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Emergence Anarcho-Capitalism

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You're relying on the idea of PAs too much. Mutualists don't support them, and to assume that they would be the inevitable result of a stateless society is ludicrous.

What you still fail to answer is what happens when a factory owner insists that they have exclusive ownership of a factory and the workers claim they do. Let's even pretend PAs exist and they each contract to different ones. What happens in this case? By definition, a factory owner would be highly unlikely to adopt Mutualist property rights since they ultimately destroy eir power. Do you now see the problem?

The main problem is that you continue to argue from the position of a capitalist in regards to mutualism. You are assuming that Mutualists will have PAs and a whole slew of other things unique to anarcho-capitalism.

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"By mutually consensual, I assume you mean an agreement made in the absence of force. But you say that people make such agreements to avoid force. An agreement made to stop someone from using force against you is an agreement made under coercion. Suppose you built a bicycle and I built a pair of roller skates. You use the bicycle 50% of the time but don't use the roller skates at all. I use the roller skates 50% of the time and the bicycle 50% of the time (the time you're not using it). I have no incentive to agree to a homesteading principle because I am getting what I want. However, one day you say that you'll beat me up if I ride the bicycle again. You say that you'll let me ride it if I build a skateboard and give it to you. I really want to ride the bicycle, so I agree to a homesteading view of property and build the skateboard for you. I sign the agreement because of your threat, and it is thus not a mutually consensual arrangement. Suppose you threaten to beat me up if I used the roller skates that I made. I would still agree to the deal just the same. You might also try to force me from using both the bicycle and the roller skates. Whether I agreed or not depends upon whether you have enough force to deter me. Thus any agreement made to avoid conflict benefits one in proportion to his/her capacity for violence."

Interesting, but in the end I think it's a red herring.

But that's a philosophical point, not a market/what-is-likely-to-happen-in-the-real-world point. In short: why in this case would I have threatened to beat you up for riding a bicycle during period that I'm not using it [As an aside: you are spending 100% of your life either riding your skates or the bicycle: when do you eat? When do you shower? When do you do anything productive? ;-) Just playing games with math, not making a real point.]? What is my incentive to do *that*?

If you are saying that some people are schizophrenic and any irrational human action is possible: sure.

If you are saying that this kind of irrational behavior which is actually *against* my own self interest would be common or even dominant: I reject that, because it doesn't in any way match my observation of human nature, it doesn't fit with an evolutionary model of human nature, etc.

The *concept* of "property" existed long, long before anyone ever actually used the term, long before the state or anything. It emerged in exactly this way, precisely for the reason that for the most part, most human beings *don't* particularly want to use violence against other people (there are exceptions of course: psychopaths; self defense; desperate (e.g. starving) people; etc). The reason I don't rush over to my neighbor's home, rape his wife, steal his food, etc., isn't because of the state, or the threat of retalition, etc. It's simply because *I don't want to*. In a "state of nature", all possible actions that I can physically take are on the table. My voluntarily eschewing some of those - the violent ones - for something in return (the added peace of mind of knowing that my neighbors have similarly agreed to eschew those actions) - is an easy economic calculation to make: I'm giving up nothing and gaining something. I wasn't going to be violent to my neighbors anyway, so I voluntarily gave up an option that I wasn't going to exercise anyway.

And thus I also reject your assertion that any agreement to avoid force is one made under coercion. You're simply ignoring the example I gave in which the two farmers made the agreement so that they wouldn't have to build fences around their crops to keep the other person from taking the crops that they worked hard to produce. That's not coercion: no one has actually threatened anyone, in any way. It's actually just an increasingly trusting relationship: I wasn't sure that I could trust you before, but this agreement increases our bonds of trust. I think you've tried to make your argument that all such agreements are coercive based on a highly contrived and unlikely example.

As for your last sentence:  "any agreement to avoid conflict benefits one in proportion to his/her capacity for violence." Isn't it the other way around? My agreement to avoid conflict benefits me precisely because I wasn't going to be violent anyway; I gave up nothing for something. How much I actually gained depends on *your* capacity for violence. If you weren't inclined towards violence either, then neither of us really "got" something except a formalization of our intent to not do violence to each other (which still has *some* value I'd argue). If you were really inclined to do violence but now agree (and stick to) not do violence, then I've really gotten a big benefit.

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"By mutually consensual, I assume you mean an agreement made in the absence of force. But you say that people make such agreements to avoid force. An agreement made to stop someone from using force against you is an agreement made under coercion. Suppose you built a bicycle and I built a pair of roller skates. You use the bicycle 50% of the time but don't use the roller skates at all. I use the roller skates 50% of the time and the bicycle 50% of the time (the time you're not using it). I have no incentive to agree to a homesteading principle because I am getting what I want. However, one day you say that you'll beat me up if I ride the bicycle again. You say that you'll let me ride it if I build a skateboard and give it to you. I really want to ride the bicycle, so I agree to a homesteading view of property and build the skateboard for you. I sign the agreement because of your threat, and it is thus not a mutually consensual arrangement. Suppose you threaten to beat me up if I used the roller skates that I made. I would still agree to the deal just the same. You might also try to force me from using both the bicycle and the roller skates. Whether I agreed or not depends upon whether you have enough force to deter me. Thus any agreement made to avoid conflict benefits one in proportion to his/her capacity for violence."

Interesting, but in the end I think it's a red herring.

But that's a philosophical point, not a market/what-is-likely-to-happen-in-the-real-world point. In short: why in this case would I have threatened to beat you up for riding a bicycle during period that I'm not using it [As an aside: you are spending 100% of your life either riding your skates or the bicycle: when do you eat? When do you shower? When do you do anything productive? ;-) Just playing games with math, not making a real point.]? What is my incentive to do *that*?

If you are saying that some people are schizophrenic and any irrational human action is possible: sure.

If you are saying that this kind of irrational behavior which is actually *against* my own self interest would be common or even dominant: I reject that, because it doesn't in any way match my observation of human nature, it doesn't fit with an evolutionary model of human nature, etc.

The *concept* of "property" existed long, long before anyone ever actually used the term, long before the state or anything. It emerged in exactly this way, precisely for the reason that for the most part, most human beings *don't* particularly want to use violence against other people (there are exceptions of course: psychopaths; self defense; desperate (e.g. starving) people; etc). The reason I don't rush over to my neighbor's home, rape his wife, steal his food, etc., isn't because of the state, or the threat of retalition, etc. It's simply because *I don't want to*. In a "state of nature", all possible actions that I can physically take are on the table. My voluntarily eschewing some of those - the violent ones - for something in return (the added peace of mind of knowing that my neighbors have similarly agreed to eschew those actions) - is an easy economic calculation to make: I'm giving up nothing and gaining something. I wasn't going to be violent to my neighbors anyway, so I voluntarily gave up an option that I wasn't going to exercise anyway.

And thus I also reject your assertion that any agreement to avoid force is one made under coercion. You're simply ignoring the example I gave in which the two farmers made the agreement so that they wouldn't have to build fences around their crops to keep the other person from taking the crops that they worked hard to produce. That's not coercion: no one has actually threatened anyone, in any way. It's actually just an increasingly trusting relationship: I wasn't sure that I could trust you before, but this agreement increases our bonds of trust. I think you've tried to make your argument that all such agreements are coercive based on a highly contrived and unlikely example.

As for your last sentence:  "any agreement to avoid conflict benefits one in proportion to his/her capacity for violence." Isn't it the other way around? My agreement to avoid conflict benefits me precisely because I wasn't going to be violent anyway; I gave up nothing for something. How much I actually gained depends on *your* capacity for violence. If you weren't inclined towards violence either, then neither of us really "got" something except a formalization of our intent to not do violence to each other (which still has *some* value I'd argue). If you were really inclined to do violence but now agree (and stick to) not do violence, then I've really gotten a big benefit.

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"You're relying on the idea of PAs too much. Mutualists don't support them, and to assume that they would be the inevitable result of a stateless society is ludicrous.

What you still fail to answer is what happens when a factory owner insists that they have exclusive ownership of a factory and the workers claim they do. Let's even pretend PAs exist and they each contract to different ones. What happens in this case? By definition, a factory owner would be highly unlikely to adopt Mutualist property rights since they ultimately destroy eir power. Do you now see the problem?

The main problem is that you continue to argue from the position of a capitalist in regards to mutualism. You are assuming that Mutualists will have PAs and a whole slew of other things unique to anarcho-capitalism."

I'm starting to doubt the sincerity of your claim that you are here to find common mutual understanding. You are, more and more, appearing like someone who is just trolling. Using terms like "ludicrous" is not what I would expect to find in a mutually respectful quest for understanding.

"You're relying on the idea of PAs too much. Mutualists don't support them"

What does it mean to say you don't "support them"? That you wouldn't be clients of them? That you would apply force to those that did want to be clients of them?

"What you still fail to answer is what happens when a factory owner insists that they have exclusive ownership of a factory and the workers claim they do."

Why do you claim that this would be at all a common occurrence? I think it's a red herring to focus on things that are unlikely to happen. A capitalist factory owner isn't going to hire mutualists, and a mutualist factory will be owned according to mutualist norms (which, I infer, means that most of the time it will be worker-owned).

Even then, I addressed this. I said that either the capitalist will fight the workers and try to throw them out, or the workers will throw the capitalist out, in which case the capitalist's protection agency will compensate him for his loss. Because this would be super expensive for such PAs, those that insisted on insuring captalist factory owners who continually hire mutualists would rapidly go out of business, and thus we are back to the conclusion that this just isn't going to happen very often.

"By definition, a factory owner would be highly unlikely to adopt Mutualist property rights since they ultimately destroy eir power. Do you now see the problem?"

Do you see the easy solution? He simply won't hire mutualist workers in the first place, and/or will require as part of their employment their promise that they are not mutualists, or will not advance a mutualist property claim against his factory, or something similarly and simply protecting.

"The main problem"

Heh: we haven't agreed that I'm the one with the problem here, sister. ;-)

"is that you continue to argue from the position of a capitalist"

GAH! I've read pages and pages of you on this thread complaining about the use of the specific term "capitalist" and how it is problematic, and now your withering indictment of my "problem" is based on the term "capitalist"?? Can you please restate in more concrete terms? I have been *very* careful to construct "capitalism" as a *market* choice, *within* the broader context of "anarchism" (which I am taking to mean "only consensual relationships"), "anarchism" being the common bond between mutualists and AnCaps, no? Isn't that where we should start?

The thing I'm concerned about in your "ideas" is: have you really thought out all of how this plays out in the real world? Mutualists are against the state and now you are saying that they "don't support PAs", so do they imagine some other institution filling some role like this? What is it? Do mutualists imagine that the whole world will consist of people who ascribe to the mutualist philosophy? What do they do if some or most don't? At this point, I don't have a sense that you have really thought about this in much more than philosophical/moral/self-interest terms, rather than in pragmatic terms, not if you are relying on *everyone* being mutualists (another poster referred to something like this... that you are hoping/assuming that human nature will change. I admire such hope... but I think it's far less realistic than a world in which there are still a lot of different ideas, but at least it is relatively united in an advocacy of only consensual/voluntary human interaction).

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But that's a philosophical point, not a market/what-is-likely-to-happen-in-the-real-world point. In short: why in this case would I have threatened to beat you up for riding a bicycle during period that I'm not using it [As an aside: you are spending 100% of your life either riding your skates or the bicycle: when do you eat? When do you shower? When do you do anything productive? ;-) Just playing games with math, not making a real point.]? What is my incentive to do *that*?

You are claiming that agreements made in a market free of coercion are contractually binding. I am saying that the market in which you are imagining is not free from coercion. People agree to pay their taxes in a statist society, but I'm guessing you don't consider that a consensual agreement. We must agree on what constitutes a free market if we expect that to justify the system of property rights selected.

The reason you would beat me up for riding the bicycle would be so that I build the skateboard for you (let's assume only I know how to build a skateboard). Previously you were riding the bike 50% of the time and doing nothing the other 50% of the time. After your threat, you are now riding the bike 50% of the time and riding the skateboard 50% of the time. Thus, beating me up increases you marginal utility. Of course there are other goods in real life, but their use would be governed by the same principles, so I think this model is still useful. An occ/use model without any force isn't exactly mutualism though, let's call it pacifist communism because no force at all exists and it would naturally lead to goods being used according to need.

The *concept* of "property" existed long, long before anyone ever actually used the term, long before the state or anything. It emerged in exactly this way, precisely for the reason that for the most part, most human beings *don't* particularly want to use violence against other people (there are exceptions of course: psychopaths; self defense; desperate (e.g. starving) people; etc). The reason I don't rush over to my neighbor's home, rape his wife, steal his food, etc., isn't because of the state, or the threat of retalition, etc. It's simply because *I don't want to*. In a "state of nature", all possible actions that I can physically take are on the table. My voluntarily eschewing some of those - the violent ones - for something in return (the added peace of mind of knowing that my neighbors have similarly agreed to eschew those actions) - is an easy economic calculation to make: I'm giving up nothing and gaining something. I wasn't going to be violent to my neighbors anyway, so I voluntarily gave up an option that I wasn't going to exercise anyway.

I think I've shown that property can't arise without violence. An absolute pacifist is necessarily a communist. If I farm a certain area and you farm another, and if each of us never enters the others property purely out of our own uncoerced desires, then I don't consider that to be a property system. It's only when one of us forces the other off the land that property has developed. Rousseau said something to this effect:

"The first man who, having fenced off a plot of land, thought of saying, 'This is mine' and found people simple enough to believe him was the real founder of civil society. How many crimes, wars, murders, how many miseries and horrors might the human race had been spared by the one who, upon pulling up the stakes or filling in the ditch, had shouted to his fellow men: 'Beware of listening to this impostor; you are lost if you forget the fruits of the earth belong to all and that the earth belongs to no one.'"

And thus I also reject your assertion that any agreement to avoid force is one made under coercion. You're simply ignoring the example I gave in which the two farmers made the agreement so that they wouldn't have to build fences around their crops to keep the other person from taking the crops that they worked hard to produce. That's not coercion: no one has actually threatened anyone, in any way. It's actually just an increasingly trusting relationship: I wasn't sure that I could trust you before, but this agreement increases our bonds of trust. I think you've tried to make your argument that all such agreements are coercive based on a highly contrived and unlikely example.

If taking "your" crops increases my marginal utility vs. growing my "own," then I'm going to take "your" crops (according to economic logic). If I don't take your crops, I won't be behaving rationally. If you attack me when I enter your land, then growing my own crops might increase my marginal utility. But if you attack me for taking your crops, then you are the one adding force to the market, and thus it's no longer a truly free market. I don't see how an agreement to establish a homesteading view of property increases trust. What the agreement adds that wasn't there before is the statement: I have the right to attack you if you enter my land. This seems like a decrease in trust to me. In fact, any contract seems like a sign of mistrust to me. If on the other hand, you mean that the farmers are only declaring that they don't intend to enter the others property, then I don't consider that to be a contract since it does not claim to be enforceable.

Isn't it the other way around? My agreement to avoid conflict benefits me precisely because I wasn't going to be violent anyway; I gave up nothing for something.

At the end of the Mexican-American War, the US and Mexico met to avoid (further) conflict. Mexico agreed to give up much of its land to the US. I suppose you are saying the deal favored Mexico because otherwise Mexico would have ended up with even less land--and because Mexico wasn't going to be violent anyway?

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The reason you would beat me up for riding the bicycle would be so that I build the skateboard for you (let's assume only I know how to build a skateboard). Previously you were riding the bike 50% of the time and doing nothing the other 50% of the time. After your threat, you are now riding the bike 50% of the time and riding the skateboard 50% of the time. Thus, beating me up increases you marginal utility.

I feel like we're talking past each other a bit, so let me regroup a little.

What I am saying is that in *most* cases, the rational or optimal economic decision when deciding how to interact with another person is *peaceful*: violence is rarely the optimal economic decision. This is, I think, the observation that lies at the heart "anarchism", whether it be a capitalist flavor or a "left" flavor (and this thread began as a quest for understanding the commonalities and contrasts between the two). You seem to be taking pains to construct a scenario in which the optimal play for one actor might not be peaceful: am I correct? If so, I'm going to submit that such a case in no way addresses my point: it isn't sufficient or interesting to show that such cases *can* occur to contradict this starting point, you have to show that it is sufficiently *common* that we can no longer really use that as a starting point.

If you were somehow constructing a case that your scenario was *common*, well, that would be a different thing, but I submit, that if that was the case, then we're all fucked: if it *is* the case that violence is quite often or usually the optimal play, then *nothing* would be able to save us. No government, no rules, no social institutions... because they'd all be subject to the same problem.

In this case, you've made a number of uncommon assumptions: you've assumed that one person is so much more powerful that they *can* beat the other person up without any cost to themselves. In fact, any violence is extremely risky, because you never know if you're actually going to come out on top. There are several other costs, e.g. even if you win, you've expended resources in the violence; you've ruined any chance at win/win trades with your victim in the future that may far outweigh the short-term value you've gained; you're going to cost yourself a lot of other opportunities with other people because of lost of trust/reputation; you've created the risk that your victim decides to retaliate with heavier firepower; etc. And you're also ignoring the subjective cost: a lot of people just simply consider violence something they subjectively consider a cost (IOW, the notion that most people *simply don't want to treat with other via violence*. Would *you* beat someone up for their skateboard in these circumstances? I wouldn't. Because the value to me is the value of the extra skateboard time, *minus* the cost of having done something that I subjectively value very negatively).

If I farm a certain area and you farm another, and if each of us never enters the others property purely out of our own uncoerced desires

I'm not really understanding: I didn't say that we had no *desire* to enter the other's property. We have a *small* desire to do so: you have some stuff and I like stuff, and vice versa. What I said is that I am willing to *agree* with you not to take the crops that you grew in exchange for you agreeing to not take the crops I grew. It's a win/win deal: yeah, I want your crops, but what I want far more than that is to know that I am safe from you taking the crops that I grew. It's an uncoerced, economic trade. At this point, while we aren't using the word "property", it is starting to emerge as a concept.

I admit to having trouble following exactly what you are saying and, honestly, what your end goal is: this is mostly an AnCap list so I mostly assume that the people here are AnCaps, but either you are playing devil's advocate, or you are like Pony a more left-leaning anarchist. That's fine, but it would be helpful if I knew exactly who I'm dealing with.

I have this sense that your definition of property as "coercion" is a circular argument. Again, I'm not saying you have to choose a capitlist definition of property: that is a market choice, and you should feel free to use whatever definition (or none at all) amongst other people who have made the same definition. But, like Pony, you almost seem to be arguing that we *all* have to use your definition of property, presumably because the capitalist definition is logically equivalent to coercion and is thus in conflict with the anarchist's shared starting point of "no coercion". If so, I have a real problem with that, because I think your construction of property *as* coercion is incorrect. It's not. It's a consensual contractual exchange.

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AC, I appreciate your attempt to work through this dispute and try to come to an understanding of what I am talking about. I am indeed coming from a left-anarchist perspective like Pony. Where we differ is that she/he is arguing more from a mutualist perspective whereas I am arguing from more of an anarcho-communist perspective (though perhaps a fairly abstract and idiosyncratic one).

You seem to be taking pains to construct a scenario in which the optimal play for one actor might not be peaceful: am I correct? If so, I'm going to submit that such a case in no way addresses my point: it isn't sufficient or interesting to show that such cases *can* occur to contradict this starting point, you have to show that it is sufficiently *common* that we can no longer really use that as a starting point.

My scenario was abstracted from the discussion of workers taking control of a factory. My understanding is that capitalists, be they statist or anarchists, believe people have a "right to defend their property," which I have translated into the rationale to beat someone up for using a given product. If a factory owner didn't use violence to forbid anyone from entering his factory and using his equipment for their own ends, then it would be impossible for him to accumulate vast quantities of wealth. So I would say that this scenario is very common. Presently, the state punishes "theft" by putting people in jail. The situation in Argentina is an exception and is fairly limited in nature anyway.

In this case, you've made a number of uncommon assumptions: you've assumed that one person is so much more powerful that they *can* beat the other person up without any cost to themselves. In fact, any violence is extremely risky, because you never know if you're actually going to come out on top. There are several other costs, e.g. even if you win, you've expended resources in the violence; you've ruined any chance at win/win trades with your victim in the future that may far outweigh the short-term value you've gained; you're going to cost yourself a lot of other opportunities with other people because of lost of trust/reputation; you've created the risk that your victim decides to retaliate with heavier firepower; etc. And you're also ignoring the subjective cost: a lot of people just simply consider violence something they subjectively consider a cost (IOW, the notion that most people *simply don't want to treat with other via violence*. Would *you* beat someone up for their skateboard in these circumstances? I wouldn't. Because the value to me is the value of the extra skateboard time, *minus* the cost of having done something that I subjectively value very negatively).

When we are talking about individuals fighting each other with their fists, then yes I would agree that the costs can be more of a deterrent. However, in real life the exploiters have formed alliances and wield powerful weapons. Why do you pay taxes? Is it not because the state is much more powerful than you? Why does the state use violence if it is not "profitable" for them? Is it not also likely that such power would be used to define what property is and thus determine who gets rich and who stays poor?

I'm not really understanding: I didn't say that we had no *desire* to enter the other's property. We have a *small* desire to do so: you have some stuff and I like stuff, and vice versa. What I said is that I am willing to *agree* with you not to take the crops that you grew in exchange for you agreeing to not take the crops I grew. It's a win/win deal: yeah, I want your crops, but what I want far more than that is to know that I am safe from you taking the crops that I grew. It's an uncoerced, economic trade. At this point, while we aren't using the word "property", it is starting to emerge as a concept.

Provided that I don't consume your crops right away, "stealing" your crops would not deprive you of anything because you could simply take them back just as easily. All I have done by "stealing" is move them from one place to another. Whether my car is parked in my driveway or your driveway, is irrelevant to my ability to drive it. It doesn't become "mine" simply because it's parked in my driveway. I would say that it becomes "mine" when I unilaterally restrict your ability to use it. What you are afraid of, I think, is that I will take your crops and not let you take them back. This would be an initiation of force on my part. Without the presence of this force, I would not say that I own anything. I merely use some things more than other people use them.

I have this sense that your definition of property as "coercion" is a circular argument. Again, I'm not saying you have to choose a capitlist definition of property: that is a market choice, and you should feel free to use whatever definition (or none at all) amongst other people who have made the same definition. But, like Pony, you almost seem to be arguing that we *all* have to use your definition of property, presumably because the capitalist definition is logically equivalent to coercion and is thus in conflict with the anarchist's shared starting point of "no coercion".

My definition of property: An entity to which force provides an individual exclusive access. In this definition, the means by which the entity comes into being is irrelevant. Whether one is justified in using force is irrelevant. It's purely a descriptive definition.

What I gather to be the ancap definition: An entity to which an individual ought to have exclusive access. The problem I have with this definition is that it contains a normative statement within it. If I use this definition, I contradict myself every time I use the word. If I say one shouldn't have the right to property, I am basically saying that one shouldn't have a right to what one should have a right to. My only other option is to say that there is no such thing as property. If you have another word that fits my definition, I'd be happy to use it.

If so, I have a real problem with that, because I think your construction of property *as* coercion is incorrect. It's not. It's a consensual contractual exchange.

However, here you seem to be using a different definition from what I supposed. Are you saying property only comes into being after there is some sort of contract? If I take "your" crops without agreeing to a contract proclaiming them your property, am I not taking your property?

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So...anyone ever wonder what the hell the title of the thread means?

Tumblr The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants. ~Albert Camus
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Probably should have been more like "history of" or "relation between such and such and thisnthat."

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My Buddy replied on Thu, Aug 4 2011 12:46 AM

This looks like a fun thread. Allow me:

My scenario was abstracted from the discussion of workers taking control of a factory. My understanding is that capitalists, be they statist or anarchists, believe people have a "right to defend their property," which I have translated into the rationale to beat someone up for using a given product. If a factory owner didn't use violence to forbid anyone from entering his factory and using his equipment for their own ends, then it would be impossible for him to accumulate vast quantities of wealth. So I would say that this scenario is very common. Presently, the state punishes "theft" by putting people in jail. The situation in Argentina is an exception and is fairly limited in nature anyway.

Well, there is a very large can of worms here that would take ages to work with in detail (the NAP, property rights, etc), but I can go over it briefly.

A person owns their own body, correct? From their body they derive property due to them earning it through the work of their own labour, or through non-coerced trade. If I go out and, using just my own hands (more complexities will follow), make a hut, then that hut is mine due to my having made it. The raw materials (wood, stone, straw, etc) are no one's unless used or leased. A rock sitting on the ground in of itself has no utility, but used to make a house it does and thus becomes the property of the person using it.

That is where Mutualists and Voluntarists generally agree. Where the disagreements start is absentee property. Now, the Mutualist summarizes that the guy who owns a bunch of factories hasn't actually made anything, that in fact it was the factory workers who made the products and thus they should own them. The problem here is that the factory owner's factories did not pop into existence without any human action, and the factory owner himself had to have gained those factories somehow. It is possible that he, say, mugged people, lied, and stole things to get those factories, or that he actively violated property rights, but in that case he is a criminal for having committed such crimes, not for owning factories. To own those factories legitimately (again, assuming he didn't engage in coercive action), he had to have either earned enough money (or whatever the medium of exchange is called) through legitimate means to purchase/construct them, or he had to have inherited it from someone ELSE who earned the money needed to construct the factories (If THAT person earned the factories through illegitimate means, then we just go back a generation and the same principle applies as if the factories were constructed with loot). 

Now, does a factory worker own the things he makes? Well, the person who made a hut through his own labour does (I will deal with the communist issue with this briefly, as it is far easier to kill), so why not the worker? Well, the worker ISN'T making those things through his labour alone. He is hardly strolling onto the assembly line and expected to find raw materials to put together a car with his hands, is he? He is provided machines that aren't his to make portions of (or whole, depending on the factory) products with raw materials that aren't his, in a building he didn't contribute to the construction of. Yes, it is very true, he HAS contributed; the machines can't man themselves (yet)! But the PORTION he has contributed is pre-supplied by the entrepeneur producing the product in the form of his paycheck, which both the worker and entrepeneur have to negotiate for to reach a common agreement (some statist interventions have impeded this relationship over the years, but in the hypothetical Voluntarist society they wouldn't). In fact, the factory worker has the far safer job; he is pre-paid for his labour, whereas the entrepeneur has absolutely no guarantee that anyone will buy his product.

Now, seeing as how you are an Anarcho-Communist, I will provide an example for if you disagree with the Mutualist-Voluntarist section on you owning the hut you built. If you don't own the home you live in, why can't I bust the door down and take a dump on your bed? Why can't I burn it to the ground while you are away? In the example of that bike and skateboard, while I can't beat you up and take the skateboard, why can't I wait until you have left it unattended and then take it? After all, by your logic, no one owns those things. There is no particular reason for me to not steal your stuff. You have the right to prevent me from stealing your things through force (again, non-aggression-principle), as does the factory owner of the previous example of preventing workers from trashing his factory and preventing other workers from working.

When we are talking about individuals fighting each other with their fists, then yes I would agree that the costs can be more of a deterrent. However, in real life the exploiters have formed alliances and wield powerful weapons. Why do you pay taxes? Is it not because the state is much more powerful than you? Why does the state use violence if it is not "profitable" for them? Is it not also likely that such power would be used to define what property is and thus determine who gets rich and who stays poor?

 

But to be capable of looting, you require an initial investment, just like a regular business venture would. The costs would vary depending on who you were planning to attack, but if those you were planning to attack had anything of value worth taking then you would require a lot of cash to buy the equipment to overcome whatever defenses they may have. You would need to find goons to help you in your venture, and would need to have enough promise of loot to keep them from finding a more profitable, legal venture to undertake. In addition, war making is an extremely risky job, and it is doubtful many people would risk their lives for you if you didn't pay them absurdly well, which would require you attack a very wealthy target. This wealthy target, unless populated by pacifists, would likely have private defence agencies and possibly local militias and volunteer forces to prevent themselves from being an easy kill for raiders, and thus you would have to have enough money to supply what would amount to an army. Even assuming you managed that, you would need to both avoid excessive damage (it would be hard to extort a profit from a city levelled by artillery fire and strategic bombers) and at the same time have to deal with angry guerillas armed with small arms. Such guerillas have fought the entire US armed forces in addition to a sizable portion of NATO to a practical standstill, and they are armed with rusty equipment from the 1950s. It is doubtful you would manage to do better with a smaller army (unless you are making the equivalent of trillions of dollars in cash to pay for a huge, technically advanced force, in which case you have no reason to be wasting time on conquest) and with the bonus of being punished heavily in profit for all the destruction you cause without first looting. There would be (and are) two ways to deal with such insurgents: Mongol style, by burning cities to the ground and scaring people into submission (you won't get much profit this way, and the Mongols only succeeded because it doesn't take lots of industrial processes and work to make a horse like it takes to make an Abrams tank), or through gritting your teeth and lasting a decade or so of fighting. In either case, you aren't profiting, and would have better earned your money through legitimate means.

Before you ask, it works for the state because they already start with a tax base that doesn't consider that it owes nothing, in addition to things like patriotism to get people to forgo considerations of making the most money. If most people in a country rejected the local state's authority (and in Voluntaropia, they would have to to have reached the anarcho-capitalist point at all), then the only way to be forced back in would be through intervention by another, larger state due to the fact that the government in question would be powerless without people paying taxes without complaint.

Provided that I don't consume your crops right away, "stealing" your crops would not deprive you of anything because you could simply take them back just as easily. All I have done by "stealing" is move them from one place to another. Whether my car is parked in my driveway or your driveway, is irrelevant to my ability to drive it. It doesn't become "mine" simply because it's parked in my driveway. I would say that it becomes "mine" when I unilaterally restrict your ability to use it. What you are afraid of, I think, is that I will take your crops and not let you take them back. This would be an initiation of force on my part. Without the presence of this force, I would not say that I own anything. I merely use some things more than other people use them.

Three raging problems here. First; time is something that is being deprived by taking away and returning later without permission. I might take your car and return a week later with it fully fueled up and in great condition, but maybe you need your car to do your job or get to work. If you are a starving man and I take your only meal and go away for a week, my returning it won't be beneficial at all to a corpse. Second; Why would you find it an initiation of force if I took your crops and ate them? What makes them yours anymore than they are mine? Without property (and all the things that come with the concept), the only thing that makes those crops yours are vague declarations that stand up no better than my claim to be the owner of the sun. Third; assuming I do initiate force against you, what are you gonna do about it? The exact same problems from the Voluntarist world apply, except you seem to assume that you are a pacifist, and thus can't respond with force. If you do respond with force, than you obviously aren't a pacifist, but a follower of (to some degree) the NAP.

My definition of property: An entity to which force provides an individual exclusive access. In this definition, the means by which the entity comes into being is irrelevant. Whether one is justified in using force is irrelevant. It's purely a descriptive definition.

What I gather to be the ancap definition: An entity to which an individual ought to have exclusive access. The problem I have with this definition is that it contains a normative statement within it. If I use this definition, I contradict myself every time I use the word. If I say one shouldn't have the right to property, I am basically saying that one shouldn't have a right to what one should have a right to. My only other option is to say that there is no such thing as property. If you have another word that fits my definition, I'd be happy to use it.

Here is my (imperfect) definition: An entity either created by the labour of a person, or gained through mutually agreed upon exchange with another, which is protected by the same rights and protections as those granted to the life of their owners

However, here you seem to be using a different definition from what I supposed. Are you saying property only comes into being after there is some sort of contract? If I take "your" crops without agreeing to a contract proclaiming them your property, am I not taking your property?

The crops came into being because I planted them there, on property I either homesteaded or gained through trading with another person who did so, using equipment that I either made personally or gained through the exchange of my crops. In a simple example, I used money (again, replace with what you will, the medium of exchange), which I use to represent all of my labour from growing crops and selling them to others who have earned their money through a different trade and require crops, to purchase a hoe from the guy who makes hoes or a tractor from the man who sells tractors (where, in turn, a portion of the money will go to the entrepreneur who purchased the equipment needed to make the tractor, and some of THAT money will go to workers who will make tractors in the future as part of their paychecks). These people then, having made my money from providing equipment that lets me increase my productivity and make more money, will then spend it on things they want. It can be an extremely complex economic chain spanning a very long period of time, but at the end of it there is always someone who made the original "thing" through his own sweat and toil. With the state as the middleman it gets harder because some people benefit from statist benefits gained by thievery, but such people would be unlikely to prosper without being propped up by a government.

 

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AC, I appreciate your attempt to work through this dispute and try to come to an understanding of what I am talking about.

Thanks Hill (calling you "fool" doesn't sound so nice)! And I appreciate your doing the same.

Where we differ is that she/he is arguing more from a mutualist perspective whereas I am arguing from more of an anarcho-communist perspective (though perhaps a fairly abstract and idiosyncratic one).

I admit to not knowing the difference... is it possible to summarize the difference?F

For what it's worth: I, too, am presenting my own fairly idiosynchratic approach to anarcho-capitalism. Most of the AnCaps here would not, I don't think, really agree with my derivation. The good news is that I think that my derivation is more compatible with the way you think about things than what most AnCaps would present; the bad news is that I think most AnCaps would be concerned that my approach wouldn't work as well as theirs.

I can summarize it fairly succinctly: I am more anti-violence/force than most AnCaps. There is a tendency - a *tendency*, folks, not an absolute - for AnCaps to be relatively willing to use force in the defense of their definition of property. To them, it's not really "force", because it is their "property". IOW: they kind of assume their definition of property and aren't really willing to compromise on that, and generally they are willing to use force beyond what I would like to see to secure a strong property rights society. I rely much more on contracts and economic arguments to try to show that relatively strong property rights are likely to *emerge* amongst a large portion of the population, but I'm a little more willing to accept the uneasy but less forceful situation where other people are using other definitions of "property".

However, here you seem to be using a different definition from what I supposed. Are you saying property only comes into being after there is some sort of contract? If I take "your" crops without agreeing to a contract proclaiming them your property, am I not taking your property?

YES!! YES, YES, YES, that is the way I derive "property". You can't know how excited I am for someone to actually understand what I'm saying. ;-)

It's the only way that I can see that is consistent with "anarchy". In my observation, most AnCaps kind of skip a step: they start from "no force against a person or their property." They just *assume* their own definition of property, when people such as yourself are a fine example of people who are willing to start from *anarchy* but do not end up at "AnCap" because you don't agree to the definition of "property" being used. Well, in an anarchist setting, everything, including definitions like "property", have to be decided *by the market*.

So, yes, if you and I are farmers, and I work hard to grow crops, and you take the crops that I grew (I'm avoiding possessive words here because they presuppose "property" and that's exactly what we're trying to work out here), you haven't "taken my property", because we don't have any contractual agreement to the effect that you won't take those crops.

But that's not the end of the story by any means. The interesting question is: what kind of contracts *would* be formed, in what kind of numbers, in a society that started from the anarchists' perspective? I'm making the economic argument - based on a whole slew of supporting evidence - that many pairs of people would choose to bilaterally execute contracts like the one above, which would, in essence, cause to emerge a concept much like the capitalists' definition of property, *amongst* themselves. I understand that from your perspective that you don't think so: you think that without the state, the capitalist definition of property would not prove very popular. I can't be sure you're wrong: this is a free market we're talking about, and if I was infallible at predicting what happens in a free market, I would have sold my stocks before today's 3% meltdown. :-(.

I would say that it becomes "mine" when I unilaterally restrict your ability to use it.

To repeat myself so that I can be sure I'm being clear: I would say that it becomes "yours" when I bilaterally agree that I will not use it.

*Anything* unilateral, to me, *is* force, so in that sense I agree with you. My definition of anarchy is "bilateralism": no force, which means, no unilateralism. Nothing that one person wants of another is binding on the latter unless they have agreed to it bilaterally. To me, that's the starting point that unifies all anarchists. The rest is all stuff that plays out in the resulting market.

My definition of property: An entity to which force provides an individual exclusive access. What I gather to be the ancap definition: An entity to which an individual ought to have exclusive access.

My definition: an entity to which an individual functionally has exclusive access because other people have agreed to to let them have exclusive access.

My definition is intimately tied up in voluntary agreements. It requires no force or violence, but also says nothing about what would end up being property.

But I supplant that with the following hypothesis: the most common functional form of property in a force-free society will be something closely resembling the capitalist definition. [And, because I really like to think in terms of consumers making choices in a free market: that is the definition that *I* would choose as a consumer]

If a factory owner didn't use violence to forbid anyone from entering his factory and using his equipment for their own ends, then it would be impossible for him to accumulate vast quantities of wealth.

Let's be clear: in my definition, it isn't that the workers are "forbidden" from doing these things, it is that they have *voluntarily agreed* not to do these things. So your statement, in this derivation, becomes a hypothesis about the free market, one that competes with my prediction: you are predicting that in such a free market, most people would *not* agree to abstain from entering this factory and using the equipment.

What I like about stating these things in terms of *predictions* about what we think would happen in a free market, we get away from arguments about who is wrong and right, we get away from talk of violence and force and conflict, and we instead get to talk about people and the choices they would make, why they would make them, etc.

Most importantly, though: in this kind of formulation, would someone like you be willing to let "capitalists" practice their own definition of property *amongst themselves*, knowing that you also get to practice your definition amongst other people who prefer the same definition as you, even while you accept and realize that there will be friction and dissatisfaction on both side where the two groups interact with each other? Would you consider such an arrangement preferable to the current arrangement (I'm almost certain you will say "yes" to this, since the state would be eliminated)? Keep in mind my predictions that in such a setting, the principles of self-organization and emergent behavior (I'm an applied mathematician by training so I find it convenient to think in the terms and concept that come from nonlinear mathematics) suggest that over time, the two camps will self-organize in such a way that interactions between members of the same group will grow much larger in proportion to interactions across groups. I would predict, as I've said, that factories owned by capitalists would tend to only hire other capitalists and to locate them in capitalist "strongholds", simply avoiding the potential conflict that would occur if they hired "lefties" (sorry, just searching for a short term) because of the mutual lack of agreement on what constitutes "property".

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Also, Hill (and Pony, if you're still here and still speaking to me), I an interested in the following, given the context that I've presented in which we are talking about making choices in a free market of contracts: can you explain why *you* would choose to formulate contracts with others that use the kind of "property" concept that you prefer? To simplify the reality: if there were a group of people using the capitalist definition of property, and another using your definition, why would you choose the latter? Is it a "moral" choice (perfectly valid reason to make a consumer choice, btw, I'm not mocking it)? It is a self-interest choice (also perfectly valid), e.g. you think that your life would be better - materially? Spiritually? Something else - in the latter group?

I *think* the reason I'd choose the capitalist group is probably obvious, but if it isn't, let me know, and I'll try to explain it.

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This thread is quite boring at this point, as you cannot get outside of your own ideas in your examples (what with reliance on contracts and PDAs in every instance of action) and quite frankly your posts are quite long and don't offer very much that no one else has already said. But I can answer the question.

The reason I choose (not would chose, do choose) to work either by myself, collaboratively, or cooperatively instead of subjecting myself to hierarchy as much as possible given the strcuture of our society is because I am an Anarchist, in the most encompassing definition of the term, and I think that hierarchical structures are unnecessary at best and harmful at worst.

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This thread is quite boring at this point, as you cannot get outside of your own ideas in your examples (what with reliance on contracts and PDAs in every instance of action) and quite frankly your posts are quite long and don't offer very much that no one else has already said.

Don't sugarcoat it, sweetheart... you really know how to flatter a guy!

But I can answer the question.

The reason I choose (not would chose, do choose) to work either by myself, collaboratively, or cooperatively instead of subjecting myself to hierarchy as much as possible given the strcuture of our society is because I am an Anarchist, in the most encompassing definition of the term, and I think that hierarchical structures are unnecessary at best and harmful at worst.

Your second paragraph belies the falsehood of the previous sentence, because you didn't answer shit. "I'm an anarchist because I'm an anarchist".

I really hoped for more, but as I said, it's increasingly clear that you just came here tra-la-la-trolling. I have no need of your insults any longer and would like to ask you to keep them to yourself. [I am not a moderator, however. OTOH, I don't understand how you can be here: aren't moderators a form of heirarchy??]

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This thread is quite boring at this point, as you cannot get outside of your own ideas in your examples (what with reliance on contracts and PDAs in every instance of action) and quite frankly your posts are quite long and don't offer very much that no one else has already said. But I can answer the question.

"Dammit, guys! If you would just stop being so boring and assuming that gravity is a constant, and stopped providing long theorems proving so, you would see past your narrow views and discover that my flying machine could actually work!"

I make my posts long because if I don't they will be easily deconstructed and force me to post more. Anyway, you don't need contracts and PDAs at all, they are effectively superfluous and would be non-essential to the anarcho-capitalist society (though they would still exist, particularily the former, it would not be what the society was built on). Voluntarism is built on irrefutable axioms and fundamental truths, not on people just kind of agreeing on stuff. So long as the idea that a man owns himself holds true, it must logically follow that he owns property as well, and thus come forth all the additional ideas. Inversely, without it you have nothing but a mushy set of guidelines that, unlike praxeological axioms, can't be consistent.

 

The reason I choose (not would chose, do choose) to work either by myself, collaboratively, or cooperatively instead of subjecting myself to hierarchy as much as possible given the strcuture of our society is because I am an Anarchist, in the most encompassing definition of the term, and I think that hierarchical structures are unnecessary at best and harmful at worst.

Cool story, bro. I don't think any real Voluntarist would stroll up to you and demand that you subjugate yourself to a hierarchical based organization, seeing as how that would go against the whole idea. In that world, you would be free to associate with whomever you wanted. You could live in a self-contained commune, in a co-op, or in the middle of Siberia if you really wanted to, without ever having to deal with people who support the idea of property (you are entirely free to eschew it if you want). On the other hand, I doubt I would be allowed to even attempt to form a hierarchal organization with willing volunteers on my own in your world. There lies one of the essential differences. No matter how much you object to the idea of property, you can't take it away from a person and be morally correct anymore than you could be if you shackled chains to his ankles.

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Quite honestly, part of the reason I don't like posting here is all the paternalistic bullshit spewing out of everyone whenever they don't like something I've said. It's weird that this forum gender identifies by default at all. And on top of that, it's strange to find people (especially in radical circles) who must constantly refer to my gender in argument. Does being a woman really affect any ideas that are being presented? Does it make that much of a difference? Here, that seems to be the case.

"I really hoped for more, but as I said, it's increasingly clear that you just came here tra-la-la-trolling. I have no need of your insults any longer and would like to ask you to keep them to yourself. [I am not a moderator, however. OTOH, I don't understand how you can be here: aren't moderators a form of heirarchy??]"

First of all, it's trolololololl. Anyway, I have not insulted you, unless not replying to your long-winded and boring posts really hurt you. I'm sorry that I suggested that your posts aren't philosophical gold to everyone and that you are not, in fact, the smartest man alive. It must be really hard for you to take that (and from a woman too).

As for the moderator bit, most of the internet is "moderated" in some form, but I do tend to gravitate towards forums that are much more lax on moderation if it is even present at all. Part of the reason I, and it seems everyone, left the infoshop forums was Chuck0's insane moderation. The moderation here isn't much better.

Anyway, I am pretty much done here, and at least with this thread, because at this point it's not doing much for anyone involved. Sure, you guys outnumber the left-lib here, and I'm sure it feels good to repeat strawmen that I've been answering to for the last 7 pages over and over again, but I can't really imagine this is any kind of philosophical excersize for you. If you're still walking away with the idea that I will force you into a cooperative workspace then you're either an idiot or just fucking with me.

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It's weird that this forum gender identifies by default at all.

You don't like gender identification, and yet you took the time to create a clearly female avatar??

If you're still walking away with the idea that I will force you into a cooperative workspace then you're either an idiot or just fucking with me.

Or you are committing the fallacy of the false dichotomy, and perhaps the real explanation is that your explanatory powers are not as good as you would like them to be/think they are. Because no, I still don't understand, despite my asking you several times point blank this question, which I will ask again and yes, I mean this *so that I can understand*:

Would you and the people who share your values/vision be content to practice your vision of society *amongst yourselves* and to let those who prefer a different vision of society - like AnCaps - to practice their vision amongst themselves? Or will you and yours not be satisfied until all people are practicing your definition of property and eschewing heirarchy?

Because I can say again: AnCaps *are* content to let you practice whatever you want to practice amongst yourselves. And the only tenable path to peace is to find ways to accomodate different systems side by side. If we get to this state, then we don't have to *argue* about which system is better; we can simply watch them evolve and *see*.

Until you tell me that you are willing to live in peace next to people who ascribe to different values than you do, you're just another war-mongering terrorist.

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I don't think any real Voluntarist would stroll up to you and demand that you subjugate yourself to a hierarchical based organization, seeing as how that would go against the whole idea. In that world, you would be free to associate with whomever you wanted. You could live in a self-contained commune, in a co-op, or in the middle of Siberia if you really wanted to, without ever having to deal with people who support the idea of property (you are entirely free to eschew it if you want). On the other hand, I doubt I would be allowed to even attempt to form a hierarchal organization with willing volunteers on my own in your world.

Here's where your argument fails tho....  Slave-drivers could say the same thing.  "In my system you can have or not have slaves.  But in yours, I wouldnt be allowed."  Laddy-daddy, your argument is basically irrelevant.

Even were capitalist property relations disavowed (which she has repeatedly said is not necessary) the fact is that it is the expression of force over people.  Workers become nothig more than property the capitalist rents. 

In States a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themselves altering what is bad, people begin by demanding a law to alter it. ... In short, a law everywhere and for everything!

~Peter Kropotkin

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Anarcho-capitalism doesn't work, check out libertarianmonarchy.com

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Anarcho-capitalism doesn't work, check out libertarianmonarchy.com

Don't plug your site on every page unless you tie it into the discussion. It gets annoying.

Quite honestly, part of the reason I don't like posting here is all the paternalistic bullshit spewing out of everyone whenever they don't like something I've said. It's weird that this forum gender identifies by default at all. And on top of that, it's strange to find people (especially in radical circles) who must constantly refer to my gender in argument. Does being a woman really affect any ideas that are being presented? Does it make that much of a difference? Here, that seems to be the case.

I don't especially care either way, but if you want it to be otherwise you can change the avatar (though a protip: the avatar is automatically made anyway, it doesn't signify gender at all so far as I know). Were I out to be paternalistic, or if I had just given up and started trolling myself, I would have long since said something about the kitchen. Anyway, will you stop attempting to change the subject conveniently and address some points? You don't need to block quote, you can get get a couple of the more important lines and work from there.

As for the moderator bit, most of the internet is "moderated" in some form, but I do tend to gravitate towards forums that are much more lax on moderation if it is even present at all. Part of the reason I, and it seems everyone, left the infoshop forums was Chuck0's insane moderation. The moderation here isn't much better.

If you think moderation here is bad, you clearly haven't left your little bubble of left-libertarian forums very much. Ever tried RedState? Those fascists will instantly ban your ass if you so much as hint disapproval towards the Republicans, minor agreements with Obama (unless the Republican establishment does so as well), and will move twice as fast if you dare put the words "Paul" and "Ron" beside each other and a positive word.

At any rate, I only recall two people who have been banned, and one of them I haven't checked on and possibly just left. The first was a white supremacist holocaust denier who posted quite a bit back in the day and seems to have disappeared (he pissed some people off I think), and the second was an incredibly obvious and none too successful troll.

Anyway, I am pretty much done here, and at least with this thread, because at this point it's not doing much for anyone involved. Sure, you guys outnumber the left-lib here, and I'm sure it feels good to repeat strawmen that I've been answering to for the last 7 pages over and over again, but I can't really imagine this is any kind of philosophical excersize for you. If you're still walking away with the idea that I will force you into a cooperative workspace then you're either an idiot or just fucking with me.

Oh boo hoo. How dare we argue against you and expect you to *gasp!* define your points and deviate from your well planned argument that seems to revolve around some factories in Argentina.

Yeah, we are repeating some points, which you have trouble dealing with and thus attempt to sneakily switch subjects. For example, a while back you were pressed on the fact that high level production of capital goods is nigh impossible with just worker-owned factories, whereupon you did everything to change the subject short of announcing surrender and then attacking from another angle. You seem to be economically illiterate, which is a bit of a problem when you are trying to propose an economic system.  Yes, we do outnumber left libertarians here; there is a reason this is called the "MISES" forum. If you don't want to be outnumbered in an argument, you might not want to come a place filled with reasonably knowledgeable people with opposing views. Most of us regularily go up against large numbers of statists and occasionally lefties for the challenge alone; I personally go to RevLeft every once in a while to rile them up a bit and see if they have any strong counters to my points besides cries of "Wage slavery!". If you have any stronger arguments, please, be my guest and present them.

Oh, and one more thing I would like to clarify, about that last sentence. Explain to me this: if you wouldn't force anyone to work in cooperatives, then would you let people voluntarily work in hierarchicial based structure? I know you have indirectly answered this already, but I want a very straight answer. I see three possible answers here:

(A) You would, thus you have absolutely no reason to be opposed to voluntarism and this is a pointless argument.

(B) You wouldn't because you didn't say anything about preventing people from doing anything BUT working in cooperative or individual situations, which is just as much semantics as the tired statist claim that the state doesn't control you because you can go live in the wilderness with no outside contact.

(C) You wouldn't for some other reason.

Note that the whole "workers own the factory because they work there and the owner doesn't" argument, is, again, a tired argument that doesn't hold up to scrutiny. As I said earlier, the workers didn't make the machines they use, they didn't have anything to do with the use of the land, they didn't have to bring their own raw materials, and they are being paid in advance for the work they contribute in the form of their wage. If, on the other hand, you think that violence can never be used at all and thus property can't be protected, then your problem is less that your philosophy is inconsistent and more that it is naive and wouldn't work.

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Birthday Pony:
It's weird that this forum gender identifies by default at all.

When I created an account at the Forums of the Libertarian Left, I was required to declare a gender as well.

"the obligation to justice is founded entirely on the interests of society, which require mutual abstinence from property" -David Hume
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But you were not assigned an avatar based on your gender, nor is it visible to others unless you so chose.

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As for everyone else, my avatar was a default (I didn't make it myself) and I have directly answered these same questions over and over again. If you want a general understanding of left-lib ideas, I'd suggest poking around at a left-lib forum where the members are not tired and outnumbered and you can recieve multiple answers for one question.

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So, once again you refuse to answer my point blank question: would you and yours be content to live side by side with AnCaps and others that do not agree with your definition of property, or are you not content until everyone lives with your definitions?

Your silence hints that it is the latter, which is exactly why AnCaps are so suspicious and defensive around your ideas. If you were content to live with your rules *amongst yourselves*, we could coexist, because we're perfectly happy to live side by side with you.

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If, on the other hand, you think that violence can never be used at all and thus property can't be protected, then your problem is less that your philosophy is inconsistent and more that it is naive and wouldn't work.

There are AnCaps who don't agree with *that*... I'm an AnCap but I favor nonviolent solutions to establishing property rights (though even I acknowledge that there are situations where that's not going to work... it's a matter of greys, and there is room for AnCaps to debate the desirable level of grey here).

Just wanted to clarify that.

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Birthday Pony:

But you were not assigned an avatar based on your gender, nor is it visible to others unless you so chose.

I wonder how it knew that you were a blonde.

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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There isn't anything that stops an Ancap from being a pacifist, its just that ancaps don't have to be pacifist to be ancaps. Again, the NAP is in effect.

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Anenome replied on Sat, Aug 6 2011 3:39 PM

Birthday Pony: "you have picked up on the paradoxical nature of defining capitalism as voluntary trade. Defining capitalism as "voluntary trade" leads us to this:
Capitalism is voluntary trade
All anarchists support voluntary trade (which would include socialist anarchists)
Socialist anarchists are capitalists.
Now do you see the problem with that definition?"

If you want a central divisor between anarchy, socialism, and the capitalists, it will be their attitude towards property. Obviously you must own something to trade it. How can you say all anarchists support trade when historical anarchy was against private property? Your equivocation is who's getting to trade and why/how.

We could fix this all by adding on qualifier: free. Free trade.

Capitalists want free trade, anarchists and socialists--while they may want to trade, they sure as hell don't want it to be free and unfettered. There's this ridiculous core to anarchism of wanting to strip out government power yet also wanting to abolish private property--a thing that can only be accomplished with government power.

What happened with anarchy is that they took an anti-private property bent, believing it (foolishly) to be the root of all human evils. The political authorities were targeted because they supported property rights. When the socialists came around, drawing heavily from anarchist thought, they realized the best way to abolish property was to use the power of the state. Thus they took over government, abolished private property, and called it 'socialism'.

The central flaw in all anarchist and socialist thought is demonization of private property.

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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I registered. Sure is a strange place; practically nothing solid, just a bunch of mushy assumptions, statements, and vague claims.

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I love how the moderators here feel fine trolling and throwing out sexist comments, but ban the most unsucessful and irrelevant trolls without warning. It's funny to see a moderator abuse their power on a board that is stereotyped as being blind to social authority.

Alternatives Considered, I don't care what my neighbors are doing, and I don't care if they're capitalists.

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So you're offended that the software developers who designed this platform that we use didn't either use gender-ambiguous avatars or no default avatars at all?

"the obligation to justice is founded entirely on the interests of society, which require mutual abstinence from property" -David Hume
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My Buddy replied on Sun, Aug 7 2011 12:00 PM

ADVENTURES IN THE DEPTHS OF THE LEFT-LIBERTARIAN FORUM: DAY ONE

Well, I arrived and posted a short introduction on the "introduction" section, in addition to making some probes into what people on this forum want in a previously started thread. 

Not long after posting this (I wasn't especially looking for a fight on my first thread and was at least somewhat interested to see if leftlibs and Voluntarists might have enough common ground to work together), the resident socialist-anarchist shows up and claims to have "refuted" voluntarism. Intrigued, I went to the site, discovered that nearly all of his claims rely on the voluntarist compromising on his own issues without understanding them well, the voluntarist atttempting to defend his views from the wrong angle, and that there is such a thing as a single, objective code of values. Needless to say, it wasn't especially hard to defeat.

A somewhat more reasonable socialist anarchist appeared to make a somewhat less dogmatic and crazy argument which I questioned rather than destroyed, and then the angry ansoc shows up and, after brazenly declaring that he shall destroy my premises ("Just a flesh wound!"). He then proceeds to make a bunch of arguments that, lacking any inconsistency with which he can use to call me a hypocrite, could be summed up as "Property is evil and there is such a thing as a single, objective code of ethics created by GOD HIMSELF" (though he didn't say that last bit since he thinks religion is fraud). Hell, he even had the gall to interpret my attack on the Marxist school of economics' failed beliefs as an attack on his version of socialism, in which he conflated "Socialism" with "Marxism", a thing that ANY non-Marxist socialist (including aforementioned reasonable ansoc) would use as an excuse to claim I didn't know what I was arguing against.

The thread is at http://libertarianleft.freeforums.org/sup-t1154.html btw

Highlights:

Fran Sez: 1. It reduces ethics to a matter of mere personal opinion. Because of this, it goes against all other ethical principles ever put forward by man, since one may at any time hold an opinion contrary to them, even if those principles are logically sound and empirically demonstrated.



I say: Empirically demonstrating ethics is like empirically demonstrating the "perfect" flavour of ice cream. It varies from one person to the next. Again, no right to force my views on others, which I though anarchists generally agreed with. However, there IS the NAP, which I see you haven't mentioned yet (bit of a problem, and if you don't mention it at all then it becomes clear why you are misinterpreting things).

Fran sez:Voluntaryists, however, do their best to redefine other people’s terms so they fit within their own worldview. For instance, an Anarchist may rightly points out that the voluntaryist would allow people to form hierarchies, and that this is contrary to our goal of freedom. The voluntaryist will then generally either define freedom as “doing whatever you feel like” (omitting the fact that forming hierarchies restricts our desire to “do whatever we feel like” later on), or redefine hierarchy so as to exclude willing obedience (as if the willing or unwilling nature of obedience had any relevance to the unethical nature of hierarchies).

I say: Hahaha, what

I form a hierarchical organization, YOU come and FORCE me to stop it (even if all those within it entirely agree with me), and I am the one in opposition to freedom? Last I checked, it was you stopping me from making my own decisions that was contrary to freedom. What, you need to stop people from oppressing themselves? That sounds like the motivation of a fascist.
 

Fran sez:
Voluntaryism is subjectivism run rampant; it is, at its roots, a might makes right ideology, and can only lead to the perpetuation of power relations and all the suffering that comes with them. The fact that an action is voluntary is not a sufficient criterion for calling it moral or ethical. As one part of an ethical worldview, it is essential. As an independent standard, it is pure nonsense.

I say:
Please, master, provide me with an OBJECTIVE standard by which everything "moral" must revolve around. All I see here are empty claims of "human rights" mixed with enough "NIRVANA FALLACY" to occupy a million Socialist Supermen.

(After arguing that killing to defend property is moral)

Fran sez: How fucking convenient.

I say:

Okay. Let me put it differently. You say:


>If a guy beats me and attempts to shackle me to turn me into a slave, I will be morally righteous if I shoot him where he stands.

and then I, for some reason, say

>How fucking convenient.

then it is pretty obvious that something is wrong with my statement. If you are incapable of attacking my arguments from any angle than from your narrowminded views on what is moral and attempting to use inconsistencies (I have yet to present any of the ones you brought up) to call me a hypocrite, then you may as well give up.
Fran sez: Oh that's another howler. Please prove that STV makes socialism impossible, you dumb monkey.
 
I say:...Because the Marxist school uses the labour theory of value, which was the standard before the Marginalist revolution in economics, oh, around a hundred and seventy years ago. Then you run into the calculation problem.

Oh, and I love how you conflate "the Marxist school of economics" to socialism. I thought a left libertarian like you wouldn't be so retarded as to attempt to equate Marxism with your version of socialism, but hey, if you want I can drag the problems of Marxism in against you too.
Fran sez:
Oh, so we shouldn't try to stop a murderer or a rapist because he should be free? You fucking dumbass. PEOPLE WHO TRY TO LIMIT OTHER PEOPLE'S CAPACITY TO ACT MUST BE STOPPED. YOUR RETARDATION OBVIOUSLY KNOWS NO BOUND.


I say:Wow. Your premises sure aren't very stable.

We are acting by forming a hierarchical organization OF OUR CHOICE because we believe it will benefit ourselves in the long run. You, on the other hand, plan to PREVENT THIS ACTION by the use of force because you refuse to accept our right to make our own decisions.
 
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You've been talking to Francois. Half that board is on his ignore list.

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Wheylous replied on Sun, Aug 7 2011 12:24 PM

Actually, to some stupid extent, he may be right.

If we define freedom as doing anything we like, then an Ancap individual does not always have freedom, as he may sign it away. The better (arguably) way to define freedom is "You begin with all your rights. Freedom is the constant ability to erode your rights in whatever way you like, constrained by the rights you currently have, and to exercise the rest."

This definition still allows all of the AnCap definition and combats whiny AnSocs

Why do I put it this way?

Well, the guy certainly seems to think that signing a contract which brings obligations restricts your freedom. To an extent, that is true, but only in the Literal Nazi sense. It is nitpicking at the words. No, when we say "do whatever you like" we don't mean even after contract. But since they think we do, then use the definition stated above.

To explain it a bit more:

We are born with all our rights (if we agree that we have some sort of rights). Since birth we are free to 1) exercise the rights we currently have 2) give away our rights through contract.

Consider the scenario:

Marx is born. Marx plays around in the sand. Marx swims around a bit. Now, Marx signs a contract that says he cannot swim in the ocean any more in exchange for $1 million. Marx may now exercise/give up all his rights besides the ones already given up.

What the angry socialist is saying is a non-issue, but to be 100% literal, the definition should be changed. Of course, we higher Rothbardian beings are above such trifles, but what can ya do. When your mentally lesser neighbor needs a hand, you gotta give it to him :P Well, I guess you don't ​have​ to. :P I rant...

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It depends on whether rights are alienable or inalienable. If self-ownership is inalienable, then there's a problem with alienable rights.

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I'm an AnCap who rejects any notion of "rights" except to the extent that they are defined in agreements ("contracts") between people, so we do not all frame these questions in terms of rights and whether or not they are alienable or unalienable.

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My Buddy replied on Sun, Aug 7 2011 12:55 PM

You've been talking to Francois. Half that board is on his ignore list.

I think I see why. As I said on that thread, he acts like an Objectivist cariciture of a socialist. The more I see of those posts, the more rational just about everyone else there appears.

 

I'm an AnCap who rejects any notion of "rights" except to the extent that they are defined in agreements ("contracts") between people, so we do not all frame these questions in terms of rights and whether or not they are alienable or unalienable.

 

The problem with that is that it leads to a semantical slippery slope, a bit like the one regarding freedom mentioned above (I will try defining it that way, if only to see how he reacts; I don't give two shits about irrelevent things like that, but if he wants to be nitpicky then I can go with it). Your property suddenly only matters if you sign a contract with every guy you pass on the street, and ceases to matter if someone says "no" or shoots you.

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I agree with My Buddy's last statement.

Then again, it seems quite a few seasoned members of this board are against natural rights, so I will keep my mind open.

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Anenome replied on Sun, Aug 7 2011 4:24 PM

Birthday Pony: It depends on whether rights are alienable or inalienable. If self-ownership is inalienable, then there's a problem with alienable rights.

(Re: the $1m to not swim in the ocean example above) You'd be free to sign away your rights, but it wouldn't be enforceable in a court of law. You'd simply lose whatever privilege the other party had bargained for. If they were dumb enough to simply give you $1m, then they have no recourse if you decide to start swimming again.

The right is inalienable, but you can contract and avoid it of your own free will.

A better question is why the right is inalienable. It's inalienable because by nature you control yourself and no one else does. Not sure how you even could view fundamental natural rights as alienable. Such would amount to saying that it's possible to hook up someone else's brain to your arm.

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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Anenome replied on Sun, Aug 7 2011 4:30 PM

Alternatives Considered: I'm an AnCap who rejects any notion of "rights" except to the extent that they are defined in agreements ("contracts") between people, so we do not all frame these questions in terms of rights and whether or not they are alienable or unalienable.

That's simply not possible. The legal concept of a right is no more than the legal aknowledgment of a fundamental reality. You control yourself. End of story.

This fact is what makes individuality and personal responsibility cogent.

Political systems help or harm themselves in accordance with how much their laws reflect reality. The great revolution of American democracy was the aknowledgement of the rights we all have as part of our nature as human beings.

Because you are the only one that can swing your arm, you're responsible if it hits my nose. No one can swing it for you.

To say no one has innate rights except that which exists between contractees is to sanction murder, theft, rape, torture, and worse between those who have not yet contracted. I can't think of anything more evil.

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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