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Schiff debunks anarchy

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aervew Posted: Tue, Apr 3 2012 10:09 AM

 

 
while molyneux defended anarchy valiantly, it cannot be denied schiff debunked it alpha to omega live on his show.
 
schiff-
destroys anarchy
shows the abolition of slavery as an analogy to abolition of state is nonsense.
shows analogy of social anarchy to government anarchy is fallacious, it is a comparison of apples to oranges
shows government can function based on fees, randian style non taxation.
stays realistic and points to the relative success of limited government and nonexistance of any sort of success of anarchy(yes yes smarties, the ireland and iceland examples were not actual anarchy despite how you like to fantasize it, look it up)
shows paradox of revolutionaries overthrowing government and then the power vacuum remaining unused
 
The link to tonight's show will be up soon at http://schiffradio.com/ , The molyneux discussion starts at about 30 minutes in.
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Conza88 replied on Tue, Apr 3 2012 11:24 AM

"stays realistic and points to the relative success of limited government and nonexistance of any sort of success of anarchy(yes yes smarties, the ireland and iceland examples were not actual anarchy despite how you like to fantasize it, look it up)"



The only type of anarchy Schiff could refute is this kind:

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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I always find it strange when people talk about "debunking" anarchism or minarchism or whatever.  I could understand it in a context where someone says "In the year 900 Iceland was an anarchist commonwealth" -- that statement could be shown to be true or false.  But you can't debunk -isms because they aren't true or false.  You just have to demonstrate why anarchism or minarchism wouldn't lead to the desired consequences, or why it is impossible, or why it rests on faulty premises, or something like that. 

Its just kind of funny and sets up all sorts of weird rebuttals.  Like if you said Mises debunked soicalism, I would say "no way dude, look at Cuba.  It exists."  Or "Lenin was a real person, therefore communism." 

they said we would have an unfair fun advantage

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aervew replied on Tue, Apr 3 2012 12:07 PM

i like how you try to refute schiff and videobomb your way past the issues when the download link isnt even up yet

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Can you provide some evidence of how Ireland and Iceland were not anarchist societies. Although some Irish law may not have been very libertarian, and in many ways it was socialistic, it seemed pretty anarchistic to me, although not fully:

http://www.danann.org/library/law/breh.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Irish_law

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Conza88 replied on Tue, Apr 3 2012 1:50 PM

"i like how you try to refute schiff and videobomb your way past the issues when the download link isnt even up yet"

Pre-empting the inevitable... unless you think the arguments for minarchy and against anarchy he brings up.. have never been heard before? lol.

Anarchy is inescapable.

 

 

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Downloading the show now.  Thanks for informing me on the guest and topic!

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Conza88:

Pre-empting the inevitable... unless you think the arguments for minarchy and against anarchy he brings up.. have never been heard before? lol.

Nice.  I'll have to remember that one.  yes

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Hefty replied on Tue, Apr 3 2012 4:30 PM

The way Peter Schiff tried to refute the moral case for anarchy was to use collectivist arguments. [Paraphrasing because I don't want to listen to it again] He said that as long as the government does things that benefit all of us (and are not redistributions) it should be able to collect taxes (which he admitted by definition are compulsory).There are two obvious problems with this and I'm surprised Molyneux was so weak here.

1. All tax collections must be redistributive. You will force people that buy private security, and don't need the state's security to subsidize everyone else.

2. Even if taxes were not redistributive, the government could levy a 99% tax because of monopoly. The whole concept of taxation for the general good stinks because you are not guaranteed a fair price. A fair price has to be a price agreed to voluntarily, and taxation as defined is compulsory. Any minarchy will always give the citizens a crappy deal in terms of costs, this should be obvious to all libertarians.

Peter thinks taxes are ok if you can avoid them. This reminds me of the collectivist argument "If you don't like it here, you can move, otherwise you must accept all the mandates and laws we throw at you.". It ignores the fact that people have the right to free contract. You can also avoid taxes on income by not working, that doesn't make the income tax moral. This reasoning also implies ad absurdum that it would be ok if the government taxed everything except bread, because you can always just buy bread and avoid everything else.

Peter said that taxes on imports are not aggression because the government is not forcing you to do anything. But it is prohibiting you from engaging in free contract. If Peter is right then prohibitions and mandates are not act of aggression.

Peter also argued that people must be forced to pay taxes for defense purposes because otherwise there would be free riders. Now replace "defense" with "healthcare" to see how silly that should be to a libertarian.

The rest of the discussion was useless because they just argued that neither anarchy or minarchy can work. Molyneux should have stuck to arguing the moral case, and refuting the inconsistency with minarchy. I'm disappointed.

Bottom line Schiff eventually agreed that anarchy would be preferable to minarchy if anarchy could sustain itself. Given that, that was the worst "debunking" I have ever seen. Minarchy is socialism, so if you support it be willing to admit that.

There should be separation of X and state... for all X.
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aervew replied on Tue, Apr 3 2012 4:59 PM

schiff conceded that state was evil, but a necessary evil. yes anarchy is preferable all other things being equal. but other things arent equal! thats why we the people must struggle to keep the state constitutional as the founding fathers intended. the state is a beast, so it is a struggle to control the beast. but if you overthrow the government? you just set the beast loose, you cut the chain! then it will come and eat you! that is why the anarchism of the would be revolutionaries and the internet theoretizers is bound to get bound.

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aervew:

the state is a beast, so it is a struggle to control the beast. but if you overthrow the government? you just set the beast loose, you cut the chain! then it will come and eat you!

You may wish to rethink your analogy.  Consider:

1) The State is a beast

2) The State is overthrown - in otherwords, it no longer exists

3) The State, which was overthrown in step 2, will now come and eat you

The State cannot both exist and not exist at the same time.

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hashem replied on Tue, Apr 3 2012 8:24 PM

I've listened to everything from Schiff since 2009, read all his books except for the newest one, I've also listened every episode of his show with the exception of maybe 10 episodes.

There is NO WAY Schiff debunks anarchy, because he makes the case for anarchy every day: you can't let government touch anything important because government is inherently corrupt, and then he goes on to host guests and tell stories of government ruining utterly everything it touches.

Also, there is no universe where Molyneux wouldn't completely rip Schiff a new one. I've been waiting for this episode my whole life. I'll post back when I've actually finished it.

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hashem:
There is NO WAY Schiff debunks anarchy [...]

Listening to the podcast now, you're right. Schiff provides a lukewarm defense of the state (I'd imagine he bases his position in anticipation at another run at public office), but he doesn't come close to debunking anarchy. In the beginning of the conversation he has with Molyneux, it seems that Schiff provides a case for competing security agencies (reluctant to make the claim that the state is a monopolist of security as Molyneux scrutinizes him on this point). Molyneux seems to be holding back- there's a lot more that he could have said.

Schiff ends the segment with The closer we can get to anarchy probably the happier, the freer the more prosperous we will all be; he doesn't provide a limit to how small the government should be, nor why it should not be eliminated entirely. He claims that paying taxes is voluntary and that he has a problem with taxes when they are taken from A to benefit B (this is what is done with every tax), he claims that taxes should be voluntary (and then says that they should be mandatory), and he argues that governments only exist for protection purposes. Molyneux hit it, I think, when he said in the beginning of the interview, "You're a tricky debater, Peter. It's almost like you've run for office."

This argument sounded a lot like one I had when I first grappled with anarchy (I then sounded a lot like Schiff does here).

 

If I had a cake and ate it, it can be concluded that I do not have it anymore. HHH

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Schiff is a minarchist and minarchists are simply small-time socialists (though they waffle if anyone points this out). If socialism doesn't work with business, industry, or education then it's not going to work with law or security either. Minarchists praise the efficiency of the market, but somehow cannot grasp the fact that this concept extends to law and order as well. It is incorrect to assume that this "neccesary evil" (what ever that may mean) is going to somehow turn itself into an angelic institution with regards to providing social services such as law and order (which are the most important). As a last resort, the arguments of the minarchists parallel those of the socialists "if only the right people were running government."

As for the "anarcho-capitalism has never existed" argument: it is only appropriate to counter this by pointing out that the detractor's ideal society has never existed either. 

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hashem replied on Tue, Apr 3 2012 9:27 PM

Just finished listening to it. Schiff does nothing to even remotely debunk anarchy.

That said, this was probably the worst Molyneux interview ever, which is incredibly dissapointing since it was probably his most important. I can only imagine that his goal was to win over some Schiff listeners by not utterly destroying Schiff, similar to how Romney won't just completely attack the crap out of Ron Paul because he values the chance that some Ron Paul supporters may switch. Also, in usual Schiff style he gave the guest almost no time to talk at all. Without exception every single time Molyneux talked he was interrupted, usually within 5 or 10 seconds—that isn't to say he wasn't able to rush and finish a thought once or twice while he was being interrupted.. Once, Schiff finished like a minute of blabbering, only to completely cut off and interrupt Molyneux response within like 3 seconds, to which everyone else in the room (we're all listening to it) was baffled.

Overall terrible interview, but I'm more dissapointed in Molyneux's weak performance than the usual Schiff. Anyone who's seen some pretty standard Molyneux content would expect him to be at least...3 times more aggressive than this!

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Schiff is not a philosopher.  And he knows about Rothbard et al.  You can hear Rothbard in his rhetoric sometimes.

I was disappointed with both of them.  Molyneux's, "I've got a history degree" and "you sound like a politician" lines were ... i have no words.

Schiff has said over and over that he resides in the minarchist camp with the belief that political power decides society.  He gave the same tired argument my family gives me, "No government would mean the strongest group gets in charge and exploits or popresses and what have you."

It went right over Shiff's head that anarchy is not brought about through an election (which to him is ultimately a singularity of political power being collected, then dissolved), it is a collective understanding and individual state of mind if it ever comes to be.  Molyneux stresses the morality of anarchy in a way to get people think about their own lives and the political implications that extend in the normal political field.

Schiff even appeals to the SEC in trying to turn attention to the pump and dump NIA.

Anyone who's seen some pretty standard Molyneux content would expect him to be at least...3 times more aggressive than this!

I thought Molyneux was holding back because they know each other from libertarian events.  We've all heard both of them argue with people that they don't like.  It was a bad interview because they like each other.

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Hefty replied on Tue, Apr 3 2012 10:04 PM

schiff conceded that state was evil, but a necessary evil. yes anarchy is preferable all other things being equal. but other things arent equal!

As I mentioned before he said anarchy was preferable if it could be sustained, if that's what you mean by "other things equal".

but if you overthrow the government? you just set the beast loose, you cut the chain!

Most of human history is a history of anarchy. Simple tribes that still exist today do not have a state and they do not necessarily live in chaos or have risk of developing a state. You can argue that it doesn't scale to larger societies, that wasn't mentioned in the interview. I believe Jefferson thought anarchy was desirable but couldn't be sustained in large industrialized societies.

Ultimately what you are saying is that because we don't have the technology yet to get rid of government, we shouldn't try and we should settle for trying to control the state. That seems defeatist and it seems like we've lost the argument if we follow this reasoning. You can say the same things about any current function of government. Social problems will inevitably lead to people voting for socialism, so why not just settle and mantain redistribution and the fed, but make sure that only the needy get the money and the fed keeps the price level stable. Why not just preserve the status quo, but tweak it a bit?

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gotlucky replied on Tue, Apr 3 2012 10:12 PM

Aristophanes:

He gave the same tired argument my family gives me, "No government would mean the strongest group gets in charge and exploits or popresses and what have you."

Isn't that the best one?  As if the current government isn't the strongest group...gotta love doublethink.

 

Aristophanes:
Molyneux stresses the morality of anarchy in a way to get people think about their own lives and the political implications that extend in the normal political field.

QFT. 

 

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gamma_rat replied on Tue, Apr 3 2012 10:24 PM

Bottom line Schiff eventually agreed that anarchy would be preferable to minarchy if anarchy could sustain itself.

I've often thought that minarchy wouldn't be so bad, if only it could sustain itself...

You would need a population of educated libertarians to sustain a minarchist state - a population so educated and libertarian that they might as well live without a state.

"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." - Sir Humphrey Appleby
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Clayton replied on Tue, Apr 3 2012 10:35 PM

Molyneux is hardly the best defender of anarchy (he has some lucid, even poetic moments, but he's not an organized thinker, IMO). And Schiff isn't exactly the most professorial guy, either. So, a poor assessor of the arguments given by a weak defender of anarchy is hardly persuasive evidence that anarchy has been "debunked."

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FunkedUp:
Minarchists praise the efficiency of the market, but somehow cannot grasp the fact that this concept extends to law and order as well.

This was one of those "a-HA!" moments I had when considering anarchy. Security and arbitration are merely services that are already provided on the market despite the control the state has arrogated to itself over both. I read one of Molyneux's books (I think it was Everyday Anarchy) where he makes the claim that these services would be much better provided in the absence of the hindrance of the state.

 

If I had a cake and ate it, it can be concluded that I do not have it anymore. HHH

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gotlucky:
Aristophanes:
Molyneux stresses the morality of anarchy in a way to get people think about their own lives and the political implications that extend in the normal political field.
QFT.

He mentioned this a bit in the interview as well: we already have anarchic relationships today.

 

If I had a cake and ate it, it can be concluded that I do not have it anymore. HHH

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Clayton replied on Tue, Apr 3 2012 11:06 PM

schiff conceded that state was evil, but a necessary evil. yes anarchy is preferable all other things being equal. but other things arent equal! thats why we the people must struggle to keep the state constitutional as the founding fathers intended. the state is a beast, so it is a struggle to control the beast. but if you overthrow the government? you just set the beast loose, you cut the chain! then it will come and eat you! that is why the anarchism of the would be revolutionaries and the internet theoretizers is bound to get bound.

I think that people get confused about the ontos of the State - the State exists like Hannukah exists. It exists only in people's minds; and no amount of theory or wishing or hatred of it will make it go away. It's not up to us whether or why the State exists. Its existence is a brute fact.

Nevertheless, the difference between the State and Hannukah is that the former is an aggressive property-rights violator and the latter is a peaceful, property-rights respecting custom. The celebration of Hannukah does not ever result in the invasion of nations, for example.

The fact that the State exists and the fact that its existence is not up to us doesn't mean the State is a good idea. Hannukah is indifferent - or maybe you could say it is positive for Jews and Christians, negative for anti-semites and indifferent for the rest of us. All-in-all, it neither harms nor helps, it's just a relatively neutral cultural/religious practice. The State, on the other hand, definitely hurts - most importantly, it hurts the very people who lend their mental assent to its existence.

This should be a hint that there is something inherently unnatural or perverse about the State. Nowhere in nature does an organism knowingly harm itself or its offspring. The sole exception is human beings with their love for the State.

Anti-statism is simply a moral opposition to the principle of the State. It is nothing more than saying "the State is evil; collecting taxes is immoral, starting wars is immoral, sending policemen out to beat people up and enforce statutes which have no real authority is immoral, stealing from Peter and giving to Paul is immoral" etc. Anti-statism has nothing more to do with a plan of action than being anti-rape has to do with working out a plan for a "rape-free society." Sure, there will always be subjugation and oppression of peoples. And it's anyone's guess how we'll get from here to there (anti-state society), if we ever get there at all. But let's start with the teensy-weensy baby step of simply calling the State what it is - a murderous, monopolizing protection racket - rather than sugar-coating it with the florid, religious language of civics and political science.

But let's touch on the issue of strategy, since this is supposed to be the heel of anti-statism. The preconditions to any meaningful rollback of the power of the State is an intellectual and moral foundation of philosophical anti-statism. Without this, we are doomed to another millenium of revolving-door tyrants. There's no point launching "the Revolution" until this groundwork is laid. And it is being laid as we speak - hopefully it will have an enduring impact. Once there is a foundation in place, there are many ways the power of the State can be abrogated - the State is a multi-headed Hydra. The key is to consider which are the greatest evils that are perpetrated by the State - wars, rampant statutes and regulations, central banking, political unionism (anti-secessionism) and all funded by piecewise taxes designed to conceal the true weight of the State on society. You want a strategy? Protest all wars, protest the proliferation of statutes and regulations at an exponential rate, protest the central bank, champion the use of nullifcation and secession threats (or actual secession), protest government spending and protest the incrementalized taxation system.

Oh, wait, that's Ron Paul's Presidential platform... Derp!

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"You would need a population of educated libertarians to sustain a minarchist state - a population so educated and libertarian that they might as well live without a state."

 

I have brought this up when debating minarchists before but they never respond to it. I think it is a really good point. If you have ever got them to reply to it, what was their response? 

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gamma_rat replied on Tue, Apr 3 2012 11:29 PM

Nothing that I can recall.

A government is needed for want of common individual self-discipline, we are told.  But if the common individual lacks the discipline to regulate her own affairs with other individuals, then how on Earth is she supposed to discipline Leviathan?

"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." - Sir Humphrey Appleby
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aervew replied on Wed, Apr 4 2012 4:00 AM

 

 Most of human history is a history of anarchy. Simple tribes that still exist today do not have a state and they do not necessarily live in chaos or have risk of developing a state. You can argue that it doesn't scale to larger societies, that wasn't mentioned in the interview. I believe Jefferson thought anarchy was desirable but couldn't be sustained in large industrialized societies.
 
 Ultimately what you are saying is that because we don't have the technology yet to get rid of government, we shouldn't try and we should settle for trying to control the state. That seems defeatist and it seems like we've lost the argument if we follow this reasoning. You can say the same things about any current function of government. Social problems will inevitably lead to people voting for socialism, so why not just settle and mantain redistribution and the fed, but make sure that only the needy get the money and the fed keeps the price level stable. Why not just preserve the status quo, but tweak it a bit?
This is one of the big errors that armchair anarchists make. There IS a state in tribal societies. There is the leader, who is the ultimate arbitrator and whose word is listened, and who gives the "go ahead" to any sort of punishment. And this position is challenged, sometimes, similarly to the modern states' coups. The difference is, the tribal state is a "proto" state. It is much weaker in what it is capable of doing and how it justifies it, which is why it is rarely compared to "real" states even though their defining qualities are the same. 
 
Hell, even the american "anarchist" Wild West examples had states. But again, it was more abstract. It was the farmers toting their guns who were the states of their land. In this case the land of the Sovereign was the same as the property of the owner. Because of the relative equality of firepower between farmers, such a situation was sustainable to a degree. That is, until specialisation of aggressors forms and establishes itself as the Sovereign. In the wild west case the US government.
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aervew replied on Wed, Apr 4 2012 4:14 AM

 

 
"You would need a population of educated libertarians to sustain a minarchist state - a population so educated and libertarian that they might as well live without a state."
 
  
 
I have brought this up when debating minarchists before but they never respond to it. I think it is a really good point. If you have ever got them to reply to it, what was their response? 
No, what you need is a stable non-democratic power center. Similar to what Hoppe theorizes about Monarchy being superior to Democracy. We have this in Singapore and Hong-Kong and what do you know! Both are the closest things to Minarchy existing in our era. We would need to return to the authoritarianism of the early 20th century, so that without the demagogues of democracy, the state wont be able to justify the massive expansions it can take.
 
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Hefty:
The way Peter Schiff tried to[...]

Excellent.  Thank you for writing all that so I didn't have to.  I look forward to seeing more of your posts.

 

hashem:
I've listened to everything from Schiff since 2009, read all his books except for the newest one, I've also listened every episode of his show with the exception of maybe 10 episodes.

I wish I could download from your head into mine.

 

FunkedUp:
Schiff is a minarchist and [...]

Very well said.  Where have you guys been?

 

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ThatOldGuy:
(I'd imagine he bases his position in anticipation at another run at public office)

I don't buy that for a second.  For one thing, I think a lot would have to change before Schiff would throw his hat in the ring again.  Second, there is no way Schiff was just putting on a fake argument just for political expediency.  He's not a liar, and I honestly don't believe he cares that much about what people think.

I personally don't see how someone could listen to that and think Schiff didn't actually believe everything he was saying.  He obviously does.  I thought it was clear as crystal that Schiff just hasn't gone that deep yet.  He's obviously at an advantage, having a father like his, but he obviously just hasn't invested the time in education of political philosophy to get to that next level.

It takes quite a bit to get there.  I would argue it probably takes just as much to cross the threshold from minarchism to anarchism as it does to get to Peter's level of minarchism from any other place on the spectrum.  In other words, yes Schiff is so close...but the difficulty in making that next step is just as great. 

I think it's kind of like the road from, say, European socialism to minarchism doesn't tend to be extremely difficult per se, but it tends to be rather long.  However, the road from minarchism to anarchism isn't very long at all...as they aren't so far apart.  (You can easily tell this just by listening to Schiff in this interview...where a great deal of the time he's making Molyneux's case for him).  However, as you can also see, Schiff has a difficult time buying into the idea...almost on just a comfort or familiarity level.  It's almost an appeal to ignorance in a way...as in his biggest problem is he just simply can't imagine how it would work.  But of course, who among anarchists didn't go through that phase?

It just requires the proper amount of time, research, education, thought, and possibly interaction with like-minded people, to get there.  And Schiff just obviously hasn't put in that time.  In fact, I would argue he's only as far along as he is because of who his father is.

 

This argument sounded a lot like one I had when I first grappled with anarchy (I then sounded a lot like Schiff does here).

Bingo.  I think virtually all anarchists did.

 

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hashem:
Also, in usual Schiff style he gave the guest almost no time to talk at all. Without exception every single time Molyneux talked he was interrupted, usually within 5 or 10 seconds

Yeah I know, but I can't totally blame him.  As I was saying here, Schiff is mostly just doing the show for himself.  I think you of all people would recognize the main reason he created the show was just to give himself an outlet for his take on everything.  He's like Adam Carolla, in that he's basically got an opinion about everything (then again, I guess, what libertarian doesn't), and he has a real need to let that out.  I can't imagine being in his position: literally being raised with Austrian economics and libertarian principles (as in, going through your entire life already knowing all this stuff that most of us had to discover on our own at a much later age)...and not only dealing with everyone you encounter throughout your formative years up through college, but even now, running a successful business and being involved in the news and the highly regulated financial world all day...he's either being faced with someone in the business world who is talking nonsense, or even if he can get away from that, it's thrown in his face in the form of a regulation he has to make sure and comply with.

I think partly he does the show because it's basically like a habit.  He's so used to battling all this nonsense that it's just what he does.  I know I don't have to tell you how he sometimes talks about how he basically went through college (at Berkeley no less) arguing with leftist professors and students.  I think the show is basically just his way of continuing to have that conversation because that's what he's always done.  And I think the other part of the reason is that it's largely cathartic...like he sees and deals with so much statist crap that he just has to get it out.

Again, I can't imagine being in his position with his knowledge and not having to find some way to do that.

 

Overall terrible interview, but I'm more dissapointed in Molyneux's weak performance than the usual Schiff. Anyone who's seen some pretty standard Molyneux content would expect him to be at least...3 times more aggressive than this!

Ditto.

 

Aristophanes:
Molyneux's, "I've got a history degree" and "you sound like a politician" lines were ... i have no words.

He was making a joke...a reference to Schiff's Senate run last election season.  Schiff obviously got it, which is why he laughed.

 

It went right over Shiff's head that anarchy is not brought about through an election (which to him is ultimately a singularity of political power being collected, then dissolved), it is a collective understanding and individual state of mind if it ever comes to be.  Molyneux stresses the morality of anarchy in a way to get people think about their own lives and the political implications that extend in the normal political field.

Yes Schiff didn't display an understanding of how a lasting anarchic society would come about, but he also didn't say anything about "electing" away the government.  His scenario was posed with the question of "how do you get there?" and then he offered the possiblity of a revolution, in which case groups would form and the strongest one would take over...which, more or less aligns with history when a revolution does in fact overthrow a government.

As I said earlier, Schiff just hasn't dedicated the extra time to make that step...and obviously therefore doesn't see how it's possible (which, I suppose if he did see how it was possible, he wouldn't be arguing it couldn't be done)

 

Schiff even appeals to the SEC in trying to turn attention to the pump and dump NIA.

And I'm sure he calls the cops when someone is breaking into his house too.  So?

 

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And I'm sure he calls the cops when someone is breaking into his house too.  So?

 
If someone's breaking into a Schiff's house, my first guess would be that it WAS the cops.
 
"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." - Sir Humphrey Appleby
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MaikU replied on Wed, Apr 4 2012 7:41 AM

Haven't seen it yet, but still, I have a comment to make.

No one in thousands of years proved that government is moral and just at individual level. All those minarchists are doing is only making assumptions and generalizations about "society as a whole" but always forgets the individuals. They are true people, not a society, which is just a concept, a vague one to say the least.

I can easily debunk any case for government using "against me" argument, and hey, if you don't like it, that just proves you believe in "might makes right" kind of morality and it is unproductive discussing with you, just like it is waste of time discussing with killers or rapists.

And sustainability? Seriously? Who care if anarchy seems to you "unsustainable"? It is sustainable for me, my family and my friends, and I do not care about your family or friends and don't care about providing you shelter and food just because I happen to be more productive and rational at making my decisions.

So again, anarchy is all among us and it is undebunkable, read conza88's link.

You minarchists can have your pipe dream angelic government all they way to your ass just keep a distance from me, my family and my property.

"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 Wed, Apr 4 2012 10:12 AM

"shows government can function based on fees, randian style non taxation."

It's funny how far minarchists will go to deny that they are anarchists just to have the supposed legitimacy of the state behind them.

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Autolykos replied on Wed, Apr 4 2012 10:48 AM

gotlucky:
You may wish to rethink your analogy.  Consider:

1) The State is a beast

2) The State is overthrown - in otherwords, it no longer exists

3) The State, which was overthrown in step 2, will now come and eat you

The State cannot both exist and not exist at the same time.

+1

Xarthaz Aervew has been refuted repeatedly in the past, by me and others. My bet is that he's posting here with ulterior motives.

Here Xarthaz Aervew is using the phrase "the beast" to refer to two different things. One is the state. The other is people's "bad behavior". His argument is little more than the standard Hobbesian canard - that people will be evil unless they're kept in line by people who are more evil. (Wait a minute...)

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

Voluntaryism Forum

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Hefty replied on Wed, Apr 4 2012 11:22 AM
 Most of human history is a history of anarchy. Simple tribes that still exist today do not have a state and they do not necessarily live in chaos or have risk of developing a state. You can argue that it doesn't scale to larger societies, that wasn't mentioned in the interview. I believe Jefferson thought anarchy was desirable but couldn't be sustained in large industrialized societies.

This is one of the big errors that armchair anarchists make. There IS a state in tribal societies. There is the leader, who is the ultimate arbitrator and whose word is listened, and who gives the "go ahead" to any sort of punishment.

 

I don't know what an armchair anarchist is, are you an armchair minarchist? nevermind. smiley I'll ignore that you ignored my argument about preserving the status quo.

It seems we are disputing a definition. So let's see if we argree on the definition. And maybe some more learned people can point out if I make an error here. You agree that in an anarchical society you will have defense services and arbitration services. A group of people will effectively hand out punishment. The point is whether there is a monopoly. I would even go farther and say that even a monopoly is fine (could be more efficient) as long as the service provider allow competition. Again, remember I'm talking about a definition, not whether it is sustainable or could happen.

Also it is expected that whoever provides the best service will be "listened to" and will give the "go ahead" for any punishment. I can't speak about all tribes but it seems for at least some of them, the tribal chief or whatever group of wise men or something, do not claim dominion over the people in the tribe, do not claim authority to cease property, do not levy taxes, do not claim ownership of the land and do not prevent homesteading of property or free exchange. All in all it seems the people in the tribe are kept there purely on social and economic pressure. To me that isn't a state.

One last point is that everyone here understands that not all anarchical societies are created equal. It would be undesirable to apply social pressure to abolish property rights, for instance. And these tribal anarchies (if I am correct on the definition) are not the type of thing we are trying to implement.

Now you can either disagree on the definition or argue that tribes like that don't exist.

There should be separation of X and state... for all X.
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You may wish to rethink your analogy.  Consider:

1) The State is a beast

2) The State is overthrown - in otherwords, it no longer exists

3) The State, which was overthrown in step 2, will now come and eat you

The State cannot both exist and not exist at the same time.

+1

Xarthaz Aervew has been refuted repeatedly in the past, by me and others. My bet is that he's posting here with ulterior motives.

Here Xarthaz Aervew is using the phrase "the beast" to refer to two different things. One is the state. The other is people's "bad behavior". His argument is little more than the standard Hobbesian canard - that people will be evil unless they're kept in line by people who are more evil. (Wait a minute...)

 

It is Schrödinger's State!

"The Fed does not make predictions. It makes forecasts..." - Mustang19
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[Molyneux is hardly the best defender of anarchy (he has some lucid, even poetic moments, but he's not an organized thinker, IMO). And Schiff isn't exactly the most professorial guy, either. So, a poor assessor of the arguments given by a weak defender of anarchy is hardly persuasive evidence that anarchy has been "debunked."

^that^

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What nobody else has mentioned that I found interesting is that Schiff very clearly came out as a Rothbardian "button-pusher," enthusiastically stating that he'd much rather take his chances with instant anarchy (and whatever may follow) than the state we have now. Doesn't that sound promising?

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AJ replied on Thu, Apr 5 2012 1:51 AM

aervew:
This is one of the big errors that armchair anarchists make. There IS a state in tribal societies. There is the leader, who is the ultimate arbitrator and whose word is listened, and who gives the "go ahead" to any sort of punishment. And this position is challenged, sometimes, similarly to the modern states' coups. The difference is, the tribal state is a "proto" state. It is much weaker in what it is capable of doing and how it justifies it, which is why it is rarely compared to "real" states even though their defining qualities are the same. 

The difference is simply size. Even anarchists generally seem to support parents having some degree of authority over their children.* It's not that much of a stretch to have some kind of extended-family government structure where elders or especially wise family members are trusted with certain authorities. It is so easy to opt out of such a structure anyway, that the anarchy-minarchy debate hardly seems to matter at that scale. So at what size of extended-family/tribe does it become objectionable, or where do the evils of the state start? Phrased another way, at what point on the scale from "nuclear family" to "town government" does a population with a centralized power structure become a state?

Well there are plenty of things we may consider bad even in the family structure, where a father could abuse his children, for example. So certain potential ills are there right from the start, but again, even most anarchists are probably not in favor of dissolving the family structure. In effect they must believe there are countervailing benefits to that top-down authority structure in families.

The question then is at what scale do the evils of top-down authority outweigh the benefits. A good guess might be at whatever level we are evolutionarily adapted for. In other words, if most of recent human evolution happened in tribes of about 40 people, then that may be the level at which centralized power works. Of course, this line of argument suggests the word "state" (or even "centralized power") is best reserved for monopolies of force over much larger populations. Again, few people - even anarchists - seem to oppose all manner of centralized or monopolized power in very small familial structures.

Isn't the issue, then, a matter of size? Isn't it not a matter of minarchy vs. anarchy - not a matter of the size of the government - but of the maximum population size of all a whole bunch of tiny "government" or extended-family groups? Of course, either way there would be no overarching central government to enforce such a size limit, so it would merely be the result of having people understand that tribes becoming too large is very detrimental and hence be suspicious of any attempt to build a "state" that claims a population larger than, say, 40 people. No matter the number you would choose, even if it is only parents and children who should be allowed to be in such a relationship, achieving the optimal result is a matter of educating as many people as possible about the ills of centralized power (teaching them rational political economy).

So are you a 100% individualist (children included), an individualist (adults only), a familialist, an extended familialist, a tribalist, a village minarchist, a town minarchist, a city minarchist, a state minarchist, or a full-blown big-government statist?

*If not, feel free to say otherwise

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Hefty replied on Thu, Apr 5 2012 7:56 PM

I don't think the state is a matter of degree. The state by definition is a monopoly on the use of force. It also has to be a monopoly that outlaws competition. I don't know whether this definition is universally accepted though, but definitions shouldn't matter as long as the correct things follow and I think that the absence of this entity as defined will secure the benefits of anarcho-capitalism.

Authority is not equivalent to a monopoly on the use of force and neither is government per se. So I wouldn't have a problem with a family, extended family or other collection of people that have authority figures and apply social or economic pressure to its members. Not sure if that's what a family's relationship with a child is, though. Should be ok if the child is there voluntarily, it can leave the family or group at any point, only economic pressure keeps it there.

There should be separation of X and state... for all X.
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