26 votes

Anti-Anarchist Thread

This is a request, a favor, that I am asking of the community.

There are a number of minarchists, constitutionalists, etc. here, most of which are thoughtful and respectful when this topic comes up. Some, less so. But, regardless of what camp you fall into, I would like to ask you a favor.

This is not an effort to push my own belief system, nor is it an effort to start an argument for argument's sake.

I am making this request sincerely, and because I am really quite interested. I will not be arguing with any posters in this thread.

If I ask questions, it is sincere curiosity and NOT an attempt to trap you into an unsustainable argument. I would ask that you keep this in mind, and understand I am NOT attempting to be argumentative.

My request is simple. Can you tell me why you support a minarchist form of government? Why you are opposed to anarchism? And what benefits you believe government provides, and at what levels it should be capped, etc?

These are sincere questions, and the inflammatory headline is merely to get your attention.

My request for the anarchists, please do not attempt to convince or explain our point of view, as generally most are already aware and have chosen not to listen for whatever reason, but please instead ask sincere questions of the minarchists if a point of curiosity develops for you.

Or if you would like to describe the most common arguments you encounter against anarchism, I would love to hear those as well, as long as you do not create a caricature of their argument.

I would like to thank you in advance for participating.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Nelson Hultberg has a good case for Minarchy

Nelson Hultberg has a good case for Minarchy in the 'Golden Mean'.

While I think Anarchy is worthwhile goal, I think Ron Johnson has the right idea and that is a transition, an asymptote, towards Anarchy. I like to think of it as Subsidiarity where the most Local, or decentralized, level of Government is the Self. The Level that holds the most Responsibility holds the most Authority. If you can't be held Accountable then you can't be held Responsible.

The biggest issue with Anarchy, I believe, is changing people's belief systems as has been discussed here. Most Americans are de facto Domesticated Sheeple. They have lost the almost all of their ability to fend for themselves (Security, Food, Shelter) just like other species mankind has Domesticated for Labor and Sustenance. More likely today they never acquired it. Where there are Sheeple, Wolves and Shepherds will materialize.

Another issue is Courts. Without some objective understanding of Rights & Privileges, Anarchy will not likely be a peaceful state of spontaneous Order, but rather the chaotic Might makes Rights meme that most associate with Anarchy today.

Last big issue I see is Nuclear Arms and Central Planners outside the 'State' (for lack of a better word) of Anarchy. Some compact has to be figured out to protect us from the megalomaniac types that currently own 70% of the world's resources. I think Letters of Marque or Bounties for those who abridge the Rights of the Masses are a likely counter, but those types of issues need to be addressed. Again, we are a nation of Sheeple (for the most part), they will give their Consent in Mass to the Shepherd if they are threatened. And we know that the Wolf and the Shepherd are more likely to be the same in today's world.

If folks are serious about moving towards Anarchy, I'd suggest reading The Innovator's Way. Denning and Dunham show that Invention and Innovation, while related are separate. Invention is the object/concept and Innovation is the Adoption of the object/concept into mainstream or domains. Anarchy has to be Adopted rather than Coerced. Anarchy requires Self Reliant people.

It is easy for me to imagine a world where almost every adult is Self Reliant who collaborate peacefully with others to reap the benefits of Specialized Labor and Interdependency.

The Key is Independence. People who can do for themselves typically don't like for others to do for them and they don't like being forced to do for others either. That said imagine thousands of Self Reliant and fairly prosperous communities. People who are able and have some savings typically are the most generous to those in need.

Anarchism vs Minarchism:

A debate on the concepts of "authority", "government", and the "state", featuring author Larken Rose vs. attorney Tom Willcutts.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvo-yEymNuQ#t=1080

Live in Liberty
Tom Rankin

Congratulations! You've won!

Because of people like you, we have Archy. Lot's of Archy. You must be so proud.

Of course it makes perfect sense to have a thread attacking An-archy because it is such a danger.

I'd like less Archy, myself. In fact, I'll start with getting the yearly fee taken off my backyard fire pit. Then I'll remove subsidies to sports teams. Then I'd put public schools on a diet, maybe make the parents pull some of their own load. Follow me? If you do, then you can see that dangerous people like me who question the proper role of government would undo it piece by piece until we reached a point where what's left of Archy is absolutely necessary. When it get's real small, it might turn out that we'll agree that Archy is not necessary after all, then just keep undoing it until it's gone.

That's the plan. I'm a dangerous man with a dangerous idea, eh?

you have Walter Blocks apprroach

He is an anarchist. But does see a similar path to Anarchy through minarchism.

He states, trying to convince 20% statist is easier then 100% statist.

I used to agree with this sentiment.

I was a full on socialist outta college. Turned minarchist in 2008 after Dr Paul. Turned anarchist by 2012. Voted for the last time for Dr Paul. Realized the system is unfixable

At this point, monetary / financial collapse is coming. We all know it. The fed gov will probably just go away on its own. Question is how many people can be un-indoctrinated by then........

wolfe's picture

Did you actually bother to read the post?

I am an anarchist. This thread was meant to have an open discussion with minarchists because at the time the thread was posted, there was a lot of anarchist vs. minarchist threads and I was trying to have a more open discussion without the name calling so that I could better frame my future discussion with minarchists.

I do actually find it interesting, that we were the minority in the beginning, but these days, anarchists seem to be far more represented on the DP than minarchists. I hope that is from people changing their minds, and not because we just ran them all off.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

Succinct.

And nicely put.

A State never fails to fail Their debris clutters history.

No sooner than a nation is born, when creditors arrive to finance a system to loot its citizens.

Alexander Hamilton dubbed it the American System.

Free includes debt-free!

Imagine your worst nightmare scenario under anarchy...

Imagine your worst nightmare scenario under anarchy/ancap. The kooky scary scenarios that people predict: gangs will form, bandits will roam, you will be unprotected...

I say this to whoever IS AFRAID of an anarchic situation:

"If you have have a fear that something will happen; if you HAVE A STRONG LEGITIMATE CONCERN of some situation that you find fearsome..."

"I SEE AN OPPORTUNITY. An opportunity for entrepreneurs to compete for the cheapest and most effective way to alleviate your fear."

In the absence of govt regulation, govt monopoly, govt preventing better solutions to arise, entrepreneurs and consumers are able to SOLVE PROBLEMS IN INGENIOUS WAYS. You will PROBABLY BE SURPRISED BY THE AWESOME SOLUTIONS THAT CRAWL OUT OF THE WOODWORK, RATHER THAN BE SURPRISED BY THE AMOUNT OF CRIMINALITY THAT CRAWLS OUT.

Gov is the biggest most

Gov is the biggest most dangerous gang of all, that's what the statists minarchists just can't bring themselves to accept. They are no different than any other statists except for the fact they are on a different rung of the ladder, but it all ends in the same place. They beg for a state with a monopoly on force making the same classic fool's error that they can create a monster they will be able to control "if they just get the right guys in there controlling it." Republicans and Democrats laugh as these people think they are fighting the power when they are really legitimizing it and reinforcing it.

The argument is simple; everything the minarchist claim will happen without gov is made far worse when gov is the answer! The fact you have to explain this to supposed "libertarians" is a bit disheartening.

"In reality, the Constitution itself is incapable of achieving what we would like in limiting government power, no matter how well written."

~ Ron Paul, End the Fed

I am with you...

But Stefan Molyneux has a really good view on this. These arguments are REALLY HARD TO ACCEPT. It is really difficult for people to let go of their belief in government or ruling authority as "a good idea that just got misused or hijacked, and just needs to be repaired."

It really is hard. So we gotta hang in there and not pit ourselves AGAINST the minarchists; they are ALMOST THERE and the best shot we have of convincing anyone.

But I agree with you. If "humans are inherently evil," then we can't have a ruling class, cause those inherently evil guys might just join the ruling class. If we are afraid of gangs forming and taking power, then we can't have a government, because then the government gang gets the ultimate power, much worse than any gang of bandits.

And sadly the BIGGEST FEAR OF ANY STATIST under an anarchic scenario: Is that "Some new gang will form similar to our current government."

So their supposed ARGUMENT AGAINST an anarchic society IS THAT STATISM IS THE WORST POSSIBLE OUTCOME.

It is just too funny for words.

wolfe's picture

I'm really wondering if anyone actually read the post before

commenting this time around.

And I am not sure how/why this got bumped after all this time.

For those, such as yourself who didn't bother to read the post or it's intent.

I am an anarchist. You are arguing with the wrong person.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

Sorry Wolfe!

I went back and read your post more carefully. I did read the post. But did not pay specific attention to the part:

My request for the anarchists, please do not attempt to convince or explain our point of view...

But instead mostly focused on:

if you would like to describe the most common arguments you encounter against anarchism

But I was not arguing against this post. I generally will join a thread and post my thoughts, not against or for the original post. Just my thoughts on the topic.

So I did not join the thread in "opposition to Wolfe." If I come to a lively thread that has mentioned anarchism, I usually share my thoughts.

wolfe's picture

No worries...

:)

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

wow

I reserve the highest praise for posts or comments that actually advance my understanding of libertarian principles. This comment does that for me. "If you have a concern, I see an opportunity." That's awesome. Thanks!

“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus

That's a nice way to look at it

But my skepticism about anarchy isn't because I think there wouldn't be effective entrepreneurial free-market solutions to any of those problems, given fair competition. I don't deny that for each and every one of these opportunities, there are entrepreneurial solutions that would work just fine so long as honest entrepreneurs can compete on the basis of the price and quality of their services.

But there are also opportunities for dishonest/aggressing agents to disrupt that free market. And yes this creates new opportunities for honest entrepreneurs. Security services, ratings agencies, private courts, etc.

And I don't deny that in each and every one of these opportunities, there are entrepreneurial solutions that would work just fine so long as honest entrepreneurs can compete on the basis of the price and quality of their services.

But there are also opportunities for dishonest/aggressing agents to disrupt that free market. And yes this creates new opportunities for honest entrepreneurs. Higher-level courts that resolve disputes between competing lower-level courts. Meta-ratings agencies that evaluate the ratings agencies. Etc.

And I don't deny that in each and every one of these opportunities, there are entrepreneurial solutions that would work just fine so long as honest entrepreneurs can compete on the basis of the price and quality of their services.

But there are also opportunities for dishonest/aggressing agents to disrupt that free market. And yes this creates new opportunities for honest entrepreneurs ...

"there are also opportunities for dishonest/aggressing..."

If that is the case, that some "dishonest or aggressive business practices" harm some people, then ENTREPRENEURS WILL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHIELD YOU FROM IT.

And then if you get scammed by a second level of entrepreneur, another opportunity opens..........

And without govt monopolies, without govt enforcing business contracts, without govt forcing you to buy a service... YOU CAN CANCEL your service, report the abuse to rating agencies or DRO's, and FIND A BETTER OR REPUTABLE SERVICE, without being coerced.

The "dishonest and aggressing businesses" that you refer to: Look to me AS AN OPPORTUNITY for new solutions, not a drawback.

Infinite recursion

If that is the case, that some "dishonest or aggressive business practices" harm some people, then ENTREPRENEURS WILL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHIELD YOU FROM IT.

Isn't that what I just said?

And then competition among those entrepreneurs isn't immune to the problems of disagreement and corruption and aggression, so you have another entrepreneurial opportunity. And then competition among *those* entrepreneurs creates a third layer of opportunity, because they're not immune to corruption and aggression either. And then a fourth layer, and a fifth, and a sixth, and so on.

The problem isn't actually getting solved, it's just getting pushed off onto a new layer that then pushes it off onto a new layer that then pushes ...

You'll have more people involved in these unending layers of courts and appeals courts and meta appeals courts and meta-meta-meta appeals courts, and ratings agencies and agencies that rate the ratings agencies, etc., etc., than you'll have actually doing productive business.

In computer science terms, you could think of this as a problem of ungrounded recursion. There's no "supreme court" in the anarchist system, because the courts at level N create a need for courts at level N+1, which create a need for courts at level N+2, and so on.

Not an infinite recursion... we must be practical

If businesses get a small opportunity to scam you, this scam GETS REPORTED, that scam is now on the books, and KNOWN TO EVERYONE.

I wish we had an analogy to refer to; then we could explore how far it would practically go.

But once the SCAM IS KNOWN to all consumers, since we would rating agencies and DRO's that record these instances and make business decisions using the reputation of each person and business; that scam is not likely to BE REPEATED.

Pretty soon all of the good scams have been worked out of the system. The first person to come up with a clever scam HAD TO WORK hard to think it up, it took some ingenuity... Once that clever scam is exposed, it won't be repeated. And once 10 clever scams are thwarted, the avenue of "coming up with clever scams" is so damn hard its hardly worth it.

The "clever scam artist" at that point would HAVE TO BE SO SMART AND CREATIVE that he would actually be clever enough to solve legal an legitimate business problems; instead "being a scam artist."

Sounds unrealistic

All the good scams will get worked out of the system? When you say things like "known to everyone" and "known to all consumers" and talk about rating agencies that are (apparently) immune to corruption and pressure (unlike any ratings agency in existence today), and talk about how scams that are exposed "won't be repeated," it's hard to know where to begin because it's like we're seeing different realities.

Certainly those things aren't presently true. The same scams get pulled over and over, and you can report it to everyone who will listen, angieslist and yelp and whatever else, but the scammers don't have to be any smarter. The same scams are repeated over and over. Among other things, scammers change their company name, pressure places like angieslist and yelp to remove bad reviews, arrange to have fake positive reviews posted, pick victims least likely to cause trouble, etc.

Don't get me wrong, what you're describing sounds awesome. It just doesn't sound anything like the real world to me. Discussions with anarchists, in my experience, often come down to this kind of disagreement over human nature. And as I've said before, anarchists in my experience tend to be good, honest, intelligent, diligent, hard-working people who imagine an anarchy society filled (mostly) with other people like themselves. That would work, and it would be great. But it's just not the real world.

You also didn't address the recursion problem. If DROs can disagree and be susceptible to corruption, then there's a need for meta-DROs. But meta-DROs don't solve the problem since they can also disagree and be susceptible to corruption. And so on.

But if you're just going to assume that ratings for DROs, and ratings for ratings agencies, and so on, are accurate and something everyone knows and so on and consumers who are almost all well-informed, intelligent and rational act accordingly, then *given that assumption* even the second layer of DROs isn't needed, and the recursion problem is solved. But then our disagreement is again about human nature, and whether or not it's reasonable to assume such widespread honesty, intelligence, diligence, rationality, etc., contrary to what we observe around us today.

DRO's prone to corruption, is that a strong concern?

If you are strongly concerned about instances of your DRO being corrupt and open to persuasion or bribing... Then what kind of idiot would SIGN ON to a DRO that did not write "non-corruption" clauses into their contract?

Corruption Clause: If you the customer bring to light any instance of we the DRO taking bribes, we the DRO will owe you $5 million dollars.

or

Corruption Clause: If any person sheds light on an instance of we the the DRO taking bribes, we will owe each of our clients $100k.

----

This clause costs nothing to enforce, because every person involved becomes an interested investigator of DRO actions.

----

So you might say: "What is to keep the DRO from making all meetings and deals secret and hidden?"

I ask: "Is that a concern of yours? Insist it goes into your contract:

Full Disclosure Clause: If any person sheds light on an instance of we the DRO holding secret meetings.........

----

Got any other concerns? Make sure they are in your contract!

I'm not going to sign on to a DRO without such a clause.

If you were starting a DRO

Corruption Clause: If you the customer bring to light any instance of we the DRO taking bribes, we the DRO will owe you $5 million dollars.

If you were going to run a DRO business, would you offer contracts with those clauses? Who would you trust to adjudicate the accusations that are inevitable, knowing that if they rule against you (wrongly, since we'll presume you intend to be honest) you'll lose your entire business?

Keep in mind that you're bound to have disgruntled customers, some of whom will be dishonest people, and you've just given them a huge financial incentive to file false charges. And the accusations you're inviting with this huge reward have to be dealt with in a way that convinces your other customers that you aren't just refusing to pay all of these claims by having a friendly meta-DRO rule in your favor, perhaps because that meta-DRO wants your business in the future and knows you could take your business to a competing meta-DRO, and therefore has a financial interest in keeping you happy.

Even worse, when you dangle that kind of financial incentive out there you've made it worth someone's while to go to a *lot* of trouble to cook up a plausible case against you, with fake evidence that may be hard to refute, false testimony, etc. Some of these accusations that you're inviting with that huge reward for success may appear to be pretty strong cases against you.

This clause costs nothing to enforce, because every person involved becomes an interested investigator of DRO actions.

Cost nothing to enforce?? Every time you are on the receiving end of these accusations you'll have to go through an investigation, and go through the DRO process (which will start at the meta-DRO level, since it's a DRO being accused, and involve at least one other DRO and possibly a different meta-DRO for the accuser's side, and maybe a meta-meta-DRO if the two of you subscribe to different meta-DROs). This will involve a not-insignificant amount of manpower to move the case forward, plus labor within your company during evidence discovery, employees called to testify, etc. Then if you want to discourage others from doing it to keep the number down to a manageable amount, you'll have to counter-sue for defamation, which means going through the DRO process again, although the people

People won't be doing all of these things for free. One way or another this will add significantly to your overhead. Are you sure you want to offer this kind of clause to your customers?

Full Disclosure Clause: If any person sheds light on an instance of we the DRO holding secret meetings.........

Can you write the rest of that clause in a way that (a) would actually make it feasible for a client to investigate every contact that every employe of your DRO makes with any person that might in any way be part of a "back-room deal" of some kind, and (b) that you, if you were running a DRO, would be willing to put it into your contracts? Keep in mind that the "meeting" in question could be any contact of any kind at any time, not just an official-looking meeting around a conference table.

If I were LOOKING for a DRO to subscribe to...

Any DRO that DOESN'T SOLVE THESE SIMPLE problems up front... will be competed out of the market. These issues are the basics. Why are they so basic? Because THEY ARE THE FIRST CONCERN that comes to mind from potential customers.

In a truly free market, DROs without these clauses would not even make the first step into the DRO market.

----

Even worse, when you dangle that kind of financial incentive out there you've made it worth someone's while to go to a *lot* of trouble to cook up a plausible case against you, with fake evidence that may be hard to refute, false testimony,

The MORE COMPLICATED you see a potential problem to be, THE MORE CREATIVE the solution must be.

So if you can be one of these clever business men that can devise the CORRUPTION PROOF meeting type, devise the procedure on how to conduct a meeting that absolutely satisfies the customer of full disclosure... THEN YOU ARE IN BUSINESS. And you are providing something that people really want.

----

Can I imagine exactly how this could work out? Hell no.

In 1850, could I have told you how cotton would be picked 60 years in the future? Hell no.

The INSANE ANSWER WAS that giant robots that ran on the fuel of crushed trees and fossils would do the work of 1000 men. That answer sounds far-fetched and sci-fi; but it was what really happened. And today that sci-fi existence of combustion machines does not seem that impressive, it seems quite basic to our understanding.

----

So will be the seemingly "sci-fi" solutions that come in to resolve our main problems.

The problem is that no rational DRO owner

would offer contracts with those clauses. Maybe there's another free-market solution to the problem that isn't self-defeating, but offering a five million dollar reward like that is not something any rational DRO owner is going to do, for the reasons I described.

So if you can be one of these clever business men that can devise the CORRUPTION PROOF meeting type, devise the procedure on how to conduct a meeting that absolutely satisfies the customer of full disclosure... THEN YOU ARE IN BUSINESS. And you are providing something that people really want.

A "corruption proof meeting" isn't even getting close to the nature of the real problem. The "meeting" in which a quid-pro-quo is agreed upon could be any conversation, anywhere. In fact of all things that might be discussed, it's the least likely sort of thing to actually happen at something that looks like a "meeting." It could be something the DRO owner discusses with his doctor, sitting there with his ass hanging out of a flimsy hospital gown, if the doctor has connections to the other party involved. It could be a thirty-second conversation between two people who have a chance encounter on the street. It could be a discussion with the other party directly, or via a mutual acquaintance. It could use an agreed-upon code, so that knowing what's said today without knowing what meanings were agreed upon three years ago wouldn't help you at all.

If you're going to instead say that "there might be an answer we can't presently imagine" then I can't argue against that. But the obstacle isn't technological, the obstacle is human nature.

No rational DRO owner...

I think you do not understand the nature of a DRO. A DRO would not be in the business of "protecting themselves, the DRO owners." And any "DRO owner" that operated in a self protective manner WOULD NOT make it very far in that business.

The sole purpose of a DRO is to PROTECT THE CLIENT. So to propose that "DRO owners" will run amuck and have their way, despite the fact that their only chance for business success is to please clients, does not follow for me.

You lost me there

A DRO is a business, right? The business owner would want to protect their business, so they could stay in business, and would want to make money, so they'd have an income to live on.

No?

As a client you'd want a DRO that would protect itself, too, so that it will be there when you need it, and have the funds needed to pay for all those meta-DROs and investigators and whatever needed to protect you from other DROs and meta-DROs and so on.

"....would want to protect their business..."

Of course it would seem all businesses would "do whatever they could to increase their market advantage or PROTECT THEMSELVES."

But the DRO is not "just another business."

The DRO is the "reputation agency." They deal in reputations. The only thing that makes a DRO trustworthy IS THEIR REPUTATION.

So if you have a DRO that "just tries to protect itself, and doesn't so much take the needs of the clients as top priority," then that DRO's reputation is shot, and their stock is worth zero.

At that point they are not a "lesser business" than another DRO, they are OUT OF THE DRO MARKET ALTOGETHER.

Anarcho-capitalism is inevitable

It is an incredibly simple thing to privatize everything and be done with the legalized crime of government, a terrorist protection racket. Its only a matter of time for the truth to continue to spread. Eventually a critical mass will occur and legalized slavery will end. Agorism is the path.

"Show me the government that does not infringe upon anyone's rights, and I will no longer call myself an anarchist." ~Jacob Halbrooks

Let us hope

for the sake of human ethics and morals.

We all have a job to do

1.Anarchist= the base who defy control
2.minarchists= the next level who except some control.

Neither one by it self can function, Minarchists will eventually become communist over a long period of time.

Anarchist will have no conformity in with to protect their beliefs.

working together will solve our problems.