Monday, September 6, 2010

Anarchy Dissected (2/2)

I already received some replies to Part 1, so a thank you is in order for those of you who took the time to read this stuff. At the same time, I'll have to point out that my arguments were paraphrased superficially and incompletely. The points I'm making here cannot be summed up with one-liners. The roots of these issues aren't as cut and dry as the anarchists have described them to be, which is precisely why I had to relegate them to this medium instead of YouTube. All possible contentions, in their minds, have been explained away innumerably. Interestingly enough, every counterpoint I've received so far has been one I have already heard years ago, so we're in the same boat there. Consequently, one would suspect that my persistence would have been met with at least a minimally improved level of apprehensibility. It's laughable to instead construe it as my closed mindedness or infirmity creeping in.

I'll get into the replies dealing with the supposed non-issues of inheritance and fairness some other time. Right now I'll just post Part 2, which was written before I received any replies to Part 1.

I initially accused anarchists of inconsistency, given their use of strategies which are often identical to strategies applied by proponents of democracy. Striving to convert a majority to one's own side by way of relentless argumentation, springs to mind, as it is a core tenet of democratic pursuit. Anarchists apply this just as statists do. I made mention of this in light of the fact that they constantly bash on the concept of democracy, in all its forms, with a sweeping broad brush. Following this, I was told that it doesn't matter if both sides happen to strive towards converting the majority to their respective line of thought, because the ends justify the means if you're an anarchist who argues for freedom from the majority. Of course, nuance once again failed make an appearance and illustrate what exactly this freedom from majority entails. It was already pointed out by me that this is just a covert way of legitimizing a substitution of We The People for plain old Propertarianism, to be inevitably followed by its only feasible successor, neo-feudalism. Nonetheless, every last one of us is capable of recognizing that, practically speaking, having strength in numbers is precisely what enables a particular set of laws to be implemented and to flourish in a given district. This is why revolutions always drastically alter the way the revolutionized society is run; because societies which failed to adhere to the majority of people's "preferences" (or mob preferences, if it floats your boat), were unsustainable by design. Both anarchists and statists have to make a compelling case in order to achieve their respective goals. But despite this, anarchists still fancy themselves as being exempt from the kind of mob rule finger pointing reserved strictly for the statists, because unlike proponents of statism, they're advocating a system in which "you get to own yourself" and no majority would ever be permitted or even inclined to tell you what to do with your property. For the time being, I will ignore the obvious exploitation of lower and middle class labor at the hands of the ownership class because I don't think there's a snowball's chance in hell of any of these ideologues accepting it as a dealbreaker anytime soon. So let's skip past that for now and operate as though exploitation is a made-up concept so long as the individuals involved are engaged in a voluntary contract, and that property titles in no way bind this ensuing voluntarism.

The above proposed freedom from a majority will never truly exist, as JacobSpinney himself inadvertently pointed out when he brought up an example of a free individual looking to move in to a neighborhood located in a hypothetical stateless society. I've heard other anarchists bring this up as well. It is directly stated that if the individual wants in, he/she would have to suck it up and join the rest of the community in taking out a "Home Owner's Association Policy" grant in order to help subsidize efforts made to secure the entire neighborhood through a collective means. I'll again stress the "have to" part. So it's perfectly fine to impose this mandate under the context at hand, where it's branded merely as a "community guideline" existing at the whims of a majority. However, enforce an identical rule using the apparatus of the State and it suddenly becomes barbaric majoritarianism resulting in a supression of sacred individual liberties. We're expected to just let this quirk fly under the radar, apparently. Their point is clear: In a stateless society, a majority can prevent you from moving into the neighborhood occupied by said majority, unless you submit to their "Home Owner's Association Policy" mandate. What exactly these mandates may or may not entail, is of course an afterthought. The lone point of concern is that the HOA is a Stateless entity, meaning the onslaught of mandates it may well carry are to be either loved or left. This practice only exists because most individuals who reside in this geographic region have already agreed upon a demand for its existence. So there's no crime committed to the individual's rights in that example, but if a majority has agreed that taxation needs to be one of these mandates, and if this taxation is to arrive in the form of a State enforced policy, this is somehow an entirely different bargain.

The standards they impose are completely arbitrary. They'll reply to this telling me that analogizing taxation to an HOA mandate is a comparison that's tantamount to apples and oranges. It isn't. Whether the majority is imposing taxation, or a collectively funded insurance service, is an irrelevancy. In both scenarios, the majority isn't technically forcing anyone to live under these rules. If most people who constitute this neighborhood/country have agreed that either of these programs must exist, and if nobody from that majority is forcing the other 1% of detractors to stay, then we're talking two sides of the same coin.

This is where they'll often accuse the statist of making the "love it or leave it" argument. Make no mistake, I am not telling anyone to get the fuck out of any country. I'm just pointing out that most people don't buy into the idea that a tax, enforceable by men with guns, tramples on their inalienable rights, just as people in the stateless neighborhood hypothesis wouldn't be expected to feel that having to buy home insurance in order to be allowed to move into a neighborhood, forces them to give up any of their unfettered rights. If you feel that taxation strips you of one of your basic individual rights, while you simultaneously wish to continue living in a setting where the majority disagrees with that sentiment, you're going to have to come to terms with the fact that you will continue getting taxed. I say this not because evil opportunistic statists brainwashed me in middle school or whatever. I say it because of the inescapable fact that it will be impossible for any deontological propertarian to continue living within that region without making use of and thriving off of the very infrastructure which the rest of the population still subsidizes. Quit converting this simple fact to a love it or leave it cartoon interpretation of what I'm saying, because the exact same applies to the individual who yearns to live in your stateless neighborhood. This person would have to chip in to the home insurance collection plate seeing as how he/she would reek the benefits of it. In both scenarios, all the majority is doing is not permitting freeloading. I know anarchists are capable of absorbing the undeniable connection between the two outlined examples. This equivalency is the elephant in the room, and your subjective reverence for private property and landlords over commons, doesn't change any of that.

It has been argued that an alternative to having charities fund police departments can consist of citizens taking out a life insurance grant, on an individual basis, through insurance companies. The idea here is that this will prove to be the superior service because failure to provide the necessary protection would result in a huge payoff for the client/estate on behalf of the profit driven insurance company. This alternative automatically grants the insurance company's paid thugs the legal authority to use force in order to protect their clients against instigators of violence or harassment in the similar way state paid pigs obtain their authority for the exact same purpose. So much for the argument from police brutality being exclusive to the state. At least every member of the police department has to undergo long periods of boisterous training in order to serve and protect. I'm predicting the insurance companies would also have a hand in incarcerating the perpetrators, or would at least play a role in concurrence to the private court's decision to do so in the long term. For argument's sake, let's offer all these insurance companies the benefit of doubt and pretend the people ensured by them would never use their insurance to cry wolf and that the insurance company would never be suseptible to any such shenanigans. We're still left with the same issue of freeloading that I brought up in my video. Insurance companies will offer protection to selective individuals who are ensured, through which others who aren't ensured will still benefit off of. It doesn't always matter who is ensured and who isn't. In the end, criminals will be incarcerated through the efforts of the insurance company. The entire society will benefit from this, regardless of the particular individual the criminal goes after. The less criminals you have roaming the streets, the less of chance someone who isn't ensured has of being mugged in the future. This is still freeloading. At least with taxes, everyone's tax dollars go towards funding a police department which offers these same services. Also, say an individual who isn't ensured is getting violated in broad daylight. Would 911 be an option here? There are no taxes to fund it, and the alternative to charity consists of insurance companies. The police department wouldn't even exist because most individuals would be taking out life insurance instead. The result? If you're uninsured, you're shit outta luck. You'd still be left with no option but to get yourself ensured. Circumstance would leave you with little wiggle room and ultimately force you into it, much like a state leaves with you little wiggle room which ultimately forces taxation upon you. To distinguish between the two scenarios is to cherry pick, especially as most people would rather just pay the damn taxes than put up with all the sloppiness of the devil they don't know. They'd also end up wasting more money on the insurance companies compared to a society where everyone is forced to pay taxes thereby enabling the existence of a police department that will remain reliable not only during the boom periods, but also during the recessions, not to mention depressions. The cycle is unavoidable, after all.

Let's get into inalienable rights, or god given rights, if you're of the superstitious persuasion. According to anarchist school of thought, these are mostly rooted in the non-initiation of force/violence. Obviously there may be some anarchists who think this is unornamented, but the ones who responded to me on YouTube (mostly Anarcho-Capitalists) do use the non-aggression principle as a solid enough starting point, so I'll be using it as well. When they get into their talking points about who initiates what, and whether there's illegitimate force involved, I get the urge to pull my hair out because there's an endless list of stateless society predicaments that would crop up without the initiation of force/theft/fraud being invoked by any of the parties involved. It's not as one dimensional as all of their neat State/Liberty graphs indicate.

I'll provide some quandaries. And no, I don't care if the following scenarios are redundant to some of you, because I'm yet to hear a satisfactory solution to them. This is common everyday stuff. Say you have a divorced couple in a stateless society. They had four kids who are now staying with mommy. Daddy is of the belief that he owns himself. He's an anarchist who feels that nobody has a claim on him. He owns every penny of his income, his work, his property, his ideas, his vision, his risk taking. Naturally as a result, he believes that nobody has the right to tell him that part of his income must go to his ex-wife due to her raising four children which he had a role in creating. He doesn't want to pay a dime because the private court awarded full custody to the mother. Instead of having an established precedent which would force child support laws on him, would anarchists advise the mother to give her kids away to her ex-husband because she's financially shaken up from having to raise them without his help? Let's do one better than that, let's say daddy just up and left one day because he didn't want to deal with the responsibility of raising four kids. He didn't initiate force, theft, or fraud, but he did leave. Would anarchists still endorse this entitlement he believes he has to every last penny he earns, or would they recognize that he now has a responsibility to his ex-wife who he left high and dry, and that the only way to actualize the fulfilment of that responsibility is to set a law in stone, obliging him to have a portion of all his earnings go towards assisting his estranged wife in taking care of the mess he half-created and then ran away from. Would this be a draconian imposition on the fruit of this man's labor? I'm going to entertain the idea of a private court concluding that he has to pay the child support. Would this majority based court decision trample on his basic liberties by forcing him to give away part of his income? If the anarchists are going to apply consistency to their outlined premise (a premise they constantly regurgitate) they would point out that this man never initiated force against anyone and should, by virtue of not having done so, not be forced to pay up. In other words, mommy is shit outta luck, and their advice to her would be to be more carefull next time in applying judgement when it comes to the kind of men she goes around making babies with.

So which one of these is it? Maybe there's something behind curtain number three? The fall back curtain. Maybe mom can go to a shelter designed for single parents so that individuals who had nothing to do with this mess can help her out through charitable means. So instead of the father who made the damn mess in the first place being forced to help her out financially, strangers should help her out voluntarily? Why? Because of this obsession with the concept of freedom, which when taken to its limits, operates on arbitrary standards anyway. Or is there a fourth option I'm missing here which doesn't involve policy? Do tell.

An example I'm sure JacobSpinney would find interesting is one involving a KFC-loving individual's right to torment animals in slaughterhouses. Would torture of highly sentient creatures still be authorized through the excuse of property rights? This is the case now in most parts of the world. Massive lack of progress there on our part. But would it change for the better in a stateless society? Based on all the rhetoric, property rights would still outweigh animal welfare, and then some.

There's the issue of overpopulation. We have people who believe that it is their god given right to have as many kids as they feel like having and to overpopulate the world. If they're broke as fuck and still feel that imposing life on 20 kids is a fantastic idea, a civilized community should have no right to try and create a disincentive to it legally. Even if the soon-to-be-parents have no means to provide an even remotely decent living environment for the 20 kids they want to have, the idea is that we shouldn't come up with a limit as far as how many poor sobs they can breed into horrible circumstances. Sounds like a real non-solution. When people have kids, they are no longer simply exercising their own rights without effecting others. They are, in fact, creating an entire lifetime of effect on others. The imposition of life on another human being is not a voluntary transaction, but something tells me that there's a convenient exception to the rule when it comes to that one. The issue of overpopulation is a bad example to use as far as anarchists are concerned. They seem to be all for a surplus of labor which creates cheap labor from which they hope to ultimately cash in on, so it would only make sense for them to preserve poor uneducated people's freedom to impose life on as many future labourers as possible. 20 years later and a lovely abundance of slave wage labor will still be present. I mean voluntary labor. Where are my manners.

Another example of a worrisome non-initiation of force situation: An ex-con with a long criminal record, who just got out after serving a good 5 years for arson, is building himself some nice nuclear missiles on his property. He's not initiating force against anyone. Nobody has any definitive proof that this individual will ultimately press a button and go boom, but everyone has reason to believe so. In this instance I'd imagine that the stateless community would ask buddy to hand over his toys, and if he were to refuse, with all his individualist might, force would be initiated at the request of the majority in order to strip the individual of his property. He can cry and moan about how he wasn't building them for use, and just wanted to decorate his shelf with them. Despite his efforts, the stateless community of skeptics wouldn't just sit idly by. The community would act rationally and force buddy to relinguish his property. He may have been telling the truth for all we know. If we're going to once again be consistent to the premises the anarchists have outlined for us, this individual was stripped of his property by a mob, so it's supposed to be this big travesty. But anyone with a half a brain can still see a rational justification for taking action when something like this crops up.

The point is, anytime you apply consistency to extreme right wing definitions of what constitutes as draconian majority imposition, the above examples are no different than our current real life one; A bunch of anarchists calling taxation theft by way of extortion through force, approved by the majority. Just substitute the anarchist community mob for some democratically elected state officials enforcing the majority's pro-tax wishes.

Say what you will about these examples, but the fact remains that they do illustrate how in any society, you're always going to have individuals feeling oppressed and calling the majority a menace. It is inescapable. You may be thinking "Well there's nobody out there insane enough to believe that building nuclear missles in an inalienable right!". Well, I've known people who firmly believed that it was within their liberty to build high voltage explosives on their own property as long as they weren't harming anyone. A majority taking that right away from them was perceived as a horror, the same exact way taxation is a horror to anarchists. Their line of reasoning was the old "Well if the gov't gets to build WMDs, why can't I? Who the hell is the Gov't to tell me what I can't do on my own property anyway?" which is basically just an extension of the argument from the 2nd amendment.

These hypotheticals are about as simple as it gets, and despite their simplicity, they still pose a threat to the consistency of basic ararchist school of thought. I can come up with a trillion other stateless society head-scratchers, which are much more convoluted, but there's no need. Even these basic ones are a Catch 22.

Anarchists constantly bark lines at me such as "If you want to be enslaved, I'm not standing in your way. Just give me the chance to opt out". I'm not standing in their way of opting out, for starters. The reason they haven't managed to opt out yet has nothing to do with me. It has to do with them not having the necessary numbers to pull it off. When I point this out to them, they proceed to accuse me of "love it or leave it" again. Very obnoxious. And I'm not being "enslaved". I'm a beneficiary of a great number of projects which governments have invested in, items like the Polio Vaccine, Dams, Canalization, The Internet, to name a few. Anarchists often misconstrue my highlighting of these immensely successful public expenditures, as indication that I'm unable to grasp the possibility of a venture Capitalist investing in the exact same projects with the same goals achieved. They arrive at this presumption because they're always running on autopilot in their debates with statists. Either that or they're truly incapable of not reacting viscerally to the posed conceptualization. The point revolves around the fact that venture Capitalists had centuries in which to adequately fund and create Nasa, or Trans National Highway systems, or the massively productive Hoover Dam. To sarcastically shout "WHO WILL BUILD THE ROADS" is to entirely miss the point. I'm not being "enslaved" for simply accepting credible historical timelines instead of the revisionist history peddled by market-fundies, where some kind of "even small gov't was too stifling for the Capitalists!" half-ass excuse is always contrived as to why the market never delivered on long-term goods. It's absurd to claim that people should have just continued waiting for market forces to self-correct, decade after decade, instead of having FDR get the ball rolling publicly. People need to watch this enslavement rhetoric. We know the ugly history behind real enslavement. It's a safe bet that individuals who were actually enslaved would not appreciate some stolid capitalist using identical verbiage to define an entirely different circumstance. Surely you're capable of making a decent enough argument without resorting to summing up your woes with the state by using blatantly propagandist rhetoric, aren't you? When you identify yourself as a slave following the abolishment of slavery, you're spitting in the face of what truly enslaved individuals went through. Unless you work for minimum wage at Wall Mart. Then you're a slave, according to the radicals on the other end of the spectrum.

They point out how they're not standing in my way, but refuse accept that I'm not standing in their way unless I argue along side with them that the entire system needs to be scrapped, or that they should be granted free-rider status when it comes to the services paid for exclusively by our tax dollars, without contributing anything themselves. The criteria imposed on their ultimatum conveniently leaves all statists with no real option here.

I sincerely wish that anarcho-capitalists, voluntarists, deontological propertrians, etc... had enough members among them so that they could be given a spot of land in a deserted part of the world. This would be a sight to behold and I'm confident that most statists have zero interest in intervening in their affairs as long as they abstain from intervening in the affairs of the civilized world. Obviously I cannot guarantee that every government in the world will never invade a Stateless society (and vice-versa, which Stateless peeps can't guarantee either), but the type of Government I'm advocating for would not. The state I'm subsidizing just declined a request from the US (which could easily be interpreted as a demand) to send more Troops to Afghanistan. We have a rich history of diplomacy.

I'd like to fix government. If you believe it's inherently broken, or have long given up on trying to fix it, fine. I'm not going to waste more time lecturing you on why you should keep on keeping on. Just don't tell those of us who aren't sick of trying that we're trampling on your liberties by not giving up yet. Exercising skepticism when it comes to your brand of alternative solutions is not a trampling of your rights. Nobody is putting up fences which force anti-statists to live under this system. If that's love it or leave it, then technically it applies just as much, if not more so, to private ownership of land. It's beyond time to realize that statists like me aren't the reason you're nowhere near achieving your goals. Your movement, by and large, exists solely within the confines of the internet. Proponents of the state are not to blame for this. Your arguments are.

Thanks for reading,



  1. woah.. that was.. long.
    thorough.. dont let anybody tell you that you didnt go balls out to argue your position. i really hope those who made videos replies to you see this and realise why it is in a blog and not a video.
    sooooo many specifics to comment on, but no point since i basically agree with your position. i also dont buy this idea of taxation as theft. and the replacements they propose dont seem any different anyway. sure, we're getting it wrong pretty badly in our current statist system, that doesnt mean the system is inherently flawed. sorry, its real late and after readin all that im not in a position to formulate more insightful commentary. zzzzzzz

  2. Thank you, thats very interesting information. I need to share with my friends.

  3. I read both parts and you yammered on without even coming close to explaining why the non-aggression principle is flawed. About your PBS and public library points, do you go around forcing people to buy things which they don't believe they need just because you think they're missing out those things intellectually? If you don't, it's because YOU KNOW IT'S WRONG TO DO SO. Yet you think it's fine if your beloved state does it. You hold the state to a different standard than you do individuals. This is the fundamental flaw in your argument that you fail to see. Quit giving the state the right to do things that you wouldn't allow individuals to do, because guess what the state is made of up of those same individuals. Why should I read any other blog you've done on this when you can't even properly deal with the basics??

  4. How about you quote some of this "yammering on" & counterargue the specifics of it. The non-aggression principle is fundamentally flawed because no large-scale civil society can be formed, much less sustain itself, through a one-size-fits-all application of it (Propertarianism). It never ceases to amaze me how committed you guys are to your refusal to grasp that modern societies are bound to contain individuals whose core values vary greatly, & who will always draw different lines in the sand as to what constitutes defensive force vs. illegitimate force. Why does your opinion override mine by default when it comes to deciding whether it's legitimate to initiate force against vaccine boy-cotters, for instance? Why should I be viewed as an illegitimate initiator of force for defending an innocent child born to pseudo scientific, blatantly misinformed conspiracy theorist parents whose paranoia has them risking the child's welfare by refusing to get him/her proper medical treatment for any given illness? Why should I kowtow to Rothbard's fatuous conclusions on this matter? Because fanatics like you will call me a fascist if I don't? Knock yourself out. I'll fight tooth & nail to defend those most in need of defending. Statistically, most people prefer to be born under systems which I endorse. It's only a tiny percentage of all human beings that would prefer to be born under anything remotely close to your sink-or-swim system where the cards arbitrarily dealt to every individual by unintelligent forces of "mother" nature, are held sacrosanct & never interfered with by society. The fact that you guys can't get your shit together & create the next Republic of Minerva, is your problem & no one else's.

  5. I'm guessing you waited almost 3 weeks to reply because you know that you can't defend your bullshit and you're hoping I won't come back to call you on it if you wait long enough. Once again you avoided dealing with the main point I raised, so I'll just paste this part again: "Do you go around forcing people to buy things which they don't believe they need just because you think they're missing out those things intellectually? If you don't, it's because YOU KNOW IT'S WRONG TO DO SO. Yet you think it's fine if your beloved state does it. You hold the state to a different standard than you do individuals. This is the fundamental flaw in your argument that you fail to see. Quit giving the state the right to do things that you wouldn't allow individuals to do, because guess what the state is made of up of those same individuals."

    I will continue reminding you of this by pasting it every time you fail to provide a direct answer. Don't wait too long to reply now :)

  6. 3 weeks: I don't get email notifications when someone posts here & haven't been checking the blog regularly. Leave it to anonymous trolls to conclude something completely outta left field which leaves them feeling superior to their opponents.

    Once again I didn't avoid anything. You avoided the aggression-initiation quandaries presented both in the blog & in my 1st reply to you. Please explain why, when it comes to any policy, I should only take an interest in laws restraining individuals who happen to live in my domain & no one else? This is what every AnCap seems incapable of grasping. If I believe that torturing animals for a food preference is impermissible, it would be entirely irrational of me to advocate for a system which *only* enables me to ban said torturing of animals in my locality. I believe factory farming is wrong regardless of where it takes place, so it would be silly of me to apply some ego-gratifying "live & let live" regional standard to my aspirations of harm reduction. AnCaps generally don't give a damn about the suffering of animals/strangers, it's all about them & their immediate circle, thus their inability to identify the rationale behind a monocentric approach to law-enforcement. Now, you'll probably think it's tyrannical to take away your right to fund what goes on in slaughterhouses for your food preference. Believe me when I tell you how utterly unfazed I am by your overblown rhetoric. Animal torture is just one example. I'll be happy to offer a laundry list if you remain a pest on here.

  7. "Quit giving the state the right to do things that you wouldn't allow individuals to do"

    As logically vacant as saying "Quit giving referees the right to do things you wouldn't allow the players on the field to do"

    "because guess what the state is made of up of those same individuals"

    In the developed world, the state is made up of individuals who possess more knowledge of the world in their pinky than all consumers of reality TV combined. The problem, as you surely haven't noticed or have oversimplified, is that some of them (particularly judges) now have immunity clauses. This is not an intrinsic issue with monocentric law, as evidenced by all the Societies which still have governing bodies not subject to immunity clauses. The best medicine for this is an educated electorate, coupled with certain policies being decided on purely a technocratic basis. (IE: Not a consumer society where economic power dictates policy).

    There's nothing unjust about forcing individuals to get vaccinated, or to drive sober regardless of their spotless drunk driving record, or to purchase vehicles equipped with safety gear which has shown to reduce post-crash loss of control; None of this is unjust, as long as those who are forced into these safety measures wish to continue living among risk averse people who would otherwise have been vulnerable to others' risk taking. And for what? To save a few bucks. World's smallest violin...