Sunday, June 18, 2006

Why Market Anarchy is Most Conductive to Natural Rights, finis

In his conclusion, Nikhil simply rehashes the previous arguments he presented, which is to say:

1. That a market anarchy would inevitably collapse into a state.
2. That a market anarchy requires a perfect population to work.

I have soundly refuted both arguments in my previous post, and yet he's still presenting them as if they completely refute my position. He is just not listening.

To repeat again in condensed form:

1. A market anarchy cannot collapse into a state, because a state is a monopoly of force, and natural monopolies are impossible without state intervention. Nikhil has failed to explain how such a monopoly could arise, as well as why he thinks that people's self-interest would override the natural tendancy towards peace in a market anarchy (due to the fact that people must pay for their own wars, instead of imposing the costs on a captive population).

A state, of course, is already "collapsed", and therefore if Nikhil considers this collapsed state evil, he must call his own system evil as well.

2. Unlike statism, a market anarchy does not require a perfect population, or even good people. It merely requires the existence of market processes- which is pretty simple- and willingness to trade. Even if 99% of a population lived in a collectivist commune, this should not prevent the rests of us from asserting our legitimacy and assembling together in ways that are more conductive to natural rights.

Nikhil abhors this scenario because he wishes to impose his desired value system by the force of arms. Even if he is a minarchist, he is still a statist, and he is still a person who desires constant violence and social warfare. This lack of morality is what led me to leave the fantasy of minarchism and understand that market anarchy is the only moral system. It is based on the simple premise that everyone has different value systems, and that trying to impose a singular value system on everyone is immoral, lunatic, and not conductive to freedom in the long run.

Good luck Nikhil. I hope you rethink your moral orientation in the future, and look more closely at your own arguments, because all the arguments you use indict you.

Well, I can lead a horse to the water, but I can't make him think.

13 comments:

Just Ken said...

Good article! You've made an excellent defense of free-market anarchism against a interesting attack.

Best to you,
Just Ken
kgregglv@cox.net
http://classicalliberalism.blogspot.com/

doinkicarus said...

"Even if 99% of a population lived in a collectivist commune, this should not prevent the rests of us from asserting our legitimacy and assembling together in ways that are more conductive to natural rights."

What if that 99% was bent on dominating the minority 1% Surely if the 1% were successful enough, a good portion of the 99% could be convinced that it would be in their best interest to finance a war against the minority, which odds are, they'd win by attrition if nothing else. Would you characterize the 99% as a "state" in any regard? And what then if that state conquered the remaining freemen?

Just curious.

Francois Tremblay said...

Well, doinkicarus, the first problem is that your scenario wouldn't even happen with a state- the 1% wouldn't be allowed to live the way it wants to begin with. So just on that the objection is kinda futile.

The second point is that, yes, the 99% may consider the 1% to be a rogue organization. In some cases- such as an organization of murderers who assemble in order to give each other legitimacy- they may very well be right.

In the case that concerns us, which is of course a purely hypothetical situation (as a majority of people would prefer to be free in any society), the 99% could indeed conquer the remaining 1%, but they would have less incentive to do so, as they would have to fight themselves and finance such an enterprise themselves. It would be more to their advantage to live peacefully with the remaning 1% and benefit from mutual trade.

doinkicarus said...

"the first problem is that your scenario wouldn't even happen with a state- the 1% wouldn't be allowed to live the way it wants to begin with"

I beg to differ - this sort of thing happens within stats all the time - with much smaller majorities, and much larger minorities.

I guess the way I see it, which might very well be mistaken - is: How is the minority anarchy position compatible with state(s) next door, who may wish to further expand their power and control over others? It may be more to their collective advantage to leave the minority alone - but certain among them may derive a great benefit by fooling or deceiving the others into supporting the war. This, no doubt, happens all the time - not just with war, but with the great majority of public policy.

Francois Tremblay said...

"I beg to differ - this sort of thing happens within stats all the time - with much smaller majorities, and much larger minorities."

Is that so. Can you give us one example, please?


"I guess the way I see it, which might very well be mistaken - is: How is the minority anarchy position compatible with state(s) next door, who may wish to further expand their power and control over others? It may be more to their collective advantage to leave the minority alone - but certain among them may derive a great benefit by fooling or deceiving the others into supporting the war. This, no doubt, happens all the time - not just with war, but with the great majority of public policy."

No doubt, but there is less incentive in an anarchy for people to fight against each other- because they cannot put the burden in resources and lives on other people. States make coercion cheap for others.

doinkicarus said...

"Is that so. Can you give us one example, please?"

The phenomenon we know as "Social Security" here in the USofA is one such example. It was pressed upon us by politicians who presumed that it was politically expedient to do so (to remove people from the labor force in a very Keynesian sense) and that there would be little, if any resistance.

Over the years, the "system" has been subject to dependency upon increasing taxation in order to confer a smaller return to its beneficiaries. But the AARP lobby (forgive me for simplifying) has bascially made SS a political hot-potato. Nobody dares touch it, reform or otherwise.

This is a system that is nothing short of theft - and yet there is practically no conceivable way to opt out, or otherwise remove oneself from its stranglehold. Case in point: I did not sign up for social security, i was enrolled by my parents, who were probably enrolled by their parents before them, who, at that time, probably believed its lies for truth. The elderly, who can exert more pressure (through votes) basically subject the rest of society to the continuation of this fraud. This is certainly a case of one minority using the coercive power of the state to exact control over the rest of its constituents.

The current gay-marriage issue might also be one, even if a "majority" of Americans are against the prospect of gay marriage (which is dubious), it is by no means a 99:1 ratio. I think it is probably more like 50/50, and certainly those who wish to support it or engage in it, can't do so freely, despite the fact that there is no "social cost" in letting them do so, and a fairly substantial "social cost" involved in preventing them from acting freely.

In both of these cases, we have what is likely a minority, causing all sorts of problems for the rest of the people, who are not "allowed to live the way [they want] to begin with," so I think that objection is pretty reasonable, and by no means futile.

As to your last point "because they cannot put the burden in resources and lives on other people. States make coercion cheap for others." - well, the hypothetical 99% collective basically constitutes a state, for all intents and purposes. I mean, sure, a number of people them might decide to leave the collective, but the history of the world has shown that the most communitiarian societies in history have historically prevented their citizens from leaving the confines of the State, for just such a reason. The state needs their resources to steal, in order to wage war on the others. I think the problem, historically speaking, is that the great majority of people have not recognized this reality until it is far too late.

Francois Tremblay said...

Well, in either case we're not talking about the same kind of scale that you're talking about. I'm talking about a very, very small minority who wants to live in a very different way. Social Security and gay marriage are not really this kind of case- they are just more examples of ruling class values being imposed on everyone.


"well, the hypothetical 99% collective basically constitutes a state, for all intents and purposes."

Then it's not an anarchy now is it? I mean, is it actually a state or not? That kindof undermines your whole point.

doinkicarus said...

"Then it's not an anarchy now is it? I mean, is it actually a state or not? That kindof undermines your whole point"

No, its' not really anarchy in any meaningful sense of the word. But you most certainly need to recognize the possibility that some men, in some places, may work together to form such states. Surely, the entire history of humanity is a testament to this tendency.

Francois Tremblay said...

"No, its' not really anarchy in any meaningful sense of the word."

Then how can it exist in an anarchist context?


"But you most certainly need to recognize the possibility that some men, in some places, may work together to form such states."

Sure, but not a majority of people. I have an article coming on this topic in October.

doinkicarus said...

"Then how can it exist in an anarchist context?"

How can't it? Some free men might choose to erect a state. As a result of their freedom, I suppose they are no longer really free. This has no discernable effect on the rest of the free men until the state decides to wield its power against them. Are these state-citizens living under anarchy? No, not any longer. But eventually their existence will threaten the existence and livelihood of others.

If your argument rests on the dogma that free men will never form states, I think you're failing to address man's natural tendency. Again, the history of maknind stands in stark contrast to the supposition that anarchy is feasible.

In any regard, I'll be looking forward to your article, and I appreciate the discourse.

Francois Tremblay said...

"How can't it?"

Because "anarchy" means "without a state". Now you are saying that a state exists. It cannot be an "anarchy" any more now can it?

Now if you mean that an anarchy could collapse, I already addressed that argument during the debate.


"Some free men might choose to erect a state. As a result of their freedom, I suppose they are no longer really free. This has no discernable effect on the rest of the free men until the state decides to wield its power against them."

Well, sure. But then they would be rogue- they would have to be considered like any other enemy state. And the methods to deal with states would apply in this case equally.



"Are these state-citizens living under anarchy? No, not any longer. But eventually their existence will threaten the existence and livelihood of others."

But they already do now. Look at what happened in Somalia. As long as there are states, they will seek to protect their fellow gangs of thieves and murderers.


"If your argument rests on the dogma that free men will never form states, I think you're failing to address man's natural tendency. Again, the history of maknind stands in stark contrast to the supposition that anarchy is feasible."

I do not need to posit that no one would desire to form states in order to state that anarchy is feasible, per se. Granted, I need to posit that people will generally not desire to do so. And I think that is very easy to demonstrate.

doinkicarus said...

"Now if you mean that an anarchy could collapse, I already addressed that argument during the debate"

Well, that's the argument, the counterpoint of yours, which I think is dogma. The earth begins in anarachy, total freedom for mankind. And we are now very far from it. There has not been a very strong tendency towards the freedom we both seem to value so much. The history of the world has been that of "anarchy collapsing" into states.

The question then is, how do we turn back the clock? Even if I accept the argument "Given anarchy, therefore anarchy permanently" (which I'm not sure I do) we still have the problem of "Given non-anarchy, how do we get to anarchy." And that's where we are. We live in non-anarchy. And we want to get there. If we can't get there, any discussion about its merits are fruitless.


---
FYI - I'm working on an essay/hypothetical with regards to law and the provision of protection/security under anarchy. I'd certainly be ineterested in your input if you're interested in taking a look at it when I have it more refined.

Francois Tremblay said...

"Well, that's the argument, the counterpoint of yours, which I think is dogma."

You don't have an attitude very conductive to discussion. Why do you have to qualify an argument as dogma? They are opposites. An argument is based on facts. A dogma assumes its conclusion and tries to rationalize it.


"The earth begins in anarachy, total freedom for mankind. And we are now very far from it. There has not been a very strong tendency towards the freedom we both seem to value so much. The history of the world has been that of "anarchy collapsing" into states."

I already explained that too, if you read my blog carefully enough instead of listening to pro-coercion screeds. States are the dominant form of social organization because they harness man's desire for hierarchies, are extremely adaptable evolutionarily, and able to combat surrounding anarchies by concentrating the resources of a society by force.



"The question then is, how do we turn back the clock? Even if I accept the argument "Given anarchy, therefore anarchy permanently" (which I'm not sure I do) we still have the problem of "Given non-anarchy, how do we get to anarchy." And that's where we are. We live in non-anarchy. And we want to get there. If we can't get there, any discussion about its merits are fruitless."

Two words: Propagating Apathy.


"FYI - I'm working on an essay/hypothetical with regards to law and the provision of protection/security under anarchy. I'd certainly be ineterested in your input if you're interested in taking a look at it when I have it more refined."

You are not by far the first to write on that topic, so I would invite you to check what's already been done on my web site simplyanarchy.com (in the pro-anarchy section), so you don't reinvent the wheel, or as happens sometimes, try to argue against the wheel.