jamesd on August 22, 2010, 08:35:26 pm
There have been a variety of capitalist societies, all of which have evolved into something with a degree of socialism. There have been a variety of socialist societies, many of which people could live with, and the ones that people have found acceptable have evolved to include a degree of capitalism.

Anarcho capitalism is the idea that we should privatize everything, justice and retribution included.  That economies are always mixed shows that government provision is not always unbearably dreadful.  But any time you make an argument for government provision of service X that is equally applicable to every service and every good, recollect what happened when such arguments were applied to every service and every good.

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Our inability (so far) to create a capitalist society that can maintain itself without adopting elements of socialism

"our"?

Government arises when some bandit makes himself supreme.

Government originates in a stationary bandit, a bandit king, a bandit so  successful he deters or exterminates all competition.  The government at  first consists of little more than the bandit himself.  Taxation  consists of him suggesting that the eminent give him and his boys land  and money, thus taxes, though capricious and erratic, are quite low.  Laws are few, verging on nonexistent, but enforced with brutal  efficiency, the main law being that no one else does any banditry.

All organizations tend to fall apart.  It is simply difficult to have a  large bunch of people efficiently coordinated into a single collective entity. Organizations that are  actually effective originate in intense competition, and sooner or later  are apt to decay - the Peter Principle, Parkinson's Law, etc.Absent intense competition, they decay very badly indeed.

Over time therefore the bandit's companions becomes a horde of bureaucrats.  Laws, taxes, quasi governmental organizations,  and regulations multiply like vermin. Eventually, laws, taxes and  meddling bureaucrats become a serious burden, and the bureaucrats face  the need to persuade everyone that a horde of bureaucrats is a good thing.

The left is the bureaucracy's PR apparatus - a collection of government  sock puppets, astroturf. Its mission is to persuade us that six hundred pounds of  fat is a healthy and handsome physique, and that government has never  been better, that more laws are good for you, the government is here to  help you, and more government will help you more.

Ever since the original bandit chieftain, government has moved ever further leftwards, and will always move ever further leftwards until checked by crisis and collapse, or reformed by internal totalitarian terror, "left" being whatever rationalization most plausibly justifies more government at the time.

terry_freeman on August 22, 2010, 11:40:37 pm
JThomas, you are still thinking like a statist, and a very thoughtless one.

Statist police don't get "perqs" - they get to behave in ways which would be considered criminal for anyone else. That is part of what it means to work for the State.

If Joe Security Guard runs down a couple motorcyclists while drunk, he doesn't get a free pass. When Joe Police does the same thing, his breathalyzer test is magically thrown out on a technicality. ( I am distilling a recent news report - google it yourself ).

You were observant enough to guess that the monopoly government courts don't give homeless people as fair a shake as the rest of us. Did it escape your notice that one of the "perqs" of being a police officer is that the Men in Blue are somewhat more equal than the rest of us? A fundamental axiom of the AnCap philosophy is that no one, regardless of who they work for, is ever exempt from the nonaggression axiom. I grant that a homeless bum might be scrutinized a bit more closely than a wealthy CEO, but nevertheless, the principle of equality is engrained in the soul of any AnCap society.

In every State, however, some form of the Sovereignty Principle exists to ensure that those who work for the State are exempt from major parts of the Law. From "James Bond, 007, licensed to kill" to the beat cop, all are "a little more equal" than the rest of us.

Mix in one more element to your thinking: everyone - including homeless guys - is armed and able to kill to defend their liberties. There would be no gun control laws; no hassling people for ownership of politically incorrect weapons; the only time you would get hassled would be for use, not ownership.

So, Mr. Security Guy, you want to encourage a homeless guy to move along. You know he is probably armed. Heck, he might be a veteran and at least as good a shot as you. Think you might try a more diplomatic approach, just to increase your own life expectancy? Does beating him up still sound like a good idea?

Or suppose you find two people in an altercation, as you described. You approach. Mr. Security Guy waves a club at you. You have a reliable firearm at hand, and you know how to use it. Would you feel better about standing your ground? Some men would.




J Thomas on August 23, 2010, 12:59:23 am
Statist police don't get "perqs" - they get to behave in ways which would be considered criminal for anyone else. That is part of what it means to work for the State.

That's quite a perq there, huh!

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You were observant enough to guess that the monopoly government courts don't give homeless people as fair a shake as the rest of us. Did it escape your notice that one of the "perqs" of being a police officer is that the Men in Blue are somewhat more equal than the rest of us?

Yes, I definitely got that. If they do something that the police force considers wrong, they get punished by the force and not by the civilian courts. They present a united front to the world, and they tend not to admit to any wrongdoing by any of them unless that guy is about to get thrown out of the club.

I once lived in a dormitory with some prison guards. One of them liked to talk with me. Another -- across the hall from me -- got arrested for raping a 9-year-old white boy. My friend explained about it some. He pointed out the teenage runaway that had been sharing the guy's room. I hadn't understood about that, I'd just noticed the kid hanging around some. He said that one of the rights you give up when you become a policeman is the right to go to jail. If you get convicted of a jailable offense you never complete the term, somebody will kill you for being a cop. He told me that this guy was a dead man walking, that he should have thought of that before he did the crime.    But as it turned out, the guy was acquitted. He got his job back too, at least for awhile.


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A fundamental axiom of the AnCap philosophy is that no one, regardless of who they work for, is ever exempt from the nonaggression axiom. I grant that a homeless bum might be scrutinized a bit more closely than a wealthy CEO, but nevertheless, the principle of equality is engrained in the soul of any AnCap society.

That sounds good. Still, if there's anybody whose word will be accepted over yours, and if that person is willing to lie, you need to not get on his bad side. Currently the list of people like that includes the entire police force. With no government police force in an AnCap society it ought to at least be a shorter list. So even if the society is not perfect that way, it should be an improvement.

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Mix in one more element to your thinking: everyone - including homeless guys - is armed and able to kill to defend their liberties. There would be no gun control laws; no hassling people for ownership of politically incorrect weapons; the only time you would get hassled would be for use, not ownership.

That sounds good too. I can see various practical disadvantages, but the advantage you point out looks to me to far outweigh them.

I imagine it would be hard to keep a gun in working order while homeless, and anything of value -- not just the gun -- might be taken from you when you sleep. If there's a market for stolen guns .... And of course it's hard to hold onto that last valuable possession when you don't have food. Or for some people a drink....

But if some homeless people are armed that gives some protection for the rest.

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So, Mr. Security Guy, you want to encourage a homeless guy to move along. You know he is probably armed. Heck, he might be a veteran and at least as good a shot as you. Think you might try a more diplomatic approach, just to increase your own life expectancy? Does beating him up still sound like a good idea?

I like that thinking. Now turn it around, here's something that could be a problem. Say I'm homeless and hopeless and armed. I have nothing left to live for. The time comes when I meet somebody I don't like and I say to myself, "Today isn't a bad day to die and I can take at least one SOB with me.".

That might not be a problem. But here I am, a nice respectable armed citizen with a $500,000 job and a beautiful wife, and any homeless bum who has nothing can decide that my life isn't worth any more than his and shoot me. And there isn't much I can do to stop him, short of maintaining incredibly quick reflexes and shooting him first. (Unless I can get a great bulletproof vest etc, and then people who don't have them are second-class citizens?)

That doesn't have to be any disadvantage at all. Maybe we should all keep in mind today that anybody who wants to take the trouble can kill us, and we all live on each other's sufferance. I'm still getting my mind around the implications.

Well, I kind of like the idea that all the homeless people would have guns, but I like better the idea that there would be a permanent labor shortage and most homeless people could get good jobs and stop being homeless. That's a lot better.

quadibloc on August 23, 2010, 01:48:42 am
And (for some reason that I don't really understand) video evidence seems to affect most people more powerfully than even the most extensive written evidence.
Written evidence is written by people. People can lie. Photographs and film are physical evidence.

While in the past, low-status people had fewer rights than they have now, I think there is an increase in police misbehavior and risky police tactics, like no-knock searches, directly because of court decisions limiting things like wiretaps. The police are losing investigative options that don't disturb law-abiding citizens, and so they're resorting to other ones.

terry_freeman on August 23, 2010, 06:39:39 am
JThomas, there's a saying to remember "An armed society is a polite society." If had followed my advice and googled up "not so wild west", you're recognize that it actually does apply in the real world; more guns lead to more crime only in hollywood movies and statist fantasies.

Regarding the incidence of homelessness and joblessness -- the bigger the state, the bigger those problems are. Real estate prices in California are crazy high not because of the operation of the free market, but because of the way the government restricts the market and stimulates demand. Reason magazine, among others, has documented the degree to which statist restrictions jack up the price of land by creating an artificial scarcity.

Some years ago, a prominent socialist asked why socialism didn't catch on in America. His conclusion: too much cheap land. I think you were the one who said that socialism did take hold in agricultural countries. I think you missed a very important nuance. The United States had a very large percentage of farmers at the same time.  The difference is that American farmers owned their land; most other farmers rented it. See "homesteading."

Throughout Europe, the State took vast quantities of land and gave it to nobles who then rented it at exorbitant prices to subsistence farmers. We call those nobles, and other recipients of State favors, "rent seekers."

Today's state police and prison guards are just rent seekers, taking advantage of the State "perqs."

If you are feeling energetic, wander over to the www.ij.org site and explore their work, which reduces state interference in the freedom to engage in voluntary consensual transactions. The IJ does more to enable people to live well than a ton of socialist regulations, any day of the week.

China and India have lifted millions of people out of poverty by the simple expedient of getting out of their way. You can look it up; google "economic freedom in the world" for an ongoing study by Fraser Institute.


Cinaed on August 23, 2010, 01:49:27 pm
1st post, just found the comic last week and caught up already.  As far as the topic of this current thread I would encourage the original poster to read Robert Heinlein's book "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress".  It describes how an anarchy can work.  (Yes I know in the book there is 'The Authority' but they don't run the day to day stuff that the average citizen would care about....take the case of the rapist being summarily shoved out of the nearest airlock withouth any government involvement.  The key to it's success is that all citizens must have the courage to become involved; and I think that the creators of EFT have proven that to be the case.

J Thomas on August 23, 2010, 07:20:21 pm
JThomas, there's a saying to remember "An armed society is a polite society." If had followed my advice and googled up "not so wild west", you're recognize that it actually does apply in the real world; more guns lead to more crime only in hollywood movies and statist fantasies.

Did I say something that disagrees with this? There wasn't all that much recorded crime in the old west. Possibly some of the crime and punishment didn't get recorded anywhere, but I tend to believe there just wasn't that much of it. Someday when there are no more automobiles people might get the idea that we all did drag races every day and anytime you went driving somebody might play chicken with you.

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Regarding the incidence of homelessness and joblessness -- the bigger the state, the bigger those problems are. Real estate prices in California are crazy high not because of the operation of the free market, but because of the way the government restricts the market and stimulates demand.

People can have real estate booms and busts without much direct government influence, but we can't get away from indirect influences. And government is likely to make things worse even in the cases that government didn't start the whole thing.

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Some years ago, a prominent socialist asked why socialism didn't catch on in America. His conclusion: too much cheap land. I think you were the one who said that socialism did take hold in agricultural countries. I think you missed a very important nuance. The United States had a very large percentage of farmers at the same time.

Throughout Europe, the State took vast quantities of land and gave it to nobles who then rented it at exorbitant prices to subsistence farmers. We call those nobles, and other recipients of State favors, "rent seekers."

Exactly! And so, if employees go on strike and threaten a factory, it's easy to send in the Pinkertons or the police or the Marines and shoot everybody who doesn't run away. But if employees on a big plantation make it dangerous to run the plantation, it's much harder to kill them. That's been true in south america, russia, china, vietnam, etc. So when it came to violent revolution, the state could hold the cities where the capitalists were, but had more trouble backing up absentee landowners. This is independent of what sort of government or nongovernment the revolutionaries wanted. Communism won revolutions because at the time socialism was popular among revolutionaries -- who usually had not yet experienced it.

wdg3rd on August 23, 2010, 10:51:10 pm
1st post, just found the comic last week and caught up already.  As far as the topic of this current thread I would encourage the original poster to read Robert Heinlein's book "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress".  It describes how an anarchy can work.  (Yes I know in the book there is 'The Authority' but they don't run the day to day stuff that the average citizen would care about....take the case of the rapist being summarily shoved out of the nearest airlock withouth any government involvement.  The key to it's success is that all citizens must have the courage to become involved; and I think that the creators of EFT have proven that to be the case.

Cinaed, I'm pretty certain that all of the writers and artists and most of the fans of the work around here are serious Heinlein fans.  Yeah, we know most of RAH's work by heart.  I know damned well I can quote about every word of "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress", "Glory Road", "Stranger in a Strange Land", "To Sail Beyond the Sunset" and most of the juveniles from memory.

Welcome.  I don't know enough Gaelic (My Welsh isn't that strong either) to know whether the name is male or female.  But read the other books (there are some good ones) here and you'll have a lot of fun.  "Roswell, Texas" is great and "Odysseus the Rebel" is my special favorite, since he's my kind of atheist (I'm not merely a nonbeliever, if there is a god, I'm opposed).

Ward Griffiths
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

Cinaed on August 25, 2010, 10:22:22 am
Ward,  First, thanks for the welcome. 

From reading other posts I figured as much about people around here being fans of Heinlein, it just seemed that the original poster wasn't.  I figured it was my civic duty to point him in the right direction.  (Yes I am aware of the possible irony of 'civic' duty in a discussion of anarchy, but where else would it be more important?)

As for my name, Cinaed, it is male and should have an accent over the a but since I'm not smart enough to figure out how ta do it, this works. I'ts pronounced Kin-odd, it goes back to ancient Gaelic, possibly Pictish origins from what I can find out.  I'm a medieval reenactor whose persona is from that time period so it fits.

Cinaed

SandySandfort on August 25, 2010, 04:43:38 pm
As for my name, Cinaed, it is male and should have an accent over the a...

Like this? Cináed or Cinàed?

(I cheated. I have a Latin American Spanish keyboard.)

Cinaed on August 26, 2010, 08:34:36 am
Da first one is it!  Now....wonder where I can get one o' those keyboards in Indiana..... :D

SandySandfort on August 26, 2010, 08:48:08 am
Da first one is it!  Now....wonder where I can get one o' those keyboards in Indiana..... :D

Cináed,

Actually, you can create accented letters and other special characters (e.g., ¿, ñ) on your standard computer keyboard. See:

  http://www.starr.net/is/type/kbh.html#intl

That's my 2¢ worth...

Cinaed on August 26, 2010, 09:24:51 am
Sweet!  Thánks!

Rocketman on August 26, 2010, 09:37:56 am
Da first one is it!  Now....wonder where I can get one o' those keyboards in Indiana..... :D
Your a medieval reenactor from Indiana?  By any chance are you in Lafayette or Bloomington?  I'm here in Kokomo.  ;D

wdg3rd on August 28, 2010, 10:23:54 am

As for my name, Cinaed, it is male and should have an accent over the a but since I'm not smart enough to figure out how ta do it, this works. I'ts pronounced Kin-odd, it goes back to ancient Gaelic, possibly Pictish origins from what I can find out.  I'm a medieval reenactor whose persona is from that time period so it fits.

Cinaed

I was known as Griffith ap Griffith ap Griffith in the SCA for about a dozen years starting in AS8 (when I joined in the Barony of the South Downs), later active mostly in the Shire of Starkhafn and the Barony of Angels.  Dropped out when some of the political bullshit in Caid became too much of a pain to deal with.  I had an alternate persona, Brother Donald of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Evening.

So you and Rocketman are in Moonwolf territory.  One of my favorite filksingers.
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