NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on May 05, 2010, 11:16:01 am
Imagine a hobo steals your car, and crashes it into the ocean. He happens to be a very odd hobo in that he has a lot of cash. How  do you recover the value of your property from him in a society where rulings do not have the force of law?

You or your proxy simply take it.  Since the tort has already been initiated against you, the use of force is permitted.

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Most of the people on this forum will say shunning this person (refusing to trade with them,) until they pay up will force the bum to do so. I disagree. Some people will not get the message that this person needs to be shunned. Some will disagree with it. Some will ignore it and deal with them anyway for money, or because of perceived moral/religious obligations. An alternative economy for those who have been shunned is likely to arise. Finally, there are always going to be gangs. If the local Crips want to buy something from your store, are you going to tell them no even if they outnumber you 100:1?

Shunning is perfectly acceptable.  Perhaps not effective in most cases, but effective.  As for being outnumbered 100:1, simply recruit fellow store owners (who will certainly have the same issue) to even the odds.  That group may then hire others to assist, of course.

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If shunning does not work, you will have to use force. What if the hobo has quite a lot of well-armed friends? What if the hobo is a member of a "neighborhood youth organization" like the Crips or the Bloods? Sure, you can hire a security company to try to recover your property, but how much will it cost to take on an entire gang?

I am aware of no one having stated that the use of force as a response is not acceptable; this appears to be a "straw man" argument.  As for the cost, match the cost of acting against not acting, and divide it by the number of other victims.  Think like a real economist.

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What if the hobo has no money? Indentured servitude? What if they won't work, no matter the arrangement?
They will almost assuredly starve.

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Consider a number of other situations where government could intervene, but an AnCap society would have to sit back and take it:

- Wife beating. Most spouses refuse to file complaints.
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No complaint, nobody's business.  Stupidity is its own punishment (besides, what if she is a masochist?)

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Abusive parents: Who can take the kid if they are being abused? Who can order a test on that child in the case of suspected beatings or molestation? If a group of people decide to buy a compound, raise their own food and materials so that they do not need outside trade to survive, and molest their children, how can shunning stop them?

If the child chooses to leave, the parents have no authority to stop them.  If they attempt to do so (or forcibly return them after the fact), then of course force may be used.

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- Child prostitutes/porn.

Non-consensual sex is use of force, and may be responded to with force.   The rights to any and all "porn" generated as a result (plus any remuneration for the same) becomes the property of the child[ren] against whom the tort was generated, who may do what they wish with it.  They may choose to destroy it (quite likely), continue to sell it and profit from the proceeds (the original act may have been non-consensual, but after the fact the victims may choose to extract value from the results), or whatever else they may decide.  Of course, if multiple victims are involved, one may not choose to sell material containing others, without their consent.  See how easy this is?

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-Polio or Smallpox: How do you force people to take a vaccine in AnCap? You can't, without violating the rules. If they refuse to do so, they are putting you and your family at serious risk of crippling/fatal disease. Would I be able to shoot Jenny McCarthy is self-defense? What good does threatening to shun somebody do for you or your family if they have already exposed you to whatever disease they are carrying? What about people who refuse to take treatments for chronic diseases like TB?
No one would force them to take the vaccine without committing a recognized tort.  However, wilfully passing on a disease without consent would itself be a tort, and hence actionable.

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-Terrorism and Enemy Infiltrators: Tapping a phone or breaking in to a house to search it against the owner's will has got to get you shunned, right?

Since government is the primary sponsor if not actual actor in terrorism, this would be much less of a problem (if the US government didn't screw around abusing folks around the world, those in the US would have virtually no fear of terrorism today).

Tapping a phone or breaking into a house would likely result in the death or severe injury of the person engaging in it if caught in the act, and subject to paying full compensation if discovered after the fact.

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Shunning is the fundamental mechanism by which AnCap societies enforce the rules.

Repeating this BIG LIE repeatedly will not make it true.

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If it fails, AnCap will have no rules. I argue that shunning will not work, and that AnCap will fail because of it. It's true that government is slow, inefficient, and quite frequently ineffective. In the cases I cited above, it's still the only way to go. Government needs to have very narrowly-drawn limits. The smaller and less-powerful it is, the less incentive for corruption. In specific, I advocate for a government that does not interfere unless somebody is injuring the rights of another without that person's express or implied informed consent. This will require eternal vigilance on the part of the populace to make sure that the people they elect are not farting around, but it prevents the worst abuses of government while similarly preventing chaos.

The responsive use of force is perfectly acceptable in an AnCap society.  That has been repeated consistently in this forum, and indeed in EFT itself from the beginning.  At this point, the one who refers to him or herself as "Heinlein Libertarian" is demonstrably not simply ignorant or an idiot; he or she is at best willfully ignorant or at worst deliberately practicing fraud.

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Anarchy tends to be a lot more like Somalia and Afghanistan than EfT.

In these two cases the problem is not anarchy, but rather too much government, spawned by outside forces (in particular the US Government) pressing for some single person or group to speak for all residents, no matter what they may desire.   

Heinlein Libertarian on May 05, 2010, 11:38:43 am

Paul Krugman has a PhD in Economics, is a Professor at Princeton (although it's not clear that he is currently teaching), and has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics.  He is also an idiot (in the true sense of the word) and does not understand real economics ("macroeconomics" is not truly economics at all, but rather a branch of politics).


I never said PhD's made you smart. In fact, it seems to do the opposite to a lot of people (Krugman is an excellent example, as is almost everybody who writes Op-Eds for the NYT.) It was meant to clarify that I do not have an Education degree.

Macroeconomics is a subject that seems to attract a lot of charlatans and closet politicians, but I would not dismiss the whole field as politics. As with any science that relies on the building of models to test a theory, there is a lot of room for subjectivity and tinkering. The recent scandals and revelations of deceit and fraud by the global warming crowd demonstrate this pretty clearly. Macroeconomic models tend to be taken out of context to serve political purposes pretty frequently, but this does not mean it is all politics. Studies of trade, cash flow variables, technology and its effect on productivity, etc. are all useful and basically nonpolitical. Most of the basic models and tools of the trade are learned in macroeconomics classes. Still, microeconomic questions are much more difficult for those with an agenda to manipulate.

SandySandfort on May 05, 2010, 11:55:36 am
Quote from: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled link=topic=411.msg6027#msg6027
In these two cases [Somalia and Afghanistan
the problem is not anarchy, but rather too much government, spawned by outside forces (in particular the US Government) pressing for some single person or group to speak for all residents, no matter what they may desire.   

Pretty much the same deal they gave the American Indians. "Take me to your chief. If do not have a chief, one will be appointed for you an no cost." ("Well, not exactly no cost...")

BTW, NRNBR, great application of ZAP/libertarian/anarchist principles, in practice. All the "what-ifs" about ethical anarchism have straight-forward answers, if one just looks for them.

Brugle on May 05, 2010, 12:21:43 pm
Obviously, from a libertarian perspective, inflation is simply theft. When I write a check to you for fifty dollars, I don't get to say that, next week, it will only be good for twenty-five dollars.

Given the existing situation of the school system, however, school vouchers are an increase in freedom. It may be socialistic in principle to require everyone to pay taxes to support a public school system, but if some children grow up to be adults with limited job prospects because their parents failed to buy them an education, one can expect an increase in crime as a result.

Of course, part of this has to do with the importance of credentials in a society with no open frontier.

Your post assumes that children are educated in government schools.  The original purpose of modern government schools (those in the US were modeled on those in Prussia) was to prevent education (in a broad sense).  To a government, schools should produce good citizens, which means people who obey.  Education (in a broad sense) leads people to question the wisdom of orders, leading to a lack of enthusiasm in following orders and sometimes to opposition.  (Also, schools are operated to accustom children to countless hours of boredom.)  Naturally, governments wants citizens to have some skills (for example, a soldier should be able to read a "NO SMOKING" sign by an ammunition dump), but (to governments) critical thinking and real knowledge are undesirable traits in most of the populace.

When I was young, I occasionally read something like "most of my education was not in school" or even "I was educated in spite of school", and I was puzzled (since I certainly learned some things in school).  But eventually, when I realized how little I actually learned in school (and how much of that was false or misleading), I understood.

Like most questions of the living-justly-in-an-unjust-world sort, vouchers are problematic.  On the one hand, many children (especially the inner-city poor) would be immediately helped by vouchers.  On the other hand, vouchers would increase government control over private schools, harming educational opportunity in the long run.  Thus, libertarians can disagree about vouchers, although all (or almost all) would agree that the best solution would be the complete separation of school and state.

Sean Roach on May 05, 2010, 08:40:55 pm
In response to one of the points of the below case.
"Shunning" need not be "enforced".  If you are a known criminal, the shops MAY do business with you, but they will undoubtedly do what they could to protect their interests.  Do you tend to skip out on obligations?  People will refuse to give you advances, or possibly even any payment except one on completion of work.  Do you tend to steal?  Shops may view it a better deal to refuse you entry than try to sell to you and prevent you from helping yourself to their stuff at the same time.  The same goes for vandals.  Yes, someone will sell to them, as a value added.  At a markup.  So, you can't go in that store anymore.  Too bad.  Should have klept your hands to yourself.  For 20 bucks on top of the price of the item you CLAIM you want to purchase, I'll go in and buy it for you, and pocket the difference.
Except, I don't want to risk being stuck with stolen goods, since I'd have to give them up to the ACTUAL owner when he tracked this stuff down, so, just in case, I'm going to charge you double.  There's a good chance the original owner will be by to collect his property...in fact, make that triple.  I still need to turn a profit.

OH.  So you've never stolen HERE.  I understand.  Well, KleptoWatch(r) says you stole all the time back where you came from, so I'm not going to take the risk.  Leopards and spots and all.

The thing is, systems will develop to handle such issues.  If there's a market for it, someone will sell it.  There is already a market for credit reporting agencies, and this is similar enough to what they do to extrapolate.

Most of the people on this forum will say shunning this person (refusing to trade with them,) until they pay up will force the bum to do so. I disagree. Some people will not get the message that this person needs to be shunned. Some will disagree with it. Some will ignore it and deal with them anyway for money, or because of perceived moral/religious obligations. An alternative economy for those who have been shunned is likely to arise. Finally, there are always going to be gangs. If the local Crips want to buy something from your store, are you going to tell them no even if they outnumber you 100:1?

terry_freeman on May 06, 2010, 04:02:05 am
Before crying "market failure" with respect to education, it would be wise to consider the research of E.G.West and Andrew J Coulson on the history of education. Mass-market education arrived _before_ the government got involved in education; in fact, governments often attempted to suppress education. England actually prohibited the education of Irish children; it was a capital offense. The response of the Irish is instructive; they established "hedge schools", itinerant preachers who would carry a few materials, gather children behind a hedge, and teach them. One would serve as a lookout; when a gendarme appeared, all would scatter. If it is possible to teach under such conditions, it is certainly possible for anyone who wants to learn to do so in an AnCap society.

More recently, consider the research of James Tooley on free-market education in contemporary Africa and India, in places which are much more poor than the U.S.S.A. Poor parents _choose_ to spend for private schools, instead of sending their children to "free" government schools. If they can afford to pay for education, one would have to be poor indeed to do without.

Government schools are terribly inefficient. I've mentioned often the accomplishments of my 8 year old grandson, who is now studying algebra. He spends far less time in home education than you would imagine - probably about a third of what government-schooled children do - but he is learning about 3 times as fast as they typically do. He may be on the far end of the bell curve, but home education typically shifts the entire curve; the typical student scores 30 percentile points higher than his or her peers. Furthermore, children of low socioeconomic status are doing nearly as well as those of high socioeconomic status, when home schooled. Home education is thus "the great equalizer" which was claimed as an advantage for government schools.

quadibloc on May 06, 2010, 08:00:55 am
OH.  So you've never stolen HERE.  I understand.  Well, KleptoWatch(r) says you stole all the time back where you came from, so I'm not going to take the risk.  Leopards and spots and all.

The thing is, systems will develop to handle such issues.  If there's a market for it, someone will sell it.  There is already a market for credit reporting agencies, and this is similar enough to what they do to extrapolate.
Yes. Obviously, in an anarcho-capitalist society, there is not going to be a Young Offenders Act making it a crime to communicate the fact that someone was convicted of shoplifting (or, for that matter, rape or possibly even murder, if for some reason the case was not transferred to adult court) before he turned 18.

You or your proxy simply take it.  Since the tort has already been initiated against you, the use of force is permitted.
Well, yes. The objection, though, is how does anyone tell that you, in the act of simply taking something, are permissibly responding to a tort instead of committing a crime of theft? There are, of course, solutions offered to this one (bonded arbiters, bonded security agencies) in the An-Cap framework.

Since government is the primary sponsor if not actual actor in terrorism, this would be much less of a problem (if the US government didn't screw around abusing folks around the world, those in the US would have virtually no fear of terrorism today).
I think this is simply false.

Terrorism is the result of conservative Muslims wanting to impose Shari'a, "Islamic Law", under which non-Muslims are subject to abuse. The United States is a target of terrorists because it has refused to allow the Jews of Israel to be brought under Shari'a by force, not because the Muslim world has any legitimate complaints against the United States.

Your post assumes that children are educated in government schools.  The original purpose of modern government schools (those in the US were modeled on those in Prussia) was to prevent education (in a broad sense).  To a government, schools should produce good citizens, which means people who obey.  Education (in a broad sense) leads people to question the wisdom of orders, leading to a lack of enthusiasm in following orders and sometimes to opposition.  (Also, schools are operated to accustom children to countless hours of boredom.)  Naturally, governments wants citizens to have some skills (for example, a soldier should be able to read a "NO SMOKING" sign by an ammunition dump), but (to governments) critical thinking and real knowledge are undesirable traits in most of the populace.
These are valid points.

I would suspect, though, that the hours spent in school are indeed required for most people to learn basic skills. (Incidentally, the time required to learn to spell correctly might be compared to the effects of Chinese characters on Chinese society in reinforcing its authoritarianism. Would spelling reform be part of an An-Cap revolution?)

Of course, when government gets involved in education, politics gets involved too. Perhaps politicians don't want voters to have critical thinking skills that are too great. But parents often don't want that either, often because other sources of authority have influenced their desires. Maybe they're just doing the government's dirty work, but the most visible opponents of critical thinking in the schools seem to be the churches.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2010, 08:14:51 am by quadibloc »

Brugle on May 06, 2010, 12:24:18 pm
not because the Muslim world has any legitimate complaints against the United States.
As just one of many, how about the death of approximately 500000 innocent Iraqi children that Madeleine Albright said was an acceptable cost for the US to make an empty political gesture?

I would suspect, though, that the hours spent in school are indeed required for most people to learn basic skills.
According to John Taylor Gatto, educators say that 30 hours of classroom instruction are sufficient to teach a typical child to read.  Yet government schools take orders of magnitude longer.  In a free society, schools that do that badly would quickly go bankrupt.

the most visible opponents of critical thinking in the schools seem to be the churches.
I don't know what you mean by "visible", but as far as I can tell, a typical student at a religious private school in the US learns somewhat more (at a much lower cost) that at a government school.  Note: I would be happy if schooling had little or no connection with religion.

The entire setup of government schools (which many private schools follow to a great extent) is designed to prevent critical thinking and instill obedience.  Hours of tedium, segregation by age, constant supervision, rigid schedules, etc, etc.  Under that assault, many children will decide that learning is boring.  Others might retain their curiosity but be overwhelmed by the barrage of unconnected "facts".   Minor changes in curricula make essentially no difference, given that environment.

For example, I read Starship Troopers as a young teenager, and what struck me most was the idea that philosophy could be useful.  (Not necessarily the philosophy presented by the History and Moral Philosophy teacher, philosophy in general.)  As far as I could remember (back then my memory was pretty good), that idea had never been suggested in my schooling up to that point.  And I don't think it was suggested in any of my schooling after that point, either.  I'm not saying that every school child should study epistemology and ethics and political philosophy, but I think that a typical high school graduate should be aware that those fields exist and offer useful answers to interesting questions.

sams on May 06, 2010, 01:08:38 pm
the most visible opponents of critical thinking in the schools seem to be the churches.

A widely exaggerated and unfunded claim  ::) People who send their kids to religious schools already share the said values or if they don't they do some extra homework with the kids.

Sean Roach on May 06, 2010, 01:46:19 pm
I believe he's referring to the complaints against the teaching of the theory of evolution and current calculations as to the age of the earth as hard inviolable fact, over the protests of those who hold to Genesis.

One point to make.
Some parents don't WANT education for their kids.  They want warehousing for their kids.  They want accolades through their kids.  School frequently takes a back seat to sports, and parents have been known to complain, loudly, when weather problems prevent school from operating.  (They have no other place to store their kids until evening.)

Those who home-school are something of a self-selected group.  It is hard to argue the current group of home-school families are either against, or even ambivalent, on education.  Even the children of parents who take part in such groups as the PTA show a marked advantage in grades.  Involvement has to be seen as a factor, be it in the total investment of home-schooling, or just keeping on top of things with the public school administrators and teachers.

Of course, I think the ambivalent and antagonistic among the public school crowd actively impede learning by the rest.  It's hard to study when someone else is too busy cutting up to let you hear the teacher.  It's easy to fall between the cracks when teachers have to focus so much effort on those who actively prefer to be elsewhere.

nottheowl on May 06, 2010, 02:34:45 pm
A few days' absence has given me a lot more reading material!

At the risk of intruuding on the "Words" thread, let's see what my understanding or lack of it is;

Fresh water; The economy is a self-organising phenomenon in which humans participate. Mathematical models assuming efficient markets are a useful approximation to reality, and decisions can be made according to the predictions of these models. Empirical (including statistical) research is useful in gauging the success of a model retrospectively. Government intervention is discouraged as at best an additional variable, and at worst an attempt to interfere in a system which is self-correcting. Big name: Milton Friedman.

Salt water; The economy is a human institution and has only that organisation afforded to it by human activity, including that of governments. Empirical (including statistical) research supplemented with operational definitions and heuristics can allow decisions to be based on probabilities. No set assumptions can be made about human behaviour under all circumstances, rendering mathematical models at best misleading and at worst astrology. Big name: John Maynard Keynes.

The Austrian School; An older institution which bears most resemblance to that of the fresh-water economists, having established many of the assumptions they use, and advocating no government interference. As such Friedman would seem to be sit best with this school. However, concepts and vocabulary established by the Austrian school are used in both camps.

Heinlein Libertarian; Notably good-humoured!

I've finished and enjoyed The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, which has given me much food for thought. On first reading I didn't detect a single cop-out; all the hard decisions were made by the revolutionary government (they did, after all, govern; not to say misled, censored and manipulated). An unsympathetic reviewer could make the whole thing sound like a retrospective whitewash- the narrator's being constantly manipulated does sometimes wear thin. How would Inside the Third Reich read as a novel? But without a doubt, great literature. My thanks to those who recommended it.

In respect of AnCap philosophy, is there not an assumption in Escape from Terra that human institutions are self-organising? I'm thinking of the hockey-game discussion. If so, is it necessary that all understand society for it to function (know the rules of the game)? Can such a society accomodate the ignorant? The solution in Mistress is essentially evolutionary- if you don't, you don't last long. But if it were only a question of evolution, there would be no one correct society- only what worked under the circumstances.

SandySandfort on May 06, 2010, 09:10:56 pm
In respect of AnCap philosophy, is there not an assumption in Escape from Terra that human institutions are self-organising? I'm thinking of the hockey-game discussion. If so, is it necessary that all understand society for it to function (know the rules of the game)? Can such a society accomodate the ignorant? The solution in Mistress is essentially evolutionary- if you don't, you don't last long. But if it were only a question of evolution, there would be no one correct society- only what worked under the circumstances.

It would be inaccurate to speak of an AnCap society as a single society or philosophy. Getting rid of government and other coercive institutions is only the beginning. I once had a libertarian friend who described the White Panthers as "internally Maoist and externally capitalist." Similar "contradictions" might be the norm in an AnCap society. I certainly don't know; nobody else does either.

I am working on a story that features a group on Mars, called Lenin's Hammer. Basically, it is a commune internally set up on a pure communism model. Externally, they deal with other Martians in a free market atmosphere, but as a unit. Lenin's Hammer seems to thrive. Why this is so is a mystery to many. Actually, the answer is simple and has allowed many communist communes to last for many years, in spite of a flawed economic model.

As humanity moves into space, we are going to see a lot of voluntary variations on a theme. Many, if not most, could be embedded within a greater, more or less AnCap, society without violating any AnCap "rules."


quadibloc on May 06, 2010, 10:14:09 pm
Why this is so is a mystery to many. Actually, the answer is simple and has allowed many communist communes to last for many years, in spite of a flawed economic model.
This reminds me of something that took place where I live, here in the province of Alberta.

Because many Alberta farmers feared being undercut by Hutterite communal farms (something like the Amish, but less... picturesque) for many years the province had a law which forbade the purchase of farmland for communal ownership without government permission.

NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on May 06, 2010, 11:26:48 pm
I am working on a story that features a group on Mars, called Lenin's Hammer. Basically, it is a commune internally set up on a pure communism model. Externally, they deal with other Martians in a free market atmosphere, but as a unit. Lenin's Hammer seems to thrive. Why this is so is a mystery to many. Actually, the answer is simple and has allowed many communist communes to last for many years, in spite of a flawed economic model.

It doesn't surprise me;(real)  Communism works reasonably well in sufficiently small groups.  The key is that the group is small enough that by and large everyone knows everyone else, and has a direct trust relationship with them.  Beyond this, group size is limited by the requirement that every member is truly dedicated to the group and it's purpose (whatever that is).

I have on more than one occasion shocked people in the socialist/communist arena by granting (as an admitted hard-core capitalist)  that communism does indeed work; in fact, they often even actually hear me when I go on to say that the problem is that while it works in small groups, it doesn't scale.  At that point, I point out that those on the "left" don't understand what capitalism really is, and those on the "right" don't understand what communism really is.   At this point they become so confused that they don't even try to use their knee-jerk responses.   :)

terry_freeman on May 07, 2010, 01:36:13 am
Communism works excellently when you have a proper arms' length relationship with the Decider(s), by which I mean, you can reach out and choke the daylights out of 'em, if need be. Usually, such extreme measures are not required, but in small communities, enough feedback flows up and down that a reasonably competent person can manage resource allocations. This is particularly true when such communities are embedded in a market economy, which simplifies a great deal of the communication and computation.

It's funny how the proponents of government education stridently refuse to examine the evidence, but assume the government schools must have good reason to consume so much time and resources. One may lead a horse to water, but can not make the horse drink. Frankly, you do a great discourtesy to people who have done a good bit of honest research. If this is the fruits of your government-sponsored education, you paid far too much; you lost the effective use of your brainpower.

As for the war in the Middle East, if you believe it is an effort to impose sharia on the West, you are smoking some very strong hashish. It is an effort by the West to impose our values on their society. You may have noticed that our tanks and planes and predator drones and bombs are over there, and not the reverse. Any sane observer would conclude that the US of A is invading the Middle East, and not the reverse. Again, if you fail to notice this, you paid far, far too much for your government-sponsored brainwashing.

 

anything