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National Defence? What a heck is that?

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MaikU Posted: Sun, Feb 26 2012 3:05 AM

Isn't it just another myth invented by statists? Everytime I hear anarchists arguing in favor of so called "national defense" I die a little inside...seriously, why is that? I personally do not give a crap about nationalities, races etc. at least on economical sense, so what is it to defend? How free market society can support "national defense"? Isn't it a statist concept that differentiate "us" from "them"? Isn't it necessary to have a State in order to have a "national defense"?

Enlighten me, please. What anarchists mean exactly when they say "we need to have some sort of national defense"? Why national? Why mere "defense" is not sufficient?

Again, word "national" in my book is another variation of "statist" (adjective).

 

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

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Marko replied on Sun, Feb 26 2012 3:23 AM

National defense is reality. In ancapistan same as everywhere else. Should somebody powerful attack Chicago people from Houston are going to come to their aid and in much greater numbers than people from Mexico City. That isn't to say there aren't other types of defense as well. Both sub-national and supra-national. 

I personally do not give a crap about nationalities, races etc. at least on economical sense, so what is it to defend?

So you would be no likelier to contribute to defense of a town in your country than to that of a town in another, but seeing you are just one person this is completely irrelevant. Unless you think that in ancapistan everyone would share your sentiment.

Again, word "national" in my book is another variation of "statist" (adjective).

Was there a Lithuanian nation before there was a Lithuanian state in 1918? Did Lithuanian nation continue to exist past 1940 when there was no longer a Lithuanian state?

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MaikU replied on Sun, Feb 26 2012 4:15 AM

there were lithuanian tribes, yes, but I don't care how those people called themselves, we are all mixed, we all fucked with different "races", nationalities etc. so to believe that there is such thing as "nationality" is ludicrous. Nationalities are tribalism. All tribalism is collectivism and all collectivism is pretty much evil or can be used for evil deeds, so I don't quite get your point.

What I would say is that defense is just another service that should/would be provided by private (free market) institution. Sure, they can "collide" so to speak into forming one big national DRO in case of some sort of war, but I am skeptical about it.

I just don't understand the fuss around this issue among anarcho-libertarians. My only objection is using word "national" because it implies that there are some border to defend, like a State. The only thing that needs defense is private property. Leave imaginary lines on maps to statists.

"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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Marko replied on Sun, Feb 26 2012 4:48 AM

I am not talking about Lithuanian tribes. I am talking about Lithuanian national movement and Lithuanian national awakening of the second half of the 19th century. Since Lithuanian national feeling is in fact older than Lithuanian state and since it easily survived the destruction of Lithuanian state there is reason to believe it (and with it a de facto Lithuanian nation) would continue to exist even should Lithuanian state give way to anarchy.

You apparently do not feel yourself a part of this nation, which is your choice, one that has nothing to do with libertarianism, but is instead a value choice. Rothbard explicitly saw the possibility nations would thrive in anarchy. See National Self-Determination and Nations by Consent.  

What I would say is that defense is just another service that should/would be provided by private (free market) institution. Sure, they can "collide" so to speak into forming one big national DRO in case of some sort of war, but I am skeptical about it.

Personally I see for-profit firms viable only where it comes to defense against crime. Defense against a serious military invasion however requires such self-sacrifices it may only be pulled off as a form of charity (and sacrifice is always more likely for the benefit of people you feel a greater connection to, your relatives and then co-nationals rather than complete strangers).

My prediction is defense against external conquest would be warded off by local militia chapters similar to your volunteer fire department which would ultimately link together in a national militia federation (which would maybe have multiple components with different thoughts on strategy and manner of organisation each with hundreds of seperate outposts). This is not to say they would not maintain other types of relationships as well, but the national associations would be the ones with the most weight.

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tunk replied on Sun, Feb 26 2012 5:08 AM

Nice grammar bro!

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Malachi replied on Sun, Feb 26 2012 8:57 AM
Defense against a serious military invasion however requires such self-sacrifices it may only be pulled off as a form of charity
I wish I could somehow communicate the fact that the calculation problem applies to warfare as well as every other sphere of human endeavour.
Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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MaikU replied on Sun, Feb 26 2012 8:59 AM

Marko:

I am not talking about Lithuanian tribes. I am talking about Lithuanian national movement and Lithuanian national awakening of the second half of the 19th century. Since Lithuanian national feeling is in fact older than Lithuanian state and since it easily survived the destruction of Lithuanian state there is reason to believe it (and with it a de facto Lithuanian nation) would continue to exist even should Lithuanian state give way to anarchy.

You apparently do not feel yourself a part of this nation, which is your choice, one that has nothing to do with libertarianism, but is instead a value choice. Rothbard explicitly saw the possibility nations would thrive in anarchy. See National Self-Determination and Nations by Consent.  

I don't believe there is such thing as "nation". It has nothing to do with feelings, which are, by the most part a result of constant indoctrination in public schools. And I would argue, that in free society, such thing as "nationalism" etc. would vanish (eventually). The concept "nation" is only useful for those seeking power and wanting to submit people around them into defending the idea of a state, so that's what lithuanian nation is all about, according to me.

The so called "lithuanian tribes" existed for millenia but it only means that it is a part of tribalist society and has nothing to do with free thinking and freedom.

I don't disagree on your second part about defense though. However, I would stil call it "local defense" not national.

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

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Marko replied on Sun, Feb 26 2012 9:44 AM

Except Lithuanian national feeling arose at a time when publich schooling was in the hands of Baltic Germans and Russians.

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MaikU replied on Sun, Feb 26 2012 9:49 AM

how do you know this? I believe that feeling was a simple feature of tribalism and it was always there through millenia since those tribes started calling themselves lithuanians etc. Nothing more or less. What arose was rebellion against slave masters. National feeling so to speak, again, is useful only when you want to control people around you, but it is the antithesis of true freedom and free market society.

"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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Marko replied on Sun, Feb 26 2012 10:14 AM

I believe that feeling was a simple feature of tribalism and it was always there through millenia since those tribes started calling themselves lithuanians etc.

So your first said it was something that is mainly the product of public schools. But now you are saying it arose in pre-modern times before there was any public schooling. "Nothing more or less."

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MaikU replied on Sun, Feb 26 2012 4:26 PM

A contradiction.

I think in older days nationalism was a useful tool (wars between different tribes etc.) but in later ages to the modern times it would have died out in my opinion if not for the states, which keep perpetuating this myth. I may be wrong on this in a historical sense but I am sure and strongly beleive that it is stupid idea and people would be better of without it (especially for the reason that it can be used for the state to appeal to people's nationality in order to make them to kill other group of people of different nationality).

Hope that makes sense.

 

P.S. at the end of the day, anarchism is the political system of tomorrow and nationalism has little to no place in it. Not that I dislike it, but just because it will simply won't serve any purpose.

"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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Marko replied on Sun, Feb 26 2012 7:00 PM

Then we are agreed to live and to see what happens.

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I may be wrong on this in a historical sense but I am sure and strongly beleive that it is stupid idea and people would be better of without it (especially for the reason that it can be used for the state to appeal to people's nationality in order to make them to kill other group of people of different nationality).

Of course.  That is the underlying purpose, though not specific to states.  Why would a smart white man unite with a stupid white man under the banner of white supremacy?  Why would an energetic worker unite with a slob worker?  Who would choose such low standards of merit as skin colour and geographical location upon which to base an identity?  Not the elite.  National defense is the defense of the fragile ego from the scythe of marginality. 

Family?  Humanity?  What if "my people" are: Bruce Lee, a little yellow fellow; Ludwig von Mises, a big-nosed jew; Usain Bolt, a big black beast; the welfare bum whose aberrant parents deprived him of everything and threw him out on the street, a man that standing in my shoes would have dominated the same scum that throw loonies into his hat.  What sort of defense tactics would you suggest for my "nation"?

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Eric080 replied on Mon, Feb 27 2012 1:25 AM

National defense would just be the nomenclature that people in society use to define security from foreign invasion over an arbitrary land mass.  Some standing army will have to be maintained in case of large-scale attack.

"And it may be said with strict accuracy, that the taste a man may show for absolute government bears an exact ratio to the contempt he may profess for his countrymen." - de Tocqueville
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Merlin replied on Mon, Feb 27 2012 6:22 AM

Is this about ‘national’? Let us than use ‘aggregate’ defense, in order to avoid the concept of nation.

Now, in a nutshell defense must be ‘aggregate’ since it is subject, at least as it is now, to huge eocnmies of scale: the cost of defending against a numerically superior enemy is just staggering. Thus, defense must be ‘aggregate’ in order to be feasible, and financing aggregate defense is very, very difficult. This is why we speak of ‘aggregate defense’ and not ‘aggregate homebuilding’ or 'aggregate web design'. This is all.

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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Marko replied on Mon, Feb 27 2012 7:34 AM

Family?  Humanity?  What if "my people" are: Bruce Lee, a little yellow fellow; Ludwig von Mises, a big-nosed jew; Usain Bolt, a big black beast; the welfare bum whose aberrant parents deprived him of everything and threw him out on the street, a man that standing in my shoes would have dominated the same scum that throw loonies into his hat.  What sort of defense tactics would you suggest for my "nation"?

There is no feeling of kinship among your nation. A village of certain nationality may find itself under attack and will be instantly the destination of rowdy young men of said nationality eager to defend it for the chance to sing patriotic songs and a tap on the back. But what will Bruce Lee do for you without a thought of material recompense? You are nothing to him.

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MaikU replied on Mon, Feb 27 2012 10:01 AM

I would only accept "nationalism of ideas", meaning, that I would defend and would like to support people whose ideas and values are similar to mine. And fyi, lithuanians, for example, hold very different ideas and values so I do not associate with them in general. Actually, most of them are more foreign to me than an asian guy in Thailand or Japan. Forget the culture, to me it is just another myth of mass control, which only has a sentimental value to me.

"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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Malachi replied on Mon, Feb 27 2012 7:41 PM
Now, in a nutshell defense must be ‘aggregate’ since it is subject, at least as it is now, to huge eocnmies of scale:
economies of scale dont solve the calculation problem
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Merlin replied on Tue, Feb 28 2012 1:07 PM

Malachi:
economies of scale dont solve the calculation problem

 

Indeed that is an argument, but of course not some trump argument. A huge irrational army ca still beat the shit out of a smaller, rational one.

 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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Autolykos replied on Wed, Feb 29 2012 8:37 AM

Merlin:
Indeed that is an argument, but of course not some trump argument. A huge irrational army ca still beat the shit out of a smaller, rational one.

How do you know? And what do you mean by "rational" and "irrational"?

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Autolykos replied on Wed, Feb 29 2012 8:49 AM

To respond to the OP directly:

MaikU:
Isn't it just another myth invented by statists? Everytime I hear anarchists arguing in favor of so called "national defense" I die a little inside...seriously, why is that? I personally do not give a crap about nationalities, races etc. at least on economical sense, so what is it to defend? How free market society can support "national defense"? Isn't it a statist concept that differentiate "us" from "them"? Isn't it necessary to have a State in order to have a "national defense"?

Enlighten me, please. What anarchists mean exactly when they say "we need to have some sort of national defense"? Why national? Why mere "defense" is not sufficient?

Again, word "national" in my book is another variation of "statist" (adjective).

The word "nation" originally connoted kinship - it comes from the Latin word natio (genitive nationis) which is derived from the verb nascor (infinitive nasci) meaning "to be born". However, kinship groups typically occupied exclusive territories in earlier times, so the word also came to denote a kinship group's territory. As time went on, kinship groups gave rise to more and more descendants, and the original basis of the kinship became forgotten. Kinship was then presumed based on mutually intelligible language.

While nations could still exist (or be presumed to exist) in an anarcho-capitalist society in the kinship sense, I don't think they'd exist in the territorial sense. So to speak of "national defense" in anarcho-capitalism in the territorial sense is ludicrous IMHO.

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Malachi replied on Wed, Feb 29 2012 11:52 AM
Merlin:

Malachi:
economies of scale dont solve the calculation problem

 

Indeed that is an argument, but of course not some trump argument. A huge irrational army ca still beat the shit out of a smaller, rational one.

 

Yes, and they can go broke before they actually manage to beat the shit out of anything except some tax revenues. Ignoring the calculation problem doesnt make it go away, it means you arent even calculating in theory. Also, as Autolykos referenced, your terms are beyond informal. "wack shit" in other words.
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Bert replied on Wed, Feb 29 2012 12:23 PM

I don't believe there is such thing as "nation". It has nothing to do with feelings, which are, by the most part a result of constant indoctrination in public schools. And I would argue, that in free society, such thing as "nationalism" etc. would vanish (eventually). The concept "nation" is only useful for those seeking power and wanting to submit people around them into defending the idea of a state, so that's what lithuanian nation is all about, according to me.

Believe, is your belief on physical evidence, or is it just what you feel?  You believe nationalism is a result of public schools, and would not exist in a free society.  Yet, if someone who's Irish took deep pride and preservation of their ancestral culture and history, they would be a variant of a nationalist, same with the German, Norwegian, Italian, Spaniard, etc.  Culture and custom exists in a free society, those deeply involved would be nationalists to those who want to view it from a political or cultural lense.

You are conflicting cultural nationalism with that of a political kind.  When people speak of national defense they are referring to that of the whole nation, and in our case the entire USA from an external threat.  I'm sure when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor there was a large feeling and application of national defense, that the nation (in our case all groups of people/cultures who live on this land) must defend themselves.

The libertarian or an-cap perspective is how to utilize resources in the most effecient manner for national defense, and in Hoppe's Private Production of Defense he goes into this.  They remove the state, and build it up from private defense agencies and insurance companies (which seem to play a bigger role than one thinks) in regards to a national or large-scale defense industry.

Thus, for us, national = the whole nation, and what's the best way to protect the entire nation from an external threat of war and attack?  You'll find out if you read Hoppe's book at the convenient price of $5.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Autolykos replied on Wed, Feb 29 2012 12:25 PM

That just begs the question - what is "the whole nation" exactly?

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Merlin replied on Wed, Feb 29 2012 12:35 PM

Autolykos:

Merlin:
Indeed that is an argument, but of course not some trump argument. A huge irrational army ca still beat the shit out of a smaller, rational one.

How do you know? And what do you mean by "rational" and "irrational"?

 

 

I don’t, neither do you. I guess a small army wouldn’t stand a chance, you guess it would.

And please, let us not slip into a definition thing on what it means for an agency to operate rationally. We all know our Mises. 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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Bert replied on Wed, Feb 29 2012 12:37 PM

That just begs the question - what is "the whole nation" exactly?

In the sense you are suggesting, and our modern way, would be the common political boundaries and it's inhabitants.  For the sake of argument the USA is roughly an-cap, let's say there's no federal government, but still states in a geographical sense (this land mass is called Virginia, this land mass North Carolina, etc.)  If a country attacked this continent as the United States, who would they be attacking?  Only the specific geographical locations, but for a super power there's no potential threat from this "nation," because there's no common government to attack, and on the contrary to our current government with it's egalitarian and culturally standardized policy you'd more than likely see regional cultures and customs arise and flourish in their own way.  Thus, in a cultural sense, it may vary as well as having no true political connections.  Thus you have regions bound by common cultural features, and language.  As far as currency goes if there's a private enterprise I wouldn't be surprised if there was a common currency for all mainland states that just so happened to be the best.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Merlin replied on Wed, Feb 29 2012 12:40 PM

Malachi:

Yes, and they can go broke before they actually manage to beat the shit out of anything except some tax revenues.

 

“Can”. Neither of us can prove his point, we can only guess. My guess is that history speaks very clearly: small armies are at a huge disadvantage.

Malachi:

 Ignoring the calculation problem doesnt make it go away, it means you arent even calculating in theory.

 

I do not see where you got the idea that I was sweeping the calculation issue under the rug. I acknowledged it is an issue, but I also refuse to sweep all other issues under the rug. The balance is to be seen.

Malachi:

Also, as Autolykos referenced, your terms are beyond informal. "wack shit" in other words.

I am sorry I lack the time and interest to define properly all my terms. I assume the other party can tell what I meant. 

 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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Malachi replied on Wed, Feb 29 2012 1:07 PM
“Can”. Neither of us can prove his point, we can only guess. My guess is that history speaks very clearly: small armies are at a huge disadvantage.
I think you are reading too much into my statements. I know all about attrition warfare. Your first statement seemed to imply that kinetic defense is necessarily costly due to economies of scale. My rejoinder is that the costliness is a result of the institution. They have coercive funding, meaning they have no profit mechanism to tell them what is efficient or inefficient. So you tell me that a large inefficient system can outproduce a small inefficient system. Great. Thats not my point. Private agents tasked with defense who have the time and experience to develop effective systems will necessarily outperform state militaries reliably, repeatedly, and consistently on a long enough timescale. This is so much the case that governments are leading the way in hiring private agencies for certain tasks.
I am sorry I lack the time and interest to define properly all my terms. I assume the other party can tell what I meant.
ok, I am tracking, but my problem in particular is with this issue. It is hard enough to define "war" and "winning vs losing a war" in this day and age. We cannot possibly discuss whether an army got the shit kicked out of it, or a mudhole monkey stomped in its chest etcetera.

in modern warfare, it is helpful, even vital to identify 5 things:

Who is fighting, what they are fighting about, how they are fighting, what these individual people are fighting for, and why they are fighting. Of course this may sound redundant but Martin van Creveld goes on to explain what he means. Basically you have got to understand that war can be viciously expensive, especially offense, technology, and centrally controlled warfare, yet war can be fought defensively, low-tech and decentralized, for basically ideas. This doesnt mean that missiles cannot blow poor people up, it means that there arent many advantages to shooting missiles at poor people, but it tends to bite you in the ass later on down the road.

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Autolykos replied on Wed, Feb 29 2012 1:14 PM

Merlin:
I don’t, neither do you. I guess a small army wouldn’t stand a chance, you guess it would.

The syntax of your earlier statement was that of a gnomic statement. So it certainly didn't sound like a guess to me. If you're backpedaling at this point, please be explicit about it.

Merlin:
And please, let us not slip into a definition thing on what it means for an agency to operate rationally. We all know our Mises.

Right, which is why I was confused by your apparent use of "rational" and "irrational". Per the Misesian definition of "rationality", any agent is rational, because all action is rational. So the notion of a "huge irrational army" makes no sense to me in that context. That's why I asked you to explain the necessarily different context you were working from.

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Merlin replied on Wed, Feb 29 2012 1:28 PM

Autolykos:

Merlin:
I don’t, neither do you. I guess a small army wouldn’t stand a chance, you guess it would.

The syntax of your earlier statement was that of a gnomic statement. So it certainly didn't sound like a guess to me. If you're backpedaling at this point, please be explicit about it.

 

I do not know why our discussions always follow a rather predictable pattern.

Now, I tend to be very explicit when I’m expressing certainty on some point, and I can assure you that that statement was not one such instance. I’m only as ‘sure’ that a small defense force would be destroyed by a larger one in the sense that I’m ‘sure’ that the euro will go to hell: I wouldn’t invest in either the euro or a small defense force set to battle a conventional army. That is it.

Autolykos:

 

Merlin:
And please, let us not slip into a definition thing on what it means for an agency to operate rationally. We all know our Mises.

Right, which is why I was confused by your apparent use of "rational" and "irrational". Per the Misesian definition of "rationality", any agent is rational, because all action is rational. So the notion of a "huge irrational army" makes no sense to me in that context. That's why I asked you to explain the necessarily different context you were working from.

 

I did not mean to express irrationality of ends, but of means, which was what we were discussing with Malachi. A compulsively financed army would not operate in a marketplace for its end service, thus would not be able to rationally allocate the means at its disposal to maximize the service rendered, except in very coarse terms. That is it. 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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Merlin replied on Wed, Feb 29 2012 1:33 PM

 

Malachi,

 

I see what you mean. Of course modern warfare is not about one pivotal battle where all is lost or gained. But I do not think that guerrilla warfare or other forms of irregular warfare would be tolerated in a civilized society, and that a society that has progressed beyond the point of self-sufficient farmers would rather submit to an invader (with the exception of spectacularly savage ones) than tolerate the breakdown of order that guerrilla action entails.

A civilized society, I think, would prefer to wipe out the invader at the border. If it can’t, it would prefer to submit. I know these are very broad statements, and I’m not bringing much to argue for these conclusions, but that would really derail the thread. 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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Malachi replied on Wed, Feb 29 2012 1:39 PM
In the interest of not derailing the thread, I will simply state that we understand each other now. Guerilla anarchism is a subject that I consider dangerous anyway. Big bad brother, you know. I dont have to type it out in this thread in order to, you know, already know what will happen. Its praxeological.
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Malachi replied on Wed, Feb 29 2012 2:21 PM
Why are we even talking about(not talking about) g-a anyway? This is about territorial defense, and a firm can do that better than a military. Why? Calculation argument. Also, see "battlefield ballistic missile"
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Merlin replied on Wed, Feb 29 2012 2:37 PM

 

Did we just come full circle? Nukes not allowed, we’re talking conventional warfare. If we factor in nukes than yes, a small freely financed agency can defend against a huge army.  As I’ll never tire of repeating, nukes will oen day be remember as the technology that broke nation-states. 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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Malachi replied on Wed, Feb 29 2012 3:29 PM
Battlefield ballistic missiles can, and frequently are, armed with conventional warheads. Furthermore, the platform is capable of supporting KE warheads, which are basically solid concrete (for point targets) or steel rods (for area targets). Additionally the chinese have an anti-ship "carrier killer" ballistic missile with KE warhead called the df-21d that is considered to be a game changer for naval warfare. I could have mentioned cruise missiles but they are considerably more expensive than ballistics.

this is just spitballing, however. Weapons systems dont make or break ideologies. "oh teh noes, they have the mind reading computer! They can finally purge all nonbelievers until no one is left!"

I'm not trying to make light of your position, I just dont see it. Government requires complicity. Although I will concede that, when subject to reductio ad absurdum, supporting my position requires me to resort to what amount to axioms for me.

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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