Big.Swede on January 07, 2011, 05:39:51 pm
This whole cruelty towards animals brought to the forefront of my mind something i have been thinking about. Wild animals and land.

Tigers for example have been hunted damn near to extinction and it has taken a heck of a lot of work to try and save them. Now before we start of with the arguments, a lot of that work has been by volounteers and funded by donations from the private sector (IE Joe Schmoe and/or corporations, trustfunds, whatnot.) so it is quite possible, maybe even probbable? That some close to extinct animals would be taken in by some rich benefactors to be kept safe. But in the wild? Any wild tiger not on private property or marked as private property would be fair game, and we see how hard it is now to keep them from going extinct. And this goes for hundreds of other animals as well with percieved "economic value".

Working more along this line, we come to land. Or rather owned and unowned land. Unowned land would be open for exploitation/claiming by anyone. Fair deal i say, noone else was using it. Problem though, what happens when the person exploting/claiming it decides to do major or ireversable harm to that area? Say cut down a significant percentage of the Amazon jungle for example, or stripmine a mountain.

Now bear in mind, im not making claims this is not something an An-Cap society cant sort out. Im just saying it would be troublesome, just like it is now with the systems we have, so it does deserve some thinking on by those that wish for an An-Cap world. I mean, we are all seeing these problems today, even under a "goverment" system.

I will freely admit i have not read much of the books that are being tossed around here, neither am i asking for a solution here and now how such a potential situation might play out. Im just throwing out ideas and wonderings. Im purely a layman, wondering from a laymans point of view.
"Im purely a layman, wondering from a laymans point of view."

Plane on January 07, 2011, 09:10:52 pm

Say we got a world where one person owned everything and everybody else lived at his service. Is that acceptable?


That isn't so hard,  you can have a world like ours , where new stuff is more valuable than old stuff, people who write new music or computer programs , people who grow new vegitables or build new cars will sell their skills even if they start with no capitol at all.

You can't grow new vegetables when he owns all the land and will only give you access if you are his employee and whatever you produce belongs to him.


I think you are starting to describe a king, we have a lot of history that shows how kings behave.

Even pretty bad kings needed other people the land is useless without someone to till it, the mines are useless without someone to mine them, if you were like the pharos of early Egypt and controlled mostly everything that mattered, you still need people to help you enjoy the stuff.

In this comic Reggie is somehow the first successful settler of Ceries and gets the nickname of "King Reggie" another caricter seems to own his own little world because he alone has the resorces to develop it into a livable environment, both of these guys sought out more settlers and offered them a square deal , that is the smart thing to do, I dont think it unlikely at all.

Tyrants that opress get overthrown , if you ever become King I advise you to become a figurehead, your dynasty will last longer .

SandySandfort on January 08, 2011, 07:04:27 am
In this comic Reggie is somehow the first successful settler of Ceries and gets the nickname of "King Reggie"...

You mean you actually believe the yarn that Guy Caillard was told when he arrived on Ceres? Reggie was a relatively late comer to Ceres and "King Reggie" was never his nickname. That was just used as part of the ruse to fool Guy and the UW. Your thesis about kings isn't bad, but Reggie does not support it in any way.

... another caricter seems to own his own little world because he alone has the resorces to develop it into a livable environment, both of these guys sought out more settlers and offered them a square deal , that is the smart thing to do, I dont think it unlikely at all.

Tobi doesn't have settlers, per se, on TLP. He has employees and independent contractors. TLP is simply a "company town," albeit a really nice one. But again, he still has to rule with a light hand. In fact, he has put a fail-safe mechanism in place to make sure he does not become a tyrant. We will see it in action in a future arc.

terry_freeman on January 08, 2011, 07:17:12 am
Hans Hermann Hoppe makes the case that kings, on average, tend to rule more lightly than democracies.

The trouble with democracy is that people are far too likely to believe that "we govern ourselves", therefore "we" can legitimately do anything that "we" want.

If a king pushes too far, it is psychologically easier to see the king as an outsider, rather than the embodiment of "we." Rival kings may exploit this and engineer a takeover.

Consider war between kingdoms. Rival armies make a point not to be too hard on noncombatants, since the noncombatants are the labor force which "puts the bacon on the table" - they, as much as the land itself, are the prize which is being fought over. In addition, the locals can make life hard or easy for an invading army, as soldiers have discovered in Afghanistan.

An oppressive king will have little support from "his" peasants. A "generous" king who tries to bribe the people will deplete his treasury. A king who rules with a light hand will rule over a prosperous land, and his people will support him in times of war.

I still favor "no rulers" to "rule by kings", but Hoppe may have a point when he suggests that kings, by and large, are kinder to the people than the various forms of democracy which have been tried. You may think your favorite bread-and-circuses democracy is a great deal, but they are in hock up to their ears, and the current financial crises are certain to expose the financial rot of much of Europe and the USSA. The time for "kicking the can down the road" is near an end; there's no more road.


J Thomas on January 08, 2011, 07:26:18 am

Say we got a world where one person owned everything and everybody else lived at his service. Is that acceptable?

That isn't so hard,  you can have a world like ours , where new stuff is more valuable than old stuff, people who write new music or computer programs , people who grow new vegitables or build new cars will sell their skills even if they start with no capitol at all.

You can't grow new vegetables when he owns all the land and will only give you access if you are his employee and whatever you produce belongs to him.

I think you are starting to describe a king, we have a lot of history that shows how kings behave.

Sure. So, review the bidding. Terry described a society where total equality was enforced. If you get a little bit more than somebody else then the controllers take it away from you so you'll be equal. Very bad.

So I tried to think what the opposite would be, and one person owning everything seemed like an opposite which isn't good either.

Maybe this other thing is a better opposite: One group of people is the lenders, and another group is the debtors. Debtors can't own anything until they get out of debt, which they can never do. Debtors must work at whatever tasks they are assigned, getting paid against their debts, and if they are deeper in debt when they finish working that is no excuse not to work.

So debtors can be pretty much equal, and lenders can perhaps be pretty much equal, but the number of pairwise comparisons of absolute inequality is not 1 x N but M x N.

I say, we don't want a society with too much equality, and we probably don't want a society with too much inequality either.

terry_freeman on January 08, 2011, 08:01:13 am
In the Real World, absent the use of coercion, those who would own everything, and those who would own the banks, tend to self-limit. History is full of people who inherit vast wealth and squander it.

In an AnCap society, the defense of land falls upon the landowner alone. Do you want to "own" an unclaimed piece of land as big as Pennsylvania? ( The state of Pennsylvania was originally a land grant from the King of England to William Penn; the King conveniently ignored the fact that other people already lived there. ) In an AnCap society, you don't get to ignore those other people; they are armed as you are. ( There is a reason why the colonies restricted exports of weapons to the natives. )

If William Penn himself had to defend all of Pennsylvania, out of his own resources, then he'd need to either a) put the land to productive use in order to fund the defense, or b) deplete his capital to defend the land. Obviously, over a long enough time, b tends to diminish such large holdings.

What does it mean to "put the land to productive use?" In an AnCap society, it means to engage in voluntary exchanges which benefit both parties. If you try putting serfs to work on starvation rations, they won't be very productive, and they'll be inclined to rebel - and there are no weapons control laws in AnCap society.

How about lenders taking advantage of borrowers? How much control can lenders have, when people can refuse to borrow? Borrowing is not a necessity of life. There is a growing movement of people who are cutting up their credit cards, paying down their debt, and refusing to borrow. This is making bankers very nervous; the only "people" who are reliably willing to borrow nowadays are governments.

In some countries, it is the norm to pay cash for land and homes. I often hear of Amish farmers paying for big-ticket items with sacks of cash. They who do not borrow live better than others, because they pay no interest to the bankers, and are more careful shoppers. When you must decide between holding on to a few thousand in cash (which can be used for some other purpose) or spending it on a camera, TV, or computer, you tend to weigh it a bit more carefully than the decision to add a few dollars more per month to your home equity loan or credit card.

An AnCap society is highly unlikely to be a debt-based society - especially when one considers that money itself will not be debt-based, when people are free to choose. Interest rates will be higher; they will not be suppressed by government fiat.
 

GlennWatson on January 08, 2011, 08:15:57 am
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Consider war between kingdoms. Rival armies make a point not to be too hard on noncombatants,


I am new here so please dont take this as an arrogant correction or aggressive argument, but I don't think you are correct about civilian deaths in war.  In most wars peasants get the worst of it.  Think of the 100 Years War, the Thirty Years War, WWII, the Crusades or Hannibal roaming through Italy.

Despite Sherman's March to the Sea, more soldiers than civilians died in the American Civil War but that seems more the exception than the rule.  The large number of killed soldiers was caused by changing technology that did not match the old Napoleonic tactics, the same with WWI.

I never thought, or taught, that armies were particularly careful about civilian populations.  They should be for moral and long term economic reasons but they weren't because in the short term its better to kill everyone and take their stuff.

I guess we could both  pick out examples of wars where civilians or soldiers suffered more, but in the long run the hippy who said war is not good for children and other living things, was right.

Plane on January 08, 2011, 08:17:03 am
In this comic Reggie is somehow the first successful settler of Ceries and gets the nickname of "King Reggie"...

You mean you actually believe the yarn that Guy Caillard was told when he arrived on Ceres? Reggie was a relatively late comer to Ceres and "King Reggie" was never his nickname. That was just used as part of the ruse to fool Guy and the UW. Your thesis about kings isn't bad, but Reggie does not support it in any way.


How embarrassing that I am no more difficult to trick than a fictional foil written to be gulled.


What is the procedure for stakeing claim on asteroids in this story? I don't see an authority involved is there some sort of registry without authority?

Plane on January 08, 2011, 08:49:05 am
Hans Hermann Hoppe makes the case that kings, on average, tend to rule more lightly than democracies.

...An oppressive king will have little support from "his" peasants. A "generous" king who tries to bribe the people will deplete his treasury. A king who rules with a light hand will rule over a prosperous land, and his people will support him in times of war.



According to Michavelli , cruelty has advantage over generosity. A generous gesture becomes the norm and is soon expected maintaining "generosity" as a reputation requires topping yourself on a regular basis.
Cruelty doesn't nessacerily need to be increased each time just to make an impression , the rulers worst cruelty is remembered longer than his best generosity.
As Evidence we can consider Draco the tyrant and Vlad the Impaler, both of these guys are remembered well and fondly many generations later. they even contribute their names to our language.and culture ;"Draconian"and " Dracula". A tyrant can earn respect by thuggery with much greater ease than by intelligence or generosity.

   Thugs are not a rare human type and in human history, a thug with ambition winds up being the ruler just as often as any other sort of person. IN "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, " a minor incident was the arrival of a Thug with his minions . The Moon dwellers assinated him easily before he got started . I wonder if this is how anarchy is maintained in the belt? Does this story adress the question of thugs leading gangs?

Left alone a little while ,Thugs seem to gather gangs just as a matter of normal human behavior.

mellyrn on January 08, 2011, 09:04:10 am
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In addition, the locals can make life hard or easy for an invading army, as soldiers have discovered in Afghanistan.

Can anyone here reconnect me with a wonderful little ditty called "Rhododendron Honey and Amanita Stew"?  I heard it once years ago, and the only hit I could find was a poster on DailyKos using the title as a handle.

For those who have never heard of it, it's a tale of a village that's repeatedly overrun by one conqueror or another, and who greet their new overlords with a welcoming feast of the local "specialties".


Economic historian Frederick Lane considered the motives & incentives of businesses who were, variously, proprietor-controlled (think monopoly), employee-controlled, and customer-controlled, and then applied those concepts to government:  who controls the government?  And what does that have to say about how the government behaves?

He gave as an example of a customer-controlled government that of the medieval merchant republics like Venice.  The businesses were genuinely customers of government protection services; no one firm could get sole control because of the competition from the others.  Apparently the merchants could take their business elsewhere; ergo, a government was forced to be competitive, to provide the best quality services at the lowest price.

Kings could be either customer-controlled (and would be the ones who had to rule lightly), or proprietor-controlled, aka dictators.

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The trouble with democracy is that people are far too likely to believe that "we govern ourselves", therefore "we" can legitimately do anything that "we" want.

Yep.  Democracies are employee-controlled, and tend to fatten themselves with little concern for its effect on their customers.  Or should I say, "vote to fatten themselves now, and be all surprised at the negative effects later."

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Thugs are not a rare human type and in human history . . . [followed by good points]

As I keep saying about psychopaths.  Smack me when I get too redundant.

SandySandfort on January 08, 2011, 11:39:01 am
How embarrassing that I am no more difficult to trick than a fictional foil written to be gulled.

Hey, I was completely snookered by The Sixth Sense. No other movie ever tricked me that well.

What is the procedure for stakeing claim on asteroids in this story? I don't see an authority involved is there some sort of registry without authority?

This was obliquely referenced in the "Big Head" arc. An ISO standard was adopted. There is also a back story that explains how claims are recognized and enforced. Think of it in terms of how land and mining claims were recognized in the Old West.

quadibloc on January 08, 2011, 01:49:49 pm
In an AnCap society, the defense of land falls upon the landowner alone. Do you want to "own" an unclaimed piece of land as big as Pennsylvania?
Getting back to the original point that started the discussion, though, this seems to lead to an admission of defeat.

An AnCap society is supposed to be based on the ZAP. The ZAP includes "Thou Shalt Not Steal" as part of it.

So, it was asked: if, somehow, through being very good at free-market exchanges, through coming up with a really valuable invention, or some other legitimate means, someone got so rich that he "owned everything", how would that problem be dealt with.

And basically, the reply is that, if it were a problem, absent a government-scale army of policemen... gosh, we would just steal everything back.

So this is an admission that totally abolishing evil thieving socialism really is impractical after all!

Or, at least, this is how that could be understood by an ill-disposed cur who just can't get into the spirit of the exciting quest for more freedom with AnCap, perhaps. I'm just getting profoundly confused here.

SandySandfort on January 08, 2011, 05:09:37 pm
An AnCap society is supposed to be based on the ZAP. The ZAP includes "Thou Shalt Not Steal" as part of it.

So, it was asked: if, somehow, through being very good at free-market exchanges, through coming up with a really valuable invention, or some other legitimate means, someone got so rich that he "owned everything", how would that problem be dealt with.

No, you were told that a free market transaction is an exchange of value. Hence, one cannot own everything. He traded away something to get everything he has, so the other guys still have something. Ergo, you mythical trader does not have everything, by definition. Quod Erat Demonstratum.

Your logical fallacy is similar to the old chestnut, "If an irresistible force is applied to an immovable object which wins?" or "If the barber shaves everyone in town except those who shave themselves, who shaves the barber? The fallacy in inherit in the question's premises, not in the answer. Nice try, though.

A friend of mine once stated, "Of course socialism can work. It works in Oz... of course, it needs magic."

quadibloc on January 08, 2011, 05:34:27 pm
If the barber shaves everyone in town except those who shave themselves, who shaves the barber?
Of course, in practical terms, everyone realizes that the barber doesn't have to be a woman. Everyone in town who is a clean-shaven man either comes to the barber shop and sits down in the barber's chair, to be shaved by the barber who is standing there behind him, or shaves himself at home in front of the bathroom mirror. The barber, because he can't be in two places at once, must be in the latter category.

However, in abstract terms, that was not a fruitless question to ask. If you ask, concerning a set S, "does the set S include itself", that is a well-defined question, with a simple, well-defined answer.

Therefore, if one attempts to define a set as "the set of all sets that do not include themselves", it would seem like this is a properly phrased definition of a set. But that set only includes itself if it doesn't. Thus, this proved that it is not generally the case that the class of all sets S such that a proposition concerning a set, applied to that set, is true is itself a set.

This was important in the development of axiomatic set theory.

SandySandfort on January 08, 2011, 08:04:58 pm
This was important in the development of axiomatic set theory.

But with absolutely no relevance to your "man who owns everything" fantasy.  ::)

You can run, but you can't hide.  ;D

 

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