Will Freedom for Libya Mean Peace for Somalia?

As surrealist Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi makes his horrifying last stand in Tripoli, it's probably for the best that the latest upheaval is not happening in one of our client states. But while Libya was not coddled by America in the way that Hosni Mubarak's Egypt was, the United States and Libya have worked together toward a common goal in Somalia.

When fellow Arab states began to shy away from Gaddafi after the Lockerbie bombing, he turned his eye to Africa. (In a famous 2009 hissy fit at an Arab League summit, after being quieted by the emir of Qatar, Gaddafi declared: "I am an international leader, the dean of the Arab rulers, the king of kings of Africa and the imam of Muslims and my international status does not allow me to descend to a lower level.") Under his rule, Libya was a founding member and key booster of the African Union, whose seven thousand troops are the only thing standing between Somalia's internationally-recognized Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and complete collapse.

Gaddafi's eagerness to prop up the TFG in Somalia earned him the praise of American diplomats, who in a leaked cable, said that "when approached with appropriate deference, Libya can be an effective actor," able to "secure our foreign policy interests" in Somalia. Ali Treiki, a high-ranking Libyan diplomat who is said to report directly to Muammar Gaddafi, even tried to get the United States to press for action on Somalia at the United Nations Security Council.

But with Gaddafi unlikely to hold out much longer and an American foreign policy establishment that's growing weary of the Somali government's perennial failure to govern, the TFG may not be long for this world. Most international efforts have operated under the assumption that Al Shabaab, an Islamist insurgent group, would fill the power vacuum, but many have noted that Al Shabaab fighters seem motivated more by money than by fanatic ideology, and that the alliance might fall apart if it loses its common enemy, the TFG.

But if not Al Shabaab, then who? Ken Menkhaus, a professor of political science at Davidson College who has written extensively about Somalia, has argued that Somalia's political equilibrium does not involve a traditional state at all. Rather, Menkhaus claims, a heterogeneous mix of local and regional governments, along with xeer, the traditional Somali legal code, would rise to fill the void.

Contrary to the popular image of Somalia as an irredeemable hellhole since state collapse in the early '90s, Somalis actually enjoyed a decade-long period of peace and prosperity (at least relative to Somalia's East African neighbors), beginning with the end of its civil war in the mid-'90s (which ended soon after the US and UN retreated) and ending with the 2006 Ethiopian invasion (backed by the United States and the African Union). If Gaddafi's fall saps the African Union of its power to intervene and the United States loses its taste for Somali adventures, the country might again revert back to official statelessness—which may mean a return to peace and economic growth for the Somali people, if not its government.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Old Mexican||

    Contrary to the popular image of Somalia as an irredeemable hellhole since state collapse in the early '90s, Somalis actually enjoyed a decade-long period of peace and prosperity (at least relative to Somalia's East African neighbors), beginning with the end of its civil war in the mid-'90s (which ended soon after the US and UN retreated) and ending with the 2006 Ethiopian invasion (backed by the United States and the African Union).


    But... But... but without any roads! How can you have a country with no government to build ROADS? Roads, I tell you! ROADS!

  • .||

    That bit of schtick is wearing a little thin.

  • ||

    So is your whining.

  • Spiny Norman||

    How do you think we feel? People say that kind of stuff seriously.

  • .||

    How do you think we feel?

    I can only guess: like frustrated toddlers?

  • nekoxgirl||

    Come on guy. The post was about Somalia. It's obligatory.

  • ||

    I've got a BAAAAAAAAD feeling I'm gonna be drunk by the time I finish these comments.

  • ||

    That bit of schtick is wearing a little thin.

    Nah it is great..

    Although i do wish the Weasel farm in the apartment schtick was used more frequently.

  • Statist Doc Brown||

    Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads*!

    *High speed rail is where it's at

  • Xenocles||

    Wait a minute... that's what happens at the end of the third movie!

  • Hugh Akston||

    But without a state government, who is going to do the important work of taking a census, setting immigration policy, doling out ag subsidies, and declaring war on neighboring countries?

    Also, roads.

  • Old Mexican||

    And externalities! Lots-an-lots-of externalities!

  • mr simple||

    Damn, this will be the perfect opening for the Koch brothers to swoop in and seize control using their billions of ill-gotten dollars, ensuring no one in their country has rights ever again! Boycott!

  • JoshINHB||

    Don't forget teh Children.

  • Old Mexican||

    Gaddafi's eagerness to prop up the TFG in Somalia earned him the praise of American diplomats, who in a leaked cable, said that "when approached with appropriate deference, Libya can be an effective actor," able to "secure our foreign policy interests" in Somalia.


    Darn that Assange!

  • Gus||

    Sleep. The organic Ruffie.

  • Suki||

    Remember, in a world of big tents Gaddafi's is pretty big.

  • Old Mexican||

    but many have noted that Al Shabaab fighters seem motivated more by money than by fanatic ideology


    Pfft, who doesn't?

  • Extended Warren T||

    But if we don't keep the Somalis down they might forcefully export their crappy roads to us.

    That would be the worst thing.

  • ||

    "when approached with appropriate deference, Libya can be an effective actor," able to "secure our foreign policy interests" in Somalia.

    We have "foreign policy interests" in Somalia? Why wasn't I notified?

  • Almanian||

    TOP. Men.

  • prolefeed||

    Note: not the same as "men who are tops."

  • Kolohe||

    We have "foreign policy interests" in Somalia? Why wasn't I notified?

    Keeping the sea lanes open that connect the Suez Canal, Karachi/Mumbai, and South Africa to each other and the world beyond is a US foreign policy interest. Somalia abutts the nexus of all these.

  • Spiny Norman||

    Hur, hur, hur ... you said "abutt."

  • ||

    And it's closer to Orlando than Tampa!

  • ||

    And it's closer to Orlando than Tampa!

    Dude, Pro L, shut the fuck up unless you want another high speed rail project to the Magic Kingdom®.

  • ||

    Florida is impervious to your high-speed crack, America.

  • Bill Clinton||

    J sub D didn't get the memo.

  • T||

    Wait, I thought a government was indispensable to peace and prosperity.

    And roads, of course. Can't forget the roads.

  • Gregory Smith||

    What do Muslims know about freedom? The word Islam means submission. These people are conditioned towards slavery since they're born.

    The only way to cure them is with cultural imperialism. Flood their shitty countries with Girls Gone Wild, iPods, Hollywood movies, PlayStation games, and all the joys of our superior Western consumerist society.

    The inferiority of these people isn't biological but cultural, but to cure them you have to fight the Muslim extremists, and we have to do it soon since they're coming to America.

    Heard of the Million Man March? Get your burka ready for the Million Muslim March.

    Shariah4America: The Muslim Extremist Extravaganza - July 4th, Washington, DC. http://libertarians4freedom.bl.....ready.html

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Gregory Smith,

    Flood their shitty countries with Girls Gone Wild[...]


    That will probably work better if you get a few burka-clad women to show their tits on camera....

  • T||

    What, your google broken? Burka porn is out there, OM. Rule 34 wins again.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: T,

    What, your google broken? Burka porn is out there[...]


    But it won't work if actual Muslim daughters are not featured. Otherwise is just normal American sluts wearing burkas, and these guys aren't stupid.

  • prolefeed||

    I'll be go to hell, there actually is that:

    Burka porn on Teh Googles

  • Old Mexican||

    I love the free market! Ha ha!

  • Mr Whipple||

    I really need to take a shower, now. And find a clean glass. Thanks prole.

  • Mr Whipple©®™||

    Sorry, forgot the ©®™. Don't want to get sued, and all that. It's bad enough I can't do it on my Droid.

  • Suki||

    Will hijab porn do? Link at the link.

  • ||

    STEVE SMITH THINK ABOUT RAPING NEOCON GREGORY, BUT THEN REALIZE GREGORY BUSY RAPING MEANING OF "LIBERTARIAN" AND STEVE LOSE DESIRE! STEVE KNOW THIS FIRST TIME, BUT GREGORY ESPECIALLY DISTASTEFUL!

  • ||

    He'd probably have a better response over at RedState.

  • prolefeed||

    Or RedTube.

  • ||

    xhamster

  • Hugh Akston||

    Soooooo the only way to stop them from forcing their culture on us is to do it to them first?

    What does this have to do with roads you racist wackaloon?

  • Paul||

    Don't be too hard on him, Hugh. He wants to flood them with Girls Gone Wild. That's cultural imperialism that I hope comes to my living room soon.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Hey, no one is a bigger advocate of Girls Gone Wild foreign policy than I am. I'm just a little sketchy on the ethics of GGW airdrops.

    But just in case, I am going to go watch some GGW now before I have Sharia law imposed on me.

  • Lara Logan||

    Yes, it ended so well for me.

  • Al Gore||

    GLOBAL WARMING DID IT!

  • ||

    I'm just a little sketchy on the ethics of GGW airdrops.

    According to Ian banks there is no problem so long as you are directed by super smart tyrannical socialist robots...whose history is a bit shady. (The process of gene fixing and imposing an artificial language could not have been pretty)

    with Gene Roddenberry?

    Not so much.

    Ursula Le Guin?

    I think She says we should show up with really good intentions and then die horribly cuz the natives just don't give a fuck.

    Arkady and Boris Strugatsky say you should do it but covertly and very very slowly....and in the end everyone you know and love is going to die.

  • Extended Warren T||

    How about The Golden Girls Gone Wild videos?

  • ||

    Thanks for the visual.

  • Gus||

    That turned me gay.

  • affenkopf||

  • Somali Pirate||

    Arrr!

  • Matt Damon||

    MATT DAM-- I mean ROADS!

  • Jess Asken||

    Will freedom for Libya mean peace for Matt Damon?

  • Sarah Silverman||

    I'm fucking Matt Damon.

  • ||

    Ah, nostalgia for Somalia in the good old Blackhawk Down days, eh? Nothing wrong with that country that qat and xeer can't solve, for sure. And I hear the cell phone reception is great, too!

    Please avert thine eyes from the pirates, the Al Qaeda camps, and the dandy work of the Islamic Courts Union. Nothing to see here, folks. Just insert snarky remarks about "teh roads" and leave it at that.

    I guess the margin of the margin just isn't marginal enough for Reason dot com. It is now deemed meet to publish crude Glibertarian self-satire as sincere opinion.

    Good luck in '12.

  • ||

    Danny, how did you get out of your crib? Now I have to change your diapers again too!

  • ||

    No rush, Episiarch.

    I can wait until you're done giving sevo his bj and Old Mexican his yogurt enema. (Golly, you sure stay busy!)

  • ||

    Well, you're hyperactive, and that makes for a lot of work. By the way, did the Xanax work? You seem slightly calmer today.

  • oh Danny||

    Don't worry, your Fearless Leader, Nobel War Pig Obama, will soon be raining drones on Somalia.

  • ||

    Just because Danny escaped from his crib doesn't mean he soiled himself. Well, maybe it does.

  • ||

    He always soils himself. It's his way.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Hey, good luck to you too. Let us know which neocon empty suit does the best in promising to outdo Obama in spending the country into oblivion.

    That way we can totally vote for him.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Danny,

    Ah, nostalgia for Somalia in the good old Blackhawk Down days, eh?


    No, after.

    Please avert thine eyes from the pirates, the Al Qaeda camps, and the dandy work of the Islamic Courts Union.


    Feast your eyes with maritime regulations that forbid merchantmen to be armed and defend their ship from boarders, or the fact that Al-Qaeda is the bastard child of the American Empire, and that the Islamic Union Courts do not come up with whoppers like Wickard v. Filburn or Kelo v. New London.

  • Cytotoxic||

    maritime regulations that forbid merchantmen to be armed
    Deflection

    Al-Qaeda is the bastard child of the American Empire
    Bullshit

    whoppers like Wickard v. Filburn or Kelo v. New London.
    Somehow that doesn't quite equal fucking Sharia law asshole.

    Danny's right you guys just don't want to be taken seriously.

  • ||

    Randroid troll is Randroid.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Pathetic even by your standards. I accept your defeat with magnanimity.

  • ||

    Accept whatever delusions you need to get you through the day, dipshit.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Oh the irony!

  • ||

    Al-Qaeda is the bastard child of the American Empire
    Bullshit

    Al Qaeda began as an organization as a response to the stationing of US troops in Saudi Arabia. This is historical fact and not subject to dispute.

    Now, you could argue that's irrelevant because something like al-Qaeda would have come into being even without US military interventionism, but al-Qaeda itself certainly had its origins as a response to US policy.

  • Cytotoxic||

    "Notes of a meeting of bin Laden and others on August 20, 1988, indicate al-Qaeda was a formal group by that time: "basically an organized Islamic faction, its goal is to lift the word of God, to make His religion victorious.""

    Lifted from Wikipedia source is Wright 2006. So your fact is wrong. I'm sure that Bin Laden claimed that he was outraged by US stationing of troops in SA, but this was nothing more than a recruiting tool. If not that outrage, then another.

  • Cytotoxic||

    This is NOT to say that US stationing of troops abroad on open-ended sojourns is a good idea. Shitty policy, just not the cause of AQ.

  • ||

    I know, right? We all think it's nothing but rainbows and unicorn farts over there.

  • Stephen J. Smith||

    Please avert thine eyes from the pirates, the Al Qaeda camps, and the dandy work of the Islamic Courts Union.

    Gaddafi, is that you??

    Also—the ICU is sooo 2006. Al Shabaab is the new Islamist boogeyman.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Here, Stephen J. Smith attempts to deflect from serious concern over Islamist government in Somalia with hair-splitting and attaching the lightly mocking 'boogeyman' label to the target. This subject is not to be taken seriously.

  • Cytotoxic||

    It's sad really. gLibertarians here yell "roads!11" to (righteously) mock statist critics, and then some of them actually point to Somalia's great cell phone reception as some sort of vindication. It's a self-satire vortex.

  • ||

    The post about cell phones as I recall it was about the transitional government "regulating the one thing that works" in Somalia. That's suppoed to be some kind of vindication?

  • ||

    Ah, nostalgia for Somalia in the good old Blackhawk Down days, eh?

    If we don't sent Blackhawks there there won't be any Blackhawk Downs. So, no.

    the pirates

    There are better ways to deal with that (such as OM's suggestions) than boots on the ground in Somalia itself. That's not a deflection, Cyto.

    the Al Qaeda camps

    If they exist we should destroy them, air raid style. No need to occupy territory. (And they probably don't exist in the first place)

    and the dandy work of the Islamic Courts Union.

    None of our government's business. Eradicating man's inhumanity to man from the planet is not a power given to the federal government in the constitution. If you want to grab some like-minded friends and some weapons and give the ICU what for, go for it. There's a long tradition of American citizens fighting for freedom overseas, independent of the US govt.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I don't remember Danny calling for any invasion or BlackHawks. You're right about a few of these points Tulpa but you're also kind of sorta attacking a strawman. Danny was attacking the notion that Somalia was dandy and I agreed with him.

  • mike c.||

    Word to your last paragraph. Think of what 10,000 mercenaries could carve out of that part of Africa. If only our govt would mind it's own business Gatesylvania might be a nice place to live.

  • Kolohe||

    a decade-long period of peace and prosperity (at least relative to Somalia's East African neighbors),

    The abstract only indicates that things were better relative to before and after, not relative to other East Africa nations.

    The last time that HDI was measured in Somalia was 2001, with a score that put it at 161 of the around 170 countries measured that year (and a score that was less than the latest scores for Kenya, Djibouti, or even Eritrea.)

    *the last time it was measured

  • IceTrey||

    That links states that "Somalia's last inclusion in the HDI ranking was in the 1996 report (1993 data).".

  • prolefeed||

    So, we don't know what the heck is actually going on in Somalia?

  • T||

    Obviously, because there's no government there to tell us. Or roads.

  • US Census Worker||

    You're welcome.

  • Y S S||

    Thanks, I suppose, for helping tell us what the heck is going on in the US.

    But who's going to tell us WTF is?

  • PIRS||

    "and an American foreign policy establishment that's growing weary of the Somali government's perennial failure to govern,"

    Would we ever hear a doctor talk about a "perennial failure to get cancer"?

    http://www.gonzotimes.com/2010.....the-blind/

  • ||

    Remember, the Bushpigs love them some Saudi Arabia/Somalia lack of regulation!

    Except for religious regulation of course! That is the "good" kind of regulation.

    Put me down for liberal Sweden - I live in Georgia (the US state) where the Wahabbi Christians want to kill me for blasphemy.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: shrike,

    Put me down for liberal Sweden


    You can be put down in liberal Sweden - will that be close enough?

  • Shrike = Muhamadan Xdresser||

    Shrike loves burkas.

  • T||

    Yup, it's definitely your blasphemy that makes people want to kill you, shrike. Must be that. Couldn't possibly be any other reason someone might find you objectionable.

  • Quakers||

    We're even considering it.

  • MlR||

    Now that's funny.

  • ||

    What makes you think that the Swedes would want you in their country ?

  • Shrike = Religious Nutbag||

    Shrike's paranoia is comical.

  • Paul||

    Finally, we got our first serious "roads" comment.

  • sevo||

    "I live in Georgia (the US state) where the Wahabbi Christians want to kill me for blasphemy."

    Nope. They and the rest would be happy to see you die for your general assholery.
    Don't flatter yourself.

  • Shrike=Paranoid Bible Humper||

  • ||

    No.

  • wayne||

    "I am an international leader, the dean of the Arab rulers, the king of kings of Africa and the imam of Muslims and my international status does not allow me to descend to a lower level."

    Charlie Sheen is clearly the only guy who can play Kadafi when they make the movie, it's a natural fit, Adonis DNA and all.

  • ||

    I mean this in all seriousness: If your country lacks an insane dictator and wants one, Charlie Sheen is your guy.

  • ||

    Would that bring Charlie full circle from "Hot Shots, Part Deux"?

  • Hookers and Blow||

    Taken. He's already our insane dictator.

  • ||

    I think he'd make a great despot in Haiti.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Charlie Sheen or Episiarch?

  • Qadafi||

    Only Sheen can do it. Epi lacks the maturity.

  • ||

    I accept! My secret police will be along shortly, Hugh, with your...reward.

  • ||

    At least I know what the official pizza of Haiti will be. For Haiti, that's stability.

  • ||

    My secret pizza police will stamp out thick crust insurrection using the most brutal techniques imaginable. Starting with you, ProL.

  • ||

    Dude, while you're ruling Haiti, I'll be peddling my deep-dish pizza philosophy unopposed, supported by the greatest economic and military power the Earth has ever seen.

    We'll send you some flour and tomato paste in our subsidy packages, though. America is benevolent in its beneficence.

  • DNS||

    At least I know what the official pizza of Haiti will be. For Haiti, that's stability.

    The deep dish insurrectionists can use the deep dish pizzas as sea worthy craft to flee such despotism as thin crust pizza.

  • Hugh Akston||

    You mean I've doomed the people of Haiti to a generation of thin crust pizza? I can say without hyperbole that that is the worst thing that's ever happened to that island.

  • BakedPenguin||

    A wafer-thin slice of "bread," slightly covered in sauce and cheese, and swimming in grease. Now that's a pie!

  • BakedPenguin||

    Episiarch, URKOBOLD has had it with your thin crust fanaticism!

  • ||

    You know, I've never discussed pizza preferences with the Über Troll.

  • ||

    Wow, OK man that is like kinda crazy whn you think about it.

    complete-privacy.eu.tc

  • Cytotoxic||

    This article is a load of shit. I don't know why Reason allows Stephen Smith to write for them but they need to wise up.
    Contrary to the delusions of anarchist scum, Somolia is and was a hellhole. It was not peaceful. There was constant inter-clan warfare prior to 2006, as well as an Islamist takeover. And where the fuck does getting rid of the TFG bring peace to Somalia? The author's attempt to argue this point is feeble.

    There is a part of Somalia that does work and it's Somaliland. It has a government that does its job more or less ie protecting the rights of citizens. Sorry anarchist scum you lose again get out of libertarianism!

  • ||

    Uh oh, the Randroid is cranky today!

    When you find me an actual anarchist who holds up Somalia as some sort of anarchism example, you fucking moron, you get back to me. Considering that the only people using Somalia as that are disingenuous fucks like yourself or leftists who just want to smear libertarianism (hence the road jokes, you idiot), your arguments are not just circular, but fucking retarded as well.

    Nice try, though. Well, not really; it was actually pretty pathetic.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Uh oh, Epi called me cranky and a fucking moron! He also said "disingenous fucks," "smear", and "retarded". He's really getting that syllable count up there; ReaderRabbit really doing him good.

  • ||

    I'll note that being a disingenuous fuck, you didn't address the point. But hey, utterly weak attempts at syllable count jokes totally make up for it. Really.

    Did becoming a Randroid strip you of your taste and humor, or did you become a Randroid because you never had any in the first place?

  • Cytotoxic||

    So what was your point exactly? That you're an immature ignorant twat? We already knew you were an anarchist.

  • ||

    This coming from someone who gets his philosophy from a fiction book?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Read Battlefield Earth! Maybe you'll become a Scientologist? Then you can insult us here as "man-animals" and "rat-brains". That would be awesome.

  • sevo||

    "Uh oh, Epi called me cranky and a fucking moron! He also said "disingenous fucks," "smear", and "retarded"."

    He's being nice; others aren't so kind about your stupidity.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Others. Sure, okay. I'm sure they actually exist.

  • ||

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Please tell us how popular you are. Please. Are you sure you're not joe?

  • sevo||

    other

  • ||

    Just like communists don't hold up the USSR as an example of communism, and drug warriors don't hold up alcohol prohibition as an example of drug prohibition.

    Fortunately, the rest of us do recognize them as examples.

  • nekoxgirl||

    Somalia was communist until the 1990's. It doesn't matter what type of government that country has or doesn't have, it will take decades to fix those problems. Also, I was unaware there was ever an anarcho-capitalism movement afoot in Africa...

  • Cytotoxic||

    Good point, but that was 20 years ago and Somalia has been anarchist since (south of Puntland). Not an idealist anarcho-capitalist movement but rather its nightmarish reality.

  • ||

    Eastern Europe was communist until 1989, three years before Somalia's last real government was overthrown.

    In any case, that's a dodge. Anarcho-capitalism is supposed to arise on its own and perpetuate itself, so it doesn't require a "movement", just the absence of government. Since every square inch of land (save Somalia and Antarctica) on earth is claimed to be in the jurisdiction of some national government, any anarcho-capitalist society that comes into being now or in the future is necessarily going to have to follow the demise of a government. If you're saying A-C can't handle that kind of situation, then it's an impractical philosophy.

  • ||

    If you think anarcho-capitalism is the absence of the rule of law, you don't know what anarcho-capitalism is.

  • ||

    Tulpa's an authoritarian, so to him, no central authority is the ultimate evil.

    I wouldn't argue an-cap with people who find even the possibility of its existence terrifying.

  • ||

    I find it terrifying the same way I would find a ten-foot-tall pink frog giving me a handjob terrifying.

    Not unpleasant per se, but it ain't gonna happen.

  • ||

    Tulpa's an authoritarian, so to him, no central authority is the ultimate evil.

    HA!

  • ||

    I think I'm pretty familiar with A-C, but definitely still open to education. I'm kind of fuzzy on how the rule of law can exist when there is no law.

    If you're claiming that everyone will just voluntarily follow some overarching natural law, you're in the same fantasyland as the anarcho-socialists are. If you're replacing law with the dictates of security companies then there is no rule of law.

  • ||

    You are thinking in terms of the monopolistic state.

  • ||

    This is addressed to Ayn Rand, but it refutes the arguments of non-anarchist libertarians too.

  • ||

    It refutes a bunch of strawman arguments (in this case the strawman is Rand). I particularly like his "refutation" of the idea that a non-coercive an-cap society would be at the mercy of criminals, where he claims that criminals would be punished by private security companies. Apparently private security companies are staffed by angels who would never think of using their power in a coercion-initiating way, and transform from a private company into a word starting with G, ending with T, and with "overmen" in the middle.

  • ||

    Apparently private security companies are staffed by angels who would never think of using their power in a coercion-initiating way, and transform from a private company into a word starting with G, ending with T, and with "overmen" in the middle.

    Governments don't compete with each other in a non-coercive manner. They hold coercive power over a geographical area, and can take geographical areas away from other governments. Any problem you see with non-coercive, competing governments are not only present but worse in monopolistic governments.

  • ||

    I think I'm pretty familiar with A-C, but definitely still open to education. I'm kind of fuzzy on how the rule of law can exist when there is no law.

    I am pretty sure they have Sharia law in Somalia.

  • nekoxgirl||

    I'm more of a minarchist than an anarcho-capitalist, so I'm not an expert on A-C theory, but I'm pretty sure a country would need to have capitalism before A-C would work. Has capitalism ever really existed in Somalia? It went from being a colony of Europe (mercantilism?) straight into communism.

    I'm pretty sure Eastern Europe is still dealing with the after effects of communism 20 years later. If Eastern Europe is still struggling to fix their economy and system of government, I would think it would be even harder for a country in Africa.

  • ||

    Capitalism is what exists when coercive interference is removed from an economy. (Recall that it didn't even have a name until early socialists needed a label for the economic system of Europe at that time -- it was something that spontaneously arose)

    Even communist societies have some degree of capitalism, in the form of black markets.

  • Jay Banks||

    Yeah, you are right saying that Eastern European countries are still dealing with the effects of communism, but basing on their experience, it is obvious that positive transformation changes can be very dynamic, just depending on the quality of governance. I am aware of the different starting lines of African countries, but they cannot keep hiding beneath it forever.

  • Mr Whipple©®™||

    Many people believe that Somalia’s economy has been in chaos since the collapse of its
    national government in 1991. We take a comparative institutional approach to examine
    Somalia’s performance relative to other African countries both when Somalia had a
    government and during its extended period of anarchy. We find that although Somalia is
    poor, its relative economic performance has improved during its period of statelessness.
    We also describe how Somalia has provided basic law and order and a currency, which
    have enabled the country to achieve the coordination that has led to improvements in its
    standard of living.

    [...]


    Since the collapse of its central government, Somalia has not become an anarchocapitalist
    utopia resembling those described by theorists such as Rothbard (1973) and
    Friedman (1989). However, most African states do not come close to approaching many
    theorists’ views of an ideal state either. In a comparative institutional comparison given
    existing culture, ideology, history, geography, income, and resources, the interesting
    question is how well does Somalia function compared to realistic alternatives. Menkhaus
    summarized the Somali view of the state by writing,
    The revival of a state is viewed in Somali quarters as a zero-sum game,
    creating winners and losers in a game with potentially very high stakes.
    Groups which gain control over a central government will use it to
    appropriate economic resources at the expense of others, and will use the
    law, patronage, and the monopoly of legitimate use of violence to protect
    this advantage. This is the only experience Somalis have had with
    centralised authority, and it tends to produces risk-aversion and to
    instigate conflict rather than promote compromise, whenever efforts are
    made to establish a national government (2003: 408).
    Given this Somali view of the state, the reemergence of a national government
    would quite likely produce a “vampire state” that would not provide social order but
    would instead suck the life out of the economy. Ayittey recently wrote that the modern
    nation state is largely incompatible with traditional indigenous African culture and that,
    “The rogue African state should be left to the fate it deserves – implosion and state
    collapse” (2007: 238).
    This paper has explored the consequences of state collapse for a country that
    existed under the rule of a vampire state. Far from chaos and economic collapse, we find
    that Somalia is generally doing better than when it had a state. Basic economic order is
    possible because of the existence of a common law dispute resolution system and a non26
    state monetary system. On that foundation we find that urban business and commercial
    activity is possible and that the pastoral sector has expanded. This paper’s main
    contribution to the literature on Somalia’s living standards has been to compare them to
    those of 42 other sub-Saharan African countries both before and after the collapse of the
    national government. We find that Somalia’s living standards have improved generally
    and that they compare relatively favorably with many existing African states.
    Importantly, we find that Somali living standards have often improved, not just in
    absolute terms, but also relative to other African countries since the collapse of the
    Somali central government.

    Somalia After State Collapse: Chaos or Improvement?
    Benjamin Powell
    Ryan Ford
    Alex Nowrasteh

    http://www.independent.org/pdf.....omalia.pdf

  • Cytotoxic||

    The country is only doing marginally better than it was under a socialist dictator and marginally better than the neighbors who are also under socialists or other statists. Hardly a great win. The breakaway region of Somaliland, with relatively good and small government, is doing better, so much so that AQ is afraid and bombed it (probably Somaliland imperialism). For that matter, Kenya is doing way better than Somalia is so yeah that pretty much kills it.

  • Mr Whipple©®™||

    Well, it does make better than a Hellhole, as you stated. So, which is it? Would you like to change your story again?

  • Cytotoxic||

    No, it's still a hellhole. My story hasn't changed, it's just that you're all butthurt.

  • ||

    He can read minds over the internet. Amazing. What can't you do?

  • DNS||

    He can read minds over the internet. Amazing. What can't you do?

    Randroids - how do they fuckin' work?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Can't get you to STFU or say anything indicating a mature level of intelligence, but who can?

  • Mr Whipple©®™||

    Can't get you to STFU or say anything indicating a mature level of intelligence, but who can?

    Cytotoxic|2.28.11 @ 6:15PM|#

    This article is a load of shit...

    http://reason.com/blog/2011/02.....nt_2159375

    Yes, that's a mature level of intelligence. You started it, douchebag. Your very first sentence indicated that you were either, not willing, or not able to have an intelligent conversation.

    Disingenuous, indeed!

  • ||

    Keep talking about "maturity". It's just so delicious.

  • ||

    Cytotoxic hasn't even read the majority of Rand's work, he is arguing from the assumption that someone else has refuted anarcho-capitalism. I am likely more knowledgeable of Objectivism than he is. This is what happens when people stop thinking for themselves and let other do it for them.

  • Mr Whipple©®™||

    Like Epi said, you are a disingenuous fuck.

  • sevo||

    Cytotoxic|2.28.11 @ 7:37PM|#
    "The country is only doing marginally better than it was under a socialist dictator and marginally better than the neighbors who are also under socialists or other statists. Hardly a great win."

    Yep, turn Cytotoxic loose there, and Cytotoxic could bring those improvements to a dead stop.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Yeah, all us Objectivists are so down with the socialism/statism, as are all non-anarchists. We in particular have attained the ability to absorb radio waves and that is how we will destroy your beloved Somalian cell phone industry! AND WE SHIT RAODS!

  • sevo||

    Cytotoxic|2.28.11 @ 8:15PM|#
    "...AND WE SHIT RAODS!"

    Dunno about that, but your bullshit production is something to behold.

  • ||

    What I have never understood is the Objectivist's certainty that successful anarchism is a floating abstraction, all while asserting that successfully limited government is not.

  • prolefeed||

    Well, Ayn Rand said minarchy is the only moral form of government, and that anarchy isn't possible, so clearly ... CLEARLY ... the former must be objectively true.

  • ||

    It's a curious mentality. I can point to numerous examples of "anarchy," some successful, some not. Never has there ever been a "minarchy."

  • rather||

    Clearly she was an expert on government-Did she get her SS checks monthly, or was it direct deposit?

  • ||

    Hmmm, let me guess... Rectal says something stupid?

  • rather||

    missing me baby?

  • ||

    Thank you for confirming Rectal.

  • Mr Whipple©®™||

    Off topic:

    Today, on Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane (WHYY-NPR, Philadelphia), a most excellent debate between "NANCY MACLEAN, an historian of labor and public policy at Duke University and CHRIS EDWARDS, the director of tax policy studies at The Cato Institute" on The Future of Public Employee Unions. The bitch almost had a heart attack. I almost pissed myself laughing.

    Click "Listen to the mp3" about an hour.

  • Mr Whipple©®™||

    The thing that pissed me off was that MacLean got Edwards to state that David Koch was on the Board at Cato, but there was no mention that David funds Nova, which airs on WHYY-TV.

  • Mr Whipple©®™||

    Hey, I'm a dumb fuck. I forgot to post the link. Fuck me.

    http://whyy.org/cms/radiotimes.....ee-unions/

  • DNS||

    HTS was here. The gist of his screed was the plotline from Star Wars I - TPM. Lucasfilm, LTD. should sue.

  • Hugh Akston||

    It'll never happen. No jury in the world will believe that The Phantom Menace had a plot.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Or acting for that matter. Well...maybe that was a bit harsh. I still lol'd.

  • Mr. Chartreuse||

    Well, at least Ian McDiarmid actually gave a shit. His faint "Sith, Fuck yeah!" smile when seeing Ms. Mail-it-in run off to Naboo, is one of the best scenes in the entire six movie series.

  • Rock Action ||

    Herc,

    There is no way you used the words "side show" and missed the irony. You couldn't have.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    We have to start referring to HTS as "The Herc".

  • Mr. Chartreuse||

    So, are we and our friends at Grace Brothers going to get drawn into the this shit storm?

    Cameron said he had told the Ministry of Defence and the chief of the defence staff to draw up plans for a no-fly zone in coordination with Britain's Nato allies and report back to him within days.

    A no-fly zone would be designed principally to prevent attacks on Libyan people by the Gaddafi regime – mainly by his helicopter gun ships.

    Cameron suggested the UK might even consider arming the Libyan opposition forces if Tripoli used more violence to crush demonstrations.

    Officials said discussions on a range of military options began last week between British and US officials at the Pentagon. They said that the support of US and British armed forces might also be required to protect corridors to channel humanitarian relief into Libya through Tunisia and Egypt, if further conflict brought about a mass displacement of the population and a collapse in the food supply.
  • Young Mr Grace||

    You are all doing very well!

  • ||

    Oh man, I come back from a night of drinking drunk as shit, only to find this thread when I come back. Irooooony.

  • lol||

    I guess you aren't getting laid again

  • ||

    I guess you aren't a whore.

  • lol||

    lol-you are drunk. That's your best shot ?

  • lol||

    I can just see you puking into the toilet-I'll never drink again

  • ||

    LOL, maybe in high school. I know my limits.

  • ||

    Also, you aren't fooling anyone blog whore.

  • ||

    I mean, shit, I'm drunk and I can still tell it's you. Dumb bitch.

  • rather||

    Bitch, lol-you are drunk. That's your best shot ?
    Was that the clue?
    I fucking told you by that dumbass

  • ||

    You're dumb as shit, you know I have your name incifed right? Keep talking to yourself, whore.

  • rather||

    Sure you do baby. Let's follow your logic fail:
    1. mean, shit, I'm drunk and I can still tell it's you. Dumb bitch.
    ...I have your name incifed right?
    Do I need to explain dumbass?

    2.Incif works via the handle not the IP, lol.

  • ||

    Keep talking to yourself whore.

  • ||

    Really, I don't know why you keep replying.

    INCIF MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU SPEAK IT?

  • rather||

    Did you just wake-up the rest of the dorm?

  • ||

    Let the record reflect that Rectal is just too stupid to learn.

  • rather||

    helle is it the OCD that makes you reply, or your dick? Just curious.

  • ||

    Stupid people detract from my buzz, night pickle cunt.

  • ||

    INCIF MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU SPEAK IT?

    HOLYSHIT!!!

    $10 says the program's author has me blacklisted.

  • rather||

    You can check-welcome to the club ;-)

  • Mr Whipple©®™||

    Get a fucking room!!!

  • rather||

    what a dirty mind. ;-)

  • .||

    ^^^
    Ladies and gentlemen, the best and brightest of H&R.

  • rather ||

    ., are you feeling insignificant again?

  • ||

    Nope.

  • ||

    Contrary to the popular image of Somalia as an irredeemable hellhole since state collapse in the early '90s, Somalis actually enjoyed a decade-long period of peace and prosperity

    So wait are we arguing that a government-less nation with sharia law is better then a nation with a government and sharia law?

  • SxCx||

    You mean life can still be shitty without the state?

  • rather||

    While you're waiting:
    My new post for the Koche boys Lucy/5 cents gratis advice

  •  ||

    No. But back on topic: how long do you think H&R's comfortable white "anarchists" would last in Somalia? I'd give 'em a week, tops.

  • rather ||

    what part of white do you think means they would blend in for more than five seconds?

    Now go to my blog-you'll learn to think

  • ||

    You'll learn to think, "WTF did I do THAT for?!?"

  •   ||

    I never click blog-whore links. Or links from the house narcissists.

  • Rather||

    wow mr./ms so insignificant that he/she doesn't have a name thinks anyone gives a shit about his/her opinions

  • Rather||

    Does my lack of self-awareness know no bounds? Oh the irony...

  • ||

    That actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Wow.

    complete-privacy.eu.tc

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement