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Free Minds & Free Markets

Debate: Be an Anarchist, Not a Minarchist

Should we be satisfied with limited government rather than no government?

AFFIRMATIVE:
Private, Contractual Methods Are More Efficient and More Just

Katherine Mangu-Ward

I'm an anarchist because government tends toward ineptitude and consent is extremely important. If you describe yourself as a libertarian, you probably agree with both of those propositions.

The state is bad at doing things. Quite a lot of things, really. That's a claim most libertarians—and an awful lot of non-libertarians—would find uncontroversial. Everyone agrees governments are frequently annoying (see: the DMV) and often deeply unjust and immoral (see: slavery). These conditions occur because governments are composed of fallible human beings, who want to make a buck/gain the respect of their peers/do the right thing/do the easiest thing/get through the day. They persist because government actors ruthlessly stamp out would-be competitors, using violence and threats of violence, a privilege they reserve for themselves alone.

Which raises the question: Might individuals left to their own devices to act freely within a context of self-ownership, private property, and free markets do better than this messy, immoral, violent morass?

Many people find the next bit in the anarchist sales pitch off-putting—the part where we start throwing around terms like non-aggression principle, polycentric legal orders, agorism, and confiscatory taxation. But it's really a pretty simple exercise: Imagine the ways in which nonstate entities can provide all the goods and services governments currently provide, and consider that maybe they can do it better, more efficiently, and more justly. While I like a good deep dive into the anarchic or quasi-anarchic systems of medieval Iceland or early British common law as much as the next gal, we needn't look to such exotic places to find evidence that a truly voluntary society can work.

Many sectors previously thought to be the proper business of governments alone have given way under pressure from new technologies or business innovations—the space launch industry, mail delivery, dispute resolution, recordkeeping methods up to and including money itself. And, of course, roads. (Many of these functions always had private competition, as libertarians well know, even if conventional wisdom held otherwise.) It is reasonable to anticipate that the list of things private entities can do better than public entities will grow, not shrink. The U.S. government gets bigger and dumber every day, but mercifully the realms just out of reach of state control are getting bigger and better much faster. These include gray and black markets, which flourish on the much-maligned dark web, but also exist barely sub rosa on the ordinary social media and e-commerce sites most of us use daily.

The anarchist seeks to shrink and eventually eliminate the monopoly state as punishment for its moral and practical failings, but we can and should revel in the way it is continually being outmatched and outpaced as well.

What's more, the absence of a government is not synonymous with the absence of order or even rule of law. Most people systematically overlook the ways in which their lives are already ordered by nonstate forces and in which the welfare of others is supported through noncoercive methods. Private legal regimes exist all around us; they govern our dating apps, our homeowners associations, our credit cards, our Twitter streams, our charitable giving, and a whole lot more. Yes, they are imperfect, but they are also more likely to fail when the money stops rolling in due to those imperfections, rather than stealing more of your money to grow ever larger as the state nearly always will.

Each of these examples contains an elaborate system of rules and conventions that the participants accept and follow, and sometimes amend, without government oversight or enforcement. The state lurks in the background, because such is the reality of our current world. But recourse to state courts and police is relatively rare when conflict occurs in these spaces, in part because walking away is almost always a viable option. Sticking around can, in fact, imply consent. And if that's not good enough for you, explicit contracts offer a robust instrument to help resolve disputes.

"Consent of the governed," by contrast, is not actual consent, and to mistake it for consent is to undermine the very definition of the word. If 51 percent of women signed a document saying they liked rough sex, that certainly would not give an individual man permission to push any individual woman up against a wall. Yet this is the essence of representative government. (This example is purposely inflammatory and hyper-personalized, since long habituation has made most people deaf and blind to parallel harms imposed by the state—as in the everyday conduct of the war on drugs, the collection of taxes, and the enforcement of economic regulations.)

Unlike in a market, when the state provides a service, it has the power to criminalize competition from private entities that might be able to do the same thing with less graft, less cronyism, or less collateral damage. This retards innovation in the name of protecting the status quo, a phenomenon most libertarians recognize as an outright evil.

Nonanarchist libertarians often treat the existence of the state as an unfortunate inevitability. They would love, in theory, to privatize law enforcement or at least the roads, but the logistics just seem so tiresome. This always strikes me as peculiar coming from people who will cheerfully sketch out their 20-year, 87-part, 50-state strategy to transition from traditional public schools to charters.

Joanna AndreassonJoanna AndreassonThe fact that I wake up each morning, spit on my hands, and mentally hoist a black and yellow flag doesn't actually reveal very much about my practical politics—and there's no reason it should. At the risk of piling on an overly baroque series of adjectives, the most defensible form of libertarianism is incrementalist anarcho-capitalism. Revolutionary anarchism would likely impose large amounts of harm to people and property. Middling minarchism quickly sinks into intuitionist and irrational line drawing: Why should trash pickup be privatized but not policing? But the agorists—an even less well-known varietal of an already-rare hothouse ancap political philosophy—are on to something with their strategy of engaging in black market counter-economic activity to undermine the state without violently overthrowing it.

It may well be, as Robert Nozick suggested, that anarchy is fundamentally unstable, and that it would rapidly and reliably evolve into a form of "minarchism"—a small-government society featuring a monopoly provider of defense and law. But that's neither here nor there. We're not going to achieve true minarchism any time soon, either. And if my anarchy collapses into your minarchy through voluntary interactions, well, that sounds like a happy ending for everyone, doesn't it?

For the nonce, there is no daylight between the policy prescriptions favored by the gradualist anarchist and the minarchist. We should rightly be part of the same libertarian coalition for free minds and free markets. I assure you, the lowest-priority items on my government-smashing to-do list are the elements of the night watchman state that most minarchist libertarians would like to preserve.

But why anyone would hold out hope that the night watchman will turn out to be better or easier to restrain than the jackbooted thugs currently working the day shift is an eternal mystery to me.

NEGATIVE:
In Praise of a State That Does a Few Things Well

Nick Gillespie

To me, the three saddest words in the English language are "taxation is theft."

Over the past few years, that slogan has become a shorthand way of announcing oneself as an anarcho-capitalist. It's also an excellent means of alienating people who don't already agree with you. In my experience, the same folks also usually declare that the non-aggression principle (NAP), which holds that any nondefensive use of force is morally illegitimate, should be the whole of the law. Those of us who merely believe in limited government, rather than no government—such sketchy characters as Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, and Ludwig von Mises—are deemed "fake" libertarians.

Minarchism is the belief that we should have a small government that does a few things well. Exactly what those things are will change over time and circumstance, but the general view is rooted in a long tradition that virtually everyone on the planet already buys into.

Confusing libertarianism with anarchism is no way to build a successful, influential social movement, which is ultimately what I'm after. We want to help make the world more free, more peaceful, and more prosperous by reducing the size, scope, and spending of government and empowering individuals to pursue happiness as they see fit. At worst, "taxation is theft" is a bullet-proof conversation stopper, like wearing an "Ask Me about My Herpes" T-shirt to a swingers club.

At best, it immediately narrows all conversations to boring, tedious, and fundamentally irrelevant discussions about hypotheticals, first principles, and extreme a priori-ism that are light-years removed from anything to do with the world we actually live in. Why bother figuring out what school choice programs should look like? Haven't you heard? TAXATION IS THEFT, and nonvoluntary government institutions are not simply misguided—they're absolute violations of the NAP. If that's true, then conversations about policy, much less libertarian approaches to literature, art, community, religion, and everything else humans do on a daily basis, might as well be planting a flower garden in a concentration camp.

But if libertarianism is not synonymous with anarchism, then what is it, exactly? My position is that it's a pre-political state of mind, a temperament, and an outlook that privileges things such as autonomy, open-mindedness, pluralism, tolerance, innovation, and voluntary cooperation over forced participation in as many parts of life as possible. It's part and parcel of the great shift in thinking that got underway during the Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment (an epoch increasingly known as the Early Modern period). That period generated a consensus about truths that we still hold to be self-evident: All of us are created equal and we've got certain rights that can't be taken away, especially life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Individuals exist before the creation of the state or the church, and the king, the Pope, and the body politic don't have unlimited rights to tell us what to do.

"Forced worship stinks in God's nostrils," the great colonial American religious reformer and defender of secular government Roger Williams once wrote to explain why theocracy was an affront to human dignity. So it is with most aspects of our lives. Libertarians want to increase the spaces where we get to choose (or invent) how to live. This broad set of ideas has obvious, immediate, and long-lasting political effects, but they can't and shouldn't be reduced to a simple slogan or a single rigid form of (non)government.

This is another way of saying that like Walt Whitman's America, libertarianism is vast and contains multitudes (and contradictions). In fact, I think libertarian works better as an adjective than as a noun. You can be a libertarian anarchist, a libertarian centrist, even a libertarian socialist (Noam Chomsky's preferred self-designation). But these are personal preferences, not logical truths or mathematical proofs. They all rest upon an understanding of limited government that proceeds directly from Early Modern beliefs about the sanctity of the individual, which implies limited government.

"Most people overlook the ways in which their lives are already ordered and the welfare of others supported through noncoercive methods."

For these reasons, give me minarchism. Some things will always be subject to political consensus, but let's limit those to the few that are absolutely necessary. That isn't a clear line but a constantly shifting border that will always have to be negotiated. But one clear benefit of small government over anarchy is that it swaps out bull sessions about first principles for a conversation that most of us are already having, which is where and when to draw the boundary of governmental control over us. Everyone—even economic progressives such as Bernie Sanders and social conservatives such as Rick Santorum—believes there are limits to what the state should be allowed to do. That is precisely where libertarians can engage people to the right and left and make real progress toward a better, freer world.

The federal budget is $4 trillion and getting bigger all the time. What say you, Bernie Sanders? You agree with me that the government shouldn't do everything, so where do we cut? I'd start with the biggest items in the budget, such as transfer payments to rich old people in the form of Social Security and Medicare. Why not go after funding for overseas wars and domestic military bases? I think states should end drug prohibition, and that state and local governments should mostly get out of the education business and instead cut checks to the schools that kids and their parents pick (thank you, Milton Friedman, you statist bastard, for coming up with that idea). Better yet, just give those who need help unrestricted cash grants that they can spend how they see fit.

I've known people who needed $200 to fix their car so they could go to work. But there's no welfare for that, so instead they lose their jobs and then get a bunch of highly constrained vouchers—for medicine, for housing, for food. Why not figure out a way to help people keep their jobs rather than become unemployed wards of the state, Rick Santorum? Uber, Lyft, and the ride-sharing revolution have taught us that a whole raft of government regulatory bodies such as taxi commissions aren't necessary to ensure safe and reliable service. Whole Foods certifies the provenance of its produce with a dedication, accuracy, and legal certitude the USDA will never be able to match.

There are demonstration projects everywhere showing that what we thought could only be done by government can in fact be done in all sorts of better ways. They don't lead ineluctably to anarchy, though—just to more freedom, more autonomy, more choice.

To be sure, there's a lot about this vision of libertarianism that is simpatico with anarchy, but it's not dogmatic and tendentious. Duke political scientist Michael Munger makes a useful distinction between what he calls directional libertarians and destinationist libertarians. The latter tend to be anarchists, and their focus is on very specific and absolute outcomes: The only good government is no government. Anything that stops short of that is a mistake. Directional libertarians instead deal in relative terms and ask the question: Given where we are at any moment in time, what policies and mindsets increase the available options for how to live? The late Reason Contributing Editor Thomas Szasz once told me he was against medical marijuana because it simply extended the medical profession's control over more substances. Other libertarians have told me that legalizing pot is not a win because it simply regulates and taxes it like beer, wine, and alcohol.

I loved and admired Szasz, and I get where the ancaps and libertarian edgelords are coming from, but give me a break already. Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, except when it makes basic conversations about the quality of everyday life essentially impossible.

Libertarian-minded people can choose to be principled and effective, by constantly pushing for more freedom in discussions about public policy and by advocating and living out the general social attitudes that go along with such beliefs—tolerance, pluralism, optimism, skepticism toward public and private concentrations of power, etc. Or we can choose to be principled and annoying as fuck by spending our energy pretending to be anarchists. I know the direction in which I'm walking even if I don't yet know my final destination. See you when I see you, comrades.

Reply: Mangu-Ward to Gillespie

Much of Nick's critique of anarchism seems to boil down to the fact that ancaps are totally not fun at parties—plus their ideas are so unpopular. Which creates an awkward pot-kettle situation, since that's precisely the kind of thing that most people would say about libertarians. And atheists. And vegans. Which are all categories to which Nick belongs, by the by.

Unpopular and untrue are nearly, if not totally, unrelated concepts. Taxation really is theft and war really is murder. None of which is any excuse for bad behavior during conversations over beers.

Political reactionaries, even revolutionaries, come in all ideological flavors. Your ends don't have to be extreme to justify extreme means, or vice versa. I have known plenty of anarchists who are perfectly happy to sit quietly and chat with their socialist buddies about whether anything can be done to tweak the wording of Chicago's asset forfeiture provisions to minimize harm to the city's least well-off. And I've seen shirt-grabbing shouting matches over which candidate should win the Republican primary between people who couldn't fit one thin dime in the gap between their policy goals or aesthetic preferences.

Minarchists and anarcho-capitalists should be bosom buddies, by my lights. But none of that changes the fact that I've found it fiendishly difficult to get a toehold in the slippery slope of minarchism—and not for lack of trying.

I'll say it again: If you think the state is uniquely ill-suited to meet people's needs when it comes to shoes, soup, school, or science—and I think we both do—then I fail to see why you're keen to have the same batch of bunglers be responsible for far more fundamental services like courts, cops, and charity. Especially when the evidence is all around that, given a chance, private mechanisms can provide all of the above more fairly, more cheaply, and more innovatively. When I set out walking, I like to know where I'm headed. But you're welcome to walk with me as long as you like, Nick.

Reply: Gillespie to Mangu-Ward

For starters, I'm an apatheist, not an atheist. Raised Catholic and the recipient of not fewer than five holy sacraments before Ronald Reagan left office, I have simply lost interest over the years in questions of personal faith, even as I respect and admire many believers and the communities, organizations, and traditions they have built over millennia. My veganism, like my libertarianism, is directional and based on plants having fewer calories than meat and dairy products, not on the idea that animals have the same rights as people. It's a default setting, not a rigid commitment. Maybe I'll see you at the seafood buffet.

Similarly, not all taxation is theft, is it? Don't you give consent, however grudgingly, when you choose to stay in a particular jurisdiction or move to a new one? Maybe some forms of taxation are kinda-sorta-like theft, but surely there are important differences worth itemizing and discussing.

Indeed, if taxation is theft, by the time we're old enough to vote we're all sitting on thousands of dollars in stolen property that we should be trying to return to its rightful owners. My reservations about anarchy are not simply that its proponents are often unpopular and usually annoying.

But yes to Katherine's generous offer of walking together in the direction of limited government and lower, fairer taxes. Like the farmer and the rancher, anarchists and minarchists should be friends, at least as long as we agree that neither farming nor ranching should be subsidized by taxpayers.

Photo Credit: Joanna Andreasson

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  • wreckinball||

    Wow first comment

    Here is a start. Let's have the limited federal government described in the constitution .

    Which was supposed to be it. Two words the "common good" have been stretched to mean everything and anything that some moron like Bernie Sanders dreams up.

    But predictably non-libertarian Reason leader Gillespie cites national defense as an example of stuff we don't need

    Seriously. The absolute number one job if the federal government and that's your example along with some Bernie kudos.

    Head desk!

  • Cy||

    You just don't understand. The unwashed masses just want to be our friends and borrow a couple of bucks to get on their feet.

  • Pompey:何 Class Mothersmucker||

    My scumbag friend that is always trying to borrow a few bucks is named DoD Contractor. He just wants to mind his own business and totally doesn't want to line his pockets with a fortune from the perpetual warfare State. DoD Contractor is a real Constitutional conservative and assured me that he loves low taxes. He also assures me the savages stuck in an 8th century Quranic lifestyle, separated by two oceans, pose an existential threat to us. I trust DoD Contractor, he totally will lobby for limited government once they finish up their last big project.

  • creech||

    DOD Contractor has a sad this week. His best friend Sen. McCain passed on. But not to worry, he has plenty of other best friends in government to carry on.

  • Pompey:何 Class Mothersmucker||

    Maybe if we persuade DoD Contractor, he'll see things out way and find another industry to complete in. No, they would never have to be forcibly detached from that tit.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    List of Anarchists down thread for future reference.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    And what about the Chinese government? No threat here, right?

  • Pompey:何 Class Mothersmucker||

    Cool story bro

  • No Yards Penalty||

    Last of the Shitferbrians Contards checks in...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You and the other troll shit for brains have been here for hours.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    1. A major anarchist point is that the state will not stay limited, no matter how well you craft your constitution.

    2. There is more to the US than the federal government.

  • IceTrey||

    That's simple, prohibit it from initiating force. Of course in Libertopia everyone accepts and lives by the NAP so no one would even be willing to initiate force in the name of the government.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Freedom isnt free. You have to fight to keep control of government growth and abuse.

  • IceTrey||

    Well the Constitution still allows for slavery so some changes need to be made. The proper function of government is to defend individual negative liberty with the retaliatory use of force. There's only one problem with the government and that is it initiates force. The solution is to prohibit it from doing so. In other words apply the NAP to the government.

  • frontporchanarchast||

    "Constitution"? That constitution has either allowed things to get where they are now, or it was powerless to stop what has brought us here. Constitutions are meaningless, and the US Constitution proves it.

  • IceTrey||

    You mean being the richest most powerful nation in human history? Yes it has problems but it can be easily fixed by an amendment prohibiting the government from initiating force.

  • Hank Phillips||

    The Common Good Before the Individual Good was in a Socialist platform in 1920. How old was Bernie then?

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    I just can't imagine how anything would work without the government forcing people to go along, so I'm saying it can't. And the only way you can prove it is for a modern Western nation with a tradition of hereditary monarchy to immediately embrace anarchy. Oh, that hasn't happened? Well, then: it must be a bad idea.

    Also, besides all that, I happen to like forcing people to do shit.l they don't want to. If laws against murder are OK, why not laws against free speech?

    Anyway, you consent because you haven't left the country or gone to live in the mountains. Because that's how freedom of choice works.

  • IceTrey||

    Because murder violates a humans natural right to liberty and free speech doesn't, as long as it isn't threatening.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    I'm a libertarian, but I cannot endorse getting rid of government entirely. My immediate goals are much less radical — I only want to get rid of those parts of the state dedicated to limiting how many people can move here. But that doesn't mean everything government does is worthless. For example, building roads, running schools, and funding Planned Parenthood are all essential services I wouldn't want to live without.

    #AbolishICE
    #NoBanNoWall
    #OpenBorders
    #StandWithPP

  • IceTrey||

    Not worthless but immoral. All the things you mention require the government to initiate force and violate every humans natural right to liberty.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    " If 51 percent of women signed a document saying they liked rough sex, that certainly would not give an individual man permission to push any individual woman up against a wall."

    Who are you to say the majority can't get its way? And what would you do about it if that's how the majority wanted it to work?

    That makes democracy awesome.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner. Majority rules.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Good thing there's a Constitutional menu.

  • sparkstable||

    Yes because the 10th Amendment... the amendment everyone seems to want but doesn't seem to get that it already exists and is supposed to "finally" limit the fedgov... has done a bang up job of working its celestial magic binding the evil forces of elected men.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    In general, democracy sucks.

    Any hope that getting input from everyone leads to better decisions is dashed on the rocks of cognitive reality and just plain human stupidity. Not to mention that most of the time, the "right" answer is understood by a minority. Plus that whole tyranny of the majority thing.

    I guess it is beyond your understanding that people can decide and act independently.

  • perlchpr||

    I'm like, 90% certain IB is engaging in sarcasm.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Yeah, coffee is just kicking in. Could we have a vote on it?

  • perlchpr||

    :D

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    > getting input from everyone leads to better decisions

    If that input is in the form of a costly signal like money, then I'm all in.

  • IceTrey||

    Because you can't vote to violate another human's natural right to freedom from the initiatory use of force.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    KMW, according to Ayn Rand all women love rough sex.

    Weirdest parts of her books. It's like watching Jeopardy while all of the commercials are KY and Adult Friend Finder commercials.

  • IceTrey||

    No they like to be dominated. You see the woman as the penetrated must submit to the man as the penetrator. That's what they really want.

  • Cloudbuster||

    You may think you're joking about what women really want, but you're not.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Ayn Rand and 99,999 other young ladies watched Rudolph Valentino in "The Sheik." As many mobbed his funeral. This was no more unusual than Beatlemania in 1965.

  • DajjaI||

    I'm as much of an anarchist as the next guy. But the path to it is through minarchy. Slowly defund the government until it's small enough to drown in a bath tub. It must be gradual. The reason is that we still have a lot to learn about human nature and abolishing the government would be a complete disaster. There would be chaos and war. For example, many people still think that "hate speech incites violence". And they will use this as a pretext to kill people who say things they don't like. But it's a fallacy. What incites violence is not hate speech but the failure to condemn it. And our society will not be healthy until we make it a habit to condemn hate speech. Same for drugs. Most people think that death by overdose is caused by 'addiction' which is caused by exposure to drugs. Thus they will feel justified in violently preventing the drug trade. But overdose is simply suicide in 99% of the cases. We cannot abolish government until we recognize this, because as bad as it is, it is still better than rampaging mobs. I could go on. Great discussion!

  • BigT||

    "But overdose is simply suicide in 99% of the cases. "

    No. It's lack of QC and transparency (product identification)

  • dchang0||

    Re: "The reason is that we still have a lot to learn about human nature and abolishing the government would be a complete disaster."

    Anthropologically, it seems that humans can never be without a government.
    Even in a small tribe of aborigines, they have always selected a political leader, even if informally.

    While true anarchy is ethically, morally, and logically the ideal, it doesn't seem to be compatible with human nature, as humans are not ethical, moral, nor logical. It is too easy to resort to the use of force, kind of like a prisoners' dilemma game where the first one to escalate to force and betray the other reaps the rewards, even if the reward is smaller than by cooperating.

  • Rigelsen||

    Was Gillespie really the best person to argue minarchism? Who seemingly agreed with Gary John and Bill Weld that Libertarianism means "fiscal conservative and socially liberal"? Even Gillespie can't seem to limit himself to minarchism, instead going all over the map. It's less a defense of minarchism or even libertarianism than his "libertarian moment", where vaguely libertarianish things are extolled. It's the libertarianism that's less a governing or social philosophy than a libertarianism that's fun at parties.

    The thing is, I'm not a libertarian but a classical liberal. However, I do think having strong libertarianism voices in the political scene is helpful to moving us in a vaguely classical liberal direction. But when an (half-) article that's supposed to be a defense of minarchism can't do that well, well, we're fscked. Fundamentally, while Ward's anarchism may be extreme and thus won't sway many opinions, Gillespie's minarchism won't either, because it's too vapid and all-inclusive.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If government has any legitimate purpose, it is to protect our rights. We have police to protect our rights from criminals, courts to protect our rights from the police, a military to protect our rights from foreign threats, etc.

    This is what I mean by miniarchism.

    I also believe that the purpose of libertarianism is not to seize the reigns of power and inflict libertarianism on the American over their objections and against their will. It is to persuade our fellow Americans to choose freedom for themselves.

    Our job, therefore, is to reach the American people--wherever they are. These days, using the First Amendment, Second Amendment, and patriotism centered on things like the Constitutions reverence for our right to make choices for ourselves is an excellent strategy to reach people on the right.

    I see progressives as defining themselves as fundamentally hostile to individual rights in their support of using the government to force individuals to make sacrifices in pursuit of the "common good" (as they see it). I have a hard time seeing past that to make appeals to progressives and those who find them persuasive. If people like Gary Johnson and Gillespie can see clear to that, then more power to them. Somebody needs to preach the libertarian gospel to the heathen.

    I feel for Bill Weld, but I can't quite reach him.

  • perlchpr||

    I've seen you do this a couple times now, so I gotta say something.

    It's 'reins of power', a'la the reins of a horse. Even though yes, one 'reigns' as king.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Thanks.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Right. Ken should Tow the Lion.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Ken, I see no future where a majority of people, Americans or elsewhere, will ever choose freedom. We have millennia of cultural and political histories to show that most people will choose to abdicate personal responsibility, seek to control others, and, whenever possible, find ways for others to pay for what they want.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I didn't expect to see the USSR dissolve in my lifetime.

    I figured we'd get rid of the income tax before we saw recreational marijuana become legal, and yet here we are . . .

    I figured we'd see legal recreational marijuana before we saw gay marriage.

    Persuading people to change their minds is how change happens. Two of the last three PMs in Australia lost their jobs because they got out ahead of the public on climate change. ObamaCare is mostly over because it was unpopular--except for the part about preexisting conditions, which the Republicans wouldn't get rid of because it's popular.

    This is the way change happens. This is why dictators fear what their people say to each other. We used to have Jim Crow in this country--until the American people decided they wouldn't put up with it anymore. Not only is persuading your friends and family to choose more freedom the best way to make the world more libertarian, it's also the only practical way to make it happen.

    What you say to your friends and family is more important than you realize.

    The reason the American people suffered the NSA under Obama was because that's what they would accept. The reason our government doesn't go even further isn't out of the kindness of their hearts or fear that the courts won't reinterpret the Constitution to support whatever they want to do in the name of security. Our government isn't even more intrusive is because the American people will only accept so much.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Exactly Ken. Government sometimes does things to test public backlash reaction. Sometimes, its just politicians doing things to act like they are busy and this tests the water. NSA domestically spying was more a government tactic to do as much as they could until someone stopped them.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Ken, I take your point about the flexibility (and resistance) in what people will accept. But I am still sure that at any given moment, most people will readily trade liberty for some more "practical" benefit. Plus, to most people, autonomy looks scary and hard.

  • Hank Phillips||

    This is another reason spoiler votes are the best vehicle for changing bad laws. They have always worked in the past, and the historical record demonstrates this beyond cavil.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Once government has a monopoly on power, it is essentially unlimited and grows without limit. Immigration control requires national ID cards, which requires a massive intrusive bureaucracy. Taxation requires a massive intrusive bureaucracy which knows all about your financial transactions. A military monopoly requires massive police bureaucracy and massive taxation.

    Minarchists, some of them, like to bring up all sorts of private police examples, such as arbitration. But taxation and immigration control still require government police, government courts, and the concomitant monopolies.

    Clever people like to think a consumption tax in unintrusive, and while it may be less intrusive than income tax, it still requires intimate knowledge of financial transactions. The least intrusive tax is a Georgian property tax, and that can be anonymous; all the government cares is that the tax be paid or it auctions the land off to the highest bidder. But it doesn't differentiate between Nevada ranches and Manhattan parcels, and to do so requires more intrusive financial bureaucracy.

    The only minimal government is day zero; all the rest is growth.

  • Cy||

    "The only minimal government is day zero; all the rest is growth."

    I think the founders have proven you wrong. They laid down a concrete set of rules that didn't necessarily allow the government to perpetuate itself. What I'm trying to say is, it's possible to hold the government off for a period of time with the right limitations, AKA the constitution. I don't think any system we will ever create will be impervious to people's desire to be ruled, but this last go around has been a pretty good run.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    The Alien and Sedition Acts, under the second President, put a solid end to that day zero. The first President's Whiskey Tax war is arguably a sooner limit.

  • JoeBlow123||

    How is your anarchy-topia going? Oh, it's not?

    Color me surprised.

  • CE||

    The last president to cut the budget was Thomas Jefferson.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Once government has a monopoly on power, it is essentially unlimited and grows without limit."

    Ultimately, there are two main limits on government power.

    1) Technology and expense.

    The government didn't track all our phone calls and emails in the past because it was prohibitively expensive and technologically impossible. Once those problems were solved, they did what they wanted regardless of the Constitution.

    Technology is a tool like a knife or a gun--it can be used for good or evil. It's that way for all sorts of things.

    2) Public opinion.

    The Chinese government is scared to death of public opinion--as well they should be. Persuading our friends and family to want freedom is about the most anti-authoritarian thing we can do. It's so important.

    That's why seeing Reason staff argue against free speech in the name of libertarianism or make a mockery of logic and persuasion (consciously or otherwise) makes me so crazy.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I suppose I should add that the Constitution is only a check on government power insofar as people believe in it. Patriotism centered on a constitution with excellent things in it like the First and Second Amendments is no vice.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Yes, I did not mean literally "without limit". It obviously can't exceed 100% ownership of the means of production. Revolution is an obvious end of a particular government.

  • commentator||

    Reason staff argue against free speech in the name of libertarianism or make a mockery of logic and persuasion

    Where exactly do they do either of those things?

  • IceTrey||

    That's why its authority should be limited to a monopoly on the RETALIATORY use of force.

  • CE||

    Hard to see them protecting my rights when they take tens of thousands of dollars from me every year.

  • perlchpr||

    Was Gillespie really the best person to argue minarchism?

    I'm going with "no".

    His position seemed mostly to be tone policing anarchism, not arguing why the State is so uniquely suited to provide some services.

    And then his "But you get to choose your master!" defence of taxation in the rebuttal. *gag*

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Gillespie cant keep Minarchy on track because its Anarchy and an attempt to normalize Anarchy. Most poeple dont take Anarchy seriously.

    Minarchy is NOT Libertarianism. A cornerstone of Libertarianism is Rule of Law.

  • perlchpr||

    Called it.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    You did indeed. That's a fair score.

    *marks one down for Perl*

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Called it.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Someone's gotta out the Anarchists for hating Libertarianism.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    It ain't you.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yet, all the non-Libertarians get all upset when I bring it up.

  • perlchpr||

    We just think you're stupid for trying to lump people who aren't with us in with us.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    But they are.

    You dumb Anarchists carry hammer and sickle flags. You're trying top separate from morons who partly think like you. You know this, which is why you want to differentiate yourself by creating Minarchist.

    You would not get so upset the way you do if you really thought that I was wrong. You cannot help yourself with your little retarded comments.

    I ignore numerous trolls on here because everything they post is wrong or outright lies. They have nothing to discuss. Why would I respond.

  • perlchpr||

    You would not get so upset the way you do if you really thought that I was wrong.

    I'm not "upset" so much as "interested in not seeing your idiocy stand unchallenged".

    You cannot help yourself with your little retarded comments.

    It's true, when speaking of you, I can't help but comment that you're retarded.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Thanks for proving my point goober.

    You cannot help yourself. You have to spout your nonsense over and over. Then sock up and try under a different handle.

  • perlchpr||

    Then sock up and try under a different handle.

    Oh god, seriously? You're going to say I'm sockpuppeting now? Jesus you're beyond hopeless.

    Rest assured, it's just not true. I want everyone to know it's me, when I call you a moron.

  • perlchpr||

    But this should be entertaining for someone. Who is my supposed sock?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    There are actually a number of people who do that here, so regulars are on edge about it. Mike Hihn has about ten socks currently, and other people have at least a few.

  • perlchpr||

    I mean, I guess technically it's sorta true, in that I used to be 'perlhaqr', and then went to 'perlchpr' during the whole woodchipper shenanigan days. But I wasn't exactly subtle about it. Although I have occasionally joked about being a BUCS sock.

    I'm just amused by the idea that someone willing to be as directly and blatantly unpopular as I am would bother to hide my words behind someone else's name. It's not like advocating anarchism has won me a lot of friends.

    Still, I'm curious who LC thinks I'm socking as. It's Tulpa isn't it? I bet it's Tulpa. It's always Tulpa.

  • newshutz||

    We are all Tulpa socks, except for Tupla which is a spoof.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    All the Tony's are me. Except Yellow. And he is the only one I fear here.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    So you admit to having socks.

    You people are so easy to manipulate.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    I think that ilc1789's understanding of "Rule of Law" is defective. From his criticisms of AnCaps and minarchism I think that he really means Rule of Statutes Passed by Legislatures Elected by Majority Vote. He doesn't know the difference between "legal" and "lawful".

  • loveconstitution1789||

    For America, it rule of law under the constitution.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Even Gillespie can't seem to limit himself to minarchism

    Which makes him the best person to argue for minarchism.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    In other words, he cannot focus on making a complete case for Minarchism.

    Its like when Gillespie cannot make a complete argument for any other political issues without adding TDS issues.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    A person with a shred of self-awareness would recognize that no libertarian is in the market for pointers from a tariffs-defending, wall-coveting, womb management, right-wing statist.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Maga

  • buybuydandavis||

    Nick should be run out libertarian circles on a rail
    But he fits in fine with the new Woketarian Reason

    The Hipster Doofus went full "No True Communism"

    "Totalitarians professing communism killed millions of people, but this analogy is flawed. Hitler was the leader of Nazism, Stalin the leader of...Stalinism, not communism."
    https://goo.gl/xnJ8CT

  • loveconstitution1789||

    This is proof from the horses mouth that Reason is run by anarchists. They dont like libertarian ideals and they certainly dont like trump who has actually pulled off some libertarian-ish actions.

    It explains a lot about the articles they publish and the anti-libertarian tone.

    I suspected the Libertarian movement was stifled by non-libertarian hacks like gillespie, jesse walker, welch, weld, etc and this is just clear evidence that it it.

    I will never give money to reason when theyre run by anarchists.

  • Rob Misek||

    There is no "we" in anarchy. Don't even go there.

    Yes all humans can be corrupt when there are no or poor laws and regulations.

    Unless you want your cheese eating skull to adorn someone's dashboard, the solution isn't a Mad Max utopia.

    As in history, tribalism is always violent. It's taken thousands of years of governance, laws and regulations to achieve this civilization and we need to make it better, not worse.

    It's time to be part of the solution.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Another fool who conflates anarchy with chaos. Sometimes it is ignorance. Usually it is willful duplicity.

  • Rob Misek||

    In fact anarchy is defined by chaos, but I didn't choose the name of the ideology.

    I just don't see how dissociated tribes of corrupt people will achieve the best interests of all better than democratic governance.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Serious question — what's the difference between "dissociated tribes of corrupt people" and "democratic governance"?
    How could we distinguish the two?

  • Rob Misek||

    Dissociated tribes don't share a common vision and may never. It's anyone's guess how the tribes get their leaders. Each tribe could have its own inalienable unwavering rights and privileges that conflict with other tribes.

    Democratic governance guarantees, manages and equalizes everyone's rights and privileges. These form the basis of common vision. Lower decisions / leaders are elected fairly by the citizens of the nations.

    The difference is significant.

  • Shirley Knott||

    No, the difference is starkly imaginary.
    Democratic governance, by its very form, cannot, guarantee, manage or "equalize" [whatever the hell that means] everyone's rights and privileges.
    Historically it never has.
    No election to determine what's for dinner can be fair to the sheep and the wolves.

  • Rob Misek||

    Sheep and wolves don't have human rights, then again neither do young humans.

    If they were given rights, like the right to life, we would treat them differently.

    But they can't speak for themselves so any rights they get are fought for by advocates who have the opportunity to change the law of the land and give them those rights all across the nation for all time.

    Now women and blacks all over the nation can vote for what is in the best interest for all.

    Who knows what rights they'd have in dissociated tribes? Tribes still exist throughout the world. I wouldn't want to be a woman in one.

  • FusterCluck||

    I'm curious as to what point your remark is supposed to rebut.

  • Rob Misek||

    You're going to need to be more specific for anyone to know not only what you mean, but who you're talking to.

  • JoeBlow123||

    My tribe of religious zealots thinks your neighboring tribe or pot smoking hippies is corrupting our youth. We ask you to stop. You refuse. We then attack you, imprison your leaders, and enforce our laws on your people.

    What is to stop such an action in some sort of anarchy-topia? Your guns? Better hope you have more than your neighbors.

    The fact is a working democracy with guarantees of minority rights and a working model that enables legislative change, however imperfect or slow, protects the rights of everyone better than some anarchy-topica. It's really not even close.

  • sparkstable||

    So if the modern state is justified by its ability to prevent one large group from taking over another group then...

    Explain Crimea. Kuwait. Poland in the 30s. Hell... all of Europe in the 30s. Europe after WW2 with the Soviets. The US going into Vietnam or Korea. The US going into Iraq a second time. Russia and US troops in Syria. Lebanon. All the outside influenced regime changes in the middle east.

    Or what about when it is the state violating the "tribes" as you call them when the US took over the west? Or the Philippines? Hawaii? European colonization of Africa and SE Asia? Japan attacking mainland Asian nations?

    Seems like the democratic systems have failed at doing the thing that is required to justify a system thereby making them unjustifiable by the same standards you use to casually dismiss the idea that it is always immoral to initiate violence therefore we ought NOT to grant a select few increased resources to amplify their damage exponentially.

  • JoeBlow123||

    I am not sure I follow your argument. Are you saying at the international level there exists anarchy between states? Because I agree. This is why violence is sometimes used between states to "negotiate," because they think they can gain something through violence they cannot gain elsewhere. This is also why it pays to be militarily strong, or at least strong enough to deter foreign aggression.

    How many times has the USA been invaded? It seems our tribe is doing all right. Why would I want to trade this tribe for some utopian, anarchy nonsense that will just recreate the same situation we currently have now between states but at a much more local level? It is nonsense.

  • Ken Shultz||

    One of the great things about libertarianism is that once we agree that everyone should be free to make choices for themselves, we don't need to agree on much else. If you believe in the NAP and I believe in the golden rule, if you're not convinced there's a God and I'n cautiously optimistic, if you think government only leads to oppression and I believe that if government has any legitimate function at all, it's only to protect our rights, then we may fundamentally disagree on some fundamental topics--but what difference does that make?

    If government ever gets so small that we need to debate whether to kill off what tiny bit is left of it, then we'll have real disagreement, again, and, again, that disagreement may translate into few consequences in the real world. Until then, if we're not all on the same side of every issue, well, that's to be expected in a movement based on the idea that each of us should be free to make choices for ourselves.

  • IceTrey||

    I can't agree about the NAP and the Golden Rule. The latter leaves room for the initiatory use of force. For example it would be ok for you to rob someone if you're ok with being robbed.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I would argue that the golden rule says you shouldn't force people to do things against their will if you don't want to be forced to do things against your will. That's certainly the libertarian interpretation.

    And I hope my larger point is getting across here. "If you believe in the NAP and I believe in the golden rule . . . then we may fundamentally disagree on some fundamental topics--but what difference does that make?"

  • IceTrey||

    Yeah but some people don't care if they have force used against them like the Crips and Bloods. Everyone knows getting shot at is part of the life and they are cool with it. That doesn't make it moral.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I've known plenty of crips and bloods. In the neighborhood of the hospital where I worked, every kid was affiliated--and so were all the people who worked in hospital from those neighborhoods.

    None of the were cool with being shot.

    Probably the biggest reason why the Crips and Bloods spread all over America--instead of other gangs--was because of the violent reaction of one Daryl Gates. He was the first major city police chief to militarize his police force--invented SWAT.

    When the LAPD started "raiding" crack houses with what amounted to military tactics (including a tank with a battering ram to knock down walls), the Crips and Bloods started arming themselves with much heavier hardware than they'd ever needed before.

    . . . not that they weren't already arming themselves prior to that. The crips started out as "the cribs". They were the JV squad for The Black Panthers, who were militants and armed themselves against the police and followed the police around to make sure they didn't brutalize the people of South Central LA and elsewhere. That was mostly about shotguns and pistols. When Darryl Gates militarized the LAPD, the crips (and bloods) militarized themselves in response.

    Those weapons were effective against rival gangs, as well, and as the crips and bloods spread out across the country, other gangs found themselves totally outgunned. Those gangs had to either affiliate or disappear.

    I've never heard of a gang member who wants to get shot.

  • IceTrey||

    I said shot AT.

  • Nuwanda||

    Ken, other than the obvious trolls, everyone here agrees "that everyone should be free to make choices for themselves".

    Yet look at the big split in libertarianism, controlled borders versus open borders. It's fucking vicious, no other libertarian issue comes close, and actually, it's a deep and important disagreement between those who agree "that everyone should be free to make choices for themselves".

    Yet never the twain shall meet.

  • Ken Shultz||

    On the subject of immigration, I believe that's within the legitimate purview of democracy--like spending, taxes, and declaring war.

    Miniarchists and anarchists alike generally oppose the government spending, taxing, or declaring war without the consent of the governed by way of their legitimate representatives--although anarchists may go even further than that.

    I would argue that imposing an unpopular immigration policy on the American people is very much like imposing an unpopular war or an unpopular tax--which is why those issues are all within the proper purview of democracy, unlike, say, religious freedom, our Second Amendment rights, or freedom of speech.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Incidentally, anarchist societies would probably govern themselves in ways that are much more restrictive in terms of who can come into an anarchist community and what people are allowed to do there. I've visited such places, and generally speaking, the rules are more harsh than what we might expect from a small government.

    Here's an example of a legitimate anarchist society:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z.....ZLN.01.jpg

    "You are in Zapatista rebel territory. Here the people command and the government obeys."

    "North Zone. Trafficking in weapons, planting of drugs, drug use, alcoholic beverages, and illegal selling of wood are strictly prohibited. No to the destruction of nature."

    They're as anarchist as anybody and they have exclusive control of their territory, but there's no way they'd let just everybody who wants to come into their territory come in and set up permanent residence.

  • IceTrey||

    That's not a legitimate anarchist society.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Why is that?

    Why aren't they anarchists?

    They even self-identify that way. Their flag is a black flag.

    They're not anarcho-capitalists, but they're as anarchist as anybody needs to be.

    And they're about protecting their own territory from encroachment by people and governments they don't want in their territory.

  • IceTrey||

    In an anarchy no one can forbid you from doing drugs.

  • markm23||

    They formed a government, and enforce their rules violently. That's the opposite of anarchy.

  • Ken Shultz||

    P.S. My understanding is that neither the Mexican police nor the Mexican army has set foot in their territory--much less asserted any kind of control--since 1994.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its clear that the open border staff at reason tend to lean anarchist. The USA cannot bcome anarchy-land without the USA imploding. Open borders and a welfare state are great ways to do that.

    Ken is not an anarchist but he advocates discussing the merits of immigration as a strategy to get open borders.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    What? Are you saying that he advocates discussion to secretly lead to open borders?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I discussed Kens open border position.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "One of the great things about libertarianism is that once we agree that everyone should be free to make choices for themselves, we don't need to agree on much else."

    When everyone agrees on everything, you don't really have a problem. Government is about what to do when people don't agree.

  • JoeBlow123||

    "Government is about what to do when people don't agree."

    Ding ding ding! We have a winner.

    I wonder how anarchists deal with fundamental disagreements. I would imagine fragmentation or violence. "No no no this would never happen in a real anarchy, read my position paper!"

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Sarcasmic says they would civil courts. Of course nobody would show up for court because the voluntary government could do nothing about it.

  • BigT||

    "Government is about what to do when people don't agree."

    A governing system is made to best allow people to pursue happiness. If people were angels there would be no need for government, or any government system would work just fine. But human nature includes many bad qualities that are different from one person to another. Thus, in order to rein in human nature's flaws, governments are established that are 'best designed' to do this. Some systems concentrate too much power in one person or group, greatly magnifying their ability to do evil things due to their human frailties. Anarchy (defined as no rules enforcement) allows any person to act out their flaws in ways that harm others.

    The US Constitution is the best system yet devised since it pits interest agains interest, by a system of checks and balances that limits any one person's (or group's) ability to harm others. Imperfect, flawed humans have encroached upon the system to extend their power. That we stand by and allow it to happen by swallowing campaign rhetoric is our own fault. The US devolution into tyranny is quite slow by historical standards. How do we stop it? Incrementally, 2 steps forward, 1 step back.

  • JoeBlow123||

    "The US Constitution is the best system yet devised since it pits interest agains interest, by a system of checks and balances that limits any one person's (or group's) ability to harm others. Imperfect, flawed humans have encroached upon the system to extend their power. That we stand by and allow it to happen by swallowing campaign rhetoric is our own fault. The US devolution into tyranny is quite slow by historical standards. How do we stop it? Incrementally, 2 steps forward, 1 step back."

    Agree times 1000. I think the best thing we can do is to return more power down to the local level and devolve away from the unitary state we are approaching back towards our federalist roots. This way California can pursue whatever socialist claptrap they want to and Utah can stay rooted in Mormonism and Alabama can pursue socially conservative policies. Let all the states figure out which model works best and people can vote with their feet.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    +1

  • IceTrey||

    "A government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of physical force under objective control." - Ayn Rand

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Government is about what to do when people don't agree."

    I think you need to go back and get your head around your Adam Smith again.

    While government has a place in protecting people's rights, the systems, traditions, cultures, and other things apart from government people have evolved to handle these things are far superior to government bureaucrats and politicians solving our problems for us.

    Somebody parked in my parking space last night. I pay for that parking space. I handled it myself. Big disagreement. No need for government.

  • Ken Shultz||

    One word of caution to my anarchist comrades--beware axiomatic fundamentalism. For whatever reason, anarcho-capitalists seem to be vulnerable to the same insistence on uniformity of thought that makes Objectivism so unappealing. Being able to reduce the complexity of life's tough choices into simple axioms with universal applications doesn't necessarily mean you're right--and not subscribing to overly simplistic axioms doesn't necessarily mean others are wrong. Objectivists also have problems with the idea that it's okay if different people want the same things (like freedom) for different reasons. That's a self-defeating trap anarcho-capitalists should try to avoid.

    There isn't anything libertarian about insisting that other people should only want what you want and only for your reasons.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    --- One word of caution to my anarchist comrades--beware axiomatic fundamentalism ---

    You mean "don't hurt me and don't take my stuff" is too axiomatic for your authoritarian impulses?

    Aww, poor baby.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Why would you think I meant that?

    How 'bout the idea that violently opposing fascist and communist governments is always wrong if it means engaging in offensive operations against people who don't necessarily threaten you directly?

    How 'bout the idea that if every situation can be reduced to fit your axiom, then your axiom probably isn't complicated enough to account for the real world?

    How 'bout the idea that anybody who doesn't buy into your axiom is an ideological enemy?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Mexican is a progressive troll.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    But Taxation IS theft. What else can it be? Love?

    If you need a government, go and buy one. Leave ME alone.

  • Rob Misek||

    Thing is there's a very large tribe whose leadership is government.

    We are striving for more and better laws and regulations that protect our freedoms but demand responsibility for them to support a growing, peaceful and healthy society.

    If you don't want these things you won't be welcome here. Oh you can intellectually make your case to persuade, but if you are deemed irrational, you won't be taken seriously.

    That is until there is conflict. Then we have a really big tribe.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Tribalism always triumphs!

  • Rob Misek||

    You should go to Africa, there's plenty of tribalism opportunities there. A person with your spirit would go places.

    Around here we've been there done that, and found we like civilization with government better.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Who, exactly, is this "we" you keep trotting out?
    Few ideas are more vacuous than the political 'we.'

  • Rob Misek||

    We are the people who currently define our nation as ours represented by democratic governance. The way it is today, with plenty of room for improvement primarily through reduction of corruption.

    From the title of the article,

    "Debate: Be an Anarchist, Not a Minarchist
    Should we be satisfied with limited government rather than no government?"

    I have no idea who that "we" refers to. Can you explain in what circumstances anarchists identify themselves as "we".

  • perlchpr||

    Can you explain in what circumstances anarchists identify themselves as "we".

    Voluntary ones.

  • Shirley Knott||

    You I like.
    ;-)

  • loveconstitution1789||

    They identify as 'we' to hide among average people to burn society down, so anarchy-land can start.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Shirley you are quite fantastic at engaging in banal sophistry.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    And shirley trolls quite a bit.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Taxation is theft like public behavior law is oppression.

    If (yes, big "if" in this discussion) we agree on some role of government in our civilization, we probably need some type of taxation (as in, funds that government collects to fund its actions). And we probably have some generally agreed or even proscribed rules for public behavior (no physical violence, no fornication with pets, at least not without consent).

    Seems like conservatives and anarchists bitch about paying taxes. And liberals and anarchists bitch about restrictions on what they can do in public. But taxes and behavior are both fair costs in an institutional civilization.

  • perlchpr||

    If we agree on some role of government in our civilization, why does it have to be funded coercively?

  • Earth Skeptic||

    So, "voluntary" taxes?

  • perlchpr||

    Even under pure anarchy, I'm likely to want to pay for some measure of security services.

    A minarchy that's sufficiently small? Doing a really good job with a highly transparent budget? I could see voluntarily paying for that.

    I mean, I suspect that allowing that sort of monopoly will lead to corruption and inefficiency, which is why I favor anarchy, but yes, basically "voluntary" taxation.

    I mean, if enough people think they're doing a sufficiently shitty job that they don't want to pay for the service, clearly the service needs some reform.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I voluntarily pay taxes now.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Riiiiight, so you can stop any time. You just have to take that first of the 12 steps.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I pay as little taxes a possible.

    If I wanted to stop paying taxes, I would. No scary laws would prevent me. I am a big boy that has been in the shit. I can handle whatever the govenrment throws at me. I get enough out of my taxes to be fine with some of the trade off. I complain with the major federal spending because its wrong. I dont pay into Social security or medicare, so my tax rates are lower than most people.

    Wasteful defense spending affects me but we get a military that nobody fucks with, so it could be worse.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Bullshit. You are lying.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Who is? And about what?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Me? Lying about paying as little taxes as possible?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Tariffs aggregating about 5% of GNP were close enough for government work for the better part of a century, were they not?

  • IceTrey||

    Government can be funded non-coercively.

    http://www.importanceofphiloso.....nment.html

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    A quibble.

    These conditions occur because governments are composed of fallible human beings, who want to make a buck/gain the respect of their peers/do the right thing/do the easiest thing/get through the day. They persist because government actors ruthlessly stamp out would-be competitors, using violence and threats of violence, a privilege they reserve for themselves alone.

    I would rephrase this:

    These conditions occur because all organizations (governments, businesses, unions, cartels, churches, charities) are composed of fallible human beings, who want to make a buck/gain the respect of their peers/do the right thing/do the easiest thing/get through the day. Governments are unique in their evil because government actors ruthlessly stamp out would-be competitors, using violence and threats of violence, a privilege they reserve for themselves alone.

    It is the lack of competition and the inability to go bankrupt which makes government incompetence so damaging and dangerous.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Governments face competition and go bankrupt.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    LC has spent weeks harassing Sarcasmic on the theory that Sarcasmic made up the word 'minarchism' as a clever ruse.

    Boy, is this going to be a shock.

    /look it up next time, man

  • perlchpr||

    He didn't need to look it up. I quoted the definition to him.

    He'll just say Gillespie is defending mini-anarchism, which is exactly the same thing as anarchism, even though it's clearly not.

    *sigh*

    I gotta say though, I'm favorably surprised that the article has been up for an hour and a half and the comments aren't already a shitshow.

  • IceTrey||

    Minarchism isn't a great word word since the root "archon" means "ruler". Anarchism really means "no ruler" which describes a government which does not initiate force not which doesn't exist.

  • Nuwanda||

    Government is force. A government that does not, or has no power to intiate force, is not a government.

    Now, I have no problem with Minarchism (and we could find a better descriptor there, too) since I admit the need for force in the protection of rights, and that that force be constitutionally limited.

    But government requires force. No force, no government.

  • IceTrey||

    Right but the force government is intended to use is RETALIATORY in its nature. In other words they can't make you do anything they can only stop you from violating the rights of others.

  • Nuwanda||

    But that's not the truth, is it?

    You're advancing some kind of nice theory that is only partially applicable. It's the same mistake the anarchists make.

    Case in point: search and seizure. A perfectly legitimate and necessary power of government. There's nothing retaliatory about it. It's the initiation of force against those who may be innocent. It's a major function of the state in investigating and solving crimes which all of us (non-anarchists) would agree should be crimes.

  • IceTrey||

    Yeah and they may be guilty. Even in this world cops need probable cause, i.e. some factual evidence before they can get a search warrant.

  • Nuwanda||

    "Yeah and they may be guilty. Even in this world cops need probable cause, i.e. some factual evidence before they can get a search warrant."

    Right. So you need to throw this idea of government somehow being possible in a theoretical NIOF environment out the window. It's not. Contradiction in terms.

  • sarcasmic||

    I think minarchism is a good word. It means minimal ruler.

  • IceTrey||

    A ruler is someone who tells you what to do. Government should be a servant given limited tasks to preform.

  • perlchpr||

    Government should be a servant given limited tasks to preform.

    Agreed, but, how has that worked out so far?

  • IceTrey||

    I said SHOULD be.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Luckily minarch is a fromge term and not widely accepted as something different than anarchism.

    Mainly because its not.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I this means that Sarcasmic is reason staff?

    Its funny that Reason is trying to push the lie that Minarchy is Libertarianism.

    MInarchy is anarchism.

  • perlchpr||

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Funny that progressives dont call themselves socialists.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Not all Progressive policies are socialist. Eugenics, for instance, Prohibition, banning straws, mandating seat belts and helmets.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its socialism because its about controlling the means of production and authoritarian in nature.

    Car manufacturer cannot sell a car in the USA without seat belts. Its required and not because its safer for people to wear seat belts.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    I had not thought of seat belt mandates as controlling the means of production.

    By that definition, we've been living under socialism since the first caveman was told to pick some berries.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Human history has been more Anarchy than anything. Cavemen were limited to tiny family clans without rule of law. Rule of Man prevailed.

    Maybe a bit of Socialism, some Communism, some Monarchism, and certainly Theocracies.

    The Founders did something unprecedented. That was some 242 years ago. Humans types have been around for 4+ millions years. Perspective.

  • IceTrey||

    That's fascism because the means of production are privately owned.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Socialism does not require that the state own the means of production. They must contol the means of production.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    What's the distinction you are making here between "own" and "control"?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Sweden, Finland, norway, and denmark own some state companies and have partial control of other companies. They are socialist because they control the means of production for those industries and own some too.

    Socialism does not require government to OWN the means of production nor control ALL of the means of production.

    Obamacare is govenrment control of the means of production relating to health insurance. All health insurers are privately owned in the USA. Yet all of those must provide health care to high risk people the companies would not otherwise want to cover.

    Regulation tends to be described as limitations on business, for example "you cant do this or that". Regulation gets into socialism territory when it becomes the state effectively controlling the business to do the states bidding.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "LC has spent weeks harassing Sarcasmic"

    Completely the other way around. Sarc is an asshole.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    You're allowed an opinion different from mine. It's a free country.

  • sarcasmic||

    I may be an asshole, but at least I can comprehend words.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Your comments for years say otherwise.

  • sarcasmic||

    And no, it's not the other way around. I'm not the one who leaves a personal attack after every single post by lc.

  • perlchpr||

    I'm not the one who leaves a personal attack after every single post by lc.

    Yeah! That's me! ;)

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Sarcasmic is much cooler than this Larry Wall wannabe

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Anarchists thru and through.

    Attacks are always part of the strategy of Lefties and Anarchists.

    I am just happy yall outed yourself as anarchists.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Anarchism will never work because human nature.

    If there's been one constant, throughout human existence, it's the organization of humans.

    That's why government is always best, and always will be.

    This is known.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    BTW, this is also why humanity is largely homogenous, and large central authorities can know what's best for everyone.

  • perlchpr||

    Anarchism will never work because human nature.

    Shit. I am an anarchist and even I agree with that statement.

    I don't think of anarchy as a state that's actually achievable. I think it's an ideal to strive for. The principle of "leave people the fuck alone if they aren't hurting you" taken as far as we can manage to take it.

    As someone said above, if we ever actually get to minarchy, we can debate the validity of removing the last vestige of Chesterton's Fence that is the remaining government. Until we get there, we're all aimed in mostly the same direction, I should think, some of us just have a slightly longer goal in mind.

  • JFree||

    My personal opinion:

    Even the first steps on that road to minarchy/anarchy can only occur at the local level. Where people have at least made a semi-voluntary choice to live where they live. And where their personal liberty will improve/deteriorate based on those things that occur locally.

    But the US is a big big country. And it means that to the degree those 'libertarian' changes actually happen, they won't necessarily resemble each other at all. One locale may look like a communitarian kibbutz - another may look like a company town - another may look like a bunch of people drinking kool-aid in Guyana - another may look like Galt's Gulch made permanent.

    And the big question is whether those different forms will ever tolerate (or find commonality) the liberty/independence of the other forms

  • vek||

    I think you were trying to be sarcastic? But it's true.

    Just as human nature makes communism not workable, so too does it make true anarchy unworkable. A highly limited government is probably the best that is possible. I think we could create something a bit smaller than saaay 1800 America if we tried REAL HARD... But much beyond that? Probably not.

    But 1800 America with fewer morality based laws on the books wouldn't be bad at all.

  • perlchpr||

    *nod*

    A rewrite of the Constitution primarily along the same lines as the original, with tightening of the strictures that they clearly left too loose in the original, and eliminating the clearly bad shit from the original (Hi, Slavery. :-/) and indeed, the ridiculous "morals" laws that we have now such as the drug war and the like, yeah.

    As an anarchist, I'd want to Chesterton's Fence it pretty hard before I started breaking it down further, especially with today's humans.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    One start is limiting prosecution to victims (or their guardians, heirs, etc) and redress to measurable harm caused by the defendant. But even then, how do you prevent a furniture store owner from complaining that competitors caused him harm from lost sales? How do you measure the harm caused by murder or stalking?

    You're right back at laws interpreted by men.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    I tried refining the definition of self-ownership to "the right and duty to control self and property", which I think is entirely derivable from basic self-ownership, but makes it a bit more clear. A furniture store can't claim harm from a competitor selling the exact same brands and models, or selling other brands or models, or other items. After all, if I buy a refrigerator, that's money I dind't spend on furniture.

    Murder is especially problematic. First, if it has to be guardians or kin who prosecute, then who even wastes time and money identifying a body on their property to even know who can prosecute? I think people are good enough to take care of this and call 9-1-1 (set up by consortia of insurance companies, police agencies, and general charities).

    But is harm (and restitution) limited to what a life insurance policy paid out (and does that make insurance companies the proper prosecutors)? Do you include statistical expectations of life time earnings? Does this mean that rich people could murder at will as long as they paid for it?

  • IceTrey||

    Complaining about lost sales doesn't violate the NAP.

  • vek||

    And all this is why it's almost pointless to try to eliminate government laws for things completely. They just need to be limited laws, and on things that are valid to have laws about. Should arbitration be legal in all instances? Sure. Should contracts between people be able to even override law if it is between two parties that know this? Sure. We could open things up A LOT, but there's no need to completely abandon a governmental system of laws.

  • vek||

    "A rewrite of the Constitution primarily along the same lines as the original, with tightening of the strictures that they clearly left too loose in the original, and eliminating the clearly bad shit from the original..."

    Exactly this. We got it pretty darn close to right. They assumed too much common sense on the part of their progeny, but other than that the idea wasn't bad. If we were more strict, even if it eventually crumbled too, a nation might buy themselves a few hundred years before it got even remotely intolerable.

  • perlchpr||

    The giant dead elephant in the room being that sadly, the vast majority of the populace of the country has zero interest in going back to something like what we had in the original Constitution. :-/

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump is a tweek to rolling back toward constitutional limitations. He is only one guy and his proponents are being attacked daily.

    Its a start though.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    My problem with minarchism is that all three areas normally considered fundamental for any government (domestic crime control, national defense, immigration control) all require taxation, national ID cards, and especially self-reinforcing intrusive bureaucracy beyond what any true minarchist would accept. If you try to reduce government even further to just national defense, it's all too easy to drag immigration control into the picture under the scary idea that millions of Russkies or Chicoms or Mexican criminals will simply march across our borders as civilians before they take over. And national ID cards require a government monopoly on police to enforce them.

    Anti-anarchists like to point fingers and laugh at the naivete of anarchists who refuse to accept that the power vacuum created by lack of government will quickly collapse into chaos and the return of feudalism and warlords and government. Yet minarchists cannot see how taxation and national ID cards are never enough; once you accept government monopoly for national defense and immigration control, you have surrendered control of government to government; you have given government the right to define itself, and thus grow without limit.

  • perlchpr||

    Yet minarchists cannot see how taxation and national ID cards are never enough; once you accept government monopoly for national defense and immigration control, you have surrendered control of government to government; you have given government the right to define itself, and thus grow without limit.

    I'm not certain this is accurate. The Constitution of the United States was pretty good as a first attempt at this sort of thing. I suspect that a better written document, combined with a populace willing to live by it and enforce it, could properly constrain a government to minarchy.

    But the problem is the same one as anarchists have: Most people don't want that. The restraining populace is really the key part, I think. If the people don't want to be free, and you let them all vote, you won't be able to maintain a free society.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Governments which control their own definition are unrestrained. Any government which gets to choose what "shall not be infringed" or "shall make no law" mean is uncontrollable.

    Taxation requires bureaucracy and eventually a monopoly on at least some kind of police. Everything which limits that taxation and police monopoly must come under the umbrella of government control. It is a never-ending expansion.

  • perlchpr||

    Governments which control their own definition are unrestrained. Any government which gets to choose what "shall not be infringed" or "shall make no law" mean is uncontrollable.

    I agree, which is why I specify a populace both interested in and willing to defend itself against a potentially hostile government.

    Neither any form of anarchism nor minarchism can possibly work ("work" in this context, being minimally defined as "sustain itself as such") without a populace that wants that state to remain. Which is why we have the government we have now.

    Which, yes, is a big part of why I'm so depressed all the time, because if we started off where we did, and ended up here, I can't see that there's really any hope at all of us ever even getting back to where we started, let alone to where we'd actually want to go even as minarchists. :-/

    But assuming you had a minarchy, and a populace that wanted to keep it that way, well, A.) the people making up your minarchist institutions would all also want to keep things small, and B.) you'd have enough well armed people who were not part of the government who would be willing to restrain a runaway government by force, if necessary.

    But yes, without that, (at minimum, there may be more) your anarchy will become something !anarchy, and your minarchy will bloat.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    I read an interesting history of Rome, republic and empire, which put it in the context of Mediterranean climate. Pardon my inaccuracy, but I believe it went like this: Climate cooling around 1200 BC dispersed people southward and collapsed the early Bronze age. Climate warming around 900 BC created the Greek classical age and the Roman republic. The climate was so good, in fact (and not the current dry summer and wet winter Mediterranean climate) that the Roman republic expanded too much and became the Roman empire, with very little famine and concomitant conflict. Climate cooling around 200 AD triggered increasing conflict and the eventual collapse of the Roman empire.

    I agree that anarchy could not withstand global calamity such as poor crops and starvation. I don't believe any government or society could. I also think it is arguable that while the Constitution may be nominally the same, it has been redefined so thoroughly that the government has begun the transition equivalent to the Roman transition from republic to empire, and that is it naive to say this government has survived any better than an anarchy or minarchy would have.

  • perlchpr||

    Oh, no. I don't think I would claim that the Republic of the Founders has survived, despite that we nominally follow the same Constitution they wrote, for precisely the reason I lament above, which is that the people in the country don't want that. :-/

    Which makes me sad, because I will almost certainly die before I have the chance to get off this planet and away from those people.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    I have a pet theory that minarchy tending to anarchy is the ultimate end game, and will arise because more and more of society's business is conducted outside of the reach of government's realm. I don't mean just taxable business; I mean online gossip and news. The printing press moved all sorts of information out of government control; the telegraph, telephones, radio, and TV made it harder and harder for government to control news. The internet really hobbled government control, and encrypted mesh networks could put the nail in that forever.

    That would make it far easier for businesses and people to conduct business without governments even knowing they exist. Physical commodities are still visible to governments, but 3D printers would reduce that to some minimal generic amount, making it harder to tax and control specific goods.

    I think it plausible that governments could be reduced to such a vestigial role that their existence would be no more a nuisance than the weather. But I won't be around to see it.

  • ||

    Physical commodities are still visible to governments, but 3D printers would reduce that to some minimal generic amount, making it harder to tax and control specific goods.

    Still energy & raw materials would have to flow to those 3D printers; and those things can be taxed & controlled.

  • BigT||

    "Still energy & raw materials would have to flow to those 3D printers; and those things can be taxed & controlled."

    Not necessarily. Bitcoin can make exchanges invisible to govt. Wind and solar power can be local (OK, not at the same current cost as coal or gas power). I believe that in 20-30 years these things will be further beyond govt control than now.

  • ||

    Wind and solar power can be local (OK, not at the same current cost as coal or gas power).

    And not at the current availability; some seriously effective local electric storage is needed.

    And the flow of raw material for the 3D printers is still needed: not just payment for them, but their physical delivery.

    I believe that in 20-30 years these things will be further beyond govt control than now.

    Possibly. I wouldn't put odds on it, though.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Misanthrope anarchists and their desire to see the world burn.

  • vek||

    Here's the thing, basically anarchy/minarchy both can't really last or function without breaking some of the fundamental rules they themselves have.

    You could never maintain a pure NAP compliant minarchy with open borders. This is just a fact. You COULD do it with immigration controls, and a political test required for entry, and would probably also require native born people to declare they hold the same values before being allowed to vote on anything... But that's not minarchy by many peoples standards.

    Anarchy would evolve non state power structures that eventually turned into "government" before long too IMO.

    So the question is, what can you do to create the best state OVERALL. I think you could be internally almost 100% anything goes. To maintain the state you probably WOULD need harsh immigration/citizenship standards. But that doesn't sound so bad overall.

    People seem to not be okay with horse trading on freedoms... But in the real world you would have to. Limiting citizenship is the only way to maintain minarchy, so is it not worth trading that one thing for all the other freedoms? As most anarchists/NAP purists present themselves, they're nothing more than delusional utopians.

  • Lowdog||

    I know, the brown hordes are coming for vek's freedoms (and his wimmenz).

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Maybe. They are definitely coming for welfare and have changed the USA to be Socialist.

  • commentator||

    What was the last year that the USA wasn't "socialist"?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    1860.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Huh. Want to expand on that?

  • vek||

    You're trying to make it something it doesn't have to be.

    For instance, it could be hordes of wrong thinking honkies.

    If Switzerland decided to go FULL ON minarchist, they could be overwhelmed by French people coming in and voting away their system. French politics is very left wing, even by European standards. Or Russians for that matter. Both of whom are white.

    So race is besides the point, although non white countries in the world today tend to be even less freedom oriented than the shit holes in Europe.

    My point, again, is that minarchy that tried to be hyper NAP compliant could not survive complying with the NAP on immigration...

    It is rather like that leftist idea, I believe they call it the Intolerance Paradox IIRC? In order to promote absolute tolerance you MUST be intolerant of intolerance. It is self contradictory on its surface, but functionally speaking it is actually correct if your goal is to tolerate the maximum amount of stuff. In short breaking 1 "positive outcome" may be required to ensure 1,000 other positive outcomes. It's something purists like to ignore, because it shows a flaw in the real world functioning of their ideas taken to an extreme.

  • Trump's Nazi Party of USA||

    National security means much more than a high tech military. It also means defending our culture and heritage from the
    Untermensch horde.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Parody or not, intentional or not, this is the truth and why any government must be a monopoly and expand forever.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Once taxation is allowed, redistribution is the unseen part. All taxation is unfair to some people, and those people will howl to change the redistribution formula. While some basic taxation can be less intrusive than others (consumption tax is less intrusive than income tax; Georgian bare land tax is less intrusive than property value tax), diddling the formula to change the redistribution instantly adds intrusion and bureaucracy and police. This increases the unfairness and the calls for new redistribution formulas, and it's a never ending cycle.

    Majority rule does not tolerate dissent. Democracy is majority rule. Governments do whatever it takes to stay in power: stomp out minority dissent, appease majority dissent, it is all the same to government.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Once taxation is allowed, well, the taxman has to be paid. As do auditors to insurer 'honesty' and 'propriety' in the collection of tax. And the accounting department, their management hierarchy, their offices and equipment, etc.
    It takes a lot of taxes just to cover the overhead of having taxes.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Exactly how would anarchy work in the real world? So yeah, all land and other real property would be owned privately, by individuals, coops, or communes. All trade and commerce would be unregulated, open, and buyer-beware. All personal behavior would accommodate any preferences. And all people would be enlightened and skeptical of authority.

    What happens at the first disagreeable encounter? Are there fundamental rules to reference? Is there some sort of third party referee?

  • perlchpr||

    A system I have seen suggested would have basically private insurance to deal with dispute resolution, up to and including police action if necessary, and cultural mores that strongly recommend against doing business with anyone who doesn't have some form, because how could you have any recourse against them if they don't?

    Obviously this is a very brief description of the system, but it is just a comments section after all.

    If you'd like to read a novella set in a society which operates in this sort of system, Vernor Vinge's The Ungoverned does it justice as a primer.

  • Shirley Knott||

    (And/)Or pick up a copy of the Tannehill's The Market for Liberty.
    I was privileged to know Morris and Linda in the early 70s, as the book was being self-published.
    Interesting people, interesting book.

    And interesting thread. I share the surprise of the commenter up-thread that this has remained free of shit-posting so far.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Anarchists never want to explain anarchy. It turns people off.

    There is no state with power to compel people under a rule of law. You cannot settle disputes in court because there is no way to force parties to appear and resolve the dispute.

    As long as you never initiate violence against someone, anarchists cannot get you to do anything you dont want to.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Anarchy doesnt work which is most of humans switched to societies with small government. Then you had socialists who took over to destroy small and limited government.

    Then anarchist didnt learn from history and want society to burn, so anarchy-land will happen again.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Taxation IS theft, almost by definition. They don't call it "donations" or "charity". But I once tried to come up with taxation that would be more-or-less voluntary and equitable.

    Once, a self-declared property tax. The government sets its budget. Everyone sets some self-declared value to their property. The tax rate and tax owed are simple calculations. The government doesn't need to know who owns what property or who pays the tax.

    However, the legal system limits damage awards to that self-declared value. If you say your Rolls-Royce is only worth $10, then anyone who steals it, or rear-ends it, or keys it, is only liable for $10 in damages. What you and your insurance company arrange is your business; but I imagine the premiums would rise considerably if they knew they could not collect true damages from the culprit.

    Or a redress tax: whatever your arbitration or private trials awards in damages, the government takes a cut. Since almost any redress system must be publicly visible in order to be enforced or appealed, there's no extra intrusion. (Pay extra under the table to reduce the official verdict; then how do you collect from someone who reneges on that extra payment?)

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its not theft if you voluntarily pay taxes.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Define voluntary. Oh wait, you're the government, it's your definition.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I pay taxes because I want to. I volunteer to pay taxes so roads are built and the US Military is kept strong.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Another so-called libertarian who think sonly government can build roads!

    Something something Stockholm syndrome.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Private contractors build roads for most places in the USA with government paying the tab. Some roads are built with government employees.

    Either way, government has most of the roads built in the USA and they own the land the roads are built on.

  • IceTrey||

    Government can be funded non-coercively.

    http://www.importanceofphiloso.....nment.html

  • Tony||

    So government sucks because it employs fallible human beings. Thus, we should let fallible human beings be free to make up all their own rules.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    No. Government sucks because it has no market to hold it accountable and cannot go out of business when it loses customers from shoddy service or illegal activities; and because it has no market competition to continually measure itself and improve itself.

  • Tony||

    Market fetishist horse pucky. A good government is far more accountable to people than a market actor because it is subject to regular elections. One person one vote (rather than one dollar one vote).

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Voting has sure bamboozled people like you.

    I vote hundreds of times a day in the market. One trip to the grocery store entails more votes, and more meaningful individual votes, than all the government elections in my entire life.

    A government election is basically one vote every four years for which clown will rule my life. It is exactly the same as having to choose every four years who will be the manager of the single monopoly store which sells everything: breakfast cereal, pants, cars, houses, dishes, TV shows, books, toys. And not only do I not get to vote on which single choice of pants which we will all wear for the next four years, I don't even get to hold the resultant choice accountable for violating his campaign promises.

    Candidate A promises Levis and Hyundais, and says nary a word about Three's Company vs Star Trek.

    Candidate B promises chunky peanut butter and green unicorns, and says nothing about Beethoven vs The Ramones.

    And whichever one is elected will break every promise at will.

    You call that accountable?

  • Tony||

    The market mechanism is great. All hail. But it's a separate thing from government, which is in part about creating the environment in which the market functions. One vital aspect of that environment is preventing monopoly, which is the thing you're worried about. Nobody said any old government will do. We all want it to make the best policy. One virtue of democratic government is that everyone, in theory, gets an equal say.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Government does not create the condition which enable markets. Markets exist no matter what government does. What government does do is disrupt and distort markets, reducing their efficiency.

    As for monopolies, the only true monopolies are those created by governments. Market monopolies are ephemeral and mostly a figment of people's imaginations. John D. Rockefeller's supposed monopoly in Standard Oil hit 86% market share at its peak, and was already down considerably by the time government got around to him. He got his market share by producing a better product at a lower price. Did you know he invented the railway tank car, lowering costs and increasing efficiency over individual barrels? He invented Vaseline to reduce waste. His cheap lighting oil almost single-handedly saved whales from extinction.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Dictatorship by majority rule is marginally better than dictatorship by oligarchy or a single king, but it is still dictatorship. Why should the majority be able to tell me to not smoke, or to wear a set belt, or drop bombs on people who have never harmed me or choose what goods I can buy or consume or sell?

  • sarcasmic||

    Tony, monopolies are a creation of government. They happen when government sets up barriers to entry such that only one favored company can deal in a given product. In the market if one company stands out it's because they do the best job at the lowest price. And they don't stay there forever. They come and go.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Agreed. Except Tony still doesn't get it.

  • Tony||

    Herpes blisters are the creation of government. See, government and herpes blisters both exist at the same time. QED.

    Monopolies are one of the private-sector toxins that governments exist to provide antidote to. It's simply desperate assertion to say they can't exist except for government.

  • BigT||

    "Monopolies are one of the private-sector toxins that governments exist to provide antidote to."

    Let's initiate a monopoly on force/violence to get rid of (almost) monopolies on products. Brilliant!

  • sarcasmic||

    Monopolies are one of the private-sector toxins that governments exist to provide antidote to. It's simply desperate assertion to say they can't exist except for government.

    A monopoly is when one company is the sole provider of some good or service, right? And monopolies are bad because they use this power to raise prices to astronomical levels and fuck people over, right?

    Here's the thing - monopolies can't use force. Only government can. So monopolies can't stop competitors from stepping in when the monopoly raises prices way above cost. Someone else will step in and do it for less money. As long as the monopoly is providing the best value for the best price, better than any competitor can, then that's actually a good thing. It means the consumer is getting the best deal. In a market the monopoly can't abuse its customers without competition stepping in.

    The type of monopoly that you have an emotional reaction to is the kind that squashes the competition and abuses the customers. That requires force. As in government. Market actors can't use force. They must lure in their customers, and keep coming back voluntarily. Only government can force people to buy things, force people to come back, and force competitors to fail.

    Monopolies of the kind you want to protect people from are a public-sector toxin that only markets can provide an antidote to. It's simply illogical to say they can't exist except for government.

  • LeaveTrumpAloneLiberal-tarian||

    The market mechanism is great. All hail.

    I take it as a victory for libertarians/Trump supporters like me that even a liberal like Tony acknowledges the moral superiority of the market. Sure there are People out there that think the market has brought about pollution, economic inequality, rampant consumerism and misery. But let's acknowledge Our victory, ok? Those people are in such a small minority (barely 48% of young people are positively inclined to socialism) that Tony, our resident liberal doesn't even bring those arguments up. We've won, fellow libertarians and Trump supporters! You can tell.

  • Brian||

    "One person one vote (rather than one dollar one vote)."

    I fail to see how your point relates to politicians buying votes from their constituents.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Tony, you ignorant slut. 'Splain tio me how one vote for a legislator (that has jurisdiction over innumerable topics) every 2 or 4 years supplies more accountability than constant and perpetual economic votes with purchases. Oh, and if I want to change legislators, I have to get 50.01% of the rest of the people to agree with me, whereas if I want to change my diet, I can buy different food whenever I choose to, with no time lag, and no having to persuade the rest of my neighborhood to Go Paleo.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Because in Tony's little mind, we're all idiots who should be ruled by elected and appointed central planners that think just like Tony.
    Because in the progressive mind, they believe that whatever they think and feel should be law. They also cannot conceive of us not being the exact same way, which is a large part of why progressives believe in thoughtcrime. Dissenting thoughts are criminal threats to creatures like Tony.

    This is what they are.

  • Tony||

    While I'm loath to respond to a despicable psychopath such as yourself, I would like to remind you that your political tribe also wants to pass laws and interfere with people's lives. Everybody does. That's what a conversation about politics is always about: what you want other people to do.

  • FusterCluck||

    The conversation happening here is not what "we" want others to do, it's what "we" don't want done to anyone by government. It's a distinction that seems obvious, but maybe not to everyone.

  • Tony||

    Government not doing something is every bit a policy choice, affecting other people, as government doing something.

    Government could not protect your property rights, and you wouldn't like that very much would you?

  • FusterCluck||

    So you don't get the distinction, fine.

    The government protecting property rights is a retaliatory use of force, however, the government issuing a tax on that property is initiating force.

    Distinctions are important.

  • Paradigm||

    Tony, the real problems with big government come from lifelong bureaucrats who are not elected. Nice try, government is neither accountable nor adaptable the way the private sector is, because it doesn't have to be. In short, it's designed to fail.

  • Tony||

    Yet governments manage to persist almost everywhere humans exist, and where they don't, those humans are utterly miserable. The reason it's called the private "sector" is because it is a component of the economy and society that serves some social function. The public sector--the part of society "owned" by us all in theoretical equal shares--serves other social functions. There is no zero-sum competition except in plutocratic rhetoric.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    >>>Yet governments manage to persist almost everywhere humans exist, and where they don't, those humans are utterly miserable.

    Tony, so many people are killing themselves rather than live under these conditions that it has dropped total US life expectancy.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Who other than people, fallible people, are going to make up the rules?
    There's the problem, Tony, you and your ilk want to believe there is somehow some other way than fallible people making up rules.
    But that's all we've got.
    So what shall be the scope of the rules?
    How are they to be interpreted and enforced, given that we only have fallible persons to do the work?

    Never forget, all of us are stupider than any of us. Adding up fallible does not provide, or approach, infallibility.

  • Tony||

    This criticism is specific. The inventors of our system of government had human fallibility foremost in mind. That's why powerful checks and balances exist. That's what good government is: a check on all the tendencies of humans who would otherwise abuse what power they have or could gain. And it may not even work in the end. But let's not pretend that doing away with the structure of government will magically erase those abuses. The whole point of that structure is to check them.

  • Shirley Knott||

    At which point you've basically conceded my argument — your original complaint was a distinction without a difference.
    Nice to see you taking a strong constitutionalist stance for once. I doubt it will last [cough Electoral College cough] but it's nice to see.

  • Tony||

    If by constitutionalist you mean someone who approves of every single thing in the constitution, you're both wrong and being absolutely ridiculous in praising such a plainly dogmatic worldview.

  • Paradigm||

    The inventors of our system did not want a giant federal bureaucracy nor a welfare state, Tony. Once again, you're wrong. Truly astounding.

  • Tony||

    Well they were residents of the 18th century. They didn't want airplanes and the internet either, because they didn't know about them yet.

    What a silly thing to want to be hamstrung by rejecting a technology because it wasn't invented by 1789.

  • FusterCluck||

    That's not even good deflection.

  • Tony||

    What some long-dead people allegedly wanted for themselves is fairly low in relevance compared to what alive people want for themselves, don't you think?

    If the US constitution doesn't permit a modern social welfare state, then the US constitution is a useless piece of crap. Thankfully we've found ways to see that it does.

  • FusterCluck||

    Ah, I should have seen that you prefer to have the government bully everyone into forced participation via taxation and enforcement with violence than to be truly charitable and seek to voluntarily assist those you proclaim to care about.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The Constitution prevents Lefties like you from getting their way.

    You should leave the USA and find another target.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tony that is.

  • IceTrey||

    Government sucks because it initiates force in violation of every human's natural right to liberty. Prohibit it from doing that and all will be well.

  • Paradigm||

    Yeah, but what about every human's natural right to free healthcare, birth control pills, education, housing, cellphones, food, solar panels, calling conservatives and libertarians racists, etc?

  • IceTrey||

    There's only one human right, to not have force initiated against you.

  • vek||

    Repost from above: Here's the thing, basically anarchy/minarchy both can't really last or function without breaking some of the fundamental rules they themselves have.

    You could never maintain a pure NAP compliant minarchy with open borders. This is just a fact. You COULD do it with immigration controls, and a political test required for entry, and would probably also require native born people to declare they hold the same values before being allowed to vote on anything... But that's not minarchy by many peoples standards.

    Anarchy would evolve non state power structures that eventually turned into "government" before long too IMO.

    So the question is, what can you do to create the best state OVERALL. I think you could be internally almost 100% anything goes. To maintain the state you probably WOULD need harsh immigration/citizenship standards. But that doesn't sound so bad overall.

    People seem to not be okay with horse trading on freedoms... But in the real world you would have to. Limiting citizenship is the only way to maintain minarchy, so is it not worth trading that one thing for all the other freedoms? As most anarchists/NAP purists present themselves, they're nothing more than delusional utopians.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    You seem fixated on immigration and citizenship. A strange foundation for libertarianism.

  • vek||

    It is one of the foundational errors of people who believe in pure NAP adherence. Most people don't believe in absolute freedom. Therefore if you ever created a state where that was the case, it would ultimately be overrun by people who didn't want that. Then the natives would be outvoted, unless it was a minarchist dictatorship I suppose...

    It's pointing out a logical inconsistency more or less, that makes it impracticable. It's not just immigration either as you note. Even native born people who didn't believe in the system would need to be, at a minimum, not allowed to vote in order to maintain freedom. It's contradictory in terms of pure principles, but in practice it's the only way it could work.

    Hence, NAP purists are delusional utopians by not accepting that you would HAVE to break the rules of the NAP SOMETIMES to ensure greater overall NAP adherence in all other instances.

  • vek||

    But as I said, in such a state, one could maintain almost absolute internal adherence to the NAP... You just gotta break it in a few really important instances. It's living in the real world, versus fantasy land.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Your solution is no more final or realistic than any anarchy or minarchy.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its not "or" anarchy is minarchy.

    Its like Progressivism is socialism.

  • perlchpr||

    Oh, for fuck's sake! If you're going to be belligerently wrong, could you at least try and be logically and grammatically correct while you do it?

    The proper phrasing would be "minarchy is anarchy", since "anarchy" would be the more generic form there.

    Christ, you're not even smart enough to be wrong correctly.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    More dum-dums trying to pass off anarchy as mainstream.

    Its fringe.

  • perlchpr||

    Its fringe.

    Wow. You really are just a complete fucktard.

    Believe me, no one knows better than I do just how fucking fringe anarchism is.

    Nothing in what I said made any attempt to indicate that anarchism was a mainstream position. I was just correcting your logic and grammar. Because you are a moron.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    perlchpr: Oh dipshit, own it then. Be the Anarchist that you want to be.

    Stop hiding and hating on Libertarianism.

  • perlchpr||

    In what possible way could I "own" being an anarchist more than my repeated declarations that I'm an anarchist?

    In what possible way am I "hiding" that I'm an anarchist?

    Likewise, what (other than your complete inability to reason) makes you think I hate libertarianism? I have repeatedly stated that I value libertarians as my closest political allies.

    Of course, you're incapable of actually reading for content, so I'm not sure why I'm bothering correcting you yet again.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Still proud of your ignorance. How weird.

    Even your analogy is broken. Not all socialism is progressivism. I don;t even think all progressivism is socialism; eugenics, for instance, has nothing to do with redistribution.

    Anarchy is lack of coercive monopoly government. Minarchy is small coercive monopoly government.

    How weird that you are such an anal jerk about certain rule-of-law words, and completely chaotic (not anarchic) about others.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its interesting to see who the Anarchists are as they come out for this article.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    I'm an anarchist. I'd settle for minarchy. I'd also settle for the 1789 Constitution. But those are not the same, and you are not the arbiter of the English language or of the 1789 or current Constitution.

  • Free Without Permission||

    You act like anarchists want to hide anything. On the contrary, we'll tell anyone about it openly. Libertarianism is positively crowded with anarchists, compared to any other political groups. If you somehow didn't know that, I'm impressed. Guess that must be a spooky revelation for you.

  • vek||

    "Your solution is no more final or realistic than any anarchy or minarchy."

    How do you figure? Controlling borders and immigration has been a fundamental task basically all nation states have always undertaken. Granted, sometimes they don't succeed fully. Rome couldn't prevent my barbarian Germanic ancestors from overrunning half of their empire. But they slowed it, and had period where they were fully successful. The UK however has done pretty good with preventing unwanted immigration since 1066, until the modern era anyway.

    As for the citizenship aspect, again Rome did not grant full citizenship to most people in the empire. Even if native born wrong thinkers were allowed to live there, but not vote or have all privileges of citizenship, that would be pretty typical and doable.

    Universal suffrage is a VERY modern idea. It was highly limited in the USA from day one, and for good reasons. Same for the UK and most other democratic systems until the 20th century. The Founders knew that many dumb people didn't have the education to vote... They STILL don't. Those voters are the ones who ruined the USA.

    So the idea of limiting voting rights is NOT undoable. It is THE ONLY thing that could maintain minarchy, despite violating the "ideals" of the NAP. Again making one exception to freedom that saves 10,000 other freedoms is a net gain is it not?

  • vek||

    As for how to get there, incrementalism in that direction is the only way. Uber/Lyft make it apparent we don't need taxi commissions. Moving to school vouchers/charter schools shows we can cut costs and improve outcomes there. Etc.

    There are 10,000 different things we could do to move towards the ultimate goal. And if we get there, and there is so little government we can drown it in the bath tub, and that's what people want... Sweet! I'd be down to try it out. But I think people will be perfectly happy with just a lot less government than we have now.

    As much as I'd LOVE close to zero government, I'd probably stop bitching quite a bit if we MERELY eliminated 50-75% of the taxation and stupid regulation we have now. I bet most other people would too. Good enough may not be perfect, but it is good enough!

    Any which way, I don't see anything close to even that happening anytime soon. We will hopefully start making some headway in the coming decades, but it will be a LONG TIME before we'll be having the "Do we want to keep our minarchy, or go to straight anarchy?" debate.

  • IceTrey||

    "You could never maintain a pure NAP compliant minarchy with open borders."

    Why not? All the government has to do is not initiate force.

  • vek||

    Because most people don't believe in minarchy. This is the thing purist deny, but it is true. An ideological litmus test for VOTING at least would be 100% required to maintain hyper limited government. As I said above, this would likely have to include excluding native born people with wrong ideas too.

    I'm not saying it's nice, or that it complies with the ideals of libertarianism... But practically speaking it is the only way you could maintain the system beyond a few decades. Again, making 1 exception to the rule of maximum freedom in order to maintain 10,000 other freedoms. Seems to be logical to have that one exception since it creates a net gain in freedom, no?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    +1

  • perlchpr||

    You could never maintain a pure NAP compliant minarchy with open borders.

    Sure you can. It just requires the same operating conditions for the world, as are required for your minarchy to be successful.

    You need a populace that wants it in order to keep your minarchy an actual minarchy, as opposed to swelling into, well, what we've got today.

    So, all you need to do in order to maintain minarchy with open borders is to have a planet full of minarchies, with open borders between them. Since all of those minarchies will necessarily be full of minarchists, in order to be functional minarchies, the immigrants you get through your open borders won't be fuckups.

    Yes, I realise I have just defined a condition which is likely impossible. Nevertheless, it is also what is required.

  • vek||

    You are correct. Everybody in the world would have to be on board... In the real world, this will never happen IMO.

    Hence, practically speaking, in the real world, one would have to have limitations on immigration, and probably even voting for people born in your territory.

    At least you can logically accept the reality of the situation, and see how different that is from the conditions where one could actually maintain such a system.

    In truth the current immigration debate is a watered down version of this. All immigrants vote for worse things than native born people, but we're expected to let them in because of some principle... But it causes a net reduction in freedom. We're not starting as a proper minarchy, but it's the exact same principles here. Hence I believe in high quality immigrants, coming in in reasonable numbers.

  • commentator||

    All immigrants vote for worse things than native born people, but we're expected to let them in because of some principle...

    Letting them live and work where they want doesn't give them a right to vote there. That's two completely separate things. How is 'living here' with no voting rights a threat? In the current immigration debate, even the die-hard open borders types don't tend to say to grant everyone at the border citizenship and with it, the right to vote.

  • vek||

    Well, in the current debate it's simply not talked about much. The USA has mostly had this funny idea of you're either a citizen, on track to becoming a citizen, or you're here VERY temporarily for whatever other reason. If we had a class of life long residents that were never expected to be allowed to gain citizenship, then that would be a different story.

    But right now, all the lesser forms are seen as mostly being on the path to citizenship. We'd also have to eliminate birthright citizenship for this to work. I'm entirely open to discussing such things if it was on the table, but it's just not.

    That said, depending on the numbers, having 10s of millions or MORE foreign nationals that are essentially 2nd class citizens in your country will still change the culture, and eventually I suspect they'll get pissy and start bitching about their situation. I mean illegal Mexicans are ALREADY protesting and stirring shit up, and they're completely illegal and should have zero rights at all. So in the real world, not Libertopia, there are still practical problems. People aren't widgets, and civilizations are a thing. People from other civilizations in high enough numbers has repercussions some people don't like.

  • DajjaI||

    "We are all sinners," as a wise man once explained. I would put it a little differently - we are all schemers. Meaning, we are all fascists-in-denial. We all harbor a secret plan to take over the world. Everyone's plan is different, but mostly they are socialist in that you pretend to have great compassion and sympathy for the masses and use that to get voted into power, and then use your position to rule the world. Yes most people really believe that and really are that stupid. The great thing about democracy is that since everyone has a different variation of the plan, they basically cancel out each others' worst impulses at the voting booth. This is also why freedom is so important, because without it, you can shut down your opposition. For example they are trying to shut down the Labour Party in the UK based on 'antisemitism'. They can do that because they don't have freedom of association in the UK and 'extremist' political parties get outlawed all the time. The result will of course be disaster. Anyway anarchism is another fantasy to make everyone think you're peaceful and then after there's no government or police to protect people, you take over the world. #goodluckwiththat #only1canwin #anditwontbeu

  • Aloysious||

    Appreciate this article. Good stuff.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I appreciate all the anarchists outting themselves.

  • JFree||

    Much of Nick's critique of anarchism seems to boil down to the fact that ancaps are totally not fun at parties

    Count me as a minarchist who finds this description of ancaps to be THE main reason why libertarians find it difficult to sell ideas of liberty. Understanding Dale Carnegie is NOT a sell-out of principles. Refusing to LISTEN to others is not a sign that you already have all the answers. Resorting to memes and catchphrases is NOT an effective form of argument. Refusing to work with others is petulance.

    My reasons for being a minarchist are mundane. The same reasons Coase posited that corporations exist. Because there is a substantial overhead cost in conducting the ton of transactions that are necessary for a full price-discovery mechanism in a free market to work. 'Government' ends up being the default 'corporation' for stuff like roads (ain't zero-cost to negotiate 100 easement contracts before breakfast just to get to work), schools, police. And stuff the pricing system fails to deliver before the 'need' becomes clear enough to register as important in a voting system - see pollution/environment. Lots of ways to reduce the coercion of that or transition to a pricing system when that can grow up enough to take over from a govt operation that has outlived its usefulness.

    I love it that ancaps can keep their eyes focused on the prize. But it's a useless attribute without the ability to play well with others.

  • JFree||

    To give one example of where this creates problems for the LP.

    Ancaps are correctly focused on the 'education' aspects of the ideas of liberty. But that is not the same thing as running candidates for office - or figuring out how mundane policy changes can occur at the local level. Those two are necessary for any organization that is a political party. They are not sufficient for a political party based on principle.

    But what that means is that a party of principle needs to have some education functions that aren't present in a 'traditional' tent-type party. It doesn't mean that the education function should simply take over the necessary functions for a political party - where they have both proven that they fail (to get elected) and fail to educate (because that's not directly why people vote the way they do) while pissing on the very idea that those necessary functions of a political party should even exist. Is the LP an actual political party - or is it just an unfunny satire of a political party (eg Raving Monster Loony Party).

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Minarchy is Anarchy.

    More non-Libertarian nonsense from Reason.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Love 1789 Constitution but deny and hate what it really says (such as immigration control).

    Love libertarianism but not understand the basic words.

    More non-sensical nonsense from a law-and-order type who understand neither law (as in the 1789 Constitution) or order (as in basic word definitions).

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Some of us dont fall for changing words to hide who you are and what you stand for.

    You can call is Minarchy, Narchy, Nanarchism, etc.

    Its all Anarchy based political beliefs. A hatred of Libertarianism is the first indicator that I usually see.

    You Anarchists are outed and just own it.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    You aren't a constitutionalist. You can make up words and definitions all you want, but they carry no weight outside your own mind.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Man, 20+ shit posts from Anarchists who are so mad. Its hilarious!

  • Shirley Knott||

    Some of us dont fall for changing words to hide who you are and what you stand for.


    And yet you do it all the time.
    None so blind...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    More giibbeish from our resident troll, shirley knott.

  • Shirley Knott||

    And the shit posting has begun, from the expected source.

  • perlchpr||

    The hilarious and sad thing is that he probably thinks he's being really bold by refusing to intake new information.

  • sarcasmic||

    I've come to the conclusion that he's either a retard or a drunk.

  • perlchpr||

    "either"?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Gillespie is a drunk and retard, alright. Glad you agree.

  • sarcasmic||

    He probably uses AOL.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Gillespie is a shit poster, alright.

  • LeaveTrumpAloneLiberal-tarian||

    I think i'mok With anarchism as long as it means that that concept is congruent with keeping a million man standing army, invading other countries, spending a trillion dollars for the DOD, and having a police force on the border that makes sure only citizens with the right papers get to live here. Those things are in the Constitution and thus consistent with libertarian/anarchistic thought.

  • perlchpr||

    Enh.

    You do better when responding to OBL, frankly.

    Buck up. You'll get there.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Your sock puppet trolling hasnt improved.

  • LeaveTrumpAloneLiberal-tarian||

    Another thing: i'm All for anarchism as long as it has the concept of the rule of law. I mean, if someone gets fired from their free association work relationship with Exxon Corp. and can't pay the landlord we definitely need to make sure that we form an anarchistic affinity group (and prefereably dress them in a uniform with identifying logo) to enforce said landlord's property rights. That's vital in my estimation to a smoothly running anarchy.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    For the nonce

    Apparently "nonce" is British for Tony.

  • sarcasmic||

    Fuck you Reason. I log in long enough to write one comment and then I get logged out before I hit submit. Fuckers.

    Now I get to type it again..

    My main quibble with anarchy is that I don't see how there can be a market for justice. For there to be justice someone must have the last word. You can't have different organizations competing for the last word. Well, actually you can. It's called war. And the winner becomes the organization with the last word over everyone in a given territory.
    Perhaps anarchy could exist for a while, but eventually some organization that deals in violence will literally kill the competition, and become government.

    So being that government is unavoidable, and literally kills the competition, it is best to keep it as limited as possible.

    Hence I am a minarchist.

    Oh, and since when did vegans wear leather? Nick?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Katherine Mangu-Ward the Anarchist.
    I'm an anarchist

  • vek||

    Pretty much. If we had total anarchy, I would love to found a fascistic, and also hyper free market, pseudo nation. We'd be highly free and productive within the borders, it would be safe, clean, and awesome... So people would flock there. Anyone who disagreed with us on the outside would of course have to be killed and stuff... Cuz how else are you supposed to resolve disputes???

    I pretty much see no alternative to pseudo states cropping up in short order. This wouldn't be bad, because at least it would be voluntary, which is one aspect missing from the modern world...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Sarcasmic the Anarchist.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    sarcasmic|9.2.18 @ 1:13PM|#
    [...]
    Hence I am a minarchist.
  • sarcasmic||

    It's flattering that you confuse me for Johnny Rotton, but sadly you are mistaken.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Own it buddy. Own your hatred of Libertarianism and small and limited governrment.

  • sarcasmic||

    Own it buddy.

    Own your hatred of words meaning things.

    Embrace your retardation.

    Durrrr! Durrr!

    Say it proud!

    Durrr! Durrr!

    Duuuuuurrrr!

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Reason must like you, they kept you logged in enough for this :-)

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Thanks for proving my point.

    Its so easy to manipulate you and Sarcasmic.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Ah but your reactive repetitive posts are as voluntary as the taxes you pay for things you don't like.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I choose to live under this system of taxation to pay for most things that I like and some thing that I dont. I fight against the taxpayer money spent on things that I dont like.

    I dont have to live in this system. I choose to.

    You cannot make everyone happy all the time. A tiny Libertarian government would affect less people, so less people would be happy or upset about government because government would largely be insignificant.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    If our government was run according to the way the constitution is currently written, it would be a great improvement.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    +1

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Nick Gillespie the Anarchist.
    For these reasons, give me minarchism.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    perlchpr the Anarchist.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    perlchpr|9.2.18 @ 11:08AM|#
    Anarchism will never work because human nature.
    Shit. I am an anarchist ...
  • perlchpr||

    I, um... yes?

    Is this supposed to be some kind of "gotcha"? Because I've been self-identifying as an anarchist for far longer than I've been posting in this comments section, and have never once denied that I am an anarchist, rather instead typically shouting it from the rooftops.

    So I'm not sure what you're trying to demonstrate here. Other than your profound idiocy. Which, if so, good job! You have succeeded.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its not a gotcha. Own your anarchism.

  • perlchpr||

    I'm guessing you must have one of those clear rubber mats over your keyboard to keep the drool from short circuiting the thing.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Oh anarchist goober. Youre a troll at this point.

    Shitting up this topic all day.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Scarecrow repair & chippering an Anarchist.

    Scarecrow Repair & Chippering|9.2.18 @ 1:44PM|#
    I'm an anarchist....
  • loveconstitution1789||

    dajjal the Anarchist.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    DajjaI|9.2.18 @ 10:23AM|#
    I'm as much of an anarchist as the next guy
  • loveconstitution1789||

    Zeb the Anarchist.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    JFree the Anarchist.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    JFree|9.2.18 @ 12:33PM|#
    Much of Nick's critique of anarchism seems to boil down to the fact that ancaps are totally not fun at parties
    Count me as a minarchist....
  • Free Without Permission||

    I have to say, you posting all of these badges of pride in the comments for us is a very kind service.

  • sarcasmic||

    The rational conversation was fun while it lasted. Wish I had gotten in more then ten minutes before the EOE poster showed up and stunk up the place.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Scarecrow Repair & Chippering the Anarchist.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Scarecrow Repair & Chippering|9.2.18 @ 1:44PM|#
    I'm an anarchist.
  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Pretty neat, getting all this free advertising, not having to blow my own horn. Thank you!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    No prob. Own it buddy.

    Yell Anarchism from the roof tops!

    I served in the US military to protect your right to advocate for Anarchism, loud and proud.

  • perlchpr||

    It was pretty cool! No LC, no hihnswarm autosocks, minimal Tony. All in all, not a bad Sunday morning.

    I gotta say, I have no idea what the Resident Weevil is trying to accomplish with this "I'm going to quote Sarcasmic saying he's a minarchist, and then a bunch of other posters declaring that they're anarchists, and somehow that will alter the definition of 'minarchist' to mean what I want it to" schtick though.

    I mean, fuck. If nothing else, he could have quoted us all in one post instead of the repeated diarrhea action.

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't mind Tony. He's mostly non-antagonistic.

    lc though, that guy is the most willfully ignorant person I've ever seen. He's up on the rooftops shouting "Fuck you people who say that language has structure and words mean things! Words mean what I say they mean you fucking anarchists!" Talk about irony.

  • perlchpr||

    He did have a good point above though. He's best ignored. Though, it can be difficult to ignore the wilfully, belligerently, antagonistically ignorant.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You cannot help yourselves. You Anarchist shit up a potential good discussion about looney Anarchist and how delusional they are that Minarchy is not Anarchism.

    It would be cute if most of you Anarchists were not so clinically insane.

  • perlchpr||

    Enh. I probably could help myself, but frankly I find mocking you to be entertaining, and don't see much reason to restrain myself, even if it is the intellectual equivalent of beating up a five year old.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    All those black eyes you give yourself must be tiresome.

    You gotta stop hitting ypurself stupid.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    I've written LC off. There's a point to talking to Tony. He's funny, and some of his points aren't bad at all. Hell, even the Rev makes a good thinky thought from time to time. Sometimes there's nothing to do but wash one's hands of the matter and let reality take its course.

  • sarcasmic||

    Pretty much. lc is a retard and everyone else is starting to figure it out. Eventually people will stop playing his game and he'll find someplace else to masturbate.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Oh poor sarcasmic looking for allies in his anti-libertarian trolling.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    There is no real point talking to Tony. Tony should heed my advice and go drink a Drano. As should anyone who fancies enslaving the population to the communist call. There is also not much point talking to open borders no matter what people about immigration. obsessive tunnel vision on the subject.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yet you keep replying to my outstanding comments.

    You trolls are all the same.

    Undermine libertarianism at all costs.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Funny, the Reason staff cannot help themselves.

    They gotta bash the Libertarians who visit this site.

  • perlchpr||

    Wait, wait. I'm Reason staff now?

    Bitchin'. Does that mean I get fruit sushi and cosmopolitans?

  • sarcasmic||

    Just Mexicans and butt-sex.

  • perlchpr||

    I live in Albuquerque. I've got Mexicans.

    And I'm looking askance at any butt-sex I might be offered as remuneration by Reason.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    See, they cant help themselvs.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The comments looked pretty shitty with your comments on here.

    I see the Reason staff and interns trying to bait. I see the Anarchist nonsense.

    Its funny that you Anarchists hate yourselves so much that you think you're fooling anyone on how much you hate Libertarianism.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Last sentence no compute. Need reformulation in Earth language.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yeah sorry. iPad autocorrects and fucks my words up.

    If we only had an edit button.

  • perlchpr||

    I don't hate libertarians or libertarianism. It's just you. And it's not so much "hate" as "disdain".

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Your comments expose your hatred of everything Libertarian.

    Keep denying it though. Its funny.

    The Anarchists outed themselves like the stupid Lefties did when Trump won.

    As I have said multiple times, Anarchists are undermining Libertarianism and this is evidence of that.

  • perlchpr||

    Your comments expose your hatred of everything Libertarian.

    Does this whole "repeatedly saying things and hoping it makes them true" technique work anywhere else in your life?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Reality is hard for you isnt it?

    Anarchy.... hahaha

  • LeaveTrumpAloneLiberal-tarian||

    I think KMW won the argument. Anarchy is the best form of government. So long as it is supported by a enforcement cadre that would shoot-to-kill any people who haven't paid their rent, violated a patent, or crossed an international border i'd Be fine with it. Naturally, because such a government would face an existential threat from socialists and globalists from the European Union such an enforcement cadre would unfortunately have to be supplied extensive resources primarily to be gathered by voluntary tributes paid to the Head Enforcement Committee. Failure to pay these voluntary tributes would be cause for immediate execution. Anarchy rules!

  • ||

    I favor minarchy over anarchy for several reasons.

    First, if something must be done but no one wants to do it on their own initiative, that's the sort of thing government excels at finding solutions for.

    Second, as a focal point in a crisis. Even with a collectivist mindset, you'll have tons of people screaming that they know what must be done in a crisis, and everybody else's way leads to disaster -- they believe they need to act together, but planning after the crisis is happening is generally an excellent way to make it worse. Substitute rugged individualists for the collectivists, and it's a recipe for turning a minor problem into a civilization-ending disaster. Even in the best cases, it wastes resources better used for other things.

    Third, to enforce the rules the individualists agree upon. Voluntaryism is all well and good, but what happens when a lone voluntaryist meets 2-3 people willing to work together who have no respect for the rights of others? Every single government got its start when someone gave an order and someone else obeyed it. Two people will usually beat one person, all other things being equal. In an anarchist society, nothing prevents half a dozen people from moving into your house and kicking you out of it -- and any sort of team-up to prevent it creates at least a minarchist government to prevent their authoritarian one from being created.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    First, if something must be done but no one wants to do it on their own initiative, that's the sort of thing government excels at finding solutions for.


    Example, please. I suppose you are thinking of asteroid strike or invasion by Martians. Illustrate who and why something can be so dastardly yet no one wants to do, or pay others to do.

    Hint: the only such things are those desired by statists.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Second case: Also need examples. Disaster relief like after Katrina? Sorry, didn't mean to pre-emptively burst your bubble.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Third case has been disproved many times. Read up on it, there are lots of examples.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    any sort of team-up to prevent it creates at least a minarchist government

    Do you consider NATO to be a state?

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm not sure that all taxation is theft. Certainly, some forms of taxation are more voluntary than others.

    Some people in real life have pointed out that I approve of some forms of government coercion--like using the courts to enforce contracts. I counter that if it's government coercion to force people to abide by the terms of a contract that both parties willingly signed, then that's not exactly coercion.

    I maintain that sales taxes on non-essentials are probably the most voluntary form of taxation.

    For one thing, the taxpayer is able to judge whether or not they're willing to pay the tax when they're deciding whether or not to pay for the item. If the tax makes the item to expensive--in the judgement of the taxpayer--then the taxpayer can choose not to pay the tax.

    No doubt, there is some coercion in the government collecting sales taxes from businesses, but it's still less coercive than income taxes, property taxes, corporate taxes, and capital gains taxes--in which an individual owes taxes because they earned income, own property, or made a profit. Individuals can go through life without choosing to buy a new boat. I'm not sure anyone can go through life without earning income, owning property, or making a profit--unless they become wards of the state, and how free is that?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Notice, I'm not even talking about the relative desirability of these taxes--although taxing income, property, and profits is half the definition of socialism. I don't suppose it should be surprising that the least coercive form of taxation is also the least socialist; regardless, sales taxes on non-essentials are the least coercive form of taxation.

  • vek||

    Yup. I think we could move A LOT of government over to fee for service type situations, and it would resolve a LOT of funding issues for things people really care about, and make other people stop bitching. As big a tight wad as I am, I would willingly throw in more money to ACTUALLY MAINTAIN THE FUCKING ROADS IN MY CITY! But it's not really an option. Likewise people in the burbs might choose to voluntarily pay more in taxes for schools if their property taxes went down and they could direct it straight to education. A million other examples have been thought of as well. Why people are against volunteerism is beyond me.

  • Nicholas Conrad||

    Nick's piece was titled "in praise of a state that does a few things well", but he fails to even attempt to explain how the minarchist state is able to do it's few things particularly better than Leviathan does them now. Or, for that matter, how he proposes to keep the night watchman state at it's diminutive scope. Given the history of government mission creep, I imagine this is the central question of minarchist theory.

    Neither does he offer us any moral justification for state coercion and violence when confined to 'a few things done well'. Rather, his argument seems to be 'you don't make friends by standing up for your principles, and libertarians need friends'. This is the kind of unapologetic political strategy might get a 'libertarian' or two closer to winning an election, but almost certainly guarantees when they get there they have no effect on the status quo, so I'm not sure it's even sound as a 'directional' tactic.

    As for 'directional libertarianism' itself, if you don't have a coherent end-state goal, you're prone to falling into local-maximum traps from which you cannot escape. It's only viable as a short-term strategy at best.

  • sarcasmic||

    Or, for that matter, how he proposes to keep the night watchman state at it's diminutive scope.

    In one of Robert Heinlein's books, a character proposes an incentive to repeal laws. You have two elected chambers, one creates legislation and the other repeals it. Passing requires two thirds, while repeal only requires one third.

    I think that might help in restraining government mission creep. Something would have to be really popular to become law in the first place, and if one in three don't like it it could be stricken.

    The suggestion was of course ignored in the book, and it's doubtful that people who seek the power to create such a structure would actually do so, because power seekers tend to frown on anything that might restrict themselves.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Moon is a Harsh Mistress, betcha.

    My form was that every bill passed into law automatically creates a repeat petition. If it ever, at any time, collects signatures from more than half of any chamber, its is repealed and all current convictions and cases are voided. Or, if you have a hierarchy like we do with counties/stated/federal, if more than half all lower legislatures vote for repeal.

    Of course, all laws expire after one year. To prevent omnibus bills re-enacting all current laws, if any law is found defective, the entire law is voided. No separability. No rewrite by juries.

    All challenges to laws for being defective (unclear, inconsistent text or enforcement) are heard and judged by juries and require unanimous agreement on being valid; and there are no appeals, because by definition, that means there is disagreement, which means the law is not clear.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The Anarchist volunteer 'state' cannot be some magic solution to a small and limited Libertarian government.

    They cannot even expel someone from a civil court for causing a disruption. It would be a coercive and violent action without the disruptive person initiating violence. If the person wont leave, then violence would need to be used.

    Otherwise, a hecklers veto situation would shut down civil courts daily, in Anarchy-land.

  • IceTrey||

    In an anarchy courts would be private and they could expel anyone they want with force.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Why would I show up for private court? I would never show up for some arbitration where I didnt absolutely have to under penalty of law.

  • IceTrey||

    Well if you didn't employ a private defense company they would just take you. If you did employ such a company they would make you.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Who would take me? Anarchists cannot initiate force to enforce societal rules.

    The only force can be retaliatory force. I am not attacking anyone. Its a dispute that requires all parties to appear before some camp counselor.

    If a party refuses to appear, any decision by the Head Anarchist is rendered unenforceable. Unless all parties enter into a contract to end the dispute, the aggrieved party has no recourse that affects the non-appearing party.

  • Nicholas Conrad||

    Lol wut? Ancaps definitely want everyone to be paid for their services, and NOT exercise arbitrary power over subjugated masses, so it's pretty much the opposite of a 'volunteer state'.

    Might I suggest you bother to understand first what you hope to criticize next time?

    "He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that." -John Stuart Mill

  • perlchpr||

    Might I suggest you bother to understand first what you hope to criticize next time?

    You're clearly new here. No. No he cannot. He is incapable of that action you suggest.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    More garbage from you non-libertarian anarchists.

  • IceTrey||

    Keeping the government small is simple, prohibit it from initiating force.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Humanity had a good run. Last one left alive should remember to shut off the lights for the next apex species.

  • sarcasmic||

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Frankly, we deserve to go the way of all species that can't or won't adapt, and I shan't miss us one bit.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    We'll be fine.

    During Trump's 8 years, we'll roll some government back and reset PC stuff. Democrats wont be in any real power anymore, so it will likely be Republicans vs Libertarians.

    We'll have to fight the religious nut stuff and Nanny-Statism of some Republicans.

  • Kazinski||

    You lost me at "Most people systematically overlook the ways in which their lives are already ordered by nonstate forces and in which the welfare of others is supported through noncoercive methods. Private legal regimes exist all around us.... our homeowners associations...".

    I've been in countries where the people meekly acquiesce to tinpot dictators, but would be out in the streets in a bloody revolt if they were subjected to he unbridled tyranny of a homeowners association.

  • SIV||

    I'm a blast at parties.

  • Brian||

    Ostensibly, government is about taking care of people and smoothing out the rough edges of capitalism.

    And ostensibly, religion is about giving people spiritual meaning and direction in their lives.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Ostensibly, Coca-Cola only wants to bring thirsty people together in a better world.

    Ostensibly, public schools only want everyone to be good at math.

    Ostensibly, Maduro does everything for "the people".

    Humans love marketing campaigns. We're such trusting souls, bless our hearts.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    I'm not sure it's clear, but I agree with Brian.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    "The constitution either permits such a government as we have had, or is powerless to defend against it. Either way, it is not fit to exist." - Lysander Spooner, from No Treason, the Constitution of No Authority.

    Anybody care to refute this?

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Nope. I agree with it wholeheartedly.

  • Brian||

    Is there any social contract theory in which the USA doesn't exist as one huge self-contradiction?

  • Shirley Knott||

    Social contract theory is a giant self-contradiction.
    Lysander Spooner was great. Although his success at competing with the post awful is apparently why the post awful has a monopolist on delivery of first class mail.
    Technology and creativity have pretty well bypassed that, though.

  • Shirley Knott||

    *monopoly

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You can leave the USA if you dont want protections and duties associated with the constitution.

    Or convince a bunch of other people to change the rules stated in the constitution.

  • Free Without Permission||

    This serves as nothing more than a backhanded threat. When faced with the inability to produce any argument for the legitimacy of a state's claim to political authority, "like it our leave it" replaces any attempt to argue, implicitly backed up with threats of deadly violence.

    If a state is illegitimate, if the social contract doesn't exist, then there *are* no duties associated with the constitution, insofar as each citizen has not explicitly agreed to it. It may not be possible for a given people to do away with living in a state-controlled territory, or to convince everyone around them not to threaten violence toward peaceful people over whom they have no legitimate authority, but that does not make their claim to state illegitimacy or any attempts to ignore, undermine, or circumvent it incorrect.

    "You could leave the USA if you don't want protections and duties associated with the constitution.", you say. One can do so, yes, to their peril. But that does not make the Constitution or governing state justified, any more than it makes a local private bully threatening your property with violence justified because "you could leave". In both cases, undermining, circumventing, obviating, or outright resisting would not be wrongful action, though it might well be fraught with danger.

  • IceTrey||

    It's true but the fix is simple, prohibit the government from initiating force.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Simple to refute. What great system do you propose to replace it with? Anarchy-topia? No thanks.

    It is a lot easier to complain and point out faults than it is to do something about said faults. Libertarians seem to fall under the wing of complainers with few realistic solutions to add other than utopian claptrap.

  • IceTrey||

    The solution is right above your comment.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Who will prohibit the government from using force? Some other entity will? With what means?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its the big flaw with anarchism.

    No ability to force parties to come together and resolve disputes peacefully.

    Under libertarianism, a small and limited government gets people to resolve dispites in court via rule of law and has a state police organization to enforce the laws and make sure other people's rights are protected.

  • IceTrey||

    Patriots.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    pa·tri·ot
    noun: patriot; plural noun: patriots; noun: Patriot
    1. a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors.

    Anarchists cannot be 'Patriots'.

  • IceTrey||

    If there is a government to prohibit from initiating force how is that an anarchy?

  • IceTrey||

    Anarchy actually means "no ruler" not "no government". The proper function of government is to defend individual negative liberty with the retaliatory use of force, period. A government prohibited from initiating force can not rule.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Best kind ;-)

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Naw. Libertarian govenrment is the best. Small and limited government under rule of law.

  • Qsl||

    One thing missed in these anarchy vs. minarchism schisms is how vast tracts of human interaction already operate under anarchism. It is not a question of either/or, but both at once depending on circumstances.

    And this get to a fundamental flaw within minarchism (or any system of government really)- anarchy is the default state (ha!). All systems of government must proceed from anarchism regardless of mandate or occupying army. People are generally going to do what ever they want, and the state will never be powerful enough to control that in any meaningful way.

    When viewed from this lens, government takes on different meanings and forms. At least my take isn't so much less government but better government, where government is unobtrusive precisely because it functions so well.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if anarchists and minarchists were the two major parties?

    This topic is something we can fight over once we've taken over the world and are leaving people alone.

  • vek||

    This would be a dream world!

    As far as international relations though, minarchist states would win since they'd have organized defenses, and would probably end up invading all the anarchist states on "humanitarian grounds" or something.

  • Pebar||

    Anarchists are a cancer to libertarianism. Extremists are the reason nobody gives a damn about liberty.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I am just glad many of the anarchists outed themselves, so we know a bit more about who is undermining Libertarianism.

  • Mickey Rat||

    The main problem with anarchism is the same problem with international socialism, you need the whole world agreeing to it before it can work. Any dissenting free market undermines international socialism. Any group in an anarchist society that does not subscribe to anarchy and will.organize to protect their interest will conquer. If the remaining anarchists organize to protect themselves from the threat from that group, then the anarchy is ended as well.

    An anarchy is like supercooled water, it will solidify to ice the moment something is introduced to crystallize around.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    >>>Any dissenting free market undermines international socialism. Any group in an anarchist society that does not subscribe to anarchy and will.organize to protect their interest will conquer.

    And democracy works until the people realize they can vote themselves into bankruptcy trying to get free money.

    Socialism works until the economy stops producing anything since it's outlawed or owned by Party theorists.

    Communism works until people want something of their own. Say, five minutes.

    Nothing humans have attempted worked. History is a colorful long-term account of our failures. It all turned to shit as soon as the people got comfortable and lazy.

    I suspect it doesn't even matter what form of government, if any, people labor under - just that it not stand in the way of those laboring. Maybe we're missing the point. There's a daily cost to human survival. These costs must be met. If this fails on a wide scale, the deficit eventually topples the mechanism bunging up the works. Or millions die, that's always an option. Frequently, we get both options.

    I dunno. It's a chin-scratcher. Maybe the problem really is us. Most of our communication seems to be through shiny, symbolic story-telling, which makes it difficult to figure out what the fuck's really going on.

  • Mickey Rat||

    With a minarchist society there is a glide path before it all succumbs to entropy. I don't think an a fully anarchist society is possible to get to at all, much less maintain for any period of time. Therefore, this debate is rather useless. Especially since limited government is not even a consensus viewpoint.

    You cannot get there from here.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Yeah, it's totally different this time. As you were. Don't mind me.

  • IceTrey||

    Sure it's possible. When every human accepts and lives by the NAP.

  • vek||

    Which will never happen. The truth is it is often in ones self interest to violate the NAP. Even situations one wouldn't necessarily think is horribly immoral. So people with no morals will surely take advantage of everybody else being easy marks. This is why no NAP purist society has ever really existed, or if they did they lasted about 5 minutes before somebody else organized as a group and took over.

  • IceTrey||

    The NAP says you can't initiate force it doesn't say you can't retaliate with force. People who act immorally will soon find themselves being measured for a pine box.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The NAP allows you to preemptively defend yourself against real threats before you are attacked.

  • IceTrey||

    Yes threats of force are immoral.

  • Mickey Rat||

    So what offenses will not be effectively punishable by the death penalty?

  • vek||

    In a true anarchists situation, I strongly suspect there will be less cohesiveness and organization than in saaay the group that views themselves as a group, and is willing to organize around doing things for the good of the group. If NAP based anarchy was a truly viable thing, don't you think it would have produced some great society SOMEWHERE at SOME point in history?

    Individualism is awesome, and the NAP is pretty cool. However we're pack animals, and a pack is always stronger than an individual. Also, sometimes breaking the NAP is in a person or groups best interests. Therefore individuals following the NAP are at a disadvantage to less scrupulous people in many situations.

    This is why a group (government) that respects individual rights, but has a framework for group cooperation and interests in the few areas of real importance that the government should actually be involved in, like defense, is the best we can do. AKA Minarchy, or highly limited government.

  • perlchpr||

    If the remaining anarchists organize to protect themselves from the threat from that group, then the anarchy is ended as well.

    Anarchism does not, in any way, reject voluntary organization.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Organizing to project force in defense of your social order is the foundation stone of government.

    Once that starts you have already irrevocably changed your social order.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    How neat that you get to define that for anarchists.

  • Mickey Rat||

    My opinion is that it is pollyannish for anarchists to think they can avoid that definition by their ideological purity, when hardly anyone agrees with them.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Again, would that mean NATO is now a state in control of its members? Why didn't the Allies inevitably form a superstate following WWII?

    There are incentives for the organizing parties to hold on to their power or form a cartel and effectively become a state. There are also incentives for them not to do so. It's not an inevitability, as evidenced by real world examples of armed groups teaming up to defeat a common threat.

  • Mickey Rat||

    NATO is made up of unapologetically sovereign governments. Besides, since when do anarchists think military alliances are compatible with their philosophy?

  • Gracchus||

    I would argue that the only way one could preserve both an advanced capitalist society (i.e. large industrial enterprises with legal person-hood and private ownership) is under a minarchist society, since the minarchists would at least have a legal infrastructure with rules and enforcement to provide some form of certainty for investors. Certainty is a big thing (arguably one of the biggest) when it comes to investments and economic calculations: whether or not my investment is going to secure a return or not, and of how much. The best (i.e. most effective) way to provide some degree of certainty for investors (and economic transactions in general) is to have rules and institutions backed by men with guns. Of course this isn't the most ethical way of running things, but it seems most efficient in my (admittedly-limited) perspective.

    I just don't see large, technologically-advanced societies as being compatible with an anarchist framework. Markets can surely coexist with anarchism, but large economic enterprises seem too complex and hierarchical for a stateless society (unless human behavior has developed to the point that the rules and norms we have today are internalized and need not be enforced at gunpoint). Maybe anarchism would work best on the frontiers (space colonies a la Heinlein) with low population densities and a limited degree of technological/economic organization, but in an urbanized metropolitan civilization? I doubt it.

  • IceTrey||

    As Rand said "A government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of physical force under objective control".

  • goneGalt||

    (unless human behavior has developed to the point that the rules and norms we have today are internalized and need not be enforced at gunpoint).

    And there is our problem. Contracts ultimately need to be enforced. Even civil courts, if defied, will eventually need to resort to deadly force in order to assert their decisions. But in your very next sentence, you shine a light on a possible alternative. Even if its application can only apply to some narrow cases.

    Maybe anarchism would work best on the frontiers (space colonies a la Heinlein) with low population densities and a limited degree of technological/economic organization, but in an urbanized metropolitan civilization? I doubt it.

    The best description of how an anarchist society might be made to work on a scale larger than a family/tribal unit may be found in the story "And Then There Were None" by Erik Frank Russell. Skip down to the story of "Idle Jack" if to long to read.

    But you would still need absolute, religious buy in from everyone on the planet/colony for this to work.

  • Gracchus||

    Generally speaking, the closest parallel to an anarcho-capitalist society that I can find in the recent historical record is medieval Europe. Take out the dominance of the Church and mixed economy of feudal and capitalist institutions, and you have a society run almost virtually on contracts. Feudalism itself is merely a society run by contracts, although these contracts are far more binding and tend to occur between superior and inferior classes/castes, such as between a lord and his vassal or the ordinary peasant and his "protector." It's not the most perfect metaphor (some people would prefer medieval Iceland or the pioneering communities on the Western frontier), but it seems to be the only such case that offers a glimpse (albeit very crude and distorted) of how large-scale organizations would function in an anarcho-capitalist society.

    Of course, this doesn't even begin to resolve the fundamental question of whether capitalism (defined in terms of large industrial corporations with market share, divisions between managers and shareholders, and the underlying need to accumulate capital) can even exist in an anarchist society, let alone prosper to the same degree that it does today.

  • goneGalt||

    (unless human behavior has developed to the point that the rules and norms we have today are internalized and need not be enforced at gunpoint).

    And there is our problem. Contracts ultimately need to be enforced. Even civil courts, if defied, will eventually need to resort to deadly force in order to assert their decisions. But in your very next sentence, you shine a light on a possible alternative. Even if its application can only apply to some narrow cases.

    Maybe anarchism would work best on the frontiers (space colonies a la Heinlein) with low population densities and a limited degree of technological/economic organization, but in an urbanized metropolitan civilization? I doubt it.

    The best description of how an anarchist society might be made to work on a scale larger than a family/tribal unit may be found in the story "And Then There Were None" by Erik Frank Russell. Skip down to the story of "Idle Jack" if to long to read.

    But you would still need absolute, religious buy in from everyone on the planet/colony for this to work.

  • goneGalt||

    Obligatory squirrel comment.

  • SIV||

    Minarchists are still statists.

  • IceTrey||

    Not really.
    Statist
    "an advocate of a political system in which the state has substantial centralized control over social and economic affairs."
    A minarchist wants the government to do one thing, defend individual negative liberty with the retaliatory use of force.

  • Tony||

    Those adjectives you think are so clever are just excuses for using government violence for the things you want, same as everyone else--save actual anarchists, who can be content with their rhetorical consistency from within their padded rooms.

  • IceTrey||

    But what I want is liberty.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Absolute liberty. Libertarians want maximum liberty under rule of law and a small and limited government.

  • IceTrey||

    If the government doesn't initiate force how is it not absolute?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Anarchy has absolute Liberty, as I said.

    Libertarians support small and limited government which does restrict some Liberty. Its a trade off and the trick is to keep government as harmless as possible.

  • IceTrey||

    If liberty is violated then it's not libertarian.

  • Free Without Permission||

    So do I -- including from any initiation of force on the part of your government, and believe forceful resistance to it would be just as valid as toward the equivalent action by any private individual. Though honestly if we were to go from our current state to minarchist's paradise, I certainly would not be complaining. I don't really see it as likely, but I would be happy if it was.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    What's the difference between forcing you not to rape people, and forcing you to support a robust military for national defense and international peacekeeping?

    Nothing important or special, if you ask me.

  • IceTrey||

    The first involves the RETALIATORY use of force and the second the INITIATORY use of force.

  • commentator||

    You never had a sarcasm detector installed did you.

  • IceTrey||

    Poe's law.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Might individuals left to their own devices to act freely within a context of self-ownership, private property, and free markets do better than this messy, immoral, violent morass?"

    Where do you think that "context of self-ownership, private property, and free markets" came from?

    Anarchists are much like socialists, in that they want to have their cake and eat it too.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Where do you think they come from?
    They can't be imposed, and even if they could, the source of the imposition would be individuals acting freely. That's baseline reality.
    The 'problem' is that the context is a group of individuals, with all their varied preferences. How do shared views of self-ownership, private property, and free markets arise and permeate a group?
    How does one impact their current context of others in such a way as to foment or foster those principles? There's the dilemma in a nutshell. Although to call it a dilemma is to suggest it might be avoidable, but it is inherent in sociality.

  • JoeBlow123||

    "The 'problem' is that the context is a group of individuals, with all their varied preferences. How do shared views of self-ownership, private property, and free markets arise and permeate a group?"

    So between your obtuseness, it seems that what you are suggesting is that if everyone is a New Soviet Man New Anarchist Man then the society would work fantastically in anarchy-topia. Mmmhmm.

  • Hank Phillips||

    One can only hope this assignment of positions was the result of a coin toss.

  • Hank Phillips||

    1. Ask yourself what competition in the physical restraint of men simply HAS to mean.
    2. Read newspaper archives and realize that every anarchist in previous centuries was a communist with a gun or bomb.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    This was great. It exposes that anarchists run Reason and undermine Libertarianism at every chance.

    Once libertarians get rid of anarchists from their ranks, Libertarianism can resonate with Americans again.

  • Mickey Rat||

    " And if my anarchy collapses into your minarchy through voluntary interactions, well, that sounds like a happy ending for everyone, doesn't it?"

    There is no guarantee that an anarchy will collapse into a minarchy. In fact, there is a lot of evidence it topple into something highly authoritarian. In any case, there is little evidence that you will much influence over what replaces it

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Additionally, Anarchy cannot come about from our Constitutional Democratic Republic, since it would require the complete destruction of our Constitution.

    That means that Anarchists who know this want the USA to collapse. Otherwise their Anarchy-land will never happen in the territory controlled by the USA. The Anarchists dont move and form their own Anarchy-Land, so what does that tell ya.

  • wreckinball||

    Reason is not libertarian.

    Bernie Bros would be a better title.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    KMW and Gillespie outed themselves as non-Libertarian Anarchists. Add in Lefty Welch, which explains the non-Libertarian slant of Reason.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Let's start with the basics.

    First, no one is an anarchist. No one. Everyone has some kind of rules

    Those rushing to shit out something about 'state run' or 'government run' rules need to shut the hell up.

    ALL rules start with individuals. All 'public' works started out as private works. The tasks moved over into the 'state' or 'government' sphere as the society formalized.

    And that will happen whenever humans cluster. Societies will form and formalize.

    Why?

    Because EVERYONE HAS RULES.

    And everyone has some rules in common.

    And, with very, very rare exceptions everyone needs someone else at least a bit.

    So, at best, if you call yourself 'anarchist', you are a 'minarchist'.

    Or a rational anarchist, rational because you understand that this process is happening and will always happen until....

    con't

  • Azathoth!!||

    con't....

    Until we manage to create a method whereby an individual can meet all an individuals needs, wants and desires without anyone else(and yes, there is an intrinsic problem with this that will need a solution before 'society' can be completely abandoned)

    There is no other path to anarchy. None. The state that exists between societies is NOT anarchic. It is reformative.

    There are socialists and collectivists who refer to themselves as anarchists because they claim that their strict, highly orthodox social structure, with it's intrinsic hierarchies and competing groups is absolutely voluntary.

    Voluntary societies (of which theirs is not one) are also societies with all the interdependence that entails and are not anarchic.

    Communal societies can have 'governments that wither away'--but only as intelligence withers away. Humans would need to evolve to a hive insect like state for communism to work. This will not happen.

    In conclusion, there is no actual anarchy possible yet. There is only monarchism. If that monarchism is used in the service of the individual it can lead to an eventual state where no human needs another human for anything at all. This will be the point where an actual anarchic existence could be possible.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Why, in the names of all the gods and their innumerable spawn, would this autocorrect to 'monarchism'?

    It should read

    In conclusion, there is no actual anarchy possible yet. There is only mInarchism. If that mInarchism is used in the service of the individual it can lead to an eventual state where no human needs another human for anything at all. This will be the point where an actual anarchic existence could be possible

  • JFree||

    Why, in the names of all the gods and their innumerable spawn, would this autocorrect to 'monarchism'?

    A rich Freudian irony considering how many ancaps and Randians ACTUALLY resort to monarchism/feudalism as their preferred default system of governance pending the nevernever land of ancap or Randian utopia.

  • Azathoth!!||

    I think that one of the most interesting things about this debate is that it is only in a society structured like the US that the attempt--towards functional monarchism and eventual possible individualistic anarchy can be made.

    Collectivist societies simply can't do it--they aim, at their best, for subsistence.

    Parliamentary democracies were designed to maintain a status quo--the one in which there is a strict class structure. They are all responses to resentment of some type of royal privilege (or copies of governments that are the result of such). These tend towards slow degradation

    Nordic capitalistic democratic socialism also tends towards an ever increasing degradation.

    All of these, unlike the American system, start from the premise that people need to be governed. This places the order of import exactly backwards. The State--a fictional assemblage of codes, mores, laws, cannot have more importance that the living breathing actual people that it is used to serve. Any system that gets this wrong will degrade into tyranny and worse.

    con't

  • Azathoth!!||

    con't

    The American system, at least initially, proceeds from the individual perspective. It is one of the only systems to get the order of import correct--though it is under constant, eloquent attack.

    "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

    Why? Countries exist to serve people--not the other way around. A country that is not doing so needs to die, and quickly, with as little damage to people as possible. This cherished quote is one of the most anti-human statements ever uttered.

    But, despite these attacks, much of the population, when it comes down to it, is reflexively individualistic to an extent that makes the rest of the world a bit uncomfortable. It is this that should give us hope, and shine a light towards the next step on the path.

  • Free Without Permission||

    I thought Nick would be more educated than this argument:

    "Don't you give consent, however grudgingly, when you choose to stay in a particular jurisdiction or move to a new one?"

    This is an age-old and long-debunked attempt to justify the state's political authority. Everyone from David Hume to Lysander Spooner to contemporary libertarians like Michael Huemer have ripped this one so wide you can't find the individual pieces. Just one second of rational thinking for yourself reveals that if you replaced state actors with private actors in the scenario (inescapable private gang territories covering the earth, let's say), no one considers a failure to escape to a stateless society to be a form of consent -- though the Seasteaders are certainly trying on that front. There is no other situation on Earth where presence could equate to consent, *except* that in which justified ownership and authority over a property was already established.

    But since what he's trying to argue for is the origin of state authority in the first place (origin via consent), he cannot use the argument that "this situation of consent by presence is just because the state has rightful political authority over the territory it claims". That would be begging the question, or assuming what must be proven. I bet Nick has many arguments that fail to escape this circle.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Anarchy would be awesome, if human nature didn't exist. Working anarchy is absolutely the best of all possible systems (lack of systems?).

    But that world assumes a general character of human nature that simply doesn't exist in large enough numbers.

    There is a reason that no society above a very small tribal level has maintained a functioning anarchic system.

    Authoritarians build better armies. And they couldn't give a fuck about your anarchic principles. They want your stuff.

  • IceTrey||

    I'm pretty sure tribes have chiefs or kings or whatever.

  • Cloudbuster||

    I didn't mean all tribes. Some have chiefs or kings. There are some small isolated tribes that seem to just operate on an "everyone do your own thing" sort of loose association. But that simply doesn't scale and it doesn't survive outside conflict.

  • onebornfree||

    REALITY CHECK!:"Because they are all ultimately funded via both direct and indirect theft [i.e.taxes], and counterfeiting [central bank monopolies], all governments are essentially, at their very cores, 100% corrupt criminal scams, which cannot be "reformed", "improved", or "limited" in scope, simply because of their innate criminal nature." http://onebornfree-mythbusters.blogspot.com/ Regards, onebornfree

  • IceTrey||

    Government doesn't HAVE to be coercive.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Doesn't it? What happens when you ignore its dictates, or break its "laws?"

  • IceTrey||

    By coercive I mean initiating force. The proper function of government is to defend individual negative liberty with the retaliatory use of force.

  • Cloudbuster||

    And who is wrong or right in accused violations of liberty -- or whether the accusations are true at all -- is always obvious and clear-cut. By what right does your non-coercive government sit in judgment over me if I do not consent to its authority?

  • IceTrey||

    Are you going to initiate force?

  • Cloudbuster||

    If I am accused of murder by some jacked-up private police force in contract to my accuser, I am willing to be they are going to initiate force against me if I do not consent to their non-existent authority over me.

    Otherwise, how does that work?

    Accuser to his cops: "Did you get him?"

    Private cops: "No. We had to let him go. We're not under contract with him so there's no record of consent to our authority, and since we don't know he himself has initiated force -- there hasn't been a trial yet -- we can't initiate force against him to bring him in. It's really a shame -- so far 100% of our suspects have refused to come along willingly."

  • IceTrey||

    The government would be there to protect you.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Replace "private cops" with Anttown Municipal Police Force. Same issue.

    The police initiate force against innocent people all the time. How can they not?

    People are murdered by police for defending themselves -- or looking like they might defend themselves -- from police. People are wrongly jailed, and wrongly convicted all the time.

    Yes. Government has to be coercive.

  • IceTrey||

    Which is why they should be prohibited from initiating force.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Right. So when they show up at my door to arrest me, I will simply tell them to take a hike.

    Should they try me in absentia without my consent and come to my door to impose their penalty, I'll just tell them to take a hike. I can see this working out well.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Right. So when they show up at my door to arrest me, I will simply tell them to take a hike.

    Should they try me in absentia without my consent and come to my door to impose their penalty, I'll just tell them to take a hike. I can see this working out well.

  • dchang0||

    There are a few people arguing that if we don't consent, we can simply move out of the USA.
    But the USA's own behavior belies that argument.

    1) The USA levies income tax on all US citizens no matter where they are in the world. So, even if you are not enjoying any of the benefits of US infrastructure and are making all your money outside the USA using some other country's infrastructure, they take your money (unless you lie about your income or refuse to file taxes).

    2) One can renounce their citizenship, but the USA in 2014 increased the fee to do so from USD$450 to USD$2350, which is quite high for many Americans. It should be no-cost to renounce one's citizenship or at most a miniscule filing fee (perhaps $25 to $50 at most).

    Clearly the US wants our money more than our consent; otherwise it would let us leave freely.

  • librarian||

    In order to be persuaded the government of today is unnecessary, I'd need to understand what is fundamentally different today than in 1786, when "that cursed spirit of insurgency" caused Shay's rebellion, and the rewriting of the Articles of Confederation into today's Constitution. It scares me when I hear people insinuate people are rich because they are bad. It seems to be people are rich because they are good, as seen by the substantial number of ultra high net worth people that have signed Warren Buffet's giving pledge.

  • Steve Ancap||

    There is no debate here. This is black and white. If you murder one person or a thousand, you're a murderer. The only way to not be a murderer is to never murder someone.

    You cannot believe in limited government and be a libertarian. That limited government has a monopoly on force and it will use that monopoly on force to fund itself using aggression against someone who has harmed no one. There is no way around that. Minarchism is statism. Sure, it's very minimal, but it's statism none the less. You cannot defend that position because your defense is every bit as arbitrary as every other statist who thinks they have found "the right level" of statism".

    Is minarchism better than what we have now? Sure. Getting punched once is better than getting punched 50 times. But minarchism cannot be your underlying philosophical position if you claim to be a libertarian. Anarchism is the only logically defensible positions without contradiction and hypocrisy.

    Saying it's "harder" to defend is just a cop out. You don't have to lead with being an anarcho-capitalist, but you have to be ready because the time will come where you need to point out the real reason you want less government is because your goal is no government and not just your version of statism lite.

  • vek||

    Let me flip that on its head. If you drink 1 gallon of water a day, that's good for you. If you drink 100 gallons of water in a day, it will kill you.

    A minimal government, IMO, is better than outright anarchy. Also, practically speaking, we're just never going to get to anarchy anyway. So what's the point in shooting for an impossibility? Anarchy is no more possible than pure communism, like the idiot lefties like to ramble about.

    If anarchy were ever achieved, it would be gone in a day in some spots, a week in others, and not long after in most other places. People would form voluntary pseudo-governments. I would sure as shit move to such a place that enforced the things I prefer STAT, and so would most others. And at that point it's no different than simply having a range of optional governments to move to. It would end up basically exactly as it is now, but perhaps with a touch more volunteerism.

  • PCGUY||

    Good stuff!

  • BerserkRL||

  • SandCrab||

    "I'd start with the biggest items in the budget, such as transfer payments to rich old people in the form of Social Security and Medicare. "

    Social Security and Medicare are funded by contributions from people in their younger years, and it is their money to reclaim in their elderly years.

    If you want any form of government, then you want some people to handle your business and politics in the local area as well as globally, and this requires the exchange of recognized monetary units. Where will your limited government acquire adequate minimal funding? Will it be crowd funded with Bitcoin or Patreon?