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About PeteyRimple

  • Birthday 11/07/1984

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  1. To make things more conceptually coherent, I’ll list off what I understand to be the main objectivist arguments or “worries” about market anarchism and add my response to each. 1.)How would there be a uniform law under anarchy? Uniform law would arise because people would have incentives to create rules that facilitate cooperation. And with the exception of a few deranged individuals most of us have the capacity for cooperation and reciprocity. (I refer you guys to Matt Ridley’s “The Origins of Virtue”). This innate capacity for cooperation in most of us is what made the division of labor, and society for that matter, possible. And societies existed long before monopoly governments came about. And as I have already pointed out there are historical examples of laws arising through market incentives (the law merchant) and other countless examples of markets convening on other standards (i.e. four-sided ATM cards or…. a common currency!). 2.)How under market anarchism can there be a resolution of competing claims? Well if two protection agencies have a dispute they have two options: violence or peaceful resolution. I predict that peaceful resolution would win the day because it’s less expensive and creates a bad reputation for those companies. And if wars broke out they would probably be less frequent and less deadly than wars between governments. To paraphrase Roderick Long: “the bloody history of the world is the result of governments purchasing violence at less than market price.” 3.)Under market anarchism won’t “goon squads” prevail? Possibly. However I could just as easily ask “under government won’t dictators prevail?” or “under government won’t interest groups prevail?” It’s important to point out that I have never said that a society of bloody savages without a government is better than a society of peaceful law-abiding citizens under limited government. What I have said is that for any society the imposition of government is a negative. Market anarchism would not work in a society like Somalia, but neither would limited government. Likewise, in the West, especially the U.S., market anarchism would probably have a good chance of working out, or at least a better chance. And the same goes for limited government. 4.)Under market anarchism doesn’t might just make right? If we mean by what is morally right, of course not. (Remember not to get “is” and “ought” confused). But if we mean by might who has the most power in society, or if we mean society itself, then yes might will determine the positive law. But that is true in any society with government or not. Unless you Objectivist-Limited-Government advocates have enough power in society, your state will fail. Right or wrong it’s society or the people with the most power that decide what the law of the land is. The only thing guaranteeing that some types of laws will exist as opposed to others is what values prevail in society. The only thing that will lead to a free society is education.
  2. It's gonna take me time to come up with a real good response for Kendall and David, I wanna make sure it covers all your basic points. So for clarity let me ask, are these the problems you see with anarchy: 1.) The problem of two jurisdictions in the same area. 2.) Just because some laws can arise on the market doesn't mean they all can. 3.) Market anarchism will lead to "good squads" and "warlords". 4.) Under anarchism might makes right. 5.) Under anarchism determinate law is not possible. 6.) What is to happen when two people have competing claims under anarchy? So Kendall and David, please let me know asap if these are the main points you want me to address in my next post.
  3. Have you ever heard of imperialism or expansionism, something that states engage in quite often? That's just fine as long as that customer's company enforces a just law. Other people and other protection agencies. I'll use Lon Fuller's definition: "The enterprise of governing human conduct by rules."
  4. Size doesn’t matter, that was my point. I was saying that because Rand does not specify the extent of this geographical location it could be someone’s home or the space they are occupying, and that institution enforcing rules of social conduct could be me or the private protection agency I have hired. If you grant that there doesn’t need to be world government then you allow for international anarchy, but then why not allow inter-state anarchy, or inter-city anarchy, or inter-individual anarchy? Look at it this way, what we have now is anarchy and what we call states are just outlaw protection agencies forcing us to fund them and come to them for services. Repeat: states are outlaw protection agencies. But that is exactly what happens now where you have one country with its laws and another country with their laws. Yet we manage to do relatively ok. War does not break out every time there are conflicts between US citizens and Canadian citizens, we’ve developed ways of cooperating (i.e. international law). If nations can do that (for the most part) why can’t individuals? And like I have said and will keep on saying, there are historical precedents where the market itself created a set of objectively defined laws because states were not providing them. Well if you have defined vigilantism that way I concede your point. I too do not believe vigilantism is morally permissible. What I meant by vigilantism in earlier posts was turning somewhere else besides the government for justice, and I mean justice, not using your “goon squad” to attack anyone that gives you a funny look. It’s absurd to think any market anarchist has ever condoned that. To quote Roderick Long: “Market anarchists have no objection to the idea that actions based on correct views of justice have a right to a monopoly against actions based on a mistaken view of justice. What Market Anarchists deny is the further inference that this monopoly is best achieved through a monopoly agency or institution.” Precisely! But neither under anarchy nor under government will it ever be guaranteed what principles are enforced, the question is under what system are disputes more likely to be resolved in a peaceful manner and according to objectivist (or libertarian) principles. And in my previous post I stated reasons why I think anarchism beats minarchism in this respect. But right here you have just committed the fallacy I was pointing out. Just because I need an objective arbiter to control the use of force and resolve my disputes it does not follow that there is one arbiter “everyone must submit their disputes to.” The only thing providing a guarantee that rights will always be respected is a universal recognition of their validity. That’s a fact, not some utopian fantasy. What’s Utopian is to think that such a society would ever exist. What market anarchism and limited government need is a prevalent recognition of the nature and validity of rights. You concede that that would be possible and necessary under limited government. I say the same for market anarchism.
  5. Again let me start with Ayn Rand’s definition of government. “A government is an institution that holds the exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct in a given geographical area.” Rand doesn’t specify how large or small that geographical area is. So why couldn’t it be my house or the land I’m standing on? And why couldn’t that institution be a private protection agency or myself? My point is, the types of legal enforcement that would exist under anarchism satisfy Rand’s definition of government. The problem with actual government , the state, or what Rand probably had in mind, is that it forces people to turn to it for justice (think of the French government coming to your house and saying, we are your law enforcers now), as opposed to who they would voluntarily seek for justice. The “alleged right to vigilantism” that I uphold is really just the actual right never to be coerced. Once again, by maintaining a monopoly on the use of retaliatory force, the state necessarily initiates force and is hence immoral. But what I assume you guys are worried about is the absence of objective law under anarchism. Hopefully I can dispel some of those worries. First off, an enormous amount of historical and anthropological data confirms that law is older than the state. Also some historical examples of objective law arising on the market include the medieval law merchant which arose precisely because states, with their mishmash of conflicting rules and regulations, were not providing a specified, coherent body of commercial law. Come to think of it why would we need a state to guarantee the objectivity of law? What about objectivity in science? We don’t have a special elite calling themselves the “science government” taking it upon themselves to determine what are objective criteria for science. Another point, from the argument that “everyone must submit their disputes to an objective arbiter”, it does not follow “there is an objective arbiter (i.e. the state) everyone must submit their disputes to.” To argue along those lines is to commit a compositional logical fallacy. A final point: it’s likely that a standard law would arise on the market for the same reason the market has converged on other standards, such as the standard that all ATM cards are four-sided (to use Roderick Long’s example). But what, under anarchism, will guarantee that people will enforce laws that resemble libertarian principles? Quite frankly: nothing. As long as people have free will lots of things are possible. But there is nothing guaranteeing that under government libertarian principles will be upheld or established. The better question is: under what system, market anarchism, or limited government, should we expect libertarian principles to be more likely upheld? I think market anarchism has limited government beat. Under limited government we have a constitution you might reply. I’d like to point out that the Soviet Union had a constitution; little good that did them! I’d like to point out that when the Supreme Court determined that Andrew Jackson’s removal of the Cherokee from their homeland was unconstitutional, Jackson responded: “Well they’ve made their decision, now let them enforce it!” The point is that a constitution guarantees nothing, it’s just a piece of paper. What matters is that there are institutional incentives that place restraints on the abuse of power. Market competition in law enforcement and adjudication is actually the logical conclusion of the idea of checks and balances and a separation of powers, if you really come to think of it. Another advantage of market anarchism is that it internalizes the costs of law enforcement, meaning if you want a rule enforced, you gotta pay for it. This will probably establish a consumer demand that peaceful relationships between citizens are maintained (which is really all libertarianism is) because going beyond mere protection of the peace costs more money. In reality though, the only thing that can guarantee that individual rights are upheld, is a universal recognition of their validity. This is true for societies with government just as much as it is true for anarchist societies. I would like to conclude with some quotes from the legal scholar Harold Berman describing in his book “Law and Revolution” two of the things that have led to the deterioration of law in the West in recent times: “Law in the twentieth century, both in theory and in practice, has been treated less and less as a coherent whole, a body a corpus juris, and more and more as a hodgepodge, a fragmented mass of ad hoc decisions and conflicting rules…The old meta-law has broken down and been replaced by a kind of cycnicism.” “The source of the supremacy of law in the plurality of legal jurisdiction and legal systems within the same legal order is threatened in the twentieth century by the tendency within each country to swallow up all the diverse jurisdictions and systems in a single central program of legislation and administrative regulation.”
  6. Some good points have been brought up. I'll try to respond to them tomorrow. Unfortunately today I'm super busy and won't have time to develop a good response. Have a nice day all. Ciao.
  7. In order to prevent a person from taking the law into their own hands the government must initiate force. You haven't responded to that point yet. If by law we mean my rights as set out by morality, then I'm afraid I profoundly disagree with you, I do believe I have the right to take the law into my own hands. Are serously prepared to argue that only a select group of people in society calling themselves a government have the right to make moral judgements and execute them? An enormous amount of historical and anthropological evidence says that law and order have been around much longer than states have. And how is that exactly? That sounds like a very circular argument. It's not as though without a government everyone would be enforcing their own rights. Have you ever heard of the division of labor? If the government doesn't make shoes that doesn't mean everyone makes their own shoes. Why can't rational men do that voluntarily on the market? Don't we kind of have rival gangs now, for instance Canada and the US? If we are worried about rivals I guess your argument would imply we need world government. And where/how was that established? (Mod's note: Edited to fix quote tags-sN)
  8. [b]Presentation of the moral superiority of anarchism Let us start with Ayn Rand’s definition of what government is: “A government is an institution that holds the exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct in a given geographical area.” (VOS) My argument will rest on the case that in order to maintain this “exclusive power” governments must necessarily resort to the initiation of force, which by Objectivist standards, is a moral evil. Take for instance the case of a fully rational man whose rights have recently been violated by a thief. He would very much like to see justice served to this thief. He decides however, that this underground private company would do a better job serving up justice then the current government, for whatever strange reason. And let us assume that this private company has a reputation for being completely fair and objective in its proceedings. What is a government supposed to do in this case? If it lets the man proceed with hiring the private company then it has lost its “exclusive power”. I suppose it could try to use voluntary means by which to persuade the man to come to the government for justice, but let’s say the man isn’t persuaded. What can the government “morally” do in this case? Obviously it will have to let the man proceed with turning to the private company for justice and if it does this then anarchy reins. However if it uses force to prevent the man from turning to this private company then it has out-stepped the bounds of morality and has become an initiator of force, hence immoral. And in this case this is what the state must do and does do in order to maintain its “exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct”. My main point here is that by placing restrictions on the use of retaliatory force or on who can use retaliatory force, the government is necessarily initiating force. But the Objectivist might respond, “We need restrictions on the use of force in order to prevent the initiation of force from slipping in through the back door so to speak”. I agree. However what this really boils down to is placing restrictions on the initiation of force, which no one is debating. But even in the case where we know a person or a private company is using purely rational and objective means to punish criminals, the objectivist still demands that the government have a monopoly on the use of retaliatory force. Why is this? Is this because once someone is in government they’re somehow magically more rational and objective then other people? I’d like to see any Objectivist argue that. A second response I’m guessing I’ll probably here is that Objectivists have no problem with there being private enforcement of justice, just so long as there is the government in the background to make sure these procedures are objective and rational. But if that’s all the government is doing I don’t see how it still resembles the state as it is commonly understood. Second, why can’t we have people compete with the government for this position of godlike surveyor of justice? Again I ask: does the government have a monopoly on being objective and rational?
  9. This is from Rand's essay "The Nature of Government": "There is only one basic principle to which an individual must consent if he wishes to live in a free, civilized society: the principle of renouncing the use of physical force and delegating to the government his right of physical defense." This resembles very much the reasoning behind Hobbes's and Locke's social contract theories. In order to live in society we delegate some of our rights to the government. I sometimes wonder why Rand stopped with that right. Using her logic why could we not delegate other rights to the government? I hope you guys see where Im going with this. In response to the objection that under anarchy no one will know what laws there are, I think it well to point out historical examples such as the medieval law merchant, where strict rules were put in place via the market spontaneously arriving at its own standards. In fact much of what we know today as commercial law arose through the market, not through any state. I refer you guys to the historical writings of the economist Bruce Benson especially his article in the Southern Economic Journal called "The Spontaneous Evolution of Commercial Law."
  10. Interesting points to ponder from Kendall and David. I'll have answers for you two tomorrow. Meanwhile it's sleepy time. I think what my argument will eventually rest on is that fact that all problems that could arise under anarchism can and do arise under a state. The advantage of anarchism though is it decetralized nature and it's moral superiority. I don't think a state is compatible with the non-coercion principle. If you look at Rand's arguments she slips in a social contract argument that is actually quite surprising.
  11. In the end I think it's the community's standards that decide everything. Now this is purely descriptive, I don't think any standards are good standards, libertarian ones are best. The thing is it will always have to be community standards that determine what the laws are in any country, whether it has a state or not. The state doesn't work inside a vacuum. Free-market anarchism can only work where the majority of citizens are at least like-minded enough to respect broad libertarian principles. The same is true for a minimal state, it could only work in such an environment. Now you might say that under a minarchist regime, we would have a constitution that sets the standards, but the constitution is just a piece of paper, people can choose to ignore it, and I'm afraid in America that is what has happened.
  12. Yes I think there should be competing courts. I think there would be shared community standards like there are in societies with states that would prevent people from being allowed to enforce their own decisions. ". Like I said above, I believe shared community standards is what would provide the background law. (Mod's note: Added quotes. Please use the Quote Block or some other clear indication when quoting another person's remarks. Thx. - sN)
  13. By anarchy I mean the absence of a state which I define as an institution with a monopoly on the use of retaliatory force. I think the monopolisitic aspect of governments makes them immoral, and I believe all services rendered by the state should be provided on the free market.
  14. I know this an old topic but here we go. I'm a supporter of market anarchism. Anyone out there wish to have a debate about the merits of anarchy? If so, post away....
  15. Sorry, I'm retarded with computers. Referring to the last post, the 2nd anf 4th paragraphs are mine. The 1st and 3rd are Hal's. Don't want Hal to think I'm plagiarizing.
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