Friday, June 16, 2006

Why Anarchy is Most Conductive to Natural Rights part 2

Nikhil Rao has posted his reply to my first entry. In it, he makes a lot of statements of this type:

But the problem with anarcho-capitalism is that somewhere on the road leading from theory to practice, we find ourselves amidst a truckload of half-penny nails.

I also think that such a system would last much longer than an an-cap system.

He makes these statements but provides very little argumentation or evidence to support them. Until he provides a support for his dismissal of market anarchy as impractical, when it is in fact eminently practical and requires merely people dealing with each other as social equals and not as pawns of the ruling class, I must dismiss his position as an emotional cop-out.

He did provide one cliché argument, which I will get to in a moment.

First, he did catch me on one little issue. I mentioned that in a market anarchy, codes would not be perfectly coincidental with natural rights, when I did in fact claim that I wanted a society without coercion at all. So he says:

So although he values a society without all the crimes he enumerated, he is unwilling to take the step to completely eliminate it.

And here he falls completely into the statist mindset. Yes, I do want to take the steps to eliminate it. But those steps do not include forcing others at gunpoint to agree with me! That would be the exact opposite of what I want, which is non-coercion. Nikhil Rao may think that his proposed system is enlightened and should be the ultimate goal of society, but he has no right whatsoever to impose it on others.

And that is the ultimate difference between him and me. He wants to impose a singular value system by force, and I don't- even if that value system happens to be superior in some respects.

Now to the argument he uses:

And an an-cap system (the basal system of all social animals) has no provisions to prevent the strong from turning it into a meritocracy, a plutocracy, a monarchy, or an oligarchy. Basically any kind of ‘archy’.

Ah, it's our old "market anarchy is inherently unstable" cliché. I never get tired of seeing that one.

Actually, there is only one process regulating a market anarchy, and it is that process that "prevents the strong from turning it into" anything: it's called consumer demand. I want to be free and I will not support anyone who tries to enslave me. If that means that I have to stop getting my services from the company with the best offer, then so be it- my freedom is more important than short-term financial gain. And anyone who did try to use violence to take over society would be met by retaliatory force, financed by all the people who agree with me that freedom is an important value (which are the vast majority).

The most eloquent proof of this, is that natural monopolies are virtually impossible, except when the state imposes one on society, or provides one itself.

As for his ideal system?

We formally and consciously agree to draw a line in the sand and not violate others’ negative rights, rather than merely letting market forces get us merely close to that point.

As he has rejected the market option, he obviously understands that some people are going to disagree with him. And if this is the case, one is led to the inevitable consequence that Nikhil supports some use of force to arrive to that goal. In short, he promotes coercion in order to promote the non-violation of individual rights. This is, I hope I don't have to point out, highly contradictory.

By the way, Nikhil? They tried your idea before. It was called the United States of America.

It didn't work.

Your turn. ;)

1 comment:

Libertarian Jason said...

And an an-cap system (the basal system of all social animals) has no provisions to prevent the strong from turning it into a meritocracy, a plutocracy, a monarchy, or an oligarchy. Basically any kind of ‘archy’.

Isn't that what we have now? The "strong" have all but barred the "weak" from doing anything to change things, what with the severe economic regimentation, income taxes, central banking, and other barriers to prosperity.