WarpZone on July 19, 2010, 11:39:50 pm
Did you even bother to look up Lex Mercatoria?

No.  I didn't.  What is Lex Mercatoria?  I'm not finding a reference to that phrase anywhere on this page or the page you linked to.

I didn't take a course in this stuff.  You are dealing with a noob, here.  I don't even have a background in anything.  I'm just some guy who read a webcomic and got intrigued. 

Assume I know nothing.

There is nothing about an anarchy that precludes written laws. The French and Spanish have language cops to keep their languages "pure" (even though they are merely historic patois of the Latin and local vulgates). They enforce "proper" French and Spanish with punitive, written laws. English has no language police. Yet somehow most educated people know that ain't "ain't no good" and that "'i' before 'e' except after 'c' or when sounded as 'a' as in 'neighbor' or "weigh.' Of course, some dictionaries, such as the OED, attempt to codify, or at least report and suggest, rules, but their editors are ever aware that English is whatever the people say it is.

Okay but my point is people get grammar wrong all the time.  Some people say ain't constantly.  Others get annoyed if they hear you say ain't.  New dialects spring up, mutate, and become languages.  Look at 1337.  It just appeared suddenly.

Now imagine if everything from guns to food additives to nuclear materials to which side of the road to drive on were handled the same way.

I'm not saying that rules that aren't laws *need* to be capricious, arbitrary, or poorly enforced.  I'm saying it seems to me like they would be in practice.

I don't support state restrictions on grammar.

Besides, do you really need a written law to tell you murder is bad? I don't.

Of course not.  I need a law to tell my neighbor that if he shoots my dog, I can take him to court and probably win.  I am willing to give up my inherent freedom to shoot his dog in order to attain that security, even if it's only effective 90% of the time, and wouldn't stop a truly determined dog-killer.

What I *don't* want, is to be out walking my dog, and suddenly *bang*, oh didn't you know, everyone's allowed to shoot dogs in this part of town.  I imagine that's what you'd get from "innovative" free-market legislation.  If I am mistaken explain why.  In layman's terms.

I am not trying to troll.  I am not trying to present a straw man argument, here.  I'm just very frustrated.  I am trying to get you to explain to me how you keep everybody on the same page and prevent abuses in an Anarcho-capitalist society.  It feels like there's always this underlying assumption that people living in an Anarcho-capitalist society will act totally differently than people living in a state, for reasons that are never explained. 

(Sure, the comic has lots of neat little anecdotes, but they're so personal and concerned with progressing the narrative that there's no overall sense of what the system looks like or how it works.  If somebody does somebody else a solid in the comic, I can't tell whether it's because it was expected of them due to some social convention, if it's because of a preexisting relationship between the characters, if it's because that individual is *just nice,* or if it's because it's the end of the chapter and it's time to resolve the tension with a happy ending.  For this reason, there's a limit to how much I can learn about an Anarcho-capitalist society from following the example in the comic.)

There really needs to be a better way to explain all this to de-facto statists.  I don't see how we're ever going to make it through a transitional phase, otherwise.

WarpZone on July 20, 2010, 12:01:18 am
Okay!  Now we're getting somewhere! :)

I guess my biggest issue is that however unjust a written law may be, at least you know what the law is.

Do you know what the law is?  For that matter does any individual cop, lawyer or judge?  The complete set of federal laws (not to mention regulations which have been given the power of laws) is much larger than one person can read in a lifetime, and then it's on to state and local laws.

The saying is that ignorance of the law is no excuse.  Everyone is ignorant of most "written" law.

No, I don't know every law.  What I do know is that something that was illegal on monday because I heard somebody got fined for it will still be illegal for quite a long while.  Maybe I hear that two states over it's still legal.  Does that mean I'm going to pack up my bags and move?  Probably not.  But the point is, I know a little bit.  If I took the time to google it maybe I'd find articles that would tell me more.  In theory if a particular issue were extremely important to me, I could look up the law itself, or pay a lawyer to explain it to me, or whatever else.

If there were no law, if there were just individuals and arbitrators making up laws on the spot and applying them to me, I would never know whether anything was illegal or not. 

To phrase it differently, I would never know who was about to arbitrarily decide to punish me next, or why.  No behavior could keep one on "the right side of the law."  There'd always be some asshole dragging me into arbitration to steal my money, kicking my ass because they felt like it... in general doing Bad Thing X that there's a law against.  To me.  All the time. 

That's the fear.

I realize most of the people on this board don't see it that way.  I do not understand why not.  People are jerks.  They're not going to magically become nice if you take all the laws away.  Where does that idea even come from?

J Thomas on July 20, 2010, 05:38:28 am
I guess my biggest issue is that however unjust a written law may be, at least you know what the law is.

As Wdg3rd so clearly points out, no, you don't. However, you can get a lawyer who might know what the laws are, and in theory the laws should apply equally to everybody. If the written laws were simple enough, we could all see whether they were being applied equally to everyone. As it is, we don't have to know what the laws are to see that they are not being applied equally or fairly.

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Unwritten rules are much worse.  If you're new to an area, you don't even know what the unwritten rules are until some group of locals busts you for breaking them.

For the biggies, you'll pretty much know. If you get into a firefight with somebody local you'll probably be at a big disadvantage even after you win. You won't even know whether it's somebody popular or some outlaw that everybody wants killed. Try to be polite. Before you go somewhere new, ask the neighbors how tolerant they are of newcomers and transients. People used to complain that my hometown was a speedtrap, but really they had clearly marked speed limits and enforced them on locals as much as transients. There were other places where you could get a ticket basicly for having an out-of-state license plate, though they'd say it was for speeding.

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I've never been in trouble with the police, and I don't mind paying taxes too much, but I've been hassled for being different lots of times.  I would hate to live in a society where THAT form of regulation is the only law.

There are places where people are kind of clannish and don't like outsiders. That will happen regardless. Places like that will have limited outside trade. I doubt that government makes that better. There are places where people choose to be mean to minorities. That's a social issue and it changes when the society changes. Government can affect it on the surface, in either direction. Like, if the government says people have to turn in Jews or illegal aliens, people don't always obey.

Has it been your experience that when people hassle you for being different, governments have protected you?

J Thomas on July 20, 2010, 08:12:37 am
Now imagine if everything from guns to food additives to nuclear materials to which side of the road to drive on were handled the same way.

I'm not saying that rules that aren't laws *need* to be capricious, arbitrary, or poorly enforced.  I'm saying it seems to me like they would be in practice.

Currently, we have a coercive government that has some limits on when and where it can coerce people. As I understand it, the French government has fewer limits and in principle believes it can do anything it needs to, to its own citizens. The French believe in being alert, they think if their government drops a piano where you are standing, you should know to be out of the way.

The argument here is that it should be possible to form a society without organized coercion, that the indirect coercion of social pressure and withdrawal of benefits is enough. I don't think it's really useful to argue about this. Better to watch small communities that practice it, and see how they build up into larger communities that practice it, and when you see how great it is, join them. An ounce of experience is better than a ton of argument.

The closest I've read about to this sort of society are the Inuit, and the Cathars. The inuit lived in small groups because they depended on hunting and the hunting would only support small groups. They tried to get along. They had three levels of social disapproval:

1. We don't like what you're doing and we hope you'll stop.
2. Go away or somebody will kill you.
3. Kill you without further warning.

Good hunters were valuable; they contributed food to everyone else. They got special privileges. They had a saying that translated to "Whips make dogs and gifts make slaves". Yes, they had a word in their language that translated to "slave". They couldn't prevent someone from leaving, from traveling to another village and hoping to find a place there, or trying to live on one's own. But a person who depended on someone else's gifts must do as he wanted or die....

It was not a utopia, at least partly because they were living at carrying capacity. When the hunting was good their population increased, when it was bad some of them died. Some ways it was very good.

The Cathars had a religious belief in christianity. They believed that people were reincarnated, and evil people could be reincarnated as cows etc. They were mostly vegetarians but ate fish. They believed in living simply and in not having special luxuries. The best of them tried to be entirely good their entire lives in hope of reaching Heaven in one lifetime. Not-so-good people would accept their failings and promise to be good for their entire lives while they were on their deathbeds and hope to reach Heaven that way. They didn't try to coerce bad people to be good, they only set an example that people admired and somewhat wanted to follow.

Sometimes this gets presented as a utopia. When people don't have much to steal, there isn't much stealing. Share the food with whoever asks, particularly food that won't keep. No conspicuous consumption. Their respected arbitrators were people who worked odd jobs and had nothing much, who gave every appearance of being unbribable. If times were particularly bad some of them would choose to die with no particular hard feelings. People who tried to coerce them -- aristocrats and such -- were looked down on but tolerated and mostly obeyed.

Maybe it wasn't like that at all. I wasn't there. By all accounts they managed to get peace and relative prosperity (enough food and essentials for everyone) in a time when the rest of europe was a pesthole. But the Catholic church got them slaughtered as heretics.

A third example which sort of fits is old Iceland. They managed to run things without much of an official government at all, mostly on custom. They decided legal cases at a yearly meeting. They developed a parallel legal system -- free men (as opposed to slaves, that they had plenty of) could challenge each other to fight for stuff. Apparently some professional duelists made a living that way, but it was not a life for old men.

The system developed some flaws. The first settlers in Iceland of course got the best land, and as the population expanded there were more poor people who could not get adequate farms. The Gisli saga tells about a rich farmer who could not be sued, because to do it you had to say the right legal expressions in just the right way, and nobody but experts knew how. Gisli followed expert advice -- he posed as an ignorant bumpkin from the land of ignorant bumpkins, and went to the man and clowned for him. The man bragged about knowing exactly how to start a legal case, and he offered to show Gisli, and Gisli kept getting it wrong in funny ways. When the man said he had it right, then he said who he really was and had his summons. Even without official government, once you have rich men with loyal followers, they can push their weight around.

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Of course not.  I need a law to tell my neighbor that if he shoots my dog, I can take him to court and probably win.  I am willing to give up my inherent freedom to shoot his dog in order to attain that security, even if it's only effective 90% of the time, and wouldn't stop a truly determined dog-killer.

If you only need it to be 90% effective, you don't need a law. Far more than 90% of the time, people try to get along. If somebody wants to shoot your dog, maybe he's mean or crazy or maybe he's completely fed up about something you've been doing and you've ignored his wishes. Very often this sort of thing clears up if you try to get along. And as you point out, even laws and police won't stop somebody who's really mean or crazy. You can sue him afterward if he has money but not too much money. This will aggravate you and aggravate him, and if you win it will aggravate him more. He's out a lot of money paying for his lawyer and court costs and he'll likely have to pay you more than enough money to pay your lawyer too. If iyou lose you're out that money. But then, he might simply refuse to pay, and in that case you're supposed to take him to court again to get the court to tell him he has to pay.

Currently we have a legal system which promises equal rights under the law and does not deliver. It does not work for poor or middle-class people. You can argue that some proposed alternative would be worse, but if you do the ball is pretty much in your court.

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I am trying to get you to explain to me how you keep everybody on the same page and prevent abuses in an Anarcho-capitalist society.  It feels like there's always this underlying assumption that people living in an Anarcho-capitalist society will act totally differently than people living in a state, for reasons that are never explained.

OK, suppose that people acted pretty much the same as they do now, but we didn't have as much government involved. Would that be bad?

The current system is not good for poor people. Poor people lack equal rights, because they are poor. The obvious conclusion:  Don't be poor. If there was more stuff to go around, maybe fewer people would be poor. If there were more jobs.... Does government reduce the wealth? Clearly it can. Whether it does or not is a question that professional economists argue about, and the answer will depend on what you compare it against. If we could get a society without coercive government that was richer, then on average people would be better off from that. But if it only meant that the super-rich were richer, that isn't so good.

Currently we have some people who game the system. People who make a living filing bad lawsuits. People who make a living filing ridiculous patents and suing people who actually try to make something. People who join the military at age 22 and do nothing but follow stupid orders for 20 years, and then get a cushy government job and follow stupid orders for 20 more years, and retire plush. If we had some other system would people find ways to game it? Probably. But just setting up a system that didn't have so much overhead would be a good start. And if people actually do live smarter too, that would be great. As it turned out, democracy did not produce "noble savages" and communism did not produce a "New Communist Man". But AnCap might produce something new, or maybe it could work well without being that much different.

terry_freeman on July 20, 2010, 01:25:44 pm
Noob, no offense, but you need to get out more. Many people assume that, in the absence of their comfortable little cocoon of state-enforced law, everything would fall to ruins. For example, folks in New Jersey are astonished, when they cross the border, to discover that not only is it legal, it is expected for anyone who is not paraplegic to actually Pump Their Own Gas! In New Jersey, that same act is against the law; it is believed that any ordinary unlicensed civilian who pumps gas would cause a major conflagration. Meanwhile, Pennsylvanians are astonished to discover that, just across the border, it is actually possible to buy beer, wine, and liquor in ordinary grocery stores. Guests to Vermont discover that, wonder of wonders, they actually allow people to carry concealed weapons without a license! Oddly, Vermont has one of the lowest murder rates in America. And, of course, Americans are often amazed to discover that viagra, antibiotics, and gazillions of other medicines can be bought in many other countries without that magic piece of paper called a "prescription" - you just walk into a pharmacy, ask, and exchange cash for goods. It's almost as simple as a grocery store. 

All these state-enforced laws are obviously dispensable. Chaos does not ensue where those laws end. We have real-world proof.

Another common myth is that, before government arrived in the not-so-wild west, life was cheap, property was up for grabs, and all was chaos. Google up "not so wild west" - the reality is that the West was more peaceful than the "civilized" East.

I typed "law merchant" into google and the first link was this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lex_mercatoria -- if you wonder why you get no respect, it is because you are too lazy to google up a few words and do some reading. Nobody owes you an education - go do some fishing.
 
Would custom vary so widely as you wander from neighborhood to neighborhood? Why would you expect that? Is the desire for a peaceful life some bizarre aberration, to be abandoned whenever you cross 8th avenue? That might happen at a state border, where a monopolist creates law at whim ( The New Jersey law against pumping gas being an example ), but in a market-driven society where people get what they want, it seems that widespread human needs would be better met.

If you had checked out the recent pointer to the Anarchy FAQ, you would have found a pointer to ancient Irish civilization, which lasted a thousand years before the British finally beat them down. People chose to give fealty to a king, and could choose to leave. This freedom of secession caused kings to limit their demands. It is said that a virgin could carry a sack of gold from one end of Ireland to the other, and have both her virginity and her gold intact at the end of her journey. This was so even though there was no single uber-king, no single arbiter; there was only the network of voluntarily chosen associations, of people who chose to work peaceably together.

A thousand-year track record is not too shabby. Meanwhile, the American experiment is tottering from the weight of too much government after only two hundred years or so.



NemoUtopia on July 20, 2010, 02:56:15 pm
I typed "law merchant" into google and the first link was this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lex_mercatoria -- if you wonder why you get no respect, it is because you are too lazy to google up a few words and do some reading. Nobody owes you an education - go do some fishing.

That's funny, really. Of course you knew to type in 'law merchant'. Without the two words together, which your post prior to the one you are referencing does not have, he can't know, and even after finding that, he's only learned so much. For all that you guys hate the brain-washing, critical thinking only takes one so far into the reading. Without a concrete starting point [the FAQ recently posted], such as a sticky 'resource' or 'initial reading' thread, many who stumble here upon their first posts won't have read any Libertarian lit other than BHP works. You are correct: no one owes him an education. By the same token, you can't expect even the politically inclined to have read every single work you have read yourself, and a basic starting point to readily and politely point to is owed if you're actually expecting to teach someone genuinely coming to learn. It's also a great way to determine the real trolls from the newbies who don't know because nobody told them. Hypocrisy on that point in particular seems awfully strange to me: if ignorance of the law is an excuse, and you've done nothing to guide newcomers to said law, guess what? They don't need flames, even couched in helpful information.


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Would custom vary so widely as you wander from neighborhood to neighborhood? Why would you expect that? Is the desire for a peaceful life some bizarre aberration, to be abandoned whenever you cross 8th avenue? That might happen at a state border, where a monopolist creates law at whim ( The New Jersey law against pumping gas being an example ), but in a market-driven society where people get what they want, it seems that widespread human needs would be better met.

Why would you NOT expect custom to vary so widely when you are speaking of people who do not share the same direct ethnic and cultural background, which define said customs? Just as good people often disagree, so do peaceful ones, and ethnic segregation is not something that is always forced on people, but something chosen for comfort and safety of sameness. Different ideas of 'reasonable' come into mind as well, especially considering the variation in such ideas among posters here, and among people throughout history in general. Even some of the most sane and educated people also have very specific customs they take far more seriously than others and have the annoying habit of expecting people they don't even know to telepathically glean this information as though a sign is being worn saying 'don't push this really particular button'.

[edited in]Further: I'm expanding the prior sticky suggestion. There should probably be a 'required reading before posting' locked sticky with minimal but important points [like the FAQ] and a second 'suggested reading' for just about everything else. Then it becomes extremely easy to separate trolls from newbies and respond appropriately.

Also, on the subject of customs: this forum already qualifies as a 'strange neighborhood' to many internet users because there aren't even such warnings. Different side of the same coin - 'don't feed the trolls' is an (albeit often ignored) custom among forum divers. Limiting the amount of posted response starves them, and helpful informational posts confuse and malnourish them. Even better, it brings the simply ignorant forward on top of the 'troll repellent' aspect.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 04:30:52 pm by NemoUtopia »

SandySandfort on July 20, 2010, 04:26:50 pm
Of course you knew to type in 'law merchant'. Without the two words together, which your post prior to the one you are referencing does not have, he can't know, and even after finding that, he's only learned so much.

What are you talking about? The reason Terry mentioned the Law Merchant, is because I had specifically referenced it, by its Latin and English names, in a prior post. If you read my post and you know how to use Google, any claim of ignorance is disingenuous to say the least.

NemoUtopia on July 20, 2010, 04:33:09 pm
Of course you knew to type in 'law merchant'. Without the two words together, which your post prior to the one you are referencing does not have, he can't know, and even after finding that, he's only learned so much.

What are you talking about? The reason Terry mentioned the Law Merchant, is because I had specifically referenced it, by its Latin and English names, in a prior post. If you read my post and you know how to use Google, any claim of ignorance is disingenuous to say the least.

'Only learned so much' is the important qualifier. Expected degrees of link diving and parallel reading are important. At least the first four Google links are all reads on the subject from different perspectives...the internet and searching are a 'fast answer' method. Which means pointing people there without a specified link is most likely to result in one reading, and not always the one you expect, not reading multiple relevant links. Especially not when there are two nearly identical encyclopedia postings, a book by Tarkman, a simpe definition, and a school thesis as the top listed links.

[edited in]Dealing with self-admitted brain-washed drone, who still stumbled here by random chance. If we're going to question reading ability, I'd question all of yours before questioning mine. WarpZone's OP in this thread has no troll qualities and is non-aggressive. It also shows a clear misunderstanding of the economic theories assumed here, in that there is an expected merger-monopoly. Note that business monopoly is NOT discussed in the FAQ it's mentioned as the State having certain monopolies. The only note at the end is 'no coercive monopolies,' and you're expecting him to understand how and why you expect and all monopolies to be coercive. Order of events review: doughboy gives a simple answer. Warp modifies his question to be significantly less hypothetical, and additional says that Bob feels Alice has wronged him. This is the same as asking 'even if Bob doesn't have a foot to stand on, what would his suing options be?' Next event: Terry immediately lays into the expressly NOT a troll newcomer as trollish. The information in that post? Excellent. Presentation? Can only be read as counter-trollish, and that's assuming you think Warp is a troll (I think we've been over this?).

NEXT EVENT: Warp apologizes for coming across in a way he didn't mean to because of the style of his post which does require troll-hunting to read and respond to. He then clarifies to your legitimate scenario concerns. Doesn't sound like a troll to me [yet again]. J responds with a neutrally presented, very informational post. Next event: Warp advances a stage of understanding and asks the much deeper and intelligent question, which is an understandable one. After a reasonably polite pair of posts, he clarifies what his expectations were: he expected your link to include information, not have to Google something to understand the context. Should he have caught on that this is expected here? Probably. That's what we call a 'misunderstanding', not 'trolling'. J provides helpful and civil responses...to be followed by terry once more makes an aggressive answer, and throws in a 'no respect' line which applies to himself and yourself only so far, not other posters. Hint, if you have to say 'no offense', you're phrasing your thought very poorly. Then we're back to 'learned so much.' Assuming he read the wikipedia and not the definition, he'd have learned about how medieval merchants handled things reasonably in effective open capitalism.

You may also note the article is not exactly a stellar review raving about how great it was: it explains how the system broke down and continues to be 'broken' today because of national/local interests. I don't see how that's particularly useful to the discussion without far deeper link diving and broader concept knowledge, particularly real information about how to prevent a similar breakdown, which (surprise, surprise) is not included in this thread yet. Added bonus: no, you didn't do so in this thread, which was the source of Warp's confusion. You did so in a previous thread and without explanation expected a newcomer to remember that specific point as relevant. He said as much to be promptly ignored (also see above):
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No.  I didn't.  What is Lex Mercatoria?  I'm not finding a reference to that phrase anywhere on this page or the page you linked to.

I'd also point out that in that thread his post is a similar 'put the goddamn guns away' post, clarifying genuine ignorance. For people talking about personal responsibility, you are having a really off-day. We all have them, but as I pointed out after my own 'off day', it's this kind of presentation that not only drives people away from forums like this one, it makes them far less inclined to either think about (or even pay attention to) what you're trying to say.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 05:35:18 pm by NemoUtopia »

J Thomas on July 20, 2010, 07:38:11 pm
I typed "law merchant" into google and the first link was this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lex_mercatoria -- if you wonder why you get no respect, it is because you are too lazy to google up a few words and do some reading.

That's funny, really. Of course you knew to type in 'law merchant'. Without the two words together, which your post prior to the one you are referencing does not have, he can't know.

I typed "lex mercatoria" and got 127,000 links with Wikipedia at #3.

I think maybe these guys are interested in early adopters, and they'll go back and add all the bells and whistles when it's time to educate the unthinking masses.

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Why would you NOT expect custom to vary so widely when you are speaking of people who do not share the same direct ethnic and cultural background, which define said customs?

Well, it does. I remember this little blonde woman who was a molecular biologist told me when she first moved to Chicago for her postdoc, she looked at the map and figured the quickest way to get to the university. So she started driving and after awhile she noticed that she was the only white person she saw. And a little while later she noticed that nobody she saw on the street was smiling. And then a cop stopped her and yelled at her. "Are you *trying* to start a riot? Get out of here right now!" And he followed her out of the neighborhood.

Government might help perpetuate bad ethnic relations but I don't think getting rid of government would be enough to eliminate them.

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Just as good people often disagree, so do peaceful ones, and ethnic segregation is not something that is always forced on people, but something chosen for comfort and safety of sameness. Different ideas of 'reasonable' come into mind as well, especially considering the variation in such ideas among posters here.

If a whole  bunch of people want to crawl into a hole and pull it in after them, why not let them? If they want to trade with a bunch of other people, they may have to make some concessions. Or maybe everybody else will make concessions for them. It all depends.

If people in some backwater don't want visitors, it's only polite for them to warn strangers ahead of time. At the least they should have a KEEP OUT sign on the road with maybe some skulls decorating it.

quadibloc on July 20, 2010, 08:22:19 pm
Besides, do you really need a written law to tell you murder is bad? I don't.
But it would be nice to have a written law to refer to, in order to know in advance if abortion is treated as murder.

I found the site interesting; I liked the fact that it made available this historic essay:

http://www.ozarkia.net/bill/anarchism/library/ProductionofSecurity.html

But I fear I felt that it had many of the same faults as some of the discussions here. It spends a great deal of time noting that competition is better than monopoly, and that a monopoly on the kinds of force police and armies have can lead to abuse.

But it ignores the most obvious objection to having a free market in governments. You can choose between private security agencies to defend you against aggression. But what is the system for establishing what is aggression? I know that a possible solution has been discussed here - competing arbitration agencies. Since even they are competing, it's not clear that has done anything but shifted the locus of the problem.

Basically, I fear that even a society genuinely committed to the Zero Aggression Principle could, without even realize what they're doing, manage to skew their perceptions of what constitutes aggression enough to end up initiating force. Now, maybe "not perfect" is not an objection to "better than what we have now", but since shaking everything up usually leads to "worse than what we have now", I would like AnCap to have as sound a theoretical basis as possible.

terry_freeman on July 20, 2010, 10:32:53 pm
The logical end to the "competing agencies can't possibly work theory" is obviously One World Government. Do you wish to go there?

How do ordinary human interactions usually work? Gee, we negotiate. We discover differences and figure out ways to resolve them.

Or, we could use the political route, which has historically had such excellent results. The political approach has only resulted in the murder of an insignificant 260 million or so people by governments in the past century, a small price to pay for clearing up the gross misunderstandings which would obviously result if it were not for governments imposing order on an unruly world.

The difference between competing governments and competing security firms can be summed up in a phrase: hubris versus humility. Governments are certain that they are each right. They only know one way to resolve conflicts: violence, or the threat thereof. A case can be made that politics is simply ritualized warfare. How often have you heard politicians say "We will fight for ..."?

Competing security firms show a bit more humility. They know there is nothing special, they were not anointed, nor elected ( raised up ) by the magic of the voters. They thrive and prosper only so long as they keep customers happy. Except for sociopaths who like violence, most customers prefer peaceful conflict resolution. That's why anarchists expect more peace and harmony in an AnCap society - see the FAQ at http://www.ozarkia.net/bill/anarchism/faq.html  for further exposition.

Have you ever seen a pitched gun battle between Brink's and Pinkerton's armored car services? Why not? It's an easy way to make money, isn't it? There are many reasons why not. There's a risk of losing such battles; making money in smaller amounts by conveying cash from convenience stores to banks is a more sure route. A lot of people are ok with the risks of such work, but would say that a pitched battle with rival security firms is not what they signed up for; they'd refuse the job or demand much higher pay to compensate for the risks. The customers would also protest; they'd prefer to hire firms which focus on avoiding violence, not engaging in battles with competitors.

If you read the Lex Mercatoria article carefully, you'd realize that much of what government touts as its product was actually developed before governments stuck their fingers into the pie. In fact, for many centuries, we did have many competing providers of security, law, and justice. Consider reading John Powelson's Centuries of Economic Endeavor. Powelson makes the case that competition is necessary to protect liberty; large-scale governments tend otherwise to become despotic.


J Thomas on July 21, 2010, 01:41:44 am
Dealing with self-admitted brain-washed drone, who still stumbled here by random chance. If we're going to question reading ability, I'd question all of yours before questioning mine. WarpZone's OP in this thread has no troll qualities and is non-aggressive.

What you've stumbled into is a discussion about an online comic strip, mostly by people who share a lot of background. They might choose to proselytize, and they might not. They have no obligation to. They're here having fun talking to each other, and it might not be fun to educate a noob in their common agreements.

If you guys aren't enough fun, maybe someone will direct you to a place where people really want to persuade the unconvinced. Or they might just get grouchy.

NemoUtopia on July 21, 2010, 02:16:23 pm
Dealing with self-admitted brain-washed drone, who still stumbled here by random chance. If we're going to question reading ability, I'd question all of yours before questioning mine. WarpZone's OP in this thread has no troll qualities and is non-aggressive.

What you've stumbled into is a discussion about an online comic strip, mostly by people who share a lot of background. They might choose to proselytize, and they might not. They have no obligation to. They're here having fun talking to each other, and it might not be fun to educate a noob in their common agreements.

If you guys aren't enough fun, maybe someone will direct you to a place where people really want to persuade the unconvinced. Or they might just get grouchy.


That's rather my point. Even when grouchy, it is very possible to remain civil, and my sticky suggestion stems from this and practicality: if you get tired of responding to the uneducated then don't respond, or limit a response to 'check sticky/FAQ/other-link'. It's not new, it's not ingenious, it's not a coincidence, it's a win-win. For an applicable example, imagine an uneducated newcomer walking up the BHP booth. Is the better response to be surly and silent while letting someone else redirect/help the wanderer, gurnting and pointing, or having a snit fit while making broad generalizations without bothering to think about the way the question was asked?

The situation I'm up in arms about sounds to me to be exactly what it sounds like Warp's concern is: he's basically being taken to court for harrassment for asking a simple question with no way of knowing it was going to be a berserk button. Alternately, he's being harassed for asking an honest question. If we were at a restraunt in the Belt or a bar in Texas of Roswell, Texas continuity I'm pretty sure I can imagine how the other people around would be looking at each poster here. Here's a hint: if I insisted on getting in someone's face and making snide and overly exasperated interjections to a side conversation by someone at my table with a person in the nearest booth, I would expect other guests to tell me to leave the other conversation alone, calm down, or both.

SandySandfort on July 21, 2010, 06:22:10 pm
...Even when grouchy, it is very possible to remain civil... The situation I'm up in arms about sounds to me to be exactly what it sounds like Warp's concern is: he's basically being taken to court for harrassment for asking a simple question...

Short answer. The questions have never been simple, they assume facts not in evidence (or even contrary to the evidence) and they were couched in confrontational terms. If you exhibit bad manners; expect to get spanked.

WarpZone on July 21, 2010, 07:13:00 pm
J Thomas: Thank you!

Terry: No hard feelings.

Sandy: I should point out that although I posted a few messages on the forum in the past prior to my first post in this thread, I do not read these forums every day.  I saw the name of this thread on the comic page, clicked on it, clicked again to read the article you linked to in the OP.  That's why the forum threads are on the top page, right?  To invite newcomers to enter the discussion?

Nemo: I dunno if I'd call myself a brain-washed drone, but I did use the term de-facto statist.  By that I meant I was born in a state which was part of a country and that's pretty much all I've ever known.  (You guys might wanna come up with some less inflammatory terms for non-anarchists.  You're going to need them if you expect to convince some 7 billion of us that you guys have the right idea.)  Anyway, thanks for the play-by-play.  You pretty much called it the way I meant it.

I'll admit I got increasingly defensive after my first post, and I think part of the reason is my own personal bias and not at all a rational response to the idea of anarchy: basically Mars in the comic reminds me a lot of Texas, and I hear Texas is a *terrible* place to live or even visit if you're black, jewish, gay or female and independant.  God help you if you're Mexican.  And it seems like the reason it's such a terrible place isn't because of laws, it's because of selective enforcement, convention, private agreements, and under-the-table standards.

The police pull you over if you're from out-of-state and rob you if you're black.  Paint a gay slogan on your car and they'll just start shooting.  This is people who were born in Texas and moved away, telling me this shit.  Some of it's documented on video.  You can see it on youtube.

To the extent that I fear anarchy, that is the shape of my fear:  A child-like voice inside me screams: I don't want the whole world to be like Texas!

(Apologies to anyone reading this who happens to be from Texas.  If you frequent this board, I'm sure you're probably one of the good ones.)
« Last Edit: July 21, 2010, 07:17:44 pm by WarpZone »

 

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