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"An AnarchObjectivist is one who accepts the basic principles of Ayn Rands philosophy, but rejects her advocacy of minarchism as inconsistent with those basic positions in metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics."

I haven't seen this particular argument before, so I'd like to see what you have to say about it.

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What number of cases of personal irresponsibility are you referring to? What number of cases did you expect based on recent experiences?   What data do you have on the rampant growth of government

This guy doesn't seem to be using Objectivist principles at all. He instead is doing the same thing all anarchists are doing: taking non-initiation of force (a minor tool Ayn Rand used to explain her

Other have answered the particulars, so I just wanted to comment on the faulty epistemological approach of this quote: It is true that politics must be consistent with metaphysics, ethics, etc. How

Well it's a poor argument standing alone, because it doesn't prove anything. It states the following:

1. No government may initiate force.

2. A government monopoly on security initiates force.

3. Therefore a government is illegitimate, and contradicts premise (1).

Well okay, but this is stating the obvious. It's like a "duh" if you indeed thought (2) was the case. But the entire question revolves around whether or not a government monopoly on security is in fact justified, which this argument does absolutely nothing to address. It's useless by itself. The poster should attempt to prove premise (2) if he wants to actually show anything.

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Thank you for taking the time to reply, 2046.

But the entire question revolves around whether or not a government monopoly on security is in fact justified, which this argument does absolutely nothing to address. It's useless by itself. The poster should attempt to prove premise (2) if he wants to actually show anything.

What about this paragraph:

"If a government holds a monopoly on the use of force, it initiates the use of force against those whom would seek to start businesses in the arbitration and defense services industries, as well as all those who seek to do business such persons. If a defense service is not allowed to exist or operate, yet has not initiated the use of force against anyone, and only retaliates against those who have initiated the use of force, those individuals rights have been violated."

Edited by WeDontNeedGod
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There's a little bit of word-play or word-dropping here. A government holds a monopoly on the legitimate use of force (i.e. the legal use of retaliatory force).

This doesn't mean you can't shoot someone posing an immediate threat to your life, and it doesn't mean you can't hire a body guard. It does mean you can't call Blackwater and have them track down and imprison the guy who stole your car last week.

The anarchists here are as guilty as welfare statists of abusing the concept of "rights." You don't have a right to start a "defense" business which would compete with the government, because you don't have a right to arrest or imprison people. We give that authority to the government in order to protect individual rights via an objective rule of law.

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" It does mean you can't call Blackwater and have them track down and imprison the guy who stole your car last week."

​Why not? Neither of us are initiating the use of force against anyone else, we are violating no ones rights, so any action the government takes violates the basic principle.

"A government holds a monopoly on the legitimate use of force (i.e. the legal use of retaliatory force)." The line I used was a quote from Ayn Rand.

"You don't have a right to start a "defense" business which would compete with the government, because you don't have a right to arrest or imprison people." Why not?

"We give that authority to the government in order to protect individual rights via an objective rule of law. " I don't consent. I'd prefer to give my business to a private company if that company can provide the service cheaper, faster, or more efficiently. Im not initiating the use of force against anyone so any action the government takes against me violates my rights. If it doesnt take action against me it doesn't have a monopoly.

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"If a government holds a monopoly on the use of force, it initiates the use of force against those whom would seek to start businesses in the arbitration and defense services industries, as well as all those who seek to do business such persons. If a defense service is not allowed to exist or operate, yet has not initiated the use of force against anyone, and only retaliates against those who have initiated the use of force, those individuals rights have been violated."

This guy doesn't seem to be using Objectivist principles at all. He instead is doing the same thing all anarchists are doing: taking non-initiation of force (a minor tool Ayn Rand used to explain her fundamental ideas) as an out-of-context primary, and running with it. But Ayn Rand's fundamental principle guiding human interactions isn't non-initiation of force, it's the principle of individual rights.

And the principle of individual rights cannot in fact be logically extended to give you (and all individuals) the right to arrest thieves and put them in jail, or hang them, or whatever else your idea of justice and retaliatory force may be.

Does this guy ever explain how he started with the right to life, liberty and property, and ended up with the supposed right to start a "defense company that retaliates against those who have initiated force"? (again, my impression is that he didn't start with individual rights, he started with non-initiation of force - he thinks that the Objectivist position is that rights mean that you can do whatever you want except initiate force, irrespective of context - and that's a blatant misunderstanding of Oism, not a "correction".

In Objectivism, the government is the means by which retaliatory force is placed under objective control, not as a consequence of "people having the right to do it", but as a consequence of individual rights having to be protected. Just because Ayn Rand thought a government was rightful and necessary, to protect individual rights, it doesn't mean she also thought individuals have the right to exercise all the powers of the government, at their discretion.

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A single state is necessary for ensuring that due process and objectivity of law. If everything is based on person to person consensus, retaliation of force becomes arbitrary and way to close to vigilantism.

Basically everyone needs to be on the same page and know before hand what the rules are, whether they like the partciulars of these rules or not.

I can elaborate if you need me too.

Most arguments against Anarchism are bad, and usually are based in hyperbole. The above is the real reason why it ultimately woudn't work. I don't want to live in the world of Snow Crash.

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What about this paragraph:

"If a government holds a monopoly on the use of force, it initiates the use of force against those whom would seek to start businesses in the arbitration and defense services industries, as well as all those who seek to do business such persons. If a defense service is not allowed to exist or operate, yet has not initiated the use of force against anyone, and only retaliates against those who ha

ve initiated the use of force, those individuals rights have been violated."

Yeah that doesn't really go anywhere towards proving premise (2). If a monopoly on the legitimate use of force is justified, then we can't say the entrepreneur's rights have been violated necessarily. The whole thing hinges on whether or not it is actually necessary to have one single monopoly of law and jurisdiction to protect rights.

Let's use the example of a blatantly false conclusion:

1. Initiation of force is unjust.

2. Cutting down tress is an initiation of force.

3. Therefore cutting down trees is unjust.

It's a valid argument, but is it really true that cutting down trees is an initiation of force? That hasn't even been attempted to be proven there. You always need to give actual reasons for the minor premise.

Edited by 2046
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A government should hold a monopoly on the retaliatory use of force and that monopoly is not an initiation of force in itself its the individuals who it retaliates against that initiate force.

The only reason I can see why you'd want a different service holding a monopoly on retaliatory force would be if you'd also want them to initiate it.

Go ahead and start a preventative business if you want though.

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Other have answered the particulars, so I just wanted to comment on the faulty epistemological approach of this quote:

"An AnarchObjectivist is one who accepts the basic principles of Ayn Rands philosophy, but rejects her advocacy of minarchism as inconsistent with those basic positions in metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics."

It is true that politics must be consistent with metaphysics, ethics, etc. However, the implicit and faulty assumption introduced in the quote is this: if there is an inconsistency, the more "basic" positions win the day. This is wrong. What the quote refers to as "basic" are not more basic than other knowledge in terms of truth or experience. They are more general, they are broader, they are more abstract. Only in those senses are they more "basic".

Consider this proposition: liquids always acts in way XYZ. That is more "basic" than the proposition: water always acts in way XYZ. However, if we find that water does not act in way XYZ, then we do not continue to believe that it does...just because the more "basic" principle says it does. Instead, we question the more "basic" principle. In fact, as this example shows, the more abstract is derived from the more specific. That derivation -- induction -- is the crucial part of knowledge-acquisition.

Of course, either way, the more abstract must be consistent with the more concrete.

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Please learn to use the quote function.

​Why not? Neither of us are initiating the use of force against anyone else, we are violating no ones rights, so any action the government takes violates the basic principle.

Why not?

You contradict yourself here. How is it wrong for the government to take action against the car thief, but okay for a private firm to do so? He stole your car, not the government's car nor the private firm's car. The action is retaliatory for you, but not for the private firm.

This seems too obvious to need explaining, but you asked: The suspected thief has a right to liberty, which you and the private firm would be infringing by locking him up. You don't have a right to imprison him, because you don't have a right to infringe another's rights.

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http://anarchobjecti....wordpress.com/

"An AnarchObjectivist is one who accepts the basic principles of Ayn Rands philosophy, but rejects her advocacy of minarchism as inconsistent with those basic positions in metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics."

I haven't seen this particular argument before, so I'd like to see what you have to say about it.

You will probably catch a lot of shit for this, but I just wanted to point out that there are many Objectivists who are fully on board with you here, myself included.

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I just wanted to point out that there are many Objectivists who are fully on board with you here, myself included.

I'm sorry to inform you and the OP but there is no such thing as an Objectivist that is an anarchist, those two terms are mutually exclusive. "AnarchObjectivism" is a contradiction in terms.

Here is a good thread on anarchism.

Anarchists always seem to do the same thing: they equate "initiation of force" with "retaliatory force" and say that the government is initiating force by outlawing it. Which is the same as saying: you telling me I can't rob you is a violation of my rights. It is equating murder with self defense.

From another thread here is my argument against a "market in force":

There is a fundamental contradiction involved in having a "market in force" and it is impossible to get around.

Markets like minds do not and can not operate by force. "Freedom" means: free from force. When we speak of a free market we mean a market free of force. A "market in force" is not only a contradiction in terms but I believe it makes use of a stolen concept.

The only way to decide the issue is on principle:

- The only thing that can violate your Rights is force.

- Therefore, the only civilized interactions among men occur when no force is involved.

- The only proper function of government is to protect your Rights.

- It follows then that what government must do is outlaw the use of physical force.

- You don't outlaw the use of physical force by making it lawful for men to practice it.

You cannot uphold a principle by violating it.

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The only way to decide the issue is on principle:

- The only thing that can violate your Rights is force.

- Therefore, the only civilized interactions among men occur when no force is involved.

- The only proper function of government is to protect your Rights.

- It follows then that what government must do is outlaw the use of physical force.

- You don't outlaw the use of physical force by making it lawful for men to practice it.

You cannot uphold a principle by violating it.

The problem is not with the innitation of force but with question how and who chooses governemt.

Every member of society has a right to vote even if the have no right to innitiate force on their own behalf.

Democratic elections supposedly give that right to everyone, but in reality they don't.

Sure democracy is better than dictatorship, but

  • Does that justify to have elections once in only 4 years? In a free market people make decisions every day, every minute and every second. Is it alright to extend seconds to years?
  • Its majority rules. In a free market even the needs of a single person will be met if he she is willing to pay for it.

I have the right to choose my lawyer, but I can't choose the policeman who will look for my stolen bike.

I have no way of knowing whether police did anything at all when I reported the theft.

I have almost no alternative to the police.

If I could choose from a number of services they would have to compete against each other.

They would develop technics for finding lost property so that competition won't drive them out of business.

More effective methods would mean less crime.

In reality my right to choose my government is violated by the democratic system and...

"You cannot uphold a principle by violating it."

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The problem is not with the innitation of force but with question how and who chooses governemt.

Every member of society has a right to vote even if the have no right to innitiate force on their own behalf.

Democratic elections supposedly give that right to everyone, but in reality they don't.

Sure democracy is better than dictatorship, but...

The justification for a particular state does not come from its democratic nature. Plenty of democratically elected governments have done things which put them firmly in the illegitimate category. It is a fiction that democratic means free.

What makes a government legitimate is whether or not it actually respects fundamental rights. If you have a government that does so, there is no right to 'compete' with it, in the sense of carrying out one's own retaliatory force which is not subject to objective procedure. Such action presents a valid risk to the rights of the citizens of such a government, and it is justified in shutting down said operations.

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Yes but what will it take for government to respect rights?

Good government is a result not a cause.

If you say that people have no right to innitiate force legally or illegally it naturally follows that members of the govt. must be chosen.

Computers cannot fill the role of the government and since people can't use force they have to choose a group that will have that right.

The method of chosing will determine the effectiveness of government, that is why dictatorships tend to do worse than democracy in upholding rigths.

I can move from my country. I am physically capable to choose my own government, and that is a good thing.

But when I say I want to choose the police service I like, that is suddenly a bad thing.

If all you need is competing initiators of force not killing each other, than all the government has to do is keep the peace by force.

Why must I deal with government idiocy on a personal level?

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It's not really good for objectivism to pretend like no anarchist has ever responded to or addressed the above arguments. Anyone seriously interested in the subject should study further.

I'm not sure which arguments you think they have addressed but they haven't. Well, I guess you could say they have addressed Ayn Rand's philosophical argument against anarchism as well as the church has addressed arguments against the existence of god. So they haven't properly addressed the arguments against anarchism and they never will because they are wrong.

Anarchism does not a civilized society make.

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Insofar as you think they haven't addressed them properly, you are welcome to actually address their claims. And that would be fantastic and, for once, actually productive. My point, however, is that they are not even addressed, and it is not beneficial for the objectivist point of view, to pretend responses don't exist.

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Insofar as you think they haven't addressed them properly, you are welcome to actually address their claims. And that would be fantastic and, for once, actually productive. My point, however, is that they are not even addressed, and it is not beneficial for the objectivist point of view, to pretend responses don't exist.

You are speaking in code as if we have had this discussion before, I don't recall ... have we? If we have please post a link to that conversation. Otherwise, as I stated before, I do not know to which anarchist arguments you refer. And I have no desire to address every anarchist response, most of which are either not well thought out, ill conceived, unprincipled, lacking context, illogical or plain idiotic. If you have one then present it (succinctly please) and if it isn't any of the above I might address it.

I address, in principle, the only anarchist argument I have seen with a shred of appeal to logic above: the idea of a "market in force". I show it to be completely illogical and this addresses at least part of the original poster's concerns. I also linked to another thread I participated in, in which many more anarchist arguments are addressed.

As far as I have seen, on this forum, every anarchist argument has been addressed at one time or another. If you disagree, then show us where. But please don't blame us for not addressing anarchist arguments simply because they may have had the last word in a thread. Instead blame anarchists for not knowing when they have been logically defeated.

And that would be fantastic and, for once, actually productive.

Again, I don't recall if we've ever interacted before so I don't know if you are trying to insult me here or not. Are you implying that I have never actually addressed anyone's claims that I have replied to here and that none of my posts are productive? If you are insulting me, that is a bad way to start a conversation.

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No Marc, no code. Why not just take my words at face value? What in the world is there to be insulted from? Isn't that a bit oversensitive? You say you don't know which anarchist arguments I'm referring to... which is exactly my point isn't it? Thats exactly what im saying: that objectivists fail to even address many of the substantive arguments and have fallen so far behind in terms of scholarship on the subject, it is embarrassing. Objectivists have a few sadly generic responses and like to pretend no one he ever addressed them. Honest brokers and inquirers can look for themselves, and my point here is to merely encourage that.

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You say you don't know which anarchist arguments I'm referring to... which is exactly my point isn't it? Thats exactly what im saying: that objectivists fail to even address many of the substantive arguments and have fallen so far behind in terms of scholarship on the subject, it is embarrassing. Objectivists have a few sadly generic responses and like to pretend no one he ever addressed them. Honest brokers and inquirers can look for themselves, and my point here is to merely encourage that.

Oh, I get it, you are not insulting me per se, you are just denigrating Objectivists in general. Objectivists who on this issue are dishonest pretenders who embarrassingly pretend to answer an argument while never addressing its substance. Objectivists whose sad generic arguments are unable to match the "scholarship" of the anarchists. No, we shouldn't take offense to that at all. Absurd.

Presumably you include Ayn Rand as one of those pretending Objectivists with unsubstantial, sadly generic arguments. I'm sure she wouldn't be insulted either. I guess we know which side you are on.

Well, I address one of the anarchist arguments above and while it may be simple, it is effective (I find that to be the best way). You are welcome at any time to actually address it with some substance of your own once you are done blowing hot air.

The only thing one needs to address anarchist arguments are simple generic ones. Really all one needs is perception: look at the world and examine where anarchy reigns and any person with half a brain can understand why they wouldn't want to live there.

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The only thing one needs to address anarchist arguments are simple generic ones. Really all one needs is perception: look at the world and examine where anarchy reigns and any person with half a brain can understand why they wouldn't want to live there.

Good job proving his point entirely.

Arguments about political systems can't be made like this. You need to identify principles. "Anarcho-Capitalism" fails on due process, This has nothing to do with the failed states or the post-communist-islamic feudal society that is somalia.

@2046

Picture a band of strangers marching down Main Street, submachine guns at the ready. When confronted by the police, the leader of the band announces: “Me and the boys are only here to see that justice is done, so you have no right to interfere with us.” According to the “libertarian” anarchists, in such a confrontation the police are morally bound to withdraw, on pain of betraying the rights of self-defense and free trade.

This is her best illustration. It describes a situation in which a group of men must save a potential criminal's life from a mob in order to try him under fair laws. If the police were to act, it would be a defense of another man's life, even though the mob claims they are acting in retaliation. The problem is they have no way to show that what they are doing is just or right. There are no predetermined procedures for a lynch mob, they are not applied consistently. In the acting of saving the potential criminal and trying him by a set of standards that everyone is able to understand, they have established themselves as a state.

You may ask "What makes the state's system any better". I would claim that at the very least the fact that due process applies to everyone and that everyone ideally knows about it means that it keeps the government in check in a way I wouldn't trust to a conglomeration of competing police agencies that probably have different procedures that shift and change all the time.

Edited by Hairnet
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Good job proving his point entirely.

As far as I can tell he has no point. He spoke only in false generalities and since you call on me to make a principled argument I'm wondering which legitimate point you think he made? Or even, which illegitimate point did he make? That Objectivist arguments are weak while anarchist "scholarship" is strong? He provided nothing to support this bald assertion and therefore made no point. He provided no argument and instead disparaged Objectivist thought in favor of anarchist "scholarship".

This is what I said:

The only thing one needs to address anarchist arguments are simple generic ones. Really all one needs is perception: look at the world and examine where anarchy reigns and any person with half a brain can understand why they wouldn't want to live there.

And you replied:

Arguments about political systems can't be made like this. You need to identify principles.

Are you saying that arguments relying on perception are invalid? Are you saying that comparing life in the US and China is an invalid form of argumentation? Are you saying that looking at how life goes in North Korea as opposed to life in South Korea can play no role in identifying what freedom looks like? Good job understanding from where principles derive in the first place.

As it turns out, the example I gave (and it wasn't limited to Somalia) does what I said it does: it is all one needs to know in order to decide why not to live there. However, I agree, to make a full philosophical argument one needs to identify principles and that is exactly what I did and what 2046 failed to do. Good job reading the thread before spouting off.

Let me reproduce my principled argument which answered at least part of the OP since you were unable to locate it:

Markets like minds do not and can not operate by force. "Freedom" means: free from force. When we speak of a free market we mean a market free of force. A "market in force" is not only a contradiction in terms but I believe it makes use of a stolen concept.

The only way to decide the issue is on principle:

- The only thing that can violate your Rights is force.

- Therefore, the only civilized interactions among men occur when no force is involved.

- The only proper function of government is to protect your Rights.

- It follows then that what government must do is outlaw the use of physical force.

- You don't outlaw the use of physical force by making it lawful for men to practice it.

You cannot uphold a principle by violating it.

"Anarcho-Capitalism" fails on due process, This has nothing to do with the failed states or the post-communist-islamic feudal society that is somalia.

"Anarcho-Capitalism" fails on many grounds. Due process is one legitimate argument to make against it but as the quote you provide (good job citing Ayn Rand by the way) shows and you acknowledge: the more fundamental issue is the confusion (or more likely: the intentional conflation) of initiatory force with retaliatory force.

It should be noted (and I'm not blaming you, I know you are just using their terms) that the term "Anarcho-Capitalism" is worse than a contradiction in terms, it is an anti-concept meant to destroy freedom, which is the goal of anarchism in the first place. So, just as anti-capitalists use the term "crony-capitalism" to denigrate capitalism, use of the term "anarcho-capitalism" should be seen as suspicious in and of itself and discouraged.

The reason it is legitimate to bring Somalia into the conversation is because this is the logical end-state of any system using anarchy to mete out justice. "Anarcho-capitalism" beautifies "anarchy" but doesn't change its essential character at all. Once you allow private companies to use retaliatory force there is nothing in principle stopping every individual citizen from using retaliatory force and adjudicating matters in their own courts (if vigilantes even decide to be that civilized).

It sounds like you want to defend "anarcho-capitalists" by saying that they don't really envision Somalia as their end-state. Well neither did Marx envision the USSR as his end-state. It doesn't matter, neither understands that freedom means "free from force".

Edited by Marc K.
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The only proper government function is to put the use of retaliatory force under the strict control of objective law. Even today government doesn't run law enforcement agencies-the police officers do. It doesn't run courts-judges suppose to be independent. Government even doesn't pay for these services-it doesn't create any wealth. Government only provides laws for police and courts to act which is its legitimate function and forces population to pay for it, which is violation of rights and initiation of force. So how a government which very existence is based on the violation of rights can protect rights? Only privately and voluntary funded law enforcement agencies and courts are compatible with the free objectivist society. The only proper government function, the legislation, would be voluntary funded by those who need it most-private security companies and courts.

Edited by Leonid
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