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gene
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January 27, 2011, 12:47:53 PM
 #41

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By enforcing debt collections, protecting private property, and spending on inevitable things like military and police however the government already has a significant effect on the market. Choosing not to direct this effect is simply irresponsible.

This is the most important error out of all his silliness. If we're to presuppose as "good" things like protecting property rights, enforcing contracts, punishing crimes like rape, murder and theft (and I agree), then we can say that government is able to perform some of these "good" functions; however, none of these "good" things ever take place without the people taking part in government doing "bad" things. Mostly we're talking about extortion and robbery (AKA taxes), but it includes things like military conquest as well here.

This is the first thing any statist is going to struggle with, simply acknowledging the reality of the essential nature of states. If they can even start to do that, then it becomes a matter of thinking that these aggressive actions are justified on some sort of utilitarian grounds. At this stage comes a lot of wishful thinking along with whatever pseudo-economics, "If we just elect the right people, they'll be handing out new counterfeited notes to the poor next time."

After that, we're to the classical "But who will build the roads?" stage. Much more so in law than in economics is there work to be done in showing how problems are solved. Libertarian theory is in some ways quite new and still developing, though in some others time-tested, age-old wisdom. So, I agree that not only is not "directing" my actions toward (at least paying for) the protection of private property irresponsible, but knowingly directing my actions toward an inferior means (i.e. a state) of accomplishing the goals in mind is irresponsible. States only do "good" things by doing "bad" things first, so if we can figure out how to do more good with less bad, I'm for it, and bitcoin is an example of a way.

This is not to disparage solely you Babylon, the anti-capitalistic mentality is a common affliction, but I am really not interested in the type of faulty arguments you are putting forth. I'm not here to debate someone who isn't going to learn about what they wish to argue against. Please try to read some of the books people have suggested because there is a wealth of information out there. Bitcoin is a real life experiment regarding Gresham's law, viz. bad money driving away the good. See here for instance, What Has Government Done to Our Money? -- Fiat Money and Gresham's Law.

Even this is really an advanced concept. I suggest again Murphy's book or the first couple hundred pages of Mises' Human Action in order to understand the fundamentals.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWdd6_ZxX8c

And as Babylon stated, you presume far too much by assuming that he hasn't heard your arguments before. I know I have.

It is my opinion that the idea should be to use the currently existing infrastructure as a tool for the demise of its unjust parts. Democratic states are inherently structures of power and violence. However, they are the only power centers which still respect the will of the people, to at least some degree. In a true democracy, states must justify their actions to the people they claim to represent. Private corporations are not subject to people at all. Free markets, almost by definition, cannot exist in the presence of unchecked private control over capital, which is what you are advocating. This is why I wince every time the "free market" is invoked as an argument either for or against something.

I cannot understand the idea that because a tool (in this case, government) is being used for injustice by private power that we should eliminate the tool. Would you outlaw firearms because criminals use them? Or would you take steps to prevent crime?

We should use the tool to dismantle the source of the abuse - which is private concentrations of power and capital, which eventually coalesce for the purpose of distorting and controlling economies (mega mergers, collusion). In doing so, the process will necessarily lead to a more democratic society. In the distant future, it may be possible to be free of states and create free and fair markets (which require perfect freedom and perfect information, according to Adam Smith), but that is not a problem that we can even hope to address now. More pressing and realistically addressable are the needs to improve the better parts of the current system, such as democracy and the parts which support justice and human dignity. This means using the existing political system and changing policy via popular democratic means - just as every historical example (civil rights, women's rights, etc) clearly demonstrates.

This process should include a serious discussion about the role of private power in economies, both in terms of market manipulation and the policies for which they lobby. I think most people can see immediate remedies for these problems: abolish corporate bailouts at the expense of the population and ensure the policy reflects the wishes of the people rather than the wishes of the economic elite. This is democracy.

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January 27, 2011, 12:58:17 PM
 #42

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By enforcing debt collections, protecting private property, and spending on inevitable things like military and police however the government already has a significant effect on the market. Choosing not to direct this effect is simply irresponsible.

This is the most important error out of all his silliness. If we're to presuppose as "good" things like protecting property rights, enforcing contracts, punishing crimes like rape, murder and theft (and I agree), then we can say that government is able to perform some of these "good" functions; however, none of these "good" things ever take place without the people taking part in government doing "bad" things. Mostly we're talking about extortion and robbery (AKA taxes), but it includes things like military conquest as well here.

This is the first thing any statist is going to struggle with, simply acknowledging the reality of the essential nature of states. If they can even start to do that, then it becomes a matter of thinking that these aggressive actions are justified on some sort of utilitarian grounds. At this stage comes a lot of wishful thinking along with whatever pseudo-economics, "If we just elect the right people, they'll be handing out new counterfeited notes to the poor next time."

After that, we're to the classical "But who will build the roads?" stage. Much more so in law than in economics is there work to be done in showing how problems are solved. Libertarian theory is in some ways quite new and still developing, though in some others time-tested, age-old wisdom. So, I agree that not only is not "directing" my actions toward (at least paying for) the protection of private property irresponsible, but knowingly directing my actions toward an inferior means (i.e. a state) of accomplishing the goals in mind is irresponsible. States only do "good" things by doing "bad" things first, so if we can figure out how to do more good with less bad, I'm for it, and bitcoin is an example of a way.

This is not to disparage solely you Babylon, the anti-capitalistic mentality is a common affliction, but I am really not interested in the type of faulty arguments you are putting forth. I'm not here to debate someone who isn't going to learn about what they wish to argue against. Please try to read some of the books people have suggested because there is a wealth of information out there. Bitcoin is a real life experiment regarding Gresham's law, viz. bad money driving away the good. See here for instance, What Has Government Done to Our Money? -- Fiat Money and Gresham's Law.

Even this is really an advanced concept. I suggest again Murphy's book or the first couple hundred pages of Mises' Human Action in order to understand the fundamentals.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWdd6_ZxX8c

And as Babylon stated, you presume far too much by assuming that he hasn't heard your arguments before. I know I have.

It is my opinion that the idea should be to use the currently existing infrastructure as a tool for the demise of its unjust parts. Democratic states are inherently structures of power and violence. However, they are the only power centers which still respect the will of the people, to at least some degree.

No. Democracies are a tool to take away the power from the people. Democracy is political darwinism, where only the better liers and charlatans prosper at the expense of the people that do actual work.

Quote
In a true democracy, states must justify their actions to the people they claim to represent.

What is this true democracy you talk about? We are living in a true democracy and that is why things dont work.

Quote
Private corporations are not subject to people at all.

First, corporations are a creation of the government. Corporations are a special enterprise with government given privileges.

What you meant to say is that private enterprises are not subject to the people. Which is completely false. Private enterprises are way more subjected to the people than any governments. Private firms can not force you to do or buy something against your will. Government can. All a private enterprise can do is offer you a better product in the hope that you will want to buy it. Democratic governments just need to put a gun in your head and you must obey.

Quote
Free markets, almost by definition, cannot exist in the presence of unchecked private control over capital, which is what you are advocating. This is why I wince every time the "free market" is invoked as an argument either for or against something.

The free market is absence of regulation. If there are government regulations is not a free market.

Quote
I cannot understand the idea that because a tool (in this case, government) is being used for injustice by private power that we should eliminate the tool.

Huh I dont know why you would abolish slavery just because some abuse their slaves...

Quote
Would you outlaw firearms because criminals use them? Or would you take steps to prevent crime?

We should use the tool to dismantle the source of the abuse - which is private concentrations of power and capital, which eventually coalesce for the purpose of distorting and controlling economies (mega mergers, collusion). In doing so, the process will necessarily lead to a more democratic society. In the distant future, it may be possible to be free of states and create free and fair markets (which require perfect freedom and perfect information, according to Adam Smith), but that is not a problem that we can even hope to address now. More pressing and realistically addressable are the needs to improve the better parts of the current system, such as democracy and the parts which support justice and human dignity. This means using the existing political system and changing policy via popular democratic means - just as every historical example (civil rights, women's rights, etc) clearly demonstrates. This should include a serious discussion about the role of private power in economies, both in terms of market manipulation and the policies for which they lobby. I think most people can see immediate remedies for these problems: abolish corporate bailouts at the expense of the population and ensure the policy reflects the wishes of the people rather than the wishes of the economic elite. This is democracy.

Democracy is a system so the elite can get their way. Democracy is political darwinism. You are dreaming.

The concentration of power happens because of the government, not because of the market.
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January 27, 2011, 01:20:22 PM
 #43

No. Democracies are a tool to take away the power from the people. Democracy is political darwinism, where only the better liers and charlatans prosper at the expense of the people that do actual work.

[...]

What is this true democracy you talk about? We are living in a true democracy and that is why things dont work.

I'll go with the definition by Webster. I don't know where you live, but I challenge you to demonstrate how western societies are democracies - where the population (not just elites) are discussing, proposing, and implementing policies.

Quote
First, corporations are a creation of the government. Corporations are a special enterprise with government given privileges.

Yes. This can be changed, of course. It wasn't always this way.

Quote
What you meant to say is that private enterprises are not subject to the people. Which is completely false. Private enterprises are way more subjected to the people than any governments. Private firms can not force you to do or buy something against your will. Government can. All a private enterprise can do is offer you a better product in the hope that you will want to buy it. Democratic governments just need to put a gun in your head and you must obey.

Or a company can make a certain important product with no competition via collusion and other means, which are well known to anyone with even a cursory understanding of history. The end result can be quite the same. That's what monopolies do. It is trivial to show how your assertions are false.

Quote
The free market is absence of regulation. If there are government regulations is not a free market.

What is to compel a powerful company to disclose perfect information regarding its products or practices? What do you think the advertising industry is all about?

Quote
Huh I dont know why you would abolish slavery just because some abuse their slaves...

The institution of slavery is itself inherently undemocratic and unjust. This should be obvious.

I notice you dodged the question immediately following:

Quote
Would you outlaw firearms because criminals use them? Or would you take steps to prevent crime?

Care to try?

Quote
Democracy is a system so the elite can get their way. Democracy is political darwinism. You are dreaming.

War is peace (and all that). You and I use different meanings for words. I'll go with Noah Webster. Oxford English is just as good, I suppose.

Quote
The concentration of power happens because of the government, not because of the market.

The market doesn't even exist in the way Adam Smith defined it. You have missed the point spectacularly.

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January 27, 2011, 01:42:41 PM
 #44

What is to compel a powerful company to disclose perfect information regarding its products or practices? What do you think the advertising industry is all about? ... The market doesn't even exist in the way Adam Smith defined it.

Most of us are not interested in Smith's market, which was required to be free and "fair", for a definition of "fair" that conflicts with "free".

We're interested in markets that are free of violence or the threat thereof. Nothing more, nothing less. As far as we're concerned, such markets also happen to be fair.
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January 27, 2011, 01:59:27 PM
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Most of us are not interested in Smith's market, which was required to be free and "fair", for a definition of "fair" that conflicts with "free".

We're interested in markets that are free of violence or the threat thereof. Nothing more, nothing less. As far as we're concerned, such markets also happen to be fair.

I don't see how you expect contracts to be enforced. A sufficiently large company can contract their own private forces (mercs) to support their "economic interests." This already happens.

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January 27, 2011, 02:08:36 PM
 #46

Or a company can make a certain important product with no competition via collusion and other means, which are well known to anyone with even a cursory understanding of history. The end result can be quite the same. That's what monopolies do. It is trivial to show how your assertions are false.

History proves that monopolies are a creation of government. There can not be a sustainable monopoly without regulations.

The big companies and accumulation of wealth happen because of regulations and government intervention.

Quote
What is to compel a powerful company to disclose perfect information regarding its products or practices? What do you think the advertising industry is all about?

Perfect information does not exists. Its stupid to define something with impossible demands. Free market does not involve perfect nothing.

Quote
The institution of slavery is itself inherently undemocratic and unjust. This should be obvious.

I dont think you understand what a democracy is. Slavery is perfectly valid under a democracy if the majority of the people votes to legalize it.

Quote
I notice you dodged the question immediately following:

Quote
Would you outlaw firearms because criminals use them? Or would you take steps to prevent crime?

Care to try?

No, I would not outlaw firearms. I dont understand what it has to do though.

Quote
The market doesn't even exist in the way Adam Smith defined it. You have missed the point spectacularly.

I dont like Adam Smith too much, that is true.

I really think you dont know what democracy is. Democracy is the rule of the majority. And in real life is a system where the more politically adapted get their way imposed over the rest.
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January 27, 2011, 02:23:44 PM
 #47


Or a company can make a certain important product with no competition via collusion and other means, which are well known to anyone with even a cursory understanding of history. The end result can be quite the same. That's what monopolies do. It is trivial to show how your assertions are false.


No cartel had ever win with collusion in the marketplace. They all eventually self-destruct.

"Anti-trust" laws are used against smaller companies rather than large corporations because it is easier to bully smaller companies into submission.

Then the government turns around and give companies monopolies via patents and copyright. Now, they have a much easier time to maintain their cartel.

Government doesn't protect competition. It squashes competition.

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January 27, 2011, 02:34:56 PM
 #48


History proves that monopolies are a creation of government. There can not be a sustainable monopoly without regulations.

The big companies and accumulation of wealth happen because of regulations and government intervention.


That is your conjecture, with which I disagree. Singular control over an important resource does not require a government; it simply requires force. The source of force can stem from economic power, accumulated in the absence of what we know recognize as a state.

Quote

Perfect information does not exists. Its stupid to define something with impossible demands. Free market does not involve perfect nothing.


I wonder then, what are the benefits of the "free market" if they don't include at least enhanced information regarding products and practices? Wouldn't you like to know that there isn't poison in milk? Or that slave labor wasn't involved in production? In the absence of the state, what is to compel a powerful economic entity (for example, an extra-legal monopoly) to keep from making money via dangerous products or coercive conditions?

You cannot simply state that the absence of the state will result in the collapse of large private power concentrations. How will this happen? What is to keep private power from filling the void? How do we know that this won't result in some modern form of feudalism? You have taken on a heavy burden of proof.

Quote

I dont think you understand what a democracy is. Slavery is perfectly valid under a democracy if the majority of the people votes to legalize it.


I do understand. I also understand that, at least where I live, slavery is considered a gross obscenity, and I trust people to formulate policy appropriately.

Quote

No, I would not outlaw firearms. I dont understand what it has to do though.


Because you understand the difference between the tool and the injustices brought on by the wielder of the tool. You understand the tactic of retaining a dangerous tool because it can still be used towards a worthy end.

Quote
I dont like Adam Smith too much, that is true.

I really think you dont know what democracy is. Democracy is the rule of the majority. And in real life is a system where the more politically adapted get their way imposed over the rest.

I know what a democracy is. The core disagreement here is that you seem to think less of people that I, in which case you are in even bigger trouble in the face of private power without the moderating effect of the state.

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gene
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January 27, 2011, 02:41:04 PM
 #49


No cartel had ever win with collusion in the marketplace. They all eventually self-destruct.

"Anti-trust" laws are used against smaller companies rather than large corporations because it is easier to bully smaller companies into submission.

Then the government turns around and give companies monopolies via patents and copyright. Now, they have a much easier time to maintain their cartel.

Government doesn't protect competition. It squashes competition.

Then your best bet is to regain control of the government. Don't disarm yourself by eliminating the only tool at your disposal. You are doomed to failure if you think you can start from scratch against power that already controls the resources you require for survival.

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January 27, 2011, 02:44:30 PM
 #50


Assuming that I have not read these books does no credit to your arguement.  I'm not a statist, I am an anti-capitalist only in that I am opposed to state power and do not see capitalism being possible without state protection of capital.


Then you do not understand what capitalism actually is.  The word, ironicly, was coined by Karl Marx.  He made it and 'ism' because he wanted to paint it as an ideology.  It's not an ideology, it's a collective description of the free exchanges of individuals within a working free market.  There is no example of true capitalism anywhere in the world that I can point to, because the closest thing to capitalism that still exists is the illicit drug trade.  State capitalism isn't capitalism, it's merely a soft form of national socialism.

"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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January 27, 2011, 02:56:02 PM
 #51

Then your best bet is to regain control of the government. Don't disarm yourself by eliminating the only tool at your disposal. You are doomed to failure if you think you can start from scratch against power that already controls the resources you require for survival.

All these things happen is because government create bad incentives and there's little incentives for government to abide by the rule of law. Well, there are incentives, but these incentives get eroded by the way government is structured and the way governments work. The power of coercion tends to lead to nasty things.

It have little to do with libertarians not taking control of power.(Which is by the way, nigh impossible. Libertarians and power don't mix.)

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January 27, 2011, 02:56:35 PM
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Then your best bet is to regain control of the government. Don't disarm yourself by eliminating the only tool at your disposal. You are doomed to failure if you think you can start from scratch against power that already controls the resources you require for survival.

There is nothing to regain. The government has always been and always will be a tool of opresion to favour a few at the expense of the many. By supporting it and justifying it you are just giving legitimization to the abuse.

Quote
Then you do not understand what capitalism actually is.  The word, ironicly, was coined by Karl Marx.  He made it and 'ism' because he wanted to paint it as an ideology.  It's not an ideology, it's a collective description of the free exchanges of individuals within a working free market.  There is no example of true capitalism anywhere in the world that I can point to, because the closest thing to capitalism that still exists is the illicit drug trade.  State capitalism isn't capitalism, it's merely a soft form of national socialism.

This is not entirely true. The word capitalists had been used before Karl Marx by some market anarchists and in a pejorative way. I dont like much the word capitalism. I prefer free market. Its more clear and less politically charged. But a word is just a word, it really does not matter. Ideas its what's important.
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January 27, 2011, 02:59:30 PM
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There is nothing to regain. The government has always been and always will be a tool of opresion to favour a few at the expense of the many. By supporting it and justifying it you are just giving legitimization to the abuse.


This is why I am in favor of democracy; it solves those problems.

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January 27, 2011, 03:02:16 PM
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This is why I am in favor of democracy; it solves those problems.

A direct democracy kill Socrates for corrupting the youth and for not believing in the gods!

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January 27, 2011, 03:04:06 PM
 #55

This is why I am in favor of democracy; it solves those problems.

Democracy is a form of opresion. I think democrats and facists are inmoral people. Democracy is just a lighweigth facisms.

I like political discussions, but this is not one. I leave it here for today.
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January 27, 2011, 03:28:30 PM
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Democracy is a form of opresion...

...with a good Public Relations Department.
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January 27, 2011, 03:31:05 PM
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This is why I am in favor of democracy; it solves those problems.

Democracy is a form of opresion. I think democrats and facists are inmoral people. Democracy is just a lighweigth facisms.

I like political discussions, but this is not one. I leave it here for today.

Fascism. "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Interestingly, corporatism is more closely associated with fascism as in Mussolini's Italy.

I'll invoke Churchill: "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

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January 27, 2011, 03:31:54 PM
 #58

Democracy is a form of opresion...

...with a good Public Relations Department.

Hahahaha, nice one.
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January 27, 2011, 03:35:46 PM
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I'll invoke Churchill: "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

We have this thing called voluntarism and the freedom of association. Try it sometime.

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January 27, 2011, 03:41:11 PM
 #60

This is why I am in favor of democracy; it solves those problems.

Democracy is a form of opresion. I think democrats and facists are inmoral people. Democracy is just a lighweigth facisms.

I like political discussions, but this is not one. I leave it here for today.

Fascism. "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Interestingly, corporatism is more closely associated with fascism as in Mussolini's Italy.

I'll invoke Churchill: "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

By the way, I forget to tell you that the first times that I discover this ideas and real critiques to democracy, I had the same emotional response you are having. I tried to defend it. The system and the politicians repeat the word democracy and associate it with good things all they can (there is a reason for that), so its hard to de-attach yourself from that indoctrination. I went through the same process. Maybe you end up with another conclussion, but really, using violence to impose your will its not moral just because its a big group of people deciding instead of a small one.
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