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Author Topic: Defending Capitalism  (Read 48389 times)
BitterTea
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April 11, 2011, 05:27:09 PM
 #81

That may be correct for some varieties of collectivist anarchists, but I think it's an over-simplification. On the whole, it isn't that "anarcho-socialists" prohibit the private ownership of capital - at least on a small scale - but rather their economic focus is on collective work. I don't regard small-scale capitalism as incompatible with that.

In my experience, most people who call themselves anarchists (which seems preferred to, but interchangeable with,  anarcho-socialist) believe that private ownership of capital should be discouraged through social institutions, or responded to with theft or violence.

Personally, I think the division into individualist and collectivist varieties of anarchist is an interesting academic exercise, but from a practical standpoint not hugely useful. I'd take anarchism slightly more seriously (I do take it seriously, just not seriously enough to identify as an anarchist myself) if the focus was on political action first, and then, once we're free to make decisions for ourselves, at that point deciding how to run our respective economies.

I consider myself a market anarchist, or voluntaryist. I seek to erode support for States, as they are fundamentally at odds with what I consider moral behavior. I make no claims as to what society should look like post-statism, as long as it is as free from violence and coercion as possible.

Anarcho-communism, say, seems to me to be like saying "I want you to be free to decide how to run the economy. And the economy will be a communist economy". The same applies, obviously, to anarcho-capitalists. By all means have a preference, but the first step has to be ensuring that everyone is politically free.

I agree, but it seems to me that an anarcho-capitalist community would accept an anarcho-socialist one, while the reverse is not necessarily true.
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April 11, 2011, 05:40:44 PM
 #82

In my experience, most people who call themselves anarchists (which seems preferred to, but interchangeable with,  anarcho-socialist) believe that private ownership of capital should be discouraged through social institutions, or responded to with theft or violence.
Well, there's a big potential difference between "discourage" and "theft and violence". Certainly some (many?) collectivist anarchists would take the latter approach, but many wouldn't and believe that collective workplaces and distribution centres would naturally win out against market-orientated workplaces and shops, so resorting to theft and violence is pointless (as well as being incompatible with their beliefs).

I consider myself a market anarchist, or voluntaryist. I seek to erode support for States, as they are fundamentally at odds with what I consider moral behavior. I make no claims as to what society should look like post-statism, as long as it is as free from violence and coercion as possible.
That seems to me to be the generic definition of anarchism :-) i.e. you could remove "market" and it would still hold true. Beyond that, no argument from me.

I agree, but it seems to me that an anarcho-capitalist community would accept an anarcho-socialist one, while the reverse is not necessarily true.
Historically, that's not correct. Small-scale capitalism continued to exist in Anarchist Catalonia, for example (collectives even traded between themselves, as well as small landowners, shops, etc). I believe that may be true for Ukraine in the 1920s, despite the clear communist sympathies of the anarchists.

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April 11, 2011, 06:16:59 PM
 #83

In my experience, most people who call themselves anarchists (which seems preferred to, but interchangeable with,  anarcho-socialist) believe that private ownership of capital should be discouraged through social institutions, or responded to with theft or violence.
Well, there's a big potential difference between "discourage" and "theft and violence". Certainly some (many?) collectivist anarchists would take the latter approach, but many wouldn't and believe that collective workplaces and distribution centres would naturally win out against market-orientated workplaces and shops, so resorting to theft and violence is pointless (as well as being incompatible with their beliefs).

It only took 3% of the population to fight the Revolutionary War and defeat the British Army.  Anyone who believes that theft and violence is incompatible with their beliefs must also be willing to use violence in kind in order to prevent same.  Anyone who believes that violence have never solved anything isn't a student of history.

That said, my own experiences with anyone who is willing to self-identify as any form of anarchist is anti-this-state, not necessarily anti-state.  The vast majority of whom wouldn't know how to act in a real condition of anarchy, while the majority of the remainder of the population probably would.  The sudden absence of the state is only dangerous because of the kind of people that don't have the will or capacity to govern themselves.

"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 11, 2011, 07:02:51 PM
 #84

It seems to me that the main difference between "anarcho-capitalism" (non-state capitalism, market anarchism) and "anarcho-socialism" (non-state socialism, anarchism) is that one system allows for the private ownership of capital (means of production) and the other does not.

Within Anarcho-Socialism stealing is OK, scamming is not, within Anarcho-Capitalism scamming is OK, stealing is not.
Is what it sums up to be.
NghtRppr
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April 11, 2011, 07:04:55 PM
 #85

It seems to me that the main difference between "anarcho-capitalism" (non-state capitalism, market anarchism) and "anarcho-socialism" (non-state socialism, anarchism) is that one system allows for the private ownership of capital (means of production) and the other does not.

Within Anarcho-Socialism stealing is OK, scamming is not, within Anarcho-Capitalism scamming is OK, stealing is not.
Is what it sums up to be.

No, fraud is still unacceptable.

People DO care about others. More than they have to. And it's a good thing imho.

I agree, that's a good thing. However, even if you want to help other people, you're still doing that based on your own value scale. You're still trying to achieve your highest goal, even if that goal is helping your neighbor. In that sense we are all selfish.
BitterTea
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April 11, 2011, 07:06:08 PM
 #86

It only took 3% of the population to fight the Revolutionary War and defeat the British Army.  Anyone who believes that theft and violence is incompatible with their beliefs must also be willing to use violence in kind in order to prevent same.  Anyone who believes that violence have never solved anything isn't a student of history.

The means must be compatible with the ends. If I seek a society where aggression is unacceptable, I cannot use aggression to bring change.

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That said, my own experiences with anyone who is willing to self-identify as any form of anarchist is anti-this-state, not necessarily anti-state.  The vast majority of whom wouldn't know how to act in a real condition of anarchy, while the majority of the remainder of the population probably would.  The sudden absence of the state is only dangerous because of the kind of people that don't have the will or capacity to govern themselves.

For clarification, are you saying that in general, statists (those who support the institution of States) are better suited to adapting to life without a state than anti-statists (those who abhor the State on moral grounds)?
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April 11, 2011, 07:08:11 PM
 #87

No, fraud is still unacceptable.

And who will enforce that? I guess "enforce" is the key word here.
NghtRppr
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April 11, 2011, 07:11:31 PM
 #88

No, fraud is still unacceptable.

And who will enforce that? I guess "enforce" is the key word here.

If you obtain my property by fraud, the contract is invalid so it's still my property and I can reobtain it, by force if necessary just as if you stole it outright. Who will use that force? Either me or my agents acting on my behalf.

Let me guess, you think that in order to crack skulls of the guilty we need the state to exist so it can crack skulls of the innocent as well?
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April 11, 2011, 07:17:09 PM
 #89

It only took 3% of the population to fight the Revolutionary War and defeat the British Army.  Anyone who believes that theft and violence is incompatible with their beliefs must also be willing to use violence in kind in order to prevent same.  Anyone who believes that violence have never solved anything isn't a student of history.

The means must be compatible with the ends. If I seek a society where aggression is unacceptable, I cannot use aggression to bring change.


And until there are no others who seek authority over others, or are otherwise willing to use violence to achieve a political end, the above society remains impossible.  And that, right there, is why I am not an anarchist.  Not because I don't believe that 99.9% of the human race can co-exist in an entirely peaceful manner sans Big Brother, but because the remaining 0.1% will refuse to comply.

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That said, my own experiences with anyone who is willing to self-identify as any form of anarchist is anti-this-state, not necessarily anti-state.  The vast majority of whom wouldn't know how to act in a real condition of anarchy, while the majority of the remainder of the population probably would.  The sudden absence of the state is only dangerous because of the kind of people that don't have the will or capacity to govern themselves.

For clarification, are you saying that in general, statists (those who support the institution of States) are better suited to adapting to life without a state than anti-statists (those who abhor the State on moral grounds)?

Yes, exactly.  The reason for this is that the majority of the population are already functioning peacefully in society regardless of the nature of the state; and would, therefore, readily adapt to the absence of the state.  Their own political viewpoints concerning the utility of the state notwithstanding.

"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'
BitterTea
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April 11, 2011, 07:22:10 PM
 #90

And until there are no others who seek authority over others, or are otherwise willing to use violence to achieve a political end, the above society remains impossible.  And that, right there, is why I am not an anarchist.  Not because I don't believe that 99.9% of the human race can co-exist in an entirely peaceful manner sans Big Brother, but because the remaining 0.1% will refuse to comply.

You make the assumption that States (monopolies, in a given geographical area, on legitimate aggression) are necessary in order to protect the 99.9% against the 0.1%. I believe this to be an incorrect assumption. If I am correct, I don't need to wipe out the 0.1%, just prove to the 99.% that the assumption is wrong, and show them alternatives that don't require such a large price to be paid for security.

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Yes, exactly.  The reason for this is that the majority of the population are already functioning peacefully in society regardless of the nature of the state; and would, therefore, readily adapt to the absence of the state.  Their own political viewpoints concerning the utility of the state notwithstanding.

If this were the case, normal people wouldn't have such a strong negative reaction to the idea of living without government.
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April 11, 2011, 07:24:58 PM
 #91

No, fraud is still unacceptable.

And who will enforce that? I guess "enforce" is the key word here.

If you obtain my property by fraud, the contract is invalid so it's still my property and I can reobtain it, by force if necessary just as if you stole it outright. Who will use that force? Either me or my agents acting on my behalf.

Let me guess, you think that in order to crack skulls of the guilty we need the state to exist so it can crack skulls of the innocent as well?

You bring your thugs (agents), I bring mine and who wins "is right", that's what such thing means. A gang-style society.
Sorry, it has to be, at the current state, an organized and responsible police force and laws to go along in determine who is or isn't right.
NghtRppr
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April 11, 2011, 07:28:58 PM
 #92

And until there are no others who seek authority over others, or are otherwise willing to use violence to achieve a political end, the above society remains impossible.

Isn't that like saying we should allow rape because there will always be rapists and therefore a rape-free society is impossible?

Sorry, it has to be, at the current state, an organized and responsible police force and laws to go along in determine who is or isn't right.

All states employ taxation which is immoral. All states outlaw some form of drug use which is immoral. Therefore, your system of right and wrong is already broken.
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April 11, 2011, 07:33:20 PM
 #93

Sorry, it has to be, at the current state, an organized and responsible police force and laws to go along in determine who is or isn't right.

All states employ taxation which is immoral, all states outlaw some form of drug use which is immoral, therefore your system of right and wrong is already broken.

It's not "my system" on the first place, I didn't create it, was already around when I born.
But this is the place to move; set what's right or wrong; not come up with an idea of society nearly caveman-age that would result in thugs and gangs.
NghtRppr
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April 11, 2011, 07:37:21 PM
 #94

Sorry, it has to be, at the current state, an organized and responsible police force and laws to go along in determine who is or isn't right.

All states employ taxation which is immoral, all states outlaw some form of drug use which is immoral, therefore your system of right and wrong is already broken.

It's not "my system" on the first place, I didn't create it, was already around when I born.
But this is the place to move; set what's right or wrong; not come up with an idea of society nearly caveman-age that would result in thugs and gangs.

Our society is already full of thugs and gangs, the police and politicians. Go ask some poor bastard sitting in prison being tortured, locked away from his family, his livelihood taken away from him because he refused to pay taxes or had the audacity to smoke a joint. The difference is that our current system necessarily promotes abuse and injustice. At least we have a fighting chance with anarchism.
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April 11, 2011, 07:40:41 PM
 #95

And until there are no others who seek authority over others, or are otherwise willing to use violence to achieve a political end, the above society remains impossible.  And that, right there, is why I am not an anarchist.  Not because I don't believe that 99.9% of the human race can co-exist in an entirely peaceful manner sans Big Brother, but because the remaining 0.1% will refuse to comply.

You make the assumption that States (monopolies, in a given geographical area, on legitimate aggression) are necessary in order to protect the 99.9% against the 0.1%. I believe this to be an incorrect assumption. If I am correct, I don't need to wipe out the 0.1%, just prove to the 99.% that the assumption is wrong, and show them alternatives that don't require such a large price to be paid for security.


Well, I use the term "state" a bit more generally than that, but would be open to the evidence that such a non-state society could actually exist, and that a path of change to that end could exist.  I've read much, and seen much, that supporters of such a society have presented; and have yet to see an argument that I couldn't undermine.  And if I can undermine the theory, a sociopath could undermine the reality for fun and profit.

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Yes, exactly.  The reason for this is that the majority of the population are already functioning peacefully in society regardless of the nature of the state; and would, therefore, readily adapt to the absence of the state.  Their own political viewpoints concerning the utility of the state notwithstanding.

If this were the case, normal people wouldn't have such a strong negative reaction to the idea of living without government.

This is the case, it's just that very few people realize that it's the case.

"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 11, 2011, 07:45:56 PM
 #96

And until there are no others who seek authority over others, or are otherwise willing to use violence to achieve a political end, the above society remains impossible.

Isn't that like saying we should allow rape because there will always be rapists and therefore a rape-free society is impossible?


Only if the pro-rapists in the argument were the pacifistic anarchists.

Which, BTW, is pretty much the Brady Campaign's argument against the licensing of firearms for young women; that since rapists exist, the presence of a firearm only increases the odds of death.

To which I would respond, damn right it does.

"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 11, 2011, 07:46:28 PM
 #97

Well, I use the term "state" a bit more generally than that, but would be open to the evidence that such a non-state society could actually exist, and that a path of change to that end could exist.  I've read much, and seen much, that supporters of such a society have presented; and have yet to see an argument that I couldn't undermine.  And if I can undermine the theory, a sociopath could undermine the reality for fun and profit.

Would you mind giving a definition of what you consider a state to be, and why you believe it is necessary in order to (in plain language) protect the good people from the bad people? This seems more fruitful than me guessing which arguments against the state with which you are familiar.

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This is the case, it's just that very few people realize that it's the case.

I really don't get what you're saying here. Why do you think that "sheep" (those who think they need the state, but don't) would more readily adapt to life without a state than those who oppose the state?
NghtRppr
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April 11, 2011, 07:54:04 PM
 #98

And until there are no others who seek authority over others, or are otherwise willing to use violence to achieve a political end, the above society remains impossible.

Isn't that like saying we should allow rape because there will always be rapists and therefore a rape-free society is impossible?


Only if the pro-rapists in the argument were the pacifistic anarchists.

Which, BTW, is pretty much the Brady Campaign's argument against the licensing of firearms for young women; that since rapists exist, the presence of a firearm only increases the odds of death.

To which I would respond, damn right it does.

Then your argument is reduced to absurdity. It doesn't matter if there will always be rapists, we should still strive towards a maximally rape-free society, just like we should strive towards a maximally aggression-free society. The fact that neither will ever exist completely is absolutely irrelevant.

By the way, where do you get the idea that anarchists are pacifists? That would imply that we don't see self-defense as legitimate and I haven't met one yet that believes that. We're against aggression, not violence.
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April 11, 2011, 07:58:34 PM
 #99

Our society is already full of thugs and gangs, the police and politicians. Go ask some poor bastard sitting in prison being tortured, locked away from his family, his livelihood taken away from him because he refused to pay taxes or had the audacity to smoke a joint. The difference is that our current system necessarily promotes abuse and injustice. At least we have a fighting chance with anarchism.

Yeah, "fighting chance" is about right. Have you seen anarchistic societies?
Afghanistan, where the state doesn't have control, which is just about everywhere. Not a good place, but quite close to anarchy.
Iraq, same thing, although a semi-functional state is about to get some control in certain areas.
Somalia, quite a "shitty place" (creightos words form another thread) for a long time, and no state to speak of.
Mexico, in the cartel areas. Not good places to be if you plan for a long and happy life.

Please explain to me how anarchism will prevent such things.
I think I'd rather have a state, governed by rule of law. That said, I don't live in the US so I can't really relate. Where I live you don't go to jail for smoking a joint. Tax evasion will get you to jail, if you don't come up with the money somehow. But atleast there will be no broken bones or similar things as could be expected from other "debt collectors".

Oh and the "I agree, that's a good thing. However, even if you want to help other people, you're still doing that based on your own value scale. You're still trying to achieve your highest goal, even if that goal is helping your neighbor. In that sense we are all selfish." from a comment above. That's just mental masturbation and is probably fun if you're around 20 years old. Not anymore. Not for me. It's the equivalent of "Can you prove you're just not a brain in a jar" argument.

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April 11, 2011, 08:02:44 PM
 #100

Well, I use the term "state" a bit more generally than that, but would be open to the evidence that such a non-state society could actually exist, and that a path of change to that end could exist.  I've read much, and seen much, that supporters of such a society have presented; and have yet to see an argument that I couldn't undermine.  And if I can undermine the theory, a sociopath could undermine the reality for fun and profit.

Would you mind giving a definition of what you consider a state to be, and why you believe it is necessary in order to (in plain language) protect the good people from the bad people? This seems more fruitful than me guessing which arguments against the state with which you are familiar.


By "state" I mean any collection of people that form a collective form of security for themselves, and either offer or force others to contribute resources to that security.  It may, or may not, be based upon geography; and may or may not be coerced.  So I would consider a phyle to be a state, even if citizenship is voluntary and services are not dependent upon a citizen's geographical location.

As for considering it necessary, I don't consider it necessary.  I believe that others will consider it necessary, for protection against threats both real and imagined.

I addressed that comment directly towards the prior post that suggested that an anarchist society consisting of members who were all morally opposed to the use of force could exist.  Basicly, I believe that this is a contradiction, for no other fact than that sociopaths willing to use violence exist; and therefore such a society could never arise in the first place.
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This is the case, it's just that very few people realize that it's the case.

I really don't get what you're saying here. Why do you think that "sheep" (those who think they need the state, but don't) would more readily adapt to life without a state than those who oppose the state?

I'm saying that most people are actually indifferent to the state, and very few people are actually dependent upon the state as a matter of practicality.  These people would adapt to the disappearance of the state better than the average statist primarily because the average anarchist is not a threat to a dying state, and therefore will be much better able to stay out of the mad arm of the state.  Also, in part, because most anarchists that I know believe in forming a stateless society rather than simply allow one to evolve naturally, and so (by my own definition above) are really intent upon co-opting the state, not abolishing it.

EDIT:  I ment tht the average statist is not a threat to a dying state

"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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