Re: Justice and Punishment

Dan Fabulich (
Fri, 03 Apr 1998 21:09:08 -0500


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.

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.

>I'm not trying to hold anarchists to anything. I consider myself
>an anarchist, in the more traditional use of the word
>(anarcho-socialists). I was just pointing out the, what i think are,
>extensive simmilarities between the current system and PPA based
>anarcho-capitalism as you described it, and the big power that one man
>could wield over a large part of the population in this supposedly
>decentralised system. The holocaust or the inquisition could just as well
>happen as with the current nation-states, the main difference being that
>the new megalomaniac's great quality would be having heaps of property. I
>don't see the case i described of bill gates or some other billionaire of
>trying to wipe a part of the population as any more far-fetched than that
>of some german thinking that jews are evil and trying to wipe off that
>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.

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.

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.

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?

>huh? what's that got to do with the price of fish? I wasn't trying to
>say that bill gates wanted to wipe India off the planet, just that some
>person with wealth y would want to do something disagreeable to x people
>with income z, where x is very large but y > x*z, and him/her being able
>to do this rather easily under the proposed system.

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.

>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

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.

>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.

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.

And that's a good thing.

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