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Author Topic: Question for the "anarchists" in the crowd.  (Read 5536 times)
MoonShadow
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October 21, 2012, 02:38:08 AM
 #1

As a libertarian at heart, I respect the concept that governments cannot actually improve society (http://youtu.be/BNIgztvyU2U).  However, I have issues with the idea that a society without a traditional government (i.e. an institution with a monopoly on the use of force) can effectively manage the very small percentage of people who both have the ability to cause great & widespread harm and also refuse to refrain from doing so.

In the past, I've used the example of Child Protective Services and of criminal courts, but both those examples suffer from a lack of specificity.

So I want to use a different example, and one from history.

How would a (presumedly stable) anarchist society (ancap) have responded to Typhoid Mary without destroying itself via inaction and without violating it's own principles?  For those who need a refresher on her... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typhoid_Mary

Now bear in mind, that Mary steadfastly refused to accept that she was contagious, and refused to change her occupation (household cook) to one of less risk to others.  She caused massive amounts of human death and harm, entirely passively, simply by engaging in the type of work for which she was both experienced & trained.  

The state of New York locked Mary away in a hospital that was functionally a prison, yet did not, and could not, charge her with any actual crime.  All of the harm that she caused was of a passive nature, and she (presumedly) did not intend any of it.  She spent more of her natural life in this prison hospital than the average convicted murder does today in the United States.

What would an ancap society have done differently?

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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October 21, 2012, 02:43:40 AM
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To answer your last question, absolutely nothing. Anarchy would simply be governance with new attitudes and standards. Government would be reduced to the notoriety of just another institution.
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October 21, 2012, 02:55:53 AM
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To answer your last question, absolutely nothing. Anarchy would simply be governance with new attitudes and standards. Government would be reduced to the notoriety of just another institution.

But how, then, could it be an ancap society?  If any instutution, medical in nature or otherwise, were to quarintine Mary away against her will (which is exactly what it would have taken, since she didn't accept any fault of her own) then 1) it wouldn't be acting like an ancap institution, certainly not one that believes in the ZAP; and 2) there would certainly be other institutions that would find fault in the medical institution's actions and move against it, functionally resulting in a civil war, the penultimate breakdown of any stable society, thus destroying itself.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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October 21, 2012, 03:01:17 AM
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Since it's anarchy, then someone could have just go ahead and killed her.

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October 21, 2012, 03:11:44 AM
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This lady could have been a godsend to medical science, too bad the government locked her up rather than someone rewarding her for her genetic luck.

Since it's anarchy, then someone could have just go ahead and killed her.

Durr someone could have done that anyway, anarchism has nothing to do with whether that happens.
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October 21, 2012, 03:13:59 AM
 #6

What would an ancap society have done differently?

Hmmm.

Well, the first time, Probably she'd be taken aside, given that laundress job, and told not to seek employment in the food industry.  To drive that home, flyers would be circulated to local institutions and wealthy households. Restitution would probably be required.

After the name change and outbreak at the woman's hospital, yeah, forcible quarantine, and a laundress job at the hospital, probably. She may not believe she's contagious, but she's also shown she doesn't care if she is. Not to mention typhoid is spread through unwashed hands... She shouldn't be in food service even if she isn't contagious. Restitution would definitely be taken out of her salary, what's left after her room and board are paid. If she agrees, she might be able to get a bit of extra money by allowing the doctors to try to find out why she's asymptomatic.

As to the ZAP, she's already violated that by taking that second food service job. If someone had killed her, it would probably have been a little overmuch, but within their rights.

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MoonShadow
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October 21, 2012, 04:11:41 AM
 #7

What would an ancap society have done differently?

Hmmm.

Well, the first time, Probably she'd be taken aside, given that laundress job, and told not to seek employment in the food industry.  To drive that home, flyers would be circulated to local institutions and wealthy households. Restitution would probably be required.

After the name change and outbreak at the woman's hospital, yeah, forcible quarantine, and a laundress job at the hospital, probably. She may not believe she's contagious, but she's also shown she doesn't care if she is. Not to mention typhoid is spread through unwashed hands... She shouldn't be in food service even if she isn't contagious. Restitution would definitely be taken out of her salary, what's left after her room and board are paid. If she agrees, she might be able to get a bit of extra money by allowing the doctors to try to find out why she's asymptomatic.

As to the ZAP, she's already violated that by taking that second food service job. If someone had killed her, it would probably have been a little overmuch, but within their rights.

I don't find this position to be acceptable.  Whether or not she had violated the ZAP by the mere act of accepting a food service job is dependent upon her state of mind concerning the accuracy of the doctors' claims that she was a carrier.  Keep in mind that she was the first example in recorded medical history of a completely asymtomatic carrier, and medical science was even less respected at that time than it is today.  How many people whole-heartedly believe that the medical institutions have suppressed the cure for cancer or the risks of vaccines in order to sell drugs and vaccines?  It's not at all unreasonable to believe that Mary believed she was being unfairly persecuted, and perhaps even without cause.  She was neither the only typhoid carrier at the time (once it was known, many were identified, roughly 3% of survivors were asymtomatic carriers) nor the only one to break the terms of their quarantine release, but the only one to spend the rest of her life in quarantine.  She wasn't even the most deadly in that same decade.

And restitution for what, exactly?  She may have caused harm, but again only passively.  A judgement of restitution, even if it were just to impose upon Mary for the events prior to her first encounter with the public health agents, would effectively be a form of slavery.  She literally had no knowledge or control over the harm caused, at least prior to her first arrest.  It's a leap of logic to presume that she intended to cause harm, certainly befor the first incarceration, which lasted for about five years IIRC.  Even showing harm caused was difficult at the time.

You can make the argument that a heroin addict can be held responsible for the harm he causes others while high, or for the crimes he might commit in persuit of his addiction.  But how can you make the argument that the heroin addict should pay restitution to the stupid kid that sees the heroin addict and thinks it can't be that bad, and then gets addicted himself?

In hindsight, there was many things that Mary had done to earn her quarantine.  But that's exactly the problem that I see.  We have the benefit of both that hindsight and the common knowledge gained from those events.  But what if we didn't?  What if New York state was an ancap society in 1907?  How could the actions that were taken have been justified at the time?  (retroactive justifications are always false arguments, if you can't make the claim at the time then you can't make the argument later)  If such actions cannot be justified under an ancap society, and I can't see how they could, what would an ancap society have been able to do to respond to the (general) threat of unaware & passive carriers of infections, and still remain an ancap society?  If a special medical institution had the special power to incarcerate people under the charge of being a passive threat to society, wouldn't that same institution then have the monopoly on force that defines a modern government?

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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October 21, 2012, 04:21:12 AM
 #8

I think you are right moonshadow, the thing to do is work towards increasing the flow and accuracy of information so that we can have an AnCap society not dependent on the use of force to deal with these outlier situations.
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October 21, 2012, 05:02:38 AM
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Whether or not she had violated the ZAP by the mere act of accepting a food service job is dependent upon her state of mind concerning the accuracy of the doctors' claims that she was a carrier.  Keep in mind that she was the first example in recorded medical history of a completely asymtomatic carrier, and medical science was even less respected at that time than it is today.  How many people whole-heartedly believe that the medical institutions have suppressed the cure for cancer or the risks of vaccines in order to sell drugs and vaccines?  It's not at all unreasonable to believe that Mary believed she was being unfairly persecuted, and perhaps even without cause.  She was neither the only typhoid carrier at the time (once it was known, many were identified, roughly 3% of survivors were asymtomatic carriers) nor the only one to break the terms of their quarantine release, but the only one to spend the rest of her life in quarantine.  She wasn't even the most deadly in that same decade.
Some of the most heinous actions in history have been perpetrated by people thinking they were doing good, or even that it was god's will that they do what they did. Intent to do wrong is not necessary to do wrong.

And restitution for what, exactly?  She may have caused harm, but again only passively.  A judgement of restitution, even if it were just to impose upon Mary for the events prior to her first encounter with the public health agents, would effectively be a form of slavery.  She literally had no knowledge or control over the harm caused, at least prior to her first arrest.  It's a leap of logic to presume that she intended to cause harm, certainly befor the first incarceration, which lasted for about five years IIRC.  Even showing harm caused was difficult at the time.
Again, intent is not necessary for you do to harm. If you do harm, you're liable for the damages. You may not have meant for the baseball to go through your neighbor's window, but it happened, and you still owe him a window.

You can make the argument that a heroin addict can be held responsible for the harm he causes others while high, or for the crimes he might commit in persuit of his addiction.  But how can you make the argument that the heroin addict should pay restitution to the stupid kid that sees the heroin addict and thinks it can't be that bad, and then gets addicted himself?
This would make sense if she had not directly caused the harm that she did. She spread disease not only by being a carrier, but by not washing her hands before prepping food. She didn't have to work in food service. In fact, in her first quarantine, cultures of her waste showed that she was "teeming with typhoid salmonella", and she ignored that fact.

In hindsight, there was many things that Mary had done to earn her quarantine.  But that's exactly the problem that I see.  We have the benefit of both that hindsight and the common knowledge gained from those events.  But what if we didn't?  What if New York state was an ancap society in 1907?  How could the actions that were taken have been justified at the time?  (retroactive justifications are always false arguments, if you can't make the claim at the time then you can't make the argument later)  If such actions cannot be justified under an ancap society, and I can't see how they could, what would an ancap society have been able to do to respond to the (general) threat of unaware & passive carriers of infections, and still remain an ancap society?  If a special medical institution had the special power to incarcerate people under the charge of being a passive threat to society, wouldn't that same institution then have the monopoly on force that defines a modern government?
No. They would have the ability to use force, but not a monopoly. And that's the key factor.

Once the presence of the typhoid bacteria is proven, continuation of her actions is not a "passive threat to society," it's a direct attack. Regardless of whether she thinks she's doing it or not, she's directly harming anyone she cooks for, because she refused to take simple health precautions.

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October 21, 2012, 05:03:14 AM
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Since it's anarchy, then someone could have just go ahead and killed her.

Exactly right. Without the rule of law the average citizen must resort to violence as the final arbitrator of all disputes.


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October 21, 2012, 05:04:53 AM
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Since it's anarchy, then someone could have just go ahead and killed her.

Exactly right. Without the rule of law the average citizen must resort to violence as the final arbitrator of all disputes


False. People can arbitrate without a government and/or violence.
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October 21, 2012, 05:07:28 AM
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Additionally, the government can generally only impose its rule with violence.
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October 21, 2012, 05:22:25 AM
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Since it's anarchy, then someone could have just go ahead and killed her.

Exactly right. Without the rule of law the average citizen must resort to violence as the final arbitrator of all disputes


False. People can arbitrate without a government and/or violence.

Read it again I said 'final' meaning when all other arbitration fails.

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October 21, 2012, 05:24:58 AM
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Since it's anarchy, then someone could have just go ahead and killed her.

Exactly right. Without the rule of law the average citizen must resort to violence as the final arbitrator of all disputes


False. People can arbitrate without a government and/or violence.

Read it again I said 'final' meaning when all other arbitration fails.
Well, what can the government do differently besides using violence to put people in jail, fine them or kill them?
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October 21, 2012, 05:38:03 AM
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I think you are right moonshadow, the thing to do is work towards increasing the flow and accuracy of information so that we can have an AnCap society not dependent on the use of force to deal with these outlier situations.

No matter how good the future of the Internet may be, the general availability of important information will always be imperfect and/or localized.  If there is no way for an ancap society to respond to an unintentional and unaware domestic threat, (as the example of Typhoid Mary represents) then there is no way that an ancap society could ever be stable, for it will always have that kind of weakness that, sooner or later, must undermine it.  Although it certainly wouldn't be typhoid to do it with all of our modern medical knowledge, any new or unknown infection would have a similar effect; at least temporarily.  Yellow fever had devastating effects upon the social structure of all the cities that had outbreaks prior to the development of a vaccine against it.  Because an infected person was contagious days before any signs of same, locals would regularly treat poor travelers (and those who worked on traveling riverboats, regardless of their status) rather harshly to say the least, and completely without regard to their constitutional rights, or oftentimes even any human decency.

Quarantining people on the word of any government expert is no different than Minority Report style 'pre-crime', so if we can't come up with an ancap answer to Typhoid Mary (or a modern equivalent), then how can we object to the TSA's use of no-fly lists other than on matters of implementation?  (as opposed to ideology or justification)  How then could we object to border checkpoints that require us to identify ourselves upon entry into, or even exiting, our own country?  We need an answer for this even as a minimalist/libertarian perspective, or all our logic and reason as to why the state is an immoral and/or unnecessary institution fail; for only one exception to the premise is required to defeat the theory.  Granted, we here all understand that the reality is that government agents often screw up anyway, even the experts.  And thus, it was about as likely that Typhoid Mary would never had been caught.  (How many typhoid carriers worked in food service prior to 1907?  We will never know)  And society was not likely to break down due to a lack of understanding regarding the infection vector of typhoid, otherwise it would have already.  Still, once the passive threat had been identified, an active response was required of the doctors; for no expert trained in his field could discover such a problem and morally choose not to attempt to solve it if he could.

This is one reason that I have trouble with the absolutes of ancap theories.  The NAP is an absolute, but it applies to an individual who must choose to abide it, or not.  Maybury's two laws of civilization are similar to the NAP, but they don't require an absolute adherence.  The ability to recognize, and manage, contradictions are a sign of maturity.  So I have to say that IMHO, ancap isn't really a mature political ideology.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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October 21, 2012, 05:57:00 AM
 #16

This is one reason that I have trouble with the absolutes of ancap theories.  The NAP is an absolute, but it applies to an individual who must choose to abide it, or not.  Maybury's two laws of civilization are similar to the NAP, but they don't require an absolute adherence.  The ability to recognize, and manage, contradictions are a sign of maturity.  So I have to say that IMHO, ancap isn't really a mature political ideology.

Well, as political ideologies go, it is pretty young. It's only about 40 years old, at least in the "finished" state it is now, though aspects have popped up since antiquity, and the final piece was available as early as 1849.

As to Maybury's laws, the second one essentially is the NAP. "Do not encroach on other persons or their property" and "no one has the right to initiate force, the threat of force, or fraud" are effectively the same, since those three things are "encroaching on other persons or their property."

But why do you say Maybury's laws (which I wholeheartedly support) do not require absolute adherence? After all, it says "Do not," not "You should not," or "It would be a bad idea to."

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October 21, 2012, 05:58:18 AM
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Whether or not she had violated the ZAP by the mere act of accepting a food service job is dependent upon her state of mind concerning the accuracy of the doctors' claims that she was a carrier.  Keep in mind that she was the first example in recorded medical history of a completely asymtomatic carrier, and medical science was even less respected at that time than it is today.  How many people whole-heartedly believe that the medical institutions have suppressed the cure for cancer or the risks of vaccines in order to sell drugs and vaccines?  It's not at all unreasonable to believe that Mary believed she was being unfairly persecuted, and perhaps even without cause.  She was neither the only typhoid carrier at the time (once it was known, many were identified, roughly 3% of survivors were asymtomatic carriers) nor the only one to break the terms of their quarantine release, but the only one to spend the rest of her life in quarantine.  She wasn't even the most deadly in that same decade.
Some of the most heinous actions in history have been perpetrated by people thinking they were doing good, or even that it was god's will that they do what they did. Intent to do wrong is not necessary to do wrong.

Even in the case of the well intended tyranny, the actors must (by definition) act.  When are the unaware ever responsible for failing to act?

Quote
And restitution for what, exactly?  She may have caused harm, but again only passively.  A judgement of restitution, even if it were just to impose upon Mary for the events prior to her first encounter with the public health agents, would effectively be a form of slavery.  She literally had no knowledge or control over the harm caused, at least prior to her first arrest.  It's a leap of logic to presume that she intended to cause harm, certainly befor the first incarceration, which lasted for about five years IIRC.  Even showing harm caused was difficult at the time.
Again, intent is not necessary for you do to harm. If you do harm, you're liable for the damages. You may not have meant for the baseball to go through your neighbor's window, but it happened, and you still owe him a window.

But that still requires that I committed an action.  I may not have intended to break the window, but I intended to hit the baseball, and if I can hit the baseball I can't really not be aware of the risks of breaking a window within my ballistic reach. 

Quote
You can make the argument that a heroin addict can be held responsible for the harm he causes others while high, or for the crimes he might commit in persuit of his addiction.  But how can you make the argument that the heroin addict should pay restitution to the stupid kid that sees the heroin addict and thinks it can't be that bad, and then gets addicted himself?
This would make sense if she had not directly caused the harm that she did. She spread disease not only by being a carrier, but by not washing her hands before prepping food.


Handwashing was not widely regarded as a preventative of infection at this point.  It was, in fact, this very case that impressed upon the common people that very datapoint; and has much to do with why Americans are more concerned with cleanliness (in general) than their European counterparts.

Quote

She didn't have to work in food service. In fact, in her first quarantine, cultures of her waste showed that she was "teeming with typhoid salmonella", and she ignored that fact.

Again, she could not have known this prior to her first quarantine, and neither could have the doctors.  Even after she was tested and found positive, she was tested weekly and many of those tests were negative.  She eventually sued the health department, and her lawyers had her tested independently every week for a year, and that independent lab (unsurprisingly) never reported a positive.  So it was still not unreasonable for Mary to believe that she was not the threat that the doctors claimed, since she had plenty of confirmation bias.

Quote
In hindsight, there was many things that Mary had done to earn her quarantine.  But that's exactly the problem that I see.  We have the benefit of both that hindsight and the common knowledge gained from those events.  But what if we didn't?  What if New York state was an ancap society in 1907?  How could the actions that were taken have been justified at the time?  (retroactive justifications are always false arguments, if you can't make the claim at the time then you can't make the argument later)  If such actions cannot be justified under an ancap society, and I can't see how they could, what would an ancap society have been able to do to respond to the (general) threat of unaware & passive carriers of infections, and still remain an ancap society?  If a special medical institution had the special power to incarcerate people under the charge of being a passive threat to society, wouldn't that same institution then have the monopoly on force that defines a modern government?
No. They would have the ability to use force, but not a monopoly. And that's the key factor.

Once the presence of the typhoid bacteria is proven, continuation of her actions is not a "passive threat to society," it's a direct attack. Regardless of whether she thinks she's doing it or not, she's directly harming anyone she cooks for, because she refused to take simple health precautions.

Yes, we know this now.  Such a position was not common knowledge at the time, and was held only by a minority of doctors in 1907.  Once again, prior to this case an asymptomatic carrier was only theoretical, and many doctors (much less the medically untrained public) believed that an asymtomatic survivor remaining contagious for years was impossible.  Up until relatively recently, most doctors believed that ulcers were caused by stress; right up until one doctor finally proved it was a persistent bacterial infection.  And this was 90+ years following the Typhoid Mary case, which was the very one that proved that asymtomatic & cronic infection was possible.  Furthermore, the doctor that hunted Mary down was hired by an owner of a rented villa wherein on of Mary's outbreaks occurred, and his job was to prove that the landowner was not liable.  Thus, he most certainly had an economic incentive to find a scapegoat, and a great many of Mary's defenders (during the first quarantine) believed that is exactly what Mary was, a scapegoat.  You can't honestly tell me that this event wouldn't have resulted in a challenge from Mary's own security contractor?

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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October 21, 2012, 06:04:05 AM
 #18

This is one reason that I have trouble with the absolutes of ancap theories.  The NAP is an absolute, but it applies to an individual who must choose to abide it, or not.  Maybury's two laws of civilization are similar to the NAP, but they don't require an absolute adherence.  The ability to recognize, and manage, contradictions are a sign of maturity.  So I have to say that IMHO, ancap isn't really a mature political ideology.

Well, as political ideologies go, it is pretty young. It's only about 40 years old, at least in the "finished" state it is now, though aspects have popped up since antiquity, and the final piece was available as early as 1849.

As to Maybury's laws, the second one essentially is the NAP. "Do not encroach on other persons or their property" and "no one has the right to initiate force, the threat of force, or fraud" are effectively the same, since those three things are "encroaching on other persons or their property."

But why do you say Maybury's laws (which I wholeheartedly support) do not require absolute adherence? After all, it says "Do not," not "You should not," or "It would be a bad idea to."

Because Mayberry's laws, if generally followed by any society (regardless of the nature of the government, or lack of government) will prosper.  Those that generally fail to do so, will decline.  That is exactly why Mayberry's laws are called the Two Laws of Civilization, and not the two laws of individuals.  The two laws work as advertised even if a minority of the society refuses to abide by them, just so long as those few are regarded as criminals and treated accordingly.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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October 21, 2012, 06:41:23 AM
 #19

<snip snip snip>
But she was acting. She was seeking employment in the food service industry. That action directly caused harm. The fact that she didn't think it would (or even might, prior to her first quarantine) is irrelevant to the fact that it did. Once she did know that it might, taking some precautions is prudent, and failing to do so constitutes "depraved indifference." The fact that she disappeared before the health inspectors showed up at the woman's hospital shows a guilty conscience, and that she perhaps finally realized she might be the cause.

Furthermore, the doctor that hunted Mary down was hired by an owner of a rented villa wherein on of Mary's outbreaks occurred, and his job was to prove that the landowner was not liable.  Thus, he most certainly had an economic incentive to find a scapegoat, and a great many of Mary's defenders (during the first quarantine) believed that is exactly what Mary was, a scapegoat.  You can't honestly tell me that this event wouldn't have resulted in a challenge from Mary's own security contractor?
It probably would. There would be an arbitration case, which may well bring to light some of the more important medical facts, and might have sped up the acceptance of cleanliness as being key to preventing the spread of disease. We'll never know.

Given the information they had at the time, an AnCap society might have done almost the same thing, but like I said, there would have been an arbitration case. Who knows, maybe Mary was innocent.

But why do you say Maybury's laws (which I wholeheartedly support) do not require absolute adherence? After all, it says "Do not," not "You should not," or "It would be a bad idea to."

Because Mayberry's laws, if generally followed by any society (regardless of the nature of the government, or lack of government) will prosper.  Those that generally fail to do so, will decline.  That is exactly why Mayberry's laws are called the Two Laws of Civilization, and not the two laws of individuals.  The two laws work as advertised even if a minority of the society refuses to abide by them, just so long as those few are regarded as criminals and treated accordingly.
As does the NAP. If a minority of the society act against the NAP, and those are seen and treated as criminals, the society works just fine, same as with the two laws. I reiterate, the second law is essentially the NAP restated.

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October 21, 2012, 06:47:55 AM
 #20

I think you are right moonshadow, the thing to do is work towards increasing the flow and accuracy of information so that we can have an AnCap society not dependent on the use of force to deal with these outlier situations.

No matter how good the future of the Internet may be, the general availability of important information will always be imperfect and/or localized.  If there is no way for an ancap society to respond to an unintentional and unaware domestic threat, (as the example of Typhoid Mary represents) then there is no way that an ancap society could ever be stable, for it will always have that kind of weakness that, sooner or later, must undermine it.  Although it certainly wouldn't be typhoid to do it with all of our modern medical knowledge, any new or unknown infection would have a similar effect; at least temporarily.  Yellow fever had devastating effects upon the social structure of all the cities that had outbreaks prior to the development of a vaccine against it.  Because an infected person was contagious days before any signs of same, locals would regularly treat poor travelers (and those who worked on traveling riverboats, regardless of their status) rather harshly to say the least, and completely without regard to their constitutional rights, or oftentimes even any human decency.

Quarantining people on the word of any government expert is no different than Minority Report style 'pre-crime', so if we can't come up with an ancap answer to Typhoid Mary (or a modern equivalent), then how can we object to the TSA's use of no-fly lists other than on matters of implementation?  (as opposed to ideology or justification)  How then could we object to border checkpoints that require us to identify ourselves upon entry into, or even exiting, our own country?  We need an answer for this even as a minimalist/libertarian perspective, or all our logic and reason as to why the state is an immoral and/or unnecessary institution fail; for only one exception to the premise is required to defeat the theory.  Granted, we here all understand that the reality is that government agents often screw up anyway, even the experts.  And thus, it was about as likely that Typhoid Mary would never had been caught.  (How many typhoid carriers worked in food service prior to 1907?  We will never know)  And society was not likely to break down due to a lack of understanding regarding the infection vector of typhoid, otherwise it would have already.  Still, once the passive threat had been identified, an active response was required of the doctors; for no expert trained in his field could discover such a problem and morally choose not to attempt to solve it if he could.

This is one reason that I have trouble with the absolutes of ancap theories.  The NAP is an absolute, but it applies to an individual who must choose to abide it, or not.  Maybury's two laws of civilization are similar to the NAP, but they don't require an absolute adherence.  The ability to recognize, and manage, contradictions are a sign of maturity.  So I have to say that IMHO, ancap isn't really a mature political ideology.

I think you missed my point. Ideally a person with this superpower would be rewarded for it, not subject to imprisonment. For the rest of us the goal should be to create institutions to make that happen. In the meantime, we need to deal with these situations as humanely as possible.
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