Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Harrison Danneskjold

Anarchy's objective obliteration

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

The anarchists want anarchy because they want to choose the protective agency who they agree with the most or who they think is the most just rather than being forced to live under a centralized government and its interpretation of justice.  The thing is, if there are all these different protective groups all operating under different rules, there will be some who actually get justice right and then there will be those who are not “rights respecting” groups.  If it happened in the U.S. it is just as if they U.S. has now been split into however many smaller countries.  People act as if under such a system there would be no jurisdiction and you have recourse to hire any group you want to defend you in a court case or so forth.  It would be like if Billy Hayes from “Midnight Express”, who got caught smuggling dope in Turkey could have just hired the U.S. to try his case instead of Turkey.  It doesn’t seem likely to me that the different groups would allow an agency with different rules to infringe on whatever boarders they operate on.  The enforcing agencies couldn’t be bodies of law with no physical delineated borders.  I think almost by definition a body of law has to have physical borders in which the laws apply absolutely.  Otherwise if they all had different rules how would you ever know, dealing with a given individual who subscribes to an agency you’re not familiar with, how you are allowed to interact with him?  If the different groups didn’t have physically defined borders they would be constantly clashing everywhere due to their different rules.  Governing bodies cannot just insert themselves and their rulings into areas they don’t physically control, that’s the definition of war.  I am assuming the rules would vary to a degree that this would become a problem or else why would you want this anarchy to begin with if all the agencies had practically the same rules?—it would be cheaper and more efficient to collapse them into one if that were the case just like mergers with businesses.

 

Consider what would happen when other countries begin to come in and try to take over when we have disparate disorganized agencies.  Or better yet, how would we ever deliver a preemptive blow to a country we saw as a threat with these small agencies, they would all have to come together and reach an agreement but what if enough agencies have rules that don’t allow for that? 

 

As other people have already pointed out, in a certain sense this anarchy already exists in the world at large.  You can go live under a different “protective agency” by moving to a different country.  Turning the U.S. into this anarchy just fractionates and dissolves us into smaller, weaker countries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DonAthos said # 36

 

Governments only exist as particular, actual groups of individuals.

 

 

What do you mean by this? The US constitution is a particular actual group of individuals? Or do you mean the functions of government are carried out by particular actualr individuals , and that they may or may not adhere to the principles of a 'governemnt'? Is it not possible to have a 'government', a principled moral foundation for the conduct of human interaction, adhered to be individuals?

 

Earlier in the same post you stated that 'government' should be seen as a collection of individuals in the same why 'society' refers to individuals. I think this a non sequitor, in that society as a concept has no referent other than the relation of individuals to individuals( those who live in geographic proximity and follow similar cultures and customs), but government refers to (at least in LFC) to a set of principles that conduct interactions between individuals. The fact in reality individuals will have to function within the dictates of government to facilitate its role , does not mean the individuals have the legitimate right to change or alter those dictates, the fact that individuals may at times abuse or ignore those strictures does not mean they do not exist , or that government does not have a referent other than that which 'society' has akin to individuals. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The anarchists want anarchy because they want to choose the protective agency who they agree with the most or who they think is the most just rather than being forced to live under a centralized government and its interpretation of justice.  The thing is, if there are all these different protective groups all operating under different rules, there will be some who actually get justice right and then there will be those who are not “rights respecting” groups.  If it happened in the U.S. it is just as if they U.S. has now been split into however many smaller countries.  People act as if under such a system there would be no jurisdiction and you have recourse to hire any group you want to defend you in a court case or so forth.  It would be like if Billy Hayes from “Midnight Express”, who got caught smuggling dope in Turkey could have just hired the U.S. to try his case instead of Turkey.  It doesn’t seem likely to me that the different groups would allow an agency with different rules to infringe on whatever boarders they operate on.  The enforcing agencies couldn’t be bodies of law with no physical delineated borders.  I think almost by definition a body of law has to have physical borders in which the laws apply absolutely.  Otherwise if they all had different rules how would you ever know, dealing with a given individual who subscribes to an agency you’re not familiar with, how you are allowed to interact with him?  If the different groups didn’t have physically defined borders they would be constantly clashing everywhere due to their different rules.  Governing bodies cannot just insert themselves and their rulings into areas they don’t physically control, that’s the definition of war.  I am assuming the rules would vary to a degree that this would become a problem or else why would you want this anarchy to begin with if all the agencies had practically the same rules?—it would be cheaper and more efficient to collapse them into one if that were the case just like mergers with businesses.

 

Consider what would happen when other countries begin to come in and try to take over when we have disparate disorganized agencies.  Or better yet, how would we ever deliver a preemptive blow to a country we saw as a threat with these small agencies, they would all have to come together and reach an agreement but what if enough agencies have rules that don’t allow for that? 

 

As other people have already pointed out, in a certain sense this anarchy already exists in the world at large.  You can go live under a different “protective agency” by moving to a different country.  Turning the U.S. into this anarchy just fractionates and dissolves us into smaller, weaker countries.

 

 You should have bothered to read this very thread or the gallons of articles on these topics. Really do some research instead of acting like this is the first time these objections have been raised.  Here are some articles written on these issues by Roderick Long. These would be a good place to start if you are looking for responses to your questions. 

 

  http://www.freenation.org/a/f22l3.html (on defense)

 

  http://c4ss.org/content/12581 (on objective law) 

Edited by Hairnet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DonAthos said # 36

 

Governments only exist as particular, actual groups of individuals.

 

 

What do you mean by this? The US constitution is a particular actual group of individuals? Or do you mean the functions of government are carried out by particular actualr individuals , and that they may or may not adhere to the principles of a 'governemnt'? Is it not possible to have a 'government', a principled moral foundation for the conduct of human interaction, adhered to be individuals?

 

Sure, we could sensibly talk about the US Government as consisting of the Constitution, or the three branches, the electoral college, or etc. (We can also talk about such abstract terms as "society" or "culture.") But everything ultimately comes down to actual, real individual human beings and their decisions: the Constitution was written by individuals, ratified by individuals, is interpreted by individuals, and enforced (or not) by individuals.

I believe that this was an important point to make (as in, to this thread) because we were looking to source governmental power -- and there is only one place it can ultimately come from: individual rights. If the Constitution has any authority at all, it is only due to the individuals who act within their rights in creating and enforcing such a document.

Groups, as such, whether or not they call themselves "the government" have no rights apart from the individual rights of those who comprise that government.

And that is what I meant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 You should have bothered to read this very thread or the gallons of articles on these topics. Really do some research instead of acting like this is the first time these objections have been raised. 

 

Yeah I read the thread.  Nowhere did I say that this is the first time those objections have been raised nor was that central to the argument or the question of whether they have been sufficiently answered.  If you are upset by it you needn't reply at all because I don't make things personal.  I don't know whether you remembered what was in the links you sent but they do not address the main argument I presented.  It doesn't address at all how different "free-market" defense groups would deal without having a physical domain where their law applies absolutely.  It makes statements about how such a country would defend itself that are unconvincing and nowhere does it address how a preemptive strike could ever be accomplished. Or maybe I missed it somewhere?   Also in the article the objections to centralized government are that they would extort taxes, but in a free society they would be voluntarily funded. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure, we could sensibly talk about the US Government as consisting of the Constitution, or the three branches, the electoral college, or etc. (We can also talk about such abstract terms as "society" or "culture.") But everything ultimately comes down to actual, real individual human beings and their decisions: the Constitution was written by individuals, ratified by individuals, is interpreted by individuals, and enforced (or not) by individuals.

I believe that this was an important point to make (as in, to this thread) because we were looking to source governmental power -- and there is only one place it can ultimately come from: individual rights. If the Constitution has any authority at all, it is only due to the individuals who act within their rights in creating and enforcing such a document.

Groups, as such, whether or not they call themselves "the government" have no rights apart from the individual rights of those who comprise that government.

And that is what I meant.

I agree that there is no such thing as group rights, the concept of rights is only applicable to individuals.

Given LFC , government is instituted to protect rights held by individuals. But I see government as a principled statement of appropriate interactions between individuals, a way to conduct relations governed by principles expressed in laws. Government in this sense is more the ideas , the actual people that facilitate the practical applications of carrying out the functions of various offices are not a recognized 'group' as having powers above and beyond any other citizen. .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a question.

 

Why can't you judge your own case (provided you aren't the accused)?  I know that most people would most likely demand far more severe punishments than would be just, but I'd like to think that I wouldn't; again I fail to see if that's inherent to human nature or simply an unfortunate fact of the current state of things.

Furthermore, if you cannot be your own judge because of a conflict of interest, wouldn't that necessarily eliminate commercialized governance as well?

For instance, if you are the CEO of a company which is paid to prosecute criminals, wouldn't it benefit you to find every single case guilty?  I think that the assertion "it would be in each company's best interest to be objective and impartial, because that's what people want" necessarily means that you CAN judge your own cases.

 

I do think that multiple governments could coexist simultaneously, provided they were objective and impartial.  War is bad for you; it isn't in anyone's best interest to start wars against peaceful neighbors (and, when left to their own devices, people usually do the rational thing hence LFC) therefore any senselessly warmongering government would present a clear and present threat to all of its neighbors and would not be likely to last very long.

 

But I think that the idea of market-governance necessarily negates the very need for a third party governor in the first place (except perhaps for the peaceful arbitration of honest disputes).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that there is no such thing as group rights, the concept of rights is only applicable to individuals.

Given LFC , government is instituted to protect rights held by individuals. But I see government as a principled statement of appropriate interactions between individuals, a way to conduct relations governed by principles expressed in laws. Government in this sense is more the ideas , the actual people that facilitate the practical applications of carrying out the functions of various offices are not a recognized 'group' as having powers above and beyond any other citizen. .

 

I'm fine with it if you choose to look at government as an institution, or a set of institutions, or principles, or laws, or etc., so long as none of the inferences you draw from that, or the conclusions you reach, accord government some power/right that does not itself derive from individual rights.

The government -- whatever it is -- not only has no power beyond "individual rights," it has less:

 

The source of the government’s authority is “the consent of the governed.” This means that the government is not the ruler, but the servant or agent of the citizens; it means that the government as such has no rights except the rights delegated to it by the citizens for a specific purpose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And I am fine with your choosing to see that polylegalism would necessarily concede the premise that groups of individuls would in fact(perhaps de facto as opposed de jure)enjoy the rights you deny to 'government'.

Edited by tadmjones

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And I am fine with your choosing to see that polylegalism would necessarily concede the premise that groups of individuls would in fact(perhaps de facto as opposed de jure)enjoy the rights you deny to 'government'.

 

I've been trying to make sense of this for a little while now, and I don't think I'm there yet. So what I have to say might not be a direct response (and I invite you to clarify your point, if necessary), but just to riff off of it...

No individual has any right more than any other. No group (government included) has any rights that are more, or apart from, the individual rights of the individuals comprising that group. Whatever President Obama (properly) does, for instance, is made possible by his own individual rights, and the rights of those on whose behalf he acts.

And yes, it is true, in the capacity of government -- when acting as President -- Obama actually has "fewer rights" than any of the individuals of the United States, whether acting alone or in concert, for he is strictly limited to those rights granted to him by the citizens. Again, not as an individual (where he retains his full scope of individual rights), but acting in the capacity of "President," or governance more generally. Ideally this is the function that the Constitution provides, in detailing the specific and highly limited grant of power from the citizens to the government... but in practice, as I hardly need to remind you, the Constitution has not been a perfect check against tyranny (and was flawed in its very design).

Anyways, when you say that under my system (whatever you think it is, though I'm not yet convinced you understand what I actually advocate, or why) that the individual (or groups of individuals) would "enjoy the rights I deny to government," you are absolutely right! That is as it should be. For after all, the individual is sovereign, and everything flows from there, including governmental power, which is by nature delimited and of smaller scope (qua rights):

 

Individualism regards man—every man—as an independent, sovereign entity who possesses an inalienable right to his own life, a right derived from his nature as a rational being. Individualism holds that a civilized society, or any form of association, cooperation or peaceful coexistence among men, can be achieved only on the basis of the recognition of individual rights—and that a group, as such, has no rights other than the individual rights of its members.

 

This includes the right to form government. Change government. Dissolve government. These are among the rights of the individual, and they do not get stripped away on your say-so, or the say-so of any other man. That is what it means to be "inalienable."

And when acting in the role of government -- an individual taking on the power to act on the behalf of others -- he is limited in that capacity by the rights granted to him, on the consent of those so governed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I've been trying to make sense of this for a little while now, and I don't think I'm there yet. So what I have to say might not be a direct response (and I invite you to clarify your point, if necessary), but just to riff off of it...

No individual has any right more than any other. No group (government included) has any rights that are more, or apart from, the individual rights of the individuals comprising that group. Whatever President Obama (properly) does, for instance, is made possible by his own individual rights, and the rights of those on whose behalf he acts.

And yes, it is true, in the capacity of government -- when acting as President -- Obama actually has "fewer rights" than any of the individuals of the United States, whether acting alone or in concert, for he is strictly limited to those rights granted to him by the citizens. Again, not as an individual (where he retains his full scope of individual rights), but acting in the capacity of "President," or governance more generally. Ideally this is the function that the Constitution provides, in detailing the specific and highly limited grant of power from the citizens to the government... but in practice, as I hardly need to remind you, the Constitution has not been a perfect check against tyranny (and was flawed in its very design).

Anyways, when you say that under my system (whatever you think it is, though I'm not yet convinced you understand what I actually advocate, or why) that the individual (or groups of individuals) would "enjoy the rights I deny to government," you are absolutely right! That is as it should be. For after all, the individual is sovereign, and everything flows from there, including governmental power, which is by nature delimited and of smaller scope (qua rights):

 

 

This includes the right to form government. Change government. Dissolve government. These are among the rights of the individual, and they do not get stripped away on your say-so, or the say-so of any other man. That is what it means to be "inalienable."

And when acting in the role of government -- an individual taking on the power to act on the behalf of others -- he is limited in that capacity by the rights granted to him, on the consent of those so governed.

To clarify my post, in all honesty I was probably unfairly bringing in(perhaps) misremembered arguments from other threads re polylegal , market based legal systems. I think differences of opinion is that area tend toward whether or not those types of systems can ever be objective in implimentation, which is probably beyond the scope of this thread.

As to the above , I would say I agree with your position re rights, with maybe a few diagreements with either connotation of terms or just semantics. Inalienable does mean( or I understand as) not having the ability to be 'stripped away', but even one step further, not only can they not stripped away from any indivdual by another's say-so , but they can not by their nature be forfeited either. I also do not believe rights can be granted, so even office holders in a constitutional system acting in that capacity do not 'have' rights, other than those they have by their human nature. The office would have certain powers granted by the governed, but ideally those powers would be precisely defined and highly constrained.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To clarify my post, in all honesty I was probably unfairly bringing in(perhaps) misremembered arguments from other threads re polylegal , market based legal systems. I think differences of opinion is that area tend toward whether or not those types of systems can ever be objective in implimentation, which is probably beyond the scope of this thread.

 

Let me try to clarify my current thoughts on this subject, in case you'd like to pursue this line of discussion. It might be hard to rely on another, earlier thread, as these ideas of "anarchy," monopoly government, and etc., are all still new to me generally, and the other threads you're referring to amount to my grappling with those issues for the first (or second or third) time. My position has developed accordingly.

What I've come to, for now at least, is this: I think that much of what certain posters (like 2046) advocate should rightly be seen as a form of monopoly government, though a monopoly government that is unlike those currently practiced, and somewhat radical in comparison to what we traditionally expect. Something like the present US system, where governmental power is divided and diffused among several layers and branches to provide "checks and balances," but done so in a manner more consistent with the principle of the non-initiation of force (and also, I believe, more consistent with the views I have been advocating here, as to the nature of governmental power, and the sovereignty of the individual). I do not think that such a system is properly thought of as being "anarchic" in character, though some of the specific provisions this system would necessarily incorporate are seemingly often labeled as such in these sorts of discussions. Here is a (very early) attempt on my part to describe what I'm talking about:

 

Imagine a government: something similar to the United States, but the Constitution of which prohibits the initiation of the use of force, or contains the separation of state and economy, or however we'd have such a document worded to effect the Objectivist Politics in reality. Imagine now that the power to enforce this Constitution was invested equally among the citizens, in their capacity as a part of governance, so far as they enforce it in an objective manner (the details of which would be defined by the Constitution, i.e. "trial by jury" or whatever else).

 

When I asked what such a thing might be called, Harrison suggested "Panarchy," which I find exceedingly clever, but... 1) I'm loathe to run the risk of this idea again being misconstrued as somehow oppositional to government or "monopoly government" as such, when I do not believe it is in fact (there may well be a multiplicity of institutions, but if they are all developed according to objective procedures, united under one central, foundational constitution, then I think that the system in toto must be viewed as a single government); and 2) apparently there is already some history attached to this particular term, and I'm not greatly familiar with it. I fear the baggage it might bring, as an obstacle to productive discussion and understanding.

Anyways, whether the objective implementation of this, or any other system of government, is properly part of this discussion or some other, I regard the project generally as an attempt to determine how the Objectivist Politics may itself be implemented as an actual system of government, in real life. If the non-initiation of force is sincerely held as the guiding principle -- so much so that the very lifeblood of governance, its funding, proceeds on a strictly voluntary basis -- then I think that what I otherwise advocate brings us closer to that vision, and in more consistent fashion.

 

As to the above , I would say I agree with your position re rights, with maybe a few diagreements with either connotation of terms or just semantics. Inalienable does mean( or I understand as) not having the ability to be 'stripped away', but even one step further, not only can they not stripped away from any indivdual by another's say-so , but they can not by their nature be forfeited either.

 

Agreed.

 

I also do not believe rights can be granted, so even office holders in a constitutional system acting in that capacity do not 'have' rights, other than those they have by their human nature.

 

I expect that we're agreed in substance. You may be right that "grant" is not the correct term to use here. I think that Rand speaks of a "delegation" of rights. The meaning of which, as I understand it, is that the government acts rather by proxy in prosecuting my right of self-defense, or yours; we authorize it to act on our behalf in that manner, whether we think of that authorization as a "grant" of our right, or a "delegation," or something else. But the central point that I had intended to communicate was that this governmental power comes from somewhere, somewhere specific, and that this somewhere specific is the individual rights of those who comprise and consent to this government.  Not to put too fine a point on this, but governmental power does not descend from the aether, investing some select few with magic.

 

The office would have certain powers granted by the governed, but ideally those powers would be precisely defined and highly constrained.

 

Yes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I read the thread.  Nowhere did I say that this is the first time those objections have been raised nor was that central to the argument or the question of whether they have been sufficiently answered.  If you are upset by it you needn't reply at all because I don't make things personal.  I don't know whether you remembered what was in the links you sent but they do not address the main argument I presented.  It doesn't address at all how different "free-market" defense groups would deal without having a physical domain where their law applies absolutely.  It makes statements about how such a country would defend itself that are unconvincing and nowhere does it address how a preemptive strike could ever be accomplished. Or maybe I missed it somewhere?   Also in the article the objections to centralized government are that they would extort taxes, but in a free society they would be voluntarily funded. 

 

  Your post didn't have a central argument you just raised a whole bunch of objections in a poorly organized wall of text.

 

  What I got out of this thread is that the individual is the fundamental political unit. The government, the real government that actually gets things done correctly, is the group of people organize themselves and follow the rules required to protect the individual rights of others. I want the same rules regardless of geography.  

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...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...