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Author Topic: Criticisms?  (Read 10442 times)
myrkul
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June 18, 2012, 07:28:46 AM
 #1

I'd like to do a little research.

I'm convinced AnCap can work, but obviously, not everyone is.

I'd like to hear your doubts, your concerns, and your criticisms. Why do you think it will fail?

Things like "Who will build the roads?" and "What happens if someone invades?" or "Corporations will control the world!" are what I want to see.

Things that will be ignored: "You're stupid." (especially if you use "your"), "It's a pathetic ideology." etc.

I'll likely let the questions get up a good head of steam and then answer a bunch of them all at once. Of course, I welcome the other anarchists and libertarians on here to swing in and answer anything they have a mood to.

So. Why do you think we need a government?

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June 18, 2012, 07:43:30 AM
 #2

When there is no government, armed gangs fight until one of them wins and becomes the government.
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June 18, 2012, 08:20:12 AM
 #3

When there is no government, armed gangs fight until one of them wins and becomes the government.

This. Any proponent of an AnCap society needs to address this problem as well as that of external threats first.


Quote
Things like "Who will build the roads?" and "What happens if someone invades?" or "Corporations will control the world!" are what I want to see.

Roads can be toll roads, or technology will make them largely obsolete eventually (3-d printers, telecommuting, air travel)

External threats are one of the main problems. There is a reason that you see no AnCap societies when you look around today.

Corporations are a product of the government. You pay a government to be excused from certain laws. So maybe that isn't the word you were looking for.
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June 18, 2012, 08:44:48 AM
 #4

When there is no government, armed gangs fight until one of them wins and becomes the government.
The world will be ruled by companies, and companies are smart enough to know that war and crime is bad for business. Sure, governments know that too, but they don't care because they have a monopoly on the use of force. When there's no monopoly on force, it will be priced more reasonably, making unnecessary violence unprofitable. Hopefully.

External threats are one of the main problems. There is a reason that you see no AnCap societies when you look around today.
Suppose all these armed gangs people keep referring to band together against their common enemy? Seriously though, if it becomes a problem, I'm sure the companies ruling the world will try to negotiate peace with the invaders, what with war being a threat to their business and all.

Corporations are a product of the government. You pay a government to be excused from certain laws. So maybe that isn't the word you were looking for.
The word he's looking for is companies (that is, groups of individuals working together to make money; nothing more, nothing less). Companies will rule the world, which is a good thing because companies want money, not votes, and the only for them to get money is to provide what people are willing to pay for, as opposed to government's taking people's money by force and spending it on things the people don't necessarily want.

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June 18, 2012, 02:01:08 PM
 #5

When there is no government, armed gangs fight until one of them wins and becomes the government.
The world will be ruled by companies, and companies are smart enough to know that war and crime is bad for business.
The best thing there is for business is when the use of force is placed under an objective system of laws, i.e., a [good] government. So, corporations (and honest people in general) would work to set up a government.

The word he's looking for is companies (that is, groups of individuals working together to make money; nothing more, nothing less). Companies will rule the world, which is a good thing because companies want money, not votes, and the only for them to get money is to provide what people are willing to pay for, as opposed to government's taking people's money by force and spending it on things the people don't necessarily want.
Well, if companies rule the world, they are the government (albeit a non-objective one), and they can take people's money by force.

Let me ask, why would you support anarcho-capitalism when you could support having a mininal government that enforces only the basic rule of law, so that there is a capitalist system? Is there something wrong with that solution to you?
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June 18, 2012, 04:53:45 PM
 #6

I'd like to do a little research.

I'm convinced AnCap can work, but obviously, not everyone is.

I'd like to hear your doubts, your concerns, and your criticisms. Why do you think it will fail?

Things like "Who will build the roads?" and "What happens if someone invades?" or "Corporations will control the world!" are what I want to see.

Things that will be ignored: "You're stupid." (especially if you use "your"), "It's a pathetic ideology." etc.

I'll likely let the questions get up a good head of steam and then answer a bunch of them all at once. Of course, I welcome the other anarchists and libertarians on here to swing in and answer anything they have a mood to.

So. Why do you think we need a government?

There are people who believe themselves to be morally superior to you, usually because of some religious thing.  Take away the protection of law, and you have large numbers of disorganised but basically pleasant folk facing a small number of armed, trained and ruthless militants.  They will get weapons and finance from foreign governments.  They have no fear of dying for their cause and will kill you if you get in the way.  Say hello to your new government.

For examples of this, if you take a look at Somalia, it worked fine until foreign powers started to arm local religious militias.  Right now Libya is a mainly pleasant anarchy.  Watch what happens as foreign powers start to take sides.

Now of course AnCap can "work" but will it be better than our democratic systems? Not unless human nature changes.


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June 18, 2012, 07:22:08 PM
 #7

The world will be ruled by companies, and companies are smart enough to know that war and crime is bad for business.
The best thing there is for business is when the use of force is placed under an objective system of laws, i.e., a [good] government. So, corporations (and honest people in general) would work to set up a government.
The worst thing there is for business is when the government starts forcing them to pay taxes. Nobody is suggesting that there shouldn't be an objective system of laws, just that said laws shouldn't be created and enforced at the whim of a single, monopolistic entity.

The word he's looking for is companies (that is, groups of individuals working together to make money; nothing more, nothing less). Companies will rule the world, which is a good thing because companies want money, not votes, and the only for them to get money is to provide what people are willing to pay for, as opposed to government's taking people's money by force and spending it on things the people don't necessarily want.
Well, if companies rule the world, they are the government (albeit a non-objective one), and they can take people's money by force.
How? In a free market, no company can force any individual to use them rather than their competitors, and the resulting competition will keep prices down. If your point is that people are forced to use some company for certain services, well, that's already the case now: people are "forced" to buy food or else starve, but nobody would seriously suggest that grocers are taking people's money by force or that they constitute a kind of government. People could also grow their own food if they are willing to put in the time and effort, and in an arnacho-captital system, the same would be true of all vital services. If enough people don't like what the existing companies are doing, they can (and eventually will) put their resources together and form their own company. Compare this situation with every form of government that has ever existed, where if you don't like the government's doing, you not only have to put up with it, you have to keep paying for it, and you'll have force used against you if you don't.

Let me ask, why would you support anarcho-capitalism when you could support having a mininal government that enforces only the basic rule of law, so that there is a capitalist system? Is there something wrong with that solution to you?
Because minimal governments don't tend to stay minimal for very long.

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June 18, 2012, 07:47:16 PM
 #8

The world will be ruled by companies, and companies are smart enough to know that war and crime is bad for business.
The best thing there is for business is when the use of force is placed under an objective system of laws, i.e., a [good] government. So, corporations (and honest people in general) would work to set up a government.
The worst thing there is for business is when the government starts forcing them to pay taxes. Nobody is suggesting that there shouldn't be an objective system of laws, just that said laws shouldn't be created and enforced at the whim of a single, monopolistic entity.
Then how are laws going to be determined and enforced? I'd like to hear about the nuts and bolts of what you're proposing.

The word he's looking for is companies (that is, groups of individuals working together to make money; nothing more, nothing less). Companies will rule the world, which is a good thing because companies want money, not votes, and the only for them to get money is to provide what people are willing to pay for, as opposed to government's taking people's money by force and spending it on things the people don't necessarily want.
Well, if companies rule the world, they are the government (albeit a non-objective one), and they can take people's money by force.
How? In a free market, no company can force any individual to use them rather than their competitors, and the resulting competition will keep prices down.
Because if the companies are "ruling the world," as you say, then that means they have a monopoly on the use of force, which means they CAN take people's money by force. By the way, no, I don't buy into any of that leftist hogwash that conflates a free market with force which you were addressing in the rest of that paragraph. Presumably, in explaining how the nuts and bolts of the system will work, you will explain why you think that companies can "rule the world" and yet not be able to initiate force against people.

Because minimal governments don't tend to stay minimal for very long.
That is fundamentally a cultural problem. It doesn't have to be that way, if the culture improves. Having a stronger constitution can also help a lot, but that's just an implementation concern (i.e. not as fundamental).
myrkul
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June 18, 2012, 08:55:53 PM
 #9

I feel a little responsible for this line of conversation... I kinda started it all with that reference to the "corporations will rule the world" bit. That's an actual argument I got once, and while it's already been satisfactorily answered, that answer opened up this can of worms, so I'll start my answering here.
The world will be ruled by companies, and companies are smart enough to know that war and crime is bad for business.
The best thing there is for business is when the use of force is placed under an objective system of laws, i.e., a [good] government. So, corporations (and honest people in general) would work to set up a government.
The worst thing there is for business is when the government starts forcing them to pay taxes. Nobody is suggesting that there shouldn't be an objective system of laws, just that said laws shouldn't be created and enforced at the whim of a single, monopolistic entity.
Then how are laws going to be determined and enforced? I'd like to hear about the nuts and bolts of what you're proposing.

Well, the laws we have in place today are the result of a monopoly on justice. Most of those laws, without the monopoly on justice, wouldn't stand. Drug laws, for instance. not everyone agrees that pot is bad for you, so without the monopoly, a ban on marijuana wouldn't be universally enforced. If someone wanted to keep pot out of their private property, that's up to them to decide, and up to them to enforce. Everyone agrees that they would rather not be murdered. Even without a monopoly on justice, murder would still be universally a no-no. Same with other violent crimes. A free-market justice system would be composed of competing arbitration firms deciding cases, rather than a single monolithic "Court system". People would choose the arbitration agency that they trust the most, thus the most trustworthy agencies, with the best policies, would be the most profitable.

Determination of the laws would be primarily case law, with individual incidents providing precedent for later judgments to be based on.

Enforcement is something of a conundrum, because not everyone agrees on what should be done. The question comes down to whether or not retaliatory force is justifiable. If the agency in question considers it to be, then the criminal can expect to be forced to pay back the victim. If the agency in question does not consider retaliatory force to be justifiable, then the criminal can expect to be encouraged to pay back the victim by means of a reputation hit. The agency would likely advertise the criminal's name and face, crime, and lack of restitution. This will reduce the likelihood that others will willingly interact with the criminal, resulting in the criminal being effectively ostracized from polite society. This is a slower method, but is more "humane". Most likely, both means would be used, with retributive force reserved for the more violent and dangerous criminals, and the more humane method used for non-violent crimes, such as breach of contract and the like.

The word he's looking for is companies (that is, groups of individuals working together to make money; nothing more, nothing less). Companies will rule the world, which is a good thing because companies want money, not votes, and the only for them to get money is to provide what people are willing to pay for, as opposed to government's taking people's money by force and spending it on things the people don't necessarily want.
Well, if companies rule the world, they are the government (albeit a non-objective one), and they can take people's money by force.
How? In a free market, no company can force any individual to use them rather than their competitors, and the resulting competition will keep prices down.
Because if the companies are "ruling the world," as you say, then that means they have a monopoly on the use of force, which means they CAN take people's money by force. By the way, no, I don't buy into any of that leftist hogwash that conflates a free market with force which you were addressing in the rest of that paragraph. Presumably, in explaining how the nuts and bolts of the system will work, you will explain why you think that companies can "rule the world" and yet not be able to initiate force against people.

As I said above, this is sort of my fault. I don't believe companies would rule the world. Certainly the corporation, and most likely even the company, as we know it, would cease to exist in a stateless society, and they obviously would not have the monopoly on force required to "rule the world". Any entity who took it upon themselves to try and take over the populace would have a rough time of it, what with the competing defense agencies defending their clients from the would-be State, not to mention the individuals defending themselves. Besides, attack is expensive, in both men and money. Not a smart business move.

Because minimal governments don't tend to stay minimal for very long.
That is fundamentally a cultural problem. It doesn't have to be that way, if the culture improves. Having a stronger constitution can also help a lot, but that's just an implementation concern (i.e. not as fundamental).

I'm inclined to say that it's not a cultural issue, but rather a flaw in the nature of the beast. Any monopoly will naturally seek to expand. A monopoly on violence is uniquely suited to expand in whatever direction it chooses.

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June 18, 2012, 09:52:12 PM
 #10

...snip...

Well, the laws we have in place today are the result of a monopoly on justice. Most of those laws, without the monopoly on justice, wouldn't stand. Drug laws, for instance. not everyone agrees that pot is bad for you, so without the monopoly, a ban on marijuana wouldn't be universally enforced. If someone wanted to keep pot out of their private property, that's up to them to decide, and up to them to enforce. Everyone agrees that they would rather not be murdered. Even without a monopoly on justice, ...snip...

Thats just wrong.  You will still live in a society where people are determined to prevent drug use.  Instead of police you will have vigilantes.  IF you want to legalise dope, you need to convince people; removing the state just means that instead of arrest and trial you get kidnapped and lynched.

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June 18, 2012, 10:03:12 PM
 #11

Thats just wrong.  You will still live in a society where people are determined to prevent drug use.  Instead of police you will have vigilantes.  IF you want to legalise dope, you need to convince people; removing the state just means that instead of arrest and trial you get kidnapped and lynched.

Yep. Or maybe you can use certain drugs within the territory that is controlled by your arbitration agency (i.e., gang), but what happens when the gang next door decides they don't want drug use near them and that they have enough force to take over your gang's territory and stop it?

This illustrates the general point that there will be continual disagreements between these agencies. (They will also disagree about even more serious matters, such as whether person X is guilty of murder.) And how will they resolve these disgreements? Well, they'll have to use force. It will be in your interest as an individual to join a gang that has a lot of power and a large and stable or growing territory... which will eventually become a government. Better to just put up with bad drug laws than go through all that! myrkul, this is my response to your last long post responding to me. If you would like to try to explain a safe way for disputes between agencies to be resolved, that would be iteresting.
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June 18, 2012, 10:07:45 PM
 #12

I'm inclined to say that it's not a cultural issue, but rather a flaw in the nature of the beast. Any monopoly will naturally seek to expand. A monopoly on violence is uniquely suited to expand in whatever direction it chooses.

No, it really is a cultural issue. We can downsize the US government if people continue to become better educated about the problems with large government, and vote in better representatives.

By the way, government bureaucrats don't stand to gain anything personally by expanding the government, except pursuing their own social goals, social status, and profiteering through corruption. (And at a fundamental level, those things are not really "gains"--they just don't necessarily know that.) With a better culture that values small government in principle and that demands transparency in government, those things could be dealt with. So, this rebuts your point that "any monopoly will naturally seek to expand."
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June 18, 2012, 10:25:14 PM
 #13

This illustrates the general point that there will be continual disagreements between these agencies. (They will also disagree about even more serious matters, such as whether person X is guilty of murder.) And how will they resolve these disagreements? Well, they'll have to use force. It will be in your interest as an individual to join a gang that has a lot of power and a large and stable or growing territory... which will eventually become a government. Better to just put up with bad drug laws than go through all that! myrkul, this is my response to your last long post responding to me. If you would like to try to explain a safe way for disputes between agencies to be resolved, that would be interesting.

Arbitration. Arbitration is win/win. War is win/lose, possibly even lose/lose. Why play zero (or negative) sum games, when positive sum ones are available? If you don't know what arbitration is, I can explain it, but the Wikipedia article is sufficiently accurate.

By the way, government bureaucrats don't stand to gain anything personally by expanding the government, except pursuing their own social goals, social status, and profiteering through corruption. (And at a fundamental level, those things are not really "gains"--they just don't necessarily know that.) With a better culture that values small government in principle and that demands transparency in government, those things could be dealt with. So, this rebuts your point that "any monopoly will naturally seek to expand."

Maybe. With a better culture, and "eternal vigilance," we could keep a government small. For a while. A generation, maybe two, or even three. But sooner or later, the corrupt will get into power, or the power will corrupt a good man, and one of those "gains" will look attractive, and then we're off to the races again. I'd rather toss the ring into Mt. Doom, than give it to someone and trust in future generations watching the ringbearer carefully.

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June 18, 2012, 10:51:44 PM
 #14

[Arbitration. Arbitration is win/win. War is win/lose, possibly even lose/lose. Why play zero (or negative) sum games, when positive sum ones are available? If you don't know what arbitration is, I can explain it, but the Wikipedia article is sufficiently accurate.
I know what arbitration is. My gang will never agree to arbitration with your gang if my gang can just take over your gang's territory. And I definitely want my gang to do that, because if some person under your gang falsely accuses me of murder, I do not want an arbiter to decide that I am guilty and for my gang to hand me over for punishment.

In other words, why play a positive sum game, when I can play a zero sum game whose payoff is larger? And if I can't win the zero sum game, there is probably someone else who can (or whose alliance can), etc.

The positive sum game with the largest payout for everyone, individually and collectively, is to just have a small government.

The US was the first experiment in this, and it actually worked pretty darn well all things considered. The Founders did not get it perfect, and the culture is not in such good shape right now (nor has it been for a long time). That's no reason to conclude that limited government is impossible.

Maybe. With a better culture, and "eternal vigilance," we could keep a government small. For a while. A generation, maybe two, or even three. But sooner or later, the corrupt will get into power, or the power will corrupt a good man, and one of those "gains" will look attractive, and then we're off to the races again. I'd rather toss the ring into Mt. Doom, than give it to someone and trust in future generations watching the ringbearer carefully.

I like the Mt. Doom analogy, but unfortunately, there is no Mt. Doom. A system of "anarco-capitlism" is just as likely to end up with totalitarianism after a few generations (or even within 1 generation) as any other---in fact, probably far more likely to than most. And anyway, it's irrational to worry about the future beyond the time horizon where ourselves and our loved ones are alive.
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June 18, 2012, 11:03:21 PM
 #15

[Arbitration. Arbitration is win/win. War is win/lose, possibly even lose/lose. Why play zero (or negative) sum games, when positive sum ones are available? If you don't know what arbitration is, I can explain it, but the Wikipedia article is sufficiently accurate.
I know what arbitration is. My gang will never agree to arbitration with your gang if my gang can just take over your gang's territory. And I definitely want my gang to do that, because if some person under your gang falsely accuses me of murder, I do not want an arbiter to decide that I am guilty and for my gang to hand me over for punishment.

In other words, why play a positive sum game, when I can play a zero sum game whose payoff is larger? And if I can't win the zero sum game, there is probably someone else who can (or whose alliance can), etc.

You might be surprised, but Game Theory actually contradicts this statement. People will consistently pick the win/win over the win/lose, even when the payout of the win/lose is greater. It's also the better strategy, long-term.

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June 18, 2012, 11:14:46 PM
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I see it like this: we live in a state of anarcho-capitalism. The entity that calls itself "government" in the U.S. is simply the long-standing business of democracy, majority rule, and public interest. It is also a heavily armed and vengeful business. And of course, it is also a corrupt business, like many other businesses. Calling for an end to government (misinformed anarchism) is naive. There will always be people with power over other people. This is an unavoidable fact for any ideology. Pacifism, communo-anarchism, etc. miss this point. "Government" is a meaningless and arbitrary word. A goverment is a business with lots of guns, support, and power. There will always be governments, there will always be businesses, no matter what you may choose to call them. Personally, I am glad that there are businesses that favor majority rule. I think anti-trust laws are a good and necessary thing. Otherwise, businesses with a necessary product and a very high entry threshold (think: power companies... lines, plants, etc) can become fascist monopolies if unregulated. Government is the entity that formally speaks on behalf of the people and prevents these things from happening.
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June 18, 2012, 11:21:09 PM
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I think anti-trust laws are a good and necessary thing. Otherwise, businesses with a necessary product and a very high entry threshold (think: power companies... lines, plants, etc) can become fascist monopolies if unregulated. Government is the entity that formally speaks on behalf of the people and prevents these things from happening.

Great. Let's turn those anti-trust laws on this business you call government. Life would be a hell of a lot nicer if that trust were broken up.

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June 18, 2012, 11:30:29 PM
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I think anti-trust laws are a good and necessary thing. Otherwise, businesses with a necessary product and a very high entry threshold (think: power companies... lines, plants, etc) can become fascist monopolies if unregulated. Government is the entity that formally speaks on behalf of the people and prevents these things from happening.

Great. Let's turn those anti-trust laws on this business you call government. Life would be a hell of a lot nicer if that trust were broken up.

I completely agree.
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June 19, 2012, 12:23:00 AM
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Now of course AnCap can "work" but will it be better than our democratic systems? Not unless human nature changes.

In 415 BC a democratically elected government attacked a neutral island that refused to join its military alliance and killed all of the men and enslaved all of the children.

Even in the context of a war, such an action would be considerably less likely and less successful in modern times. If not human nature, what did change?

Argumentum ad lunam: the fallacy that because Bitcoin's price is rising really fast the currency must be a speculative bubble and/or Ponzi scheme.
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June 19, 2012, 02:21:03 AM
 #20

Now of course AnCap can "work" but will it be better than our democratic systems? Not unless human nature changes.

In 415 BC a democratically elected government attacked a neutral island that refused to join its military alliance and killed all of the men and enslaved all of the children.

Even in the context of a war, such an action would be considerably less likely and less successful in modern times. If not human nature, what did change?

 Going along with the assumption that the likelihood of these types of events occuring in respective time periods can be guaged and compared, would it really be less likely? Very similar things have happened in the past 100 years.

What has changed...

-News travels faster

-People with guns and nukes get more pissed off now at people conquering conquering/enslaving peoples

-For a territory to be called "neutral" now either impossible or dishonest (save for, say, uncontacted tribes, etc). Everyone has ties.




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