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    (Original post by Jay Riall)
    Politicians are different how? Corporations do anything to make a profit, but politicians are different how? They won't do anything to make money (yes, they are economic actors too)? They won't do anything to win an election? They won't do anything to give themselves more power?
    Sure many polticians are corrupt but many more enter politics because they want to make a positive difference (even if they are mistaken). I'm not necessarily opposed to anarchism but anarcho-capitalism is unacceptable to me.
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    (Original post by JakePearson)
    Talking to some relatives, one raised the point that the government 'work for us, and are our servants'. I feel that if the past 12 years have taught us anything, it is that the government is not to be trusted, and it has to be reduced to what it is meant to do - uphold the rights of individuals, and nothing else.

    Anyone got any theories in favour or against my view?
    Its more we work for them and are their slaves than the other way around. Them being the establishment slash overriding structure, that includes the government of course.
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    (Original post by JakePearson)
    Talking to some relatives, one raised the point that the government 'work for us, and are our servants'. I feel that if the past 12 years have taught us anything, it is that the government is not to be trusted, and it has to be reduced to what it is meant to do - uphold the rights of individuals, and nothing else.

    Anyone got any theories in favour or against my view?
    Governments sustain all kinds of processes which allow you to live as you do and it's no coincidence that wealthy societies tend to have relatively large and complex government machinery. We'd be naive to think that governments are our servants in a simplistic sense, sure, as they can also be manipulatve, controlling and serve the interests of some groups more than others; but if you were familiar with British history you'd probably recognise that there's never been greater safety and opportunity for the widest portion of society than there is right now and that government is a significant element in that fact. Remember that 'rights' have in large measure only become meaningful in the context of the development of institutions which can enforce such rights and that tends to mean government.

    In the absence of government things like freedom and 'rights' tend only to exist for those who are wealthy enough to enjoy or defend them on an individual basis and on the historuical evidence that means a relatively small portion of society.
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    Probably, Nozick was a genius. What happened to all the hardcore socialists on this forum? Chomsky would destroy every libertarian on this forum without even trying.
    Bring him on!
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    Governments sustain all kinds of processes which allow you to live as you do and it's no coincidence that wealthy societies tend to have relatively large and complex government machinery.
    Not really. The Scope of Government and the Wealth of Nations

    (Original post by Gwartney, Holcombe and Lawson)
    The findings of this paper show a strong and persistent negative relationship between government expenditures and growth of GDP, both for the developed economies of the OECD and for a larger set of 60 nations around the world.19 In the few isolated cases where nations reduced their government expenditures by an appreciable amount, this reduction in the size of government was correlated with an increase in the growth rate of real GDP. The United States has followed the world trend toward larger government expenditures. Government outlays in the United States have grown from 28.4 percent of GDP in 1960 to 34.6 percent in 1996, and the GDP growth rate has fallen from an average of 4.4 percent in the 1960s to an average of 1.9 percent during the 1990–96 period. All this evidence points in the same direction: Larger government means slower economic growth.
    Another paper, "What is the Optimal Size of Government?" finds most governments, including ours, to be too big, damaging growth.

    (Original post by Chobanov and Mladenova)
    This paper discusses the theoretical foundations for the existence of an optimal size of government as depicted by an inverted U curve where the size of government is on the horizontal axis and economic growth is on the vertical axis. The evidence indicates that the optimum size of government, e.g. the share of overall government spending that maximizes economic growth, is no greater than 25% of GDP (at a 95% confidence level) based on data from the OECD countries. In addition, the evidence indicates that the optimum level of government consumption on final goods and services as a share of GDP is 10.4% based on a panel data of 81 countries. However, due to model and data limitations, it is probable that the results are biased upwards, and the “true” optimum government level is even smaller than the existing empirical study indicates. Optimal government size is also, of course, influenced by the quality of a government. Because the measures of “government quality” are inherently subjective, no attempt was made to incorporate them in this study.
    We'd be naive to think that governments are our servants in a simplistic sense, sure, as they can also be manipulatve, controlling and serve the interests of some groups more than others; but if you were familiar with British history you'd probably recognise that there's never been greater safety and opportunity for the widest portion of society than there is right now and that government is a significant element in that fact. Remember that 'rights' have in large measure only become meaningful in the context of the development of institutions which can enforce such rights and that tends to mean government.
    Perhaps, but not necessarily. Further, it surely counts for something if one cannot even concieve of a government existing that would not violate rights.

    In the absence of government things like freedom and 'rights' tend only to exist for those who are wealthy enough to enjoy or defend them on an individual basis and on the historuical evidence that means a relatively small portion of society.
    Can I see your sources, please?
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    Sure many polticians are corrupt but many more enter politics because they want to make a positive difference (even if they are mistaken). I'm not necessarily opposed to anarchism but anarcho-capitalism is unacceptable to me.
    So don't do it.
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    What I wouldn't give to see a debate between Chomsky and Rothbard (shame the latter is dead)...

    I don't know where Oswy has been lately, he was a hardcore Marxist.
    Rothbard and Chomsky worked together in the past.
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    So don't do it.
    Don't do what?
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    Rothbard and Chomsky worked together in the past.
    'He describes Murray Rothbard's vision of a libertarian society as "so full of hate that no human being would want to live in it." '

    http://mises.org/article.aspx?Id=1132

    O rlly?
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    Rothbard and Chomsky worked together in the past.
    Details please! This sounds interesting.
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    http://mises.org/article.aspx?Id=1132

    O rlly?
    I think that article sums up the vast vast majority of people who call themselves left-wing anarchists. In the rare instances that they explain what they would like society to look like (eg. mutualism, or georgism), it turns out much like right libertarianism.
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    (Original post by Collingwood)
    I think that article sums up the vast vast majority of people who call themselves left-wing anarchists. In the rare instances that they explain what they would like society to look like (eg. mutualism, or georgism), it turns out much like right libertarianism.
    Aren't right libertarians against traditional leftist ideas?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_anarchism
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    Aren't right libertarians against traditional leftist ideas?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_anarchism
    I don't know... what are they? This sort of statement (from your wiki link) is actually quite typical: "It posits a future society in which private property does not exist and is replaced by reciprocity and non-hierarchical society."

    All well and good, but if there's no private property, who does own things? And if that organisation/person/group owns, for instance, me, or all the land I can practicably live on, how does it not assume the powers of the state? And if I don't even have property in my labour, in what way am I not a slave? Left-anarchists don't even try to answer these questions as far as I can tell.
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    Aren't right libertarians against traditional leftist ideas?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_anarchism
    If they don't hurt people or take their stuff without people's permission, I'm all for letting people practice those ideas if they choose to. I wouldn't dream of stopping people from choosing to live in a society like that.
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    (Original post by Collingwood)
    I don't know... what are they? This sort of statement (from your wiki link) is actually quite typical: "It posits a future society in which private property does not exist and is replaced by reciprocity and non-hierarchical society."

    All well and good, but if there's no private property, who does own things? And if that organisation/person/group owns, for instance, me, or all the land I can practicably live on, how does it not assume the powers of the state? And if I don't even have property in my labour, in what way am I not a slave? Left-anarchists don't even try to answer these questions as far as I can tell.
    Why does anyone have to own anything? Can I not forbid murder without embracing self-ownership? I can forbid someone else owning you but I don't have to believe it for the same reason right-libertarians do. I can embrace freedom without embracing ownership of the self.
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    (Original post by Jay Riall)
    If they don't hurt people or take their stuff without people's permission, I'm all for letting people practice those ideas if they choose to. I wouldn't dream of stopping people from choosing to live in a society like that.
    Hmm, this goes back to DH's insightful comment about libertarianism being a framework for politics. As long as people choose to abolish private property then they may do so in their community. Libertarians are only against the forceful abolition of property. The problem with this is that private property is used to abuse and exploit others who can do nothing to stop it and so private property must be dismantled.
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    Hmm, this goes back to DH's insightful comment about libertarianism being a framework for politics. As long as people choose to abolish private property then they may do so in their community. Libertarians are only against the forceful abolition of property. The problem with this is that private property is used to abuse and exploit others who can do nothing to stop it and so private property must be dismantled.
    I own a farm and have worked it my whole life. I trade the fruits of my labour to others in exchange for other things which they have produced or traded for. Would it be legitimate to use force against me to deprive me of my justly acquired property? If I produce a lot one year and decide to trade some of my products with another person in exchange for their labour, would it be ok to use force against me to deprive me of my property?
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    Why does anyone have to own anything? Can I not forbid murder without embracing self-ownership? I can forbid someone else owning you but I don't have to believe it for the same reason right-libertarians do. I can embrace freedom without embracing ownership of the self.
    I'm not sure non-ownership is even a coherent concept. If "no one" owns a factory, what do we do if some people want to work in it and others want to knock it down?

    In the sense I'm talking about, ownership just means being entitled to the substantive powers to control the use of a piece of matter. I don't see how you can oppose murder in this sense without conceding ownership of individuals to someone (not necessarily to themselves, I guess), or individual freedom without conceding not only at least partial self-ownership, but also ownership of the product of one's labour (though I'd tentatively say not necessarily land).

    I can see two possibilities for non-ownership ( "no one is entitled to the substantive powers of control over X" ) :

    - X cannot be used by anyone. In this left anarchist society, everyone starves to death (and is probably commiting a crime just by touching the earth, or moving their limbs). This is obviously absurd.

    - X can be used by anyone and everyone simultaneously. Then you get irresolvable conflicts as above.

    For these reasons most "left libertarians" tend to default to being totalitarian statists - just with an elected government rather than a revolutionary plutocracy. Of course, this has its own problems - if the 'elected' government owns all the schools and media outlets and voting booths, and controls all the movements and actions of the people themselves, there emerge conflicts of interest in freely electing new governments that are probably irreconcilable.
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    Not really. The Scope of Government and the Wealth of Nations



    Another paper, "What is the Optimal Size of Government?" finds most governments, including ours, to be too big, damaging growth.





    Perhaps, but not necessarily. Further, it surely counts for something if one cannot even concieve of a government existing that would not violate rights.



    Can I see your sources, please?
    Those papers are disingenious. For a start they're ignoring the basic tennant of correlation =/= causation. Of course GDP growing states are going to have a smaller proportion (on average) of spending, because 'good' growth usually outstrips spending growth.

    But more to the point you're making two assumptions

    i)Growth is the primary measure of a 'good' state
    ii)Size of government is represented by the proportion (and not the absolute amount) of spending.
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    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    Those papers are disingenious. For a start they're ignoring the basic tennant of correlation =/= causation. Of course GDP growing states are going to have a smaller proportion (on average) of spending, because 'good' growth usually outstrips spending growth.

    But more to the point you're making two assumptions

    i)Growth is the primary measure of a 'good' state
    ii)Size of government is represented by the proportion (and not the absolute amount) of spending.

    On point 1) at least, you are wrong. I am saying nothing about a "goods state." Somebody else (Oswy) said something about wealthy states being those that have large governments. The sources I provided supply research that contradicts that claim: Wealth creation seems to fall as government grows.
 
 
 
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