Discussion in 'Anonymous News' started by Neonano, Oct 21, 2013.
If you apply this same argument to car insurance it falls apart......
Sure, I know that. And how were those areas when they had states? Comparing them to first-world countries with states is illogical since they weren't similar before, either.
It's always tricky comparing results of social experiments across different areas and people groups. Human nature is consistent, but humans and interpersonal relationships are complex. I know that I don't need a state to tell me what to do, and the same holds for most people I personally know. However, it's simultaneously true that most of those people have never really imagined living without a state and would no doubt fear such a thing were it to impend. (Imagine all the media government shutdown handwringing we'd get if the shutdown threatened to be permanent.) People's behavior isn't driven by any one motivator, and removing a state from an area where the people have organized their lives around its existence shouldn't be presumed to be a smooth and orderly process. Large-scale fundamental change isn't necessarily easy -- or quick. (This is one reason I'm not agitating for an immediate end to all states. I don't know how this is transition will occur, or how it should occur.)
^ Now that is one hell of a side-step
I think of it more as an out-step. You guys are arguing over which branch of the tree to build the fort on, and I'm looking at the roots being rotten and choosing not to get into the tree at all.
Real-world data, real-world data, real-world data... all within the context of statist systems. Again, carry on; I'm not trying to stop you, just explaining why I don't care who wins.
Young healthy people eventually turn old and sicker, thus it evens out in the long run. When that happens, a new crop of young and healthy people help pay for their health care. At least that is how NHS type systems function. I guess you can see it as distributing the cost across a whole lifetime.
As Jonny said, no system can be perfect.
But it's actually not that hard to articulate what is wanted in outline. This is not necessarily complete, but these will give the basic idea:
Private property. This has been explained as the extension of owning yourself and the fruits of your labor.
All contracts honored as agreed upon, without a third party able to abrogate said contracts. Enforcement of contracts through previously agreed upon mutually acceptable arbitration.
The rule of law obeyed scrupulously. That is, all people are equal before the law, with no one above it, no divine rights of kings, nor of cops or politicians.
One final thing, a corollary to what Johnny said about the statist assumptions: Society can exist without a government. In fact society is the anarchic part of our lives, which is to say 95% of it.
Not too many years ago people were told who to marry, told where to work, told where to live. That is the opposite of anarchy. No one here would want to go back to the non anarchy of arranged marriages.
So, I say why not go those few percent more, and have a society where no one can tell another to violate their conscience, where the rule of law is upheld, where everyone is treated with respect based on being human, not on their title, rank or status, where the law looks at all of as the same, without special rules for special snowflakes.
The problem with the above situation are 1) Who decides whet is law and what is not, and 2) what do you do with those 2-3 percent of the population that either do not care for the laws or who want to stretch the law.
What about those that drive recklessly, but themselves feel they are quite safe? What about the guy that maintain that that the neighbour have moved the property stake even though all know he is just a quarrelsome old cook? Like the utopian socialist paradise, this system depends on all people being fairly honest and equally willing to give a helping hand to his fellow man. We all know how that went.
Young healthy people get old and sicker and this plan requires that young people step forward to take our places, but I'm not sure there are enough. Social security goes bust in2033
this got wordy so
tl;dr What we don't need is people who arrogate security functions to themselves, giving the people in need of these services limited choices rather than a full range of choice.
IANAL, but the basic understanding is that common law would develop from the non aggression principle. [NAP: no one may initiate the use of force or fraud]
The idea that there has to be one final arbiter is what I dispute. When you ask 'who decides what is law and what isn't' is more complex than just words on the books. We are seeing with ObamaCare that even though this law was passed, the COngress is playing games with implementation, so in this case, first Obama and now maybe COngress is thwarting its own law. Robert Higgs calls this 'regime uncertainty' and it can paralyze business.
So, law is complex. Having some competition between courts sounds like a good idea to me, and having, as we do now, different laws in different jurisdictions doesn't cause problems.
But there are rules that most people will agree to, and which the sociopaths will agree to for form's sake. The most obvious are things like murder, rape, theft, and fraud. Those all are obvious violations of rights. The problem is not with that aspect of it, but with particular cases, ie, I play my music too loud and someone needs to be in charge of making sure that doesn't happen.
But in a society with property rights, then spilling your pollution is just that, pollution, be it soot or noise, it is a tort.
How many of your scarce resources are you willing to devote to stopping people from smoking pot?
How many resources are you willing to spend to stop people from murdering you?
That will tell you where your priorities are. Of course you are going to devise ways to protect you and yours from criminals. There are entrepreneurs wanting to help you to protect your stuff. You can contract with them how much security you desire in your life.
What do you do with them now? Ideally, you stop them from driving. Why would it be different in a free society, where people are treated as incredibly valuable. On Law and Order you hear the term 'depraved indifference' ie, so reckless that damage to property and life could have been foreseen
Move the stakes back? Take out an injunction?
That's what dispute resolution is all about. There are people like that. Societies learn to handle these people, and if fact, you can say that a society is as good as it finds ways to handle nuisances, as well as the big picture, and treat the people with dignity, even while denying bogus claims.
I disagree, It is indeed the only system that recognizes that no one is so good and moral as to have involuntary control over another person's life. It recognizes that everyone is most interested in their own survival, that we are greedy, contentious, disputatious and worse, and yet-- barn raisings.
The messy reality is that government is composed of people who do not pay the price for their mistakes.
Last, I think the assumption is society needs government for laws. But I doubt most of you would break bad if government disappeared. We need rules, we need ways to resolve disputes, we need to know how to act with respect to our fellow man, we need those rules to be stable across time.
What we don't need is some all knowing person who got the job by lying better than anyone else to be in charge of law. That just doesn't make a lot of sense.
When an uninsured crashes a car someone has to pay to clean up the mess. So, in effect, you are already paying for the uninsured. Making car insurance mandatory reduces the black hole.
Arguing that 'the plan' can only work if the healthy pay is silly when you consider that they are, in effect, already paying for the sick. That's kind of how 'insurance' works.
If you understand, even for a moment, how social security works you'd be laughing at this claim. Money collected in taxes, today, is used to pay social security, today. The social security trust is just the amount that is overtaxed (not really possible to balance it between income and outcome in such a complex economy, so a margin of error is built in – which results in the trust). By the very mechanism of how it operates it cannot go bust, and as such it has become a useful 'idiot detector' when folks claim it will go bust by year X.
And how much should I pay if I accidentally spilled oil in your water reservoir? What if I didn't want to pay, because you ran over my cat last year? I guess it would be your duty to assess and collect the money to pay, but what if we can't agree over the amount? Ideally i guess my sense of civic duty would compel me to pay, but what if I was broke? What if you needed to force me to pay, but I had a home like a fortress and your neighbours didn't like you much or didn't want to get involved in a dispute like that? I guess perhaps your family would come to your aid
The are societies that function that way, usually called clan or tribal societies. Each to his own i guess.
I could do all those what ifs about our current society and ask you to explain how your society would handle them. In fact, it would show that government don't do a very good job in many cases.
My point is that violence is not a good way to organize society. That is how government works, through the initiation of the use of violence.
As for the last sentence, it is a basic of rhetoric that you be able to accurately sum up the other person's point of view. You just failed miserably, and I can't believe that you honestly think it is my aim to devolve back to primitive societies, so good day to you sir. That sort of appeal to emotions is what destroys civility and manners.
That seems to be the natural consequence of your argumentation. RG has it right imo.
Sure is getting adhocrat in here.
Switzerland's Parliament just enacted a law which guarantees its citizens a minimum monthly income of US$2800 per person.
In the US, 50 million are out of work and the Congress are trying to figure our which web developed munged-up the Obamacare website.
The US is run like an African banana republic with an unlimited military budget, complete with its own Cheetah and Tarzan.
PS. Where's Superman nao? LOL
tl;dr: He says "I don't get how a free society would work, therefore it must be bad."
Here is RG's argument:
Here RG explains that he doesn't understand how a free society would operate. he admits to his ignorance.
(He just gets snarky, in which case, oh well...)
Here he jumps to an amazing conclusion based on his admitting he didn't understand the reasoning.
IOW, he admits that he doesn't get how a free society would work, Then, instead of asking for more information, more examples, books that would do a better job than I ever will explaining it, he immediately jumps to "it won't work, and will revert people to a primitive status."
Hope you don't try that reasoning on your professor
I certainly thought that when he was asking for your explanations/answers to his questions, he was "asking for more information" and "more examples," which you haven't provided.
Instead, you've attacked his valid line of questioning and intimated that he would do poorly in an academic setting. I say his line of questioning is valid because, in fact, it does exactly what you claim it didn't do. Those questions do ask for more information and more examples.
Are you retarded?
I have read my Bakunin, I am perfectly aware of how a stateless society is supposed to work. My comments was meant to show the weakness of the system.
Back when I was a pimply teenager I fancied myself something of an intellectual and found Anarchy had suitable shock value for parties. It didn't take me long to realize was only so much posturing and while nice idea, it would be unworkable in practical terms. You may argue that the proposed system you want is not anarchy. It may not be in the common sense, but it most definitely has enough element of anarchosyndicalism to effectively be the same. You still have to call a town/commune/local council every time you need something done, and your are still dependent on the other locals caring enough to get anything done.
Perhaps the difference between us is one of historical background. Local (Scandinavian) history furnishes plenty of examples of stateless societies and how they run. Most of Scandinavia used to be run that way, with yearly or biyearly assemblies and a quite fair and well respected common law but with enforcement left up to the people. The resulting blodshed was so bad even Medieval Christianity by the sword was a better option.
You don't even need to refer to history to make the point, the present day examples of stateless societies is more than enough to conclude 'no thank you'.
But again, that is referring to real world data which, for some unknown reasons, the anon poster is being compelled to ignore.
There is another, deeper, point to be made here. History and the present day has shown us that for any society to work it is necessary for those within the society to know the accepted rules. In other words, this requires things like the dispute resolution process (to take an example already accepted) to have been sufficiently formalised – which in turn means the need for rule-enforcers, judges, etc. This would seem to meet the standards needed to be labelled a 'government'.
And that's the deeper point here. All the anon poster is doing is trying to concoct a concept called 'free society' that excludes 'government'. It appears, rather tragically, that said poster is unaware that in the course of their linguistic gymnastics they have also removed the very things thousands of years of history (as well as what we see in the present day) have shown to be needed for a stable society.
Or, to put it bluntly, the anon poster is making the claim around their concept of 'free society' that all of history (including present day) has shown to be tragically unworkable. To cap it all off, they then accuse those who have some knowledge/understanding of history as being "<i>ignorant</i>" and "<i>retarded</i>".
Here is that deeper point I promise. When you look at the concepts and formulation of the arguments being put forward by the anon poster a disturbing point starts to become clear - their whole line of reasoning is not just built by ignoring the real world evidence of history and the present day, the actual reasoning itself is practically designed to ignore said real world evidence. Compare the anon poster's crap to 'Freeman on the Land', which is a similar pile of claptrap intended to magic away the reality of the world we live in.
You say you understand anarchism, but you understand the arguments of another system of thought. Then you give examples as if they were unanswerable. I am willing to point you to a dozen books that can answer those questions.
You talk about anarchosyndacilism as if there is some sort of correspondence due to the word anarcho. They both use the term anarchic, but that's about the only agreement.
But all I mean by anarchism is exactly what the word means--No leaders. I will add, since i think it needs to be said, that I mean no "involuntary leaders that I can't fire at a moment's notice." I'm perfectly happy accepting a boss if he hires me.
You talk about a guy that wrote in a different tradition 150 years ago. Have you read Mises or Rothbard? They are the modern exponents of a stateless society. If you haven't then you do not understand this point of view. While Bukanin had good things to say, that is NOT modern stateless society thinking.
"Back when I was a pimply faced teenager and discovered socialism we thought we could fix the world. I grew up when I realized that using guns to fix problems wasn't a good solution."
Please, dude, why resort to grade school insults? Can't we talk like adults? The philosophy I expound has a rich tradition dating back hundreds of years. Why demean the ideas?
I admit to being pretty ignorant of Scandinavian history. But if memory serves, by the 17th century they were a world power. What changed?
America was as anarchic a society as the world has seen, and it was, imho, the best ever. America showed that government wasn't needed to be a society, That's what my remark about barn raising was meant to show. no government needed to tell the pioneers what needed to be done, nor how to do it.
So, while your history was pretty bad, ours showed a way to live in a different way. admittedly, it wasn't so good for blacks, Indians, women, but it showed the way to include all people.
That's why I don't respond to you. You cannot accurately summarize how I think on any given subject. You have your talking points, but they always seem to be looking at someone else. Just to be explicit, your above statement doesn't reflect my thinking.
Make you a deal: If you can accurately summarize one of my positions, then we can talk.
I've seen this dance before. It goes like this:
1) Ignore real world evidence.
2) State ludicrous claim.
3) Get called on ludicrous claim.
4) State people have misrepresented you, but never clarify as to how.
5) Rinse & Repeat.
7) Perpetual wilful ignorance!!!
The importance of (1) to the dance cannot be overstated. Accepting any real-world data would ground at least some of your argument in reality, which would make it harder to do this pathetic dance.
Exhibit A: "Then you give examples as if they were unanswerable. I am willing to point you to a dozen books that can answer those questions."
RG present real world data, and you ignore it. Books of theoretical ideas are subordinate to real world empirical evidence. It would be more honest if your replaced "modern" with "this idea is devoid of evidence".
The retreat into a non-reality-based evidence-avoiding set of ideas is not accidental, and is sufficiently divorced from history and real world evidence to perpetuate the mental masturbation. Every so often, though, the mask slips and you make the mistake of referring to the real world. Eg: "America was as anarchic a society as the world has seen, and it was, imho, the best ever. America showed that government wasn't needed to be a society, That's what my remark about barn raising was meant to show. no government needed to tell the pioneers what needed to be done, nor how to do it."
Let's analyse that comment shall we? We could take the example of colonialists from a handful of countries, but let's stick with the British settlements. Further, rather than take any of the several examples that were merely an extension of British rule (particularly those involving the slave trade), let's grant you the absolute best case – the Plymouth settlement.
A shower of religious folks fleeing religious persecution after being practically burned out of their homes, that must fit in with your description above? Does it fuck. A great source on the Plymouth settlement is "History of Plymouth Plantation", and in it is described the mechanisms of government – including the collection of taxes for running the government:
There is no diplomatic way to say this – your understanding of American history is a fairytale that complete ignores (how convenient) any governance structures inconvenient to your ideology. Ignoring real world evidence is one thing, but that you are espousing complete misrepresentations of any real word evidence that you do reference is just a continuation of this same self-imposed ignorance.
Because it ignores what real world evidence there is? Evidence that shows those ideas not just to be unworkable, but a litany of examples of where those ideas failed catastrophically?
Well, Rothbard said as much, so I can't be that far off. It stands to reason: If there's no state, it doesn't much matter if the basal units are single family farms, villages or small businesses (syndicates), the system above them would be non-existent, and whether it is anarchocapitalism or anarchosyndicalism doens't matter much for the dynamic at that level. Under both systems, the land/property/means of production is owned by the people of the basic units.
Not their works, but I know their argument well enough (hey, i used to be an armchair anarchist!). I am not arguing that their economic models are wrong, but that the practicality of the societies they propose will soon topple any area trying it out.
What grade schools insults? All I did was pointing out I actually know some of this stuff. You may note I haven't called you ignorant or uninformed or anything, all I've done is to provide some examples of problems where I fail to see a stateless society having a practical solution.
If you mean Scandinavia as a whole, you are off by almost a millennium, but Sweden had the means and ambition to be a B-class world power during the Thirty Year War. This went fairly well, until the Swedes lost a major battle and their king, and had to cede control of the Protestant side to the Habsburgians. Besides, the war itself was dying down, so it became increasingly difficult to play the different sides against each other, which had been some of the basis for the Swedish success.
If you were a white man with influence and money, yes. You could pretty much do what you wanted, until the local small farmers and sheep herders hired themselves an gunslinger ;-)
I suppose a society like that could work in a setting where you could always pack up and go West if you didn't like the deal. Only the genocide of the Indians allowed this historic anomaly to exist for so long. Today the US is about as settled as any place. The US in the 19th century is thus not a relevant comparison. With Rothbard's idea of leaving armed force to private contractors, the eternal wars of the Italian city states from the 15th century on is perhaps a better model for how this would work out.
OK, well, then we can agree to disagree. Thanks for the conversation.
I've seen it too. I asked if you could state a libertarian position accurately. So far, you haven't produced.
I've seen many people here ignore history, such as the racist beginnings of the unions and minimum wages.
So, kettle, meet pot.
I see you have failed to address a single point I have raised, except by referring to Rothbard and Mises (appeal to authority, a classical logical fallacy), so yeah, thanks for the conversation.
Let the utter irony of that statement sink in. Sorry about posting evidence bursting your fairytale image on the non-government settlers.
i felt you had done the same. You said "I have read enough to know it doesn't work." That was what I took fro this so far. If I missed something, let me know.
So, read this essay,
if you wish, to understand why I think the market is a better solution to social problems than government. Here's a quote:
Doesn't that sounds a bit like how we handle things here on WWP? No centralized authourity, just a bunch of contentious people who have a goal in mind.
Lastly, where does conscience fit into your political view? Back as a 19 year old, I was facing a stark choice, take up arms against people who'd never done a thing to hurt me, or go to jail. So, does it make sense to you to force a person to make this choice? Does a government have the right to force a person to make the choice between doing what is right and doing what is legal? If so, under what legal or moral theory?
This is how social security works.
The cost rate increases from 2017 to 2035, primarily because the number of beneficiaries rises much more rapidly than the number of covered workers.
My comment on Bakunin and anarchosyndicalism was a reply to the comment I quoted, stating that I (quote) "doesn't get how a free society would work". Yes, I do know the basics of how it is supposed to work. No, I am not entirely ignorant of the foundational writing. Thus I did not ask for an explanation of the basic principles, rather, I asked you how you would see some relatively simple and small-scale problems solved under a stateless society.
Which you have still not tried to answer by the way.
He does not explain how the markets are better at solving social problems than the government, he just asserts that it is so. The various economic bubbles and recessions over the last decades indicates that markets does not solve all problems, unless you enjoy living in a yo-yo world. No-one is arguing that markets are bad per se, only that they are not all good, just like an all state system is not all good. The art's in the ballance.
The overly simplistic "let the market handle it" is just that, an overly simplistic view of how governments (at least over here) actually work. It is not markets or state, it is the state encouraging markets to try some solutions over others. Things like environmental questions, health care, education and other costly (and thus sometime unpopular) tasks are typically those that requite some sort of guidance from the state to run properly.
You delude yourself if you think WWP is leaderless. It is a "minimal intervention" board, but not a "free society". Try dox someone, or propose something illegal, and you will very quickly see the power structure of WWP in action. This board functions because people come here out of a shared common interest, and we are encouraged to leave our personal life at the door. As long as we behave (this thread is possibly stretching it a bit), Sue and the mods let us keep up.
I don't know if you are familiar with Hobbs' "Leviathan"? While a lot of it is dated, the principle of a government (in Hobbs' view the king) with a monopoly of punishment as a guarantor for a well functioning society stands true, even here in WWP. The mods are our Leviathan, with their monopoly on deleting posts or wielding the banhammer.
So, we finally come to the meat of this discussion! Thank you for the insight of your reasons!
For what it is worth, no, I don't believe that state had the right to send you off to a foreign place to kill people. Not only did it not have the right to send you there, it had no right being in that foreign land in the first place. I am not a pacifist, I spent a year "in the King's services" (used to be compulsory over here as well), but had I been sent off to a foreign land I like to think I would have refused as well. The state has protected me, and I do owe it my efforts to protect it, but not to commit crimes on its behalf. Actually, we were taught so in the army. The lesson from the Nürnberg trials is that you as a soldier have the right and the duty to refuse an unlawful orders. No wonder contingents for international operations from my nation are volunteers only...
USA has consistently broken international agreements or skirted right on the edge of international crimes for half a century or more. As someone wrote upstream of this, the US is run like an African banana republic. I can really understand the frustration of living in a country who consistently seem to elect incompetent, dishonest and greedy people into power. I suppose I hardly need to tell you the US has serious political problems, and an antiquated system of representation and chambers that undermining any effort to function as a nation. Non of this would be any of my business if id didn't also spill over to my little nation. The US is making their problems the world's problem.
However, the US political system functioning badly does not mean that any political system necessarily functions badly. Drawing that conclusion means extrapolating from a sample of one. Most 1st world nations function quite well, and they have more, not less, state intervention than the US. Stateless nations on the other hand functions badly, usually very badly. Real world considerations show that a state (a Leviathan if you wish), even a bad one, is much to prefer over no state.
I wish you and all other Americans the best of luck in finding a way to clear up the political mess that is the US system!
You keep citing examples that don't support your contentions, and WWP is just the latest one. Let's explore it.
At present, in the US at least, you have a great deal of autonomy to make and do as you see fit. But there are laws of the land, and enforcers and whatnot for those laws. A refusal to conform is usually met with expulsion (i.e. jail).
WWP functions more like the US than the stateless scenario you seem to be envisioning. Disputes arise all the time which require the actions of moderators, and certain posters who refuse to conform to the rules are expunged. In the case of a dispute between moderators, Sue acts as the ultimate authority.
In the case of both the US and WWP you have a governance structure. The differences between the operation of those structures is not sufficient to support your argument, since the only real differences are one of taxing (WWP is entirely voluntary) and of receptivity to people (WWP is more receptive).
There is a lot more to the story than that. The more important factor is illustrated with this "average taxable earnings were 2.0 percent lower for 2012 than assumed in last year’s report."
Let's crunch some numbers:
A quick and dirty calculation gives you a little over 40% being paid under $20,000.
If you put in $1.60 in 1968 money (the federal minimum wage back then) you get $10.75 in today's money – which at 40 hours a week for 50 weeks gives a higher pay than $20,000.
That's the problem. You have an economic system that is, for want of a better phrase, eradicating the middle class. If the wages of 40% of taxpayers is being driven through the floor then any system reliant on such as a tax base is going to struggle.
In many other countries this isn't actually an issue with how progressive taxation systems are implemented (although those countries don't seem intent in wiping out their middle classes, but I digress). In the US, however, the lack of such a system prevents the shortfall being made up from the 60%.
So what does all this tell us? It tells that, at present, the US political system seems intent on wiping out the middle class. If you wipe out the middle class then, as a consequence, you wipe out the social security system that tax base was paying into. In other words, the problem is not with the social security system – the problem is with what appears to be a fairly concerted attempt to wipe out the base that fund that program.
Sadly, not true. We are not in the grip of an organized conspiracy. We are being eaten away by greedy groups (wealth, international corporations) that are short-sighted. Greenspan was shocked by the stock market meltdown that lead to the "Great Recession". He had not believed that wealth would be so short-sighted it would sacrifice the system for short term gain.
The Great Recession- so named so we would stop thinking it was a depression. Ask the unemployed the difference.
Apparently, it is.
Government has purpose, otherwise we wouldn't bother.
We will not come to an agreement about this, That’s why I went with the question at the bottom. It encapsulates all other issues.
The author of that article would explain that the bubbles in the economy are a direct result of government intervention in the economy.
The key insight you are missing (it’s a simple one), is that it is better to have 7B people working on a problem rather than 700 people., IOW, two heads are better than one, and 7B heads better still.
Again, you confuse object (people acting in the state's name) with a concept (the State).
When you say that we require guidance from the state, all you are saying is we require guidance from other people. So, if I want guidance, I ask, But to have 'guidance' forced on me is a whole other kettle of fish. The federal government 'guided' us in the Great Depression by killing millions of pigs while millions of people starved. That is the level of guidance I expect from gov.
I said no INVOLUNTARY leaders. If I want to accept someone then I may.
As for structure, that’s what the NAP is for. A simple set of rules that all can understand. On WWP there is the terms of service, analogous to NAP. If we agree to follow the rules, we’re free to stay, If we don't follow the rules, there are consequences.
I've never read the terms of service, and I've never been dinged for violating them. Seems that the TOS are pretty much just common sense rules, applied to this forum.
And in a free society, someone could be banned from entering a business, walking on the private property, etc etc.
You say the government protected you. I say you are not thinking about the difference between a concept and an object. Government is a concept that can't do anything. People acting in the name of government are who acted. Not government, Government can't act, It's a concept, not a thing. This confuses the issue when you blur and obscure the distinction.
So, in my situation, what could I have done to stop my government from throwing me in jail? The law was on their side, the police were on their side, the society, up until the late 60s, was on their side, so lone voices saying “I don’t want to murder” and these people were called cowards, criminals and outcasts, those who refused to murder in societies name. It was the fact that the government was a monopoly, and acting as one, that caused the problem to even occur. Without the government (people acting in the name of government) this issue would never have arisen. Hence, government deliberately put me in a position of having to obey my conscience or the law. This happens time and again, and will continue to happen until we come up with a solution.
Indeed, the US is the bully of the town, and that is why I think they have too much money and need to be cut down to size. The income tax is the source of that money, hence the source of the imperial nature of the US in my lifetime.
I don’t think ‘government’ is evil, for the simple reason that I don’t think a concept can be evil in and of itself.
What I say is that the incentives of government lead to results that are evil. The Sowell quote previously states it: It’s crazy to expect good government when they aren’t held to account for their actions and the results.
We’ve had the war on poverty since I was a teen, and we now have more poverty than we had then.
SO, how do you stop a government program that doesn’t work?
This is the essence: the feedback loop to a monopoly does not give accurate information.
Before 1984 Ma Bell was the most hated company around. The reason for that was it was a monopoly and could ignore its customers demands. Long distance calls were expensive. I remembering paying $80 for a few hours talk to a friend in SC. Now, that $80 pays for a month of unlimited talk. You could get one color, black, and until the late 60s, there was only one phone style. Ford did that, limited his customer's choices, but competition forced him to reconsider. Ma Bell had no competition, hence no reason to reconsider. Same with a government. The feedback loop gets borked.
So, when a group has a monopoly on a needed good or service, they will act to do the least possible. That is how monopolies act. So, apply that to government, and there is a problem with their customer service.
I am fairly certain that collector bubbles, like Beanie Babies, occur with little or no government intervention in the economy whatsoever.
Let's set the discussion about government aside for a minute. I'd much rather have 700 of the right people with the right skills working on a problem than 7 billion people who are only marginally suited for addressing said problem trying to solve it. It is a much more efficient use of manpower and resources, and the 700 people costs a lot less to organize, feed, and pay.
If you want to drive the roads of your stateless utopia, then that is one place where I hope 'guidance' gets "forced" on you whether you like it or not. I will be the first one to ruin your stateless utopia with lethal violence if your refusal of "guidance" while driving causes any harm to come to anyone whom I care about.
Just because YOU accept the mods voluntarily doesn't mean that EVERY WWP user accepts them voluntarily - there are plenty of users of WWP who consider the modding of their posts to be completely INVOLUNTARY, which throws your theory about WWP out the window.
You didn't choose WWP's mods, either - those are the mods you are stuck with, and whom you are forced involuntarily (or voluntarily, as you say) to accept, whether you like it or not.
Common sense is not possessed by everyone, and depending on people's good will & common sense alone will not hold a society together. You can string pretty words together that assert your theory all that you want, but it won't change the nature of evil men, or the nature of temptation. Not everyone is blessed with as much common sense as you, I'm afraid. Some people need boundaries written in stone or in law.
Semantics? About people and government of all things? Please go look at the French pipe painting for a while and then think about the phrase, "of the people, by the people, and for the people."
Governments are made up of people, whose individual and combined actions make up the actions of government.
I'd say the same thing about GE or any business entity. If I were to say something like "the corporation acted to blah blah.." and you interrupted the managers' meeting by saying "corporations are a concept, it's the people who act," you'd be smiled at and told to sit quietly while the grown-ups finished talking, and then you'd be fired shortly afterward for being a smartass and wasting time during a meeting.
I can understand your disgust with a government that would force you to go to war. America had a draft during the Vietnam War, and kids here were faced with the same choice. I think it's in part why the 60's saw such a wave of activism that rolled back so many injustices during that time. It's also why America doesn't have a draft any more - it's an all-volunteer army. There is no compulsory service in America either.
More semantics. There are (and have been) political parties that are evil, or espouse evil policies, and when those party politicians achieve control over entire nations, evil governments result.
Government is held to account. I know, you think it's crazy. But there is this tradition we have in democracies called "elections," where everyone votes for the people who make up the next government, so that those people can then go about collectively accomplishing the acts of that government.
Dox? Did you compare the standards of living? Is "more poverty" based on a percentile of the population or is it simply a gross number - i.e., has it been adjusted for population growth?
Stop voting for the MPs or Congresspersons who support that program?
Elections are the feedback that politicians receive about their job performance, and a great deal of money and effort is spent to ensure that the feedback is accurately measured and counted.
The problem with your analogy is that it is all wrong. Ma Bell can hire whomever it damn well pleases, whereas the government must hire whomever the majority of constituents vote for. If you have a problem with the government's "customer service," you can vote that bum out in the next election, and vote someone else in - hopefully someone who has a better plan that will go further, helping more people, more effectively, for cheaper.
Considering almost all economists tells us the US current bubble followed by the credit crunch was a result of deregulation, the view presented in the blog is at best fringe. European countries have had various housing and credit bubbles too, but all have been less severe and shorter lasting than the US one. Considering European countries have a stricter, not looser housing and credit regulation, it should be fairly obvious that intervention per se cannot be the cause of the current US predicament.
You still seem to fail to grasp my point about the use of the free markets to solve problems. Wise governments use the free market, all that is needed is nudging the market every now and then to achieve whatever political goal the elected government have. As you said, 7 million people have more ideas than 700. On the other hand, the merchants of the free market will always primarily have their own interest at heart. If you need the market to work in a particular direction they would otherwise not voluntarily go (like the lorry/train example i cited) you need a bit of nudging, an there's where the state comes in.
You cite examples of bad governance, and there are plenty of those, from my country too. Listening to you I get the distinct feeling US politicians are particularly inept, and use crude and unsophisticated methods. Perhaps the US is too big to function properly, I don't know.
That was Hobbs' point too. He was the originator of the idea of the "social contract". It still applies. If you don't like the US, you can always pack up and leave for a less regulated country. It is what the settles at Plymouth would have done if they didn't like the governor and his cabinet. Insisting on staying in a place ruled by a certain social contract means you have to accept it.
And neither have I. Non of us appear to be disruptive by nature. We want this place to function and accept the contract. Not all do though. It is those that get to feel the wrath of the Leviathan.
In a stateless society the only real sanction available is stripping people of the rights of the contract, making perpetrators to a lesser or greater degree outlaws (it is how it was done in Viking society). The problem is, if you strip someone of the right to walk on your lawn, who will stop him if he feels like walking there anyway? You can always threaten to shoot him I suppose, but what if he is better armed or have a gang of other outlaws with him? It is not as if gangs of outlaws and all the problems they can wreak are unknown in US history. It is where they usually called in the cavalry or the US-marshals (i.e. the state).
Yes I am. The state is the laws and the roles of the government that put the policy of the popular assembly into action. These roles are staffed by various people through time according to vote. That system, that set of roles, protected the nations, paid the police to keep crime at bay and the school I went to, saw to that the social system ran smoothly allowing my parents to have work and feed me (or had they failed, to house me and feed me directly) and secured funds for the NHS treating me when I was sick. So yes, the state protected me and my family during my childhood (quite competently too), I owe it to make sure it will protect the coming generations as well.
War is bad, a war in beach of international law is worse. However, if you think lack of government somehow stop wars, you are not familiar with human history. Granted, if the US did not exist as a nation back in the 60s, you would never have been drafted to go to Vietnam. That does not mean you would not have to fight. You would possibly have been drafted to fight the next state, or a gang of outlaws, or fight for your very life to protect your home and family.
I do not know if you are familiar with writings of Steven Pinker or Jared Diamnond, but there is ample evidence to show that the level of violence and warfare is tightly correlated to the degree of organization of a society. While I guess we'll never agree on what is a "good state", I believe we can agree that the fraction of the population that dies due to violence (warfare/crime) is a fairly good measure of how bad a state is. The fact remains that tightly governed European states have a violent death rate lower that the US, the US lower than the badly organized Balkans or Middle East, those areas again having lover death rates than failed states in Africa and the record death rates being known from stateless tribal areas with very small tribes (10 to a whooping 30% death rate due to violence, mostly warfare). The correlation it too well supported to blow off as accidental, so yes, living under a state does protect you.
Oh I agree, thus I did not use term "evil", I used "bad". As a sidenote, you may be interested in learning that the Vikings had no word for "evil" before Christianity. The priests had a hard time bringing the basic concept across. They settled on "illr", meaning "of ill will". It was the closest they could get.
As for Sowell's point, you can't blame politicians for bad governance when they appear to be re-elected on special interest issues (abortion, evolution, "war on crime") no matter how badly they perform in their general task of governing. As I have said earlier, the idea of democracy seems to function quite well in other, better regulated countries. I don't know why the US population can't seem to elect competent and honest people into power.
You elect someone with the insight to stop it and spend the money better. You don't want the state to stop functioning, you want them to spend what they have more wisely. It is how the rest of the civilized world does it. While these problems exists in other nations too, the US seems less able to fix them.
The states I have held up as working examples does not hold monopoly on health and other services. Where I live you are perfectly welcome to go buy yourself private healtcare or garbage disposal if you so wish (very few does though). The only thing a state by necessity must have a monopoly on is law and force. You don't want a system where you can buy the law system you want, and neither would competing private police departments work very well. We all know what private military ends up like (e.g. Blackwater).
I'd love to know what the author is smoking here. As already pointed out, the most recent crisis can be traced the wave of deregulation taken up by the US within the banking sector – and it must be noted that countries with extremely strong regulation seemed to be immunised with their own domestic operations. The knock on effect from the US certainly hit those countries, but such effects are directly traceable to US companies/investments (Canada being right next door is a good example).
The argument that is put forward for gov intervention revolves around Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. But this hypothesis can be shown false by asking one simple question – why did commercial real estate also tank?
It's the same cherry picking of data that involves ignoring any and all real world data that challenges the ideology. You're semantic shit regarding the word government, as well as your contortionisms over WWP, are along the same vein.
I wrote a long response, but
The essence of the issue is conscience.
A group of people claims the right to kidnap me, force me to endure reconditioning camp, ship me off to war, where I am told to kill those people, given no reason to do so other than "America Love it or leave it" and "domino Theory"
You tell me my proper response is to vote.
I should add that I was 19 when this was happening. I had never voted in my life because it was against the law for me to do so. But I could be drafted. Cute, heh? What a Catch 22
So much for the 'social contract' nonsense.
58,000 men died before the politicians changed their minds. The only reason that could happen is because we thought the government was legitimate. But the very act of throwing those lives away shows it wasn't legitimate, that it was a group of criminals using our money to fund their Great Game.
There cannot be a legitimate government unless I can direct where each and every last cent of my money is used. If one penny is used against my conscience and will, then that government illegitimate.
Yes, that is what I tell you.
I have spent enough time in the anti-war/anti nuclear arms/anti land-mines community to know it is an uphill struggle, an that the political consensus move at a glacial pace, but progress is being made. Enough people of your generation were so disgusted with what you experienced, they actually did vote to change, and the change did happen. The US still has has a shitty foreign policy, but the draft is gone. Even though the US is embroiled in a long, two-front war, any politician suggesting feeding the maw of the war machine with conscripts will be ignored. It is simply not done. It shows the political system actually do work, if only at a sluggish pace and at great cost in such a large political unit as the US.
The current generation of Americans would do well to honour those of your age to have brought about that change. The civil movement of that age changed the Western World permanently.
As for the principles of the debate, there really were only three possible responses to the horrors that you were facing: Flee (i.e. find a state more to your liking), rebel (civil disobedience or civil war, in essence moving the war from there to here) or vote. Of all these alternatives, I am sure you agree a civil war is the worst.
The problem with that stance is that a government sometimes will have to do things that are unpopular to large segments of the population. The criminals don't want the state to allocate resources to the police and the prison system, the motorists want the state to spend money on roads rather than rails, while environmental and health considerations indicate we need more trains and less cars. The rich don't see the point of spending money on public education, while the poor don't see the point of spending public money on high culture like operas and art galleries.
Have you considered the bureaucracy needed if all Americans could specify exactly what they money could be used for? If you want the smallest possible state, that is obviously not the way to go.
Even if you and your parents could have demanded that non of your money went to the war effort in Vietnam, it would not really have helped you. Enough Americans back then thought the war was a good idea and would gladly have contributed to the war effort. You would still have been sent off to fight, but on dime of someone else.
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