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Friedman vs. Helfeld: Debate whether no government is better than limited government

Friedman vs. Helfeld: Debate, whether no government is better than limited government


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LOL :) Perhaps you're too young & inexperienced

On paper, especially to most Americans, institutionalized theft and murder do not exist in the US. What we see is a pretty good Constitution that is being ignored, State Constitutions being ignored, and Natural Law being ignored.

In reality, there is a degree of institutional murder, higher overseas and less so in the US, and a massive amount of institutional theft. Somewhere around 40% of your fellow Americans understand this institutional murder as a necessary evil and/or good and another 40% see the theft as a necessary evil and/or good.

How many Anarchists are there in the US? Your State? Your County, City, and Neighborhood?

What about Statists? Do you honestly believe they're going to sit at the table with you and discuss how to transition from this Mega Centralized Power to Anarchy just because a handful of people are whining and bitching? Of course not! They're going to leave it up to those they elected to deal with the likes of you and what they consider your ilk.

Here's another way to look at it. How is this transition to Anarchy going to be initiated? Who is going to stand with you? You think the dollar failing is going to ignite the string of events that will lead to a peaceful Anarchy? Hell no, at the end of the day 'most' people are going to look to the bastards who caused the problem for the solution. You think belittling those who almost agree with you are going to stand with you in a call for Anarchy? Hell no.

Most of America is tied to the belief system that Government is at a minimum a necessary evil and/or good. Do you disagree? You can't write 2 effing posts without acting like some 19 year old prick who's not old enough to know that he/she doesn't know Jack. How is it that you think Anarcho-Capitalism is going to get rooted when 90% of your advocates behave in the same manner?

Violent revolution will not result in Anarcho-Capitalism, it will result in another Centrally Planned oligopoly.

Minarchy has some history, some legend, mythology within the US. While the first Americans (as a country) and several other generations did a poor job of implementing it and sustaining it, it is engrained into the American Mythos. There is a chance for it to be restored.

Can Anarcho-Capitalism become a reality? Possibly, but is seems unlikely without much of the planet installing and sustaining Minarchy first as that would mitigate much of the problems that most people have with Anarchy. Defense, Self Reliance, transition to true capitalism, etc.

I'm sure you're a nice fellow (gal?), but you have a great deal to learn with regards in getting others to adopt your beliefs. I assumed you are young because you seem more interested in getting others to simply accept your beliefs. There is a huge difference.

No hard feelings, I dislike the state of things (pun intended) just as much as the next person, we simply have different experiences and beliefs driving our efforts.


tasmlab's picture

It's a hobby. It's fun.

It like when Harry Potter fans debate who Hermione should date or when NFL fans debate which players should make the roster. The fans are powerless to affect any outcome, but it is fun to have the conversation anyways.

Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football


But they take it very seriously.

I take it you were not involved in any of the RP presidential campaigns to see blatant outright corruption to prevent any chance RP would be on the ticket.

If we're such a small threat why do they care so much? I've never heard of this sort of thing between a Romney and a Santorum.

They perceive a threat and act illegally to counter the threat.

The entire media tried to shut RP down in both cycles.


Maybe you are right. Maybe freedom, or even limited freedom, is a dream.

But the enemy doesn't treat it that way.

Cyril's picture

Well, indeed. For a very simple reason: they can't create sh:t.

Well, indeed.

Feudal systems, oligarchies, tyrannies, you name them - have by far been the rule in History, spanning over the largest extents in both space and time.

That's for a very simple reason related to the very nature of those who want to rule over others, by the sword, the pen, or both:

more often than not, they can't create sh:t, besides whatever more or less abstract divisive rhetoric they can come up with, to deceive the gullible masses, and to serve their parasitic agendas.


Liberty and freedoms with an individual-centric rationale of paradigm are - indeed - the young ideas, the improbable, fragile, exceptions of historical turns of events.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Jan Helfeld's picture

To identify the proper political ideal

To identify the proper political ideal to use as a reference for political judgements.

Jan Helfeld



Minimal cancer means you

Minimal cancer means you still have cancer. I'd rather not have cancer.

A minimal statist is still a statist.

"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

Minimal water

means you survive. You'd rather die of thirst.

A minimal amount of water is still water.

And a minimal amount of slavery is still slavery

It's still up to you to prove socialism > capitalism

Get to it.

That's whats so fun about words

We can make them mean different things.

You can say 'a little it of slavery is still slavery.'

I can say that slavery is not a 'little bit' of anything, but a maximum condition of alienated liberty.

Putting aside for a moment the thorny problem of how to prevent free people from contracting themselves into indentured servitude, or to prevent third party agents from enforcing such contracts, and focusing only on individuals forced into capitve subjection, this condition would be the maximum alienation of liberty possible.

Now, if there is one slave in the world, that doesn't mean we all drop what we're doing and go find him. People have to look after their own freedom, especially under anarchism.

A poor slave who has no contract with a security agency has to rely on charity if he hopes to be freed. The charity itself would probably not successfully free him without using aggression along the way.

Anyway, your response is muddled and does not advance your point.


I used the same form to show your argument is false.

It's not the case that for all X, a little X is good.

It depends on the X, so it's up to you to show that when the X is a slavery, it is good.

Morally it's indefensible and consequentially it certainly appears to be very deadly and causes privation.

What we can agree on I assume, is that of all the money falling into the black hole of DC and Wall Street, it is taken out of society, and does not deliver anything remotely like a positive return to society. If fact the extreme opposite is the case. So the consequentialist pro state argument has to somewhere along the line depend on the sort of Krugman/Keynes 'logic' of multipliers and such.

So your case is that what we have is detrimental, but if it were small enough it would net out as best for everyone overall. But this is essentially saying socialism is better than capitalism in some market sector, namely police and war. (Exactly as progressives say socialism is better in health care and education and automobile manufacture, etc.)

The reason why economists tend not to buy this is.. they are economists. Bob Murphy, David Friedman, Walter Block, Jeffrey Tucker, et al.

As for the question of whether you can contract yourself into slavery. Yes but it is a fraudulent contract.

For two reasons.

One a contract is only valid because it is voluntary and severable. If it's not severable it is not a contract, it is merely an order of men with force to men without force. Like they use the Constitution. You didn't sign it and you can't get out of it, so it is not a contract, it's a flimsy excuse to make you a pro rata slave.

Two you're selling something you haven't in your possession to sell. Your right to liberty is unalienable, you can tell someone you gave it up but that is a lie. You may choose not to act on that moral right but that doesn't mean you don't have it.

Now if you don't think rights are unalienable this won't hold water for you, but if you don't think rights are unalienable you essentially don't think there are rights at all, just power and privilege. Which is fine, but even an imprisoned man will feel morally right to free himself or protect his property, etc.

Everyone, even bad people, probably most especially bad people, know when their rights have been violated and when they are a victim of injustice. So to me it's pretty clear that if we view rights as moral authority to act in certain ways, that it is inherent in humanity. You haven't a right to things, but you have a right to act in certain ways, which I won't belabor here.

Not sure what you're trying to say here

May be better if we converse in smaller bite size pieces. Hit me with a sentence.

You were using induction inappropriately

I was pointing that out.

And then I was answering your question about is voluntary slavery morally possible. It's not.

You claim I was using induction improperly

But you haven't proven or shown that. Try to do so in a short, intelligible paragraph, quoting me in order to demonstrate my error.

Won't work here

Might work on salon or something.

Explained it already. Anyone who understands logic already understands. You tried to refute an instantiation with a universal that didn't apply. I could make an infinite number of examples why that can't work, but why?

Anyone still reading can just scroll up and see.

You must know, most people that come to liberty do so because they see the contradictions and illogic of what they are fed, right?

So when you try to propagate them here.. it doesn't go well. It may be that many people can't name the fallacies you employ, but they recognize them as such all the same.

Didn't think you could.

Appealing to logic without specifics is a fools rhetorical game.

Appealing to logic with you is arguably a fools game

Anyway I was quite specific, as anyone can scroll up and see.

Saying a minimal amount of water is still water is not a refutation of someone saying a minimal amount of cancer is still cancer. I know you think it is, but that should be your first sign it's wrong.

I said clearly that

metaphors prove nothing, re-read.

You don't appeal to the process of logic, you just appeal to the word as a rhetorical ploy. The logical process would require you to demonstrate a flaw in reasoning. Clearly you misread my statement about clever metaphors proving zip.

Here's what I said, which you replied to below:

Your cancer metaphor gets your point across, but it doesn't prove your point true.

I can make an equally simplistic metaphor, or even three, which get my point across, without proving it.

For instance,

A lot of water will drown you, but a little water will sustain your life. No water will kill you.

Cyril's picture

Proof that socialism > capitalism? Easy to find !

Proof that socialism > capitalism?

Easy to find, very well documented, and observable for 3 decades already!

Read and look at all of this impressive progress made there, since 1984!


But, hey! as you could read and see, it's only possible when you have "pure", untainted, socialism - that one, which, ya know, REALLY CARES about the collective, not that other one that Stalin, Pol Pot, Castro, ...

(and so many others, O so regrettably :/ I know, I know!)

only gave a bad name to, of course !

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

And too much is bad as well

It's ALL or NOTHING with some people.

The Golden Mean applies to almost everything in the universe. To get things just right, you cannot have ALL or NOTHING.

In my opinion, we need Almost All Self Governance, with a little Local Governance and Services, then Less State Governance and Services, and Almost Zero Federal Governance and Services. Article 1 Sec 8 came pretty damn close to being spot on for Federal Governance.

The other thing is transitioning from Statism to Anarchy. Who the eff thinks they can pull that one off! :) Minarchy is at minimum a step towards Anarchy, and has some chance of being pulled off relatively peacefully. One would have a better chance of convincing the Country to change our Language to Spanish and then pulling it off.

Anarchy also assumes that one has Self Governance or can afford to pay someone else in the 'market' to govern your actions. More than half the country is on Government Assistance.

Why do some people

think a simplistic metaphor constitutes a valid argument?

Your cancer metaphor gets your point across, but it doesn't prove your point true.

I can make an equally simplistic metaphor, or even three, which get my point across, without proving it.

For instance,

A lot of water will drown you, but a little water will sustain your life. No water will kill you.

Same with alcohol.

So just by changing the metaphor, I can get the minarchist point across.

But I haven't proven minarchism is actually better by mere metaphor. Nor have you with your simpleton cancer metaphor.

I think it's up to the people who don't believe in capitalism

to prove why a particular market is best served by socialism.

It is not the case in any other market.

and as a vet I can tell you there is exactly zero that is efficient about socialized military.

The US only won all the fights because they have most other markets left alone and they could soak all those people for resources.

Now they are not leaving them alone and we are just another fascist state. We will lose, and lose badly because we overreach, and we have shit all over the golden goose, the limited economic freedom we used to have that funded the empire.

That is the reality. Love martial empire or not, if you wanted to keep it, you leave the domestic golden goose alone. They have not. They have destroyed it.

The result is predictable.

I don't agree

Empirical observation trumps your pet theory. Your theory is what you want to believe, and probably has 72 virgin false premises along the way that have yet to be penetrated.

Reality shows no complex markets in the absence of a stable legal order, built on the bones of NAP violations.

Your theory means absolutely nothing in the face of reality. Just because you don't understand why anarchism doesn't work, doesn't mean others are going to adopt it on the basis of your cognitive deficiency.

You don't know what you are talking about so cast aspersions

There has been quite a bit of study of extralegal, black, and grey markets and they are very very complex. Do your homework.

In any case complexity of markets isn't necessarily a good thing. There's nothing inherently beneficial about complexity.

We have a complex financial sector because it needs to be that way to mulct the nation.

We have a complex regulatory and tax structure because it needs to be that way to mulct the nation and promote cartels.

None of this is a benefit to society.

For example. We have a mares nest of banking regulation and bureaucracy ultimately because we started to insure deposits on the taxpayer dime. Banks used to be regulated simply and cheaply without a single government dollar spent, by market discipline.

Banks advertised their reserves and rarely over leveraged themselves. For a very simple reason, they would go out of business if they did. And when they occasionally did, only the parties involved suffered.

Complexity for complexity's sake doesn't just happen. It happens because someone is using the complexity to game the system. They are, and it's not you. And in case you didn't notice this wonderful 'complex' system we have is a very very dangerous house of cards that will collapse and soon.

Complexity isn't wealth, and we will find this out the hard way.

Black markets

are not markets under anarchy. Amazing how that escapes you.

Sure they are

In fact the markets that you can be most sure will exist in a capitalist society are the ones which exist currently despite being illegal.

The difference will be they are safer, more orderly, have better and cheaper goods and services, and won't create negative externalities like gang violence.

And we won't need a pejorative adjective like 'black' to trick people thinking there is something wrong about them.

In terms of transaction quantity most of the black market is mostly about tax evasion. A noble enterprise if ever there was one.

Oh no you have a black market Rihanna CD! Why do you hate america?

I agree that if the US govt collapsed

markets would still exist. That's because coercive legal orders would emerge almost immediately to protect trade in necessities and then by luxuries. But there wouldn't be complex capital markets or extended trade in a world that remained without stable legal order indefinitely, or continually lost the legal order that developed by constant disruptions. Anarchy does not exist in reality, so it's almost nonsensical to talk about it in terms of prediction. It can be discussed in theory, but because it can never actually exist without protection from NAP-violating force agents, there is no such thing as anarchy in history or in the predictive realm. It's just an idea "if human nature was different, and would refrain from using force to impose laws, then these conditions would follow...'

Why would you need complex capital markets without a state?

You'd need futures, stocks, bonds, simple stuff. And stocks won't be traded nearly so often and dividends will the primary way you profit from stocks. The reason it's all so stupidly jacked up is because of idiotic tax code, inflation, and regulation.

Get rid of all that and the markets become simpler and vastly more efficient for being simpler. All that capital floating around securities is inefficient, inherently volatile and is purley a result of state intevention in the market.

And yes there will be systems with the capacity to perform violence. Like you at home with your shotgun, and the firm you hire for situations that you deem necessary.

Occasionally injustice will be done or go unpunhished. But the incentives in a competitive capitalist market are to produce a better product. The incentives in a socialized monopoly are to make an inferior product and create problems only the monopoly is allowed to solve.

So the metric should be which system provides more justice.

If you say the socialist monopoly then you are claiming that there is something special about this market that makes all the economic reasons that socialism is inferior somehow not apply to this market. Just like any other progressive claiming education or health care or banking is special.

And anarchy exists everywhere. Between states there is anarchy. Even states with nukes manage not to blow each other up. When you go hunting there is anarchy. Even Bubba in the woods manages not to shoot Rufus with his 30 ought. People aren't plowing into people on the road because they fear being arrested. Restaurant owners aren't poisoning their customers because they fear being arrested.

Now oil companies certainly do take risks they shouldn't because they know they are protected from tort by government. Drug manufacturers certainly do put out unsafe drugs because they know liability is limited by government. People do start wars because they know the cost in blood and treasure will be socialized onto other people.

The problems we have are from far too little anarchy/capitalism.

and like unions taking credit for the benefits of capitalism, states take credit for the order caused by people.

The claim of statists, like any monopolist, is this, freedom to choose another provider would have bad results, but we aren't willing to let you try, and will arrest you or shoot you if you do.

If the monopoly really was superior they wouldn't need to be protected from competition. But of course we know the purpose of monopolies is to restrict competition so they can lower quality and raise prices and make more 'profit'.

What you describe are complex

capital markets, although options, derivative contracts and FX also would be included. None of these would exist on anarchism, because there'd be no trust. A good example of you guys being fooled by your own ideology is with Mt Gox etc.

Jan Helfeld's picture

Good point

Good point.

Jan Helfeld