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Author Topic: My doubts about anarchy  (Read 17135 times)
wb3
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March 31, 2011, 09:44:38 PM
 #41

A simple exchange between two parties of things of equal value isn't capitalism. Both parties gain as much as they lose and therefore do not experience profit.

However, if party B takes the product of A's labor without giving back something of equal value, we have capitalism in the exchange and a state in the reason behind B's privilege. Perhaps it's B's perceived strength or holiness. Perhaps B has the backing of a more powerful authority. Without such a reason, there is no state and A won't consent to such a deal.

Are they of equal value, the exchange had a built in profit. "The Margin". What does the Wheel Maker do with 10 Spears? He is only one guy.

He doesn't need 10, he is saving his profit for later. (His profit margin).

Under your argument he would only exchange what he needs.

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March 31, 2011, 10:02:34 PM
 #42

A simple exchange between two parties of things of equal value isn't capitalism. Both parties gain as much as they lose and therefore do not experience profit.

However, if party B takes the product of A's labor without giving back something of equal value, we have capitalism in the exchange and a state in the reason behind B's privilege. Perhaps it's B's perceived strength or holiness. Perhaps B has the backing of a more powerful authority. Without such a reason, there is no state and A won't consent to such a deal.

You really need to stop and think about what you mean to say, before you type.  Capitalism is simply a concept that pulls together several economic laws under one word.  Laws in the "natural" and "God created them" kind.  The first being, the individual has a right to the fruits of his labor. (i.e. the capital) and he also has a right to trade it freely without coercion.  The value of the two items being traded don't have a set value, the value of each thing is subjective to the perspectives of he who trades.  The law of supply and demand also comes into play; as these two could be trading things on the (original) Silk Road, one trading silk from China and the other trading whatever it is that Europe made that Chinese people wanted.  Each item is moving from a region that has more of it, and therefore it's market value is lower, to a  region where there is less of it, and therefore it's market value is higher.  That's called 'arbitridge'. Another law that you don't know is comparative advantage.  Go google "the island trading game".

What you think is capitalism, is corporatism, and a far cry from capitalism.  A free market, by definition, is capitalist in nature; but that does not mean that capitalism only exists in a free market.  As has been noted by another, capitalism exists always and everywhere, it's just illegal under certain political conditions.

"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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April 02, 2011, 12:43:43 PM
 #43

I don't think capitalism is a system, either. It's simply what tends to happen when people are left to behave in a certain way. I don't think discussing capitalism here is very fruitful. Using that moniker makes it seem like people are talking about the same thing, but looking at the discussion above, I don't think that's the case.

Anyway, this was a thread about anarchy, wasn't it? I'm sorry if my careless choice of words ("anarcho-capitalism") diverted the discussion. I still haven't received anything even resembling an explanation of how a free, individualistic society would manage to stay that way...

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wb3
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April 02, 2011, 01:31:28 PM
 #44

I don't think capitalism is a system, either. It's simply what tends to happen when people are left to behave in a certain way. I don't think discussing capitalism here is very fruitful. Using that moniker makes it seem like people are talking about the same thing, but looking at the discussion above, I don't think that's the case.

Anyway, this was a thread about anarchy, wasn't it? I'm sorry if my careless choice of words ("anarcho-capitalism") diverted the discussion. I still haven't received anything even resembling an explanation of how a free, individualistic society would manage to stay that way...

It will stay that way, when there is only one person left.

Otherwise, we will group together in groups based on many varying factors. (Beliefs seemingly the most prevalent, nationality, race, etc...) It is the natural way. 

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April 02, 2011, 05:14:44 PM
 #45

I think you're over-complicating things. To draw an analogy. The strict technical meaning of the word atheist literally means someone that lacks a belief in God. However, this strict definition would also include babies, the mentally ill, etc. In practice, an atheist isn't just someone that lacks belief. It's someone that has considered the evidence and found it lacking. In otherwords, they actively disbelieve (note: I'm not claiming atheists are certain or that they are making a knowledge claim, they are just being skeptical) Likewise, just as the strict definition of an anarchist is someone that doesn't approve of rulers, in practice there is something more to it than that. There is a rationalization for WHY rulers are illigetimate.

So far, Stephan Kinsella has put it best for me:

Quote
To be an anarchist only means that you believe that aggression is not justified, and that states necessarily employ aggression. And, therefore, that states, and the aggression they necessarily employ, are unjustified. It's quite simple, really. It's an ethical view, so no surprise it confuses utilitarians.

Accordingly, anyone who is not an anarchist must maintain either: (a) aggression is justified; or (b) states (in particular, minimal states) do not necessarily employ aggression.

Proposition (b) is plainly false. States always tax their citizens, which is a form of aggression. They always outlaw competing defense agencies, which also amounts to aggression. (Not to mention the countless victimless crime laws that they inevitably, and without a single exception in history, enforce on the populace. Why minarchists think minarchy is even possible boggles the mind.)

As for (a), well, socialists and criminals also feel aggression is justified. This does not make it so. Criminals, socialists, and anti-anarchists have yet to show how aggression — the initiation of force against innocent victims — is justified. No surprise; it is not possible to show this. But criminals don't feel compelled to justify aggression; why should advocates of the state feel compelled to do so?

The reason why you can't justify aggression is because by entering into a rational argument you are already presupposing that violence isn't the better way to settle that particular disagreement. Otherwise, why are you bothering with discussion instead of putting a bullet in my head? Aggression ends discussion rather than being an outcome of it.

The rest of anarcho-capitalism and Libertarianism can be condensed into the single idea of the assignment of property rights. Namely, the first person to make a claim on X has the better claim on X because everyone else is a latecomer. This, of course, includes my own body. If some latecomer comes along and says that they have a better claim to my property then what's to stop yet another latecomer from coming along and making the same argument against them? Therefore, anyone that advocates property rights, to be consistent, has to recognize the prior-later distinction. Since the first person to claim X owns X, they can also contractually transfer ownership to another party. So the only two legitimate ways of owning property are homesteading and free trade.

Of course, anarchism is not a Utopian ideal. There will always be people that wish to use aggression to accomplish their goals. The point of anarchism is to make these people diffuse their power across everyone instead of concentrating it into the hands a single asshole, or a group of them. In fact, the real Utopians are the ones that think they can use aggression to accomplish their goals without it leading to corruption and abuse. Also, just because we have a system of property rights doesn't mean we expect everyone will follow them. I have no doubt that there will always be thieves but that's an issue to be dealt with technologically, better theft prevention, etc. Anarchism makes sense exactly BECAUSE Utopian ideals are nothing but fantasy.
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April 02, 2011, 05:27:06 PM
 #46

Quote
The reason why you can't justify aggression is because by entering into a rational argument you are already presupposing that violence is the better way to settle that particular disagreement. Otherwise, why are you bothering with discussion instead of putting a bullet in my head? Aggression ends discussion rather than being an outcome of it.

Aggression is part of our natural system of life, why do so many think they can "think" it away?

Inter-species aggression is higher then intra-species aggression (especially if you eat meat, but even not you kill the plant to eat it). Aggression within the species follows a logical flow, we try to avoid it (because it is safer), but when we think it is the only way to get a point across or to acquire something, we will dive into aggression like any other species.

You can't wish away aggression, you can't make it go away through laws; it is a natural law of nature. One day when any resource you want can be given to you at little or no cost, we "might" evolve out of aggression.

BTW: Freedom of Speech in the U.S. gave you the right to voice your opinion "through aggression".  We will also keep that right, "with aggression".
Many in China are using "aggression" to acquire that right; As China is using "aggression" to keep it from them.


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April 02, 2011, 05:43:39 PM
 #47


Aggression is part of our natural system of life, why do so many think they can "think" it away?

Initiation of aggression?

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April 02, 2011, 05:44:37 PM
 #48

Aggression is part of our natural system of life, why do so many think they can "think" it away?

You obviously didn't bother to read my entire post since I anticipated such an objection and have already refuted it before you even posted it.

Quote
Of course, anarchism is not a Utopian ideal. There will always be people that wish to use aggression to accomplish their goals. The point of anarchism is to make these people diffuse their power across everyone instead of concentrating it into the hands a single asshole, or a group of them.

Clearly, I don't believe we can "think" away aggression since I just admitted as much and explained why that's not a problem for anarchism.
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April 02, 2011, 05:48:07 PM
 #49


Aggression is part of our natural system of life, why do so many think they can "think" it away?

Initiation of aggression?

Aggression is the initiation of force. To say "the initiation of aggression" is to say something redundant. If you are the aggressor and I respond with violence, that's self-defense, not aggression on my part.
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April 02, 2011, 06:00:51 PM
 #50


Aggression is part of our natural system of life, why do so many think they can "think" it away?

Initiation of aggression?

Aggression is the initiation of force. To say "the initiation of aggression" is to say something redundant. If you are the aggressor and I respond with violence, that's self-defense, not aggression on my part.


So you must forever maintain the ability to counteract aggression with the ability to be aggressive yourself.  It must also be presumed that your defense must be of an equal or greater ability than any possible aggressor otherwise your position would fall.

This sounds very familiar to me for some reason. Oh, yea, the arms race that our human history has maintained since someone through the first rock, spear, arrow, bullet, missile, etc...

And yet we seem to still have wars, or recently as in Libya, a Non-War according to the President.

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April 02, 2011, 06:03:23 PM
 #51

So you must forever maintain the ability to counteract aggression with the ability to be aggressive yourself.

You are confusing violence with aggression. I'm against aggression, not violence. Aggression is the initiation of violence. I'm against the initiation of violence. I see nothing wrong with responding to aggression with violence.

In other words, "he started it!"
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April 02, 2011, 06:47:05 PM
 #52

Aggression is the initiation of force. To say "the initiation of aggression" is to say something redundant.

I'm a spelling/grammar nazi and a keen student of linguistics in general... Where do I send you a tip for this enlightenment?

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April 03, 2011, 02:51:13 AM
 #53

With your example of B taking the product of A's labor there are only two cases.

1) A agrees to the trade with B
2) A does not agree and is coerced by B

1) is capitalism.
2) is theft.

Thoughts?
There are three cases:

1) A agrees freely to trade with B.
2) A agrees but not freely to trade with B.
3) A does not agree and B takes A's product anyway.

The first case is a cooperative exchange. If A has some weakness that might compel him to accept an unfair deal (lack of access to a market, an addiction, hunger, sickness, a lack of access to the means of production, blackmail etc.) and B takes advantage of that weakness, we have capitalism, and subtle theft, in the second case. The third case represents straight-up theft, but it is also capitalism because B took advantage of A's weakness in his inability to prevent the theft.

Are they of equal value, the exchange had a built in profit. "The Margin". What does the Wheel Maker do with 10 Spears? He is only one guy.

He doesn't need 10, he is saving his profit for later. (His profit margin).

Under your argument he would only exchange what he needs.
If the ten spears covers the cost of building a wheel and its bill of materials, neither caveman takes a profit. If the wheel was actually worth five spears, the wheel maker would have taken a five spear profit from the buyer.

You really need to stop and think about what you mean to say, before you type.
Okay, Mom.

Quote
Capitalism is simply a concept that pulls together several economic laws under one word.  Laws in the "natural" and "God created them" kind.
As I've stated before, I get suspicious when people try to justify something with natural law or God. Lost Cause apologists do the same thing.

Quote
The first being, the individual has a right to the fruits of his labor. (i.e. the capital) and he also has a right to trade it freely without coercion.  The value of the two items being traded don't have a set value, the value of each thing is subjective to the perspectives of he who trades.  The law of supply and demand also comes into play; as these two could be trading things on the (original) Silk Road, one trading silk from China and the other trading whatever it is that Europe made that Chinese people wanted.  Each item is moving from a region that has more of it, and therefore it's market value is lower, to a  region where there is less of it, and therefore it's market value is higher.  That's called 'arbitridge'. Another law that you don't know is comparative advantage.  Go google "the island trading game".
I agree that individuals have the right to the products of their labor and that they have the right to trade without coercion. However, an exchange between an employer and his employee is inherently coercive because the employer is in charge of his employee. I agree, for the most part anyway, that we can only subjectively value the products of our labor. I happen to agree that markets are useful for determining value, but acknowledge that there are other useful ways, but the producer of a given product deserves the entirety of that value. For doing no work, a middleman deserves nothing. Now, when a merchant transports products to foreign markets by his own labor, he deserves compensation for that expense. But he has no right to take advantage of the products' builders for their lack of access to foreign markets.

Quote
What you think is capitalism, is corporatism, and a far cry from capitalism.
No, I'm not. Capitalism consists of authoritarian relationships. Whether these relationships involve two people or a multitude, it's capitalism.

Quote
A free market, by definition, is capitalist in nature; but that does not mean that capitalism only exists in a free market.  As has been noted by another, capitalism exists always and everywhere, it's just illegal under certain political conditions.
Capitalism is a choice (although some might find themselves coerced into behaving capitalistically). You have to choose to take advantage of others.

Capitalists depend on domination to profit. As such, states will exist in any capitalist society.

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April 03, 2011, 07:09:16 AM
 #54

If A has some weakness that might compel him to accept an unfair deal (lack of access to a market, an addiction, hunger, sickness, a lack of access to the means of production, blackmail etc.) and B takes advantage of that weakness, we have capitalism, and subtle theft, in the second case.

[... skiping other bullshit ...]

Capitalists depend on domination to profit. As such, states will exist in any capitalist society.

omg
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April 03, 2011, 08:10:53 AM
 #55

With your example of B taking the product of A's labor there are only two cases.

1) A agrees to the trade with B
2) A does not agree and is coerced by B

1) is capitalism.
2) is theft.

Thoughts?

There are three cases:

1) A agrees freely to trade with B.
2) A agrees but not freely to trade with B.
3) A does not agree and B takes A's product anyway.


The first case is a cooperative exchange. If A has some weakness that might compel him to accept an unfair deal (lack of access to a market, an addiction, hunger, sickness, a lack of access to the means of production, blackmail etc.) and B takes advantage of that weakness, we have capitalism, and subtle theft, in the second case. The third case represents straight-up theft, but it is also capitalism because B took advantage of A's weakness in his inability to prevent the theft.


So your system would check every transaction between people making sure that there was no "unfairness"?  Life is unfair.  If A agrees, however reluctantly, he does so because he thinks the transaction will make him better off.  Even if it is not the ideal exchange he could hope for.  And while I agree people should try to present "fair" trades to the best of their abilities, what system would you support that would ensure that all such trades are "fair"? 

There really are only two cases.  Either A is coerced, or he agrees (reluctantly or enthusiastically) because he will be better off than not making the trade.  Even if it is a really shitty trade.

Now I agree that people shouldn't try to take advantage of others who are a bad position, but that's more in the realm of ethics.

Traditional anarchism, that is a complete lack of hierarchy cannot exist because humans are not created equal as far as abilities go.  Some will naturally gain "dominance" over others.  Some people want leaders.  I just don't understand why you would think that somehow we can do away with all authority and hierarchy in human society.  Would you do away with families since parents are hierarchically above children? 
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April 03, 2011, 08:41:15 AM
 #56

edit.

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State-less capitalist society = Mafia run society. Capitalist apologists who support such this, are not anarchists.
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April 03, 2011, 11:53:07 AM
 #57

In other words, "he started it!"
Which is what both parts always say in a conflict.
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April 03, 2011, 01:30:42 PM
 #58


Traditional anarchism, that is a complete lack of hierarchy cannot exist because humans are not created equal as far as abilities go.  Some will naturally gain "dominance" over others.  Some people want leaders.  I just don't understand why you would think that somehow we can do away with all authority and hierarchy in human society.  Would you do away with families since parents are hierarchically above children?  

No. It's not necessary about humans being are better than other so they get leadership.

Rather, it is a communication problem. For example, it doesn't make sense to have a flat hierarchy in a large organization such as google because the information that flow from the development team to the decision maker would be overwhelming. That is why they employ managers.

Depending on how the hierarchy is organized, an organization could be really slow or really fast acting. Their speed in being able to run through a OODA loop will determine if they will live to see another day in marketplace or win the war.

This is not necessary about dominance and who's better or who's not! That's true for a few types of hierarchical organization, but not all!

The Bitcoin community is an example of an efficient organization organized through multiple type of hierarchical structures. The entrepreneurs organize the enterprises and business needed to succeed. The developers make improvements to the bitcoin client. The moderators clean up the forum of spams and abusive users. The forum acts as a medium of communication, coordinating economic, development, and marketing effort. A lot of those structures are parallel allowing the Bitcoin project to execute at multiple fronts.

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April 03, 2011, 03:40:03 PM
 #59

So you must forever maintain the ability to counteract aggression with the ability to be aggressive yourself.

You are confusing violence with aggression. I'm against aggression, not violence. Aggression is the initiation of violence. I'm against the initiation of violence. I see nothing wrong with responding to aggression with violence.

In other words, "he started it!"
What do you say to the anarchists who say that the state, by threatening violence everyday, or even carrying it out, feel justified to attack it, even when not for any specific offence?

Or those who say something like "the capitalists use violence to force people to work (see, e.g., sweatshops) and to defend against unions (many cases) etc., therefore it is justified to use violence against them, even when their violence was not specifically directed at us personally"?

I would say that they are delusional. I acknowledge that there is a distorting influence on the labor market caused by the state. That does not equate to "using violence to force people to work".

It makes about as much sense as saying "group X is doing something to group Y that I don't like, but group Y doesn't seem to care about. this gives me justification to use physical violence against group X".
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April 03, 2011, 03:49:27 PM
 #60

Quote
If A has some weakness that might compel him to accept an unfair deal (lack of access to a market, an addiction, hunger, sickness, a lack of access to the means of production, blackmail etc.) and B takes advantage of that weakness, we have capitalism, and subtle theft, in the second case. The third case represents straight-up theft, but it is also capitalism because B took advantage of A's weakness in his inability to prevent the theft.

I kind of see your argument. Sort of like people without acceptable means to repay are charged higher interest which further degrades their ability to repay. Logic would dictate to charge them less interest and more favorable loans to enhance their ability to repay.

However, it is not the "sharks" asking for the money. If the fish don't accept the conditions the "sharks" will not eat.

As far as Black Mail, take the blame for what you did wrong and there will be no Black Mail.

Sickness, Forced Labor (sweet shops), etc... I do believe that this is covered under the law. But granted, people will let themselves be subjected in order to survive.  In America (if your a legal citizen), I don't know why you would though. You can force an employer to pay minimum wage, even the people that are not getting minimum wage would be "off the books" and tax free and would counteract the lower pay.

But if all you are saying is people take advantage of people, Ahh... Yea, of course they do.  And probably always will.  Its the Nature of things, the scorpion said to the fox.


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