Heinlein Libertarian on March 29, 2010, 11:20:58 pm
First of all, an AnCap society does not have to be able to stop anybody from doing any damage on their territory. The question is: Could an AnCap society keep its citizens safe and/or fight and possibly win a defensive war without a standing army? I'm arguing that a standing army is a necessity, for a number of reasons. Primarily the difficulty of negotiating with property owners and the disincentive to actually fighting created by holding soldiers responsible for the damage caused int he defense. That pretty-much guarantees that there will not be any troops, and certainly not enough to hold off a serious enemy. I've dealt with that elsewhere, so I won't recap here. The second reason is that national armies can buy systems that would never make sense for a militia, like aircraft carriers, cruise missiles, fighter/bombers, etc. These systems have real value, and they are genuine force multipliers. Finally, I don't think enough people will "shoot twice" or "never bend a knee to anyone" to make a difference. People will knuckle under,

As to the question of scenarios: Is anybody arguing that AnCap has to stop a fanatically determined, superior force armed with better weapons and more men?

I will. The Nazis are an excellent example. Rising powers tend to get into scraps with their neighbors. I doubt that this will be any different 1,000 years from now than it was 1,000 years ago. An AnCap Belgium might have held the Nazis off a little longer, but could it have stopped them? Even if the AnCap state had the approximate population level of France, could they have stopped the Nazis? Even if every Frenchman had an anti-tank cannon in his garage and a Thompson by his side, they would have had serious difficulty.

Why? Resistance to a superior force, in most cases, means death. The idea that people will shoot at invaders from every tree and building might sound appealing, until you realize how few people are likely to actually do so. There is a reason that armies organize people into units:People on their own, in a place where explosives are falling from the sky and men with weapons are coming to kill them, will tend to hide rather than fight. Even when they fight, most tend to just spray-and-pray. War is scary, and anybody who has never had somebody with a gun seeking to kill them needs to understand that. "Shoot twice" is a good bluff, but most people will not even shoot once. The ones that do shoot once will tend to be blown to bits pretty-quickly. The people who are in organized militias will probably do a much better job, but not anywhere near as good a job as people who spend their entire day training and preparing for this sort of thing.

Thus, the problem with the Fort Lewis example: Specialized MP units spend every day doing PT, training to fight rear-guard actions, and learning all of the latest and greatest techniques for causing mayhem. They also spend a lot of time mentally preparing themselves to fight. Normal citizens do not. Most people just want to live their lives, go to work, go home, have a beer, and watch the game. Sure, they might head to the woods and do some hunting periodically, or head down to the range with a few friends. This is not the equivalent of PT every morning, exercises every week, and constant training.

Normal people are not going to fight in anywhere near the numbers that a lot of people seem to be projecting unless there is some sort of draft.

The jihadist insurgency is another scenario that most of the people in here seem to have glossed over. Terrorists do not need 300 IQ points to strap a bomb to themselves. They just need a demo expert and the will to do so. Terrorists have not used WMD's yet for a few simple reasons, but primarily the fact that any group that did would be hunted to the ends of the Earth. When they use them, they don't want to hit one city: They want to hit twenty. That way, the strike has a real impact before their lives are basically over. Aum Shinrikyo tried to use them. Iran has all-but said that they will equip Hezbollah jihadists in the US with such weapons in the event of an invasion. An AnCap society without such weapons as a deterrent force would give terrorist nations every incentive to equip jihadists with NBC arms, given that the AnCap society will not be able to strike back in-kind.

Of course, we don't need to have foreigners doing the terrorizing. There are plenty of domestic nutcases that, given access to WMD, would probably use them. I keep citing Ted Turner with a nuke, because he happens to be one of the nuttier environmentalists out there. Consider the ALF or ELF with a bio-weapon? Or forget the WMD, let's just talk high explosives. A car packed with Semtex can kill a lot of people. So can suicide bombers. There are not a lot of ways to defend against these people, since they have to be willing to kill themselves in the process, anyway. Who knows what sorts of domestic disputes will suddenly be settled with high explosives when they are available at the corner store?

Finally, on the saleable terrorist watch-list/camera network: Very slick. If we ever go AnCap, you will have my first few gold-backed investment dollars.

Heinlein Libertarian on March 29, 2010, 11:55:03 pm
Shades of gray are important. The United States is not the same as Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia because it has a government. They may both use force to compel their citizens, but there is a big difference between taxing you to pay for a road, and charging your family for the bullet the local gulag-operator used to shoot you. Terms like "statist" are basically a way of saying "I don't need to argue with you, because you are equivalent to Hitler."

I don't think anybody here is defending government as a good, moral, efficient or particularly effective institution. The difference of opinion is over whether a tiny amount of government (in this case, an army,) is a necessary evil.

So yes, I believe that it is perfectly legitimate to force my fellow citizens to fund an army, because without it we would probably not exist. I don't believe shunning is going to be anywhere near as effective an enforcement mechanism as many AnCap fans do, so I think we need a police force and a court system to handle irreconcilable disputes between citizens. I also think we need cops to handle investigations in to who shot whom.

I believe that if we don't have a tiny bit of essential government, we will not have AnCap: We will have Somalia. Chaos, not freedom.

sams on March 30, 2010, 12:07:47 am
As to the question of scenarios: Is anybody arguing that AnCap has to stop a fanatically determined, superior force armed with better weapons and more men?

I will. The Nazis are an excellent example. Rising powers tend to get into scraps with their neighbors. I doubt that this will be any different 1,000 years from now than it was 1,000 years ago. An AnCap Belgium might have held the Nazis off a little longer, but could it have stopped them? Even if the AnCap state had the approximate population level of France, could they have stopped the Nazis? Even if every Frenchman had an anti-tank cannon in his garage and a Thompson by his side, they would have had serious difficulty.

Why? Resistance to a superior force, in most cases, means death. The idea that people will shoot at invaders from every tree and building might sound appealing, until you realize how few people are likely to actually do so. There is a reason that armies organize people into units:People on their own, in a place where explosives are falling from the sky and men with weapons are coming to kill them, will tend to hide rather than fight. Even when they fight, most tend to just spray-and-pray. War is scary, and anybody who has never had somebody with a gun seeking to kill them needs to understand that. "Shoot twice" is a good bluff, but most people will not even shoot once. The ones that do shoot once will tend to be blown to bits pretty-quickly. The people who are in organized militias will probably do a much better job, but not anywhere near as good a job as people who spend their entire day training and preparing for this sort of thing.

I don't know if you took a look at the recent history but .... invasion wars are getting less frequent and genocidal wars are getting even more scarce  ::)

The Nazi nearly won WWII due to their technological edge over the French and GB at the beginning of the conflict, but has the war went on, Allies started catching against up with the Axis forces : GB radar system won them the battle of Britain, then the RAF got long range bomber powerful enough to bomb German cities to oblivion

In the Eastern front, the initial Wermatch advantage was quickly inverted when the Russian got some proto-RPG and a new tank ... which out gunned the Panzer that gunned down France and Poland in 39, while U-boats are in get lets effective ... Same in the pacific theatre, with the Japanese German fighter Zero got gunned down after the Americans built a better and heavily armed fighter

You can see that there is a pattern here : War become difficult has the technological gap get thinner.

At the current technological level, no national army is capable of invading another country and occupying unless it has the support of at least a fraction of the local population, cite me one your ''Fanatical invasion''

We can have an example of a national army failing to invade a ''anarchist'' society is what happened in Somalia, where despite US support, Ethiopia failed to occupy it and pacify the place. Same of Irak, where the US is having a difficult time.

Wars of invasion are getting very expensive, so even the US in the present configuration can only afford to bully third world countries despite all its might

Thus, the problem with the Fort Lewis example: Specialized MP units spend every day doing PT, training to fight rear-guard actions, and learning all of the latest and greatest techniques for causing mayhem. They also spend a lot of time mentally preparing themselves to fight. Normal citizens do not. Most people just want to live their lives, go to work, go home, have a beer, and watch the game. Sure, they might head to the woods and do some hunting periodically, or head down to the range with a few friends. This is not the equivalent of PT every morning, exercises every week, and constant training.

We can agree that a libertarian society will have a ''security industry'', Black Water style companies of men whose work is to provide safety and master the art of combat. Since if there is not police, these companies will be the ones providing safety for individuals, companies, banks and the kind. These will the ones with heavy weaponry and mental preparation

The jihadist insurgency is another scenario that most of the people in here seem to have glossed over. Terrorists do not need 300 IQ points to strap a bomb to themselves. They just need a demo expert and the will to do so. Terrorists have not used WMD's yet for a few simple reasons, but primarily the fact that any group that did would be hunted to the ends of the Earth. When they use them, they don't want to hit one city: They want to hit twenty. That way, the strike has a real impact before their lives are basically over. Aum Shinrikyo tried to use them. Iran has all-but said that they will equip Hezbollah jihadists in the US with such weapons in the event of an invasion. An AnCap society without such weapons as a deterrent force would give terrorist nations every incentive to equip jihadists with NBC arms, given that the AnCap society will not be able to strike back in-kind.


Why does terrorist exist ? The US is victim of terrorism because of its foreign policy around the world, has GB was victim of IRA terrorism because of its Irish policies, the same from Russia because of its Chechenia policies.

So why does Belgium, Brazil, Perou or Equador are not victim of terrorism ? I don't the whole crap that Terrorist are just illogical. Terrorism is a form of political statement, if there is no statement to be made, there is not terrorism.

A special case is Israel, which is the exception that confirm the rule, but only because the mere existence of Israel and the fact that the Israeli choose to live among those who hate them is part of the problem.

Of course, we don't need to have foreigners doing the terrorizing. There are plenty of domestic nutcases that, given access to WMD, would probably use them. I keep citing Ted Turner with a nuke, because he happens to be one of the nuttier environmentalists out there. Consider the ALF or ELF with a bio-weapon? Or forget the WMD, let's just talk high explosives. A car packed with Semtex can kill a lot of people. So can suicide bombers. There are not a lot of ways to defend against these people, since they have to be willing to kill themselves in the process, anyway. Who knows what sorts of domestic disputes will suddenly be settled with high explosives when they are available at the corner store?

Sure there will always be nuts and loons among us, but loons tend to try to attack defenceless targets :
Do you ever saw a gun massacre at a NRA gun show ? maniacs tend to choose ''gun free zones'' to perpetrate their acts :

such has the Fort Hood shooting ... at a base were there were no weapons :o

But there is a case were private iniciative defeat loons and lunatics : Body Guards for controversial personalities ,for Banks and cash convoys.

Heinlein Libertarian, do you agree that a free society will have private security agencies like we have now ?

And also do we agree that the biggest deterrent is economic, like Bastiat said : If goods don't cross frontiers, armies will.

Since a libertarian society will be 100% Free Trade, almost all the possible belligerent will be commercial partners.

Do we agree that countries with economic ties are less likely to go to war ?

SO I believe that I answered the question of how a libertarian society will defend itself : BY FREE TRADE WITH ALL

EDA: The problem with all this debate about the ''defence of a libertarian society'' is that people are making a parallel between two completely different things :

1- Wars of extermination were fought in the 19 century, because it was due the rising protectionism, getting you troopers over the border was the only way to acquire markets and minerals.

2- Nazi Germany, the last success one successful at a full blown barbaric campaign conquest, had the edge over its enemies.

3- Terrorist and enemies are created by the foreign policies with countries with military delusions, particularly the US. The role of the US military is no more to protect the US but to patrol the planet and ''project power'' ... which has been a complete and abject failure. We can all agree that the US could defend itself with 1/10 of the current capacity

So these 3 point doesn't match a libertarian society in the following terms :

1- A libertarian society will by definition have free trade, which mean that the incentive to mount an army and invade is lower and also there is the risk of blow-back since many countries may be trading with said society

2- Has technology advance, individuals can defend themselves easily and more effectively. it is easier to defend oneself now than in 1920, which mean that even in the most chaotic part of the world, such has Somalia and Afghanistan, locals are armed in such a way that it is almost impossible that an invader conquer the place. So we can assume that a libertarian society will have more and better weaponry, making occupation a pain in the ass

3- A libertarian society have no foreign policy ... so like Switzerland, it will likely have no die hard enemies, which doesn't mean that there won't be lune. So the whole Jihadi scenario start to become less credible
« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 12:46:45 am by sams »

El Hombre Malo on March 30, 2010, 07:26:26 am
Hummm...a few factors that I think should be taken into consideration when talking about a hypotetical conflict between an AnCap society and a foreign enemy.

-Infiltration by agent provocateurs: AnCap societies don't really have borders nor restrictions regarding who can migrate. Let's say the enemy isn't so much bent on conquering the territory and enslaving the population (really? who declares a war to get slaves any more?) but simply wants to disrupt the society to a point where the population adherence to libertarian ideals start to vanish. And I dont just mean small or big scale terrorism but organiced actions that renders shunning innefective repeatedly, encouraging some members of the society to initiate force, look for scapegoats, etc...

-Dissension: a foreign enemy can exploit the feelings of those who feel the AnCap society have failed them, as a system. Be it Those who tried but failed, those whose set of skills can't earn them enough to make a decent living, the usual bunch of lazy or reckless who cant see they are their our worst enemy... Most posts in this thread assume a strict adherence to AnCap values by all the population, yet enough of them can dissent and be lured/funded by enemies of an AnCap society to disrupt it. Again, since we are talking about a purely market based society, disrupting the effects of shunning seems to me the most obvious and direct way, creating one or more paralell markets within the same society.

-Corporate warfare... while I dont share the faith most libertarians have in the inner working of corporations (having worked for a pair of large ones, Ive noticed them to be even more corrupt in their inner bureocracy than, say, local councils and municipalities), I share the view many expressed here about their importance and role in an hypothetical conflict. And I think HK example is a good one. See, China stopped really caring about communism around the 70s, but they do care about state control of information. When they took control over HK they didnt want to destroy it nor turn it into a little cozy socialist town. The only thing they didnt like about HK was its free press (as free as the british had it, given the fact that freedom of press is not a right recognized by any law of the United Kingdom, but something you can use at the Crown's will, that is, until someone from Palace tells you to shut up... try shipping porn over the Royal Mail and see. But I digress).

Did China impose censure over HK right away? no, they simply established enough strong ties with key HK corporations and those corporations got even bigger making bussines with the goverment. So when the media started to be shunned by big corps as a punishment for negative portrayal of the central goverments, profit driven media wisened up and started to get tamer and tamer...until it was the own HK goverment who started passing laws restricting free press. Now China has a profitable AND silent HK.

See, corporations have no ideals. Individual entrepeneurs might go against their own economical interest while pursuing what they think is ethically right. Corporations wont. Because corporations are owned by shareholders who may be decent persons but ultimatelly just want their profit share. The board makes the decissions and their only real concern is how to make better numbers the next quarter. There are countless dirty maneuvers a corporation big enough can use to desestabilice a market or create a temporary monopoly. Ever heard of the Japanese dumping on south american markets?

And nothing prevents a foreign player from heavily investing in your AnCap economy. Since you had such a lenghty conversation about Ammunition, imagine a foreign goverment funding a big ammo factory within your borders. So competitive, since it's main goal is not to make the most money, that it drives other big players out of the game and just leave small niche companies that cater to fringe tastes and specialities. Now imagine the conflict becomes violent and the people you were counting on to provide you with ammo refuses to entirely, not even negotiates. Apply that to bigger issues like missiles. You have to fire the damm things and it turns out youve been buying them from a company working for your enemy. And now remember what happened to all those french missiles argentine bought. It doesnt need to be so machiavelical and devious, even... Your enemy just need offer your weapon provider a deal so good it would be against self interest to refuse it. And before you tell me goverments would be bankrupt, please let me remind you goverments are still the biggest owners of gold and silvers, and goverments own profitable corporations too.

And that takes me to another key point... not a military war waged by a foreign national power, but how do you defend your market against corporations working from protected markets. there is a reason XIX century germans called traditional liberalism the "kick to the ladder strategy", claiming Great Britain only demanded open markets after centuries of protectionism and a head start on industrialitation had made its domestic market strong and healthy. A Corporation operating from a captive market have a wider range of maneuver when competing on foreign open markets (Africa is a good example of that). AnCap entrepeneurs would compete on equal terms on the open market against companies whose local turf is protected. Those companies can indulge in much more reckless maneuvers, dumping prices, driving competitors out of bussines and buying them out in the end, because they can count on the domestic market to cover the losses. Heavily protected Japan corporations did it when IMF policies opened the south cone markets, and local consumer goods manufacturers were wiped out and bought. How long would it take for AnCap entrepeneurs to demand a certain degree of protection, or even worse, to organize, thus hindering competivity? How much until someone initiates violence when shunning doesnt work or damage the "aggressor" in economical malpractice?

Most scenarios given in this thread count too much on the infalible and staunch allegiance of AnCap society inhabitants to its principles, and on a sort of inevitable inferiority of whatever statalists attempt, based solely on its moral bankrupcy and a preassumpted inneficiency. I understand why you think Libertarianism is Right. But Right doesnt make Might.


(customary excuses for whatever typo or weird aberration of the english language, given my condition of non native speaker)

sams on March 30, 2010, 09:07:06 am
@:MaesePorras@yahoo.com

You are making some fair and interesting points, and will try to address some of them, but I would like that it is taken in consideration that none of the solutions I may give are ''indestructible'' ... and only experience can give almost definitive answers

- Infiltration by agent provocateurs : While the absence of a government is one feature of anarchy, this doesn't mean that people will be lone wolfs. We are ''social animals'' and this libertarian society will be no exception, except that you will have a greater freedom to associate with people for all the activities that you might imagine, you can freely choose who to trade, talk, associate, employ, have religious ceremonies, etc. So the This society will have individuals who can be associated has they which, and I can presume that if the agent provocateurs involve anything above propaganda, such has acts of sabotage to try to create conflicts  ... those people, individually or in the association of their choice, can then deal with those fellah ... assuming that the plot can be discovered.

-Dissension: There are very few or any solution to the internal dissension, unless that the members of the libertarian society benefit from the state of affairs. The best hope is that the free trade policy create a great economy, in a huge version or HK & Singapore, and that people provide for their security, being it by arming themselves or by hiring people to guaranty their security.

-Corporate warfare:There are some factors in a Free market that may prevent corporate welfare which are that there is no restriction to entry the market and there is no way to keep competitors out. All case of corporate monopoly or manipulation involve having an authority to impose it upon others : A government. In the absence of a government  have doubt that corporations will have so much leverage, since they can't force the costumer to buy their products, which they could do buy taxation, see GM. I believe that because of the intense competition, corporations will tend to smaller than they are currently

Quote
And nothing prevents a foreign player from heavily investing in your AnCap economy. Since you had such a lenghty conversation about Ammunition, imagine a foreign goverment funding a big ammo factory within your borders. So competitive, since it's main goal is not to make the most money, that it drives other big players out of the game and just leave small niche companies that cater to fringe tastes and specialities.

The good news is that we will have cheaper ammunition courtesy of the tax payers  ;D and that to drive its competitor out of market it would need to saturate the market with such a quantity of ammunition that we might actually have enough for any conflict.  ;D But the bad news for the person who made this plan doesn't end there, since despite the fact that almost all war were fought in countries without ammunitions factories, few are the wars which ended because of lack of ammunition. Unless this state control the rest of the globe or had put all the others manufacturers of the globe out of business, the demand for ammunition will create a market. The greater point is that an AnCap society won't be an ''auto-sufficient'' society, it will be open to trade with everyone ... or at least no bastard will prevent from buying cheap bullets from the Chineses.

Quote
Now imagine the conflict becomes violent and the people you were counting on to provide you with ammo refuses to entirely, not even negotiates. Apply that to bigger issues like missiles. You have to fire the damm things and it turns out youve been buying them from a company working for your enemy. And now remember what happened to all those french missiles argentine bought

Incompetence is not a crime ... so yes some idiot may buy a missile which can be deactivated by the manufacturer. But since I remember that our AnCap friends are pretty much opposed to any form of patent, this may not be possible ... but you may end up with a ''open source'' modular missile, which is manufactured with equipment from hundreds of small manufacturer and which the user can customize at will  ;D Modular and customizable platforms are already used by many industries and so despite any kind of central planning. For example you have the M16 civilians rifle in the US, which have thousand of companies manufacturing interchangeable and customizable parts. Electronic components are also an great example, IBM and Compaq doesn't build a PC from beggining to end, but subcontract or buy part from other firms ... one may build only the Processor, the other only Hard Drive another CD-drive and so forth. Heavy weaponery industry seems to be the last part of the industry which is almost ''closed-design'' maybe because the main clients are governments and so there is not incentives to innovations

And before you tell me goverments would be bankrupt, please let me remind you goverments are still the biggest owners of gold and silvers, and goverments own profitable corporations too.
 
A government ''declare bankruptcy'' when they collapse due to extensive economic and social hardship, and most of the Western countries are approaching this critical point. almost all have debts approaching 100% of GDP generally because of entitlement programs, social security, wars and even if they own all the gold of the world, it won't be enough since gold being merely a means of exchange, it is not helpful if there is nothing to buy, which can happen if the world economy collapse under the weight of government spending.Actually We don't expect all to collapse, some will be enough.
Government actually subsidize most of the ''profitable'' corporations, if not most of them. There is not such a thing like a ''public investissment'' it is always money thrown out of the window

A Corporation operating from a captive market have a wider range of maneuver when competing on foreign open markets (Africa is a good example of that)

False, I'm African, specifically Angolan and I can tell you that our problem is NOT FREE TRADE lol
We suffer from what I can call a double lock :

1- TAX and INFLATION : most all African country have prohibitively high import and export tariff even among fellow African countries  :-\
Because the trader never pay the import tax, he simply transfer it to the consumer, the import tax is in reality a tax on the African citizen sometime from 30 to 100%. This make the accumulation of capital and importation of tools to develop economic activities, such has second european machine tools, car or processed product VERY difficult.
And even if you manage to get the material, you enough internal red tape and inflation to loose up to 40 of profits. Then if you manage to get something to export, you face another 30% export tax ... which mean that your product is not competitive  >:(

2- PROPERTY RIGHTS : Most African countries have a system of government ownership of all land and especially anything that can sold for profit ... and unless you are lucky to on some civilized parts, such like Botswana or South Africa ... you can't : Farm, mine, log, or do anything that may generate income on any land ... or just do some lame substance agriculture >:(
The worst is that the government is inflexible, so on top of all the above mentioned problems, you end up with the central government providing almost all the income on oil or anything that a foreign company can mine... and most of the citizenry live of the droplets that fall from the government numerous institutions ... my country have a 30% unemplyement rate ...

So I see no Free Trade collateral damage here >:(

You will be right if countries like Tanzania, which tried to make important substitution industries weren't has poor and desolate has us  :-[

The bottom line is that protectionist policies are a scam, the one that get rip off are the tax payers, which are the ones who in fact subsidize all the corporations and has far has history is concerned, this policy is a failure. the only thing that had worked so far is free trade and free entreprise

Sean Roach on March 30, 2010, 10:26:49 am
Okay, granted I'm a minarchist, (which I feel addresses these issues,) so bear with me.
Sams, I don't feel you successfully addressed some of the issues brought up by MaesePorras.

Infiltration-  This is much what some of us have suspected and suggested here when we suddenly got two very pro-central-military people in this very thread.
No, you can't prevent it, except through vigilance, or compromising your standards.

Dissension- again, not something you can prevent.  Actually, the story on this board, "The Probability Broach", and its sequel "American Zone", are good explorations of both the above points.  Of course, the good guys kill the bad guys at the end.

On the point of parallel economies.  No.  Sorry, but no.  YES.  Parallel economies WILL develop.  Someone messes up once, and his brother will help him out.  He'll get a lower wage job from someone who just doesn't care.  The problem is he will be remembered.  If you can't keep your promises with one group, someone MIGHT take a chance with you, but you're working from a weakened bargaining position.  You won't be trusted, and that trust will translate into lower salaries, and very little buying on credit, (which is probably for the best anyway.)

Corporate Warfare- you got me.
I CAN see a giant from a non-an-cap country overtaking an an-cap corporation via subtle government support.  Not enough to qualify as force, but enough to tip the scales in favor of the foreign giant.
This also applies to minarchism.  Any time one giant can "game" the system by stockpiling wealth, and then dumping it to cause financial hardship to another group, this applies.
Wealth could be in available trained personnel, ready-manufactured/refined/extracted product, or just enough cash to buy things until business gets back to normal.
Of course, I could also see aggressor insurance policies that included a price-fixing rider.

Personally, if I found a company was in the control of an aggressor group, I'd argue that company was part of the aggressor group, and take some of the damage out of their equipment.
That is, after the bullets started flying, I'd be at the recently-locked gates of that ammunition factory with a pair of bolt cutters and a team of displaced factory worker volunteers.
I MIGHT see fit to save any profits, less a management fee, to hand over to the proper owners afterward, but I'd probably be working at cost+living expenses...so no profit.

Now, as to an open-source missile.  Go over to SchlockMercenary.com, and scroll back about a week.  There is an interesting comic where a girl shut down a security camera with a 2d barcode.
Imagine a chip, probably an image processor, with a coded-in achilles heel.  If it sees a certain pattern, it switches to early pentium arithmetic.  Looks good most of the time, but the errors are there.
Suddenly your open-source missile can't recognize its target, and might actually decide the nearest water tower is what it was aimed at.

Sabotage through one chip, provided it uses, and needs, a "pure" signal that can be manipulated to the enemies ends, (that barcode printed on the top of the troop carriers, for instance.)
The answer to this is equally simple.  No one supplier.  Get your missiles standardized on the externals, but use whatever for the internals.  Perhaps some have NVidia graphics processors.  Perhaps some use ATI.  Some might even use some chinese part.  Some use one OS, some use another.  No one achilles heel.
It might help to have it all the firmware and circuit diagrams be open-source and vetted too, but open-source doesn't mean as much unless someone who understands it actually takes the time to look for backdoors and exploitable vulnerabilities.




terry_freeman on March 30, 2010, 03:02:28 pm
Many of the possible weaknesses of an AnCap society apply even more so to that greedy maniacal homicidal maniac state which you propose. There's always going to be that fifth column of people who think wiping out a free people is wrong, and they'll be throwing sand in your gears. The more you rely upon coercion and nastiness to get what you want, the more enemies you make, both internal and external.

One thing every free marketeer learns early: you meet the same people on the way down as you meet on the way up. Statists fancy themselves immune to the laws of karma, and believe that their use of force trumps everything else, but the bill always comes due. Ask the rulers of the former USSR what they think. Ask the current rulers of China why they are trying so hard to keep a lid on dissent; why an estimated 20 million Chinese have already figured out how to "climb the wall" and breach the firewall.

So, by all means, keep on with your belief that might makes right; you'll be taught the error of your ways.

Anytime you want to trade gold to me for $20.67 per ounce, just let me know. Ask yourself why you retain so much faith in an entity which managed to destroy 97% of the value of the dollar in one century.

quadibloc on March 30, 2010, 06:40:15 pm
So why does Belgium, Brazil, Perou or Equador are not victim of terrorism ?
Actually, until quite recently, Peru had a very serious problem with terrorism - a domestic terrorist group following Maoist ideas, which had a proclivity for rape: the Shining Path movement.

So, by all means, keep on with your belief that might makes right; you'll be taught the error of your ways.
It took many decades for the Soviet Union to fall, and how long mainland China - or even North Korea - will last is not yet known. The imperfections of the industrialized democracies are more than tolerable if they help protect us from falling into such a pit of agony.

El Hombre Malo on March 30, 2010, 08:54:01 pm
sams:

Of course, you have a better understanding of the inner working of african markets. I mentioned the case as an example of what the germans called "the kick to the ladder". See, african countries main export is both natural resources and extensive agricultural products (I understand I am talking about Africa as one entity while I know there are exceptions, not trying to be simplistic, just trying to exemplarize). What africa need the most is machinery to improve its economical prowess and evolve from a short term sustenance model to a consumer goods economy. So they have to buy abroad and borrow money, also abroad. Western companies are more than happy to provide african countries with usually sub-par equipment...at a high price? Why can they ask for such abusive prices? Because often the money borrowed from western countries comes with limits in how you spend it. Of course I lend you money to buy mining equipment... if you buy it from a company in my country. Yet it becomes more perverse... The lending countries usually have protected markets with subsidized agriculture. Maybe african country X would be better off selling wheat or tomatos to european markets, yet those products are heavily tariffed, so they have to grow products that might not be the most lucrative choice. That is, unless a foreign company buys the land. Look at the korean deals in Madagascar and cry.

Domestic corruption, inneficiency and malpraxis are also a factor, but more often than not these are also influenced by foreign goverments and companies. I African markets are heavily intervened by (often corrupt) goverments, but that doesnt mean they ar eprotected, becaus ethe intervention does not pursue the strengthening of the market, just the enrichment of a few and the control of the population. I dont subscribe the myth of all african problems deriving exclusively from colonialism and foreign interference, but it is a decisive factor. I have ideas about what could be done on my side of the deal (european markets) but might be too lengthy to expose here.

Sean: I see you agree with me that organized dissension and infiltration can be a though subject to deal within the context of a "no initiation of force" society. On the subject of paralell economies that avoid/diminish shunning mechanisms, we disagree. If it was the case of a few individuals on a small town context, where everyone can keep a good track of everyone, I'd agree with you. But not if we were talking of a bigger pond. I am a very social person and I dont even know the name of more than 25% of the people I see  on a daily basis, much less the ones I do bussines with once every few weeks or months. It would take a huge dedicated agency to inform and remind everyone of the misdeeds of every individual for most people to enforce the shunning policy on a city like Madrid (about 6 million people metropolitan area). I dont see how that could be run for profit. Moreso, without any kind of personal registry, even if such an agency existed it would be quite easy to dodge it.

On the issue of corporate warfare and your supported course of action... Even if you suspected a company to be an enemy player, you would had to be the one initiating force. You would have to convince a large enough group of people that you are right or else you would be subjected to shunning. Even in that case, that group would certainly face the opposition of those that think you are compromising libertarian ideology. Any of the competitors of the targeted company is perceived in the slightest as a part of your action and you have accusations of corporate hostile praxis hurled at you. Whatever the outcome... more dissension.

Terry: I never subscribed the notion of "Might make Right". I actually prefer to be Right, however mighty or weak it makes me, just for the sake of precisely the same karmik laws you mention. But I dont think Right makes Might either. Would it be true, history books would'nt be so sad so often. And as for faith... count me off the people who have faith in anything. I believe what I do because I came to these conclusions through study and experience, but I am more than ready to change my mind, I do it every day, when I learn some more.

Sean Roach on March 30, 2010, 09:41:32 pm
MaesePorras,

http://www.equifax.com/
Do you know what your credit score is?  (First non-sponsored link in Google on a search for "credit reporting agencies...third sponsored link.)
It does require some way of identifying people for a database.  In pre-computer times it might have been achieved through a letter of recommendation.  Say, I get letters from my pastor, old school principal, and maybe a few other noteworthy individuals, identifying me as an upstanding person, good for my debts, good for my word.  It also works, to a lesser degree, for the mobile.  A letter of recommendation from my pastor, for instance, might stand me in good stead elsewhere where that church is held in high esteem.  A letter from my bank to neighboring banks might simply say I've never stiffed that bank, always honored my obligations, and have a record of business with them going back 20+ years.  Such a letter could even be dated, with old letters holding far less value than more recent letters, as I might have stiffed them, or turned away from obligations since it was written.

And on the second point to me, I predicated that response on, (a.) foreign power controlled ammo supplier froze everyone else out of business, creating the possibility of an ammo shortage, possibly also buying up the equipment of the former competitors, (b.) the same foreign power then initiates force against individual sovereignty in the whole region, (c.) the power then closed the shop to deny ammo to the freedom fighters, (d.) there are still ammo makers available, who want to make ammo for their neighbors, so they can resist the takeover, but who lack the tools, or at least the tools in one location, to do so.
Yeah, at the absolute minimum, I'd have to convince the former factory workers to back me in taking over the factory so as to pour lead for our fellows.  I might also have to convince the various militias it was acceptable to buy it.


Please understand this is NOT an endorsement of anyones product.  I chose a credit reporting agency for an example essentially at random.  I have never used that service.  I just wanted as close to a real-world example of what I was thinking as I could recall.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 09:46:24 pm by Sean Roach »

El Hombre Malo on March 30, 2010, 11:14:35 pm
Sean:

I dont see how needing the recomendation of certain individuals or corporations is any less dangerous that a state sponsiored registry. Aknowledging such registries can be mishandled by inept or malicious unchecked public agencies, I dont know why I have to expect any less from individuals who might have vested interests in what they say about me. I might have never stiffed my bank, but I might have slept with the directos wife. Or daughter. Or dog. My unorthodox views might prompt the pastor to have a negative oppinion about my character. Or, again, I might have slept with... etc. Or I might have broken his 7 years winning streak at the pie eating contest. Or laughed at the worst moment when he wasnt actually making a joke. Or, to the contrary, I can be an excelent people's person and enjoy very positive reviews, so possitive they might be deceiving and mask my flaws, or make someone forget to mention I once raped a girl-but-you-know-he-was-young-and-she-was-such-a-slut. And then theres nepotism and the such.

I actually like people and find most to be decent human beigns with no ill wishes towards their fellow men. Except no one is safe from temptation. Some years ago a friend had a big problem with someone, I dont remember if it was his boss or a family member, but whatever it was it had my friend devastated and it was something of economical nature. Another friend worked on a security firm, as head of a department that dealt with money transfers. As such he had access to the "Registro de morosos", roughly translated as "debtors registry". Banks, insurance companies and most companies that dealt with money transfers and lending have created a private agency to share warnings about what companies and individuals to avoid. And it works fine... if you are in it you will have a lot of trouble for anything, from oppening a new account to mortaging your house to getting a loan to start that bussines you allways talk about to your family but they never really believed you would actually get on with it. Fair enough, you'd think. Except One friend told the other "Do you want me to put his name on that list?".

"You can do that?"

"Sure, just keep him a few hours in it and he would appear there for years, making him much more compliant on your case, because he wont be getting any money anywhere else"

"Is that legal?"

"Not really illegal since this is a private list... he can sue but would take him years and it is easy to cover your tracks. So most people are just happy to be out of it and dont look much further... Ive never done it but I have colleages who have and seen it done by other companies often. I wouldnt tell you if this guy wasnt such a bastard".

One never asked for it and the other later regretted he had even suggested it. Later in life I've learned of other instances when this list was unscrupulously used by individuals. To punish others, to make them sell cheap, to get ahead in bussines. I am sure this mechanism works fine 99% of the time, I just dont want to be on the 1% that gets kicked in the balls like it. Sure, with similar public mechanisms you can still get screwed by the human factor but at least you have the leverage of voting whoever is in charge out. Or demanding safenets that no private agency would agree on since its profit driven.


Regarding the warfare subject... I agree with you that when the plot is discovered, actions can be taken even if I believe there would be a good deal of dissension about it. But its the period before that, while you still need to prove for a fact that they are the enemy, what strikes me as overly disruptive of an AnCap society. I had not even mentioned other variables, like companies who arent actually enemies but that think its in their best self interest not to provide ammunition to freedom fighters, or even worse, sell it to the enemy. You might argue that as entrepeneurs it would never be in their best interest to agree to such deals but then; a) Statalist goverments can be very generous if needed to be, and b) not everyone would agree on what their best self-interest would be. Or much more simply put... not every entrepeneur would want to die defending libertarian principles. Many entrepeneurs would migrate to AnCap societies to benefit from its free market enviroment, but would flee or bend their knees when the stakes are too high. After all, not-so-free markets allow for less profit but it is a still a profit. The defence of an AnCap society rests solely on the shoulders of true believers willing to bet it all on a all-or-nothing scenario. But as I said on my first post on this thread, I dont think it would come to open violent conflict, at least not until statalist maneuvers had forced AnCap to either compromise its ideals or break into factions based on how to approach the foreign induced problems.

One subject that I think has'nt been adressed is how would the mentioned guerrilla war against an ocupying army would work. While I still not believe armed conflict or military ocupation is the best way to destroy an AnCap society from abroad, it has been mentioned about volunteer millitia making life hell for the invaders. Examples were givem, like the backlash against the red coats after Concord or present day Afghan millitia.

But both examples bypass the fact that neither was a libertarian millitia. American rebels were more than ready to initiate force against non-combatants like loyalist owners, something a libertarian millitia wouldnt do. And Afghans loot, kill and basically impose a reign of terror to control their strongholds, silencing violently any dissension. Would the initiation of force be allowed against those who colaborated with the invaders, even if they though it was in their best self interest? Taken active millitia members wouldnt be able to work their bussines or jobs, how would they sustain? If donations were not enough would seizure of certain individual's property be kosher? Even the most idolized freedom movements and guerrillas worked through violence and imposed their will on others, even innocent bystanders and neutral parties that just wanted to adapt to context the best they could. When fighting for a national idea, it is very easy to compromise any other ideological position. But when you fight for the right to be a libertarian, can you stop beign a libertarian?

sams on March 31, 2010, 07:57:53 am
@El Hombre Malo:

Yes there are not one united Africa, we have : northern Arab Magreb, Saharan Negro-Muslim, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, factor such has colonial heritage and whether your country s run is by a dictator and a lot of thing in between.

But we can safely say that people in most countries suffer from the similar problems, so let me first address your points and try to present what I believe is true :

Quote
I dont subscribe the myth of all african problems deriving exclusively from colonialism and foreign interference, but it is a decisive factor.

You just happen to subscribe to an alternate version of the ''Don't matter how ... it is the WHITE MAN FAULT !''. According to another version African hydroelectric power plants provide electricity to Japan thanks to a satellite link or that the US invented AIDS to prevent Africans from getting wealthy


Sure Colonialism had many effects, but most importantly by the cultural and institutional heritage that Africans have received from their former Europeans Overlord. The newly independent African nations inherited these social dysfunction and sometime prolonged them by having ''special friendship'' with their formal colonies.

For example the DR Congo have a pretty advanced social structure at the advent of independence in 1960, a vibrant intellectual live with good schools and universities, a good economy and even a nuclear reactor. In the other hand, across the border in Angola, even today the social structure and intellectual capital is inferior to the Congolese one. Reason ? DR Congo was colonized by the Belgium and Angola was by the Portuguese ... so each inherited the best and the worst of their former overlords. This ain't nothing to do with any nefarious plan ... it just like the US inherited most of its cultural in-heritage from Great Britain.

Quote
So they have to buy abroad and borrow money, also abroad

The second half of this sentence is false. The truth is that most savings are internal, which mean that like in any other society, some African prefer to safe resources to invest and those internal savings are not subject to the Evil White European Capitalist Pig  ;D
If you talk about government, than yes they are the one who borrow abroad.

Quote
Western companies are more than happy to provide african countries with usually sub-par equipment...at a high price? Why can they ask for such abusive prices? Because often the money borrowed from western countries comes with limits in how you spend it

Only if you consider the case of African government borrowing ... which are already inefficient by nature. The civil society, which constitute the only productive sector of the economy, makes investissment using internal savings.

Sure you can say that even if the money is fruit of internal savings western companies can still sell the products at prohibitive price ... and you will be wrong anyway since Chinese companies can sell at lower price or you can buy a second hand equipment. At least 70% of the taxis and utilities heavy duty automotive in my country are bough second hand in Europe and the US and most of the tools used for the struggling small manufacture are manufactured in China ... poor people buy cheaply  ;D

Quote
The lending countries usually have protected markets with subsidized agriculture
You have a point, but African countries also have huge tariff barriers among each other arround 35%.
These inter-African barriers destroy incentive to create an inter-African market, of at least 700 million people. You know it is more expensive to move goods from Johannesburg to Addis-Abeba than from Beijing, New York or any other part of the world.

Quote
Maybe african country X would be better off selling wheat or tomatos to european markets, yet those products are heavily tariffed, so they have to grow products that might not be the most lucrative choice.

Has I said before, unless they let you own and work the land ... if you make it through the red tape ... and make it through the export tax  ::)

Quote
That is, unless a foreign company buys the land. Look at the korean deals in Madagascar and cry.

This is what happen when the government own all the land, they let no citizen use it, unless you are member of the elite and then sell it to foreigners. This is a problem of lack of property rights, which make it impossible for people own and develop anything. Had African had property rights and could individually own land, this could be a different story. When the government owns it ... not one owns it.

Quote
I dont subscribe the myth of all african problems deriving exclusively from colonialism and foreign interference, but it is a decisive factor

Yes foreign interference is a factor and I suspect that Spain had a taste of it when Nazi Germany decided to support General Franco during the civil war.

Almost all African dictator had received aid from abroad, sometime because of the cold war and sometime because He could be only one providing easy access to natural resources.

But the most insidious interference in Africa is from the IMF and all the bleeding Hearts who insist in subsidizing corruption and incompetence through Foreign Aid. The West have given at least 900 Billion $ to most incompetent and corrupt government .... to end incompetence and corruption ???

When you subsidize something you get more of it, so when a government figure out that they will receive cash has long that there is people starving and living in abject poverty ... you can be sure they will endure starvation and poverty

Had King George and Louis IVX received foreign aid from IMF, do you believe that the American colonist and the French would have succeed in their revolutions ?

If the existence of a government is not linked to its people, but international donors, you can be sure of having it don't give a crap to its own people.

Get rid of foreign aid.

Quote
African markets are heavily intervened by (often corrupt) goverments, but that doesnt mean they ar eprotected, becaus ethe intervention does not pursue the strengthening of the market, just the enrichment of a few and the control of the population

There is not such a thing like government ''protection'' of the market. ... anyway what is the market ? or what it the ''correct'' configuration of the market that needs protection ?

The market is just a short way to describe the use social phenomenon of millions of people interacting in diverse activities, for profit or not. This is what you should of when you talk of ''markets'', you talk about the liberty of each of those individuals to make choices such has choosing to works a patch of unoccupied land to make a farm, buy from a Chinese or English, choose stuff to eat or what mean of transport ... we are not talking about a plant called ''market'' which need to be taken care off.

We are talking about people, we are talking about lives and I contend that the best way of those people to succeed is that they have power to make decision over their own lives and all the restriction over them shall be removed such has : Import/export tariff, Government ownership of land, licensing, tax, red tape, etc...

Sorry but I don't have time to answer stuff relevant to the topic but I have one question for you :

Even if you don't buy the whole anarchy stuff, do you agree that it would be preferable that the government had not monopoly over certain aspect of society ? wouldn't it be better if people could associate freely ?

El Hombre Malo on March 31, 2010, 09:28:55 am
@El Hombre Malo:

Even if you don't buy the whole anarchy stuff, do you agree that it would be preferable that the government had not monopoly over certain aspect of society ? wouldn't it be better if people could associate freely ?

Of course I do. I advocate property rights and subscribe to the notion of goverments having to depend on people's sanction and scrutiny.

And actually, I dont believe in racial sin. I find the notion of white men as source of all evil as paternalistic as conolialist ideas about "saving the savage's soul", since diminishing africans responsability for their own fate is equivalent to infantilization. Some years ago, discussing about Rwanda on spanish left leaning political forums, I encountered many well meant people who susbscribed to the notion of western economical interests and post-conolialism beign ultimatelly responsible for the horror. In their mind, africans were inherently nice and thus incapable of devising an ideology that called for the extermination of another group. Germans? Sure. But not africans.

 And I fully prefer micro-loan initiatives to subsidies and hand outs, mostly for the same reasons but also because I've seen how little actual help gets to the ones who needs it the most. Yet there is still many reasons why I prefer goverments to exist rather than leave it all to the invisible hand of the market.

I am sorry if I cant adress more of your points now, sams, but I have much less time than yesterday. I enjoyed reading your post and while I still disagree with some things I learned a good deal about others.

terry_freeman on March 31, 2010, 12:23:57 pm
The Afghan militia isn't totally libertarian? So what? Does that mean that a libertarian militia could not possibly work?

What is this, some bizarre attempt to impugn an idea on the basis of some practitioners of a slightly similar idea? This ploy reminds me of the feminist "logic" that "some men rape, therefore all men are rapists."  You can stuff that!

Regarding letters of recommendation, etc. I suspect that we'll develop some means of digitally signing certificates of identity, business transactions, and so forth, in a manner which will provide a way to assess creditworthiness.

Can such personal recommendations sometimes fail? Well, yes - you may have slept with somebody's daughter when you shouldn't have. But you have recourse - you can seek a recommendation from someone who doesn't yet know about your inability to keep your pants zipped. What if you've offended the One Bureaucrat Who Rules All? You are then well and truly in deep doodoo. I'll take free markets over governments; governments by their nature deprive you of choices, some of which are certain to be good choices.

All these litanies of the terrible horrors of free markets depend upon wishful thinking, the belief that some magic pixie dust will in some distant future transform government agents into angels, despite all past historical evidence.

Think hard, and you can make it happen. Right. It worked in Peter Pan.

Back to this mythological discussion of a raving beast which will destroy an AnCap society. What if "we are everywhere" - including in the heart of your machinery?

Now, one of the dumbest things I've read is this: "It took many decades for the Soviet Union to fall, and how long mainland China - or even North Korea - will last is not yet known. The imperfections of the industrialized democracies are more than tolerable if they help protect us from falling into such a pit of agony."

The "imperfection" of which you speak is that we are in fact being driven right into that pit of agony, albeit at a slower pace, on the mistaken theory that this somehow prevents us from diving more rapidly. What is wrong with doing a 180 and reversing course?  How stupid and blind can you be?

Today, we read of serious problems in Irish banks - another of a long list of financial problems these past few years. If you read "This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly", you'll find that we have hundreds of years of banking crises, and every time, the Great Marvelous Politicians claim that "this time is different."

When you read Murray Rothbard, Hayek, von Mises, or the more recent work by Jesús Huerta de Soto, Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles, you'll find that the root of these long-repeated boom-and-bust cycles is the practice of fractional reserve banking. You'll also find that, historically, there is another and better way to do business: 100% reserve banking, fully backed by real stuff, and that the stuff which worked best historically was gold and silver, not paper. This is where the AnCap revolution is leading - a sound and more productive economy based upon sound money.







SandySandfort on March 31, 2010, 01:59:53 pm
Regarding letters of recommendation, etc. I suspect that we'll develop some means of digitally signing certificates of identity, business transactions, and so forth, in a manner which will provide a way to assess creditworthiness.

We already do. This is old news that dates back to David Chaum's cryptographic work in the 1970s(!) See:

   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Chaum

Here is an explanation of his voter verification protocol, that has relevance to the use of unforgeable digital signatures:
 
   http://www.seas.gwu.edu/~poorvi/Chaum/chaum.pdf

 

anything