrong to rob others or to bully them, not all people refrain from such behavior.

Law means that there are fair rules that we can point to when we deal with this. Absent law, informally dealing with misbehavior allows for favoritism - some people getting away with more misbehavior than others.

Of course, state societies with laws have also had favoritism too. Laws don't solve that problem all by themselves. But they make it possible to minimize favoritism, while without law, there is no standard by which fairness can be seen to exist.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: SandySandfort on January 26, 2011, 05:22:43 pm
Modern day Amish are neither abhorrent of technology nor market anarchists.
The Amish do not abhor technology, they are merely skeptical of it practical use.

Not true at all. They use technology every day of their lives, just as humans have for as long as they have been humans. Homes, clothing, plows and buggies are all technology. It is just that the Amish have picked an arbitrary point in time as to how modern their technology is to be.

Amish communities often have electricity and running water; some even have telephones.  Not modern phones like you and I have, but telephones nonetheless.
They are quite right to be skeptical of technology, because of its adverse impacts on their way of life.

Are you sure you are not confusing the Amish with the Mennonites? As far as I recall, the Amish don't use such technology. Of course, if they do, it obviates your original claim.

The Amish are not, however, anarchists.  Capitalist or not.  The Amish way of life does not adhere to the vision of Anarcho-Capitalism as expressed here.

And what is your interpretation of that exactly? Please support your silly claim with some evidence, please.

Unless I am mistaken there are no Amish Fortune 1000 companies.  I dont think the Amish even have companies.

Ah, there we go. My guess your sloppy English really is referring to corporations. In which case, neither do market anarchists, so what's your point? Here's a little clue to making rational arguments: Do your homework and learn the actual meaning of words you use. For instance, if you didn't mean "corporation" when you wrote "company," we would really like to hear your definition of company. BTW, if you are referring to joint enterprises, then I am pretty sure you are wrong. The Amish cooperate all the time to get things done.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Big.Swede on January 26, 2011, 06:25:50 pm
Quote
What i think Contrary was going for is that result equailant.

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Ah.  Thanks for clearing that up.

Glad to help. :)

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Works well on paper and/or in small scale, but when made a huge reality.... not so much, due to human nature.

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I see one other difference between successful communes and the USSR besides scale, and that is the voluntary nature of the communes.  Yep, human nature just does not like to be forced into things.

Yes, there is that. But from the start it was a popular uprising because the people (at least enough of them to get it started) thought they would get it better under that new system than under the Tzar. In reality it was just a shift in who ruled. From Tzar and court to Party leader and party members.

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How about we have a go at going with human nature, instead of against it?

Wonīt hear anything but an atheist version of "amen" from me about that. :)
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Brugle on January 26, 2011, 06:30:12 pm
The bright idea was to get people to read more by having a book be something people actually talk about. The same way they might talk about, say, the latest episode of Friends. So, apparently, this time it wasn't an insidious Communist plot... but I won't say that I'm sure.
I didn't think of it being an insidious plot, but you make it sound like it was.  Government schools were created (and are operated) to prevent most young people from becoming educated (beyond that required to be cannon fodder or the industrial equivalent)--to convince young people that reading (and other forms of self-education) are boring at best.  But a small fraction of young people get through government schools with the desire to read (and otherwise learn) intact.  So, try to divert young people from reading more worthwhile books (such as science fiction) into books that are the intellectual equivalent of broadcast TV.

Good idea.  I'll think about it.

Law means that there are fair rules that we can point to when we deal with this. Absent law, informally dealing with misbehavior allows for favoritism - some people getting away with more misbehavior than others.
The word "law" is confusing.

"Law" is sometimes used to mean natural or common law, as would be recognized in anarcho-capitalist societies.  That sort of law is (as far as humanly possible) clear, logical, relatively constant, and fair.  Using "law" in that sense, the quote above makes sense.

"Law" is also used to mean state edicts, issued by monarchs, legislatures, presidents, government agencies, etc.  That sort of law can be (and usually is) unclear, arbitrary, frequently changing, and grossly unfair (favoring the politically powerful).  It is intellectually dishonest to start using law with one meaning and then shift to using it in the other (roughly opposite) meaning.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: quadibloc on January 26, 2011, 09:22:14 pm
The word "law" is confusing.

"Law" is sometimes used to mean natural or common law, as would be recognized in anarcho-capitalist societies.  That sort of law is (as far as humanly possible) clear, logical, relatively constant, and fair.  Using "law" in that sense, the quote above makes sense.

"Law" is also used to mean state edicts, issued by monarchs, legislatures, presidents, government agencies, etc.  That sort of law can be (and usually is) unclear, arbitrary, frequently changing, and grossly unfair (favoring the politically powerful).  It is intellectually dishonest to start using law with one meaning and then shift to using it in the other (roughly opposite) meaning.
What I'm referring to is something that has attributes of both meanings.

As with the second, I mean laws that are set down in writing in every detail - not which are buried within a mass of ancient precedents.

As with the first, I mean laws that are clear, consistent, and fair, reflecting the rules under which the people wish to live by.

Apparently, you are claiming that governments inevitably make bad laws.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: mellyrn on January 26, 2011, 10:18:41 pm
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Apparently, you are claiming that governments inevitably make bad laws.

Can't speak for Brugle, but I will so claim.

No law "set down in writing in every detail" can possibly be fair because it has no way -- none whatsoever -- of taking into account the unique circumstances that surround every unique event (crime, misbehavior, misunderstanding, accident, what-have-you).  And every event is unique.  Every.  Single.  One.

It's possible to categorize -- which has the effect of erasing the unique, and quite possibly mortally relevant, details.

If you'd like to set down a collection of guidelines and general principles, like the ZAP?  Oh, but of course.  It's kind of nice to have them roughed out.  I propose that anyone wanting citizenship on my planet read The Abilene Paradox and demonstrate comprehension because I do not want to get seriously involved with someone who does not understand that a group can unanimously decide to do something that every last one of them thinks is a stinkin' baaad idea.

Of course not everyone will behave properly, whether you have laws about it or not.  What is wanted is some sort of recourse.  Anarchy has arbitration, and the threat that if you renege, you lose the recourse of community arbitration yourself and becoming outcast.  I gather you're afraid that won't be enough -- and I think your fear stems from noticing that the worst punishments under law don't stop crime either.  I think you sort of mentally graph out "more punishment equals less crime, therefore less punishment equals more crime".  You might want to investigate that fundamental notion, "more punishment equals less crime", and see if it holds up.  Norway's current experience suggests that it does not. 

If it's "fair" you're concerned about, it's like this:  you go to arbitration and -- this is very important -- you do not submit willy-nilly to whatever first comes out of the arbitrator's mouth.  You keep negotiating until all parties are satisfied with the arrangements.  When they are, there will be no reneging.  Because, you know, they're satisfied with the arrangement, so what's to renege about?

Under law, though, if you don't like the judge's decree you have to start the whole expensive process all over again -- if you're even allowed to "appeal".
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: quadibloc on January 27, 2011, 12:21:18 am
I propose that anyone wanting citizenship on my planet read The Abilene Paradox and demonstrate comprehension because I do not want to get seriously involved with someone who does not understand that a group can unanimously decide to do something that every last one of them thinks is a stinkin' baaad idea.
I just read the Wikipedia article; from what it quoted, seems like the secret ballot would fix the problem.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: macsnafu on January 27, 2011, 11:15:29 am

While most people believe it to be wrong to rob others or to bully them, not all people refrain from such behavior.

Law means that there are fair rules that we can point to when we deal with this. Absent law, informally dealing with misbehavior allows for favoritism - some people getting away with more misbehavior than others.

Of course, state societies with laws have also had favoritism too. Laws don't solve that problem all by themselves. But they make it possible to minimize favoritism, while without law, there is no standard by which fairness can be seen to exist.

As has been said before, ancap basically means no government, not no laws.  You seem to think that laws not derived by legislation would be unfair and unenforceable, in spite of the great amount of evidence that it is government, legislative-created law that is largely unfair and unenforceable (or inconsistently-enforced, which is similar).

Again, I suggest reading up on how common law worked, or Merchant Law.   If anything, customary laws would be more enforceable, not less, because they tend to limit absurd and unreasonable laws.  Laws are derived from the customary actions of the community or society, and thus are largely supported by said community and society, and thus enforced with the help of peer pressure and ostracism, instead of merely being enforced by law enforcement officials with badges and guns. 

In other words, customary law, which is what common law essentially was, is part and parcel of the community and society, and not something apart from it, not created by a legislative body that can be easily influenced or corrupted by power or money.

Furthermore, customary law is an ongoing process, not merely a set of laws, so that it can adapt to changing or unusual circumstances, something that legislative law has trouble dealing with, even with "creative" judges.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: SandySandfort on January 27, 2011, 01:23:51 pm
As has been said before, ancap basically means no government, not no laws. 

I think it is a sad commentary on the abuse of language, that when I use the word "anarchy" I must amend it to "literal anarchy" to express the concept that is implicit in the word, no ruler.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: mellyrn on January 27, 2011, 06:02:06 pm
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I just read the Wikipedia article; from what it quoted, seems like the secret ballot would fix the problem.

Not bad; and, hey, at least you looked into it.

Only, secret ballots would be a band-aid to a much deeper, much worse problem:  groups "go to Abilene" when the climate of the group suppresses the speaking of unpleasant or uncomfortable truths.  I've heard it said that Napoleon (whatever else he was) made such a great general because he insisted on hearing the unvarnished truth, and encouraged his aides & subordinates to tell him even the things they knew he wasn't going to like.  I want my group to prefer uncomfortable truths over pleasant falsehoods.


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I think it is a sad commentary on the abuse of language, that when I use the word "anarchy" I must amend it to "literal anarchy" to express the concept that is implicit in the word, no ruler.

The word has acquired unfortunate baggage, hasn't it?  Unfortunately, I think in the nature of speech it's easier just to get a new word than to try to rehabilitate an abused one.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Gillsing on January 27, 2011, 06:23:06 pm

On a personal level, you can avoid some of the problems by making sure you never need to sell your labor in a buyers' market.

Anytime you are selling your labor and/or knowledge, it is a buyers market.
....
In the mainstream marketplace, it is always a buyers market.

Nonsense.  The market is *always* about both supply and demand.  You can't make a blanket statement like that without understanding what is affecting supply and demand.  Certainly in today's society, there are numerous laws and regulations that limit business competition, and thus create a "buyer's market" for labor, but it doesn't have to always be that way.   
If you apply Sturgeon's Revelation about 90% of everything being crap, then it's probably always a buyer's market for the 90% of the workers who aren't highly sought after by the people who are buying.

I've argued elsewhere that laws act as a kind of Dumbo's Feather -- I know more than a few people who imagine that it's laws that create, or instigate, moral behavior, and that people wouldn't act morally if there weren't laws demanding it.  They imagine this even though if they themselves were dropped into a place where there was no law as such (whether proper anarchy, or thug-governed) they would still act morally -- and, if I ask them why, they'd say they were "brought up to know right from wrong", or otherwise avoid acknowledging that they'd be doing the right thing even in the absence of laws to make them do so.
Well, you know how it is. 75% think that they're better than average. So I guess that includes having better morals than the average person, and therefore the average person can not be trusted to be as moral as those 75% who are better than average.

It's as if, just as Dumbo thought he needed his feather to fly when he was perfectly capable of flying without it, they think they need laws to make them behave.  But laws arise from existing moral beliefs (not always successfully, either); laws are not alien, ex-hominem artifacts descended from Elsewhere without which we would be monsters.
I'd say it's more like knowing that you don't need the feather to fly, but everyone else are holding their feathers when they fly, so obviously they need their feathers to fly. Because surely all those elephants wouldn't hold feathers if they didn't need to? That many elephants couldn't possibly be wrong! ;)

Still, the problem with immoral people aren't that they're 'everyone', it's that they exist at all. If you have 99 people who are nice to each other and one person who's acting like a jerk, those 99 people will want some way to deal with the jerk. Or even better, have someone else deal with the jerk, because really, who wants to deal with a jerk? No one, that's who.

AnCap fails because people are too lazy to make it work. Which would explain why it apparently worked/works in frontier societies: Pioneers and trailblazers aren't known for being lazy! I don't think I'd survive in an AnCap society. I'm way too lazy to keep track of all the wheeling and dealing and constantly be on the lookout for opportunities while being ready to defend myself if necessary. As evidenced by the fact that I am even too lazy to play MMORPGs.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Brugle on January 28, 2011, 02:59:46 am
Still, the problem with immoral people aren't that they're 'everyone', it's that they exist at all. If you have 99 people who are nice to each other and one person who's acting like a jerk, those 99 people will want some way to deal with the jerk. Or even better, have someone else deal with the jerk, because really, who wants to deal with a jerk? No one, that's who.
Sure.  Jerks exist.  In a statist society, jerks tend to gravitate to government power, becoming (among other things) presidents, legislators, judges, prosecutors, and police.  Nice people who end up in similar positions tend to become jerks.  This is what you want?

I'm way too lazy to keep track of all the wheeling and dealing and constantly be on the lookout for opportunities while being ready to defend myself if necessary.
Why would you think you'd need to wheel and deal more in an AnCap society?  While I'd expect fewer people to work for wages, there is no reason it wouldn't be done.  In fact, with fewer people doing it, I'd expect (in comparison) a seller's market.

Why would you think you'd need to defend yourself more in an AnCap society?  I live in an area where enough people carry guns to make it fairly safe, but I'd guess the great majority of people don't carry.  The ones who don't carry still get the safety benefit.  I'd expect more people to carry in an AnCap society, so it'd be even safer.  (This doesn't even count the vast decrease in crime from the elimination of various prohibitions.)
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on January 28, 2011, 06:56:43 am
AnCap does not require that everyone become a policeman, teacher, farmer, judge, all wrapped in one.

To give a for-instance, not everyone must be armed to deter crime. Typically, a small percentage choose to carry concealed weapons - and those few are enough to deter crime. It's a matter of probability; a mugger's chance of having a very nasty surprise increases, the more attempts are made. It takes only one such to ruin his day and possibly his life.

People tend to gravitate toward niches where they are useful. The problem with state fanbois is that they keep looking for "ultimate solutions" where everything is taken care of by somebody else, and assume that the absence of such "ultimate solutions" means that they must then personally take care of all problems.

Look at the experiences with removing traffic signals and markings in Europe. With no signals, no markings, no signs, no cops, what do people do? They take responsibility; they self-regulate; they negotiate; they adapt. What is the result? Higher traffic flow and fewer accidents. That is anarchy in practice. What's not to like?



Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Gillsing on January 28, 2011, 09:29:52 am
Sure.  Jerks exist.  In a statist society, jerks tend to gravitate to government power, becoming (among other things) presidents, legislators, judges, prosecutors, and police.  Nice people who end up in similar positions tend to become jerks.  This is what you want?
No. But apparently it's what the others in my country want. And I'm too lazy to change their minds.

Why would you think you'd need to wheel and deal more in an AnCap society?
Because most of the money I've ever received has been tax money shunted to me. I show up at some place, fill out a few forms, spend a few months waiting and go work wherever they tell me to. I'm pretty sure that wouldn't work very well in an AnCap. (When I apply for a job myself they don't even bother to call me for an interview.)

Why would you think you'd need to defend yourself more in an AnCap society?
Because everywhere else in these threads people talk about guns, self defence and how an AnCap could so beat a statist attacker. I guess I could easily avoid violence, just as I do today, but something about having the responsibility for my own defence makes me think that I should do something about it. Which is a lot more than I do today. But I guess I could just buy a gun, since the strict gun control would be gone.

The problem with state fanbois is that they keep looking for "ultimate solutions" where everything is taken care of by somebody else, and assume that the absence of such "ultimate solutions" means that they must then personally take care of all problems.
Yep. "Can't someone else do it?" And if somebody else isn't doing it, of course that means that I'd have to do it myself. Because stuff that is everyone's responsibility ends up being no one's responsibility. Which is what you get when you don't have a Great Leader who tells everyone what to do. Because figuring out what to do can be really hard.

Look at the experiences with removing traffic signals and markings in Europe. With no signals, no markings, no signs, no cops, what do people do? They take responsibility; they self-regulate; they negotiate; they adapt. What is the result? Higher traffic flow and fewer accidents. That is anarchy in practice. What's not to like?
Oh, all that decision-making sounds both exciting and convenient in small doses, but do people want to live their entire lives like that? Apparently not. Not here anyway. Having to choose what to do is like... work. For the brain. That's not what most people want. They want someone else to do that work and then give them the money. Or the product.

People don't want to have to personally evaluate everything and then make a decision. They want the government to handle stuff like that, except in the few areas where each person feel that they are qualified to determine that the government is making bad decisions. (Or areas that the person simply enjoys handling.) 90% of everything is crap, so people let the government handle those 90% areas of expertise. And since the government can't really tell which areas of expertise are the 10% that a given person could handle for themselves, it sometimes ends up handling those areas too. And hey, if you want to live a relatively carefree life where you don't have to give a shit about a lot of crap, it's worth it. Kind of boring though. And maybe I'm largely wrong about all this. I'm too lazy to investigate, so I prefer to make something up and see how well it seems to fit.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: macsnafu on January 28, 2011, 10:35:01 am

Look at the experiences with removing traffic signals and markings in Europe. With no signals, no markings, no signs, no cops, what do people do? They take responsibility; they self-regulate; they negotiate; they adapt. What is the result? Higher traffic flow and fewer accidents. That is anarchy in practice. What's not to like?
Oh, all that decision-making sounds both exciting and convenient in small doses, but do people want to live their entire lives like that? Apparently not. Not here anyway. Having to choose what to do is like... work. For the brain. That's not what most people want. They want someone else to do that work and then give them the money. Or the product.

People don't want to have to personally evaluate everything and then make a decision. They want the government to handle stuff like that, except in the few areas where each person feel that they are qualified to determine that the government is making bad decisions. (Or areas that the person simply enjoys handling.) 90% of everything is crap, so people let the government handle those 90% areas of expertise. And since the government can't really tell which areas of expertise are the 10% that a given person could handle for themselves, it sometimes ends up handling those areas too. And hey, if you want to live a relatively carefree life where you don't have to give a shit about a lot of crap, it's worth it. Kind of boring though. And maybe I'm largely wrong about all this. I'm too lazy to investigate, so I prefer to make something up and see how well it seems to fit.

One of the wonderful things that society has come up with is "division of labor".  Don't want to do something?  Pay someone else to do it, especially if they happen to be good at doing that sort of thing.

Are people lazy?  Sure, many people are, if you let them.  But that all depends upon the circumstances involved.  The funny thing about responsibility is that most people do act responsible for their actions if you, or rather if society, expects it of them.  It's only in a society where people are not held responsible for their actions that they seem to be quite lazy and unwilling to take positive action.

Another strange fact is that many people benefit, even if only indirectly, from the actions of the real go-getters and entreprenuers in society.  They work hard so that you don't have to. 

So if you really want an easy-going, carefree existence, you really ought to want less or even no government interference in our society.   After all, would you rather pay someone to do your income taxes for you, or would rather not have an income tax to even worry about?
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: ContraryGuy on January 28, 2011, 11:37:14 am
AnCap does not require that everyone become a policeman, teacher, farmer, judge, all wrapped in one.
In essence, it does.  Now, a policeman protects me outside of my personal space.  Police provide deterrence.  Without them, I would have to deter all comers.  You tell me that I could hire a Private Protection Agency, but in practice they are no better than todays alarm companies; I press the button and they come and clean up afterward.  A PPS provides no deterrence.

If I want my children to be educated, I would have to teach them.  Today this is called either home schooling or good parenting depending on the persons ideology.

Farming; maybe not, but a home garden would be a smart thing to do in a society where food is not guaranteed.

Judge; probably.  If I catch somebody doing something to me or mine, I become a judge in self-defense.
If I am an altruist and I come to somebody elses defense, I had better be prepared to be a judge, otherwise the attacker will take *me* to "arbitration". 

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To give a for-instance, not everyone must be armed to deter crime. Typically, a small percentage choose to carry concealed weapons - and those few are enough to deter crime.

No, it just leads to smarter/more ruthless muggers.
If everyone is suspected of open or concealed carry, than a mugger is not out of place with a weapon.
Were I such a mugger, I come up behind my target with my gun at the ready, silencer attached, and shoot to disable.  Then I mug them.  Of course I could just shoot their brains out, but thats messy and people would notice.
If I am quiet enough about it, I can get away with this style of mugging for a long time.

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It's a matter of probability; a mugger's chance of having a very nasty surprise increases, the more attempts are made. It takes only one such to ruin his day and possibly his life.

People tend to gravitate toward niches where they are useful. The problem with state fanbois is that they keep looking for "ultimate solutions" where everything is taken care of by somebody else, and assume that the absence of such "ultimate solutions" means that they must then personally take care of all problems.

Look at the experiences with removing traffic signals and markings in Europe. With no signals, no markings, no signs, no cops, what do people do? They take responsibility; they self-regulate; they negotiate; they adapt. What is the result? Higher traffic flow and fewer accidents. That is anarchy in practice. What's not to like?

The problem with anarchy, is that there is no "down" time.  You must constantly be on guard and vigilant.  This gets tiring real quick.  The more people you have to protect, the faster you tire.

Eventually, you want someone else to take over.  Anarchy works great for frontier settlements and pioneers, because they know what they signed up for.  But a 40 year old father of two who just wants to live his life?  Eventually freedom tires us all out.  This is why we have the current problems that we do.

Sturgeons Law says 90% of everything is crap.  In a 'statist' society, most of that 90% is taken care of by others, or is so spread out that you dont often notice your part.

In an anarchy, you are responsible for all of that 90% yourself.  Hire a Protection Agency, sure; which one is the most dependable?  which one will actually keep the bad guys away?  What happens if I lose my job and cant make the payments?

Small bits of anarchy can be good, because people know what they are supposed to do with it.

When you tell someone, "You're free," they dont know what to do.  Free from what?  Wage tyranny?  the AnCap says "you can do anything you want."  and the normal person says "I want to go back to my life."
"Sorry," the AnCap say, "that life is no longer available.  You must now take control of your life.  Be Happy, your chains are released.  Your shackles done away with; fly! be free!"

"But," the normal person says "where will I go; how will I eat?"  The AnCap replies, "Sv. Citizen, thats not my problem, and frankly, my dear Citizen, I dont give a damn."

Thats the problem with anarchy.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 28, 2011, 12:13:53 pm

Oh, all that decision-making sounds both exciting and convenient in small doses, but do people want to live their entire lives like that? Apparently not. Not here anyway. Having to choose what to do is like... work. For the brain. That's not what most people want. They want someone else to do that work and then give them the money. Or the product.

To me that sounds like a good reason to have it both ways. Have governments some places and not others. So if you think you'd like to live AnCap you can go there and find out. And then if you don't like it, you can apply to immigrate to any nation that will accept you.

If people are different, they might be happier if we let them sort themselves out. So have lots of governments and lots of AnCap societies. You could have a boring AnCap society that's a lot like Amish, an exciting AnCap where there are gunfights every day, one with exceptionally clear property rights that you would be expected to help enforce, one where you can't expect to keep more than you can defend for yourself, and so on. Horses for courses. If you think you'd enjoy lots of gunfights but it turns out they make you nervous, go to an AnCap society that better fits your needs.

Or if you really want somebody do domesticate you, choose a government to live under. I kind of like it. If we wind up with some places where nobody likes blacks, or places where they don't like anybody but Jews, or whatever, that's fine provided there are lots of places for the rest of us and they tell us where we aren't welcome ahead of time instead of just shooting us for showing up.

Horses for courses. Get lots of societies and let people find out where they fit in.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: macsnafu on January 28, 2011, 02:05:58 pm
AnCap does not require that everyone become a policeman, teacher, farmer, judge, all wrapped in one.
In essence, it does.  Now, a policeman protects me outside of my personal space.  Police provide deterrence.  Without them, I would have to deter all comers.  You tell me that I could hire a Private Protection Agency, but in practice they are no better than todays alarm companies; I press the button and they come and clean up afterward.  A PPS provides no deterrence.

If I want my children to be educated, I would have to teach them.  Today this is called either home schooling or good parenting depending on the persons ideology.

Farming; maybe not, but a home garden would be a smart thing to do in a society where food is not guaranteed.
These examples are absurd.  If you want your children to be educated, you can teach them yourself if you want to, but you can pay someone else to teach them, i.e. send them to school.  It's just that it would be a private school instead of a public school.  You get to choose what school and how much you spend on their education, instead of legislators and bureaucrats.   Or even hire a tutor, if you don't like sending them to school.

You think your food is guaranteed now?  Where there are various supports to farmers not to farm, tariffs on importing sugar, and price supports and other subsidies to maintain higher prices for food?  Why do you think no government would mean a greater risk of food not being available, instead of a lesser risk?

Your concept of private protection is also limited.  You're not limited to security coming to you after the crime to clean up.  Suppose your homeowners association hired guards to patrol your neighborhood, for example, meaning security would be fairly close to your home, to help prevent crime, or act before the crime is over.  Many possibilities exist in the realm of security, and you're just not thinking of them.

Where there is more freedom, more choices, there are also ways to sort them out and handle those choices precisely so you don't have to worry about them all the time.  You're merely assuming the worst possible choices, not any standard or median options.
 
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on January 28, 2011, 02:54:14 pm
One, only a hysterical fanboi would continue to claim that armed citizens lead to smarter and more ruthless muggers, in the face of contrary evidence which shows the opposite: lower violent crime due to the effect of citizens protecting themselves.

Second, you are making things too hard for yourself. The choice isn't "decisions are made by the State" versus "I make all the decions the hard way by myself."

In the absence of a Great Decider, people tend to think hard about those decisions which are a) important to them, and b) where they have some expertise. For other matters, it is much easier to consult with someone who has a similar problem and is getting good results.

For example, when people want to buy a car, there are some who begin a six-month long project, reading every review, buttonholing every driver, creating spreadsheets, climbing under the car, even doing a disassembly to find out what's under the hood.  Others prefer to delegate. They ask a few trusted friends "What do you drive? What do you like about it? What problems have you had?" After about 30 minutes of such research, they show up at a dealer, haggle a price, and walk away satisfied. Same thing with phones, computers, and so forth. You can get rather good results just by asking the right people. You can get fair results simply by "following the herd".

None of this requires an Omnipotent Decider. Nor does it require that we each become omniscient. Statist fanbois are making the problem more difficult than it is.

Furthermore, you don't explain why the people who are supposedly incapable of making decisions about their daily lives - where they are directly affected by the quality of their decision-making - are supposedly able to make good decisions in the voting booth, where the chance of actually affecting the outcome are vanishingly small.

When you say to a clerk "give me such-and-such shoes", that's what you take out of the store. Whether the shoes are good, bad, or indifferent, you'll live with the results. The next time, you'll be armed with more information and will have incentive to make a better decision.

When you say at the voting booth "please God let my candidate win", you only get what you vote for half the time. 99% of the time, you hold your nose and vote for "the lesser of two evils." Half the time, you delude yourself into believing that things are going to hell because the "wrong" guy stole the election from your alleged miracle-worker, who would never have been so evil. The other half of the time, your alleged miracle-worker is in office but can't make his miracles happen because of the evil bastards in the other party.

This is allegedly a better method of making decisions and influencing outcomes than markets? Only a fanboi could believe it.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: SandySandfort on January 28, 2011, 04:32:38 pm
No, it just leads to smarter/more ruthless muggers.

You are long on opinions and short on facts. The level of violence goes down whenever a state goes to "shall issue" or no restrictions on carrying. Read More Guns, Less Crime for the studies and statistics supporting my statement. Then look for statistics or studies that support your reasonable sounding, but erroneous opinion.

Come to think of it, I have rarely, if ever, heard anything from that wasn't just your benighted personal opinion. Have ever presented evidence?
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: mellyrn on January 28, 2011, 06:11:58 pm
Quote
Now, a policeman protects me outside of my personal space.  Police provide deterrence.  Without them, I would have to deter all comers.  You tell me that I could hire a Private Protection Agency, but in practice they are no better than todays alarm companies; I press the button and they come and clean up afterward.  A PPS provides no deterrence.

If the police fail to protect you, they can't be held liable (http://homepage.usask.ca/~sta575/cdn-firearms/Cramer/shall-issue.html#c33) for it. <--- link

Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App 1981):  "[It is] a fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen."

If you hire a bodyguard, you can write it into his contract.  Absent taxes, you could probably afford a bodyguard.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 28, 2011, 07:03:46 pm

When you say at the voting booth "please God let my candidate win", you only get what you vote for half the time. 99% of the time, you hold your nose and vote for "the lesser of two evils." Half the time, you delude yourself into believing that things are going to hell because the "wrong" guy stole the election from your alleged miracle-worker, who would never have been so evil. The other half of the time, your alleged miracle-worker is in office but can't make his miracles happen because of the evil bastards in the other party.

This is allegedly a better method of making decisions and influencing outcomes than markets? Only a fanboi could believe it.

It's a clear improvement over being owned by a king and then the king's oldest son.

At the time we started using voting, a whole lot of people said that we should have kings instead because that's how God wanted it. They were able to say that with a perfectly straight face. Maybe because they knew what was good for them in the short run.

Slowly, slowly, humanity wises up.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Big.Swede on January 29, 2011, 09:40:41 am
No, it just leads to smarter/more ruthless muggers.

You are long on opinions and short on facts. The level of violence goes down whenever a state goes to "shall issue" or no restrictions on carrying. Read More Guns, Less Crime for the studies and statistics supporting my statement. Then look for statistics or studies that support your reasonable sounding, but erroneous opinion.

Come to think of it, I have rarely, if ever, heard anything from that wasn't just your benighted personal opinion. Have ever presented evidence?

Ok, so i am a strong supporter for the right, heck iīd stretch to obligation, to carry for self defense and defense of others. Just wanted that out of the way.

We do see a lowering in crime in general when the average Joe might be carrying. Reason is simple, the risk of getting shot outweighs the potential benefits. Better to go get foodstamps and social security (for whatever reasons) or get a job than end up in hospital or dead.

While in an AnCap soc there is family that can act as this safety valve to give haven and sustenance, itīs not guaranteed to be there. (Not that states actualy guarantee, but it is a pretty good possibility as a secondary safety net.) How ever, there will be those left with no way out than to be criminals. For whatever reason they are deemed outcasts unsalvegable and cut of from all sorts of help.

The will to live is the strongest thing there is, far overpowering the sense of "morality" in most people, so when starvation or thirst or whether you can breath for 5 minutes more is the option, and you know that there is almost a 100% posibility that that guy you are going to mug is going to be carrying, the most simple solution is to cap him in the head from behind. Or if you do something bad before you are outcast that will risk you becomming one, how much more tempting is the chance of removing witnesses and potential plaintifs in a arbitration case?

So my conclusion is, crime rates will drop in general but the crimes that are commited will be much more likely to end in fatalities on either side. Is that worth it? Well, that is up for each person to decide.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: SandySandfort on January 29, 2011, 11:15:21 am
Ok, so i am a strong supporter for the right, heck iīd stretch to obligation, to carry for self defense...

  ;D

How ever, there will be those left with no way out than to be criminals. For whatever reason they are deemed outcasts unsalvegable and cut of from all sorts of help.

This is where I would normally say, "nonsense," however, you seem to be a reasonable person. Before I present evidence that proves it is nonsense, I would like to hear your version of how that might happen. For the life of me, I cannot imagine a plausible scenario that would not have some sort of help for anyone, no matter how wretched.

The will to live is the strongest thing there is, far overpowering the sense of "morality" in most people, so when starvation or thirst or whether you can breath for 5 minutes more is the option, and you know that there is almost a 100% posibility that that guy you are going to mug is going to be carrying, the most simple solution is to cap him in the head from behind.
...
So my conclusion is, crime rates will drop in general but the crimes that are commited will be much more likely to end in fatalities on either side. Is that worth it? Well, that is up for each person to decide.

GIGO. Your scenario is absolutely dependent on their being no safety net, which is unimaginable to me, as stated above. Absent that your "simple solution" fails. Show me a plausible scenario that removes all safety nets and then I will provide other arguments that invalidate your argument.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 29, 2011, 11:33:34 am

So my conclusion is, crime rates will drop in general but the crimes that are commited will be much more likely to end in fatalities on either side. Is that worth it? Well, that is up for each person to decide.

I say that your chain of reasoning is plausible, but things you haven't considered may change around the results. I don't have specific candidates to change it, I only want to point out that the reasoning makes good sense but it may fail anyway.

And something about your last sentence
Quote
Well, that is up for each person to decide.

No, that isn't up to each person to decide. That's up to each person to live with. If it does turn out that the result is there are fewer crimes but the remaining crimes are more vicious, what are you going to do about it? Would you go around conspicuously unarmed, so that criminals will tend to pick you for a victim but will be less likely to kill you because they aren't afraid of you?

You get to make your choice in the face of the choices that everybody else makes. You choose whether to do bad things -- everybody else chooses for themselves. You choose whether to go armed and so does everybody else. You don't get to choose whether the result of all the collective choices is worth it. You only get to make your own choices and live with everybody else's choice.

Well, but with governments we get laws that affect everybody's choices, and the public gets some indirect say in what the laws will be. Probably an AnCap society would give the consensus much more say in the common laws.

So imagine that most of the public agreed that it's just wrong to carry guns. It's plausible to me that the sort of people who want to set up an AnCap society wouldn't want that, but imagine that it turned out that way. Then if you openly carried, people might start coming up to you to remind you that you're carrying and that it isn't right. What would you do, shoot them? If it became clear that you intended to carry after you were reminded not to, a group of them might ask for arbitration. Would you shoot them or ignore them? The arbitrator might point out that you are being a serious annoyance to a lot of other people and at a minimum you ought to stop, and perhaps you owe some damages.

And then if you carry a concealed weapon and shoot somebody, it looks so much worse than if you just got into a fight with him and strangled him....

And if two of you draw your concealed guns and you win the shootout, the arbitrator treats it just like you were carrying and shot somebody unprovoked, because you were supposed to get shot and then it would be the other guy in the same trouble you're in....

If the consensus was that way, an AnCap society would probably arrange to enforce that consensus a lot easier than one with a government in the way. Again my guess is that this would not be the consensus. But if it was, it wouldn't particularly be up to each person to decide. You'd have to live with the laws that the consensus chose whether you agreed with them or not. Or you could find someplace more congenial to live. Or you could die.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: quadibloc on January 29, 2011, 06:19:44 pm
You get to make your choice in the face of the choices that everybody else makes.
I can't begin to imagine an AnCap society choosing to treat self-defense the way Canada has done with its gun-control laws.

It would seem to me that if the consensus is for people to be unarmed, the consensus would also be in favor of having police and a government.

Now, I could imagine an AnCap society being sufficiently peaceful that few people feel much need to carry arms routinely. But if crime is very rare, that also makes it more shocking when it does happen, and so it's very unlikely the public consensus would favor the aggressor over the victim.

I think it is possible that public opinion, if given a large role, can result in certain forms of unfairness, but since this particular form of unfairness has been, in state societies, a top-down imposition from elites most of the time (although now there is popular clamor for more gun control, as people have been taught that this is the only politically-correct way to get tough on crime) that isn't one of the ones I'd expect in an AnCap society.

For the life of me, I cannot imagine a plausible scenario that would not have some sort of help for anyone, no matter how wretched.
This is interesting.

When a Libertarian or AnCap society is proposed, generally one of the first objections that comes to mind is the disaster that will result when millions of people suddenly find themselves without welfare.

Absent government magically disappearing, though, the argument usually goes like this:

Private donations are usually more forthcoming for those who are cute and appealing. As long as there are still people who believe in God, and particularly who accept the idea of Immanuel Kant that I believe Ayn Rand misunderstood, yes, even the most wretched are not likely to be absolutely forgotten.

Unless there are too many of them. Then they'll be forgotten enough that what aid reaches them is not enough to permit the survival of all of them. (Of course, survival is never certain, even for the wealthiest, it could be argued.)

Immanuel Kant noted that if someone helps another who is not related to him, not appealing, and possibly undeserving, he does something more meritorious than if he helps someone more appealing. Ayn Rand would have been right to condemn this if Kant meant by this that, having limited resources, one should choose to help an undeserving recipient before a deserving one. But I don't believe he meant that.

If one is willing to part with some of one's resources to help others, one has voluntarily assumed a duty to put one's charity where it does the most good. But sometimes circumstances combine the decision to make such an effort with the identity of the recipient - because one happens to be there on the spot. In such a case, when one still makes the effort even if the recipient is unappealing, it is more praiseworthy. This is what I believe Kant meant, and there's nothing wrong with that claim.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 29, 2011, 08:05:18 pm
You get to make your choice in the face of the choices that everybody else makes.

I can't begin to imagine an AnCap society choosing to treat self-defense the way Canada has done with its gun-control laws.

;) It seems perverse, doesn't it?

My guess is that if a bunch of pioneers go off to create an AnCap society, they're going to be smart and competent and they'll build a society that suits them.

But give it a few generations of reasonable prosperity and there's no telling what the consensus will be. They might get a consensus that seems unimaginable to me.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Big.Swede on January 29, 2011, 08:43:13 pm
Ok, so i am a strong supporter for the right, heck iīd stretch to obligation, to carry for self defense...

  ;D

How ever, there will be those left with no way out than to be criminals. For whatever reason they are deemed outcasts unsalvegable and cut of from all sorts of help.

This is where I would normally say, "nonsense," however, you seem to be a reasonable person. Before I present evidence that proves it is nonsense, I would like to hear your version of how that might happen. For the life of me, I cannot imagine a plausible scenario that would not have some sort of help for anyone, no matter how wretched.

The will to live is the strongest thing there is, far overpowering the sense of "morality" in most people, so when starvation or thirst or whether you can breath for 5 minutes more is the option, and you know that there is almost a 100% posibility that that guy you are going to mug is going to be carrying, the most simple solution is to cap him in the head from behind.
...
So my conclusion is, crime rates will drop in general but the crimes that are commited will be much more likely to end in fatalities on either side. Is that worth it? Well, that is up for each person to decide.

GIGO. Your scenario is absolutely dependent on their being no safety net, which is unimaginable to me, as stated above. Absent that your "simple solution" fails. Show me a plausible scenario that removes all safety nets and then I will provide other arguments that invalidate your argument.

Ok. Just donīt blame me for bringing up things iīd rather not. Hereīs how it might happen. Letīs meet unlucky Joe.

Joe was an orphan found in an alley somewhere after his mother dumped him. Unfortunatly, he didnīt get taken in by some loving caring couple, but ended up in a broken home with an abusive "mother" and pretty much abscent dad. Getting older, itīs clear he has some kind of mental issues as he can fly into a rage if provoked. Being short on attention also means what little he tries to learn at school or homeschooling his mother bothers to give him doesnīt realy stick that well. While he is still small that isnīt that horrible a problem for his mom as she can overpower him. One day how ever, she learns that a sharp knife is an excellent equalizer. While none that know of the family history blames Joe, there is now a precedent. Joe is known to have anger issues and has killed a person.

His father finaly ups and leaves permanently or doesnīt bother to come back at all this time, leaving Joe with a few changes of clothes and enough pocketchange to get by for a few days. He does get help from a volounteer organisation who helps him out as well they can. Giving him roof over head and meals and a bit of schooling. They even help him see a doctor and get medication for his temper problems, but over the years that follow the medication either becomes ineffective or he misses taking them, leaving him a reputation as a brawler and a troublemaker at the best of times.
He also gets in with the "wrong crowd", might even start abusing drugs to self medicate what he feels the actual medication canīt fix.

So a few more years down the line we got Joe living with no family, little friends to speak of, he can barrely keep a job due to his anger issues and drug habbits but he does manage to be relativly comfortable in a small apartment, even though there is very little left of the paycheck each week. He canīt realy save up what little he has left both due to his drug habbit and arbitration settlements after he gets in fights.

Then one day Joe wakes up from his high near a dead girl. He paniks and runs, but is spotted leaving the area. Examination shows the girl to have been beaten to death or whatever. Word gets out, and now Joe is in seriously deep crap. The girls father (or whatever) pretty much snaps and decides Joe did this and heīs going to make sure Joe dies for it. Joe makes a run for it down into whatever hideyhole there might be, but he is now cut off from what ever little he might have had before. If he did actualy kill the girl or not, he does not know and it realy doesnīt matter. With no way of proving himself innocent in an arbitration even if he is. he is looking forward to at best a life in working of restorations, if not the girls father caps him on the spot or activly manages to hunt him down first.

So, no family, "friends" running to keep his troubles away from them, and he canīt realy go ask for the support groups for help. Well technicaly he always has that option but for the sake of argument (fear for his life and whatnot) he does not go there. The community has pretty much passed a verdict anyway, even though quite a few sticks with the "he might be innocent or at least not have done it intentionaly" view. His face comes up on flyers, news casts and whatnot. Joe is now stuck in the underworld as it were. His only way to get food, water, clothes or anything, will be to become a criminal, paying extortion rates to the black market. There will always be someone willing to trade stuff with the outcasts for cash/gold.

So from there goes Joeīs probably short and rather brutal life. He tries burglary, and damn near gets cut in half by a shotgun. Next time he goes for a simple robbery and again escapes by the skin of his teeth. Desperate and dying from hunger, he takes the only route he can see. Next night, he finds a rich looking person and... *Pop* is able to eat for a few days.

Now if this happened on a livable planet such as earth he could theoreticly walk to another city and hope that the news didnīt spread, or try and live of the land if he has the skills. Being a town/city boy though.... doubtfull. If this happened on a relativly small port in hostile enviroment like Ceres he could not even do that. (Bit hard to walk to Mars.)

This is one way it could happen. It might happen in a million other ways for a bazillion different reasons. Heck, Joe might just be a creep that just wants an "easy ride" and decides robbery is his style and dead people with guns donīt try and fight back. Iīm not saying it will be common. But these cases will be there. And given (for sake of argument) one case in 10 million people, even today that would be thousands of incidents. Now imagine that with humanity spread  over the entire solar system, or even multiple solar systems.

There is also a million and one different ways this could have never happened and Joe could have had a long and happy and productive life, i freely admit this, iīm not saying he is unsalvegable. That is, untill that first act of desperation. Maybe even beyond that. I just made up a scenario of how it might play out, and if there is one thing we do know, itīs that life will kick you in the teeth from time to time. Some more than others.

Ack, man, wall of text! But this is the short version i swear.
Now this little scenario probably have many holes and wrongfull asumptions on my part, and i expect those to now be thoughrougly poked and prodded. :)
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Big.Swede on January 29, 2011, 09:03:06 pm

So my conclusion is, crime rates will drop in general but the crimes that are commited will be much more likely to end in fatalities on either side. Is that worth it? Well, that is up for each person to decide.

Quote
I say that your chain of reasoning is plausible, but things you haven't considered may change around the results. I don't have specific candidates to change it, I only want to point out that the reasoning makes good sense but it may fail anyway.

Yes, it can and probably will. There will be communities where there is no crime at all due to a hundred different reasons. On the other hand, there might be others where the criminal element decide to form raiding parties and (try to) wipe out entire homesteads.

Quote
And something about your last sentence
Quote
Well, that is up for each person to decide.

Quote
No, that isn't up to each person to decide. That's up to each person to live with. *Snip*

Ah, sorry. That was me being unclear i think. Letīs see if i can fix that.

What i meant was that it is up to the person to decide if they prefer to live in AnCap Ville with the slightly elevated risk of getting shot but with pretty much zilch chanse of someone trying to mug you with a length of pipe or a knife and home invasions are pretty much unheard of. Or if they decide to find an alternative community with a more present day kind of system to live in with a rather big chance of getting mugged at implement point or having a gang of goons kick you door in. (And no, iīm not talking about the police there.) But on the other hand they might not shoot you at first. On the third hand though, there is no guarantee for that so they might just try and gank you anyway.

That is where the decision of what is livable with comes in.

Hm. Does that clear it up?
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: SandySandfort on January 29, 2011, 10:47:53 pm
Ok, so i am a strong supporter for the right, heck iīd stretch to obligation, to carry for self defense...

  ;D

How ever, there will be those left with no way out than to be criminals. For whatever reason they are deemed outcasts unsalvegable and cut of from all sorts of help.

This is where I would normally say, "nonsense," however, you seem to be a reasonable person. Before I present evidence that proves it is nonsense, I would like to hear your version of how that might happen. For the life of me, I cannot imagine a plausible scenario that would not have some sort of help for anyone, no matter how wretched.

The will to live is the strongest thing there is, far overpowering the sense of "morality" in most people, so when starvation or thirst or whether you can breath for 5 minutes more is the option, and you know that there is almost a 100% posibility that that guy you are going to mug is going to be carrying, the most simple solution is to cap him in the head from behind.
...
So my conclusion is, crime rates will drop in general but the crimes that are commited will be much more likely to end in fatalities on either side. Is that worth it? Well, that is up for each person to decide.

GIGO. Your scenario is absolutely dependent on their being no safety net, which is unimaginable to me, as stated above. Absent that your "simple solution" fails. Show me a plausible scenario that removes all safety nets and then I will provide other arguments that invalidate your argument.

Ok. Just donīt blame me for bringing up things iīd rather not. Hereīs how it might happen. Letīs meet unlucky Joe.

Joe was an orphan found in an alley somewhere after his mother dumped him. Unfortunatly, he didnīt get taken in by some loving caring couple, but ended up in a broken home with an abusive "mother" and pretty much abscent dad. Getting older, itīs clear he has some kind of mental issues as he can fly into a rage if provoked. Being short on attention also means what little he tries to learn at school or homeschooling his mother bothers to give him doesnīt realy stick that well. While he is still small that isnīt that horrible a problem for his mom as she can overpower him. One day how ever, she learns that a sharp knife is an excellent equalizer. While none that know of the family history blames Joe, there is now a precedent. Joe is known to have anger issues and has killed a person.

His father finaly ups and leaves permanently or doesnīt bother to come back at all this time, leaving Joe with a few changes of clothes and enough pocketchange to get by for a few days. He does get help from a volounteer organisation who helps him out as well they can. Giving him roof over head and meals and a bit of schooling. They even help him see a doctor and get medication for his temper problems, but over the years that follow the medication either becomes ineffective or he misses taking them, leaving him a reputation as a brawler and a troublemaker at the best of times.
He also gets in with the "wrong crowd", might even start abusing drugs to self medicate what he feels the actual medication canīt fix.

So a few more years down the line we got Joe living with no family, little friends to speak of, he can barrely keep a job due to his anger issues and drug habbits but he does manage to be relativly comfortable in a small apartment, even though there is very little left of the paycheck each week. He canīt realy save up what little he has left both due to his drug habbit and arbitration settlements after he gets in fights.

Then one day Joe wakes up from his high near a dead girl. He paniks and runs, but is spotted leaving the area. Examination shows the girl to have been beaten to death or whatever. Word gets out, and now Joe is in seriously deep crap. The girls father (or whatever) pretty much snaps and decides Joe did this and heīs going to make sure Joe dies for it. Joe makes a run for it down into whatever hideyhole there might be, but he is now cut off from what ever little he might have had before. If he did actualy kill the girl or not, he does not know and it realy doesnīt matter. With no way of proving himself innocent in an arbitration even if he is. he is looking forward to at best a life in working of restorations, if not the girls father caps him on the spot or activly manages to hunt him down first.

So, no family, "friends" running to keep his troubles away from them, and he canīt realy go ask for the support groups for help. Well technicaly he always has that option but for the sake of argument (fear for his life and whatnot) he does not go there. The community has pretty much passed a verdict anyway, even though quite a few sticks with the "he might be innocent or at least not have done it intentionaly" view. His face comes up on flyers, news casts and whatnot. Joe is now stuck in the underworld as it were. His only way to get food, water, clothes or anything, will be to become a criminal, paying extortion rates to the black market. There will always be someone willing to trade stuff with the outcasts for cash/gold.

So from there goes Joeīs probably short and rather brutal life. He tries burglary, and damn near gets cut in half by a shotgun. Next time he goes for a simple robbery and again escapes by the skin of his teeth. Desperate and dying from hunger, he takes the only route he can see. Next night, he finds a rich looking person and... *Pop* is able to eat for a few days.

Now if this happened on a livable planet such as earth he could theoreticly walk to another city and hope that the news didnīt spread, or try and live of the land if he has the skills. Being a town/city boy though.... doubtfull. If this happened on a relativly small port in hostile enviroment like Ceres he could not even do that. (Bit hard to walk to Mars.)

This is one way it could happen. It might happen in a million other ways for a bazillion different reasons. Heck, Joe might just be a creep that just wants an "easy ride" and decides robbery is his style and dead people with guns donīt try and fight back. Iīm not saying it will be common. But these cases will be there. And given (for sake of argument) one case in 10 million people, even today that would be thousands of incidents. Now imagine that with humanity spread  over the entire solar system, or even multiple solar systems.

There is also a million and one different ways this could have never happened and Joe could have had a long and happy and productive life, i freely admit this, iīm not saying he is unsalvegable. That is, untill that first act of desperation. Maybe even beyond that. I just made up a scenario of how it might play out, and if there is one thing we do know, itīs that life will kick you in the teeth from time to time. Some more than others.

Ack, man, wall of text! But this is the short version i swear.
Now this little scenario probably have many holes and wrongfull asumptions on my part, and i expect those to now be thoughrougly poked and prodded. :)

Whew! I think you just broke JThomas' record for longest and most tortured fantasy scenario. Anyway, simple answers:

1. St. Anthony's dining hall doesn't turn anyone away nor do they check IDs.

2. It is possible to make more money panhandling than in many jobs.

3. You can live off picking up and recycling cans and bottles.

3. Trailers for sale or rent
Rooms to let...fifty cents.
No phone, no pool, no pets
I ain't got no cigarettes
Ah, but..two hours of pushin' broom
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room

I'm a man of means by no means
King of the road.

If someone really exists who cannot eat without stealing, I've never met them. If I did, I'd give him some leftovers and let him sleep in my dog house.  ::)
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: ContraryGuy on January 30, 2011, 12:44:29 am

This is where I would normally say, "nonsense,"

Because it is easier to scoff than rebut.

The will to live is the strongest thing there is, far overpowering the sense of "morality" in most people, so when starvation or thirst or whether you can breath for 5 minutes more is the option, and you know that there is almost a 100% posibility that that guy you are going to mug is going to be carrying, the most simple solution is to cap him in the head from behind.
...
So my conclusion is, crime rates will drop in general but the crimes that are commited will be much more likely to end in fatalities on either side. Is that worth it? Well, that is up for each person to decide.

And I agree with this.  I suppose I should have said that even though there are no smart muggers in the world, should one arise, that is what he/she would do.
Necessity is the mother of invention.

Quote
GIGO.

Please provide an example of GIGO in his argument.

 
Quote
Your scenario is absolutely dependent on their being no safety net,

Which is the median state of being in an AnCap society.  Remember, SHUN! SHUUUUNNNN!
Criminals are outcast from society, which means there is no safety net.  There is only criminality or run to another place which hopefully has not been told of your criminal status.

And no, the black market does not qualify as a safety net.

Quote
which is unimaginable to me, as stated above.

Admitting that you have no imagination is quite a risk for a person who makes a sci-fi comic strip.

Quote
Show me a plausible scenario that removes all safety nets and then I will provide other arguments that invalidate your argument.

It is impossible to teach a blind man to see or a deaf man to hear.
You will now and in the future reject anything a reasonable person would declare "plausible" because it could show a flaw in your meticulously crafted worldview.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: SandySandfort on January 30, 2011, 07:17:36 am

This is where I would normally say, "nonsense,"

Because it is easier to scoff than rebut.

These are not mutually exclusive activities. My SOP is to do both. Your handle says it all. You are only posting to be contrary, not to engage in discussed intended to enlighten. Henceforth, I shall ignore you. I have much better uses of my time. Live in darkness.


Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 30, 2011, 08:52:15 am

Your scenario is absolutely dependent on their being no safety net,

Which is the median state of being in an AnCap society.  Remember, SHUN! SHUUUUNNNN!
Criminals are outcast from society, which means there is no safety net.  There is only criminality or run to another place which hopefully has not been told of your criminal status.

And no, the black market does not qualify as a safety net.

That's a somewhat plausible argument. But remember, in his story Sandy hypothesized a special kind of job. If nobody trusts you at all, you can still get a job where you are locked up and watched every second, and you never get any chance to do anything bad, but you still can do enough productive work that it's worth it to somebody to provide you with everything you need to keep working.

So in the story, if you have what it takes to kill people for money, you also have what it takes to get by doing forced labor. And if an arbitrator can present that deal to a criminal who has no better choice, surely it will be available to a noncriminal who can find no better choice. It ought to be even more profitable for the noncriminal to do this work because he doesn't need to be locked up and watched every second. So that's less overhead.

I think if it's a place where you can make a profit with slave labor -- people who have to be watched every second to keep them from sabotaging the machinery or the product -- then there's enough of a labor shortage that anybody who can be trusted can do OK without attacking people.

In a large enough society there will be psychotics who attack people even when it doesn't make sense. I can't think of what any society can do with them except try to cure them, and/or warehouse them, or kill them. If you can make money warehousing them that's something, I guess. To my way of thinking you ought to euthanize them if they ask for it and you believe they mean it.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: mellyrn on January 30, 2011, 08:58:59 am
Quote
It is impossible to teach a blind man to see or a deaf man to hear.
You will now and in the future reject anything a reasonable person would declare "plausible" because it could show a flaw in your meticulously crafted worldview.

Once upon a time my mom was gossiping with two other women, Alice & Betty, about a third woman, Cora, and how there was just something about Cora -- nice as she was -- that bugged them.

Alice said, "It's her housekeeping.  I mean, clean is important, but Cora takes it to a ridiculous extreme!"

And my mom thought, Yes, Cora's a fussy housekeeper -- but, cheez, Alice, I've known you to empty ashtrays at the first flick of an ash!

Betty said, "No, it's not that.  It's the way she goes on and on about her so-wonderful children!"

And my mom thought, Well, Cora does talk a lot about her kids, but, honestly, Betty, have you ever heard yourself?  You'd think yours are the next Einsteins!

Still, Mom agreed that there was "just something" about Cora.  She thought a bit and then she said, "I know!  It's that she's such a damned know-it-all!"

When relating this story later, Mom said, sheepishly, that the minute the words were out of her mouth, she realized what she was saying.  It has proved a useful morality tale for me through my life.

ContraryGuy, I wish you could have heard it before you posted the above.  It would have saved me a little vicarious embarrassment on your behalf.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: quadibloc on January 30, 2011, 03:44:24 pm
Whew! I think you just broke JThomas' record for longest and most tortured fantasy scenario.
Well, I wouldn't call it fantasy. The scenario is all too highly plausible. In fact, it is distressingly common.

However, indeed, there are responses.

One response is basically like one you've already made: that in an AnCap society, one can get paid work without showing a card with your SSN which is then automatically checked against government databases for wanted criminals and the like - and there is work for the unskilled, it is presumed, in such a society.

The other, of course, would be that this case is irrelevant, since we agree with the girl's father that he should not survive, and so an AnCap society not covering this case is not a problem.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Big.Swede on January 30, 2011, 07:17:50 pm
Ok, so i am a strong supporter for the right, heck iīd stretch to obligation, to carry for self defense...

  ;D

How ever, there will be those left with no way out than to be criminals. For whatever reason they are deemed outcasts unsalvegable and cut of from all sorts of help.

This is where I would normally say, "nonsense," however, you seem to be a reasonable person. Before I present evidence that proves it is nonsense, I would like to hear your version of how that might happen. For the life of me, I cannot imagine a plausible scenario that would not have some sort of help for anyone, no matter how wretched.

The will to live is the strongest thing there is, far overpowering the sense of "morality" in most people, so when starvation or thirst or whether you can breath for 5 minutes more is the option, and you know that there is almost a 100% posibility that that guy you are going to mug is going to be carrying, the most simple solution is to cap him in the head from behind.
...
So my conclusion is, crime rates will drop in general but the crimes that are commited will be much more likely to end in fatalities on either side. Is that worth it? Well, that is up for each person to decide.

GIGO. Your scenario is absolutely dependent on their being no safety net, which is unimaginable to me, as stated above. Absent that your "simple solution" fails. Show me a plausible scenario that removes all safety nets and then I will provide other arguments that invalidate your argument.

Ok. Just donīt *Snipp donīt need to read all that again*

Whew! I think you just broke JThomas' record for longest and most tortured fantasy scenario. Anyway, simple answers:

1. St. Anthony's dining hall doesn't turn anyone away nor do they check IDs.

2. It is possible to make more money panhandling than in many jobs.

3. You can live off picking up and recycling cans and bottles.

3. Trailers for sale or rent
Rooms to let...fifty cents.
No phone, no pool, no pets
I ain't got no cigarettes
Ah, but..two hours of pushin' broom
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room

I'm a man of means by no means
King of the road.

If someone really exists who cannot eat without stealing, I've never met them. If I did, I'd give him some leftovers and let him sleep in my dog house.  ::)

Yeah, i went a bit overboard. You should have seen that post before i cut it down. Aiai.  ::)
As for torture fantasy, sadly enough itīs not. Those things happen, have happened and always will happen. Itīs just life. Bad things happen to good people and vice versa, sometimes people get what they deserve, but only rarely is there a hollywood ending with everyone happy.

While i do see and somewhat agree with all your points, i do have some comments on them.

1: But iīm fairly sure they might call the peacekeepers if they spot a guy thatīs been shown on broadcast to be suspected of murder or similar.

2: Hmm, to be honest i would not know about that, but iīll take your word for it. How ever, if the case is like i writ up, sitting with the proverbial cup is bound to get you spotted by someone who recognises you, and then the race is of again.

3: All true. But that means going around Joe Q Public both for the collection and the handing in. Quite a risky thing for a diminished reward if you are on the run.

3B: You might be king of the road. Iīd even stretch myself to the point where i can say i would be able to make it like that for a while at least. (Yes i am a creature of comfort.) But look at the average gangbanger, which for better or worse Joe is very similar to. Do you think one of them would be able to make it the stretch between New York and Washington DC (about 300klicks i think) in spring (best time to go walkabout if you ask me) if they started of without nothing but what happened to be in their pockets at the time they started? And depending on how effective the outcasting system is, he might have to travel even further. And to be at all effective, the outcast system would have to have quite a reach.

But hese are my views and opinions. There are ofcourse ways around problems like that, even if most people might not want to go with them. In this case, Joe could technicaly go to the girls father and beg for his life, it might even work. Just wanted to point out that there will be problems on a scale that does not necesarily involve the local superpower trying to roll over the little peacefull AnCap area because they feel like it. :)
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on January 31, 2011, 08:32:36 am
Crimes will drop but the likelihood of fatality will increase?

Please take the time to research facts before laying out such made-up factoids as that.

In Hollywood movies and statist talking-point fantasies, self-defense always winds up with a dead body dramatically leaking blood all over the screen.

In reality,  "Every year, people in the United States use guns to defend themselves against criminals an estimated 2,500,000 times – more than 6,500 people a day, or once every 13 seconds. Of these instances, 15.6% of the people using firearms defensively stated that they "almost certainly" saved their lives by doing so." - Gun Facts 5.1 - google it; cites provided in the copious footnotes.

Are 2.5 million bodies the actual result of those defensive uses of firearms? Obviously not.  "92% merely brandish their gun or fire a warning shot to scare off their attackers."

"Less than 8% of the time does a citizen wound his or her attacker, and in less than one in a thousand instances is the attacker killed."

By contrast, unarmed victims do risk injury and death.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on January 31, 2011, 09:08:08 am
I used to live in a little town in Southwest Pennsylvania, and was visiting a gun store. While there, a young man of limited intellectual capacity entered and asked "Can I do anything?"

The shop-owner said "Sure, sweep the floor."

The kid pushed some dust around, accepted a dollar from the shop-owner, and left. Considering the quality of work, he was overpaid; it was actually a ritual form of charity which didn't bruise his ego, and didn't cost much.

I am mindful of depression-era stories; it was common for bums to ask similar questions, and to spend an afternoon chopping wood, sweeping floors, or whatever in exchange for a meal and a place to sleep.

Those who are more reliable can find more stable arrangements - such as, for example, being a nanny in exchange for room and board. You may think only the wealthy can do this, and you'd be dead wrong. In any case, having no tax burden, people would tend to be wealthier, and would have more inclination to take care of the unfortunate, rather than less.

Never underestimate the creativity of people to find voluntary solutions.

As Charles Murray put it once in a speech given in Pittsburgh: if someone comes to your door and asks for help, whether directly for himself or for another, it's a bit easier to shut the door and return to your television program if you know that your tax dollars are already "taking care of" such problems.

Those who ask "how do poor people come from other countries with next to nothing and, within a generation, buy homes and send their kids to college?" find large networks of voluntary support associations. People pool together information and resources to their mutual benefit. Sometimes they do share information about gaming state-provided welfare benefits, but to a very large degree, voluntary safety nets are much more substantial and important. Voluntary safety nets tend to encourage people to succeed and "pay it forward" to future arrivals. State "safety nets" tend to become costly entitlement traps.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on January 31, 2011, 09:54:03 am

In reality,  "Every year, people in the United States use guns to defend themselves against criminals an estimated 2,500,000 times – more than 6,500 people a day, or once every 13 seconds. Of these instances, 15.6% of the people using firearms defensively stated that they "almost certainly" saved their lives by doing so." - Gun Facts 5.1 - google it; cites provided in the copious footnotes.

Ooooh. So, in 2009 there were an estimated 15,241 murders in the USA.
http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/offenses/violent_crime/murder_homicide.html

But if these particular armed citizens were correct, if they had not been carrying guns there would have been an additional 390,000 murders!

Let's suppose that all the actual people murdered were among the small unarmed minority. Then it still must be true that people who carry firearms are far, far more likely to get into situations where they might be killed!

Or maybe they overestimate.  ;)

I think it should be mostly legal for people to have guns (and also there are a few hot-headed people who are far better off if they choose not to carry guns when they are not fully rational -- but mostly there's no good way for third parties to decide who those people are to deny them the choice). But let's be sensible about what propaganda to believe....
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on January 31, 2011, 11:50:35 am
AnCap does not require that everyone become a policeman, teacher, farmer, judge, all wrapped in one.
In essence, it does.  Now, a policeman protects me outside of my personal space.  Police provide deterrence.  Without them, I would have to deter all comers. 

You could not be more misinformed.

The benefit of concealed carry is that would-be muggers do not know in advance whether a particular intended victim is armed or not. It only takes one to really, really screw up your life. Therefore, a few scares - whether personally experiences or indirect rumors of something that happened to somebody else - serve as a quite effective deterrent.

Those who carry concealed weapons not only protect themselves, but also may happen to be at a time and place - such as a convenience store holdup - where they can save other lives. Furthermore, when the residents of a given area gain a reputation for defending themselves - even if only 5 or 10% of the residents actually carry concealed weapons - all residents benefit from the deterrence effect. Private defense is a public good.

The only time you have to "do all the work yourself" of deterrence would be if you were in a location where nobody else does the heavy lifting.

You credit the police with far more than they actually accomplish. There are about three times as many private security guards in the US than there are offishul goobermint police. There are about a hundred times as many private armed individuals than goobermint police.

Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: quadibloc on January 31, 2011, 04:54:53 pm
Furthermore, when the residents of a given area gain a reputation for defending themselves - even if only 5 or 10% of the residents actually carry concealed weapons - all residents benefit from the deterrence effect.
This is quite true, but...

There are about three times as many private security guards in the US than there are offishul goobermint police. There are about a hundred times as many private armed individuals than goobermint police.
The impact of the police is boosted by the same effect. Also, many of those private armed individuals, I suspect, are people who only have hunting weapons locked up at home, and thus who don't normally count in that 5% (except, perhaps, when it comes to home invasions).
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: mellyrn on January 31, 2011, 06:16:03 pm
Quote
The impact of the police is boosted by the same effect.

?  Police are more effective in an area where people may carry concealed weapons?  Criminals who venture into a concealed-carry district are also more fearful/respectful of the police there?  I'm not sure what you're wanting to say here.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on February 01, 2011, 03:30:00 am
Percentage of adults with a license to carry concealed weapons, top eight states:

7.45% South Dakota
6.79% Indiana
6.76% Pennsylvania
5.23% Connecticut
5.12% Washington
4.34% Idaho
4.10% Utah
3.86% Oregon

Neither Alaska nor Vermont require a license to carry concealed weapons.

Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: ContraryGuy on February 01, 2011, 07:17:52 pm

Those who carry concealed weapons not only protect themselves, but also may happen to be at a time and place - such as a convenience store holdup - where they can save other lives.

I would like to point out two recent instances where neither concealed carry nor open carry saved lives.
1) last year, in Lakewood, WA, 4 policeman were murdered in a coffee shop.  They were openly carrying weapons.  And trained in using them.

2)This year, in Tuscon, Az.  One man in the crowd had a concealed weapon, but he didnt use it.  He was grateful afterward that he hadnt used it, because he would have shot the wrong person.

Quote
Private defense is a public good.

I thought "public goods" didnt exist in AnCap, because there is no "public" and everyone is capable of looking after their own "good".
Beside, half the people on this forum constantly scoff that "public good" is statist propaganda used to defend governmental power.

Quote
The only time you have to "do all the work yourself" of deterrence would be if you were in a location where nobody else does the heavy lifting.

But AnCap is a society where nobody depends on anyone else.  AnCaps consider dependence on other people as a weakness and a sign of statist brainwashing.

Quote
You credit the police with far more than they actually accomplish. There are about three times as many private security guards in the US than there are offishul goobermint police. There are about a hundred times as many private armed individuals than goobermint police.

Wow.  What a way to show respect for people who risk their lives so you dont have to.  I bet you think that firefighter and EMTs are also 'goobermint' stooges.

Oh, wait; of course you do!  You're an Anarchist! 
Sorry, my mistake; I thought you were a member of society.

I hope you never have need of these services.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on February 01, 2011, 08:32:01 pm
Quote
Private defense is a public good.

I thought "public goods" didnt exist in AnCap, because there is no "public" and everyone is capable of looking after their own "good".
Beside, half the people on this forum constantly scoff that "public good" is statist propaganda used to defend governmental power.

I tell you what. Let's suppose for a moment that the AnCap supporters here are living in a fantasy world where they pretend everything will work out wonderful in an AnCap society and every problem will be solved as soon as government stops creating problems and preventing private enterprise from fixing them. Let's suppose that.

How long will it take for you to get bored arguing with them?

See, if it's true that they have chosen a beautiful fantasy to believe in, how much argument would it take for them to believe the ugly truth? A lot, right? Maybe no amount of ugly arguing is enough -- they'd rather believe their beautiful fantasy, and really what's the harm? Not like there are enough of them to take over the government....

All over the world there are people who have chosen fantasies they want to believe in. Religions. Cults. UFO enthusiasts. Angels. Bigfoot. The wonderful world we will have when no fetus is ever aborted. The wonderful world we will have when feminists finally get all the respect they deserve. Etc etc. Some of these people may actually be right. Whether or not they are right, why would they be open to being convinced they are wrong?

If I thought you were having fun baiting Sandy, then I'd tend to stay out of it. Sandy's a big boy who can take care of himself, and if he likes getting upset at you then it's his business. I hope if he doesn't like it he'll ignore it and do something that's more fun, or if not fun at least profitable. But I'm getting the impression this isn't fun for you either. Why not back off and notice what you want? You could read the comic if you enjoy that, or post just enough to have fun with it and back off when it stops being enjoyable.

Sandy has a lot of respect here since after all it's his story that brings people to the forum in the first place. But you don't have to turn him into an authority that you sulk over and snipe at. He isn't a moderator here. He has a lot of respect but he probably doesn't even want to be an authority figure.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Brugle on February 01, 2011, 09:04:46 pm

Those who carry concealed weapons not only protect themselves, but also may happen to be at a time and place - such as a convenience store holdup - where they can save other lives.

I would like to point out two recent instances where neither concealed carry nor open carry saved lives.
1) last year, in Lakewood, WA, 4 policeman were murdered in a coffee shop.  They were openly carrying weapons.  And trained in using them.

2)This year, in Tuscon, Az.  One man in the crowd had a concealed weapon, but he didnt use it.  He was grateful afterward that he hadnt used it, because he would have shot the wrong person.
You've made it clear that you're a government apologist, but are you a utopian as well?  Nobody claims that civilian carry (open or concealed) eliminates crime, only that it reduces it.

Quote
Private defense is a public good.

I thought "public goods" didnt exist in AnCap, because there is no "public" and everyone is capable of looking after their own "good".
You thought wrong.  I suggest you learn what a "public good" is.

Beside, half the people on this forum constantly scoff that "public good" is statist propaganda used to defend governmental power.
Half?  How about telling us just one?  A large fraction of the people who commonly post on this forum have some knowledge of economic concepts.

The argument that governments are needed to provided "public goods" is often used in statist propaganda.  Do you dispute that?

Quote
The only time you have to "do all the work yourself" of deterrence would be if you were in a location where nobody else does the heavy lifting.

But AnCap is a society where nobody depends on anyone else.
Wrong again.

AnCaps consider dependence on other people as a weakness and a sign of statist brainwashing.
Wrong again.

Quote
You credit the police with far more than they actually accomplish. There are about three times as many private security guards in the US than there are offishul goobermint police. There are about a hundred times as many private armed individuals than goobermint police.

Wow.  What a way to show respect for people who risk their lives so you dont have to.
Being a policeman is only a little more dangerous than the average profession.  Some other professions are much more dangerous.

You expect people to show respect for arrogant bullies who consider themselves above the law and pretend that their profession is highly dangerous?

I bet you think that firefighter and EMTs are also 'goobermint' stooges.

Oh, wait; of course you do!  You're an Anarchist!
Wrong again (assuming my guess about what you mean by "stooge" is correct).

Sorry, my mistake; I thought you were a member of society.
That is supposed to mean what?  Anarchists favor civil society.  Governments destroy civil society.

I hope you never have need of these services.
I wish the same for you.  Unfortunately, people sometimes do have such needs.  Also unfortunately, those services are oftenprovided for or heavily controlled by governments, so they will probably be worse (and almost certainly more expensive) than they would be in a free society.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: quadibloc on February 02, 2011, 12:22:42 am
I thought "public goods" didnt exist in AnCap, because there is no "public" and everyone is capable of looking after their own "good".
The term "public good" is a technical term. People on this forum, generally, are aware of the meaning of this term.

Usually, the argument here by AnCap advocates is that government is such a bad and oppressive thing that it isn't worth having it around just so that a few "public goods" can be better provided by means of such bad things as taxation. Instead, they argue that in many cases the public goods can be taken care of just as well by people acting privately in their own interest, particularly if just a little creative thought enters the equation.

I don't actually have any quarrel with that argument - except for the little point that "in many cases" does not equal "in absolutely every case", and it could just happen that one of the cases that gets missed is one of the critical ones.

While I've tried to be polite and respectful of the kind people who are giving us this entertaining comic, I do find it hard not to comment when I disagree with something. But I see I've been inadvertently guilty of setting up a strawman.

I had imagined that AnCap was basicaly Libertarianism with a thin veneer of Anarchism thrown on. And so I had argued against the bad things it would lead to on the basis of imagining a society where the ZAP is an absolute given. I might see it as a flaw that no one is paying any policemen, but I worry about that in terms of little people being victimized.

The idea that a business couldn't exploit people through market power in an AnCap society... what? Whether the ZAP is enforced by Watchbirds, or by armies of hired thugs, or simply by a strong popular sentiment in favor of the ZAP, such that if one village dared to rebel against its chief employer through a trade union action that resorted to the initiation of force... no one would trade with them until they disgorged their ill-gotten gains... I did not entertain the idea that there would really be any limits to the behavior of business, any more than there were in the bad old days when classical liberalism was being formulated.

But now I've been told that this is all wrong, and AnCap is really Anarchism, with a thin veneer of Libertarianism thrown on. While I've advanced a few anti-anarchist arguments, such as the problem of general public attitudes that are unfair and oppressive, anarchy, unlike Libertarianism, isn't something I bump into every day on USENET and the like, so I don't have a large armentarium of theoretical arguments against that political viewpoint.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on February 02, 2011, 06:09:40 am
ContraryGuy, AnCap is not "a society where nobody depends on anybody else".

It is not a bunch of hermits. It is a society. People voluntarily choose to cooperate to their mutual benefit. Read over that v-word several times until it sinks in, ok? Vo-lun-tar-i-ly - of their own volition; uncoerced; not compelled by government.

Now that we cleared up your confusion, can we move on please?

AnCap is not a utopia which solves every problem. You mention a few instances where people - including police officers - were killed. Obviously, the government is not solving every problem. If "failing to solve every problem" is the ultimate condemnation of any system, then it is obvious that we should, immediately, abolish the government - it has proven incapable even of protecting its own agents. If your logical principle is sound, then it must apply equally to the State, not merely to that which you object to.

Utopias are for statists. Statists claim that they have a magic method - coercion - which will solve every problem. AnCap claims that the statists, far from "solving every problem", get in the way of solutions and create more problems than they solve.

In the case of self-defense, the State restricts access to weaponry, hassles people who carry weapons, emits anti-defense propaganda, and otherwise gets in the way. It also spends resources attacking victimless crimes ( such as politically-incorrect drugs ), and even propping up violent drug cartels ( by eliminating their competitors ).




Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: ContraryGuy on February 02, 2011, 04:48:05 pm


You know, thats the most sensible thing I've heard.  Thank you.  My psasion often get the better of me.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on February 02, 2011, 04:58:38 pm
If there were no rape, there would be no sex.
Therefore, the human race would become extinct.

Well, ContraryGuy didn't exactly say that - but it's approximately equivalent to this persistent misconception that, because Anarchy involves no rulers ( no rapists ), there would be no voluntary cooperation; one would therefore have to do everything solo ( that is, masturbation would be the only option. )

I refuse to speculate about ContraryGuy's sex life.

Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: quadibloc on February 03, 2011, 12:26:16 am
I refuse to speculate about ContraryGuy's sex life.
Your tendentious choice of an example, of course, cannot help but cast aspersions on his character.

People certainly do cooperate voluntarily to achieve ends of mutual benefit. That happens easily when the cost of cooperation is small, and the benefits of the cooperation accrue directly to the participants in the cooperation.

It's the other cases, when the cost-benefit balance seems to be such that it won't work naturally unless the society as a whole, rather than even a large group of people within the society, makes a binding agreement through cooperate - through a mechanism such as a democratic government with the power to initiate force - that people unfamiliar with AnCap or Libertarian theory ask, how is this going to work?

While governments have made cash assistance payments to parents - like Canada's "baby bonus" - in general, unlike their predilection for taxation and conscription, governments haven't had to force their populations to engage in sexual activity. Or to form partnerships to set up small businesses, for that matter.

It's true that when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But the objection to the noncoercive ideal usually does not claim that everything is a nail; rather, it claims that it doesn't make sense for a society to rely only on pliers and screwdrivers - having the hammer in the toolbox as well, for the specific cases for which it is the best tool, only makes sense.

And, of course, if one assumes a geographical territory on the Earth as constituted at present, with heavily militarized states covering every patch of ground, it's not as if a noncoercive polity would have the luxury of time in which to come up with ingenious alternative solutions.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on February 03, 2011, 05:15:36 am
Quadibloc, ContraryGuy actually has claimed that, absent coercion, nobody would cooperate; everybody would have to fend for herself. He made this claim not merely once, but repeatedly.

I simply took his general theory and made it specific, in order to highlight the absurdity. Hence "if there were no rapists, nobody would have sex" is entirely consistent with the ContraryGuy Theory of Human Interaction, such as it is.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: mellyrn on February 03, 2011, 09:52:43 am
Quote
It's the other cases, when the cost-benefit balance seems to be such that it won't work naturally unless the society as a whole [...] makes a binding agreement [...] such as a democratic government with the power to initiate force - that people unfamiliar with AnCap or Libertarian theory ask, how is this going to work?

As a young parent, I tried very hard always to be able to explain to the child exactly why I wanted a certain behavior (or absence of it).

When I drew a blank, as I sometimes did -- I was kind of forced to ask myself exactly why I wanted this.  If I couldn't think of a reason that was good enough to persuade someone who wasn't already me, I dropped the demand.  Once, only once did I ask for something I couldn't explain; they were teenagers and I said, "That just makes me really, really uncomfortable.  I'm sorry I don't have an actual reason and I recognize that that, by definition, makes me un-reasonable in this case, but that's all I've got.  Please humor me and don't do that."

By then, I'd earned enough -- shall I call it trust? -- that they agreed not to.

So I'd like to ask, what is it that people don't want enough to agree to do it, but is nonetheless so desirable that they should be forced into it against their preferences? 

Additionally, if you have to force people into this action, is it possible that the force itself compromises the results you get, so that you still don't really get the outcome you hoped for?  E.g., I can force you to treat me (in objective, measurable ways, like hiring practices or restaurant seating) as if I were your social equal, but I can't make you regard me as an equal -- and the act of forcing you to, say, seat me in your restaurant is more likely to entrench your hostility to my category than it is to overturn it.

New England towns in the 17th, 18th, early 19th centuries had laws punishing people of the wrong religion with death.  Those laws died out, i.e. there was no "movement" that forced towns to change their laws to be more accepting, yet by the late 19th century, people had forgotten their towns had ever cared.  Similarly, in places where slavery died of its own weight, I'm thinking Latin America, race relations today are notoriously better (if not perfect) than they are in the US, a century and a half after slavery was ended by force (Sandy? Y/N?).

If force is going to be required, maybe you might want to ask yourself exactly why you're asking for the whatever in the first place?
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Brugle on February 03, 2011, 11:35:46 am
It's true that when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But the objection to the noncoercive ideal usually does not claim that everything is a nail; rather, it claims that it doesn't make sense for a society to rely only on pliers and screwdrivers - having the hammer in the toolbox as well, for the specific cases for which it is the best tool, only makes sense.

Your analogy isn't very good.  A better construction analogy (for replacing voluntary cooperation with aggression) would be using termites to make holes in wood.  Sometimes it does work after a fashion--spread around enough termites, and destroy enough wood (not just at the construction site--termites may destroy nearby structures as well), and there will probably be a piece of wood that has a hole with a size and location close enough to be somewhat usable.  When an anarchist suggests using drills to make holes, the typical first objection is "No, no, no!  Everyone (teachers, preachers, news announcers, termite scientists, politicians, movie stars, etc.) says that termites are required to make houses safe."  When that objection is countered, the few people paying attention typically argue "Drill supporters just want the poor to go homeless."  And when that's shown to be silly, the third objection typically is "Everyone says that termites are required to make houses safe."
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: ContraryGuy on February 03, 2011, 12:04:26 pm
If there were no rape, there would be no sex.
Therefore, the human race would become extinct.

Well, ContraryGuy didn't exactly say that - but it's approximately equivalent to this persistent misconception that, because Anarchy involves no rulers ( no rapists ), there would be no voluntary cooperation; one would therefore have to do everything solo ( that is, masturbation would be the only option. )

I refuse to speculate about ContraryGuy's sex life.

And just when J Thomas had convinced me not to comment anymore...

Terry, do you know what ad hominem means?  I dont go around casting aspersions on your personal character because I disagree with your philosophy, so please dont do that to me.

I have never said that in an AnCap society the only way to have sex is through rape.
Because you disagree with me, you willingly misunderstand any point i try to make and then post replies that attack your version of what I said.

In RL you must be a Republican and a Fox News partisan, because that type of reasoning is exactly what *they* do.

Sigh.  Life would be so much easier if I were just trolling.  But Mutual Admiration Forums are like that.

I really enjoy the comic, and I look at the forums because of the whole Anarcho-Capitalist thing that was mentioned.
When i saw the words 'anarchist' and 'capitalist' together, I knew it couldnt work, but I was curious how the two words got mashed together.

Months of passion, and a little comedy, later, here we are.  J Thomas had just pointed out to me that maybe I was being an ass and little bit masochistic, so I decided I would read and post less.

And now you bring in the personal attacks?  What, are you two coordinating or something?
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Plane on February 03, 2011, 12:14:42 pm
In RL you must be a Republican and a Fox News partisan, because that type of reasoning is exactly what *they* do.



Hey! I resemble that remark!


A little less ad Hominim please.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: macsnafu on February 03, 2011, 12:17:54 pm


And just when J Thomas had convinced me not to comment anymore...

I have never said that in an AnCap society the only way to have sex is through rape.
Because you disagree with me, you willingly misunderstand any point i try to make and then post replies that attack your version of what I said.

He didn't say that you said the only way to have sex in Ancap is through rape. That was his own conclusion derived from what you actually did say.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Xavin on February 03, 2011, 01:00:16 pm
Terry, do you know what ad hominem means? 

Whether or not Terry does, it appears that you don't.

"Ad hominem" is a logical fallacy in which it is suggested that, because of some undesirable characteristic or belief that a person possesses, an argument that they propose must necessarily be wrong.

Terry did not say you were wrong because of some character deficiency or belief.
He said you were wrong because the logical conclusion of the argument (that he claimed you proposed) was clearly untrue.

If the argument that he claims you proposed is, in fact, one that you proposed then he appears to be correct.
If it isn't an argument that you proposed then the term you are looking for is "strawman", not "ad hominem".

When i saw the words 'anarchist' and 'capitalist' together, I knew it couldnt work,
(my emphasis added)

That was probably one of your first mistakes. Approaching a discussion knowing that you're right suggests that you're not likely to gain very much from it.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: ContraryGuy on February 03, 2011, 03:01:21 pm
Terry, do you know what ad hominem means? 

Whether or not Terry does, it appears that you don't.

"Ad hominem" is a logical fallacy in which it is suggested that, because of some undesirable characteristic or belief that a person possesses, an argument that they propose must necessarily be wrong.

Terry did not say you were wrong because of some character deficiency or belief.
He said you were wrong because the logical conclusion of the argument (that he claimed you proposed) was clearly untrue.

If the argument that he claims you proposed is, in fact, one that you proposed then he appears to be correct.
If it isn't an argument that you proposed then the term you are looking for is "strawman", not "ad hominem".

When i saw the words 'anarchist' and 'capitalist' together, I knew it couldnt work,
(my emphasis added)

That was probably one of your first mistakes. Approaching a discussion knowing that you're right suggests that you're not likely to gain very much from it.

It is true that I was using ad hominem in a technically incorrect manner, I meant to use in the manner of "Terry, only people who cant refute someones opinion with correct facts or an explanation of why that opinion is wrong or misguided begin to attack people personally."

So, Xavin, you're telling me that the concepts (and practices as observed in the real world and not in theory) of anarchism, again as practiced in the real world, and capitalism, as seen on Wall Street, are mutually compatible?

I think i am going to need more convincing of that.  The ideal capitalist may not care only about money, but the capitalist who exists in the real world does.

The same is true of anarchists.  You, and the others, may give me the definition of the *ideal* or classical anarchist, but the others are determined not to deal with the reality of anarchism in its present form.  Which also happens to be the popular knowledge of anarchism.

Good luck convincing the existing anarchists to play along in your zero-aggression society of passively-aggressive capitalists.

I just a another question about ZAP:  wont that lead to stagnation?  If society frowns on aggression, and its cousin, competition, where does progress come from?

(I dont expect a sensible answer to that, repliers will be too incensed to read this far down.)
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: SandySandfort on February 03, 2011, 04:03:31 pm
Similarly, in places where slavery died of its own weight, I'm thinking Latin America, race relations today are notoriously better (if not perfect) than they are in the US, a century and a half after slavery was ended by force (Sandy? Y/N?).

When people ask me what race relations are like in Panama, I tell them that if they are walking down the street and meet a family of four walking toward them, no two members of the family will be the same color. That's an exaggeration, but still largely true. There is a yacht club that supposedly won't admit blacks, but I wonder how that works. 80% of Panamanians have some black blood.

One of the wisest thing ever said to me was by Iveth, a black girlfriend I dated for a while. We were walking along a street called Via Argentina, when we came across a restaurant. We were hungry so I suggested we eat there. After we were seated, I asked Iveth if she were familiar with the place. She said, yes. and added that they didn't hire black people. I got all puffed up and said we should leave. She shook her head and said, "No, that is their problem."

That is Panamanian race relations in a nutshell.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Brugle on February 03, 2011, 05:35:34 pm
So, Xavin, you're telling me that the concepts (and practices as observed in the real world and not in theory) of anarchism, again as practiced in the real world, and capitalism, as seen on Wall Street, are mutually compatible?
You seem to be confusing mutually contradictory definitions of both capitalism and anarchism.

Some ways in which the term "capitalism" has been used are:
a) The politico-economic system where government does not interfere with economic activities.  In other words, any person or voluntary group can own and use capital without favoritism by government officials.  This is laissez-faire capitalism, and is how the term is used here.
b) The politico-economic system where government favors those who own capital (typically a major subset of the rich).  When government engages in policies that are supposed to favor merchants, this is called "mercantilism".
c) The politico-economic system practiced in places that used to be sort of laissez-faire capitalistic (without a major revolutionary change), such as the US today.
d) A politico-economic system other than the one that the user prefers.

Some ways in which the term "anarchism" has been used are:
a) Not having rulers.  This is how the term is used here.
b) Societal chaos.
c) A social organization that doesn't have the structure that the user prefers.

There are other terms in use that mean essentially the same thing as "anarcho-capitalism", including "market anarchism" and "consistent libertarianism".  There are dozens (maybe hundreds) of books and hundreds (maybe thousands) of papers online (and more offline, of course) that discuss anarcho-capitalism (perhaps using a different name).  A few minutes of googling should be enough to start satisfying your curiosity.

If you dislike the way that either "anarchism" or "capitalism" is used here, then use a different term (and explain it if it isn't clear).  I (and I'd guess most people here) don't care that much about word definitions.  But don't do what many opponents of anarchy or capitalism do--find something to criticize using one definition of a word and then apply that criticism to another definition of the word.

I think i am going to need more convincing of that.  The ideal capitalist may not care only about money, but the capitalist who exists in the real world does.
Convincing of what?  Almost everyone cares about living a good life, and money can help with that.

In a government-controlled society, desire for money is satisfied by obtaining political power and using it to take money from people with less political power.  In an anarcho-capitalist society, desire for money is satisfied by giving people what they are willing to pay for.

The same is true of anarchists.  You, and the others, may give me the definition of the *ideal* or classical anarchist, but the others are determined not to deal with the reality of anarchism in its present form.  Which also happens to be the popular knowledge of anarchism.
What present form?  Every bit of the Earth's surface is claimed by governments.  Any people who manage to escape government violence for a short period know that the situation is temporary.

Good luck convincing the existing anarchists to play along in your zero-aggression society of passively-aggressive capitalists.
What existing anarchists?  What passive-aggressive capitalists?

I just a another question about ZAP:  wont that lead to stagnation?
No.

If society frowns on aggression, and its cousin, competition, where does progress come from?
Competition is not a cousin of aggression.  In a free society, competition is a second-order effect of voluntary cooperation.  Aggression is the opposite of voluntary cooperation.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on February 03, 2011, 08:07:22 pm

It is true that I was using ad hominem in a technically incorrect manner, I meant to use in the manner of "Terry, only people who cant refute someones opinion with correct facts or an explanation of why that opinion is wrong or misguided begin to attack people personally."

I believe Terry did not actually intend a personal attack but instead was attempting the difficult logical construction of argumentum ab adsurdum. This is sometimes a fallacy and sometimes not.

Here is an example. A feminist says "All men are assholes." And a MCP replies "If you think all men are assholes, you must think that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were assholes. And if you think they were assholes you must not think much of the Founding Fathers or American history. Therefore you are a bad person."

The idea is to show that the beliefs the other person has actually proclaimed must lead in a slippery-slope sort of way to something that is obviously stupid.

When it is done well, it is logically valid. What the other person said does logically imply the conclusions claimed, and those conclusions are obviously stupid. But very often it is done badly.

Terry says that you say that people never cooperate unless they are forced to cooperate. If that's true then they would never have sex without rape. Did you say that people never cooperate without being coerced? I don't see that you did say that. Your concern was that people wouldn't cooperate *enough*, and that coercion may be needed to make them cooperate at the times they otherwise wouldn't.

Would people cooperate enough in an AnCap society? I say the only way to really find out is to try it and see. In principle, I see no adequate reason to predict one way or the other.

Imagine that things are set up so that for everything that needs cooperation it's crystal-clear what benefits will come from it, and we get most of those benefits if 80% of the people cooperate. Then I think there will be enough cooperation. I think there would even be enough if it needs 90%.

On the other hand, imagine that there is something that every single live person has to cooperate about or the sun will go nova. Then chances are the sun will go nova. In that case government probably can't enforce enough cooperation either. If we can't get colonies outside the solar system quick enough, we're doomed. Luckily, we don't yet know any way that our actions or inactions could make the sun go nova.

The reality is probably somewhere between those extremes where a moderate amount of cooperation is enough versus everybody has to do the right thing. Where? I don't know. Quite likely we can get by with so little cooperation that an AnCap society won't fail for lack of cooperation. We can get data by trying it, and we probably can't prove it one way or another by argument.

Quote
The ideal capitalist may not care only about money, but the capitalist who exists in the real world does.

You know this by your personal experience with real-world capitalists? I have known only a few real-world extremely-successful capitalists. One of them liked caving. One of them visited Jerusalem and at the Wailing Wall these big thugs grabbed him and took him into a little stone room. He was freaking out and they strapped a tefillin on him. "This is your heritage. Remember you are a Jew." He had never much thought about being Jewish before but then he decided that being observant was the most important thing in his life. One of them had a sister who got Alzheimers, and a sister in law, and a brother may have been getting it. She left all her money to Alzheimers' research and some of her relatives got pretty upset about it. The others don't stand out as much.

Quote
The same is true of anarchists.  You, and the others, may give me the definition of the *ideal* or classical anarchist, but the others are determined not to deal with the reality of anarchism in its present form.

That needn't matter much. There just plain aren't that many anarchists of the type you are interested in. And there aren't that many AnCaps either, yet. If AnCaps figure out how to get popular enough to "take over the government", the anarchists you're talking about will be a tiny minority.

Quote
(I dont expect a sensible answer to that, repliers will be too incensed to read this far down.)

Then why do you bother?
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Bob G on February 03, 2011, 10:45:42 pm
So, Xavin, you're telling me that the concepts (and practices as observed in the real world and not in theory) of anarchism, again as practiced in the real world, and capitalism, as seen on Wall Street, are mutually compatible?
You seem to be confusing mutually contradictory definitions of both capitalism and anarchism.
. . .
Quote
Some ways in which the term "anarchism" has been used are:
a) Not having rulers.  This is how the term is used here.
b) Societal chaos.
c) A social organization that doesn't have the structure that the user prefers.

Case in point: there was a sizable gathering of so-called 'anarchists' here in Minneapolis this past summer. In a radio interview with one of the attendees, the questioner asked what the gathering was about. The answer, as I recall went something like

"We're fighting against the kleptocracy of the capitalist robber-barons!"

OK, I'm down with that. I'm against kleptocracy on anyone's part.

"We're fighting for universal, government-provided health care for all citizens!"

Huh?

Seems like, if you scratch most self-described 'anarchists' these days, you find a socialist or worse underneath. They're not against government per se, they're just against *this* government.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on February 03, 2011, 11:04:35 pm
Yes, JThomas, it was an argumentum ad absurdum. If an instantiation of the universal principle is false, then the universal principle is false.

It works better for those who are not humor-impaired.

A few remarks on other recent posts:

"Anarchist" by itself is too vague, alas; there are at least two branches which are barely on speaking terms, if that - the anarcho-capitalists and the anarcho-socialists.

Nonetheless, ZAP isn't the first principle of any flavor or anarchy. The first principle is that there are no rulers. This first principle is inherent in the word itself. an+archy.

A ruler may be defined as a person to whom the rules do not apply; a person who may claim "sovereign immunity."

In a society where some individuals ("rulers") are above the law, the "rule of law" can hardly be said to apply in any meaningful sense.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Big.Swede on February 04, 2011, 06:02:24 am
That was probably one of your first mistakes. Approaching a discussion knowing that you're right suggests that you're not likely to gain very much from it.

Aaah man, iīd give you a hug if i could reach you. That post reminded me of the day some 10-15 years ago when i realised what you were saying is the truth.
Never felt so free in my entire life as that moment. And now you reminded me of that, and how much i learned since then.

Thanks!

*Hat off*
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Xavin on February 04, 2011, 07:40:47 am
It is true that I was using ad hominem in a technically incorrect manner, I meant to use in the manner of "Terry, only people who cant refute someones opinion with correct facts or an explanation of why that opinion is wrong or misguided begin to attack people personally."

And if Terry had attacked you personally then that might be valid and relevant (actually I'd quibble over your use of the word "only" in this context).
But he didn't. He attacked - by means of a counter-argument - an argument which he attributed to you.
Attack his counter argument with one of your own if you wish. Or disown the argument he attributed to you (and if you deny ever having proposed that argument then you can challange him to prove his claim that you did. See example below.). Decrying a personal attack where none existed isn't really getting you anywhere.

So, Xavin, you're telling me that the concepts (and practices as observed in the real world and not in theory) of anarchism, again as practiced in the real world, and capitalism, as seen on Wall Street, are mutually compatible?

I told you nothing of the sort. I have not put forward such an argument to anyone, anywhere. If you wish to claim that I did, please provide a quote or link to show it. It's easy enough to check my posting history here - there are only 13 posts (including this one) to read through.(See? Easy, isn't it?)

One more piece of advice - if you want to argue against someone else's ideas then do that. Don't argue against their name for it. Don't argue against your definition of their name for it. Argue against the idea. Otherwise you're wasting everyone's time, including your own.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on February 04, 2011, 08:41:08 am

And if Terry had attacked you personally then that might be valid and relevant (actually I'd quibble over your use of the word "only" in this context).
But he didn't. He attacked - by means of a counter-argument - an argument which he attributed to you.

Terry made an argument about Contraryguy's sex life. He explicitly said that he was not making it personal -- but explicitly saying you're not, isn't the same thing as not doing it.

In my opinion it's a little bit unreasonable to consider it a personal attack, but not a whole lot unreasonable. Somebody who was feeling emotional already could easily see it that way.

And if it had been an implicit personal attack (which to be effective would have needed to be a bit more subtle and also a bit more believable) then the damage would be done in the images that would appear in everybody's minds, not the particular words which would be defensible in their surface meanings.

It's possible for something to be *both* a deep personal attack and also a logical argument. I don't think that was the case this time but it can be done. Since we can't undo such things, and also many people will deny them even while they're affected by the personal attacks, and extended discussion of the personal attacks will just lead to argument about whether they exist at the same time that they are fixed deeper in people's memories, probably the best response is to make an even more effective implicit personal attack on the attacker.

Or try to notice why he cares enough to take it personal in the first place, and figure out a way to respond to that.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on February 04, 2011, 09:26:47 am
I said, quote, that I refused to speculate about ... so how is that a personal attack?

When you can't logically refute an argumentum ad absurdum, it's best to follow the advice given to lawyers: when the law is on your side, pound the law; then the facts are on your side, pound the facts; when neither are on your side, pound the table.

ContraryGuy is pounding the table, that's all.

He wants to believe that a society without rulers would be a society without cooperation. That dog won't hunt.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on February 04, 2011, 11:01:15 am
I said, quote, that I refused to speculate about ... so how is that a personal attack?

I said that I don't think it's a personal attack. Then I considered the issue more in general.

I want to point out that when somebody says something is not a personal attack, that does not have a whole lot to do with whether it's a personal attack.

So for example, in a previous discussion somebody could have said, "It isn't unlikely that Nigerians would be more closely related to chimpanzees than to other humans because after all Person X's mother was a chimpanzee, so it's clear that humans and chimpanzees are interfertile. This is not a personal attack on Person X, I'm just discussing the issues.".

Or there is the classic, "Please pardon me for accidentally stepping on your foot" and then they stomp on your foot, tip their hat, and walk away fast.

Saying that something is not a personal attack does not at all keep it from being a personal attack.

My general point is that when somebody makes a verbal personal attack that isn't so obvious it's undeniable, it may not be worth discussing it. It's deniable and is likely to turn tedious and useless. Maybe better to respond on some other level.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: ContraryGuy on February 04, 2011, 11:15:38 am
I said, quote, that I refused to speculate about ... so how is that a personal attack?

When you can't logically refute an argumentum ad absurdum, it's best to follow the advice given to lawyers: when the law is on your side, pound the law; then the facts are on your side, pound the facts; when neither are on your side, pound the table.

ContraryGuy is pounding the table, that's all.

He wants to believe that a society without rulers would be a society without cooperation. That dog won't hunt.

Because it is impossible to discern intonation and intent from mere words, when terry said "i refuse to speculate..." that is often, in normal speech, a prelude to a snide remark which is intended as a way to attack someone while still being able to deny such attack if the target becomes upset and says something about the remark.

Given how people feel about me, and my posts, I received terry's post in the most likely manner it was intended.  Because the remarks nature is softball, it has allowed terry to deny the intended effect.

In the real world, no one defends a sexual remark by saying "oh I was just making an argument ad absurdum."  That kind of defense is only available online.

It is interesting to note that no-where did I say people would not co-operate.  I did say a person would have to fend for themselves, in respect to police, fire and personal protection.  Because other discussion here have pointed out that here is no umbrella protection provided by "society".
Somehow, this forum thinks that no umbrella protection would be good thing.  I am sure all of the people on this forum are self-sufficient, independent, self-made people who do not depend on anyone for their lives or their freedom.
Thats because of all of the other people in society, and the people in previous generations who made it so.

The protections and foundations of support that is provided by society, through some form of central government, have become invisible enough that hey are only noticed in their absence.

But, JThomas is right, I shouldnt post anymore.  That should make everyone happy.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on February 04, 2011, 11:58:44 am
Given how people feel about me, and my posts, I received terry's post in the most likely manner it was intended.  Because the remarks nature is softball, it has allowed terry to deny the intended effect.

You and you alone are responsible for the mindset you bring to this discussion.  There was no personal attack by terry_freeman, even by insinuation; in this, JThomas is absolutely wrong.

Quote
In the real world, no one defends a sexual remark by saying "oh I was just making an argument ad absurdum."  That kind of defense is only available online.

However, this is the "real world"; real people are having a real discussion, using, by and large, real arguments.

Quote
It is interesting to note that no-where did I say people would not co-operate.  I did say a person would have to fend for themselves, in respect to police, fire and personal protection.  Because other discussion here have pointed out that here is no umbrella protection provided by "society".

 "Fending for [one's] self" strongly implies that there is no voluntary cooperation, which is not a requirement of anarchy.  Neighbors looking out for one another, volunteer fire departments, charities -- all can and do exist outside of government, and their existence is a counterexample to the need to "fend for one's self".

No "umbrella protection" is provided in government-based societies, either -- only the promise of such, as has been demonstrated time and time again.

Quote
Somehow, this forum thinks that no umbrella protection would be good thing.

Since there is no reliable  guarantee of any such protection (promise != guarantee), that is a gross misstatement.  Most of those in this forum (individuals think, not groups), along with Sandy, do not consider the promise of such protection, to whatever extent it might actually be fulfilled, is either an effective or a necessary means of providing such protections.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: macsnafu on February 04, 2011, 12:15:40 pm
Quote
Somehow, this forum thinks that no umbrella protection would be good thing.

Since there is no reliable  guarantee of any such protection (promise != guarantee), that is a gross misstatement.  Most of those in this forum (individuals think, not groups), along with Sandy, do not consider the promise of such protection, to whatever extent it might actually be fulfilled, is either an effective or a necessary means of providing such protections.

NRNBR called it.  You make assertions that we deny.  Various examples have been given at times that disprove or at least disagree with your assertions, although I might agree that no comprehensive or exhaustive argument has been made in our favor, but with various references available, i dont' think we should need to do that on *this* forum.
Instead of misrepresenting our views, perhaps you could come up with some legitimate examples or evidence that supports your assertions. I'd be glad to click on links to references, as I don't expect you to be comprehensive or exhaustive on this forum, either.  Just something to actually support your argument.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Brugle on February 04, 2011, 12:18:32 pm
when terry said "i refuse to speculate..." that is often, in normal speech, a prelude to a snide remark which is intended as a way to attack someone while still being able to deny such attack if the target becomes upset and says something about the remark.
And terry's "I refuse to speculate ..." was not a prelude to a snide remark.  So what's your point?  That you imagine terry making some snide remark, and you're upset by that?

In the real world, no one defends a sexual remark by saying "oh I was just making an argument ad absurdum."
In the world I'm familiar with, people treat each other as adults.  Sex is just another topic.  Sexual remarks that are personal attacks are treated as personal attacks.  Sexual remarks that aren't personal attacks (such as terry's comment) are not treated as personal attacks.

Maybe you should get out more.

But, JThomas is right, I shouldnt post anymore.  That should make everyone happy.
Actually, I like your posts more than those of J Thomas.  You say your piece without huge piles of extraneous verbiage.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: quadibloc on February 04, 2011, 12:47:49 pm
He wants to believe that a society without rulers would be a society without cooperation.
As I, and others, have noted, that's almost certainly a strawman.

Voluntary cooperation happens easily and naturally in some cases. In other cases, it doesn't. One of the main things that distinguishes between the cases is how the costs and benefits of cooperation are distributed. Creative thinking and community mores can help increase the range of cases in which cooperation takes place.

Government is a tool for bringing about cooperation in the most awkward cases. One can view this as a minor theoretical advantage, compared to all the real-world bad that governments do; or as an everyday essential function that an AnCap society would give up at its extreme peril. Trying to settle that argument would be difficult: different views exist.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: mellyrn on February 04, 2011, 02:28:56 pm
Quote
Government is a tool for bringing about cooperation in the most awkward cases.

Like what?
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: macsnafu on February 04, 2011, 02:39:34 pm
Quote
Government is a tool for bringing about cooperation in the most awkward cases.

Like what?

Like when a professional footbal coach wants to build a new stadium, but the taxpayers don't want to provide the money for it. 

 :P
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on February 04, 2011, 04:28:23 pm

But, JThomas is right, I shouldnt post anymore.  That should make everyone happy.

That isn't what I said. I suggested that you should notice whether you are having fun, and if not do something that is fun for you.

If you don't enjoy offending people here, one way to stop that is to stop posting. But there may be other ways.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on February 04, 2011, 04:31:56 pm
Quote
Government is a tool for bringing about cooperation in the most awkward cases.

Like what?

Like when a lot of people want a war but they disagree about who should join the army.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Gillsing on February 04, 2011, 04:49:16 pm
No "umbrella protection" is provided in government-based societies, either -- only the promise of such, as has been demonstrated time and time again.
But apparently people believe in those promises, just like they believe in the value of money. It's a system of trust, and when people's minds are put at ease they can allow themselves to relax and go on with their lives. Kind of like religion I guess? And good luck convincing people to give that up. I still think that AnCap demands too much from people. The brain is the hardest muscle to exercise, and you don't even get any jolly endorphins from doing it. Just let Uncle Government handle all that messy business for you, while you occasionally shake your fist at the stupid old bastard.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: SandySandfort on February 04, 2011, 05:27:00 pm
The brain is the hardest muscle to exercise, and you don't even get any jolly endorphins from doing it.

Actually, you do. Why do you think I write? Maybe some people don't get an endorphin rushes when they think, but there are plenty of people who do. It's called being in the zone or in the flow. I love the feeling when a story seems to write itself. Sometimes it surprises me and goes someplace I hadn't planned.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: mellyrn on February 05, 2011, 08:15:18 am
Quote
If you deny his claim that X can exist, you are making a claim that X cannot exist.

No.  Not. at. all.

If I deny THE claim that X can exist, then, yes, I am effectively claiming that X cannot exist.

However, if I am merely denying HIS claim that X can exist (whoever he may be), it's a whole 'nother matter:  I may think HE badly bungled the claim.  If he bungled it so badly as to outright lie -- especially if he is otherwise & usually quite competent in his work -- then I think his claim has falsified itself. 

We're then left with whatever we had before he made his claim -- which remainder might or might not be either true or useful, but his is out.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on February 05, 2011, 11:48:44 am
Quote
If you deny his claim that X can exist, you are making a claim that X cannot exist.

No.  Not. at. all.

If I deny THE claim that X can exist, then, yes, I am effectively claiming that X cannot exist.

However, if I am merely denying HIS claim that X can exist (whoever he may be), it's a whole 'nother matter:  I may think HE badly bungled the claim.  If he bungled it so badly as to outright lie -- especially if he is otherwise & usually quite competent in his work -- then I think his claim has falsified itself. 

We're then left with whatever we had before he made his claim -- which remainder might or might not be either true or useful, but his is out.

<sigh> OK, this is abstruse and important.

The default state is you know nothing until you find out. So if somebody wants to argue that X can exist, we don't know whether it can exist or not. Maybe there are reasons it can't exist, we just don't know.

Sometimes people argue by definition. I don't usually find this very interesting, but they do it. Like, can there be a white crow? Somebody could argue that there can't because if it isn't black it isn't a crow. Depending on your point of view this is either part of a definition or it's the No True Scotsman fallacy. But can there be something that's just like a crow in all other ways, but white? It eats like a crow, flies like a crow, it mates with crows and lays fertile eggs or it fertilizes eggs? I'd be more interested in whether that can happen than whether it's OK to call it a crow or not.

A second way to prove that something can exist is by indirection. If there is a logical argument that X cannot exist, that argument will have logical implications. Maybe we can figure out some of those implications without having to know the argument itself. And if some of those implications are clearly false, then there must not be a true argument that X cannot exist. I don't like this approach as much because it's kind of slippery. If you make a mistake when you argue about the implications of the argument you don't actually know, will you necessarily notice the mistake?

Here's a stupid example -- I can't think of any good examples outside mathematics. The argument goes, there cannot be a black South African who is a genius, because if there was one he would figure out how to end apartheid in South Africa and apartheid in South Africa will never end. Right away the argument has problems. How can we be sure that a SA genius would devote his talents to ending apartheid rather than get out of the country and make a lot of money or something? And then the argument failed utterly when apartheid fell.

Anyway it's pretty thin soup to argue that something is possible when there are no known examples.

"Yes, I know that there is true love even though I've never seen it anywhere."

"If you've never seen it anywhere, what does it have to do with your life?"

"It gives me the faith to go on. I'm only 60 now and if I survive long enough someday I'll experience true love."

It doesn't give you much to work with, except that possibly details of the proof might give you some idea where to look, or how to build X. Far better when you can actually point to it. "See that thing right there? That's X. It exists." Once you have seen the elephant it's hard to unsee it.

So, somebody claims that X exists. The response from zero knowledge is "Maybe. I don't know. Maybe it can exist and maybe it can't.". But the response that goes "No, you're wrong, X can't exist" is different. It is a claim that X can't exist. That deserves its own proof.

So for example the argument that led to your quote:

Quote
If you mean "General Motors" big, there is every reason to believe enterprises that large would be impossible in a free market, due to the many dis-economies of scale and the lower barriers to entry by new, leaner, quicker, smarter businesses.

The only way that a business that size is possible, is when it is preferentially upheld and protected by government action. No business entity that large has ever existed on the face on the earth, without government interference in the marketplace. None.

Somebody worried that large imposing businesses could exist in an AnCap society. Somebody else made strong assertions that they cannot exist, that they can never exist in any AnCap society. He made an argument by induction -- every large business has happened in a society with intrusive government, there is no known example of a large business otherwise. Since there is no example of a large business in an AnCap society, it follows that there can never be a large business in an AnCap society.

But of course this falls down because there has never been an AnCap society. You could just as easily argue that no AnCap society can ever have a business that makes airliners because every aircraft factory has been in a society with an intrusive government.

Three possible positions. X Can Exist. X Can't Exist. Not Proven, maybe X can exist and maybe it can't.

When you say "I don't know whether large businesses will be possible in AnCap societies or not" you are doing Not Proven. If you worry that giant businesses might be a giant problem in AnCap societies you are taking the stand maybe they could exist. If you argue that large businesses will inevitably be a giant problem in AnCap societies you argue that they cannot *not* exist and also that this will definitely have consequences you do not like. And when you argue, as someone did quite authoritatively, that there can never ever be a large business in an AnCap society and therefore no problem can ever arise from a large business in an AnCap society, then you are claiming that they cannot exist.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: ContraryGuy on February 05, 2011, 11:54:02 am
The brain is the hardest muscle to exercise, and you don't even get any jolly endorphins from doing it.

Actually, you do. Why do you think I write? Maybe some people don't get an endorphin rushes when they think, but there are plenty of people who do. It's called being in the zone or in the flow. I love the feeling when a story seems to write itself. Sometimes it surprises me and goes someplace I hadn't planned.

And how often are you 'in the zone'?  Like most writers I know, or have interviews with, not as often as they would like.

The brain IS the hardest muscle to exercise, and America has an exercise deficit larger than our fiscal deficit.

This explains why so many people believe Fox News; it is easy.  

Thinking for yourself is hard.  Thats why so few people do it.   In life or death situations people tend to wake up and start using their brains, but, when the crisis is over, they shut their brains back down and say "boy, i'm glad thats over."

I hope AnCap is not a place where people brains have to be in full-awake mode every minute of every day.  It gets tiring very quickly.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Plane on February 05, 2011, 12:21:47 pm
So, Xavin, you're telling me that the concepts (and practices as observed in the real world and not in theory) of anarchism, again as practiced in the real world, and capitalism, as seen on Wall Street, are mutually compatible?
You seem to be confusing mutually contradictory definitions of both capitalism and anarchism.

Some ways in which the term "capitalism" has been used are:
a) The politico-economic system where government does not interfere with economic activities.  In other words, any person or voluntary group can own and use capital without favoritism by government officials.  This is laissez-faire capitalism, and is how the term is used here.
b) The politico-economic system where government favors those who own capital (typically a major subset of the rich).  When government engages in policies that are supposed to favor merchants, this is called "mercantilism".
c) The politico-economic system practiced in places that used to be sort of laissez-faire capitalistic (without a major revolutionary change), such as the US today.
d) A politico-economic system other than the one that the user prefers.

Some ways in which the term "anarchism" has been used are:
a) Not having rulers.  This is how the term is used here.
b) Societal chaos.
c) A social organization that doesn't have the structure that the user prefers.

There are other terms in use that mean essentially the same thing as "anarcho-capitalism", including "market anarchism" and "consistent libertarianism".  There are dozens (maybe hundreds) of books and hundreds (maybe thousands) of papers online (and more offline, of course) that discuss anarcho-capitalism (perhaps using a different name).  A few minutes of googling should be enough to start satisfying your curiosity.



Good post , thanks for the exposition.

What term would be the best fit for the old west , when there was no law west of the Pecos?
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Brugle on February 05, 2011, 01:05:27 pm
What term would be the best fit for the old west , when there was no law west of the Pecos?
I recommend an article by Terry L. Anderson and P. J. Hill that appeared in the Journal of Libertarian Studies a few decades ago, "An American Experiment in Anarcho-Capitalism: The Not So Wild, Wild West".  It is available online:
http://mises.org/journals/jls/3_1/3_1_2.pdf
The authors expanded it into a book that was published a few years ago: "The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier".  I don't think I've read it.

Note that there was law west of the Pecos, but it wasn't supplied by the state.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: ContraryGuy on February 05, 2011, 02:06:54 pm
What term would be the best fit for the old west , when there was no law west of the Pecos?
I recommend an article by Terry L. Anderson and P. J. Hill that appeared in the Journal of Libertarian Studies a few decades ago, "An American Experiment in Anarcho-Capitalism: The Not So Wild, Wild West".  It is available online:
http://mises.org/journals/jls/3_1/3_1_2.pdf
The authors expanded it into a book that was published a few years ago: "The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier".  I don't think I've read it.

Note that there was law west of the Pecos, but it wasn't supplied by the state.


Wow.  What a way to avoid answering the question.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Brugle on February 05, 2011, 03:27:34 pm
What term would be the best fit for the old west , when there was no law west of the Pecos?
I recommend an article by Terry L. Anderson and P. J. Hill that appeared in the Journal of Libertarian Studies a few decades ago, "An American Experiment in Anarcho-Capitalism: The Not So Wild, Wild West".  It is available online:
http://mises.org/journals/jls/3_1/3_1_2.pdf
The authors expanded it into a book that was published a few years ago: "The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier".  I don't think I've read it.

Note that there was law west of the Pecos, but it wasn't supplied by the state.


Wow.  What a way to avoid answering the question.

By recommending an article titled "An American Experiment in Anarcho-Capitalism: The Not So Wild, Wild West", I thought I made it clear to Plane that I considered the term "anarcho-capitalism" to be a reasonable term for some of the social arrangements of the "old west".  My best guess is that Plane both has a brain capable of logical thought and is willing to use it, but if I am mistaken about that I'll be happy to apologize to Plane.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: ContraryGuy on February 06, 2011, 09:50:10 am
What term would be the best fit for the old west , when there was no law west of the Pecos?
I recommend an article by Terry L. Anderson and P. J. Hill that appeared in the Journal of Libertarian Studies a few decades ago, "An American Experiment in Anarcho-Capitalism: The Not So Wild, Wild West".  It is available online:
http://mises.org/journals/jls/3_1/3_1_2.pdf
The authors expanded it into a book that was published a few years ago: "The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier".  I don't think I've read it.

Note that there was law west of the Pecos, but it wasn't supplied by the state.


Wow.  What a way to avoid answering the question.

By recommending an article titled "An American Experiment in Anarcho-Capitalism: The Not So Wild, Wild West", I thought I made it clear to Plane that I considered the term "anarcho-capitalism" to be a reasonable term for some of the social arrangements of the "old west".  My best guess is that Plane both has a brain capable of logical thought and is willing to use it, but if I am mistaken about that I'll be happy to apologize to Plane.


Sometimes all a person wants is a one or two word answer.  If you feel more is necessary, you could expand on your answer in a second sentence.

Besides, hasnt anyone ever told you what happens when you "assume"?
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Brugle on February 06, 2011, 11:12:19 am
Sometimes all a person wants is a one or two word answer.  If you feel more is necessary, you could expand on your answer in a second sentence.

Besides, hasnt anyone ever told you what happens when you "assume"?
No.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: quadibloc on February 06, 2011, 01:26:30 pm
By recommending an article titled "An American Experiment in Anarcho-Capitalism: The Not So Wild, Wild West", I thought I made it clear to Plane that I considered the term "anarcho-capitalism" to be a reasonable term for some of the social arrangements of the "old west".
Upon re-reading this discussion very carefully, I suspect that he was disappointed in someone not explicitly stating that (a) from the first list and (a) from the second were what applied, for the most part, to the Wild West. As opposed to (b) from the first list (as many think the Industrial Revolution was) or (b) from the second list (as many mistakenly think the Wild West was).
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: ContraryGuy on February 06, 2011, 02:01:20 pm
Sometimes all a person wants is a one or two word answer.  If you feel more is necessary, you could expand on your answer in a second sentence.

Besides, hasnt anyone ever told you what happens when you "assume"?
No.

As the pithy expression goes, much in vogue amongst mothers and such types, when you assume, you make an ass out of "u" and "me".

Far be it from to point this out to such a learned man as yourself, of course.  because you would *never* assume to know what the other person wants.  Even if they ask you.
They must surely want to know what you give, and nothing else.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on February 07, 2011, 06:53:10 am
Poor ContraryGuy, who volunteers for so much abuse!

"Fending for yourself" is not the only option in AnCap society; there have been and will be many voluntary forms of cooperation.

ContraryGuy can persist in his obstinacy only by pretending that no examples of AnCap actually exist. What to make of the period of the not-so-wild-west when there was no government west of the Pecos, but there was law? Pretend it never happened, of course.

What about the Amish, who not only set themselves apart from the "English" and their government, but disavow the use of force entirely? Ignore them, of course. The Amish have social "safety nets" and education and fire protection and all sorts of other "public goods" which, we are told, require a State - but no State provides them; no taxes are extorted. How can such a thing be, since they ( we are told by CG himself, who is certainly an Authority in his own mind ) must "fend for themselves" since they have no Mayors and/or Dictators to force them to cooperate with each other?

Fundamental to your argument, CG, is the unsubstantiated belief that people must "fend for themselves" to provide police, defense, fire, and other goods in an AnCap society.

Yet, consider the story of the "canaries in a coal mine" - a grizzled old ex-physics teacher acted to promote peace, though he had no badge, no "authority." He acted to stop a conflict from escalating to life-threatening levels. Have you never seen such interventions? I have; they are not uncommon. What theory, logical or otherwise, suggests that such voluntary interventions would disappear when self-proclaimed "masters" lose our consent and therefore their ability to ride our backs and spur us?
 
In the statist isolationist fantasyworld, Carlos and the Four, since they lacked Rulers, would have "fended for themselves", and the only option for the rest would have been "duck and cover."
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Gillsing on February 07, 2011, 09:23:01 am
The brain is the hardest muscle to exercise, and you don't even get any jolly endorphins from doing it.

Actually, you do. Why do you think I write? Maybe some people don't get an endorphin rushes when they think, but there are plenty of people who do. It's called being in the zone or in the flow. I love the feeling when a story seems to write itself. Sometimes it surprises me and goes someplace I hadn't planned.
I thought you wrote because you have stories that you want to tell. Not because it gives you some kind of 'high'. Any 'high' that I get from playing/working is just a relief from strain that allows me to keep doing what I'm doing. Works great when I need to focus on something, such as the 10% of the stuff that I enjoy doing or that I need to do to get money. The other 90%? Decision-agony! And that puts me to sleep like nothing else.

It's also a matter of preparation. I have to prepare my mind much like I would prepare a workspace, putting all the tools and raw materials where I can reach them, and figure out where to put the stuff as it gets finished. Once I'm up to speed it's not so difficult to stay there and keep going. But that only works well for the 10%, because the other 90% are all divided into little pieces, where proper preparation isn't feasible, since that would take more effort than it would save, as there wouldn't be any time to get up to speed. So it seems pretty rational to me that 90% of the people would prefer to trade 90% of their decision-agony for some peace of mind, even at the cost of having a government.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: SandySandfort on February 07, 2011, 10:06:30 am
I thought you wrote because you have stories that you want to tell. Not because it gives you some kind of 'high'.

There are many motivations to write. Certainly one of them for me is the endorphin rush I get from the process.

Any 'high' that I get from playing/working is just a relief from strain that allows me to keep doing what I'm doing.

My condolences.

So it seems pretty rational to me that 90% of the people would prefer to trade 90% of their decision-agony for some peace of mind, even at the cost of having a government.

While it may seem rational to you, it clearly does not comport with the world in which I live. Maybe you need a new social group to hang out with.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: ContraryGuy on February 07, 2011, 12:15:09 pm
Poor ContraryGuy, who volunteers for so much abuse!

"Fending for yourself" is not the only option in AnCap society; there have been and will be many voluntary forms of cooperation.

ContraryGuy can persist in his obstinacy only by pretending that no examples of AnCap actually exist. What to make of the period of the not-so-wild-west when there was no government west of the Pecos, but there was law? Pretend it never happened, of course.

What about the Amish, who not only set themselves apart from the "English" and their government, but disavow the use of force entirely? Ignore them, of course. The Amish have social "safety nets" and education and fire protection and all sorts of other "public goods" which, we are told, require a State - but no State provides them; no taxes are extorted. How can such a thing be, since they ( we are told by CG himself, who is certainly an Authority in his own mind ) must "fend for themselves" since they have no Mayors and/or Dictators to force them to cooperate with each other?

Fundamental to your argument, CG, is the unsubstantiated belief that people must "fend for themselves" to provide police, defense, fire, and other goods in an AnCap society.

Yet, consider the story of the "canaries in a coal mine" - a grizzled old ex-physics teacher acted to promote peace, though he had no badge, no "authority." He acted to stop a conflict from escalating to life-threatening levels. Have you never seen such interventions? I have; they are not uncommon. What theory, logical or otherwise, suggests that such voluntary interventions would disappear when self-proclaimed "masters" lose our consent and therefore their ability to ride our backs and spur us?
 
In the statist isolationist fantasyworld, Carlos and the Four, since they lacked Rulers, would have "fended for themselves", and the only option for the rest would have been "duck and cover."


I believe you have misrepresented my viewpoints for reasons not known to me.  When I mean 'fend for onesself' that means that there is no umbrella of safety provided for all of society by all of society.

In AnCap as presented, there are no society-run places for education, safety or protection.  Therefore, all members of society must find their own way to accomplish what they wish to do.  They must "fend for themselves'.
Because there is no alternative.  But, 'no alternative to society-run institutions' does not mean members of society cannot cooperate among themselves.
To say that people who live without a controlling government, which, by its very definition means 'fending for themselves', cannot or will not cooperate is foolish; and to imply that I did so merely to score points on a forum is so beyond foolish as to put it in to the realm of speculating on motive, which I wont do.

As for the not-so wild west, while there was no generally recognized central government, there were authorities.  It was not so lawless as Hollywood would point out.  Sheriffs and Marshalls did exist, and circuit judges made routes.
The presence of duly-appointed, sheriffs and/or marshalls (even the Texas Rangers) and circuit-court judges does not really make the Old West in to an AnCap society.

For one, if AnCap existed as it is presented in EFT, then the Old West could not have been AnCap; because of the presence of sheriffs, judges and elected mayors and town councils.

And two, none of the people who lived out West were capitalists (unless you include the western coastline of California; which would be disingenuous of you), they were in fact entrepreneurs.
An entrepreneur is any person who starts a business.
A capitalist is a person with existing reserves of money (capital) who provide some of that money to businesses in hopes of helping that business to succeed in return for a portion of that future success.
See also, investor.

When I say AnCap doesnt exist, I do not say that examples could have existed in the past; Sandy has pointed out several medieval and frontier town that may very well have been AnCap.

I'm saying there arent any *now*.  Including the Amish.

I do take exception with the medieval examples, though; the idea of capital hadnt been invented (in the modern sense) by the time of a couple of Sany's examples.  Serf's cant have capital, and nobles wont lend it even if they had it.
Besides, how can you have 'market anarchism' if you dont have markets?
Or anarchism?
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Gillsing on February 07, 2011, 12:29:26 pm
While it may seem rational to you, it clearly does not comport with the world in which I live. Maybe you need a new social group to hang out with.
I don't really hang out with people. Paying attention to others is hard work, and when they talk about stuff that I'm not interested in, which they often do, it becomes hard work for no pay. So I was mostly referring to the people who apparently like to veg out in front of their TVs, or get wasted on various substances. Certainly seems to me as if they've had enough of making decisions for the moment.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: macsnafu on February 07, 2011, 01:36:22 pm

I believe you have misrepresented my viewpoints for reasons not known to me.  When I mean 'fend for onesself' that means that there is no umbrella of safety provided for all of society by all of society.
Unfortunatelly for you, the phrase "fending for yourself" implies a vicious, dog-eat-dog world, the world of Hobson's war of all against all.  In other words, a world without cooperation.
Quote
In AnCap as presented, there are no society-run places for education, safety or protection.  Therefore, all members of society must find their own way to accomplish what they wish to do.  They must "fend for themselves'.
Because there is no alternative.
In AnCap as presented where?  In EFT?  It is something of a frontier-type world, and thus is a bit lagging in the development of some institutions, but people do tend to like stability, and certain standards and institutions would undoubtedly develop in an Ancap society, or more likely, current institutions would be modified to fit the anarchic structure (or both).  People would have standardized choices for education, security, welfare, and other alleged "public" goods.  The differences are that these would be developed by society or community, based upon customs, and customary usage, instead of by a government or legislature and bureacrats, and that people who willingly want to choose non-standard options would not be legally restricted from doing so.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: macsnafu on February 07, 2011, 01:42:48 pm
While it may seem rational to you, it clearly does not comport with the world in which I live. Maybe you need a new social group to hang out with.
I don't really hang out with people. Paying attention to others is hard work, and when they talk about stuff that I'm not interested in, which they often do, it becomes hard work for no pay. So I was mostly referring to the people who apparently like to veg out in front of their TVs, or get wasted on various substances. Certainly seems to me as if they've had enough of making decisions for the moment.

Perhaps it is not so much that they choose to not make a choice (which, as the band Rush reminds us, is still a choice), but rather that choosing otherwise has been made too difficult or costly by the results of the various rules and regulations they have been submitted to.   If, for example, starting your own business is made more expensive by licenses, restrictions, and other regulations, and you're really not into going underground or to risk bribing officials, then continuing to work for someone else and vegging out in front of the TV or getting wasted may seem to be a rational choice.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: sams on February 07, 2011, 01:46:54 pm

I believe you have misrepresented my viewpoints for reasons not known to me.  When I mean 'fend for onesself' that means that there is no umbrella of safety provided for all of society by all of society.

In AnCap as presented, there are no society-run places for education, safety or protection.  Therefore, all members of society must find their own way to accomplish what they wish to do.  They must "fend for themselves'.
Because there is no alternative.  But, 'no alternative to society-run institutions' does not mean members of society cannot cooperate among themselves.

There are no ''society-run institutions, there are somepeople who in society run these things, many times has a monopoly

And two, none of the people who lived out West were capitalists (unless you include the western coastline of California; which would be disingenuous of you), they were in fact entrepreneurs.
An entrepreneur is any person who starts a business.
A capitalist is a person with existing reserves of money (capital) who provide some of that money to businesses in hopes of helping that business to succeed in return for a portion of that future success.
See also, investor.

Entrepreuners and capitalist are of the same genre ?

you have there a difference without distinction ... a man can seduce has much has he can be seduced, in the same way an entrepreuner can invest, after all what his he going to start the business with ? HotAir ?

But again you debating a portmanteau, nobody in this forum is for the defence of ''investors'', but we are for free markets, which is a state of economic interaction free of arbitrary intervention.

I do take exception with the medieval examples, though; the idea of capital hadnt been invented (in the modern sense) by the time of a couple of Sany's examples.  Serf's cant have capital, and nobles wont lend it even if they had it.
Besides, how can you have 'market anarchism' if you dont have markets?
Or anarchism?

Does the absence of articulation an event prevent the existence of it ? Does the lack of articulation of Genocide prevented many ancient people to be exterminated ?

In the same way the lack of formal articulation of free market ie the lack of existence of a concept doesn't mean it can't exist ... Words express reality, words doesn't create reality
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Brugle on February 07, 2011, 02:40:30 pm
I believe you have misrepresented my viewpoints for reasons not known to me.  When I mean 'fend for onesself' that means that there is no umbrella of safety provided for all of society by all of society.
A state does not provide safety--it is often the worst threat to safety.  Ignoring war, states in the 20th century murdered hundreds of millions of people and caused massive misery to many, many more.  (And I don't ignore war, the quintessential state activity.)  In relatively safe times and places, states routinely assault, impoverish, and lock in cages huge numbers of peaceful people (while killing anyone who tries to escape their "safety"), not to mention ever-increasing petty brutality by all parts of government (such as groping by the TSA in the US).

Do you consider it providing a "umbrella of safety" for government officials to take a large fraction of the wealth that people produce, piss much of it away, give a lot to politically powerful people (bankers, arms manufacturers, etc.), keep a good chunk for themselves, promote propaganda to maintain and increase their power, and see a bit get to people who need it?  You could use a reality check.

As for the not-so wild west, while there was no generally recognized central government, there were authorities.  It was not so lawless as Hollywood would point out.
True, with "authorities" including those hired by voluntarily cooperating people to "keep the peace".  In other words, anarcho-capitalism (with "laws" voluntarily accepted by all involved).  In the rest of the post you seemed to disagree with us, but here you agree.  Strange.

Sheriffs and Marshalls did exist, and circuit judges made routes.  The presence of duly-appointed, sheriffs and/or marshalls (even the Texas Rangers) and circuit-court judges does not really make the Old West in to an AnCap society.
Of course not.  When government takes over, civil society is diminished.  But the paper I linked was not about places and times of increasing corruption--it was about the places and times before government moved in.  I suggest you read it.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on February 07, 2011, 03:54:02 pm

When I mean 'fend for onesself' that means that there is no umbrella of safety provided for all of society by all of society.

That tends not to be true in statist societies either. Maybe partly because a lot of voters won't stand for it. "Hey, somebody's likely to get away with something! They might not contribute as much as I do and then they might get more out. It isn't fair! Don't let anybody get any more benefits than I get! And I don't depend on society for anything, I'm completely a self-made man."

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In AnCap as presented, there are no society-run places for education, safety or protection.  Therefore, all members of society must find their own way to accomplish what they wish to do.  They must "fend for themselves'.
Because there is no alternative.  But, 'no alternative to society-run institutions' does not mean members of society cannot cooperate among themselves.

Exactly. So what's the problem? You can get a group of people to do anything you want, provided you can persuade them to go along. Will they do enough of the right things? Watch them and see.

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To say that people who live without a controlling government, which, by its very definition means 'fending for themselves', cannot or will not cooperate is foolish; and to imply that I did so merely to score points on a forum is so beyond foolish as to put it in to the realm of speculating on motive, which I wont do.

It seemed to me you were questioning whether people would cooperate *enough* or cooperate enough *toward the right goals*. To me that's a legitimate question. The problem is that we don't have good answers and won't have them until we get an AnCap society to measure.

It's a red herring to argue whether there would be *any* cooperation. Did people misunderstand you on purpose? Because they were predisposed to misunderstand? Because you were unclear? I don't want to dissect the details about that. I have met people who say that when they try to get an idea across to somebody else and the other person doesn't get it, it's their responsibility. It's their intention to spread the idea, and if the idea has not spread then they're the one who has so far failed to achieve the result they want. I think that's a healthy attitude to take, even though there could be objective truths that interfere.

“It’s hard to get a man to understand something, when his livelihood depends on his not understanding.” ~Upton Sinclair

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As for the not-so wild west, while there was no generally recognized central government, there were authorities.  It was not so lawless as Hollywood would point out.  Sheriffs and Marshalls did exist, and circuit judges made routes.
The presence of duly-appointed, sheriffs and/or marshalls (even the Texas Rangers) and circuit-court judges does not really make the Old West in to an AnCap society.

That's true, but those guys were spread pretty thin. Could we get by today with them spread that thin, per capita? If we could we'd be that much closer to an AnCap society, even if it didn't bring us all the way there.

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And two, none of the people who lived out West were capitalists (unless you include the western coastline of California; which would be disingenuous of you), they were in fact entrepreneurs.
An entrepreneur is any person who starts a business.
A capitalist is a person with existing reserves of money (capital) who provide some of that money to businesses in hopes of helping that business to succeed in return for a portion of that future success.
See also, investor.

Hey, they got banks. I read a report that I've lost the link to, that pointed out Western territory bankers built impressive buildings, with impressive safes. They wore impressive clothes. The image of the banker with the business suit and the derby hat and the long cigar and the big paunch was *cultivated*. They were running a scam intended to suck the wealth out of the area, and to do it they had to look wealthy and respectable. Once the government came in they could ease up on the image some. I don't say those bankers were exactly capitalists, but they were pretty similar. They loaned money to businesses that could be successful, and if they preferred a business that was almost successful enough to pay off the loan but that left them with equity, over one that did pay off the whole thing, that's not such a big difference.

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When I say AnCap doesnt exist, I do not say that examples could have existed in the past; Sandy has pointed out several medieval and frontier town that may very well have been AnCap.

I'm saying there arent any *now*.  Including the Amish.

What I don't like about the Amish example is that it looks like they organize themselves with a repressive traditional culture. That culture has a lot of the same burdens of government and some that governments don't bother with. And it's a privilege to stay in an Amish society, you'll need a farm and those are very very expensive -- if you don't toe the line you can't get one. And they don't have to kill outlaws, there's a giant violent society for their outcasts to disappear into. It isn't the kind of AnCap society I'd want to live in.

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I do take exception with the medieval examples, though; the idea of capital hadnt been invented (in the modern sense) by the time of a couple of Sany's examples.  Serf's cant have capital, and nobles wont lend it even if they had it.
Besides, how can you have 'market anarchism' if you dont have markets?
Or anarchism?

That's kind of a valid point. But when you look at things like the Cathars, religious fanatics who lived with a sort of anarchic voluntary communism, it certainly gives the impression that more alternatives are possible than appear at first glance.

They believed their religion, and they wanted to stop sinning so they could stop being reincarnated. It was hard to live a long life without sin, so one choice was to live until they saw they were ready to die, and then confess their previous sins and swear not to do more, and die before they got the opportunity to sin much. When the chance to stop being reincarnated was worth so much more than material wealth, they tended to live simply. And when they lived simply and worked hard and didn't fight, they wound up producing plenty.

Could an AnCap society work like that? Probably, sure, if people believed in it enough. But it hasn't collected enough of a core of people who believe that deeply yet.

And you come along trying to weaken people's faith.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: macsnafu on February 07, 2011, 04:56:28 pm
You want examples?  Read up on Merchant Law (or Lex Mercatoria, if you want fancy Latin).  This was a system of legal rules and procedures developed by businesses for the regulation of international commerce.  They did this when international commerce was getting started, and businesses crossing borders had problems that couldn't wait for governments to figure out what was happening.

Another example would be English/American common law.  Common law originally developed because people needed rules and arbitration for problems they had, and the English King and feudal barons weren't interested in solving them.  The King's power only grew over time as he tried to control the Barons.

Charles Rembar's The Law of the Land is actually a pretty good history of English/American law, even though he's no libertarian.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: mellyrn on February 07, 2011, 06:53:53 pm
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It seemed to me you were questioning whether people would cooperate *enough* or cooperate enough *toward the right goals*. To me that's a legitimate question.

It is?  It seems to me to beg the larger questions of "How much is 'enough" -- and who gets to say?" and "What are the 'right' goals -- and who gets to say?"

Absent some central planning bureau, people in a society will do as much as they will and it will add up to some value X for their society, while in another society it might add up to Y.  X and Y will be "enough" in the terms of the specific societies -- and one might not be "enough" in your mind, and one might be excessive, again in your mind.  The goals of the people of one society will work out to whatever they are, and the goals of another society might be the same but I think probably not.  So:

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The problem is that we don't have good answers and won't have them until we get an AnCap society to measure.

will only give you the answers that that specific society comes up with.  They might be "good" answers for the sort of society you would want to live in, or they might not. 

And whether you personally like them or not, those goals and that amount of effort towards them will be self-sustaining, needing no effort from outside to keep going . . . for as long as that society pleases.  When their values change, so will the amount of "enough" and the nature of "right goals" -- and then that new pattern will be self-sustaining for as long as they need it to be.

External force need only be applied when the "enough" and the "goals" are not in sync with what the population in question tends to want. 

If you want something different for them -- why?  And what gives you the authority to impose your preferences on them, to usurp their autonomy as is done with children and the incompetent?
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on February 07, 2011, 07:52:34 pm
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It seemed to me you were questioning whether people would cooperate *enough* or cooperate enough *toward the right goals*. To me that's a legitimate question.

It is?  It seems to me to beg the larger questions of "How much is 'enough" -- and who gets to say?" and "What are the 'right' goals -- and who gets to say?"

When the time comes, we will discuss that if we are still here. Obviously, we get to say.

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Absent some central planning bureau, people in a society will do as much as they will and it will add up to some value X for their society, while in another society it might add up to Y.  X and Y will be "enough" in the terms of the specific societies -- and one might not be "enough" in your mind, and one might be excessive, again in your mind.  The goals of the people of one society will work out to whatever they are, and the goals of another society might be the same but I think probably not.  So:

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The problem is that we don't have good answers and won't have them until we get an AnCap society to measure.

will only give you the answers that that specific society comes up with.  They might be "good" answers for the sort of society you would want to live in, or they might not. 

And whether you personally like them or not, those goals and that amount of effort towards them will be self-sustaining, needing no effort from outside to keep going . . . for as long as that society pleases.  When their values change, so will the amount of "enough" and the nature of "right goals" -- and then that new pattern will be self-sustaining for as long as they need it to be.

Right now, we have lots of examples where people do not achieve the goals they say they have. Sometimes that's because governments stop them. Is it always because of that? Pretty much everybody says they want something, but somehow they don't get organized to get it. Could that happen in an AnCap society too? Something that people want, that some other societies actually get, but they just don't. Could it be possible that there could be some good result that somebody could actually make a profit selling to people, but somehow nobody starts that business? Could it happen that there's some good result that nobody could make a profit on, but they could cooperate to get it except somehow they don't?

You can argue that if they wanted it they would organize a way to get it. If they don't get it then they must not want it. And certainly that's true sometimes. Sometimes people piously agree that they want something that everybody thinks they ought to want, and yet they don't really. They pretend they want it but they don't do the simple things that would get it, and if you ask them why they just shrug or come up with some explanation why they can't. Can it happen for real? Something they want but somehow the cooperation that would get it just does not happen.

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External force need only be applied when the "enough" and the "goals" are not in sync with what the population in question tends to want. 

I don't know whether external force is ever really useful. If you want something for them that they don't want, you can reward them for doing it by giving them something they want. Or you can punish them for not doing it. Or you can apply enough force that it gets done whether they help or not. Unless they get to do what they want they'll probably resent you, and we can debate which times the result is worth that.

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If you want something different for them -- why?  And what gives you the authority to impose your preferences on them, to usurp their autonomy as is done with children and the incompetent?

I agree. But what if they agree with me, they want for themselves what I want for them. But they somehow do not know how to get it although other societies do. That says to me that maybe there's some better way for them to arrange their lives, some way that lets them get more of what they want.

If that happens it doesn't tell me that governments are worth having. (Unless what they don't manage is vitally important.) It says there's room for improvement, and maybe we can contribute to the evolution of improvements.

If you and I discuss things and come up with a new pattern of cooperation, maybe some people will like it and will try it on their own initiative. Maybe some other people will decide they don't like it and will try to stop it -- they can call us poopyheads or use whatever method they want to try to stop us, short of violence. If enough people like a new behavior pattern it can get blended into the culture, for whatever long-term good or ill it creates.

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It seems to me to beg the larger questions of "How much is 'enough" -- and who gets to say?" and "What are the 'right' goals -- and who gets to say?"

Anybody who's dissatisfied with the way things are can try to change them. Isn't that how it ought to work? If I want a sort of cooperation that isn't happening, I get to do whatever I want to encourage people to do what I want, without coercing them. Everybody else can try to encourage people to what they want too. Fair enough?
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on February 08, 2011, 10:17:54 am
ContraryGuy, just because there isn't a government-sanctioned-one-size-fits-all "safety net" does not mean the safety net isn't there. You don't have to "fend for yourself" - you just have to be smart enough to open your eyes and discover what is available.

Thus, when government does not provide education - to name one of your examples - education is still provided. In fact, mass education came BEFORE government involvement in education. Governments actually taxed paper - every sheet of printed paper - in an effort to reduce the spread of education. That is what the "stamp act" was all about.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stamp_Act_1765

By now, I am sure that any diligent reader has followed up on E.G. West and Andrew J. Coulson and James Tooley's research into free-market education - which preceded government education.

Take this from another angle. Because we have no government-provided farms, obviously, the only way to eat is to "fend for oneself", right? Wrong. In societies where farming was collectivized, mass starvation was the norm. Both the USSR and China realized the error of their ways, and restored private farming. Do we all need to farm for ourselves? No - but we need the freedom to do so, and those who do farm need the freedom to retain the profits from farming. The same goes for all sorts of other goods and services - we do not all need to be teachers, but we should be free to do so, and should not be forced to support "established" schools, as we are today. We need not carry arms, but should be free to do so.

Lastly, free markets and capital have existed for many centuries. There is evidence of long-distance trading going back thousands of years. Just because Marxists are too stupid to recognize free markets, does not mean that they haven't existed. The traders of old were entrepreneurs and capitalists; they took advantage of arbitrage opportunities, just as today's traders do. "Buy low and sell high" is a very, very old maxim.

 
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: macsnafu on February 08, 2011, 11:09:28 am
You want examples?  Read up on Merchant Law (or Lex Mercatoria, if you want fancy Latin). 

More on what I was talking about at the Mises site blog today:

http://mises.org/daily/5015/Is-Life-without-the-State-Always-Chaos


Is Life without the State Always Chaos?
by David S. D'Amato

Removing the ability of a lone societal institution to arrogate to itself the right to pronounce law and to decide cases would result not in disorder but in a legal framework that more perfectly reflects the norms of society.

Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: wdg3rd on February 08, 2011, 12:28:20 pm

That's kind of a valid point. But when you look at things like the Cathars, religious fanatics who lived with a sort of anarchic voluntary communism, it certainly gives the impression that more alternatives are possible than appear at first glance.


Calling the Albigensians fanatics is a bit harsh, especially when you compare them to the church/state consortium that exterminated them and their neighbors.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on February 08, 2011, 12:35:45 pm

That's kind of a valid point. But when you look at things like the Cathars, religious fanatics who lived with a sort of anarchic voluntary communism, it certainly gives the impression that more alternatives are possible than appear at first glance.

Calling the Albigensians fanatics is a bit harsh, especially when you compare them to the church/state consortium that exterminated them and their neighbors.

OK, I'll retract that word. They were, perhaps, diligent believers.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: mellyrn on February 08, 2011, 06:29:57 pm
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I don't know whether external force is ever really useful.

I think finding yourself (generic "you") wanting to apply external force is often a clue that you might want to reexamine your objectives.  They might be sound, but your understanding of them might be lacking.

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If you want something different for them -- why?

I agree. But what if they agree with me, they want for themselves what I want for them. 

What if -- ?  Umm, then you're not wanting something different for them?


I often deal with people who want something but don't know how to get it, or who wish they wanted a thing but don't really, and want to change that.  Sometimes I can help them.  Sometimes I can't.  E.g., this great bumper sticker I saw today:  "Sometimes all I really want is to be a missing person."  Or warp drive.  Most of my circle of friends would really like to have warp drive.

But "warp drive" -- a thing we dearly, and truly, want but have no idea how to attain -- is rather a different kind of creature entirely from, say, "wanting no one, anywhere, ever to go hungry #AND# wanting not to have to personally see to feeding even one outside my own clique".

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Anybody who's dissatisfied with the way things are can try to change them. Isn't that how it ought to work? If I want a sort of cooperation that isn't happening, I get to do whatever I want to encourage people to do what I want, without coercing them. Everybody else can try to encourage people to what they want too. Fair enough?

Seems to be.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: quadibloc on February 09, 2011, 01:45:01 pm
a different kind of creature entirely from, say, "wanting no one, anywhere, ever to go hungry #AND# wanting not to have to personally see to feeding even one outside my own clique".
That raises a different kind of question.

If someone is more sincere, he might say, "hey, I can afford to donate enough to famine relief to feed five people", and he can go ahead and do that, and try to inspire others by setting a good example.

Of course, doing the math, even if everyone followed his example, within their means, he finds out that the number of hungry people might only be reduced by, what, 5%? That discourages a lot of people - they might still be helping some individuals, but it isn't solving the problem.

That's, of course, when we can turn to Norman Borlaug for inspiration. And start teaching people to fish - better.

So that isn't the kind of goal that, at least for me, seems to be the best argument for having government. Local poor relief, so as to maintain order and tranquility and depress crime... or world poverty if a new Green Revolution isn't in the cards, requiring "mutual coercion, mutually agreed upon" for population control (not that I endorse all the views of Garrett Hardin - but then, controversial ideas, like those expressed here, make one think).

Instead, I take national defense as the obvious illustration of why we need (or may mistakenly think we need) government. Cooperation that comes with a high cost indeed, where the benefits don't kick in unless enough people cooperate, and they go to everyone. But, yes, an armed populace can rise up to defend itself... under certain combinations of technologies available for the defense and the offense. Pikemen and Switzerland come to mind, as does the wording of the Second Amendment.

And maybe privately owned thermonuclear bombs aren't so bad, if you can't outlaw fertilzer, but I'm still not convinced. (After all, fertilizer would be cheaper, nuclear stuff being so valuable for making electricity... so I can imagine an argument. What's hard to imagine is that it would convince enough people - whether that's because of a fault in the argument, or how the government has spooked the sheep, though, is kind of messy to get into.)

To me, the Soviet Union was a good example of the deadliest sort of enemy - one that blows hot and cold, one that is patient, one that can disguise itself as good instead of evil. One that is an obvious menace, so that everyone is aware of the danger, is easier for people to spontaneously react to on their own.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: mellyrn on February 09, 2011, 03:34:11 pm
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And maybe privately owned thermonuclear bombs aren't so bad, if you can't outlaw fertilzer, but I'm still not convinced.

Might not even be an issue, without a state.  If you nuke your neighbor, you're the one left with the fallout problem, or the decline in local property values ;-).  If you nuke a more distant target, you've made his land useless to you, too:  talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.  I think it was Andy Rooney who wrote an article in the depths of the Vietnam War -- how, if we were fighting there for good old-fashioned greed for territory & resources, we'd win faster and do less damage to the property in the process.  It was written for black humor, not as a serious argument, in case you can't tell, but it did score a point.

Otoh, the only nukes ever used in war were used to send a message to other states:  one message to the target state, Japan, and the other to a rival state, the USSR.  But I'm open to suggestions as to why I'd want my own nuke arsenal.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: ContraryGuy on February 09, 2011, 04:00:44 pm
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And maybe privately owned thermonuclear bombs aren't so bad, if you can't outlaw fertilzer, but I'm still not convinced.

Might not even be an issue, without a state.  If you nuke your neighbor, you're the one left with the fallout problem, or the decline in local property values ;-).  If you nuke a more distant target, you've made his land useless to you, too:  talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.  I think it was Andy Rooney who wrote an article in the depths of the Vietnam War -- how, if we were fighting there for good old-fashioned greed for territory & resources, we'd win faster and do less damage to the property in the process.  It was written for black humor, not as a serious argument, in case you can't tell, but it did score a point.

Otoh, the only nukes ever used in war were used to send a message to other states:  one message to the target state, Japan, and the other to a rival state, the USSR.  But I'm open to suggestions as to why I'd want my own nuke arsenal.

To get rid of people like me, obviously.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: sams on February 09, 2011, 04:14:34 pm
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And maybe privately owned thermonuclear bombs aren't so bad, if you can't outlaw fertilzer, but I'm still not convinced.

Might not even be an issue, without a state.  If you nuke your neighbor, you're the one left with the fallout problem, or the decline in local property values ;-).  If you nuke a more distant target, you've made his land useless to you, too:  talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.  I think it was Andy Rooney who wrote an article in the depths of the Vietnam War -- how, if we were fighting there for good old-fashioned greed for territory & resources, we'd win faster and do less damage to the property in the process.  It was written for black humor, not as a serious argument, in case you can't tell, but it did score a point.

Otoh, the only nukes ever used in war were used to send a message to other states:  one message to the target state, Japan, and the other to a rival state, the USSR.  But I'm open to suggestions as to why I'd want my own nuke arsenal.

To get rid of people like me, obviously.

Vaporizing customer is bad for bussines
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: GlennWatson on February 09, 2011, 08:28:54 pm
"But I'm open to suggestions as to why I'd want my own nuke arsenal."


You might if you were crazy.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: terry_freeman on February 10, 2011, 03:28:12 am
"But I'm open to suggestions as to why I'd want my own nuke arsenal."

You might if you were crazy.

Remember the Moon is a Harsh Mistress? The Rational Anarchist Prof wanted a stateless society, which was not politically feasible, so he did the next best thing - made sure that the government was toothless.

Every society has crazies. To render them (mostly) toothless, we elect them to Congress, where they discover themselves ( thanks to the iron law of the economic calculation problem ) capable of doing less harm than they otherwise might.

Seriously, were the last dozen Presidents the sanest people we could find, to have access to that nuclear football? That's a scary thought.

Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: quadibloc on February 10, 2011, 07:10:56 am
Seriously, were the last dozen Presidents the sanest people we could find, to have access to that nuclear football? That's a scary thought.
Fortunately, other people are also involved... and the U.S. military has sane people running the show.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: sams on February 10, 2011, 07:20:47 am
Seriously, were the last dozen Presidents the sanest people we could find, to have access to that nuclear football? That's a scary thought.
Fortunately, other people are also involved... and the U.S. military has sane people running the show.

Like the ones that invaded Iraq and AfPak ?
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: J Thomas on February 10, 2011, 08:08:15 am
Seriously, were the last dozen Presidents the sanest people we could find, to have access to that nuclear football? That's a scary thought.
Fortunately, other people are also involved... and the U.S. military has sane people running the show.

Like the ones that invaded Iraq and AfPak ?

They were just following orders.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: sams on February 10, 2011, 08:30:57 am
Seriously, were the last dozen Presidents the sanest people we could find, to have access to that nuclear football? That's a scary thought.
Fortunately, other people are also involved... and the U.S. military has sane people running the show.

Like the ones that invaded Iraq and AfPak ?

They were just following orders.


Sometimes the insane take over the show then  ;D
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: mellyrn on February 10, 2011, 08:55:10 am
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Sometimes the insane take over the show then

Psychopaths are good at that, yep.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: macsnafu on February 10, 2011, 09:04:50 am
Seriously, were the last dozen Presidents the sanest people we could find, to have access to that nuclear football? That's a scary thought.
Fortunately, other people are also involved... and the U.S. military has sane people running the show.

And the President is legally the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. armed forces, regardless of his own military experience (or lack of it).
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on February 10, 2011, 09:54:28 am
They were just following orders.

Deciding to follow the orders of an insane person does not a good case for sanity make.
(Or was that a deliberately sardonic reference to Nürnberg?)
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: ContraryGuy on February 10, 2011, 10:54:38 am
Seriously, were the last dozen Presidents the sanest people we could find, to have access to that nuclear football? That's a scary thought.
Fortunately, other people are also involved... and the U.S. military has sane people running the show.

Like the ones that invaded Iraq and AfPak ?

I would like to point out here that the beauty of our society is that the armed forces have an iron tradition of following tho orders of their civilian leadership.
It was not for the sane people in the military to decide whether to invade or not, it was their decision to follow orders or retire.

Therefore, saying that because the military did the actual invading means that their leaders are not sane enough to stop a use of the nuclear football is wrong.

Most military leaders advised against invading Irag (except for the ones who were appointed by Bush/Cheney or who would specifically profit monetarily from such an invasion).

See, there are sane people in the military.  In civilian leadership, not so much.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Brugle on February 10, 2011, 11:33:14 am
I would like to point out here that the beauty of our society is that the armed forces have an iron tradition of following tho orders of their civilian leadership.
...
See, there are sane people in the military.  In civilian leadership, not so much.
Assuming for the purposes of argument that your assessment of sanity is correct, the iron tradition of military obedience is horror, not beauty.  If an insane president orders actions which are likely to wipe out civilization, somewhat saner military officers might recognize the wrongness of those orders, but instead of fighting them they resign.  Those officers will be replaced and eventually the orders will be carried out.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: sams on February 10, 2011, 11:52:45 am
I would like to point out here that the beauty of our society is that the armed forces have an iron tradition of following tho orders of their civilian leadership.
...
See, there are sane people in the military.  In civilian leadership, not so much.
Assuming for the purposes of argument that your assessment of sanity is correct, the iron tradition of military obedience is horror, not beauty.  If an insane president orders actions which are likely to wipe out civilization, somewhat saner military officers might recognize the wrongness of those orders, but instead of fighting them they resign.  Those officers will be replaced and eventually the orders will be carried out.


This the ''Wermatch Problem'', before the world war the Generals hated Hitler's gut and didn't want all that conquer the world crap, they want Germany great but not an insane war.

What they did ? Piss in their pants, resign or have nervous breakdowns and actually failed of meaningfully preventing the war.

Lesson ? Don't trust the military to protect any republic, they won't do it
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: macsnafu on February 10, 2011, 12:38:54 pm

See, there are sane people in the military.  In civilian leadership, not so much.

Actually, I would say that the civilian leadership isn't insane so much as they are operating from a different perspective.  Invading Iraq was *not* insane for some goals that they had in mind.  The decision to invade was a political one, not a military one.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: Brugle on February 10, 2011, 01:14:33 pm

See, there are sane people in the military.  In civilian leadership, not so much.

Actually, I would say that the civilian leadership isn't insane so much as they are operating from a different perspective.  Invading Iraq was *not* insane for some goals that they had in mind.  The decision to invade was a political one, not a military one.

I agree.  "War is the health of the state" and all that.  I was merely saying that if CG's judgment of the relative sanity of military and non-military government officials is correct, then military obedience is not necessarily a good thing.
Title: Re: IT ISN'T ABOUT MONEY...
Post by: macsnafu on February 10, 2011, 01:30:50 pm

See, there are sane people in the military.  In civilian leadership, not so much.

Actually, I would say that the civilian leadership isn't insane so much as they are operating from a different perspective.  Invading Iraq was *not* insane for some goals that they had in mind.  The decision to invade was a political one, not a military one.

I agree.  "War is the health of the state" and all that.  I was merely saying that if CG's judgment of the relative sanity of military and non-military government officials is correct, then military obedience is not necessarily a good thing.


Your statement still applies.  A good political decision might be a bad military decision.