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gene
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January 28, 2011, 01:34:45 PM
 #81


I'm not a Moderator or a Hero Member, but aren't you all off-topic for this thread?  I just want to know if anyone is still interested in starting an Austrian economic study group.



I am offering a critique of the Austrian school of economics. Does this not qualify?

Not if you don't know what you are trying to critique.  And complaints about various political ideologies is a weak critique of an economic theory.  You have pulled this thread way off topic.  Go start your own tread elsewhere so that the rest of us can properly ignore you.  Also, you keep saying that it is trivial to prove us wrong.  If it's trivial, why don't you actually offer evidence in support of your positions?

The constant implications that I am unfamiliar with what is called "libertarianism" in the US are tiresome.

I have offered several examples of how private tyranny can emerge in the absence of government in this thread and others. The retorts essentially amount to links to mises.org (or some other Auburn intellectual) accompanied with arguments that are logically equivalent to "because the government is evil, then evil cannot exist without government." If you don't believe me, just read this thread.

Since you are proposing a new form of society of which many people are extremely suspicious, I must point out that the burden of proof is on you to show how it won't be worse than what we currently have. I hold myself to the same standard when supporting my ideas in the face of those who support the status quo.

I have asked for an outline of how private tyranny can be suppressed without a state. I quoted a website, which was presented as an authoritative source, and pointed out that the author's response to my question is lacking and why.

If nothing else, I can't be accused of not supporting my position.

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kiba
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January 28, 2011, 01:40:48 PM
 #82

It is trivial to propose a realistic case for which this is untrue, although I suppose it depends if "the market" thinks that feeding my family is worth "more than a million [dollars]." Control over a critical resource does not require the intervention of any particular kind of state and will give rise to some new form of tyranny. It is embarrassing to have to even point this out.


From my perspective, it merely looks like you had not done your homework. If you are at any good at refuting libertarianism, than you would have cause cognitive dissonance by now, and I felt a rush of emotional anger. I don't.

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January 28, 2011, 01:42:33 PM
 #83


I'm not a Moderator or a Hero Member, but aren't you all off-topic for this thread?  I just want to know if anyone is still interested in starting an Austrian economic study group.



I am offering a critique of the Austrian school of economics. Does this not qualify?

Not if you don't know what you are trying to critique.  And complaints about various political ideologies is a weak critique of an economic theory.  You have pulled this thread way off topic.  Go start your own tread elsewhere so that the rest of us can properly ignore you.  Also, you keep saying that it is trivial to prove us wrong.  If it's trivial, why don't you actually offer evidence in support of your positions?

The constant implications that I am unfamiliar with what is called "libertarianism" in the US are tiresome.


I'm sure that's true, but considering that libertarianism isn't part of the thread topic, you still don't know what you are talking about.  Hell, you don't even know what you should be talking about.

Quote

I have offered several examples of how private tyranny can emerge in the absence of government in this thread and others. The retorts essentially amount to links to mises.org (or some other Auburn intellectual) accompanied with arguments that are logically equivalent to "because the government is evil, then evil cannot exist without government." If you don't believe me, just read this thread.


I would have to read a different thread, the only ideology in this one followed you here.
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Since you are proposing a new form of society

I'm not.  I'm not an anarchist, nor a Marxist.  I have proposed nothing, and if others have, it is only in response to your thread highjacking.

"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 28, 2011, 02:12:44 PM
 #84


I have asked for an outline of how private tyranny can be suppressed without a state. I quoted a website, which was presented as an authoritative source, and pointed out that the author's response to my question is lacking and why.



If you mean Executive Outcome, could you explain their activities in depth? They worked for governments and multinational, which is a negative in my book but I don't know what they actually did in the services of these governments and multinational.

Since, Executive Outcome employed by government and corporations(which are directly a creation of the state), so it isn't exactly a prime example of private tyranny.

One positive note is their activities in the Blood Diamond War. They fought against the Revolutionary United Front, which had been raping women and making soldiers out of children, as well enslaved people to work in the diamond mines. However, they are probably primary the result of being employed by a lesser evil compared to the more insidious and evil RUF statist thugs.(It parallels the communist Vietnamese fighting against the more evil Khmer Rogue for invading and killing off whole Vietnamese villages)

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January 28, 2011, 02:29:23 PM
 #85

I'm sure that's true, but considering that libertarianism isn't part of the thread topic, you still don't know what you are talking about.  Hell, you don't even know what you should be talking about.

Education of Austrian Economic. Yes, we should return to that topic.

It seem that the study group is not taking off because I choose a particularly heavy book. This does not bodes well for the economic literacy of market anarchists.

IF there is one civic duty in an anarchist society, it's the study of economic. With economic, we can make the decision to be on the side of civilization.

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January 28, 2011, 02:43:20 PM
 #86

How about something shorter, such as What Has Government Done to Our Money? I've already read it but would read it again. It's available in html or PDF form on Mises.org.
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January 28, 2011, 03:13:43 PM
 #87

How about something shorter, such as What Has Government Done to Our Money? I've already read it but would read it again. It's available in html or PDF form on Mises.org.

I think that's a bit over the basic.

Babylon
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January 28, 2011, 11:13:51 PM
 #88


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.

I know the word was coined by Karl Marx,  I've read his works (if you didn't notice, I did state that economically I am a Marxist)  Capitalism is not free trade. Capitalism is control of the means of production and the products created by those means by those with capital.  That's not free, it's a particular type of control.

The right to keep what you produce is a fundamental human right.  It may be control, but no one else loses any honest freedoms when the owner does what he will with his own property.  There is no such thing as collective property, even in the former USSR the trucks may have been bought by the government, but the drivers held *possession*.  Real capitalism existed in the USSR, it exists everywhere, because it's not an ideology.

When you boil it down, there are only two laws of civilization...

"Do all that you have agreed to do, and do not encroach on another's person or property."  (Mayberry's Laws)

This is the whole of the law.   Notice, also, that these are laws concerning individuals, not all of society.  Ideologies aside, any society that generally honors and supports these two laws, tends to prosper.  Yet, once a society no longer honors these two laws, it tends to decline.  They are not absolutes, and can be violated often before the society begins to show it's rot, but they never will be denied.  Marxism cannot exist, simply because it fails to honor these two laws.  Democracy fails this test also.  Capitalism, even as defined in the context of control of the means of production, does not neccessarily violate these laws.

Capitalism means that the trucks are not owned by the drivers, they are owned by the trucking company.  The trucking company receives the profits from operating the trucks, the drivers are employed by the company.    In Soviet Russia the trucking company was part of the government, in the US it's an independent company, both are forms of capitalism because control is exercised not by the workers but by those with capital.  Ownership of the trucks by the drivers is worker ownership, also known as Marxism.  The issue with Mayberry's law is who gets to define exactly what is one person's property and what is another's.  So long as ownership is determined by capital we are operating in a capitalist system, capital however is not possible without government to enforce it.

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January 29, 2011, 01:07:34 AM
 #89

Capitalism means that the trucks are not owned by the drivers, they are owned by the trucking company.  The trucking company receives the profits from operating the trucks, the drivers are employed by the company.    In Soviet Russia the trucking company was part of the government, in the US it's an independent company, both are forms of capitalism because control is exercised not by the workers but by those with capital.  Ownership of the trucks by the drivers is worker ownership, also known as Marxism.  The issue with Mayberry's law is who gets to define exactly what is one person's property and what is another's.  So long as ownership is determined by capital we are operating in a capitalist system, capital however is not possible without government to enforce it.

The trucks are owned by the trucking company because the owners of the company risked their own savings to purchase capital (trucks) and employ others. The workers benefit from the risk of the owners by being able to trade a potentially higher salary for a more stable paycheck. If they wanted the higher salary and higher risk, they could start their own company. However, in order to do that, they will need savings, in order to invest in capital.

When the state intervenes in the economy, it picks winners and losers. It regulates, subsidizes, taxes, creates barriers to entry, becomes corrupted and is captured by the biggest members of the sector in which it seeks to create order. Those entities then use the government for their own means, and the result is what you see before you today.
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January 29, 2011, 01:10:02 AM
 #90

Capitalism means that the trucks are not owned by the drivers, they are owned by the trucking company.  The trucking company receives the profits from operating the trucks, the drivers are employed by the company.    In Soviet Russia the trucking company was part of the government, in the US it's an independent company, both are forms of capitalism because control is exercised not by the workers but by those with capital.  Ownership of the trucks by the drivers is worker ownership, also known as Marxism.  The issue with Mayberry's law is who gets to define exactly what is one person's property and what is another's.  So long as ownership is determined by capital we are operating in a capitalist system, capital however is not possible without government to enforce it.

The trucks are owned by the trucking company because the owners of the company risked their own savings to purchase capital (trucks) and employ others. The workers benefit from the risk of the owners by being able to trade a potentially higher salary for a more stable paycheck. If they wanted the higher salary and higher risk, they could start their own company. However, in order to do that, they will need savings, in order to invest in capital.

When the state intervenes in the economy, it picks winners and losers. It regulates, subsidizes, taxes, creates barriers to entry, becomes corrupted and is captured by the biggest members of the sector in which it seeks to create order. Those entities then use the government for their own means, and the result is what you see before you today.

Without the state to enforce their ownership the trucking companies would not be able to exist.

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January 29, 2011, 01:12:57 AM
 #91


Without the state to enforce their ownership the trucking companies would not be able to exist.

Oh, you don't know that. It's a matter of diseconomy of scale versus economy of scale. Some companies in a free market may be quite large.

Babylon
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January 29, 2011, 01:18:05 AM
 #92


Without the state to enforce their ownership the trucking companies would not be able to exist.

Oh, you don't know that. It's a matter of diseconomy of scale versus economy of scale. Some companies in a free market may be quite large.

Why would it be in the interest of the truckers to accept just their wages and not simply claim ownership of the means of production that they are controlling and operating?

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January 29, 2011, 01:37:59 AM
 #93


Why would it be in the interest of the truckers to accept just their wages and not simply claim ownership of the means of production that they are controlling and operating?

You get out-competed by companies who can operate much more efficiently.

gene
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January 29, 2011, 11:38:48 AM
 #94


I have asked for an outline of how private tyranny can be suppressed without a state. I quoted a website, which was presented as an authoritative source, and pointed out that the author's response to my question is lacking and why.



If you mean Executive Outcome, could you explain their activities in depth? They worked for governments and multinational, which is a negative in my book but I don't know what they actually did in the services of these governments and multinational.

Since, Executive Outcome employed by government and corporations(which are directly a creation of the state), so it isn't exactly a prime example of private tyranny.

One positive note is their activities in the Blood Diamond War. They fought against the Revolutionary United Front, which had been raping women and making soldiers out of children, as well enslaved people to work in the diamond mines. However, they are probably primary the result of being employed by a lesser evil compared to the more insidious and evil RUF statist thugs.(It parallels the communist Vietnamese fighting against the more evil Khmer Rogue for invading and killing off whole Vietnamese villages)

The companies hired soldiers (the definition of mercenaries) to protect their economic interests. Sometimes these interests are the same as those of the people, other times not.

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Babylon
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January 29, 2011, 11:40:10 AM
 #95


Why would it be in the interest of the truckers to accept just their wages and not simply claim ownership of the means of production that they are controlling and operating?

You get out-competed by companies who can operate much more efficiently.

I maintain that without the legal fiction of a company they could not.  Companies are not real things, they are legal fictions.

They externalize cost, through government, without government they could not function more efficiently.

If you've ever been involved in a co-op, they tend to operate extremely inefficiently.

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January 29, 2011, 04:02:34 PM
 #96

I maintain that without the legal fiction of a company they could not.  Companies are not real things, they are legal fictions.

They externalize cost, through government, without government they could not function more efficiently.

If you've ever been involved in a co-op, they tend to operate extremely inefficiently.

If you're arguing that corporations as we know them would not exist without government, I completely agree with you. Subsidized security is the best thing the state has to offer the mega corporation. The more geographically dispersed resources you have, the more benefit you gain from having the state protect those resources, versus if you had to explicitly pay to have them protected. That said, if there were no state, I don't think the world would turn into an anarcho-socialist commune. I think you would see the large corporations dissolve or break up into smaller businesses, some of which might be run by the workers.

Babylon, gene...

It seemed earlier like you guys were arguing for the state, now it seems like you're arguing against it, and for something like anarcho-socialism. If that is the case, why are we arguing? We both agree that society would be better served without a state. The only difference is that you think the best society is one where there is no private ownership of property (MoP), whereas we do. If you try to enforce your opinion on how society should form lacking a state, how are you acting any differently than the state itself? Lacking states, there will be more than enough room in this world for all sorts of different voluntary organizations of society.
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January 29, 2011, 04:18:40 PM
 #97


If you've ever been involved in a co-op, they tend to operate extremely inefficiently.

I expect you to argue about the merit/non-merit of organizational setups without governments screwing up the equation.

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January 29, 2011, 04:23:21 PM
 #98


Babylon, gene...

It seemed earlier like you guys were arguing for the state, now it seems like you're arguing against it, and for something like anarcho-socialism. If that is the case, why are we arguing? We both agree that society would be better served without a state. The only difference is that you think the best society is one where there is no private ownership of property (MoP), whereas we do. If you try to enforce your opinion on how society should form lacking a state, how are you acting any differently than the state itself? Lacking states, there will be more than enough room in this world for all sorts of different voluntary organizations of society.

I think I am still being consistent. I see the state as a necessary tool in the transition away from state capitalism. Others here have more faith in the tools of private capital. I maintain that if we disarm ourselves by getting rid of the tool of the democratic state, then we are at the mercy of private tyranny. Ideally, we can approach a point in which the state is unnecessary, but that point is very far away - perhaps not entirely attainable; I definitely can't envision it. But I strongly suspect that the only way we can improve our human condition is to progressively dismantle the worst parts of the systems in place and to build the kinds of systems that we think will lead to a better condition within the remaining scaffolds - the shells of the existing unjust systems. All the while, building more just societies which are based on enlightenment and democratic principles.

Because of where we place our faith for the best tool for the transformation (private capitalist power vs. democratic state power), and I won't presume to speak for Babylon, there are sharp differences between what anarcho-capitalists believe and what I believe, as is evident in this thread. You call it "the only difference," but this is fundamental. To be honest, I don't consider "libertarianism" or what is called anarcho-capitalism to be anarchist philosophies. My experiences and intuition lead me to suspect that the endpoints of these approaches are vastly different: that the endpoint of anarcho-capitalism is a nightmarish condition of industrial feudalism.

I'll end the post with a quote by Immanuel Kant:

"one cannot arrive at the maturity for freedom without having already acquired it"

I think the same applies to democracy. Perhaps the people of Tunisia and Egypt will show us how it is done.

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January 29, 2011, 04:44:07 PM
 #99


I think I am still being consistent. I see the state as a necessary tool in the transition away from state capitalism. Others here have more faith in the tools of private capital. I maintain that if we disarm ourselves by getting rid of the tool of the democratic state, then we are at the mercy of private tyranny. Ideally, we can approach a point in which the state is unnecessary, but that point is very far away - perhaps not entirely attainable; I definitely can't envision it. But I strongly suspect that the only way we can improve our human condition is to progressively dismantle the worst parts of the systems in place and to build the kinds of systems that we think will lead to a better condition within the remaining scaffolds - the shells of the existing unjust systems. All the while, building more just societies which are based on enlightenment and democratic principles.


Time to stop derailing the thread with annoying long wall of texts. We're trying to learn economic analysis, not teach people of the "democratic" faith or "private capital" faith.

Political philosophy should now be put away so that we can learn some real science.

(Yes, that include me too)

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January 29, 2011, 04:50:13 PM
 #100

I think democracy is a poor institution for decision making. You decided to sweep it under the floor "democracy sucks, but all others are worse".

No, I asserted it. Big difference.

Quote
We already have pointed out how private tyranny persists, which is through regulatory capture.

In this industrial world, it can also emerge via centralized control over productive capital.

Quote
BTW, bitcoin is "undemocratic". I am working my butt off to secure more and more bitcoin. This is an example of private capitalistic "power". I don't know why you persists on this forum.

Bitcoin is a neutral tool - just like money; it is not an end to itself. If you "don't know why [I  persist] on this forum," then all I can do is comfort you by saying "don't worry about it."

EDIT: just noticed you changed your entire post. I was replying to a thoughtful and well-formulated question by BitterTea. Sorry if you can't appreciate my posts.

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Political philosophy should now be put away so that we can learn some real science.

You consider economics to be real science? If only...

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