You ask this several times in your above response, so let's get this clear. You are, of course, expected to provide evidence for all your claims. When a claim is general, you cannot provide a single example as evidence. For example, when you claim that "less government is always better than more government," it is insufficient to find a single example where a nation with a weaker central government is better off than a nation with a stronger central government. In fact, that is an implicit hasty generalization fallacy. So when I tell you that you need evidence, not examples, I'm referring to your tendency to support broad claims with specific examples. Is this clear now?
In the above example, if I am to say that less government is better than more, and you ask for evidence, if I provide a chain of logic or series of principles, it seems that you would again assert that this would be unsupported. You have told me what you consider not
to be evidence, but you have not clarified what you do
consider to be evidence in this case. And you also have not justified your implied contention that examples and evidence are mutually exclusive.
Also, if this is how you are going to insist I support my claims, then I will have to apply the same to you. Examples of governments won’t count as evidence that government is necessary, or even preferable.
As I said, I see no compelling reason to move away from the dictionary definition. You are free to try to establish your 'clarification' on its own terms, but I'm not going to grant it as an assumption even if it is true.
I earlier pointed out when you admitted that all governments have some degree of authority that precedes personal prerogative, and that this admission by you is a compelling reason to allow my clarification in the definition. Yet you are acting like a broken record and ignoring my point entirely. Will you please address this directly, and explain why your admission that all governments precede personal prerogative to some degree is, in your view, no reason to allow my “a priori” clarification?
But the arguments I'm referring to, ones you've been applying to justify the anarcho-libertarian denial of all forms of government, are flawed because they assume that all governments behave in essentially the same way. When you say something like, "the whim of one institution or person reigns over all," assuming this applies to every form of government, you are fallaciously generalizing.
You are being a broken record. You have already made the claim that I am fallaciously generalizing, and I responded directly to your charge by pointing out your admission that all governments do
precede personal prerogative (this is the trait that they all share, and the trait to which I object).
Stop repeating the same empty claim and instead please support it with evidence, and show exactly how not all governments to some degree make the a priori claim of authority over others. It will be especially interesting to see considering your earlier concession that all governments posses this trait.
There you go again, applying your idealized free market assumptions. How do you know the market will allow for an agreeable solution to both? How do you know, in a conflict between a rich man and a poor man, the rich man won't buy out the court system they agree on? How do you know they'll both be able to afford a court system? Why would the free-market court serve a person who can't afford it, anyway? And what mechanism does the free market have to eventually enforce consistency? There's a mechanism set up in the US court system -- it's the appellate courts, all the way up to the Supreme Court.
There you go again, applying your idealized central authority assumptions. How do you know the government will allow for an agreeable solution to both? How do you know, in a conflict between a private citizen and a government body, the government body won't manipulate the court to its desire? How do you know they'll both be able to find an agreeable court system? And what mechanism does the central authority have to eventually enforce consistency? Your mention of the US court system is a terrible example, because as I noted, it is rife with inconsistent rulings and contradictory judgments; it is constantly overturning the rulings of other courts within the same system and people from all sides of the US opinion spectrum decry its unsatisfactory results.
There is a mechanism set up in the free market: it’s the principle of self-determination applied through the law of supply and demand and the framework of an open and competitive market. The poorly run courts will be free to go bankrupt because of the lack of customers, while the well run courts will be free to become profitable and prevalent because of the ample supply of customers. The US court has no such system in place that leaves it exposed to any consequences of its actions. No matter what the quality (or lack thereof) of the US courts and their services rendered, their customer base, and the court’s continued existence, is guaranteed.
You claimed, "Government claims that the whim of one institution or person reigns over all, but Voluntaryism recognizes that everyone reigns over themselves." That characterization of all governments is what I am objecting to. Your most recent reply has absolutely nothing to do with what I've been saying.
You seem to forget your own previous statement. What I said is perfectly in line with your earlier admission that “It is true that all governments make some claims that supersede personal prerogative…”
If government makes a claim that precedes personal prerogative, then it is logical for me to point out that government claims that the whim of one institution of person (the governments legislative body or ruler) reigns over all.
So please stop dodging, and answer my question: Are you now denying that you ever said that all governments make some kind of claim that precedes personal prerogative?
You're right; I should have said, instead, that no consistent enforcement of rules can exist. You propose no mechanism by which a voluntaryist society will be able to enforce the rule that everybody is free to enter into and enforce contractual obligations. In fact, as we've seen above, the society would become plutocratic because the wealthy will be able to consistently outbid the poor in hiring enforcers; different poor people will gravitate to different wealthy patrons, essentially dividing society. It is not inconceivable that internal warfare will exist between these different factions.
Free markets are notoriously hard to eliminate once they have been established in a society. Take for example the war on drugs, and how the illegal drug market continues to thrive and resist governments' attempts to eliminate it. American consumers are winning the drug war and are therefore successfully defending their freedom to "enter into and enforce contractual obligations" in it. They did the same thing back in the 20's during prohibition.
This is completely disconnected from what I wrote. How does "free markets are notoriously hard to eliminate once they have been established in a society" even remotely begin to address "no consistent enforcement
of rules can exist"? How does "free markets are notoriously hard to eliminate once they have been established in a society" even remotely begin to address "you propose no mechanism by which a voluntaryist society will be able to enforce the rule that everybody is free to enter into and enforce contractual obligations"? How does "free markets are notoriously hard to eliminate once they have been established in a society" even remotely begin to address "in fact, as we've seen above, the society would become plutocratic because the wealthy will be able to consistently outbid the poor in hiring enforcers"? Your unwillingness to address my point seems to indicate that you are implicitly conceding it.
This was a mis-pasted paragraph. I pasted it in the wrong section in my Sunday night rush to finish my reply. So allow me here to properly address your charge.
Consistent enforcement of rules in a free market is provided by the will of the consumer base and their purchasing/subscription decisions. A competitive market allows for a consistent application of the needs and wants of the consumers because they will be free to choose those things they want, and ignore the things they don’t. If the consumer base consistently wants X, they will, through the free market, be best able to pursue and attain X. The better service providers will prosper while the inferior ones will go bankrupt, and the consistency standard for X (quality of product, fairness of arbitration, etc) will be maintained and improved through the competitive forces of the market and consumer choice.
With an enforced monopoly, like government, these market forces do not exist to maintain consistency in the services provided to the consumers. Except, perhaps, for the consistent enrichment of the ruling class and their ability to manipulate the system to their own benefit and the detriment of those not in power.
In addition to being a red herring, and a confusing one at that, your factual claim is actually quite wrong. Free markets can actually eliminate themselves quite handily; take, for example, Standard Oil's cornering of the oil market, or Microsoft's lockhold on the operating systems market. In fact, given the ideal nature of the free market assumptions, it is not unreasonable to conclude that if a free market condition ever exists, it's inherently unstable.
Those are examples, not evidence. But that aside, the examples you provided are not examples of the free market eliminating itself at all. Let’s start with Standard Oil:
Standard Oil was broken up in 1911 by New Jersey on the grounds of monopolization. While it is true that Standard’s business practices were somewhat anti-competitive, the truth is that SO had no monopoly on the market at all, especially not in 1911. Standard Oil’s actual market share had declined
in the decade leading up to the antitrust case (it was at 67% in 1907). There were at least 137 competitors at the time (including Shell, Gulf, Texaco, etc). Also during the decade preceding the trial, there was an increase in market supply and a decrease in prices, which indicates the opposite of a monopoly on the market. Between 1869 and 1911, for instance, petroleum dropped from 30 cents a gallon to 6 cents a gallon. That’s an indicator of increased, not decreased, competition.
And Microsoft is an even worse example to cite. Microsoft has less than a 50% penetration rate on business server operating systems, and its personal computer operating system penetration is dropping like a stone as of late. The reason? The market. It was not the government nor an antitrust case that allowed free OSes like linux to proliferate; it was the freedom of consumer choice. Competitors were free to make their own competing products, in this case open source OSes and distribs like red hat and ubuntu, and distribute them freely.
Even more telling is the recent Vista release and its market effects. Microsoft, while not a monopoly, is a big player in the market, and its release of Vista is well known to be a major disappointment. Well thanks to the free market, the lack of quality in Microsoft’s latest Os, Vista, allowed competitors to increase their market share. Linux distribs and apple computers and other alternatives are becoming more commonplace than ever. If anything, Microsoft is an example of how a company will rise or fall based on the quality of its product, not an example of how a company can corner a market through its sheer size and pay no heed to the quality of its product.
But there is another related issue about monopolies that I should bring up, and that is the governments concession that monopolies are bad. The US Government has the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, which is designed to break up monopolies under the premise that they are bad for consumers. Here comes the internal contradiction about government: it admits that monopolies are bad, and strives to stop them, but it does not look into the mirror at any point in this process. If government is right when it claims that monopolies are bad (and it is right in this case), then doesn’t that mean that a government, which is a monopoly, is also bad for consumers?
Do you agree that supply and demand is a principle that is descriptive of the real world?
No, certainly not to any degree where it is reasonable to apply it in this debate.
And why do you not believe that the law of supply and demand has any application to the real world in the context of this debate?
The idealism comes not from the idea of free markets, but from the idea of government. A free market recognizes that people aren't perfect, and it establishes the proper flexibility and adaptability for protecting against and quickly correcting the errors that do occur. Government, on the other hand, is an irrational idealization of people and society precisely because it grants a special set of powers to a small group of humans who rule over everyone else, implying that these rulers know better than you do, that they are the exception to the rule, and that they do not have the same imperfections and limitations as everyone else.
I'm seriously starting to think that you're simply not reading what I'm writing. I said that "the free market is an idealisation
of real-world markets." You reply by saying, "the idealism comes not from the idea of free markets, but from the idea of government," and then follow it up with simple declarative statements with no supporting evidence at all. Are you in Kindergarten or something? There's no way you can seriously think that paragraph even comes near rebutting my point.
My point went right over your head, and since you couldn’t understand it, you resorted to petty insults, trying to disguise your confusion. You charged that a free market is an idealization of a real world market. I responded by pointing out with support that idealization is found in the belief in government, and not in the belief in free markets. Despite your protest, I did support my claim about the idealization found in government when I said “Government, on the other hand, is an irrational idealization of people and society precisely because it grants a special set of powers to a small group of humans who rule over everyone else, implying that these rulers know better than you do, that they are the exception to the rule, and that they do not have the same imperfections and limitations as everyone else.”
You, on the other hand, said that free markets are an idealization of real world markets and you didn’t back it up. Should I now ask if you are in kindergarten?
See what I wrote at the beginning of this post regarding evidence and examples.
Interesting that you think it is proper to list examples such as Standard Oil and Microsoft, but you think it is improper for me to list examples such as the Wright Brothers. You are using a double standard: heads you win, tails I lose. Just to remind you, you have told me what you consider not
to be evidence, but you have not clarified what you do
consider to be evidence, and you have not justified your implied contention that examples and evidence are mutually exclusive.
Not so. Because you are arguing the positive claim, the burden of proof is on you to establish that your claims about governments are true.
We are both arguing positive claims. I am advocating free markets without government, and you are advocating government with (I believe) some possible free markets. Do you deny that the advocating of government is a positive claim? Im wondering if you know the difference between positive and negative claims.
A moment ago you claimed that social progress comes by government regulation and control. So can you explain how that is not "legislating prosperity"?
What part of "both" did you not understand? Perhaps I should explain to suit your simplistic mindset: by "both", I meant that progress and prosperity comes about by a combination of regulation and market distribution to maximize the social benefits of markets while minimizing the social costs.
I understand “both” better than you do it seems. Both means that you claim that social progress comes both
through government regulation and
market activity. So what part of “both” do you not understand? If you are going to maintain that prosperity comes, in part, through governments, then don’t insult me when I point out that you are in essence, claiming that government can legislate prosperity.
Quit ducking the charge and respond directly: if you really do agree with me that government cannot legislate prosperity, then reconcile this with your other claim that “progress and prosperity comes about by a combination of [government] regulation and market distribution”
Can you give an example of a market failure?
Certainly. Global warming, peak oil, pollution, overfishing, monopolies, to name a few.
Give specifics, not empty and broad examples. In what ways are these (Global warming, peak oil, pollution, overfishing, monopolies) market failures? I can just as emptily assert that these are all examples of government failures if I were to use the standard of argumentation that you are using.
That doesn't have anything to do with your black-white fallacy. Your claim above is true for some governments and false for others, but you're assuming that it is true for all governments. In fact, in a system where people can assist in determining the laws (such as the different forms of representative democracy), this is false: people have some say in the sort of services the government offers and how much they pay.
A democracy is simply a tyranny of the majority. It is a government monopoly where popular opinion forces itself onto the minority. Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
Did you even read what I wrote? This is a red herring that also, incidentally, seems like a knee-jerk reaction to the word "democracy".
Yes I did read what you wrote. Did you even comprehend what I wrote in reply? It seems not. I invoked the “democracy is simply a tyranny of the majority” argument in response to your claim that “people have some say in the sort of services the government offers and how much they pay.”
Obviously, you don’t understand what tyranny of the majority means, nor do you understand that in a democratic monopoly, the only choice anyone has is the consent of the majority opinion at the expense and oppression of the minority opinion. Oh well, I can point out these things to you but I can’t force you to understand them.
And, of course, it's also true that anybody can legally move off the grid, stop paying taxes, and stop using the services that the government offers, which you don't seem to appreciate.
If I try to secede my home and land, and stop paying taxes, and stop using state services, I will be attacked by the state. The Browns of New Hampshire are just one of many examples in which the state imprisoned people who tried to disengage from it. When the American colonies tried to seperate from the British Empire, they were attacked. When the south tried to seperate from the north in the US Civil War, it was forcibly prevented from doing so. When India tried to seperate from the British Empire, it was attacked. While many countries today allow their citizens to physically leave the territory, they are not allowed to keep their own territory and seperate it from the country. And many countries throughout history didn't even let their citizens leave. The USSR and North Korea are just two examples of countries that retain their citizenry through force.
Why would you want to keep your home and land? You acquired them with the help of society; if you keep them, you keep your ties and obligations to society.
You are confusing entities. “society” is not “government.” Having society help me acquire a house (banks, employers, etc) is not the same as having a government handing me a house at the cost of some victimized taxpayers. And you fundamentally misunderstand the nature of a consentual interaction. If society helps me achieve prosperity through the availability of products and services and jobs, then society is also being helped in return through my productive work and profitable consumption. No debt is owed by me to society just because I interacted with it in a mutually consentual way, because consentual trades result in all involved parties being better off.
The government of West Germany claimed less control over its citizens than East Germany, and was more successful. Same goes for USA vs USSR, South Korea vs North Korea, and Hong Kong vs mainland China, to name a few.
But the government of Somalia claims less control over its citizens than the government of the US, and it is less successful. The various central European tribes had no really strong central government, while Rome had quite a powerful central government, and Rome was far more successful. The Aztecs had a stronger central government than the surrounding tribes, and they were more successful. The Soviet Union and United States had stronger central control over their economies during World War II than Germany, and Germany lost. These counterexamples show that it's possible to go both ways, which implies that there is a balance point
to seek between central control and personal freedom, rather than a mindless march to one extreme.
Somalia’s current state of misery is due to a history of totalitarianism. That regime only collapsed about a decade ago, and Somalia has been improving since then. Somalia didn’t come to a state of misery at all from the free market, but from a lack of it, and its slowly pulling itself up from the bottom of the heap, finally, now that the government is out of the way.
The United States did not have more control whatsoever over its economy than Germany did during WWII. Do you understand the nature of National Socialism and the way it operates its economy compared to the relatively free market the US? Germany had far more control over its banking system, pricing and wage system, production decisions, war materiel design, etc than the US did. And while the USSR beat the snot out of the Nazis, it lost many more soldiers and suffered far heavier losses and had inferior equipment compared to the Nazis. The Russians in fact got lots of their best war supplies from the US, and if it wasn’t for the support from its free-market allies, the USSR would have likely been overrun by the Nazis.
This begs a subtle strawman. My claim is that there are governments which don't trust a special group with undue power. These systems have checks and balances built into the structure of the government in order to keep them stable. DO you deny that they don't exist?
I do deny that there exists checks and balances that keeps governments from attaining undue
power, yes. The problem here is that you and I disagree on what undue power is. Why don’t you offer a definition of what you consider to be “undue power”? Ive already offered my definition: I believe that undue power is power of control over another that precedes their personal prerogative. In other words, the violation of consent.
The unrealism is in the consequences of your cute, little, and highly misleading summary of voluntaryism as "voluntary cooperation and free association of individuals and groups." You falsely assume that the idealisation of the free market is always true. You falsely assume that people will act with perfect knowledge and perfect rationalism.
No, I do not. It is belief in government that falsely assumes that the rulers will act ideally, and with superior knowledge and rationalism. A free market actually recognizes the imperfections in people and allows for quick corrections and adjustments and improvements in society through the processes of open competition and consumer choice.
Why, because you say so? You have no evidence for this, and you cannot rebut my arguments with unverified claims.
There is plenty of evidence for this, and it lies in within the very logic and premises of government itself. Does government hold that the ruling class will perform in the interests of the nonruling class or not? Does government hold that the ruling class will make better decisions for the nonruling class than they will for themselves or not? How does government justify itself if not
through the premise that the ruling class will make better decisions than individuals who are left to their own minds?
You falsely assume that wealth will not correlate to ability to coerce others;
I never claimed that wealth does not correlate with ability to coerce others. But I do contend that government creates a ruling class and gives them the power to enrich themselves undeservedly as well as coerce others no matter how rich they are.
If wealth correlates to the ability to coerce others, then, because some people will inevitably become wealthy in a voluntaryist system, you have shown that coercion by the wealthy is not at all a distinguishing factor between an anarchist society and a society with government. But in a society with government, at the very least
the possibility of regulating this plutocratic tendency exists.
Coercion through wealth is not nearly as dangerous as coercion through a priori claimed authority by the ruling class. In a voluntary society, wealth will be a sign of skill – of merit, rather than in government where wealth is a sign of the power of rule over others. Wealth is primarily an effect, not a cause, of power, and power of skill and productive work, unlike power of rule, is not something to fear or discourage.
you indeed falsely assume that people will simply not stand for coercion. You assume, in fact, that your system will coerce people into not coercing others!
On the contrary, it is the idea of government that irrationally says that government rulers will not stand for coercion despite the fact that they wield its power, and that they will coerce people into not coercing others. Voluntaryism has the more realistic approach by not recognizing in any person or group of people the power to initiate coercion, and instead only recognizing consentual interactions as legitimate. Voluntaryism recognizes that imperfect and evil people exist, so voluntaryism does not recognize as legitimate any mechanism or system that claims the right to initiate force on others, because evil people will certainly seek to wield it.
Voluntaryism is not an entity that is capable of recognizing anything. You're probably trying to say that there are regulatory mechanisms implicit in the lack of central authority which will enforce only consensual interactions, force people not to use force, and coerce people into not coercing others. Of course, my response will be: provide your evidence. So far, we have only your say-so, and given how successful governments have been (and how un
successful anarchies have been -- so unsuccessful, in fact, that no successful ones exist or have ever existed in the history of the world!) any reasonable person is inclined to doubt your say-so.
Voluntaryism as a philosophy is relatively new and has only been promoted since around the 18th century or so. And only since Spooner, Mises, Rothbard, and the like have these ideas gained any popularity. In terms of society, voluntaryism is a very new and largely untested idea in terms of being implemented throughout a society in all service sectors. But the concepts of free trade and individual consent are not new, and they are time tested, and they are known to be effective in allowing people the ability to achieve prosperity. The United States, as imperfect as it is, was founded on ideas of freedom and self-ownership that had not been implemented in other societies of the 1700s. The United States’ success and prosperity compared to other nations is due to its allowances in individual sovereignty and open competition, not in monopolistic government regulation or state-run economic segments.
It should be clear to you that your semantic nitpicking is utterly devoid of real meaning; to claim that the roots of a word completely determine its modern meaning is sophistry of the highest order. You have no logic supporting your position.
I asked you to explain why I'm wrong and to give an example of a type of democracy that is not a monopoly directed by popular sentiment. Unfortunately, all you did in response is dodge my request by accusing me of nitpicking semantics, and you didn't even support that
Merriam-Webster defines democracy as "1 a: government by the people; especially : rule of the majority." You like dictionary definitions, and this definition seems very well in line with my own description of democracy. So can we agree on this definition of democracy, and then can you please respond to my request to give an example of a type of democracy that is not a monopoly directed by popular sentiment?
Your own description of democracy is limited to a pure democracy of the type Athens had (hence the descriptor "Athenian democracy"). Merriam-Webster's definition does not limit democracies to mob rule, as you would like to think; any government by the people suffices. Which means that, as an example, a modern representative democracy, either parliamentary or American, will serve as an example of government not entirely directed by popular sentiment.
I said majority rule, not mob rule. Don’t strawman me, and instead address my charge that democracy is majority rule. Regardless, whether the government is a pure democracy, a representative democracy, or a dictatorship has no bearing on my overall charge against government as a coercive ruling class. But I find your ducking and dodging over the definition of democracy to be rather odd. And what does it matter to you whether a democracy is Athenian or American anyway? Does either one of these types of democracies excuse itself from the charge that it is a majority rule at the oppression of the minority? And if you think so, can you please support that assertion?
Because companies which do invest in weaponry will be busy attacking each other.
Actually we see this happening all the time between governments, they are frequently going to war with each other.
Because there's no government over them to stop them from doing so.
How many layers of government do you want then? A government to govern governments? And then another government to govern that? Turtles, all the way down (I hope youre familiar with that phrase!)
And if a series of governments needs another government to control it, then it seems that the fundamental claim of government being able to regulate society properly and allow peace and prosperity is rather hollow. What good are governments for societies prosperity if they always war with eachother? And why, then, do private companies not kill eachother in the streets as well? War is a hallmark of governments interacting, not private companies interacting.
Oh, puh-lease. It is quite obvious from context that you were talking about outside aggression.
But you didn't answer my question: what difference is it really whether you are attacked from within or without?
Red herring. Stay on topic, please.
I am staying on topic. You dodged my question by falsely accusing me of talking exclusively about outside aggression. I was not. I was referring to any aggression regardless of its origin. So to stay on topic would be for me to stand by this point. A red herring in this case would be to shift goalposts and try to make disclaimers about inside and outside aggression.
So stop dodging the issue. I stated that “Sanctioning and enacting a coercive monopoly does not protect you from its force, but makes you victimized by it and always
vulnerable to it.” There is no within or without qualifier in there, and if you took the context to mean without and not within then that is your fault, not mine. I said “victimized by it and vulnerable to it” with the “it” being the coercive monopoly that you “sanction and enact.”
If you disagree that sanctioning and enacting a coercive monopoly does not protect you from its force, but makes you victimized by it and always vulnerable to it, then on what grounds do you disagree?
The rebels mostly used privately owned weapons and guerrila tactics, and they were British colonists who weren't fighting some foreign aggressor but the very government that claimed to be protecting and representing them.
See the beginning of this post regarding evidence and examples, and try to stay on topic. Remember, I challenged you to provide evidence that so-called "declawing" always makes countries better able to defend themselves from outside aggression. Regarding your example, see this
in the comment thread regarding your falsehoods about the Revolutionary War; if you'd like to continue this tangent, I'm more than happy to oblige in the History forum.
One debate at a time for now. Im curious to know why you think that examples and evidence are mutually exclusive, as well as why you feel it is proper for you to give examples, as you have been doing, but its not ok for me to do the same?
Protection agencies can be similar to insurance agencies where people buy in to a kind of coverage policy. That's hardly out of reach for the common man.
Prove that any single common man -- or any group of common men -- won't be outbid by a wealthy man, or group of wealthy men. The rich will exercise an effective monopoly on force by dint of being able to simply buy up the protection or buy out the protection agencies.
As long as there are consumers offering to buy a service or product, then there will be someone who is willing to sell it to them. If a rich person buys up all the protection agencies, yet there remains more numerous (but less rich individually) consumers who want to purchase these services as well, then there will be new protection companies to sell it to them or existing ones will expand to sell it to them as well. Demand stimulates supply. You can’t simply buy up all the supply of a given service and leave demand for the service still within the market, and not expect more service providers to appear to fulfill that demand.
It's a red herring because it has nothing to do with outside aggression, which is what you're talking about, backpeddling above aside.
Is my pickpocket scenario above not an example of outside aggression against you?
Let's take a closer look at this.
Your claim: "In a society where people operating along free association principles, they will be far more likely to recognize and resist attempts at coercion and far less likely to sanction them."
My response: "[This] does rather nicely illustrate the unrealistic assumptions you are making regarding personal conduct."
Your defense: "If I were to try to steal money from your pocket right now, is it not perfectly realistic to assume that you yourself would recognize and resist my attempt to steal from you?"
Perhaps instead of saying that your assumption was unrealistic, I should have asked you for evidence. I thought they amounted to the same thing; apparently you didn't see them the same way I did. So, let's try this: provide evidence for your initial assertion. Evidence, not examples.
In this instance, how does one provide evidence for a prediction of behavior without providing a scenario (example) where such a prediction can be tested? The claim I made in this instance calls for the type of evidence that is an example or a scenario. This highlights the fact that examples and evidence are not mutually exclusive, despite your claims to the contrary.
So just answer the question already. You have been dodging almost every question I present to you and it is slowing the progress of this debate. If I were to try to steal money from your pocket right now, is it not perfectly realistic to assume that you yourself would recognize and resist my attempt to steal from you?
Again, free markets versus governments. We're talking about the complete lack of central authority, not just free markets.
The only "central authority" needed is the principle of self ownership and the law of supply and demand.
Complete nonresponse to my point, and unevidenced, without any supporting argument, to boot. Here's a summary of this exchange:
ME: "A voluntaryist society will be warring within itself."
YOU: "No, free markets never cause war. In fact, interference in free markets causes war! Here's an example ..."
ME: "We're talking about central authority
, not free markets."
YOU: "The only 'central authority' society needs are the invisible hand and no government."
You are trying to deny that the will of a consumer base is categorically a central authority, which is logically absurd. If all decision making is retained by the consumer base, then logically it follows perfectly that the consumer base would be the central authority, and they would exercise this authority through the mechanism of supply and demand in a free market framework.
It is a perfectly relevant response and it logically follows the concept of authority, and it shows that the “authority” would be “centralized” within the consumer base. Your inability to understand it is not my problem.
In a voluntary society, there is no regulation which prevents men from banding together to intimidate and murder their neighbors for their own good.
Is there something inherent in government that prevents this?
Depends on the system of government. Most
use their force to coerce people into not doing banding together to intimidate and murder their neighbors. On the other hand, there is absolutely no regulation in a voluntaryist society which would prevent this.
Except of course for the regulatory power of the consumer base and their purchasing choices, which you, for the purpose of defending your position, will surely continue to ignore and deny even exists.
There is no regulation which prevents the rich from accumulating a monopoly on force. Free markets will do nothing to fix this, especially the latter: free markets go to the highest bidder.
Actually, in a free market, people get rich in the first place not by utilizing force but by utilizing consent. And effective, honorable defense agencies will be better financed because it will have more clients.
Provide evidence. It seems like you're making incredibly idealistic assumptions again.
Quit projecting. I am not the one advocating a monopoly of force as a means to prevent monopolies of force to arise.
I challenge you to construct a realistic voluntary society which does not eventually result in a monopoly on force.
You mean construct a voluntary society which does not eventually have a government take over?
That is precisely
what I mean.
That is easy to construct mentally, but takes lots of typing to explain. Ill try to shorten it down quite a bit, although it will be oversimplified. Free markets and competition improve efficiency, as well as allow for the consumers to pursue the level of defensive capability that they deem sufficient. Consumers will be free to defend their open markets from takeovers by monopolies and governments through both economic and physical means. A declawed population is a vulnerable one, but a well defended population is a dangerous one to start a fight with. Combine this with the improved efficiency of the markets, and a free society will get more “bang for the buck” in their defensive system investments than will a governmental one. It stacks the odds in favor of the free society.
Now, Surlethe, can you in turn construct a realistic governmental society which could not eventually have another government take over?
Sure. Look at Afghanistan or Iraq or Somalia, or any third-world shithole with no good central government.
Iraq and Afghanistan are not free market societies, and they are both at war with outside aggressors. Somalia has been improving since its government went kaput.
Iraq and Afghanistan, especially the latter, are societies with no central authority. Therefore, with no central governments to poke their noses into the economy, one would think
that there would be free markets there. As far as your claim about Somalia goes, I'm calling bullshit. You'd better have some good evidence for that.
Iraq and Afghanistan both have central authorities and have had them for quite some time. The authorities have changed hands, but are still there. Do you deny that Iraq has a government? Do you deny that Afghanistan has a government? Here is a link from GPF that talks all about Iraq’s new government:http://globalpolicy.igc.org/security/is ... nindex.htm
And here is a link that talks all about Afghanistan’s new government:http://www.afghan-web.com/politics/
Again, you give an example, not evidence. In particular, it is not clear why all sectors of society operate better in a free market framework. Why would natural monopolies operate better? Why is society necessarily more secure when nothing prevents people from banding together to intimidate others? Why does the accumulation of wealth into the hands of a few (as will happen in free markets) lead to a prosperous society?
Stratification is greater in countries that have more government control and less free market activity. And again can you please explain what you consider to be the difference between evidence and example, and why you think one is ok to use but not the other?
See the top of this post. Provide evidence that stratification -- economic and social -- is necessarily greater in countries that have more control and less free market activity, instead of maximizing and minimizing at various balance points in the spectrum.
Well I could provide plenty of examples
, but you hate those. The reason that more government results in more stratification is because the more government you have, the more you have an authority that precedes personal prerogative. The greatest inequality you can have is not just a simple difference in wealth, but that of an authority that precedes personal prerogative, aka slave vs. master. Governments claim control over individuals in a way that precedes self-ownership, and therefore precedes the individual’s ability to attain wealth through hard, honest work. When you have a ruling class that overrules the consent of their subjects, that ruling class has a power that trumps the mere economic power of the wealthy. Wealth does not necessarily result in control of another’s self-determination, but government power does.
I would be happy to provide examples to support my reasoning here, but I have a hunch that you will object to me doing so regardless of whether or not you justify your implication that examples and evidence are mutually exclusive.
When a government claims ownership or authority over someone in a way that precedes their personal perogative, as you admitted earlier they all do in some form or another, it is in fact an instance of control without "checks and balances."
Why? Because you say so?
No, because it logically follows. If entity X has a priori authority over person Y, then entity X is not necessarily susceptible to any checks or balances from person Y, because entity X has a level of control that precedes
person Y’s consent. In other words, entity X’s decisions about person Y need not be affected by person Y’s input.
I didn't concede anything of the sort. Where do you think I did that?
What part of "that's completely irrelevant to what I said" did you not understand? You chose not to address my point; may I take that as a concession of the point?
I understand it perfectly, but I disagree with it, and Im not conceding anything here. You charged anarcho-libertarianism with making unreasonable assumptions about free markets, as well as unreasonable assumptions about human behavior. But you did not support these claims at all. I responded directly
to your unsupported assertions about stratification and human behavior by pointing out that, “there is no greater stratification of power over others than to have a government, with rulers (kings, presidents, etc). Government is the ultimate social stratification in terms of power. Furthermore, it is governments that make unreasonable assumptions regarding human behavior, namely that the humans in government wont act human (greed, arrogance, etc).”
At this point, rather than respond directly, you fallaciously claimed that I was dodging and you also tried to sneak concessions from me. Then when I asked for you to support your claims, you didn’t support them but simply repeated them like a broken record. Are you going to back up any of your claims, or are you going to just keep throwing them out unsupported?
I responded directly to your utopianism charge and pointed out, among other things, that government is the utopian model becauses give some people special powers over others, while voluntaryism does not.
And I pointed out that voluntaryism is the utopian model because it assumes the idealistic and therefore unrealistic free market principles.
Yes, I know. You are repeating yourself, but you are not supporting your assertion. I responded to you by pointing out that government, not voluntaryism, is utopian because
it gives the ruling class special powers over everyone else, while voluntaryism does not. I supported my assertion. You have ignored the support I gave for my argument and you simply repeated your unsupported claim like a broken record.
Can you please explain why a free market, which only legitimizes consentual interactions, and affirms the sovereignty of the individual, is utopian? Don’t just claim it, but explain why?
And can you please explain why government is not utopian even though it gives the ruling class power over others in the idealized expectation that it will act in the best interests of society?
The burden of proof is only on me to support free markets, yes. But the burden of proof is on you to support government, which you aren't doing. You merely assume government meets the burden. You didn't respond to a number of my requests, so I had to repeat them. You make vague references to "central authority" but you don't try to explain why it is desirable to centralize authority within a ruling class. You also claim that voluntaryism is a bad idea because you think it will result in the very things that government already does, yet you strangely think that government is preferable to voluntaryism anyway.
Because I recognize that an anarchist society will always develop a government of some sort, I support governments because that is what I will get anyway
we assume that a voluntary society will develop a government, that in itself is no reason to support government.
This is a realistic, pragmatic outlook, unlike your pie-in-the-sky approach, which makes literally incredible assumptions.
I am only advocating self-determination. There is nothing “incredible” about it. On the contrary, it is you who is advocating a ruling class with the “incredible assumption” that said ruling class will, through the power to violate the consent of others, act within the best interests of everyone and produce superior results than if they were allowed to make those decisions for themselves.
And because the burden of proof to support anarcho-libertarianism is on you, I don't need to support "government".
Again you are repeating yourself like a broken record. The burden of proof is on me to support free markets, but you have the burden of proof to support government. They are both positive claims
, and therefore they both have the burden of proof. Don’t you know the difference between positive and negative claims?
Please specify whether or not you agree that the burden of proof applies to positive, and not negative, claims. And please specify whether or not you agree that government, like free markets, is a positive claim.
But if you insist, look around at Western society; the proof, as they say, is in the pudding, and even if it's not perfect, there are forms of government that work at maintaining a stable society. That's my evidence: five thousand years of governments in this world. Some of them worked better than others, but they all more or less maintained an effective society.
According to your standard, those are examples, not
evidence. Yet I am happy to accept your examples, and submit an example of my own: that which governs best is that which governs least. Why was the US able to bankrupt the USSR and not the other way around? The US was richer because of free markets. Why do South Koreans enjoy a much higher standard of living than their North Korean counterparts? Because SK embraces free markets more than NK does? Why is it that when Germany was divided, the West Germans were much better off than the East Germans? Because WG embraced free markets more than EG did. Why does Japan have the lowest stratification and one of the highest per capita incomes of any nation in the world? Because it embraced free markets. And on and on and on.
You, on the other hand, haven't a shred of evidence to support your assertion that your untested, untried, and untrue philosophy, which incorporates only the simplest view of economics and human interactions, can come anywhere near the track record of the various governments of civilization. You haven't the faintest idea of what a real anarchy looks like. Your assumptions have no empirical evidence, your logic is sorely flawed, and the claims you propose to defend balance precariously above an abyss, for your argument lacks a foundation.
You keep dismissing my examples as if they do not count as evidence, but then you offer your own examples as if they are evidence, and you have so far refused to explain why you think that evidence and examples are mutually exclusive.
You assert that central authority is preferable to no central authority, and yet when I point out that in a voluntary society the consumer base would act as a “central authority,” you ignore it altogether.
You shift goalposts on the topic of democracy, and you act as if an Athenian-style democracy and a US-style democracy do not both fall under the same umbrella. While I provide a dictionary definition of “democracy,” you continue to shift goalposts, refusing to agree with any definition of democracy whatsoever in the hopes of dodging my challenges.
You have offered startlingly little support for government, and you insist that despite it being a positive claim, government does not have any burden of proof. Furthermore you concede that some
level of market activity is necessary or at least desirable, yet you simultaneously deny every claim I make about the market. Strange that you would allow for some degree of market activity when you attack it so viciously on every level. It seems you are fighting everything I say just to be contrary, and not in the interest of determining truth.
You claim that a society based on consentual interactions is utopian, but you don’t specify why, and when I reply by pointing out that not the market but the idea of the ruling class (government) is utopian, you dodge me and insult me and repeat yourself like a broken record, totally ignoring the content of my response.