Ask a libertarian (me) what they believe.

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Quote ah2:And the issue with this is that there is literally no transaction that has absolutely zero externality factor. Virtually every productive process we have creates waste (this is not the only type of externality but it is a significant one).
I think the anarcho-capitalists would agree that every action has some level of external consequence. The question is to what degree they violate the property of another. It is the disputes over property violations that must be worked out. There are some externalities that are property violations and some that aren't. The goal would be to prevent property violations.

Quote ah2:Who decides what our rights are? Do I have a right to not look out my window and see an ugly chainlink fence on my property line? By the time you get done saying people can't engage in any transaction that has an externality effect on someone else, you will have economic gridlock and no one will be allowed to purchase, sell, or trade anything.

Determining whether or not a property violation ocurred and to what extent would be the purpose of arbitration. In short, I believe that such decision would be made by the courts under anacap. The difference would be that no single court would have a legal monoopoly. The goal is the same as under our current court system however: equitable adjudication of property rights violations.

Quote ah2:Additionally, telling someone that they can't sell something due to an externality effect is FORCING them to do something which violates the original statement of your position.

I think that an anacap would argue that there is a difference between forcing someone to stop violationg your property and forcibly violating another's property. I don't think that anacaps oppose protective force. I even believe they recognize the need to use force to recover stolen property.

Quote ah2:LIBERTARIANISM IS INHERENTLY PARADOXICAL AND CONTRADICTORY.

Not sure about this. Hopefully we can discuss this further.

Quote ah2:You still didn't answer my question about free-rider problems or the issue of pervasive de facto racism that would literally prohibit someone from their means of subsitence which ostensibly you still believe we all have a right to given the quote above. You also have not addressed the issue of private courts and hwo you would get companies to willingly submit to a judge that was not already in their pocket or had their best interest at heart (that is, without FORCE).

Frank, you're overworked and underpaid! I think you need to hire a staff to answer ah2's questions! I'll try to help out as time allows...

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Azog
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Jan. 3, 2011 3:42 pm

By the way, ah2 (or anyone else), please note any outstanding or new questions that remain.

By my reckoning, we have:

1 - Isn't using force to prevent externalities inconsistent with the non-aggression principle?

2 - How does anacap handle externalities?

3 - How does anacap handle the "free rider problem"?

4 - How does anacap handle pervasive racial discrimination by an overwhelming majority of people?

What else are we missing?

PS - Anyone have any idea why this thread was moved? Kind of freaked me out at first when I couldn't find it in US Domestic Politics.

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Azog
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Jan. 3, 2011 3:42 pm

More good questions coming in. This sort of points to the need for an anacap FAQ document. I wonder if one exists out there...

1 - Isn't using force to prevent externalities inconsistent with the non-aggression principle?

2 - How does anacap handle externalities?

3 - How does anacap handle the "free rider problem"?

4 - How does anacap handle pervasive racial discrimination by an overwhelming majority of people?

5 - Do you believe that liberty is basically synonymous to a free market?

6 - How could large companies be prevented from gobbling up small companies until only a very few companies had a monopoly on just about everything -- giving themselves almost complete control over every aspect of our lives?

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Azog
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Jan. 3, 2011 3:42 pm

Fascinating thread, although the idea that any one person could speak for what libertarians think and advocate is an endeavor that's doomed to failure from the very beginning. After all, the original libertarians -- the first to refer to themselves as such in a political sense -- were actually anarcho-communists (or what might today be called libertarian socialists). To them, broadly speaking, government ideally would be little more than an umpire with guilds, trade unons, community organizations, etc., forming their own trade agreements in a free market controlled not by capitalists, but rather by the workers themselves. They believed that the economy should be more cooperative and decentralized, rather than be concentrated in the hands of the few.

I would ask Frank this question: Do you believe that liberty is basically synonymous to a free market?

When the classical liberals spoke of liberty, they were referring not to economic matters, per se, but rather to oppression by the monarchy. They never viewed maximum liberty as synonymous with maximum free markets. If those classical liberals were alive today, they would almost surely see oppression by huge multinational corporations as at least an equal threat to liberty as oppression by the monarchy in their own day. There is far more to liberty than just freedom from the government.

So, Frank, I would also ask how, within your view of libertarianism, large companies could be prevented from gobbling up small companies until only a very few corporations had a monopoly on just about everything -- giving themselves almost complete control over every aspect of our lives?

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Cooter
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Mar. 22, 2011 8:06 am

That's strange. I edited a missing word into my previous post and it jumped underneath Azog's post, which was after mine. Hmmmmm.

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Cooter
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Mar. 22, 2011 8:06 am
Quote Cooter:

That's strange. I edited a missing word into my previous post and it jumped underneath Azog's post, which was after mine. Hmmmmm.

I think that is just the effect of your edit. It's likely that the posts are presented in date order, and when you make an edit it pushes the date of your post forward.

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Azog
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Jan. 3, 2011 3:42 pm
Quote Azog:
Quote ah2:

Party 1 is making and selling a product. Party 2 agrees to purchase said product (lets call this a representation of the agregate demand for that particular product). However, the result of the transaction between Party 1 and Party 2 creates an unintended or unaccounted for effect that is EXTERNAL to the transaction that they were making which negatively effects Party 3.

Example: A company is making plastic bags. You want to buy plastic bags and do so for your own purposes. However, as a result of that transaction, the company dumps the chemicals used to make the plastic into my water supply and when you are finished with the product you throw the bag on the ground and it blows into my yard. Or lets say, even that it is purchased by a seperate company who decides to buy the lot next to my house and decides they are going to turn it intoa landfill. I can't tell them no right? Their property right?

Frank - Am I correct in my understanding that anarcho-capitalists don't deny the existence of externalities but rather see them as the result of ill defined property rights? I've heard it said that property rights are part of the spontaneous order that emerges to help avoid conflicts. I recall Block using an example similar to the one cited by ah2, in which someone was polluting a river. Block's contention was that the owners of the river would have a claim against the polluter. The original owners would be those who initially established a homestead claim (those who lived by and used the river.)

I don't know, anarcho-capitalism doesn't seem all that crazy to me. Keep talking, what you're saying makes sense.

Azog, you sort of missed the point. Who owns the Mississippi River? Could anyone ever really own all of it? EVen then, could they ever really own every outlet and conjoining rivers? Even then, could they ever own all of the bodies of water this feeds into? Etc. Etc. Etc. They would also have to own the sky and all the rain it produces too in order to not effect someone else's "property rights". That is the definition of a pure public good - it is not exclusionary. You cannot hold onto it and prohibit other's use of it. There is really no way to definite it as "yours". If I dump a bunch of pollutants into the air, are there certainair molecules that are "mine" and some that are "yours"? I only have to pay for the pollution that went into "your" air?!?

I really hope you can see how ridiculous this sounds....

ah2
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Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm

Here is an observation. Even in the Old South, blacks and whites were willing to do business and have some kind of social relations. How do we know? The Jim Crow Laws. If most whites hated black people (and vice versa), then the laws wouldn't have been necessary. The Jim Crow Laws forced businesses to discriminate. In the famous Plessy v. Ferguson case, the some railroads didn't want to discriminate, but were forced to. The Jim Crow Laws were also modeled on the "Black Codes" in the North.

I do think liberty is synonymous with the free market. However, I don't think the free market is synonymous with capitalism. I'm a free market anti-capitalist. The free market would accomodate communes, coops, etc. It doesn't have to be "capitalistic".

Utopia is not an alternative. But property rights, whether enforced by the goverment or by a stateless legal system, will take care of most of the problems. If I paint my house polka dots, that may decrease your property value. But only because prospective buyers, the consumers, determine price. But I didn't violate any alleged right to a certain property value. This is the same argument Il Duce Mayor Giuliani used to justify "cleaning up NYC". Now, if I dump garbage or otherwise pollute your property, you should have the right to a legal action against me. It would be impermissible in a libertarian society for a trash bag producer to dump his garbage in a river that flows in or through someone else's property.

I don't have all of the answers on how a stateless society would work. But I do know that competition lowers price and improves quality. This holds true for any economic good, including roads, courts, defense, etc. In fact, these three areas are the ones most people of all political persuasions are unhappy with. Defense has become militarism. The roads are congested and ill kept. And it is a joke to say the court system dispenses justice on a regular basis.

On the free rider problem: Almost every action we take can have a positive or negative effect on our fellow man. It is an invitation to tyranny to give the State the role of deciding who owes who for what. Libertarians believe that only force or fraud should be impermissible.

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FrankChodorov
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Quote ah2:Azog, you sort of missed the point. Who owns the Mississippi River? Could anyone ever really own all of it? EVen then, could they ever really own every outlet and conjoining rivers? Even then, could they ever own all of the bodies of water this feeds into? Etc. Etc. Etc.

I think the point is that without ownership rights to a resource, the resource will fall victim to the tragedy of the commons. It will then result in a free rider problem, where people take advantage of access and use of the good withouth bearing the costs. So the factory free rides on the river, polluting it while everyone using the river bears the costs.

There is an argument to be made that the best way to avoid conflicts over resources is through the concept of property rights. Through ownership rights, people would be able to make a claim for damages caused by a free riding polluter. I realize that regulation is one way to try to deal with this type of situation, but I don't necessarily think that the anacap solution is as ridiculous as you make out.

Every piece of land is owned, it is not unreasonable to envision a system in which bodies of water are also owned. A river is a large and complex system, but an ownership system could certainly be devised. (I should add this question to the list of questions I'm keeping.)

Quote ah2:They would also have to own the sky and all the rain it produces too in order to not effect someone else's "property rights". That is the definition of a pure public good - it is not exclusionary. You cannot hold onto it and prohibit other's use of it. There is really no way to definite it as "yours". If I dump a bunch of pollutants into the air, are there certainair molecules that are "mine" and some that are "yours"? I only have to pay for the pollution that went into "your" air?!?

I"m honestly not sure how ownership to air might be assigned. It's worth looking into. Frank, any ideas? Hasn't Block done some work here?

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Azog
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More questions for the anacap faq

1 - Isn't using force to prevent externalities inconsistent with the non-aggression principle?

2 - How does anacap handle externalities?

3 - How does anacap handle the "free rider problem"?

4 - How does anacap handle pervasive racial discrimination by an overwhelming majority of people?

5 - Do you believe that liberty is basically synonymous to a free market?

6 - How could large companies be prevented from gobbling up small companies until only a very few companies had a monopoly on just about everything -- giving themselves almost complete control over every aspect of our lives?

7 - Who would own the Mississippi river? Who would own all the tributaries and creeks?

8 - How would air pollution be handled?

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Azog
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Jan. 3, 2011 3:42 pm

Unless I am mistaken that libertarians want to eliminate the government, and decrease its scope so the government might as well not exist.. Then the following seems to me the logical conclusion:

Corporations will become so powerful, that there will be no more democracy in America.. Voting will have no meaning, and CEO's and Boards of Directors of major business will control everything. Their motivation is the singular goal of profit. Human rights, global warming, pollution, jobs with digniity, fair days work for a fair days pay, will all be out the window..

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bobbler
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Quote bobbler:Unless I am mistaken that libertarians want to eliminate the government, and decrease its scope so the government might as well not exist.. Then the following seems to me the logical conclusion:

Corporations will become so powerful, that there will be no more democracy in America.. Voting will have no meaning, and CEO's and Boards of Directors of major business will control everything. Their motivation is the singular goal \\of profit. Human rights, global warming, pollution, jobs with digniity, fair days work for a fair days pay, will all be out the window..

I believe Frank is an anarcho-capitalist, which means that he is the sort of libertarian that would be for the total elimination of coercive monopoly government. This woul indeed imply that there would be no democracy, since there is not government.

Remember too that corporations are actually government constructs, so without government there would still be firms, but they would not have government corporate status.

I think that anacaps envision that a society with multiple competing dispute resolution and defense agencies would not be "lawless". I believe the idea is that a voluntary system of law would emerge, much like the emergence of the common law in England. This law would be the basis of protecting human rights and preventing one party from infringing upon the rights of another.

I get the impression that most anacaps regard corporations as being protected by the government (as in too big to fail.) I personally don't think that the mega corporations would be able to compete without their corporate welfare, which is why I see anacap as a possible way of ending the era of global mega corps.

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Azog
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Jan. 3, 2011 3:42 pm

Judging by the interest level of this thread, I went looking for some sort of anarcho-capitalist FAQ. I found these:

http://econfaculty.gmu.edu/bcaplan/anarfaq.htm

http://www.ozarkia.net/bill/anarchism/faq.html

https://mises.org/etexts/longanarchism.pdf

http://mises.org/mp3/MU2004/Long2.mp3 (Audio version of the above paper.)

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Azog
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Jan. 3, 2011 3:42 pm

I disagree! Irrational discrimination has a tendency to flourish in societies/environments that accept it. I posit the reverse would be true of this statement: "Anyone who discriminates irrationally will soon find themselves out of business." I think that businesses that cater to their own brand of hate would do very well. I also suggest that allowing segregation would encourage it, feed it and it would grow into a beast would indeed become a more divided nation. I think the line that keeps hateful people from acting out on their ill-placed rage is that precious thin blue one.

Disallowing discrimination has a fantastic secondary affect - acceptance. Familiarizing the intolerant with the people they are choosing to hate. Once you know your neighbor, it is much harder to hate him.

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907natalie
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Oct. 6, 2010 2:49 pm
Quote Azog:
Quote ah2:Azog, you sort of missed the point. Who owns the Mississippi River? Could anyone ever really own all of it? EVen then, could they ever really own every outlet and conjoining rivers? Even then, could they ever own all of the bodies of water this feeds into? Etc. Etc. Etc.

I think the point is that without ownership rights to a resource, the resource will fall victim to the tragedy of the commons. It will then result in a free rider problem, where people take advantage of access and use of the good withouth bearing the costs. So the factory free rides on the river, polluting it while everyone using the river bears the costs.

There is an argument to be made that the best way to avoid conflicts over resources is through the concept of property rights. Through ownership rights, people would be able to make a claim for damages caused by a free riding polluter. I realize that regulation is one way to try to deal with this type of situation, but I don't necessarily think that the anacap solution is as ridiculous as you make out.

Every piece of land is owned, it is not unreasonable to envision a system in which bodies of water are also owned. A river is a large and complex system, but an ownership system could certainly be devised. (I should add this question to the list of questions I'm keeping.)

Quote ah2:They would also have to own the sky and all the rain it produces too in order to not effect someone else's "property rights". That is the definition of a pure public good - it is not exclusionary. You cannot hold onto it and prohibit other's use of it. There is really no way to definite it as "yours". If I dump a bunch of pollutants into the air, are there certainair molecules that are "mine" and some that are "yours"? I only have to pay for the pollution that went into "your" air?!?

I"m honestly not sure how ownership to air might be assigned. It's worth looking into. Frank, any ideas? Hasn't Block done some work here?

First, you are misrepresenting what a free rider problem is. That has a very specific formulation and what you describe here is not it. When something is in the commons, we ALL bear a portion of the cost through taxation - that is unless you are currently a corporation and are not taxed. Putting something in the commons is a SOLUTION to a free rider problem not the cause.

Second, you are still missing the point regarding bodies of water. It is IMPOSSIBLE to assign property rights to something that is inherently transient and part of a vastly interconnected eco system. Water travels through property lines, into oceans, into water tables which are distributed over large areas of land, it evaporates and turns into rainfall that effect people half way across the world. Air is even more transient than that. Trying to assign property rights to public goods like this is like trying to nail jello to a wall.

Once we accept that fact and we also recongize that virtually all forms of production involve some sort of pollutive effect - emissions, waste, power consumption, etc. - we are confronted with an ethical dilemma which Libertarianism has never adequately addressed. Their "solutions" typically rely on two tactics: 1) Ignore the fundamental properties of nature, physics, and chemistry, or 2) Completely reject the fundamental underpinnings of their own beliefs - that the reason free markets work is that entities and individuals within them will relentlessly pursue their own self interests without regard to anyone else, thus creating the most efficient distribution of goods (IE: "greed is good") - and simply claim that corporations will somehow police themselves (Frank's current claim) despite their interests to the contrary. Again another paradox/contradictory argument.

The fact of the matter is, 1) people have conflicting interests, 2) our decisions have the potential to negatively effect 3rd parties through their "voluntary" interactions, 3) Entities that operate within a freemarket will ONLY pursue self interests which includes potentially harming others via externalities to achieve them, 4) Thus, they will NEVER police themselves in this regard, 5) THEREFORE, you NEED an entity which will mediate these conflicts.

Now, Frank has claimed that there is a possibility of a what would consitute a 4th party mediator within the private sector that would step in and mediate these. There are a few significant problems with this:

1) Any mediation will result in the limiting of someone's ability to do what they want with their personal property - the whole reason Libertarians want to be in a free market world in the first place is because they have this utopian vision that there could somehow exist a world where everyone can do what they want with their property and never cause harm to others.

2) Because this mediation would require the limiting of someone's personal freedom regarding their property, it INHERENTLY REQUIRES THE ABILITY TO APPLY FORCE TO ENSURE THE MEDIATED RESOLUTION IS FOLLOWED. Without the ability to force someone to behave in a way that is essentially against their own personal interests (because it constitutes harm to someone else), the entity in question would NEVER actually follow the mediated resolution (again because in a free market, the point is that people will relentlessly pursue their personal interests).

3) As a result of this, you run up against a very difficult ethical quesiton of legitimacy which politcal philosophers spend a great deal of time on but Libertarians conveniently ignore. How do you establish the right or legitimacy of the 4th party to not only mediate the conflict but also to follow through with enforcement AND ensure that they do not abuse this power to their own ends? In a free market solution, if we once again operate under its foundational principle, we immediately see a significant problem - the 4th party is also subject to this and would never exercise the contraint of not using the power of oversight to relentlessly pursue its OWN self interests. This would lead to SEVERE corruption beyond compare to anything we currently see in our government. Bribes, forcing mediations that advance their own interests, etc.

Throughout time, there has been several answers to this problem and Libertarians seem wholely unaware of not only the various solutions that have been proposed but that the problem even exists in the first place. About the time you get to this point in the conversation with them, they either close the conversation down or start to majorly backpedal - "Well, of course, you have to have minimal levels of governmental oversight..." lol...

Thus far, the best answer to this question, in my opinion, is a democratic government. The government is legitimized through popular rule and as a result also has a plurality of interests represented (so it is somewhat resistant to advancing only the interests of a particular party as private oversight most certainly would).

ah2
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Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm
Quote 907natalie:

I disagree! Irrational discrimination has a tendency to flourish in societies/environments that accept it. I posit the reverse would be true of this statement: "Anyone who discriminates irrationally will soon find themselves out of business." I think that businesses that cater to their own brand of hate would do very well. I also suggest that allowing segregation would encourage it, feed it and it would grow into a beast would indeed become a more divided nation. I think the line that keeps hateful people from acting out on their ill-placed rage is that precious thin blue one.

Disallowing discrimination has a fantastic secondary affect - acceptance. Familiarizing the intolerant with the people they are choosing to hate. Once you know your neighbor, it is much harder to hate him.

Let's suppose that there is widespread racism in society, much like there was in America up until the 50's. Racist people are not going to elect non-racist people to get rid of laws that favor the majority. Restated, the representatives are coming from the same generally racist society and the laws will reflect that.

Anyone who discriminates against potential employees and potential customers based on irrational reasons such as ethnic bigotry is going to lose customers and employees to those businesses that don't. Provided, of course, that there is a free market. In many ways, the free market is impersonal. The Klan probably buys goods and services from people they profess to hate. Green (money) usually trumps skin color. And vice versa. Non-racist people probably make money selling goods and services to racists. But they don't have to. When one has to deal with the government, you are forced to deal with whomever is in power.

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FrankChodorov
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Dec. 23, 2010 7:00 am

Regarding discrimination. I believe that the type of persistent problems with racial strife present throughout most of state-dominated history would be unlikely to occur to the same extent in societies that do not accept government. To apply force to people on the basis of race it would seem would either mix them at an artificially fast pace, causing problems, or serve to keep them artificially separated, prolonging the process of acceptance. We see both, but it doesn't seem to me like the force actually helps. To understand this walk back through the history of the United States as an example. A large scale rapid mixing/domination that lead to racial strife between native Americans and whites was only made possible by the existence of the American State collectivizing by force the resources of many disinterested parties to concentrate into a military and crush resistance by native tribes on behalf on interested parties. See the second seminal wars, trail of tears, etc. etc. I believe absent the apparatus of the state, intermixing of these cultures would have taken many more years, over which time it would have occurred gradually and organically in response to trade and other interactions of mutual benefit. One group of settlers can't really push an entire tribe out of its home territory without considerable risk and loss of life. One group of settlers with pull in Washington can concentrate the tax revenue of millions of individuals who have absolutely no interest in the conflict into a military hammer to do their bidding. I believe this forced concentration of resources lead to a more rapid domination and the ensuing strife. That's not to say conflict or over-running of territories would not occur, it's just going to be much more difficult to carry out wholesale slaughter and removal with no state. If you can't use the state to take money from an entire nation of distant strangers and pay soldiers to defend your homestead, you are much less likely to leave Europe in the first place because it is not to your benefit to do so.

Africans were brought as slaves under the legal protection of government, with government and the laws backing their binding into servitude. Again this was the application of force to take tax money from both those with an interest in slave holding and many without, to place into law and enforce things like the collection of fugitive slaves, the prevention of teaching slaves to read, etc. etc. This again was a mixing of races and cultures produced at an artificially fast pace under the protection of government, resulting in a clash and associated hatred. It would be much more difficult to maintain such activities without a state apparatus. If the slave trade could not have been maintained in the absence of government, Africans would have immigrated only at a point where their acceptance in the new culture made that immigration of benefit to them because it would have been a matter of choice. As racial strife melts in response to beneficial relationships, immigration might occur naturally at the point of acceptance.

If you make government laws to force people to deal with races they do not accept, it seems like it would follow that the immigration and mixing might occur unnaturally quickly in the mistaken belief that protection from discrimination is provided. Then you get people forced to live side by side and do business that are suspicious of each other. I think it would be more productive to allow it to occur at a natural pace, which in the present day at the rate of information exchange we have, would actually be fairly fast.

Today I think there is most often actually an artificial slowing of racial mixing and acceptance fostered by states. Many laws (like U.S. immigration laws) apply force to keep races apart artificially even when there is likely to be widespread acceptance. In fact, imagine the mixing of races that would have occurred gradually on a worldwide basis if there had never been any states at all. State borders serve as artificial lines of demarcation to artificially separate individuals of various races, and hence prevent voluntary mixing that occurs gradually in response to cultural acceptance and interactions of benefit. Tariffs and taxes prevent trade that helps bring people together. If there was no southern border on the U.S., how long would it take for races from South America to completely intermix across the U.S.? I believe the apparatus of the state can provide a ready-made weapon to be grabbed up by irrational fears against outsiders to throw up walls and barriers that serve to promote racism, not prevent it. If you have a machine to grab hold of and keep "them" out by force, how the heck do you ever realize that "they" are human beings just like "us". At the same time if you have a machine to grab and artificially force acceptance, I don't think that's a good thing either. It would seem to me that it's best to let it be voluntary and proceed at its own pace by individual choice.

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Weedwackr
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Mar. 22, 2011 5:08 pm

I am going to assume that since neither Frank, nor Azog, nor rigel, or any of you other freemarketers have replied to my last post above that I pretty much hit the nail on the head. If you guys can come up with a workable solution to the legitimacy issue, dealing with externality effects, and freerider issues using Libertarian principles without contradicting your fundamental beliefs, I would really love to hear it.

ah2
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Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm
Quote ah2:

I am going to assume that since neither Frank, nor Azog, nor rigel, or any of you other freemarketers have replied to my last post above that I pretty much hit the nail on the head. If you guys can come up with a workable solution to the legitimacy issue, dealing with externality effects, and freerider issues using Libertarian principles without contradicting your fundamental beliefs, I would really love to hear it.

Your assumption is incorrect. They were banned by the board administrators. Looks like you win the argument. Congratulations.

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Centinel
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Mar. 14, 2011 3:13 pm

I am not a true libertarian because I acknowledge that there needs to be some control within society in the form of a government, but to me this is not about individuals versus the group or selfishness versus unselfishness. This is about manipulation versus persuasion and voluntary participation versus involuntary participation. Yes, it can be irritating to deal with people who are selfish, but how are "we" to "persuade" (read: manipulate) them to become unselfish? How are you going to do that? I may not at this moment have an absolute solution to the things asked for above, but to go after people and try to make them be unselfish would not help any.

micahjr34
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Feb. 7, 2011 4:57 pm

I would like to clarify the message that I just left. I admire the people within this particular series of messages, including Frank. Mostly if not entirely the people here do care about others. I am not speaking against that. To me, this is a question of means, not ends. What I am concerned about is that it would be nice if a compromise philosophy can be found the government does participate in peoples' lives while people help others because they would like to and not because they have to. What exactly this would mean if applied could be debated. I just would like to say thank you to those who care. I invite input.

micahjr34
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Feb. 7, 2011 4:57 pm
Quote ah2:

I am going to assume that since neither Frank, nor Azog, nor rigel, or any of you other freemarketers have replied to my last post above that I pretty much hit the nail on the head. If you guys can come up with a workable solution to the legitimacy issue, dealing with externality effects, and freerider issues using Libertarian principles without contradicting your fundamental beliefs, I would really love to hear it.

Looks like the conversation is being continued here: http://zerogov.com/forum/index.php?topic=125.msg852#msg852

Since Azog can't log in here, he's asked me to invite you to continue the conversation at the above link.

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Centinel
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Mar. 14, 2011 3:13 pm
Quote FrankChodorov:
Quote Achtfaden:

Hi, Frank!

Here is my question for you:

Do you and/or libertarians believe that the U.S. government should prohibit racial and gender discrimination by private employers in the United States?

No. People have the right to be wrong. They have a right to do with their property as they please as long as they don't infringe on the rights of others. However, you have every right to use your property to counter their bigotry by not patronizing their businesses. Anyone who discriminates irrationally will soon find themselves out of business.

Sure, just like all of those businesses in the south went out of business...sure.

I can see the Libertarian Express made another detour through fantasy land.

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D_NATURED
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Oct. 20, 2010 8:47 pm

The true problem w/ Libertarians are they Value Property over People....

Protect Property at any cost BUT for the peope it's every man for himself.

SO we'd still have a world where the Courts are the ultimate Arbitrator -But nothing to keep the strongest from beating up on the weakest in Court - or the Strong would simply do whatever they want and then Buy Off the Court system liek they have now. WHAT in the Libertarian model keeps the Wealthy nad their Corporations from Capturing and Gaming the Justice System?

Nothing.

Take for example Health Care - Libertarians say "Buy the private Insurance product" if you can't - Go Die in a Ditch.'

Retirement? Same thing - couldn't save enough for retirement? YOUR PROBLEM.

The Libertarian mantra is anti-humanity. And pro-wealthy - at We the Peoples Expense.

mtdon's picture
mtdon
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I am not a true libertarian because I recognize that in an orderly society, some coercion or force is inevitable. However, even in situations where a governing authority is necessary, would it not be beneficial to the community to seek ways to govern with out the use of force in situations where force had been used before? A new society would have to have many socially manipulative mechanisms in it as it begins its existance, but as a society grows more mature it can actually start to seek out ways to function with out the use of manipulative means involving force. As the society experiments in this there would be failures and successes, but it would be worth it.

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 4:57 pm

While I would like to keep taxation to a minimum, I fully acknowledge that this minimum would have to be very high. However, I know one thing that can be done to reduce government size and taxation that fits with the paradigm of trying to minimize the government, but not eliminating it. Why not cancel the military purchases of aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines currently under construction? I believe that the cold war is over, and cold war weapons like these are no longer necessary. To cancel all such now would save billions upon billions. I give credit to anyone and everyone who has said things like this before me.

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 4:57 pm

die thread die...

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm

The essence of libertarianism is noncoercion. I would like an economy that is less coercive, but I would like to see an emphasis on discouraging voluntary activity that is inherently polluting to the environment. I propose a "sales tax" on products and services that are inherently polluting. No one has to use goods and services that pollute the environment, therefore pollution is a voluntary act, and a tax on pollution would not be coercive. I would like to keep the amount of coercion within a society to a minimum, but only in a way that allows the government to obtain the funds that it needs and does not harm society in the process. This is why I am not a libertarian. I like noncoercive government, but not in a manner that does not raise the necessary funds for the government and is harmful to third parties.

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 4:57 pm

On the surface, the Zero Aggression Principle might sound ideal and most of us understand the benefit of trying to live by this principle. However, principles end up being desirable when their outcomes match their intentions (i.e. the proof's in the pudding). The problem with this statement is the absolutist clause, "under any circumstances." In the real world, people do not and would not always agree to live by this principle thus making it necessary for others to use force and coercion in order to put an end to force and coercion. I know this sounds like a moral contradiction and Libertarians seem to like absolutist, morally unambiguous propositions but people--and the ways of the world--are not so simple.

The main problem with the (right wing) Libertarianism is that while on one side of its mouth it claims to advocate individualism (to an absurd degree) but then on the other (quieter side) of its mouth it says that everyone has to agree with its principles (especially the ZAP) in order for it to succeed. What system wouldn't work if everyone agreed to abide by its principles? The way Libertarianism solves real world problems reminds me of the way comedian Steve Martin recommends becoming a millionaire: "First, get a million dollars."

In theory, a Republican Democracy such as ours recognizes that people have different and competing views and provides a forum (the electoral process) for these competing views in the public "market place." The problem with our system--and it was built in by the founders--is that it is a "winner take all" system (the 3 branches notwithstanding) rather than a parlimentarian system where representation is proportional and so preferable.

Parents understand the need for coercion or force in occasions in order to keep their children safe (from themselves) and to ensure that they don't become "spoiled" or overly selfish or brutish. The brutes of the world have to be forced to stop victimizing others one way or another, so the Zero Aggression Principle as written, is one that belongs, with much of the Libertarian philosophy, in Utopia.

The real underlying motive for the ZA principle seems to exist in order to allow those with power to exert it as they wish (because the concept of coercion and aggression are not agreed on--even by Libertarians) without others having any authority to prevent them from committing acts or operating in ways that others (a majority, for instance) consider coercive or aggressive. If such a principle were to become a law (and it must become law otherwise it could not become binding--of course a law by its nature is something that is backed up by force which is why the Libertarians wouldn't actually support it as law which then leads back to its original flaw) the problem would be interpreting and enforcing the law.

When the human race agrees to bind itself to the ZA principle we will all be long dead and that society will be a "pill society." It's fine and right to have ideals but let's not drift off into utopian neverland and call the problem solved. Let's rather address how people are rewarded by coercion and aggression and punish or disincentivize those acts.

lefty73's picture
lefty73
Joined:
Aug. 8, 2012 7:56 am

Currently Chatting

Who Should an Economy Serve?

The top one percent own half of all the world's assets. In stark contrast, the bottom fifty percent of the world owns less than one percent. According to the 2014 Global Wealth Report from Credit Suisse, global inequality has surged since the 2008 financial collapse. The report explains that while global wealth has more than doubled since the year 2000, the vast majority of overall growth has gone to those who were already wealthy.

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