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Author Topic: A picture of AnCapistan  (Read 7633 times)
myrkul
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July 21, 2011, 04:46:27 PM
 #1

It was pointed out that the "libertarian fantasy-world" was ill-defined. I'd like to state that that's not intentional as far as it goes... There's only so much that we can predict with any certainty, due to the fact that most things would be determined by the market, and as such, not only will almost everything be tried, we can't predict which one will come out on top.

So, with that in mind, I'd like to paint a picture of AnCapistan, A country with no borders, a land with no government, a place where there's only one law:

Quote
"No one may threaten or commit violence ('aggress') against another man's person or property. Violence may be employed only against the man who commits such violence; that is, only defensively against the aggressive violence of another. In short, no violence may be employed against a nonaggressor."

And that law is supported by Property rights based upon the concept of self-ownership, that each man owns his body, and may claim unowned property by mixing his labor with it, or acquire previously owned property rightfully only through voluntary means - trade or gift.

First: the difference between AnCapistan and Libertopia (Libertopia being the place where a government is instituted to enforce the above law)

In Libertopia, one, and only one, agency does that enforcing. There is a state law enforcement agency, state court, etc.
In AnCapistan, the Market provides those services, meaning there is no monopoly on law enforcement, and judges are not elected, but chosen (mutually) by the people involved in the case.

Second, Let me head off an argument before we even gets started: Somalia. Somalia is neither Libertopia, nor AnCapistan. Somalia is a land of tribal warlords, each trying to be the government. In AnCapistan, the enforcement agencies themselves would be bound by the NAP (the above law), and so, wouldn't attempt to become a government. Should one try, the others would be contractually obligated to stop them (by definition, a new government would attempt to start taxing everyone, and tax is collection of funds on threat of violence, and thus what the enforcement agencies are there to protect their clients from).

In both AnCapistan and Libertopia, everything else, roads, utilities, the whole ball o' wax, is provided privately.

The rest of the thread is open to discussion on how each of those services might be provided, but let it not be said that our 'fantasy land' is ill-defined.

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July 21, 2011, 05:10:56 PM
 #2

Now paint a real picture.

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July 21, 2011, 05:16:29 PM
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Now paint a real picture.

What, you mean with actual paint? Sadly, my artistic talent is not quite up to par with my rhetorical skill.

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July 21, 2011, 09:37:05 PM
 #4

Have you read Snow Crash, and if yes, what model does that world fall under?

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July 21, 2011, 09:40:56 PM
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Have you read Snow Crash, and if yes, what model does that world fall under?

I have, and TBH, I don't remember much of the 'real world', though what I do remember was a mostly failed US State (suffering hyperinflation), surrounded by a mostly AnCap society... though I may be remembering incorrectly. I'll have to see if I can dig up my copy.

Edit: While we're on Neal Stephenson, the society in Diamond Age is one I can pretty much get behind. The way the Phyles work, at any rate.

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July 21, 2011, 09:51:15 PM
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Have you read Snow Crash, and if yes, what model does that world fall under?

I have, and TBH, I don't remember much of the 'real world', though what I do remember was a mostly failed US State (suffering hyperinflation), surrounded by a mostly AnCap society... though I may be remembering incorrectly. I'll have to see if I can dig up my copy.

Edit: While we're on Neal Stephenson, the society in Diamond Age is one I can pretty much get behind. The way the Phyles work, at any rate.

I think a p2p version of SecondLife with bitcoin backed economy would be a cool idea. I've never really forgiven that company for singlehandedly killing their game's economy just as it was switching from industrial to service/financial based one... But I digress

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July 21, 2011, 09:59:52 PM
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So, with that in mind, I'd like to paint a picture of AnCapistan, A country with no borders, a land with no government, a place where there's only one law:

Quote
"No one may threaten or commit violence ('aggress') against another man's person or property. Violence may be employed only against the man who commits such violence; that is, only defensively against the aggressive violence of another. In short, no violence may be employed against a nonaggressor."

We also have to define property rights. If I grab the shirt you're wearing, am I the aggressor? Well, it depends. If you stole the shirt from me yesterday then you're the aggressor and I'm just reclaiming my property. If you own the shirt though, I'm the aggressor. We have to detail property rights before we can sort out who is the aggressor. The theory of property rights we advocate is homesteading and legitimate title transfer. You can claim unowned property by mixing your labor with it or you can transfer the title to already owned property by any legitimate means, gifts, gambling, trade, etc.
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July 21, 2011, 10:05:15 PM
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So in AnCapistan, instead of a Public Works Department, you have customer service? Microsoft and Cisco would own the world, and you want their customer support to take the place of government?

What's the difference between a monolithic state and a megacorporation? I'm failing to see any functional difference between the American Democratic Republic and AnCapistan (both at their theoretical best.) It's what happens when they're not at their best that I have a beef with. In America, the system is correctable, and even massive abuses have ways of being mitigated, reversed, or fixed.

I think a core set of laws is necessary for regulating commerce, and unifying military, national, and international infrastructure. Corruption isn't going to go away. If anything, it will get worse, because whistleblowing suddenly become a matter of corporate security.

You have a silly little game of socioeconomic brinksmanship with private armies involved. That can't possibly end well. That essentially means whoever can snap up the most resources the fastest wins. It has nothing to do with human rights and dignity as a human being. It encourages cheating and stealing and lying, looking out for number one, imposing your will on others by any means necessary.

In AnCapistan, I guarantee I'm going to destroy you before you have a chance to hurt me. I'm not going to wait for you to make the first move, because maximizing my long term well being means establishing and enforcing whatever set of rules I deem optimal. (I being myself and whoever goes along with me.) I'm going to seize all available resources, and you will have no recourse except to get out of Dodge, because I'm not going to acknowledge your attempts to bring to me to court at some McJudge outlet. I'm going to treat with like minded individuals, those who are able to capitalize on the sudden lack of a central legal system, and we're going to be benevolent dictators. We're going to get away with it because our mercenaries are paid, trained, equipped, and indoctrinated better than your freedom fighters.

An empire will arise out of the ashes of AnCapistan, because humans are stupid, greedy, evil bastards.

Why not impose a central state designed to mitigate the greedy, evil tendencies and maximize freedoms? A Democractic Republic seems like a pretty good system to me.
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July 21, 2011, 10:06:29 PM
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Microsoft and Cisco would own the world, and you want their customer support to take the place of government?

No, Microsoft and Cisco wouldn't exist because they are based on government enforced intellectual property laws.

What's the difference between a monolithic state and a megacorporation?

If you don't want to give your money to a state, you're kidnapped or murdered. If you don't want to give your money to a corporation, you're forced to do without their goods or services.

Why not impose a central state designed to mitigate the greedy, evil tendencies and maximize freedoms?

Who do you think is going to try to seize control of the state hardest of all other than the evil greedy bastards you're trying to stop?
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July 21, 2011, 10:25:28 PM
 #10

Let's break this up bit by bit

So in AnCapistan, instead of a Public Works Department, you have customer service? Microsoft and Cisco would own the world, and you want their customer support to take the place of government?

Microsoft would compete with Google and Linux, like they do now. Cisco would have to either continue to provide best service possible, or start competing with distributed mesh networking. For every monopoly, an upstart can and does arise to take them down when people get too annoyed with them.


What's the difference between a monolithic state and a megacorporation? I'm failing to see any functional difference between the American Democratic Republic and AnCapistan (both at their theoretical best.) It's what happens when they're not at their best that I have a beef with. In America, the system is correctable, and even massive abuses have ways of being mitigated, reversed, or fixed.

In one, you're fighting for votes. In the other, you're fighting for revenue. Actually, at this point, it seems in both we're fighting for revenue. So, yes, both will have corruption. Though like with monopolies, hopefully better systems will pop up once people get frustrated enough.

I think a core set of laws is necessary for regulating commerce, and unifying military, national, and international infrastructure. Corruption isn't going to go away. If anything, it will get worse, because whistleblowing suddenly become a matter of corporate security.

No different from government corruption. Enter Wikileaks...

You have a silly little game of socioeconomic brinksmanship with private armies involved. That can't possibly end well. That essentially means whoever can snap up the most resources the fastest wins.

At this point, the most valuable resource is human intelligence. Engineers, scientists, programmers, etc. If you snap up those resources and treat them well, what's the problem? If you abuse them, that resource can leave (brain drain).


In AnCapistan, I guarantee I'm going to destroy you before you have a chance to hurt me. I'm not going to wait for you to make the first move, because maximizing my long term well being means establishing and enforcing whatever set of rules I deem optimal.

Unless your goal is to make a lot of money from a lot of people, which means you have to do what you can to make as many people at least minimally satisfied. Only problem is, if you have power, you can print and/or control the money. I believe Bitcoin just solved that problem. If you mean the above in business competition sense, you'd either buy the competitor, or try to out-compete. And if you screw up, small startup (Google) will kick your ass.

I'm going to seize all available resources, and you will have no recourse except to get out of Dodge, because I'm not going to acknowledge your attempts to bring to me to court at some McJudge outlet.

See above for resources. Also, customers vote with their dollars. If you're an ass and are legally untrustworthy, those involved with you from a business sense, those being both the end-customers buying your products products and your suppliers selling you materials, will both start to dump you.

I'm going to treat with like minded individuals, those who are able to capitalize on the sudden lack of a central legal system, and we're going to be benevolent dictators. We're going to get away with it because our mercenaries are paid, trained, equipped, and indoctrinated better than your freedom fighters.

Your mercenaries cost you money, and can't force people to buy stuff from you. People have the money you want...


An empire will arise out of the ashes of AnCapistan, because humans are stupid, greedy, evil bastards.

AnCapistan will likely be a rather wild place, no doubt. But those who are stupid will have no power, those who are bastards will not be able to compete in a system where reputation counts, and those who are greedy will keep looking for ways to exchange their goods/services for our money

Why not impose a central state designed to mitigate the greedy, evil tendencies and maximize freedoms? A Democractic Republic seems like a pretty good system to me.

Mitigating tendencies by force still gets rid of freedoms. They may be freedoms to be a greedy bastard, but it's still a freedom that no longer exists.
I'm kind of somewhat of a liberal Dem, and also think that a Democratic Republic is a pretty good system, but this AnCap and Libertarian thing still sounds neat to me (I'd love to see it in action, just as I'd love to see deflationary Bitcoin economy in action).

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July 21, 2011, 10:26:19 PM
 #11

We also have to define property rights.

Agreed, original post amended.

You have a silly little game of socioeconomic brinksmanship with private armies involved. That can't possibly end well. That essentially means whoever can snap up the most resources the fastest wins. It has nothing to do with human rights and dignity as a human being. It encourages cheating and stealing and lying, looking out for number one, imposing your will on others by any means necessary.

Yes, because it's SO much more profitable to steal from people and get shot on the third try than to deal with people fairly and have millions of customers.

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July 21, 2011, 10:30:52 PM
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No, Microsoft and Cisco wouldn't exist because they are based on government enforced intellectual property laws.

Something people seem to be forgetting is that any change to AnCapistan is going to have to happen in the real world. You can't just invent this society as if it exists in a vacuum. Microsoft and Cisco do exist.

Remove the legal system, good luck trying to switch to other networking infrastructures or finding compatible software, when instead of IP laws they simply send their mercenaries to your house for violating their contract agreements and take your shit away.

Quote
If you don't want to give your money to a state, you're kidnapped or murdered. If you don't want to give your money to a corporation, you're forced to do without their goods or services.

In MountainMan's land in AnCapistan, if you don't pay for what you use, I'm going to take it from you, either in the form of forced labor or seizure of assets. You're free to not be here, but if you show up somehow, I'm not giving you a free lunch. Now instead of MountainMan's land, imagine a coalition of property owners defining a common border (as people are wont to do) and establishing a usage fee. Something to cover the cost of using roads, cleaning up after  travellers, etc. Oh... look, we have a tax.

Quote
Who do you think is going to try to seize control of the state hardest of all other than the evil greedy bastards you're trying to stop?

That's exactly my point. In a centralized system, you have a mechanism of mitigating, stopping, or fixing abuses by the evil and greedy. Sure, it's hard, but it's easier than rebuilding a nation from the ground up. I think it would be better to revolutionize the system from within - establish accountability and instant communication, instant public auditing of any and all government expenditures, real-time voting, abolishment and reformulation of the entire tax code, outsourcing public works and maintenance to private companies, hiring private law enforcement, and so on. You see that happening in America, slowly. Why not focus your efforts and speed things up. Show people that it can be done, and why it should be done. Educational reform is happening because of Khan academy. BitCoin has the potential to demonstrate how modern commerce can work.

Why not take the best features of both instead of insisting on a 'pure' idealistic pipedream? AnCapistan has a great thing going for it. The 'capitalist' part. Market based solutions are great. Make government earn its money. Introduce competition, make politics and legislation fundamentally economic, instead of the feel-good my team vs your team bullcrap we see today.

In AnCapistan, there's no means of stopping the bastards. Might is Right. He who has the most resources wins. I just don't see that as a particularly dignified or righteous ethos.
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July 21, 2011, 10:45:09 PM
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Microsoft and Cisco do exist.

They won't once intellectual property laws are done away with, not in their current forms at least..

Remove the legal system, good luck trying to switch to other networking infrastructures or finding compatible software, when instead of IP laws they simply send their mercenaries to your house for violating their contract agreements and take your shit away.

Contracts don't apply to third parties. I may sign a contract with Microsoft promising not to give away their software but if I do, anyone that receives that software isn't bound by that contract. They can do whatever they want. Once the cat is out of the bag...

In MountainMan's land in AnCapistan, if you don't pay for what you use, I'm going to take it from you, either in the form of forced labor or seizure of assets. You're free to not be here, but if you show up somehow, I'm not giving you a free lunch. Now instead of MountainMan's land, imagine a coalition of property owners defining a common border (as people are wont to do) and establishing a usage fee. Something to cover the cost of using roads, cleaning up after  travellers, etc. Oh... look, we have a tax.

Right. I don't expect to get anything for free. If I leave my property, I'll have to abide by the rules of others. That's voluntary which I'm not against. That's not a tax. That's a fee.

Quote
In a centralized system, you have a mechanism of mitigating, stopping, or fixing abuses by the evil and greedy. Sure, it's hard, but it's easier than rebuilding a nation from the ground up.

If the good people out number the bad, it's better to keep things decentralized because as soon as you have a single point of failure, it's easier to attack. If the bad people outnumber the good, we're fucked no matter what. See below.

He who has the most resources wins.

That always applies. Do you think you'll be able to repel invaders with a book of laws as if it were the Bible to a vampire? It'll slow down the bullets but it won't stop them. Whoever controls the most resources wins but it doesn't have to be a single person controlling them. I'll pit your single 1000-man army against a thousand 100-man armies any day.
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July 21, 2011, 10:46:33 PM
 #14

I see we're having trouble with understanding the scope of existing institutions.
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July 21, 2011, 10:47:45 PM
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Why not take the best features of both instead of insisting on a 'pure' idealistic pipedream? AnCapistan has a great thing going for it. The 'capitalist' part. Market based solutions are great. Make government earn its money. Introduce competition, make politics and legislation fundamentally economic, instead of the feel-good my team vs your team bullcrap we see today.

Bolded point marks where you enter AnCapistan. Welcome to Anarcho-Capitalism, Brother!

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July 21, 2011, 10:55:51 PM
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I see we're having trouble with understanding the scope of existing institutions.

I see we're having trouble coming up with anything of substance to say. You're outmatched and you're frustrated so you resort to your default sarcastic douchebaggery self-defense mechanism. I swear they must have an assembly line for you statists. Oh that's right, it's called public school.
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July 21, 2011, 11:49:28 PM
 #17

You're outmatched and you're frustrated so you resort to your default sarcastic douchebaggery self-defense mechanism.

Who is he outmatched by?

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July 21, 2011, 11:52:56 PM
 #18

So, with that in mind, I'd like to paint a picture of AnCapistan, A country with no borders, a land with no government, a place where there's only one law:

Quote
"No one may threaten or commit violence ('aggress') against another man's person or property. Violence may be employed only against the man who commits such violence; that is, only defensively against the aggressive violence of another. In short, no violence may be employed against a nonaggressor."

It certainly is ill defined. But first, let's make sure we're not building this society on a set of shaky legs. I think the first order of business is to get a solid answer to the following question:

How is it that that NAP is the law, and not various versions of SSOLWADNNAP, depending on locale or region?

Everything else is pointless supposition until the above question is answered.

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myrkul
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July 22, 2011, 12:04:18 AM
 #19

So, with that in mind, I'd like to paint a picture of AnCapistan, A country with no borders, a land with no government, a place where there's only one law:

Quote
"No one may threaten or commit violence ('aggress') against another man's person or property. Violence may be employed only against the man who commits such violence; that is, only defensively against the aggressive violence of another. In short, no violence may be employed against a nonaggressor."

It certainly is ill defined. But first, let's make sure we're not building this society on a set of shaky legs. I think the first order of business is to get a solid answer to the following question:

How is it that that NAP is the law, and not various versions of SSOLWADNNAP, depending on locale or region?

Everything else is pointless supposition until the above question is answered.

What is this jibber-jabber? (bolded)

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July 22, 2011, 12:09:01 AM
 #20

What is this jibber-jabber? (bolded)

Some set of laws which are decidedly not NAP.

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