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Author Topic: Anarcho-capitalism and Government  (Read 4924 times)
no to the gold cult
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April 23, 2011, 11:38:07 PM
 #1


You don't want bad, corrupt, un-democratic control-freak government. Fair play, I agree.

Wrong, I hate democratic governments.

I despise governments because the only thing that they know how to use is force. They have no regard for subtlety, or for self-analysis of their goal system.

Forcing millions or billion of people to choose their representative when they don't know anything about the issues of society is a definition of insanity.

Governments are bad for a reason. It's not because they're bad men, but because the incentive is set that way to encourage bad things happening and craft bad men.

At least business can be seen as transparently greedy. Politicans? They kiss babies for victories.




I don't care about votes as much as I do accountability. The important thing is that government should be accountable to the people. If the people are not satisfied by the efforts of a government to fulfill the role set for it, to do those things communities of individuals cannot do as independent agents, then it must be possible for that government to be replaced by one that does. So far 'democracy' is the system we use to try to do this... perhaps we'll discover a better less game-able way at some point.  

No offense but your passionate hatred of 'government', somewhat typical of this forum strikes me as deeply naive and misguided. Government is just a word for an organization of management in society. These days we call that the 'state', in days gone by 'government' would have been the tribal elders or whatever. Hating 'government' is like waging a war on terrorism.

For me, the state is a product of society. Without the state society remains, and a society has needs that are greater than just commerce. States come and go, societies generate them as they need them. Society is the human and the state is her machine. If this machine is broken, fix it, or replace it or something. Just don't think that a society is merely the buying and selling of stuff because it's not.

Besides what is businesses but private dictatorship? Sell me things I'd like to buy sure, make a profit if you do it well enough. Personally however I don't want to live in a commodified jungle of private dictatorships where everything in life is a matter of sweaty wads of cash. I don't believe in the economics of the sociopath.

Anyway competition must always give way to combination, your enamored attitude to market forces is misguided, you'd soon find yourself ruled by the iron boot of totalitarian/monopolistic arrangements. Totalitarian precisely because you would have made sure that nothing is outside the reach of your hallowed Market.

Anarcho-fascism: All within the market, nothing outside the market, nothing against the market.

Not for me thanks.





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April 23, 2011, 11:42:06 PM
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No offense but your passionate hatred of 'government', somewhat typical of this forum strikes me as deeply naive and misguided. Government is just a word for an organization of management in society. These days we call that the 'state', in days gone by it would have been the tribal elders or whatever. For me, the state is a product of society. Without the state society remains, and a society has needs that are greater than just commerce. States come and go, societies generates them as it needs them. Society is the human and the state is her machine. If this machine is broken, fix it, or replace it or something. Just don't think that society is merely the buying and selling of stuff because it's not.


We identify the state as an organization that have the monopoly on force. It is not just some "word" for anarchists. It is a particular type of "organization of management" in society.


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Without the state society remains, and a society has needs that are greater than just commerce.

Commerce is a way to achieve what human beings want, not a need.

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Anarcho-fascism: All within the market, nothing outside the market, nothing against the market.

Way to strawman anarcho-capitalists and voluntaryists.

no to the gold cult
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April 23, 2011, 11:53:45 PM
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No offense but your passionate hatred of 'government', somewhat typical of this forum strikes me as deeply naive and misguided. Government is just a word for an organization of management in society. These days we call that the 'state', in days gone by it would have been the tribal elders or whatever. For me, the state is a product of society. Without the state society remains, and a society has needs that are greater than just commerce. States come and go, societies generates them as it needs them. Society is the human and the state is her machine. If this machine is broken, fix it, or replace it or something. Just don't think that society is merely the buying and selling of stuff because it's not.


We identify the state as an organization that have the monopoly on force. It is not just some "word" for anarchists. It is a particular type of "organization of management" in society.


Quote
Without the state society remains, and a society has needs that are greater than just commerce.

Commerce is a way to achieve what human beings want, not a need.

Quote
Anarcho-fascism: All within the market, nothing outside the market, nothing against the market.

Way to strawman anarcho-capitalists and voluntaryists.

I don't want force to be something any old jack with a baseball bat is free to apply. The use of force should be the sole preserve of an agent that is accountable to the community. That's my ideal anyway, sometimes force is necessary, there are psychos and madmen out there after all. But we've obviously got a long way to go before accountability is properly factored in. I'm still bitter and angry about what the US and UK did to the people of Iraq for instance. Now the perpetrators are off on the speech circuit and flogging books. Assholes.

Commerce is a need, without it we find it difficult to achieve what human beings want. Just ask the command economists. I'm pro free-market, I just don't think everything should be in the realm of market forces. The market is an amazing and useful animal, but society should not be run by an animal. Government's the guy that should be holding the reigns.


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April 24, 2011, 12:06:14 AM
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Not everything should be in the realm of market forces. The market is an amazing and useful animal, but society should not be run by an animal. Government's the guy that should be holding the reigns.

This is not what the voluntaryists/anarcho-capitalists argue for.

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April 24, 2011, 12:33:38 AM
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You fail to see the point that government naturally and generally attracts the corrupt, and this is the very weakness of government, that it has nothing above it so to corrupt it will corrupt the whole of society. Also the concept of society is something people are too attached to while they overestimate it's actual usefulness. Think about what consists in a nation and you'll see what I'm talking about.

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April 24, 2011, 02:28:45 AM
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I'd rather decentralize the power then keep it all in a small group of individuals who invariably become corrupted.  You want to give a single group of people the coercive monopoly, allow them to write the laws, allow them to enforce the laws and then keep them accountable?  Is it any wonder it's never worked?  The Great American Experiment was the best so far, but it too is about to end in a death-throw of tyranny. 

The key concept for me is voluntary interactions versus coercive interactions.
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April 24, 2011, 06:43:14 AM
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no to the gold cult, I think you're being really unfair to the "anarcho" capitalists. They aren't fascists. It's just that their ideas would result in a mafia run society.

(Not that I like the government any more than they do.)

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April 24, 2011, 07:11:39 AM
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tl;dr.

If people are good we don't "need" government
if people are evil we don't dare have a government


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April 24, 2011, 10:30:29 PM
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no to the gold cult, I think you're being really unfair to the "anarcho" capitalists. They aren't fascists. It's just that their ideas would result in a mafia run society.

(Not that I like the government any more than they do.)

So then is humanity completely fucked?  What would the ideal, yet workable system be in your opinion?  Direct democracy?  Anarcho socialism?

Edit:

P.S. Your name makes me think you lean more towards anarcho-socialism/communism.  How would that society be any better than an anarcho-capitalist society? 
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April 25, 2011, 04:54:14 AM
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It's an attitude thing. A culture of sharing, giving, of not exploiting, etc. along with an anarchist society, 'd be nice.

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April 25, 2011, 05:07:42 AM
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It's an attitude thing. A culture of sharing, giving, of not exploiting, etc. along with an anarchist society, 'd be nice.

We libertarians like to think commerce and sharing/giving are not in direct opposition.

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April 25, 2011, 08:55:34 AM
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Yeah, it's more the whole infinite accumulation of property that is permitted and encouraged that would cause mafia type activities I think.

You inevitably need protection organizations to help protect your property, because you can't do it yourself. The reason you can't do it yourself is that you have too much of it.

If I have one house, I can live in it, and defend it. I can also rely on the local community to help me out, 'cause I would help them out.

If I have two houses, I can live in one. I can't live in the other, so I have to pay someone else to look after it. The community around that second house isn't going to care what happens to the house as much, because they don't have any personal contact with the owner.

If I have 1000 houses (perfectly possible in an infinite accumulation capitalist society), I have to pay other people to look after them. Based on humanities previous experiences with societies where infinite resource accumulation happened, I'd have to say that it doesn't bode well for those who don't have.

But, you know, I think we have different priorities, in which case arguing is pretty pointless.

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April 26, 2011, 07:11:33 PM
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No offense but your passionate hatred of 'government', somewhat typical of this forum strikes me as deeply naive and misguided. Government is just a word for an organization of management in society. These days we call that the 'state', in days gone by it would have been the tribal elders or whatever. For me, the state is a product of society. Without the state society remains, and a society has needs that are greater than just commerce. States come and go, societies generates them as it needs them. Society is the human and the state is her machine. If this machine is broken, fix it, or replace it or something. Just don't think that society is merely the buying and selling of stuff because it's not.


We identify the state as an organization that have the monopoly on force. It is not just some "word" for anarchists. It is a particular type of "organization of management" in society.


Quote
Without the state society remains, and a society has needs that are greater than just commerce.

Commerce is a way to achieve what human beings want, not a need.

Quote
Anarcho-fascism: All within the market, nothing outside the market, nothing against the market.

Way to strawman anarcho-capitalists and voluntaryists.

I don't want force to be something any old jack with a baseball bat is free to apply. The use of force should be the sole preserve of an agent that is accountable to the community. That's my ideal anyway, sometimes force is necessary, there are psychos and madmen out there after all. But we've obviously got a long way to go before accountability is properly factored in. I'm still bitter and angry about what the US and UK did to the people of Iraq for instance. Now the perpetrators are off on the speech circuit and flogging books. Assholes.

Commerce is a need, without it we find it difficult to achieve what human beings want. Just ask the command economists. I'm pro free-market, I just don't think everything should be in the realm of market forces. The market is an amazing and useful animal, but society should not be run by an animal. Government's the guy that should be holding the reigns.



Way to go strawmanning the anarchocapitalists, I dont know where to start.  First off, anarcho capitalists arent nexessarily opposed to force, but rather are opposed to coercive monopolies.

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April 27, 2011, 12:35:26 AM
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Yeah, it's more the whole infinite accumulation of property that is permitted and encouraged that would cause mafia type activities I think.

You inevitably need protection organizations to help protect your property, because you can't do it yourself. The reason you can't do it yourself is that you have too much of it.

If I have one house, I can live in it, and defend it. I can also rely on the local community to help me out, 'cause I would help them out.

If I have two houses, I can live in one. I can't live in the other, so I have to pay someone else to look after it. The community around that second house isn't going to care what happens to the house as much, because they don't have any personal contact with the owner.

If I have 1000 houses (perfectly possible in an infinite accumulation capitalist society), I have to pay other people to look after them. Based on humanities previous experiences with societies where infinite resource accumulation happened, I'd have to say that it doesn't bode well for those who don't have.

But, you know, I think we have different priorities, in which case arguing is pretty pointless.

Basically the key to all this is whether or not you believe the initiation of coercion is an acceptable method of solving social problems.  The only way you are going to limit people from owning more capital than they can "use" is through coercion.  If you allow markets to thrive, and as long as interactions are voluntary, then yes, some people will end up with more capital than others.  Possibly more than they can use.

However, to say that someone has more capital than they can use is completely subjective.  Who gets to decide how much each person is going to have?  Is two houses really more than someone can use?  Could they not live in one and let their son live in the other one?  Is four rakes too many for a gardener?  What if he has three children who help in the garden?  If so, is five too many?  If it is, how will you enforce that no one will have more than five rakes?

Also, the free market is actually the best defense against infinite resource accumulation because it rewards those who uses their resources the most efficiently and punishes those who don't.  In a society with government, the wealthy can use the coercive monopoly of the government to gather and hold resources.  They don't have to protect their resources themselves, because they can get the government to do it for them with the taxpayers footing the bill.  However, in a free market they would have to hire someone to protect their property, as you say, and this would necessarily limit how much capital they could accumulate.  The more they had the harder it would be to take care of it and protect it.

You are making the assumption that protection agencies are a bad thing, whereas they would actually help hold society together.  Mafias coalesce around black markets, which are created by governments.  There are no alcohol or coffee mafias because society isn't arbitrarily banned from purchasing and producing those products.  Conflict is almost always more expensive than cooperation, so in a free market society mafias would not be able to maintain the strength they can under government.  Mafias and governments do not seek to please their customers, unlike private companies who have to please their customers in order to survive.  Private defense and insurance institutions would have vested interests in cooperating with each other and providing fair, excellent service to their customers.
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April 27, 2011, 04:25:06 AM
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Basically the key to all this is whether or not you believe the initiation of coercion is an acceptable method of solving social problems.  The only way you are going to limit people from owning more capital than they can "use" is through coercion.  If you allow markets to thrive, and as long as interactions are voluntary, then yes, some people will end up with more capital than others.  Possibly more than they can use.
Basically the key to all this is whether or not you believe the initiation of coercion is an acceptable method of solving social problems.  The only way people are going to own more capital than they can "use" is through coercion.

If you have 1000 houses1, and I wish to live in one that you aren't using, there are a few things that can happen (here's two). I can agree that you are the "owner" (even though you don't use the house), and pay you a certain amount of rent for the privilege of living in "your" house. Or, I can say that you aren't the owner, the house doesn't have an owner because it isn't being used. I then move in and ignore your claims of ownership.

In the second case, whether or not the community will support your "ownership" will be based on how well they know and like you. If you only turn up twice a year to collect rent (or not at all, and send goons to collect the rent) they'll probably support my claims of ownership, because I'm actually using the house. In this case, you will have to forcibly evict me (use coercion) to get "your" "property" back.

As for the rest of your post, I think it's sufficient to say "I disagree". Mafia-type society is where a "family" basically runs an area, using force and coercion to make the point. It's not just selling "blackmarket" goods, it's also protection rackets (beautiful shop you got here, be a shame if anything happened to it) etc.
From Wikipedia
Quote
Protection racketeering is one of the Sicilian Mafia's core activities. Some scholars, such as Diego Gambetta, see it as a defining characteristic. He describes the Mafia as a cartel of "private protection firms". Other scholars have called it "an industry of violence". In exchange for money or favors, mafiosi use violence to punish anyone who harms the interests of their clients, whether through theft, violence, fraud or competition. Mafiosi have protected a great variety of clients over the years: landowners, plantation owners, politicians, shopkeepers, drug dealers, etc. Whilst some people are coerced into buying protection and some do not receive any actual protection for their money (extortion), by and large there are many clients who actively seek and benefit from mafioso protection. This is one of the main reasons why the Mafia has resisted more than a century of government efforts to destroy it: the people who willingly solicit these services protect the Mafia from the authorities.
Quote
Mafiosi sometimes protect businessmen from competitors by threatening their competitors with violence. For instance, if two businessmen are competing for a government contract, the protected can ask his mafioso friends to bully his rival out of the bidding process. Or a mafioso, acting on behalf of a coffee wholesaler, might pressure local bars into serving only his client's coffee.

More often than simple intimidation of competitors, mafiosi are often asked to oversee collusive agreements between businessmen. Mafia-enforced collusion typically appear in markets where collusion is both desirable (inelastic demand, lack of product differentiation, etc.) and difficult to set up (numerous competitors, low barriers to entry)
This seems suspiciously like what I've read the private protection agencies are meant to do. The Wikipedia article suggests that others have made the same point. Nozick, in "Anarchy, State, and Utopia" (which I've mentioned before on this board) also talks about how these PPA's would effectively form a state.


Also, I reject your claim that companies have a vested interest in providing the best service to customers. Companies have a vested interested in making as much money as possible. If they can find a cheaper way of making money rather than provide good service2 then they will do that.


Footnotes:
1. I think we can both agree this is more than can be "used" by a single individual, but if you don't agree, assume X, where X is a number that you do think can be "used" by a single individual.
2. E.g. by locking in customers by being the only supplier of software that can read files produced by their software - see MicroSoft etc.

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April 27, 2011, 12:31:39 PM
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If you have 1000 houses1, and I wish to live in one that you aren't using, there are a few things that can happen (here's two). I can agree that you are the "owner" (even though you don't use the house), and pay you a certain amount of rent for the privilege of living in "your" house. Or, I can say that you aren't the owner, the house doesn't have an owner because it isn't being used. I then move in and ignore your claims of ownership.

In the second case, whether or not the community will support your "ownership" will be based on how well they know and like you. If you only turn up twice a year to collect rent (or not at all, and send goons to collect the rent) they'll probably support my claims of ownership, because I'm actually using the house. In this case, you will have to forcibly evict me (use coercion) to get "your" "property" back.

This is simply brilliant. I think I'll go get my house today! Everyone hates this one rich guy who has all these houses built, so when he comes to claim his "property" back, everyone will support me. I can't believe I didn't think of this earlier. I don't know why anyone in their right mind would ever pay for a house when you can just do this!

Hell, after I get my house I'll go to the grocery "store" and grab some shit to stock up my new refrigerator. The "store owner" isn't using those items, they are just sitting there on the shelf, so they aren't really his property. After all he has thousands of canned goods. The community doesn't really like him either, always raising prices on his food and whatnot.

And there is a nice Porsche that sits in the same spot all the time, I've never seen anyone drive it. I think it's for sale or some bs. I do need something to get from the food distribution center to my house. Perfect.

As long as the community supports me, I'm golden. After all, might makes right!

Forget this no house, no car, no food shit. I'm going out to get mine today! Thanks dude, you've changed my life!
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April 27, 2011, 12:36:01 PM
 #17

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In the second case, whether or not the community will support your "ownership" will be based on how well they know and like you. If you only turn up twice a year to collect rent (or not at all, and send goons to collect the rent) they'll probably support my claims of ownership, because I'm actually using the house. In this case, you will have to forcibly evict me (use coercion) to get "your" "property" back.

So what you gonna do when you leave that house in the morning to go work and I step in it while you're out and claim it mine the same way you claim it yours? And I ain't leaving, I'm a basement dweller.

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May 01, 2011, 03:24:04 AM
 #18

Basically the key to all this is whether or not you believe the initiation of coercion is an acceptable method of solving social problems.  The only way people are going to own more capital than they can "use" is through coercion.

Bullshit.  If someone has enough money to buy 10 houses and they engage in voluntary exchanges with people who'd rather have the money than their house, how is that coercion? 

If you have 1000 houses1, and I wish to live in one that you aren't using, there are a few things that can happen (here's two). I can agree that you are the "owner" (even though you don't use the house), and pay you a certain amount of rent for the privilege of living in "your" house. Or, I can say that you aren't the owner, the house doesn't have an owner because it isn't being used. I then move in and ignore your claims of ownership.

Again, while I might agree that 1000 houses is more than a single individual can use, who decides what that number is?  Is it ten?  Is it two?  Also, do you have the same standard for all capital?  Can you only own one computer, one house, one camera, etc.  Surely not.  But then how do you decide how many is "too many" for a person to own?  What if people disagree on that number?  Will you come and take my third camera because you've decided that I can't use more than two cameras? 

The problem with this type of system is you are essentially advocating theft and then attempting to justify it with abstract, subjective reasoning. 


As for the rest of your post, I think it's sufficient to say "I disagree".

Fair enough, and as you said earlier

But, you know, I think we have different priorities, in which case arguing is pretty pointless.

I think you are probably right.  I don't advocate a system where theft is acceptable based on someone's subjective opinion about how much capital an individual can "use".  You do, apparently.  So we'll have to agree to disagree.
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May 01, 2011, 02:02:40 PM
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Government is that which taxes. Taxing is the taking of money by force. Government is the mafia, and government makes you pay it protection money. Government spends this protection money lining the pockets of their friends who in return provide low quality goods to the public, or in many cases goods many do not even want (for example, I don't want my tax dollars to pay for the war on drugs, not that it matters since I don't want to be extorted from in the first place).

Anarchocapitalists are against taxation, seeing it as the theft that it is. Instead, they suggest that you should be FREE to pay for services you want, but not forced into them. If you want to be part of a public health care pool, you get to do that but if others don't want to be a part of it they dont have to. In short, you pay for what you want, need and use. This makes for far more efficient systems, freer people, but less happy government and less happy people who would rather use the government to extort their neighbors for money.

Anarcho-capitalism is pretty much decentralized libertarianism.

Quote
No offense but your passionate hatred of 'government', somewhat typical of this forum strikes me as deeply naive and misguided. Government is just a word for an organization of management in society. These days we call that the 'state', in days gone by 'government' would have been the tribal elders or whatever. Hating 'government' is like waging a war on terrorism.

Government demands taxes, versus what cryptoanarchists would prefer, private defense agencies, who accept payments, and private market services to meet needs such as education. With out government involved, everything actually improves, and no more violation of peoples rights takes place.
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May 02, 2011, 06:13:39 AM
 #20

Government is that which taxes. Taxing is the taking of money by force. Government is the mafia, and government makes you pay it protection money. Government spends this protection money lining the pockets of their friends who in return provide low quality goods to the public, or in many cases goods many do not even want (for example, I don't want my tax dollars to pay for the war on drugs, not that it matters since I don't want to be extorted from in the first place).

Anarchocapitalists are against taxation, seeing it as the theft that it is. Instead, they suggest that you should be FREE to pay for services you want, but not forced into them. If you want to be part of a public health care pool, you get to do that but if others don't want to be a part of it they dont have to. In short, you pay for what you want, need and use. This makes for far more efficient systems, freer people, but less happy government and less happy people who would rather use the government to extort their neighbors for money.

Anarcho-capitalism is pretty much decentralized libertarianism.

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No offense but your passionate hatred of 'government', somewhat typical of this forum strikes me as deeply naive and misguided. Government is just a word for an organization of management in society. These days we call that the 'state', in days gone by 'government' would have been the tribal elders or whatever. Hating 'government' is like waging a war on terrorism.

Government demands taxes, versus what cryptoanarchists would prefer, private defense agencies, who accept payments, and private market services to meet needs such as education. With out government involved, everything actually improves, and no more violation of peoples rights takes place.

PROTIP: Use hyphens ("coercive-government" or "monopoly-government") to avoid silly debates over semantics.

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
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