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Old 23rd February 2009, 12:34 PM   #1
kevinquinnyo
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Why the Derision for AnCap and Libertarianism Here?

There seems to be an immediate gut aversion to libertarian leaning people and anarchists in this forum.

I don't understand why. Anarchists, anarcho-capitalists, and libertarians are (for the most part) not on the fringe or some sort of conspiracy theorists.

I see a lot of immediate dismissal as 'nutjobs' or 'quackery.' I expect better out of a critical thinking forum.

Try really listening to their ideas. Most of it is actually quite logical and compelling.


Compare it to something else like religion if it helps. Most people who are brought up religious have an immediate gut reaction against the concept of Atheism. It seems like most people have this 'faith' in government and statism that's hard to let go. Well, we were all brought up in government. We are so used to it, we have blind faith. Anytime you have a gut reaction to something, alarm bells should go off in your head.

And look, if I'm wrong about there being a general disdain for ancap/libertarianism, let me know. It's just that every time I see someone mention it in these forums they seem to be dismissed as nutty by the majority.

And by the way, I had the same gut reaction against it when I first heard about it.

I remember immediately thinking Wouldn't there just be total chaos and corruption?

If you are a scoffer, you might find the answers to these questions very interesting, if nothing else.




DISCLAIMER: I have almost no interest in politics for politics' sake. I do not consider myself a member of any political party. I also do not own a copy of The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand.

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Old 23rd February 2009, 12:48 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by kevinquinnyo View Post
There seems to be an immediate gut aversion to libertarian leaning people and anarchists in this forum.

I don't understand why. Anarchists, anarcho-capitalists, and libertarians are (for the most part) not on the fringe or some sort of conspiracy theorists.
No, they are on the fringe (and a lot of them are conspiracy theorists as well).

But more immediately, they're stupidly, stupidly reductionistic. For example, the oft-repeated libertarian mantra that "no one has the right to initiate force" quickly falls apart under any sort of skeptical analysis; in order to justify using "force" to protect one's property, you need to define "using force" to include things as innocuous as trespassing or breaking a contract.

Similarly, their much vaunted concern for "rights" leads them directly into such ludicrous things as support for chattel slavery (because people should have the "right" to contract freely between each other, no matter how much non-participants in the contract might object to a contract).

Their economic and political theory specifically denies the possibility of pre-emptive action in defense of one's life, liberty, or property against an expected harm (for example, their solution to drunk driving is for the victim's heirs to sue the driver; initiating "force" to keep drunks off the road limits the freedom of all the people who can drive safely while drunk as well as all the leprechauns, unicorns, dragons, and other imaginary beasts).

Libertarianism is a great example of the maxim that to every complex problem there is an easy, obvious, and wrong solution.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 12:53 PM   #3
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The difficulty I have is that these groups are very good at being against the current system (whatever or wherever it is) the problem comes when you ask how the country they live in is going to function thereafter.

The standard responses seem to be be (often dressed up in many thousands of words) "details, mere details" or "we won't know until we try it". To me that doesn't cut the mustard. I suspect I'm one of many who needs more than "It'll be alright on the night" to be prepared to go down that road.

I suppose it comes down to what kind of "society" we each want to live and how pessimistic we are about our fellow men. In another thread there was a lot of talk about freely signed contracts, who ensures they're freely signed and not at the point of the biggest guns, who ensures a basic freedom not to be killed for your possessions etc. These are amongst the many big questions that are frequently ducked.

Now the anarchists "we're against any system" at least have a coherent counter argument, "we're against systems so we don't have to come up with alternatives" (memories of late night student debating sessions). What I find harder is to accept the blind assurances that somehow libertarianism and capitalism, unbound and unfettered, willl somehow create something better than we have now.

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Old 23rd February 2009, 01:03 PM   #4
kevinquinnyo
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Your view of it is a lot different than the way I understand it though.

Let's take your drunk driving example. If an argument for government is that there is a concern among people to enforce punishment for those drunk drivers, then that is something that exists. This sentiment would exist regardless of government.

And if there is not a demand to enforce punishment for drunk drivers, then there isn't. Is it not true that it is a human being's right to not care about things and conversely to care about other things?

I think the main point here is that the world would not be any different if there were no government. There would just be a free market, privatized substitute for the things that we do care about as a people. All of the politicians and civil rights leaders, police officers, philanthropists, educators, people like me and you, and even the bad people would still exist as they do now.

I think the key is that it's easy to forget that people naturally self-regulate. It is a system just like anything else that eventually finds a stable zone of checks and balances.

On a side note, I think there are some very good arguments against an entirely free market.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 01:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kevinquinnyo View Post

I think the key is that it's easy to forget that people naturally self-regulate. It is a system just like anything else that eventually finds a stable zone of checks and balances.
Any evidence for this?

Steve
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Old 23rd February 2009, 01:11 PM   #6
kevinquinnyo
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Originally Posted by oggiesnr View Post

"we won't know until we try it". To me that doesn't cut the mustard. I suspect I'm one of many who needs more than "It'll be alright on the night" to be prepared to go down that road.


Steve
Sorry guys I always forget to use the quote feature. I agree with you on this. It's kind of like an ultimate trump card. You can't win an argument when someone uses that card. But what's interesting is that that is in fact the key to the whole theory. Just because I'm not smart enough to solve something, the free market is. It's the rule of large numbers.

Like for instance, if someone says "Well who will build roads and bridges?"

I would say, corporations would. Maybe they have exclusive rights to the advertising. The ultimate answer though, is like the trump card answer. If there isn't a demand for something, it shouldn't be done. If there is, it will. And that's exactly what we do now, except it's much more inefficient because it's done top-down, as opposed to every other optimal system that behaves bottom-up.

Does that make sense? I may have explained that poorly.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 01:19 PM   #7
kevinquinnyo
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Originally Posted by oggiesnr View Post
Any evidence for this?

Steve
Well I think it's important to clarify. I guess the question actually is, Is there any evidence that we will self-regulate without a very wealthy monopoly overseeing the other, smaller corporation and interests.

I don't know of scientific experiments or study on this. Although, I remember reading about a factory where for some reason the employees had to run the company for months without supervision and there was no civil unrest or deaths, or chaos.

Also, think about things like reality TV, like Survivor or something. Systems generally move towards stability. Sort of like the law of thermodynamics. I know, that's a stretch. But hopefully you get the point.

Sorry its totally anecdotal. If I find some examples I will provide them.

I am sort of playing devil's advocate here if you can't tell.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 01:23 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by kevinquinnyo View Post
Systems generally move towards stability.
Is 'generally' good enough?
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Old 23rd February 2009, 01:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kevinquinnyo View Post
Your view of it is a lot different than the way I understand it though.

Let's take your drunk driving example. If an argument for government is that there is a concern among people to enforce punishment for those drunk drivers, then that is something that exists. This sentiment would exist regardless of government.

And if there is not a demand to enforce punishment for drunk drivers, then there isn't. Is it not true that it is a human being's right to not care about things and conversely to care about other things?

I think the main point here is that the world would not be any different if there were no government. There would just be a free market, privatized substitute for the things that we do care about as a people. All of the politicians and civil rights leaders, police officers, philanthropists, educators, people like me and you, and even the bad people would still exist as they do now.
The problem is : there wouldn't. By design, in Libertopia at least.

The one thing that Libertopians hold as absolute is a prohibition on government-initiated use of force except to prevent force or fraud --- that's almost the definition of libertarianism. The whole reason for this is to keep "what the people want" in check, because their wishes will almost certainly violate your fundamental rights. So a Libertarian government would be unable to create or enforce laws against drunk driving, by design, no matter what degree the people were concerned about it. Similarly, no matter how concerned people were that you weren't paying for a service that they considered important, they wouldn't be able to tax you for it ("taxation is theft" being another AnCap/Libertarian mantra).



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I think the key is that it's easy to forget that people naturally self-regulate. It is a system just like anything else that eventually finds a stable zone of checks and balances.
Well, first, I think you misestimate the degree to which people "naturally self-regulate"; most of the laws that exist, for example, were passed for a reason precisely because people have, historically, not self-regulated.

It seems to me that you're trying to have it both ways. If you think that people would naturally self-regulate and re-create the governmental system we have today, then there's no reason to take a detour through the uncertainty and chaos that experimentation with AnCap would create. If you think that people would not naturally gravitate to the current system, then I have to ask where you think the current system arose. We've experimented with feudalism, and the reason we have the extensive body of "human rights" we now have is from our experiences with governmental abuse under feudalism. I see no reason that a feudal overlord under AnCap would treat his serfs any better than he did in the 8th century.

It's a dilemma.

Libertarianism addresses this by rejecting the premise that the abuses of the feudal overlord were actually abuses, and that it's a fundamental violation of the lord's human rights to deny him the ability to put his serfs to death.

... which, in turn, explains, why libertarians are considered to be on the lunatic fringe. When you need to start with ridiculously false-by-inspection premises to make your argument work, your argument is not very compelling.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 01:29 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by kevinquinnyo View Post

Also, think about things like reality TV, like Survivor or something. Systems generally move towards stability. Sort of like the law of thermodynamics. I know, that's a stretch. But hopefully you get the point.

There is nothing "real" about reality TV.

Steve
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Old 23rd February 2009, 01:30 PM   #11
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My objections are based on the fact that libertarianism and so on use an ideology to come up with "solutions" to the problems that exist in the real-world and ideologies are, at best, merely an inaccurate model of the real-world but more usually just plain wrong.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 01:37 PM   #12
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The reason I think it's really more of a religion is that at the end of the day, the Libertarian will resort to moral arguments villifying all taxation as theft, regardless of issues of practicality. A libertarian would rather sacrifice his own life to the free market rather than endorse the moral wrongness (he sees) with taxation for healthcare.

This is a religious conviction, not an objective evaluation of efficiency.

Then there's the whole "enlightened self interest" thing where selfishness is turned into a virtue, which...makes my head hurt.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 01:49 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by kevinquinnyo View Post
Like for instance, if someone says "Well who will build roads and bridges?"

I would say, corporations would.
Nope. Corporations would like to (the money makeing mechanism is tolls BTW) but they can't see.

People don't want large roads built through their nice land so they refuse to sell to anyone building a road. Sure some will sell if you offer them enough but in many cases enough is rather more than it is worth spending. Throw in the people who have carefuly purchased ransom strips to drive the cost higher still and you find that no one can build long distance transport systems.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 02:04 PM   #14
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Because ancap theory is phenomenally stupid.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 04:26 PM   #15
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While I don't agree with the philosophy of libertarianism, there are parts of their platform I find appealing, mainly on foreign policy and government spending and taxation. Each of their ideas should be considered on its individual merits rather than dismissing it all as tin foil hat nonsense. There are many things they get right. Many libertarians are dogmatic about their philosophy. Guess what? So are a lot of left-wingers and conservatives. I'm surprised by all of the baseless ad hominin attacks by people who consider themselves critical thinkers, even in a thread that was started to denounce this very phenomenon.

As far as people "naturally self-regulating" in the absence of government, we used to have that sort of the thing before civilization and it pretty much amounts to the most brutal, sociopathic leaders of warring tribes gaining power. Who is going to protect your rights and property without a government? The mafia? Pimps? Democratically elected government and the concepts of personal liberty and private ownership of property protected by law are the result of thousands of years of human civilization and refinement. Why people would just want to throw all that away is something I don't understand.

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Old 23rd February 2009, 04:50 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
The reason I think it's really more of a religion is that at the end of the day, the Libertarian will resort to moral arguments... This is a religious conviction, not an objective evaluation of efficiency.
On the other hand, human history does offer some pretty gruesome examples of what happens when leaders have the power to make an "objective evaluation of efficiency" without regard for "moral arguments" or "religious conviction".
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Old 23rd February 2009, 05:26 PM   #17
kevinquinnyo
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Originally Posted by geni View Post
Nope. Corporations would like to (the money makeing mechanism is tolls BTW) but they can't see.

People don't want large roads built through their nice land so they refuse to sell to anyone building a road. Sure some will sell if you offer them enough but in many cases enough is rather more than it is worth spending. Throw in the people who have carefuly purchased ransom strips to drive the cost higher still and you find that no one can build long distance transport systems.
You're thinking top-down. You need to think bottom up. People speculating on land that they think will be great road real estate is just fine. They are taking a calculated risk. Someone could decide that the ransom is to ohigh and they will build around the land.

This isn't a new concept. People speculated on oil and gold throughout historoy. Some won, some lost big.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 05:43 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
On the other hand, human history does offer some pretty gruesome examples of what happens when leaders have the power to make an "objective evaluation of efficiency" without regard for "moral arguments" or "religious conviction".
True, but this particular moral argument ("taxation is theft") is an a moral viewpoint that if followed to the end, results in mass suffering. It is ineffective at providing a result that a vast majority of people would be happy with.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 05:46 PM   #19
kevinquinnyo
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Originally Posted by mismatchedsocks View Post

As far as people "naturally self-regulating" in the absence of government, we used to have that sort of the thing before civilization and it pretty much amounts to the most brutal, sociopathic leaders of warring tribes gaining power. Who is going to protect your rights and property without a government? The mafia? Pimps? Democratically elected government and the concepts of personal liberty and private ownership of property protected by law are the result of thousands of years of human civilization and refinement. Why people would just want to throw all that away is something I don't understand.

Well, I know it sounds nuts at first, but really consider this. Police could easily be privatized. What makes tax revenue paid police somehow immune to corruption. The answer is nothing.

Private police would have the best kind of incentive to be transparent and ethical, that is, market incentives. It would simply be cost prohibitive to be a criminal entity, because you would be continually sued by competing firms and individuals.

The real key to understanding this whole thing is getting it out of your head that we need a Dad figure or Authority figure supplanted above us to keep everything sane. I think it's a human bias that's hard to let go.

Everything is about incentives and reputation. Your credit and reputation would be tarnished if you made mistakes, or behaved in an unethical way.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 05:49 PM   #20
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Quote:
Private police would have the best kind of incentive to be transparent and ethical, that is, market incentives. It would simply be cost prohibitive to be a criminal entity, because you would be continually sued by competing firms and individuals.
Sued in a private court?
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Old 23rd February 2009, 05:54 PM   #21
kevinquinnyo
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Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
The problem is : there wouldn't. By design, in Libertopia at least.


Well, first, I think you misestimate the degree to which people "naturally self-regulate"; most of the laws that exist, for example, were passed for a reason precisely because people have, historically, not self-regulated.

It seems to me that you're trying to have it both ways. If you think that people would naturally self-regulate and re-create the governmental system we have today, then there's no reason to take a detour through the uncertainty and chaos that experimentation with AnCap would create. If you think that people would not naturally gravitate to the current system, then I have to ask where you think the current system arose. We've experimented with feudalism, and the reason we have the extensive body of "human rights" we now have is from our experiences with governmental abuse under feudalism. I see no reason that a feudal overlord under AnCap would treat his serfs any better than he did in the 8th century.

You are correct in a way. I think if there were a non government society, it would regulate back to what we have now.

The really big, crucial difference is efficiency. Why regulate top-down, when the most efficient, adaptive, flexible systems are actually bottom-up.

There would no longer be a bloated monopoly regulating from above, but hundreds and thousands and millions of regulators checking and balancing eachother in real time at every second of the day. This is much the same way an efficient ecosystem is in a constant state of adaptive flux.

It's not necessary to police from the top or administer laws from the top. Reputation and credit would be at the heart of checking ethics and compliance with basic property rights and human rights.

Last edited by kevinquinnyo; 23rd February 2009 at 05:54 PM. Reason: clarification/rephrasing something
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Old 23rd February 2009, 06:02 PM   #22
kevinquinnyo
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Sued in a private court?
Absolutely. If a defendant thought that the KevinQuinnYo, Inc. Court company was corrupt or incompetent or otherwise unacceptable, I would be sued. Sometimes these things would be settled just like we settle things now, but the problem for me is a tarnished reputation. That's my ultimate incentive. That's how I stay in business, by being trusted to be completely objective.

Here's the thing. I'm not some expert on this. It doesn't exist, so there is no such thing as an expert.

My whole point is that this is totally open for debate. It is not a foregone conclusion that we need government, and it's not a whack-job theory.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 06:06 PM   #23
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Who would show up for a trial at a private court? If my brother had a private court business right now, and I decided to sue you, and he and I called you tonight and said "be at the JimmyB's Courthouse on Friday!" would you show up?

Last edited by kellyb; 23rd February 2009 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 06:22 PM   #24
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Libertarianism is absolutely opposed to Socialism, the quick fix for the parasite class.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 06:30 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by kevinquinnyo View Post
Private police would have the best kind of incentive to be transparent and ethical, that is, market incentives. It would simply be cost prohibitive to be a criminal entity, because you would be continually sued by competing firms and individuals.
Who gets to sue? More accurately, who will enforce the judgments?

We've seen private, corrupt, police forces before. We've seen variations that are both state-sponsored as well as private (such as the Mafia). Without an overarching authority (in the USA, for example, that would be Hoover and the FBI), it just ends up in gangland violence.

If I'm a Corleone triggerman, and I have a beef against a Tessio triggerman, how does it get settled? In the real world, as opposed to Libertopia, there are usually two solutions, neither of which are satisfactory. Either I will get involved in a shooting war with him, or else Don Corleone will sit down with Don Tessio and they'll decide between the two of them to stiff both of us. (See Donnie Brasco or Wiseguy for historical examples.)

Quote:
If a defendant thought that the KevinQuinnYo, Inc. Court company was corrupt or incompetent or otherwise unacceptable, I would be sued.
Sued how? Why should I accept a judgment that the Tessio Court Company issued? Why should the Tessio Court Company even respond to a summons from the Corleone Court Company?

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Your credit and reputation would be tarnished if you made mistakes, or behaved in an unethical way.
Riiiiiiiiight. Because Don Corleone never, ever behaved in an unethical way.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 06:34 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Who would show up for a trial at a private court? If my brother had a private court business right now, and I decided to sue you, and he and I called you tonight and said "be at the JimmyB's Courthouse on Friday!" would you show up?

You would send out private police to arrest me if I failed to show up.

If I contested this arrangement or my subpoena and there was some potential legitimacy to my claim, it would be in your and your brother's best interest to take interest, because if not, your private firm would lose reputation, and your insurance rates would go up and you or credit would sink down.

Look, like I said I don't have the exact answer. But if there's something we don't have an answer for, do you think the best way would be to elect politicians who have every incentive to be paid off by lobbyists to create these laws and arbitrate them?

The whole idea is that maybe it's better if these things evolve in the free market. It's all about adaptive optimization of everything.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 06:49 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by kevinquinnyo View Post
You would send out private police to arrest me if I failed to show up.
Because Tessio's men will naturally turn one of their fellow gang members over to the Corleone's.

Quote:
If I contested this arrangement or my subpoena and there was some potential legitimacy to my claim, it would be in your and your brother's best interest to take interest, because if not, your private firm would lose reputation, and your insurance rates would go up and you or credit would sink down.
So, let me see. Then I (the Corleone torpedo) have a beef with the Tessios. If the Don doesn't back me up, "his private firm would lose reputation [...] or credit would sink down." I think I saw exactly that situation the other night when The Godfather was on -- Sonny was saying he had to hit Barzini or else the Corleones would look weak. But, of course, the Barzini were saying exactly the same thing, because they had been insulted by the Corleone refusing to help them with a business proposition, and if they would lose face if they accepted the insult.

You've just raised the second reel of The Godfather to the heights of judicial theory.

I've also seen the same thing in films on the gangs of Los Angeles. Whether I'm working for the Crips or for the Corleones, the solution to drive-by shootings seems to be drive-by shootings.

Quote:
Look, like I said I don't have the exact answer.
No. But I'd just like to point out that you've got an "answer" that any film historian would reject.

Quote:
The whole idea is that maybe it's better if these things evolve in the free market.
Or maybe not. We've done that experiment. It didn't work in the 1860s in Sicily. It didn't work in the 1920s in New York. It didn't work in the 1990s in LA.

What's different about "now" that it will work?

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Old 23rd February 2009, 07:04 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by kevinquinnyo View Post
Look, like I said I don't have the exact answer.
This, by the way, is another reason why libertarians and ancaps are considered to be nutcases.

If the best argument you can put forward for a position is a "but we don't know until we've tried it," then I'm hardly compelled.

But it's particularly uncompelling when we've actually tried something close to pure libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism, and the closer we got, the worse things became. You want to see what happens when private organizations are responsible for keeping the peace in an area? Look to South-Central LA. Look to Hell's Kitchen. Look to Mulberry Street. As the police leave, anarchy reigns --- and the real thugs take over. It's not pretty. The "market" isn't in reputation, but in blood.

There's no way to make and keep a contract with the person who is both responsible for enforcing the contract and has a financial interest in breaking it. Again, see Wiseguy and look at what happened to everyone associated with James Burke. The only one who survived the Lufthansa heist was Henry Hill --- and he only did so by invoking overwhelming force in the form of the legitimate elected government. Oddly enough, that was the also the only honest dealer on the floor, precisely because they're actually responsible to the will of the electorate.

Anarcho-capitalism seems to be one of those inherently unstable systems; the slightest flaw, and it comes crashing down.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 07:05 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
Because Tessio's men will naturally turn one of their fellow gang members over to the Corleone's.



So, let me see. Then I (the Corleone torpedo) have a beef with the Tessios. If the Don doesn't back me up, "his private firm would lose reputation [...] or credit would sink down." I think I saw exactly that situation the other night when The Godfather was on -- Sonny was saying he had to hit Barzini or else the Corleones would look weak. But, of course, the Barzini were saying exactly the same thing, because they had been insulted by the Corleone refusing to help them with a business proposition, and if they would lose face if they accepted the insult.

You've just raised the second reel of The Godfather to the heights of judicial theory.

I've also seen the same thing in films on the gangs of Los Angeles. Whether I'm working for the Crips or for the Corleones, the solution to drive-by shootings seems to be drive-by shootings.



No. But I'd just like to point out that you've got an "answer" that any film historian would reject.



Or maybe not. We've done that experiment. It didn't work in the 1860s in Sicily. It didn't work in the 1920s in New York. It didn't work in the 1990s in LA.

What's different about "now" that it will work?

I honestly am having trouble figuring out how to respond to this, because it seems you have really missed the point. You're gut-reactioning this big time.

Slow down and think about the idea here. Like really think about it, play devil's advocate. Don't think of ways to dismiss it as nonsense.

I don't want to like alienate you or irritate you. I don't mean to be insulting here, really, I hope I don't come off that way.

Last edited by kevinquinnyo; 23rd February 2009 at 07:07 PM. Reason: bad spelling mistake
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Old 23rd February 2009, 07:12 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by kevinquinnyo View Post
You would send out private police to arrest me if I failed to show up.
So I'd send my biker cousin and his buddies to abduct you?


Quote:
If I contested this arrangement or my subpoena and there was some potential legitimacy to my claim, it would be in your and your brother's best interest to take interest, because if not, your private firm would lose reputation, and your insurance rates would go up and you or credit would sink down.
I don't own a company. I work for Starbucks.
My brother's court always rules in my favor, too. So if I want to get my money, I just need to get my cousin to collect it?
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Old 23rd February 2009, 07:17 PM   #31
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Dr Kitten, you're a bit misinformed about anarchism. You're talking about the outdated form of anarcho-capitalism, the Rothbardian type, aka the Deontological type. The rights based arguments you used are quite right when you argue them, but the consequentialist an-caps, the vast majority of intellectual an-caps, like Walter Block, David Friedman (author of The Machinery of Freedom - the best book written on the subject), Bryan Caplan, etc, are all consequentialists.
Everything you've written is addressed either in The Machinery of Freedom or in Bryan Caplan's Anarchist Theory FAQ

Instead of jumping right in to arguing about competitive governments and police protection firms, you have to understand the similarities between the free market and evolution. Both are complex adaptive systems.
Look at an ant colony: each individual ant is working selfishly, following her own instincts and doing what comes naturally. All of the millions of tiny selfish actions of each of the millions of ants work towards the good of the colony. The colony is the emergent property of the millions of ant actions.
So it is with human society, and so it is with evolution. There is no top-down designer, there doesn't need to be a top-down regulator. The system works from the bottom-up. All the morality and infrastructure and needs and wants of each person come together to form society without the parasite of government extorting and bullying.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 07:27 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by kevinquinnyo View Post
I honestly am having trouble figuring out how to respond to this, because it seems you have really missed the point. You're gut-reactioning this big time.

Slow down and think about the idea here. Like really think about it, play devil's advocate. Don't think of ways to dismiss it as nonsense.

I don't want to like alienate you or irritate you. I don't mean to be insulting here, really, I hope I don't come off that way.
I think the point is that it just doesn't work. What you end up with is anarchy. Check out what's happening in Sudan. Without a government, without universal laws, without independent courts, without an independent police force, society is possible.

Libertarians always fantasize that they are on top. In reality they would be someone's slave in a salt mine.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 07:28 PM   #33
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I can't post URL's yet, but I assume most of you here like Michael Shermer. He's one of my favorite skeptics, along with James Randi and Dan Dennett. Anyway, google, "Why People Don’t Trust Free Markets" by Michael Shermer. It's a good start at understanding the whole complex adaptive systems aspect of anarcho-capitalism. Also try to realize that there is certainly one faction of libertarians that is the nutty conspiracy set... but there is another faction composed of some of the most brilliant people alive today. David Friedman, Bryan Caplan, Walter Block, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Patri Friedman, many transhumanists and Peter Thiel and the Seasteading group. It's a much more nuanced issue than you may imagine.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 07:49 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by geni View Post
Nope. Corporations would like to (the money makeing mechanism is tolls BTW) but they can't see.

People don't want large roads built through their nice land so they refuse to sell to anyone building a road. Sure some will sell if you offer them enough but in many cases enough is rather more than it is worth spending. Throw in the people who have carefuly purchased ransom strips to drive the cost higher still and you find that no one can build long distance transport systems.
Yes. In fact, the entire spacial context in which the economy takes place renders ancap theory untenable. This is true in other cases as well; such as, who determines who gets use of the electromagnetic spectrum?

If you have government, the obvious answer is for the government to auction leases, and use the proceeds to compensate those deprived of its use. But, with anarchy, there's no one to determine use, much less dole out compensation.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 07:50 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by kevinquinnyo View Post
This isn't a new concept. People speculated on oil and gold throughout historoy. Some won, some lost big.
With the accompanying result of some being for wealthier than the kings of antiquity, while others are compelled to send their children to work in sweatshops.

Fair bargain, eh?
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Old 23rd February 2009, 07:55 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by sciencebzzt View Post
Dr Kitten, you're a bit misinformed about anarchism. You're talking about the outdated form of anarcho-capitalism, the Rothbardian type, aka the Deontological type. The rights based arguments you used are quite right when you argue them, but the consequentialist an-caps, the vast majority of intellectual an-caps, like Walter Block, David Friedman (author of The Machinery of Freedom - the best book written on the subject), Bryan Caplan, etc, are all consequentialists.
Everything you've written is addressed either in The Machinery of Freedom or in Bryan Caplan's Anarchist Theory FAQ

Instead of jumping right in to arguing about competitive governments and police protection firms, you have to understand the similarities between the free market and evolution. Both are complex adaptive systems.
Look at an ant colony: each individual ant is working selfishly, following her own instincts and doing what comes naturally. All of the millions of tiny selfish actions of each of the millions of ants work towards the good of the colony. The colony is the emergent property of the millions of ant actions.
So it is with human society, and so it is with evolution. There is no top-down designer, there doesn't need to be a top-down regulator. The system works from the bottom-up. All the morality and infrastructure and needs and wants of each person come together to form society without the parasite of government extorting and bullying.
Hello? Humans and human societies are literally subject to evolution. And anarchism lost out. Just as higher lifeforms require brains to regulate their complex machinery, advanced societies require governments.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 07:57 PM   #37
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Your argument is what Richard Dawkins calls "The Argument from personal incredulity", aka, Argument from ignorance. You can't think of a way it could be done, therefore, it cannot be done. There are an infinite number of ways to handle a situation like the one you reference, the beauty of the free market is that there are a million minds working on the problem. Just like open source code, things work more efficiently via the bottom-up system with the whole population working on a problem.

If the government provided shoes to all people, an argument could be made that the manufacture and sale of shoes could never be privatized, since no private company could handle the wide range of shoe sizes, and provide them at a reasonable cost for the poor.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 08:04 PM   #38
kevinquinnyo
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Originally Posted by Free Thinkr View Post
With the accompanying result of some being for wealthier than the kings of antiquity, while others are compelled to send their children to work in sweatshops.

Fair bargain, eh?
Are you arguing against classism?

The great news is, most of us, even the less fortunate, are actually much, much wealthier than the kings of antiquity.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 08:04 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Free Thinkr View Post
Hello? Humans and human societies are literally subject to evolution. And anarchism lost out. Just as higher lifeforms require brains to regulate their complex machinery, advanced societies require governments.
And what are brains but the emergent property of the complex system of millions of cells. Again, its a bottom-up system. The human brain is actually a wonderful example of my point.

The free market works as a huge brain, each of the actions of each of the human beings in the world is an input into that system. When one person decides to buy a bottle of water, the price system takes that into account and each time a person cancels one service in favor of another, the system takes that into account.

Think of government as a monopoly on law and order. Anarcho-capitalists don't want the total lack of that law and order, they want competition. They want the actions of the individual "cells" to dictate the outcome. They don't want a monopoly enforced by violence.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 08:06 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by sciencebzzt View Post
And what are brains but the emergent property of the complex system of millions of cells. Again, its a bottom-up system. The human brain is actually a wonderful example of my point.

The free market works as a huge brain, each of the actions of each of the human beings in the world is an input into that system. When one person decides to buy a bottle of water, the price system takes that into account and each time a person cancels one service in favor of another, the system takes that into account.

Think of government as a monopoly on law and order. Anarcho-capitalists don't want the total lack of that law and order, they want competition. They want the actions of the individual "cells" to dictate the outcome. They don't want a monopoly enforced by violence.

I literally could not have said it better myself.
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