Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Short Guide to Market Anarchy Deconversions part 1

as a voluntary, coordinated effort between Andrew Greve, Aaron Kinney,
David Pearson and Francois Tremblay

PDF version of this pamphlet can be downloaded here.)

This pamphlet is a tool to be used by market anarchists in their interactions with collectivists of all sorts. The purpose of the pamphlet is to provide an overarching strategy to aid in performing efficient market anarchist deconversions.

Part 1: Introduction

First, remember that you should always be arguing from morality, as you have the superior moral position, and morality is easier to argue than efficacy. To you, M.A. should not only stand for Market Anarchy, but should also stand for Moral Anarchy, insofar as anarchy is the only moral system of social organization.

There are as many approaches to market anarchy as there are people, so keep an open eye for an "in"- an opportunity for you to start a discussion which will lead to the desired topic of market anarchy. Here are a few ways to look for an "in":

Find a common value

In casual interaction, our values are expressed at almost every corner. Remember, a discussion about market anarchy does not have to focus on social organizational values at all times. If you witness an interaction to which you have the same reaction as your subject, such as witnessing an adult striking a child, this is a great place to start a discussion about values. Another common place to start is to find a government program which your subject finds unfavorable, and express your agreement with his views. A good approach to getting to the root of the issue, which is the immorality of the state, is to ask your subject questions about why he finds such programs unfavorable. For example; if your subject is not fond of the War on Drugs, ask him why.


Is the person you're talking to able to empathize with others? Does he react negatively to instances of coercion? Does he react positively to instances of voluntarism? Don't be afraid to display your strong feelings towards someone else's actions during a discussion. Many times, people are afraid to strongly voice their feelings about a coercive interaction, due to their desire to conform. You can help break this trend in others by expressing yourself to the utmost. Speak up, and show your emotions as you feel necessary. You'll be surprised how easily you can bring out the same emotions in others. Once people see that you aren't afraid to express yourself, they will want to express themselves as well.

Personal Relationships

Are you treated as an individual with unique interests, needs, and values? Remember that by engaging someone in conversation, that you are beginning a relationship with that person. The type of relationship which will result is to be determined, but be mindful of this person's individuality. Don't treat a potential market anarchist candidate as a total loss the first time he does not understand something. Also take note of this person's consideration of your values. If you are not being treated as you feel you deserve, do not feel an obligation to continue a conversation.

Part 2: The Initial Approach

Asking questions - Why? How?

The most effective way to break down a person's barriers to rational thought is to question his premises. Wait until the collectivist presents a statement, and then challenge its premises with questions. If they posit a false concept, or a non-existent "right," question it. The goal of this questioning is to expose their constructs as having no validity as moral principles or agents.

If a person posits, "[False moral concept X] is good," the best way to expose the hollowness of such a statement is to simply question it. A good response might be, "What exactly do you mean when you say 'America'?"

When the statement, "America is good," is questioned, a typical retort might be the statement, "People in America are good." A good response to this would be would be to continue to question the premises of the statement by asking something such as, "Do you mean all people?"

If a person says, "Everyone has a right to housing," you can ask things like, "Whose house do they have a right to?" or, "How will they get that house?"

If a person says, "Everyone has a right to health care," you can ask, "Does this right include getting health care for free?" or, "Who pays for it?"

A person who is legitimately interested in these topics will admit, sometimes grudgingly, that their original position of "[False moral concept X] is good," doesn't mean as much as they thought it did.

Knowing when to give up!

If your subject is unable to admit that there is no such thing as the "French culture" or "black people" (in terms of moral agency), then your efforts are best spent with someone else. Such a person is merely being unresponsive and wasting your time. Don't play into their game, as you will get nowhere with them in the end. It is pointless to move on to other arguments if your subject is unable to clearly see the meaninglessness of arguing in terms of false moral concepts.

If you successfully challenge the person's premises, and get them to admit that their concepts were false, then you are ready to move on to Section 3.

Part 3: The Big Guns

At this point in the discussion, you have broken down the initial barriers and are about to present substance. This will give the subject something to ask about, or in some cases complain about. Whatever he presents to you, you should have the automatic, knee-jerk, instinctual reaction: check for projections. A projection is when a person presents an objection that in fact applies to his own side. For example:

"Without government, how do we deal with criminals? We'll just be at anyone's mercy!"

At this point in the discussion, you don't have to present how an M.A. answers the criminality problem (as well as redefines it). You will do that when you present the M.A. model. Right now all you need to do is think "projection" and see that it is indeed a projection; the state obviously does not solve crime, more state makes more criminals, and the state itself is the biggest criminal element of all. Also remember that any problem that already exists, exists with the state, and therefore the state cannot be its answer!

Here are three of the many arguments you can use at this point to prove anarchy:

Burden of Proof

Everything you see around you is made by individuals coming together. People talk about the roads as being something the state has to do. That's their big example. But individuals make roads, not states. People have to make a nice flat rock path, they have to lay down asphalt, and they have to roll it all out. People do this--people like you and me. And people can own and administer them. We already have private roads right now and they are in better shape, and give better service, than state roads. Unlike state roads, private roads are accountable to their customers. The state took over and now people believe that we need the state to have roads. But we don't need the state. It's up to the person who believes that to prove it. Until then, anarchy is all we need.

Moral Razor

For a principle to be true, it has to apply to everyone equally. Otherwise it's just a personal opinion or a preference, like preferring chocolate ice cream over strawberry ice cream. I like certain kinds of ice creams, and you like others, but I'm immoral if I kill you and you are immoral if you kill me. Well, in the system we live in, the state follows rules different from ours. The police and army are allowed to have guns, but they're allowed to tell us we can't have guns. But everyone can need to defend himself. We're not allowed to steal, but the state is allowed to steal from us with taxes. They don't call it stealing, obviously, but that's what it is. You would never agree to pay taxes if you could choose, at least not to finance the state as it is.

The Geometric Argument

"Imagine you have three people on a desert island, and they are fishing to survive. If two of them decide to beat up the third and take all his fish, is that okay?" "What if they vote and the two vote in favour of taking his fish?" "Okay. What if they are ten on the island, and they decide that one guy should give up his fish to feed some other guys, and if he doesn't they'll beat him up?" "Okay. What if they are a hundred?" "What if they are a thousand people on the island? Is it okay now to beat some of them up and take their fish? Is it morally right?" "What if they are a million?" "Well, that's what the state does today with millions of people. Just because there are more people around does not make it right to steal and jail people for refusing to follow the state's laws.

After explaining an argument or two, the kind of questions you get will help you determine whether your subject is receptive, or if he is still thinking in propaganda terms. If he asks questions like "Then who will build roads?", you can see that the person is actually considering what you're saying, and trying to come to grasp with its implications. But if he asks questions like "But who would take care of the poor?", which betray statist propaganda, you might want to give him some material and get out of the way, unless you have plenty of time. There is little more frustrating than going in circles against a wall of propaganda.

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