Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Dontregulate.org / The Crucial Gap

The Flash animation at Dontregulate.org is a great explanation of the "Net Neutrality" scam. And if you damn liberals want to complain about that site, yes, I know they are financed by these people and those people, and so on. Everyone is financed by someone. The only difference is, they make sense and you don't.


On LewRockwell.com, Gene Callahan discusses "The Most Crucial Gap in Politics", on why minarchists are not like anarchists at all :

Picture yourself wandering into a hall within which a large, all-male crowd has assembled, each man present anxious to argue his position on the subject of wife beating. Some attendees defend their right to beat their spouse whenever she has been annoying. Others regard that stance as too permissive, asserting that wives should only be assaulted over more important matters such as, for example, family finances. Yet a third faction holds that spousal abuse is only justified in the most vital cases and only if no less onerous means can guarantee the desirable outcome: for instance, when one’s wife will not contribute as much as one believes she ought to the family’s security.

You find the proceedings quite disturbing, as you consider assaulting any other person to be immoral, even if it appears to be the only way to achieve some important and otherwise desirable end. Violence directed at another, you hold, is only just in self-defense, and then only to the extent necessary to thwart one’s assailant.

Imagine your surprise if the members of the group that advocates wife beating only in extreme circumstances declares that they are your natural allies, proclaiming that the difference between your position and theirs is a trifling matter when contrasted with the large gap separating the minimalist beaters from those more enthusiastic about the practice.

19 comments:

Delta said...

As long as politics is the shadow cast on society by big business, the attenuation of the shadow will not change the substance-John Dewey

Francois, I cannot see how you could possibly think that it is just and helps promote individual freedom by abolishing the state and leaving intact the gigantic monopolies which the state helped to create. Even if I were to say that free markets could work (which I certainly do not), they would have at least to start out in a position of relative competition for them to function properly. The current situation is nowhere near this.

Unfortunately, I think you know this and like I've said before, that you're subservient to the ruling class of wealthy. I think this comes from the fact that you used to be libertarian, and western libertarian thought is generally plagued with this sort of praise of the current capitalist economy. You haven't been able to shake this off and truly accept anarchist principles. If you doubt this, just think of your comment that the Nike CEO "can you fault someone for contributing too much?" and ask yourself honestly, if the man could actually be contributing that much. If he's able to get people to pay him that sort of salary, is he wrong to accept it? Perhaps not. But you said that he contributed that much, which is certainly different and shows a clear bias in favor of the wealthy.

I don't expect you to let this be posted, but I don't care, I didn't write it for anyone else to see. This is for you. You know my email if you want to call me an idiot.

Francois Tremblay said...

"Francois, I cannot see how you could possibly think that it is just and helps promote individual freedom by abolishing the state and leaving intact the gigantic monopolies which the state helped to create."

Um... no, I don't agree that the gigantic monopolies that the state helped to create should remain. Is that the whole premise of your comment?

Here's an idea : instead of assuming what I believe, why don't you ASK ME what I believe?


"Unfortunately, I think you know this and like I've said before, that you're subservient to the ruling class of wealthy."

No, I am not "subservient" to anyone. Honestly, if that's what you think, go fuck yourself. You obviously don't respect me and I have no reason to respect you.

I am a market anarchist. I believe that everyone should be equally free. You are the one who lets the wealthy and powerful trample all over you. You should reconsider your position and stop accusing me of your shortcomings.

June 06, 2006 12:39 PM

Delta said...

Hmm, well just for shits and giggles, what would you want done with the gigantic corporations and those people which have such enormous wealth that they would destroy the concept of a free market (which again is impossible, but for the sake of argument)?

Francois Tremblay said...

"Hmm, well just for shits and giggles, what would you want done with the gigantic corporations and those people which have such enormous wealth that they would destroy the concept of a free market (which again is impossible, but for the sake of argument)?"

If their power is not maintained artificially by the state, nothing. People will continue to support their products if they really are superior products, and will seek alternatives if they aren't.

Your belief is predicated on the premise that people will inevitably choose to support the rich and powerful even without a state. That is a stupid belief to hold. I support anyone who can help me fulfill my values the best - big or small.

Francois Tremblay said...

"Hmm, well just for shits and giggles, what would you want done with the gigantic corporations and those people which have such enormous wealth that they would destroy the concept of a free market (which again is impossible, but for the sake of argument)?"

If their power is not maintained artificially by the state, nothing. People will continue to support their products if they really are superior products, and will seek alternatives if they aren't.

Your belief is predicated on the premise that people will inevitably choose to support the rich and powerful even without a state. That is a stupid belief to hold. I support anyone who can help me fulfill my values the best - big or small.

Delta said...

You misunderstand the nature of monopolies. Take agriculture for example. Let's say that a few large companies own the majority of farming land. How is another person going to compete with that when they don't even have the land with which to grow on? People are forced to purchase from the large supplier, which may offer low quality at a high price. In many other industries the large companies that exist today have a hold on the basic resources required to compete in that industry, and thus they will be maintained regardless of how poor their service is. Their power is not maintained by the state. Their power is maintained in that they have a monopoly on the resources required for production. Of course, this monopoly on resources if often protected by the state, but I don't suppose you would advocate taking away their "property".

Francois Tremblay said...

"In many other industries the large companies that exist today have a hold on the basic resources required to compete in that industry, and thus they will be maintained regardless of how poor their service is."

Can you name an example? Is your example of farms included in that? The whole farming industry is, as you know, notorious for being in bed with the state.

You have not, however, addressed the point of - how does the state help protect your interests in this situation? All you ensure is that those big, wealthy corporations will maintain their grip on the market through bogus "safety" laws, added costs of regulations, etc. So your example only supports my point.


"Of course, this monopoly on resources if often protected by the state, but I don't suppose you would advocate taking away their "property"."

Not if they acquired said property without coercion or direct support from the state.

Francois Tremblay said...

By the way, I like your quote, but I'm against politics - not against business. The fact that you interpret it against the free market only shows your anti-freedom bias.

Delta said...

Can you name an example? Is your example of farms included in that? The whole farming industry is, as you know, notorious for being in bed with the state

Well sure, this applies trivially to any industry in which a certain type of land is crucial to participate, whether it be sea ports, oil fields, coal mines, forests, etc. If someone is unable to get access to the raw materials, they can't compete, no matter how "entrepreneurial" they are.

And yes, the farming industry is very much in bed with the state. But that doesn't have anything to do with my example.

You have not, however, addressed the point of - how does the state help protect your interests in this situation? All you ensure is that those big, wealthy corporations will maintain their grip on the market through bogus "safety" laws, added costs of regulations, etc. So your example only supports my point

The state does not necessarily protect my intersts in this situation. It depends on the nature of the politicians and of the political system. Today in the US it's much more likely that the state will my oppose my interests. I'm not advocating the state. It should be done away with, but also with the economic tyranny that is involved with capitalism if we want people to truly be free.

When people are deeply in need of basic things in their life, they cannot make free choices and agreements with others. If I'm so poor that I can only buy my food from Walmart, or I'll likely starve, then if I go to Walmart that is not my free choice. If you have two choices, one of which is death, you don't really get to choose. Just as if a rapist holds down a woman and says he is going to shoot her if she resists, she doesn't choose sex by laying there.

Not if they acquired said property without coercion or direct support from the state

Then you would support it. All property acquisition follows from coercion or direct support from some state. The history of man is a history of the state favoring some over others. Whether it's the US government giving huge subsidies to the railroads, or it's the King of England giving land in the New World to his cronies, land acquisition has always been entangled with the state. You can't disassociate the two. The wealth that someone has, even if that wealth wasn't the direct result of state intervention, is still related to prior state intervention in other people's lives.

The fact that you interpret it against the free market only shows your anti-freedom bias

I have no anti-freedom bias. I have seen no evidence or argument to suggest that the free market could exist in reality. It's an idealization that helps people in intro. to economics.

Francois Tremblay said...

"Well sure, this applies trivially to any industry in which a certain type of land is crucial to participate, whether it be sea ports, oil fields, coal mines, forests, etc. If someone is unable to get access to the raw materials, they can't compete, no matter how "entrepreneurial" they are."

That's true. Supply can be limited by the sheer amount of resources there are. I fail to see what the problem is here.


"The state does not necessarily protect my intersts in this situation. It depends on the nature of the politicians and of the political system."

There are varying religions and cultures, but all states have the same basic incentives everywhere. They are the ones with the guns. They are a monopoly.


"Today in the US it's much more likely that the state will my oppose my interests. I'm not advocating the state. It should be done away with, but also with the economic tyranny that is involved with capitalism if we want people to truly be free."

That's fine, because capitalism, as an economic system, requires the state. I'm all for the elimination of capitalism as most people understand the term. But you're being a hypocrite because what you are against is people's choices, not capitalism.


"When people are deeply in need of basic things in their life, they cannot make free choices and agreements with others. If I'm so poor that I can only buy my food from Walmart, or I'll likely starve, then if I go to Walmart that is not my free choice."

You are dishonestly (and I know you're not honest because you are obviously smart enough to know the difference) confusing coercion with necessity. I may feel forced to buy from Wal-Mart, but Wal-Mart is not putting a gun to my temple, unlike the state. They provide a service to me because they saw a market and fill it by their work.

You have many different choices, even if you are poor - you can buy different kinds of food. I mean, I couldn't go to Wal-Mart because it was too far away, so I bought cheaper food. But the point is that you are in a market, you are free to choose the people that fulfill your needs better, and they are accountable to you - and that's the way efficiency goes up and prices go down (barring state inflation of course). Without these incentives, we would be spending a comparatively gigantic amount of resources, as a society, to feed ourselves. While now, there is a market incentive for everyone to reduce the amount of resources, and therefore the cost, of feeding ourselves.

Would you prefer the state to take over the selling of food, and not be made accountable for bad products or shortages? The corporation is accountable. The state isn't.


"Then you would support it. All property acquisition follows from coercion or direct support from some state. The history of man is a history of the state favoring some over others. Whether it's the US government giving huge subsidies to the railroads, or it's the King of England giving land in the New World to his cronies, land acquisition has always been entangled with the state. You can't disassociate the two."

That is a good point. But the acquisition of a particular piece of land by a certain person doesn't have to be state-supported. You can go back in history, yes, but we're talking about today. Not centuries ago.


"The wealth that someone has, even if that wealth wasn't the direct result of state intervention, is still related to prior state intervention in other people's lives."

And that's the muck we're stuck in, as long as people like you will support the servitude of people's choices to a monopoly of power.

Francois Tremblay said...

By the way, here is the ultimate example that pretty much defeats your whole argument :

The Federal Reserve.

Drunken Tune said...

Anyway, I thought the Dontregulate.org website was a nice breath of fresh air. Simple, succinct, and logical. It certainly debunked the whole issue of Net Neutrality swifter than I’d think possible. Now that we've agreed on something, would you mind answering a few questions I asked you back in "Using the poor"?

Scratch that. Instead you pointed the way to other site that gave mere talking points. It's fine with me that you didn't answer one question and instead said that we "we don't see eye to eye" on you insulting me. I really don't mind. I personally would rather hear your ideas than read the same wiki-slag out there. I have to say, it was a nice conversation; reasoned, intelligent and mostly on cordial terms. I may sound spiteful, yet I’m hardly anything but frustrated. What I ask of you is this: The most you'd have to admit to is that it's a big leap of faith to abolish the government. Just admit that it's a big risk. That's all. Until we can agree on that, I’m afraid that you, and other extreme libertarians, will never find a real solution to the problem of government, and instead will continue to work in the realm of fantasyland.

Besides that bit of criticism, you and delta gave excellent arguments. Applause is warranted on both sides! Only through rigorus debate can we effectively refine our philosophies. And besides, it's plenty o' fun!

Onward! Forward! Ad astra!

Francois Tremblay said...

I am not interested in talking to you. You say it's a big leap of faith to abolish government. To put it nicely, if you think that taking down a gang of thugs is a "leap of faith", you are insane. There is no point in discussing with someone who sanctions violence with this kind of loyalty.

Francois Tremblay said...

As you can now read on the front page, all further statist comments will be filtered. This is the end of this discussion or any other discussions with you two. Do I go to your blogs argue with you people? I am not interested in these games any more. You have no understanding of market anarchy and you have no intention of discussing any issue rationally.

Andrew Greve said...

"If I'm so poor that I can only buy my food from Walmart, or I'll likely starve, then if I go to Walmart that is not my free choice. If you have two choices, one of which is death, you don't really get to choose. Just as if a rapist holds down a woman and says he is going to shoot her if she resists, she doesn't choose sex by laying there."

If you live as a farmer, with no one else around, would you blame the crops for "forcing" you to work in the fields for your food? "Oh those evil wheat plants, they are forcing me to work very hard for my food!" Give me a break.

By the way, store owners don't use guns to keep their customers coming back for more. They rely on ensuring that their customers are satisfied with their experience in the store and the products purchased there.

Delta, what is the incentive for stores to exploit their customers?

Andrew Greve said...

"I have seen no evidence or argument to suggest that the free market could exist in reality."

Have you lived inside solitary confinement for your entire life? If you answer yes, I will excuse this comment as stemming from a lack of experience.

Andrew Greve said...

On second thought, even someone inside solitary confinement could theorize about the market.

doinkicarus said...

Francois,

Your blog is new to me, but I like it so far. Thanks for the LewRockwell tip today, I plan on responding to Callahan shortly - I consider myself somewhat of a market-anarchist, and I think the dsitinction that he describes may not accurately represent the minarchist point of view.

Feel free to check it out, I'm always open to comments & discourse.

doinkicarus said...

"Francois, I cannot see how you could possibly think that it is just and helps promote individual freedom by abolishing the state and leaving intact the gigantic monopolies which the state helped to create."

Delta might consider the old adage, "From shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations," which is anecdotal insofar as one is concerned with inherited power/wealth and the squandrance thereof. That said, S/He is stuck very much on the idea of Natural monopolies, which exist but are rare - and also necessary. And here she equivocates their power with the power that is granted to state-sanctioned monopolies, which I think we all abhor.

Remove the subsidization, the conferred benefits, and the legal principles which permit and encourage such abuses of power, and you'll find that such monopolies can't exist for long. Francois, I think you understand this point, but I wanted to point it out for Delta.