Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Split: On Anarchy

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

What exactly is "anarcho-capitalism"? How does this differ from laissez-faire capitalism?

Anarcho-capitalists believe capitalism can exist in an anarchic system - where even governments, courts, and security forces "compete" in the free market. That's a ridiculous concept, as there is no objective law and the result will doubtless be gang warfare of the worst kind.

The difference between anarcho-capitalism and laissez-faire capitalism is that the second supports a monopoly on the use of force, granted to one government per country, charged with protecting individual rights. In the first, every court and every government can have its own laws, and the individual decides which ones he wants to accept.

Many people are attracted to this or that form of anarchism out of an unstated, groping attempt to defend individual rights. These people realize, at some point, that anarchism would not lead to individual rights, if ever practiced.

I doubt that ann r kay is truly an anarcho-capitalist in the full meaning of the term.

Edited by erandror
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 138
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Anarchism is the theory that any type of government is incompatible with individual liberty, so I can't agree with what you said about an anarchic system.

I will, say, however that anarcho-capitalism is an ideal rather than something that can be reality, at least in this day an age. While I and I am sure many other people would be able to objectively decide what is right and wrong in that type of society, there are others that would choose not to. Hence, as I see it, limited government for the protection of individual rights is a necessary evil.

So, I guess you are right. Personally, I would love to live in a society where government is not necessary, but the reality is that humanity is not mature enough yet to handle it.

Edited by GreedyCapitalist
Link to post
Share on other sites
... an ideal rather than something that can be reality...

Oh, boy... you've got some reading to do. :D You will discover at some point that the ideal is the practical. That topic is covered explicitly in Chapter 9 of Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff ... but don't skip to that chapter. The first 8 chapters are necessary to fully comprehend the 9th.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Personally, I would love to live in a society where government is not necessary, but the reality is that humanity is not mature enough yet to handle it.

A society where government is not necessary, is a society where no violence exists. Given that man has free will and is free to choose to do evil by his very nature - violence would always exist, or at least always potentially threaten individual rights.

So what's the point of having this sort of ideal? Free-will is such a basic truth that it is retained even in the most extraordinary fantasy tales. An ideal based on humans always choosing to do right is farther removed from reality than Tolkein's Middle Earth.

Humans are not machines that can be programmed with the right morality and never sin again. Nor should they be.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Terry Goodkind is my favorite Author and the one who lead me to Objectivsim in the frist place. I am a lover of fantasy as well, oh, and Lord of the Rings is what led me to being a fan of fantasy, so you can say that I am a fan of LOTR.

As am I. LOTR is the first fantasy series I ever read. I just happen to prefer the writing style of Terry Goodkind.

A society where government is not necessary, is a society where no violence exists. Given that man has free will and is free to choose to do evil by his very nature - violence would always exist, or at least always potentially threaten individual rights.

Not only does man have free will, but he also has the ability to reason and to learn. Since this is true, man is capable of realizing that violence and oppression are not the way to reach his fullest potential.

Humans are not machines that can be programmed with the right morality and never sin again. Nor should they be.

No, humans are better than machines. Humans have the capability to move beyond their programming, if they so choose.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Not only does man have free will, but he also has the ability to reason and to learn. Since this is true, man is capable of realizing that violence and oppression are not the way to reach his fullest potential.

Yes, that is true. However, it does nothing to back up your argument. Because every single man has free will, every single man has to make a choice on what is right. If he has this choice, there is always the possibility for him to choose poorly. This is what governments are here to protect us from.

An example of why this won't work: Greece. I dont' know an awful lot about the the civilization but I do know this. Greece was unparalleled for a long time in achievements in human rights and technology. Interestingly, this was the first secular political stystem. Yet for some reason, the Dark ages came about. The intellectuals turned to mysicism and their civilization failed. See a corrilation? Now for some reason, this society is starting to head back to mysicism too.

Hope this helps! If it's convoluted, I'll answer questions later; I have soccer now.

Zak

Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, that is true. However, it does nothing to back up your argument. Because every single man has free will, every single man has to make a choice on what is right. If he has this choice, there is always the possibility for him to choose poorly. This is what governments are here to protect us from.

Agreed, except on one point. Why should I place a greater value on the government's opinion then on my own? A government, if it is elected officials, is elected by the majority. Just because a majority says something is right, does not make it so. And I won't even get into the problems with our current government. I will read other threads here and see if I have any questions or input to give.

The intellectuals turned to mysicism and their civilization failed. See a corrilation? Now for some reason, this society is starting to head back to mysicism too.
I have noticed, and it is quite frightening. The fact that objective truth does exist is the only thing that keeps me sane at this point.

Hope this helps! If it's convoluted, I'll answer questions later; I have soccer now.

Yes, thank you for your insightful comments.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Agreed, except on one point. Why should I place a greater value on the government's opinion then on my own? A government, if it is elected officials, is elected by the majority. Just because a majority says something is right, does not make it so.

I do not understand how you arrived at the conclusion that you should place greater value on the government's opinion than your own from what I said. I do not think you should trust anyone's opinon more than your own, so I am wondering what I may have said to make you think otherwise.

Did you not understand the analogy about Greece? (Yes I am pretty sure it was Greece, though it may have been true for Rome too. I got the example from "Religion Versus America" by Leonard Peikoff in The Voice of Reason.) Just because you and I know it is not in one's own self interest to violate others rights does not mean that everyone else does. Here is where the analogy comes in. Say you have a society like Greece where nobody accepts anything on faith (obviously this is a bit exagerated for the sake of argument). The world is running great- people and governments are reconizing rights; philosophy is reasonable, etc. Then come the Dark Ages. This illustrates that, while man may know faith is bad and achievement only comes through reason, they accept faith anyway. (Or in our senario, violate people's rights anyway.) There has to be an objective way to protect every man's rights. That is the government's job.

I don't see how everyone's rights would be protected without a government.

Zak

Link to post
Share on other sites

It was Greece; Rome was never an intellectual society, it was a MILITARY one. They borrowed heavily from the intellectual triumphs of the Greeks in order to create a functioning system. So it was really the fall of Greece, the intellectual society (or more intellectual, at least, and primarily Athens . . . Sparta was almost COMICAL) that eventually caused the Dark Ages.

Link to post
Share on other sites

No one's rights would be protected without a government. This is why you HAVE to have a government. In order to have a civilized society, physical force must be disbarred from relationships among men. The government is the institution charged with maintaining a monopoly on retaliatory force; this is the only way to prevent mob rule.

Agencies that are legitimately able to use physical force, if only in retaliation, cannot be part of the free market; they cannot operate freely! They must be chained by laws, regulations, checks and balances, or they become the tyrants, the dictators, and the mob-rulers. That's why Anarcho-capitalism won't work, and why it isn't an ideal.

TomL is not quite correct, though; the moral is the practical, which means that you cannot have a moral ideal which is ultimately impractical or impracticable. However, the "ideal" may not always be possible given a particular context.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Anarchism is the theory that any type of government is incompatible with individual liberty, so I can't agree with what you said about an anarchic system.

:D

Personally, I would love to live in a society where government is not necessary, but the reality is that humanity is not mature enough yet to handle it.

:)

No, humans are better than machines. Humans have the capability to move beyond their programming, if they so choose.

:):D:thumbsup:

Agreed, except on one point. Why should I place a greater value on the government's opinion then on my own? A government, if it is elected officials, is elected by the majority. Just because a majority says something is right, does not make it so.

:D

Sorry for the lack of dialogue. I am just going to enjoy the rational statements you have posted...especially the first one quoted above.

You have developed in a remarkably rational way.

Link to post
Share on other sites

OOps rookie mistake. Fair warning though. I also came to this forum after being called an objectivist numerous times on atheists sites. I really just consider myself a scientist. I initially joined becuase I stumbled across the topic of the nature of the universe on this site and in quick review saw someone asking if something could come from nothing; which of course is impossible as nothing is an absolute (that does not exist). Something can only come from something. there were other things regarding relativity, physic, etc. that I was going to jump into but changed my mind.

No one's rights would be protected without a government.  This is why you HAVE to have a government.  In order to have a civilized society, physical force must be disbarred from relationships among men.

Physical force is morally justified as a means of property (SELF) defense. Rational people (if they are truely rational) would help other individuals (as long as they knew these others to be moral) to protect themselves against immoral acts as it is in one's rational self interest to set such a precedence.

The government is the institution charged with maintaining a monopoly on retaliatory force; this is the only way to prevent mob rule.

Does this not presuppose that they individuals in that government are not immoral and seeking to use force to oppress individual rights. An example would be the founding fathers who owned slaves. The may have signed of on the statment that all men are created equal but they were more then willing to say that A was not A. Latter laws were passed by government to help slave owners. Yes finally it ended, but it points out something very important: That if all the individuals in a society are moral you would not need a government. If however there were immoral people (and we know there are) in a society and you wish to have a government as you discribed to protect individual rights, it must be obvious that the immoral people will see this government as a great tool for controlling and oppressing individuals. No document has ever stopped this from happening. I have yet to see evidence of a government that has not been thoroughly corrupted.

I would rather deal with an individual tyrant in which case I can defend myself rather than deal with a tyranical government backed by an army filled with individuals who probably would not go against orders (in mass) even if they knew it was wrong for fear of there own lives.

If rational people are not willing to gather freely and hastily in defense of the autonmous individual against a tyrant or a group of tyrants, are they really rational people?

Anyway thanks for tipping me off to my error. I was temporarily stunned by so much logic coming from the other newbie.

Also I should reiterate my disclaimer. I am not really sure I belong here.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Physical force is morally justified as a means of property (SELF) defense. Rational people (if they are truely rational) would help other individuals (as long as they knew these others to be moral) to protect themselves against immoral acts as it is in one's rational self interest to set such a precedence.

This is known in other parlance as a "lynch mob". And, how DO you know that other people are moral? Do you read their minds with your super powers?

It is also immoral to expect people to risk themselves to help you out of some vague idea that this is going to establish a "precedent" that will assist everyone somehow.

Any political system depends on the integrity of those practicing it, which is why you need a strict codification of the rules the government is expected to obey. Even if everyone within a society were moral, there would still be misunderstandings about contracts, rights, and other finicky applications of law, and the possibility of invasion from without, so you would STILL need a government.

Link to post
Share on other sites
If however there were immoral people (and we know there are) in a society and you wish to have a government as you discribed to protect individual rights, it must be obvious that the immoral people will see this government as a great tool for controlling and oppressing individuals. No document has ever stopped this from happening. I have yet to see evidence of a government that has not been thoroughly corrupted.

An excellent example of this is our corrupt judicial system. Laws are carried out and created based upon an arbitrary whim of the person or person's intrepreting the constitution. The constitution, and the rights set down by the constitution, should be read objectively, and not subjectively. In other words, while the consititution itself, as it was written, may in fact allow for the least amount of government control over individuals, it doesn't matter, as the law is only as good as the individual who reads and interpets and carries it out.

Take into consideration social security. By the constitution, it is illegal. But try telling this to someone who chooses to include social security under "Congress shall provide for the Common Defense and General Welfare". Any rational individual would know that the founders of our constitution would be appalled by such a gross misinterpetation of the word "welfare".

I would rather deal with an individual tyrant in which case I can defend myself If rational people are not willing to gather freely and hastily in defense of the autonmous individual against a tyrant or a group of tyrants, are they really rational people?
Another excellent observation. If the enemy is raised to attack, my first duty is to my life and the life of my loved ones. Not a government that may or may not make the decision to defend me.

Also I should reiterate  my disclaimer. I am not really sure I belong here.

I am not sure if I am, either. The more I read, the more I think that Objectivism, as I understand it from this board, is not for me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't be so quick to judgement about Objectivism right away Ann R Kay. You said that you have the Fountainhead. Save judgement until you have read through that and if you plan on reading Atlas Shrugged. It might even be better for you to leave the board until you have finished reading to keep yourself impartial from judgment about Objectivism. If after reading those two books you still think Objectivism is not for you, that is for you to decide. Yet, don't base your judgement off an internet discussion site, but instead on the ideas contained within said books.

Link to post
Share on other sites
This is known in other parlance as a "lynch mob".  And, how DO you know that other people are moral?  Do you read their minds with your super powers?

The way I would have to judge anyone or any government. But lets take a hypothetical situation in which the current system is used and we have the typical court system. In this system you have a judge who is probably not rational presiding over two lawyers who are trying to make names for themselves and the defendant might be facing a powerful person with heavy political connections.

So in either case, if the people involved are rational, things should work out properly

In either case if the poeple are immoral it ends in a lynching. One by a mob , the other by a system (police, military) backed mob.

Ultimately my problem is that the only real answer is for everyone to be moral and no system can force people to be so. No system can stop immoral people from becoming part of it and corrupting it.

It is also immoral to expect people to risk themselves to help you out of some vague idea that this is going to establish a "precedent" that will assist everyone somehow.

Is it not just as immoral to pass off that responsibility to individuals in the form of a job and if the government is corrupt that would make those whose job it is to police such a situation nothing more than mob type thugs.

Any political system depends on the integrity of those practicing it, which is why you need a strict codification of the rules the government is expected to obey.  Even if everyone within a society were moral, there would still be misunderstandings about contracts, rights, and other finicky applications of law,  and the possibility of invasion from without, so you would STILL need a government.

ann r kay answered this one for me (below)

An excellent example of this is our corrupt judicial system. Laws are carried out and created based upon an arbitrary whim of the person or person's intrepreting the constitution. The constitution, and the rights set down by the constitution, should be read objectively, and not subjectively. In other words, while the consititution itself, as it was written, may in fact allow for the least amount of government control over individuals, it doesn't matter, as the law is only as good as the individual who reads and interpets and carries it out.  :D

Take into consideration social security. By the constitution, it is illegal. But try telling this to someone who chooses to include social security under "Congress shall provide for the Common Defense and General Welfare". Any rational individual would know that the founders of our constitution would be appalled by such a gross misinterpetation of the word "welfare".

Another excellent observation. If the enemy is raised to attack, my first duty is to  my life and the life of my loved ones. Not a government that may or may not make the decision to defend me.  :D

I am not sure if I am, either. The more I read, the more I think that Objectivism, as I understand it from this board, is not for me.

I would very much like to hear your thoughts on that. You are posting things that are very similar to what I have posted elsewhere. Do you post on other sites?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Don't be so quick to judgement about Objectivism right away Ann R Kay. You said that you have the Fountainhead. Save judgement until you have read through that and if you plan on reading Atlas Shrugged. It might even be better for you to leave the board until you have finished reading to keep yourself impartial from judgment about Objectivism. If after reading those two books you still think Objectivism is not for you, that is for you to decide. Yet, don't base your judgement off an internet discussion site, but instead on the ideas contained within said books.

Oh, I am still thinking about it. I never make decisions that quickly. In fact, I over-analyze frequently.

I will read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.

But there are one or two things I have been reading on the boards that I find immoral according to my own personal code. I am a little afraid to ask about them, so I will refrain for now, as my intention is not to show any disrespect for the philosophy. It could just be a matter of misinterpeting what I have read.

Link to post
Share on other sites
... there are one or two things I have been reading on the boards that I find immoral according to my own personal code. I am a little afraid to ask about them, so I will refrain for now, as my intention is not to show any disrespect for the philosophy.
Curiosity is killing me. Oh! do tell... politely though.
Link to post
Share on other sites
But there are one or two things I have been reading on the boards that I find immoral according to my own personal code. I am a little afraid to ask about them, so I will refrain for now, as my intention is not to show any disrespect for the philosophy. It could just be a matter of misinterpeting what I have read.

Please do tell us. You must remember that not everyone here is an Objectivist. In, fact, almost all of us are still learning and integrating. Objectivism is a "closed system" in that only the writing Miss Rand approved before she closed it. (She did this before she died. FYI, there is a thread on that, too.) can be called part of the philosophy.

The point is nobody here speaks for Objectivism, we are here to discuss the ideas of Miss Rand. If you find something immoral, I, for one, am interested in what and why. You may be right; you may be wrong, but either way, you will help me learn.

Zak

Link to post
Share on other sites
The point is nobody here speaks for Objectivism, we are here to discuss the ideas of Miss Rand. If you find something immoral, I, for one, am interested in what and why. You may be right; you may be wrong, but either way, you will help me learn.

Zak

I will ask the questions I have. I am still not sure whether my thoughts on these immoralities are based upon truth, or my own biased feelings. When I reason it through enough, and if I can express what I think as rationally as possible, I will address these questions here.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ultimately my problem is that the only real answer is for everyone to be moral and no system can force people to be so. No system can stop immoral people from becoming part of it and corrupting it.

You act as though corruption is a dead end. The U.S. government has passed through periods of greater/lesser corruption, it happens. MY point is that the solution to the fact that immoral people CAN exist is neither a.) trying to turn people into mindless obedient robots or b.) abolishing any system of any kind whatsoever. The latter INSTANTLY results in bloody, violent tyrrany, and the former is impossible; I don't know what those obedient mindless THINGS would be but they would NOT be human beings.

If you imagine that you were only wishing somewhat wistfully that, somehow, things could work that way, you are not helping yourself; wishing for the impossible, or for something that could work, "in a perfect world" is the route to self-destruction. And what's the point of wishing without acting?

That's the meaning of "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."

People that can only dream of a better world have caused enough destruction already.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The way I would have to judge anyone or any government.

Based on knowledge and evidence, right? So, if you stumble on a street fight, what knowledge do you HAVE? What evidence do you HAVE? Do you convene a court right there?

As a rational person, you have to intervene to set that precedent, right? Oh, the horror if you should attack the wrong person! People are getting beat up here! Who is right? Think fast!

If there aren't any police or courts, or jails, or anything, what are you going to do when everyone's down? Execute them to set a good precedent? Break their arms and set them wrong? Imprison them in your OWN PERSONAL BASEMENT?!

Wait . . . we've got the Hire-a-cop guys . . . we can pay them to imprison them . . . but wait! One of these street fighters has a wad of 50$ bills! He pays the Hire-a-cops to arrest YOU!

You've declared that government is bad because it's always going to result in corruption. What is NO government going to result in? And worse, COMPETING governments-for-hire?!

Link to post
Share on other sites
I would very much like to hear your thoughts on that. You are posting things that are very similar to what I have posted elsewhere. Do you post on other sites?

All my thoughts are divinely inspired. Right now, for some reason, God has forsaken me. :):P

Seriously, the only other site I have ever really posted on was one by the name of thestraightdope. I do not suggest going there. Their slogan was "Fighting ignorance since 1973. It's taking longer than we thought."

The reason why is that they are fighting themselves and don't realize it. :thumbsup:

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...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...