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Against Anarchism

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Aristophanes Posted: Sat, Feb 18 2012 2:53 PM

I'll wait for a collective "sigh."

I ran into this guy on Google Plus because he was knocking on Rothbard and libertarianism.

Turns out the guy has written a few books and I read through one of them.  He's ... well here is an excerpt

It is a curious thing that individuals starting from the same premises – a shared belief in the
sovereignty of the individual, of the rightness of natural rights, of the banning of the initiation of
physical force in human relations – can reach such strikingly contradictory conclusions as that of
anarchism vs. minarchism. Indeed, it is embarrassing and discrediting to the libertarian1 movement
that it could admit basic theories in such wild disagreement with one another. It would be tantamount
to some astronomers claiming that the Earth goes around the Sun and others claiming that the Sun
goes around the Earth, or some mathematicians claiming that two plus two equals four and others
claiming that it's eight. If we cannot, as advocates of individual liberty, paint a coherent vision of what
it means for man to be free, then how can we expect the rest of humanity to bother with our ideas?

...

It may be argued by members of both camps that the opposite camp is under the influence of some
sort of psychological derangement. An anarchist may argue, rightly in some cases, that the only reason
the minarchist supports minarchy is that he is under some kind of insidious tribal peer pressure, that
he is afraid to challenge the status quo and adopt the radical new truth of anarchism that allegedly
deductively follows from natural rights premises. The minarchists may also argue, rightly in some
cases, that due to a hatred taken to an illogical extreme, the anarchist is too narrowly focused on the
admittedly evil actions that most governments have historically undertaken, that it is as if the
anarchist's response to a bully would be to argue for the bully to be executed rather than punished and
reformed.
[hahaha, what an idiotic choice of metaphor]

...

"Natural Law is the law that identifies particular individual rights and says that one must not violate them. To list one's natural rights is, in my view, to define Natural Law; to identify what it means to not initiate force is, equivalently, also to define Natural Law." [hahaha]

http://www.forindividualrights.com/against_anarchism

I'll let you guys read it.  It's only like 20 pages.  Nonsense if you ask me, but you guys will have fun deconstructing it.  I am in the process of refuting it on G+ for the (internet) author...

 


EDIT:  This is what I sent him on G+

"The way i understand Rothbardian praxeology is that his intent was to synthesize both into a natural economic (law) theory.

And just to say, on your first page, "An anarchist may argue, rightly in some cases, that the only reason the minarchist supports minarchy is that he is under some kind of insidious tribal peer pressure, that he is afraid to challenge the status quo and adopt the radical new truth of anarchism that allegedly deductively follows from natural rights premises. The minarchists may also argue, rightly in some cases, that due to a hatred taken to an illogical extreme, the anarchist is too narrowly focused on the admittedly evil actions that most governments have historically undertaken, that *it is as if the anarchist's response to a bully would be to argue for the bully to be executed rather than punished and reformed."*

This is a terrible metaphor...The anarchist is the one saying that the state cannot do that sort of thing, the minarchist is the one that wants the state that will do those things...

"Natural Law is the law that identifies particular individual rights and says that one must not violate them."

Why don't you cite these kinds of things?  Where the ideas came from, etc.?  This is not how i understand natural law.  My understanding of it is a universal law of nature is that it draws no conclusions in any realm; it is "the Law of reason" (Locke).  To say that natural law "identifies particular rights" and then, further, says that "on must not violate them" is completely false.

"To list one's natural rights is, in my view, to define Natural Law; to identify what it means to not initiate force
is, equivalently, also to define Natural Law."

But, you do not "list" them.  Is the reader left to choose and make the list for himself?  Do I use Locke or Jefferson?  French Declaration of rights?  UN Declaration of rights?

"At this point the anarchist may object that a defining quality of governments is that they are monopolistic in their jurisdiction, that they do not allow competing governments. This is often historically true in some incomplete measure, but as I previously observed, it is fallacious to argue that
because such and such has been true that it is necessarily always the way it must work. But it is also often not true. Governments have often not adhered to a strict notion of monopoly jurisdiction. For example, the United States routinely violates the alleged “sovereignty” of foreign governments, particularly on the grounds of human rights violations.4 NATO has various governing activities in various jurisdictions, in an overlapping manner. Different levels of government – Federal, State, City – represents overlapping government jurisdiction. International waters are explicitly recognized as regions of overlapping government jurisdiction. This has never implied that there is no government jurisdiction there, it implies that there is multi-government jurisdiction there. Most governments permit their own citizens to come to the defense of other citizens when natural rights are being violated – this is tantamount to not truly enforcing a monopoly jurisdiction. So the anarchist definition of government as necessarily being a geographic monopoly is quite unjustified."

_This_ is how you refute monopolistic jurisdiction?  To say that the State overreaches is granted powers and that is proof that the anarchists are wrong?  It would be one thing if it was an internal analysis (as in the U.S., States, theoretically could challenge the monopoly of the Federal government) but to go _outward_ and to compare 'International waters' to monopoly jurisdiction?  We are also compelling all of the citizens in one state to "defend" another.  This is simply coercion on the domestic population for actions abroad...

"In fact, the common concept of “national sovereignty” refers to nothing more than the attribute of strength. It is the ability to defend one's arbitrary fiat assessment of a given situation using force that creates the perception of sovereignty, but that kind of sovereignty exists as perception only, it is a
mirage and a myth compared to true sovereignty. Any anarchist “defense agency” with the same measure of strength as a given government would appear to have exactly the same “sovereignty” as that government. _Might doesn't make right, but might will have its way in the world. This is why
political might, which is the aggregation of the might of many individuals, should be forged in a good comprehension of natural rights, including a proper concept of sovereignty. True sovereignty is rooted in the moral truth that an individual may take any action whatever so long as it doesn't interfere with the equal right of others to engage in their own actions. Sovereignty over one's property in land resides in legitimate ownership, not merely pointing and claiming vast swaths of land."_

This is like a Hobbesean defense of the State.  You fault the anarchists with contradiction, but fail to assess your own.  Political power is 'power' because the many may use it to define the structure of actions one takes.  Your property is taxed, market regulations are set, and laws are made.  All of which inhibit individual choice of action and property and you call this a "moral truth"?

"As was intimated above, jurisdictions of man-made laws are created by virtue of property rights – “my house, my rules” is the essential concept. The most relevant case is that of land ownership. When you justly acquire land5 then you have the prerogative to create, enforce, and adjudicate the “laws of the land,” so long as you do not violate Natural Law while doing so. For example, you can set an arbitrary speed limit, but if someone violates your law, _you may not enact any arbitrary penalty, but rather only one that would be consistent with Natural Law: Natural Law would not permit execution as the penalty of violating the law, but it would permit (say) a contract term requiring either a fine to be paid or the speeder to be banned from your land. This in itself satisfies the above underlined definition of government, with the non-essential difference that your government is of a single individual, not an association."_

Okay.  Again Natural Law can draw no conclusions.  It is simply one man's "reason" vs. another man's "reason."  The point is, yes, usually contracts can be made, but not having a state makes it hard to make sure contracts are followed through, so instead, the general anarcho capitalist argument says, the market would not use your arbitrary roads.  Your private ownership would become irrelevant as people avoid you law that they do not like.  A better bet would be to, say, setup advertisements, or a toll to prevent unwanted use of your property and _to make use of it at all._  You are correct in saying, essentially, "that a man's home is his castle," but fail to recognize anyone else's perception of these situations.

"What's more, associations between individuals magnify this individual right to create a government of man-made jurisdiction into such proportions that the possible result (subject to the choices of participating individuals) looks similar to ordinary modern governments: one can create a homeowners association, complete with sidewalks and roads, rules, a court system, police, etc., all subject to the governance of rules held in common and subject to modification according to (say) democratic procedures. These “towns” can in principle grow into cities, and such “city-states” can combine with others to patrol the wild lands in between them to secure Natural Law rule there, creating a “State” and “Federal” government. They can also enter treaties with each other to establish rules held in common (such as copyright laws), and if they end up in a disagreement, can appeal to the “State” or “Federal” level for dispute resolution. Note that this conception resembles the original makeup of the United States, with the idea of variable State jurisdictions and laws, and the Federal government supporting the basic security and harmony of the States."

You are completely writing off the market in this analysis.  No wonder you don't like Rothbard.  Your next line, "At this point the anarchist might object that at some level this construction violates the right of the individual to secede" would be a question waaay down the line for me.  How are you about to say that the rules that these people setup are going to be agreed to by everyone?  You are conceding Rousseau's entire argument.  And, what's more, you mention "treaties and copyright laws" in the same breath as a mere extension of an individual's right to choose or act under natural law?

This is madness.  Copyright laws are highly contested as legitimate, not a given, and treaties...bind strangers to arbitrary decisions made around trade (etc.).  Decisions that are never agreed to (don't even bother refuting this with "representation" or "consent" no one ever has them and they don't really exist.) The old Spooner argument goes, 'If I didn't sign the contract, then I am not bound to it.'  No treaty or constitution can bind anyone that doesn't sign it, including (as was conceded by Jefferson in 1789) the POSTERITY of the people in that jurisdiction...

"even if secession were allowed at all levels (and depending on the choices of the constituents it certainly may be), that does not therefore argue that dissolution would be the overall result. Obviously such an outcome is a choice and it'd be made based on circumstantial value-judgments."

One might also say that a government grows its power and jurisdiction as inevitably as you assume the dissolution of one if secession be at all tolerated.  I think they are both true.

"secession may not actually be as simple as claiming “my land, my rules, I'm going to change them from what I had agreed to when I joined this community.” ... "For example, suppose you and a partner agreed to build a home that spanned the land both you and he owned. It would probably not make any sense to form a contract that allowed both of you to “secede” by each taking your land back, because that would destroy the home."

You just mentioned marriage in the previous paragraph and you are not going to point out that this premise is EXACTLY that of a prenuptial agreement?  That both parties take what they had at the start and the "business, marriage, house, etc." is then dissolved.  I think, also, that when you sign up for a corporate partnership, there are similar clauses in the boiler plate.

"The only way for the anarchist to legitimately secede is to sell his home and go someplace else."

Hogwash.  Then the State owns his property and can regulate him within its boundaries.  Even if I'm in my home anarchisting it up, the State can tell me not to do that and that if i want to do that to "move."  That is the most redneck version of "secession" I've ever heard. Secession means to disband  the political ties between two parties (it is in the Dec. of Ind.)

"Two objections might be raised by some anarchists; first, that it is illegitimate to enforce Natural Law everywhere, because not everyone necessarily consents to its jurisdiction; second, that someone's definition of Natural Law might not match someone else's definition."

This is dubious as well.  Natural law, as you said earlier, is universal.  Mad made laws are created with the intention of replacing natural law (or modifying it), but to say that some will object to the law of nature is to say that they are entirely reliant on the state for making them feel secure in their actions, etc.

I don't have it in me to go through your "semantic anarchism" section.  Judging by your choice of quotations at the beginning of it you are very confused on your own terminology and for me to proceed from here would be to much.

"The Fed does not make predictions. It makes forecasts..." - Mustang19
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seems to me the more idiotic phrase is:

the anarchist is too narrowly focused on the admittedly evil actions that most governments have historically undertaken

maybe if he provided a comprehensive list of the good done by government I could consider changing to the statist religion.

I thought the bully comment was funny and would make for a hilarious conversaton....

Does a bully get to retain all his sovereign privileges while he is being punished and reformed?

or...

When do you planning on standing up to the bully and witholding your financial support?

or...

When do you plan on dropping by Washington to reform the bully and do you plan on using force?

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MaikU replied on Sat, Feb 18 2012 5:36 PM

Arguing against anarchism is like arguing against theory of evolution, or that earth revolves around the sun etc. Just like Larken Rose said, anarchism is inevitable, question is when people will accept it as simple and ordinary truth, just like round Earth etc. It's not "science" it's simple fact about the nature and that State is just halucination.

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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Wheylous replied on Sun, Feb 19 2012 1:43 PM

Just like Larken Rose said, anarchism is inevitable, question is when people will accept it as simple and ordinary truth, just like round Earth etc. It's not "science" it's simple fact about the nature and that State is just halucination.

Qft.

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Groucho replied on Sun, Feb 19 2012 2:00 PM

MaikU, that sounds a bit too much like Marx's argument for the inevitability of Communism. On the other hand, you could certainly make the argument that the mechanisms which "holds society together" arise from the punishment and rewards of natural market forces as opposed to the grifting machinations of the State.

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
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MaikU replied on Sun, Feb 19 2012 3:19 PM

I kept in mind anarchism as state of being, and aknowledging that agressing against other people is immoral. I didn't keep in mind anarcho-capitalism as a free market system. Maybe that will help. I don't care much how it sounds as long as I am speaking about objective truth. There is no God, there is no State.

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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