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Author Topic: Closest thing to a libertarian utopia  (Read 3591 times)
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July 29, 2011, 05:21:12 PM

How about we consider the more sensible assumption that if one can protect themselves from any physical attack, kidnapping and therefore coercion one can also protect their property in the same fashion.  In the context of you proposal this is the logical extension, therefore making your question moot.

End of thread or modify your question to support a more common sense approach to the issue.

"However, consider for a moment what that would mean for property."

It seems to me that the libertarian/anarcho-whatever ideology hinges on a couple of key ideas. The most important in my view is that every individual has inherent rights to security, self-determination and property (unless of course that individual violates the rights of others).
I want you to consider a scenario: Imagine that every individual had the means to protect themselves from any physical attack, kidnapping and therefore coercion. This seems, in theory, to be the ideal for a libertarian. No one would be able to harm you and you also could harm no other individual; no violent crime of any nature could occur.

However, consider for a moment what that would mean for property. There would be no physical means to preventing theft, and property would only be able to exist as an agreement (Don't steal any of my shit and I won't steal yours). Would this reduce property to a theoretical idea that would not actually exist in practice?

You presume that those with property can protect themselves and those without property cannot.  For how can you protect property aside from by projecting force onto those that wish to take it?

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July 29, 2011, 06:02:35 PM
Last edit: July 29, 2011, 06:26:05 PM by Reikoku

Somalia is such a horribly flawed argument that I don't even know where to begin. First of all, I guess, the best idea would probably be some context.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realise that you can't compare a East African nation which has been at constant civil war with would-be governments for the past two decades with a thriving developed state, so let's start by drawing our comparison between Somalia now and Somalia in 1991 when it had a state.

What's changed? Well according to this article, much has changed. This table is sourced with data from the BBC article linked:

Life Expectancy46 years50 years
Death Rate1916
GDP per capita$210$600
Infant Mortality116/1000109/1000
Access to Safe Water35%29%
Adult Literacy24%38%

Aside from the drop in access to safe water which is clearly a bad thing, I would say that Somalia has actually improved in its stateless condition. The average citizen is three times wealthier than he was in 1991, even accounting for inflation, he is twice as wealthy. He will live four years longer than he would have in 1991, he is 50% more likely to be able to read and write than he was in 1991. These are not signs of a country on the decline.

Here are some other choice quotes about Somalia from the article:

1. "Common sense dictates that security and stability are the necessary preconditions to economic development.

Since 26 January 1991, most of Somalia has had neither, yet the economy has not only been resilient, some sectors have shown remarkable growth."

2. "now someone can make a mobile call from anywhere in the country.

There are nine networks to choose from and they offer services from texting to mobile internet access."

Peter Little, in his 2003 book 'Somalia', notes that "there are still fees to be paid to greedy faction leaders and militia at ports and roadblocks, but levels of taxation and trade restrictions are considerably below what they were pre-1991".

Amoud University, set up in 1997, now employs 45 teachers, has 1,000 students and a library of over 100,000 books. It is respected as one of the best Universities in the Horn of Africa.

This table is produced from data from the Independent Institute's paper, comparing Somalia amongst 42 sub-Saharan countries. Statistic is a rank so higher is better (bold indicates improvement, or top 50% on a new measure):
Life Expectancy1837
Death Rate (per 1000)1737
Child Malnutrition20aN/A
Telephone Main Lines (per 1000)829b
Mobile Cellphones (per 1000)16N/A
Internet Users (per 1000)11N/A
Households with TV27cN/A
DPT Immunisation %4138d
Measles Immunisation %4238d
Access to Sanitation24N/A
Access to Clean Water41N/A
Tuberculosis Cases (per 1000)3140

a. Ranking out of 36
b. Ranking out of 41
c. Ranking out of 40
d. Ranking out of 39

Somalia does have private defense firms, you call them out as an extortion racket because they charge for their services? Last I checked, the government don't work for free. They have a working currency and a (primitive) legal system. The biggest issue with Somalia is inherent mistrust of the outside, their laws only extend to Somali citizens, so their chances of globalising are a flat zero. This is not consistent with libertarianism at all.

Having said that, there must be something the Somalians like about not having a state, or they wouldn't have successfully opposed every single one that tried to set itself up on their land in the past twenty years.

When you stop trying to compare imperfect anarchism with a perfect state, your arguments might make sense and have coherence. All forms of sociopolitical structure are imperfect, compare relevant shining beacons of the state like Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda and DR Congo with Somalia. Compare pre-1991 Somalia with Somalia.

I would recommend that people actually take the time to understand the situation there before jumping for joy when they find an 'anarcho-capitalist' state which happens to be performing in a less-than-stellar manner.

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July 30, 2011, 10:27:21 AM

Somalia is a good example of a libertarian utopia.  No state; no restrictions and everyone free to live as they choose.

Hawker is a good example of an ignorant idiot. No knowledge about Somalia or Libertarianism; free to talk all the garbage he likes
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July 30, 2011, 10:32:36 AM

I don't even know why you guys bother correcting this guy.  The irony is earlier today I just wrote a post about how I constantly get straw-manned when I talk about Somalia.  It gets really old and really irritating after a while. 
If you hit every straw man with a Wikipedia article, either they shut up or actually learn what's going on. win/win.

Hahaha.  Good on you, then.  Carry on.  Smiley

I think Josell is beyond help. Isn't he guy guy who was blathering on about creationism?
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July 30, 2011, 09:58:56 PM

Somalia is closest to a theocracy than to anarchism.

I dont think anarchism is totally imposible, but I think it is very unprobable.

Maybe in the future, when education becomes universal and transportation is open to everyone, that day law will not be be necessary and anarchism could be posible.

But you can force a country to be anarchist and reject religion; thats is stupid and utopical.
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July 30, 2011, 10:06:55 PM

Somalia is closest to a theocracy than to anarchism.

Um... No.

Theocracy is a religious organization acting as the state. See: Vatican City.

Going to the priest as a judge != Theocracy.

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