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Libertarian Island Update

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triknighted Posted: Mon, May 21 2012 9:14 PM

A while ago I heard about a billionare building a libertarian island of some sort. Does anybody have an update?

Someone also brought up something about a town for sale recently, so it got me thinking about The Village. Would that be a realistic way to have a libertarian city, and more specifically to see if the anarcho-capitalist dream works?

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Rorschach replied on Mon, May 21 2012 10:43 PM

The Village, directed by M. Night Shyamalan?  I'm not sure how you're saying "The Village" would be a realistic way to have a libertarian city.  Didn't they keep their citizens  secluded from the world?  I don't think that would be a good or realistic thing to do.  Wouldn't you also have to keep them away from the Internet, and anything referential to other parts of the world?

As for the island, you're thinking of Peter Thiel.  It's part of this.

For some entertainment value, here's Cenk Uygur demonstrating his advanced logic skills on how people need regulations or they will create self-destructing buildings:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0Ty9jFRtOw

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Ancap66 replied on Tue, May 22 2012 2:18 AM

If a single anarcho-capitalist island was actually built and populated by a sizeable population, and it flourished for a year, it would prove to the world that anarchy can work. The shock to the system might put all governments on an inevitable path towards extinction. Which is why I think such an island or community would be seized under the control of a government before or soon after construction is complete.

Any power-hungry government (i.e. all governments) can declare that your rock is now under their control with the stroke of a pen. Where are you going to hide that big fucking rock that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to anchor to the ocean floor?

Hypothetically speaking, only the black market can provide the flexibility needed to resist government pen strokes.

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Wheylous replied on Tue, May 22 2012 10:06 AM

it would prove to the world that anarchy can work

No, not really.

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gotlucky replied on Tue, May 22 2012 1:34 PM

Hey JJ, let me direct you to the new member thread in regards to your blank post.

Glad to help.

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Rorschach:

The Village, directed by M. Night Shyamalan?  I'm not sure how you're saying "The Village" would be a realistic way to have a libertarian city.  Didn't they keep their citizens  secluded from the world?  I don't think that would be a good or realistic thing to do.  Wouldn't you also have to keep them away from the Internet, and anything referential to other parts of the world?

As for the island, you're thinking of Peter Thiel.  It's part of this.

For some entertainment value, here's Cenk Uygur demonstrating his advanced logic skills on how people need regulations or they will create self-destructing buildings:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0Ty9jFRtOw

I should specify: I'm not an anarcho-capitalist. I was referring to the dream that others have. That being said, you could most closely classify my as being a minarchist. I understand that the state is the problem, but I view it as a lesser of two evils situation. I would rather have a unanimous judicial system and an organized defense force in addition to personal armament with no restrictions. I want to stress, though, that my stance is irrelevant to the thread. I don't want to hijack my own thread if I can help it here LOL.

As for The Young Turks, let's just say that if the tsunami they were referring to wiped their set away, I wouldn't much mind. They are assholes and libs and conservatives alike want to squash libertarianism in any way they possibly can because it's "too free." I'm not sure there is such a thing. And before the AnCaps freak out at my latter sentence, the way I view law is similar to Rand or Bastiat. Properly functioning, it will not impede my freedom at all: freedom of individuality, liberty and property. I know, it's a pipe dream on its own as government is like a tick that has no limit to how much blood it can suck.

That was context.

As for The Village reference, I simply meant a unique, individualistic town that has a different set of standards and values. I certainly didn't mean to imply an Oceania/1984esque Big Brother ville; that is completely contrary to libertarianism, so you're right to question my motives.  

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gotlucky:

Hey JJ, let me direct you to the new member thread in regards to your blank post.

Glad to help.

LOL Being new here, I've noticed that many of you regularly take sarcastic jabs at the rest. Keep them coming, that one gave me a good laugh mate hah hah. Although I upgraded to FireFox so Mr. JJ did help me out a bit.

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Clayton replied on Tue, May 22 2012 3:08 PM

This? Not a billionaire and it was before my time...

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Clayton:

This? Not a billionaire and it was before my time...

The Minerva Project was stupid in one way, though: it didn't have weapons to defend itself. This is where I disagree with many AnCaps on here. Despite what many of you think, people are naturally competitive. It helps us to survive. Yes, there is a difference between being competitive and having ill-intentions towards others, but imo many of you are viewing anarchy as though its grass is greener. Being on the other side of the fence, you have never experienced it and you don't truly know if it is better on the whole.

While there are less than 1% of Ted Bundys out there, they exist. Plus in true anarchy, there are no rules. People can form any kind of organization they want (i.e., government) and by default you must agree with it if you agree with anarchy. In anarchy, there are no rules, there is no right and wrong, and we all see how that works in the African Safari, probably the best example of natural anarchy. Even though the lions aren't always on the prowl, they attack when they're hungry. What makes you think psychopaths won't attack people at will, intelligently and without limit? I always wonder what AnCaps and anarchists (there is a difference) would think about The Road and whether it would be a true-to-life representation.  

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P.S. I know that AnCaps are in favor of private ownership of weapons, I mean in terms of an organized force like the one that took over Minerva. It was an organized military and the hipster libertarian citizens thought everyone would get along just fine. BS. You need weaponry, you need it strong and you need to have your finger on the trigger to protect your sovereignty. Governments are no more than groups of people, and that means groups of people are always looking to expand and grow, often at the expense of individuals that are free.

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Rorschach replied on Tue, May 22 2012 5:05 PM

I totally agree with TYT that it should be encouraged to "watch it fail".  I just don't think it would fail, at least not in the sense that he thinks it would.  I just think it's funny that he actually believes people would be unprepared in such an expensive endeavor as constructing buildings, and that they would have absolutely no foresight of potential disaster.  And as a commentor mentioned, tsunamis and earthquakes wouldn't have any serious effect on a floating island.

As for The Village reference, I simply meant a unique, individualistic town that has a different set of standards and values.

I think that's probably the only way anarcho-capitalism could exist as a system anytime soon.  But if that were tried in any advanced country, state interference would be inevitable.

It is true that, give free movement, there will always be a sampling problem.  You will get different sorts of people moving to more libertarian areas than are distributed in the normal population.  Libertarian island populations would not be representative of the general population, but it would be interesting to see what the consequences of that would be.

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Clayton replied on Tue, May 22 2012 5:06 PM

The Minerva Project was stupid in one way, though: it didn't have weapons to defend itself. This is where I disagree with many AnCaps on here.

Um, you're thinking of pacifists, not ancaps.

Despite what many of you think, people are naturally competitive. It helps us to survive. Yes, there is a difference between being competitive and having ill-intentions towards others, but imo many of you are viewing anarchy as though its grass is greener. Being on the other side of the fence, you have never experienced it and you don't truly know if it is better on the whole.

While there are less than 1% of Ted Bundys out there, they exist.

So? The point is not that no one should defend themselves but that we should not create an expropriating property-protector or bullying bodyguard (the State) because, well, it's retarded. If the goal is to prevent the Ted Bundy's from murdering people, then why not allow people to hire market-produced security guards rather than imposing taxes and police brutality? What diffierence is it if you are killed by Ted Bundy or the Fullerton PD? Either way, your'e dead. Same for property - what difference is it if the local drug lord raids my house once a month and steals half my stuff or the Federal government garnishes half my paycheck? Either way, I'm robbed.

The more I think about it, the more I believe that statism boils down to sentiment - it just feels different to be beaten by police rather than a private thug and it feels different to be robbed by the Feds than by a local drug lord.

Plus in true anarchy real life, there are no rules.

FTFY - there are no rules in life beyond the laws of physics, biology and the laws of human nature (how people behave). The lines on the pavement are really just lines.

People can form any kind of organization they want (i.e., government) and by default you must agree with it if you agree with anarchy.

Nope. This is the "free to enslave" argument. You are right that there are no rules in life, and that people are free to try to enslave one another and they do, in fact, do this on many levels. However, where you're wrong is that it is morally justifiable behavior. It is not morally acceptable behavior for the simple fact that such behavior is not morally universalizable.

Why people tolerate the imposition of hypocritical rules onto themselves is a different subject. Yes, the existence of dual-law (one set of rules for the Elites, another set of rules for everybody else) is universal. But that doesn't make it not dual-law (hypocrisy), it just tells us that there's something in human nature that gives the masses a propensity to submit to the hypocrisy of the Elites.

*shrug*

In anarchy real life, there are no rules, there is no right and wrong, and we all see how that works in the African Safari,

Or Washington, DC, or London, or Moscow, or Berlin, or Zurich. You think that the old, white men whose names you've never heard that live on private reserves in Europe are more moral or self-restrained than the warlords of Africa? Do you think they will hesitate to use their wealth and their political connections (which gives them military power) to achieve their own ends out of concerns for morally upright behavior? Do you think that the Presidents of Western nations rise or fall regardless of what such powerful men want? Do you think that you or anyone else in "the electorate" poses even the slightest threat to such permanent, private, unelected, international interests? Like me, you are an ant on the bottom of the steel-toed boots of such people.

probably the best example of natural anarchy. Even though the lions aren't always on the prowl, they attack when they're hungry. What makes you think psychopaths won't attack people at will, intelligently and without limit? I always wonder what AnCaps and anarchists (there is a difference) would think about The Road and whether it would be a true-to-life representation.

There are private criminals. But no matter how prodigious they are, they still fall far, far short of the killing power of the State.

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Autolykos replied on Tue, May 22 2012 5:16 PM

triknighted:
The Minerva Project was stupid in one way, though: it didn't have weapons to defend itself.

Yep, that was really stupid IMHO. I have no idea why they weren't armed to the teeth beforehand.

triknighted:
This is where I disagree with many AnCaps on here. Despite what many of you think, people are naturally competitive. It helps us to survive. Yes, there is a difference between being competitive and having ill-intentions towards others, but imo many of you are viewing anarchy as though its grass is greener. Being on the other side of the fence, you have never experienced it and you don't truly know if it is better on the whole.

Who among us do you think thinks people aren't naturally competitive? I have no idea who you could be referring to, sorry.

It's true, of course, that we haven't experienced an anarcho-capitalist/voluntaryist society, so we don't truly know whether it would be better on the whole. By the same token, however, you haven't experienced it either, and you don't truly know whether it would be worse on the whole. So I don't see how this is any argument against anarcho-capitalism/voluntaryism.

triknighted:
While there are less than 1% of Ted Bundys out there, they exist.

Yes, and notice that they still exist in spite of states and all their trappings.

triknighted:
Plus in true anarchy, there are no rules.

Could you please explain what you mean by "true anarchy" and "no rules"?

triknighted:
People can form any kind of organization they want (i.e., government) and by default you must agree with it if you agree with anarchy. In anarchy, there are no rules, there is no right and wrong, and we all see how that works in the African Safari, probably the best example of natural anarchy. Even though the lions aren't always on the prowl, they attack when they're hungry. What makes you think psychopaths won't attack people at will, intelligently and without limit? I always wonder what AnCaps and anarchists (there is a difference) would think about The Road and whether it would be a true-to-life representation.

With all due respect, I really fail to see how any notion of right and wrong would necessarily not apply in anarchy. Do you think that people only behave a certain way because they fear punishment/retaliation if they behave otherwise?

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Autolykos:

triknighted:
The Minerva Project was stupid in one way, though: it didn't have weapons to defend itself.

Yep, that was really stupid IMHO. I have no idea why they weren't armed to the teeth beforehand.

triknighted:
This is where I disagree with many AnCaps on here. Despite what many of you think, people are naturally competitive. It helps us to survive. Yes, there is a difference between being competitive and having ill-intentions towards others, but imo many of you are viewing anarchy as though its grass is greener. Being on the other side of the fence, you have never experienced it and you don't truly know if it is better on the whole.

Who among us do you think thinks people aren't naturally competitive? I have no idea who you could be referring to, sorry.

It's true, of course, that we haven't experienced an anarcho-capitalist/voluntaryist society, so we don't truly know whether it would be better on the whole. By the same token, however, you haven't experienced it either, and you don't truly know whether it would be worse on the whole. So I don't see how this is any argument against anarcho-capitalism/voluntaryism.

triknighted:
While there are less than 1% of Ted Bundys out there, they exist.

Yes, and notice that they still exist in spite of states and all their trappings.

triknighted:
Plus in true anarchy, there are no rules.

Could you please explain what you mean by "true anarchy" and "no rules"?

triknighted:
People can form any kind of organization they want (i.e., government) and by default you must agree with it if you agree with anarchy. In anarchy, there are no rules, there is no right and wrong, and we all see how that works in the African Safari, probably the best example of natural anarchy. Even though the lions aren't always on the prowl, they attack when they're hungry. What makes you think psychopaths won't attack people at will, intelligently and without limit? I always wonder what AnCaps and anarchists (there is a difference) would think about The Road and whether it would be a true-to-life representation.

With all due respect, I really fail to see how any notion of right and wrong would necessarily not apply in anarchy. Do you think that people only behave a certain way because they fear punishment/retaliation if they behave otherwise?

That's quite a response mate! A good one at that.

Let me start small. Anarchy means no rules, no system, no ethics, no establishment of any kind. From that point on, imho, it is very temporary as rules will inevitably be made, gangs will form, all of which is government. But it'll be either a police state or a gangland, both of which are really bad. Anarcho-capitalists have rules, such as not allowing government, not allowing theft, not allowing slavery . . . and so forth. Anarchists shouldn't mind, though, since to want any sort of established rules or establishment is not anarchy.

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@triknighted - you seem to be trapped in the mindset of 'positive law' and have little notion of how customs that enforce natural justice evolve. 

I suggest you begin with the following:

Terry Anderson and PJ Hill, 'The Not So Wild, Wild West', Journal of Libertarian Studies

Bruce L. Benson, The Enterprise of Law: Justice Without the State

FA Hayek, The Fatal Conceit

David Hume, An Inquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals

Anthony de Jasay, Political Philosophy, Clearly

Albert Jay Nock, Our Enemy, the State

Michael van Notten, The Law of the Somalis

The Voluntaryist Reader: http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com/ Libertarian forums that actually work: http://voluntaryism.freeforums.org/index.php
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gotlucky replied on Tue, May 22 2012 7:10 PM

triknighted:

Anarchy means no rules, no system, no ethics, no establishment of any kind.

If you define anarchy as chaos, so be it.  But just so that you are aware, many libertarians and especially people on this forum define anarchy as "without rulers", which happens to be the etymology of the word.

triknighted:

 From that point on, imho, it is very temporary as rules will inevitably be made, gangs will form, all of which is government. But it'll be either a police state or a gangland, both of which are really bad.

It does not follow that from chaos there must necessarily be states or warring states.  The other option is that there is a stateless society, which happens to be the one that many people here prefer.

triknighted:

Anarcho-capitalists have rules, such as not allowing government, not allowing theft, not allowing slavery . . . and so forth. Anarchists shouldn't mind, though, since to want any sort of established rules or establishment is not anarchy.

Your definition of anarchy leads to some funny statements.  Anarchists shouldn't mind if their ideal society isn't anarchy?

By the way, if you haven't read these yet, I suggest you read What Law Is and A Praxeological Account of Law by forum member Clayton.

EDIT: Reworked second part for clarity.

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Ancap66 replied on Tue, May 22 2012 7:13 PM

Autolykos:

Do you think that people only behave a certain way because they fear punishment/retaliation if they behave otherwise?

I think that as long as the risk of thuggery is greater than the reward, anarchy will work.

Here, there is confusion over the difference between a 'state of nature' and anarchy. A state of nature would be where a public police force OR established protection agencies suddenly vanish into thin air. In both cases, the result would probably be a temporary riot. Ideally, protection agencies would gradually takeover from the state, and keep the risk/reward ratio in check.

 

Anarchy means no rules, no system, no ethics, no establishment of any kind.

If that's what anarchy means, then anarcho-capitalists want the opposite of anarchy. Put it this way: we essentially want "governments" that compete with each other for "citizens" within the same "jurisdiction". We want "governments" that treat us like customers and don't hog a geographic region to themselves. This isn't feasible right now, because everyone believes "governments" should be territorial monopolies on the use of force. In the same way, people used to believe democracy would just lead to chaos and disaster. Therefore democracy wasn't feasible, because people would just prop up a new dictator king whenever one fell.

But it'll be either a police state or a gangland, both of which are really bad.

Every minarchist I run into these days, always seems to have the same doubts and fears about anarchy. Many anarchists still have these doubts and fears, but consider them to be irrational after logical deduction.

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Autolykos replied on Tue, May 22 2012 7:22 PM

triknighted:
That's quite a response mate! A good one at that.

Well thanks. smiley

triknighted:
Let me start small. Anarchy means no rules, no system, no ethics, no establishment of any kind.

Let's be clear. You're defining "anarchy" to mean "no rules, no system, no ethics, no establishment of any kind". I and everyone else is free to define "anarchy" differently if he wants to. Just so you know.

But given your definition of "anarchy", I'd say that it's impossible for human beings. Some sort of order will emerge from our interactions. Human nature itself is hardly a vacuum, either.

triknighted:
From that point on, imho, it is very temporary as rules will inevitably be made, gangs will form, all of which is government. But it'll be either a police state or a gangland, both of which are really bad.

What exactly do you think makes that inevitable? And why only "gangs" and nothing else?

triknighted:
Anarcho-capitalists have rules, such as not allowing government, not allowing theft, not allowing slavery . . . and so forth. Anarchists shouldn't mind, though, since to want any sort of established rules or establishment is not anarchy.

What do you call a state of affairs where there's no government but there is order for a group of people?

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Autolykos:

triknighted:
Let me start small. Anarchy means no rules, no system, no ethics, no establishment of any kind.

Let's be clear. You're defining "anarchy" to mean "no rules, no system, no ethics, no establishment of any kind". I and everyone else is free to define "anarchy" differently if he wants to. Just so you know.

But given your definition of "anarchy", I'd say that it's impossible for human beings. Some sort of order will emerge from our interactions. Human nature itself is hardly a vacuum, either.

Blast that relativism! Yes, we are free to define anything any way we please. Does it mean it is different as a result? No. What is is.

In answer to your response, I agree: true anarchy would be inherently temporary, and gangs would form. Government, territory, gangs...it's all based on rules. While I'm fine with territory as I believe in private property, it is still based on rules. If there is any constant throughout all of human history, it is rules. There are good rules and bad ones; good rules protect individuality, liberty and property. Bad rules plunder those natural rights. I believe that anarchy is a lack of definition of individuality, liberty and property by any society, and a gangland or police state (the gangland is a local monopoly whereas the police state is nationwide, imo) is where individuality, liberty and property are enforced by destroying those very things. It is a perpetual state of hypocrisy. 

Now that that's out off the way, how do you define anarchy? Is there a difference between it and anarcho-capitalism, and if so, what might that difference be, exactly?

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gotlucky replied on Tue, May 22 2012 9:31 PM

@triknighted

I have a suspicion that Autolykos is one of those people that defines anarchy the way I mentioned in a post above, which was "without rulers".  That definition, by the way, is the etymology of the word.  The way you have defined anarchy is chaos.  Again, it's fine if you want to use that meaning, but it is not the meaning people use here typically.

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gotlucky:

@triknighted

I have a suspicion that Autolykos is one of those people that defines anarchy the way I mentioned in a post above, which was "without rulers".  That definition, by the way, is the etymology of the word.  The way you have defined anarchy is chaos.  Again, it's fine if you want to use that meaning, but it is not the meaning people use here typically.

Thanks for the distinction, I think you're right. I do make anarchy and chaos synonymous with one another. Perfect way of describing it, gotlucky.

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Clayton replied on Wed, May 23 2012 12:38 AM

@tri: I can't speak for everyone but my "aim" is not to bring about anarchy or even to end the State (this would be nice, but so would it be nice to "end rape" or "end murder"... we're stuck with all three types of criminals for the time being). Rather, my aim is more modest: teach people sound moral, legal and economic principles (h/t LvMI). In the long run, I believe that the enlightenment regarding such principles would bring about an end to the territorial monopoly on law and security (usually referred to as the State) - fulfilling the prophecy of Henry David Thoreau:

I heartily accept the motto, "That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe--"That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.

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Autolykos replied on Wed, May 23 2012 8:10 AM

triknighted:
Blast that relativism! Yes, we are free to define anything any way we please. Does it mean it is different as a result? No. What is is.

I think you'll agree that words are just labels for things. As Shakespeare said through Juliet, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Maybe that's what you're saying above.

In any case, even though words are just labels for things, what they label affects the meanings of words used together. For example, if you define "anarchy" as "a complete lack of order", then "I don't like anarchy" can be taken to mean "I don't like a complete lack of order". But in that case, it says nothing about whether you like a complete lack of rulers (for example). Does that make sense?

triknighted:
In answer to your response, I agree: true anarchy would be inherently temporary, and gangs would form. Government, territory, gangs...it's all based on rules. While I'm fine with territory as I believe in private property, it is still based on rules. If there is any constant throughout all of human history, it is rules. There are good rules and bad ones; good rules protect individuality, liberty and property. Bad rules plunder those natural rights. I believe that anarchy is a lack of definition of individuality, liberty and property by any society, and a gangland or police state (the gangland is a local monopoly whereas the police state is nationwide, imo) is where individuality, liberty and property are enforced by destroying those very things. It is a perpetual state of hypocrisy.

Let me ask you this: do you think that rules and order can only come about in a top-down fashion? Or do you think they can come about in a bottom-up fashion as well?

On another note, why do you make this distinction between "local" and "nationwide" as if it has some necessary bearing in reality? It doesn't. "Local" vs. "nationwide" is entirely arbitrary. What is a "locality"? What is a "nation"?

triknighted:
Now that that's out off the way, how do you define anarchy? Is there a difference between it and anarcho-capitalism, and if so, what might that difference be, exactly?

Before I answer these questions, could you please answer the ones I asked in my last post?

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gotlucky:

Hey JJ, let me direct you to the new member thread in regards to your blank post.

Glad to help.

?

 

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Autolykos:

I think you'll agree that words are just labels for things. As Shakespeare said through Juliet, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Maybe that's what you're saying above.

In any case, even though words are just labels for things, what they label affects the meanings of words used together. For example, if you define "anarchy" as "a complete lack of order", then "I don't like anarchy" can be taken to mean "I don't like a complete lack of order". But in that case, it says nothing about whether you like a complete lack of rulers (for example). Does that make sense?

I've recently learned there's an etymological difference between anarchy and chaos. Once I learned this, I opened the Chaos thread, which I think you've responded to. You're spot on with the rose analogy. As for the labeling of words...we'll have to discuss it a bit more in that thread because it's pretty detailed there.

Autolykos:

Let me ask you this: do you think that rules and order can only come about in a top-down fashion? Or do you think they can come about in a bottom-up fashion as well?

On another note, why do you make this distinction between "local" and "nationwide" as if it has some necessary bearing in reality? It doesn't. "Local" vs. "nationwide" is entirely arbitrary. What is a "locality"? What is a "nation"?

True, local to nationwide can be relative. Lets say I mean local as a relatively small number of people (say 2-10,000) and nationwide being anything 10,001 onward for the sake of this example.

Now answer those pesky little Qs bitte!

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Autolykos replied on Wed, May 23 2012 8:55 AM

Not until you answer the questions I previously asked.

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

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Autolykos:

Not until you answer the questions I previously asked.

Since I did answer them, I thought this http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/143/581/8474739.jpg?1309732852 might make as much sense as your latest post.

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Autolykos replied on Wed, May 23 2012 9:13 AM

triknighted:
Since I did answer them, I thought this http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/143/581/8474739.jpg?1309732852 might make as much sense as your latest post.

As far as I'm concerned, you did not answer these questions:

1. What exactly do you think makes that inevitable? And why only "gangs" and nothing else?

2. What do you call a state of affairs where there's no government but there is order for a group of people?

Now, if you want me to think otherwise, then I suggest you point out specifically where you think you answered them, or else (if you don't think you have answered them after all) answer them specifically in your next post. Simply saying that you did answer them does not convince me, because I don't see anywhere that you did answer them.

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

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