Free Capitalist Network - Community Archive
Mises Community Archive
An online community for fans of Austrian economics and libertarianism, featuring forums, user blogs, and more.

Anarchy is not an end in itself - the end is breaking the monopoly on law

This post has 201 Replies | 7 Followers

Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,491
Points 43,390
scineram replied on Sun, Feb 28 2010 8:46 AM

Sphairon:
And said worse alternatives would be?

Anarchy.

Sphairon:
Sure I do. But I don't see how this constitutes an argument.

You didn't see benefits, I pointed them out.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 25 Contributor
Male
Posts 4,914
Points 70,630
wilderness replied on Sun, Feb 28 2010 10:33 AM

AJ:
In any case, an anti-monopolist can sidestep all this by reducing his position from, "Let's break the monopoly on law and keep it broken" to "Let's break the monopoly on law and see what happens."

What needs to happen is instead of property rights being violated, an increase in justice is what is lacking and the gov't is the number one violator.  The problem is not many people want to actually use power to uphold property rights.  There is nothing wrong, even a little bit of effort, in stopping ( or which semantically means sustaining or to keep, as in, to keep it broken) a criminal, even if that means locking the door or having a gun for protection.  That's how I can keep it from being broken in my neck of the woods.  If a justice enterprise could open to compete without the monopoly gov't enforcing it's arbitrariness it could happen, but it is a matter of keeping it broken or sustainment or else in the non-utopia world criminals being the special pleaders they are would simply rise up upon others.  And if everybody waits and sees without actually stopping them in other words keeping or sustaining the effort to break their effort to utilize a monopoly hold again it starts all over again. 

If the idea of upholding property rights (which includes in the natural law tradition property in person) was actually carried out by more people the gov't would be seen as any other criminal that has victims.  At this moment it simply gets a free pass even though some people do exactly what the gov't does on a daily and nightly basis, ie. extort, steal, and murder, etc..., and such people get repercussions, whereas, the special pleaders in gov't roam free.

the see what happens approach seems void of human action when there is human action.

 

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 4,985
Points 90,430

The relevant point is not that Hobbes was correct but that his arguments are left unharmed by the usual libertarian criticisms, as is the case with other thinkers (I believe Callahan suggested Aquinas, Scineram has suggested numerous others above). The point isn't that Hobbes and Aquinas are correct, or that libertarian philosophy is lacking, rather, what I'm arguing is that a lot of the arguments advanced on these boards and by the likes of Rothbard and Hoppe have absolutely no force against some of the other arguments against libertarianism. Low quality arguments advanced by laymen is nothing specific to libertarianism, but the tendency to confuse rhetoric with serious argumentation might explain why people who think seriously about these issues don't find your arguments all that convincing. 

Now, as for your other argument, society is complex. And as much as it pains us to admit it, we know very little about how a given constitution will play out in the long run, our know of "constitutional craftsmanship" is limited to say the least. Ideally, we'd like to create some sort of constitution that will achieve a perfect balance of powers and achieve a deadlock between the different branches and levels of government in their bid for power. What we do know, however, is that in any system there will always be an incentive for actors to break the rules of the game. Just as extreme libertarianism requires a very strong belief if property rights, so does democracy require some sort of belief in the rule of law and democratic politics. Libertarians tend to hold a curious double standard when it comes to this issue. 

One last point about the calculation argument, yes, it's still valid. But it's just one consideration amongst many as opposed to some knock down argument. For most goods consideration of knowledge and incentives says that its a good idea to leave their provision to the market. But take the example of asteroid destruction that I raised in another topic, the incentives structure is such that in this case the market would most likely under provide the good in question. But what is more relevant is the fact that in this case the knowledge argument is irrelevant, even a private firm would find it very difficult to gather the relevant knowledge due to the one off nature of the good and the uncertainty that surrounds it. 

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"

Bob Dylan

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 25 Contributor
Posts 4,532
Points 84,495
Stranger replied on Sun, Feb 28 2010 1:34 PM

scineram:

Sphairon:
And said worse alternatives would be?

Anarchy.

How should a global state be constituted then?

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 150 Contributor
Posts 752
Points 16,735
Sage replied on Sun, Feb 28 2010 2:11 PM

scineram:
Your rights again. Of course if you start with libertarian premises then you get libertarian conclusions.

So do you reject libertarian rights theory? What is the root of our disagreement?

AJ:
In any case, an anti-monopolist can sidestep all this by reducing his position from, "Let's break the monopoly on law and keep it broken" to "Let's break the monopoly on law and see what happens."

But doesn't this reduction also reduce the anti-monopolist position into nothingness? If the position is just "see what happens," then anything goes: you could break the monopoly on law and watch a monopoly on law arise again, and that would be "anti-monopolist."

hayekianxyz:
what I'm arguing is that a lot of the arguments advanced on these boards and by the likes of Rothbard and Hoppe have absolutely no force against some of the other arguments against libertarianism.

But the principle of charity requires addressing the opponent's strongest arguments.

BTW, do you have any comments on my post here?

AnalyticalAnarchism.net - The Positive Political Economy of Anarchism

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,124
Points 37,405
Angurse replied on Sun, Feb 28 2010 2:22 PM

Serious libertarian scholars, like Jan Narveson, have tackled the welfare arguments of Aquinas and Hobbes, from a different perspective. Your point just looks like "individuals on this board aren't using enough sources." I disagree on knowing very little on how a constitution will play out in the long, de Jasay has written extensively on the issue. And your last point about the asteroid incentive structure looks like nothing more than a wild guess.

 

 

"I am an aristocrat. I love liberty, I hate equality."
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 25 Contributor
Male
Posts 3,056
Points 78,245

Sage said:

But doesn't this reduction also reduce the anti-monopolist position into nothingness? If the position is just "see what happens," then anything goes: you could break the monopoly on law and watch a monopoly on law arise again, and that would be "anti-monopolist."

I think it reduces hyper-pluralism and relativistic emergentism to absurdity, in that it basically just says "let's push the restart button and whatever emerges emerges" (including states). It's basically far too reductionistic as a political philosophy, and its relativistic attitude about political organization undermines itself from the get go. When you break it down, thin libertarian hyper-pluralism is basically political relativism with a preference for non-violence that it can't actualize without breaking its own rules - libertarianism itself must go out the window if one is to maintain total relativism about legal systems. Since any notion of cultural preconditions for freedom has been scrapped, it is forced into an attitude of tolerance towards any non-libertarian social order that "emerges", which logically includes any form of state.

This is panarchism. It reduces to a more decentralized and diversified model of what we have now, with a landscape of localized states that one can superficially "choose" between.

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,360
Points 43,785
z1235 replied on Sun, Feb 28 2010 2:41 PM

AJ:

Brainpolice:
Sure there is: a vision of a society without a monopoly on law, which can only be realized through the inertia of proactive action within a society.

Is that really the case? That seems more like how states form.

In any case, an anti-monopolist can sidestep all this by reducing his position from, "Let's break the monopoly on law and keep it broken" to "Let's break the monopoly on law and see what happens."

I just caught a TV documentary about a U.S. prison and it occurred to me how the almost inevitable formation/rise of gangs and cliques there is possibly analogous to the formation/rise of states. Countless of "experiments" like these where you lock hundreds of individuals in a tight (scarce) space with scarce resources seem to converge to points of "stability" in which groups/collectives coerce (limit the freedom of) the individual. Hopefully I never have to test this personally, but if I was to be thrown in such an environment I'd be strongly incentivized to join a gang (and relinquish my individuality) in order to survive. For some reason, prisons don't seem to remain a horizontal set of individuals for too long before they converge into a set of gang hierarchies. I thought this could give a glimpse into "what happens".

Z.

 

 

 

  • | Post Points: 50
Top 150 Contributor
Posts 752
Points 16,735
Sage replied on Sun, Feb 28 2010 3:31 PM

Brainpolice:
Since any notion of cultural preconditions for freedom has been scrapped, it is forced into an attitude of tolerance towards any non-libertarian social order that "emerges", which logically includes any form of state.

This is panarchism.

Yeah, I can't make any sense out of panarchism. For example, John Zube writes:

Anarchists want the State ABOLISHED, either by revolutions or by reforms or non-violent actions. Panarchists want to abolish only 2 of its most important and coercive features: Territorialism and compulsory membership. They would leave the rest up to individual choice.

Okay, but territorialism and compulsory membership just are the defining features of the state. If you abolish those, then you've thereby abolished the state, and are actually an anarchist.

AnalyticalAnarchism.net - The Positive Political Economy of Anarchism

  • | Post Points: 65
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,209
Points 35,645
Merlin replied on Sun, Feb 28 2010 3:47 PM

Sage:

Yeah, I can't make any sense out of panarchism. For example, John Zube writes:

Anarchists want the State ABOLISHED, either by revolutions or by reforms or non-violent actions. Panarchists want to abolish only 2 of its most important and coercive features: Territorialism and compulsory membership. They would leave the rest up to individual choice.

Okay, but territorialism and compulsory membership just are the defining features of the state. If you abolish those, then you've thereby abolished the state, and are actually an anarchist.

 

I have always understood panarchy to mean a situation in which there are so many states, and by consequence they are so small, as to be practically no states at all, but only historical remnants. It also could be understood as the advocacy of unlimited secession rights for small units (short of individuals) of, say, 10’000 people. Basically the Mises view.

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 25 Contributor
Male
Posts 3,056
Points 78,245

Sage:

Brainpolice:
Since any notion of cultural preconditions for freedom has been scrapped, it is forced into an attitude of tolerance towards any non-libertarian social order that "emerges", which logically includes any form of state.

This is panarchism.

Yeah, I can't make any sense out of panarchism. For example, John Zube writes:

Anarchists want the State ABOLISHED, either by revolutions or by reforms or non-violent actions. Panarchists want to abolish only 2 of its most important and coercive features: Territorialism and compulsory membership. They would leave the rest up to individual choice.

Okay, but territorialism and compulsory membership just are the defining features of the state. If you abolish those, then you've thereby abolished the state, and are actually an anarchist.

I think things get more ambiguous with the notion that "everyone has a right to choose what form of government, and what particular government, to live under". At face value, this may seem like a certain phrasing of the principle of consent. But when one takes into account the nature of how governments actually work, which essentially precludes the possibility of everyone living under it to explicitly consent to it, and when one considers the implications of absorbing *all forms of government* into libertarianism, panarchy ends up looking like a confused concept. It's as if the panarchist wants the spirit of anarchism while simultaneously wanting to preserve the state in any of its forms.

The idea, for example, of a purely "voluntary monarchy", just seems conceptually incoherent. Perhaps it is concievable that a particular individual gladly wants to be subject to it, but as a system that inherently is territorial in nature it would seem to inevitably effect people who just happen to live or be born in the area and don't explicitly consent to it. Once one takes into account how the social dynamics of political systems actually work, as well as the problems of intergenerationality and the disagreements that exist within any society, the whole thing seems like a mish-mash that amounts to little more than relativistic tolerance towards the existence of multiple states or forms of states.

The practical reality that this picture paints to me seems to be along the lines of an even greater multitude of states over smaller geographical regions, accompanied by an even greater diversity in the form that states take. But is that freedom, or just a localized re-structuring of non-freedom?

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,209
Points 35,645
Merlin replied on Sun, Feb 28 2010 4:00 PM

Brainpolice:
The practical reality that this picture paints to me seems to be along the lines of an even greater multitude of states over smaller geographical regions, accompanied by an even greater diversity in the form that states take. But is that freedom, or just a localized re-structuring of non-freedom?

It would certainly be good enough for me.

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 1,945
Points 36,550

z1235:
I just caught a TV documentary about a U.S. prison and it occurred to me how the almost inevitable formation/rise of gangs and cliques there is possibly analogous to the formation/rise of states. Countless of "experiments" like these where you lock hundreds of individuals in a tight (scarce) space with scarce resources seem to converge to points of "stability" in which groups/collectives coerce (limit the freedom of) the individual. Hopefully I never have to test this personally, but if I was to be thrown in such an environment I'd be strongly incentivized to join a gang (and relinquish my individuality) in order to survive. For some reason, prisons don't seem to remain a horizontal set of individuals for too long before they converge into a set of gang hierarchies. I thought this could give a glimpse into "what happens".

Great post, dude.  I never thought of the prison analogy to explain why I though the rise of states (at least to the size of a "tribe") was inevitable.  Thanks, Z.

"What Stirner says is a word, a thought, a concept; what he means is no word, no thought, no concept. What he says is not what is meant, and what he means is unsayable." - Max Stirner, Stirner's Critics
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 1,945
Points 36,550

I could understand Panarchism, outside the context of the real world, but "unlimited secession" seems inherently limited by geographic scarcity.

"What Stirner says is a word, a thought, a concept; what he means is no word, no thought, no concept. What he says is not what is meant, and what he means is unsayable." - Max Stirner, Stirner's Critics
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,124
Points 37,405
Angurse replied on Sun, Feb 28 2010 5:14 PM

Jackson LaRose:
I could understand Panarchism, outside the context of the real world,

Real world?

Jackson LaRose:
but "unlimited secession" seems inherently limited by geographic scarcity.

You've abandoned your anarchy?

"I am an aristocrat. I love liberty, I hate equality."
  • | Post Points: 35
Top 25 Contributor
Posts 3,739
Points 60,635
Marko replied on Sun, Feb 28 2010 5:25 PM

z1235:

For some reason, prisons don't seem to remain a horizontal set of individuals for too long before they converge into a set of gang hierarchies.

That would be because they are filled with gangsters.

Is there taxation and monopoly on justice?

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 1,945
Points 36,550

Angurse:
Real world?

You caught me, slip into common parlance once, they are all over it.  Change it to "as a hypothetical exercise".

Angurse:
You've abandoned your anarchy?

No.

"What Stirner says is a word, a thought, a concept; what he means is no word, no thought, no concept. What he says is not what is meant, and what he means is unsayable." - Max Stirner, Stirner's Critics
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 25 Contributor
Male
Posts 3,056
Points 78,245

Angurse:

Jackson LaRose:
I could understand Panarchism, outside the context of the real world,

Real world?

Jackson LaRose:
but "unlimited secession" seems inherently limited by geographic scarcity.

You've abandoned your anarchy?

I think what he means is that the land property of a given government within panarchy inherently precludes aterritorial secession - leading us back to "love it or leave it". If individual secession doesn't require moving, and yet a micro-government in panarchy has a land claim, there is a dillema between the micro-government's land claim and individual secession in that its claim to authority inherently extends over onto the individual existing on the territory. Hence, it really isn't aterritorial in practise. If, short of either being a primitivist or starting from scratch in a barren area, one cannot avoid being on a claimed domain due to geographical scarcity, then it is practically impossible not to be subjected to one government or another.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,124
Points 37,405
Angurse replied on Sun, Feb 28 2010 5:33 PM

Jackson LaRose:
You caught me, slip into common parlance once, they are all over it.  Change it to "as a hypothetical exercise".

What is this "common parlance?" [Don't answer]

Jackson LaRose:
No.

Then what is "anarchy" but "unlimited secession?"

"I am an aristocrat. I love liberty, I hate equality."
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,124
Points 37,405
Angurse replied on Sun, Feb 28 2010 5:41 PM

Brainpolice:
I think what he means is that the land property of a given government within panarchy inherently precludes aterritorial secession - leading us back to "love it or leave it". If individual secession doesn't require moving, and yet a micro-government in panarchy has a land claim, there is a dillema between the micro-government's land claim and individual secession in that its claim to authority inherently extends over onto the individual existing on the territory. Hence, it really isn't aterritorial in practise.

That ignores the possibility of competing "governments" within any given territory, where one doesn't necessarily have to choose between governments at all.

"I am an aristocrat. I love liberty, I hate equality."
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 100 Contributor
Male
Posts 867
Points 17,790
Sphairon replied on Sun, Feb 28 2010 6:16 PM

hayekianxyz:

The point isn't that Hobbes and Aquinas are correct, or that libertarian philosophy is lacking, rather, what I'm arguing is that a lot of the arguments advanced on these boards and by the likes of Rothbard and Hoppe have absolutely no force against some of the other arguments against libertarianism.

So, which arguments basically disprove libertarianism? Those of renowned thinkers whose flawed nature you admit to, or those specifically brought up against the case for liberty? If you are referring to the latter, please provide the strongest example known to you.


Just as extreme libertarianism requires a very strong belief if property rights, so does democracy require some sort of belief in the rule of law and democratic politics. Libertarians tend to hold a curious double standard when it comes to this issue.

It's true that every political system requires faith in its institutions in order to survive.

Nevertheless, the great difference between various stripes of statism and libertarianism is that statism postulates a preemptive need to create a class of above-the-law aggressors required to maintain law and order / create social justice / what have you while banning the same behavior for regular citizens. Libertarianism, on the other hand, does not require anyone to break in law in order to enforce it. I don't know about you, but I'm not really convinced by a system that puts forth a conflicting and contradictory perception of human nature in order to justify its own existence.

But take the example of asteroid destruction that I raised in another topic, the incentives structure is such that in this case the market would most likely under provide the good in question. But what is more relevant is the fact that in this case the knowledge argument is irrelevant, even a private firm would find it very difficult to gather the relevant knowledge due to the one off nature of the good and the uncertainty that surrounds it.

Your argument basically boils down to externalities. In the asteroid example, I'm incentivized to let others pay to save our collective ass and keep my own funds to myself. There are other examples of this sort: AGW, military invasions or early warning systems for natural disasters.

Let's take your asteroid. Maybe there are two conflicting views among scientists: some say it's going to detonate in the Siberian tundra and not going to harm anyone, others say it's going to hit a major city. On what grounds do you force someone who believes in the former hypothesis to pay for asteroid destruction? Even if the latter case were certain, on what grounds do you force someone to protect a city he may not be interested in? If this sounds harsh, where do you draw the line between a) who needs to pay for it and who needn't (e.g., only Americans if it's a city in America or everyone on the planet?) and b) which kind of protection needs to be financed and which needn't (e.g., doesn't this justify global universal health care or global socialized dam construction?)?

I don't want this to come across as selfish. I'd sure like to help a city in danger of asteroid destruction if I could. But I don't claim the prerogative to make that decision for others, and I don't see how anyone could acquire it.


  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 1,945
Points 36,550

Angurse:
What is this "common parlance?"

How I talk when I'm not on the forums [Don't tell me what do do]

Angurse:
Then what is "anarchy" but "unlimited secession

Voluntary involvement.  The only unlimited (or ultimate) secession I can think of would be suicide.

"What Stirner says is a word, a thought, a concept; what he means is no word, no thought, no concept. What he says is not what is meant, and what he means is unsayable." - Max Stirner, Stirner's Critics
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,124
Points 37,405
Angurse replied on Sun, Feb 28 2010 6:25 PM

Jackson LaRose:
How I talk when I'm not on the forums [Don't tell me what do do]

Ooh. Sorry, I guess joking rhetoric goes over your head or it offends you. [Don't tell me what not to do - Oh no I did it again!]

Jackson LaRose:

Voluntary involvement.  The only unlimited (or ultimate) secession I can think of would be suicide.

Yeah, thats pretty much what is meant by unlimited secession, and suicide is obviously an obtainable option.

"I am an aristocrat. I love liberty, I hate equality."
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,360
Points 43,785
z1235 replied on Sun, Feb 28 2010 6:38 PM

Marko:
That would be because they are filled with gangsters.

Perhaps. Would you expect the outcomes to be different when random picks from the human population are thrown in the same situation? 

Marko:
Is there taxation and monopoly on justice?

Taxation (as we know it) probably not, but submission to coercion probably yes. Justice is whatever the gang leader says and his minions enforce so not much room for your input or interpretation. Finally, analogous <> equal.

Z.

 

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 1,945
Points 36,550

Angurse:
Ooh. Sorry, I guess joking rhetoric goes over your head or it offends you.

LOL, I guess you aren't too swift on the "joking rhetoric" yourself, you foreskin.

Angurse:
Yeah, thats pretty much what is meant by unlimited secession, and suicide is obviously an obtainable option.

Yep, ol' Henry Haller could always have an "accident" shaving.

 

"What Stirner says is a word, a thought, a concept; what he means is no word, no thought, no concept. What he says is not what is meant, and what he means is unsayable." - Max Stirner, Stirner's Critics
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,124
Points 37,405
Angurse replied on Sun, Feb 28 2010 6:52 PM

Jackson LaRose:
LOL, I guess you aren't too swift on the "joking rhetoric" yourself, you foreskin.

As far as I can tell... it doesn't look that way. I seem to be alone.

Jackson LaRose:
Yep, ol' Henry Haller could always have an "accident" shaving.

Exactly, unlimited secession is anarchy (at least, around here).

"I am an aristocrat. I love liberty, I hate equality."
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 1,945
Points 36,550

Angurse:
Exactly, unlimited secession is anarchy (at least, around here).

?

"What Stirner says is a word, a thought, a concept; what he means is no word, no thought, no concept. What he says is not what is meant, and what he means is unsayable." - Max Stirner, Stirner's Critics
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,360
Points 43,785
z1235 replied on Sun, Feb 28 2010 7:31 PM

Jackson LaRose:
Great post, dude.  I never thought of the prison analogy to explain why I though the rise of states (at least to the size of a "tribe") was inevitable.  Thanks, Z.

Thanks. 

Z.

 

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,124
Points 37,405
Angurse replied on Sun, Feb 28 2010 9:12 PM

"...for a government allowing unlimited secession is of course no longer a compulsory monopolist of law and order but a voluntary association."

"I am an aristocrat. I love liberty, I hate equality."
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 1,945
Points 36,550

Angurse:
"...for a government allowing unlimited secession is of course no longer a compulsory monopolist of law and order but a voluntary association."

Like a union of egoists?

"What Stirner says is a word, a thought, a concept; what he means is no word, no thought, no concept. What he says is not what is meant, and what he means is unsayable." - Max Stirner, Stirner's Critics
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,124
Points 37,405
Angurse replied on Sun, Feb 28 2010 9:47 PM

Like a market.

"I am an aristocrat. I love liberty, I hate equality."
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 1,945
Points 36,550

Angurse:
Like a market.

Eh, tomehto, tomahto.

"What Stirner says is a word, a thought, a concept; what he means is no word, no thought, no concept. What he says is not what is meant, and what he means is unsayable." - Max Stirner, Stirner's Critics
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,124
Points 37,405
Angurse replied on Sun, Feb 28 2010 10:00 PM

Jackson LaRose:
Eh, tomehto, tomahto.

Not exactly, the Union included some quasi-Heglelian evolution of man, not so for a market.

"I am an aristocrat. I love liberty, I hate equality."
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,209
Points 35,645
Merlin replied on Mon, Mar 1 2010 1:18 AM

z1235:

Marko:
That would be because they are filled with gangsters.

Perhaps. Would you expect the outcomes to be different when random picks from the human population are thrown in the same situation? 

Or, to go further, do “gangs” spring up in low-security prisons? Schools? Kindergartens? Sports teams? Tourist groups? Extended families? The fact that gangs do spring up in maximum security prisons is to be attributed, perhaps, to the fact that such gangs have an economic purpose outside of prison: continue trafficking.

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,551
Points 46,635
AJ replied on Mon, Mar 1 2010 9:54 AM

Sage:

AJ:
In any case, an anti-monopolist can sidestep all this by reducing his position from, "Let's break the monopoly on law and keep it broken" to "Let's break the monopoly on law and see what happens."

But doesn't this reduction also reduce the anti-monopolist position into nothingness? If the position is just "see what happens," then anything goes: you could break the monopoly on law and watch a monopoly on law arise again, and that would be "anti-monopolist."

No, the anti-state (anarchist) position is of course characterized by the belief that anarchy will work. To assume that "seeing what happens in anarchy" is not enough, or that it will result in Statism, is to cut the ground from underneath the anti-state position.

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,551
Points 46,635
AJ replied on Mon, Mar 1 2010 10:01 AM

Brainpolice:
I think it reduces hyper-pluralism and relativistic emergentism to absurdity, in that it basically just says "let's push the restart button and whatever emerges emerges" (including states).

But the point was made in the OP that basically that's as good as it gets. You cannot impose your preferred system without some kind of minarchy. The RESET button may seem an absurd option, but that's the best we can do. In any case, it's not really pushing the RESET button, because that itself would take force. It's about educating people, and most everything the LvMI already does except for the objective ethical programs and other speculation that seems unwarranted to me and I think maybe you (correct me if I'm wrong).

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 25 Contributor
Male
Posts 3,056
Points 78,245

AJ:

Sage:

AJ:
In any case, an anti-monopolist can sidestep all this by reducing his position from, "Let's break the monopoly on law and keep it broken" to "Let's break the monopoly on law and see what happens."

But doesn't this reduction also reduce the anti-monopolist position into nothingness? If the position is just "see what happens," then anything goes: you could break the monopoly on law and watch a monopoly on law arise again, and that would be "anti-monopolist."

No, the anti-state (anarchist) position is of course characterized by the belief that anarchy will work. To assume that "seeing what happens in anarchy" is not enough, or that it will result in Statism, is to cut the ground from underneath the anti-state position.

It seems to me that to take the attitude of relativism is to cut the ground from underneath the anti-state position. And a culture of anti-authoritarianism *is* the ground underneath the anti-state position, which is to say that anti-statism is just a conclusion and consequence of something else rather than an end in and of itself. Political conditions arise out of culture, not vice versa.

The idea of simply pressing the state collapse button and then being a shrugger about consequences from that point onwards is self-defeating. On the other hand, the idea of real-world preconditions for a sustainably free society is just realism. Yes, anarchy will work, but state collapse by itself and literally whatever "emerges" afterwards irrespective of norms isn't anarchy - it's anomie.

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,551
Points 46,635
AJ replied on Mon, Mar 1 2010 10:10 AM

z1235:

AJ:
In any case, an anti-monopolist can sidestep all this by reducing his position from, "Let's break the monopoly on law and keep it broken" to "Let's break the monopoly on law and see what happens."

I just caught a TV documentary about a U.S. prison and it occurred to me how the almost inevitable formation/rise of gangs and cliques there is possibly analogous to the formation/rise of states. Countless of "experiments" like these where you lock hundreds of individuals in a tight (scarce) space with scarce resources seem to converge to points of "stability" in which groups/collectives coerce (limit the freedom of) the individual. Hopefully I never have to test this personally, but if I was to be thrown in such an environment I'd be strongly incentivized to join a gang (and relinquish my individuality) in order to survive. For some reason, prisons don't seem to remain a horizontal set of individuals for too long before they converge into a set of gang hierarchies. I thought this could give a glimpse into "what happens".

I completely agree, in the sense that the attributes of the units of a spontaneous order necessarily bound the conditions of the order that develops. If you live in a society chock to the brim with thieves, murderers and rapists, the spontaneous order will not be as nice as the one that develops from a society of mostly nice folks.

This suggests that states may be inevitable once the average character of each person in the society is below a certain threshold. See the post in my sig for a full explanation of this position.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 25 Contributor
Male
Posts 3,056
Points 78,245

AJ:

Brainpolice:
I think it reduces hyper-pluralism and relativistic emergentism to absurdity, in that it basically just says "let's push the restart button and whatever emerges emerges" (including states).

But the point was made in the OP that basically that's as good as it gets. You cannot impose your preferred system without some kind of minarchy. The RESET button may seem an absurd option, but that's the best we can do. In any case, it's not really pushing the RESET button, because that itself would take force. It's about educating people, and most everything the LvMI already does except for the objective ethical programs and other speculation that seems unwarranted to me and I think maybe you (correct me if I'm wrong).

Normativity itself isn't necessarily imposition. This is a fallacy that I see popping up over and over again - the conflation of the idea of normative preconditions for the realizability of a goal and top-down imposition or central planning. If I say that you won't achieve X without Y, that X emerges out of Y, and proceed to advocate Y, it doesn't follow that I'm proposing a top-down plan. The whole point is that the end in question can only be realized as a bottom-up consequence of normative preconditions. Freedom doesn't occur in a normative and cultural vacuum. A completely ungrounded anti-statism, with no larger context and sprinkled with normative relativism, is not "the best we can do", let alone a realistic concept of freedom.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,551
Points 46,635
AJ replied on Mon, Mar 1 2010 10:30 AM

z1235:

Marko:
That would be because they are filled with gangsters.

Perhaps. Would you expect the outcomes to be different when random picks from the human population are thrown in the same situation? 

Separate point from what I wrote above, but yes, not only would I expect the situation to be different with a random selection of people, I also think the presence of prison guards and the uniquely sucky situation of being incarcerated and under watched guard also obscure how many parallels can be drawn between prison life and an actual society.

Among many fundamental differences that could make the comparison less useful, in actual society there are long-held traditions (common law, customs, etc.) that evolved to keep society working. Even I don't think a spontaneous order would be all sunshine and rainbows from the get-go if you just took a bunch of random people and put them together in a highly adverse and unfamiliar situation with no common law history to refer to (except that this has already been tried and worked out remarkably well: see The Not So Wild, Wild West). I still think, however, that it would be better if no centralized power emerged.

Here's another way to think about it: The State developed when human beings were in worse conditions, less educated, less economically interconnected, less informationally interconnected (the Internet), less technologically advanced (personal firearms!), and everything I mention in the article linked in my sig.

My main point is that States did develop spontaneously in the past, but we could be living in a society where a spontaneous anarchic order could now be feasible for exactly those reasons. It might be merely the inertia of Statism that is keeping us in this condition. And if not, minarchy would be the best solution - a possibility that I concede but give a less than 1% probability. The big three things that changed back in the heyday of state formation might be guns, the marginal revolution, and the Internet. (Someone with more historical knowledge can probably make the case better than I can.)

  • | Post Points: 35
Page 2 of 6 (202 items) < Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next > ... Last » | RSS