quadibloc on January 15, 2011, 02:37:04 am
If all that matters to market anarchists is money (which is what several critics have tried to imply), then situations in which libertarians/AnCaps/market anarchists or whatever, help others without expectation of financial reward, would not exist. Got it now?
I'm going to hasten to clarify myself!

Why, the very webcomic is you entertaining people without expectation of financial reward!

I have no doubt that the AnCap movement is composed of people who aren't trying to get rich on the backs of others.

The stereotypical vicious capitalist would not waste his time with Utopian dreams, but would instead go for the most practical way of getting lower taxes and less regulations - while not losing the aspects of the statist system that benefit him. So I would expect to find these people supporting the Republicans, not the Libertarians.

I have raised the subject of the poor being exploited by big businesses that would have an advantage in market power. That's because, in our existing statist system, the only obvious remedies to that problem which have ever been tried are socialistic in nature. So I ask the question - what does AnCap have to offer them? This has to do with their point of view, not your motives.

Of course, the same thing that would really solve the problems of those who live by selling their labor is also the thing that would make AnCap viable (even if only temporarily) as a political system. An open frontier. Accessible enough for people to get there, inaccessible enough not to be exposed to the danger of conquest by the state next door.

I'm seeing AnCap, therefore, not as a political solution, but as a political phase. Something that could rise up if our existing system does collapse, but not something that could be voted in and start fixing things - yes, I know it's philosophically the wrong route, but it's nonviolent and could be used to facilitate a gradual transition. It still seems to me that if we tried going to AnCap in our present circumstances, it risks making things much worse instead of better - but that it could be a far better way to live under the right circumstances makes sense to me too.

J Thomas on January 15, 2011, 07:59:59 am

Shauns friends who rushed to her aid did not do so because of a political ideology;  they did so because they were her friends.  I guess you missed the part where I said that.

Not at all, it was just erroneous and irrelevant. They are all libertarians (as is Shaun) and that is why they were friends to begin with. And of course, my point was that even though they are libertarians/AnCaps/etc., they did not behave in the economic manner you say that such types behave. In other words, your assumptions about people with such ideologies is still wrong on its face.

I kind of feel like it's better not to prolong this, but it really doesn't say much of anything about AnCap. You guys were acting tribal, which is not a bad thing in itself, and AnCap as a philosophy says nothing about people acting tribal while they do not coerce people.

Imagine it going other ways. You have an AnCap friend whose wife is not AnCap, and suddenly she gets a message out; she says he's violent and dangerous, he hurt her and now he's trying to get her committed. What do you do?

Quite likely you call him and ask him what's going on. He explains that she's gone crazy. He just doesn't know what to do. He feels responsible for her, but he's afraid for the children. He can't think of anything better than find a private mental hospital where she can get therapy. It's expensive but what can you do? You sympathize with his problem. It is not a tribal issue in that case.

You are friends with an AnCap couple, and she says he's violent and dangerous, he hurt her and now he's trying to get her committed. What do you do?

Quite likely you call him and ask him what's going on. You suggest arbitration. You point out she feels afraid and maybe she could get a motel for a few days? No? Your wife says she could stay with you.... Or the kids could stay with you and the wife with another mutual friend, just while things settle down. It sounds like they could use some breathing room.

A few friends help out in the most effective ways and everybody else has a strong sense of MYOB. Seems plausible? When it isn't us versus them....

It doesn't prove anything about AnCap that people who believe in AnCap feel tribal while they're a minority living under majority rule. It does defy the stupid idea that people who believe in AnCap are supposed to never ever do anything unless it's obviously in their own individual self-interest.

And regardless of what it proves, it's one for the good guys.

SandySandfort on January 15, 2011, 08:17:33 am
I have raised the subject of the poor being exploited by big businesses that would have an advantage in market power...

Your question is loaded. It assume facts not in evidence. You are assuming that in a market anarchy, any "big" businesses would exist at all. Of course, "big" is a weasel word. Obviously, if my farm is twice as large as your farm, it is a "big" business from your point of view. However it doesn not obviously or necessarily mean I have an advantage in market power that would allow me to "exploit" anyone.

If you mean "General Motors" big, there is every reason to believe enterprises that large would be impossible in a free market, due to the many dis-economies of scale and the lower barriers to entry by new, leaner, quicker, smarter businesses.

The only way that a business that size is possible, is when it is preferentially upheld and protected by government action. No business entity that large has ever existed on the face on the earth, without government interference in the marketplace. None. Show me a business big enough to exploit anyone and I will show you the man behind the curtain, whom you conveniently ignore.

Until you can show me a business large enough to "exploit" (another weasels word) anyone, that has ever existed without government protection, the assumptions underlying your question fail. Thus the question has no relevance to the real world.

terry_freeman on January 15, 2011, 11:13:53 am
What does AnCap have to offer the poor? A great deal!

AnCap takes away the arguments for the "legitimacy" of oppression.

As Harriet Tubman said: I freed a thousand slaves; I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.

The poor take it in the nuts when it comes to taxes, direct and indirect. Much is made of progressive income tax rates, but FICA taxes are anti-progressive - a flat rate and a cap on maximum levels. Sales taxes are flat taxes. AnCap encourages the poor to resist taxes; to work and trade "under the table."

The poor are usually educated in substandard inner-city schools.  AnCap encourages the poor to educate themselves and/or to rely upon the private sector - a lesson which many are applying, as home-schooling now reaches 4% of Americans, many of whom are in the lower economic strata. James Tooley documents the extent to which very poor people prefer free-market schools to government schools in African and Asian countries.

The poor are usually ill-served by the police. AnCap encourages the poor to defend themselves. Robert Williams' Negroes With Guns documents how a voluntary militia, the Deacons for Defense, broke the back of the Ku Klux Klan. It also reminds us that the KKK actually depended upon government support.

The poor are harmed by licensing, minimum wage laws, price controls, zoning laws, and so forth. AnCap de-legitimizes these oppressive laws and encourages the poor to find ways to evade them.

The poor are often victims of the monopoly "justice" system. AnCap delegitimizes that tool of oppression and encourages voluntary, responsible, even-handed replacements.


Plane on January 15, 2011, 04:05:36 pm
Will the free state project be an experiment that will allow AnCap to prove itself , maybe partially.

terry_freeman on January 15, 2011, 05:00:57 pm
If you look at things the right way, we already have experiments with how people behave in the absence of government. Consider, for example, home-schooling - as government-free a process as one can get, especially compared to the highly-regulated private schools and the government-owned "public" schools.

The result? The average home-schooler scores about 35 percentile points above the average in those schools controlled by government.

Not only that, for those "what about the poor?" theorists, home-schoolers find that socio-economic differences have a much smaller impact on home-schoolers than in government schools. You don't have to be rich, white, and well-educated; you can be poor, black or hispanic, and have a GED, and your home-schooled kids will still be far above the norm.

There are now about 2 million Americans already trying the AnCap way of providing for education.

quadibloc on January 15, 2011, 10:03:50 pm
Until you can show me a business large enough to "exploit" (another weasels word) anyone, that has ever existed without government protection, the assumptions underlying your question fail. Thus the question has no relevance to the real world.
You're the one who is proposing a new order of things.

Businesses that have had government protection have exploited people, and businesses have hired their own security guards.

Exploit doesn't mean oppress or enslave. It merely means to noncoercively take advantage of a buyer's market in labor.

If that isn't acceptable behavior under the ZAP, this comes as a surprise to me.

Basically, when a voluntary exchange benefits both parties - but one greatly, and one to a small extent, it can happen that the latter party will grumble ungratefully. The moral justice of that is irrelevant to noting that such situations can have consequences inimical to the continued existence of a free society. Discontent attracts demagogues to exploit it the way blood attracts sharks.

SandySandfort on January 16, 2011, 11:21:37 am
I would have the burden of proof (what you are implying), if I were trying to convince you of something. I'm not. Frankly, whether you get it or not is of little consequence to me.

However, it is you who is trying to convince me and others that "big business" can "exploit" others, absent a government. So the burden, in that regard, is yours. Also, your use of a pejorative term such as "exploit" in a non-standard way is duplicitous. Under ZAP, their is no "exploitation" absent the use or threat of force. So you can call free trade a form of "violence," "exploitation" or "biscuits and gravy," but that does nothing to uphold your thesis about "big business."

Plane on January 16, 2011, 11:31:23 am
There must be a minimum threshhold of understanding the principals of An Cap before one would expect it to be socially usefull.


If only half the people involved in a society understand AnCap can the population begin to use the principals while half of them do not know how?

J Thomas on January 16, 2011, 02:01:37 pm
I would have the burden of proof (what you are implying), if I were trying to convince you of something. I'm not. Frankly, whether you get it or not is of little consequence to me.

However, it is you who is trying to convince me and others that "big business" can "exploit" others, absent a government.

It has seemed to me all this time that you were making claims.

Now it seems you are not claiming that truly free markets are likely to result in small businesses and not large ones. Nor that monopolies will lose money if they try to set artificially high prices. Nor, well, anything.

Whatever you claimed would leave the burden of proof on you. But instead it seems you make no claim except that societies that did not engage in coercion would not engage in coercion. A is A.

Quote
If you mean "General Motors" big, there is every reason to believe enterprises that large would be impossible in a free market, due to the many dis-economies of scale and the lower barriers to entry by new, leaner, quicker, smarter businesses.

The only way that a business that size is possible, is when it is preferentially upheld and protected by government action. No business entity that large has ever existed on the face on the earth, without government interference in the marketplace. None.

No, this is sophistry. You do make very big claims on the basis of no evidence whatsoever. So far as we know, there has never ever been a society big enough to support businesses like "General Motors" which did not have big governments which interfered in the marketplace. You can argue that no AnCap society can have big business, on the basis that there has never been an AnCap society that had big business.

But it would be just as reasonable to argue that no AnCap society, no matter how large the population, can have a GDP larger than $1,000,000. Because there has never ever been an AnCap society that had a GDP larger than $1,000,000.

The argument that requires no justification is the claim that we will find out what AnCaps societies do when we see AnCap societies. And so claims like "AnCap societies cannot have large businesses" or "AnCap societies can have large businesses" have not yet been proven.

SandySandfort on January 16, 2011, 02:16:23 pm
I would have the burden of proof (what you are implying), if I were trying to convince you of something. I'm not. Frankly, whether you get it or not is of little consequence to me.

However, it is you who is trying to convince me and others that "big business" can "exploit" others, absent a government.

It has seemed to me all this time that you were making claims.

Not exactly the same thing, but in any case, my point in this particular discussion I made no claims. It was addressed to quad's assumption that (a) "Big" business entities (for some value of "big") could/would exist in an AnCap world, and his claim, based on that assumption that (b) such "big" business entities would be able to "exploit" anyone based on a ZAP definition of "exploit."

So my suggestion is that you try to keep up. If you want to talk about some claim you believe I have made and for some reason need to defend, please name it so we can go a few rounds before I knock you out... again.  ;)

J Thomas on January 16, 2011, 05:08:03 pm
I would have the burden of proof (what you are implying), if I were trying to convince you of something. I'm not. Frankly, whether you get it or not is of little consequence to me.

However, it is you who is trying to convince me and others that "big business" can "exploit" others, absent a government.

It has seemed to me all this time that you were making claims.

Not exactly the same thing, but in any case, my point in this particular discussion I made no claims. It was addressed to quad's assumption that (a) "Big" business entities (for some value of "big") could/would exist in an AnCap world, and his claim, based on that assumption that (b) such "big" business entities would be able to "exploit" anyone based on a ZAP definition of "exploit."

If you deny his claim that X can exist, you are making a claim that X cannot exist.

SandySandfort on January 16, 2011, 07:42:48 pm
If you deny his claim that X can exist, you are making a claim that X cannot exist.

Have you considered a remedial reading course? I am making no such claim. Hell for all I know, such a chimera might actually exist. What I am stating is that quad has not made a prima facie case for such an entity, and therefore failed to meet his burden of proof. (How many times to you have to hear this before you get it?)

terry_freeman on January 16, 2011, 08:17:04 pm
There must be a minimum threshhold of understanding the principals of An Cap before one would expect it to be socially usefull.


If only half the people involved in a society understand AnCap can the population begin to use the principals while half of them do not know how?

Spelling nitpick: you almost certainly meant "principles", that is, "ideas", as opposed to "principals", which would be people.

Answer to your question: nothing requires universal understanding of the principles.

In fact, there are already existing AnCap communities. The Amish, to name only one example, are as near to AnCap as no matter; they never use violence to redistribute wealth, nor to settle disputes, nor for any other purpose. They pay taxes only when forced to do so - and have managed to win an exemption from Social Security taxes. They do not accept government "benefits" either.

We who are not Amish do not need to understand how the Amish order their communities, for their efforts to work.

The same is true of many other small-scale AnCap efforts. Start small and build. If you only open your eyes and look, you'd  be amazed at how much happens without depending on force-based systems such as the State.

J Thomas on January 16, 2011, 11:39:45 pm
If you deny his claim that X can exist, you are making a claim that X cannot exist.

Have you considered a remedial reading course? I am making no such claim. Hell for all I know, such a chimera might actually exist. What I am stating is that quad has not made a prima facie case for such an entity, and therefore failed to meet his burden of proof. (How many times to you have to hear this before you get it?)



Quote
If you mean "General Motors" big, there is every reason to believe enterprises that large would be impossible in a free market, due to the many dis-economies of scale and the lower barriers to entry by new, leaner, quicker, smarter businesses.

The only way that a business that size is possible, is when it is preferentially upheld and protected by government action. No business entity that large has ever existed on the face on the earth, without government interference in the marketplace. None.

When I say that you are making claims about reality, for which the burden of proof would be on you, it is not my poor reading skills that lead me to make that claim.

I like your comic. I like your ideas. I haven't met you personally but I like you. I'm getting the sense that you are unusually crabby just now, and whatever is doing that is probably affecting your thinking. You are wrong on this point of logic. That does not mean that your claims about how AnCap societies must inevitably work are wrong -- they could be right. You gave arguments that were somewhat plausible.

I wrote up an extended explanation showing how you were wrong and then erased it. I expect if you come back later when you're relaxed and have a clear head you'll see it. It isn't the most important thing in the world and I don't need to burden you with it if you're having a bad week.