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Libertarianism based on force - does anyone have a reply?

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Tartan Pimpernel posted on Fri, Jan 7 2011 1:47 PM

Firstly let me say that I do not agree with the implict argument that because libertarianism appears to be based on force that it is not viable. I am an anarcho-capitalist myself and would like to know if anyone has a response or could link me to one which deals with the Anarchist Writers FAQ?

The FAQ says, "If the "anarcho"-capitalist is to claim with any plausibility that "real"
capitalism is non-statist or that it can exist without a state, it must
be shown that capitalism evolved naturally, in opposition to state
intervention. In reality, the opposite is the case. Capitalism was born
from state intervention. In the words of Kropotkin, "the State . . .
and capitalism . . . developed side by side, mutually supporting and
re-enforcing each other."

 

The writer continues by saying that any system of property must ultimately be based on the force used in the past. Reading the essay itself is worth it. 

So does anyone have any reply to this because I must admit it's annoying me! History of capitalism is not my strong point.

 

"Taxation of earnings from labor is on a par with forced labor. Seizing the results of someone's labor is equivalent to seizing hours from him and directing him to carry on various activities." - Robert Nozick

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The historical evidence available cannot prove either that capitalism evolved because of the state or that it evolved before and/or in spite of it.  However, one can readily show that private property does not require a state.

Does the writer make a distinction between aggressive and defensive force?  I haven't read the essay.

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

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I think he states that the property system and the capitalist economic system is based on the initiation of force therefore libertarian principles are wrong, or something like that. Although he may have a point (especially in some industries where businessmen collude with the state for regulation and the like) I hardly see why this discredits libertarianism as a whole, so long as businessmen in the future don't rely on the state to uphold the capitalist system.

 

"Taxation of earnings from labor is on a par with forced labor. Seizing the results of someone's labor is equivalent to seizing hours from him and directing him to carry on various activities." - Robert Nozick

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Does it matter? Let's destroy the state and we shall see what comes out of it. I myself have no doubt, but that is besides the point.

What I really fear is that once they see what anarchy really is, i.e. pure capitalism, many self-styled "anarchists" will turn violent to prevent it and try modeling society according to their wishes.

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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Tricky word that word "force", as technically speaking every action is by definition force.  That said, if by "capitalism was born from state intervention" we mean "civilization", sure what the hell.   Capitalism is by it's very nature anti-primitivism.  If the anarchists you are concerned with care about going back to a feudalism without lords or some form of primitivism you may as well make that concession.   Now if they mean "The Modern State" (French Revolution onward) that is laughably 100% spectacularly false.  Just look at the French Revolution.

"I am not an ego along with other egos, but the sole ego: I am unique. Hence my wants too are unique, and my deeds; in short, everything about me is unique" Max Stirner
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Does it matter? Let's destroy the state and we shall see what comes out of it. I myself have no doubt, but that is besides the point.

What I really fear is that once they see what anarchy really is, i.e. pure capitalism, many self-styled "anarchists" will turn violent to prevent it and try modeling society according to their wishes

I still don't understand why anarchists don't all work together at first and then deal with the economic implications. If some see capitalism as force, they may as well get rid of the commonly-agreed-upon force in the form of the current government. Truth is, it seems like the State was developed by an-comms who thought the fruit of another's labor belonged to everyone else and realized it couldn't be that way without force.

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken.

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Captilalism requires property.

Property requires the initiation of force against people who don't share your definition of property.

You could go on all day about natural rights but this fact will never change. So yes I would say libertarianism is based on force, but I am still a libertarian.

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Evilsceptic:

Captilalism requires property.

Property requires the initiation of force against people who don't share your definition of property.

You could go on all day about natural rights but this fact will never change. So yes I would say libertarianism is based on force, but I am still a libertarian.

 

Amen, but according to this strict definition no human society could ever be violence-free. Hence, we should stop even discussing violence and focur on rightful violence. 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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Property requires the initiation of force against people who don't share your definition of property.

You can't just claim ownership over anything. You have to mix your labor with something in order to claim ownership. The idea that you simply own a piece of land without working it is an idea of force in a way, but not the homesteading principle. Taking something that someone creates without compensation or permission is force, not the other way around.

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken.

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Property requires the initiation of force against people who don't share your definition of property.

And one could also say the prevention of property also requires the initiation of force. Lefties are funny like that

"I am not an ego along with other egos, but the sole ego: I am unique. Hence my wants too are unique, and my deeds; in short, everything about me is unique" Max Stirner
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It's important to note that the Non-Aggression Principle is not the Non-Force Principle.  Aggression is a specific type of force.

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Tartan Pimpernel:
The FAQ says, "If the "anarcho"-capitalist is to claim with any plausibility that "real" capitalism is non-statist or that it can exist without a state, it must be shown that capitalism evolved naturally, in opposition to state intervention. In reality, the opposite is the case. Capitalism was born from state intervention. In the words of Kropotkin, "the State . . . and capitalism . . . developed side by side, mutually supporting and re-enforcing each other."

It has been my experience that people making the bolded comment above, or something similar to it, are defining "capitalism" as the mechanism that spawned large, multi-national corporations...  something I prefer to call "corporatism."  They are not defining "capitalism" as most anarcho-capitalists typically do.  I'll be reading the article the first chance I have to see how close I am.  :)  Thanks for posting it.

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They are not defining "capitalism" as most anarcho-capitalists typically do.

I used to not understand that difference. Understanding the separation of capitalism from corporatism and state capitalism is so important in grasping libertarianism, I think. Wasn't Marx more against state capitalism than free-market capitalism?

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken.

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Lyle replied on Fri, Jan 7 2011 3:41 PM

Property is not secured by an initiation of force (regardless what government might claim otherwise).  Property is secured by a repulsion of illegitimate force.  Property is not created by law (ie. government) but by contract.  If anything, property is a private institution protected by law. Property is not strictly mixing one's labor with nature but nature with which no other labor has been mixed. Therefore, capitalism was not "born from state intervention" but was thought to be protected by state intervention.  Men created the State to protect their pre-existent property.

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I think Marx was of the opinion that free market capitalism would inevitably turn into state-capitalism, as his theories called for Capitalists to become more and more desperate to maintain thier ownership of the means of production, due in turn to his theories on the tendency of the rate of profit to fall.  His whole idea was that "capitalists" were taking surplus value from "laborers" via wage-labor/exploitation.

When you actually look at it in time though, "capitalists" are actually doing valuable work in speculation, management, investment, etc.  The only people who are doing the exploiting and living off the work of others are the wards of the State.  Have you read that great essay Hoppe has about this?

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