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Author Topic: Objections to the non-aggression principle  (Read 5498 times)
FirstAscent
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February 20, 2012, 07:02:23 PM
 #21

The ultimate libertarian "contract law" experiment is the world, and it is rife with problems, wars, takeovers, complete disregard for contracts, power plays, allies ganging up on others, and, believe it or not, the only model under which nuclear arms have been used against others.

Those things are behaviors of states, entities which have geographic monopolies on the initiation of violence. There is no realistic analog to a state in a stateless society. Yes, as a property owner I would have a "monopoly on the initiation of violence" on my property, but it is a very limited monopoly, both in size and scope. However, you are correct that statism, the current societal paradigm, "is rife with problems, wars, takeovers, complete disregard for contracts, power plays, allies ganging up on others, and [...] the only model under which nuclear arms have been used against others".

So wrong you are. Nations in our world analogize very accurately to individuals in your NAP world.
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Hawker
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February 20, 2012, 07:35:49 PM
 #22

There is no contract between you and some random person you've never met. There is simply no guarantee that NAP would be the order of the day. I have had this discussion a hundred times. Most people here want NAP to be a reality so badly that they fail to objectively see its faults.

Dream on.

You clearly don't understand it. Just read the first half of the tiny book I pointed you to. Read about how decentralized justice systems have worked in ancient societies.
Educate yourself. The "faults" you think you're raising have been refuted by many important writers already.

I say you don't give a shit about learning, all you want is to carry on purposeless discussions. If you really wanted to learn anything, you'd have already figured out that's not through forum discussions that you'll learn much (particularly in a forum that is about a technology, not economy or ethics).
EDIT: Well, actually forums may be useful. They are useful to solve punctual doubts, or to get pointers to more extensive knowledge somewhere else, as I'm try to provide here. But you must want to follow such pointers.

Have you read it?  From the second paragraph, it falls apart as it assumes that everyone shares the same property values.  If I think its morally wrong for you to have 20 cows when I have one, the whole thing fails.

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February 20, 2012, 07:52:38 PM
 #23

So wrong you are. Nations in our world analogize very accurately to individuals in your NAP world.

Are you claiming that in a stateless society that values the NAP, all individuals will feel they have the right to initiate violence against any other individual? What?
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February 20, 2012, 07:55:51 PM
 #24

Quote from: Hawker
Have you read it?  From the second paragraph, it falls apart as it assumes that everyone shares the same property values.  If I think its morally wrong for you to have 20 cows when I have one, the whole thing fails.

No it doesn't, you can think having 20 cows is morally wrong all you want, but it's not. In this situation you would just be a jealous douche. If you acted on these thoughts by trying to steal a cow, what would happen? The same thing that would happen if you went out today and tried to steal a cow, you'd get shot.

The point I'm trying to make here is that as human being we interact with each other using the Non-Aggression Principle all the time. If there is a government to resolve disputes between parties, that doesn't change anything when a trespasser is in the act of stealing one of my f'ing cows.

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chrisrico
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February 20, 2012, 08:00:08 PM
 #25

Quote from: Hawker
Have you read it?  From the second paragraph, it falls apart as it assumes that everyone shares the same property values.  If I think its morally wrong for you to have 20 cows when I have one, the whole thing fails.

No it doesn't, you can think having 20 cows is morally wrong all you want, but it's not. In this situation you would just be a jealous douche. If you acted on these thoughts by trying to steal a cow, what would happen? The same thing that would happen if you went out today and tried to steal a cow, you'd get shot.

Let's say that Hakwer is right, and (from some perspective) he is morally justified in taking one of my cows. Well, then it is your equally valid moral opinion that he has too many cows and you have too few, and you are exactly as justified in taking his (your) cow back from him as he was taking it from you in the first place. Now, I'm going to assume that at this point he will argue that he is justified in using violence to prevent you from taking the cow, but that's merely because it's his cow, not yours. See, moral opinions are only legitimately backed by force when the opinion works in the statist's favor.
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February 20, 2012, 08:29:28 PM
 #26

Quote from: Hawker
Have you read it?  From the second paragraph, it falls apart as it assumes that everyone shares the same property values.  If I think its morally wrong for you to have 20 cows when I have one, the whole thing fails.

No it doesn't, you can think having 20 cows is morally wrong all you want, but it's not. In this situation you would just be a jealous douche. If you acted on these thoughts by trying to steal a cow, what would happen? The same thing that would happen if you went out today and tried to steal a cow, you'd get shot.

The point I'm trying to make here is that as human being we interact with each other using the Non-Aggression Principle all the time. If there is a government to resolve disputes between parties, that doesn't change anything when a trespasser is in the act of stealing one of my f'ing cows.

You are missing the point. 

The whole idea of property is a legal concept.  It comes from the state.  If you take away the state, the whole idea of property rights goes with it and you end up in a tribal situation where ownership is a flexible concept and violence over how things like cows get shared is the norm.  If there is no law, people who disagree with you owning 20 cows are not jealous douches any more than you are.

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February 20, 2012, 08:32:43 PM
 #27

So wrong you are. Nations in our world analogize very accurately to individuals in your NAP world.

Are you claiming that in a stateless society that values the NAP, all individuals will feel they have the right to initiate violence against any other individual? What?

In a stateless society, for example Iraq in 2003, a huge number of people felt just that.  In London last year when the state withdrew from certain streets, it took less than 30 minutes for the looting and beatings to start.  People were literally killed in the street.

Civilisation is a thin veneer on top of a brutal humanity. 

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February 20, 2012, 08:43:55 PM
 #28

So wrong you are. Nations in our world analogize very accurately to individuals in your NAP world.

Are you claiming that in a stateless society that values the NAP, all individuals will feel they have the right to initiate violence against any other individual? What?

In a stateless society, for example Iraq in 2003, a huge number of people felt just that.  In London last year when the state withdrew from certain streets, it took less than 30 minutes for the looting and beatings to start.  People were literally killed in the street.

Civilisation is a thin veneer on top of a brutal humanity. 

Let me clarify, when I say stateless society, I mean one in which the people willfully desire and achieve the lack of a state. Iraq was an invaded and failed state, big difference.
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February 20, 2012, 08:47:17 PM
 #29

So wrong you are. Nations in our world analogize very accurately to individuals in your NAP world.

Are you claiming that in a stateless society that values the NAP, all individuals will feel they have the right to initiate violence against any other individual? What?

In a stateless society, for example Iraq in 2003, a huge number of people felt just that.  In London last year when the state withdrew from certain streets, it took less than 30 minutes for the looting and beatings to start.  People were literally killed in the street.

Civilisation is a thin veneer on top of a brutal humanity. 

Let me clarify, when I say stateless society, I mean one in which the people willfully desire and achieve the lack of a state. Iraq was an invaded and failed state, big difference.

You still have the basic problem.  No laws means gang law.

chrisrico
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February 20, 2012, 08:49:04 PM
 #30

You still have the basic problem.  No laws means gang law.

Only if you make an unjustified assumption that given a demand for law, the market would not satisfy this demand.
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February 20, 2012, 08:50:30 PM
 #31

Quote from: Hawker
If you take away the state, the whole idea of property rights goes with it

First there was no state, then it came into existence. Your statement implies there were no property rights before the state. It seems to me that I have the right to retain ownership of my property. If I do not have the right to retain ownership of my property, logical inconsistencies arise.

Quote from: Hawker
In London last year when the state withdrew from certain streets, it took less than 30 minutes for the looting and beatings to start.

The state provides protection via police in London. Claiming that removing that protection is somehow equivalent to a stateless society is misguided because in a stateless society protection is provided in a decentralized way. The stores were looted because there was nothing protecting them from being looted. Your example shows the weakness of centralized state power. The state failed to protect the people, they failed in their responsibility so the people had to suffer for it. In a stateless society the responsibility would be on the institution providing the protection and the clients who are looted would have recourse. If you believe that a society without government is dependent on all citizens acting what today would be considered "lawful" you are incorrect.

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February 20, 2012, 08:53:50 PM
 #32

Quote from: Hawker
If you take away the state, the whole idea of property rights goes with it

First there was no state, then it came into existence. Your statement implies there were no property rights before the state. It seems to me that I have the right to retain ownership of my property. If I do not have the right to retain ownership of my property, logical inconsistencies arise.

Quote from: Hawker
In London last year when the state withdrew from certain streets, it took less than 30 minutes for the looting and beatings to start.

The state provides protection via police in London. Claiming that removing that protection is somehow equivalent to a stateless society is misguided because in a stateless society protection is provided in a decentralized way. The stores were looted because there was nothing protecting them from being looted. Your example shows the weakness of centralized state power. The state failed to protect the people, they failed in their responsibility so the people must suffer for it. In a stateless society the responsibility would be on the institution providing the protection and the clients who are looted will have recourse. If you believe that a society without government is dependent on all citizens acting what today would be considered "lawful" you are incorrect.

Your property is yours under state law.  Take away the state and what was your property is the property of whoever can take it by force.

Its not enough to assert that I am incorrect.  I can show that violence falls and quality of life rises are we get into modern organised states.  I know you want to improve on what we have and so do I.  But I don't believe you can wish away the huge percentage of the population that will resort to violence within 30 minutes of state protection being taken away from people and property.

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February 20, 2012, 08:56:28 PM
 #33

The whole idea of property is a legal concept.  It comes from the state.

I dispute that law, or the idea of property "comes from" the state. I will however assume that it does so for the sake of argument.

That the idea of property, as a legal concept, comes from the state does not imply that it those same arrangements/services could not be provided at least as efficiently by a private market (not geographical monopolies).

What you don't seem to grasp is that there is a demand for law, it's merely that the state has a violent monopoly on the market. Take away the state, and you don't take away the demand, you just take away the monopoly. In the absence of a perceived legitimate monopoly, competition flourishes, just as it does in any market.
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February 20, 2012, 09:02:46 PM
 #34

Hawker when I said you are incorrect, I meant that to be coming from my point of view, it is my opinion you are incorrect. I just want to repeat, a stateless society works with participants who are violent criminals, thieves, and rapists.

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February 20, 2012, 09:08:47 PM
 #35

Hawker when I said you are incorrect, I meant that to be coming from my point of view, it is my opinion you are incorrect. I just want to repeat, a stateless society works with participants who are violent criminals, thieves, and rapists.

I know it does - as we saw in London last year and see in umpteen stateless regions all over the world today, stateless societies are playgrounds for violent individuals. 

That's why I prefer the idea of a state.  If we need violence to protect ourselves, then one body with a monopoly on violence is preferable.

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February 20, 2012, 09:12:55 PM
 #36

The whole idea of property is a legal concept.  It comes from the state.

I dispute that law, or the idea of property "comes from" the state. I will however assume that it does so for the sake of argument.

That the idea of property, as a legal concept, comes from the state does not imply that it those same arrangements/services could not be provided at least as efficiently by a private market (not geographical monopolies).

What you don't seem to grasp is that there is a demand for law, it's merely that the state has a violent monopoly on the market. Take away the state, and you don't take away the demand, you just take away the monopoly. In the absence of a perceived legitimate monopoly, competition flourishes, just as it does in any market.

We agree on the demand for law.  Where we disagree is on the most efficient way to provide it.  A state with a monopoly on violence which is tied down by rules as to when it can use violence is a simple and efficient way of providing a safe social environment.  

If you know of a better one, let me know but it does have to be better - not just different for its own sake.  

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February 20, 2012, 09:40:07 PM
 #37

By "works" I mean society functions in an efficient and just manner, even if undesirable behavior exists.

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February 20, 2012, 09:43:12 PM
 #38

By "works" I mean society functions in an efficient and just manner, even if undesirable behavior exists.

I get that and we all share that objective. 

What I don't get is an efficient fair alternative to one party having a monopoly on violence and that party being tied up by all kinds of rules and regulations as to how it can use violence. 

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February 20, 2012, 09:50:38 PM
 #39

A state with a monopoly on violence which is tied down by rules as to when it can use violence

Why would or how could the same individuals who bind the state so securely not do the same to a competitive marketplace in the provision of law and justice? Just look at how each type of service is provided. It is considered legitimate (through social norms and state-run education) for the state to threaten violence against those who do not fund it, regardless of their satisfaction with services received. Private organizations, on the other hand, have no such guaranteed source of income, and must convince individuals to purchase their services without threat of violence.

is a simple and efficient way of providing a safe social environment.

Simple? Do you consider, for instance, the federal government of the United States, with its origin as an intentionally limited government, to be simple and efficient? I can't find an authoritative answer, but I've heard that the entire USC is over 200,000 pages long.

If you know of a better one, let me know but it does have to be better - not just different for its own sake. 

That's exactly what I'm trying to do. Conversely, you seem stuck on the fallacy that currently exists must be beneficial for the fact that it exists. If, for instance, statist solutions to poverty really worked, don't you think they would have by now, in a world where governments have the largest welfare budgets of all time?
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February 20, 2012, 09:58:51 PM
 #40

chrisrico - the reason the state is tied up in regulations as to how it uses violence is that within its borders, there is only 1 law.

Remove the state and you have no one single law.  So every dispute will require violence.  For example, a dispute over who gets the house in a divorce will have the husband's hired thugs enforcing his rules against the wife's hired thugs enforcing her's.
 
Same will apply in inheritance law.  If Grandad leaves the entire estate to his daughter, she will have to hire thugs to fight off her brother's thugs as her brother will say that the will was not valid.

There are great benefits to having only 1 law and 1 force authorised to use force. 

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