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Law in "practice" in an anarcho-capitalist society

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I. Ryan:

Adam Knott:

Can we refer to proposition #2 as a judgment of value? If not, why not?

I am not sure. Is a "judgement of value" the correspondent to an ultimate desire or just any desire? I guess that I cannot answer your question simply because I do not really know, precisely, what a "judgement of value" is.

I. Ryan:

Great reply.  OK  Sorry for the lack of clarity.  You are right, it is unclear.

Let me try it another way.

You wrote with respect to this statement:

"I or we do not desire that Y occurs."       That it is a proposition of normative ethics.

For the sake of discussion, let's agree that this is not strictly correct.  Because if I make the statement: "I do not desire that Y occurs" or "I desire that Y occurs," this is simply an "is" statement.  It is the statement of a fact---i.e., that I desire that Y occur.

I was getting ahead of things with my original question.

So stepping back for a moment, my revised question is now:  If we assume that the statement "I desire that Y occurs" is an "is" statement, the statement of a fact, then, in what sense did you mean that this statement is the subject of normative ethics?

Can you clarify?

Or, does what I write here make sense?

 

 

"It would be preposterous to assert apodictically that science will never succeed in developing a praxeological aprioristic doctrine of political organization..." (Mises, UF, p.98)

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I. Ryan replied on Mon, Dec 7 2009 2:54 PM

Adam Knott:

[...] does what I write here make sense?

Yes.

Adam Knott:

You wrote with respect to this statement:

"I or we do not desire that Y occurs."       That it is a proposition of normative ethics.

For the sake of discussion, let's agree that this is not strictly correct.  Because if I make the statement: "I do not desire that Y occurs" or "I desire that Y occurs," this is simply an "is" statement.  It is the statement of a fact---i.e., that I desire that Y occur.

I was getting ahead of things with my original question.

So stepping back for a moment, my revised question is now:  If we assume that the statement "I desire that Y occurs" is an "is" statement, the statement of a fact, then, in what sense did you mean that this statement is the subject of normative ethics?

Can you clarify?

I think that I atleast clouded the issue or atmost completely erred when I called it a proposition of "normative ethics".

1.1. If X occurs, only A occurs.

1.2. If Y occurs, only B occurs.

1.3. If Z occurs, only C occurs.

2.1. I or we desire that A occurs more than that B or C occurs.

2.1. I or we should desire that X occurs more than that Y or Z occurs.

The first three lines, 1.1., 1.2. and 1.3., are propositions of valueless economics. The second-to-the-last line, 2.1., is a proposition of _____. The last line, 3.1., is a proposition of _____.

In the sequence above, what, then, is the role of "ethics"? I think that the role of "ethics" may be, in any case where the desires of one or more individuals contradict the desires of one or more other individuals in such a way that the actualization of one or more of the desires would prevent the actualization of one of more of the other desires, to determine which desire is the more "important" desire. But I think that such antagonism can develop only when atleast one of the individuals involved threatens the vitality of the division of labor and therefore the vitality of most or all of the other individuals.

I do not know whether you read my posts from the thread "Ayn Rand and Libertarianism". But I will reproduce one of them below because it provides a good continuation of this post.

I. Ryan:

Eioul:

That whether or not capitalism "works" is not justification enough for capitalism. The only reason to *advocate* capitalism is that it is a moral system which allows you to live your own life. Only egoism could justify capitalism. I'm not sure how much I want to get into that in a small post like this. "Neither does it indulge in judgments of value." That' s the main thing. Value judgments do matter. Some individuals honestly prefer force.

Justin Spahr-Summers:

Ah, but ultimate desires are open to analysis, and rightfully so. This is pretty much exactly what I'm trying to point out.

I erred when I quoted and adopted your phraseology, "open to analysis". I will first demarcate the problem and then I will attempt to reconcile it with the system of praxeology which Mises enacted.

In the system of Ludwig von Mises, you cannot criticize the ultimate desires of any other individual, even the ultimate desire of an individual to murder, steal or rape, without the criticization of atleast the autonomity of the individual or atmost the very existence of what defines the individual, what defines his consciousness, what differentiates him from other individuals. For, (a) if the "consciousness" of oneself formulates the ultimate desires of oneself freely, you cannot criticize, via reason, the ultimate desires of an individual without the criticization of the metaphysical, ultimate nature of their consciousness, a task impossible to us, you can only forcibly remove the influence on the physical world of their consciousness and, (b) if the "consciousness" of oneself is merely a passive observer and the physical arrangement of the material of oneself instead determines the ultimate desires of oneself, you cannot criticize, via reason, the ultimate desires of an individual without the criticization of the physical arrangement of the material of them, what defines them, their very existence.

If, as an example, (a) individual X were to view the sustenance or any intensification of the division of labor as a benefit to himself and therefore desire to see the division of labor be sustained and intensified and (b) were to view any acts of murder, theft or rape as an obstacle or detriment to such sustenance and intensification, he would therefore desire to stop any individual who desires to perform such actions before that individual actualizes his desire. But, as a continuation of the example, if individual Y, contrariwise, were to ultimately desire to murder, steal or rape, regardless of any other consequences, he would therefore desire to stop or ignore any individual who desires to stop him before he actualizes his desire.

From "Theory and History", Chapter 9:

"The human search for knowledge cannot go on endlessly. Inevitably, sooner or later, it will reach a point beyond which it cannot proceed. It will then be faced with an ultimate given, a datum that man's reason cannot trace back to other data. In the course of the evolution of knowledge science has succeeded in tracing back to other data some things and events which previously had been viewed as ultimate. We may expect that this will also occur in the future. But there will always remain something that is for the human mind an ultimate given, unanalyzable and irreducible. Human reason cannot even conceive a kind of knowledge that would not encounter such an insurmountable obstacle. There is for man no such thing as omniscience.

In dealing with such ultimate data history refers to individuality. The characteristics of individual men, their ideas and judgments of value as well as the actions guided by those ideas and judgments, cannot be traced back to something of which they would be the derivatives. There is no answer to the question why Frederick II invaded Silesia except: because he was Frederick II. It is customary, although not very expedient, to call the mental process by means of which a datum is traced back to other data rational. Then an ultimate datum is called irrational. No historical research can be thought of that would not ultimately meet such irrational facts."

In the passage above, Mises evidently realizes that the ultimate desires of an individual are indeed "open to analysis" but that to question the ultimate desires of an individual is to question the very existence of that individual, what defines that individual. Thus the obvious extrapolation of this realization is that one cannot criticize the ultimate desires of an individual via reason but can only "criticize" metaphorically the actions, to which the ultimate desires translated, via force.

In other words, partially of Mises, partially of me, in relation to my previous example, "no answer to the question why" individual Y ultimately desires to murder, steal or rape exists "except: because he [is]" individual Y. Thus to criticize that individual Y ultimately desires to murder, steal or rape is to criticize his very existence, his influence on the physical world.

Now, the question is: "Which of these individuals is "right" or "moral", which is "wrong" or "immoral"? How, if we cannot criticize the ultimate desires of an individual, can we responsibly or "justifiably" 'choose sides', choose who to endorse? If to criticize the desires of one of these individuals is to criticize the existence or autonomy of one of these individuals, how do we choose whose "existence" is worth more? How do we decide who does 'have the "right"' to exist and who does not 'have the right' to exist?"

The answer to that question is:

1.1. The metaphorical "desire" of the replicators which underlie us, our genes, is to perpetuate the existence of themselves.

1.2. If we do not survive, they do not survive.

1.3. Thus they impute to us the desire to survive.

2.1. To allow murder, theft and rape is to allow the division of labor, society, to unravel.

2.2. To allow society to unravel is to threaten our survival.

2.3. Therefore, we desire to disallow murder, theft and rape.

In that thread, Justin Spahr-Summers responded to my post above with these passages from Ayn Rand:

Justin Spahr-Summers:

From "The Objectivist Ethics":

To challenge the basic premise of any discipline, one must begin at the beginning. In ethics, one must begin by asking: What are values? Why does man need them?

“Value” is that which one acts to gain and/or keep. The concept “value” is not a primary; it presupposes an answer to the question: of value to whom and for what? It presupposes an entity capable of acting to achieve a goal in the face of an alternative. Where no alternative exists, no goals and no values are possible.

. . .

Only a living entity can have goals or can originate them. And it is only a living organism that has the capacity for self-generated, goal-directed action. On the physical level, the functions of all living organisms, from the simplest to the most complex—from the nutritive function in the single cell of an amoeba to the blood circulation in the body of a man—are actions generated by the organism itself and directed to a single goal: the maintenance of the organism’s life.

. . .

An ultimate value is that final goal or end to which all lesser goals are the means—and it sets the standard by which all lesser goals are evaluated. An organism’s life is its standard of value: that which furthers its life is the good, that which threatens it is the evil.

In answer to those philosophers who claim that no relation can be established between ultimate ends or values and the facts of reality, let me stress that the fact that living entities exist and function necessitates the existence of values and of an ultimate value which for any given living entity is its own life. Thus the validation of value judgments is to be achieved by reference to the facts of reality. The fact that a living entity is, determines what it ought to do. So much for the issue of the relation between “is” and “ought.”

. . .

Rationality is man’s basic virtue, the source of all his other virtues. Man’s basic vice, the source of all his evils, is the act of unfocusing his mind, the suspension of his consciousness, which is not blindness, but the refusal to see, not ignorance, but the refusal to know. Irrationality is the rejection of man’s means of survival and, therefore, a commitment to a course of blind destruction; that which is anti-mind, is anti-life.

If I wrote it more than a few weeks ago, I probably hate it by now.

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I.Ryan:

In other words, if the statement:  "I or we do not desire that Y occurs."  on its face seems to be simply a statement of a fact, then what part of this statement were you intending to mean is a normative question?   Or, what aspect of this statement, aside from its simple factual content, does normative ethics deal with, as you were originally intending?   That's what I'm trying to clarify.

 

"It would be preposterous to assert apodictically that science will never succeed in developing a praxeological aprioristic doctrine of political organization..." (Mises, UF, p.98)

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Conza88:

trulib:
You're right - he doesn't say single.  But he says "the", meaning only one.  And by saying all judicial agencies have to agree, he is implying that there are no variations between different courts' legal codes (only their interpretation of it).

The judicial agencies voluntarily agree to the BASIC law code. Got a problem with that? "Basic" implies there would be an advanced aspect, no? i.e interpretations & everything else. The implication is that the market process would sort itself out after that, i.e the advanced aspects  - as he states at the start of the paragraph; that which you deliberately left out:

"Specifically, the concrete form of anarchist legal institutions -judges, arbitrators, procedural methods for resolving disputes, etc.-would indeed grow by a market invisible-hand process."

What about the courts that don't agree even to the basic law code?  Is there a difference between a) how two libertarian courts who merely have different interpretations of the basic legal code (e.g. different views on capital punishment) interact, and b) how a libertarian court and a court using a completely different legal code (i.e. different principles for assigning property rights) interact?

Conza88:

trulib:
So what if a court wanted to have a different rule for defining rightful property - for example, suppose they believe in Rothbard's rules in all cases except water.  This court believes, for some reason, that water is always the "property of the Earth" - so if A takes some water from B, this is simply not a crime, because B has no better claim to the water than A, in the view of this court.

This whole scenario is beyond absurd.

First - the only way a court would ever get to hear or make a ruling on a dispute is when two individuals (or organizations), i.e an plaintiff and a defendant seek a third party to settle the dispute.

So, there exists the water. Plaintiff believes it was his water. He brings case against the defendant, who took the water and is now being sued. They both agree on a third party to settle the dispute, or leave it up to their respective DRO's to choose one on their behalf.

They choose the court above, the one you mentioned. It determines the water is always "the property of the Earth". The plaintiff, goes "wtf are you retarded? the Earth cannot own anything, it is not human.. it's not a person, it's not even alive. So every time someone drinks water, it is stealing from the Earth? Well why doesn't the Earth take everyone to court! Confused" And appeals the decision. The defendant does the same thing. For logically it follows that if the Earth owns the water, then both of them would be criminals.

You miss the point.  Maybe the court is using a code that says the rightful owner of water is "whoever is thirstiest" or "whoever is poorest" or whoever is tallest" or some other crazy criterion.  Such a court may exist; we are not all libertarians.  In Rothbard's conception of anarchy, if A belongs to such a court, and helps himself to libertarian B's water stock, and their two respective courts agree entirely as to what events took place, how is this situation resolved? 

Friedman describes a bargaining process for such situations, so if libertarians are a minority, they may indeed have to pay for the "privilege" of doing something that we think we should be able to do without paying - i.e. owning our own water.  It's not what we as libertarians would like to see - but if we are the minority we may not have a choice. 

Is Rothbard's conception any different to Friedman's, and if so how?

Conza88:

trulib:
Now - would Rothbard call this an outlaw court?  I think he would

Nope. I don't think he would, given his previous quotes. That court would be laughed at, no-one would go there ever again when it comes to property disputes regarding water, because the court decided in favor of something that cannot own anything and is not alive. It's reputation is tarnished and should it make descisions like that in other areas, not just water - it will quickly go bankrupt and perish.

This presupposes that the majority of people are libertarians, and know the absurdity of such a crazy property assignment rule.  The majority of people aren't libertarians, and I can imagine the majority of people would buy the idea of water belonging to "whoever is thirstiest" - after all, most people buy into statism, which is far more stupid.  A court like this may very well survive - and we should think about a world of anarchy where libertarian legal codes are not widespread.

Conza88:

trulib:
If the basic legal code does not define what rightful property is, then a court can define it any way it wants.

Except it can't. It must decide in favor of the Plaintiff, or the Defendant - either separate individuals, or organisations. It can't then go decide in favor of "the earth" lmao! Or any other entity separate of those present. "A and B are present, they wish me to settle this property dispute. So I find in favor of C!"  That is precisely the scenario above you stipulated. Within the 'Rothbardian' system, it allows for appeals process which is clearly stated above.

Understood.  I should have made my absurd scenario at least comprehensible.  I think I have done that now - the water is awarded to whichever disputant was thirstiest at the time.  (And further presume that there is no disagreement that A was thirstiest).

Conza88:

trulib:
In this case, I don't see how it is possible to have an outlaw court

It is those that do not accept the NAP, nor attempt to apply it.

Is there some meaning to the designation?  i.e. does a court flagrantly not upholding the libertarian version of property rights have a different status to those that do or at least try to?  Or is it only an outlaw court from a libertarian perspective, no different to how a non-libertarian court might regard a libertarian court as an outlaw court, flagrantly not upholding their version of property rights?

Conza88:

trulib:
... any legal code can be framed in terms of property rights.  Every legal code will be based on a version of the NAP.

Communism has a legal code, it deals with property rights as all systems have to do... but not all respect or adhere, or even attempt to apply the NAP - which is based on PRIVATE property rights. Only those that are 100% full self ownership, do.

OK.  You use the term private property rights to mean the same things as my libertarian property rights where property rights are defined by libertarian principles.  And when you say simply NAP you mean the same as when I say libertarian version of the NAP.  OK.

We are all in agreement here I think that a legal code not based on property rights is inconceivable.  In other words, that all legal codes are based on property rights.  So the term "property rights" (in this discussion, at least) always needs a qualifier of some kind so we are not talking past each other.

Wilderness - does the above sound OK to you? 

wilderness:
Name another law other than property rights.

Is the answer to this now clear to you?

Conza88:

trulib:
Do you see a distinct difference between say Rand's theory of property rights (not quite correct) and say a socialist theory of property rights (incorrect, not even close) - or is it all just a matter of degree?

One is based on an attempt to conceptualize PRIVATE property rights, whilst the other is not. The other denies self ownership (private) ownership and property.

The difference is of kind.

Then please explain what this difference-in-kind means in terms of how courts will interact with one another.

Nir -

nirgrahamUK:

trulib:
I'm still trying to understand what you mean by "should only flow one way".

when you look at a shopkeeper paying protection money to the mafia. the bribe is flowing the wrong way. it is unjust. i hope you would not condone such a hegemonic and charade of 'exchange' as being compatible even with your own conception of property rights....

when you look at a citizen paying taxes to the state and federal government, the bribe is flowing the wrong way. to be just, if the state wants to have laws about who can smoke dope, they should offer bribe money to citizens in the hope of inciting the citizens to bond themselves in prohibition of the act of drug taking against the state which pays them to not do drugs that year. that is if a legitimate means of 'outlawing' drug taking is sought....

What if libertarians are not in the majority, and the bribe is flowing the "wrong way"?  What then?

nirgrahamUK:

trulib:
Do you see a distinct difference between say Rand's theory of property rights (not quite correct) and say a socialist theory of property rights (incorrect, not even close) - or is it all just a matter of degree?

I'm afraid I don't understand you. they are different kinds of wrong.

yes, they are different. who would assert that they are without distinguishing features..?, i recognise that they are different, yet they both share features, not least along the dimension of 'correctness'; they both fail.

I should have worded this better.  I meant do you see a difference in kind, or merely degree?  And if the difference is in kind, what are the implications for how courts will interact under anarchy?

 

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I.Ryan:

"I think that I atleast clouded the issue or atmost completely erred when I called it a proposition of "normative ethics"."

OK  Then my intended chain of reasoning loses its ground......

I see you as working through a theory of ethics, or a theory of the basis of ethics.   In your re-post above, you make good insights and pose good questions.   Looking forward to seeing more of your posts and ideas in the future.

 

"It would be preposterous to assert apodictically that science will never succeed in developing a praxeological aprioristic doctrine of political organization..." (Mises, UF, p.98)

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trulib:

OK.  You use the term private property rights to mean the same things as my libertarian property rights where property rights are defined by libertarian principles.  And when you say simply NAP you mean the same as when I say libertarian version of the NAP.  OK.

We are all in agreement here I think that a legal code not based on property rights is inconceivable.  In other words, that all legal codes are based on property rights.  So the term "property rights" (in this discussion, at least) always needs a qualifier of some kind so we are not talking past each other.

Wilderness - does the above sound OK to you?

yes; and you say, "...needs a qualifier of some kind..." I would say this "qualifier" sounds like theory or knowledge of (in which I was referring to); so yes sounds good

Also the difference of kind or degree seem to be signifying "qualifier" as well, which has to do with the theory or in other words, the kind of knowledge about property rights.  After understanding this, then an individual may pursue which theory is best. 

trulib:

wilderness:
Name another law other than property rights.

Is the answer to this now clear to you?

That there isn't another law (of justice) other than property rights?

---

overall what do you think, not only the last sentence but what I said in the whole post here.  thanks.

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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wilderness:

trulib:

wilderness:
Name another law other than property rights.

Is the answer to this now clear to you?

That there isn't another law (of justice) other than property rights?

That's right.  Property is inescapable.  All law is about assigning property rights; there are a number of different ways of assigning property rights.  The sentence "I am in favor of property rights" is quite meaningless.  Replace it with "I am in favour of libertarian property rights".  (Or private property rights, though I don't like this term myself... I reject the term "public" so I must reject the term "private" too).

wilderness:
overall what do you think, not only the last sentence but what I said in the whole post here.  thanks.

I can't find anything you've said that I disagree with, though its taken us a long time to understand each other.  This thread has been enlightening for me... and it's not over yet...

I largely agree with AJ's interpretation of Rothbard, in that I do think he was making a slight and subtle conceptual error.  Perhaps you could answer the questions I posed for Conza above?  Such as the status of unlibertarian courts versus 'almost' libertarian courts, and how they will interact, particularly in the case when unlibertarian courts are more popular than libertarian courts.  Or whether you think there is any substantive difference between Rothbard's conception of law as opposed to David Friedman's.

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trulib:

That's right.  Property is inescapable.  All law is about assigning property rights; there are a number of different ways of assigning property rights.  The sentence "I am in favor of property rights" is quite meaningless.  Replace it with "I am in favour of libertarian property rights".  (Or private property rights, though I don't like this term myself... I reject the term "public" so I must reject the term "private" too).

I appreciate your directness.  I agree:  "Property is inescapable."

trulib:

wilderness:
overall what do you think, not only the last sentence but what I said in the whole post here.  thanks.

I can't find anything you've said that I disagree with, though its taken us a long time to understand each other.  This thread has been enlightening for me... and it's not over yet...

You may have no idea!  (referring to underlined phrase).  This kind of conversation has been near a year in this forum and that's only referring to when I came here.  I mean there are many that agree on this issue, but there have been those that haven't and I think the topic is turning around for some of the latter, which I will not doubt will dodge still but it's becoming obvious.  Well that's old hat for the most part.  

I especially want to thank AJ for his braveness and calmness through the process.  Conza has been particularly very strong in his understanding and I want to publicly point this out for he has introduced details that I have not fully thought out.  Nir has helped in this conversation too.  I'm referring here to the current thread in my compliments.  I think trulib you came into the discussion at an opportune time to help converge the topic.  I. Ryan and Adam I think might be getting into another topic at the moment, not sure, but it is a becoming discussion.

trulib:

I largely agree with AJ's interpretation of Rothbard, in that I do think he was making a slight and subtle conceptual error.  Perhaps you could answer the questions I posed for Conza above?  Such as the status of unlibertarian courts versus 'almost' libertarian courts, and how they will interact, particularly in the case when unlibertarian courts are more popular than libertarian courts.

I don't know if Rothbard has to do with these questions for instance you state, "...when unlibertarian courts are more popular...".  That's a current event.  Rothbard advocated the NAP and the free market and so he has contributed a stance in how to deal with the current problem.  I have not read all of Rothbard's books and articles to know if he has a full-length or more systematic answer to:  "What to do now?"

trulib:

Or whether you think there is any substantive difference between Rothbard's conception of law as opposed to David Friedman's.

I don't know Friedman's works.  I focus on natural law, thus, it involves my own thinking.  Rothbard isn't natural law, but he helped provide the intellectual tools when I first came to this site to begin thinking on my own in regards to this.  In other words, I have more to comprehend and I haven't read Rothbard only.  He's not my only source of reference in regards to any further reading, etc... that I can point out in which have been particularly enlightening to me.

thanks for the dialogue

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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wilderness:
I especially want to thank AJ for his braveness and calmness through the process.  Conza has been particularly very strong in his understanding and I want to publicly point this out for he has introduced details that I have not fully thought out.  Nir has helped in this conversation too.  I'm referring here to the current thread in my compliments.  I think trulib you came into the discussion at an opportune time to help converge the topic.  I. Ryan and Adam I think might be getting into another topic at the moment, not sure, but it is a becoming discussion.

I want to thank God

'Men do not change, they unmask themselves' - Germaine de Stael

 

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tacoface replied on Tue, Dec 8 2009 12:19 AM

I'm coming to the conclusion that there is no such thing as ownership in the traditional sense, only control. If people don't recognise your claim to control a certain thing, then you lose control of the thing. Ownership implies something else entirely.

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Angurse replied on Tue, Dec 8 2009 2:42 AM

trulib:

I largely agree with AJ's interpretation of Rothbard, in that I do think he was making a slight and subtle conceptual error.  Perhaps you could answer the questions I posed for Conza above?  Such as the status of unlibertarian courts versus 'almost' libertarian courts, and how they will interact, particularly in the case when unlibertarian courts are more popular than libertarian courts.  Or whether you think there is any substantive difference between Rothbard's conception of law as opposed to David Friedman's.

The more popular ones would win. Luckily, un-libertarian laws are quite costly to enforce. The difference between Rothbard and Friedman is that Friedman describes legal systems in plain old anarcho-capitalism while Rothbard describes courts in [his] libertarian anarcho-capitalism (or libertarian anarchy), I don't think he made any conceptual error.

 

"I am an aristocrat. I love liberty, I hate equality."
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Angurse:

trulib:

I largely agree with AJ's interpretation of Rothbard, in that I do think he was making a slight and subtle conceptual error.  Perhaps you could answer the questions I posed for Conza above?  Such as the status of unlibertarian courts versus 'almost' libertarian courts, and how they will interact, particularly in the case when unlibertarian courts are more popular than libertarian courts.  Or whether you think there is any substantive difference between Rothbard's conception of law as opposed to David Friedman's.

The more popular ones would win. Luckily, un-libertarian laws are quite costly to enforce.

Exactly.

Angurse:
The difference between Rothbard and Friedman is that Friedman describes legal systems in plain old anarcho-capitalism while Rothbard describes courts in [his] libertarian anarcho-capitalism (or libertarian anarchy), I don't think he made any conceptual error.

When I said poor Murray was “not quite an anarchist”, maybe I was being a bit harsh. But I do get the general impression that Rothbard wasn't quite envisioning a world where there is free entry into the field of providing legal codes. I think he envisioned free entry into interpreting the agreed upon basic legal code, and applying it to specific cases. But any court which did not agree to the basic legal code (and he did not make clear how much room the basic legal code has for interpretation) was simply an outlaw court to him. I believe he thought of an outlaw court as “not really a court” and so he did not analyze how interactions between an outlaw court and a libertarian court might take place. He did not apply his economic insights to the industry of providing basic legal codes.

Thus, his conception of anarchy was incomplete.

I see a poetic parallel between Rothbard and Mises.  Mises did not apply his economics to the industry of security; he took government provision of security for granted.  Rothbard - in his conception of anarchy - took libertarianism for granted.  Perhaps he did this because of his passion and his greatness as a libertarian, and his confidence that libertarian ideas will win out.

 

 

 

 


 

 

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Angurse:

The more popular ones would win. Luckily, un-libertarian laws are quite costly to enforce.

Not only are they costly to enforce, but they shouldn't be enforced in the first place because such violates the very premise of libertarianism, namely the non-aggression axiom.

Angurse:
The difference between Rothbard and Friedman is that Friedman describes legal systems in plain old anarcho-capitalism while Rothbard describes courts in [his] libertarian anarcho-capitalism (or libertarian anarchy),

Please explain to me how Friedman's system isn't 'his' and how it is 'plain old anarcho-capitalism' while Rothbard's is defunked for conceptualize a different one that is 'libertarian anarcho-capitalism'...whatever that means.

'Men do not change, they unmask themselves' - Germaine de Stael

 

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Angurse replied on Tue, Dec 8 2009 3:34 PM

Laughing Man:

Please explain to me how Friedman's system isn't 'his' and how it is 'plain old anarcho-capitalism' while Rothbard's is defunked for conceptualize a different one that is 'libertarian anarcho-capitalism'...whatever that means.

I'm not really sure what you are asking. How "Friedman's system isn't 'his'" what does that mean? "Defunked for conceptualize" what does that mean?

But if you want to read the difference read "Is Anarcho-Capitalism Libertarian?" by Friedman. Basically, a purely private system of police and courts constitutes anarcho-capitalism- a system - its the laws enforced (or not enforced) that makes it libertarian (or not).

 

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Angurse:
purely private system
isnt this a stolen concept? its not a purely private system without being libertarian....

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

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Angurse replied on Tue, Dec 8 2009 3:38 PM

trulib:

I see a poetic parallel between Rothbard and Mises.  Mises did not apply his economics to the industry of security; he took government provision of security for granted.  Rothbard - in his conception of anarchy - took libertarianism for granted.  Perhaps he did this because of his passion and his greatness as a libertarian, and his confidence that libertarian ideas will win out.

I don't think he made the same error as Mises. Mises believed security had to be provided by the state, Rothbard just seemed to prefer a libertarian agreement on all laws. I don't think he held it as a necessity just optimal.

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Angurse replied on Tue, Dec 8 2009 3:49 PM

nirgrahamUK:

Angurse:
purely private system
isnt this a stolen concept? its not a purely private system without being libertarian....

If you challenge what the terms "private," "purely private" and "libertarian" mean have at it. To make this simpler "its the laws enforced (or not enforced) that makes it Rothbardian-libertarian (or not)."

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trulib:

Angurse:

trulib:

I largely agree with AJ's interpretation of Rothbard, in that I do think he was making a slight and subtle conceptual error.  Perhaps you could answer the questions I posed for Conza above?  Such as the status of unlibertarian courts versus 'almost' libertarian courts, and how they will interact, particularly in the case when unlibertarian courts are more popular than libertarian courts.  Or whether you think there is any substantive difference between Rothbard's conception of law as opposed to David Friedman's.

The more popular ones would win. Luckily, un-libertarian laws are quite costly to enforce.

 

Exactly.

Angurse:
The difference between Rothbard and Friedman is that Friedman describes legal systems in plain old anarcho-capitalism while Rothbard describes courts in [his] libertarian anarcho-capitalism (or libertarian anarchy), I don't think he made any conceptual error.

When I said poor Murray was “not quite an anarchist”, maybe I was being a bit harsh. But I do get the general impression that Rothbard wasn't quite envisioning a world where there is free entry into the field of providing legal codes. I think he envisioned free entry into interpreting the agreed upon basic legal code, and applying it to specific cases. But any court which did not agree to the basic legal code (and he did not make clear how much room the basic legal code has for interpretation) was simply an outlaw court to him. I believe he thought of an outlaw court as “not really a court” and so he did not analyze how interactions between an outlaw court and a libertarian court might take place. He did not apply his economic insights to the industry of providing basic legal codes.

Thus, his conception of anarchy was incomplete.

I see a poetic parallel between Rothbard and Mises.  Mises did not apply his economics to the industry of security; he took government provision of security for granted.  Rothbard - in his conception of anarchy - took libertarianism for granted.  Perhaps he did this because of his passion and his greatness as a libertarian, and his confidence that libertarian ideas will win out.

Trulib:

I agree with much of what you write in this and previous posts.

However:

"The right of self-determination in regard to the question of membership in a state thus means: whenever the inhabitants of a particular territory, whether it be a single village, a whole district, or a series of adjacent districts, make it known, by a freely conducted plebiscite, that they no longer wish to remain united to the state to which they belong at the time, but wish either to form an independent state or attach themselves to some other state, their wishes are to be respected and complied with."

"It is not the right of self-determination of a delimited national unit, but the right of the inhabitants of every territory to decide on the state to which they wish to belong."

"However, the right of self-determination of which we speak is not the right of self-determination of nations, but rather the right of self-determination of the inhabitants of every territory large enough to form an independent administrative unit.  If it were in any way possible to grant this right of self-determination to every individual person, it would have to be done."

"If however, one seeks to determine their political fate against their will by appealing to an alleged higher right of the nation, one violates the right of self-determination no less effectively than by practicing any other form of oppression."

(Mises, Liberalism, p.109-110)

"To the princely principle of subjecting just as much land as obtainable to one's own rule, the doctrine of freedom responds with the principle of the right of self-determination of peoples, which follows necessarily from the principles of the rights of man.  No people and no part of a people shall be held against its will in a political association that it does not want."  (Mises, Nation, State, and Economy. p.27)

"The idea of liberalism starts with the freedom of the individual; it rejects all rule of some persons over others; it knows no master peoples and no subject peoples, just as within the nation itself it distinguishes between no masters and no serfs."

"Whoever wishes peace among people must fight statism."  (Mises, Nation State, and Economy. p.65 and 63, respectively)

Two points I believe are important:

Mises's conception of liberalism was based on individual political self-determination, which the above passages make clear.   Though he was opposed to the idea of anarchism, conceived as a total absence of government (however government may be conceived), he was an advocate of political self-determination of the individual, so that in principle, every individual may choose the political association (government) to which he/she belongs. 

Perhaps the idea didn't occur to Mises that political association need not necessarily be based on geographical location.  Or maybe he briefly considered it, but believed such an idea was impractical and thus not worth mentioning.  But it is clear from the underlined passage above that Mises believed that "if it were in any way possible to grant this right of [political] self-determination to every individual person, it would have to be done."

Thus Mises advocated the following:

1.  Political self-determination, largely conceived in territorial terms and in terms of minority groups seeking their own political ideals.  (a vision based on contemporary political realities as he understood them)

2.  In the event it becomes possible to grant political self-determination to every single individual, then this must be done, since then, "No people and no part of a people [would] be held against its will in a political association that it does not want."  (a vision for a future in which it might become pratical and possible for every individual to choose his/her political association)

Mises believed that the latter idea: 

"....is impractical only because of compelling technical considerations, which makes it necessary that a region be governed as a single administrative unit and that the right of self-determination be restricted to the will of the majority of the inhabitants of areas large enough to count as territorial units in the administration of the country." (Liberalism, p.110)

Thus, Mises argued that in principle, political self-determination must be granted to every individual, but that for practical reasons, in his estimation, that could not be done at that time.

Thus to some degree, Mises's vision of individual political self-determination anticipates the Internet era, since with the evolution of technology, with each passing day it becomes more feasible to base our various associations not on our geographical locations, but on our individual choices, something Mises is arguing for.

I think it is important to keep these ideas in mind when contrasting the political visions of Mises, Rothbard, and other libertarian social thinkers.

 

"It would be preposterous to assert apodictically that science will never succeed in developing a praxeological aprioristic doctrine of political organization..." (Mises, UF, p.98)

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Angurse:

Basically, [#1) a purely private system of police and courts constitutes anarcho-capitalism- a system] - [#2) its the laws enforced (or not enforced) that makes it libertarian (or not)].

Angurse:

This is good.

I think it's fair to hold that in the Rothbardian vision or system, libertarian laws are based on natural-rights/natural law, as per The Ethics of Liberty.

And thus, the Rothbardian vision or system of libertarianism is a combination of a natural-rights legal code and a purely "market-anarchic" private system of administering it (the capitalistic component).

Since in the Rothbardian system as he conceived it, "anarchy" does not refer to the "anarchic" intersection, interaction, or intermingling, of various legal codes (the legal code is only natural-rights as per TEoL), but rather to the market that administers the legal code, I proposed referring to the Rothbardian system as essentially natural-rights capitalism.

 

"It would be preposterous to assert apodictically that science will never succeed in developing a praxeological aprioristic doctrine of political organization..." (Mises, UF, p.98)

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Nir - I want to come back to this earlier post of yours, and hopefully my answer will address your last question to Angurse as well.

nirgrahamUK:

I'm rather curious whether some of the contributors to this thread who express an inability to determine 'rogue' law providers from 'legitimate' law providers can distinguish present day governments from either aforementioned categories.........

The distinction between 'rogue' and 'legitimate' only makes sense if we take a position about what is legitimate. You and I are both libertarians, so we would agree roughly on what to call a rogue court. Non-libertarians would have a different view about what they call a legitimate court and what they call a rogue court.

As Wilderness has said, the subjective/objective debate is a red herring in this discussion. You can say legitimate and mean objectively legitimate, and a subjective ethicist can say they consider it legitimate based on their personal values. It doesn't matter.

Government courts are examples of rogue courts from our perspective. As libertarians, we call government courts rogue courts and illegitimate because the legal code they use is not libertarian, as we would like. On the other hand, statists consider the legal code that government courts use to be legitimate and (in some cases) exactly as they would like. They might say a libertarian court is a rogue court, because of their strange beliefs about how property rights are justly assigned... for example if a statist believes “the government” is the rightful owner of all roads, then a libertarian court awarding ownership of a road to someone else would be illegitimate from the POV of the statist.

The defining characteristic of government is that a government is an organization preventing de facto libertarian property rights in the field of providing legal codes. It prevents the emergence of alternative providers of legal codes. Anarchy is precisely the absence of government, so anarchy means free entry into the field of providing legal codes.

nirgrahamUK:

Angurse:
purely private system
isnt this a stolen concept? its not a purely private system without being libertarian....

So Friedman's description of anarchy assumes de facto libertarian property rights in the field of producing legal codes only.  This is necessary for the market process to function.  But the legal codes produced by the competing providers of legal codes may be libertarian or not.  Rothbard's description of anarchy assumes that most courts will use a libertarian code (or interpretation thereof). 

Think of it like this - if the government were to collapse tomorrow, we would have de facto libertarian property rights in the field of producing legal codes.  And since most people aren't libertarians, it is likely that many legal codes will at first be quite un-libertarian.  So we would be in Friedman's world.  If Friedman is right, libertarian legal codes will triumph, and before long, we'll be in Rothbard's world where all courts (except a few rogue courts) use libertarian legal codes.

 

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Juan replied on Tue, Dec 8 2009 5:01 PM
The right of self-determination in regard to the question of membership in a state thus means: whenever the inhabitants of a particular territory, whether it be a single village, a whole district, or a series of adjacent districts, make it known, by a freely conducted plebiscite,
That is, "democratic statism" or mob rule. There's nothing about individual sovereignty in that line of thinking,
It is not the right of self-determination of a delimited national unit, but the right of the inhabitants of every territory to decide on the state to which they wish to belong.
That is fully statist as well. Mises thinks that subjects are 'free' to be ruled either by state A or state B. Mises doesn't think that individuals have any sort of natural rights as individuals. That's why Mises advocates taxation, and conscription. He's only saying that individuals are 'free' to choose to be taxed by state A or state B.
However, the right of self-determination of which we speak is not the right of self-determination of nations, but rather the right of self-determination of the inhabitants of every territory large enough to form an independent administrative unit. If it were in any way possible to grant this right of self-determination to every individual person, it would have to be done.
Mises is again talking about creating states. What he's saying is that the line which divides monopolistic tyrant A from monopolistic tyrant B is to be drawn according to the 'wishes' of 'subjects'.

I suggest that people interested in knowing Mises position read the whole chapter which is about "Liberal foreing policy" http://mises.org/liberal/ch3sec2.asp

It has already been pointed out that a country can enjoy domestic peace only when a democratic constitution provides the guarantee that the adjustment of the government to the will of the citizens can take place without friction.
It must always be possible to shift the boundaries of the state if the will of the inhabitants of an area to attach themselves to a state other than the one to which they presently belong has made itself clearly known,
Adam Knott's selective quoting, selective bolding and selective interpretation is misleading.

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

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Adam - thanks for the Mises quotes.

Adam Knott:

Two points I believe are important:

Mises's conception of liberalism was based on individual political self-determination, which the above passages make clear.   Though he was opposed to the idea of anarchism, conceived as a total absence of government (however government may be conceived), he was an advocate of political self-determination of the individual, so that in principle, every individual may choose the political association (government) to which he/she belongs.

It sounds like Mises means by individual political self-determination the same thing I mean when I say de facto libertarian property rights in the field of producing legal codes.  He seems to mean by political association (government) what we might call PDA's.  This alone would seem to make him an anarchist, by the modern definition.

Adam Knott:
Perhaps the idea didn't occur to Mises that political association need not necessarily be based on geographical location.  Or maybe he briefly considered it, but believed such an idea was impractical and thus not worth mentioning.  But it is clear from the underlined passage above that Mises believed that "if it were in any way possible to grant this right of [political] self-determination to every individual person, it would have to be done."

I need to think some more about the territoriality issue.  AJ's thread about this quickly descended into ANOTHER debate about objective/subjective ethics and natural law unfortunately.

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I. Ryan replied on Tue, Dec 8 2009 6:09 PM

Juan:

Adam Knott's selective quoting, selective bolding and selective interpretation is misleading.

I wonder why you ignored this passage, the most important passage that Adam Knott quoted:

Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism:

[I]f it were in any way possible to grant this right of self-determination to every individual person, it would have to be done.

If I wrote it more than a few weeks ago, I probably hate it by now.

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Because he is dishonest.

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trulib, i  congratulate you on your thoughtful post.

I have questions on this : 

trulib:
So Friedman's description of anarchy assumes de facto libertarian property rights in the field of producing legal codes only

I'm not sure what you mean by that...

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

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AJ replied on Tue, Dec 8 2009 10:24 PM

wilderness:

AJ:

wilderness:

AJ:

...but my point is, what if I am not?

The individual still is, but it is a perversion.

What sentence is that connecting to?

The one above of yours I left on the post and underlined.  The other half of the sentence stated for justice.  Justice does not pervert itself that would be a contradiction.

Do you mean, the individual still is doing [the punishment] for justice? I'm not sure how that ties in. (Which individual?)

wilderness:
I especially want to thank AJ for his braveness and calmness through the process.

Thank you. I wasn't expecting this debate to yield much at first, but it's been surprisingly clarifying.

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AJ replied on Tue, Dec 8 2009 10:25 PM

Adam Knott:
Perhaps the idea didn't occur to Mises that political association need not necessarily be based on geographical location.  Or maybe he briefly considered it, but believed such an idea was impractical and thus not worth mentioning.  But it is clear from the underlined passage above that Mises believed that "if it were in any way possible to grant this right of [political] self-determination to every individual person, it would have to be done."

This is quite enlightening on Mises's views. He was apparently fully libertarian/anarchist/panarchist in his views, save certain "practicalities." Or, he simply awaited a "possible way" for it to work in practice, that he had not been able to envision. Rothbard and others would eventually lay out such "possible ways."

trulib:
Think of it like this - if the government were to collapse tomorrow, we would have de facto libertarian property rights in the field of producing legal codes.  And since most people aren't libertarians, it is likely that many legal codes will at first be quite un-libertarian.  So we would be in Friedman's world.  If Friedman is right, libertarian legal codes will triumph, and before long, we'll be in Rothbard's world where all courts (except a few rogue courts) use libertarian legal codes.

That is a great, succinct encapsulation of my thinking on this.

Let me close with Adam Knott's important insight on the potential of the Internet:

Adam Knott:
Thus, Mises argued that in principle, political self-determination must be granted to every individual, but that for practical reasons, in his estimation, that could not be done at that time.

Thus to some degree, Mises's vision of individual political self-determination anticipates the Internet era, since with the evolution of technology, with each passing day it becomes more feasible to base our various associations not on our geographical locations, but on our individual choices, something Mises is arguing for.

My sig says "Think outside the monopoly paradigm" and links two articles that I believe are germane to Mises's point. The first directly explores the implications of the Internet and how it may make - or already has made - full anti-Statism practical, even supposing it wasn't already in Mises's time. The second link attempts to shed light on the question of why anarchy led to Statism (monopoly) in the past, and what factors are different now; hence it attempts to answer Mises's implied question of "when" full self-determination became practical (or will become practical, for the minarchists out there), as well as what conditions of society better enable it to function without monopoly control, and indeed to reach a condition of full self-determination of one's political association.

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Juan replied on Tue, Dec 8 2009 10:36 PM
I. Ryan:
I wonder why you ignored this passage, the most important passage that Adam Knott quoted:

Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism: f it were in any way possible to grant this right of self-determination to every individual person, it would have to be done.
Did I suggest that you read what Mises said first hand instead of relying on Knott's version ? You didn't even understand my comments did you ? I addressed that part. What Mises says is that 'individuals' can choose between different states. Not that they can be really free.

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

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Juan replied on Tue, Dec 8 2009 10:37 PM
truthtaco:
Because he is dishonest.
Are you talking about me sonny ?

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Juan replied on Tue, Dec 8 2009 10:39 PM
This is quite enlightening on Mises's views. He was apparently fully libertarian/anarchist/panarchist in his views,
No he was not. He supported taxation and conscription. Oh and panarchy and anarchy and libertarianism are different things.

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trulib:

I need to think some more about the territoriality issue.  AJ's thread about this quickly descended into ANOTHER debate about objective/subjective ethics and natural law unfortunately.

Trulib:

It seems many posters just bypassed the question and delved right into old debates.

A great introduction to the subject is Max Border's two-part article, which I believe AJ also linked to:

http://athousandnations.com/2009/10/20/towards-youtopia-are-all-public-good-providers-earthbound/

 

 

"It would be preposterous to assert apodictically that science will never succeed in developing a praxeological aprioristic doctrine of political organization..." (Mises, UF, p.98)

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AJ:

Do you mean, the individual still is doing [the punishment] for justice? I'm not sure how that ties in. (Which individual?)

I went back to the original question.  I see what you're asking, maybe.  Here's an answer:  The meaning of punishment (what kind) isn't inferred from property rights, but it is implied due to self-defense.  I can point out it is wrong that A did x, due to a logical inference of x in connection to property rights.  What happens after that (the punishment) is debatable.  Though I've come across some that are better than others.

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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I. Ryan replied on Wed, Dec 9 2009 8:18 AM

Juan:

Did I suggest that you read what Mises said first hand instead of relying on Knott's version? You didn't even understand my comments did you? I addressed that part. What Mises says is that 'individuals' can choose between different states. Not that they can be really free.

No. Here:

Ludwig von Mises, "Liberalism":

The right of self-determination in regard to the question of membership in a state thus means: whenever the inhabitants of a particular territory, whether it be a single village, a whole district, or a series of adjacent districts, make it known, by a freely conducted plebiscite, that they no longer wish to remain united to the state to which they belong at the time, but wish either to form an independent state or to attach themselves to some other state, their wishes are to be respected and complied with.

Ludwig von Mises, "Liberalism":

If it were in any way possible to grant this right of self-determination to every individual person, it would have to be done. This is impracticable only because of compelling technical considerations [...]

If I assume that it were "possible to grant this right of self-determination to every individual person" and I replace, in the first passage, the boldfaced references to collections of individuals with an individual, that your point is misguided becomes obvious.

Ludwig von Mises, "Liberalism":

The right of self-determination in regard to the question of membership in a state thus means: whenever [an individual] make[s] it known, by a freely [communicated choice], that [he] no longer wish[es] to remain united to the state to which [he] belong[s] at the time, but wish either to form an independent state or to attach themselves to some other state, [his] wishes are to be respected and complied with.

If, at any time, an individual can choice to establish his own independent state or attach himself to some other state, how is that any different than the modern conception of so-called "anarchocapitalism"?

If I wrote it more than a few weeks ago, I probably hate it by now.

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I. Ryan replied on Wed, Dec 9 2009 8:21 AM

Juan:

No he was not. He supported taxation and conscription. Oh and panarchy and anarchy and libertarianism are different things.

If you, as an individual who freely formed his own independent state, decides to "conscript" or "tax" yourself, does the words "conscription" or "taxation" still carry the same meaning?

If I wrote it more than a few weeks ago, I probably hate it by now.

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I. Ryan.  Doesn't that go a bit too far?  softening the meaning of what Mises was saying (sophism).  I don't mean that in a derogatory sense, but I suggest reflecting upon that.

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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I. Ryan replied on Wed, Dec 9 2009 8:40 AM

wilderness:

I. Ryan.  Doesn't that go a bit too far?  softening the meaning of what Mises was saying (sophism).  I don't mean that in a derogatory sense, but I suggest reflecting upon that.

Mises clearly viewed government as a collectivistic, territorial, monopolistic, bureaucratic institution which serves as the necessary prerequisite of the market economy. But he also clearly stated that, if to eradicate the collectivisticness were possible, it "would have to be done".

If I wrote it more than a few weeks ago, I probably hate it by now.

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i understand that part and agree.  I was referring to Mises' advocation of conscription and taxes and your response to that.

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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I. Ryan replied on Wed, Dec 9 2009 9:36 AM

wilderness:

i understand that part and agree.  I was referring to Mises' advocation of conscription and taxes and your response to that.

Mises clearly supported certain, very limited instances of taxation and, at one point in his life, certain, very limited instances of conscription. But he also clearly, implicitly stated that, if to eradicate what makes them possible, what he considered as the very limited but "technically" necessary instances of collectivism, were possible, it "would have to be done".

If I wrote it more than a few weeks ago, I probably hate it by now.

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nirgrahamUK:

trulib:
So Friedman's description of anarchy assumes de facto libertarian property rights in the field of producing legal codes only

I'm not sure what you mean by that...

I mean that he assumes a free market is operating in the legal code industry - competition as opposed to monopoly.  The terms 'free market', 'competition' and 'monopoly' contain within them the concept of de facto libertarian property rights.  A market where force is used routinely to prevent competition (i.e. where there are no de facto libertarian property rights) doesn't function properly.  Friedman's analysis is based on a fully functioning legal code industry.

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Juan replied on Wed, Dec 9 2009 3:03 PM
If you, as an individual who freely formed his own independent state, decides to "conscript" or "tax" yourself, does the words "conscription" or "taxation" still carry the same meaning?
I. Ryan, Mises supported a state that according to his amoralist/utilitarian views could 'legally' enslave its subjects. I frankly don't see what's the point in pretending that author X didn't say what he actually said.

Are you trying to pretend that Mises was some sort of pacifist saint ? Well, he wasn't, at all. If anything he was the typical statist who believes that absent the state civilization is not possible because people will kill each other.

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

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