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Monday, September 01, 2014

In Ancapistan, if you get shot, it was voluntary

Rob and George recently graduated from Hillsdale College and State U., respectively. They have been friends since childhood, and decide they will move near each other in Vermont so they can continue their friendship. But they have different political views, so while George picks the small town of Statesburg, Rob chooses to move to the private community of Ancapsville. Rob feels sure his choice is morally superior to that of George, and tries to convince him that this is so. Their dialogues on this point go something like this:

Rob: Ancapsville was founded in 1995 when The Pepzi Brothers Foundation bought 2500 acres of land from a lumber company. They constructed roads, divided the land into parcels of one to four acres each and sold them to builders or people who planned to live in the community. That set up a charter for the community which set the initial rules, and established how a democratically elected community board would take over from the corporation once a sufficient number of lots were sold. Everyone who bought in did so voluntarily, and had the opportunity to peruse the rules before doing so, and thus my community was not founded on State coercion!

George: Well, Statesburg was founded in 1695 by a group of English settlers who bought the land from local Indians. Every adult landowner signed the founding constitution for the town. That set out the rules as to how town laws could be changed. Everyone who has moved in since then has had the opportunity to study the town laws before they did so. Thus, I really don't see what is different at all.

Rob: Well, my community respects property rights.

George: So you mean that property owners can do whatever they want with and on their land?

Rob: Well, no, of course we have community standards! You can't arbitrarily cut down trees, or put a trailer on your land, or paint your house chartreuse. But other than a few dozen pages of other regulations like that, we respect property rights!

George: Well, in Statestown we do to. It just sounds like we have many fewer regulations than you do.

Rob: OK, but my community does not extract money from its residents at the point of a gun. We don't have any taxes!

George: Don't you have community fees?

Rob: Well, yes, we do. But we all consented to them when we bought in the community!

George: And so did we consent to our taxes when we bought in Statesburg. Or at least we knew about them before we bought there. And by the way, what happens to someone who doesn't pay their community fees?

Rob: Well, we send them a notice.

George: And if they ignore the notice?

Rob: Then we tell them they must leave the community.

George: And if they don't?

Rob: Well...

George: You send men with guns to their house to enforce your decision, don't you? And if they continue to resist, eventually they will be shot, right?

Rob: Yes, but they will be be shot voluntarily!

George: I'm sorry, I still don't see any real difference between your "private" government and my "statist" government.

Rob: Ah, hunting! Your statist governments restrict hunting with special "hunting seasons." How ridiculous!

George: So you can hunt whenever you want in ancapville?

Rob: Oh, um... actually my community bans all hunting. But that's because the residents don't want it!

George: Every single resident?

Rob: Well, not every single resident... but we took a vote, and most residents didn't want it.

George: So, the majority imposed their rules on the minority. Just like in Statesburg.

Rob: Well, at least we don't have money extracted from us for foolish "public goods," like your library.

George: Wait, don't you have a community swimming pool and several tennis courts?

Rob: Sure, sure, but people like those things!

George: Some people like the library.

Rob: All right, but I don't have to deal with politicians where I live.

George: You don't have a community board?

Rob: Yes, we have one of those...

George: And aren't they elected? Don't they run campaigns?

Rob: Yes.

George: In fact, our friend Gene was telling me that out in Pike County, there have been a recent series of scandals involving private community officials: election fraud, embezzlement, and so on. Sounds like politicians to me. So what really is different about the places where we each live?

Rob: It's that, it's that... Well, I'm free, because I live under private government, and you are enslaved, because you live under a state! Just read Rothbard*, and you'll understand!

* I was going to write "Rothbard and Hoppe," but I figure throwing Hoppe in the ancaps' faces is a low blow.

64 comments:

  1. It's almost like Rob doesn't want to grapple with real arguments, he just wants to advance an ideology to feel superior.

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  2. Good one. I think this is a productive line of argument, that ancap wouldn't be all that different in the ways that its proponents claim to be key.

    Government is government. "Private" and "public" are not useful adjectives to apply to it.

    One could respond that we can only get endless war, police states, etc. with large governments that have far exceeded their useful size and scope. But this is an objection to their growth and actions, not an argument against the basis for their existence. We are left with the practical political problem of how to minimize the harm our governments do.

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    1. Right Matt. I am very much for smaller, more local government!

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  3. surely all you need for endless war is people, weapons, and a reason for war?

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  4. "We could say that all conflicts between European settlers in America and American Indians were about land. The Indians had it; the Europeans wanted it. In many cases, Europeans simply took what they wanted. In most of British North America, though, settlers actually purchased land from natives. You might think that buying land rather than taking it would prevent conflict. But because Europeans and American Indians had very different ideas about what it meant to buy and to “own” land, these deals actually could cause as much conflict as they prevented.

    The traditional view of European-Indian land deals is that Europeans tricked the Indians, who failed to understand the consequences of their actions. In fact, though, Indians often proved savvy negotiators, and most European settlers understood far less about Indian ideas of land ownership than the Indians understood about theirs. In the long run, the colonists won nearly every conflict over land ownership, because there were more of them: Their numbers grew continually, while the native population dwindled from disease, warfare, and slavery.

    But if force often settled land disputes, what caused them in the first place were vastly different assumptions about what it meant to “own” land — assumptions deeply rooted in European and American Indian cultures and religions.

    What is property?

    Modern law recognizes two kinds of property: real property, which includes land and permanent structures built on it; and personal property which is essentially anything that a person can pack up and move somewhere else. The distinction between owning land and owning things is an important one, and the different ways in which American Indians and European settlers interpreted it helps to explain the conflicts that arose between them. Essentially, where Europeans saw land as private property, Indians saw it as the sum of its uses and a shared resource."

    continued...

    http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-colonial/2027

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  5. George appears to hold the view that because because there are some common features between state-based society and state-less societies (existence of communal goods, use of force to enforce regulations , use of political maneuvering to achieve one ends etc) the differences between such societies are not very significant.

    Most of these similarities are irreverent. The only difference that matters is the difference between the way that state-based societies allow the use of violence compared to state-less property-rights based societies.

    States give themselves the right to use violence to enforce whatever arbitrary set of rules they choose to adopt. This is equally true if the rules are chosen by an evil dictator or the most democratic institution on earth. No-one is safe from having force used against them if they do not comply with state laws.

    State-less property-rights based societies would limit violence to the legitimate defense of the agreed set of property rights. If you choose to ignore these property rights, even if you do so on principal (say your a anarcho-communist in an anarcho-capitlaist territory) then you will be restrained. But if you honor them then you can not legitimately have force used against you in the same way that could happen with a state just making laws up.

    This difference is non-trivial. The difference between being allowed to use violence only to defend your property and being allowed to use violence because you don't think someone should be allowed to smoke pot, or should be forced to pay for a violent military operation is enormous.

    The fact that people in a state-less society choose to pool their property rights and agree on rules that go beyond pure property-rights enforcement is a matter of co-operation between free individuals and irrelevant to the main issue.










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    1. First of all rob, it would be nice if you didn't type like 20 extra new lines at the end of your comment, ok?

      Secondly, your comment is a parody, right? Because my post just showed how the supposed distinctions you point to are fictitious, and you simply restate them, without showing anything wrong with my post itself at all. If I can summarize the point of your comment:

      "If Statesburg makes a law against smoking pot, Bill smokes, resists arrest, and gets shot, that is arbitrary state violence, but if Ancapville makes the same law and in the same circumstances Bill gets shot, he was being shot FREELY and COOPERATIVELY! Jeez, Gene, how could you ignore this difference!"

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    2. "state-based societies allow the use of violence compared to state-less property-rights based societies."

      Assuming Ancapsville is independent and not part of the US, then it fits the description of a state:

      "A state is an organized community living under one government"

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_(polity)

      Ancapsville is really a mini-state rather than a 'stateless society'.

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    3. Yes, Mr: and my point here is that through means ancaps see as 100% legitimate, you nevertheless get a state.

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  6. Isn't it a bit unlikely that Bill would voluntarily sign up to live in a society where he is going to get shot for possession of pot ?

    If he did freely sign up for such a society and he did get shot , is it not reasonable to say this is at least a bit different from a situation where he gets shot as a result of arbitrary state violence that he never agreed to ?

    I think the reason I like the idea of minimum state or no state societies is because they provide a framework where it is on balance less likely that injustice will take place - precisely because "arbitrary state violence" will be absent.

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    1. I am truly flabbergasted.

      1) No one is (legally) shot for "possession of pot" in this country. They may be shot if they resist arrest though.

      2) People "sign up" for rules they don't follow all the time: think of all the AA members who go on a binge.

      3) People have... wait for it... children! Rob might "sign up" for a community that dishes out the death penalty for drug use, but Rob Jr. just lives there because dad does.

      4) But here is the thing that really utterly wrecks the whole distinction you are trying to make, and that you keep completely ignoring: the laws in private communities CHANGE. In the community where I just bought, they change not by unanimous consent, but by MAJORITY VOTE. So pot-smoking Bill might move there and suddenly find his favorite habit has just been made illegal in the community.

      The "differences" you cite are entirely imaginary: REAL private community governance is pretty much the same as "statist" governance, except with LESS respect for individual liberty.

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    2. Re point 4. Even if you have a unanimous consent rule people can change their mind. So no matter what rule you pick you can always end up with those who dissent but are subject to a rule.

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  7. Private governance and state governance are both examples of "governance" and both ultimately rest on the potential use of force to implement the prevailing law. That much is true.

    However in a stateless society based on a well defined property right laws will be either.

    1: Universal laws based upon the application of the agreed property rights
    2: Local laws that go beyond this, but must be agreed to by those who they apply to (rules passed by a majority in a private community where such majority voting is part of the agreed process would come into this category).

    I simply fail to see how one could get a situation in a stateless property-rights based society where security forces were shooting and jailing people for drugs-laws violations like you get in today's statist societies. People simply would not agree to rules where this might affect themselves or there loved ones (and obviously it would be violation of the first principal if they shot or arrested people who hadn't agreed to these rules).

    I'm guessing that you think it impossible to build such stateless property-rights based societies and think that the absence of the state would simply lead to unprincipled gang warfare.

    You are free to hold such a view - but I think you should accept that you are comparing an idealized view of status society (where things like the war on drugs are wished away) with a worse-case scenario of what a stateless society would would like.

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    1. "However in a stateless society based on a well defined property right laws will be either."

      In the stateless society in your imagination, that is.

      "I simply fail to see how one could get a situation in a stateless property-rights based society where security forces were shooting and jailing people for drugs-laws violations like you get in today's statist societies. People simply would not agree to rules where this might affect themselves or there loved ones"

      Rob, don't you understand that people VOTED for these laws right here in the old USA?! In 1969, 84% of Americans thought pot should be illegal. American private communities would have made pot illegal by overwhelming margins. The fact that you "simply fail to see" this is remarkable indeed.

      "and obviously it would be violation of the first principal if they shot or arrested people who hadn't agreed to these rules"

      Not this nonsense again! This has been debunked so many times on this very site that I can't believe I'm hitting it again. ANY system of laws is going to be arresting people who never agreed to the laws ALL THE TIME. What do you think is going to happen when a group of anarcho-communists try to move onto some empty (but owned according to the Rothbardians) land in Rothbardville?! They never agreed to Rothbardville's private property rules! But they sure as hell are going to be arrested.

      "but I think you should accept that you are comparing an idealized view of status society (where things like the war on drugs are wished away) with a worse-case scenario of what a stateless society would would like."

      Now my eyes are popping out of my head! I have an "idealized" view of states?! A "worst-case" scenario?!!! I am just describing how private communities MUST function of they are to have law at all. The law will be enforced coercively on those who don't agree with it or it isn't law at all.

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    2. Rob, I am saying that IF you can get ancapistan to function EXACTLY as you want it to, it will just be a state. The differences are all illusions.

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    3. However in a stateless society based on a well defined property right laws will be either.

      "Well defined property right laws" like the ones we have today? In stateless societies, law is anything BUT "well defined"! Written, codified law is what makes laws well defined.

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    4. …you are comparing an idealized view of status society…

      Projection much?

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    5. I think perhaps you didn't read my last comments fully.

      The universal part of the law will be based on property rights. This will involve a degree of consensus on what those property rights will be if society is to be stable and yes, this part of the law will enforced on everyone irrespective of whether they consent to it or not (Hardened thieves and anarcho-communists in Ancapistan may end up in jail if they don't respect accepted property rights).

      But there is no way under this law that it would be fine to shoot or arrest people just for possessing pot.

      On top of this "universal" law it is fine for people to voluntarily pool their property rights and agree to any set of laws they choose to abide by as long as it doesn't violate the "universal" law.

      Again this would not allow for it to be fine to shoot or arrest people just for possessing pot - unless they had signed up for such a set of laws in a way that did not violate the universal law - and why on earth would they do that ?

      I think that you are suggesting that when " people VOTED for these [drugs] laws right here in the old USA" this is equivalent to people agreeing to waive their property rights and accept that it is OK for the state to shoot and arrest them or others for drugs violation. I think this is extremely dubious thinking - people simply have not explicitly signed up for this arrangement in a way that makes it a legitimate "pooling of property" rights, and there is no reason I can see why they ever would given a real choice.

      Yes, there will be laws in a stateless society and some of these laws will be applied to people who never agreed to them. There may also be a large number of voluntarily accepted rules.

      But I envision that the whole premise of the stateless society will be to maximize people's freedom to choose how they live.




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    6. Ah!

      1) Rules that I, rob, think are important can be enforced on everyone, whether they agree to them or not.
      2) Rules that I, rob, don't like can only be forced on people who agree to them.

      And you are still ignoring non-owners who may have occasion to enter a private community: nannies, gardeners, plumbers, but most, most, most of all: the children of the homeowners!

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    7. On top of this "universal" law it is fine for people to voluntarily pool their property rights and agree to any set of laws they choose to abide by as long as it doesn't violate the "universal" law.

      Like how Plymouth Plantation was founded, one of the "examples" of "communism" some libertarians point to?

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    8. Gene,

      "This has been debunked so many times on this very site that I can't believe I'm hitting it again."

      Perhaps you should compile all your thoughts on this subject into a single text.

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    9. Rob,

      "a stateless society based on a well defined property right laws"

      Who exactly protects and enforces these property rights/ laws?

      Who decides what these property rights/ laws are?

      Ancapistan always seems to implicitly assume the existence of a state, working away in the background.

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    10. Good question.

      I think it likely that most people would choose to be represented by a defense agency of some sort and these agencies would come together to work out a viable framework of libertarian law.

      As Gene would probably point out this alliance of defense agencies would have some of the feature of a minarchist state - so I am probably not a true AnCap.

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    11. "Hardened thieves and anarcho-communists in Ancapistan may end up in jail if they don't respect accepted property rights"

      You don't have to be hardened thief or an anarcho-communist to disagree with the ancap ideology and its proposed laws, given that the overwhelming majority of the population do not agree with the ancap ideology and its proposed laws.

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    12. "I think it likely that most people would choose to be represented by a defense agency of some sort"

      But this is nonsense, because you are assuming a system of protected/enforced property rights/laws within which people can choose to employ 'private defence agencies'.

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    13. You don't have to be hardened thief or an anarcho-communist to disagree with the ancap ideology and its proposed laws, given that the overwhelming majority of the population do not agree with the ancap ideology and its proposed laws.

      In rob's defense, the majority of the population probably hasn't even heard of anarcho-capitalism. Or anarcho-communism, for that matter.

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  8. "Rules that I, rob, think are important can be enforced on everyone, whether they agree to them or not."

    No: These are not just rules based on my personal preferences but ones that would provide the minimum requirement for a stable society based on the NAP and commonly accepted property rights. Obviously if people don't want this kind of society and would rather have one where its OK to shoot and imprison people for possession of pot then such a society will never come to pass.


    I have no idea what the basis for your point 2 is so can't respond. Perhaps I'm just really bad at explaining things ?

    (On your last point : Nannies, gardeners, plumbers etc would be entering voluntarily and would have to accept the prevailing "private" rules before entering. isn't that obvious?)

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    1. "These are not just rules based on my personal preferences but ones that would provide the minimum requirement for a stable society based on the NAP and commonly accepted property rights."

      Which happens to be what YOU think is important. I think it is very important that the poor not starve to death and that public provision be made for their needs. In fact, I am very confident that not allowing people to starve to death trumps private property rights.

      You are willing to coerce the poor into not taking a rich man's chicken to save their lives, and I am willing to coerce the rich into paying a small portion of their wealth so the poor person needn't steal the chicken. So let's drop the nonsense about your system being "non-coercive," ok?

      "Nannies, gardeners, plumbers etc would be entering voluntarily and would have to accept the prevailing "private" rules before entering. isn't that obvious?)"

      Yes, just as it is obvious that you are here in the US voluntarily, and have to accept the prevailing rules if you want to stay here. No difference whatsoever.

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    2. I have only said my system would have to be coercive to be viable about 3 times now ! So yes let's drop that part of the discussion.

      And I never said its OK to let the the poor starve to death or that its wrong for a starving person to steal a chicken so you are making stuff up about my views there.

      I happen to believe its possible to have a society that is both fair and free where noone would starve under normal conditions and where compulsion could still be minimized - and nothing like a the modern US state would be needed to make it work!

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    3. As for this non coercive stuff. Most of these debates would not happen if the ancaps were truthful. If they said in our society we would not tolerate the violation of our notion of property, but would allow anything else there would be no threads like tis. Instead they say there would be no coercion or no force or the like. Exactly as in a recent thread at Murphy's. But the ancaps insist of false but appealing descriptions of their policies. And false descriptions of what their opponents want as well. They are more addicted to spin than Karl Rove or Paul Begala ever dared dream of being.

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    4. Gene,

      "In fact, I am very confident that not allowing people to starve to death trumps private property rights"

      I would say that not starving to death could be considered a 'property right'.

      In that sense, 'not allowing people to starve to death' does not 'trump' private property rights, rather it is a fundamental part of civilized property rights.

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    5. Gene,

      "I am willing to coerce the rich into paying a small portion of their wealth so the poor person needn't steal the chicken"

      Theft, or stealing, is an illegitimate taking of a thing.

      If you have a legitimate reason to take, it is not theft. So the whole thing revolves around the question of what is legitimate.

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  9. Gene, here I'm just picking up an interesting observation from the comments at my blog (can't remember who made it): The next time someone objects that we have no historical example of a functioning private-law community, do I get to say, "Actually Gene Callahan reports that he just bought a home in an an-cap community. And Gene's not even an an-cap, so you know he's not biased." ?

    I'm guessing you won't allow me to say that. Which means your community serves as an example to confirm bad things about what an-cap is like, but not good things about it.

    That would be fine, in general, except that you have also criticized Rothbardians for looking at US history and thanking the free market for anything good, but blaming intervention for anything bad.

    If you could clear all this up, and show how all of your posts have been consistent on these points, I will be impressed.

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    1. You keep saying that you completely understand my posts, yet your comments don't show it: my post shows there is no such thing as an "ancap community." "private" government is an illusion: there is just government. And I don't think these things in my community are "bad": they are fine by me.

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    2. Exactly. "Private" is merely a tendentious label for the method of deciding the rules. Under a democracy voting plays a key role, in "private" law it's simpler since the highest bidder wins. But in each case for good or ill you have social structures which can enforce decisions.

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    3. …we have no historical example of a functioning private-law community…

      It's impossible for dry water to even have real world examples.

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    4. Gene wrote:

      You keep saying that you completely understand my posts, yet your comments don't show it: my post shows there is no such thing as an "ancap community." "private" government is an illusion: there is just government.

      OK, so in this very post Gene, when you wrote:
      But they have different political views, so while George picks the small town of Statesburg, Rob chooses to move to the private community of Ancapsville.
      ...your point was to show that the private community you just moved into, was an example of a state community of public law?

      You are being confusing. On the one hand, you want to contrast your Poconos "private law" community with the "statist" (the term you used, albeit tongue-in-cheek) communities elsewhere, and you want to show Rothbardians that a private law community can be more busybodyish or nosy or whatever, than a public law community.

      But then when I say, "So a private law community can exist?" you once again accuse me of misreading you.

      When you pull moves like that, you shouldn't be surprised that people who initially disagree with you, aren't convinced.

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    5. "...your point was to show that the private community you just moved into, was an example of a state community of public law?"

      Bob, the whole point is Rob only THINKS there is a significant difference between his "private" community and the "public" one: that's why in the first post in this series I kept putting "private" in quotes! I am not CONTRASTING them: I am showing the distinction is nonsense.

      Ken B. gets the point just fine, Samson gets it, Mr. gets it. They are not brighter than you, but thing is, you HAVE to keep misunderstanding it, because the second you understand it... bye-bye ancap. The "moves" being pulled aren't by me: they are being pulled by an ideology attempting to sustain itself. That's the way ideologies work: their filter keeps distorting any message that causes ideological dissonance, so you literally cannot read an argument that would undermine the ideology in the way it was intended.

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    6. Gene, at this point it would be easier to explain the difference between six and a half-dozen. You won't convince him, but it's shorter to type.

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    7. ...your point was to show that the private community you just moved into, was an example of a state community of public law?

      The community is only "private" in the context of a large public. If it was by itself (as Ancapistan would be), then there wouldn't be anything for it to be "private" in relation to.

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    8. At this point I'm ready for a lobotomy, even if it is paid for with stolen taxpayer money...

      First of all Gene, c'mon, you can't congratulate yourself that the people who already think an-cap is stupid, believe you to be zinging me. If I asked Major Freedom, Tom Woods, and Stephan Kinsella, they would say I was destroying you in these comments and that I should stop wasting my time. (Well no, MF wouldn't say that, but you get my point.)

      OK, it now seems like you're saying the very idea that someone could live in an an-cap community is literally impossible. But we know that's not true: Elsewhere you have told us that if the Rothbardians ever achieved their goal, we would have drug cartels shooting people in the streets, etc.

      Now you and I *disagree* about what would happen if, say, 95% of the American population suddenly thought I was a genius and wanted to implement the spirit of "Chaos Theory." I think such-and-such will happen, whereas you think it will be Mexican drug cartels moving in and shooting people, and/or the Chinese taking over.

      Now then, as a separate matter, you have been telling us that your Poconos "private law" community sheds empirical evidence on whose vision is right, and whose is wrong--have you not?

      And so I'm saying that can't possibly be a valid move, since that is occurring within the U.S. legal system etc. If I tried to point to the Poconos and say, "Where are the Mexican drug cartels Gene that you warned about?" you would laugh at me.

      I am not here accusing you of a glaring contradiction, I'm asking you to refine exactly what your various objections have been, over the last few years. Sometimes you say that Ancapistan would mean drug cartels shooting each other up, and rich people buying legal verdicts, while other times you call your Poconos community a "private law" one and say it is more intrusive than the "statist" neighborhoods in which you've lived, and then other times you seem to be suggesting that a private-law Ancapistan community is a logical impossibility.

      I'm not crazy or dogmatic for thinking the above positions are confusing.

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    9. "First of all Gene, c'mon, you can't congratulate yourself that the people who already think an-cap is stupid, believe you to be zinging me. If I asked Major Freedom, Tom Woods, and Stephan Kinsella, they would say I was destroying you..."

      Right, I "cherry-picked" among the 99.99% of the world who understand ancap is nonsense, while you cherry-pick among the .01% who are true believers, and that is equally weighty evidence.

      "But we know that's not true: Elsewhere you have told us that if the Rothbardians ever achieved their goal, we would have drug cartels shooting people in the streets, etc."

      Again, an ideology blocking your understanding of what I am saying. I never said "IF Rothbardians ever achieved their goal": no, my point has ALWAYS been that Rothbardians will NEVER achieve their goal since it is self-contradictory nonsense, but the attempt would be likely to produce gang violence and civil war.

      "while other times you call your Poconos community a "private law" one and say it is more intrusive than the "statist" neighborhoods in which you've lived, and then other times you seem to be suggesting that a private-law Ancapistan community is a logical impossibility."

      Called it that in quotes, Bobby M.

      "I'm not crazy or dogmatic for thinking the above positions are confusing."

      No, what ideology does is to re-interpret what I've said in the above fashion, so that it SEEMS confusing, andthe ideology can be preserved.
      So, yes, your INTERPRETATIONS of what I've said are confusing, but they have little to do with what I've said: they are the way ideology has forced you to re-interpret what I've said so it seems contradictory. Really.

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    10. I was right about the half dozen thing, wasn't I?
      Murphy, as I explained above, how the rules get made would change, so the rules would change. Instead of trials within our current courts system we might get roving gangs carrying out "justice" like drug cartels or the mafia in Sicily. But in either case we would have someone enforcing something. So Gene can be right about cartels AND about the illusory nature of your private law claims. There is no contradiction, kontradiction, qontradiction or whatever rhetorical term you dream up to falsely imply inconsistency.

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    11. ""First of all Gene, c'mon, you can't congratulate yourself that the people who already think an-cap is stupid, believe you to be zinging me."

      And look, Bob, what I pointed out is that they UNDERSTOOD what I am saying just fine, not that they thought I was "zinging" you: once again, ideology forced you to RE-INTERPRET what I was saying and cast it into an easily dismissed fallacy.

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    12. How often do you suppose that that happens?

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  10. The logic of Gene's position seems to be:

    You Ancaps - you try to pretend that you are against all coercion but when you pushed you will admit its OK to use coercion against people who act in a way that is against your definition of property rights

    And if you you're going to use coercion against people like that - well, where will it end ? You'll be imprisoning people for possession of recreational drugs next - because (even though it the state thats doing this right now) obviously libertarians have less respect for individual liberty than modern states who just want to help poor people.

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    1. Paragraph 2 is an accurate statement of a point I have been making. But you seem to have taken a severe blow to the head between the end of par. 2 and the start of par. 3, because then you drift off into complete la-la land simply making things up that have no resemblance to anything I've ever said.

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    2. If my para3 is wrong why do you say above

      "REAL private community governance is pretty much the same as "statist" governance, except with LESS respect for individual liberty. "

      and

      why do you cite redistribution to the poor as one of the reason to support the state over a libertarian society ?

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    3. Hmm, so a sentence like "REAL private community governance is pretty much the same as "statist" governance, except with LESS respect for individual liberty. " is supposed to be the equivalent of "And if you you're going to use coercion against people like that - well, where will it end ? You'll be imprisoning people for possession of recreational drugs next..."?

      The two thoughts do not even REMOTELY resemble each other. Nor do "The state should help the poor" and "modern states... just want to help poor people." (Consider: "Rob should stop rewriting Gene's points in a way that deliberately makes them absurd" and "All rob wants to do is stop rewriting Gene's points in a way that deliberately makes them absurd": the sentences don't mean the same thing at all!

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  11. Not sure there is much mileage in continuing this but surely you don't deny that a theme of many of your posts on anarchism is that with no state things will be worse that today's statist society ?

    As the state currently does imprison loads of people for drugs offenses you must (logically) think that a libertarian society (with no state) would inflict even worse things than that on people. (so I suppose I really should have said "even worse things than imprisoning people for possession of recreational drugs next")

    I admit I was using parodic license in attributing the view that states "only was to help the poor". I withdraw that.

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    1. "As the state currently does imprison loads of people for drugs offenses you must (logically) think that a libertarian society (with no state) would inflict even worse things than that on people..."

      This "libertarian society" will never exist. What eliminating the state gets you is not a libertarian paradise but civil war. And yes, rob, that is much worse than the war on drugs.

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    2. So apart from the definitional issue of what a stateless society should be called my parody of your view on what "libertarianism" will lead to is accurate.

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    3. Rob I have already showed you how the two sentences I wrote were NOTHING like the two sentences you wrote except sharing a few words.

      And neither if them had anything to do with what a libertarian society will "lead" to: as it will never exist, it won't ever lead to anything.

      I'm about to stop posting this rob: you've gotten away with this nonsense this long because you've been a welcome regular, but I'm losing patience with your re-writing what I say and asking me to defend a piece of nonsense YOU made up.

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    4. "a libertarian society (with no state) "

      The ideal society described by ancaps is not really a stateless society. It is a state which is based on the rules which ancaps like, which are enforced by all of the usual means.

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    5. Gene,

      I was really just trying to rephrase your views in a,light-heated way - and I apologize for annoying you - that was not my intent.

      I will try and avoid that in future as I do enjoy your blog and appreciate that you take the time to respond to my comments.

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    6. Mr.

      Yes, but remember the rules which ancaps like are pretty minimal - more or less respect for the agreed set of rules governing who owns what. And the "usual means" is probably not correct - I doubt if in an ancap society you would have 2 million Americans in jail for example.

      I agree that many ancaps oversimplify the question of "who owns what" - but assuming it is possible (and I believe it is) to find enough agreement on that issue to underwrite a stable society then I believe a "minimal government" society is possible.

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    7. "more or less respect for the agreed set of rules governing who owns what"

      So you respect the generally agreed idea that the public, or the state, owns a whole bunch of things, including tax money?

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    8. "I doubt if in an ancap society you would have 2 million Americans in jail for example."

      Why do you doubt it? Can you propose any concrete actions by which the prison population could be reduced?

      No.

      All you can say is "I doubt that in fairy tale land there would be as many people in prison".

      Whilst you guys make up stories about how things may or may not be in fantasy land, the real world keeps spinning, screwing with people's real lives.

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    9. I think most ancaps hold the view that the state came by its wealth illegally and its claim on tax money (being applied to people who didn't voluntarily agree to pay them) is also illegal.

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    10. Rob, if you want a minimal government you are not an ancap. They see you as the enemy in fact. I invite you to defend that position at Murphy's blog and see what happens.

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    11. "its claim on tax money (being applied to people who didn't voluntarily agree to pay them) is also illegal"

      Well it's obviously not illegal. What you mean is you think it's not justified.

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  12. Gene, do you think that left anarchists who talk about their imagined "workers' administrations" suffer from an illusion similar to anarcho-capitalists?

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  13. Maybe the Ancaps should bear in mind the very historical origin on the modern State in Europe. After the fall of the roman empire, all government collapsed, and you had a state of nature, with rich people, strong people, and the vast majority of poor peasants. And of course, civilization quite collapsed also, but the mailn casualty was law and order.

    What happened ? The small-property owners, named the vassi, gathered around the powerful ones, called the seniores, and made contracts, basically exchanging defense for services.

    As the great french law professor, Maurice Hauriou, explained, at that time, everything was private.

    « Quelle était la situation de la France au Xème siècle ? Ce n'était qu'une immense chose privée. Non seulement toutes les terres étaient toutes privées (…) mais les anciens droits régaliens de l'Etat romain, les droits de justice, police, finances, monnaies, etc. étaient possédées à titre privé par le seigneur dans sa seigneurie ». (in Précis de droit constitutionnel, 2è ed, 1930, pp. 18-19).

    There was no common good, no public services. Since it was far from satisfying, those free landlords step by step, created a common good over the private goods, by the mean of first choosing a king, Hugues Capet. and the modern State gradually emerged out of Ancapistan, mostly willingly (since they all agreed in a fashion to be killed voluntarily).

    As Hauriou explained, that superposition of a common good over the private goods didn't mean that the community was superior to the individual, but that the individual good is only feasible through a community.

    In the words of Pope Leo XIII, in Rerum Novarum (number 50) :

    “The consciousness of his own weakness urges man to call in aid from without. We read in the pages of holy Writ: "It is better that two should be together than one; for they have the advantage of their society. If one fall he shall be supported by the other. Woe to him that is alone, for when he falleth he hath none to lift him up." And further: "A brother that is helped by his brother is like a strong city." It is this natural impulse which binds men together in civil society; and it is likewise this which leads them to join together in associations which are, it is true, lesser and not independent societies, but, nevertheless, real societies.”

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  14. Speaking of ideology ... a revealing exchange with an ancap: http://consultingbyrpm.com/blog/2014/09/thoughts-on-europe.html#comment-878099

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