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Author Topic: A study on Somalia  (Read 4936 times)
Sjalq
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January 15, 2011, 12:53:20 PM
 #1

Hi guys,

I'm personally not convinced that the Somalia situation is as horrible as the media paints it or as rosey as some libertarian YouTubers suggest but this is a very interesting read.

http://www.pdfchaser.com/Better-Off-Stateless:-Somalia-Before-and-After-Government-Collapse*.html#

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January 15, 2011, 01:01:38 PM
 #2

Hi guys,

I'm personally not convinced that the Somalia situation is as horrible as the media paints it or as rosey as some libertarian YouTubers suggest but this is a very interesting read.

http://www.pdfchaser.com/Better-Off-Stateless:-Somalia-Before-and-After-Government-Collapse*.html#

This is ... amazing.   This kind of reconciliates me with human kind, although of course I guess Somalia is still in terrible situation, but to know that anarchy has actually improved the economics and even security there, is just a great news.
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January 15, 2011, 01:30:50 PM
 #3

With most of the Somalis I know in real life, they would say the opposite.

It just depends on what type of "government" there was in the first place.

At the moment Somalia is run by a tribal system, where clans offer your protection.

In other words, if you have no clan (ie. you are a tourist) you have no safety.

And as far as the economy is concerned, there are more bullets in Somalia than grains of rice.

However I may be prematurely simply quoting my friends, I should read the article.

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January 15, 2011, 01:39:58 PM
 #4

Thanks for this article.  I always like to read stuff that supports my view.

Looks like the author Peter Leeson has done some books on "The Economics of (Ocean) Piracy":

Quote
"The idea of the invisible hook is that pirates, though they’re criminals, are still driven by their self-interest. So they were driven to build systems of government and social structures that allowed them to better pursue their criminal ends.... The reason that the criminality is driving these structures is because they can’t rely on the state to provide those structures for them. So pirates, more than anyone else, needed to figure out some system of law and order to make it possible for them to remain together long enough to be successful at stealing."

Reminds me of the US government...  The US government people have their own little internal rules and incentive structures allowing them to work together to achieve their criminal ends...

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Babylon
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January 15, 2011, 01:45:14 PM
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My understanding has been, and remains, Somalia is an awful hellhole.

It's better in some measurable ways as a sort of a lawless pirate enclave, it was better in other ways as a brutal dictatorship.  Both suck.

gene
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January 15, 2011, 04:05:34 PM
 #6

I have witnessed a new low. People discussing Somalia as a compelling case for of Anarcho-Capitalism!

I would laugh if it weren't so disgusting.

For what it's worth, I've met Somalis and military people that served there. The consensus is solid. Somalia is a place where people are forced to live in a subhuman state and ally with some violent local gang to survive.

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I always like to read stuff that supports my view.

Why am I not surprised?

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January 15, 2011, 04:10:34 PM
 #7

What about SUDAN Cry

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January 15, 2011, 04:18:43 PM
 #8


Why am I not surprised?

It is polite to take the most charitable explanation and strongest arguments of a position and work from there. Otherwise, you end up in epistemic trouble.

gene
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January 15, 2011, 04:25:21 PM
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Quote
It is polite to take the most charitable explanation and strongest arguments of a position and work from there. Otherwise, you end up in epistemic trouble.

Agreed. However, when someone openly asserts this sort of mindset, they relinquish the expectation of a charitable response. The only appropriate response to such a ridiculous position (ridiculous in the framework of discourse) is ridicule.

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January 15, 2011, 08:34:48 PM
 #10

Hey Gene, maybe read the article before you comment. 
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January 15, 2011, 08:41:06 PM
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Agreed. However, when someone openly asserts this sort of mindset, they relinquish the expectation of a charitable response. The only appropriate response to such a ridiculous position (ridiculous in the framework of discourse) is ridicule.
[/quote]

I don't believe personal ridicule is ever an appropriate response.  You preach about human solidarity and the worker class uniting to improve their society, yet seek every chance you can find to scorn members of this forum. 

From what I've read, the state of Somalia is highly dependent on where you are talking about.  Everyone seems to focus on Mogadishu, which is indeed a hellhole from all accounts, and ignore other parts of the country.  The interesting thing is that the place where conditions are the worst (Mogadishu) is the only part of the country still controlled by the Somali "government". 

As far as Sultan's statement that tourists are not safe, examine this first hand account: 

"Under the traditions of Somali culture, a guest or visitor or client is called a marti. His patron or host is called an abaan. It is very easy for a person of reasonably good character to find an abaan. Introductions help, of course. Let me note further that in my wanderings around various parts of Awdal, I was accompanied by several Somalis. At times, I was not in sight of any of them. At no time was I accompanied by armed guards. The countryside was peaceful, and the few reminders of warfare were museum-piece tanks and armored cars.

So, it isn't like the sort of war-torn, strife-ridden area that many Western journalists convey the idea that Mogadishu has been for some time. One hardly ever reads of a Western journalist who has traveled as far from Mogadishu as the communities of Baidoa or Kismayo. By coast, Awdal is some 3,000 kilometers away. Somali territory is quite large and diverse."

http://libertariannation.org/a/n030d1.html

Also, I hesitantly refer everyone to the Wikipedia article entitled "The History of Somalia (1991 - 2006)".  Hesitantly, because I don't know how members of this forum view Wikipedia as far as legitimacy.  My own view is that Wikipedia articles are as legitimate as the sources they use, just like any other article.  This one seems to be well cited.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Somalia_(1991-2006)
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January 15, 2011, 09:19:32 PM
 #12

The consensus is solid. Somalia is a place where people are forced to live in a subhuman state and ally with some violent local gang to survive.

They always were. That place always was hell on earth.
During the period they didn't have a government and all fighting clans finally realized none of them was powerful enough to become the new government, they've witness few improvements never seen before. Not enough to bring the country even close to current world standards, but a good improvement for Somalia nevertheless. And yes, this period is over, thanks to ONU and other foreign governments...

Just one example. When the government fell, the whole country had one commercial airplane, controlled by the monopolistic state company. At 2005, they had more than 50 if I remember well, and something like 15 companies.
Just read the topic article, or wikipedia:  https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Anarchy_in_Somalia

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caveden
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January 15, 2011, 09:20:27 PM
 #13

Hey Gene, maybe read the article before you comment. 

+1

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January 15, 2011, 09:30:28 PM
 #14

I also recommend this podcast on the subject: http://fee.org/media/video/stateless-in-somalia/

The part where he explains how money supply stabilized in Somalia is quite interesting Cheesy

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gene
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January 16, 2011, 08:27:03 AM
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Quote
I don't believe personal ridicule is ever an appropriate response.

Of course it can be. This is like expecting a person to not laugh at a good joke.

Quote
You preach about human solidarity and the worker class uniting to improve their society, yet seek every chance you can find to scorn members of this forum. 

I contest that I "seek every chance" to scorn. It seems that I am being held to a higher standard that some others. This I welcome.

Hey Gene, maybe read the article before you comment. 

+1

I read the pdf. It reports some marginal improvements in some metrics. I remain skeptical that this is in any way meaningful or illustrative of a successful case of Anarcho-Capitalism. If people here are interested in furthering Anarcho-Capitalism, it would seem obvious to not present Somalia as a case study. Rather, I would discuss why Anarcho-Capitalism has failed to bring about any real improvements to say... make life bearable for Somalis. That would be far more constructive. The trouble, I suspect, is that the philosophy is fundamentally flawed beyond hope.

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January 16, 2011, 08:37:44 AM
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I've read either this document or another like it. From what I understand just from what I've read is that many regions of Somalia are doing far better under a stable clan system than African Nations ruled by a dictator. I'd expect a long and bloody struggle in any country where the philosophical frame work that makes any form of anarchism possible collides with statism. Much like when the ideas of individual liberty clashed with the concept of the divine right of monarchs as rulers in the west.

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January 16, 2011, 10:54:34 AM
 #17

Somalia's problems are Islam and the culture of violence that evolved there instead of business culture during the government days. Also the foreign armies and the puppet government funded by western countries. But as the report shows, living standards there are now less bad by most measures.

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January 16, 2011, 11:22:18 AM
 #18

Not read the article yet, but I had heard that piracy in Somalia got going when foreign nations started illegaly fishing in Somali waters and dumping all sorts of waste there, with no Somali state to take official measures against it, who would stop them?

The pirates were fisherman that started acting like vigilante's, now they know the possible rewards of course, they have become fully fledged pirates. I bet the illegal fishing and waste-dumping has slowed down now though...

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January 16, 2011, 01:42:05 PM
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I read the pdf. It reports some marginal improvements in some metrics. I remain skeptical that this is in any way meaningful or illustrative of a successful case of Anarcho-Capitalism. If people here are interested in furthering Anarcho-Capitalism, it would seem obvious to not present Somalia as a case study. Rather, I would discuss why Anarcho-Capitalism has failed to bring about any real improvements to say... make life bearable for Somalis. That would be far more constructive. The trouble, I suspect, is that the philosophy is fundamentally flawed beyond hope.

Ok, guess you're going to make me spell it out for you. 

Quote
Although a properly constrained government may be superior to statelessness, it is not true that any government is superior to no government all. De Long and Shleifer (1993), for instance, find that in pre-industrial Europe, countries without unified governments performed better in some ways than those with absolutist autocracies. If a state is highly predatory and its behavior goes unchecked, government may not only fail to add to social welfare, but may actually reduce welfare below its level under anarchy.2 I show that this was the case with Somalia’s government, which did more harm to its citizens than good. The government’s collapse and substitution with statelessness subsequently opened the possibility for progress.

So the point of the article, which you missed, is that a government can be more harmful than no government.
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January 16, 2011, 03:48:26 PM
 #20

So the point of the article, which you missed, is that a government can be more harmful than no government.

I understand well what the paper says. Your post has essentially reduced the paper into a banality, which it is. And one that fails to provide a compelling case for Anarcho-Capitalism, which is what is being discussed in the thread.

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