RE: FW: Property [was Re: The Education Function]

Webb_S (
Wed, 16 Dec 1998 15:45:46 -0500 wrote:

>Steven wrote:
>>I suspect that anarcho-capitalism [...] relies upon some wrong assumptions
>>about human nature.
>Such as?

It's hard to say exactly. Perhaps that humans are infinitely adaptable, allowing them to switch PPFs or jobs or whatever in a completely rational manner. Whenever I hear descriptions of anarcho-capitalist systems its always in dribs and drabs, focusing on some particular issue like contracts or law enforcement. I'd have to at least see a large, integrated economic model operating in real-time before I could put a name to my doubts.

>>[W]e shouldn't be so quick to assume that the rest of the
>>world will readily incorporate the value system that makes capitalism
>The market doesn't "incorporate" any value system. It maximizes whatever
>(quantifiable) values the participants choose. Of course, the maintenance
>of market *freedom* does depend (from the outside, as it were) on freedom
>ranking high in (most) participants' value systems.

Exactly. Certain Asian cultures have a much different perception of freedom and the value of freedom than Americans do.

>>>Businesses have control over their employees for only as long as they
>>>work for the business. To me, the government is a very real and
>>>present danger to my freedom. Each day that I work having to pay
>>>taxes through the taxation of my company and through the taxes
>>>deducted from my paycheck without my approval are very real to me.
>>I understand this point of view.
>But you apparently don't "buy" it. Why not?

Depends on what you mean. I understand why you feel this way, and I don't think you're wrong. I just haven't internalized this viewpoint because my attitudes preferences differ somewhat from yours.

>>>Those productive dollars go to pay the salaries of people like you,
>>>who do not provide service based on the market. Your job exists
>>>because the government can arrest and punish those will not subscribe.
>>That seems a stretch. Customer service polls show that most people are
>>satisfied with the products and services my agency produces, so I think
>>there's something more to it than coercion.
>Yes, for those who are satisfied. What about the rest?

If you don't want to give your money, yet you are forced to, then you are coerced. I don't think most people feel quite this way, however. At least not to this extreme.

>Are you saying it's ok to coerce people as long as they're in the minority?


>>The particular product that my
>>division produces is most probably something that could not be produced by
>>the private sector.
>That's always the excuse, isn't it? But of course you're not willing to let
>the "private sector" try, are you? And if it is something that a free
>market wouldn't produce, what does that say about the actual value of your
>product? Valuable goods don't have to be forced on anyone, people eagerly
>pay for them.

Sure I'm willing to try. I don't really know how the value of the product we produce compares with the collective demand for it.

>>(I'd rather not get into specifics, however, since
>>there's always the chance that someone reading this is not quite in their
>>right mind. I've been rather surprised at how mean-spirited some of the
>>communication to this point has been.)
>The mean-spiritedness is an indication of the righteous indignation felt by
>those of us who dissent from the view that our lives and livelihoods are at
>the disposal of those in power.

Trust me, I'm not "in power".

>>I'm quite aware of how the government has expanded in size and scope this
>>century. For the most part, however, I think the government's activities
>>are fairly harmless.
>Harmless? Forcible meddling in peaceful people's lives is "harmless"?
>Taking half of our wealth under duress to support market-strangling
>regulation, persecution of "criminals" without victims, and war - that's
>"harmless"? What would you define as "harm", pray tell?

Persecution of "criminals" in victimless crimes is an abomination that we must put an end to ASAP. Ditto for the laws that allow the government to seize property in drug-related cases prior to charging an individual with a crime.