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

Webb_S (
Thu, 17 Dec 1998 15:15:41 -0500 wrote:

>>It seems to me that anarcho-capitalism deals primarily with healthy,
>>rational, capable individuals with acquisitive tendencies.

My previous "hippie" example relates to the acquisitor issue. I don't hear much discussion about how the sick, disabled, or infirm -- or more generally, those who either don't have the same choices or believe they don't have the same choices -- will fare under A-C. Another participant in this forum went so far as to say "fuck em".

>>I'm concerned at how the unhealthy, non-materialistic, and emotional
>>(i.e., non-rational) will fare under this system.
>(Aside: why do you equate "emotional" with "non-rational"? That's a false
>dichotomy IMO.)

I don't equate them, but I do think there is a strong correlation. For example, humans are very bad at estimation generally, and estimation of risk in particular. A rational person would conclude that airline travel is safer than auto travel, the emotional impact of a small number of airline accidents make them conclude otherwise. Similarly, the focus of the news media on violent crimes leads people to believe that these crimes are on the rise when in fact they are decreasing.

(Didn't you say earlier that you'd rather people feel less and think more? Sounds like *you* don't think emotions and rational thought are entirely compatible.)

>Anarchy is not a "system". It's simply freedom for systems to arise without
>force of arms.

It's really a matter of semantics.

>>As a semi-related comment, I've noticed that anarcho-capitalists seem to
>>spend and awful lot of time *planning* the alternatives to government.
>Kinda hard to implement the alternatives these days, isn't it?

Sure, but nevertheless this is what will really win people over.

>As I pointed out above, you're making the mistake of identifying A-C as a
>system in its own right. Our confidence in it is simply our confidence in
>freedom and in people's resourcefulness.

Semantics aside, as it's often discussed A-C does indeed appear to be a system. The A-C "model" is based on assumptions about the sorts of economic/organizational entities that will arise in the absence of government. These are still *planned* entities, however. If we work from the axioms of spontaneous order etc. upon which A-C seems based, I'd expect the A-C solutions to be so creative as to defy our attempts to plan or predict them.

>>If anarcho-capitalism really is based upon spontaneous order, we should
>>the solutions to non-governance to be as unpredictable and remarkable as
>>patterns we see in natural systems.
>Exactly! I think this may be what really scares people. An anxiety we
>anarchists (and even minimalists) need to come to grips with if we expect
>to win the average bloke over. Any suggestions?

Like I said, the closer we can come to putting theory into practice, the harder it will be for the average bloke to resist.

>>If an anarcho-capitalist society were really that much better, I
>>think you'd have no trouble winning over the masses.
>Think about that for a minute. Consider Copernicus. Columbus. Or Darwin.
>The sorry fact is that people are (not without some reason) fanatically
>resistant to change, especially in their worldviews. The majority,
>especially in a democratic reqime, are comfortable enough to be afraid of
>rocking the boat. Also remember that most people are pretty busy going
>about their day-to-day lives and have little time to devote (so they think)
>to "philosophical" matters. It's going to take more than theory and history
>to impell people to embrace radical changes.

Right, what will really win them over is when they see how much happier and wealthier their A-C neighbors are. Isn't this exactly the mechanism by which capitalism gained so many adherents?

>>The best way to speed the death of the state would be to set up
>>a fabulously successful anarcho-capitalist region as a model for
>>the rest of the world.
>A great idea. Where would you suggest we try it? At the bottom of the
>ocean? In the Alpha Centauri star system? What accessible area of the
>planet is currently unclaimed by some "nation" or other?

This is a major problem. Some have proposed the creation of cities that float in international waters. Maybe a group of extropians could purchase an island in the pacific and set something up. It won't be easily, but if A-C theory is sound it should be very profitable.

>>>No doubt, and that's precisely why they live in an economic quagmire.
>>Perhaps they value other things more than material success?
>Perhaps, but it's ingenuous to imply that the case for freedom reduces to a
>mere concern for material success.

I don't mean to imply this. However, I also don't think the Japanese, e.g., wrong for valuing social duties over individual gratification.

>>But the question, "Are you coerced?" is subjective because it depends on
>>what a given individual wants versus what they are required to do.
>>your view is correct for said individual depends on how they feel.
>I'm sorry, but this is nonsense. It's a matter of testable objective fact
>whether someone is using physical force or threatening same against me.
>Guns are NOT all in my head. It's not a mind game. It's deadly serious.

There are (or once were) many American "patriots" who would gladly lay down their lives for the state. I'm sure these people would all deny that they were being coerced.

>>While I'm concerned that some people don't want to pay for what I'm doing,
>>there are others that appreciate what I'm doing.
>I'm afraid your concern looks like crocodile tears to me. How does your
>belief that some people
>apprecitate what you're doing (for that matter, I might be one of them if I
>knew what it was)
>have anything to do with the ethical question of compelling or constraining
>the others?

I think this part is going nowhere, so I'll be direct. Do I stay awake night wracked with guilt that I work for the government? No. I think what I'm doing is a proper function of a minimalist government, i.e., serving as an information clearinghouse and helping to keep the economic wheels of the country turning. I'm sorry that you resent this, and advise that you use every ethical means at your disposal to do away with the state. If the leaders you elect do away with my agency I won't hold it against you.