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Why coercion is an essential and beneficial element of maximal-capitalist society.

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yessir replied on Mon, Oct 4 2010 5:23 PM

 

"in sum, individuals, firms, and societies that are economic centric will outperform and attain hegemony over societies that are based more on aesthetic, non-economic goals."

Ok thanks for clearly stating the argument. Now how would you respond to Block's points:

1. A program of forced transfer of 1 eye from a normal sighted to a blind person increases social wealth (1 eye is economically speaking just as useful as 2) - under your program should (ignoring transaction cost/enforcement etc) the 2nd eye of any person legally belong to a blind person?

2. Anytime some prices change (say meat-to-vegtable prices change), land should constantly be transferred from one owner to the other; this leads in maximal constant application to an essentially non-existant private property system; With all its consequences (lack of wealth creation) a 'non-maximal-but-private property system' will still be more wealthy than a 'maximal capitalist - non private property system'

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filc replied on Mon, Oct 4 2010 5:34 PM

I really don't understand how aesthetics are not economical?

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philosophical and semantic bullshit aside ---- the profit I am referring to is an increase in ECONOMIC VALUE.   again, if an investor, firm, and society actions are motivated by economic growth and productivity then, all things being equal, these actors will see an increase in the ability to acquire and hold economic power relative to societal actors who are motivated less by economic goals and more by non-economic goals (egalitarianism, pacifism, religion, nationalism, environmentalism, et al).

You have repeatedly used the term "economic value" as if it is somehow different that any other value.  You have just as repeatedly been shown that economic value is a result of aesthetic value.  I'm assuming you disagree, because you haven't responded tothe point at all.  So, in the interest of a healthy dabate, can you please define your terms?  What is "economic value" and how is it different from aesthetic value?  It is not, as you seem to think, obvious.


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Rettoper, dismissing all of  my questions posted in good faith as semantics and bullshit is not sufficient to claim a good argument.

You've offered up ideas which directly contradict the propositions you said you agreed with.  I think it is important if we're to go any further that we resolve those contradictions, otherwise we will just be shouting past one another.

Also, you didn't answer my question about theft which was very important to the debate.  I would appreciate it if you could revisit my post at your soonest convenience.  Thank you.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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yessir,

1. A program of forced transfer of 1 eye from a normal sighted to a blind person increases social wealth (1 eye is economically speaking just as useful as 2) - under your program should (ignoring transaction cost/enforcement etc) the 2nd eye of any person legally belong to a blind person?

I guarantee that if a powerful investor, firm, society believed that they can successfully use coercion to obtain body parts that significantly improve both the quality and length of life --- then coercion would be used.  however, this is not an action motivated by economic gain or improving the profitablility of an investment, firm, or society.  It is an action designed to improve the quality and length of life.

moreover, virtually all societies consider this kind of action reprehensible.  Indeed, even the most brutal statist regimes do not resort to cannibalism.  Nonetheless, within ancap society there would be a vibrant market for voluntary transfer of body parts from financially distressed individuals to physically handicapped financially well-to-do individuals.   And, it is not a stretch to assert that a black market of investors, PDAs, and societies would be available for hire to obtain body parts by coercion.

Your example is primarily a use of coercion to obtain some aesthetic gain (improved quality and length of life from new body parts) -- it is not motivated by economic gain -- but yes, if an extremely skilled and valued individual (isaac newton, ford, edison, da vinci, et al) in an important economic enterprise needed a heart, kidney, liver, et al to survive and continue benefitting society then using coercion to remove the heart from a vagrant or other non-productive parasite would result in an economically more productive society. Moreover, the incentives created by this kind of action would lead to a more vibrant and productive workforce since individuals, firms, and societies would be incentivised to work hard and be productive in order to gain economic wealth and a more vigorous security regime to deter potential threats of this nature.

In sum, ancap society makes no judgment on the morality or ethics of using coercion to harvest body parts from societal parasites in order to insure a productive member of society lives. 

 

2. Anytime some prices change (say meat-to-vegtable prices change), land should constantly be transferred from one owner to the other; this leads in maximal constant application to an essentially non-existant private property system; With all its consequences (lack of wealth creation) a 'non-maximal-but-private property system' will still be more wealthy than a 'maximal capitalist - non private property system'

I have never rejected private property.   Try to avoid misrepresenting my arguments.  When coercion is used by a private investor, firm, society to annex an economically valued resource -- the property is still in private hands after the involuntary transfer.

moreover, despite constantly changing valuations for resources, generally the utility of coercion to obtain economic gain will not be considered profitable.  Most valued resources will be adequately defended despite minor fluctuations in prices.  It is when an owner is severely negligent in effectively exploiting his valued resources over a long period of time and hence his resource is inadequately defended that potential threats will emerge from competitor investors, firms, and societies.

Indeed, in today's geopolitical anarchic environment, peace still reigns in most quarters of the world. Nonetheless, mankind has seen precious few years of history when the entire world was at peace.  Similarly, ancap society would be constantly at war in areas of the globe where owners of valued resources mismanaged these resources or when societal changes led to extreme shifts in the balance of power among competing investors, firms, and societies.

Liberalism differs radically from anarchism. It has nothing in common with the absurd illusions of the anarchists... Liberalism is not so foolish as to aim at the abolition of the state.-- von Mises, Omnipotent Government

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Jack Cuyler,

You have repeatedly used the term "economic value" as if it is somehow different that any other value.  You have just as repeatedly been shown that economic value is a result of aesthetic value.  I'm assuming you disagree, because you haven't responded tothe point at all.  So, in the interest of a healthy dabate, can you please define your terms?  What is "economic value" and how is it different from aesthetic value?  It is not, as you seem to think, obvious.

 

economic value is the ability of a resource to earn the owner a economic gain, capital accumulation, or monetary profit.

aesthetic value is the ability of a resource to earn the owner a non-economic gain, hence foregoing a monetary gain from oil drilling to preserve the pristine natural condition of a parcel of land.   a quiet walk in the wilderness is an aesthetic goal -- driling for oil on that same parcel of land is an example of an economic goal.

if an owner utilizes a valued resource specifically for economic gain or monetary gain then that owner is more likely to see an increase in economic strength relative to owners who utilize a similar valued resource for other than economic gain.

to illustrate, two adjacent parcels of land.  owner X is motivated by economic gain, hence extracts the oil underneath the property.   owner Y is motivated by aesthetism and preserving the aesthetic value of the land, hence he rents cabins or simply leaves the land vacant and enjoys quiet walks or pristine views.  Owner X will inexorably become the dominant economic player in this neighborhood, hence he will have more capital for security, aggression, et al.   

another example, owner W is negligent and distracted and leaves the land abandoned.  Owner Z is motivated by some measure of economic gain and builds cabins, softball fields, driving range, et al.    Owner Z will inexorably become the dominant economic player in this neighborhood, hence he will have more capital for security, aggression, et al.   

The property owners who utilized their resources for economic gain will insure that they have more capital and therefore more security then negligent owners who are motivated by some other consideration other then economic gain.  In addition, mismanaged properties will see a decline in security due to waste, inefficiency, negligence, and/or corruption.

individuals, firms, and societies that are motivated by non-economic goals (environmentalism, egalitarianism, pacifism, nationalism, et al) will see their power decline relative to economically motivate individuals, firms, and societies.  The endgame will see these economically motivated entities attain hegemon power over non-economically motivated actors.

*valued resources represent  land, waterways, minerals, energy reserves, cultural centers, transportation hubs, capital, people, intellectual property, et al

Liberalism differs radically from anarchism. It has nothing in common with the absurd illusions of the anarchists... Liberalism is not so foolish as to aim at the abolition of the state.-- von Mises, Omnipotent Government

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Rettoper, dismissing all of  my questions posted in good faith as semantics and bullshit is not sufficient to claim a good argument.

You've offered up ideas which directly contradict the propositions you said you agreed with.  I think it is important if we're to go any further that we resolve those contradictions, otherwise we will just be shouting past one another.

Also, you didn't answer my question about theft which was very important to the debate.  I would appreciate it if you could revisit my post at your soonest convenience.  Thank you.--liberty student

arguments and rebuts based on semantic triflings  is not sufficient to claim a good argument.

my assertion is simple,

the foundation of ancap society will be capitalism --- not pacifism

hence if an investor, firm, or society believes that they can obtain a profit by using coercion to obtain valued resources -- then coercion it is.

moreover, I have demonstrated why this is advantageous to society:

coercion is used to redirected mismanaged resources from inefficient enterprises to economically efficient enterprises.

for example, the owner of a valued resource (people, land, capital, et al) chooses to forego economic/monetary gain for some aesthetic goal.   the owner foregoes drilling for oil because he values quiet walks in a pristine forest to the economic gain offered by oil drilling.   Eventually, his land will be annexed by force since a economicallly motivated investor, firm, and society will judge the use of coercion profitable considering the previous owner had under utilized his resource and therefore under defended it.  

if you consider it theft when a negligent owner is relieved of his property or resources and society has become more productive as a result -- then theft it is.

for example, I would not consider the coercive overthrow of marxist cuba by anarcho-capitalists as theft.    however, if you want to call it theft, that is your prerogative.

nonetheless, ancap society is not based on pacifism.   It is based on profit.

Liberalism differs radically from anarchism. It has nothing in common with the absurd illusions of the anarchists... Liberalism is not so foolish as to aim at the abolition of the state.-- von Mises, Omnipotent Government

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Rettoper:
If they are being underutilized then peaceful exchange is always possible by definition
what if an owner doesnt want to sell,  over values his resource, or it is under defended ?

If he doesn't use it efficiently he goes broke and has to sell the resource.

"They all look upon progressing material improvement as upon a self-acting process." - Ludwig von Mises
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Valject replied on Tue, Feb 22 2011 5:29 PM

 

the utility of coercion to achieve positive societal change is based on the following:

valued resources that are not being utlized to maximum economic benefit to society will have to change hands by violent means when peaceful exchange is not possible.

(Baseless assertion.  Also, who is making the calculation as to what is "maximum"?  It sounds to me like you're just saying a wealthier company will always rob from slightly less wealthy companies ALL THE TIME.  And isn't the diversion of resources from production to plunder one of an inherently lower economic benefit than if they were to continue production on something that is apparently making them wealthier than the owner of resources you are suggesting they might attack?  Wouldn't that leave them open to attack themselves?  Isn't it much more economically beneficial to not attack someone and worry about oneself?  Your premise says nothing.)

owners who fail to exploit valued resources effectively will see lower revenues.  as a result, less revenue will lead to weaker defenses.

(So how far do you think you can go, robbing the people who are paying you for things?  Eventually, people stop buying things from you, and you have less revenue with which to assemble the army you seem to think Facebook.com would employ.)

a profitable capitalist will identify poorly defended and under utilized valued resources and enlist a PDA to annex the resource by force when it cannot be obtained by peaceful means.

 

(You know, below you make the case that you cannot rely on morality and good nature, and you appeal to subjectivism as a defense of this.  Did it ever occur to you that it is the exact same thing to think in absolutes as to what people will do when there is a profit at stake?  Did it ever occur to you that a PDA might not take a job that would harm a potential customer?  Did it ever occur to you that just because morality won't be the basis for every decision, perhaps neither will the chance of profit?  Because, you know, people donate money to charities all the time.  'S pretty common, in fact.  You are essentially looking at a box with a cat in it and saying, "You're stupid because you think you can say for sure that the cat is dead, but there's no way to prove it.  And anyway, the cat is alive, because I said so."  At this point, there is simply nothing more to it.  This is a witling's argument.  Remedial logic is my recommendation.)

in turn, the capitalist who recognized the true value of the resource and exploited its benefits more effectively then the former capitalist or property owner has benefitted soclety by increasing societal wealth and productive capacity.  Moreover, the efficient capitalist will earn more revenue from the resource than the inefficient capitalist thereby allowing for a stronger defense which will deter predation and further violence. 

(You didn't subtract the cost of corporate warfare, tough guy.)

In sum, coercion is sometimes necessary to insure societal growth and prosperity when peaceful means are not possible or profitable.    the faith-based notion by many ancaps on this site that anarchism is peaceful is not supported by logic and free market mechanisms.

(You made two assertions without offering any proof.  While I agree that anarchism is not always going to be peaceful (why the hell do you think people protect themselves to begin with?  You yourself assumed that PDAs exist), you nevertheless offer no proof.  In a summing up.  What's the critical-thinking version of "Were you born in a barn"?)

Moreover, ancaps who discount this argument on moral grounds are deluded to think that economic decisions can be effectively determined by considering  morality, justice, equality, et al.

(As pointed out above, you make the same assumption about profit motive.)

for example, what are the units of measure and the markets for trading "morality"  "justice" "decency"  et al?

(I counter with "What formula did you use to determine whether a company that is making a profit is not using resources to maximum benefit?"  Because, you know, if we assume someone is at maximum benefit in resource use, how do we know that someone just hasn't come up with a better idea yet?  Oops.  Better pour a fortune into a manned assault.)

where does the pacifist ancap include "morality" or "justice" on his company balance sheet ?

(They don't.  What's your point?)

and can any PDA, industry, or society maximize profits and maintain competitiveness when making economic decisions influenced by subjective value judgments ?

(Are you suggesting they do so by making objective value judgments?  What does that even mean?  Wouldn't an assault on someone else for resources perceived--and the key word here is "perceived"--to be misused be a subjective value judgment?  Isn't the question of whether it is worthwhile to plunder something subjective?  If not, why?  Explain.  Go on.)

according to the faith-based pacifist ancap, yes.

(Faith-based?  Faith in what?  Congratulations.  You're mediocre.)

I say no.

(He offers no further explanation.  We call this an "opinion", friend.  Opinions, by the way, are subjective.)

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Rettoper replied on Wed, Feb 23 2011 7:46 AM

If he doesn't use it efficiently he goes broke and has to sell the resource.--emperorNero

It is possible and probable that negligent owners can still misallocate resources to less than maximum profit and still make a slight profit.  Moreover, outright owners of valued resources can allow these resources to sit idle without threat of going broke.

For example, environmentalists acquire Saudi oil to prevent drilling.  

Liberalism differs radically from anarchism. It has nothing in common with the absurd illusions of the anarchists... Liberalism is not so foolish as to aim at the abolition of the state.-- von Mises, Omnipotent Government

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  • It is possible and probable that negligent owners can still misallocate resources to less than maximum profit and still make a slight profit.

Yes, but their returns would be so low compared to everyone else (by necessity, since they misallocate resources) that they couldn't raise funds and couldn't innovate. As everybody else has who access to capital gets more efficient due to technological progress, they would have to use larger and larger shares of their 'gold mine' rents to maintain their infrastructure, while commodity prices go down because of progress. Eventually they'll go broke and have to sell the resource. This is one of the basic processes of capitalism, that leads to resources being in the hands of those who use them efficiently. Lefties have a problem with that process, because they only see how poor farmers lose their homes to greedy bankers, see Capitalism: A Love Story. But all his this talk about underutilized resources is kind of besides the point, see next paragraph.

  • Moreover, outright owners of valued resources can allow these resources to sit idle without threat of going broke.
  • For example, environmentalists acquire Saudi oil to prevent drilling.

Now you're talking about owners of resources who just plain don't feel like exploiting them. There would be plenty of examples of that, in fact most people wouldn't use their land to the fullest economic benefit. So there would be underutilized resources. So what? I see no reason this translates into low defenses. If someone is rich enough to forgo profits, he probably has the spare money for defenses.

But all this talk about underutilized resources and defenses is kind of besides the point anyways. Because there wouldn't need to be defenses at all. So let's just assume that no resource would be defended at all. You can ignore this post until here. Now you still have the task of showing that in a stateless society there would be a war for resources, i.e. that it's profitable to steal resources. But nobody would go through the expense of maintaining a large military force to steal resources. It's just not a profitable business model. I think I made a pretty solid argument that there wouldn't be any sort of PDA with a significant military force, here and here. You directed me to this thread as a response, but I can't really find anything that addresses that. (But the thread is long, so I guess I wouldn't find it if it were here.)

As I mentioned in the other thread, having resources isn't really that profitable any more. And it will become less profitable in the future.  Pretty much all commodity prices in the free market go down, the real money is in manufacturing, knowledge, service, ideas, not natural resources. In the future owning resources will not be the kind of 'gold mine' you expect it to be.

I'm actually inclined to agree with your other argument, that constitutional republicanism is supposed to be cage where the power-hungry can consume themselves in constant competition for limited power while under our gaze. And that we might have a problem in anarchy because those people would be doing some destructive busywork. But the theory that there would be wars about resources; not so much. I would rather try to make the argument that anarchism possesses enough checks and balances to keep the power-hungry under control, that would be a much more realistic argument than the one about wars for oil fields.

"They all look upon progressing material improvement as upon a self-acting process." - Ludwig von Mises
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It seems that his debate is missing a crucial point.

An entreprenuer who fails to afficiently use his/her resource will fail to be competitive, and thereby fall behind in the market.

He/she will be forced to maximize profits and eficiency in order to avoid bankruptcy, or will have to sell his/her property for sub-market price to recover at leat part of the loss.

No violence needs to be involved in order for this resource to be transfered to a more efficient entreprenuer.

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Rettoper replied on Wed, Feb 23 2011 9:15 AM

Baseless assertion.  Also, who is making the calculation as to what is "maximum"?  -- valject

The market.   Owners who are negligent in managing their valued resources (and they are many in capitalist systems since 99.99% ultimately fail) will not have a level of security that matches the economic value of the resource .

however I have explained this in detail in previous posts 

It sounds to me like you're just saying a wealthier company will always rob from slightly less wealthy companies ALL THE TIME.--valject

strawman argument.  I challenge you to produce a single post in which I stated ALL THE TIME.  please read my posts.

coercion will be used when (1) peaceful exchange is not possible, (2) peaceful exchange is more costly than the use of coercion, and (3) the transaction costs of coercion are less than the anticipated gain from annexing the valued resource.

And isn't the diversion of resources from production to plunder one of an inherently lower economic benefit than if they were to continue production on something that is apparently making them wealthier than the owner of resources you are suggesting they might attack?--valjack

No. 

the USA spends less than 5% on defense as a percentage of GDP,  in contrast net profit within the economy is more than 5%/GDP.  Using your logic,  if an operating expense of more than 4% of total costs than it is not cost effective.  This is an unsound assertion since by coercion and profit are integral components of a prosperous and dynamic free market

essentially, they create a dynamic in which valued resources must be utilized effectively or plunder and loss will result.  society as a whole benefits.

Wouldn't that leave them open to attack themselves?  Isn't it much more economically beneficial to not attack someone and worry about oneself?  Your premise says nothing.--valjack

No.  I dont think you understand the nature of force and coercion.    Your thinking is from the pacifist perspective -- pacifist are of no consequence since they dont know how to confront or wield force -- hence they have no power.    Your assertion that it isnt economically beneficial is wrong -- in many cases it will be beneficial depending on the tenets I have repeatedly outline above and in previous posts.

moreover, if coercion was no effective, then why do statist maintain power despite the demonstrated failure of the system to generate wealth ?

INvestors and consumers generally dont make choices based on the promotion of pacifist beliefs.  THe firms that are the most profitable, attract the most investment and consumers are the ones that are the most effective economically --- not the most peaceful or nice.

in sum, consumers and investors who allocate capital based on aesthetic subjective value judgments like peace, fairness, justice, et al instead of profit will soon see their net worth decline to nothing.

capitalism = profit and nothing more.     it could be accomplished by peaceful means, however when a conflict exists between peace and profit -- guess who wins ?

maximal-capitalism is profit, not maximal-pacifism.

IN contrast, why are capitalist under seige despite their demonstrated ability to generate societal wealth and prosperity ?

in sum, statist know how to wield armed force and other coercive means -- capitalist don't.

So how far do you think you can go, robbing the people who are paying you for things?  Eventually, people stop buying things from you, and you have less revenue with which to assemble the army you seem to think Facebook.com would employ-- valjack

investors, labor, and consumers are not going to invest in failed enterprises that cant defend their valued resources because of sympathy.  moreover, the assertion that aggressive and successful firms are going to be vilified for being profitable has no standing logically or in the real world.

if your premise was correct, then why are the US and China global and regional hegemons when these nations are among the most violent ?

in sum, ancap society would be based on maximal-Ccapitalism not maximal-pacifism.

You didn't subtract the cost of corporate warfare, tough guy. -- valjack

cease the ad hominems or I will no longer waste my time dealing with you.

I did consider the costs of coercion -- within an inefficient, wasteful, and corrupt politically connected  liberal democracy, the military-industrial complex consumes less than 5% of GDP to maintain global hegemony.  WIthin efficient and productive PDAs, the use of coercion would represent considerably less a percentage of operating revenue.   Indeed, as I stated previously coercion will represent less costs than profit on the balance sheet.

You made two assertions without offering any proof.  While I agree that anarchism is not always going to be peaceful (why the hell do you think people protect themselves to begin with?  You yourself assumed that PDAs exist), you nevertheless offer no proof. --valjack

the best way to argue your point is absent emotion and invective.  nonetheless, coercion is simply a means by which inefficient owners are relieved of their resources in the absence of peaceful means -- hence society as a whole benefits.   In contrast, pacifists would have inefficient and wasteful owners maintain control over under utilized resources and not suffer the consequences of poor managed simply because these pacifists have an aversion to a legitimate, oft used, and beneficial means to obtain desired and positive ends -- coercion.

you are on the wrong side of history, logic, and human nature.  essentially, your thinking is not guided by fact, logic, natural law, and empiricism --- it is guided by subjective value judgments that you cannot enforce or defend in the real world.

I am not going to waste my time reading and responding to the rest of your post -- it is getting too personal and mean-spirited.   Read my posts, I have most likely covered your arguments in previous posts.

Liberalism differs radically from anarchism. It has nothing in common with the absurd illusions of the anarchists... Liberalism is not so foolish as to aim at the abolition of the state.-- von Mises, Omnipotent Government

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Rettoper replied on Wed, Feb 23 2011 10:04 AM

He/she will be forced to maximize profits and eficiency in order to avoid bankruptcy, or will have to sell his/her property for sub-market price to recover at leat part of the loss.

No violence needs to be involved in order for this resource to be transfered to a more efficient entreprenuer. -- walter james

Owners of valued resources need not be entreprenuers, although they can be.  My point is that if a valued resources is under utilized (a distinct possibilty), and if that resource is not for sale (a distinct possibility), and if coercion costs are less than the gain from annexing the resource (a distinct possibility or why has coercion been so pervasive in society irrespective of whether it is executed by public or private entitites)

then coercion it is .

Liberalism differs radically from anarchism. It has nothing in common with the absurd illusions of the anarchists... Liberalism is not so foolish as to aim at the abolition of the state.-- von Mises, Omnipotent Government

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Rettoper replied on Wed, Feb 23 2011 10:06 AM

I will end this debate quickly with the following challenge to valject.

Question for valjact:

is security needed in ancap society ?

will coercion be present in ancap society ?

after you respond to these questions we can proceed.

Liberalism differs radically from anarchism. It has nothing in common with the absurd illusions of the anarchists... Liberalism is not so foolish as to aim at the abolition of the state.-- von Mises, Omnipotent Government

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Rettoper:
and if coercion costs are less than the gain from annexing the resource (a distinct possibility or why has coercion been so pervasive in society irrespective of whether it is executed by public or private entitites)

When has large-scale coercion by private enteties been worthwile without state barriers that made it artificially profitable?

"They all look upon progressing material improvement as upon a self-acting process." - Ludwig von Mises
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Rettoper replied on Wed, Feb 23 2011 10:28 AM

Yes, but their returns would be so low compared to everyone else (by necessity, since they misallocate resources) that they couldn't raise funds and couldn't innovate. nero

there is a time preference involved.  Many aggressive profit motivated actors are not going to sit around waiting for a mismanaged resource to fail.

As everybody else has who access to capital gets more efficient due to technological progress, they would have to use larger and larger shares of their 'gold mine' rents to maintain their infrastructure, while commodity prices go down because of progress. Eventually they'll go broke and have to sell the resource. Nero

Not all owners of valued resources are in it to make money.  many are motivated by some aesthetic goal -- environmentalism, nationalism, egalitarianism, pacifism, culturalism, luddism et al.

Now you're talking about owners of resources who just plain don't feel like exploiting them. There would be plenty of examples of that, in fact most people wouldn't use their land to the fullest economic benefit. So there would be underutilized resources. So what? I see no reason this translates into low defenses. If someone is rich enough to forgo profits, he probably has the spare money for defenses.-- Nero

this is where your house of cards collapses.  If they were rich, they havent acted inefficiently.  Your making the assumption that an actor can be both economically negligent and economically rich at the same time.   Nonetheless, a formerly 'rich' actor would have to continue to act in an efficient manner or he would likely see his resources under greater risk of predation.

in sum, you need to effectively manage your resources or you will not have the means to defend them.   of course, if you come to the table with wealth from past successes that temporarily negates risk.  however, it is obvious that this business model of draining capital from past successes to defend under utilized resources in the present is not sustainable.

But all this talk about underutilized resources and defenses is kind of besides the point anyways. Because there wouldn't need to be defenses at all. So let's just assume that no resource would be defended at all. You can ignore this post until here. Now you still have the task of showing that in a stateless society there would be a war for resources, i.e. that it's profitable to steal resources.-- Nero

then you are stating that security would not be necessary in ancap society !?!

would man suddenly  become pious and pure ?

But nobody would go through the expense of maintaining a large military force to steal resources. It's just not a profitable business model. I think I made a pretty solid argument that there wouldn't be any sort of PDA with a significant military force, here and here.--Nero

how would you defend your resources against statists ?

moreover, how can you in all seriousness claim that coercion as a means to obtain economic gain cease from the human condition ?

dont you think this is utopian, naive, and empirically and logically unsound thinking ?

As I mentioned in the other thread, having resources isn't really that profitable any more. And it will become less profitable in the future.  Pretty much all commodity prices in the free market go down, the real money is in manufacturing, knowledge, service, ideas, not natural resources. In the future owning resources will not be the kind of 'gold mine' you expect it to be-- Nero

are you saying we dont need water, food, lithium, gold, land, steel, oil, wind, geothermal, labor, earth orbit, intellectual property, et al.

how about cruise missile, battle tanks, aircraft carriers, stealth bombers?  how would your utopian society of 'no resources' deal with statists wieldng these weapons?

 But the theory that there would be wars about resources; not so much. I would rather try to make the argument that anarchism possesses enough checks and balances to keep the power-hungry under control, that would be a much more realistic argument than the one about wars for oil fields.But the theory that there would be wars about resources; not so much. I would rather try to make the argument that anarchism possesses enough checks and balances to keep the power-hungry under control, that would be a much more realistic argument than the one about wars for oil fields.-- Nero

the means to wage war (and POWER) are from mineral resources, energy reserves, labor, and manufacturing facilities -- all capital intensive.

the bottom line is that statists are creatures who cannot compete effectively on the free market -- hence they gain desired outcomes by alternate means, including coercion.   ANcap society would need constant security to defend against this threat.  However, there is no means within ancap society to forestall the emergence of a hegemon defense cartel within a region.

also, not everyone is motivated by economic goals,  many are motivated by pacifism, egalitarianism, environmentalism, religion, nationalism, culturalism, et al.       I dont see how these adherents are going to surrender power without a fight -- hence you will always need security.

ancap society would quickly devolve into a series of territorial monopoly PDAs similar to today's geopolitik.

unless as you say -- resources dont matter in ancap society and statists will automatically become pure and just.

I just dont buy into that belief.  Indeed, you could have isolated enclaves that are utterly peaceful, however they would quickly be overrun by more aggressive and violent profit driven enclaves and firms if their resources and land was of any value.

Liberalism differs radically from anarchism. It has nothing in common with the absurd illusions of the anarchists... Liberalism is not so foolish as to aim at the abolition of the state.-- von Mises, Omnipotent Government

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Rettoper replied on Wed, Feb 23 2011 10:31 AM

When has large-scale coercion by private enteties been worthwile without state barriers that made it artificially profitable? -- Nero

 

This morning in libya, yesterday in bahrain, and last week in egypt.

and about 230 years ago in Boston and Virgina.

Liberalism differs radically from anarchism. It has nothing in common with the absurd illusions of the anarchists... Liberalism is not so foolish as to aim at the abolition of the state.-- von Mises, Omnipotent Government

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Rettoper:
This morning in libya, yesterday in bahrain, and last week in egypt.

and about 230 years ago in Boston and Virgina.

All these are states, not private entities.

"They all look upon progressing material improvement as upon a self-acting process." - Ludwig von Mises
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Rettoper replied on Wed, Feb 23 2011 11:53 AM

All these are states, not private entities-- Nero

what state do the protestors represent?

of course,  the protestors are private entities.

importantly note that  out of the detritus of short-lived anarchy in these revolutions I guarantee that maximal-capitalism will not emerge.

In sum, the protests are private unrest motivated to improve the protestors economic condition -- hence coercion to obtain economic ends.

doesnt that  pretty much undermine  your assertion that private entities are not coercive and that they wont use coercion to secure economic ends

Liberalism differs radically from anarchism. It has nothing in common with the absurd illusions of the anarchists... Liberalism is not so foolish as to aim at the abolition of the state.-- von Mises, Omnipotent Government

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Your making the assumption that an actor can be both economically negligent and economically rich at the same time.

No, you are making the assumption that he can't. Being rich is not dependent on being an efficient manager. You can be very inefficient and still be rich if you control valuable resources. Or be very efficient yet barely make a profit, if the resources you control have a low market price. The whole issue of efficiently or inefficiently managed resource is completely irrelevant. A capitalist will want to conquer poorly defended resources regardless of how well they are managed. The only question is whether that has a chance to be a profitable venture.

then you are stating that security would not be necessary in ancap society !?!

would man suddenly  become pious and pure ?

No, I'm saying that for the sake of the argument we should assume that there are no defenses at all, so we can move the debate forward. Because that's really not the issue. The real question is whether it would be anywhere near profitable to maintain a military force for the purpose of stealing natural resources. Tanks are expensive. Paying people to risk their lives is expensive. And once you take over a natural resource you have to defend it. It has to have a huge profit margin if you want to have any chance of making back that investment, and if it is very profitable lots of people will want to steal it from back you. Then you still have to exploit the damn resource, which also costs money. All of that adds up to so much that it's not possible to recover your costs. It's kind of like the predatory pricing debate, just with explosions. A big company could try to offer it's product below production cost to drive it's competitors out of business, become a monopoly and make a huge profit on raising the price. But they would have to make a loss for a long time in the hope of recovering it later. They would just bankrupt themselves by offering their product below production cost, so nobody tries it. (The details of that are available on the internets.)

War isn't very lucrative. It would be even more expensive for private entities, since they don't have the legitimacy of being the government, which people consider the manifestation of "societies" will. Private entities can't rely on patriotism, they would have to pay people a lot to get shot at. Also there's the cost of being evil. People don't like greedy rich companies, they won't cooperate gladly, and they might even try to boycott them. Not to mention that if it's profitable to steal resources there will be other evil resource-conquering PDA's to compete with. So it will be war; they sometimes lose a battle and don't get the resource, people die, they have to buy ammunition and replace destroyed material. It just wouldn't be profitable.

how would you defend your resources against statists ?

What statists? We are talking about private entities, right? Emerging hegemon defense cartels.

If you are asking how an anarchist society would defend against states that aren't anarchist yet you are asking a completely different question. We can debate that, but not here.

moreover, how can you in all seriousness claim that coercion as a means to obtain economic gain cease from the human condition ?

dont you think this is utopian, naive, and empirically and logically unsound thinking ?

In no way am I claiming that coercion as a means to obtain economic gains would cease. Capitalists will try to steal resources if that would be profitable. The point is that it wouldn't be. Coercion isn't profitable unless you are the state who doesn't have to bear the full cost of your actions or you are an entity like the mob that enjoys state barriers that make coercion artificially profitable. For private people "crime doesn't pay". That doesn't mean that they won't do it anyways because they are irrational about it, but your argument here is that they would have an economic incentive to do so.

As I mentioned in the other thread, having resources isn't really that profitable any more. And it will become less profitable in the future.  Pretty much all commodity prices in the free market go down, the real money is in manufacturing, knowledge, service, ideas, not natural resources. In the future owning resources will not be the kind of 'gold mine' you expect it to be-- Nero

are you saying we dont need water, food, lithium, gold, land, steel, oil, wind, geothermal, labor, earth orbit, intellectual property, et al.

how about cruise missile, battle tanks, aircraft carriers, stealth bombers?  how would your utopian society of 'no resources' deal with statists wieldng these weapons?

Now that's just a strawman argument. Obviously I'm not suggesting some sort of utopian 'no resources' society. I am arguing that maintaining a huge military force to conquer natural resources wouldn't be profitable compared to, say investing in biotech companies or car factories. Because owning natural resources isn't where great wealth comes from in a developed capitalist society. Natural resources are getting cheaper, in anarcho-capitalism that would be even more so. If you want to show that PDA's would battle over resources in an anarchist society, you have to show that businessmen would make more profit by putting their money into tanks to steal resources than voluntarist ventures like building factories.

the means to wage war (and POWER) are from mineral resources, energy reserves, labor, and manufacturing facilities -- all capital intensive.

Exactly. It's always more capital intensive to wage war than to, say, produce shoes.

I respond to the rest later.

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Rettoper:
what state do the protestors represent?

of course,  the protestors are private entities.

importantly note that  out of the detritus of short-lived anarchy in these revolutions I guarantee that maximal-capitalism will not emerge.

In sum, the protests are private unrest motivated to improve the protestors economic condition -- hence coercion to obtain economic ends.

doesnt that  pretty much undermine  your assertion that private entities are not coercive and that they wont use coercion to secure economic ends

No, because states created the barriers that makes these protests artificially profitable.

Remember my sentence: When has large-scale coercion by private entities been worthwhile without state barriers that made it artificially profitable?

We can also scratch 'large-scale' from that sentence: No coercion by private entities has ever been worthwhile without state barriers that made it artificially profitable. EmperorNero's 2nd law. (The first one is that there is no such thing as a rich socialist country.)

Rettoper:
the bottom line is that statists are creatures who cannot compete effectively on the free market -- hence they gain desired outcomes by alternate means, including coercion. ANcap society would need constant security to defend against this threat.

also, not everyone is motivated by economic goals,  many are motivated by pacifism, egalitarianism, environmentalism, religion, nationalism, culturalism, et al.       I dont see how these adherents are going to surrender power without a fight -- hence you will always need security.

By "statists" do you mean people who employ coercion? Because usually it means "people who support a strong state", and that wouldn't make sense in an anarchist society.

Rettoper:
However, there is no means within ancap society to forestall the emergence of a hegemon defense cartel within a region.

ancap society would quickly devolve into a series of territorial monopoly PDAs similar to today's geopolitik.

Sure there is, competition. That would be the old debate whether free markets naturally lead to monopolies. I say no, but there is plenty of literature about that on the web.

Rettoper:
unless as you say -- resources dont matter in ancap society and statists will automatically become pure and just.

I just dont buy into that belief.  Indeed, you could have isolated enclaves that are utterly peaceful, however they would quickly be overrun by more aggressive and violent profit driven enclaves and firms if their resources and land was of any value.

I'm not saying that. I think people will become nicer in general, but deviants will continue to exist.

Peaceful capitalist envlaves would not be overrun by more aggressive and violent profit driven enclaves for the same reason that South Korea isn't overrun by North Korea; the former would be so much more productive and therefore stronger.

"They all look upon progressing material improvement as upon a self-acting process." - Ludwig von Mises
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Valject replied on Wed, Feb 23 2011 3:12 PM

 

Baseless assertion.  Also, who is making the calculation as to what is "maximum"?  -- valject

The market.   Owners who are negligent in managing their valued resources (and they are many in capitalist systems since 99.99% ultimately fail) will not have a level of security that matches the economic value of the resource .

however I have explained this in detail repeatedly -- read my posts.

 

(But you failed to address the question in any way.  Just saying "The Market" is not an answer.  You are assuming that using a resource to the maximum benefit is shown by how much security one has to protect that resource rather than how much the owner is profitting by utilization/selling of a resource.  Address this, please.  You're using the term "maximum benefit" in the same way that an anarcho communist throws around the world "average".  What is the balance, exactly, that you are claiming between the value of a resource and a level of security?  If value is subjective, shouldn't the level of security necessarily always change?  And doesn't that mean it's not something that is so clear cut as you like to put it?  I mean, what if I value an old sandwich at a security level of, say, fifty soldiers?)

It sounds to me like you're just saying a wealthier company will always rob from slightly less wealthy companies ALL THE TIME.--valject

strawman.  I challenge you to produce a single post in which I stated ALL THE TIME.  please read my posts.

coercion will be used when (1) peaceful exchange is not possible, (2) peaceful exchange is more costly than the use of coercion, and (3) the transaction costs of coercion are less than the anticipated gain from annexing the valued resource.

 

(Not a strawman at all.  It was quite implicit. You implied that a company that profits greater than others, allowing them to afford to buy a bigger army, would view how their less successful (even if they were, in fact, somewhat successful) competitors as misusing resources that they themselves could use.  Therefore, pending the the impetus of said company, they would plunder their competitors.  If your idea holds true, this would be as constant as there are A) successful companies, B) slightly less successful companies, and C) entrepreneurs willing to hire guns to steal from others.  Since A and B are given in any society with a market, and we both concede that there are such people as C, that is precisely what you are saying, whether you put it into words or not.)

And isn't the diversion of resources from production to plunder one of an inherently lower economic benefit than if they were to continue production on something that is apparently making them wealthier than the owner of resources you are suggesting they might attack?--valjack

No. 

the USA spends less than 5% on defense as a percentage of GDP,  in contrast net profit within the economy is more than 5%/GDP.  Using your 'logic',  if an operating expense of more than 4% of total costs than it is not cost effective.  This is an absurd assertion since by coercion and profit are integral components of a prosperous and dynamic free market

essentially, they create a dynamic in which valued resources must be utilized effectively or plunder and loss will result.  society as a whole benefits.

 

(This entire blurb assumes that the USA operates the same way as a business.  What makes you certain that such expenses would be equivalent?  You assume defense costs to be the same as a country's defense costs vs. GDP?  What if it is a country of conscription?  I  mean, let's put aside the whole problem of economic calculation involved in a public defense system as opposed to the private one.  The USA pays for its defense forces by taxation.  A country can tax too much.  A business can only charge so much.  So a percentage of the one versus the other is a difference of acquisition of funds via force as opposed to sales.  On what deranged chart do the two cross over and point to a sum?  They are not equivalent.  If they are, show how.  By all means.

 

I think you've missed something quite important.  I posed a question asking if it would be less productive to invest in an army to plunder competitors rather than to improve services.  I don't deny for a minute that it's possible to get a good gain through plunder in very specific circumstances.  For instance, someone could be sitting on a pile of gold, and gold could be in high demand.  If they don't sell, and they aren't defending it, or can't defend it, then sure, someone could hire an army, steal it, and sell to meet demand for profit.  But that's a pretty specific situation, not to mention that ANY situation, not just the ones that are actually profitable, in which someone might use their wealth to plunder someone, has incredible blowback from many different directions.  Funds and personnel are diverted from both production and defense of one's own assets in the hopes of staging an assault.  The one being assaulted may be a producer of something that is very popular, and people may boycott the attacker.  The attacker might not actually put the resources to as "maximum" a benefit as they thought they could.  The values of people desiring the resource in question may change.  The original owner may seek vengeance.  What if the person being attacked also produces something useful to the attacker?  There's a lot of good reasons here to just wait until the hoarder is forced to sell to get buy.  If they absolutely won't sell, sooner or later everyone else will put economic pressure on the to do so, perhaps choosing to boycott that person, too.)

Wouldn't that leave them open to attack themselves?  Isn't it much more economically beneficial to not attack someone and worry about oneself?  Your premise says nothing.--valjack

No.  You dont understand the nature of force and coercion.    Your thinking is from the pacifist perspective -- pacifist are of no consequence since they dont know how to confront or wield force -- hence they have no power.    Your assertion that it isnt economically beneficial is wrong -- in many cases it will be beneficial depending on the tenets I have repeatedly outline above and in previous posts.

moreover, if coercion was no effective, then why do statist maintain power despite the demonstrated failure of the system to generate wealth ?

(You assume far too much.  What makes you think I'm a pacifist?  I don't remember ever calling myself a pacifist.  Why do you assume a pacifist doesn't know how to wield force?  And since when can't a pacifist understand the nature of coercion?  What do you think it is to wait until a company becomes insolvent to buy assets cheaply?  A gun doesn't have to be put to someone's head to coerce them to sell at a lower price.  The pacifist merely waits until the seller has no choice.  You could say coercion has a dual-naturedness in that regard.  It can be direct, or it can be like a game of chess, where you back the competition into a corner financially.  That's actually pretty powerful.  Where do I assert that it isn't economically beneficial to steal by force?  As a personal opinion, I believe that there are times when it is, and there are times when it isn't.  You can at least acknowledge that stealing is not always beneficial, can't you?  I merely raised the question of whether a businessman, in a world that you describe, where he is under the threat of being assaulted for his assets, is better off not trying to attack someone else in order to defend his own resources.  The only case in which my question isn't valid would be if the person or company in question was "top dog", so to speak.  The perceived most efficient company, with the most wealth and the greatest ability to pay for an army, is the only one who doesn't face that situation.  Certainly we're not limiting the discussion of a company's use of force to this one entity?  After all, they are so wealthy that they can just defend themselves and keep doing good business.  Perhaps they get the notion to plunder once in a while, just for kicks, but at the top, why bother?)

INvestors and consumers generally dont make choices based on the promotion of pacifist beliefs.  THe firms that are the most profitable, attract the most investment and consumers are the ones that are the most effective economically --- not the most peaceful or nice.

(I don't remember ever saying that pacifism was a driving factor in business decisions.  Perhaps it is sometimes.  I don't deny that either.  But quite frankly, business is business.  Just because pacifism isn't a driving force doesn't mean it never plays a role.  Being violent isn't always a driving force in business decisions, and you're certainly not throwing that one to the wind in this discussion.  Otherwise your whole idea comes to a screeching halt.)

in sum, consumers and investors who allocate capital based on aesthetic subjective value judgments like peace, fairness, justice, et al instead of profit will soon see their net worth decline to nothing.

(So using force isn't also a subjective business decision?  You're implying that heavily.  Violence is every bit as aesthetic as peace.  Can you prove that there is not a single business that can't prosper by being peaceful?  Because I'm pretty sure Google hasn't gone to war with anyone lately.  I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say that government prevents them from doing so, but that just goes to show that peacefully approaching business is possible.  Of course, I don't see where  justice and fairness fit into this conversation at all.  I don't think anyone was claiming that a company would be better off redistributing their wealth than plundering another company.)

capitalism = profit and nothing more.     it could be accomplished by peaceful means, however when a conflict exists between peace and profit -- guess who wins ?

(Prove that one always wins over the other.  I could punch my best friend and take his wallet.  I'd say that peace has every bit as much a chance to win as profit, as long as profits can be made in other ways.  Now, if we somehow formulate a world where it is impossible to profit but for stealing, then I totally agree with you.  But that's just because self-preservation is a powerful driving force.)

maximal-capitalism is profit, not maximal-pacifism.

(Define your terms?  What is maximal-capitalism?  What is maximal-pacifism?  I mean, it's either capitalism or it isn't.  It's either pacifism or it isn't.  And again, where am I saying I'm a pacifist?  Where am I waving a pacifist banner and saying "Everything will be peachy and people will automatically never hurt each other!"?  All I'm saying is that the situation you've described isn't the impenetrable wall of logic you prescribe it to be.)

IN contrast, why are capitalist under seige despite their demonstrated ability to generate societal wealth and prosperity ?

in sum, statist know how to wield armed force and other coercive means -- capitalist don't.

(So here you're saying that successful businesses WON'T wield force?  Which side are you on again?  I mean, even I won't go so far as to say that successful companies are full of angels who would do no harm.  That's every bit as ludicrous as saying it will always happen, inevitably.  So I guess what you meant to say is the exact opposite:  Those who DON'T have the means to use things efficiently will rob from those who do.  Well, no argument here.  I pay social security, after all.)

So how far do you think you can go, robbing the people who are paying you for things?  Eventually, people stop buying things from you, and you have less revenue with which to assemble the army you seem to think Facebook.com would employ-- valjack

investors, labor, and consumers are not going to invest in failed enterprises that cant defend their valued resources because of sympathy.  moreover, the absurd assertion that aggressive and successful firms are going to be vilified for being profitable has no standing logically or in the real world.

(So why do so many people talk about the evils of Wal-mart?  No, I should stop there...that's enough...but I just can't control myself sometimes.  Are you saying that no one EVER villifies things that successful firms do?  I'll tell you what's absurd.  You just said, above, that capitalists are always under attack by statists.  I mean, really.  You're doing somersaults from one standpoint to the next.  And you make another assertion above:  That people are going to invest in enterprises based on the level of security they have.  First, why would anyone invest in a failed enterprise?  I'll assume that's an error in word order...forget that.  But if the company being attacked was successful in the first place...and people make investments based on ability to defend resources...then aren't they well defended?)

if your premise was correct, then why are the US and China global and regional hegemons when these nations are among the most violent ?

in sum, ancap society would be based on maximal-Ccapitalism not maximal-pacifism.

(I thought it was based on free trade?  And what do states have to do as proof to what you are trying to get across?)

You didn't subtract the cost of corporate warfare, tough guy. -- valjack

cease the ad hominems or I will no longer waste my time dealing with you.

I did consider the costs of coercion -- within an inefficient, wasteful, and corrupt politically connected  liberal democracy, the military-industrial complex consumes less than 5% of GDP to maintain global hegemony.  WIthin efficient and productive PDAs, the use of coercion would represent considerably less a percentage of operating revenue.   Indeed, as I stated previously coercion will represent less costs than profit on the balance sheet.

(It's not ad hominem if I also attack the argument, which I did quite succinctly.  You did not subtract the cost.  You "considered" the cost.  The point exactly being that you CANNOT subtract the cost, because you don't know it.  You are not only assuming it will be worth the cost, you're comparing it to an unrelated system and an unrelated situation.  Do you think that all costs for defense are going to fall in the same range, percentage wise versus profits, as the military industrial complex shows versus GDP?  Can you show how you arrived at this conclusion?  You are also making the assertion about the costs of hiring a PDA.  Here's a situation.  Did it ever occur to you that the price to hire for assault as opposed to defense of one's own property might be higher?  Sure, you can probably find a company willing to risk its reputation as a defender of assets and attack someone like hired goons...but don't you think the price of service is going to go up when they have to acquire such a reputation?  I can't prove that it will, but neither can you prove that it won't.  And what if they perceive the value in the assault being launched, and raise their price given the circumstances that the hiring company stands to gain a good profit?  And wouldn't this be a boon to the strictly defensive PDA market?  Wouldn't more people, seeing these attacks happening, invest in defense, thus increasing the amount and competitiveness of defensive agencies?  Competitive pricing will make such service much more acquirable than hiring an assault team, won't it?  If we're just going to throw around some current comparisons, it costs a lot more to hire a killer than a bodyguard.  But hey, I won't say that this proves anything.  After all, there will be differing circumstances that I can't put into calculation.  I can, however, consider.  And I know the difference.)

You made two assertions without offering any proof.  While I agree that anarchism is not always going to be peaceful (why the hell do you think people protect themselves to begin with?  You yourself assumed that PDAs exist), you nevertheless offer no proof. --valjack

the best way to argue your point is absent emotion and invective.  nonetheless, coercion is simply a means by which inefficient owners are relieved of their resources in the absence of peaceful means -- hence society as a whole benefits.

(What about the benefits of whatever the inefficient owner had to offer?  Again, this person could still be making a profit at something, and just happens to be holding a resource that someone else thinks could be useful.  Is attacking that person and taking that resource, scaring away their workers and possibly doing damage to property of any benefit?  What if that person was making socks and happened to have oil.  Someone wants the oil, but the owner doesn't want to sell.  So they go in, fire some bullets, damage some machines, and scare off workers.  Now this guy has oil, and if his guess is right he can do something with the oil for profit.  However, people have left their job making socks, and damage to machines is causing less socks to be made.  So society is shorted socks.  What if winter is coming soon?)

   In contrast, pacifists would have inefficient and wasteful owners maintain control over under utilized resources and not suffer the consequences of poor managed simply because these pacifists have an aversion to a legitimate, oft used, and beneficial means to obtain desired and positive ends -- coercion.

(You make the assumption that anyone who isn't a pacifist would murder their own mother for a buck.  You also think the pacifist wouldn't put pressure on someone to sell.  It's possible to not sell in turn, thus making it difficult to live so long as the owner of a resource won't trade.  And just how often will anyone sit on a valuable resource anyway?  Especially after going broke?  It's not impossible, but is this something you think would be a common occurence?  And that has to cross another line on the graph representing someone who would actually have a use for the resource AND has the money for a strike force.  In fact, if this idiot goes bankrupt while having gold bricks laying around, force is hardly even necessary.  Run up and take the gold without hiring anyone.  Certainly that is more efficient than hiring a strike force.  At least...providing you know the owner isn't carrying.  Oh, yes.  Very important point.  If that person is leaving himself open to such a situation as being plundered, isn't it his responsibility?  You talk about how it's legitimate, which is a subjective notion, so you can't prove that.  You say "oft used" with complete disregard for the fact that the choice to use force is also situational and subjective, and you throw around the term "beneficial" like you have some magic knowledge of what's best for society, for a company, for a defense firm, etc.  And then, with zero proof, you say it is a positive end.  Hey, it's not the best analogy, but potassium cyanide can help you crap if you need to.  But there are other effects that should probably be taken into account.)

you are on the wrong side of history, logic, and human nature.  essentially, your thinking is not guided by fact, logic, natural law, and empiricism --- it is guided by subjective value judgments that you cannot enforce or defend in the real world.

(Funny that...I've been saying the exact same thing about your arguments.  Oh, and explaining my assertions.  What's not subjective about what you are saying?  If my claim that other ways to deal with the situation exist, and you say that I am on the wrong side of things in all those regards, then you imply that history, logic, and human nature has never shown any form of a peaceful transaction.  I'd say there's been a lot of peaceful AND coercive things, even in the most extreme historical texts.  And I certainly don't go around touting peace to be "legitimate" like it's a given.)

I am not going to waste my time reading and responding to the rest of your post -- it is getting too personal and mean-spirited.   Read my posts, I have most likely covered your arguments in previous posts.

(It STARTED mean spirited.  Not personal, though.  Egypt was personal.  You're just passing practice.  I'm exactly the type of person you are referring to, in fact.  I'm the unforgiving capitalist.  And a good businessman keeps on top of his game.  And I don't care about your other posts if your argument is here.  If you can answer me in other posts.  Link them.  Or don't.  None of this matters to me a hair, sir.  I'm exercising my mind and having fun doing so.  Terribly sorry to say, but the world isn't all peace-loving, just, and fair people.)

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Valject replied on Wed, Feb 23 2011 3:19 PM

 

(You'll end this quickly with a challenge to me?  Nobody cares about you and I, genius.  They're going to put in their two cents, same as us.  What am I, some kind of god that they are all measuring themselves against?  I doubt they think so, even if both of us do.)

 

Question for valjact:

is security needed in ancap society ?

You would have to show me such a society before we could prove anything one way or another.  My opinion, yes.  What do you think that proves about your own argument?

will coercion be present in ancap society ?

Well, unlike some folks, I don't pretend to know if the cat is dead or alive inside the box.  My opinion again?  Yes.  And again, how does that prove the absolute you suggested?

after you respond to these questions we can proceed.

Hah!  Proceed with WHAT?  You prancing about proclaiming what the state of affairs will be like some self-proclaimed omniscient?  No thanks.  Everyone else is doing a fine job of handling this without me.  And I have bigger fish to fry...but don't feel offended, as perception of what constitutes a big fish is subjective from person to person.

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filc replied on Wed, Feb 23 2011 3:44 PM

Why coercion is an essential and beneficial element of maximal-capitalist society.

If this principle were true, we could apply it to the two party voluntary exchange example. The initiation of violence from one party to the other is some how argued to benefit both. 

IE the argument is, that even if one party would not have voluntarily gone with the exchange, it was good for them regardless. This form of indentured servitude, is said to benefit the suffering party.

This is essentially the skeletal form of Rettoper's argument. Stating that coercion is an essential element, ignores voluntary exchange and praxeology all together.

Capitalism is built from praxeology. Not from coercion.

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Rettoper replied on Thu, Feb 24 2011 6:08 PM

is security needed in ancap society ? -- Rettoper

 

You would have to show me such a society before we could prove anything one way or another.  My opinion, yes.  What do you think that proves about your own argument? --valjact

will coercion be present in ancap society ? -- Rettoper

 

Well, unlike some folks, I don't pretend to know if the cat is dead or alive inside the box.  My opinion again?  Yes.  And again, how does that prove the absolute you suggested?-- valjact

If coercion is present in ancap society AND if security is needed --- then do you agree/disagree with the following tenets:

other factors being constant -- as the level of security for a given resource decreases does the likelihood of predation of that resource increase ?

And,

other factors constant -- if the value of a given resource increases, the level of security remains unchanged, does the likelihood of predation of that resource increase ?

Liberalism differs radically from anarchism. It has nothing in common with the absurd illusions of the anarchists... Liberalism is not so foolish as to aim at the abolition of the state.-- von Mises, Omnipotent Government

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Rettoper replied on Thu, Feb 24 2011 6:19 PM

If this principle were true, we could apply it to the two party voluntary exchange example. The initiation of violence from one party to the other is some how argued to benefit both. --- filc

strawman --- only you are applying my principle to two party voluntary exchange.

IE, I challenge you to produce the quote in which I stated that both parties benefit from violence.

nice try, but no cigar.

This is essentially the skeletal form of Rettoper's argument. Stating that coercion is an essential element, ignores voluntary exchange and praxeology all together. --filc

this is your crude bastardization that has nothing to do with my thesis.  it is another strawman argument.

for your benefit I will repeat some basic tenets that are obvious by objective, rational, and independent thinking measure:

coercion will be used by rational profit seeking actors in ancap society to obtain valued resources when the following conditions are present:

1) peaceful exchange is not possible,

2) peaceful exchange is more costly than the use of coercion,

3) the transaction costs of coercion is less than the anticipated gains from annexing the valued resource.

IN sum, I do not ignore voluntary exchange.  It is fundamental to my argument at it implies that peaceful exchange is preferred to coercion when possible. 

Liberalism differs radically from anarchism. It has nothing in common with the absurd illusions of the anarchists... Liberalism is not so foolish as to aim at the abolition of the state.-- von Mises, Omnipotent Government

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Valject replied on Fri, Feb 25 2011 3:13 PM

 

is security needed in ancap society ? -- Rettoper

 

You would have to show me such a society before we could prove anything one way or another.  My opinion, yes.  What do you think that proves about your own argument? --valjact

will coercion be present in ancap society ? -- Rettoper

 

Well, unlike some folks, I don't pretend to know if the cat is dead or alive inside the box.  My opinion again?  Yes.  And again, how does that prove the absolute you suggested?-- valjact

If coercion is present in ancap society AND if security is needed --- then do you agree/disagree with the following tenets:

other factors being constant -- as the level of security for a given resource decreases does the likelihood of predation of that resource increase ?

And,

other factors constant -- if the value of a given resource increases, the level of security remains unchanged, does the likelihood of predation of that resource increase ?

 

(To be able to get anything out of this, we have to know at least certain other factors.  Those factors, problematically, consist of each  individual that could conceivably be involved with the predation.  You're looking at it in black and white.  Let's examine some situations in response to both of your questions.  First, "level of security" is an arbitrary attachment.  A multi-millionaire could look at a firm's security and say, "It's very good security.  I don't want to mess with that."  On the other hand, a scheming, intelligent, homeless bum might look at the same security and say, "I can deal with that."  Same with individual private contractors.  Their prices could also vary depending on their perception of the difficulty fo the job versus their resources, or any other number of factors on their own side, even if we keep the factors of the potential victim constant.  The likelihood of predation is the problem that warrants my refutation.  It is the point entirely.  It's not a matter of me saying it isn't likely.  It's a matter of the subjectiveness inherent in the idea.  You are simply denying that an individual person has a choice in the matter of whether or not to be a predator if the opportunity arises.  You aren't even taking into account the subjective nature of an individual to decide what warrants becoming a predator.  At the very least, you would have to be able to prove that obtaining the resources is easier for the attacker than to simply not bother, and that is a devil's proof.  You can't do it.  You can't show this as a definite pattern of action in these circumstances, let alone demonstrate it at the individual level.  I won't go proposing that I can prove it would not happen, but it's a fool's errand on both sides of that fence.  It simply is indeterminate.  How can you possibly imagine that you know that everyone will look at the same levels of security for the same things at certain values and have the same reaction?  And there is a whole other part to that which has yet to come up, but should.  A businessman with no moral objection to theft might seize such an opportunity, determined by his own belief that it is beneficial for him.  However, this does not prove that a businessman with a moral objection to theft will do the same in the same situation.  Do you acknowledge, at the very least, that?  That a person with an objection to theft won't steal just because there is an opportunity?  I'll acknowledge that anyone can change their objection, or do something they objected to and feel bad about it, but I will not acknowledge that it is a given that anyone with such an opportunity will always change their predisposition.  There's no proof that can be given to back it up as a constant.  If you would stop claiming that the issue is completely clear-cut, you might find we actually agree.  It's what "tu ne cede malis" is saying, in fact.  But there's not a chance in hell I'll grant acknowledgment to a proof that does not exist.)

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Valject replied on Fri, Feb 25 2011 3:19 PM

IN sum, I do not ignore voluntary exchange.  It is fundamental to my argument at it implies that peaceful exchange is preferred to coercion when possible. 

(This is your problem.  It does not follow at all.  You can NOT prove that peaceful exchange is a preference.  How do you know?  Perhaps I prefer to beat the hell out of people and take their stuff.  It's a subjective problem, not an objective one.  There is absolutely nothing about a free market society that implies peaceful exchange being preferred when possible.  Nothing.  Rather, the one advocating a free market is usually demonstrating reasons why people might, as a matter of coercion by natural forces rather than authoritarian ones, engage in peaceful exchange.  All the preferences of each individual with regards to peaceful exchange or coercion of their neighbors remain completely subjective, no matter the type of society.)

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Rettoper replied on Fri, Feb 25 2011 3:28 PM

Valjact,

If coercion is present in ancap society AND if security is needed --- then do you agree/disagree with the following tenets:

other factors being constant -- as the level of security for a given resource decreases does the likelihood of predation of that resource increase ?

And,

other factors constant -- if the value of a given resource increases, the level of security remains unchanged, does the likelihood of predation of that resource increase ?

Thanks for the dissertation, but you still have not answered these simple questions.  

 

 

Liberalism differs radically from anarchism. It has nothing in common with the absurd illusions of the anarchists... Liberalism is not so foolish as to aim at the abolition of the state.-- von Mises, Omnipotent Government

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Rettoper replied on Fri, Feb 25 2011 3:36 PM

This is your problem.  It does not follow at all.  You can NOT prove that peaceful exchange is a preference. --valjack

of course peaceful exchange is preferable since both parties agree to it.  In contrast,  when coercion is utilized only one party considers it a favorable course of action.

Perhaps I prefer to beat the hell out of people and take their stuff.  It's a subjective problem, not an objective one.--valjact

of course the means used to obtain desired ends are subjective.   however that doesn't mean these actions are random in the aggregate or that they cant be calculated and planned for.

by your definition, and using pacifist ancap 'logic'  determining and allocating an intelligent assessment on security spending is not possible.

it is amusing that pacifist ancaps are as equally clueless at calculating the economic cost of security as the statist is at calculating prices in a command economy.

for example, if you discount my assertions -- how would you calculate an appropriate expenditure on security for a given resource in your ancap society ?

Liberalism differs radically from anarchism. It has nothing in common with the absurd illusions of the anarchists... Liberalism is not so foolish as to aim at the abolition of the state.-- von Mises, Omnipotent Government

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filc replied on Fri, Feb 25 2011 3:36 PM

Rettoper:
strawman --- only you are applying my principle to two party voluntary exchange.

There are exchanges outside of 2 party exchanges? And if so, lets say a 3 party exchange. Everyone passes one good to the left, I don't still don't see how anything would be different.

Rettoper:
IE, I challenge you to produce the quote in which I stated that both parties benefit from violence.

Umm.... Isn't the entire premise for your whole argument that a certain level of coercion(Taxation and policing), maintained by a "Liberal Democracy" is in the aggregate better for society? 

Or are you finally changing your position?

Rettoper:
this is your crude bastardization that has nothing to do with my thesis.  it is another strawman argument.

No it seems like a pretty acurate summarization of your position.

Rettoper:
coercion will be used by rational profit seeking actors in ancap society to obtain valued resources when the following conditions are present:

1) peaceful exchange is not possible,

2) peaceful exchange is more costly than the use of coercion,

3) the transaction costs of coercion is less than the anticipated gains from annexing the valued resource.

IN sum, I do not ignore voluntary exchange.  It is fundamental to my argument at it implies that peaceful exchange is preferred to coercion when possible.

All of this just seems like a re-iteration of what I summarized, and you rejected, above. FYI I don't see any strawmen anywhere. :p

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Valject replied on Fri, Feb 25 2011 3:43 PM

 

If coercion is present in ancap society AND if security is needed --- then do you agree/disagree with the following tenets:

other factors being constant -- as the level of security for a given resource decreases does the likelihood of predation of that resource increase ?

And,

other factors constant -- if the value of a given resource increases, the level of security remains unchanged, does the likelihood of predation of that resource increase ?

Thanks for the dissertation, but you still have not answered these simple questions.  

(Actually, I did.  You read the part about the millionaire and the thief, right?  Giving you a yes or no allows you to steer the debate without acknowledging any inherent problems your question might have.  I cannot allow that.  The simple fact, of course, is that I can only tell you my own likelihood.  Can you prove that it is more or less likely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, without making broad assumptions about individual character and situation?  I wager that you cannot.)

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filc replied on Fri, Feb 25 2011 3:49 PM

Valject:
 Can you prove that it is more or less likely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, without making broad assumptions about individual character and situation?  I wager that you cannot

He will try. He consistantly ignores the economic costs of institutionalized crime. Assuming that theft always yields one-way profit.

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Valject replied on Fri, Feb 25 2011 3:58 PM

 

This is your problem.  It does not follow at all.  You can NOT prove that peaceful exchange is a preference. --valjack

of course peaceful exchange is preferable since both parties agree to it.  In contrast,  when coercion is utilized only one party considers it a favorable course of action.

 

(Just saying "of course" isn't proof.  I even offered an example, from my own perspective.  I clearly show, when I say that I'd like to beat people up, that it is a preference.  Whethere or not the other party agrees is irrelevant.  You're speaking of it being preferable as if there is an outside party making that judgment across a broad social spectrum.  The addition of the preferences of both parties to provide a zero-sum is just some made up thing.  You're just describing an AND gate.)

Perhaps I prefer to beat the hell out of people and take their stuff.  It's a subjective problem, not an objective one.--valjact

of course the means used to obtain desired ends are subjective.   however that doesn't mean these actions are random in the aggregate or that they cant be calculated and planned for.

(The means used are objective.  My fist is a fact.  My gun is a fact.  My choice in means, and my choice in which action to take, also objective, as they are choices that can be plainly shown to have been made, but my reason for making each choice is completely subjective.)

by your definition, and using pacifist ancap 'logic'  determining and allocating an intelligent assessment on security spending is not possible.

(Not at all.  But we'll get to the bold print for that.)

it is amusing that pacifist ancaps are as equally clueless at calculating the economic cost of security as the statist is at calculating prices in a command economy.

(I'm not a pacifist.  Whatever calculation problem you are seeing is skewed, because you are viewing it from the perspective that the amount of security needed for a certain resource is objective.  If nobody wants to steal what I have, but I really think that it's valuable enough that someone will, it is my subjective decision that is going to guide my choice in amount of security, which will be determined versus other factors that I may value more or less highly.  Perhaps I'm willing to forego having someone to sweep the floors each night in exchange for extra security.  Perhaps I'm a neat freak, and even though I'd like more security, I value having a clean floor more than the excess.  But let's see you go ahead and tell me what the price of security is before I make that decision.)

for example, if you discount my assertions -- how would you calculate an appropriate expenditure on security for a given resource in your ancap society ?

(By my own tastes, and my own perceived needs.  I don't necessarily know beforehand how to calculate how much money to bring to McDonald's.  I might get there and see a new item, or decide I want something different.  I can BUDGET for McDonald's, and I can BUDGET for security, but even my budget allocation for each is subjective, and subject to change as well.  You can try to put a formula to it as much as you like, but it will fall prey to the same problems as the labor theory of value.  Certainly you don't think that the amount of security necessary in individual situations has a fixed value?)

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Rettoper replied on Fri, Feb 25 2011 4:05 PM

filc, this is your lucky day !  You are now the owner of a valued resource.  Now answer the following questions:

does coercion exist in ancap society ?

if so, is security required ?

if so, how is the cost of security for a given resource calculated ?

In sum, are ancaps capable of calculating the costs of security ? 

although it appears that  pacifist ancaps incapable of making a practical and economically sound determination of security costs since they dont seem to understand that a  relationship exists between a resources value, the level of security, and the risk of theft.

amusingly, it appears that the 'pacifist wing of the ancap party' is rendered prostrate when trying to determine a reasonable and rational amount of money to spend on security  for a given resource irrespective of whether it is a 10 speed bike or the panama canal.

it appears that they are  incapable of making practical assessments and putting these assessments into a plan of action when subjectivity is in the equation.

i got news for ancaps, subjectivity is a fact of life when making calculations for determining the level of security for a given resource or determining prices for goods and services in a free market.   Nonetheless, certain tenets are self-evident among rational profit seeking actors in any society:

coercion will be used by profit seeking actors when:

1) peaceful exchange is not possible,

2) peaceful exchange is more costly than the use of coercion,

3) the transaction costs of coercion is less than the anticipated gains from annexing the valued resource.

IN sum, if a profit seeking actor does not utilize coecion under these circumstances, then that actor is either acting irrationally or profit is not the primary motivation of that actor.

Lastly, the actors in ancap society that are primarily profit seeking (as opposed to pacifists, egalitarians, spiritualists, nationalists, environmentalists, racists, sexists, et al) will eventually acquire the most capital and hence be the most powerful actors in society since capital is the means by which coercion is best applied (battleships, stealth bombers, satellites, tanks, cruise missiles, et al)

all other factors being constant -- as the level of security for a given resources decrease -- do you agree that the likelihood the resource will be subject to predation increases ? 

and,

all other factors being constant --- as the value of a resource increases and the level of security remains constant, do you agree that the likelihood the resources will be subject to predation increases?

Liberalism differs radically from anarchism. It has nothing in common with the absurd illusions of the anarchists... Liberalism is not so foolish as to aim at the abolition of the state.-- von Mises, Omnipotent Government

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filc replied on Fri, Feb 25 2011 4:20 PM

Rettoper:
if so, how is the cost of security for a given resource calculated ?

The same way the cost of a donut is calculated at starbucks. 

Rettoper:
 relationship exists between a resources value, the level of security, and the risk of theft.

The relationship does not differ between the subjective valuation of a donut, when the markets pricing mechanism creates a price for such a service. it is all subjective valuation. I feel like we have already answered this for you 10 fold? Are you now trying to pretend that valuation changes when security is involved?

Rettoper:
amusingly, it appears that the 'pacifist wing of the ancap party' is rendered prostrate when trying to determine a reasonable and rational amount of money to spend on security  for a given resource irrespective of whether it is a 10 speed bike or the panama canal.

If we could calculate the equilibrium price of any good in the market(Security for example), it would undermine the whole point of the market in the first place now wouldn't it?

Woops Stepping over into Rettoper paradox world! 

Rettoper:
i got news for ancaps, subjectivity is a fact of life when making calculations for determining the level of security for a given resource or determining prices for goods and services in a free market.

Umm, this isn't news. It's a core tenant?

Rettoper:
oercion will be used by profit seeking actors when:

1) peaceful exchange is not possible,

2) peaceful exchange is more costly than the use of coercion,

3) the transaction costs of coercion is less than the anticipated gains from annexing the valued resource.

Rettoper:
IN sum, if a profit seeking actor does not utilize coecion under these circumstances, then that actor is either acting irrationally or profit is not the primary motivation of that actor.

Or the actor's profit loss analysis takes additional factors into consideration that you simply overlook. Like long-term reputational consequences, long-term deterioration of exchange, market ostracization, legal expense. The list I am sure goes on.

Theft usually is the result of high time preference amongst the individual. The more and more organized the crime syndicate becomes, the less and less criminal becomes thier behavior. Untill eventually they are forced to act as honest businessmen and are at the mercy of consumer sovereignty. A perfect example of this is the mafia being pushed into gambling and drug sales. A profit maximizing crime syndicate will become an honest business in short time frame, if the goal is long-term revenue generation.

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Rettoper replied on Sat, Feb 26 2011 1:05 AM

The same way the cost of a donut is calculated at starbucks. --filc

how is the cost of both a donut and security determined ?    provide a hypothetical firm, pick your donut, pick your resource, and give me an example of what factors of production and demand lead to price of a donut or the level of security that will earn the vendor a profit and protect his investment at the same time.  Similarly, list the specific factors or considerations that the owner of say the panama canal must examine to determine a reasonable level of security that will still allow him to earn a profit from his resource while still deterring theft.  

i think your demonstrable inability as a pacifist to engage in economic calculation with respect to security in a capitalist system parallels the statist inability as an egalitarian to engage in price determination in a command economy.

If we could calculate the equilibrium price of any good in the market(Security for example), it would undermine the whole point of the market in the first place now wouldn't it? --filc

your engaging in another strawman argument.  the fact that equilibruim is fluid does not mean that the primary factors that influence the determination of the level of security is fluid and undetrimenable.  for example, while the optimum price for a good or service cannot be determined at any given point since it is both subjective and fluid --- the factors that drive the price can be determined.  with respect to security it is obvious to any rational actor that the value of a resource drives the level of security in the same direct correlation that an increase in supply leads to lower prices. 

In sum, it is self-evident to all but faith-based pacifists that the value of a resource is critical to determining how much capital should be expended to defend that resource.  Moreover, as the level of security for a given resource decreases, there is a corresponding increase in the risk of theft of that resource irrespective of whether it is the panama canal, saudi oil, mesabi range, et al.

otherwise the level of security for a given resources is indetriminable or cannot be calculated with any degree of rational and objective determination similar to the statist problem calculating prices in a command economy.

in sum, capitalism is the optimum system because it is based on economic profit.    the problem occurs when faith-based actors put some aesthetic economically uncalculable goal ahead of profit.  with the marxists, it is egalitarianism.   with the environmentalists, it is mother earth.  with the islamists, it is allah. with you, it is pacifism.

Or the actor's profit loss analysis takes additional factors into consideration that you simply overlook. Like long-term reputational consequences, long-term deterioration of exchange, market ostracization, legal expense. The list I am sure goes on. -- flic

it is obvious from your statement that you are not a profit-seeking actor -- you are a pacifist first, a capitalist second.   Hence, you will not prevail in open competition for scarce resources with capitalists since  you will  act in the name of pacifism and peace instead of earning a profit.

i can easily expose this weakness.

would you invest in an enterprise that guaranteed the highest return on your dollar, if that firm used coercion to obtain these profits ?

or would you choose to invest in a less profitable but peaceful enterprise that provided 90% of  the return on investment of the coercive enterprise ?

of course, you cannot calculate or determine the profitable course of action since your motivation is primarily pacifist instead of capitalist.

In sum, faith-based pacifists will slowly lose wealth and capital relative to primarily profit-driven actors in ancap society.   And again, pacifists will remain  marginalized and fringe in ancap society as they are in contemporary soceity.

Theft usually is the result of high time preference amongst the individual. The more and more organized the crime syndicate becomes, the less and less criminal becomes thier behavior.-filc

True, and pacifism is the tool by which the established order, however corrupt, inefficient, and negligent, preserve their hold on underutilized resources without suffering the consequences of bad management.

did you ever consider why the most extreme statist regimes are among the most peaceful ?   the established order hates coercion once it gains power since coercion is the primary means by which these brutal, corrupt, and wasteful regimes are removed from power.

A profit maximizing crime syndicate will become an honest business in short time frame, if the goal is long-term revenue generation. -- filc

where do you include 'honesty' on your balance sheet ?    what is the cost per unit of honesty ?   on what market does honesty trade ?  or for that matter pacifism ?  

you are trying to introduce aesthetic  faith-based value judgments when making economic calculations  that distort your ability to correctly judge market forces.

stick to those considerations that you can include on your balance sheet or income statement.

for example, I am the owner of the panama canal --- you are my security manager -- approximately how much do we need to spend on security and why ?  what are the threats and how can we meet those threats ?  what type of weapon systems, if any, do we need ?  do we need intelligence agents, if so, what percentage of costs?  

and dont tell me that you cant determine real costs and systems for providing security since these prices are fluid and subjective -- I know that is the case, however I want a list of security expenditures and the rationale for why I need them or dont need them.   by your example, nobody would be able to rationally and profitably spend a dime since they would be rendered prostrate and  hand wringing in the fetal position due to the subjectivity and fluidity of the markets.

and if you tell me that the risk of theft is not possible because all citizens in ancap society suddenly become pious, then you can go back to flipping burgers  at the local fast food joint  because your fired.

 

the amusing thing about this whole argument is that you are arguing for the capitalist point of view on a capitalists website and in reality you place pacifism ahead of profit.

you are not a capitalist. I am.

you are primarily a pacifist  who desperately wants to believe that the most effective system for generating societal health and well being is also pacifist -- and that simply is not true.

if you want pacifism, look to a geopolitik that of liberal democracies -- they will be utterly peaceful (and somewhat prosperous if statist abuses can be institutionally and systematically removed)

http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/

 

 

 

Liberalism differs radically from anarchism. It has nothing in common with the absurd illusions of the anarchists... Liberalism is not so foolish as to aim at the abolition of the state.-- von Mises, Omnipotent Government

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Rettoper replied on Sat, Feb 26 2011 1:49 AM

Can you prove that it is more or less likely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, without making broad assumptions about individual character and situation?  I wager that you cannot -- valjack

He will try. He consistantly ignores the economic costs of institutionalized crime. Assuming that theft always yields one-way -filc

logically, I can guarantee that  the profit driven actor will accumulate more wealth and capital then the pacifist driven actor assuming both are rational.

I can also guarantee that the profit driven actor in ancap society will be more effective at wielding armed force because of his material wealth and the fact that coercive power is best wielded by those that possess the most technologically advanced and numerous tanks, planes, ships, et al -- that can best be secured by an unrestricted policy of profit seeking versus conditional profit seeking that imposes limitations on the means used to obtain profit -- namely coercion is off limits.

I can also guarantee that profit driven investors and enterprises will be the most prosperous and powerful actors in ancap society and that these actors will fund activities and enterprises with only one goal in mind, profit  --- IN contrast, the pacifists in ancap society will be funding individuals and enterprises that are not necessarily the most profitable, hence they will see their wealth and capital decline relative to the more profit -driven actors in ancap society.

Hence, the pacifists will not have a pot to piss in at the end of the day ---- not much different from the condition  they find themselves in throughout history.  Like the native american indian who both shunned profit and coercion -- they will be enslaved or marginalized in ancap society.

in sum, neither of you are capitalists, you are primarily pacifists hoping dearly that the most efficient system for generating wealth is pacifist.  and that isnt true when peace and profit clash --- profit is king.   at least  you have discovered that capitalism is the most efficient so you have that going for you which is preferable to the marxist, islamist, tree hugger, unionist, nationalist, fascist, et al.

I can prove this easily:

if the greatest return on your investment was an enterprise that used coercion to obtain its profits -- would you invest in this firm ?

of course, you will engage in the faith-based pacifist rationalization that coercion is not profitable despite the fact that every 2nd grader history student knows the efficacy of coercion to obtain desired ends including economically profitable ends.

in reality the money and wealth goes to the most profitable individual and enterprise in capitalist society --- not the most peaceful.     warren buffet continues to get preferential rates of return on his investments because of his success at generating a profit not because he is a nice guy ---- indeed, buffet is known for investing in firms that are complicite in violating the civil and political rights of innocent civilians.   of course a few marginal pacifists of no consequence will not fund any of his enterprises, however these pacifists are not primarily  profit driven actors so they dont have much wealth anyway.

that is why pacifists like yourselves will either have to wake up to reality or remain forever fringe and marginalized by faith-based and economically unsound aesthetically driven decisions that negatively impact your economic wealth relative to more profit driven actors.

in sum, if you really want peace:

http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/

why is this the best course of action ?

because liberal democracy is not based on profit -- it is based on life, liberty, and private property with the emphasis on life and liberty first.  However, it is  free, stable, peaceful, and prosperous (albeit not as prosperous or free as ancap society since ancap citizens are free to engage in the means of choice for obtaining ends -- including but not limited to coercion)

 

Liberalism differs radically from anarchism. It has nothing in common with the absurd illusions of the anarchists... Liberalism is not so foolish as to aim at the abolition of the state.-- von Mises, Omnipotent Government

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Rettoper: Is it cheaper to defend or attack?

It is my understanding that defense is less costly than offense which means anyone taking an aggressive stance will end up losing in the end.  Let's assume that you do have some PDA that has slowly grown over time and is now the dominate force.  Let's also assume, for the sake of argument, that the military might is robotic armies so we don't have to deal with moral and public opinion in our war scenarios.  This mega PDA launches an attack against Joe's mine who is defended by some smaller competing PDA.  Big super-PDA can win the fight, but their losses will be higher than the losses of small defensive-PDA defending Joe's mine.  The big PDA gets the mine but the cost of the 'war' was higher to them than it was to Joe defending his mine.  On top of that the big offensive PDA has to put in the resources to rebuild the infastructure of the mine since in the process of the war it was destroyed (perhaps as sabatoge by Joe during his retreat).

In the end what will happen is that the big offensive PDA will slowly bleed resources from small losses with each battle while other competing PDAs are losing less (running at lower costs, means higher profits).  Meanwhile, people peacefully running their mines do not have to go through the process of post-war cleanup and rebuilding which means they are running their mines at a lower overall cost as well (meaning higher profits).  So this war mongering PDA, while successful at hostile takeovers, is bleeding money compared to the rest of the world.  It will, over time, lose it's competative advantage and eventually fall to to another competing PDA.

If you assume that offense is cheaper than defense however, I can see how your war mongering PDA may be able to come out ahead, assuming the difference between offensive costs and defensive costs are enough to offset post-war cleanup costs.

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