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

A more proper, convenient, and accurate frame for libertarianism

rated by 0 users
This post has 10 Replies | 2 Followers

Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 4,987
Points 89,745
Wheylous Posted: Fri, Jan 20 2012 5:26 PM

Oftentimes I hear things like "well, the government can be thought of as one big corporation that then steals from you. See? You offer no solutions."

This completely misses the point that culture plays a large role in determining the type of society that arises.

It also places too much emphasis on the state as it is currently, while AnCaps are against any institutionalized initiation of aggression against property.

So I propose this reframing of the AnCap purpose:

To encourage and help develop a society where no institutionalized initiation of aggression is legitimate. It is about cultivating a culture rather than assigning labels such as "corporation" or "state." ANY institution that aims to spread violence is illegitimate and cannot be tolerated.

This easily does away with the problem of the evil corporation on the philosophical side: yes, we're against those too and encourage society to fight anything that acts like a state (institutionalized initiation of aggression on a significant scale).

Hence, "treating" the government as a corporation makes no difference to our answers.

Note that this doesn't address the question of whether such corporations might arise. It simply says that we should fight them. The point of what will happen is a different one, though it's likely covered extensively both on the forums and in the literature (with http://mises.org/daily/1855 as a decent place to start).

  • | Post Points: 95
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 6,885
Points 121,845
Clayton replied on Fri, Jan 20 2012 5:49 PM

I think the key thing is to identify the State as a telic actor with its own interests. The language is terribly muddled and confused and this leads to muddled and confused thinking about the State. When people talk about the actions of the US government, they almost instinctively say "we" and "us" as if the government is just some kind of crystallization of the "Common Will." The fact is that the government is an organization like any other organization. It's not a corporation because corporations come into being by charter from a government. But both corporations and governments are organizations and both act "in their own interest", so to speak.

The dependency of corporations on the government for their existence and for the economic bonuses they receive by virtue of being corporations put them at the beck and call of the government. The government doesn't manage them but no corporation will ever directly stand up and attempt to thwart the State, either existentially or in any of its essential interests. Wherever the State's interests conflict with the interests of a corporation, the corporation may seek to lobby or influence the State to consider a different set of interests but this is not even close to the "public-private enmity" which standard political theory implies.

So, the government is just one big organization that steals from you. Its component interests are diverse and antagonistic on things such as which industries to subsidize most or which political ideologies to propagandize most, and so on, but they all are in absolute, perfect harmony on the defining interest of the State: taxation. As far as stealing from the public through taxation, debt and inflation goes, the State may be properly thought of as a single organization with a CEO that acts with a thoroughness, precision and, indeed, nimbleness that would put most other organizations (including the much-vaunted private corporation) to shame.

Clayton -

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,439
Points 44,650
Neodoxy replied on Fri, Jan 20 2012 8:32 PM

I like the idea, although I believe that you're rather confused about the phraseology which you're using. I think that you simply mean that we should emphasize the fact that we don't want any agency to use force, that we want peace and mutual cooperation amongst all. We oppose force from any, be they corporation or government.

The reason, of course, that most anarcho-capitalists focus upon the state rather than corporations, is the fact that the state, and not corporations, are the major perpetrators of property rights. Your method seems like it would be quite good against liberals, and would be especially good against people on the more radical left. I would suggest staying away from this sort of emphasis the more on the right who you're talking to because they'll associate what you're advocating with the anti-corporate rhetoric of the left. The more on the right the person you're talking to is the more I would emphasize the necessity of enforcing contracts and property rights, and ensuring that corporations are forced to uphold that which they state they were going to do.

Either way you play to your audience and stand up for the little guy.

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
  • | Post Points: 35
Top 500 Contributor
Male
Posts 220
Points 4,980
tunk replied on Fri, Jan 20 2012 8:37 PM

If only government was just a business....then it might be run a little bit better.

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,679
Points 45,110
gotlucky replied on Fri, Jan 20 2012 11:02 PM

Neodoxy:

The reason, of course, that most anarcho-capitalists focus upon the state rather than corporations, is the fact that the state, and not corporations, are the major perpetrators of property rights.

You stated this really well.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 150 Contributor
Male
Posts 645
Points 9,865
James replied on Fri, Jan 20 2012 11:55 PM

If only government was just a business....then it might be run a little bit better.

 
Oh it's a business alright...  You're just erroneously assuming that you're the customer, and not the product.
Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 150 Contributor
Male
Posts 630
Points 9,425

In the UK, technically the government is a collection of registered corporations. If you go on to company house website and search for the departments of government you can find them registered. They also have accountants and balance sheets. The main difference between public and private is that they are registered corporations have apparently no profit motive and receive an allocated budget from the treasury and can receive a revenue through various means that i believe sits on the balance sheet of the corporation/department in question. I am not quite sure what happens to the speeding fine revenue for example that is collected by the police/traffic departments. I am not sure if it goes back to the treasury or sits on the balance sheet of the collecting department/corporation. In some cases I believe they send some revenue back to the treasury.

 

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 25 Contributor
Posts 3,739
Points 60,635
Marko replied on Sat, Jan 21 2012 7:04 AM

If only government was just a business....then it might be run a little bit better.


And we'd really be screwed.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 25 Contributor
Posts 3,739
Points 60,635
Marko replied on Sat, Jan 21 2012 7:24 AM

...AnCaps are against any institutionalized initiation of aggression against property.


Well ancaps are against any agression against property, institutional or not.

To encourage and help develop a society where no institutionalized initiation of aggression is legitimate. It is about cultivating a culture rather than assigning labels such as "corporation" or "state." ANY institution that aims to spread violence is illegitimate and cannot be tolerated.


Ultimately it is not even about culture, but law. Ancapism is favoring law as opposed to lawlessnes. It can be reduced to a principle that unathorised interfearance with one's property gives one the right to retalliate against the violator. Building from here is the only way to arrive at a full body of law that does not contradict itself, and is therefore actually law.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 25 Contributor
Posts 3,739
Points 60,635
Marko replied on Sat, Jan 21 2012 7:51 AM

The reason, of course, that most anarcho-capitalists focus upon the state rather than corporations, is the fact that the state, and not corporations, are the major perpetrators of property rights.


Or you could say, in other words, the reason is that it is the state that enforces lawlessness as law. 

Ancomms likewise claim it is the state that enforces property where there would be none (actually it enforces invalid legal titles where there should be lawful property), but center their ire on corporate beneficiaries rather than the source of this injustice. It is almost as if they do not in their hearts believe smashing the state would end property (and incidentially basis for law).

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 150 Contributor
Male
Posts 653
Points 13,185

This completely misses the point that culture plays a large role in determining the type of society that arises.  It is about cultivating a culture rather than assiging labals such as "corporation" or "state."

Don't forget that this a two-way street.  Institutions like governments and markets play just as large a role in shaping culture as culture does on shaping them, albeit in different ways.  Society can be divided into three aspects: the personal/epistemological, the cultural/ethical, and the structural/institutional -- each aspect shapes, and is shaped by, the other two.     

 

they said we would have an unfair fun advantage

"enough about human rights. what about whale rights?" -moondog
  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (11 items) | RSS