Anarch as a the ONLY long range practical system

Twink (
Wed, 19 Nov 1997 19:08:43 -0500 (EST)

At 22:46:30 Tue, 18 Nov 1997 +0100 Arjen Kamphuis <>
>>Well (little private theorising here) in the last century, when railroad
>>infrastruture was being contstructed, Europe was already a densly populated
>>area with a complex society. And most country's weren't truly democratic.
>>States were the only ones capable of undertaking such projects and so they
>>did. Also in Europe good infrastructure was vital for military reasons. In
>>the US there was no Royalty in the classic sense and lotsa more room for
>>anybody with a daring idea. All of this is just an 'educated guess' - maybe
>>there are historians on the list who can shed a light on this. They
>>question why states came into existance in the various form they did and
>>what caused the *differences* is relevant to anyone wishing to obsolete
>>them, know your enemy and all that ;-)
I'm no historian, though I doubt this tale. My guess is the rails,
etc. could have been privately built, but that it was easier to steal
money (i.e., tax) from other people than to raise it privately and the
relevant industries were politically connected. Also, nationalism was
beginning to rear its head at the time, and the idea of protecting
industries had never really been dislodged.

>> >And if we'd let the Georgian and the German beat on each other for
>> >a few more years, before we intervened? We might have been rid of
>> >both of them.
>>Possibly, but the number of citizens killed in that war might very well
>>have been larger, also you run the risk that one of 'em (say Stalin) wins
>>and takes over all of Europe. Had the allies been 3 weeks later, Stalin
>>would have rolled his tanks all the way to the Dutch-German border, or
>>maybe the Northsea.

Let's not get too caught up in this. If the West, including the US
ment, had not given aid -- food and money -- to the Soviets during the
1920s or loans to the German government during the same period, the
chances of WW2 would have been lessened. The chances of the
Soviets staying in power, or of extending that power to Central Asia --
after the Russian Civil War, they reconsolidated the Central Asian
provinces -- would have been slim.

>> >Most law enforcement *is* at the individual level.
>> >You have locks on your doors, no?
>>Wiil a lock be enough? The only way to prevent criminals to enter my house
>>and loot the place (Yes, certain things I own are important to me) would be
>>to live in a fortress or to have some kind of weapon to discourage them. I
>>don't much like the first option and the alternative would lead to a
>>personal arms race between me and anybody that I think might want to hurt
>>me. I gues you know the argument... I see no way out of this.

If this arms race scenario is valid, why don't countries do it all the time?
And when they do, why do they usually fail? The Soviets, e.g., armed
themselves to the teeth, and by doing so, set off a balancing reaction
which basically isolated them. They were surrounded by enemies
until the end -- from Western Europe to Turkey to China. Relevant
reading here is _The Origins of Alliances_ by Steven M. Walt.

>>I'm not even going to make a long case about such a society being quickly
>>conquered by a society that didn't abolish the cetralised state (and thus
>>has a large, heavily equipped army).

Actually, I think the centralized state, and not local law enforcement,
is the biggest problem for an anarcho-capitalist society. Of course, my
solution is space colonization. If we can expand away from states at
the speed of technology, then they might become irrelevant.

>>As I remember it, groups of people long ago tried to fix this problem by
>>forming clans and agreeing to not fight among themselves and spare there
>>energies for any external threat. Soon thereafter they made wall around
>>their encampments and called it a city. Then someone thought that they
>>would be even safer if they worked together with another city (of course if
>>the other city didn't agree battering rams became the tools of the argument
>>- I agree with you infofar that this is a far cry from perfect, political
>>solutions seldom are).

I don't recall this happening to form any modern nation state. The
history of states seems to reduce to the history of states fighting
or conquering each other.

>>I think you'd want to abolish these groups and take your chances whereas
>>people like Joao Pedro and me what to extend the group to every human on
>>the planet and take our chances won't turn on us. We're both taking risks
>>(jump in here Joao, if you feel I'm misinterpreting your posts).

If there are enough groups, then the chances of a planet-wide coalition
forming to destroy you and me are even less than, say, Saddam
Hussein sending troops to conquer California.

>>Thanx! this is most usefull, I'll try to get hold of some copies (and find
>>the time to read them ;-).

I would add Murray Rothbard's _For a New Liberty_ to the list.

>>I just don't see that states in general (altough most of them are rotten to
>>various extends) are so destructive compared to the expected performance of
>>alternatives. But maybe we speak from different perspectives and

Was it two anarchocapitalist protection agencies which invaded Poland
in 1939? Was it a group of libertarians who oppressed Ireland for
centuries? And which private group tried to exterminate the Armenians
less than a hundred years ago? (These are just a few examples, and
they aren't even the worst. Even the best of states is pretty bad.
just do't pay your taxes, flaunt it, and find out.)

>>Problem remains how you can garuantee in any way that these institutions
>>don't become the instruments of dictators or some such (without any form of
>>democratic control).

Democracy is dictatorship of the majority.

Live life!

Daniel Ust