Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Gobstomper

What Kind Of Government Would Rand Accept?

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

If Rand restricted proper government to that of a police force (to protect citizens), national army (to defend against invasion) and a court system (to enforce contracts, solve disputes, and punish offenders) of which was all voluntarily paid for, then what government should we most preferably live in?

If we assume minarchist governance do we concede to taxation then? If I don't pay for a certain government service like policing, then what right should I demand it? The state must exist if we expect it to protect ALL its citizens, so ALL citizens must then be taxed. Such is the necessary evil if we view all men equal before the law. When Rand advocates lottery to pay for government (Playboy interview), she advocates unequal access to the law. If I pay for a service I expect preferential access than those who don't. Even then how moral am I if I chose not to pay and leech off of such services?

Another question: If Rand didn't believe in taxation why didn't she side with the likes of Rothbard in their claim to anarcho-capitalism? There is no precedent for her concept of the state and yet there is much documentation of successful stateless societies like Ancient Ireland (Rothbard), Medieval Iceland (Friedman) and efficient privatize law enforcement and courts that Bruce Benson brings to light.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Using the time-perferance model of anarcho-capitalist Hans-Hermann Hoppe in comparing monarchy to democracy, monarchy wins. A monarch has a personal stake in leaving his property and kingdom in good condition for his heirs. His respective properties are valued according to the value his constituents view it. He must keep them intact, protect it from theft, and increase their value. Therefor his regime seeks to be fair and won't incite destruction to his own wealth and those of his children. In it not unusual for monarchs to have low tax rates, or have taxes that didn't involve most citizens (taxing came in the form of excise and tariff). Monarchs became abusive when they descented into absolutism, however the monarch regimes like that of Frederick the Great and the Glorious Revolution are a testament to Hoppe's thesis.

Democratic rulers on the otherhand hold power only briefly. They have an incentive to plunder the rest of us while they can. There is then little concern for what can happen once they leave. The monarch's outlook extends generations but politicians seek immediate gratification. In democracies it is not unusual for person A and B be tax exempt and vote on taxing (looting) from person C. Though the majority of citizens consent to that taxation, even if taxation can exceed levels of 50 % of earned income like in Sweden and Norway, it is always met with contempt and even violence. Democracies does lead to socialism and even voted in totalitarian regimes that commited democide, i.e. Russia, Germany and Chile. While monarchies prosecuted real crimes like assault, theft, fraud, and murder; democracies concerned themselves with legislating morality. Victimless crimes became illegal; up until last year in Texas, sodomy was an offense tantamount to rape denying to employment, licenses, and being identified as a sex offender.

Ever since Lincoln, our democracy perverted into big government, there is an income tax, re-imergence of the draft, etc. So why not monarchy? Either that or the big "A", then again Rand doesn't offer a real alternative............ Do you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Rand restricted proper government to that of a police force (to protect citizens), national army (to defend against invasion) and a court system (to enforce contracts, solve disputes, and punish offenders) of which was all voluntarily paid for, then what government should we most preferably live in? 
The one you just explained.

If we assume minarchist governance do we concede to taxation then?
No

If I don't pay for a certain government service like policing, then what right should I demand it?
The government would exist to enforce the law.

The state must exist if we expect it to protect ALL its citizens, so ALL citizens must then be taxed.
Conclusion does not follow the premise.

Such is the necessary evil if we view all men equal before the law.
How so?

When Rand advocates lottery to pay for government (Playboy interview), she advocates unequal access to the law.
Think of it as enforcement against the criminal. Does the criminal have a right of "equal access to the law", so if he becomes a multiple offender, the police should stop persuing him because in order to be equal they can only charge him twice? By the way, access to the law will never be completely "equalized" in every facet or manner, ever, here nor there.

If I pay for a service I expect preferential access than those who don't.
You would pay into a service that is for the entire country, so there is no "access to you" specifically in the agreement.

Another question: If Rand didn't believe in taxation why didn't she side with the likes of Rothbard in their claim to anarcho-capitalism?  There is no precedent for her concept of the state and yet there is much documentation of successful stateless societies like Ancient Ireland (Rothbard), Medieval Iceland (Friedman) and efficient privatize law enforcement and courts that Bruce Benson brings to light.
Because her politics were based on Objective philosophy.

then again Rand doesn't offer a real alternative............

Except for the fact that she completely supported capitalism every time she had any political discussion, spoke in lectures about capitalism, and wrote books on capitalism.

Maybe I/we shouldn't answer threads like this, but I thought he should at least get an answer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the vast majority of citizens are in a state of mind to willingly pay voluntary taxes, then the society will be one where property is privately owned. The rule does apply that if you don’t pay taxes you don’t get access to a service. If you don’t pay the police bill, they shouldn’t come to your home when you call them in the midst of a robbery. If you are unwilling to pay the bill, then you are implying that you will defend yourself and rely on citizens’ arrest. And in a future society, the average citizen wll be more courageous and better trained to combat criminals. He will also be allowed to have a gun.

Now in a free society, neighborhoods will be owned by private citizens. So there can conceivably be a bylaw set by the owner of the neighborhood, that those residing in the neighborhood are subject to certain conditions before being allowed to own a home, business, or rent a property: One must pay national, local, and judicial taxes. It is still voluntary because one has the choice not to reside in that neighborhood. Or if one is driving in, maybe at the toll booth, proof of national tax payment (let’s say) will be necessary before being granted access.

And maybe there will be generous local police services. In that, the police will respond to every crime reported. If the victim has paid his/her taxes then all is good. But if the citizen has not, then the tax evader will have to begin to pay taxes or go to jail. Maybe there will be a payment plan, and interest on default of payment, etc., etc.

But the “no free ride” rule always applies, the context and creativity of businessmen merely serving as limitations to that rule. Without the “no free ride rule” altruism will govern the state. Ask yourself the question: what kind of man would not want to pay for the police, the courts, and the army?

In today’s world, in probably every city, people complain about crime and the response from the police is that the budget is too low. This is certainly the case here in Toronto. But of course the police budget is low, since governments transfer tax dollars to altruistic social spending!

I pretty much covered local protection of rights. Will someone extend this to the judiciary and the army? One note for the army: I’ve conceived in my own mind that there will be a special division of mercenary armies, specifically dedicated to protect the property rights of American businesses abroad. For example, if a foreign government nationalizes a corporation, then this special militia will be sent in to defend the business.

Americo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Americonorman-

I like the ideas. I hadn't previously seen anyone extend the concept of minarchy into something I could visualize. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Walsh,

It sounds like you have complimented me, except that I do not know what “minarchy” means. I checked my dictionary and there is no answer. So since I do not know, it is still left open whether “minarchy” as you use it invites sarcasm. Please define that word and in the process teach me a new word. If it is a compliment then I thank you dearly.

Americo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ayn Ran advocated a constitutional republic, not a democracy, and she certainly never advocated taxation.

The term “minarchy” is often used by anarcho-capitalists to skew the debate in their favor by presenting government as a “necessary evil.” Objectivists believe that rather than being an evil, government is a necessary good – the institution that protects individual rights according to objective laws. A state of anarchy, if it could ever exist, would be just abusive of man’s rights as a totalitarian state, ultimately being ruled by “competition” of thugs with the biggest guns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So since I do not know, it is still left open whether ?minarchy? as you use it invites sarcasm.  Please define that word and in the process teach me a new word.

Minarchism is a term often used by libertarians to refer to the belief that government should be 'as small as possible'. Quite how small this is will depend upon the libertarian in question, but it normally involves the kind of "no role aside from protecting rights" state championed by people such as Rand and Nozick. It has nothing whatsoever to do with anarcho-capitalism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minarchism

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Minarchism is a term often used by libertarians to refer to the belief that government should be 'as small as possible'.

I know. The problem with the concept is that it assumes the most important aspect of government is its size rather than its function.

Objectivists hold that the function of a government -- whether or not it protects the rights of its citizens -- is the most important factor. In time of war or threat of war, a government can be relatively large -- and ought to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I know.  The problem with the concept is that it assumes the most important aspect of government is its size rather than its function.

Objectivists hold that the function of a government -- whether or not it protects the rights of its citizens -- is the most important factor.  In time of war or threat of war, a government can be relatively large -- and ought to be.

Well a better description of minarchy might be the belief that the government should be as small as possible, subject to some specified constraints - ie it must be capable of protecting the rights of its citizens. Given a list of functions that the government must perform (eg prosecuting criminals, providing a military etc etc), the best governmen would be the smallest one possible which is capable of performing all of these. The main disagreements amongst minarchists would obviously be what exactly constitutes protecting rights; eg whether the government should have the authority to run prisons, operate roads, or limit the selling of antibiotics (and so on).

In times of war, the government would have to be bigger in order to satisfy the given constraints - the particular context which a country existed in would determine the precise size of the government, but in all cases it must be the smallest one possible where rights are still protected.

I'm making all this up as I go along though, so whatever. I dont really use the term minarchist myself since most people have never heard of it before, and saying 'I support laissez faire' is a lot easier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Americo, your views about police, army, tax, etc. are not at all consonant with the ideas of Objectivism as voiced by Ayn Rand. Miss Rand thought it entirely reasonable that abler men might finance police and military, and she understood that some portion of the citizens may not pay for these services.

I must particularly single out this notion of yours about "tax evader" and "pay taxes or go to jail," as well as your "special division of mercenary armies" and a "special militia will be sent in to defend the business."

I would suggest that you read at least several of Ayn Rand's essays in the book The Virtue of Selfishness," especially "Government Financing in a Free Society" and "The Nature of Government."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ayn Ran advocated a constitutional republic, not a democracy, and she certainly never advocated taxation. 

The term “minarchy” is often used by anarcho-capitalists to skew the debate in their favor by presenting government as a “necessary evil.”  Objectivists believe that rather than being an evil, government is a necessary good – the institution that protects individual rights according to objective laws.  A state of anarchy, if it could ever exist, would be just abusive of man’s rights as a totalitarian state, ultimately being ruled by “competition” of thugs with the biggest guns.

This was very nicely worded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Using the time-perferance model of anarcho-capitalist Hans-Hermann Hoppe in comparing monarchy to democracy, monarchy wins.  A monarch has a personal stake in leaving his property and kingdom in good condition for his heirs.

...however the monarch regimes like that of Frederick the Great and the Glorious Revolution are a testament to Hoppe's thesis.

Democratic rulers on the otherhand hold power only briefly.  They have an incentive to plunder the rest of us while they can.

Ever since Lincoln, our democracy perverted into big government, there is an income tax, re-imergence of the draft, etc.  So why not monarchy? Either that or the big "A", then again Rand doesn't offer a real alternative............ Do you?

Does Hans-Hermann Hoppe still teach at the Univ. of Las Vegas? He's in the U.S. somewhere, so how does this clown explain the wealth of America and the history of it's increase?

Frederick the Great drafted men in huge armies and raised taxes through the roof.

The Glorious Revolution was glorious because the the monarchy was replaced with a new one by political and military segments of the country.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mr. Speicher:

Yes, you are right. She does say towards the end of the government financing article that the bigger producers will cover the costs of the three branches because it is to their self-interest to do so. That is, since they have more to lose in a country of criminals. Since the payment is proportionate to the scale of economic activity, there is very little that the poor could contribute. So to concretize this, the cost of the police in an industrial town, will primarily be covered by the big producers.

However I still think that the special militia is appropriate to go and defend a business abroad, so long as the corporation is willing to pay for it. Obviously, though, it would be unwise to open up a business in a communist state.

I hate to be wrong, but thank for telling me that Ayn Rand would disagree with me.

Americo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
However I still think that the special militia is appropriate to go and defend a business abroad, so long as the corporation is willing to pay for it.  Obviously, though, it would be unwise to open up a business in a communist state.

The idea of a militia is not consistent with a proper Objectivist government. As I have pointed out in other threads, I agree with Peikoff that that there is no room for private armies, stockpiling of weapons and ammunition, paramilitary maneuvers, etc., and that such is tantamount to anarchy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The idea of a militia is not consistent with a proper Objectivist government. As I have pointed out in other threads, I agree with Peikoff that that there is no room for private armies, stockpiling of weapons and ammunition, paramilitary maneuvers, etc., and that such is tantamount to anarchy.

I agree with you and Piekoff Stephen. I have tried to argue such in the Weaponry thread. I am curious how you would answer the arguments put forward there that the right to bear arms and form militias as stated by the Founders was motivated by the desire to keep a check on government. As much as I hate to admit it, Spearmint did offer a quote from Jefferson which shows his thinking on the subject. The founders did not intend the 2nd amendment as exclusively a codification of self defense against individual criminals as Adam Mossoff has (I believe) argued.

My thinking is that Jefferson's (and the Founders) statements while valid for his time are historically specific to that era. I can't conceive of a way for citizens today to stockpile weapons as a check on corrupt government without becoming a massive threat to domestic peace themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with you and Piekoff Stephen. I have tried to argue such in the Weaponry thread. I am curious how you would answer the arguments put forward there that the right to bear arms and form militias as stated by the Founders was motivated by the desire to keep a check on government. As much as I hate to admit it, Spearmint did offer a quote from Jefferson which shows his thinking on the subject.

I have not followed the arguments on the thread you mention, but ultimately it does not matter what Jefferson, or anyone else, has said. All that matters is what is right and reasonable. I have no objection, per se, to individuals owning guns (but even there I would go further and say that such ownership should be dependent on background checks so as not to allow gun ownership by criminals and the psychologically impaired). But, even if guns made sense in olden days as a check against governmental guns, I hardly think that we should all have our own nuclear weapons to keep a "check on government."

The whole concept of government, in this context, from the Objectivist perspective, is that the government must have sole right in the use of retaliatory force. Once any other group is allowed to start stockpiling weapons and performing military maneuvers, this stands as an anarchistic threat of physical force, and this undermines the very core of the government. Some things that may have made sense in the Wild West of yesterday are no longer sensible in the New York City of today. It is not so much some of the principles of some of the founding fathers having changed, as much as a change in the context for their application.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stephen:

When I said ‘militia’ I meant a division within the public armed forces that specializes in protecting business abroad. Now, in a hypothetical scenario, let’s say that the government cannot fund this ‘division’, and a corporation wishes to sponsor it—wouldn’t this be appropriate? It would have to be government approved, of course.

Americo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Um, just to clear up the record, I am not an anarcho-capitalist, but used the word 'minarchy' simply because I had understood it to mean the form of government that Ms. Rand advocated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stephen:

When I said ‘militia’ I meant a division within the public armed forces that specializes in protecting business abroad.  Now, in a hypothetical scenario, let’s say that the government cannot fund this ‘division’, and a corporation wishes to sponsor it—wouldn’t this be appropriate?  It would have to be government approved, of course.

The main purpose of the military is to protect the individual rights of its citizens from foreign invaders. Any action the military takes must be in the self-interest of the country, not simply to act as a personal strong man for some special interest. If it is in the self-interest of the country to protect the property of some of its citizens abroad, then such action is proper. If it is not in the self-interest of the country, then there is no justification for military action.

In the sort of world that we live in today, I would say that a free government should make clear to its citizens that there are places in the world that the government cannot protect their individual rights and property, and if they choose to visit and/or do business in that part of the world, then the risk remains with them.

But even in today's world there can be circumstances in which it would be in the self-interest of the country to protect a business property abroad. For instance, if we were to reclaim the middle-eastern oil fields that are rightfully ours, it would be in the self-interest of our country to have the military protect against any attempt by someone else to destroy or take over those fields.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest jrshep
But even in today's world there can be circumstances in which it would be in the self-interest of the country to protect a business property abroad. For instance, if we were to reclaim the middle-eastern oil fields that are rightfully ours, it would be in the self-interest of our country to have the military protect against any attempt by someone else to destroy or take over those fields.

Stephen,

With respect to foreign oil fields that were nationalized (stolen) from American businesses, do you think that there should be a statute of limitations on such claims?

With an individual, if someone has stolen something, then there is a limited amount of time within which to take legal actions to recover the stolen property. That's not a sanction on theft, but as aspect of justice.

With respect to nations, if another nation has nationalized some company's (individuals') property, then shouldn't their be a time limit upon claims for redress, after which they simply (regretfully too perhaps) have to accept the loss?

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stephen,

With respect to foreign oil fields that were nationalized (stolen) from American businesses, do you think that there should be a statute of limitations on such claims?

With an individual, if someone has stolen something, then there is a limited amount of time within which to take legal actions to recover the stolen property. That's not a sanction on theft, but as aspect of justice.

With respect to nations, if another nation has nationalized some company's (individuals') property, then shouldn't their be a time limit upon claims for redress, after which they simply (regretfully too perhaps) have to accept the loss?

If it was a rogue nation that nationalized the property, and the rogue nation is still in existence, then there is no problem in regard to a time limit since we always have the right to invade a rogue nation.

If the rogue nation has evolved into a free society, then I guess there should be some sort of a limit on making a claim, but I haven't a clue as to how to determine what such a limit should be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But even in today's world there can be circumstances in which it would be in the self-interest of the country to protect a business property abroad. For instance, if we were to reclaim the middle-eastern oil fields that are rightfully ours, it would be in the self-interest of our country to have the military protect against any attempt by someone else to destroy or take over those fields.

Your argument falls apart because it fails to recognize one very important concept- the concept of private property.

The oil fields drilled in the mid 20th century were private property. They rightfully belong to their owners, not to a nation such as America or Great Britain or any other. So it is not up to America to reclaim these.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...