Proposal: League of Freemen & treaty with the state - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Classical liberalism. The individual before the state, non-interventionist, free-market based society.
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#14299700
taxizen wrote:Lucky - What could we offer in exchange? Well for one thing as we will no longer be their subjects they won't need to trouble themselves with our protection, welfare, education or anything else. We will no longer be a burden on them...

Seems impossible and pointless to keep you around and prevent you from interacting with publicly provided infrastructure and services. Your declaration that you don't want to be protected is not going to decrease the cost of national defense. Much better to kick you out of the country. The deal sucks, no society will offer you such conditions for free.

taxizen wrote:Law - the word as many definitions, look it up. Sure the laws of nature: gravity blah blah. Moral law blah blah.

Dude, we were talking about you opting out of being bound by the law. Clearly, we were talking about opting out of being held responsible for breaking the official legal code on the books. You weren't talking about opting out of the laws of physics or opting out of an abstract moral code.
#14299890
taxizen wrote:Someone5 - I see what you are getting at, but I don't think what you are suggesting is quite right and here is why. You say that I, "wish for everyone to respect [my] personal sovereignty and liberty." true enough but "wishing" is not the same as imposing. Okay you will counter by saying something like "but if I or someone else disregards your personal sovereignty and forces you to defend yourself, you are then imposing your belief in your sovereignty by force". But no that does not work, defending is not equivalent to imposing or aggressing.


Sure it is. Force is force--saying that it's right when it favors me and wrong when it hurts me is nothing but special pleading. Let me put this another way. If the crime involve in aggression is not "committing an act of force against another," then the crime obviously doesn't rest upon the actions that a person takes... but rather purely on his motives at the time. Another way of putting that is "thought-crime," since the crime wasn't what a person did, it was what a person was thinking about when they committed the act.

I'd rather put self-defense on different terms--and suggest that harming people is always bad, and it is still ethically wrong when done in self-defense, but legally permissible in that particular situation for practical reasons.

I would not have to defend myself if I were not attacked, see?


So what, you wouldn't have been attacked if you hadn't [stolen their cattle, looked at them funny, kidnapped their baby, raided their pension, etc].

Culpability lies with the aggressor not the defender.


Sure--but you ignore history in determining who was the aggressor and who was the defender. Very little crime gets committed without motive. And any motive at all could well count, ethically speaking, as being aggressed upon without a solid legal framework supporting some arguments and denying others.

I'll write about the rest when I have more time.
#14300377
Lucky wrote:Seems impossible and pointless to keep you around and prevent you from interacting with publicly provided infrastructure and services. Your declaration that you don't want to be protected is not going to decrease the cost of national defense. Much better to kick you out of the country. The deal sucks, no society will offer you such conditions for free.
"Keep me around" - lol, you are infected with the arrogance of your masters. For most "services" monopolised by the government it will be exceedingly trivial to "prevent interaction" and where interaction occurs it can be pay at point of use. For nationalised health, education and pensions if a freeman wants to use a service he will have to pay for it. All a government service provider needs to do to see that a service user is not a freeman is to get their national insurance number / social security number. Freeman presumably won't have one just like foreign visitors. To say that it is impossible for government to accept non-users / payers for their services is exactly equivalent to saying non-nationals can never be allowed to visit the country.
Lucky wrote:Dude, we were talking about you opting out of being bound by the law. Clearly, we were talking about opting out of being held responsible for breaking the official legal code on the books. You weren't talking about opting out of the laws of physics or opting out of an abstract moral code.

Legal code is something could be plausibly binding if you consented to be a member of that association. To apply it to non-consenting non-members is equivalent to slavery, extortion and conscription, which contravenes moral law. Moral law should be considered higher than rules made up by venal gangsters. How could it be otherwise?
#14300378
Someone5 wrote:I'm saying that people do have that right--and that is okay if people would acknowledge that and start facing [laws, society, capitalism, class divisions] on those terms.


So are you now saying that only particular groups of people have that right?
Do I have the right to punch you in the face?
#14300516
taxizen wrote:All a government service provider needs to do to see that a service user is not a freeman is to get their national insurance number / social security number. Freeman presumably won't have one just like foreign visitors. To say that it is impossible for government to accept non-users / payers for their services is exactly equivalent to saying non-nationals can never be allowed to visit the country.

Foreign nationals get to enter and use a lot of public infrastructure. That is for a reason: that generates business, and they also pay taxes. They have to follow all the same rules as locals, and more. They pay income taxes if they happen to generate any income. They typically get kicked out if they stay too long and don't want to apply for residency. A much better deal for the locals than your League.

taxizen wrote:Legal code is something could be plausibly binding if you consented to be a member of that association. To apply it to non-consenting non-members is equivalent to slavery, extortion and conscription, which contravenes moral law. Moral law should be considered higher than rules made up by venal gangsters. How could it be otherwise?

It could be if we (I like to make it personal lol), venal gangsters, simply prefer that slavery, extortion and conscription. Are you really talking about striking a business deal with us? You seem very confused about your goal: calling people names is not a conductive argument towards a business proposal with them. I don't think that's what you were really trying to talk about in this thread.

More practically: we can only apply to you law that we have thought of and formalized. It's a bit circular to want to have law applied that has not been considered and approved ("made up").
#14300611
mum wrote:So are you now saying that only particular groups of people have that right?


Huh? How did you reach that position from what I wrote? The "right" (more like fact of life) to initiate force is universal--and cannot actually be denied. The only response that societies have ever had is force in opposition or retroactive punishments. None of that denies the fact that all individuals do have a "natural right" (such as they are) to initiate force against anyone they so wish. In the same way that governments cannot actually prohibit you from thinking about certain subjects.

Do I have the right to punch you in the face?


Obviously, since you are able to do so (if we were in person). You have an absolute natural right to act in any way that physics allows, including initiating force. Societies have to acknowledge that basic fact of existence--even if libertarians don't seem to acknowledge it. Moreover, sometimes it is right to do so. For example, if you know with absolute certainty that I intend to do harm to others, then you are morally obligated to initiate force against me. Just action is not--and cannot--be pure reaction.
#14300619
Continuing on,

taxizen wrote:On the forceful enslavement of others. I would, in common with other libertarians, consider it an aggression and therefore criminal behaviour, that much is an opinion not an imposition or a ban.


So what? You considering it aggression means nothing in the scheme of things. So what if the half a percent of the population that ascribes to this sort of extreme ideological anarcho-capitalism can handwave their way to a moral imperative to oppose slavery? That doesn't do squat about the ten or fifteen percent--or more--who might well support it. Guess who's going to have more money to throw towards getting what they want?

I would then be of the opinion that the victim would have every right to defend themselves and to seek the voluntary aid of others but again that is an opinion not a ban or imposition. It is a subtle point perhaps.


They should have a lot more than the "right to defend themselves and seek voluntary aid." They should have an expectation that society will stand up for them, as equal members of it. Abstract theoretical rights mean absolutely nothing compared to actual concrete force. Trusting that slavery will be adequately resisted by the handful of people who care enough to go do something about it is insanity--see modern press-gangs at sea for a relevant contemporary example. I don't see hordes of shining-eyed ideological libertarians buying some guns and boats and going to liberate people who are effectively slaves on board fishing boats.

Well, if we did get everyone or almost everyone to believe that everyone ought to have personal sovereignty then things would certainly get easier but I think you can go a long way without getting the whole world on board. You know what you need to get a treaty signed with a state? The signature of the current President or Prime Minister and that is it.


You have a more fundamental organizational problem--treaties are agreements between states, and you wouldn't be a state. You would first have to become a state according to the customary legal definition of a state. Then you can start working on a treaty. Of course, for people in the United States, that first means winning a successful war against the US military to secure some territory. Which isn't going to happen any time soon.

Not saying that is a easy thing to get but Presidents and Prime Ministers presume to speak and decide for almost everyone in their gang but still they are just a single individual not "everyone".


There are comparatively few states with no legislative input into treaty ratification, and among the states where that power is formally held by one person, there is almost always an oligarchy in the background that actually determines which way it goes. Guess what? They aren't gonna go for it.

Diplomatic immunity is an agreement.


With the understanding that anyone who's too much of a bother will get kicked out and face some sort of consequences back home. Note; traffic violations and most misdemeanors don't count as "too much of a bother."

And yeah sure agents of the state can break that agreement any time they find it convenient or useful. They are gangsters after all and there is no honour between thieves. Still it is better to have an agreement that is sometimes broken than no agreement at all.


Not what I mean; diplomatic immunity is something granted to diplomats with certain understandings attached regarding the behavior of the people granted diplomatic immunity.

As to why would a state make such an agreement, well that depends on the circumstances and the state in question, however if a state did make such an agreement it would not necessarily mean the state will disappear in a puff of smoke. Think of the Magna Carta, signing that did not spell the end of the English Monarchy (at least not for another 300 years).


It spelled the end of the dominance of the monarchy, in the end. Note; the Magna Carta only got signed because the important noble types backed their threats up with force.

Libertarians are interested in moral law and in trying to discover what they may be.


As far as I can tell, Libertarians don't give two shits about "moral law," only ideological adherence.

You have heard of the NAP? Well what else is that but a discovered moral law?


It's not actually a "law" in any reasonable sense of the word. It's by no means even universally accepted as a morally good premise.
#14300695
Someone5 - Unless you acknowledge taxation as a form of slavery, then almost nobody believes slavery is justifiable these days, so what are you worried about?

Treaty - I don't see the problem you are trying to find. A treaty is an agreement between sovereign polities, if our association does not recognise any masters then we would be a sovereign polity if not a state in the territorial sense.

Whether a state would make such an agreement depends on the circumstances. The thing to do is take the position, press your case and look for opportunities to make it happen. Prior to the 20th century such a treaty wouldn't be that strange at all, but sadly the nation state in that century took a decidely totalitarian turn and so now it does seem strange and even impossible. Then again by the 21st century the whole totalitarian thing is pretty discredited and those remaining totalitarian gigs (US and Europe) are rapidly falling apart and going the way of the Soviet Union. The opportunity to get something like this may not be so far off.
#14302039
Someone5 wrote:It's not actually a "law" in any reasonable sense of the word. It's by no means even universally accepted as a morally good premise.

The NAP is the basis behind most legal frameworks, and is broadly accepted as morally good.

Collect any group of 100 people, and draw circumstances under which one person (or group of people) initiate force against the peaceful endeavour of others, and you'll see near universal condemnation.

Now it is true that people will excuse initiation of force under particular, extreme circumstances (e.g. to save a life). But very few would advocate a society in which initiation of force is accepted as a normal, legitimate part of interpersonal conduct.

With the obvious exception of government, of course.
#14302090
I agree that the NAP is a good general foundation principle for an ideal society. Even if you can argue that sometimes a threat is justifiably and provably imminent, far more trouble has come out of paranoia and overreaction and fear than has come out of responding to attack.

You could say that the person who waits for the flash of a knife before fighting is the person who will lose out, but the more people who act like that the less people are likely to draw knives to attack in the first place. The desire of people to pre-emptively strike others is based on the perceived threat that they pose, but that threat is perpetuated by the desire of those others to strike out against the people they think pose a threat to them. A people more willing to renounce aggression (but importantly not defense) are a people more able to live mostly peacefully and defend themselves against the lesser willing to aggress. Of course there are risks for early adopters; there always are.

The other big reason is people lashing out at people they consider to be taking resources and therefore creating the economic insecurity they are feeling, or they aggress to make others serve their economic needs with their labor. The "cycle of violence" may be self-perpetuating, but it stems from material needs. A society able to adopt the NAP stably must, I feel, already be a prosperous society, and here is where I depart from (or perhaps just make addition to) other libertarians in saying there must be a great preponderance of non-human labor supporting our living standards and therefore freeing people from the material underpinning of initiation of aggression against other humans, for the NAP to achieve its full potential in consistent application.

So the NAP is good, but it can't be practiced with great consistency by humans in their current state of economics. In support: you can certainly see a progression from older societies with more harsh punishments and less equality under the law to where we are currently. Where a king may once have been above the law and a judge in the name of God on this earth, developed society has decided that only the law itself where followed is allowed to breach the NAP (without actually naming the NAP as an explicit principle of course!), and not the enforcers themselves (thus outrage against politicians and lawmakers breaking law that comes from their mouths and pens).
#14302095
A society able to adopt the NAP stably must, I feel, already be a prosperous society, and here is where I depart from (or perhaps just make addition to) other libertarians in saying there must be a great preponderance of non-human labor supporting our living standards and therefore freeing people from the material underpinning of initiation of aggression against other humans, for the NAP to achieve its full potential in consistent application.

Any stable, rule-based society requires some level of prosperity. Starving people fighting for their lives do not tend to obey rules. However, current society, and even those much poorer ones of centuries past, are far and away sufficiently prosperous to support NAP as the moral basis for their legal structure.

It is certainly not necessary that people's basic needs are provided free. It is enough that every person has reasonable means for obtaining those needs, either by working or through the help of others.


The NAP is no more utopian or difficult to comprehend and accept than is the moral basis of constitutional democracy, namely that NAP applies universally with the exception of the government elected through some complex process.

Remember - the NAP is still the rule for the vast majority of people living in society. And people accept that, as well as far less "intuitive" rules (e.g. that a majority in Congress can outlaw perfectly harmless activities they disapprove of).

To convert to a libertarian society, we don't need any radical progress in technology or improvement in the human spirit. All we need to to "plug" the one hole still remaining in the general applicability of the NAP, namely the exception made for government.
#14302119
Eran wrote:It is certainly not necessary that people's basic needs are provided free.


I think the very existence of a large scale left-wing drive for economic justice, belies this. A huge chunk of humanity doesn't respect the idea that they should work for pittance and still respect the person and property of their masters, who are only chosen in light of a severe lack of alternatives.

A society which has automated away necessary human labor, and is able to create a system in which things are administered and not people, is a society where the economic justifications for aggressing are at their minimum, and the NAP's efficiency is at its maximum.

In addition, with sufficient advancement, we could decentralized the automated means of production (descendants of 3D printers), agriculture (every home should have an automated indoor "farm"), and energy (cheap solar panels and storage), making people more independent.


The NAP is no more utopian


To convert to a libertarian society, we don't need any radical progress in technology or improvement in the human spirit.


There's nothing utopian about capital replacement of labor. Only the timeframe can be quibbled, but not the principle. At least not if you believe in the physical basis of all things in reality. The trend in Moore's Law will one day end as it hits ultimate physical limits, but given that the human brain is physical, it must be encompassed within those same limits, and QED its capabilities are obtainable (though such a thing is unnecessary for most situation specific forms of automation).

If this is the case, then it is within the laws of physics to replace human labor with robot substitutes. (A side note addressing the morality of this: Given that our desires are shaped by evolution, it would also be possible to identify what structures lead to them, and create minds that would desire things we don't. Any machine that developed will otherwise would be free to choose its own path.)

The only question in practicality is then how quickly we can make this happen?

All we need to to "plug" the one hole still remaining in the general applicability of the NAP, namely the exception made for government.


This is why I advocate advancement in automation, and decentralization of the means of survival, within the sphere of liberal-social democracy. This means abridging the NAP in the short term, I understand (no more than any Libertarian Party which is not explicitly anarchist), such that we may asymptotically approach the state in which the maximization point of the NAP.

Plugging the one hole remaining for government must come about materially, since government exists precisely because of people's desire to fulfill their material needs while abstracting the application of force. Ironically, the material achievement of this is best achievable with government involvement. The idea of government must play itself out by rendering itself irrelevant.


Sorry to be a deviationist. Techno-progressive libertarianism: an infantile disorder?
#14302589
Technology wrote:I think the very existence of a large scale left-wing drive for economic justice, belies this. A huge chunk of humanity doesn't respect the idea that they should work for pittance and still respect the person and property of their masters, who are only chosen in light of a severe lack of alternatives.

What "large scale" drive? Left-wing movements form a tiny minority in western democracies. Even so-called "socialist" parties largely advocate a maintenance of the status-quo. Most importantly, (virtually) everybody accepts the basic constitutional-democratic order. Even those who feel aggrieved by its outcome.

Some left-wing agitators will, no doubt, exist even in a free society. Envy is an endemic human feeling. But looking back through history, you will observe human societies lasting centuries and based on the vast majority accepting far less favourable legal status than that afforded even the poorest under a free society.

A society which has automated away necessary human labor, and is able to create a system in which things are administered and not people, is a society where the economic justifications for aggressing are at their minimum, and the NAP's efficiency is at its maximum.

Every society will have differences in status, and some goods or services will always be scarce (if only the direct services of other humans) and thus subject to economic competition. Now I would be the last person to object to labour-saving automation. But to suggest that giving people free stuff would minimise economic justification for aggression is odd. After all, poor people today enjoy far more free stuff than people ever did. And that doesn't seem to minimise economic agitation. A hypothetical perfectly-egalitarian society might forestall envy-based agitation. Is that your goal?

Needless to say, free markets are the best mechanism for researching, developing and implementing labour-saving automation.
#14302711
--Needless to say, free markets are the best mechanism for researching, developing and implementing labour-saving automation.--

That's quite an assertion. A significant amount of R&D is funded by the state and is often performed explicitly to serve the needs of the military with civilians and consumers being afterthoughts. Since copyright and patent protections provide monopoly pricing rights to creators and inventors we can conclude that no innovation currently occurs in a "free market".
#14302715
Eran wrote:What "large scale" drive? Left-wing movements form a tiny minority in western democracies. Even so-called "socialist" parties largely advocate a maintenance of the status-quo. Most importantly, (virtually) everybody accepts the basic constitutional-democratic order. Even those who feel aggrieved by its outcome.


I feel that reformist socialists and social democrats accept the current order because capitalism is held in check, and government programs provide an alternative (which were driven by large scale reformist leftism in the first place). If we were to simply roll back the state with privatization and throw people into the jaws of profit, I imagine they wouldn't stay so reformist and so placated, as the thing they strongly advocate as a bullwark against what they might call the "law of the jungle" is taken away.

Any movement towards anarchy with full private property rights that is successful must assuage the reasoning of its opponents by resolving their concerns in a way that is still consistent with full private property rights. Automation can do this as (in its matured form) it allows for distribution without any confiscation of labor product, coercion, or taxes, meeting both the concerns of left and right while bypassing their explicit ideologies.


Eran wrote:But to suggest that giving people free stuff would minimise economic justification for aggression is odd. After all, poor people today enjoy far more free stuff than people ever did. And that doesn't seem to minimise economic agitation. A hypothetical perfectly-egalitarian society might forestall envy-based agitation. Is that your goal?


Crime has certainly gone down over time and societies have become less violent as they have become more abundant, and this is a historical trend, however there is certainly still poverty, and people certainly still feel pressure they blame on the market and capitalism.

The fact that people have it a lot better today even when things are kind of crappy in an economic recession means that movements like communism have declined in popularity in the West. However, the pressure people still feel to make ends meet is not an insignificant source of stress.

I happen to feel this stress may get a lot worse as automation continues. You can observe that automation should have something like the "uncanny valley" effect (I can't think what to call it in this case), where up to a point, labor-saving improves things, but then after that you see too much low skill job loss (with no remaining low skill sectors to transfer to) and thus nobody has the disposable income to consume and maintain growth, so the automation would stall itself.

The final state in which all the economy can be automated, and each person might own robots (and other high-tech means of production) to perform the tasks they want would mean the end to all required human economic toil, which would consequently mean the end of collectivist coercion driven by economic wants. As I claim though, the market has little incentive to reach this point due to the connection between wages, consumption, and profit in a macro-economic sense. This is why I point to the state as needing to smooth over the valley I've identified.

A perfectly egalitarian society is not required. Equality is something that's difficult to define anyway. We just need a society in which the basic needs of life do not have a price. In this society people will still be envious of others who have more robots/gadgets and land, but getting to this state completes the trend in the decline of reasonable justifications for mass collectivization. A violent mass movement may come out of not having enough bread to eat, but not out of not having Ipods. People just aren't willing to die for that.

My goal is not to bring about perfect egalitarianism, but to minimize economic justification for collectivist slavery by creating the possibility of abundance without human toil, and in a form which can be held as individual property, surpassing both capitalism and socialism in terms of peoples basic needs and consumer desires. Once people's requirements require no toil by those with opposing wills, but only a machine will of our designing, people's need to force others to labor for them is as minimized as it can possibly be. Consequently, large scale collective projects (whether compensated in capitalist fashion or not) can finally be voluntary with as many people as possible, with both "left" and "right" (or other) persuasions finding lower levels of disadvantage in cooperation.


Eran wrote:Needless to say, free markets are the best mechanism for researching, developing and implementing labour-saving automation.


In general, yes, but I do believe there are limitations to the incentive of profit. The problem I identify above can be simplified into economics terms thus: If capital replaces labor more and more, then that labor has less wage to buy the products it produces, because most of those products have a capital (in this case automated) origin. It'll be good for skilled labor like technicians and engineers and university professors for a while, but not for everyone else. The ultimate diminishing and then declining return of profit in returns means that the market cannot leap over the valley and close the loop on automation (it can't make the profits to do so).

So, I believe that the state should:
1: Increase the budget dedicated to automation technologies and AI.
2: Subsidize automation in the industries most vital to life most rapidly, such as agriculture.
3: Subsidize decentralization of means of production (3D printers/other customizable mass market desktop manufacturing trends) and energy, so as to reduce dependance on the state (and corporations! lefties!).
4: Possibly provide more provision for welfare in the interim to further smooth over any transitory turmoil.
5: Reduce most other spending as much as possible to counteract any tax raises.
6: Stop enforcing loads of nonsense laws which libertarians have been on about for years, war on drugs, ludicrously over the top health and safety, business license requirements, etc etc.
7: Allow individuals to homestead a certain quantity of so called public land, so as to sidestep "absentee land lordism" in libertarian fashion.


(Sorry about the long read. I should be more succinct, but I labor the point a bit to make sure I'm understood.)
#14308452
taxizen wrote:Someone5 - Unless you acknowledge taxation as a form of slavery, then almost nobody believes slavery is justifiable these days, so what are you worried about?


The people who absolutely do believe that slavery is justifiable today. There are plenty of them. Even if you cannot wrap your head around the idea that the people in charge would be perfectly happy to have an underclass of slaves in the west--look to the third world, where actual, real chattel slavery is still practiced (albeit not legally).

Even if you can't accept that wage slavery is a form of slavery, actual chattel slavery is still uncomfortably common in the modern world.

Treaty - I don't see the problem you are trying to find. A treaty is an agreement between sovereign polities,


Between states, in fact; states who meet certain criteria. Namely, they must have a defined territory, a permanent population within that territory, and can exercise sovereignty over that population and territory. To participate in any sort of meaningful international discourse, you then have to be recognized as a state by the other state you want to negotiate with--generally by being able to create enough trouble for that state that it's in their best interest to just negotiate. It's a very long, complex process that a dispersed and nomadic "society of freemen" would never qualify for.

Again, your first step would have to be raising an army to seize a piece of land and claiming sovereignty over it. That's easier for some areas than for others--western states would be very hard candidates for it. You'd basically have to go pick one of the almost-uninhabited wastelands of the world, where there is no existing infrastructure for you to pillage, and start from scratch there. But, you know, your libertarian army can do something about that... right?

if our association does not recognise any masters then we would be a sovereign polity if not a state in the territorial sense.


A "state" that no one would recognize or negotiate with. AKA; stateless terrorist organization. You wouldn't meet any of the formal definitions of a state.

Whether a state would make such an agreement depends on the circumstances.


Namely, how many warm bodies you can arm and convince to die for the cause. Even then, it's actually kind of hard to do that in the era of automated weapons and in the post-nuclear age.

The thing to do is take the position, press your case and look for opportunities to make it happen. Prior to the 20th century such a treaty wouldn't be that strange at all,


Between 1648 and 1946, such a treaty would have been impossible, since you'd have to meet the Westphalian definition of a state, which is even harder than the current one. 90% of the states around today wouldn't meet the Westphalian definition of a state. Before that you wouldn't be talking about "treaties" at all for solving these sorts of problems--you'd have to set yourself up as some independent king and have enough concentrated force at arms to protect that claim. Though you'd still be tied to a definite territory (since in those days, land was literally everything). About the only consistency in statehood through the ages has been territory. Your entire premise rests on people respecting the right to a people's self-determination... which is a completely modern thing. It wasn't even theoretically a concept in international relations prior to the 18th century (and not a respected concept until long after that).

but sadly the nation state in that century took a decidely totalitarian turn and so now it does seem strange and even impossible.


Nations are curiously both more and less totalitarian today than they were "back in the day" when you basically had to have a king with sovereignty over his subjects. Most modern states offer a lot more freedom than the old feudal model, where you weren't even allowed to leave the land you were bound to as a serf. Nation states in the 18th century basically exercised complete control over their economies--certainly not true today.

Then again by the 21st century the whole totalitarian thing is pretty discredited and those remaining totalitarian gigs (US and Europe) are rapidly falling apart


There's no real threat of the United States falling apart. Neither is there any real danger of the major European players collapsing--though the EU may well disintegrate by the end of the century (though that seems increasingly doubtful--it's more likely that they'll just kick the troublemakers out). As nations in the modern era go, the United States is extremely stable (though admittedly Republican antics will cause a lot of harm to our government's ability to conduct business for a time). That's still not any kind of existential threat to the United States.

and going the way of the Soviet Union. The opportunity to get something like this may not be so far off.


You should probably read up some on the collapse of the Soviet Union. The present US situation doesn't really mirror it in any significant way, other than a general malaise felt by the population in some areas of the country.
#14308461
Eran wrote:The NAP is the basis behind most legal frameworks,


No it's not--the only reason you even perceive it to be is that anarcho-capitalists have done a fine job trying to rewrite your perception of the world. If you want a very clear example of that, consider the mere existence of duty to rescue laws. The actual basis of legal frameworks is the sovereignty of the state--nothing else. Theoretically, there are other ways to build a legal framework, but no sane society would base their legal framework on the non-aggression principle (because of some very fundamental failures that you've ignored others pointing out in the past).

and is broadly accepted as morally good.


Up until the point where people see a situation as politically intractable, at which point their opinions regarding the initiation of force change quite quickly. The NAP as stated by anarcho-capitalists certainly isn't broadly considered a moral good; otherwise it's quite doubtful people would express the moral outrage they do about human trafficking. Even your own side engages in special pleading regarding slavery and human trafficking and such--by arguing that force is justified "because it was initiated upon someone else at some point in the past." Regardless of whether the slavery was entered into "voluntarily" (I.E. by a family selling their children for money) or not. The NAP breaks down even for the people who are drinking your side's kool-aid, what the hell makes you think it is any kind of significant factor in the legal frameworks of the people who don't follow your weird view of the world?

To right-thinking people, opposition to slavery is justified because slavery is unethical, not because it violates the NAP. Let me put this another way--most people do not give a shit about the NAP when it gets in the way of doing something they think ought to be done.

Collect any group of 100 people, and draw circumstances under which one person (or group of people) initiate force against the peaceful endeavour of others, and you'll see near universal condemnation.


A) Nothing to do with legal frameworks.
B) That's because people do actually follow from a different moral basis--"Force needs to be justified." Some random dude going and beating up people who haven't done anything to him is unjustified force, and therefore unethical. However, there's quite a lot of environments where a large portion of the crowd wouldn't go care if one guy starts beating up the other because he put his brother in a wheelchair. Hell, there are parts of the world where insults might be sufficient for that. Let's try this another way--there's a celebrity in a crowd of a hundred people, ten of whom are paparazzi. One of the paparazzi asks him a highly offensive personal question--a peaceful endeavor, considering his profession--the celebrity gets upset by the question and decks him. I think there would be quite a lot of discussion about whether that was morally justified or not. Even in our own society that would be treated differently by the court than an example of some random violence perpetrated on a random stranger--while the celebrity may have been legally in the wrong, it's because he violated laws--and his punishment would differ significantly from the aforementioned random violence example because of mitigating factors. The NAP wouldn't even enter into any of this discussion.

Now it is true that people will excuse initiation of force under particular, extreme circumstances (e.g. to save a life).


I know a lot of people who would excuse one brother going and beating his other brother's assailant, considering it justified. Let's drag up a not-so-long ago example of members of the KKK literally getting away with murder because a jury excuses them because of the victim's skin color. That's by no means morally acceptable today, but that was socially acceptable where I live just 70 years ago. Can you even agree that there are different moral principles at work in the world? That morals differ by region? That perhaps there are a wide mix of moral principles at work within a given person--where the NAP may only be a small consideration?

It's awfully ethnocentric to say the NAP is the defining moral law for everyone. I'll be perfectly honest--I don't even particularly care about the NAP. It doesn't guide anything I do. If society tried to tell me that it was a moral law I had to follow, I would break that moral law whenever my actual ethical beliefs came into conflict with it. I am not unique in that opinion regarding the NAP. To be honest, I actually would consider a strict adherent of the NAP to be rather unethical.

But very few would advocate a society in which initiation of force is accepted as a normal, legitimate part of interpersonal conduct.


That's a false dichotomy. It's actually a comparison between a society that practices the NAP and real societies, where initiating force is ethical where it is justified by other ethical principles. It's not a case of "Is the NAP better than the AAP*," but rather a case of "Is the NAP better than the SAP**?"

*Always Aggression Principle
**Sometimes Aggression Principle

With the obvious exception of government, of course.


The government doesn't accept that either. Believe it or not, most of what the government does... doesn't actually involve force at all.
#14308480
Technology wrote:I feel that reformist socialists and social democrats accept the current order because capitalism is held in check, and government programs provide an alternative (which were driven by large scale reformist leftism in the first place). If we were to simply roll back the state with privatization and throw people into the jaws of profit, I imagine they wouldn't stay so reformist and so placated, as the thing they strongly advocate as a bullwark against what they might call the "law of the jungle" is taken away.


Exactly right. They don't view the current situation as a situation where politics will continue to fail--they believe that movement towards a socialist end can be achieved within current political frameworks. Let's be perfectly honest--those of us who aren't out there fighting capitalism directly are "reformist socialists" because we like to have arguments about it and support causes within the current political framework to pursue a change in policy. It's easy to take a nihilist view towards politics in capitalist societies, but the fact remains that we do actually have the power to influence policy if wee were sufficiently organized. There's not actually anything wrong with that in most western societies, because we do actually have the ability to pursue changes in policy that way. If we got enough people on board, we could actually make changes to our political system from within--guns and armed resistance aren't actually required. This goes beyond votes--despite the difficulties, it is possible for groups of socialists to form cooperatives, to practice passive resistance against capitalists in private not only through voting. It is actually possible for socialist candidates to run for office and get on the ballot. We're not actually excluded from making the attempt.

However, yes, I do think that if we were to adopt the anarcho-capitalist form of government, armed socialist resistance would start cropping up in a big way. Former moderates who were happy to live with moderated capitalism would, I think, strongly object to unlimited capitalism. People like to be proud of the things they do, and I can't see a lot of people being proud of what anarcho-capitalism would force them to do.

In general, yes, but I do believe there are limitations to the incentive of profit.


I think you're both ignoring the actual reason that industrial automation even exists. The free market would never have invested in a way that would create industrial automation, because in a perfectly free market labor costs are negligible. We actually have industrial automation because policy planners in the Pentagon thought it would be a good idea and started throwing money at it. Same with artificial intelligence research--expert systems exist today because the military thought it would be helpful back in the 70s and 80s. Corporations lack the organizational imagination to make the leaps that lead them to truly innovative things--they'll take the things that exist today and do a fair job of making them slightly better on every iteration, but that doesn't lead to radical shifts in paradigms.

Let me expand this more generally--the free market does not engage in very much speculative science or engineering. They turn the hard science that governments pay for into consumer products, but they wouldn't engage in even a tenth of the scientific research they do without governments. The R&D that corporations do is strongly oriented towards making a better consumer product, not expanding the sum total of human knowledge, or promulgating radical changes to the way that business gets conducted. If the free market were left to its own business, we'd be living in some kind of retro 1960s world. Quite literally a lot of the companies instrumental in making modern computing happen wouldn't have done so without government contracts creating a market for them.

Let's put this in terms Eran might understand--no successful company is going to start multi-million dollar projects to create radical paradigm-breaking technologies without some guaranteed buyer to at least soak some of the cost. No company is going to sign up to buy those things without some guarantee that it is even possible. Governments, however, will happily jump into that role. A few million dollars is nothing for a government, and the potential benefits to the whole of a national economy can be quite high. But no private player is in a position to reap those benefits, or risk that much capital. Government spending literally plays a role that the private market will not fill in terms of cutting edge research.

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