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Libervisco 2.0

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memenode's picture
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I thought it might be a good idea to re-introduce myself because in the last few months there have been some dramatic changes in my beliefs and thoughts. From most of what you might read from me on this web site so far you would probably conclude I am a staunch Free Software purist, a bit of a futurist and quite enthused about possibilities offered by high tech. My views on such things as government and social systems have, in retrospect, been largely vague and undefined. I knew a great deal is wrong with them today, but I was pretty short on answers and opinions about what kind of alternative I would propose.

I always believed in the "whatever floats your boat as long as it doesn't sink mine" and assumed that my beliefs squarely fit libertarianism, but I didn't quite seem to understand the core implication of that principle. Today I believe I do and this is largely why I am today a voluntaryist, someone who believes that all human action must be voluntary and that nobody should have the right to initiate force on anybody else. This kind of belief flies in the face of validity of government, which is why being a voluntaryist also means being against government - the whole concept of it in fact, and all the related concepts such as the law, a nation, loyalty to the state and other abstract concepts and accompanying beliefs which establish the mentality of subservience to others rather than mastering of oneself and personal responsibility.

This puts me at odds with my prior Free Software beliefs too, albeit not entirely. It's simply that if I no longer believe into the moral validity of "government" and "law" I obviously no longer see copyright as valid, thereby making software licenses much less relevant to me. I also solidified already forming belief that Free Software isn't so much about making everyone run 100% Free Software as much as about making everyone aware that the choice of software does have implications for their freedom which they should care about. I am therefore against demonizing people who use proprietary software, but I am also against intentional ignorance towards the issue. I wouldn't even demonize proprietary software developers who don't offer the source code as they distribute their software and distribute it under restrictive terms as long as they don't engage in actions which remove the power of their customer to choose NOT to use them.

I would also conceded that despite the fact that I don't personally recognize copyright law as something I should morally abide by, that the simple fact so many people do act on the belief that does give this law validity provides for an action-reaction scenario in which Free Software licenses still are preferable for those who wish to be free than proprietary software, if nothing then for the mere fact that it makes Free Software more accessible and the availability of source code gives greater control and more power to innovate.

So I remain, to a point, a Free Software supporter, but beyond that I am a voluntaryist and an anarcho-capitalist. Hopefully this will help put some of my future posts on this forum into proper context. Smiling I gotta say though, I am still to re-evaluate some aspects of my Free Software beliefs with respect to voluntaryism. It could honestly go as far as completely invalidating the stronger involvement in the Free Software movement as simply an inefficient way to fight for freedom (fighting symptoms instead of the cause, that sort of thing), but this is one part which I'm still not quite sure about and right now I think to a certain extent fighting for Free Software may still beneficial. In which way, I will have to save that for an article. Eye

IMPORTANT: The fact that I am a voluntaryist and the owner of Libervis.com DOES NOT mean that Libervis.com is a site for promoting voluntaryism! While the posts and articles I may write here will be, naturally, written from my point of view which is voluntaryist and anarcho-capitalist, you and everyone else on this site has an equal opportunity to express your own views from your own perspective and it will be respected by me as such. In the first place, this site is about an open discourse on the topic of technology and effects of its use to freedom. Both socialists and individualists are equally welcome!

Thank you

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Thought provoking ideas

Thought provoking ideas there Alarmed

While I like the idea that "nobody should have the right to initiate force on anybody else", I see it as it as an ideal world aspiration, something to work towards. However in practice, some people do initiate force on others. Whether we like it or not the human race includes tyrants, and we are presented with a dilemma. Take for example that situation in the USA with the Latter Day Saints breakaway polygamous sect, I believe the wider community are right to intervene, to restore freedom to those who have been oppressed and unable to retrieve it for themselves. Failure to act would be the lesser moral choice in my view, not to mention unwise as tyranny unchecked has always tended to seek more victims.

If then, there is to be intervention in some cases, it makes sense to state what those cases are, thus we have laws.
The people should decide what those cases are, and the fairest way thus far conceived is by referendum.
To intervene effectively, some people should be trained in intervention, eg a police force.

This system is not ideal, but it seems to me that there is no prospect of creating any perfect interactive system where the components include imperfect humans. So I think we end up with much of the system we have today, though of course what we have is in dire need of reform as it has been largely hi-jacked by oppressors, lacks transparency, and interferes far too much in areas of peoples lives where it has no business.

On a side note, there's been a lot of debate here in Ireland about the Lisbon Treaty. Despite being in favour of more co-operation I'm voting no, and the prime reason is that only 1 out of 27 member states' citizens have a say. The trend for politicians across the EU has become to ignore their own people, and I think it's an outrageous betrayal, so I am rejecting this elitism.

memenode's picture
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Voluntaryism really isn't

Voluntaryism really isn't about anything more or anything less than exactly what it's main principle states: all action should be voluntary, or the flip side of it; no action should be coerced. Everything that follows from that is therefore fitting with voluntaryist views. As soon as you have coercive action you indeed have a problem. My point is that, yes, people should react and people would react even if there was no government. It's just that the consequences of their intervention would not include coercion of any sort. If somebody is being forced into something by an act of violence or theft then that someone has the right to defend himself or herself as well as invite outside help in doing so. If a perceived crime does not include initiation of force, but someone still thinks it's immoral, then he has the right to voice his opinion in opposition, start a campaign against the perceived injustice, so long as he does not force anyone to abide by his view.

So, on that part I agree with you, but with a caveat - intervene only when there is force being initiated and if the victim wants you to intervene AND that if force was not being initiated, but you still perceive a wrong, intervene in any non-coercive way that you can.

This is why I actually don't see laws as representative of this solution. It does include intervention which actually coerces people into obedience even when not obeying means no actual harm to anyone and even when you did not ask for help. Instead of being a directly beneficial and voluntary-action respectful system, the law ends up being merely a way to force ones beliefs onto others - through the police, usually in the name of the majority (according to a totally unprecise system of polling the constituents of this majority of their actual opinions, AKA democracy). It claims monopoly power on force to a single corporation (which we know as government), instead of letting individuals in their individual cases be capable of defending themselves by themselves and acting on their own accord.

The system is not ideal today indeed, and I believe it is even very far from optimal too. I think it is terrible and outdated and that it would be about time that people started evolving their thinking beyond the idea that they must be protected by someone, that their well being always must depend on some higher power, that they must sacrifice some of their freedom and individual power for all this - because, clearly (at least to me), what we've been doing is merely delegate the power that belongs to us, into the hands of those who just end up abusing it (naturally, because power beyond the power you as an individual naturally earn always corrupts).

Anyway, this is just about clarifying my views. I know you probably disagree on some crucial things here, but that's fine. Thanks for being open minded.

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I hope I'm not mis-reading

I hope I'm not mis-reading the post being in the forum as meaning it's open for discussion, apologies if so and feel free to delete subsequent posts, this as something that can be discussed at any stage.

As to the extent of the problem at this time, here are some Irish headlines from Friday and Saturday (src: http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0601/index.html ):
- Man charged with Belturbet murder
- 6-year-old girl injured in shooting
- Taxi driver stabbed during robbery
- Teenager charged with Southill murder
- Man due in court in McGrath inquiry (over another murder)
- Man critical after Galway shooting
- Escaped prisoner caught in Co Down

This is the reality of how evil some people are being. Over the years I've met some seriously bad types, I've taken a few beatings from gangs in my youth, wrong place wrong time, almost got strangled once but luckily I grasped a stone and nearly knocked him out with the lash, trust me, when you can't breathe and think you're about to die you could easily kill. I can't overstate how important it is for this ilk to know that there's a chance they won't get away with the harm to others they seem to have a sick compulsion to enact.

I see you can accept that there can be voluntary intervention. The thing about Anarchy is it can't be enforced Smiling - people like me in that situation are going to voluntarily formalise our efforts rather than leave justice by intervention to chance or risk informal vigilante groups going overboard or being abused - in Pakistan right now you only have to accuse your enemy of being a thief and the mob may burn them alive.

Anyway, that's all focussed on some of the barriers I perceive to peaceful Anarchy, I still like the ideal of personal responsibility you've described and agree we should work towards it, after all, making the world a better place is a by-product of people becoming better.

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democrates wrote: I hope
democrates wrote:

I hope I'm not mis-reading the post being in the forum as meaning it's open for discussion, apologies if so and feel free to delete subsequent posts, this as something that can be discussed at any stage.

Of course it's open, and I never delete posts unless they're spam or some other malicious type of content. So it's alright. We can discuss it when it comes naturally, even if that means here and then from some other angle in some future topic... who knows. Sticking out tongue

democrates wrote:

This is the reality of how evil some people are being.

While I agree the crimes you referred to are terrible (they all include initiation of force, except the escaped prisoner because I don't know what he did to be there), I don't believe people are good or evil or anything but merely human for that matter.

First of all, how will I describe people or things depends solely on my own perspective and the meanings I assign to things are within me, not inherent in those things. So some acts may be described as evil by one person and as good by another while a yet another person might not even care to describe it, but wouldn't interfere. That said, I think most people probably consider all initiations of force as evil acts, simply because this is in our nature. We don't want to be harmed ourselves so we don't quite see doing harm in general as a good act. We know from experience it's not. Smiling

I just wanted to make a distinction between individuals and their actions as well as distinction between what exists in reality and abstract concepts in our minds (like that something is good or evil, beautiful or ugly etc.)

democrates wrote:

Over the years I've met some seriously bad types, I've taken a few beatings from gangs in my youth, wrong place wrong time, almost got strangled once but luckily I grasped a stone and nearly knocked him out with the lash, trust me, when you can't breathe and think you're about to die you could easily kill.

Looks to me like you actually had a bad experience with the "protection service" offered by the state police that you pay for with your taxes. Where were they when you were getting strangled? Eye

democrates wrote:

I can't overstate how important it is for this ilk to know that there's a chance they won't get away with the harm to others they seem to have a sick compulsion to enact.

I very much agree. I just don't agree that the way it is currently being done is actually the best way to accomplish what you're talking about. Governments are too inefficient. Their service costs a lot yet you can't refuse to buy it and can't even be guaranteed proper defense when you need it. They are often too busy harassing people for non-violent "crimes". How many times have I heard police squads raiding homes of innocent people just because they might be in possession of something like marijuana! There was a case when they almost scared an old lady to death and inflicted injuries, raiding her home at night based exactly on that kind of absurd reason. I wonder how many murders or thefts go by while they keep themselves busy with those kinds of operations.

Unlike companies in the free market, people in government, AKA beaurocrats, don't act upon the market signals such as increasing or falling revenues reflected by the continuous movements in the natural supply and demand system. They don't produce a better product so that they can sell better and they sure don't compete in the market because they forced all their competition out (being a coercive monopoly). So with all the natural market motivators gone, what is it that motivates most of them? Power. Do or say (promise) whatever it takes just so you can attain even more power. Unfortunately seeking power and seeking to create real value for people to sell based on a voluntary agreement are very different things. When you have a system of power "taking care" of you rather than a system of value, you can't really expect to be efficiently taken care of. Why, you don't even get to choose someone else to take care of you in case Government Inc. is doing a bad job.

So I would, indeed, like to boycott Government Inc. until they stop being a coercive monopoly, threatening their competition and customers with guns and prisons if we don't buy from them.

democrates wrote:

The thing about Anarchy is it can't be enforced

Why not? I mean... man.. who else are policemen and government employees and employers than people? If what you say is true then government must really be some sort of a supernatural entity that magically enforces "good" against "evil". Of course, this is not true. Without government the difference is you would have more than one choice of companies to use to provide you with defense from theft and force on terms that you mutually agree upon rather than the terms they just impose on you and then take your money regardless.

The "enforcement" can be done by anyone, and to make it more efficient companies can organize to provide professional service.

democrates wrote:

in Pakistan right now you only have to accuse your enemy of being a thief and the mob may burn them alive

Sounds like a democracy to me, honestly. Eye Mobs here might not burn people alive, but if there is enough of them they are convinced enough that what the mob leaders (candidate party or president) think is true they will together put those who act differently to their beliefs in prison, or extract their money away. It's in principle the same thing, just the "punishment" is less severe.

democrates wrote:

after all, making the world a better place is a by-product of people becoming better.

Quite true, but there is a big caveat. A bad world often induces people to do bad things and so we have an endless loop. The cause you are speaking of is not something that will just happen by itself. From the moment we as humans have developed consciousness we largely dictate our own evolution. We have to choose how to evolve and what to evolve into. So it might be worth asking yourself what constitutes "better people" fundamentally and might it not be that a fundamental part of it is exactly the belief that all action should be voluntary, that nobody should think for you, that nobody should dictate your life, that you deserve only what you truly earn by creating value, that you should coerce noone and noone should coerce you etc.? Essentially, the evolution I am speaking off is a transition from a humanity organized around the authoritarian model of governance to a voluntary model of self-governance. Check this out.

EDIT: Just to clarify why I am adding "Inc." to "Government". I find it to be a nice way of escaping the mental trap of thinking about government as if it was more than just a group of people, as if its constituents deserve more respect than any other human being, as if for some unspoken reason only them have the right to use violence against others, to "protect" people from harm, to offer health insurance etc. I don't believe they are. Sadly though, throughout history humans allowed those kinds of people to convince them otherwise, through such methods as claiming to be put there by god and in modern times by such mental constructs as socialism and democracy, which time and again shown to only oppress the individual from executing his or her full potential - yet they succeeded at convincing people such sacrifice is "necessary".

It was a true mind freeing moment when I realized that it really isn't. Eureka / I have an idea

Cheers

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chaos
libervisco wrote:
democrates wrote:

in Pakistan right now you only have to accuse your enemy of being a thief and the mob may burn them alive

Sounds like a democracy to me, honestly. Smiling Mobs here might not burn people alive, but if there is enough of them they are convinced enough that what the mob leaders (candidate party or president) think is true they will together put those who act differently to their beliefs in prison, or extract their money away. It's in principle the same thing, just the "punishment" is less severe.

The punishment may be less severe, but you have multiple forces (mobs) competing for the most powerful force; your house, money, family, and on are caught in the crossfire. Consequently, you have more force against you and it can be completely arbitrary (as opposed to, for example, a government system with checks and balances and a police officer can get fired or worse for doing his job wrong). Basically, you have near constant tribal warfare dragging the standard of living way down.

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I meant the "punishment" is

I meant the "punishment" is less severe in democracy, but in principle it is the same thing democrates referred to.

Define "most powerful force", it sounds a bit vague. It could be "greatest power" or "greatest act of force" though in both cases "greatest" feels out of place. Power is an ability whereas "force" is an action.

You are basically describing the chaos which people so often refer to when they hear about the idea of having no government. And it's such a classic I might add. Smiling

However, there are two crucial things relevant here:

1.) Pakistan or any other place on Earth where you have clan wars that you're describing clearly don't inhabit people who have adopted voluntaryist viewpoints. They are, in fact, much closer to the government supported mentality where the main motive is power (over others rather than only yourself) and not value (created by yourself so you can trade for more value). Therefore all these references are pretty much irrelevant to the discussion of voluntaryism.

2.) "Checks and balances" can be most efficiently established in an unhindered free market, because there is practically no escape - every action has a consequence and every actor is responsible. There is no law to protect you from consequences of lying, misrepresentation, cheating and violence. Government, with all the supposed "checks and balances" actually deliberately protects people from liability for their actions and therefore encourages more rather than less corruption, which can and does sometimes escalate to violence (war being the most extreme example, unethical corporate business practices without a considerable backslash being another).

Someone dare threaten my house, money and family and the defense agency I bought a service from will react much more efficiently than police ever will, because they are paid for it by me directly and risk losing the contract with me if they fail to provide what I expected from them. When is the last time you saw police so accountable? Sure they run risks, but so do these defense agency cops. There's no difference on that level. The point is that unlike government officials, including police officials, market driven defense company officials are much more accountable.

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libervisco wrote: While I
libervisco wrote:

While I agree the crimes you referred to are terrible (they all include initiation of force, except the escaped prisoner because I don't know what he did to be there), I don't believe people are good or evil or anything but merely human for that matter.

First of all, how will I describe people or things depends solely on my own perspective and the meanings I assign to things are within me, not inherent in those things. So some acts may be described as evil by one person and as good by another while a yet another person might not even care to describe it, but wouldn't interfere. That said, I think most people probably consider all initiations of force as evil acts, simply because this is in our nature. We don't want to be harmed ourselves so we don't quite see doing harm in general as a good act. We know from experience it's not. Smiling

I just wanted to make a distinction between individuals and their actions as well as distinction between what exists in reality and abstract concepts in our minds (like that something is good or evil, beautiful or ugly etc.)

OK good and evil I use in a general sense rather than inferring religious credo. Point taken about labelling, it's unlikely that 100% of anyone's thoughts and actions are 100% good or evil, it's just more convenient than specifying that some actions of some people are somewhat evil.

libervisco wrote:

Looks to me like you actually had a bad experience with the "protection service" offered by the state police that you pay for with your taxes. Where were they when you were getting strangled?

Same place as all the volunteers, elsewhere. If I wasn't as nice as I am it was him that might have needed protection as it turned out. Regardless of who provides protection, they can't be everywhere at once.

libervisco wrote:

I very much agree. I just don't agree that the way it is currently being done is actually the best way to accomplish what you're talking about. Governments are too inefficient. Their service costs a lot yet you can't refuse to buy it and can't even be guaranteed proper defense when you need it. They are often too busy harassing people for non-violent "crimes". How many times have I heard police squads raiding homes of innocent people just because they might be in possession of something like marijuana! There was a case when they almost scared an old lady to death and inflicted injuries, raiding her home at night based exactly on that kind of absurd reason. I wonder how many murders or thefts go by while they keep themselves busy with those kinds of operations.

Unlike companies in the free market, people in government, AKA beaurocrats, don't act upon the market signals such as increasing or falling revenues reflected by the continuous movements in the natural supply and demand system. They don't produce a better product so that they can sell better and they sure don't compete in the market because they forced all their competition out (being a coercive monopoly). So with all the natural market motivators gone, what is it that motivates most of them? Power. Do or say (promise) whatever it takes just so you can attain even more power. Unfortunately seeking power and seeking to create real value for people to sell based on a voluntary agreement are very different things. When you have a system of power "taking care" of you rather than a system of value, you can't really expect to be efficiently taken care of. Why, you don't even get to choose someone else to take care of you in case Government Inc. is doing a bad job.

So I would, indeed, like to boycott Government Inc. until they stop being a coercive monopoly, threatening their competition and customers with guns and prisons if we don't buy from them.

I don't see abandoning formal citizen co-operation in favour of a free market as a fix. What you're proposing is the law of the jungle. If everyone were as nice as we'd ideally like it would be the ideal, but they're not. The forces of dominion are ever present, thus has it always been and thus shall it always be.

We don't have to imagine what a freelance protection market might be like, we can see it in Italy, where Mafia corruption is rife. The government is supposed to stop them, but haven't been effective, that's a mere taste of what awaits if there were no government at all. I've seen it myself in Dublin, in the late 90's a shopkeeper near where I worked told me he was having problems resisting local heavies. Eventually they burned out his shop and his business closed down. He couldn't afford a security guard, and they did it at night when there was no one around to see.

In the "legitimate" capitalist security market we have the likes of Blackwater. In Iraq, they're pretty close to what you propose in being held above the law by Bush, Cheney et al. Free to kill, and they do so. In any market money talks, if commercial security were unchecked by a standing army, we'd have growth and consolidation in the market, and a high likelihood of ultimate military dictatorship.

In Sudan, the Janjaweed Arab militia terrorise the poor. The people are free to voluntarily rise up and resist, but unarmed civilians versus armed death squads? Intelligence reports point to the Sudanese government resourcing the Janjaweed, and I certainly am not holding them up as an example of a good government, they are the opposite. The alternative of buying protection already exists in the form of mercenaries, but these people can't afford it. In the fully privatised scenario it's one vote per dollar, not per person, it presents perfect conditions for the rise and domination of an elite.

libervisco wrote:

Why not? I mean... man.. who else are policemen and government employees and employers than people? If what you say is true then government must really be some sort of a supernatural entity that magically enforces "good" against "evil". Of course, this is not true. Without government the difference is you would have more than one choice of companies to use to provide you with defense from theft and force on terms that you mutually agree upon rather than the terms they just impose on you and then take your money regardless.

The "enforcement" can be done by anyone, and to make it more efficient companies can organize to provide professional service.

What I meant by "The thing about Anarchy is it can't be enforced" is that Anarchy is about nobody forcing anyone else to do anything, so how can Anarchy be enforced if force is against it's core principal.

But I'm glad that you accept force is necessary at times, so that core principal of Anarchy cannot be taken as an absolute in practice, the difference we're down to on security is that you believe it should be privatised whereas I hold it should be state run and ultimately democratically accountable (though representative democracy is crap and we need the option for citizens to petition for a referendum on anything).

libervisco wrote:

Sounds like a democracy to me, honestly. Eye Mobs here might not burn people alive, but if there is enough of them they are convinced enough that what the mob leaders (candidate party or president) think is true they will together put those who act differently to their beliefs in prison, or extract their money away. It's in principle the same thing, just the "punishment" is less severe.

Well that's a tough choice alright, be burned alive by a mob or, be arrested, have a trial and risk a miscarriage of justice leading to a fine or jail time - where do I sign up! Dude, be careful what you wish for - lol.

libervisco wrote:

Quite true, but there is a big caveat. A bad world often induces people to do bad things and so we have an endless loop. The cause you are speaking of is not something that will just happen by itself. From the moment we as humans have developed consciousness we largely dictate our own evolution. We have to choose how to evolve and what to evolve into. So it might be worth asking yourself what constitutes "better people" fundamentally and might it not be that a fundamental part of it is exactly the belief that all action should be voluntary, that nobody should think for you, that nobody should dictate your life, that you deserve only what you truly earn by creating value, that you should coerce noone and noone should coerce you etc.? Essentially, the evolution I am speaking off is a transition from a humanity organized around the authoritarian model of governance to a voluntary model of self-governance. Check this out.

I see self-governance as a natural by-product of a world of ideal people. If you implement a system based on an ideal version of humans when in fact they are not so, expect problems.

libervisco wrote:

EDIT: Just to clarify why I am adding "Inc." to "Government". I find it to be a nice way of escaping the mental trap of thinking about government as if it was more than just a group of people, as if its constituents deserve more respect than any other human being, as if for some unspoken reason only them have the right to use violence against others, to "protect" people from harm, to offer health insurance etc. I don't believe they are. Sadly though, throughout history humans allowed those kinds of people to convince them otherwise, through such methods as claiming to be put there by god and in modern times by such mental constructs as socialism and democracy, which time and again shown to only oppress the individual from executing his or her full potential - yet they succeeded at convincing people such sacrifice is "necessary".

It was a true mind freeing moment when I realized that it really isn't. Eureka / I have an idea

Oh absolutely they're no master race and have bodily functions like the rest of us. I've the same view of the elite, great captains of industry running mini-empires and telling employee minions what to do, if management dictat is not obeyed the employee is out of a livelihood. How does anarchy apply to the corporation in Anarcho/Capitalism?

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Force vs value / power to rule vs. the ability to produce
democrates wrote:

OK good and evil I use in a general sense rather than inferring religious credo. Point taken about labelling, it's unlikely that 100% of anyone's thoughts and actions are 100% good or evil, it's just more convenient than specifying that some actions of some people are somewhat evil.

There is a too big a price being paid for that convenience. Words we speak shape our mental processes. The more you talk about people as good and evil more truly will you consider them actually and inherently good or evil, thereby perceiving as truth something that does not even exist in the reality outside of your own mind. This is the kind of mentality which makes people more susceptible to being manipulated into submission, dependence and embrace of violence against other people.

democrates wrote:

Same place as all the volunteers, elsewhere. If I wasn't as nice as I am it was him that might have needed protection as it turned out. Regardless of who provides protection, they can't be everywhere at once.

Who of you two ultimately needed protection seems irrelevant, aside from showing you did a pretty good job at defending yourself after all, so you might have not even needed any outside help in that particular situation, by either the police, defence agency officers or a random volunteer. Kudos. Eye

Nobody can be everywhere at once. That would be perfect 100% efficiency. You might as well call it impossible efficiency. I still see defence agencies coupled with rightful intervention of any individual who could and wishes to help, doing a better job and being more efficient than the whole job being relegated to a select group and regulated by a square law.

democrates wrote:

I don't see abandoning formal citizen co-operation in favour of a free market as a fix.

What do you really mean by "formal citizen co-operation"? If it involves anyone forcing anyone else to cooperate even when one did no harm to the forcer then thanks, but no thanks. Aggression is the problem here, not the solution.

democrates wrote:

What you're proposing is the law of the jungle.

I am proposing no law. I propose that an individual rule over himself or herself only and no one else. Let's build wealth, not power, by exchanging value, not force (and threat of such).

democrates wrote:

If everyone were as nice as we'd ideally like it would be the ideal, but they're not. The forces of dominion are ever present, thus has it always been and thus shall it always be.

Show me the "forces of dominion" without pointing to a human being. There is no such force among humans, not exercised by a human individual. There is no such act by a human individual, not preconditioned by his momentary value judgement. If an individual, such as (s)he currently exists, sees more value in one particular act than in another, that is the act (s)he will initiate.

So rather than pointing to this abstractness you rather colourfully called "forces of dominion" why not explore the true causes of why people act the way they do? How often do these acts involve aggression on another compared to all the acts made without such aggression? Which is more common? And then keep asking why?

democrates wrote:

We don't have to imagine what a freelance protection market might be like, we can see it in Italy, where Mafia corruption is rife. The government is supposed to stop them, but haven't been effective, that's a mere taste of what awaits if there were no government at all. I've seen it myself in Dublin, in the late 90's a shopkeeper near where I worked told me he was having problems resisting local heavies. Eventually they burned out his shop and his business closed down. He couldn't afford a security guard, and they did it at night when there was no one around to see.

You expect government to stop something it caused in the first place? Alarmed

Where does Mafiaa usually thrive? The black markets, right? Why? Well, because the black markets require more than simple exchange of value to function. By being under constant siege by governments dealers in such markets must be prepared to use violence to protect their business. This is why only the toughest and most daring of individuals enter it, thereby forming what we know as mafia, organized crime etc. I wonder though, if those tough and daring violent people are born that way or just develop into such people through the circumstances of their life - a life in a world full of people telling other people, at the threat of a gun, what to do and what not to do, what to buy and what to sell, what to produce and under what conditions and what of the earned property to keep and what to "give" away...

And what created black markets? The law. What is the law? A book of rules that the government forces everyone to follow. What is the government? A group of people who assume they have the right to command other people at the threat of force. Why do they think this way? Because almost everyone else became sufficiently convinced this is OK not to withdraw their support (without which government truly is nothing but a bunch of naked humans). They are convinced that "many people" out there are out to get them by pure malice and so there needs to be order to prevent chaos which shall surely ensue if the group of people calling themselves "the government" stops forcing people to live by a specific set of rules.

Little do these people know that a lot of what they call "malice", or as you called it the "forces of dominion", is actually just an effect to which the cause IS the system of legitimized aggression (AKA government) and that if just left alone, uncoerced, they would just pursue what seems to bring them most value, which in most cases actually involves no violence because violences destroys rather than builds value (wealth).

But it's apparently very hard today to expect people to think outside of that box. The default assumption, one which even you seem to carry, is that too many people are "just evil".. totally ignoring the cause of their evil acts and totally ignoring the distinction between the production of value inherent in peace and destruction of value inherent in violence as well as the fact that all of us are ultimately selfish, in search for more value for ourselves - therefore usually more likely than not - more peace and less violence.

democrates wrote:

In the "legitimate" capitalist security market we have the likes of Blackwater. In Iraq, they're pretty close to what you propose in being held above the law by Bush, Cheney et al. Free to kill, and they do so. In any market money talks, if commercial security were unchecked by a standing army, we'd have growth and consolidation in the market, and a high likelihood of ultimate military dictatorship.

It's interesting how often places in the world ruined by some government induced war or power struggles where chaos seems to reign are used as a shot against anarchy oriented ideas of social order. It's just puzzling. How can you just "forget" the fact that Bush is a president of USA which is in fact just another big government playing with big wars and ruining people's lives. People accuse anarchy oriented order to be tantamount to chaos, yet most chaos in the world was caused by governments themselves. How ironic and sad...

democrates wrote:

In Sudan, the Janjaweed Arab militia terrorise the poor. The people are free to voluntarily rise up and resist, but unarmed civilians versus armed death squads? Intelligence reports point to the Sudanese government resourcing the Janjaweed, and I certainly am not holding them up as an example of a good government, they are the opposite.

Well, you're describing government again, not anarchy oriented order nor a voluntaryist system. You said it yourself: "The people are free to voluntarily rise up and resist, but unarmed civilians versus armed death squads?". I am free to refuse to obey what I feel is an unjust law, but a poor guy like me against the police force?? In many government "jurisdictions" there is even a tendency to completely outlaw possession of weapons, which pretty much perfectly fits your characterization.

democrates wrote:

The alternative of buying protection already exists in the form of mercenaries, but these people can't afford it. In the fully privatised scenario it's one vote per dollar, not per person, it presents perfect conditions for the rise and domination of an elite.

AFAIK, mercenaries are hired to kill people, not to defend people. Also, by having competition among defence agencies prices of their services are likely to fall down and quality of their service up. The reason they wouldn't just go to war with each other is simply the fact they have more to gain by providing value rather than destroying value (in a war). The ultimate cost of protection is likely to be much lower than all the taxes we're forced to pay today - in a society where votes are supposedly "per person". Gee thanks, that makes me feel better about my robbers. I get to vote who is gonna preside over me being robbed and how much will I be robbed on which kinds of transactions. Annoyed

There are also many ways to exchange value and a dollar is just one of them, but the core currency here IS value. Provide more value and you will get more value. This doesn't mean you have to have a lot of money. You have your brain, your ingenuity, your talents and your body. Now go and do something great, create something of value to other people in exchange for something of value to you. Politics doesn't enter into it, just economics. Politics, the way it is commonly exhibited, appears to be a process of making decisions instead of other people which is tantamount to controlling other people.

(I used to give validity to politics, taking the wikipedia definition of it as a process by which groups make decisions, but later I realized that translated into common use it usually means a process by which ones in the group make decisions for others in the group instead of only themselves. Because of this I am today quite apolitical. I oppose the whole idea of someone else making the decisions affecting my life instead of me. And this is why I shouldn't need a special "per person" vote coupon. I don't want to be ruled so I don't want to choose who will rule me. I am not merely a vote. I am a person and I rule myself.)

democrates wrote:

What I meant by "The thing about Anarchy is it can't be enforced" is that Anarchy is about nobody forcing anyone else to do anything, so how can Anarchy be enforced if force is against it's core principal.

But a voluntary society does not operate upon such things as "force" or "power". It operates on value. Force comes up only when force comes up - only so much as it may be necessary to actually stop the continued initiation of force or repair the damage done to value attacked by the forcer. Force as a concept is therefore secondary in a voluntaryist order, because by seeking value (which is only destroyed by initiating force) most people don't actually dabble with it. So force remains merely reactive, and ONLY to a degree directly proportional to the damaging potential of the initiatory force.

democrates wrote:

But I'm glad that you accept force is necessary at times, so that core principal of Anarchy cannot be taken as an absolute in practice, the difference we're down to on security is that you believe it should be privatised whereas I hold it should be state run and ultimately democratically accountable (though representative democracy is crap and we need the option for citizens to petition for a referendum on anything).

Only defensive force is acceptable and only as much as necessary for the initiator to repair the value damage. Governments go so much farther than that.

There is also no such thing as democratic accountability. That's like saying I can steal a car and be in the right so long as 6 of 10 people like me. Conversely it's like giving $1000 USD to a charity of choice and being punished because 4 out of 10 people thought I shouldn't give to THAT charity.

It might seem like I'm pushing the analogy here to an extreme, but I'm trying to illustrate the "accountability" you're talking about here and how it simply cannot be established by a mere democratic vote. I am responsible for everything I do and should be immediately and 100% accountable for it regardless of what a random number of people thinks of it. It means that if I stole someone's property I should pay it back with a surplus. No need to form a political party and have a random number of unknown people vote for this to become true. It is between me and the one I stole from and it is always true.

Democracy is therefore a sham and democratic accountability is a joke. IMO, obviously.

democrates wrote:

Well that's a tough choice alright, be burned alive by a mob or, be arrested, have a trial and risk a miscarriage of justice leading to a fine or jail time - where do I sign up! Dude, be careful what you wish for - lol.

I said it's the same thing in principle and I stand by it. Eye Either way you are unfairly shafted. Your miscarriage of justice is totally irrelevant if there is no justice to seek in the first place, if the only crime was doing something a certain number of people disapproved of, not actually harming anyone.

Ask yourself, every time there is an alleged crime: Where is the victim? If there is no victim then there is no crime and nobody has any business seeking some imagined "justice" for it, just as well as nobody has any business burning me alive for it. Eye

democrates wrote:

I see self-governance as a natural by-product of a world of ideal people. If you implement a system based on an ideal version of humans when in fact they are not so, expect problems.

Ideal people? Did it ever occur to you that ones definition of an "ideal human" may greatly differ from another's definition of the same? So I suppose it is fine by you that we keep living in this continuous fear of each other because we can't accept that they are different from us and because we fear those differences so much that we find a threat even where there is none. We keep convincing ourselves that there are evil people out there just waiting to vandalize us the moment all of us are given freedom to run our own lives. We cage ourselves in order to keep that other "evil" human caged - all in the name of this illusion of safety.

It's just ridiculous, to be honest. Instead of running our own lives, we live in a system which forces us to participate in running of the lives of others. In essence, we control others and others control us, all because of the mutual fear of each other. All the while people who seek shortcuts to power profit from our own stupidity, gullibility and unwillingness to think beyond these artificial boundaries and fears that we chained ourselves with.

Never man. I believe I will never again see things that way. And there is no more waiting to be had, waiting for someone to lower their shields and finally free ourselves from this perpetual and utterly silly and unnecessary stand off. There is more to human nature than this. We are born rational, inquisitive and benevolently selfish, and then washed away as such by this utterly stupid dogma of mutual fear for the sake of mutual protectionism. It's time to stop that nonsense.

I am a voluntaryist. I am participating in the formation of the new age of enlightenment, a new evolutionary leap. My children will know about this and I will encourage them to be the humans that they are and want to be, not the humans that their nation or government or social norms want them to be.

Once the minds is free there is no turning back. Sorry.

democrates wrote:

Oh absolutely they're no master race and have bodily functions like the rest of us. I've the same view of the elite, great captains of industry running mini-empires and telling employee minions what to do, if management dictat is not obeyed the employee is out of a livelihood. How does anarchy apply to the corporation in Anarcho/Capitalism?

Corporation is a government construct. It is a power bubble filled with the gas of irresponsibility. Does "Limited Liability" ring any bells? You can read this on wikipedia:

If a corporation goes bust, shareholders will lose their money, and employees will lose their jobs, but neither will be liable for debts that remain owing to the corporation's creditors. This rule is called limited liability, and it is why corporations end with "Ltd." (or some variant like "Inc." and "plc"). In the words of British judge, Walton J, a company is...

"...only a juristic figment of the imagination, lacking both a body to be kicked and a soul to be damned."[1]

In other words, just as Government Inc. a corporation is an epitome of personal irresponsibility and it's very form encourages rather than sanctions unethical business practices. This special privilege is offered to you by government and enforced by their guns. So much for accountability and so much for governments regulating the market against such things as monopolies. Another example of government supposedly trying to solve a problem that actually begins with itself.

In a voluntaryist order the smallest and biggest business unit is a single individual. You can have a "company" of individuals binded by a voluntarily agreed upon contract to conduct particular kinds of business under a particular name, but each person is still 100% liable for their actions. It's going to be very hard to establish such "figment of imagination" irresponsible business units as corporations because there is no legitimized force (AKA government) to back it up so people are truly free to, without confines of any particular laws dictate how, when and for whom will they conduct business. If everyone is 100% liable then everyone is on the same foot. Just because you have been extremely successful in a particular market does not grant you a pedestal that corporations today enjoy. You can still fall just as quickly as you've risen - your empire exists merely because a sufficient amount of people found it in their best interest to do business with you, but you have no authority to appeal to that would help you stay there.

All you can do then is continue producing good value. And that's what makes free market great.

Government regulation doesn't make a market more fair. It completely destroys all that makes it work. Such stupidity as "limited liability" is one of the grand examples of this disgusting violation.

Thank you

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dylunio's picture
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Interseting

This has been an interesting read (especially as I've been away for a while). Although I have Kropotkin-esque tendencies learning more about the world of anarcho-capitalism is interesting; although I don't agree with it due to the fact for a totally value based system of life one can get burnt if you don't know the true value of the thing you're buying - such a healthcare, which can be very complicated to understand - do you know which treatment is better for something?.

Thanks for the invigorating discussion.

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The thing is, if by "true

The thing is, if by "true value" you refer to the absolute and objective value of something (existing independently of any person) then I think what you're referring to doesn't exist. Something is valuable because someone values it, not because it has value inherent in it. Just like meaning it is individuals who give something value by perceiving it as valuable to them.

So the "true value" is actually always in you. There is no such thing as external true value.

The case you mentioned, which treatment is better for something, is not so much a matter of value as a matter of knowledge of the physical world around you. In order to know what is better for a specific physical disorder you need to know certain scientifically determined facts about your body, about the disorder and then based on that knowledge pick the treatment. If you do not know this then you hire someone who you trust does know it, a doctor in the field for instance, and that trust is earned by reputation of that doctor. If researching even so little is too much for one then it's entirely their fault if they make a wrong decision and nobody else should be required to bare the consequences of that, not even partake in the consequences (as is often the case today).

Value enters the picture only as something being modified by new knowledge. Obviously, if you value your health and are choosing between multiple treatments to a disorder you might have you will ultimately value most the one treatment which you find is correct or which your trustworthy doctor recommends.

dyluio wrote:

Thanks for the invigorating discussion.

Thanks for reading. Smiling

Cheers

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