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A Misesian Syllogism for Refuting Rothbardian Anarchism

1. Securing one's own safety is labor.

2. There is dis utility in labor.

3. Therefore, people prefer free security from the government.

A possible objection is that taxes for general security require labor, but this is easily countered.

Most of us get more security and legal stability than we could afford out of pocket.

So, the taxes objection would cover only those who have high enough income that they are expending more labor for security, in taxes, than if they paid direct security firms.

But this could also be countered easily.

The very rich simply wouldn't have the market to sell to if it didn't have publicly provisioned security, and so wouldn't be very rich in some hypothetically private security market.

Besides, it doesn't really matter if the rich in such a world could also be secure. Everyone else would still demand the public provision of security and law, because of the disutility of the labor involved in providing their own security. They'd rather just use a lower level of labor and pitchfork wielding to provide for taxes to fund common law and general security provision.

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Change the title to "A List

Change the title to "A List of Lies and Falsehoods I Prefer Over the Truth"

Criminal Fraud Speak 101

Love it.

How about this:

"When we the collaborators work cooperatively to enslave everyone, this is our legal fiction concept in so many words intending to deceive the ignorant."

"A List of Lies and Falsehoods I Prefer Over the Truth"

That one works for those still having trouble sleeping at night, as they have a lot of work yet to do to destroy their own moral conscience.

But there must be those who really do know that they are bald faced liars, and they may need some help when facing someone face to face, so as to keep a straight face, when they parrot these bald faced lies.


While I think the syllogism

While I think the syllogism has some flaws, the broader point that there are plenty of people that benefit from having the relative security of the nation state and relative equality under the law versus the legal hierarchy that anarcho capitalism would bring. In reality though the poor people would just be serfs for the rich.

So for example, it's a fact that government can subsidize certain services. Its probable then that some people are getting far higher legal and protective services than they would get in the market. For example, as overworked as public defenders are, at least the poor get some representation in criminal matters. They get almost representation in civil matters and they get run over time and time again. Who's to say that rights to due process would exist in the free market?

Ventura 2012

I think the only flaw is in the conclusion.

It doesn't add a caveat for the .001 or fewer people who genuinely prefer to labor to provide their security outside the public law system.

They are composed of two groups.

The actual criminal element, who free ride when they can on public goods, but generally live outside of the judicial apparatus and do not rely on that public good

The other group would be those people who would genuinely prefer to pay for their own security, if it was available on the market. Since it isn't, they use the public legal system.

This represents what we might call a market failure. But it's not really a market failure, it's merely the market result of cost benefit analysis. There just isn't enough demand for a substitute for state legal and law enforcement services to be able to compete with governments.

That leaves those individuals who claim to want these services in a position of complaining and trying to persuade others to become a political market and to demand such services.

Since these services don't exist in reality, lacking a market, those theoreticians and intellectuals who believe they would prefer them, really don't have any market information to know whether they'd really want them in practice. Probably, most would not want them.

Those who actually could afford such services, the very rich, don't demand them, because they understand that such a model for providing security would not benefit anyone, least of all themselves.

That just leaves those handful of dogmatic anarchists who at least claim they would support market provision of all state services, and would continue to support this on ideological grounds, even if it was tried and proven to be a failure that destroyed everyone's security and destroyed free markets and liberty.

This hopeless group really is not worth troubling over or reasoning with, as they are driven by a religious zeal.


it just doesn't necessarily follow that people would want "free" services from "government." I agree that this is in fact true in practice, though.

Ventura 2012

Most of us get more security

Most of us get more security and legal stability than we could afford out of pocket.

Patently false. And if all of history isn't enough to demonstrate this Mises' own socialist calculation argument refutes this assertion.

If Mises were alive today and thought to agree with you, he would then have to explain that his own calculation argument was invalid. I really doubt he would do this. So it's up to you to explain why the calculation argument is wrong.

Most of us get nothing but insecurity and instability for the taxes we are forced to pay.

The taxes are outright a violation of security.

The government does not provide security and the US government has asserted via the Supreme Court that it has no obligation to do so.

Wars and taxes are the greatest violations of security that humans face and they are both a result of government.

So then, you believe that

individuals, today, like you and me, could afford greater security of rights, liberty and property from gangs than we get currently, by paying out of pocket?

If so, why don't you purchase them and let them protect you from gangs, such as the crips and the US government?

Clearly you can't afford such services, or they aren't even available on the market because they aren't viable. Otherwise you would buy them.

They aren't available because there's no demand for them, because they are not actually cost effective, or profitable, and because they don't provide enough security to compete with governments. Governments, being "gangs" and nothing more on the anarchist view, are obviously too powerful for any private market security to defend you against, at any cost.

Therefore, most of us do in fact get far more security of rights, property and liberty than we could purchase on the market.

Your only recourse would be a fallacious argument that the market "could" or would provide such services, if people wanted to pay for them (they don't), or, if gangs like the governments did not exist to prevent them from doing so.

Well, that's a ridiculous argument. The whole point of the security services is to defend against gangs; you can't set as a premise in the statement that there are no gangs acting with force to prevent these security services from being sold.

You also can't use the argument that they would be viable if enough people wanted to pay out of pocket to get them. If they could be provided affordably, the market should be offering them, and people should be purchasing them.

So that argument is busted. You are currently without an argument.

Emphatic Bump

I'm sorry to see that this has been downvoted by some. This is the single best DP post in my recent memory. I still do not know what I conclude about the argument, but the fact that the author has formulated a syllogism means that I will be able to conclude something according to the rules of logic... Otherwise known as a "rarity".

Thank you, author, whether or not you have succeeded to prove your point with a true, valid, and sound argument, I appreciate that you tried.

Unlearning and self-teaching since 2008. Thanks, Dr. Paul!

When will you be having

When will you be having Bill3's troll baby?

"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 don't know who Bill3 is besides that he authored this post.

I didn't realize that attempting to refute an argument via syllogism was part of the category "trolling". This post was not a rant riddled with assertions; rather, it is an argument formulated in accordance with the rules of logic. If the terms are clear, if the premises are true and if the logical form is valid, then the argument is sound and must be accepted. I was applauding the fact that someone here attempted to argue something in such a way, since it allows a forum to argue one position vs. another with a framework rather than insults.

Whatever this Bill3 character has done in other postings, I would say that between the two of you, there is only one who in this thread has exhibited signs of "trolling". I'll leave it for the general population to determine whether it's the individual who posed a syllogism to make an argument in accordance with the rules of logic or the one who attempted to insult someone for bumping a post by implying that the up-voter wants to conceive a child with the poster.

Peace and liberty.

Unlearning and self-teaching since 2008. Thanks, Dr. Paul!

Here's where you catch a closet statist

Your argument hinges on the statement.

"Most of us get more security and legal stability than we could afford out of pocket."

Which is completely without any proof, and doesn't even make common sense to me, unless you assume that we would need the same amount of security as we pay for now. I really don't need someone to hassle the neighborhood kids about drinking beer or smoking pot for instance. In fact, I can't remember the last time I had to call police about anything, and maybe have 2 or 3 times in my life. Never sued anyone or never was sued. Was burgled once, by an employee of the apartment complex I lived in. In fact, most of my security I pay for myself already, and I believe this is true for all but the richest people, or people trying to operate in a few certain areas of the country.

So before you go any further with the argument, you need to expand on this to provide some justification for your statement.

We can easily test the claim.

Remove yourself from state protection and state services, and hire private security to secure property, wealth and rights outside any major state. There are plenty of places in the world this could be attempted.

If some gang or state comes in and steals your wealth / property / liberty / life, then you will know that you can't purchase more security for these things than you get at present from the state.

Let me know the results of the experiment.

Of course, you won't actually do the experiment, and no one else on the dailypaul will, or in any other anarchist forum.

There are some people who do this experiment, they are called organized criminals and most don't do too well in terms of security.

Don't take that the wrong way, I'm not calling you a criminal! It's just that actual criminals are the only example of people who choose this strategy of providing their own security outside the state, and don't use state legal services. And they're also the only group who people know are not able to take recourse to that protection, and so attack their property and rights.

Did you just imply...

that the Daily Paul is an anarchist forum?

You said:

"Of course, you won't actually do the experiment, and no one else on the dailypaul will, or in any other anarchist forum."

The majority of Daily Pauler's are Old Right, Constitutionalists, jeffersonians and minarchists. They just prefer to stay out of the petty bickering that occurs in forum topics where certain actors are just pushing buttons for fun and/or to merely disrupt.

The Daily Paul has never been a majority anarchist forum. They are here and very welcome since all sides want to see smaller less intrusive government.

In one of your recent posts you very strongly imply (or outright state):


1) Individual freedom leads to control of the stupid masses by malicious cultural and political elites.

You said:

"Freedom can hardly be the answer, since freedom is merely the starting point and open door to bad elites and bad leadership manipulating culture and politics via the market"

2) The free market causes the same


3) A dictatorial elite indoctrinating and controlling the stupid masses is necessary in order to have quality culture and government. As long as you (and your "benevolent" kind) are the dictator(s).

You sir, are an interloper here. Be a man and state your true dispositions and intentions.

~wobbles but doesn't fall down~


It is just a fact of observation that in the constitutional / limited government, the capture of power is open and tends toward bad elites, if there's no extra-govt and extra-market institution providing ballast to the ship of state and keeping it from descending into the current abyss. Freedom in itself won't keep itself going.

Freedom requires...

1) For the message and principles of freedom and liberty to be in the hearts, minds and mouths of the citizenry


2) Local and personal self-reliance. If people are reliant on themselves and the local community then they don't need large intrusive regional Govt with ruling capitals 100's and 1000's of miles away.

Self-reliance is the very first foundation of liberty. A people who depend on far away places for the basics of life are trivially conquered by starvation and thirst in a matter of a few days.

~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

The Amish test this regularly

If you are honest, and live in a relatively honest community the cost of security is small. Very few people target the Amish, even though many are wealthy people. Their strength is in where and how they choose to live, and their community.

Of course criminals (the mafia or the government, or its sycophants ) have high security oosts since they are trying to assert their will on others by force. If you want to live a criminal life, or a solitary life, it might be expensive, but otherwise, there are alot of examples where the cost of personal security is not so high.

The Amish have

outside protection from aggression. This does not apply to the greater society, with all its social detritus and criminal scum.

It is unknown to us on the outside how much if any violence occurs inside the Amish society, and how genuinely violent people are treated when encountered.

I think you're partly right, though. A culture that is regimented by religion and custom like the Amish, with an efficient release valve for non conformist types, can largely avoid dissenting behavior, and can avoid the need for violence, as long as they are protected from external violence by a NAP violating state.

We actually know quite well

what goes on in the Amish community. They generally do not have too much violence but when they do, they will change their social stance toward the perpetrator. They give conseling, or the community can shun or Bannish the person. It is an interesting question whether Shunning or Bannishing is against the NAP, but I'd argue that it is not.

As to whether they are protected from violence by the state, I'm not so certain. In fact, the state commonly perpetrates violence against these people so any protection received is more than cancelled out. If the state left them alone, I think its safe to say they would come out to the good. there might be a higher cost defending themselves against violent outsiders, but that would be easily off set by the savings in not having to protect themselves from the government.

Your statement that it is an

Your statement that it is an interesting questions whether shunning violates NAP seems to imply that I raised this question, which I never did. Clearly its not a violation of NAP, and so is not at all an interesting question.

Your second violation of sound reasoning is your statement that the Amish aren't protected from external violence by the state, because the state acts violently toward them.

Aside from the fact that the government of the small 's' states don't actually do violence to the Amish (correct me if I'm wrong?), this fact would have no bearing at all on whether Amish country is protected from potential predators by the overall laws of the small 's' states they inhabit and by the overall umbrella of military protection they receive.

Also, none of this touches on the physical discipline they use on their children (do they? - I'm no expert), which most of our resident NAPists think is aggression.

Let's get back to the original question

"Most of us get more security and legal stability than we could afford out of pocket."

That is simply not true, and the example of the amish proves this pretty clearly.

The fact that the state interjects itself into the peaceful amish community - for instance regarding sales of raw milk - costs the community way more than it gains from a state that stops by and catalogs violent acts after they occur.

How exactly do you think the Amish country is protected from potential predators by the overall laws of the small 's' states ?

As for the umbrella of Military protection, this is a myth.

Obvious errors

When people use the word "government" to mean something other than people who inspire other people to cooperate in a voluntary association they mean "government" to mean something other than that definition.

Most people on this Forum (nearly all) equate the word "government" with the idea that some people force (not inspire) other people to obey orders without question.

Most people on this Forum (nearly all) equate the word "government" with the idea of making (they make) crime legal in their minds.

Some of those who are successful at making crime legal in their minds appear to want company in their closed mindset whereby government is the same thing as crime; in their minds.

Some of those who are not successful at making crime legal in their minds have no need for company in that mindset. It is as if their mindset is still working on the concept of crime - perhaps - and they are content with the idea that there are no crimes nor is there anything that can be done legally other than whatever they are doing at any given time.

I don't really know what goes on in the minds of anyone, but the words chosen by those who want company in their mindset where crime is legal, appear on this Forum as fishermen, or in some cases fisher-women.

Can anyone be converted to a mindset where the criminals take over and run the government?


"I want company in my mindset whereby slavery is good so long as we are the masters of our slaves; so anyone out there in this boat?"


That mindset is often offered by those whose obvious and accurately measurable definition of "government" is precisely the same definition as crime.

"I want company in my mindset whereby slavery is good so long as we are the masters of our slaves; so anyone out there in this boat?"

Those who are on that same side, but those who are not accepting that "government" is "legal," are not wanting to get in that boat, at all, so they offer their mindset that is on that same side, that same side where "government" is precisely the same thing as "crime."

Some of those who do not want to make "government" a boat where we in this "government" make our crimes legal, include some people who fish for solutions to the crime problem, and some include people who fish for the "legal crime" problem.

Some people prefer to be left alone, and they read, but they do no fishing.

Fewer, by a long shot in my view, and I look, I fish, few, very few, see that "government" can be a word that is used to help people solve the crime problem AND solve the "legal crime" problem and this government stuff is free market stuff: strictly voluntary.

The most obvious tell tale error made by both the "government" (legal crime) is good, and the "government" (legal crime) is bad people, on that same side where "government" is a synonym for crime, is the error of failing to accurately account for the full effect of well told lies.

Side I

a. Government (crime) is good, so long as we in this boat are the governors.

b. Government (crime) is bad, no matter who is in that boat, they are all bad, there is no good government, ever, and we in this boat make sure of it.

Side II

a. Government (defense against crime) is good, so long as we in this boat are the defenders; not the offenders of aggressive violence.

b. Government (defense against crime) is good, so long as we in this boat realize that the most obvious, and most accurately measurable weapon wielded by the criminals is the lie, as the lie inspires the defenders to become criminals themselves.


Your second statement is an assumption

based on a pessimistic outlook on humanity.

I think you have misjudged humanity in general.
Disutility of labor only has one simple meaning.
Men prefer the absence of labor, i.e., leisure, to labor.
you said below in a comment.

Disutility does have a different meaning
the quality of causing inconvenience, harm, distress, etc.
In economics:
the shortcomings of a commodity or activity in satisfying human wants

Humanity in general does NOT want to lay around all day and do nothing. Just because no one wants to scrub the toilet at the mini-mart, doesn't mean everyone is lazy.

Just open the box and see

Looks like you still don't understand the concept

It doesn't mean no one ever wants to work. But they don't labor for free,. Read Mises on the concept and if you still disagree, post your opinions. I am sure Mises was wrong on plenty of points. That's why the post is titled Misesian, not BILL3ian.

If you think Mises was wrong about the disutility of labor, explain why.

A syllogism is a syllogism

it doesn't matter who's name you stick on the front.

By the definition of a syllogism, your conclusion is invalid, since the second premise is invalid. The fact that there is some disutility in labor does not hold that all labor is disutility. The second premise is over broad.

If your second statement was a quote from Mises, please link it.
You chose a logic structure, I was just pointing out that the logic is flawed, making the entire syllogism invalid.

I have no idea what Mises's thoughts on disutility are, I was reading your post. If Mises composed this exact syllogism, my critique would be the same.

Just open the box and see

You don't understand the phrase

disutility of labor. It either exists or it doesn't, there is no "some." You either accept Mises' 'disutility of labor' concept as valid and true, or you don't. If you reject the concept's validity, that is fine, that would be a different discussion.

But the syllogism is Misesian in the sense that premise 2 relies on Mises' concept of the disutility of labor. People generally prefer less labor for the same amount of a good or service rather than more labor.

You seem to think that the concept means no one chooses to work ever. So since you don't understand the concept and are too invested in the argument to learn or concede the point, you end up mired in a false argument, and stuck attacking the concept in an erroneous and invalid way. This is bad form in a discussion, and reflects poorly in a general way. But I enjoy it, so don't stop it on my account.

A better way to attack the argument would be to attack the conclusion, 3, by saying that honest good people will prefer to honestly pay for their own services, including all legal and protection services, rather than rely on the collective security provided by courts and law enforcement.

This would be false, since honest people don't prefer this, unless you define honesty and anarchism as synonymous. But at least it would be a valid form of attack.

What can I say?

Mea culpa.
I did read Mises for that phrase, and found his definition.

As well as your definition it requires a narrow definition of labor.
Only extroversive, not immediately gratifying labor is a topic of catallactic disquisition.

Here is a link, for those who are want a full definition (this is page two).

The narrow definition of labor must also apply to the first statement. Would a gun enthusiast consider time and effort spend polishing his skill and collection as labor? Wouldn't he consider that part of securing his own safety?

Just open the box and see

A gun enthusiast

may well consider gun cleaning to be leisure rather than labor. Rambo types in general would be excluded from my general statement that securing one's own defense is labor. It only applies to the 99% of people who would be paying others to provide their security, so that they could engage in the specialization and division of labor that makes modern capitalism possible and keeps most of the Earth's seven billion people fed.

You can't confuse Bill3 with

You can't confuse Bill3 with the actual rules of logic! LOL

"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


"Most of us get more security and legal stability than we could afford out of pocket."

This is a bold assumption with which I strongly disagree. It also points out the fundamental inconsistency with the Minarchist view. Since when does government provide products cheaper and of higher quality than those provided by the market?

Do you pay for legal, court

Do you pay for legal, court and military services out of pocket now? Why not? A big gang would try to stop you, and the people you hired couldn't prevent it for a cost lower than you pay in taxes. That isn't a bold claim, it's just reality.

Most tax revenues come from a small number of owners/producers, there is much more efficiency in certain public goods. Denial of the existence of public goods is one of the main weaknesses of market fundamentalist schools of economics.