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Is the state truly necessary?

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Is the state truly necessary?
« on: July 25, 2016, 11:41:36 PM »
 

libertarian_philosopher

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Very recently did I come across the ideas of people like Stefan Molyneux and Adam Kokesh about voluntaryism and the political theory that follows. Soon after, I became an anarcho-capitalist. But recently I converted to a more classical liberal approach after listening to people like Sam Seder give arguments against libertarianism. I've come to realize that anarchists seem to have an underlying assumption about how people will self-organize when you abolish a state. We have seen examples of free markets in the past, but to say that they were any sort of utopia would be disingenuous. China for example has a very free market. They have minimal regulations on food quality and factory regulation. When workers were committing suicide at an incredibly high rate in factories in China because of the terrible working conditions, the companies didn't make conditions better. They instead mandated that workers sign a waiver that they will not commit suicide. WTF. Also, how could you enforce a contract if you didn't have a government. I just don't see how this could work.

If this is how the free market organizes itself, then I don't think that it should be allowed to exist at all. Of course philosophically, the non-aggression principle is sound. However, if we have to compromise a significant amount of the average person's quality of life just to uphold a philosophical principle, then as a pragmatist I don't think that's a good idea. I'm still very much in favor of a smaller government. But, regulations are what allows our economy to function properly.
 

Re: Is the state truly necessary?
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2016, 10:07:54 AM »
 

libertarian_philosopher

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Wow bob_rob, that was incredible condescending. Next time you try to convince someone, don't talk down to them. So you basically said in your response "you don't know whats best for society" and "morality is totally objective and you shouldn't impose your will on people."

You realize the point of ethics and political science is to come up with a way of structuring culture and society to create the best outcome for the greatest number of people. Now you're gonna respond, "well who is the arbiter of what is good and what isn't." Well, I'll point you to the work of people like Stefan Molyneux about universally preferable behavior. He logically proves that rape and murder can't be universally preferable behavior. It's a logical proof of how rape, murder, theft, and assault are all logically inconsistent, because if I am forcing something on you without your consent, then it can't be universally preferable, because there's someone in the interaction who doesn't prefer it.

By your logic, if someone murders someone we should just let it go, because "we shouldn't force our morality on others." I think that's bullshit. We can determine at least what is basically best for people, like them not getting stolen from, murdered, raped, etc. People also need clean water to leave and non-poisonous food to eat. So how do we make sure that these things will be available in the market place? We give a monopoly on force to a representative body called the government. Theoretically, this government should represent the mind of the people as best as possible, so it can impose the will of the people to the point of making sure people are upholding their contracts and not killing people.
 

Re: Is the state truly necessary?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2016, 12:34:20 AM »
 

badfish

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Very recently did I come across the ideas of people like Stefan Molyneux and Adam Kokesh about voluntaryism and the political theory that follows. Soon after, I became an anarcho-capitalist. But recently I converted to a more classical liberal approach after listening to people like Sam Seder give arguments against libertarianism. I've come to realize that anarchists seem to have an underlying assumption about how people will self-organize when you abolish a state. We have seen examples of free markets in the past, but to say that they were any sort of utopia would be disingenuous. China for example has a very free market. They have minimal regulations on food quality and factory regulation. When workers were committing suicide at an incredibly high rate in factories in China because of the terrible working conditions, the companies didn't make conditions better. They instead mandated that workers sign a waiver that they will not commit suicide. WTF. Also, how could you enforce a contract if you didn't have a government. I just don't see how this could work.

If this is how the free market organizes itself, then I don't think that it should be allowed to exist at all. Of course philosophically, the non-aggression principle is sound. However, if we have to compromise a significant amount of the average person's quality of life just to uphold a philosophical principle, then as a pragmatist I don't think that's a good idea. I'm still very much in favor of a smaller government. But, regulations are what allows our economy to function properly.

I agree with you. I would love to believe that we could manage without government, but I just don't see it happening. There has to be some central authority to resolve matters where two parties do not agree. We can't allow people to get away with theft, rape, or other violations of somebodies rights.

I do believe that we could do this by going back to a very limited republic based on a set of unalienable rights, endowed at the point of fetus viability, even if by artificial means, that among these in prevalent order are Life, Freedom, Property, and the Pursuit of Happiness, provided that they do not physically infringe upon the same of another, unless in self defense thereof. In other words, congress shall write no law that prevents somebody from doing what makes them happy as long as that act does not directly infringe upon the right of life, freedom, property, or pursuit of happiness of another. Congress shall write no law that can take away somebodies property unless that person has violated the rights of life, freedom, or property of another. Congress shall write no law that can take away Freedom unless that person has violated the rights of life or freedom of another. Congress shall write no law that can take away somebodies life unless that person has without any doubt, reasonable or otherwise, violated the right to life of another. I'm sure my new bill of rights could use a few more amendments, but you get the idea.

Don't let Bob-Rob get to you too much. I'm new here and have found that he is the most active non-activist that I have ever met. He does not believe in rights. He does not advocate for any type of society, he just thinks that non-aggression is the answer but doesn't know how to achieve it. Bob-Rob sees population as humanities greatest problem. If you get him to actually theorize how society would function without government the only answers he gives will have to do with very limited populations. Picture the libertarian version of the Georgia Guidestones and you have Bob-Rob's utopia. The Libertarian New World Order. I've been trying to understand him and this is the best I can come up with. I'm sure he will correct me. :-)
 

Re: Is the state truly necessary?
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2016, 12:30:24 AM »
 

Magnaniman

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Bob-Rob raises good points.

I completely agree with Bob-Rob that there is no objective morality.  However, as he pointed out, there *IS* a code of ethics that is logically consistent that can be used in place of objective morality:  Non-Aggression.  When some people are granted powers over others, it is not a consistent application of rights.  "Rights" are, simply, actions that people can take that should not be limited by others.  Thus, the people in power have more rights, necessarily.  And, of course, those rights lay completely within the realm of forcing others to do things against their will.  Therefore, governance, or "central authority," is completely contradictory to the notion of rights that are equally applied to all.  However, when any concept of rights is applied equally and consistently to everyone, it invariably results in systems of non-aggression, where no one has any institutionalized power over any others.  That is anarchy.

When you guys talk about the need for a "central authority to resolve matters," what you're actually saying is, "We need people with powers that are not granted to others."  Please be clear about that.  You are talking about voluntarily surrendering some of your ability to act so that others will act on your behalf, you hope.  And that's the heart of the problem.  When you surrender your power to others, all you have left to limit those people is hope or violence.

Don't get me wrong, the government certainly does provide needed services, but that's how they get their proverbial foot in the door.  We can address these needs without central authorities.  You seem to want a single answer for how the whole world is supposed to do this, though.  There's no single way that any social construct in the world works, so why should anarchy have to satisfy this requirement when nothing else does?  That's the singular truth that anarchy embraces:  There is no single way for all people to live.

Once you use violence to force your will upon others, you no longer have any rational argument to dispute someone else using violence to force their will upon you.  You've already established a doctrine of "Might makes right," which, again, is completely inconsistent with any sort of universally applied rights of people.
 

Re: Is the state truly necessary?
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2016, 12:20:53 AM »
 

badfish

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When you guys talk about the need for a "central authority to resolve matters," what you're actually saying is, "We need people with powers that are not granted to others."  Please be clear about that.  You are talking about voluntarily surrendering some of your ability to act so that others will act on your behalf, you hope.  And that's the heart of the problem.  When you surrender your power to others, all you have left to limit those people is hope or violence.

Don't get me wrong, the government certainly does provide needed services, but that's how they get their proverbial foot in the door.  We can address these needs without central authorities.  You seem to want a single answer for how the whole world is supposed to do this, though.  There's no single way that any social construct in the world works, so why should anarchy have to satisfy this requirement when nothing else does?  That's the singular truth that anarchy embraces:  There is no single way for all people to live.

Once you use violence to force your will upon others, you no longer have any rational argument to dispute someone else using violence to force their will upon you.  You've already established a doctrine of "Might makes right," which, again, is completely inconsistent with any sort of universally applied rights of people.


Who was asking for a single answer for how the world is supposed to achieve a stateless society / anarchy? I would just like to see somebody who advocates for a voluntary society theorize how their ideal society would function. That could mean coming up with several answers and weighing the positives and negatives of each. I think it's irresponsible to advocate for something without at least having ideas about how things may turn out.

For example, I was all for the UK claiming their independence from the EU, however I think there should have been more preparation done beforehand. I'm not an expert on the topic, but perhaps they could have negotiated circumstantial trade deals before the vote so the UK would have had a better idea of where they would be if they did decide to leave the EU. Instead they made false claims during the campaign and led people to believe that leaving the EU would allow 350 million pounds to go to the NHS instead. Now the leaders that advocated for the change are back pedaling and don't seem to want to lead the way anymore. This was very irresponsible in my opinion. Before you advocate for something take the time to go over the possible outcomes and find ways to fix the problems that may arise beforehand.

Non-aggression is a great principal, and I wish everybody lived by it. Unfortunately, they don't. We will always have murder. We will always have rape. We will always have theft. For the foreseeable future we need to accept that. I don't understand why people that advocate for no government always get so defensive when people start asking them questions about the problems that undoubtedly will arise should their advocation be successful. "You are asking me to centrally plan Liberty." they say, "I am not interested in centrally planning Liberty, I am interested in promoting Liberty!". OK, that's a great notion, but why would anybody want to listen to your promotion when you can't address their concerns of the same? Why should anybody buy into your philosophy if they see major flaws in it? Wouldn't you want to be able to address these concerns?

I try to explain that I am rooting for anarcho-capitalism, for voluntarism, for Complete Freedom. I want these philosophy's to work, although I can't advocate for them until I have a good understanding of the possible outcomes should I be successful. There really is no point in advocating for something until this is possible. It would be better to advocate for something that we do have answers for. Something that people could actually get behind and support. The average American family will never support a society where their every day concerns cannot be addressed. Until anarchism / voluntarism has these answers they are only hurting the Libertarian party. Making it look less united, and making it look far too radical and extreme for the every day voter. You have to remember that the every day voter has been brain washed by the media for decades. It will take time to convince them that the drug war does more harm that it does good, and that the government shouldn't have anything to do with personal choices that do not harm anybody else, and that we need to stop these wars that ultimately make America less safe while spending tax payer money. This is what we should be focusing on, however you will lose their attention very quickly when you start to throw in, "Oh, by the way I think the answer to this is to just get rid of government all together, but don't ask me any questions about how my solution will effect every day problems like murder, rape, and theft. I'm not interested in planning society. I just want to get rid of government without even thinking about the consequences."

 

Re: Is the state truly necessary?
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2016, 12:25:21 PM »
 

Magnaniman

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Okay, here's my ideal vision of the world.

I currently live in the woods of Southern Indiana.  I would continue to do much of what I already do:  gardening, hunting, futzing around on the internet, playing music, etc.  However, without rulers, I would also grow marijuana and not pay a bunch of protection money.  I'd say the quickest possible police response time, if I were attacked out here, is probably 45 minutes, but I would guess that it is realistically more than an hour.  So, when it comes to actual protection, I'm on my own already and I feel that I am adequately prepared for anything short of a rocket attack.

So, yes, my vision is only for me.  That's what freedom is.  It's about making your own decisions and enacting your own vision, including planning for contingencies in which someone wants to harm you.  You say that is failing to address concerns, but here's the deal:  Laws don't address those concerns, either.  They don't prevent those thing from occurring.  Murder, rape, and theft all happen even with laws prohibiting them.

No one is denying that those things happen.  The NAP is not a preventative measure and no one is claiming that it is.  It's an assertion that people should learn how to take care of themselves and work with their neighbors to take care of their communities.  That *IS*, 100%, addressing any sort of concern about how people should deal with murder, rape, and theft.  The only thing it lacks is a giant monolith of power, which, apparently, is the only answer that people are willing to hear.
 

Re: Is the state truly necessary?
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2016, 01:11:58 AM »
 

badfish

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Okay, here's my ideal vision of the world.

I currently live in the woods of Southern Indiana.  I would continue to do much of what I already do:  gardening, hunting, futzing around on the internet, playing music, etc.  However, without rulers, I would also grow marijuana and not pay a bunch of protection money.  I'd say the quickest possible police response time, if I were attacked out here, is probably 45 minutes, but I would guess that it is realistically more than an hour.  So, when it comes to actual protection, I'm on my own already and I feel that I am adequately prepared for anything short of a rocket attack.

So, yes, my vision is only for me.  That's what freedom is.  It's about making your own decisions and enacting your own vision, including planning for contingencies in which someone wants to harm you.  You say that is failing to address concerns, but here's the deal:  Laws don't address those concerns, either.  They don't prevent those thing from occurring.  Murder, rape, and theft all happen even with laws prohibiting them.

No one is denying that those things happen.  The NAP is not a preventative measure and no one is claiming that it is.  It's an assertion that people should learn how to take care of themselves and work with their neighbors to take care of their communities.  That *IS*, 100%, addressing any sort of concern about how people should deal with murder, rape, and theft.  The only thing it lacks is a giant monolith of power, which, apparently, is the only answer that people are willing to hear.

Let's remember that we are talking about the entire country here, so for advocation to be successful we have to address the concerns of the population. You could argue that an individual state could secede, but let's be realistic. If an individual state seceded and abolished government completely the border would be shut down and free trade would not be allowed as the US would never acknowledge a state without government. I hope you are all smart enough to know the implications of that. Anyway, back to the subject, I know anarchy would be best for myself as well. I know that I can protect myself. I do not know that everybody else can. It's not even just about protection though. It's about justice. When protection fails people will always demand justice, and most would argue that justice offers protection in the sense that it can make people think twice before committing a crime.

Let's just imagine for a moment some of the problems that may come up in a voluntary society. Since you want to go with the argument of NAP is the assertion that people should learn how to take care of themselves then I will come up with scenarios to where that may fail. Let's start with children. Should they be able to protect themselves without the help of anybody else? Your answer to that might be, "No, their parents should protect them." OK, but who will protect children from their parents? Who will stop a father from raping his 10 year old little girl? Who will stop a father from beating his 8 year old boy inches from death in a drunken rage? I suppose the answer is nobody. Nobody would have rights so nobody would be able to take children away from abusive parents. Now you may argue that these things still take place today even with our laws that prohibit them. This is true, however the laws also  help get children away from abusive parents. It may be after the fact, however in doing so you cannot argue the fact that at the very least the child that you saved will no longer have to endure the physical and emotional torture of their abusive parent.

I'm only asking people to be realistic. Until we can come up with ways to answer this type of question then we will never get the support of the public. I would much rather have the NAP group start talking about these problems now so we can get past this hurdle. It needs to be done before you will garner the support of anybody other than a single male who is comfortable with protecting himself. Please come to the realization that there are people who can't protect themselves. Please realize that there is more at stake here than a house in the woods of Southern Indiana. We can make things better if we work together to come up with the best possible solution to the every day problems of people in America. If we have logical arguments we can start getting more support and growing the movement. If we don't do it now then the progressive movement will take over, and we will be stuck with bigger government. Sometimes you have to compromise to get things done.
 

Re: Is the state truly necessary?
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2016, 09:52:48 PM »
 

Magnaniman

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That's absurd.  If one of my neighbors was raping his 10-year-old daughter, *I* would do something about it, probably with the support of the rest of my neighbors.

You're creating several straw men here.  First, not having rulers does not mean, in any way, that people will just stand by idly while other people are being hurt.

Second, anarchy does not mean that people don't help each other.  It simply means that it occurs voluntarily.  It seems pretty clear to me that the vast majority of people recognize that it's important to help other people.  That being the case, why is it important to be forced into doing so when people would do it consentually?

You're having trouble getting past the idea that collective efforts can succeed without the use of force.  Every outcome that you desire for people in need can be achieved without pointing guns at people to do it.  You're insisting that all of these problems must be solved with institutionalized violence, when, in fact, that is not true.  I know that it's scary and time-consuming to take care of yourself, but divesting yourself from your own well-being and trusting it to others is not effective; it's simply a false feeling of security.

I don't know how many ways I have to say it, but there is not a single best solution to any problem.  It depends upon the values of the people involved, what the problem is, what resources are available at the time, etc.  I'm not going to pretend that I know all of the best solutions for other peoples' problems so that they feel comfortable.  Learning to solve your own problems by working with your own community is not something that can be sugar-coated for people that have been raised to believe that it is the responsibility of other people to take care of them.