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Indolent Anarchists!

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Bank Run Posted: Fri, May 30 2008 9:39 AM

      From 10. The Concept of a Perfect System of Government

The eminence of man consists in his power to choose ends and to resort to means for the attainment of the ends chosen; the activities of government aim at restricting this discretion of the individuals. Every man aims at avoiding what causes him pain; the activities of government ultimately consist in the infliction of pain. All great achievements of mankind were the product of a spontaneous effort on the part of individuals; government substitutes coercion for voluntary action. It is true, government is indispensable because men are not faultless. But designed to cope with some aspects of human imperfection, it can never be perfect.

A shallow-minded school of social philosophers, the anarchists, chose to ignore the matter by suggesting a stateless organization of mankind. They simply passed over the fact that men are not angels. They were too dull to realize that in the short run an individual or a group of individuals can certainly further their own interests at the expense of their own and all other peoples' long-run interests. A society that is not prepared to thwart the attacks of such asocial and short-sighted aggressors is helpless and at the mercy of its least intelligent and most brutal members. While Plato founded his utopia on the hope that a small group of perfectly wise and morally impeccable philosophers will be available for the supreme conduct of affairs, anarchists implied that all men without any exception will be endowed with perfect wisdom and moral impeccability. They failed to conceive that no system of social cooperation can remove the dilemma between a man's or a group's interests in the short run and those in the long run.

However, the main deficiency of this allegedly realistic approach to the problem is not this alone. It is to be seen in the illusion that government, an institution whose essential function is the employment of violence, could be operated according to the principles of morality that condemn peremptorily the recourse to violence. Government is beating into submission, imprisoning, and killing. People may be prone to forget it because the law-abiding citizen meekly submits to the orders of the authorities so as to avoid punishment. But the jurists are more realistic and call a law to which no sanction is attached an imperfect law. The authority of man-made law is entirely due to the weapons of the constables who enforce obedience to its provisions. Nothing of what is to be said about the necessity of governmental action and the benefits derived from it can remove or mitigate the suffering of those who are languishing in prisons. No reform can render perfectly satisfactory the operation of an institution the essential activity of which consists in inflicting pain.

Responsibility for the failure to discover a perfect system of government does not rest with the alleged backwardness of what is called political science. If men were perfect, there would not be any need for government. With imperfect men no system of government could function satisfactorily.

 

     That chapter is good, as well as the book. I reccomend reading the whole chapter.

     I believe the market is the best mechanism for consumer satisfaction. I do not find this converse to a system that also provides reinforcment to the common law.

     Race fans dig the wrecks. The popularity of the sport, and those that view the sport to see wrecks, indicate the barberous nature of the average joe.

     A system of no rule is no real system, it is left to individuals to forge their interpretations based on the histories of the schools of thought that evolve their conception. A system of self rule, is one that contains a method from the individual out that logically must respect other individuals.

 

 

Individualism Rocks

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If most men are bad or evil than no system of social organization will work. No intelligent anarchist says you can't have a government in some sense. Just that you can't coerce others to be part of your system of organized robbery. If you wanna see what system is preferred than make taxation voluntary and see how long modern governments stick around. Also an individual is imprefect, likewise a group of any size of individuals is imperfect, and also any ruler is imperfect. A coercive system does not solve this problem, only moral education/exploration does.

 

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Jain Daugh replied on Fri, May 30 2008 12:09 PM

First I would like to agree that I view individuals/mankind as mixtures of 'good & bad' all at the same time. If I was to 'grade' most of the people I come in contact with, I would have to give them a 'B' for being near 80% 'good' and 20% 'bad' in their choices and actions. The fact that the human world functions with some 'progress' all the time backs this up for me. Even while I tend to find and label most of mankind 'sheeple' in their overall attitudes, their actual, individual actions are not as 'social' oriented as they would like to think of them. Oh well, they live with the consequences! (and I do my best to dodge any effects they would like to put upon me)

Yes anarchy is a 'pure' state of being that is just not likely to ever happen - PERIOD. However, as I think of it, I find that the goal/objectives of anarchy is towards maximum responsibility by each individual as they go about interactions in the world we all live in. And while I do NOT appreciate being imposed upon at my cost and for another's benefit [which I didn't voluntarily agree/chose] (socialism/government), I do recognize that many people do choose to cling to the sense of 'order' that such an organization as government appears to provide. No matter that government as we understand and practice it in the human world is based upon the FALSE concept of 'control' (which is really another false sense - of security) that most people seem to gain from that thought which keeps them in SELF slavery to this insitution of their own creating. So be it - their choice.

Something I do not like about the 'system' of government is that it tends to put itself between cause and effect in regards to human actions. This reinforces the practice of 'blame and excuse' which immature (non-autonomous) people end up operating within.

If mankind can choose to 'improve' overall, people need to maxiumize the usage of what they have (decisions/abilities) while working as realistically as possible in the world they live in. Its a sad reflection to note that, as the example of fossil fuels (aka extremely concentrated energy source), shows - most of mankind would choose to use this as a 'freedom' to drive to a fast food outlet (attitude) rather than revere and utilize it in as frugal a manner as possible so as to use it as a springboard for other advancements. But being short sighted in life goals is a hallmark of immaturity no?

I'd go so far as to close my comments with an off-handed remark - for all of us to 'lighten up!' a bit and NOT waste our precious time and energies chasing the brass ring of perfection - especially regarding a 'perfect' system for human interactions - but rather to understand what and why that is important for each of us individually. And to respect and honor what others do - as long as no one's actions IMPOSE or (directly) harm (including enslaving) others.

Best wishes - Jain

 

 

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     Hi twisted, it's a matter of no rule vs. self rule, from the ground up.  The micro follows the macro and back again for a theory to follow on all levels. Just as I govern myself well. Governance should be well. I personally will continue to ball up, and sometimes be proud of some of them, or feel lucky or have learned something from it. I'm sure most of us here govern ourselves just fine, whether someone forced us or not, I'm not sure if inmates have access to this site? Going on, an embodiment of some social conformities are quite to folks liking. Like language and it's modulation over periods of time. Writing is a dandy tool that we must follow some conformities to convey thoughts. So should be the common wheel not a suckling ***, but an understanding of property rights. No one is perfect, and no government can be perfect, and gets downright despotic when it assumes to have,or seeks perfection.

If more folks would treat each other better it  might spawn hopefully mimics. Just think of things gettin' better with at least one more kind person.

     Thanks for your response: Madam Daugh. I think whether folks like it or not they must work together in order to acheive ends with efficiency. It is in ones best interest to be social. If all folks were out to get each other folks would be scarce. However we are not scarce cannabalistic beings. Every individual is just that unique. We all choose for ourselves ultimatly. Most of us do not choose to inflict pain on others or ourselves. I think it is fine to call behaivour, that is in opinion, sick or wrong, unacceptable. If some hairy monkey of a fat slob wants to strut down mainstreet nude but a proppeller beanie, fine. I would like to think it is fine for folks to ridicule him for acting weird. I think it is terrible when the piggies come rushing in to use violence on the fellow.

Things need to change and I think the way to get there is not anarchy, but autarchy.

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Jain Daugh:
I'd go so far as to close my comments with an off-handed remark - for all of us to 'lighten up!' a bit and NOT waste our precious time and energies chasing the brass ring of perfection - especially regarding a 'perfect' system for human interactions - but rather to understand what and why that is important for each of us individually. And to respect and honor what others do - as long as no one's actions IMPOSE or (directly) harm (including enslaving) others.

Yeah, I get that argument all the time...

"While what you say is correct if this were a perfect world it is not so you are incorrect."

I dismiss that logic for the simple reason that you have to push to hopefully institute this 'perfect world'. Or at least leave it better in regards to Liberty than when you entered it.

You are either Free or a Serf — I prefer to work towards the goal of someday being able to achieve my freedom than to blindly accept that as long as I obey my corporate masters I will have a pretty confortable life.

Plus it's just good clean fun baiting the socialists...

I think these forums are more of a place to perfect your arguments and get new ideas than to plan the perfect post-statist society since the majority of people who post here are of the same basic opinion on many matters.

But I do agree with the rest of what you say except for the fossil fuels example, too 'public good' for my tastes.

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Bank Run:
A shallow-minded school of social philosophers, the anarchists, chose to ignore the matter by suggesting a stateless organization of mankind.

Why does the state have rights that the individual does not?

 

 

 

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Anonymous Coward wrote

Plus it's just good clean fun baiting the socialists...

I think these forums are more of a place to perfect your arguments and get new ideas than to plan the perfect post-statist society since the majority of people who post here are of the same basic opinion on many matters.

I agree with you on this Smile

But I do agree with the rest of what you say except for the fossil fuels example, too 'public good' for my tastes.

Well I have been accused/credited with a lot of things, but thinking along the lines of (the?) 'public good' is a first for me Big Smile!! I guess I flubbed what I was trying to say - that mankind really is more internally, and short sighted (one's life time only) oriented than the 'good doers' would like to admit?!? Heck I am using 'my' share of oil too! But part of me bows to and admires those who 'walk the talk' with decisions that reflect a BETTER future for whatever reasons motivate them. I like the idea of leaving the world a bit better a place for my having given good, positive thoughts and actions irregardless of needing to have a 'plaque' declaring my contributions. I am happy that some previous person hadn't clear cut the trees where I live and it pleases me to plant more so that this 'marginal' (aka 'junk' agriculture) land is a nice place for a person to live. I DON'T need a law, regulation, public or peer pressure or gun held to my head for me to DO that.

 

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Jain Daugh:
[government] tends to put itself between cause and effect in regards to human actions.

This is not just a secondary issue, this is the root of the evil of the state, even more fundamental than non-agression.  It is key to the philosophical basis for the NAP. And you're wording of it, intentional or not, is quite precise.

Jain Daugh:
mankind would choose to use this as a 'freedom' to drive to a fast food outlet (attitude) rather than revere and utilize it in as frugal a manner as possible so as to use it as a springboard for other advancements.

How do you know that people aren't using it as frugally as possible?  Maybe somebody chooses fast food because he needs every spare minute to find the cure for cancer?  More generally, people choose fast food because they judge the use of the time they save to be more productively spent on something other than making their own dinner.  Same with the use of fossil fuels - people judge their use of it to be more efficient than the alternatives in bettering their lives in some way.  You're criticism of that choice implies that you think you have better knowledge of people's values and circumstances than they do.

 

 

The state won't go away once enough people want the state to go away, the state will effectively disappear once enough people no longer care that much whether it stays or goes. We don't need a revolution, we need millions of them.

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Anonymous Coward:
"While what you say is correct if this were a perfect world it is not so you are incorrect."

I didn't interpret it that way.  If you want to cut a piece of wood one foot long, there has to be an absolute standard for "one foot".  But you can never cut that piece of wood perfectly 12.000000000... inches long. You could spend a lifetime getting more and more zeroes after the decimal point, but you'll never get all of them.  And in the meantime, you'd never get anything built.

If the "no perfection" argument is used to counter the existence of absolute standards, it is completely wrong, as you have to have some standard in order to judge whether anything is "better" or "worse".  But if it's meant to apply to our application of those standards to concretes, it's completely correct that there is always a tradeoff between perfect and effective.

 

The state won't go away once enough people want the state to go away, the state will effectively disappear once enough people no longer care that much whether it stays or goes. We don't need a revolution, we need millions of them.

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histhasthai wrote

Jain Daugh:
[government] tends to put itself between cause and effect in regards to human actions.

This is not just a secondary issue, this is the root of the evil of the state, even more fundamental than non-agression.  It is key to the philosophical basis for the NAP. And you're wording of it, intentional or not, is quite precise.

I probably should add that for me 'government' is a man created concept not too unlike the tooth fairy, Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and (for me) including god. That fantasy IS the 'evil' that the state/government is, because that is what disconnects the person choosing to believe that fantasy from reality and responding in as good and correct a manner as they can in the (actual/real) world around them.

Jain Daugh:
mankind would choose to use this as a 'freedom' to drive to a fast food outlet (attitude) rather than revere and utilize it in as frugal a manner as possible so as to use it as a springboard for other advancements.

How do you know that people aren't using it as frugally as possible?  Maybe somebody chooses fast food because he needs every spare minute to find the cure for cancer?  More generally, people choose fast food because they judge the use of the time they save to be more productively spent on something other than making their own dinner.  Same with the use of fossil fuels - people judge their use of it to be more efficient than the alternatives in bettering their lives in some way.  You're criticism of that choice implies that you think you have better knowledge of people's values and circumstances than they do.

Dang, you guys make it hard to post brief, simplistic (yea and even steorotypical) examples without someone jumping to olympic world record leaps of conclusion! (joking!!) I was just trying to make a generalized statement about how I observe mankind's actions IN GENERAL. If each individual choice was so very well self insightful and thoughtful in excution, instead of like water - taking the course of the EASIEST path, then surely mankind would be a tad farther advanced than it is now?!? And tell that you don't find this to be true of modern boobus americaus - that most would choose to drive their car to the bath room if the doorways were wider?

As for my choices, the life that I am living now as a result of making good albeit 'hard' choices, has ended in a life that pleases me. And has been at the 'expense' of my own efforts - period. I don't see that being the case in most lives of other people I come across. Yet other's continue to play the 'insanity' game - doing the same thing over and over again, all the while expecting different results to 'happen'. This does NOT mean that I know more than they do about their lives, nor do I want to 'direct' them or care to either! But I am able to see and observe for myself what I view as 'their lives' and overall, the ratio of good/bad choices more often end in a miserable, dead end existence than a life I would choose to emulate. That said, I also have no drive to pity or compensate another's lackings. If I make lousy choices, I have to live with those. So does everyone else.

PS re the cure for cancer, haven't you been reading LRC of late? <http://www.lewrockwell.com/sardi/sardi84.html> I might go so far as to say that my reaction to your statement regarding a person who justifies choosing to eat fast food, because they needs every spare minute to find the cure for cancer, to be as much finger wagging (shame shame) as my picking on their choice to do so?!? And for sure I'm not going to buy into thinking that because it is a 'cure for cancer' and of potential massive positive effect for all humans that this person's choices as superior to mine or yours either.

Well I guess this just shows how I really must be an Indolent Anarchist!! (aren't we all? Wink[:'(]

 

 

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Jain Daugh:
for me 'government' is a man created concept not too unlike the tooth fairy, Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and (for me) including god.

Except that the state really does have an effect on the world.

Jain Daugh:
you guys make it hard to post brief, simplistic (yea and even steorotypical) examples without someone jumping to olympic world record leaps of conclusion! (joking!!) I was just trying to make a generalized statement about how I observe mankind's actions IN GENERAL.

And I'm making the point that such a generalization cannot be validly made. It's not a matter of it being too simplistic or over-generalized, it's flat out wrong. You're applying your values to the choices others make.

Jain Daugh:
my choices, the life that I am living now as a result of making good albeit 'hard' choices, has ended in a life that pleases me.

And that's the only test that matters.

Jain Daugh:
I am able to see and observe for myself what I view as 'their lives' and overall, the ratio of good/bad choices more often end in a miserable, dead end existence than a life I would choose to emulate.

Miserable by your standards.  It's valid to argue that someone's choices do not in fact lead to the values they are pursuing, or at least that they say they are pursuing.  But you're getting to dangerous ground when you question the values themselves. 

Jain Daugh:
I'm not going to buy into thinking that because it is a 'cure for cancer' and of potential massive positive effect for all humans that this person's choices as superior to mine or yours either.

It's not a matter of "superior", it's that the choices of what values to pursue are theirs.  I used a cure for cancer as an illustrative example because it's something few would dismiss as trivial or simple consumerism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The state won't go away once enough people want the state to go away, the state will effectively disappear once enough people no longer care that much whether it stays or goes. We don't need a revolution, we need millions of them.

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histhasthai wrote

Jain Daugh:
for me 'government' is a man created concept not too unlike the tooth fairy, Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and (for me) including god.

Except that the state really does have an effect on the world.

Like Santa delivers presents?!? The 'state' is a collection of people who assume that they are functioning AS THE STATE. Time to strip away the 'uniform' and confront the PERSON who is doing what ever it is that does have an effect on the world.

 

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I agree that the belief in a thing doesnt make it real, but does have an effect on the world. Just look at religion.

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