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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Two Arguments That Strike Me As Equally Valid

1) In the society we live in, bank robbers typically use cars to make their get away.
Therefore, if we eliminate cars, we will eliminate bank robbery.

2) In the society we live in, big business typically uses the state to gain unfair advantages.
Therefore, if we eliminate the state, we will eliminate big business gaining unfair advantages.

8 comments:

  1. Since I am sure you are aware that number one is a total non-sequitur (It does not follow from banning cars, that bank robberies would stop or even decline), and you think those arguments are analog, you must of course think that eliminating government won't stop giving big business unfair advantages either. Although I think that is really not that obvious as in No 1.

    Can you elaborate of how a big business might get an unfair advantage in an economy without government?

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    1. We have a very good example of how this works already: it is called the mafia.

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    2. Ok. You know that anarchists and you are not on the same page of how an anarchist society would look like and work. So this cannot be a convincing argument against anarchism, because those views are based on different premises. What is the purpose of this post then? I can only suppose it to be some kind of "mocking anarchists as a morning sport"?

      BTW: Was it a surprise for you when Robert Higgs became an anarchist? I ask because he seems to be one of the old guard like Mises, Hayek, Friedman etc. who all were for more or less very limited government, but no one said he actually was an anarchist.

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  2. "Ok. You know that anarchists and you are not on the same page of how an anarchist society would look like and work."

    Yes, I know: anarchists have a very nice fantasy about what will happen if the state is gone. Instead, I look at what *really* happens to societies where the state collapses.

    "So this cannot be a convincing argument against anarchism..."

    It is very hard to penetrate a dream world with reality, I know! Believe me, I spent years resisting its incursion.

    And to whatever extent this might constitute mockery, it is first and foremost me mocking old me!

    "Was it a surprise for you when Robert Higgs became an anarchist?"

    I don't think so: I saw him semi-regularly during that time, I believe, and watched it happen, so for me it wasn't sudden.

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  3. "And to whatever extent this might constitute mockery, it is first and foremost me mocking old me!"

    Fair enough. Thanks for the answer. Too bad that there are respectable, thoughtful and intelligent people on all sides of the argument...

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  4. Gene, does it cause you any cognitive dissonance to reflect on the fact that the mafia specializes in areas that are highly regulated by the government? But don't let me disturb your statist dream.

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    1. No, Bob, because the mafia specializes in areas that are entirely UNregulated. The trade in illegal drugs is banned, and therefore subject to no regulae at all. Prostitution is banned, and similarly subject to no regulae. Illegal gambling, the same. What you have presented is a good argument for legalizing and regulating these activities. If all commercial transactions were similarly subject to no regulae, we should assume that all businesses would, sooner or later, come to behave as the mafia does in these unregulated areas.

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    2. "But don't let me disturb your statist dream."

      Oh, and I don't get this at all: I'm not advocating some never-before-tried society that will make a heaven on earth! I'm discussing the very existing states we have around us right now, warts and all.

      So what is this "statist dream"?

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