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Alien Refutes Anarcho-Capitalism

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Buzz Killington posted on Sun, May 27 2012 2:57 AM

Although I'm by no means aligned with this guy's political ideology, he makes a good point. Is an anarcho-capitalist society really that "free" if virtually everything is private property?

"Nutty as squirrel shit."

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Answered (Verified) tunk replied on Sun, May 27 2012 6:48 PM
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Of course it would take time for another company to emerge. Any solution you could possibly propose will take time, and I could just as easily ask you what you expect people to do in the meanwhile. People are supposed to do whatever they are supposed to do. The answer to their problems won't fall out of of the sky.

You didn't mention boycotts. You're just positing a corporation that simply doesn't care whether consumers are satisfied or not, doesn't care about effects of its behavior on its reputation, and doesn't care about whether its holding prices high will attract outside entrants. You can do that if you want, but I dispute whether that's a likely scenario. Does the CEO have devil horns too?

Why do you also assume that all the roads are owned by one entity? Empirically, at least, in free markets there are usually several competing utility companies. Cartels are also quickly broken down when there is free entry.

Mutual aid doesn't necessarily mean that people go without your roads, though they might well and decide to take another route/mode of transportation. Your roads are competing with every other alternative on the market, after all. It may also mean that they provide each other with cash to make the purchase.

Again, there are plenty of possible solutions. I don't think its me that has to defend them all, since real life is much more complicated, so much as you that needs to justify why you are so certain that people are stupid and incapable of solving problems like this.

Buzz Killington:
But surely when a certain system (private roads in this case) is proposed, you have to face the problems it creates!

Perhaps. But I think the "problems" in this case are not so much caused by private roads as just the general human desire to be a jackass. They will be present under any system you adopt. And there may be all sorts of ways of solving them. People have come this far.

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triknighted:

I was more focused on that statement leading into the utilitarian topic. In other words, if you're truly concerned with principle instead of utilitarianism, then it doesn't matter where the wrong is, a wrong is a wrong. Now if it's your claim that the AnCap system is better than statism, that's fine . . . but that's what I meant when I said you're arguing against statism, not for AnCap.

I am against the state on principle.  I am an anarchist on principle.  It also happens that the greatest good for the greatest amount of people would occur in an ancap society, in my opinion of course.

triknighted:

I see a lot of problems with private law enforcement agencies or private judges, however you put it. It implies rules and law, yet there is nothing established, no jurisdictions, so what if nobody knows the law? Is there a law written down? Is there no law? If there's no law, why are there law enforcers, and why are there judges to begin with other than to enforce a non-existent law? If two different private law enforcement companies come to the same scene and have two different approaches, stances, interpretations or such differences, how are they resolved?

Have you heard of customary law?  I will also direct you to What Law Is and A Praxeological Account of Law by forum member Clayton.

triknighted:

The AnCap model sounds nice, and I agree, businesses would function and on the whole, things would be really good for a while . . . until another nation decides to invade the territory/region/area (I know there's private ownership of weaponry, which is good, and private companies can develop weapons, which is even better . . . but I need evidence that it can compete with the technology and organization of an entire military or two that might attack us) and until people start having competing companies interpret "the law" differently.

There are no absolutes in any type of society.  But when was the last time someone invaded Canada or Australia?

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tunk replied on Sun, May 27 2012 2:22 PM

triknighted:
What I mean is this: if I bought a property in the middle of what is no Kansas, let's say, and there's a lot of property around mine that I don't own so someone buys it and, say he's a sociopath, decides to build a 20 ft. wall I have no means of climbing over, and the wall surrounds my property, who comes to my aid if I can't defend myself?

I understand what you're worried about. I think Rothbard gives a more or less decent answer in EoL:

Ethics of Liberty, ch. 29:
One example of Nozick’s sanctioning aggression against property rights is his concern with the private landowner who is surrounded by enemy landholders who won’t let him leave. To the libertarian reply that any rational landowner would have first purchased access rights from surrounding owners, Nozick brings up the problem of being surrounded by such a set of numerous enemies that he still would not be able to go anywhere. But the point is that this is not simply a problem of landownership. Not only in the free society, but even now, suppose that one man is so hated by the whole world that no one will trade with him or allow him on their property. Well, then, the only reply is that this is his own proper assumption of risk. Any attempt to break that voluntary boycott by physical coercion is illegitimate aggression against the boycotters’ rights. This fellow had better find some friends, or at least purchase allies, as quickly as possible.

It may sound harsh to simply say to the man, "Tough luck! That was your proper assumption of risk!" But what you have to understand is that it just isn't possible to protect people from every possible contingency. There is a certain element of risk and uncertainty in reality that we can't avoid and we are stuck with. None of us are God, and no one can give any guarantees that such and such an event won't occur, that a hurricane won't hit next week or that your next-door neighbour won't be a total jackass. This possibility is present under all political systems. No legislation can make it go away. Sad but true. All we can do is encourage people to make adequate preparation so they can manage when such circumstances arise.

Buzz Killington:
if everything is private property, the owners of that property will be able to impose whatever rules they wish on those using that property and thus the society isn't really free at all.

This risk can't be avoided. No matter what society you live in, there will need to be some property arrangement - i.e. usage regulations concerning resources - so long as things are scarce. And in granting any rights to use resources at all, we are inevitably granting to people the possibility of exercising that right in ways of which we disapprove. As far as I can see, though, the solution isn't to abolish or restrict property, but rather to encourage people (or provide them with the incentive) to be generous with what they own. Social ties, community, family, and morality are important too in making a society function.

Maybe the scenarios you bring up don't sound like a very "free" world to you, but that depends on your definition of freedom. When libertarians talk about freedom, we mean in the very narrow and practical sense of freedom from aggression. You're talking about a very different sort of freedom, where you are free from all possible obstacles that could get in your way. I don't think this is achievable; scarcity and uncertainty seem to be at least two given constraints.

what if I bought up all the roads in a given area? I could say to everyone: either you give me 50% of your income or sorry, you cannot use these roads to go to your job.

Sure, but if people really want to maintain control over those roads, they could simply charge a prohibitively high price such that you can't buy them. Somebody might see a profit opportunity, come along, and innovate such that they provide a new means of transportation at a lower price. People might also resort to mutual aid and charity to see themselves through. You might in the end decide it isn't in your interests to be such a prick.

Please note that nationalizing the roads will not solve this problem either. How do you know that the government tomorrow won't establish hugely expensive road tolls just to raise revenue? All we can do is rely on human ingenuity to solve such problems.

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tunk:
Maybe the scenarios you bring up don't sound like a very "free" world to you, but that depends on your definition of freedom. When libertarians talk about freedom, we mean in the very narrow and practical sense of freedom from aggression. You're talking about a very different sort of freedom, where you are free from all possible obstacles that could get in your way. I don't think this is achievable; scarcity and uncertainty seem to be at least two given constraints.

So basically libertarianism isn't really about achieving human freedom, it's really just about its own narrow stringent code of morality which says that this "NAP" is the only thing that matters and as long as I in buying up all the roads and taxing the **** out of the citizens who need to use them don't fall under its category of an aggressor then everything is perfectly cool.

Gotcha.

tunk:
Sure, but if people really want to maintain control over those roads, they could simply charge a prohibitively high price such that you can't buy them. Somebody might see a profit opportunity, come along, and innovate such that they provide a new means of transportation at a lower price. People might also resort to mutual aid and charity to see themselves through. You might in the end decide it isn't in your interests to be such a prick.

Please note that nationalizing the roads will not solve this problem either. How do you know that the government tomorrow won't establish hugely expensive road tolls just to raise revenue? All we can do is rely on human ingenuity to solve such problems.

I do not believe in government owned roads/

"Nutty as squirrel shit."
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gotlucky:

Have you heard of customary law?  I will also direct you to What Law Is and A Praxeological Account of Law by forum member Clayton.

I read them, and customary law, frankly, seems flaky. It's undefined and too subjective.

gotlucky:

There are no absolutes in any type of society.  But when was the last time someone invaded Canada or Australia?

There ought to be absolutes on law. I completely agree with Frederic Bastiat that law should protect individuality, liberty and private property--otherwise it is perverse. Those are absolutes.

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tunk replied on Sun, May 27 2012 5:26 PM

Buzz, I don't think I said that the NAP is the only thing that matters, or that when people exercise their rights in ways which are obtuse or offensive or even immoral, this is "perfectly cool."

What I'm saying is, for one thing, there are usually plenty of voluntary ways to go about resolving such issues, such that we don't necessarily need to resort to violating human rights. (competition, boycott/protest, mutual aid, or whatever.)

When we're arguing about what rights people have, we're only capable providing a framework in which moral/socially acceptable behaviour is possible, not where its guaranteed. We have to rely on community, solidarity, morality, kinship, etc. to do the rest of the work in making a livable society. Both respect for rights and respect for general moral duties are important, but we can deal with little of the latter just sitting in our armchairs.

And, for another thing, to some degree it just isn't possible to come up a priori with a perfect and pretty solution to every problem in the world. We have to be realistic here and realize that comprises are occasionally necessary.

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tunk:
Buzz, I don't think I said that the NAP is the only thing that matters, or that when people exercise their rights in ways which are obtuse or offensive or even immoral, this is "perfectly cool."

What I'm saying is, for one thing, there are usually plenty of voluntary ways to go about resolving such issues, such that we don't necessarily need to resort to violating human rights. (competition, boycott/protest, mutual aid, or whatever.)

Competition: would it not take quite a bit of time for another company to emerge and create some new roads? What are the citizens supposed to do if they have to drive to work on a regular basis?

Protests: sorry angry protestors, I'm not allowing protests on my roads, and if you do it anywhere else why should I care? It's not as if I GAF whether or not you dislike my dictatorial corporation.

Mutual aid: let's just see how long you can survive without my roads.

"Nutty as squirrel shit."
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Hahaha. When I saw where he was going with this I couldn't help but laugh. It's just a rehash of Walmart owning the entire world.

Completely useless. He disregards the market process of exploration and the importance of the use of knowledge in society.

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tunk:
When we're arguing about what rights people have, we're only capable providing a framework in which moral/socially acceptable behaviour is possible, not where its guaranteed. We have to rely on community, solidarity, morality, kinship, etc. to do the rest of the work in making a livable society. Both respect for rights and respect for general moral duties are important, but we can deal with little of the latter just sitting in our armchairs.

And, for another thing, to some degree it just isn't possible to come up a priori with a perfect and pretty solution to every problem in the world. We have to be realistic here and realize that comprises are occasionally necessary.

But surely when a certain system (private roads in this case) is proposed, you have to face the problems it creates!

"Nutty as squirrel shit."
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Answered (Verified) tunk replied on Sun, May 27 2012 6:48 PM
Verified by Buzz Killington

Of course it would take time for another company to emerge. Any solution you could possibly propose will take time, and I could just as easily ask you what you expect people to do in the meanwhile. People are supposed to do whatever they are supposed to do. The answer to their problems won't fall out of of the sky.

You didn't mention boycotts. You're just positing a corporation that simply doesn't care whether consumers are satisfied or not, doesn't care about effects of its behavior on its reputation, and doesn't care about whether its holding prices high will attract outside entrants. You can do that if you want, but I dispute whether that's a likely scenario. Does the CEO have devil horns too?

Why do you also assume that all the roads are owned by one entity? Empirically, at least, in free markets there are usually several competing utility companies. Cartels are also quickly broken down when there is free entry.

Mutual aid doesn't necessarily mean that people go without your roads, though they might well and decide to take another route/mode of transportation. Your roads are competing with every other alternative on the market, after all. It may also mean that they provide each other with cash to make the purchase.

Again, there are plenty of possible solutions. I don't think its me that has to defend them all, since real life is much more complicated, so much as you that needs to justify why you are so certain that people are stupid and incapable of solving problems like this.

Buzz Killington:
But surely when a certain system (private roads in this case) is proposed, you have to face the problems it creates!

Perhaps. But I think the "problems" in this case are not so much caused by private roads as just the general human desire to be a jackass. They will be present under any system you adopt. And there may be all sorts of ways of solving them. People have come this far.

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triknighted:

I read them, and customary law, frankly, seems flaky. It's undefined and too subjective.

There is no thing as objective law.  Period.  So what seems flakey about customary law?

triknighted:

There ought to be absolutes on law. I completely agree with Frederic Bastiat that law should protect individuality, liberty and private property--otherwise it is perverse. Those are absolutes.

Law is many things to many people.  The only consistent, defining factor of law is that it resolves disputes nonviolently.  No system of law, whether it is statutory, common, or customary (or whatever) will have all perfect laws.  But the more centralized a system of law, the less people can experiment with law.  If there is a bad law, that's it.  But with decentralized law, if there is a bad law, it sticks to a local area.  Good laws spread, bad laws won't.

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MMMark replied on Sun, May 27 2012 8:58 PM

Sat. 12/05/26 21:56 EDT
.post #156

Buzz Killington:
Competition: would it not take quite a bit of time for another company to emerge and create some new roads? What are the citizens supposed to do if they have to drive to work on a regular basis?

Protests: sorry angry protestors, I'm not allowing protests on my roads, and if you do it anywhere else why should I care? It's not as if I GAF whether or not you dislike my dictatorial corporation.

Mutual aid: let's just see how long you can survive without my roads

But surely when a certain system (private roads in this case) is proposed, you have to face the problems it creates!


Let's make things even worse.

In addition to doing all the rotten things you've mentioned, let's give this dictatorial corporation six more powers:

1. The power to make everybody pay for its roads, whether or not those people use the roads, without suffering any legal consequences;
2. The power to impose a money monopoly on all the people, grant the monopoly to itself, and then print as much money as it pleases. Now it can never go broke or bankrupt.
3. The power to assault, imprison, and kill any other competitors in the road business, without suffering any legal consequences.
4. The power to assault, imprison, and kill angry protestors, without suffering any legal consequences.
5. The power to do all these things anywhere in the world
(see, for example, Lew Rockwell: US enjoys sending Tomahawks, killing).
6. The power to do anything else, all without legal consequences.

In other words, let's turn this dictatorial corporation into...a government.

It seems to me that, even in the highly unlikely, worst-case scenario, the free market is preferable, and by a considerable margin.

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Thanks for that link, JJ.  Great read.

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Good old Mr1001nights.. produces one of his most retarded videos yet.

Strawman after strawman.... first case [1] Intellectual Property... would be NOTHING to stop everyone else emulating the aliens 'inventions' etc.. down comes most of the OP's bs.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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What I mean is this: if I bought a property in the middle of what is no Kansas, let's say, and there's a lot of property around mine that I don't own so someone buys it and, say he's a sociopath, decides to build a 20 ft. wall I have no means of climbing over, and the wall surrounds my property, who comes to my aid if I can't defend myself? It's a legitimate question that I have no yet heard an answer to.

I was asked this question on reddit and attempted to answer it but my answer was ignored, was that you?

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