Re: Justice and Punishment

Alejandro Dubrovsky (
Mon, 6 Apr 1998 15:15:55 +1000 (GMT+1000)

On Fri, 3 Apr 1998, Dan Fabulich wrote:

> At 05:39 AM 4/4/98 +1000, you wrote:
> >not really, take away private property and Bill Gates's magical powers
> >dissolve into thin air.
> If you just take away private property, then the government, who is no more
> required to be benevolent than Bill Gates, has precisely the same magical
> powers. This is not theory, this is fact. Slaughters just like the kind
> you're proposing have taken place at the hands of authoritarian governments
> countless times throughout history. Abolishing private property does not
> alleviate this problem; it makes it much much worse.

whoever said there would be a government around?
BTW, i don't think this has been done countless times throughout history.
I can't come up with even ten events where 10 million people were directly
wiped out by a government. Actually i can't come up with 5 but i think
that's more to do with my extremely limmited knowledge of anything that
did not happen in the 20th century (where my knowledge moves up to
the "very limmited" category)

> So I presume you mean to topple the state, too... But if you try the
> revolutionary tactic many anarcho-socialists suggest, the general consensus
> is that people will be only MORE likely to embrace totalitarianism.
> Revolution is dangerous and chaotic. People beg for strong leadership
> during these periods... we'll *definitely* be right back where we started,
> because there won't be ANYTHING to stop it, not even the possibility of a PPA.
general consensus? by whom? again, your argumentative style leaves much
to be desired. you could try using less "definitely"s and other such wide
sweeping statements and try slightly more concrete or better thought out
I, just one case i suppose, would not beg for strong leadership. i really
don't know how a mostly educated and wealthy western type population would
react to this scenario, since i don't think its been tried before. please
correct me on this, since as i said before, my history knowledge is

> >portionof the population. Great wealth is not a certificate of sanity.
> No, you're right, it's not a certificate of sanity. Neither is holding a
> public office, sadly.
i might state it again: i don't support centralised governments.

> But consider this, Mr. left-anarchist. Remember Bakunin? (Hint: Don't
> eliminate money to make the state fall away, eliminate the state and let
> MONEY fall away.) Anarcho-socialist communes, group societies, etc. could
> all exist, live and thrive under anarcho-capitalism. If they're more
> prosperous than a capitalist system, they will even be more abundant than
> the PPA system.

i agree, but with one big condition: evenly distributed wealth as a start
point. There are natural advantages of mass production which i don't
think would be compensated for in a free market system, or if it did, it
would take an extremely long time, and i don't really like asymptotic
solutions. otoh, anarcho-capitalist "societies" could also exist in an
anarcho-socialist world, and if they are more effective then they would
also thrive and multiply
> If you support a society with no state and no private property, you should
> eliminate the state first, in a slow, peaceful manner; then, if you're
> right, private property should fall away as the more efficient and
> generally superior socialist communes spread like wild fire.
that is pretty much what i'm hoping will happen with the help of nanotech.

> So would you at least consider looking at anarcho-capitalism in the same
> way that true communists wanted to look at authoritarian socialism, as an
> intermediary step towards the final goal?
again, with wealth redistribution, no problem. without it i don't think
it's a sufficiently big step. i admit that wealth redistribution isn't an
easy task, but again, nanotech might (hopefully) have something to say
about this.

> Under anarcho-capitalism slaughter is harder than it is now; but if it's
> really really easy now, then there's not quite as much we can do about it.
> Anarcho-socialism won't help this, either, sadly.

it would definitely help, since there wouldn't be anyone powerful enough
to do anything of such magnitude. And i don't think anarcho-capitalism
makes slaughter any harder than it is now
> >And for reasons i explained earlier it is very likely it WOULD win, or
> >more likely, that no war would occur,
> >or that if there was a war and it didn't then you wouldn't come out any
> >better. i've already stated it twice. check my response to Dan Fabulich's
> >posts.
> Again, your conception of the situation was completly incorrect. Say my
> PPA (PPA-1) decided to become tyrannical. PPA-2, we agree, will interfere
> only if it will earn them a profit; they will win only if they make more
> profit than PPA-1 would otherwise. In light of this, I offer PPA-2
> slightly MORE than I used to pay PPA-1, and I refuse to pay PPA-1. From
> there, PPA-2 has the means and the incentive to protect me from PPA-1.
if i remember correctly, it was i who described what i thought your PPA
would be able to do. again, if i remember correctly, i did not use the
word tyrannical. i did describe a PPA which would be able to control you,
by which i meant that it could make you pay, even if you did not want to
and wouldn't let you switch to another PPA (i realise now where the
tyrannical and other assumptions come from, i'm sorry for the confusion).
now, from this scenario: PPA is getting x units per second from you as
pay. you want to pay y where y < x. Another PPA would be willing to be
paid y, but it would not be able to get you out of your current PPA's
control since your current PPA would be willing to spend f(x) (where f(x)
is a monotonically increasing function which refers to what a company
thinks you are worth) on protecting you while the other would only be
willing to spend f(y) toget you. f(y) < f(x), so you are stuck where you
are. If you are willing to spend z, where z > x, then, yes, you will be
taken out of your current PPA's control, and put under another PPA's
control which charges you z, but they have to make sure that they recoup
what they lost in getting you which has to be greater than f(x). so,
unless your current controlling PPA is stupid and doesn't know how to
calculate the f function, then you'd end up spending more on your new one
than on your current one.

> >i didn't claim that. Stalin is not exactly the average guy in a position
> >of power right now. That Bill Gates under PPA anarcho-capitalism (PPAAC?)
> >would have more influence than John Howard (Australia's PM, just in case)
> >has right now, i would say most definitely.
> John Howard is a poor choice... A better choice would be someone like the
> head of the Australian military, who, we imagine, actually could take over
> the country given his position. Howard could not do this.
no, i don't think that the head of the australian military could, unless
it got support from the us military. but even if he could, i think there
would be more (or at least the same) number of people who could take that
decision in an anarcho-capitalist system as in the current one.

> Anyway, the point is this: Yes, Bill Gates would have a lot of power under
> A-C, but there are plenty of people who wield incredible powers today
> (military generals, etc.) who have no checks on their power. No system of
> political checks and balances can overcome this; so long as the military
> exists, it can simply choose to reject the laws set down by the politicians
> and take over the country. Anarcho-capitalism is the only way to even sort
> of begin to limit the effects of this power, by allowing people to choose
> between competing protection agencies, rather than being stuck with just one.
i agree with everything until the last sentence. why does a ppa have less
power than the army? don't they fill exactly the same role? consider the
colombian army hired to protect the oil pipes. this is just one of the
more explicit forms of it, but if you consider a government to be just a
business, then the army is constantly just a ppa.

Alejandro Dubrovsky