quadibloc on September 15, 2011, 03:07:21 pm
Tell me how you are safer when the very neighbors you can't trust to follow the rules are put in charge of enforcing the rules -- ?  Especially when your only defense is to vote them back to ordinary citizen status, and that's only if they haven't co-opted the polls and/or the law enforcement process?
Of course, that isn't how governments get started.

Governments are instituted by people putting in power those who they feel are people "like themselves", people they do trust, as a way of more efficiently dealing with the very few individuals who aren't trustworthy. So the paradox you propose isn't seen as an insuperable objection to government.

The rule of law has other important features like visibility and accountability, although private arbiters can presumably provide those too.

sam on September 15, 2011, 04:33:46 pm
Of course, that isn't how governments get started.

Governments are instituted by people putting in power those who they feel are people "like themselves", people they do trust, as a way of more efficiently dealing with the very few individuals who aren't trustworthy.

Where we have an historical record of how governments started, that is seldom the way it was.  The government of Rome originated in an effort to redress the sex balance by mass abduction.

By and large, the common origin is that group A robs group B, and institutionalizes the operation.

Proceeding to more respectable origins, the government of the US originated in an effort to ensure that revolutionary debts were paid.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 04:36:58 pm by sam »

spudit on September 15, 2011, 07:17:31 pm
I yam back, sorta, off and on. Floating well.

Still catching up but natural disasters, that's easy. The more assets available the higher the new level achieved or returned to. Local resources may only allow a shanty town of ramshackle shacks, paid for and adequete,  larger resources larger scale structures whether needed or ecconimically sustainable or not. So left alone will the new replacement town be as nice as before, do they need to be?

Note most of the great and not so great towns of even 200 years ago ware ne better than today's third world urban slums.

Much reading ahead, much catching up to do..

« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 07:22:36 pm by spudit »
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mellyrn on September 15, 2011, 07:23:57 pm
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Of course, that isn't how governments get started.

Governments are instituted by people putting in power those who they feel are people "like themselves", people they do trust, as a way of more efficiently dealing with the very few individuals who aren't trustworthy[....]. So the paradox you propose isn't seen as an insuperable objection to government.

Bit of a difference between "how governments get started" in a practical sense, and the philosophic basis for starting one at all.

Whenever I ask, "Why do we 'need' government at all?" the answer is always some variation of "(because we can't be trusted) we need to be governed" -- passive voice, meaning that someone or something ELSE is to do the governing.  But there is no "else", there's only us, the very ones to be governed.

I wholly grant you someone saying, "We're going to have government because I said so and here are all my loyal followers to make it so."  This someone is not such a hypocrite as to argue that government is necessary; he knows good & well he's just doing it 'cos he wants to.  My "paradox" is nothing of the sort; it is merely an illustration of the fundamental logical contradiction of the "we need government" argument.

quadibloc on September 16, 2011, 07:09:56 am
I wholly grant you someone saying, "We're going to have government because I said so and here are all my loyal followers to make it so."  This someone is not such a hypocrite as to argue that government is necessary; he knows good & well he's just doing it 'cos he wants to.
In a case like the United States, though, it's at least less bad, as a majority, rather than a few thugs, are choosing to impose government.

But that's why I took your argument as a paradox which this resolves: it isn't we need to be protected from ourselves, but rather that we need to be protected from the other. Which is just as possible as we wish to rob the other.

mellyrn on September 16, 2011, 10:59:09 am
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In a case like the United States, though, it's at least less bad, as a majority, rather than a few thugs, are choosing to impose government.

I'll agree that it's not worse, at any rate.

However govt's actually got started, in the physical, practical sense, we now seem to be running on sheer habit.  Those who established the American gov't had Views about just what form gov't should take, without ever questioning the need for gov't at all.  When I raise that question, I get assertions of "need", that we "need" government, and governors.  I'm calling that idea up for review, up out of the domain of "that's the way it's always been" habit.

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it isn't we need to be protected from ourselves, but rather that we need to be protected from the other.

Yes, I know.  What I'm trying to say is that "we need to be protected from ourselves" vs "we need to be protected from the other" is a distinction without a difference because there is no other.

You're a good guy.  In your heart of hearts, you know I don't need to be protected from you.  You're not so sure about me, though; I am, for you, a bit of an unknown element and I might want to rob you.  I am "the other" for you.  You are "the other" for me.  Both of us are "the other" for CG and spudit and Tucci.  Take all of us together, and {we} = {the other}.

NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on September 16, 2011, 03:24:39 pm
However govt's actually got started, in the physical, practical sense, we now seem to be running on sheer habit.  Those who established the American gov't had Views about just what form gov't should take, without ever questioning the need for gov't at all.

Although Paine got fairly close to the idea, to be fair the folks who established the American Government did a pretty fair job of moving toward that end -- they just didn't put all the pieces together.  After all, no one really articulated the concept (at least publicly) until deMolinari and Bastiat in the mid-91th century.

I find it very similar to many of them holding to Deism rather than Agnosticism or Atheism -- they moved thinking forward substantially, but not as far as we are now -- and we certainly had help.

UncleRice on September 17, 2011, 05:49:53 pm
I believe an AnCap society would do better at preventing damage from natural disasters than we experience here in the states. I will give two examples for why I think this is so:

1: Just over the mountains in Western Washington, every November and every spring, there are floods from rain and snow melt. For those that build with the 20/200 rule, 20 feet above flood stage and 200 feet from a river, floods are an inconvenience. For those that don't they get their houses flooded. Then they get government and insurance money to fix their houses and government money is spent on levies to keep the river out - except when they don't. This makes life for everyone more expensive. With neither insurance nor government bail out money, people would quickly be force to understand that river side homes are expensive and should only be owned by those capable and willing to spend the money to rebuild every year or two.

2: New Orleans. Yes it is possible to build and maintain a city below sea level, but you had best have a good reason, because it will be expensive and history and sentimentality rarely pay bills. The Port and the Navy base are the only things done in that city that couldn't be done a few miles north. If that was all they had done there, the scale of the disaster would have been much smaller.

In short, a society with fewer safety nets, will force people to choose to either think more about the places they live and the risks that come with it, or suffer ruin. Either way, those of us who do pay attention to risks, wouldn't be forced to pay for others bad judgement.
Stupid criminals put on a mask and rob people with a gun.
Smart criminals put on a suit, call themselves politicians, and rob people with writ of law.

dough560 on September 17, 2011, 10:30:22 pm
Uncle Rice, you've hit my pet peeve regarding public funding.  The government should not be funding counter intuitive behavior.  Whether its flood insurance, or any other assurance.

ContraryGuy on September 18, 2011, 01:16:01 am
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I would hate to live somewhere knowing that I had to always be nice to everyone just in case I needed their help one day.

By this I infer that you also prefer arranged marriage, so that you don't have to put yourself out to be appealing to a prospective partner but can just be given one.

I thought you understood how arranged marriages worked.  The groom is not "given" a bride; the families of the respective groom and bride arrange things to the families ( read: parents) interest.  What the groom wants never enters into it.

Even in arranged marriages, the bride is not chattel; marriage is not chattel slavery(although some may disagree...).

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Seems to me, though, he has expressed an important truth as to why people are more free under a properly working democratic government than in the type of small town where everybody had better show up at the same church on Sunday, and otherwise not do anything which might cause tongues to wag about them.

If that's the sort of "freedom" we're talking about:  when we are perfectly free to do whatever the hell we please, and never modify our behaviors to accommodate our neighbors, then we are not humans but tigers or sharks.  When we always modify our behavior to accommodate our community, then we are bees, termites, Borg-ites.

Besides, I'd argue that in the small AnCap town, I can cause tongues to wag by not going to church and might get ostracized but in your properly working democracy I can be jailed for, say, refusing to kill or support killing on command of government -- and that's assuming that your properly working democracy hadn't voted for the death penalty for Quakers refusing a military draft.[/quote]

You are forgetting that today we have an all-volunteer army.  It must be hard to make your point when you have to reach thirty years into the past.

As for properly working democracy, I dont know if it has worked properly since Ben Franklin was asked "What kind of government do we have?"

Because you see, until recently, not every American has had the right to participate.  Even today, Libertarian and would-be AnCap'ers are working to reduce the number of citizens eligible to vote.

People here seem to forget that the second half of Anarcho-Capitalism is capitalism.  In capitalism, there is no morality, no vice, no virtue, only money.
Anarchy is all fine and good, but once you've gotten the euphoria of total freedom under control, you will realize that the capitalists have enslaved you far worse than any government ever could.
Governments can be changed or overthrown; money is forever.

So when you wish for Anarcho-Capitalism, be careful what you wish for; you may just get it.

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Government is authorized to compel me to violate my most basic moral principles or be deprived of freedom of movement.

Actually it isnt.  Even if you volunteer to go shoot people because the capitalists say you must, you can still opt out.  But, if you know you cannot kill people on command, why are you volunteering to do so in the first place?

I think maybe you should go to dictionary.com and look up "volunteer".

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I'll take the small-town gossips, thanks.

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except in good circumstances (i.e. a frontier with self-selection, as opposed to here and now) that threat might have to be carried out more often than... pleasant.

Except in good circumstances, e.g. a government staffed solely by good, trustworthy, highly-trained people, the threat of being killed by LEOs too "distracted" or "in fear of their lives" to respond any better than a panicked child, or of "us[ing] the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies", or of being destroyed as pawns might have to be endured more often than... pleasant.

I see that the sources you link to are vehement anti-government and anti-authority websites.  Even given their known biases (and probably a good job of selective editing), how can I trust what they are reporting?  (Ok, maybe I would believe Wikipedia, because it never gets re-written to advance certain points of view, does it?)
Its like asking me to believe the Weekly World News' story about "Alien Man-Bat top advisor to Presidents Bush and Obama".

I guess i mean they have a credibility gap.  Remember what Ike's grandpa would tell you: "Dont believe everything you read."

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Tell me how you are safer when the very neighbors you can't trust to follow the rules are put in charge of enforcing the rules -- ?

Tell me how you are safer when the very neighbors you cant trust to follow the rules (of the ZAP) are given the same rights as you are? (adjudication, etc.)
How is your society any safer than this one if the members refuse to obey the rules of the society?

 
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Especially when your only defense is to vote them back to ordinary citizen status, and that's only if they haven't co-opted the polls and/or the law enforcement process?

So tell me, how do AnCappers keep money from corrupting your society?  Judges can be bought, adjudicators can be bribed or extorted/blackmailed/etc.
Since there are no laws against kidnapping and no police to investigate, how do the judges stay honest?
Of course, we're talking about a large city, say Denver or Chicago, not Moscow Idaho.  In a city of half a million people, how do you keep everyone honest?
Especially the big money capitalists, who have the same freedom as you do.

If the big money boy wants your property, he will get it.  He can hire far more bully boys than you have shots in your shotgun.

The anarchy part I get, but you havent explained how capitalism is restrained.

ContraryGuy on September 18, 2011, 12:22:21 pm
A different but related matter is this:  in a society you're labelling as "AnCap", there wouldn't be so many people building in locations which are obviously - based on historical weather events and subsequent disasters - too low or close to the ocean or whatever as they do now.

You're right.  There would be more.

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One of the consquences of the centralization of political authority is the restriction of knowledge to 'those who know better'. 

Oh really?  And what is this thing you are typing that post on?  An envelope?  For what knowledge has politcal centralization restricted people from posting on the the Internet?

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Observe that it requires a long period of study to acquire knowledge and skills which were once the property of everyday folks.  Example?  My grandfather, born in 1878 and died in 1957, knew how to make nails, mill lumber, plant and harvest several subsistence and cash crops in the weather etc of western NY state, repair his agricultural equipment, do some simple blacksmithing, hunt and fish for food (not recreation, although he did fish in his old age as an excuse to get away from everyone and nap  ;) ) ... and most of the things he did as a matter of course in his day on the farm near Moravia

Political centralization has not restricted that knowledge.  Capitalism has.  Its called "the march of progress", or more simply, "change".
Your grandfather might have been able to repair his ag equipment, but why did he not build it himself?  Because it was not efficient for him; not a good use of his time and energy.  He "could" make nails and mill lumber, but he didnt.  He didnt mine and smelt the ore, refine the metal, and then press out the nails.
Not efficient.  He may have felled trees that were on his property, but all of his buildings and wood products were not created solely by his hand.  The original house probably was, but it would not have been efficient, or even practical, for him to be a lumberman and a farmer and a blacksmith and a farrier and, and, and...
Even in upstate New York in the early 1900's, lumber mills existed, as did dry goods and mercantile stores.

I think you have lost your point in your anti-govt screed.  The skill your grandfather had have been out-moded not by government, but by the process of technological change which is driven by capitalism.
AnCappers think they would like unrestricted capitalism; they think they can stop a fully loaded bullet train by standing on the tracks and saying "I disapprove!" (yes, enough people on the tracks will derail the train, but how many of them will be killed in the process?)

Most AnCappers are Hippie-like in their naive idealism.

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would now require licenses, permits, environmental studies.  Oh, and the old man could read and write and was fluent in both English and German.  I think it goes without saying he was numerate as well,

Because he had to be; plus he likely kept learning all his life.  A low-tech lifestyle will do that for you.  A high-tech lifestyle, as we currently have, leads to complacency and indolence.
Its not the governments fault people are idiots.

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although I suspect that anything beyond algebra and plain geometry would have been mysteries to him as he would have had no use for them in his life.  He and Grandma raised three children, one of whom became the head of the Computer and Math Department at Syracuse, one of whom was my Mom and the other was the mother of six successful children.  Nowdays, all that requires government agencies, social workers, extension agents, county inspectors ....
Not as much as you would think.  There arent enough governments workers to cover every citizen.

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and not as many family farms exist and those which do are likely not as knowledgeable of the basics as Granpa was. 
Capitalism.  It does that.  Look it up.

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Sure, a lot of technological improvements, but more of it is simply government power used to make money for the guys and gals who are 'connected'. 

Gee, who'd a thought that lots of money in the hands of a few wealthy capitalists would corrupt government?

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Consequence?  An increasing number of folks are incompetent to raise their own kids, to get and hold a job, to do much of anything productive. 

Ha! that wasnt the government; that was the hippies! Free love! Free drugs!  Be lazy! Fight authority!  "Oh wow, man, lets name our fifteenth child Starchild Moonflower; it'll be sweet man."

 I wonder how that is going to turn out in another generation or two?
[/quote]

Well, it produced you, didnt it?  I think you answered your own question.

ContraryGuy on September 18, 2011, 12:31:48 pm
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And that's my quarrel with AnCap; exactly how is being a guerilla soldier fighting either greedy businessmen or the invading Chinese supposed to be an improvement over the life of a harried and overtaxed office worker in today's United States?

??  Are you seriously suggesting that an AnCap society is an active, ongoing state of guerrilla warfare? 
Of course, he isnt.  But during "social movements" it might be.

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The threat of guerrilla warfare is always present, yes; and in current US communities that have concealed-carry permits, the threat of deadly retaliation is also always present . . . in exchange for a reduced threat of crime.  People in my neighborhood don't go about dodging bullets all day from all the gunslingers, and we're much less likely to get mugged than folks just down the road in DC.

Ref. Uncle Rice's sig:
Stupid criminals put on a mask and rob people with a gun.
Smart criminals put on a suit, call themselves politicians, and rob people with writ of law.

You forgot to add "or call themselves capitalists, and convince people to rob themselves."
After all, Ken Lay of Enron and Bernie Madoff were private citizens, not politicians.

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Concealed-carry laws only protect me from the former -- and yet, I must repeat, quite without all-day every-day shootouts.  Whence comes this active guerrilla warfare you dread?

What happens when the miners suffer a catastrophic explosion and are forced to go back to work the very next day, or have the owners enforcers shoot them down?
When there are no laws, there are no rules.
The miners could refuse; some will be killed, some will return to work, and some will run off with their guns and seek retaliation. 
Guerilla warfare.

ZAP works fine for people willing to live together, but falls down against the will of money.

ContraryGuy on September 18, 2011, 01:08:41 pm
I yam back, sorta, off and on. Floating well.

Still catching up but natural disasters, that's easy. The more assets available the higher the new level achieved or returned to. Local resources may only allow a shanty town of ramshackle shacks, paid for and adequete,  larger resources larger scale structures whether needed or ecconimically sustainable or not. So left alone will the new replacement town be as nice as before, do they need to be?

Note most of the great and not so great towns of even 200 years ago ware ne better than today's third world urban slums.

Much reading ahead, much catching up to do..

But I am talking about the here and now...

In an AnCap society, how do pre-AnCap structures get replaced?

mellyrn on September 18, 2011, 01:50:55 pm
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What happens when the miners suffer a catastrophic explosion and are forced to go back to work the very next day, or have the owners enforcers shoot them down?

Do governments prevent this?

What happens when the government backs up the owners' enforcers with their own, in the interest of 'national security' and the country's need for the ore?  After all, the owners contributed a lot more to the (re)election campaigns than all the miners together.

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After all, Ken Lay of Enron and Bernie Madoff were private citizens, not politicians.

Did the government prevent them?

I could cite crooks of that scale that the government not only doesn't punish but actively aids and abets, but you'll probably toss the "conspiracy theory" blanket over it so that it won't count.

The nature of the US laws actually prohibits the income tax in its current incarnation -- e.g. the Fifth Amendment protects ("protects" -- oh, yeah, lookit all the protection) me from being forced to supply information to incriminate myself, but if I don't file my 1040 every year, which is full of potentially-incriminating information (it can be twisted seven ways from Sunday; the same data may imply I owe a few grand or that I am owed a few grand), the gov't goons come to get me:  I am required to waive my Miranda rights . . . which means they're not "rights" at all, and so your cute little

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When there are no laws, there are no rules.

is tres disingenuous.  The 1040 alone proves there are no laws even when there are "laws"! :D

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In an AnCap society, how do pre-AnCap structures get replaced?

Excellent question.  When people like you realize that public crooks are just as bad, and as common, as private ones; that "government" and all its "structures" are just the same old same old, just with different labels -- then I'd bet the "structures" will simply evaporate, dry up and blow away as no one bothers to use them any more.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 02:02:49 pm by mellyrn »

ContraryGuy on September 18, 2011, 11:06:37 pm
I believe an AnCap society would do better at preventing damage from natural disasters than we experience here in the states. I will give two examples for why I think this is so:

1: Just over the mountains in Western Washington, every November and every spring, there are floods from rain and snow melt. For those that build with the 20/200 rule, 20 feet above flood stage and 200 feet from a river, floods are an inconvenience. For those that don't they get their houses flooded. Then they get government and insurance money to fix their houses and government money is spent on levies to keep the river out - except when they don't. This makes life for everyone more expensive. With neither insurance nor government bail out money, people would quickly be force to understand that river side homes are expensive and should only be owned by those capable and willing to spend the money to rebuild every year or two.

2: New Orleans. Yes it is possible to build and maintain a city below sea level, but you had best have a good reason, because it will be expensive and history and sentimentality rarely pay bills. The Port and the Navy base are the only things done in that city that couldn't be done a few miles north. If that was all they had done there, the scale of the disaster would have been much smaller.

In short, a society with fewer safety nets, will force people to choose to either think more about the places they live and the risks that come with it, or suffer ruin. Either way, those of us who do pay attention to risks, wouldn't be forced to pay for others bad judgement.

In an AnCap society, there would be more risk, rather than less.  When people are given absolute freedom, their common sense flies away with their restrictions.

People who are now restricted from from building in areas known for routine destruction "for their own good" would thence build there.  Maybe only once, but at least once.
Any insurance they take out would have their risk spread out among all of the policy holders.

So, at least once, you would have to pay for others bad judgement. 
Of course the same applies to any insurance you take out; someone, somewhere will have a bout of bad judgement and BANG! there goes your money.

 

anything