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Author Topic: Criticisms?  (Read 10427 times)
Hawker
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June 19, 2012, 06:57:55 AM
 #21

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?

In 1994, a million people were killed the same way in Rwanda.  But I see your point.  Modern democratic societies are reluctant to use the type of violence you are thinking of.  Take away your modern democratic state and you return to savagery.  Last year the London Police let it be known that they would not intervene to protect property if there was a risk of riots.  Within an hour people were being burnt out of their homes by mobs in balaclavas.  The veneer of law and order is very thin.

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June 19, 2012, 08:58:43 AM
 #22

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.

I was only half-joking when I said companies will rule the world. Naturally, I don't believe they will actually be able to rule people the way governments do, but they will have a large amount of influence over world affairs. They already do, and I don't see any reason why that would change under an anarcho-capitalistic society. Possibly extremely large companies that depend on the government will be forced to collapse or break up, but smaller companies will flourish and grow thanks to the lower barriers to entry. In any case, I don't believe it's a bad thing that companies will be extremely influential in such a society. Since companies are trying to make money from their customers and investors, they have a better incentive to efficiently provide what the people want and need than any system of government. Ultimately, the free market will force unwanted and inefficient and otherwise "evil" companies out of business, so for the most part we won't have to worry about that.

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June 19, 2012, 10:04:00 AM
 #23

OK, so to sum up, the reasons so far why AnCap won't work are:
  • armed gangs
  • invading armies
  • terrorists
  • Lynch mobs because of smoking a joint
  • companies becoming de facto governments

The first three are handled by defense agencies, as would the fourth one, if it weren't so damn laughable.

Let me explain what a defense agency is. It's a private military force/police department. Most likely, companies will specialize in one part of that, with mutual aid agreements covering any "holes." It's even possible a defense agency would have only other defense agencies as clients, and specialize in repelling large-scale invasion. Defense agencies would compete for your business. Not in the way armies currently compete for tracts of land, but rather, in the way cable and satellite TV providers compete to be the ones showing you reality shows.

Which brings us to the 5th scenario... Honestly, this is the most credible of the bunch. A company decides to use it's admittedly impressive resources to take power and declare itself the new government of the territory, maybe even that defense agency defense agency I mentioned in the last paragraph. Even assuming that they would want to ruin their sweet deal, and can find people willing to shoot the people whom they are being paid to protect, they won't have it easy. They'll have to defeat all those other defense agencies, each one with an unpredictable arsenal. Then, assuming they succeed there without being whittled down to the CEO, they'll still have to subjugate a potentially very heavily armed populace. Some nutjob could really ruin their day.

If you don't have a monopoly on violence, using violence to achieve your ends gets kind of expensive.


I was only half-joking when I said companies will rule the world.
Oh, not to worry, I know. I was mostly addressing the fact that that off-hand comment started one heck of a spiral.

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June 19, 2012, 11:09:54 AM
 #24

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.

I disagree that there will always be governments. The government NEEDS the consent of the people to function. That's why we are so heavily propogandised in government run education centers and government backed media about the importance and virtue of the state. Once people understand that the government is an immoral institution and isn't actually necessary, it will inevitably end. It's a battle of ideas and the internet is turning the tide.
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June 19, 2012, 01:02:51 PM
 #25

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.

I disagree that there will always be governments. The government NEEDS the consent of the people to function. That's why we are so heavily propogandised in government run education centers and government backed media about the importance and virtue of the state. Once people understand that the government is an immoral institution and isn't actually necessary, it will inevitably end. It's a battle of ideas and the internet is turning the tide.

I think this is a false assumption. What do you mean by "government isn't actually necessary?" Somebody is always, always, always, going to be in charge. To ask whether somebody "needs" to be in charge or not is a meaningless question. Regardless whether it was actually his idea, Nietzsche got a lot right about the "will to power." That power is the number one driving force behind every human action. People will always find a way to rule over other people.
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June 19, 2012, 01:23:47 PM
 #26

OK, so to sum up, the reasons so far why AnCap won't work are:
  • armed gangs
  • invading armies
  • terrorists
  • Lynch mobs because of smoking a joint
  • companies becoming de facto governments

The first three are handled by defense agencies, as would the fourth one, if it weren't so damn laughable.

Let me explain what a defense agency is. It's a private military force/police department. Most likely, companies will specialize in one part of that, with mutual aid agreements covering any "holes." It's even possible a defense agency would have only other defense agencies as clients, and specialize in repelling large-scale invasion. Defense agencies would compete for your business. Not in the way armies currently compete for tracts of land, but rather, in the way cable and satellite TV providers compete to be the ones showing you reality shows.

Which brings us to the 5th scenario... Honestly, this is the most credible of the bunch. A company decides to use it's admittedly impressive resources to take power and declare itself the new government of the territory, maybe even that defense agency defense agency I mentioned in the last paragraph. Even assuming that they would want to ruin their sweet deal, and can find people willing to shoot the people whom they are being paid to protect, they won't have it easy. They'll have to defeat all those other defense agencies, each one with an unpredictable arsenal. Then, assuming they succeed there without being whittled down to the CEO, they'll still have to subjugate a potentially very heavily armed populace. Some nutjob could really ruin their day.

If you don't have a monopoly on violence, using violence to achieve your ends gets kind of expensive.


I was only half-joking when I said companies will rule the world.
Oh, not to worry, I know. I was mostly addressing the fact that that off-hand comment started one heck of a spiral.

You defence agencies will all have to either eliminate one another or settle for perpetual war.  So you end up with a dictatorship or disaster or both.

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June 19, 2012, 02:38:32 PM
 #27

Civilization as we know it is depends on the control of land.  If a farmer wants to grow crops on a certain piece of land, he has to make sure the cowman won't graze his cattle there, that the undertaker won't build a tomb there, and that the chemist won't dump toxic waste there.

This is why we have private property in the systems we call capitalist.  Private property does not exist in nature.  What owning property means is that the government recognizes you as the sole proprietor of that land.  If someone trespasses, you can call the police and have them thrown out.  You own that land only because the government says so.

How would this work in an anarchic system?  Who would determine who has the right to use which land?  How can I buy a house from someone if it's not clear that it's theirs to sell?

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June 19, 2012, 07:39:48 PM
 #28

You defence agencies will all have to either eliminate one another or settle for perpetual war.  So you end up with a dictatorship or disaster or both.

You can say this, but unless you can back it up with reasoning, it's just an assertion.


How would this work in an anarchic system?  Who would determine who has the right to use which land?  How can I buy a house from someone if it's not clear that it's theirs to sell?

This is a good question. The part of government that determines who has what land is called a property registry. There's no reason that that agency needs a monopoly, especially in today's world of electronic communications. A federated network of registries would work just as well, if not better. The claiming of land is called "homesteading", and requires "mixing your labor with the land," in other words, putting some work into making it clear that it is claimed. You can then register the land with one of those land registries to make the claim public.

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June 19, 2012, 07:49:37 PM
 #29

You defence agencies will all have to either eliminate one another or settle for perpetual war.  So you end up with a dictatorship or disaster or both.

You can say this, but unless you can back it up with reasoning, it's just an assertion.

If you have a boundry dispute, and the neighbours have alternate defence companies, only 1 of them can win.  The losing company will go bust as who will pay for a defence company that loses.  So 2 defence companies becomes 1.  Even if you start with 100, every dispute that requires the defence company to actually do some defending will result in a win/loss and the loser will go out of business.  Result is 1 company that "defends" everyone and everyone has to pay it taxes or get hurt.

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June 19, 2012, 08:12:18 PM
 #30

You defence agencies will all have to either eliminate one another or settle for perpetual war.  So you end up with a dictatorship or disaster or both.

You can say this, but unless you can back it up with reasoning, it's just an assertion.

If you have a boundry dispute, and the neighbours have alternate defence companies, only 1 of them can win.  The losing company will go bust as who will pay for a defence company that loses.  So 2 defence companies becomes 1.  Even if you start with 100, every dispute that requires the defence company to actually do some defending will result in a win/loss and the loser will go out of business.  Result is 1 company that "defends" everyone and everyone has to pay it taxes or get hurt.

Well, at least we have some reasoning, now... flawed reasoning, but it is better than a flat statement. In a boundary dispute, the defense agencies would not likely come to blows. You seem to believe that the only way to resolve any dispute is violence. I've already discussed Arbitration as a viable method of peacefully resolving disputes, and unless both defense agencies are run, staffed, and employed by total morons, Arbitration would be used to settle the dispute before resorting to "war". In any case where employees of one defense agency are shooting at employees of another, something has gone completely wrong.

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June 19, 2012, 08:48:21 PM
 #31

You defence agencies will all have to either eliminate one another or settle for perpetual war.  So you end up with a dictatorship or disaster or both.

You can say this, but unless you can back it up with reasoning, it's just an assertion.

If you have a boundry dispute, and the neighbours have alternate defence companies, only 1 of them can win.  The losing company will go bust as who will pay for a defence company that loses.  So 2 defence companies becomes 1.  Even if you start with 100, every dispute that requires the defence company to actually do some defending will result in a win/loss and the loser will go out of business.  Result is 1 company that "defends" everyone and everyone has to pay it taxes or get hurt.

Well, at least we have some reasoning, now... flawed reasoning, but it is better than a flat statement. In a boundary dispute, the defense agencies would not likely come to blows. You seem to believe that the only way to resolve any dispute is violence. I've already discussed Arbitration as a viable method of peacefully resolving disputes, and unless both defense agencies are run, staffed, and employed by total morons, Arbitration would be used to settle the dispute before resorting to "war". In any case where employees of one defense agency are shooting at employees of another, something has gone completely wrong.



So lets take a simple example of a land dispute.

A farmer dies intestate.  There is no state so people choose their own courts.  The oldest son goes to a court that believes in primogeniture and he is entitled to entire estate.  The second son goes to an Islamic court and is awarded more than his sister in accordance with Islamic law.  The daughter goes to a Episcopalian Christian Court and is awarded a third.

Each believes they are morally right in what they have done.  Each pays a defence company to enforce their legal rights.  

Can you see that only 1 of them can win?  And the defence companies for the other 2 will go out of business as they is zero value in a defence company that cannot defend your moral and legal rights ?

Faced with this 2 things are certain:
1.  There will be blood.  The defence companies have to win or die.
2.  Three will become 1 defence company.  And no matter how many your start with, you always end up with 1.

That 1 is your new government.

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June 19, 2012, 09:42:51 PM
 #32

Can't you see your arguments are helping my case?

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The oldest son goes to a court that believes in primogeniture and he is entitled to entire estate.  The second son goes to an Islamic court and is awarded more than his sister in accordance with Islamic law.  The daughter goes to a Episcopalian Christian Court and is awarded a third.

Would not be the way it would go down. You know nothing of Arbitration. All parties agree to the "court" they will use. Here's how it would actually work:

The oldest son selects an arbitration firm that supports primogeniture, the second son selects one that supports Islamic tradition, and the daughter selects a firm that supports equal rights for women. They can't agree as to which one they should use (and why should they? each choice is a bad choice for the other two), so the arbitration firms, among them, select a fourth arbitration firm that they can all agree on. If they cannot agree on a single firm, the process repeats. They pick ones that they can trust, and those firms come to an agreement as to who will decide. If they can't agree... well, I think you get the point.

Defense companies are just that... defense. They don't go on the attack.

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June 19, 2012, 10:52:40 PM
 #33



People, human people - corporations aside, naturally form social structures where social standards are imposed.

Anarchy just isn't going to happen.  People naturally consolidate power and impose their will.

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June 19, 2012, 11:08:01 PM
 #34

Anarchy just isn't going to happen.  People naturally consolidate power and impose their will.

People said that powered flight was impossible, too. In fact, people tend to think everything is impossible, right up until someone goes and does it. We call those people "wrong".

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June 19, 2012, 11:12:16 PM
 #35

Anarchy just isn't going to happen.  People naturally consolidate power and impose their will.

People said that powered flight was impossible, too. In fact, people tend to think everything is impossible, right up until someone goes and does it. We call those people "wrong".

I suspect you'll die of old age believing it will happen. And even if it did (which it won't), it wouldn't be a good thing for all the reasons you're barely aware of.
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June 20, 2012, 01:25:04 AM
 #36

Anarchy just isn't going to happen.  People naturally consolidate power and impose their will.

People said that powered flight was impossible, too. In fact, people tend to think everything is impossible, right up until someone goes and does it. We call those people "wrong".

People also said that perpetual motion is impossible, because it is. Much closer to the same kind of impossible that is this misinformed anarchy you propose.

No, we call those people normal. If "it" happens, then generally people will happily change their minds.

This barbaric anarchic system of yours is about as plausible as governments being run by newborn babies. That is also impossible. Feel free to prove me wrong on either count. Until then, I consider myself justified in my position.


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June 20, 2012, 01:35:49 AM
 #37

This barbaric anarchic system of yours...

I'd like to understand your point of view. Why do you call it "barbaric"?

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June 20, 2012, 01:51:11 AM
 #38

This barbaric anarchic system of yours...

I'd like to understand your point of view. Why do you call it "barbaric"?

It may have been a poor and hasty choice of a word, frankly. Rereading your posts, you say that "defense companies" are for defense only, not attacking. Here is the problem:

says who??

Think about it.

We may agree on more than we both realize. I agree with you that violence is a poor way of reaching a solution. But violence is also the ultimate trump card, and as long as that trump card exists (as long as violence is possible), it will happen. People want power.
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June 20, 2012, 01:53:17 AM
 #39

And I'd like to emphasize again that I believe we live in anarchy on both a global and national scale (assuming you are American).
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June 20, 2012, 02:29:49 AM
 #40

This barbaric anarchic system of yours...

I'd like to understand your point of view. Why do you call it "barbaric"?

Barbaric, as in selfish, willfully ignorant of issues which AnCap cannot solve, and unknowingly ignorant of issues which AnCap cannot solve.
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