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Should Advocates for Individual Liberty Be "Against Anarchism?"

This one may ruffle some feathers, but I encourage anarchists, minarchists, and everyone in between to look past the surface and really think about the ideas expressed here before opining (and I greatly encourage everyone here to opine!)

For more, head on over to Lions of Liberty!

UPDATE: Shayne has responded to some criticisms from the interview, including some of the comments below. You can check it out over at his blog.

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Listen First?

I feel like a lot of people arguing against this didn't even listen to the podcast :(

Ha

Yes, hjs, that much is clear....

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

You might as well be

debating Kirk vs. Picard. Neither debate is going to get us out of the stranglehold that is now around our necks. Kind of what Grandpa used to say about "If". If frogs had wings they wouldn't bump their asses when they hopped.

What do you mean..

by "neither debate?"

If you give a listen, one of the major points here is that there are problems with both "anarchist" and "minarchist" positions, and that it's a false dichotomy overall.

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

Definitions and Straw Men

I decided to write an article and post a new thread addressing some of the biggest criticisms here, which center around definitions, and the straw man arguments that often come along with them.

http://www.dailypaul.com/322885/on-definitions-and-straw-men

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

wolfe's picture

or...

if you want to argue with anarchists, perhaps you should actually put forth an argument against us instead of agreeing with us on everything.

You label this thread "Against anarchism" and then proceed to go into great detail on how you agree with us on everything but want your "ideas" to be labeled differently.

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

OR....

I don't "want" to "debate with anarchists" - I want to seek truth through reasoned intellectual debate.

I labeled the thread by the title of the essay being discussed, and if you took the time to listen or read it you would begin to see why.

Are you interested in seeking truth, or trumpeting dogma?

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

wolfe's picture

All you want to do is argue over the meaning of the word...

government... I couldn't care less.

You insist everything you want is 100% voluntary. Fine. We agree. Just make sure it really is.

Why should I read it? It either promotes voluntary interaction despite its title, making it intellectually dishonest, or it promotes the use of force by some against others. Either way, I have more important things to do with my time.

And no offense, but to presume to suggest I either listen to you to seek the truth or stay wrapped in dogma is condescending, presumptuous, and flat out wrong.

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

Well

If you choose to partake in debate regarding a subject being broached, it would make sense to attempt to understand the arguments first. There is more to this than definitions, but you're flippant dismissal of definitions, as if they are meaningless! - indicates that you aren't interested in intellectual debate.

That's what I'm here for- what are you here for?

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

wolfe's picture

lol.

Words and definitions are only useful in the process of communicating ideas.

Hence, in most debates, definitions are stipulated to at the beginning. The same with legal documents.

You refuse to acknowledge your grossly misinterpreted definitions, and insist on arguing for them. That's fine. Stipulating your definitions are correct and you can have a 100% voluntary government, then there is no disagreement. It's bullshit though.

100% Voluntary = Anarchism, but whatever. I don't care what you call things as long as the concepts are correct.

Further, you take both sides of every position. As only an anarchist pretending to be a minarchist can do.

I am not sure what YOU think intellectual debate is, but this isn't it.

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

Communicating

"Words and definitions are only useful in the process of communicating ideas."

Exactly, hence why they are important.

"Hence, in most debates, definitions are stipulated to at the beginning. The same with legal documents."

Sure, from where should definitions be derived? Who stipulates them? Step 1 should be agreement upon definitions, or a rational sorting out of those definitions, or else confusion will follow.

"You refuse to acknowledge your grossly misinterpreted definitions, and insist on arguing for them. That's fine. Stipulating your definitions are correct and you can have a 100% voluntary government, then there is no disagreement. It's bullshit though."

You insist the dictionary / commonly accepted definitions are "bullshit", yet provide no evidence or rational argument for such.

"100% Voluntary = Anarchism, but whatever. I don't care what you call things as long as the concepts are correct."

So, provide a reasoned argument for this. Are definitions important, or do you "not care what we call things?"

It can't be both.

"Further, you take both sides of every position. As only an anarchist pretending to be a minarchist can do."

This presumes the "both sides" dichotomy is correct. I disagree with that presumption. I'd love to engage about why this is.

"I am not sure what YOU think intellectual debate is, but this isn't it."

Finally, we agree!

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

wolfe's picture

---

"You insist the dictionary / commonly accepted definitions are "bullshit", yet provide no evidence or rational argument for such."

No, I didn't say that. Your interpretation is bullshit. Your interpretation of the dictionary definition is horribly flawed as I have shown in a different thread of yours. In addition, it matches no known understanding of the word. To be direct, your interpretation is insane, not common, and not even close to accurate.

Regardless, only the two parties in a debate can agree to and stipulate to definitions.

So fine, I will stipulate to your definition. Show me how anarchism differs from your view of government then.

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

Anarchy defined

Merriam-Webster:

"1
a : absence of government
b : a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority
c : a utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government
2
a : absence or denial of any authority or established order
b : absence of order : disorder

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

wolfe's picture

I suppose it's possible that you simply didn't understand...

the question. So let me re-phrase it in a way that may help you with this.

Show me the difference between:

Absence of government
and
Government without force

In practice. Show me one scenario that looks different between anarchism and your definition of government. Show me how either the outcome or the events leading up could possibly be any different.

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

The difference

Absence of government , and non-coercive government are clearly different things.

That doesn't mean government wouldn't use force to enforce natural law or other rules agreed upon by contract, but this is in stark contrast to tyrannical government, which I,of course agree is the form modern governments have taken.

It's not consistent to call for anarchy *and* agree that people are allowed to form governments.

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

wolfe's picture

good god...

Are you trying to be dense? I hate to be insulting on this, but you clearly understand the question well enough to answer but instread you try to punt with semantic differences.

Please describe the difference between government without force, and absence of a forceful government, in practice.

Describe 1 thing, even one, in practice that could in any way be different in the two systems. Example:

Contract enforcement. Go.

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

Dense?

You obviously don't *hate* to be insulting, or you wouldn't be...

How would anarchist defense agencies enforce contracts?

Can you explain the difference between how that would work in your version of anarchy as opposed to how "the state" currently enforces contracts? I am not talking about the method of funding, which we both agree is wrong.

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

wolfe's picture

Not insulting...

Factual. You are intentionally dodging the question.

Yes, of course I can, and yes funding is a part of that.

However, I asked you the question, and you should be able to do so for your argument.

Hint: It's not possible, because they are functionally the same. And the second you sit down, and take the time to reason through both halves of the question, you either have to come to the same conclusion, or decide to create non-sense argument.

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

I must be...

...missing something..

Please state the exact question you'd like me to answer that you think I'm "dodging?"

Are you dodging my question about how anarchist contract enforcement would work?

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

One reason

There is precisely one reason to be against anarchism.

It is because you feel you will benefit from the enslavement of others.

If your notion of "individual liberty" means "some liberty for you because of the enslavement of someone else," and that's what you advocate, then you'll be "against anarchism."

Straw...Man

Nobody in this essay or interview advocated for "the enslavement of others", nor for "some liberty for you because of the enslavement of others?"

So why create the Straw Man?

Why no argue against the actual arguments presented?

Why does this seem to be such an issue around here?

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

Freedom is as freedom does.

To remain perpetually free a culture needs all manner of input and discussion. It needs all peaceful discourse from the anarchists to the communists, and from the libertarians to the statists to keep the ideal of freedom healthy.

But, foremost, by necessity, it needs an educated populace to grind the grist of this discourse.

We have our job cut out for us, but we've come a long way already. Libertarians and their "ism" are now common in the public discourse. As it is said, "Keep on, keepin' on."

It only takes one to KEEP AMERICANS FREE. Know your duties & rights as a juror. Stop the unconstitutional conviction of innocents in federal custody. The Fully Informed Jury CALL 1-800-TEL-JURY www.fija.org IMMEDIATELY if not sooner. It's that important.

Not enough people agree with libertarianism

to make libertarian anarchy possible. Most libertarian anarchists I find idealist in that they think that convincing everyone to abandon government and give up their welfare checks, government jobs etc. is simply a matter of 'getting the word out' and 'educating people'. But there are lots of people who will simply never embrace our philosophy due to weakness in character. In order to make those people abide by private property laws and what not it must be people who believe in liberty and generally do not like force that have control over government. Otherwise it will be the people who love government that have control of it and will use their power to enforce a society of *total force*, i.e. socialism/communism/statism etc. That is the choice we have: limited force or total force. There is no realistic option of having no force because there are not enough people that embrace it and likely never will be.

I think they do agree

but they have been conditioned to be afraid. But I don't think that fear is working as well anymore.

If you told people tomorrow that 'taxes' were voluntary how much do you think people would pay?

If you told people that there was a bill that was going to pass to make taxes voluntary unless 51% of people came out and voted to stop it, do you think it would be stopped?

People don't like all the arbitrary and lawless control the ruling class has over them, but 1) they don't think they can change it and 2) they have been programmed to fear freedom through various rhetorical avenues.

But if people could actually go down to HR tomorrow and tell them they are no longer contributing the the massive waste that is the government, how many would not?

I don't know, but I suspect most people wouldn't. And isn't what people actually do when they have an actual choice the best indicator of what they think and feel?

So I suspect most people do agree or would agree by their actions. They just aren't in any position to do anything about it.

People loved chattel slavery, until they didn't. The difference today is the people are themselves the slaves. I don't think it would take much more than the opportunity to end statism.

Do you think the states would ratify another federal government today? I really doubt it.

Do you think counties would ratify state governments today if they had a choice? I doubt it.

Do you think people in counties and towns would ratify county seats and municipal governments if they had a chance not to?

Maybe, but I doubt anything larger. And if so I suspect the scope of authority would be drastically reduced.

People might be stupid enough to fall for local governments. But I don't think they would fall for what we have now if they could effectively say no.

They don't have to agree with libertarianism...

They only need to believe the State can't get the job done.

^this

This seems backwards.

So you think a more free society can be advanced without people understanding the ideas and principles of Liberty, as long as they reject "the State?"

What is it about "the State" they should reject? The structure? The method by which it is formed? It's coercive nature?

If they simply reject whatever you,specifically mean by "the State", but still embrace bad ideas about individual liberty, do you not think they will simply support other institutions which violate individual rights? Why won't they brig back "the State" in another form, or by another name?

What exactly is "the job" that needs done?

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

Problem right from the start.

One of Shayne's first statements about "how Shayne defines anarchism." And Shayne says "On a desert island, where NO GOVERNMENT HAS YET BEEN FORMED..."

But this is NOT ANARCHY. You could argue that an island with no government is "anarchistic." BUT... An anarchist society IS NOT just a society that "lacks government." An anarchistic society has PURPOSEFULLY AVOIDED forming a government based on principle. So islanders don't fit into this category. And NO ANARCHIST IS ARGUING for a society that has not considered the topic or merit of government as "anarchistic."

So this is a bad start to the interview. Considering this "third world island anarchy" is not one that is being argued for.

Still listening, I am sure I will be back.

Island

I took this simply as an example of what anarchy is, which is essentially a lack
Of a formal system of law and order. It isn't, in and of itself, either good or bad.

It makes no sense to distinguish that it's only *really* anarchy in situations where people actively decide not to set up a formal system of government.

This is like saying it's only a banana tree if someone planted it, not if it was just found there.

Thanks for listening !

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

wrong

It's like saying an apple tree is a banana tree. Or it's like not knowing what he's talking about. Actually, it is not knowing what he's talking about.

Why?

You make statements like this, but you fail to provide a reasoned argument for why?

I'm willing to listen to one.

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*