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another take on anarchism (and a question about rights)

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wlflrsn
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Under both anarcho-capitalism and Objectivist government, all property is private and legal institutions are funded voluntarily.  My question becomes what is the functional difference between each system?   It seems Objectivism is unclear on this point since Rand didn't flesh out how consent would manifest itself in a free society.  For instance, she said "If a province wants to secede from a dictatorship, or even from a mixed economy, in order to establish a free country—it has the right to do so."   

 

The "right to do so" is precisely what anarcho-capitalism embraces.   If one or more individuals have the right to opt out of mixed economies, i.e, an environment of institutional rights violations (has always been the case), is there a fundamental difference on how governing institutions would operate?  

 

On a related topic, should all rights be codified or formally recognized by law.  If so, how would the right to secede be implemented in mixed economies? 

Edited by wlflrsn
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Under both anarcho-capitalism and Objectivist government, all property is private and legal institutions are funded voluntarily.  My question becomes what is the functional difference between each system?  

Well, to me, the functional difference seems to be monopoly. In the capitalist limited government system, the function is performed by one monopoly agency, whilst in a market anarchist society, the function is performed by a system of interacting agencies.

It seems Objectivism is unclear on this point since Rand didn't flesh out how consent would manifest itself in a free society. For instance, she said "If a province wants to secede from a dictatorship, or even from a mixed economy, in order to establish a free country—it has the right to do so."

 

The "right to do so" is precisely what anarcho-capitalism embraces. If one or more individuals have the right to opt out of mixed economies, i.e, an environment of institutional rights violations (has always been the case), is there a fundamental difference on how governing institutions would operate?

 

On a related topic, should all rights be codified or formally recognized by law. If so, how would the right to secede be implemented in mixed economies?

Indeed, Rand wrote about consent only briefly in VOS, but didn't tie in her words here with her thoughts on secession and anarchy. Smith, for one, has argued that Rand's comments on consent theory, coupled with Rand's comments on secession and voluntary funding make Rand, much like Mises' comments on secession, a philosophical anarchist, even though both opposed it.

 

I think it is likely that Rand was following a long tradition of the "right to revolution," basically that if government does not protect the rights of individuals, then individuals may end their allegiance to it, such that appears in the classic statement in the Declaration of Independence:

 

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

 

I suppose one could conceive of a position that states that individuals have natural rights, but once they come to live under a government they are stuck with it. But on other Randian premises, this seems untenable. If one takes seriously Rand's conclusions that '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 rightsdelegated to it by the citizens for a specific purpose' (VOS 110, italics orig.) then it seems odd to claim that government exists for certain purposes, but one may not take actions such as attempting to alter or leave it, even if it acts against these very aims. I do also think that, once any right of secession has been admitted, it ultimately reduces down to the individual level.

 

However, Rand seems to be saying basically that a political community (she says a "province" here) has the right to secede from a less free to a more free governmental organization. She doesn't say aything about seceding from a limited government. Unlikely that she would allow for that. However, I do think it follows that if you would allow for secession from less free to more free, then you have to allow for secession from one limited government to another one that is equally situated to protect individual rights. And if you allow for this, then logically you have arrived at market anarchism. (See, for instance, this exchange between myself and Dormin111.)

Edited by 2046
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  • Thanks for responding and I agree with much of what you say.  Distinguishing between a limited government and a mixed economy seems like an impossible task in regards to justifiable opting out especially if limited government means no institutionalized rights violations.   Seems a bit utopian if you ask me so that is why I think a framework of anarcho-capitalism is the same as Objectivism since individuals voluntarily choose to pay for governance as well as freely changing institutions in mixed economies. 
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On a related topic, should all rights be codified or formally recognized by law.  If so, how would the right to secede be implemented in mixed economies? 

 

Absolutely.

If there's anything to learn from America's long, slow decline, it's the necessity of an explicit philosophy- because an implied philosophy will be misunderstood and deliberately skewed, by various people, at various times.

 

So everyone's basic rights must be laid out in full, as well as all of the different ways to apply them and why (technology changes; legality shouldn't) and the entire philosophical framework behind those rights, from metaphysics up, just to be sure that NOBODY who makes a serious attempt to understand it would really fail.

It might be wise to throw in Galt's Speech even, just for good measure.

 

As to secession in a mixed economy, it won't happen without violence.  Collectivist nations tend to be run by collectivist thugs, who don't have the best track record with peaceful discourse.

This is why it's crucial to change people's minds; unless the majority of Americans decide for themselves to vote for individual rights, secession will be absolutely necessary- long, violent, brutal civil war.

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