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Personal feelings on Minarchism

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bloomj31 Posted: Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:10 PM | Locked

What I want to do with this thread is lay down what I think about minarchism  and explain why I'm a minarchist.  I don't really want this to be a long post, I'll try to make this as short as possible without sacrificing the ideas I want to share.  Be forewarned, this is mostly rambling and me trying to articulate thoughts that I usually don't put words to so this will probably be messy.

Ok, my first concern in terms of ideology is how applicable and useful it is for analyzing, understanding and ultimately recommending public policy.  I am not as motivated by the desire to be 100 percent consistent with my principles as I am with being able to translate whatever principles I have into something that's palatable to the everyday person.  Moreover, I am not beholden to any ideals nor do I imagine a perfect world or even a world where things are necessarily good.  I'm also not heavily driven by morality although I'm still motivated by morality to some extent.  I am not entirely sold on the Non aggression principle.  I think it's a nice idea but sometimes one has to use aggression to get certain things done.  But for the most part, I like to avoid aggression.

Secondly, with politics, one needs less of a logical reason or justification for things than just the ability to convince people that something is right for them.  So, while anarchy may be the most logically consistent position, it's also one of the least motivating politically.  People often have a natural distrust for the market and a lot of people simply don't like to compete with others.  It's really quite understandable.  Minarchism is really not usually that appealing but it can be sold to people who have a natural distrust for big government.  Still, socialism has the most psychological appeal and so I like to incorporate as many light socialist ideas into my sales pitch as possible without going overboard with them.

One of the other main reasons I'm a minarchist is because I think that keeping things stable and predictable and familiar, from a political standpoint, is more important than building a system that yields the greatest returns in terms of wealth or adheres strongly to any particular moral code.  In other words, I despise regime uncertainty, and I think that protecting the status quo is usually the best way to avoid regime uncertainty even if the status quo isn't perfect.  

Finally, I don't think of minarchy as some ideal thing that's ever going to happen.  It's just a way of thinking about public policy that's a little more skeptical and cynical than the way that most progressives tend to think about public policy.  In the end, though, I know I'm something of a progressive myself.  I just disagree with how much money to take from people and what I want to spend it on.

I know that a lot of anarchists will read this and either be furious, disappointed or simply put off by what I've said here and that's fine.  I don't really want to get into a screaming match with anyone but if you guys want to talk about any of this, I'm open to it.  It's also important to point out that I'm not representative of all minarchists, just myself.  I have no idea why other people are minarchists, I just know my own reasons.  

Thank you for taking the time to read my quasi rant  Big Smile

 

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Esuric replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:20 PM | Locked

You haven't really stated why you're a minarchist; you spent most of your time explaining why you're not an anarchist. But are you really a minarchist? Rejecting anarchy does not automatically mean accepting minarchy. Some questions: Do you support the wars in Iraq/Afghanistan? If Israel was attacked tomorrow, what should America, and its military do?

 

"If we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion."

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bloomj31 replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:22 PM | Locked

I do support both wars, are we assuming Israel gets attacked by Iran?

Also, yeah I guess it could be read that way.  I think that in my head, I'm constantly asking myself "why not anarchism?" and that's how this thread came about tbh.

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Esuric replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:26 PM | Locked

bloomj31:
are we assuming Israel gets attacked by Iran?

Fine, okay.

bloomj31:
I do support both wars

How does a minarchist state finance a trillion+ dollar war?

You haven't taken a stance. You're not ideologically or morally bound to anything, and you don't want to use logic. If you're purely a pragmatist, who wants to manipulate people, and if you support the warfare state, then why not turn to socialism (fascism specifically)? Surely our logical refutation of socialism, our arguments against such a condition on moral grounds, means absolutely nothing to you. I just don't see why you've chosen minarchy based on the metrics mentioned in the OP.

"If we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion."

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filc replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:30 PM | Locked

Esuric:

Esuric, it would have been better to let this one float to the bottom. We've already been through all of this 100 times and then some. He says the market is about competition, but it's not. The market is about cooperation and consumer preference. 

This is an obvious cry for attention is all I can tell. Nothing new has been posted. A clear example of why ERO made that post....

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bloomj31 replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:30 PM | Locked

Well I mean I am a socialist, just not a hardcore one.  

To finance wars, one does what one must.  Maybe print money, maybe borrow it, maybe tax it.  None of these options are particularly appetizing or even emotionally pleasing but if one believes, as I do, that the government's job is to protect its people, first and foremost, then that task must be seen as top priority.

If Iran attacks Israel, I think the US should be absolutely merciless.  But other than that, I'd leave the specifics up to the generals, I'm no war strategist.

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bloomj31 replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:32 PM | Locked

filc:

Esuric, it would have been better to let this one float to the bottom. We've already been through all of this 100 times and then some. He says the market is about competition, but it's not. The market is about cooperation and consumer preference. 

This is an obvious cry for attention is all I can tell. Nothing new has been posted. A clear example of why ERO made that post....

Look, I never said we had to talk about this, I just wanted to express what I've been thinking about.  Nothing more nothing less.  This is not to convince anyone of anything.  It's simply meant to put to words what's been in my head.  If you don't find anything I say interesting, don't post in the thread, case closed.  If esuric wants to talk about this he can, if not, I won't begrudge him at all.  Same for anyone else.

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Conza88 replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:35 PM | Locked

You're a neo-conservative. You're just afraid of the label, since you don't find it "palatable" anymore - well, only since "society" doesn't.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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bloomj31 replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:35 PM | Locked

Again, let me be very clear to all you guys: if you do not want to talk about this, we don't have to, pass up the thread, don't post in it.  I won't be mad and you won't have to spend time on something you don't want to participate in.  Ok?  Alright.

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bloomj31 replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:36 PM | Locked

Conza88:

You're a neo-conservative. You're just afraid of the label, since you don't find it "palatable" anymore - well, only since "society" doesn't.

Maybe I am.  

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Esuric replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:37 PM | Locked

bloomj31:
None of these options are particularly appetizing or even emotionally pleasing but if one believes, as I do, that the government's job is to protect its people, first and foremost, then that task must be seen as top priority.

How is attacking Israel's enemies a form of self-defense? How is preemptively attacking Iraq a form of self-defense?

bloomj31:
To finance wars, one does what one must.  Maybe print money, maybe borrow it, maybe tax it.

So how is this inline with minarchy and classical liberalism? Minarchy: refers to a political ideology which maintains that the state's only legitimate function is the protection of individuals from aggression.

You said you liked order, and you admitted you're soft socialist. It seems like you're really a fascist. Fascism has plenty of "order."

"If we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion."

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DanielMuff replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:40 PM | Locked

bloomj31:

Well I mean I am a socialist, just not a hardcore one.  

That is implied since you are a minarchist.

If Iran attacks Israel, I think the US should be absolutely merciless.

Why?

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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Conza88 replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:41 PM | Locked

bloomj31:

Conza88:

You're a neo-conservative. You're just afraid of the label, since you don't find it "palatable" anymore - well, only since "society" doesn't.

Maybe I am.  

Chicken hawk.

You've got ample opportunity to volunteer and kill innocent civilians in a foriegn land. You'll also get paid to murder and be called a "hero". What's stopping you?

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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bloomj31 replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:44 PM | Locked

Esuric:

How is attacking Israel's enemies a form of self-defense? How is preemptively attacking Iraq a form of self-defense?

I mean honestly, Israel is just the homeland of the Jews and I have an enormous interest in seeing Israel protected by any means necessary.  Whether or not there's a direct connection between protecting Israel and protecting America, I cannot say.   Iraq is...complicated.  Hussein was a bad dude, but was he a direct threat?  I'm not sure.  We were told he was at the time.  May have been a lie, but since we're over there, I say finish the job.   At this point, leaving Iraq could basically cause it to destabilize and maybe further radicalize a part of the world that's already prone to extremism.  So we gotta finish the job even if the reasons we went there in the first place were a lie.

Esuric:

So how is this inline with minarchy and classical liberalism? Minarchy: refers to a political ideology which maintains that the state's only legitimate function is the protection of individuals from aggression.

You said you liked order, and you admitted you're soft socialist. It seems like you're really a fascist. Fascism has plenty of "order."

I'm just a hawk when it comes to foreign policy.  My foreign policy views are probably not in line with either classical liberalism or minarchy but it's not exactly fascism either.  It's just hawkishness.  Again, I don't feel the need to be 100 percent consistent.  I was an MMA trainee, I learned to use anything that worked.  Know what I mean?

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bloomj31 replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:46 PM | Locked

No, Conza, I leave the fighting to the armed forces.  I'm no soldier.  But I'll support the troops in my own way.  If that makes me a chickenhawk or whatever, so be it.  

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bloomj31 replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:48 PM | Locked

Daniel Muffinburg:

That is implied since you are a minarchist.

I know

Daniel Muffinburg:

Why?

Because that's the Jewish homeland.

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DanielMuff replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:49 PM | Locked

bloomj31:

Daniel Muffinburg:

That is implied since you are a minarchist.

I know

Daniel Muffinburg:

Why?

Because that's the Jewish homeland.

So you want the US government to steal from others so that in can protect Israel?

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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Jonathan M. F. Catalán replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:49 PM | Locked

bloomj31:

I mean honestly, Israel is just the homeland of the Jews and I have an enormous interest in seeing Israel protected by any means necessary.

As an individual who has a vested interest in Israel and the Jewish people, given that nearly half of my living family is Jewish, I can attest to the fact that the quoted statement is untrue.  So, for Palestinians born on Israeli territory Israel is not their "homeland"?  In any case, the issue is much broader than just the topic of who's homeland Israel really is.  I wrote this a very long time ago, and I could probably do a better job today, but alas it will do: Zionism's Losing Battle.

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bloomj31 replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:50 PM | Locked

Daniel Muffinburg:

So you want the US government to steal from others so that in can protect Israel?

Yes.  It's worth it to me.  And I'm fully aware of how awful it is.  

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Marko replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:53 PM | Locked

Pathetic.

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Conza88 replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:56 PM | Locked

bloomj31:

No, Conza, I leave the fighting to the armed forces.  I'm no soldier.  But I'll support the troops in my own way.  If that makes me a chickenhawk or whatever, so be it.  

You didn't answer my question.

"You've got ample opportunity to volunteer and kill innocent civilians in a foriegn land. You'll also get paid to murder and be called a "hero". What's stopping you?"

Additionally, what do you think of the sign? Do you support these troops? Why not? How do you "support" them in your own way?

 

So do you support every death that has resulted from both the pre-emptive Iraq and Afghanistan wars?

You said you did... you supported the wars, so naturally you support the deaths of 1,000,000 + people, right? If not, why not?

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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bloomj31 replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:58 PM | Locked

If they want to protest the war, that's their call.  I already told you I'd be a lousy soldier.  I'm short and not particularly physically strong.  Probably get killed.  I think I can do more good for this cause in other ways.  

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Esuric replied on Tue, Mar 16 2010 11:59 PM | Locked

bloomj31:
I'm just a hawk when it comes to foreign policy.  My foreign policy views are probably not in line with either classical liberalism or minarchy but it's not exactly fascism either.  It's just hawkishness.  Again, I don't feel the need to be 100 percent consistent.  I was an MMA trainee, I learned to use anything that worked.  Know what I mean?

So again, how are you a minarchist? This position flies in the face of minarchy. People are minarchists because they believe in personal freedom, but don't accept the utopian anarchic positions. It's an ideological position based on reason, history, and morality. If you believe in taxation, regulation, inflation, military interventionism, then you're not a minarchist or an anarchist. If You support warfare, regulation (order) but reject the complete ownership of property, then you're a fascist. I don't know what else to call you. Maybe we can invent your own classification?

"If we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion."

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filc replied on Wed, Mar 17 2010 12:00 AM | Locked

bloomj31:

Daniel Muffinburg:

So you want the US government to steal from others so that in can protect Israel?

Yes.  It's worth it to me.  And I'm fully aware of how awful it is.  

It would be less awful if you moved to Israel and than espoused to such beliefs. If they were more important to you then America was at least. Your actions for staying here, in the states, seem to imply you love your home country more. So why you would want to harm your home's and it's citizen's for the benefit of another? 

It's ironic that you detest Israel factories getting bombed, but support taxing the states to defend. Ultimately the effects of heavy taxation and bombing result in the exact same consequences, a destruction in wealth and capital. 

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Jonathan M. F. Catalán replied on Wed, Mar 17 2010 12:01 AM | Locked

bloomj31:

If they want to protest the war, that's their call.  I already told you I'd be a lousy soldier.  I'm short and not particularly physically strong.  Probably get killed.  I think I can do more good for this cause in other ways.  

Convenient.

 

EDIT:  Btw, I'm not trying to call you a coward for not fighting.  I am a deserter, but I don't turn around and support coercing others into fighting a war.

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bloomj31 replied on Wed, Mar 17 2010 12:02 AM | Locked

If I'm a fascist, I'm a new kind of fascist.  I've read Mussolini's writings, I don't agree with much of what he says.  Too much, too strong, too statist.  I'm statist but I'm not that statist by any means.

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Marko replied on Wed, Mar 17 2010 12:02 AM | Locked

I've got a dislocated disc and a wracked up back
I'm allergic to flowers and bugs
And when the bombshell hits, I get epileptic fits
And I'm addicted to a thousand drugs
I got the weakness woes, I can't touch my toes
I can hardly reach my knees
And if the enemy came close to me
I'd probably start to sneeze

I'm only eighteen, I got a ruptured spleen
And I always carry a purse
I got eyes like a bat, and my feet are flat, and my asthma's getting worse
Yes, think of my career, my sweetheart dear, and my poor old invalid aunt
Besides, I ain't no fool, I'm a-goin' to school
And I'm working in a DEE-fense plant

Ooh, I hate Chou En Lai, and I hope he dies,
Onething you gotta see
That someone's gotta go over there
And that someone isn't me
So I wish you well, Sarge, give 'em Hell!
Kill me a thousand or so
And if you ever get a war without blood and gore
I'll be the first to go

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Conza88 replied on Wed, Mar 17 2010 12:04 AM | Locked

bloomj31:
If they want to protest the war, that's their call.  I already told you I'd be a lousy soldier.  I'm short and not particularly physically strong.  Probably get killed.  I think I can do more good for this cause in other ways.  

How many individuals would you try to kill over there? How many would you try take out, before they got you? 1, 2, 10, 100? Would you discriminate between men, women and children - or would you consider them all "the enemy"?

Don't you believe individuals have a right to self defense? Against aggressors?

In what ways would you "support" this "cause"? Would you personally send money to help these hit men murder people?

Wouldn't that make you a criminal though? You paid to have someone killed?

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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bloomj31 replied on Wed, Mar 17 2010 12:04 AM | Locked

filc:

It would be less awful if you moved to Israel and than espoused to such beliefs. If they were more important to you then America was at least. Your actions for staying here, in the states, seem to imply you love your home country more. So why you would want to harm your home's and it's citizen's for the benefit of another? 

It's ironic that you detest Israel factories getting bombed, but support taxing the states to defend. Ultimately the effects of heavy taxation and bombing result in the exact same consequences, a destruction in wealth and capital. 

It's complicated.  I love America.  But I'm a Jew.  As for destroying wealth, the end results may be the same but bombing someone's factory and taxing their output are very different in practical terms even if, in principle, the results are similar.

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filc replied on Wed, Mar 17 2010 12:04 AM | Locked

bloomj31:
Too much, too strong, too statist.  I'm statist but I'm not that statist by any means.

Hehe, how are you less of a statist than anyone else? Is it because you prefer to socialize war over healthcare? DOes that make you less of a statist? Or just a different type of statist, one with different preferences, one who seeks to exploit the masses for your own ends.

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Conza88 replied on Wed, Mar 17 2010 12:06 AM | Locked

Jonathan M. F. Catalán:

bloomj31:

If they want to protest the war, that's their call.  I already told you I'd be a lousy soldier.  I'm short and not particularly physically strong.  Probably get killed.  I think I can do more good for this cause in other ways.  

Convenient.

EDIT:  Btw, I'm not trying to call you a coward for not fighting.  I am a deserter, but I don't turn around and support coercing others into fighting a war.

He is a coward. You took the much braver stance, of standing by your principles against the wrath of the state. Lesser men cower in the gutter, or do what this guy has done, become chicken hawks - who chant from the side lines, indirectly calling for and supporting the deaths of millions.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Esuric replied on Wed, Mar 17 2010 12:06 AM | Locked

bloomj31:
It's complicated.  I love America.  But I'm a Jew.  As for destroying wealth, the end results may be the same but bombing someone's factory and taxing their output are very different in practical terms even if, in principle, the results are similar.

You have a strong emotional attachment to the state of Israel. Your own identity is attached to it, even through you admit that you're not religious. You support the warfare state, regulation, inflationism, taxation, and probably some degree of welfare (don't know how much). National socialism seems to be the best fit.

"If we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion."

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bloomj31 replied on Wed, Mar 17 2010 12:06 AM | Locked

Jonathan M. F. Catalán:

Convenient.

EDIT:  Btw, I'm not trying to call you a coward for not fighting.  I am a deserter, but I don't turn around and support coercing others into fighting a war.

Well, good for you.  

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bloomj31 replied on Wed, Mar 17 2010 12:07 AM | Locked

filc:

bloomj31:
Too much, too strong, too statist.  I'm statist but I'm not that statist by any means.

Hehe, how are you less of a statist than anyone else? Is it because you prefer to socialize war over healthcare? DOes that make you less of a statist? Or just a different type of statist, one with different preferences, one who seeks to exploit the masses for your own ends.

Less, more, whatever.  Different breed, whatever.  I don't know.  It's just a matter of priorities.  

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ama gi replied on Wed, Mar 17 2010 12:08 AM | Locked

Since I'm in the mood for a "quasi-rant" of my own....

I prefer not to put labels on myself, by calling myself anarcho-capitalist, minarchist, anarchist, or anything else, just because I don't like to put myself in some kind of box.  I think associating yourself with any particular "school of thought" is just bland social conformity.  The demand for conformity is especially strong on these forums, where you have to identify yourself as a disciple of some branch of libertarian thought and study various libertarian holy-books to be taken seriously.

What do I believe in?  Well, I dislike the government--I dislike the very idea of government, particularly nation-states--and I'd rather see all governments disappear; but I think that people need to have a real concept of what freedom is for any revolution to have any real meaning.  History is trashed with narratives of successful regime changes/revolutions, only for the revolutionaries and radicals to become the new tyrants of tomarrow.  You just can't trust anybody with positions of power; even industrial/economic power can be abused, which is why I view the ideology of "capitalist as ubermensch" with a healthy eye of skepticism.

I agree with nonviolence, noncoercion, and civil disobedience; but I also pay heed to practical concerns.  I would far rather pay for a driver's license than go to jail or else walk everywhere.  I guess that makes me a sell-out to some extent.

"As long as there are sovereign nations possessing great power, war is inevitable."

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Marko replied on Wed, Mar 17 2010 12:08 AM | Locked

bloomj31:

It's complicated.  I love America.  But I'm a Jew.  As for destroying wealth, the end results may be the same but bombing someone's factory and taxing their output are very different in practical terms even if, in principle, the results are similar.

So how you love America is you want Americans to die for the sake Israel. Got it.

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bloomj31 replied on Wed, Mar 17 2010 12:09 AM | Locked

Esuric:

You have a strong emotional attachment to the state of Israel. Your own identity is attached to it, even through you admit that you're not religious. You support the warfare state, regulation, inflationism, taxation, and probably some degree of welfare (don't know how much). National socialism seems to be the best fit.

Meh.  National socialism maybe I dunno.  I still think of myself as essentially a minarchist with a neo con foreign policy.  And really, I'm not a big fan of the welfare programs.  Those are a staple of national socialism as far as I know.

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Marko replied on Wed, Mar 17 2010 12:10 AM | Locked

ama gi:

Since I'm in the mood for a "quasi-rant" of my own....

I prefer not to put labels on myself, by calling myself anarcho-capitalist, minarchist, anarchist, or anything else, just because I don't like to put myself in some kind of box.  I think associating yourself with any particular "school of thought" is just bland social conformity.  The demand for conformity is especially strong on these forums, where you have to identify yourself as a disciple of some branch of libertarian thought and study various libertarian holy-books to be taken seriously.

What do I believe in?  Well, I dislike the government--I dislike the very idea of government, particularly nation-states--and I'd rather see all governments disappear; but I think that people need to have a real concept of what freedom is for any revolution to have any real meaning.  History is trashed with narratives of successful regime changes/revolutions, only for the revolutionaries and radicals to become the new tyrants of tomarrow.  You just can't trust anybody with positions of power; even industrial/economic power can be abused, which is why I view the ideology of "capitalist as ubermensch" with a healthy eye of skepticism.

I agree with nonviolence, noncoercion, and civil disobedience; but I also pay heed to practical concerns.  I would far rather pay for a driver's license than go to jail or else walk everywhere.  I guess that makes me a sell-out to some extent.

Too good a post for a trash thread like this. Better save them for one that is not disgusting.

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bloomj31 replied on Wed, Mar 17 2010 12:10 AM | Locked

Marko:

So how you love America is you want Americans to die for the sake Israel. Got it.

In a perfect world, no one would have to die.  Seeing others in pain gives me absolutely no pleasure at all.  But it's not that simple.  

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bloomj31 replied on Wed, Mar 17 2010 12:11 AM | Locked

Listen, Marko, if you don't like the thread, why post in it?  Just asking.

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