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new here, exploring ideas.

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Schadenfreude Posted: Thu, Apr 21 2011 1:42 AM

hello all. I joined this forum to learn more about austrian economics, along with anarcho-capitalism and other similar ideologies. for a while now I have flirted with libertarian socialism, and dismissed the idea of stateless capitalism as lunacy. But lately I have realized that almost every single evil of capitalism has the state involved in it somehow, which made me reconsider the idea of market anarchism. I want to learn more about it and decide if it is even remotely plausible, and if it is something I could see in a positive light.

I'm not really looking to debate atm, just wondering if anyone has any comments/advice. Thanks

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Welcome!

You've certainly come to the right place.  (Or one of them anyway.  Maybe I'm biased, but this is certainly a great resource).  Is there any aspect you're most interested in, or question you're exploring?  Have you read any economic or libertarian literature?  There has actually been a lot of discussion on ideal resources to recommend for different folks coming from different backgrounds/ideological perspectives.

If there's anything in particular that you're interested in exploring or if you're just looking for a general introduction there's plenty of recommendations a lot of us here could make.  Pleased to meet you!

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AJ replied on Thu, Apr 21 2011 1:58 AM

Welcome to the forums! I think this really is the best place to learn about anything in political economy, sometimes even philosophy.

Can you give an example of something that seemed loony about statelessness? I'll plug my favorite short-ish defense of anarchy here for you. It is a very different perspective from Rothbard, Hoppe, etc.

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William replied on Thu, Apr 21 2011 2:56 AM

It may be best to state your "angle" or how you learn things, or something like that best to get better advice.  Ex:  Are you more into strict economics, social science in general, history, philosophy, etc.

As far as econ is concerned Mises is pretty much the focal point, starting with Human Action; though there may better beginer texts that are Austrian like Econimics in One Lesson or Economics for Real People.  That said if it is econ you aare interested in, if  you don't have at least a very good grasp of mainstream macro or micro it may be a good idea to question why you are looking into heterodox ideas such as socialism or Austrian econ.

As far as philo, justice, and political theory, you have to realize how difficult it is to even establish communication here as most people are comming from different "language sets".  It is going to require a lot of patience and seperating wheat and chaff to get much out of it.

"I am not an ego along with other egos, but the sole ego: I am unique. Hence my wants too are unique, and my deeds; in short, everything about me is unique" Max Stirner
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s burgess replied on Thu, Apr 21 2011 4:32 AM

mises media is a big  resource .my advise is to start by  seeing some lectures by bob Murphy or tom woods or even better read some rothbard .even if you don't join the Austrian camp I'm sure you can learn new ways of looking at the economy and history . Austrians really do look at the economic process with a different lens.but it may take a while for you fully understand it method of reasoning.

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Step 1.

Well I was going to wait for you to respond, but since others have started with suggestions I'm just gonna go ahead and give you step 1.  Take half an hour, and watch this.  Seriously. 

This is the best, most concise yet comprehensive introduction to this world that I have ever seen.  Sure there are plenty of books you will read and full lectures you will hear, and interviews you will see.  But I know of no book that you could read in this amount of time that would offer a better intro to economics.  I think before you do anything, you should just watch this.

 

 

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That said if it is econ you aare interested in, if  you don't have at least a very good grasp of mainstream macro or micro it may be a good idea to question why you are looking into heterodox ideas such as socialism or Austrian econ.

Two quibbles:

1. Sociaslism is heterodox? It's ubiquitous!

2. Why eat the junk food first when you can go right to the nourishing stuff?

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It's easy to refute an argument if you first misrepresent it. William Keizer

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Nielsio replied on Thu, Apr 21 2011 7:27 AM

How Could A Voluntary Society Function?

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Smiling Dave:
Why eat the junk food first when you can go right to the nourishing stuff?

I pretty much agree with this.  There's a bit of a line to be drawn since it's not completely the same thing, but I liken the suggestion of learning modern macro to studying how to cut and splice physical celluloid film, or reading science books from the 1920s...so that you can "fully appreciate" how far we've come and "understand the foundations" or some other nonsense like that.

Yes, it is helpful to understand a lot of mainstream macro, if for no other reason than that's what so much of the world's policy is rationalized by (despite the nonsense that it is), and of course most micro is essential...but those are generally concepts that will be included in any Austrian analysis (e.g. law of supply and demand, law of unintended consequences, etc.)  But to try to claim that someone should waste a considerable amount of time learning that the universe revolves around the Earth, just because that's what a lot of other people believe...or that you should learn about the mathematization of government regulation and useless concepts like GDP and CPI just because that's the way economics is currently done by the mainstream, is rediculous.

There is something to be said with being at least somewhat familiar with the opposing side's view...but I'm not about to dedicate any time reading The Flat Earth Society handbook.

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thanks for the suggestions.
the only Austrian literature I've read is Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt. I've listened to some of Rothbard's lectures too. I've studied some basic mainstream economics, nothing too in depth though. so that is an avenue I would like to persue. I'd also like to explore what a market anarchist society would look like in terms of social mobility and class relationships. I've never really seen an an-cap act too concerned about those things though, but maybe I'm wrong.
 
basically, I have a very rough understanding, but whenever I see people promoting the idea of stateless capitalism they always seem to believe that every last individual would be somehow empowered with the bargaining power needed to tell companies and employers "fuck you" if they desired. I doubt this. some other random stuff that I'm concerned with is wage labor, your opinion on direct democracy, and labor vs. subjective theories of value.
 
not here to assert anything really, just to learn. thanks again.
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again with nirvana fallacies, when will people learn what comparative institutional analysis is?

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

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

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basically, I have a very rough understanding, but whenever I see people promoting the idea of stateless capitalism they always seem to believe that every last individual would be somehow empowered with the bargaining power needed to tell companies and employers "fuck you" if they desired. I doubt this.

Employers need employees as much as vice versa. So that employers bid against each other for the workers.

It's true that some individuals will not be worth much money. A drunken arrogant guy will not be the one with bargaining power, because nobody wants him. C'est la vie. I mean, should someone pay him anyway?

some other random stuff that I'm concerned with is wage labor,

Let it be determined by supply and demand, lest the company go bankrupt.

your opinion on direct democracy,

Will lead to the many poor voting themselves huge amounts of money from the few rich.

and labor vs. subjective theories of value.

The latter is right.

1. I remember arguing that sometimes one finds a diamond in the sand, sometimes one has to work hours in the mines to find one, and yet they both get the same price. Why is that? Because the buyer doesn't care about how much labor went into it.

Someone answered that the labor theory says the price is determined by the average amount of labor put in, not the labor of every particular instance. But in that case, since half the world is below average by definition, they are getting overpaid. So that if the workers of the world unite, half of them will not lose their chains, but their free lunch.

2. And really, when you go to the store and are attracted to something, do you say "I really want that. Look how much labor [or average amount of labor] went into it, yum!" I suspect that you could not care less how much labor went into it.

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Neodoxy replied on Thu, Apr 21 2011 2:36 PM

"direct democracy"

It's democracy without rules, it is inherently nothing more than mob rule. Just because the majority believes that something is right does not make it right and the fact is that the vast majority of people don't have the time or interest to develope a reasoned opinion on things. Even if they did they would be using force against their fellow men in order to achieve their goals. It is barbaric to the extreme and would probably lead to on interest group controlling all others, for instance the poor or the middle class screwing over everyone else.

Might does not make right nor do numbers

As for value theory this debate really is one that is dead and needs to stay dead, its been beaten to death on this site alone a thousand times. Inevitably it is subjective valuations which lead to something's value, not its labor time. If a thousand people smashed Tv's into little bits the bits would be useless, labor itself did not do anything, and adding the words "socially necessary" onto LTV just includes subjective theory as only individuals based upon what they believe can deem something "necessary" or not.

 

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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Giant_Joe replied on Thu, Apr 21 2011 2:45 PM

I'd also like to explore what a market anarchist society would look like in terms of social mobility and class relationships. I've never really seen an an-cap act too concerned about those things though, but maybe I'm wrong.

Read some Hoppe or watch some of his videos. You might like "Democracy: The God that Failed"

I have a very rough understanding, but whenever I see people promoting the idea of stateless capitalism they always seem to believe that every last individual would be somehow empowered with the bargaining power needed to tell companies and employers "fuck you" if they desired.

The bargaining power isn't equal, but it's there. The idea is that in an efficient free market, there isn't just a demand for jobs, but a demand for labor beyond what's available, driving wages up. There is no concern for the idea of alienation. Essentially, I buy Rothbard's argument about alienation of the laborer with his product: "So what?"

some other random stuff that I'm concerned with is wage labor, your opinion on direct democracy, and labor vs. subjective theories of value.

What are your concerns about wage labor? You won't find fans of democracy here, nor the labor theory of value.

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A lot of people around here start to foam at the mouth when they hear direct democracy.  Its a bad form of organization for large, heterogenous groups, but works ok for very small homogenous groups.  This is why it works decently for swiss cantons or small towns.

they said we would have an unfair fun advantage

"enough about human rights. what about whale rights?" -moondog
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Foam at the mouth? You're better than that, mika.

Found a TV miniseries about how decently it works in small towns:

 

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boniek replied on Thu, Apr 21 2011 3:56 PM

I don't care what other people will choose, just leave me and my free market alone please and I will extend the same courtesy to you. Want direct democrazy? Fine, I don't care as long as you don't impose it on me.

"Your freedom ends where my feelings begin" -- ???
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William replied on Thu, Apr 21 2011 7:04 PM

I'd also like to explore what a market anarchist society would look like in terms of social mobility and class relationships. I've never really seen an an-cap act too concerned about those things though, but maybe I'm wrong.

I don't think there is much to speculate on.  The best thing to do is say what can and can not be said about huan action and society, and just look at a sort of consequentialism as the only thing that can really be discussed.  Every other type of statement just tends to disintigrate when talking about such things.  That said it should be noted that technocracy and cosmopoitanism are probably sort of "givens" to call oneself a capitalist in the political sense of the world.

 

basically, I have a very rough understanding, but whenever I see people promoting the idea of stateless capitalism they always seem to believe that every last individual would be somehow empowered with the bargaining power needed to tell companies and employers "fuck you" if they desired. I doubt this. some other random stuff that I'm concerned with is wage labor, your opinion on direct democracy, and labor vs. subjective theories of value.

Once again, I think it comes down to an approach of what can and can not be said of intersubjective relations in countless unique situations and objections ever shifting in context and perspective.  Things like "barganing power", law of business, etc have to be put in a catagory of "custom" and that is about it. 

"I am not an ego along with other egos, but the sole ego: I am unique. Hence my wants too are unique, and my deeds; in short, everything about me is unique" Max Stirner
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Good intros imo

The State Is Not Great: How Government Poisons Everything:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXNRzI64L9Q

Rothbard on corrupt and criminal private courts and defense services:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bqo7XMkbtEk

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