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Capitalism and the Proper Role of Government

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Seems that the only thing that stands in the way of mankind having real freedom is government. In order to be free to have (a free market of) competing protection agencies, we first have to destroy our government, if not all other governments. Then we will have a truly free market, not only for protection agencies, but for everything.

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I did not ignore it. I told you why it was illogical and incomprehensible. It is gibberish because it is incomprehensible, it is incomprehensible because the similarity does not exist, or the analog

Not presuming to speak for Mr. Miovas, but he said that one cannot rely on "men's rationality, or good-will, or good intentions to secure legal objectivity" (as you put it). Instead we need a governme

Yes, that doesn't change the point at all. He's saying that "we would have to rely on men's rationality, or good-will, or good intentions to secure legal objectivity" under market defense, and since h

But we might imagine the response being, well sure, but there's a way of dealing with them under a single monopoly government. Under our system, we have a series of constitutional restraints, you have various checks and balances and so forth. Certainly. But why do you assume that's not the case under a market-based legal order? Under a market-based legal order there are constitutional restraints, and various checks and balances too, that is, there are various institutions and incentives for people to do things. The point of constitutional design is that the government is supposed to be structured in such a way that people have an incentive to work together and reach some reasonable solution rather than fighting it out when they have differing interpretations of justice. So there are also incentives in a market-based legal order for people to work together peacefully rather than fighting it out. In fact, you could argue that they have more incentive, because with defense services being provided on the free market, it's harder for anyone to externalize their costs, thus people are less likely to choose violent conflict instead of coming to a consensus.

The presence of a central organizing principle (constitution, king, emperor, star chamber, whatever) is what distinguishes a government from anarchy. If a market-based legal order has institutions that are constitutionally restrained then what you are talking about is a government. I take it as a given that a market-based legal order which has any real diversity to its multiple institutions cannot possibly have any such central organizing principle. The essential feature of the market-based legal order is the absence of any central authority because that is what makes it market-based as opposed to just an ordinary government.

I have no idea what the hell you are talking about when you propose market based legal orders that have constitutions. I cannot reduce it to an example. What do you mean? Point out an example.

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I haven't read all of the above posts, but I think it was mentioned that absolute finality to judicial decisions is important. With competing agencies of justice, there isn't any kind of point to literally lay down the law. In a sense, justice would end up being a matter of consenting, because if you didn't like the decision, there would *probably* be one agency out there who would back you up and try to get you a preferable decision. I'm not saying war would occur, I only mean to imply justice won't be carried out. A government gets around all that, and would have to operate differently than a market. The government would make an absolute point where justice *must* be carried out regardless of anyone's consent or satisfaction.

I know there is a wall of text up there, but just as an FYI, I did provide a counter-argument to the "do we need a final arbiter" argument in post #61 (top of this page for me.)

The presence of a central organizing principle (constitution, king, emperor, star chamber, whatever) is what distinguishes a government from anarchy. If a market-based legal order has institutions that are constitutionally restrained then what you are talking about is a government. I take it as a given that a market-based legal order which has any real diversity to its multiple institutions cannot possibly have any such central organizing principle. The essential feature of the market-based legal order is the absence of any central authority because that is what makes it market-based as opposed to just an ordinary government.

I have no idea what the hell you are talking about when you propose market based legal orders that have constitutions. I cannot reduce it to an example. What do you mean? Point out an example.

I already covered this point in the above post (see @ your third quote block), I know I wrote a lot in there, so I don't want to let you by without responding to it.

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One thing you anarchists are evading, aside from the fact that everything you describe as would supposedly happen under "anarcho-capitalism" would be a government, is that there can be no market for force -- that force and trade are opposites.

Also, what is with the "you anarchists" and the "are evading" things being thrown around? I'm not even an "anarchist" here necessarily, I'm just trying to foster discussion and hopefuly elimination of error and faulty arguments. No one is "evading" your brilliant points that you keep bringing up, we're happy to reply to your substantive arguments, we just can't do so to things that you haven't even brought up or posted yet.

But anyway, this doesn't help us as long as we remain ambiguous about what is meant by "market in force." You seem to view "a market in force" as something akin to wanting to "have a competition in force," as something like "let's see who can initiate the most force," like it's the Olympics or something. That is, of course, a complete misstatement of the position, why it would be resorted to is beyond me. If you mean a "market in defense services," then nothing in here shows how "there can be no" such thing. Defense services, since they are scarce resources, can be offered on the market for a price. An example is this: Smith threatens to beat, rob, or kill Jones. Johnson offers to protect Jones in exchange for $100, Brown offers to protect Jones in exchange for $50. Jones hires Brown. This is a concrete example of a market in defense services. Whether or not we should allow them to be so offered is a different question, but this doesn't at all mean "there can be no" such thing.

One does not trade value for value when one kills a hold-up man aiming a gun at oneself saying your money or your life. You, as the victim, gain nothing by killing the hold-up man. A "market of force agencies" means that you are attempting to say that counter-force is adding a value to your life.
We are not saying any such thing.

Besides, the only rational form of justice is an eye for an eye -- of using force against force in a specific manner to eradicate the force wielder initiating force equal to the values loss during the initiation of force. One doesn't nuke everyone, and one doesn't just fine everyone.
We are not saying any such thing.

So, having ultimately only one agency of force to deal with is actually a virtue when it comes to issues of justice. You can deal with that one agency and be done with it, without having to appeal to dozens or hundreds of such agencies in one's daily life; which makes it very efficient, in the long-run.
How in the world are you getting that you would have to "appeal to hundreds of such agencies in one's daily life," elsewhere you said "thousands" even. Where in the world are you getting these numbers from, and why would you have to "appeal to them in your daily life"? I what does that even mean? I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you're talking about, or why this is a problem.
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The year is 2046. Governments around the world have now successfully been destroyed, and there has arisen a free market for protection agencies. However, there has also arisen a free market for aggression services or agencies - free market agencies in business to beat, rob and kill people. Since such agencies are scarce resources, they can be offered on the market for a price. And these days, business is booming.

Smith wants to kill Jones. He had considered either beating Jones up or robbing him, but he learned that Jones has hired Brown (the low bidder for protection services, half of Johnson's rate) to protect him against Smith. Since Jones has now driven up Smith's costs in attacking Jones, Smith decides to not only kill Jones, but to also kill Brown, the owner of Brown Protection Services. Smith does a Google search and discovers that JB Aggression Services offers him the best deal, and so he hires JB Aggression Services to kill Smith and Brown.

Smith's contact with JB Aggression Services is Sally. Smith and Sally fall in love, get married and live happily ever after.

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I already covered this point in the above post (see @ your third quote block), I know I wrote a lot in there, so I don't want to let you by without responding to it.

That part does not make any sense. Any sentence you compose using the distinction between realist and Platonic legal finality is pure gibberish, for the reason I already explained: the element of Platonic thinking by using a collectivist ideal is completely absent from the referents of the concept "legal finality". An omitted word in the phrase "legal finality" is "judicial", but I assumed too much it appears. The referents of the concept of judicial legal finality are every individual case which is resolved in such a way that any appeals to higher courts available are exhausted or the case never was appealed for lacking any legal ground of an appeal to be based upon. Here is an example: Georgia Convict Faces Execution. The similarity you assert exists between Reisman's analysis of pure and perfect competition and your own analysis of legal systems and legal finality does not in fact exist. But put that all aside.

The essential feature of the market-based legal order is the absence of any central authority because that is what makes it market-based as opposed to just an ordinary government.

That is my sticking point. As far as i can see, you are referring to square-circles when you write about market-based legal systems that have constitutions, both being obvious self contradictions.

Edited by Grames
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The year is 2046. Governments around the world have now successfully been destroyed, and there has arisen a free market for protection agencies. However, there has also arisen a free market for aggression services or agencies - free market agencies in business to beat, rob and kill people. Since such agencies are scarce resources, they can be offered on the market for a price. And these days, business is booming.

Smith wants to kill Jones. He had considered either beating Jones up or robbing him, but he learned that Jones has hired Brown (the low bidder for protection services, half of Johnson's rate) to protect him against Smith. Since Jones has now driven up Smith's costs in attacking Jones, Smith decides to not only kill Jones, but to also kill Brown, the owner of Brown Protection Services. Smith does a Google search and discovers that JB Aggression Services offers him the best deal, and so he hires JB Aggression Services to kill Smith and Brown.

Smith's contact with JB Aggression Services is Sally. Smith and Sally fall in love, get married and live happily ever after.

The year is 1933. freedom around the world has be successfully destroyed, and there has arisen the modern democratic nation-state. However, there has also arisen politicians to satisfy the demands of voters with bad philosophy, they can be put in office for a price (a vote) to beat, rob, and kill people. The democratic mob votes Adolph Smithler into office and gives him unlimited power, so he sends Trebor to a concentration camp. There was no one to protect Trebor, since he supported democracy and helped to contribute to the situation.

See look, I can write entertaining hypothetical scenarios too. Unfortunately, this doesn't constitute an argument, or prove anything one way or another. Nor does what you posted before, which borrows from the mainstream tradition of stating some anti-statist position, but without actually explaining the positions, disclosing any of the evidence or rationale offered, or bothering to show why I was wrong. It guess it is enough to state what I had said, usually intentionally distorted or, at the most, in a way intended imply that it is ridiculous, and leave it at that, as if it were self-evidently wrong.

So if we were to address any of your points, are we saying here that we have to destroy all governments? This is rather ambiguous. If by "destroy all governments" you mean that we shouldn't have any organized protection against the use of force, or that we shouldn't have objective procedures, or some similar straw man, then no. If by "destroy all governments" you mean that one producer of defense under objective rules and procedures should have the right to prevent another producer of defense under objective rules and procedures from going into competition with it to provide such defense service, or to require consumers of security to come exclusively to it for this commodity, then yes, that is exactly what they want to do.

Now the other point. But what if there should be some outlaw protectors, that decide to initiate aggression instead? Again, we don't assert that there could never be such an instance, so it is unclear what this is designed to prove.

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That part does not make any sense. Any sentence you compose using the distinction between realist and Platonic legal finality is pure gibberish, for the reason I already explained: the element of Platonic thinking by using a collectivist ideal is completely absent from the referents of the concept "legal finality". An omitted word in the phrase "legal finality" is "judicial", but I assumed too much it appears. The referents of the concept of judicial legal finality are every individual case which is resolved in such a way that any appeals to higher courts available are exhausted or the case never was appealed for lacking any legal ground of an appeal to be based upon. Here is an example: Georgia Convict Faces Execution. The similarity you assert exists between Reisman's analysis of pure and perfect competition and your own analysis of legal systems and legal finality does not in fact exist. But put that all aside.

The essential feature of the market-based legal order is the absence of any central authority because that is what makes it market-based as opposed to just an ordinary government.

That is my sticking point. As far as i can see, you are referring to square-circles when you write about market-based legal systems that have constitutions, both being obvious self contradictions.

I take it then, that you will not respond to any of the points raised, but just call it "gibberish" and ignore it? Okay then, have it your way, as that is my sticking point: that you haven't ever responded or attempted to respond to the point. If you want to ignore the haggling over the term "Platonic" or similarities to Reisman, then you can put that rather unimportant part aside and address substance of the points. Especially the part where I deal exactly with your "absence of central authority" statements. If you don't understand anything, I will be happy to clarify it. I will even do you the favor of copying and pasting it here for your convenience:

What you're saying is this:

1. No system whatsoever can provide some kind of transcendental finality apart from the actual existing institutions in society in which people engage in. If someone is not exhausted, or is stubborn, or has lots of money to spend on advancing a cause, then there is nothing outside of these institutions and patterns to stop them.

2. There should be made to exist such an institution (or institutions.)

3. That institution should be (or must be) "a single legal system—in a geographical area" or a single monopoly government.

Here I am not disagreeing with (1) or (2), I am saying (3) is a non sequitur and has not been shown to follow from (1) and (2). What do I think is the source of this jumping to a conclusion that isn't necessitated by its premises? I think there is an unmentioned minor premise, maybe we can call it (2b), and that is something like this: If we have a government and we decree henceforth "we guarantee X," then X will be so. Whereas if we don't, then X won't be so. Thus, the conclusion will be that (3) is the only way of guaranteeing (1). After all, either we "guarantee it," or we "leave it open," right? Either we "guarantee it" or we leave it up to "exhaustion," "stubbornness," or "who has the most money," i.e. some kind of haphazard, random process.

If we look at this more broadly, the notion of a "guarantee" granted by a single monopoly legal system that there will be legal finality, and anything less will lack it, depends on a kind of magical view of government. (I don't mean here just to invoke ordinary mysticism for rhetorical effect, I mean literally an "incantional" view of government, as in a kind of "alakazam, let it be so," view of government.) Ordinarily this is not a failing of Objectivists or libertarians, but a failing of statists that we all are eager to jump on in any other context and point out. Often when statists complain about any Objectivist or free market solution to anything, e.g. "Who will build the roads?" "Who will help the poor?" "Who will fix the schools?" and so forth, there is the assumption that the government "guarantees" certain things will happen because, after all, the government passes laws and decrees that say "this shall be so," as though its saying-so is what made it happen. And so you often hear people say, okay, well maybe under an Objectivist or libertarian system, some combination of private enterprise and private charity would get rid of the problem of poverty, but there's no guarantee that will happen. Whereas, if you have a government where the poor have a "right" to welfare, then there's a guarantee.

But the question is, what are they picturing here? I mean, the government can guarantee something and yet it doesn't happen. The government has been guaranteeing help for the poor for quite a while, so if there's still a poverty problem, is it just that they haven't issued the right guarantees? Maybe they just haven't worded the laws correctly, or something? But there's this assumption first of all, that says something is guaranteed to happen if the government says so, and it won't happen if the government doesn't say so. But, as we point out in these arguments, there's no reason to believe that is the case.

As I explain in that selection you quoted, the government isn't something apart from the people in it. So, as we often say, we will "leave something up to the market," i.e. we leave something up to a variety of imperfect people with various incentives to do various things. If we "leave it up to the government" we also leave it up to a variety of imperfect people with various incentives to do various things. The notion is fallacious that the law or the government occupies some Archimedean point outside the patterns of social activity that it constrains, when of course it is actually constituted by such patterns. So the question is not "Shall we 'guarantee it,' or shall we leave it up to this haphazard random process?" The question is that, given that there is no and can never be any kind of Platonic "guaranteeing it," then these two ways of handling it both have something in common (they're both just people doing things with whatever framework of incentives and institutions they have), then you just have to ask which incentives are more reliable, and to make differentiations on "better or worse."

Both will have realist legal finality, and both will come with various other consequences, and so, the typical argument against coercive monopolies that plays out in any other scenario applies here, there are a lot of reasons to think that the incentives of a coercive monopoly judge in all cases is less reliable to the ends given, e.g. just the fact of having a coercive monopoly means that you are insulated from certain kinds of negative feedback of your decisions. If your customers can't go anywhere else, then you lack certain reasons for keeping things efficient, keeping prices low, keeping your behavior in line, etc., that the customer-base loses to the extent that it is a captive customer-base, and all the consequences that follow from that. Is the market perfect? No, again this Platonic ideal is denied to us. But that the point is that legal finality, or any kind of social cooperation, doesn’t in fact require a government "external to the participants," because there cannot be such a thing as a social institution of any sort existing "external to the participants," thus there is no reason why if realist legal finality is available to a government, then it isn't denied to market-based legal order either.

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I take it then, that you will not respond to any of the points raised, but just call it "gibberish" and ignore it?

I did not ignore it. I told you why it was illogical and incomprehensible. It is gibberish because it is incomprehensible, it is incomprehensible because the similarity does not exist, or the analogy you rely on does not work. I cannot understand you. I hypothesize you are not understandable, i.e. the fault is yours.

None of what you repeated addresses the defect of your reasoning, the relying upon the oxymoronic invalid concept of a "market-based and constitutional legal order". Such a thing does not exist and cannot ever exist, just like a square-circle. Your thinking here disregards the law of non-contradiction.

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I did not ignore it. I told you why it was illogical and incomprehensible. It is gibberish because it is incomprehensible, it is incomprehensible because the similarity does not exist, or the analogy you rely on does not work. I cannot understand you. I hypothesize you are not understandable, i.e. the fault is yours.

None of what you repeated addresses the defect of your reasoning, the relying upon the oxymoronic invalid concept of a "market-based and constitutional legal order". Such a thing does not exist and cannot ever exist, just like a square-circle. Your thinking here disregards the law of non-contradiction.

If it is gibberish because it is incomprehensible, and incomprehensible because the analogy between Reisman and mine doesn't work, then as I told you, you can disregard the rather unimportant point of tying it in with Reisman. That in no way affects the argument. All I meant with regard to Reisman was like, hey, Reisman refers to a Platonic thing, I'm referring to a Platonic thing, and they are both examples of Nirvana fallacies, isn't that nice? I suspect you are looking for some similarity rather deep in the meaning of Reisman's argument that isn't there. Not that any of that has anything to do with the point at hand, but now since you're not looking for a similarity that isn't there, then it follows that it should no longer be incomprehensible or gibberish, and you can proceed to respond.

You can't have a legal constitution, or laws that that can be legally enforced, or even a concept of legal vs. illegal if you don't have a government.

Thanks for the ex cathedra pronouncement, but since there is no supporting reasons provided here, this can't count as an argument, and thus doesn't help advance the discussion.
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Ex cathedra? You mean like: "there is no such thing as a value without a valuer"? Yeah, ok. Call it ex cathedra if you want. Still makes sense and is true.

What is the supporting reason given for "actions require actors"? How can anyone possibly respond to that demand?

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Thanks for the ex cathedra pronouncement, but since there is no supporting reasons provided here, this can't count as an argument, and thus doesn't help advance the discussion.

The reasons lie within the definitions of the used terms being used within the correct context of this being a forum where only Objectivist definitions and concepts apply when discussing a subject unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Edited by EC
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The reasons lie within the definitions of the used terms being used within the correct context of this being a forum where only Objectivist definitions and concepts apply when discussing a subject unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Since this is a topic explicitly challenging a certain idea, then yes I'm going to have to insist on providing reasons for thinking things. So go ahead and explain.

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That are many source's in the Objectivist corpus that explicitly defend Capitalism and explain why anarchism is nihilist in nature. If reading those can't convince you, neither can I.

EC, simply because there is a corpus that explains something is besides the point. I'm not seeking information about the Objectivist corpus. If you want, try actually reading the thread, and you will see that what we did was explore some of the statements of the Objectivist corpus and examine them. You'll find that the charge of nihilism was actually addressed earlier in the thread.
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Of course you can respond to that demand. Either you have a reason for forming a concept, or you don't. But yeah, let's rat-hole into something completely irrelevant. Or, you can just respond to the topic.

Not without leaving the topic altogether and reteating into metaphysics. Only entities exist. Actions do not exist except as entities acting. In epistemology, knowledge requires the existence of a knower. In ethics, a value requires the existence of a valuer. In politics, if something is illegal it is only so in relation to some entity that makes it so. What is that political entity?

You are on an Objectivist forum and are not a newbie at it. Why don't you try taking your philosophy seriously and define your terms explicitly in genus-differentia format as I have attempted? At least then there would some remote hope communication might occur.

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Not without leaving the topic altogether and reteating into metaphysics.

Yeah, and that is definitely something I don't want to do, let's avoid that and return to the main point. Where the argument last left off at #73 is my sticking point: that you have never responded or attempted a response to the objections raised in this post, and that what you're doing is argument from repetition and now attempting to rat-hole into something I don't want to discuss, which apparently you seem to think that political conclusions amount to a first-level self-evidency, or some kind ostensive proof. But since I responded to your earlier point, I'm not moving on to any later assertions you want to make until you address the points in #73. Yes, given that neither of us are newbies, then lets you stop the straw manning and claiming ignorance of the other's meaning and address the points. Let's take it seriously. Don't give me slogans, Don't give me one-sentence conclusions minus supporting arguments. Don't give me unsupported pronouncements. Just address #73. If you don't address that, then we won't move on. I told you if you didn't understand the response I am willing to help clarify it in whatever manner would help, I am willing to define in genus-differentia form any terms you want from that post, only insofar as you do not ask something that requires me to simply repeat the entire post over. Edited by 2046
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The word 'market' appears twenty four times in #73, discounting quotes. Start with that.

Then, so I can understand what 'market-based legal system' means, define legal system.

It is my contention that the set of referents under the concept of market and the set of referents under the concept of legal system form an intersection set ('market-based legal system') which is empty, a null set. Show me definitions that falsify that conclusion.

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I accept the definition of market you provided earlier in the thread and have been operating on that definition. It is my contention that the concepts of market and legal order do intersect with substantive meaning, and part of the explanation of that appears is #73, so I mean respond to the points raised in that post, not just a word that happens to appear in it.

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You cannot without contradiction maintain that you are in favor of objective law and also be against any means for enforcing laws against non-objective laws.

The above quote is the essential issue for this whole "debate".

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The above quote is the essential issue for this whole "debate".

No, it's not, because as I pointed out, and as anyone can read, that entire claim was a straw man for something I was not even advocating.

Given that, by your own statement, you can offer nothing aside from repeating "the Objectivist corpus," (which I have sitting on my bookshelf if I wanted to consult) then you are on your own statement's grounds of no help whatsoever. I hate to sound harsh but, given that, please stop posting, unless you're going to add to the discussion.

Edited by 2046
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But you haven't demonstrated that any of that is contradictory. One could appeal decisions rendered by the... courts? Why did you write blank out there? Why not make an effort to understand the position? I don't get it...

Who enforces these courts decisions? By what authority? What if my constitution doesn't recognize yours or any of it's enforcing agents and in fact mine claims that you have no rights, all your property is actually mine, and have no right to live without my permission? (I don't even like using the pronoun "mine" in this nightmare scenario world of competing dictatorships)

Edited by EC
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No, it's not, because as I pointed out, and as anyone can read, that entire claim was a straw man for something I was not even advocating.

Given that, by your own statement, you can offer nothing aside from repeating "the Objectivist corpus," (which I have sitting on my bookshelf if I wanted to consult) then you are on your own statement's grounds of no help whatsoever. I hate to sound harsh but, given that, please stop posting, unless you're going to add to the discussion.

I am adding to the discussion and I hate to sound harsh, but the whole "political" system that you are advocating would result in chaos and is completely irrational.

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