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Help me understand a Voluntarist society

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Help me understand a Voluntarist society
« on: July 10, 2016, 10:58:52 PM »
 

badfish

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I have long considered myself a minimalist libertarian. I believed that government was necessary, however only for enforcement of an infringement of somebody else's rights. In other words, I have trouble understanding how the world could run without some laws and law enforcement that establish punishments for somebody who infringes on my rights. I would love to believe that we could have a society without government, but every time somebody brings up this argument I have never heard the argument go past the whole, "The market will demand protection, so somebody will step up to fill that void" argument. I hear it come up quite a bit when somebody tries to explain anarchism, but the other person never drills into that statement with, in my view, the right questions. Often they drill into with questions that don't make any sense and are easily explained away. One question that I feel is not asked is...

Let's say somebody is raped, and hires somebody on the market to look into the matter. What gives the free market vigilante the right to infringe on the rapists rights? Many times cases of rape are actually just cases where two people both drank too much and somebody regrets or doesn't remember what happened due to being intoxicated. I have actually seen this scenario play out many times. Maybe the defendant is not really a rapist, but the person who was hired isn't paid by the defendant so they will not want to listen to them. What if the rapist really is a rapist, but pays the vigilante even more money to leave him alone? It is a free market society after-all, and the highest bidder wins. This is where I see the problem. I feel like there has to be some agreed upon system in place to handle situations like this. In a utopia nobody would ever get raped, but I don't believe in man-kind that much.

Can somebody help me with this question? I would love to be able to back up a complete voluntary society argument, but until I believe in it 100% I will not be able to. In my view, we should not advocate for something until we have at least most of the answers. This is why I support Gary Johnson. I believe getting America away from this oppression will take many years, and must be done slowly. It can't be done in one term of a presidency. Maybe 2, but more likely 5-6 in my view. I believe in baby steps, but I don't believe in supporting Donald Trump just because he is not "establishment". It would be one step in the right direction to get people away from the establishment, but six steps in the wrong direction. If we choose somebody who could potentially make things worse it will only hurt the cause. We all know if a Trump presidency fails that the citizens will elect a Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton next election cycle (a huge step in the wrong direction). I hope I don't get bashed over this as I truly am just trying to make sense of things here. I am on your side! I promise!
 

Re: Help me understand a Voluntarist society
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2016, 08:51:19 PM »
 

badfish

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Anybody? Does Adam read the forums or is there an email address that he uses? I would love to get his opinion on some things. The more I think about it the more questions I seem to have. Like, what about prison? I realize we could have private prisons (we basically do now), but who would be the one that decides somebody is guilty and ultimately takes away somebodies rights by putting them into prison? In my opinion one of the biggest problems we have with private prisons now is that they can basically lobby for laws to keep and/or put more people in jail so they make more money. If there was no oversight or accountability this could get even worse.

An example of the closest thing to a voluntary society that I see working is as follows. I'm just making this up as I go, so I'm sure there are some flaws here, but this is the type of detailed explanation I would like to see somebody give when talking about a voluntary society. By the way I am extremely open minded, so feel free to comment on anything and if it makes sense I will most likely change my mind about it (after I give it some thought of course. I'm open minded, not gullible).


Laws: The only laws in effect would have to do with violating another persons rights. The rights would need to be very clear and based upon the lines of complete freedom as long as you do not infringe upon somebody else's rights. There are different types of laws that need to be created to protect peoples rights. They can be categorized into four different categories (CRI, PRI, BRI, SRI - with and without intent).

1. Corporal Rights Infringement (CRI)
     A. With Intent (violent crimes, murder, rape, kidnapping, etc.)
     B. Without Intent (manslaughter, bodily harm due to negligence, etc.)
2. Property Rights Infringement (PRI)
     A. With Intent (vandalism, theft,  etc.)
     B. Without Intent (property damage due to negligence)
3. Buyer Rights Infringement (BRI)
     A. With Intent (False advertising by seller, intentional breach of contract by seller, etc.)
     B. Without Intent (a service or product that causes harm to the buyer due to negligence)
4. Seller Rights Infringement (SRI)
     A. With Intent (Intentional breach of contract by consumer)
     B. Without Intent (short term breach of contract without intent)       
     
     
 There would need to be a court system setup to handle these cases. The court system would be paid for by those who violate rights. If you violate a right that constitutes a prison sentence, then part of your sentence will be working to literally pay off your debt to society. Other rights infringements may only result in a fine. I know some people might not like this, but I believe if you commit murder you should not just sit in a cell and think about what you did. You should be put to work and pay monetary restitution to society and those who you harmed. We do need to get better at making sure people are actually guilty before sentencing though.
 
 
 Roads and Highways: Roads and highways would be paid for by businesses and residents. Businesses could agree upon a percentage of their sales going towards the roads around their business that allow consumers to get to their stores. Residents would pay for the roads in their neighborhood as they are the only ones who use them, and without them their property values would go down. Other roads and highways could be paid for by electronic wireless toll systems (automatic payments as you pass by). If you don't want to contribute to the road then you don't have to use it.
 
 
 
Military: Our Military (or states militias) would be funded per cause. The more support the people have for the cause the more money they will get. For the most part people would opt for us to stay out of other countries affairs when it comes down to a choice of whether or not to fund it. In times of emergencies when our country is under attack a temporary tax may be in order to fund our defense and counter attack. War time leaders can be elected in times of war, however regular re-elections would need to take place to prevent the leaders from keeping the war going to stay in power.


Government: Any changes to the system would not be done by elected officials. In today's day in age we have the technology for everybody to voice their opinion and vote for what they want. The whole government representative thing was setup because it was impossible to do it any other way. That and they didn't think the people were smart enough to make these decisions. I believe if everybody independently researches issues that they would be more than capable of voting for things on their own. There would need to be a check in place that prevents people from voting laws in that violate the basis of, "complete freedom as long as you do not infringe upon somebody else's rights".


I will stop here for now. Looking forward to hearing other ways of making a voluntary society actually work. I realize there are parts of this that aren't voluntary, however I don't see ways around them at the moment.
 
 

Re: Help me understand a Voluntarist society
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2016, 05:49:08 PM »
 

roarde

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Hi, badfish. Learning to explain better the things we do understand, and to explore more the ones we don't, are why this part of the forum is here. Responses are slow in coming at present because the forum itself is too new to have attracted a large number of potential repliers. People are reading this and are interested, but you've offered so much to comment on and think about that going through it will take some time. Myself, I find it a bit intimidating -- in the good way --, but only at first. Thanks for asking these questions.

As for Adam, I'm not in touch with him myself but a look at his YouTube channel shows him to be presently busy dealing with harassment by people who think they've been appointed to tell him how, where, and whether to house himself and his loved one; and to be heavily compensated by him for their unwanted intrusions. In short, he's dealing with local permits, zoning, so on. I have seen him participate on the forum regularly when he's not as constrained.

My own time is limited. I can't begin to answer all or even to raise the obvious next questions. But I can restart the discussion with: "prison".

We've had prisons for a very long time now, so I ask you simply to provide -- either to yourself, or "out loud" here -- examples of the demonstrated positive good that comes from having prisons, or for that matter punishment per se of any kind.

I realize that my query seems to do nothing towards providing the voluntaryist explanation and apology you ask for. Thing is, it appears some disassembly of your questions is needed to get at specific, real-world premises that will help answer them. I hope this will be taken on over time by more people here.

A State that has assumed sovereignty over an area and its inhabitants is one form of government. An individual, organization, or firm that has been privately hired (no matter by how many or few) to control or to exact a penalty from someone else is still a government. It should also be said that one's own restraint from doing that which is harmful or unethical is a species of government. In this sense, it can rightly be said that the freed market itself will be a form of government; one with rules that are natural instead of artificially constructed, and with rewards and penalties that, also naturally, follow.

The debate between minarchists and anarchists is whether merely most or entirely all of the problems of coercive government are caused by trying to replace natural laws and effects. An anarchist is a minarchist who believes "min" equates to "zero". One who identifies directly as a minarchist usually assumes a small positive, rather than zero, value. The truth will only be demonstrated by trying the experiment of reducing the permission of force until the correct value is finally reached. I'm convinced zero is the magic measure, but do have remaining questions about the ethical and practical amount of time that should be used to get there. I'm similarly convinced that any delay whatsoever in pushing the experiment forward is unwarranted and dangerous to the point of being deadly. Theory that can aid in choosing the right path of experimentation is always good, so please keep asking the questions and offering thoughts. But as your personal situation and ethics allow present trial of ideas, rather do that.
 

Re: Help me understand a Voluntarist society
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2016, 12:27:06 AM »
 

badfish

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I guess an introductory question that I have for you is this:  what is the goal of your inquiry: to find a system that best ensures the OUTCOME that leaves you healthy, wealthy, and happy, or are you looking for a principled way to live so that you can avoid trampling others in your quest for comfort?

Well, I would say the goal of my inquiry is more along the lines of your first statement, however my justifications for advocating for less government is always to get government to stop trampling on others that have not done anything wrong. Let people live their lives, provided they do not harm other persons or property.


1) You assume that rights exist.
 2) You assume that you have an accurate and reliable mechanism for determining what "rights" are.

Technically, rights only exist if they are created by government or society. I do believe that society needs to set forth and make clear what our rights are in order to function though (as I stated in my hypothetical society I started to create). They could go something like this:

I hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, that they are endowed at the point of fetus viability (even if by artificial means) with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Freedom, Property, and the Pursuit of Happiness, provided that they do not physically infringe upon the same of another.

Again, if you can explain how society could function without setting rights please do. That's what I'm looking for here.


3) You assume that you are (pretty much) living a principled life according to objective principles that describe how people "should act" (whatever that means), and are interested in finding ways to force other people to conform to your (allegedly principled) views.

I'm not advocating for the hypothetical society that I wrote about. I was simply trying to give an example of the type of answer I would like to see from somebody who does advocate for a voluntary society. How do they see the world working given the scenarios that I laid out? Since the most voluntary society I can see functioning (in my head) is not actually 100% voluntary, I challenge others to come up with other ideas that allow for more freedom and no government as many people advocate for. I am very interested in hearing from somebody who advocates for anarchism explain how society would function. Make sense?

  4) You believe that you are justified in supporting the state in their use of force to stop people who are doing things that you dislike (and that YOU label as a violation as a right).

If the right that is being violated physically harms myself or my property, yes. I do believe that society will always demand justice. Society needs to set forth a simple set of rights. Again, I see where you are going but I would like to hear a real world scenario / example play out in a voluntary society of certain fairly common things that are bound to happen given the human nature of some people.

5) [this is an tentative inference from other things you said] You believe that there is a principled basis for coercively taking money from the public to fund the police.

Not exactly. I think people would pay for this service in a free market, however I have trouble seeing how it would work in a free market. Honestly if we abolished laws that infringe upon personal freedom and the police only focused on violent crimes law enforcement would not be very hard to fund privately at all.
 
6) You believe that there is a principled basis for using the force of the state to "defend rights."

I do believe people will demand justice and protection. I feel that the free market could provide this, but I don't see how the free market could do this fairly (not that the government does now, but they could).

 
7) You want to live according to rational principles.

Yes. Today's laws bother me very much. I see the drug war as the biggest problem that we face in society.

  8) You associate unprincipled living with some kind of savagery or disorder or a substantial threat that it would result in savagery.

No. People can live however they want as long as they don't bother me.

9) You believe that your own actions are driven by your accurate perceptions of principles that really do exist in the universe, as opposed to principles that you just back-filled to suit your preferences (there is little evidence for this in research on psychology after you back out mere social influence/peer pressure--we can debate this but it is a complicated discussion).

I do not believe that I back-fill my principles to suit my preferences. My principles are very simple. Let people do what they want as long as they do not physically harm other persons or property.


10) The best or correct way to deal with legal infractions is punishment (there are places that use alternate responses).

If the response is not punishment, then what is it? Reward? I don't see any other types of responses to legal infractions.

11) You would reject the hypothesis that you are just acting on your unprincipled, subjective view of how society should run so that your unprincipled, subjective preferences are preserved.
 
I think you are digging too deep into my hypothetical society. Again, I don't even advocate for it. I'm just trying to get into a discussion on different ways society could run. I need to understand something 100% before I can advocate for it.

12) You are very focused on OUTCOMES of social systems and finding OUTCOMES that satisfy your subjective preferences.

I am looking for hypothetical answers to the outcome of a change in society, yes. When you are advocating for something people will always throw scenarios at you and wonder how it will work. If we can't answer these questions we might as well not advocate for it, as nobody will buy into it.
 
 

Re: Help me understand a Voluntarist society
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2016, 12:35:09 AM »
 

badfish

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Hi, badfish. Learning to explain better the things we do understand, and to explore more the ones we don't, are why this part of the forum is here. Responses are slow in coming at present because the forum itself is too new to have attracted a large number of potential repliers. People are reading this and are interested, but you've offered so much to comment on and think about that going through it will take some time. Myself, I find it a bit intimidating -- in the good way --, but only at first. Thanks for asking these questions.

As for Adam, I'm not in touch with him myself but a look at his YouTube channel shows him to be presently busy dealing with harassment by people who think they've been appointed to tell him how, where, and whether to house himself and his loved one; and to be heavily compensated by him for their unwanted intrusions. In short, he's dealing with local permits, zoning, so on. I have seen him participate on the forum regularly when he's not as constrained.

My own time is limited. I can't begin to answer all or even to raise the obvious next questions. But I can restart the discussion with: "prison".

We've had prisons for a very long time now, so I ask you simply to provide -- either to yourself, or "out loud" here -- examples of the demonstrated positive good that comes from having prisons, or for that matter punishment per se of any kind.

I realize that my query seems to do nothing towards providing the voluntaryist explanation and apology you ask for. Thing is, it appears some disassembly of your questions is needed to get at specific, real-world premises that will help answer them. I hope this will be taken on over time by more people here.

A State that has assumed sovereignty over an area and its inhabitants is one form of government. An individual, organization, or firm that has been privately hired (no matter by how many or few) to control or to exact a penalty from someone else is still a government. It should also be said that one's own restraint from doing that which is harmful or unethical is a species of government. In this sense, it can rightly be said that the freed market itself will be a form of government; one with rules that are natural instead of artificially constructed, and with rewards and penalties that, also naturally, follow.

The debate between minarchists and anarchists is whether merely most or entirely all of the problems of coercive government are caused by trying to replace natural laws and effects. An anarchist is a minarchist who believes "min" equates to "zero". One who identifies directly as a minarchist usually assumes a small positive, rather than zero, value. The truth will only be demonstrated by trying the experiment of reducing the permission of force until the correct value is finally reached. I'm convinced zero is the magic measure, but do have remaining questions about the ethical and practical amount of time that should be used to get there. I'm similarly convinced that any delay whatsoever in pushing the experiment forward is unwarranted and dangerous to the point of being deadly. Theory that can aid in choosing the right path of experimentation is always good, so please keep asking the questions and offering thoughts. But as your personal situation and ethics allow present trial of ideas, rather do that.


Thanks for the reply. I would like to hear more about specific examples or scenarios when you get time. I feel like that is always what will come up in a conversation. I would like to dive deeper into this, but I need to work tomorrow so I need to go to bed for now.
 

Re: Help me understand a Voluntarist society
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2016, 02:20:32 PM »
 

Magnaniman

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I do believe people will demand justice and protection. I feel that the free market could provide this, but I don't see how the free market could do this fairly (not that the government does now, but they could).

I think this is the crux of your minarchist belief.  The entirety of your points of contention are based upon the assumption that justice and protection are things that can only be given to you and you're entirely focused on ways in which others will provide them for you.

There is an issue of inconsistency with that way of thinking because it also presupposes that some must, necessarily, be granted power that others do not have.  This is completely at odds with the idea of "rights" because it immediately bestows additional rights on some, which directly results in them being taken from others.  When rights are not applied equally to all, then their entire legitimacy can be challenged on the grounds that they are oppressive.

When the rights that you recognize are violated, you gloss over what should actually be done about it, outsourcing problem-solving to others that will take care of the problem "fairly."  Instead, focus upon what those people would actually do.  Then, instead of imagining that it's other people doing it, imagine that it's you doing it.  That's anarchy.  If you just outsource the creation of solutions to the problems you see, refusing to trying to solve them yourself, then you have no rational basis upon which to frame any sort of disagreement about the methods used to solve those problems.

[M]y justifications for advocating for less government is always to get government to stop trampling on others that have not done anything wrong. Let people live their lives, provided they do not harm other persons or property.

When authority is not spread equally amongst all people, "doing wrong" is a concept that is entirely subject to the whims of those with the most authority.  By surrendering your own power to dictate your own morality and act upon it, you necessarily enable government to trample upon others, harming them and their property.  The less they do this, the better, but, as long as there are positions of power, the problem will persist.
 

Re: Help me understand a Voluntarist society
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2016, 04:39:25 PM »
 

badfish

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There is so much to reply to here, and I will when I get home later. I wanted to quickly say something though...

First, I want to be clear that when I talk about society functioning, that is not opposed to "not functioning". In my view, society is always functioning until the day that it is wiped out. If I ask how society will function I am looking for examples of how it functions.

Now, It seems like everybody is ignoring the main question or point that I am trying to make. Let's forget about everything else for a moment. If somebody could tell me how the society that they advocate for would function given the scenario below it would give me some great insight into what you advocate for.

Background:
Let's say all of your hard work in advocating for change has paid off. We have abolished government and voluntarism is here. It has been several years at this point and the new society is well established, for the most part.

Plot:
A teenage girl is running on a trail near her home in your home town. While she is running a man comes out from behind some bushes and proceeds to beat and rape her. An hour later you are running on the same trail, and find her laying there, barely conscious, with her clothes torn to shreds. She tells you what happened and gives you a description of the man. From her detailed description you determine that, without a doubt, it was your neighbor Paul.

Please finish the story.


 

Re: Help me understand a Voluntarist society
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2016, 07:05:59 PM »
 

badfish

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Short answer from me: I'm not sure what the official response would be if all government has been abolished or otherwise disappears.  I can give some examples that might be relevant. 

Thank you for the reply, however I would argue that historical examples are only part of what we should consider. I think we would all agree that whether you are a minimalist or anarchist, that there is a lack of precedence in history supporting either society on a large scale, however that does not mean that we should not advocate for the type of society that we see best fitting. I believe that we have a responsibility as activists to theorize, speculate, and hypothesize possible outcomes of the inevitable circumstances that will arise in any society, given the nature of man-kind, even if you believe that the society you advocate for will therein ultimately result in fewer circumstances of concern.

Our founding fathers had the right idea when they created a Republic, however they were unable to come to an agreement on many key factors that would have prevented it from becoming what it is today. Outside the secret deliberations in Independence Hall in 1787 a women asked "What have you given us?" Franklin replied, "A republic... If you can keep it." He knew that the Constitution of the United States of America was not perfect. In his final speech before the Constitutional Convention he stated that, "...when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men, all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views." It is this history. The history that they do not teach us in school, that we can learn from most when trying to make the world a better place.

We have allowed our government to go from an imperfect Republic, to a Democracy, to an Oligarchy. Some of the founding fathers warned that a Democracy would eventually lead to an Oligarchy, and they were right. We need to strip everything away except for a simple set of rights. This new Bill of Rights should be the law of the land that governs all aspects of the population. The amount of money that it would take to fund such a government would be so little that it could easily be funded by voluntary donations. Justice is the only reason government should exist. Everything else can be done fairly by the private sector. If you think you can change my mind of this please start by finishing my hypothetical scenario. I really would love to change my mind on this, as I don't want to give power to any central authority. I do think we can get very close to a voluntary society with a strict republic government that is ruled by basic human rights laws rather than our current sad state of a republic that has been run over by the democratic process so many times that it doesn't even resemble a republic anymore.
 

Re: Help me understand a Voluntarist society
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2016, 11:15:09 PM »
 

badfish

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I do believe people will demand justice and protection. I feel that the free market could provide this, but I don't see how the free market could do this fairly (not that the government does now, but they could).

I think this is the crux of your minarchist belief.  The entirety of your points of contention are based upon the assumption that justice and protection are things that can only be given to you and you're entirely focused on ways in which others will provide them for you.

I don't agree with this at all. When I say the free market could provide this I did not mean that it should be a free service provided by the market. That's not what free market is. I hope you understand that, but your comment makes me think you don't because you say that my points of contention are based upon the assumption that justice and protection are things that can only be given to me, and I'm entirely focused on ways in which others will provide them to me. That last sentence didn't make any sense to me either. I am here trying to get information on other ways that it could work and you say I'm entirely focused on ways in which other people could provide them to me? That couldn't be further from the truth. If I were entirely focused on that why would I come here trying to get answers? It seems like you feel that each person should individually protect themselves and go out and get their own justice. It doesn't matter if they are a 90 years old lady in a wheel chair or a 15 year old girl on a jogging trail, they are on their own. No help from others, no free market services, no government services, etc. Is this what you are trying to say? Could you clear up what you actually advocate for in terms of justice and protection? I apologize, I'm just a little confused. That's why I wanted people to put it in terms of a real-life scenario so it would be clear what they advocate for.


There is an issue of inconsistency with that way of thinking because it also presupposes that some must, necessarily, be granted power that others do not have.  This is completely at odds with the idea of "rights" because it immediately bestows additional rights on some, which directly results in them being taken from others.  When rights are not applied equally to all, then their entire legitimacy can be challenged on the grounds that they are oppressive.

You could say this about any form of justice. I brought this up myself in my original post. Even if power is spread equally among citizens what gives one citizen the right to go to another and say, "You violated my rights, so now I'm going to violate yours." If the people are in charge of seeking their own justice without a centralized system using due process then I can see quite a few issues arising from that. I'm looking for answers to those problems.

When the rights that you recognize are violated, you gloss over what should actually be done about it, outsourcing problem-solving to others that will take care of the problem "fairly."  Instead, focus upon what those people would actually do.  Then, instead of imagining that it's other people doing it, imagine that it's you doing it.  That's anarchy.  If you just outsource the creation of solutions to the problems you see, refusing to trying to solve them yourself, then you have no rational basis upon which to frame any sort of disagreement about the methods used to solve those problems.

Again, here it sounds like you are saying that in your voluntarist society that the free market would not step up to provide protection and justice services. That goes against every argument that I have heard so far coming from an anarchism / voluntarism point of view. Are you really saying that people should just go out and get their own justice? What if they are not able to? Should women go out and confront the man that raped them? Please explain.


When authority is not spread equally amongst all people, "doing wrong" is a concept that is entirely subject to the whims of those with the most authority.  By surrendering your own power to dictate your own morality and act upon it, you necessarily enable government to trample upon others, harming them and their property.  The less they do this, the better, but, as long as there are positions of power, the problem will persist.

I understand what you are saying here, but I still haven't heard a viable solution. If you could finish the jogging teen story using this logic I think it would provide me with some great insight into what you believe and advocate for. Maybe I'm missing something.

Thanks for the reply. Looking forward to finishing the discussion once we clear up where each others point of view is at.
 

Re: Help me understand a Voluntarist society
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2016, 11:46:15 PM »
 

badfish

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Hi, badfish. Learning to explain better the things we do understand, and to explore more the ones we don't, are why this part of the forum is here. Responses are slow in coming at present because the forum itself is too new to have attracted a large number of potential repliers. People are reading this and are interested, but you've offered so much to comment on and think about that going through it will take some time. Myself, I find it a bit intimidating -- in the good way --, but only at first. Thanks for asking these questions.

As for Adam, I'm not in touch with him myself but a look at his YouTube channel shows him to be presently busy dealing with harassment by people who think they've been appointed to tell him how, where, and whether to house himself and his loved one; and to be heavily compensated by him for their unwanted intrusions. In short, he's dealing with local permits, zoning, so on. I have seen him participate on the forum regularly when he's not as constrained.

My own time is limited. I can't begin to answer all or even to raise the obvious next questions. But I can restart the discussion with: "prison".

We've had prisons for a very long time now, so I ask you simply to provide -- either to yourself, or "out loud" here -- examples of the demonstrated positive good that comes from having prisons, or for that matter punishment per se of any kind.

I realize that my query seems to do nothing towards providing the voluntaryist explanation and apology you ask for. Thing is, it appears some disassembly of your questions is needed to get at specific, real-world premises that will help answer them. I hope this will be taken on over time by more people here.

A State that has assumed sovereignty over an area and its inhabitants is one form of government. An individual, organization, or firm that has been privately hired (no matter by how many or few) to control or to exact a penalty from someone else is still a government. It should also be said that one's own restraint from doing that which is harmful or unethical is a species of government. In this sense, it can rightly be said that the freed market itself will be a form of government; one with rules that are natural instead of artificially constructed, and with rewards and penalties that, also naturally, follow.

The debate between minarchists and anarchists is whether merely most or entirely all of the problems of coercive government are caused by trying to replace natural laws and effects. An anarchist is a minarchist who believes "min" equates to "zero". One who identifies directly as a minarchist usually assumes a small positive, rather than zero, value. The truth will only be demonstrated by trying the experiment of reducing the permission of force until the correct value is finally reached. I'm convinced zero is the magic measure, but do have remaining questions about the ethical and practical amount of time that should be used to get there. I'm similarly convinced that any delay whatsoever in pushing the experiment forward is unwarranted and dangerous to the point of being deadly. Theory that can aid in choosing the right path of experimentation is always good, so please keep asking the questions and offering thoughts. But as your personal situation and ethics allow present trial of ideas, rather do that.


I'm looking forward to hearing your views on the matter. I will start with answering your question:

We've had prisons for a very long time now, so I ask you simply to provide -- either to yourself, or "out loud" here -- examples of the demonstrated positive good that comes from having prisons, or for that matter punishment per se of any kind.

I realize that my query seems to do nothing towards providing the voluntaryist explanation and apology you ask for. Thing is, it appears some disassembly of your questions is needed to get at specific, real-world premises that will help answer them. I hope this will be taken on over time by more people here.

I believe that prison serves two purposes. Getting violent criminals (rapist, murderers, etc.) off the street, and it serves as a deterrent for people not to commit a crime in fear of spending many years or the rest of their life behind bars. It is supposed to rehabilitate as well, but many times it just turns people into career criminals.

Now there are a lot of things that prisons do wrong in today's world, but I would argue under the minimalist society that I advocate for prisons would have a much better chance at getting it right. We would not have non-violent drug users entering prison because of a choice they made that didn't hurt anybody else, and coming out 5 years later as a career criminal because now they have a record and can no longer get a good job and live the american dream. I am for prison work programs that put inmates to work, and I would love to see their work actually pay for their incarceration, with anything left over going to the families of their victims.

I want to be clear that I am not for imprisonment for all crimes. I only think it needs to be done for violent criminals. All other crimes should be handled with financial restitution to the victims. What do you think should happen to people who commit violent crimes in the society that you advocate for?

Looking forward to hearing your response!

Thanks again.

Tom

 

Re: Help me understand a Voluntarist society
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2016, 06:58:32 PM »
 

badfish

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Yes, I am not building a picture of how "government will function" because I see your paradigm of analysis as fundamentally flawed--so your evaluation of any hypothetical "functioning" of society would be similarly flawed IMHO.

What does asking what you advocate for have to do with YOUR analysis that my paradigm of analysis is fundamentally flawed? In other words you can't answer my question because you don't agree with my answer to the same. Sorry, but that's the way a discussion works. I'm asking a simple question. If you advocate for a different world, tell me what that is.
 

Re: Help me understand a Voluntarist society
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2016, 11:31:36 PM »
 

badfish

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My other posts were in reference to the final quote above (about the "agreed upon system"): you seem to have entered the discussion with old baggage that will keep you with your current beliefs.  Many people do make utopian claims about libertarianism or voluntaryism--I say that such claims are unwarranted and that the reason to abide by a principle of nonaggression is something that affects individual actions, one at a time, and the outcome is whatever it is.

I have no such baggage that keeps me from changing my beliefs. I do have knowledge of man-kind and history, which I do not consider baggage. I consider it essential to philosophy as long as you look at everything openly and with a grain of salt knowing that not everything is as it seems. I am actually even open to a socialist society as long as it is done correctly. I have not seen anybody advocate for any type of socialism that I would be inclined to support at this point, but I would still be open to listening to ideas. There is much evidence to support the fact that government does things less efficiently than the private sector, however that doesn't mean that government couldn't learn to be more efficient. I think the reason why government does things so inefficiently is because of private sector influence (lobbyists). Obamacare for instance screams private insurance company influence to me. If the government could come out with socialist programs that actually worked efficiently then they wouldn't need to use force to get people to comply. I think Obamacare is the worst type of socialist program there could ever be. A program that forces people to participate in giving money to a private industry is completely asinine to me.

I'm getting off subject here so I will go back to your reply now. It seems to me that you don't really advocate for any type of society. Instead, you just have an idea that non-violence is best, but you have no idea how to actually achieve it. I agree that non violence and voluntarism is best, but I don't agree in stopping there. I'm more interested in activism and philosophy and in finding ways to make things better. I am looking for achievable goals and ideas. I hope you see the difference.

In my search for answers about the voluntarist philosophy I came across a podcast yesterday that had Darryl Perry on it talking about his run for president. When the host started asking him questions about how things may function in a completely free society Darryl had a bit of a meltdown. He started yelling at the host saying that he was trying to get him to "Centrally plan liberty", and that he wasn't interested in that. Rather, he was interested in promoting the idea of freedom. In my opinion, you can't do one without the other. Especially if you are running for president. If you are running for president on a platform of liberty then you need to be able to plan it. You need to be able to tell voters why your platform is better than the others. To be fair, Darryl was calling into a progressive podcast and the host was most likely trying to trip him up. He succeeded.
 

Re: Help me understand a Voluntarist society
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2016, 12:32:40 PM »
 

Klapton

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Let's say somebody is raped, and hires somebody on the market to look into the matter. What gives the free market vigilante the right to infringe on the rapists rights? Many times cases of rape are actually just cases where two people both drank too much and somebody regrets or doesn't remember what happened due to being intoxicated. I have actually seen this scenario play out many times. Maybe the defendant is not really a rapist, but the person who was hired isn't paid by the defendant so they will not want to listen to them. What if the rapist really is a rapist, but pays the vigilante even more money to leave him alone? It is a free market society after-all, and the highest bidder wins. This is where I see the problem. I feel like there has to be some agreed upon system in place to handle situations like this. In a utopia nobody would ever get raped, but I don't believe in man-kind that much.

I don't have time to address your entire post, but I wanted to respond to this idea about "the highest bidder."

If you were to take up the security / investigation profession, would YOU be merely open to the highest bidder, or would you base your business model and your reputation on doing what is right?  If you would not conduct yourself in this manner, why would you assume that others would? 

Sure, there will be corrupt people, just as there are now.  What makes you think that government police are not also for sale to the highest bidder?  How does a government monopoly on the provision of these services make corruption less likely?  Doesn't any monopoly lend itself to MORE corruption than competitive markets?

Another thing to consider with the rapist scenario, is that having market based justice systems do NOT empower investigators or security agents with power to execute sentences.  Nor would they have "qualified immunity" like government cops either, making them WAY more cautious about apprehending innocent people.  There would still be courts and juries who decide guilt or innocence based on evidence.  These too would compete in the marketplace based on the same kinds of things other businesses do:  quality, price, timeliness, and above all reputation for actually being fair and just.

Is corruption still possible?  Of course.  Now tell me how government monopolies are immune from corruption.  They're not.  Yet everyone seems to think that market based competition somehow must be or else we should never risk having it.

.
"It is the conservative laissez- fairist, the man who puts all the guns and all the decision-making power into the hands of the central government and then says, 'Limit yourself'; it is he who is truly the impractical utopian."  Murray Rothbard
 

Re: Help me understand a Voluntarist society
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2016, 06:21:21 PM »
 

hill hermit

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I have long considered myself a minimalist libertarian. I believed that government was necessary, however only for enforcement of an infringement of somebody else's rights. In other words, I have trouble understanding how the world could run without some laws and law enforcement that establish punishments for somebody who infringes on my rights. I would love to believe that we could have a society without government, but every time somebody brings up this argument I have never heard the argument go past the whole, "The market will demand protection, so somebody will step up to fill that void" argument. I hear it come up quite a bit when somebody tries to explain anarchism, but the other person never drills into that statement with, in my view, the right questions. Often they drill into with questions that don't make any sense and are easily explained away. One question that I feel is not asked is...

Let's say somebody is raped, and hires somebody on the market to look into the matter. What gives the free market vigilante the right to infringe on the rapists rights? Many times cases of rape are actually just cases where two people both drank too much and somebody regrets or doesn't remember what happened due to being intoxicated. I have actually seen this scenario play out many times. Maybe the defendant is not really a rapist, but the person who was hired isn't paid by the defendant so they will not want to listen to them. What if the rapist really is a rapist, but pays the vigilante even more money to leave him alone? It is a free market society after-all, and the highest bidder wins. This is where I see the problem. I feel like there has to be some agreed upon system in place to handle situations like this. In a utopia nobody would ever get raped, but I don't believe in man-kind that much.

Can somebody help me with this question? I would love to be able to back up a complete voluntary society argument, but until I believe in it 100% I will not be able to. In my view, we should not advocate for something until we have at least most of the answers. This is why I support Gary Johnson. I believe getting America away from this oppression will take many years, and must be done slowly. It can't be done in one term of a presidency. Maybe 2, but more likely 5-6 in my view. I believe in baby steps, but I don't believe in supporting Donald Trump just because he is not "establishment". It would be one step in the right direction to get people away from the establishment, but six steps in the wrong direction. If we choose somebody who could potentially make things worse it will only hurt the cause. We all know if a Trump presidency fails that the citizens will elect a Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton next election cycle (a huge step in the wrong direction). I hope I don't get bashed over this as I truly am just trying to make sense of things here. I am on your side! I promise!

I would say the flaw in trying to defend a "voluntaryist" society is that there is no one model an anarcho-collective society would fit.
I find a common "flaw" among anarchists I meet is the immediate reversal of the core belief due to self interest.
My throw away definition for anarchy is "leave me alone and i leave you alone".
The first thing I see so many self declared anarchists get hung up on is "what about them?".
To which I can only reply, "what about them?".
They only become my "problem" or "issue" after they have violated the first premise, "leave me alone".
Until that point, what they are doing is not only none of my concern but I violate my own principles if I make what they're doing my business.(doubly so if I need to go out of my way to find out what they are doing so I can be bothered by it)

Anarchists shouldn't be wasting time, effort, and moral ground trying to influence "them" to all agree with us. Let me tell you, it is never going to happen.  If they want lords and laws and governments I have no leg to stand on if I feel the need to alter their own voluntary interactions. My beliefs, which allow me to freely interact with my fellow man, also allow them to freely interact with their fellow men.

A voluntaryist society would reflect the common value judgements of the members which made it up.

The only way I feel you can honestly answer your question is to become a part of a voluntaryist society and then use the methods which your society arrives at as one example of how it could resolve the questions you ponder.