- well, other than the fact that I can only create a new poll, not a new topic, but okay.

Why not?
terry_freeman on June 11, 2010, 10:59:06 pm
I didn't realize I would have to spell out "short life expectancy" in such detail, but let's try it this way: Norman tries to rape a girl. Girl shoots Norman. Norman dies. If it does not happen with girl #1, it happens with girl #2 or girl #3. This is a consequence of living in a society where people take responsibility for defending themselves and the people they care about.

People like Norman succeed when they monopolize the supply of violence. This is a fundamental difference between anarchy and statism; if you don't understand it, stop, slow down, and think it through. In a statist society, the State monopolizes the use of violence, and people like Norman exploit that monopoly. In an anarchy, the use of violence ( but not violence itself ) is widely distributed. Girls - and boys - are armed and able to defend themselves against grave bodily harm, including rape.

If you don't see that, you're not thinking.

dough560 on June 12, 2010, 01:16:00 am
konehead and others with the same mind set.  Honest ignorance and open mind are always welcome.

An excellent way to develop libertarian views, is to spend a few years picking up the pieces, after the powers that be, deny individuals efficient means of self-defense.  It doesn't take long to realize the mess you're cleaning up, didn't have to happen and wouldn't have happened if the "Norman" hadn't been confident the intended victim is essentially helpless.   

Thought provoking reading material:  Heinlein, Norton and L. Niel Smith.  They've asked the question:  What If, as it applies to libertarian thought.  Why suggest materials based in science-fiction?  That's where views of the unborn society appear.  The society we're discussing is gestating.  It's arrival will occur in it's own time.  Said society will result from a desire for individual freedom and a rejection of TransProg ideals.

If you're not sure about ethics of self-defense I suggest Massad Ayoob's "The Truth About Self-Defense" and "In Gravest Extreme".  Review of actual cases:  "The Ayoob Files" and "Thank God I had A Gun".  Paxton Quigley's, "Armed and Female",  would be a good start.

If you don't already understand the difference and definitions of "Community", "Family", "Society", and "State", and "Statist".  Get a dictionary and a life..  You may get your jollies posing improbable scenarios.  So far you've just been another "individual" out to prove your superiority and the superiority of your beliefs.  Boring.

In the postulated society we are discussing, your beliefs and the probable rejection of same by this society's population and your probable reaction would have a predictable result.

You have been responsible enough to make your "Final Arrangements".  Haven't You?

wdg3rd on June 12, 2010, 03:02:15 am

A final note. Those of us who deny the legitimacy of the State, did not spring forth, fully formed, from the forehead of Lysander Spooner. My guess is that everyone who now challenges the legitimacy of the State, at one time or another, held statist beliefs. I know I did. We came by our beliefs the hard way, we thought about them. It took a while, but now our eyes are open.

Yup.  I was raised Republican (and Baptist).  Became atheist at 12, didn't become anarchist until past 30.  (Had been a relaxed mostly-libertarian until the IRS put me on the street --  I hold a grudge -- don't f u c k with me, I won't f u c k with you, they f u c k e d with me).
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

NemoUtopia on June 12, 2010, 11:06:40 am
Have to back up Terry here, because a State capable of doing requires such monopolization of force. I've been looking heavily at the early political America, from the Revolution to Andrew Jackson's presidency. All the proof you need is in that pudding. Go ahead and look at what's shown in the history textbooks (or the statist propoganda, as it were). Any I've found mention the strengthening of the central goverment for defense and taxation. You don't need the skill to read between the lines here, that's an open centralization of use of force. The reason? The Congress of Confederation couldn't enforce anything. The language used tries to put the Confederation in the worst light possible, but are still unable to deny the lasting effects of the Land Ordinances of 1785 and 1789. In the end, a vicious cycle of economic depression, poor economic strategy, and differences between the individual colonies gave Hamilton the support he needed to get the gears grinding for the framing of the Constitution. In case you're wondering about the Congress of Confederation: they couldn't even reach quorum or debate productively. Human failings ensured the last 'session' had only one member in attendance. In case you're wondering about the views of the voters, here's the first four presidents of the U.S.:
-George Washingtion [essentially Federalist]
-John Adams [staunch Federalist]
-Thomas Jefferson [Anti-Federalist]
-James Madison [Federalist]
only check this out: Madison was a key player in the Bill of Rights, although he wrote a helluvalot of the Federalist Papers. Did he jump ship and become an Anti-Federalist like Jefferson? Evidence points to 'no.' He had key differences with Hamilton [noticing a theme here?].

So, short version:
People: -"We're in debt! Why can't you fix it?!"
AoC: -"What do you expect us to do, print more Continentals?"
*poof* Constitution

That's the one-minute, simplistic version, but read above for details. A State functions by monopolizing force, and thinking otherwise is just plain silly.


Throwing in to put perspective on the arguments I do make and the fact that I'm usually willing to take the role of 'Devil's Advocate':

In terms of personal politics, I'm a moderate in all things and essentially a 'Madisonian' for lack of a better eponym. Madison ajdusted to the realities of given times and it's easy to call him a waffler (position swapper) when you don't know the specifics...he was consistent in his positions, but when you're in the middle that tends to make you everybody's political opponent at some given time. He built coalitions (i.e. 'got shit done'), was a pluralist, objected to the Bill of Rights being amendments (and therefore repealable) instead of integrated into the Constitution's main body (i.e. 'if you're going to do it, do it RIGHT, dammit'), wanted what is now the 27th Amendment in from day 1, wanted to restrict individual States' power over individuals in all of the same ways as the Central/Federal's power was [supposed to be >:(] restricted over them (think of this as the Fourteen and One-Halfth Amendment if you're crazy like me), and opposed Hamilton tooth and nail in almost all cases after the actual ratification of the Constitution.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2010, 11:08:26 am by NemoUtopia »

Rocketman on June 14, 2010, 09:14:39 am
NemoUtopia:  I always thought that I knew quite a bit about the founding fathers and the Revolutionary War, but I have never heard of Madison objecting to the Bill of Rights not being incorporated directly into the Constitution.  Could you sight your source for me?

NemoUtopia on June 14, 2010, 12:48:29 pm
Look him up on Wikipedia. The article on Madison has relevant info from credible sources, and I actually am having trouble finding web bios about him that DON'T mention it except for the actual White House presidency pages.

quadibloc on June 14, 2010, 10:02:32 pm
Supposedly - say, using Ayn Rand's definition of a state society - a state doesn't need to monopolize all use of force. Just uses of force other than:

Reasonable force in self-defense, and
Minimal force to apprehend suspects during a citizen's arrest.

And the United States did respect the Second Amendment for a long time, at least for its ordinary citizens.

The problem is, though, that when a citizen uses force in self-defense, often he can't prove afterwards that his use of force was for that purpose, instead of for aggression. Even in a non-state society where aggression is sanctioned in other ways in addition to self-defense, I would think this still remains a problem. (Bonded security firms, as depicted in one comic here, are, of course one possible non-state answer.)

terry_freeman on June 15, 2010, 07:17:18 am
An Anarchistic society is not a utopia; there are no promises that no bad things would ever happen. Therefore, to complain that somebody might possibly get away with an act of aggression is no argument; it's just an observation that life is not always fair. We don't imagine that everyone in AnCap society will be perfect; you don't get to pretend that magically angelic beings will direct the doings of the State. 
In any State, with a monopoly or near-monopoly of justice the use of force, the State exempts itself from scrutiny. A policeman has to be caught on video doing something really horrible before any action is ever taken against him - and even then, the outcome of the trial would be uncertain - the Judge, the Prosecutors, and many of the witnesses all work for the same monopolistic agency, and are all supported by tax dollars and other forms of confiscation regardless of any market forces. Hence, someone like Norman can get away with raping young girls; sadistic guards get away with beating prisoners. The Normans and the guards have a special position, like samurai in Japan - they are permitted to use weapons to aggress against the rest of us, and we are permitted to submit.

In an AnCap society, bad people are more likely to get their comeuppance in fairly short order. This won't lead to a perfect society; there will always be people who prefer to take advantage of others; but it will be more likely to punish such acts of aggression. That's all we can hope for.

I notice many competing services which provide armed guards and secure transport of valuables in today's cities. All are private firms, heavily armed, and motivated by profit. Would the statist theorists care to explain why Brinks does not wage battle against Pinkerton? In the naive "Greed uber alles" theory, it would make sense to shoot up an "enemy" armored car and seize the loot.

In the real world, shooting up other security firms is a high-risk business; it is much easier to make profits honestly, by simply picking up the loot from willing customers, delivering it as promised, and collecting a reasonable fee. This leads to repeat business and profits, and reduces expenses for medical insurance, damage to equipment, risk premiums, and so forth. It's not a hard economic decision to make, unless one is a slightly deranged statist theorist.

pendothrax on June 15, 2010, 07:37:26 pm
I think the statist argument would revolve around the force wielded by the government being the only thing preventing companies from going to war with each other over an extremely short term vision of profit.  Just seems to follow the vien of previous arguments that i have seen in these forums and elsewhere.  I do find it interesting that even most vohement supporters of the concept of government still use the terminology of a nessisary evil, acknowledging the inherent problems involved ;)

my two cents from work.

Brugle on June 15, 2010, 08:21:31 pm
I think the statist argument would revolve around the force wielded by the government being the only thing preventing companies from going to war with each other over an extremely short term vision of profit.
I'd guess that most of us have heard a similar argument many times.  Do you think that it's valid?

quadibloc on June 15, 2010, 09:28:46 pm
An Anarchistic society is not a utopia; there are no promises that no bad things would ever happen. Therefore, to complain that somebody might possibly get away with an act of aggression is no argument; it's just an observation that life is not always fair.
That is quite true. The implied argument is presumably that state societies are pretty good at preventing aggression against people who can't afford the services of a private security company - and it's not clear a non-state one wouldn't do much worse.

There may be a high incidence of wrongful convictions in some U.S. states (and this affects everyone there to some degree, being in the same country) but while we have our problems in Canada, including less freedom in a number of areas, winding up in prison because of a cop abusing his authority is something we spend as much time worrying about... as being struck by a meteorite. (As long as we're not planning a vacation in the U.S., at least.)

So if the cops were sent packing, and we were all instead expected to buy guns and defend ourselves... we would expect to be robbed at gunpoint by the criminals who already have guns before we even get to the Canadian Tire store to buy any. There are definitely Canadian opponents of our gun control laws, and I'm sure there are Libertarians and anarcho-capitalists here too, but it would be exceedingly hard to convince most Canadians that a non-state society would deliver a higher level of freedom from violent aggression than that we already enjoy.

terry_freeman on June 15, 2010, 10:10:28 pm
I can't speak for Canada, but I can say that in the US of A, about 70 million people are already armed. If the more guns => more crime argument were even halfway true, the streets would already be running in blood. That is not the case. If the police (and particularly the DEA and BATF ) were to disappear, this would be a safer country. Ask the shades of the women and children who were flamebroiled in Waco by Janet Reno's goons.

I don't advocate simply abolishing the State one fine Sunday morning. For many years now, I have been advocating that we take up the functions traditionally usurped by the State: self defense, education of one's children and oneself, and providing for the financial security of oneself and those one cares about. If enough of us do these things, we'll some day find no need for the State.

This is a good thing, because the State is rapidly going bankrupt. Greece is but a canary in a coal mine; there is a "end of the world in 3 minutes" vid on youtube which very nicely explains that European debt is nothing but a complex shell game - and the US situation is no better.

Back to the "why don't Brinks and Pinkerton engage in warfare" scenario - given how low the conviction rate is, I suspect that the State does not serve as a real deterrent for any determined professional criminal. The prospect of being shot at by one's intended victims does, however, serve as a severe deterrent. This has been confirmed by surveys of career criminals; they fear an armed homeowner more than a policeman.

Notice how the State likes to play the odds: SWAT teams with ten or more people will break down the doors of a home at oh dark hundred when their intended victims are asleep. Armchair pilots in Colorado bunkers drop bombs on Afghan wedding parties on the other side of the world. People try to avoid a fair fight, a lesson which Robert Williams, founder of Deacons for Defense and author of Negroes With Guns put to good use. When the KKK risked being shot at by armed blacks, the KKK lost interest in putting their "superior" lives at risk.

Exceptions exist; some people will attack even when their own lives are at risk; but by and large, a determined self-defense does deter attacks. Most aggressors are merely bullies looking for a cheap win at somebody else's expense, not at all interested in putting their own lives at risk.

quadibloc on June 16, 2010, 08:17:47 am
I don't advocate simply abolishing the State one fine Sunday morning.
I accept that, and thus I should explain why, in some of my posts, I am arguing against doing precisely that, so as to avoid the charge that I am arguing against a strawman.

Many times, when people, here and elsewhere, argue against our current system of states with the power to tax and conscript, one of the arguments they use - and, often, the argument they present as the most telling - is the claim that for even a majority of voters to tax or conscript is morally wrong. As inherently and fundamentally wrong as theft, murder, or slavery.

When something is wrong in that sense, it is generally believed that one's only choice upon realizing that fact is to stop doing that. Right now. Because the only permissible stance in relation to the moral code of right and wrong is absolute, inflexible adherence. None of this new-fangled lily-livered situational ethics nonsense now.

So, my point is - perhaps - that if one is going to claim that taxation and conscription are inherently morally wrong, if it is also the case that "morally wrong" doesn't quite have the same force and effect in your worldview as it does in the common understanding, which has its roots in organized religion, it might be advisable to point that out.

Brugle on June 16, 2010, 11:01:08 am
the claim that for even a majority of voters to tax or conscript is morally wrong. As inherently and fundamentally wrong as theft, murder, or slavery.
For an anarchist, the claim is not quite that.  The claim is that taxation is theft (backed up by the threat of murder) and that conscription is slavery (backed up by the threat of murder).  For example, stripped to essentials, a modern tax collector says "For the glory of the state, give me money!  If you don't, you will be locked in a cage!  If you resist, you will be killed!"  (An old-time tax collector leaves out the "locked in a cage" bit.)

So, I would guess that a typical anarchist would not collect taxes or conscript people if there is almost any other alternative.  (Like anyone else, an anarchist might do something immoral if the alternative was something worse, such as being killed or having people tortured.)

if it is also the case that "morally wrong" doesn't quite have the same force and effect in your worldview as it does in the common understanding,
Actually, "morally wrong" has more force and effect in many anarchists' worldviews.  The common understanding could be expressed as "theft and murder and slavery are wrong, but we won't object if done by agents of the state."  Anarchists object to theft and murder and slavery regardless of the perpetrators.

Taxation and conscription are not nebulous clouds of badness--they are specific acts of aggressive violence.  So, if someone says "would you support the immediate abolition of the state?", the answer should depend on the details:  would the particular actions proposed lead to less aggressive violence, or to more aggressive violence?  For example, if the actions proposed would probably lead to the state immediately being reestablished, with the reestablishment requiring more taxation, then an anarchist is likely to oppose those actions.  But if the actions proposed would probably lead to the state being eliminated for the foreseeable future (with a corresponding massive reduction in aggressive violence) then an anarchist is likely to support those actions.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2010, 11:04:13 am by Brugle »

dough560 on June 17, 2010, 02:04:08 am
The state doesn't prevent crime.  The perceived threat of criminal activity is used as justification for expansion of the state's powers.  The state actively classifies an expanding class of activities, as criminal acts, in order to expand their power.

Amateur and professional criminals go out of their way to avoid intended victims who are capable of effective resistance.  Occasionally, a failure in the selection process results in the criminal being forcibly retired. This is not the outcome desired by our criminal class.  They go out of their way to avoid injury.  They don't work under the stigma of a "Fair Fight", always seeking advantage....  Additionally certain types of criminals will organize, attempting to deter or prevent defensive actions.  The criminal class sees the police and security agencies as part of the price of doing business.  If caught during their activities with no hope of escape, a quick surrender limits their chance of injury and insures three hots and a cot, until they are able to return to their preferred lifestyle.

The state agents' criminal acts during Ruby Ridge and Waco are shining examples of the freedoms lost due to prohibitions of property (especially guns) and speech. 

Ruby Ridge resulted in a boy being shot in the back as he was running from the marshals, the father being shot in the back as he opened a shed where his son's body was stored.  The wife being shot in the head as she held a newborn in her arms and held open the cabin door as her husband ran for cover.

At Waco, the majority of the people died from poison gas, not fire.  Their bodies were burned after their deaths.  CS powder was pumped into a building with full knowledge the induced concentration would be deadly to unprotected people, especially children.  There was no children's protective gear at Waco.  The CS powder concentration was also subject to particulate explosion, resulting in flash fires.  Once exposed to open flame, CS Powder turns into Cyanide Gas.  (We used to execute criminals with cyanide gas.)  If the fire department had added water, before the CS/Cyanide had been consumed by the fire, it would have changed into Hydrogen Cyanide.  By the time the fire department responded and been permitted inside the perimeter, everyone who was exposed to the gas was dead.  This doesn't count the people who died when the buildings were strafed with machine-gun fire from an overflying helicopter, and from the initial ground assault.

I've researched everything I could about both incidents.  One thing was abundantly clear.  If I had managed similar incidents on a military base, in the manner the feds did.  I would have been in Leavenworth for the rest of my life, if not executed.

All of these people died due to an allegedly unpaid $200.00 Tax.  To date, no one has been able to verify a tax was even owed.  These incidents are the visible tip of the iceberg.  Please see my other posts regarding these and other incidents.