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    (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
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    Have to be honest with you AnarchistNutter, I have come to the point where I have now lost interest in this debate. It was interesting at points, but I feel we have both entrenched ourselves in our views and we have taken this as far as it can go.

    Toodles.
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    (Original post by D.R.E)
    Have to be honest with you AnarchistNutter, I have come to the point where I have now lost interest in this debate. It was interesting at points, but I feel we have both entrenched ourselves in our views and we have taken this as far as it can go.

    Toodles.
    Ok. I was starting to feel that way too. Good debate though
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    Hello AnarchistNutter,

    Thanks for taking your time to respond. Sorry about the delay in responding. I have been terribly busy lately, but have been thinking about how to respond to you for a few-days now (particularly, on the boring bus journeys to-and-from work). I'll try to arrange my points in themes. Oh, I don't mean to misrepresent your arguments or attack strawmen, so if I do, then apologies. It's not intentional.

    (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
    Ok, now to fully reply:

    Most extreme leftists (including anarchists) would agree with Marx's critique of capital. In fact I think even softcore progressives might agree to some extent. The differences often lie in strategies (anarchists disagreeing with marxists that the state should be used during the transition phase, reformists believing that reforms can be made through the political infrastructure and without the need for revolution, Leninists placing stress on vanguardism as well as the necessity to utilise the state, Tolystoyans being anarchists who would not use violence even to protect one's own body or personal property, etc.) and whether or not a left-wing society should be stateless.

    We criticise the capitalist system for the scope for capitalists to take more than their fair share of their labourers' products (i.e. a larger sum than the goods/materials required to make the product plus money for their own effort to organise all this). Reformists would fix this by introducing minimum wage laws, etc., putting money 'back' into the labourer's pocket via taxation, etc. Socialists and communists alike would prefer it if the worker's owned the means of production so they could elect managers (if they wanted them) and recall them at any time.

    I can predict three arguments from you now.

    1. "'Voluntary agreements' are, well ... 'voluntary'". Agreed but that doesn't mean labourers aren't exploited. Some capitalists have, for a long time exploited cheap sources of labour in other third world countries. Also, my belief would be that if a man is starving to death and must work for long hours which seriously affect is health, is he truly acting in a voluntary manner. For instance, if you are at a bottom of a pool, then surely it is natural instinct to resurface at some point when you are running short of oxygen, even if this means getting shot at or poked with a hot iron or something.

    2. "Competition will improve working conditions and wages and eliminate monopolies". I don't really see that happening to be honest. I think a lot of people who obtained their wealth (not all, but a lot of them) were fueled by greed, etc., not to mention the fact that a lot of them are quite cunning. I think they will do virtually anything to keep it even if it means collaborating with other capitalists to stop competition, replacing their labourer's with machines, finding ways of hiding the truth from their employers and consumers, using physical force (can happen in extreme case scenarios), pushing up their prices to get back the money they have given to their employers or selling crappier goods to compensate the money (e.g. packet spaghetti bologneise that is not very nutritious and has low amounts of meat, tomato, etc. covered by extra salt, sugar, additives, etc. to make the taste less bland).

    3. "To have worker's co-operatives don't you need force to overthrow the owners?" Not necessarily. Socialists and communists can organise worker's co-operatives as well as trade unions under modern day capitalist society for the economic betterment of the working class. During the revolution, I predict more and more collectives would compete against the capitalist mode of production. Worker's would leave their bosses in favour of better working condition/wages in the collectives and have a chance to have a say in how the business gets managed. Eventually capitalists would have co-operate with collectives in order to get their provisions (food, etc.) and this would mean leaving any extensive property in favour of a more simple lifestyle. Now this could result in the capitalists trying to use violence to protect the status quo so to speak. Violence can be justified if it is in the name of self-defense. We would rely on militias which is a voluntary citizen's army to maintain order. Private property can also be used as a weapon; if the capitalists tried to do this, then seizing their property forcefully is self-defense. Uninhabited land may be occupied by those seeking a home. However if you are living in a house no-one has a right to enter it as this is your personal property (as opposed to private property which would eventually be abolished under social anarchism).
    (1) Firstly, I'll deal with the Marxist "Labour Theory of Value" - not so much a theory, as it is an ethical argument. Your second paragraph starts with "We criticise the capitalist system ..." and appears, to me, to be an ethical argument on the distribution of profits and not with how profits are created. So, the workers are doing "work," so they deserve the "fruits", while entrepreneurs and investors do no "work," and therefore deserve no "fruits" (or, at least, less than the workers). I think this stems from the idea the that entrepreneurship or investment doesn't create value, and that you're entitled to the "fruits" without bearing the cost and/or the risks. The rather well-known refutation of the "Labour theory of Value" goes something like this: If we assume that labour (and labour alone) determines the value of an item, what is the difference between an apple pie and a mud pie, if they contain the same number of labour hours etc ... ? The response is sometimes that it involves "socially necessary labour", but we can't know what is “socially necessary” without knowing consumer values. But that is a more Austrian explanation of price. The other refutation to this "theory" - which I hinted at from a different perspective - is the considerations of time and risk. Labour is always free to set up its own businesses in competition. The fact that people rely on capitalists to do so for them, surely, I always felt, undermines the viewpoint that capital exploits labour. It takes time before a business is setup, or a factory is built, raw materials purchased and relocated, insurance purchased, labour assembled, machinery set up, etc. My grandfather, who was a builder/carpenter, setup his own building company. Anyway, during this time, before he gets paid for the building, capital is paying labour. Suppose this process takes a year, or even longer for some massive buildings. My grandfather lived off his savings, mortgaged his house and car, and had various loans etc... that he undertook to contribute to the cashflow of the company. You, me and anyone else could do this too. But instead we choose to make a deal with my grandfather, for our precious time. What is usually agreed upon is that my grandfather will be the residual income claimant, taking whatever is left after all the factors of production have been paid. There is a risk here too. Suppose there is a problem with the land, or the original contracted company goes insolvent, or the building has to be stopped for a month or whatever ... Can my grandfather go to the workers and say, “remember that monthly salary I paid you for a year (as forcasted), when we were building? Well, it didn't happen. So, please give me back the wages I advanced you.” Of course not! The entrepreneur can do no such thing. He, and not the labour, is the risk bearer. My point is that the employees will gets their salary, no matter what happens and in advance of the completion of the building. It doesn't matter if it goes over-time. In the building industry, you get penalised for going over the agreed deadline. Suppose, due to massive problems it is 5 months delayed, and my grandfather only earns, let's say, only £5,000 after all factors of production are paid for a year's work. What would you say then? It's only exploitation when he gets more than the employees!

    I am beginning to think this is an argument based on the notion of "class warfare," without a real understanding of the incentives that drive human action.

    (2) Secondly, you touch upon the idea of the "National Minimum Wage" regulations as a means of preventing capital exploitation of the worker. I don't want to go into this too much, since you only touched upon it, but almost all the statistics correlates it as a regressive system that denies the most unskilled, with little experience and education, any opportunity to compete against those that have that valuable experience. I have always seen it as a tarrif to keep out competition. Tbh, I don't really understand why someone would think he is entitled to anything, other than his productivity. If he makes 7 cakes in an hour, why should he get a wage that correlates to 9 cakes?!

    (3) After this, you present counter-arguments to what you anticipated where my responses. I'll try and be brief and mention a few things:

    (i) Firstly, I think someone is "exploited" if he is being underpaid or if the Capitalist is breaking other terms under their contract. As I said above, I think the best way of paying someone is based on their productivity. It isn't as subjective, arbitrary and open to various forms of abuse. I'm also inclined to think that the most moral system of rewarding someone is not based on how smart they are, how sexy he looks, how funny she is, whether he has more 'skills', but on only how productive they are. I don't like to go into ethical discussions to support anarcho-capitalism, but I can't really think of anything else as virtuous and economically sensible. As a side comment, you assert that capitalists are being exploitive when they seek to employ cheaper labour (particularly, in the third world countries - although, I think the term is "less economically developed countries" ). Personally, I don't understand why anyone would deny people in Asia or Africa the opportunity to compete with British employees. I always saw this as nationalism - which, I am sad to say, is ineradicable. Moreover, why do you think those people are poor? Because they don't have capital. Why would you deny them the opportunity to be involved in capital formation and driving their economy? So, it obviously helps them. What about us in the UK? Well, it makes my clothes and chocolate cheaper (or, at least, supposed to without inflation) since the factors of production are less expensive. I am more than happy to go into this, in more detail, if you like.

    (ii) Your second point deals with competition and monopolies. For starters, why is a monopoly - in itself - bad, or undesirable? A monopoly in the free-market (to which, as far as I know, there hasn't been a single case) can only sustain itself by providing excellence to the consumers to such an extent that nobody can do better! Wouldn't that be pretty amazing? Anyway, I'd like to discuss how anarcho-capitalism would work regarding competition. They are, almost entirely, not self-sustaining. Cartels is an argument often presented to weaken anarcho-capitalism, but cartels are involved in the business of collectively rising prices and that won't survive very long. Since, the guy who can charge less than the "cartel price" would make a killing and so cartel members are driven to cheat on each other to reduce prices. In any case, I think most of the arguments you present regarding monopolies are corporatist. Also, what is wrong with packet spaghetti bologneise? I eat it .

    (iii) Ok, your third point is huge and touches on so many points, but I feel the "class warfare" plays a big part in your ideals. I think we already have a few worker owned companies? No? In an anarcho-capitalist society, there would be nothing stopping such organisations competing with "capitalist mode of production." I am slightly sceptical as to where investment will come from to create value, who will take the risk? The reason we don't have many of these organisations today is because they don't want to invest their capital, and think they are entitled to the profits without bearing the cost and risks associated? At least, they'll be free to compete in anarcho-capitalism.

    Society owns the means of production. Worker's manage and build their own means of production. They may elect managers if need be. We have worker's co-operatives here in Britain actually (co-operative bank, co-operative supermarket). I don't know how 'co-operative' they are any more due to government interference in the market but historically that was how they were and it worked. It also worked in Spain in 1936, for instance. Co-operatives co-operate with communes which are free association of worker's and may be managed by any local citizen who wishes to manage them in order to receive goods and services. In other words workers voluntarily provide their labour to communes in exchange for goods and services from other labourers. All communes are binded by a simple social code; not to harm others. Complicated legislations which are invented by the government to rule man are a thing of the past.
    When you say "society owns the means of production", you mean the employees own it? I'll assume that.

    I really have nothing with a company setup and ran by the employees competing freely against the "conventional system" without any form of subsidies etc ... given to that "commune." As I say, you're free to do so in anarcho-capitalism. The same can't be said in syndicalism? Right?

    My only problem is that I don't think it is possible to maintain such a system. I think you could perhaps set one up. Unlikely, but perhaps? I am not sure how effective such commune systems would be, and of all arrangements, I would have thought that would be most vulnerable to some sort of government arising to deal with problems the "business" might encounter. It is a bit late now - and I can't be arsed to research - but I'd be curious as to how the co-operative is run. My mum used to have a points card and she used to get dividend back, so I always wondered whether the consumer "earnt" shares of the profit - but not a vote kind of thing. Also, could you link me to a neutral page regarding this communes of Spain in 1936. How would such an arrangement work in the globalised 21st century?

    I wouldn't say capitalism is evil; I would say that some people are evil. Since under capitalism economic power and wealth may be given to one person, you risk giving a bad person dominance over others. State socialism is no different because it risks giving political power to men.

    However since under libertarian socialism (of which social anarchism is on of the many branches) every man has equal power any evilness is overwhelmed by the masses and not necessarily because the majority of them are good (although I think they are) but because no-one, good or evil would wish for another man to have dominance over them. Thus anarchism creates a sense of equilibrium.

    Yet since anarchism in theory rejects all schemes and concepts it can never be and does not claim to be a utopia. I would say that the beauty of anarchism is within its simplicity.
    (1) Yes. You can't say Capitalism or Socialism is 'evil'. We can only apply an ethical code to something that makes choices. Capitalism encourages certain attributes that I consider to be beneficial, and much better than the alternatives to humanity.

    (2) I am sorry but I have to correct you when you say the "power" is given to one person in Capitalism. This is not true at all in the free-market. The only "power" is that in the hands of the people, quite literally. This isn't just emotional rhetoric. They can get to vote with their money for-and-against products and services that they value, and those they don't like. I think it is the most effective way of empowering people to make their own decisions. This power - in everybodys' hands - is then transferred to a government bureaucrat and he is the one person who takes that power away from the people. He assumes the role of deciding for the people what they want, where their own money will go etc ... He is the "bad person". Remember that the Capitalist is the servant of the people. He only survives as long as he keeps his customers happy. Perhaps, you're referring to Corporatism? But then that wouldn't exist in anarcho-capitalism. I genuinely think anarcho-capitalism is the only system in which everybody in society is equal.

    (3) I agree that often anarchism is associated with a utopian vision, or even worse a Neanderthalic community of people going around eating each other!

    I don't get it 'mixed-up' so to speak. I know what the gist of my opponents' argument are and, to be honest I get what they're saying. I think that because this has happened in western society is what leads you to believe that this kind of thing is a result of capitalism, which it is. However if it were not for the source of cheap labour available in other countries I don't know that we would necessarily have achieved this state of living.

    Out of interest, do you support laissez-faire capitalism? In regards to people's lives (not the market now), would you say you take more of a libertarian attitude (the government shouldn't interfere in people's lives) or an authoritarian attitude (the government should prevent gambling, abortion, teenagers drinking on the street, students should be obliged to study until 18, etc.)? I, as you know take a libertarian attitude and an economic leftist position. I would say that you are probably from the libertarian right.
    Oh, I wasn't accusing you of being "mixed-up". You're anti-statist so you have your thinking cap on. You're also an atheist? I remember you made a thread about agnosticism, or at least, I think it was you? I am, incidentally, an antitheist. I am opposed to the belief in God (as being untrue) but also assert that religion is positively harmful and poisonous. I genuinely think this ought to be the de facto status with fellow anarchists. Oh but this is a side-track. Lol. I probably shouldn't be online posting at 2:30 drinking wine and listening to jazz.

    Quite a few of the LEDCs have found their economies greatly improved & where the standards of the living of the average person is much better thanks to globalisation. I sometimes think people see free-market Capitalism as a "zero-sum" game where someone has to win and there has to be a corresponding loser. But that is not the case. All commercial interactions are mutually beneficial in the ex ante sense, and, as a matter of overwhelming empirical reality, beneficial in the ex post sense as well.

    Regarding the government, I think it's mostly regressive and I don't see how it has the right to interfere in people's lives in any way whatsoever. I am an anarcho-capitalist, remember? I find it extremely arrogant and I am always slightly baffled as to how someone can think he knows what is "right" and has the "authority" to order everyone to do what he thinks is "good." I think people ought to be free to choose in everything. I think it would greatly improve the standards of peoples' lives. I have generally been dismissive of those who wish impose morality on people - which, includes religion.

    There are different strands of anarchism. Anarcho-communism believes money is the root of all evil and should be abolished (it's not that people can't use money under this system, it's that it would not have any value, unless people liked collecting shiny coins, lol). They believe in from each to one's need (I think, I'm not entirely sure). Anarcho-syndicalism focuses on the labour movement and the use of trade unions etc. under modern present day society. Mutualists or individualist anarchists advocate worker's co-operatives working through a sort of community bank but using money. There would be no interest or share holds but it differs between different strands of mutualism and some are leaning more towards the right (e.g., Proudhon). I don't know much about mutualism, to be honest.

    Anarcho-capitalists believe in a society without government but at the same time with private property, free market, etc.

    In social anarchism, different communes may employ different strands of social anarchism and still live by one another. One commune may decide to use money, etc., one may employ communism. I believe that the most effective strategies are the ones most likely to spread around the various communes whilst the least effective ones will be the ones most likely to die out.
    I came across this image the other day, and think it is pretty good:


    I have to admit my knowledge of various other anarchic systems isn't as robust as yours. Are you an anarcho-syndicalist? I always though anarcho-communism was rather similar to syndicalism? What are the differences?

    Huh?

    I think I get what you're saying here but actually, yes I believe people should truly be rewarded for their labour. I don't think capitalism does this because of the scope for labour exploitation and interest gained from accumulation of capital (money makes more money).

    I also think that, although we don't live in a zero-sum economy, Capitalism is depleting and will deplete many of the Earth's natural resources (including land - only so much can be occupied). I think it makes it harder for those who do really awful jobs and work hard for it to make a decent living. I think the harder you work, the more you should be paid for it - your skills shouldn't really come into the equation.

    Actually I recommend you read this above all (it's free and easily accessible online and probably answers just about all your questions on anarchism, including the main types of anarchism, things people don't realise about socialism, how a lawless, stateless country would not necessarily mean chaos and disorder, etc., etc.);
    You've dealt with "labour exploitation" above, but what is wrong with "money make[ing] more money"? Capitalists don't just earn for nothing ...

    Capitalism isn't depleting Earth's natural resources at all. Humans are consuming those resources. Capitalism simply matches a desire with that good. Are you going to stop some people having X simply because you think they shouldn't? That sounds like the start of government to me, and humans on their authoritarian moral crusades! Also, we can build more land. We have skyscrappers. We can create more lands from earth material, or we can dig underground ... so, land isn't really - in the sense - "limited".

    Could you explain why you think "the harder you work, the more you should be paid for it - your skills shouldn't really come into the equation." I can appreciate the appeal behind it, but it really doesn't have much economic [or moral] reasoning behind it. Actually, I think I discussed this earlier ...
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    Perhaps if, you could post that link to this debate when you reply, as I am highly curious as to what the right wing justifications are for privatising military, fire, police and healthcare (in particular the first three).

    In fact, here are some questions I posted myself on another forum which never got answered:

    1. Do you not think that people are entitled to basic entities for free (e.g. free NHS, free police/fire brigade/ambulance service) when they need it? Do you really think competition is going to lower these services? If they can't afford insurance or forgot to pay it are you not entitled to be rescued from a burglar or a fire or a heart attack?

    2. What is to stop bureacracy in national security? E.g. I phone up the police and they have to check first whether I've paid my insurance before they can come and rescue me.

    3. Under anarcho-capitalism won't privatised police forces/military forces just replace the state, making it into lots of mini states that are only accessible to the capitalists who own.

    4. Again, under anarcho-capitalism what is to stop a privatised police and military force from turning into a protection racket? E.g. you pay insurance for protection for the fire brigade or they'll be the ones starting the fire!

    5. Who is going to pay insurance for a military.

    6. Under anarcho-capitalism, what if capitalists owning military/police services don't agree with each other and get into a war?
    For starters, I am not "right-wing" or "left-wing". I believe in liberty, in both social and economic sense. In fact, I think you can't really have social liberty without economic liberty. I also get the impression that people tend to think that I am on the side of the "Capitalist," when in fact, I believe everybody in society would be much better off with liberty - particularly, the poorest. I wouldn't hold my position if I wasn't convinced of that. I'll answer your questions then:

    (1) Your first question is essentially asking whether or not I think people have certain "rights". The answer is no. Within the last few months, I have turned somewhat amoral in my views on economics and politics. I now reject most ought-from-is claims . So, when someone says "I have a right to X", what they mean is that they ought to have the right to X, and my question is where does this right come from? What the guy really means is that he fancies X, and thinks everyone else ought to pay for it. Moreover, there is no such thing as "free" NHS. Someone has to pay for it. Now, you ask me what would happen to person X who can't afford to pay his insurance contributions against fire etc ... I would like to compare that to someone who can't afford to pay his shopping bill. Do you think he is entitled to put his hand into your pocket and take out whatever he needs? Remember he wouldn't live very long without food. The question you ought to ask is who should pay that money? Either him, "society," or the company? The money has to come from somewhere. Why should the money come from the company? It has to come out of the money generated in the business activity, and thus come out of employee wages. Is that fair? Why should the average citizen be forced to pay for his bill? The people most responsible are his friends and family, and work colleagues who didn't help him when he needed help. Failing that, I think one should go to a charity to help him with his food. Regarding the fire services, you make efforts to mitigate and reduce the effects of a disaster. If you don't, then you accept the possibility that if your house burns then the fire company won't do anything. How do you think the firefighters earn their salary if nobody pays their insurance, or gets away without making full payments, but still gets the benefit? I can't say I have much sympathy for you in that case. By what right, can you demand that I start paying (out of my hard -earnt wages) to fund your recklessness and stupidity. Having said that I think it is desirable to receive the emergency service and agree to make certain monthly payments thereafter to compensate them. I can't see why that won't arise in the free-market in particular emergency sectors with certain customers.

    (2) Firstly, I don't think they'll be called 'police' but rather private protection agencies (PPAs). But, I don't see why that would be any different to what you currently have? At the moment, if you want the police, you dial 999, and give them your name and address etc ... You'd probably do the same in anarcho-capitalism. Maybe they'd have sophisticated machines, so when you dial 999, they'll know immediately that you need them. They could also have arrangements with other PPAs, so if a different PPA is closer to me, then they'll come over instead. Bureaucracy is generally costly to business, and, in the free-market, businesses will tend to reduce their costs. Unlike, the police we have now!

    (3) This is Nozick's argument, and I dealt with it somewhere in this thread with jakepearson. But you have to remember that the state forces customers to pay for protection even if they don't want it, by them and only them. You have to ask how the PPA would even get to a stage where it can become a monopoly? This is rather difficult, I imagine, in that sector anyway. But it can only do this if it provides an excellent service whereby nobody can do a better job. Once it starts acting like the state and ordering people around and stuff, then a different PPA will start up. You could say that the monopolistic PPA could attack the new PPA, but I can't imagine that happening because the monopoly can only sustain itself by providing customers with what they want. Once, it starts waging wars, then its costs increase and customers will go elsewhere. War is generally a bad business policy that involves heavy costs, that consumers don't like.

    (4) The moment a fire emergency service starts setting peoples' homes on fire, my PPA will approach them and ask them to compensate me. If my PPA decides to ignore me, then I'll sign up to a new PPA and how long do you think the original PPA will last with such a policy (and the fire service incidentally)? Remember this is the free-market. You can only succeed by serving the customers and giving them what they want. The moment you deviate, someone else will come in and undercut you.

    (5) There would be PPA, so no need for "military." Remember, this is anarchy.

    (6) No, they won't - at least, if they're intelligent. Remember war is expensive, and the cost of war has to hit the customers. There is no way other way to fund war. There is no government that can force customers to pay for it. So businesses with such a policy won't survive long at all.
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    (Original post by D.R.E,)
    You are correct when you say that I'm not entirely sure where my political affiliations are placed at this point time. But I am learning all the time; and as I learn, I seem to gradually lean towards Liberalism/Libertarianism, simply because every other philosophy seems to violate what I view to be a self-evident axiom - self-ownership. With self-ownership comes self-determination and once a particular philosophy violates that, it might as well be advocating we all go live under Big Brother and have the Thought Police peering into our minds. Once they contradict that axiom, they lose all moral credibility in my eyes. So while I probably seem very confused in my posts but, there is some method to my madness.
    Is self-ownership really self-evident, let alone an axiom? Also, why do you feel the need for self-ownership?

    I think these arguments fail at establishing a case for a normative position on ownership, and the whole concept of self-ownership is unnecessary. There are other - more effective - ways of defending private property rights, in my humble opinion. I am quite the fan of Anthony de Jasay. Anyway, I was also in your position a while back and it's tricky, and I have now come to think that self-ownership, natural rights and non-aggression as by no means axioms - self-evident or irreducible. But, rather, normative concepts part of a web of other normative concepts.
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    (Original post by D.R.E)
    You did bring up a point which I found rather interesting though (and I think JakePearson brought it up too). In an anarcho-capitalist society - one with no government or state - there is a very high possibility that the private protection agencies can -through collusion with insurance companies and other services - effectively become governments. I still don't actually have an answer to this concern, but it seems to me a business run purely for profit would not desire to become a government simply because there is no profit to he had in government! But of course, the possibility is there. So maybe instead of trying to create a stateless society which will inevitably turn full circle, maybe we should be more focussed on pre-empting (or reducing) the state? I don't know, this is something I need to think about some more.

    By the way, I think it is far too premature for me to say I advocate anything, let alone Geolibertarianism. I'm still in the process of exploring things and it just happens to be one of the philosophies I like.

    One question I did want to pose to anarchists (social and capitalist) is one about legal systems: if 2 entities (communes or agencies) existed using 2 different legal systems - let's say one used Islamic Shariah law and one used the good old liberal English legal system - and there was an incident between residents (in the case of communes) or customers ( in the case of the agencies) where the verdict or remedy was different. An example would be in the case of a theft, Sharia law would remedy this by ruling the defendant should have his hand cut off, whereas the English legal system would rule for a prison term or reparations; or rather, something like adultery, which isn't a crime at all in the English legal system but is one in Sharia; both entities are obliged to protect their own stance on the issue and of course protect their resident/customer. Do you not envision that, in anarchist system, these kinds of problems would constantly threaten the stability of the system?
    Ok, sorry I just noticed this bit and felt I ought to respond. Then, I am off to bed!

    Firstly, you have to remember that the PPEs (like everyone else) run on profit and that means that they *must* service their customers. Now, let's imagine a situation where there is only one PPE and one fire protection agency, at least for a good while. Remember, there isn't anything wrong with that. In fact, it's not even a monopoly, since a monopoly is defined as a business that prevents competition. PPEs can't stop other PPEs forming in the free-market. So, we currently have a single PPE and that means it is so excellent that nobody else can provide a better service. The same can be sad of our fire service. Let's suppose the owners meet up one day, and decide to collude. How long do you think they'll survive once they start ordering people around. The moment they use violence, the costs increase and therefore prices increase, and when that happens competition will arise. It is even more unstable when there are several PPEs forming a cartel. If they start raising the prices, and form a cartel precisely for that reason, then, the economic self-interest is what leads to the undermining because it’s in their interest to suddenly reduce their prices and make a "killing" (figuratively, of course). I also gave jakepearson my response here.

    Regarding the legal question, in an anarcho-capitalist society, people would choose which laws they want to live under. It won't be imposed on society. But they'll do so under their PPE. So, their PPE will give them a contract essentially listing the things they'll defend and things they won't. You might think that different PPEs would have different laws, but I don't think that would be the case. Most PPEs would generally have a similar legal setup, for the same reason you don’t find triangular ATM cards. Generally speaking the market has an incentive to provide a uniformity. Sometimes, diversity is wanted in the market by consumers and sometimes it isn't. So, you won't have a PPE offering to protect you, if a judge found you guilty of murder etc ...
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    (Original post by Lord Hysteria)
    Is self-ownership really self-evident, let alone an axiom? Also, why do you feel the need for self-ownership?

    I think these arguments fail at establishing a case for a normative position on ownership, and the whole concept of self-ownership is unnecessary. There are other - more effective - ways of defending private property rights, in my humble opinion. I am quite the fan of Anthony de Jasay. Anyway, I was also in your position a while back and it's tricky, and I have now come to think that self-ownership, natural rights and non-aggression as by no means axioms - self-evident or irreducible. But, rather, normative concepts part of a web of other normative concepts.
    That's a very good essay and I can generally see the weakness of my position here. I'd never heard of this phrase 'normative concepts' but I suppose it applies to what I was asserting in that post. I did some dictionary browsing and it seems to be implying arguments based on normative concepts are essentially subjective emotional arguments which are difficult to prove and could be seen as some kind 'appeal to emotion' instead of being valid logical arguments?

    But to answer your initial question, I do think that self-ownership is as self-evident as one can get. Ownership entails 'exclusive control' an object. So if we apply that definition to 'me', then I clearly own 'myself'. I have exclusive control of myself and I will generally move myself based on my own whims. I suppose this can be a bit difficult to run with since animals also have societies with systems of 'property' and ownership within them, but I don't eat animals or keep pets so at least people can't say I'm not consistent on that front.

    AS for 'why' I need it, I think all you need to do is read this thread really! It seems to me that most - if not all - arguments from opponents of free markets are based on morality. One would have to ignore (or be ignorant to) basic economics and human nature in order to be a socialist/communist/statist. And I'm guessing you have seen this all over this board since I've read your debates with posters like AnarchistNutter here, Oswy and others. Obviously, when you argue that generally, moral arguments are based on the same 'normative concepts' you mentioned that are inherently subjective, well... they don't seem to care!

    It seems to me that in a practical sense, we clearly have a more persuasive argument since socialism/communism/statism can never achieve the outcomes that purveyors of those viewpoints desire. So I guess I'm saying if self-ownership is self-evident (which I think it is), it is a superior ethical argument to something like 'fairness', which is inherently subjective or as you said, a 'normative concept'.
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    (Original post by Lord Hysteria)
    Ok, sorry I just noticed this bit and felt I ought to respond. Then, I am off to bed!

    Firstly, you have to remember that the PPEs (like everyone else) run on profit and that means that they *must* service their customers. Now, let's imagine a situation where there is only one PPE and one fire protection agency, at least for a good while. Remember, there isn't anything wrong with that. In fact, it's not even a monopoly, since a monopoly is defined as a business that prevents competition. PPEs can't stop other PPEs forming in the free-market. So, we currently have a single PPE and that means it is so excellent that nobody else can provide a better service. The same can be sad of our fire service. Let's suppose the owners meet up one day, and decide to collude. How long do you think they'll survive once they start ordering people around. The moment they use violence, the costs increase and therefore prices increase, and when that happens competition will arise. It is even more unstable when there are several PPEs forming a cartel. If they start raising the prices, and form a cartel precisely for that reason, then, the economic self-interest is what leads to the undermining because it’s in their interest to suddenly reduce their prices and make a "killing" (figuratively, of course). I also gave jakepearson my response here.

    Regarding the legal question, in an anarcho-capitalist society, people would choose which laws they want to live under. It won't be imposed on society. But they'll do so under their PPE. So, their PPE will give them a contract essentially listing the things they'll defend and things they won't. You might think that different PPEs would have different laws, but I don't think that would be the case. Most PPEs would generally have a similar legal setup, for the same reason you don’t find triangular ATM cards. Generally speaking the market has an incentive to provide a uniformity. Sometimes, diversity is wanted in the market by consumers and sometimes it isn't. So, you won't have a PPE offering to protect you, if a judge found you guilty of murder etc ...
    Thanks for clearing up the question on PPAs(?) (I think you were sleepy ).

    On the legal question though, I think I agree with your response in principal, but this just leads me to think that anarchy cannot (or shouldn't?) happen today. For it to happen, and be stable, it would require a massive convergence of different societies' views regarding morality. That convergence is a necessary prerequisite which would have to overcome deep-rooted ideas like nationalism, religion, ideology and such. I do think that this 'convergence' is already happening now - albeit slowly - through the process of globalisation. Would you agree with this?
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    (Original post by D.R.E)
    That's a very good essay and I can generally see the weakness of my position here. I'd never heard of this phrase 'normative concepts' but I suppose it applies to what I was asserting in that post. I did some dictionary browsing and it seems to be implying arguments based on normative concepts are essentially subjective emotional arguments which are difficult to prove and could be seen as some kind 'appeal to emotion' instead of being valid logical arguments?

    But to answer your initial question, I do think that self-ownership is as self-evident as one can get. Ownership entails 'exclusive control' an object. So if we apply that definition to 'me', then I clearly own 'myself'. I have exclusive control of myself and I will generally move myself based on my own whims. I suppose this can be a bit difficult to run with since animals also have societies with systems of 'property' and ownership within them, but I don't eat animals or keep pets so at least people can't say I'm not consistent on that front.

    AS for 'why' I need it, I think all you need to do is read this thread really! It seems to me that most - if not all - arguments from opponents of free markets are based on morality. One would have to ignore (or be ignorant to) basic economics and human nature in order to be a socialist/communist/statist. And I'm guessing you have seen this all over this board since I've read your debates with posters like AnarchistNutter here, Oswy and others. Obviously, when you argue that generally, moral arguments are based on the same 'normative concepts' you mentioned that are inherently subjective, well... they don't seem to care!

    It seems to me that in a practical sense, we clearly have a more persuasive argument since socialism/communism/statism can never achieve the outcomes that purveyors of those viewpoints desire. So I guess I'm saying if self-ownership is self-evident (which I think it is), it is a superior ethical argument to something like 'fairness', which is inherently subjective or as you said, a 'normative concept'.
    Self-ownership only ever really comes up when someone tries to defend property rights. But it depends on the context in which you use it. The fact that I control something doesn't prove that I ought out. Also, the fact that no-one else can control my body (in the same way that I do) is not proved by the fact that I purposefully act. The "performative contradiction" arguments rely on switching between descritptive and normative senses of ownership (the right to control vs. the fact of possession). If you mean self-ownership in the sense of possession, then I doubt anybody really disagrees, even non-libertarians! If you define it in the normative sense, as wikipedia does in the bit in italic: "the concept of property in one's own person, expressed as the moral or natural right of a person to be the exclusive controller of her or his own body and life.". The concept is problematic since it involves cartesian mind-body dualism and that ownership describes a property relating to a subject (the owner) and object (the owned). This would mean that man is both the owner and is owned, thus rendering self-ownership an oxymoron. The other problem is that self-ownership manifests itself with respect to private property. So does self-ownership justify private property,or does private property justify self-ownership? So, we get a circular argument. Avoiding all the problems regarding the entire concept of "ownership". I quite like Anthony de Jasay because he is pretty different in libertarian circles. He dismantles a lot of the rhetoric regarding libertarian axioms, such as self-ownership but also shows how such explanations are somewhat misunderstood, fallacious and extremely unnecessary. It is not for me to explain why I have the right to myself and my products (since that is the de facto state), but rather the chap who thinks he is entitled to my labour etc ... If you couldn't show him that you ought to have exclusive control over your body and fruits, that doesn't justify his intrusion. He is left with having to make his own normative claims! Anyway, my point was that the late Anthony de Jasay explains that all this waffle about self-ownership is necessary since the intruder is the one who has to make the case!

    I think one can defend the free-markets by dismantling all statist normative ethical claims, as being just that. But we can defend the free-market in terms of the benefits and improvements it allows humans to enjoy - as opposed to relying on normative claims. I try to be amoral in my arguments, because I can appreciate why someone would think the government is need to curb perceived "injustice" or how the free-market is unfair and so forth. It's not hard at all to see why people hold these views. I think throwing around moral proclamations, like "property is theft" or "tax is theft" really don't do any justice to the debate subject. So, my position is essentially "look, I appreciate what you're saying but the provision of X can be provided much more efficiency in the market ..." Have you read any stuff by Thomas Sowell? He is a pretty amazing economist - a colleague of Milton Friedman - who has published innumerable books, but two of them try to deal with the issue of how and why people believe in statism and seem to hate the free-market, and how despite the overwhelming evidence towards the improvement of man's conditions, the freer the market, a lot of people persist with the ideas like the minimum wage. I am always baffled, for instance, as to why someone like Paul Krugman would make some of the most nonsensical economic statements, and Thomas Sowell gives us his views. He also really talented writer, and writes in such a way that just makes you laugh. I subscribe to his column articles, which manage to sometimes get over a-thousand comments!! Anyway, I thought you might be interested.

    Thanks for clearing up the question on PPAs(?) (I think you were sleepy ).

    On the legal question though, I think I agree with your response in principal, but this just leads me to think that anarchy cannot (or shouldn't?) happen today. For it to happen, and be stable, it would require a massive convergence of different societies' views regarding morality. That convergence is a necessary prerequisite which would have to overcome deep-rooted ideas like nationalism, religion, ideology and such. I do think that this 'convergence' is already happening now - albeit slowly - through the process of globalisation. Would you agree with this?
    Opps. Yes, PPA and not PPE .

    Ok. I think your looking at anarcho-capitalism with the current mindset.

    You have to realise that, in anarcho-capitalism, there won't be "courts" in the sense that we understand it. I would rather call them "arbitrators" and their job isn't to enforce morality but rather to resolve disputes and smoothen the co-operation of people. They'll be involved in dispute resolutions. I think you stole my bike, you assert that you didn't, and so we go to an "arbitrator" who'll observe the facts and make a decision and we'll agree beforehand to agree to whatever he says. By the way, we already have dispute resolution today in the form of commercial arbitration. So, arbitrators won't be in the business of enforcing morality (remember, they're free to choose) but rather resolving disputes. So, there is no need for "massive convergence" on morality. On the most part, people generally regard theft as undesirable and so most PPAs would have a system to protect a client who thinks he has been a victim of theft via an arbitrator.
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    (Original post by Lord Hysteria)
    (1) Firstly, I'll deal with the Marxist "Labour Theory of Value" - not so much a theory, as it is an ethical argument. Your second paragraph starts with "We criticise the capitalist system ..." and appears, to me, to be an ethical argument on the distribution of profits and not with how profits are created. So, the workers are doing "work," so they deserve the "fruits", while entrepreneurs and investors do no "work," and therefore deserve no "fruits" (or, at least, less than the workers). I think this stems from the idea the that entrepreneurship or investment doesn't create value, and that you're entitled to the "fruits" without bearing the cost and/or the risks.
    I realise management is required and can also improve the productivity of the labourers, I just think that either the labourers should have an equal say in management or they should get to vote in a manager (who would be recallable if he screws up). As for ethics and all that, excuse me for not being very well endorsed in philosophy, here. I realise this is a subjective view, etc. but the key here is bosses taking too much money off their employers and receiving more money than they have put in effort. That's why I think the whole process ought to be more democratic - so it would be a subjective view point but the fact everyone gets a say here makes it at least a bit more objective. I don't know do you get what I'm saying here? Or I have I strayed from/misunderstood your argument?

    [QUOTE[The rather well-known refutation of the "Labour theory of Value" goes something like this: If we assume that labour (and labour alone) determines the value of an item, what is the difference between an apple pie and a mud pie, if they contain the same number of labour hours etc ... ?[/QUOTE]

    I know, I admit this has got its flaws but you've got to admit, you can see Marx's reasoning. Under modern day society there are actors, musicians, celebrities, entrepeneurs, etc. who get way more money than they earn and quite frankly more money than they actually need to survive. A society where everyone gets rewarded by how much hard work they do and not how much capital they own is a fairer society in my mind. Also I think if the value was decided democratically, they wouldn't reward labour if it was just pointless work for the sake of work (e.g. digging up holes and filling them back up) - would you? Also I think people would rather do something that is actually useful for society.

    The response is sometimes that it involves "socially necessary labour", but we can't know what is “socially necessary” without knowing consumer values. But that is a more Austrian explanation of price.
    I'd just like to interject here and point out that this theory also assumes that the consumer has an ecyclopedic knowledge of the goods or services they purchase. For instance, the typical McDonald's burger purchaser doesn't know the exact quality of meat, level of nutrition, etc. and whether this matches the price he is paying for it.

    The other refutation to this "theory" - which I hinted at from a different perspective - is the considerations of time and risk. Labour is always free to set up its own businesses in competition. The fact that people rely on capitalists to do so for them, surely, I always felt, undermines the viewpoint that capital exploits labour.
    This is true but under anarchism workers within communes would co-operate to build the means of production to make it something that is beneficial for everyone (particular themselves, the producers). This said, even Marx does recognise the advantages capitalism has had for society, he merely points out that it is not (in his opinion) sustainable and will eventually require an alternative economic system.

    It takes time before a business is setup, or a factory is built, raw materials purchased and relocated, insurance purchased, labour assembled, machinery set up, etc. My grandfather, who was a builder/carpenter, setup his own building company. Anyway, during this time, before he gets paid for the building, capital is paying labour. Suppose this process takes a year, or even longer for some massive buildings. My grandfather lived off his savings, mortgaged his house and car, and had various loans etc... that he undertook to contribute to the cashflow of the company. You, me and anyone else could do this too. But instead we choose to make a deal with my grandfather, for our precious time. What is usually agreed upon is that my grandfather will be the residual income claimant, taking whatever is left after all the factors of production have been paid.
    Ok but keep in mind that not every capitalist has necessarily worked as hard as or is as fair to his workers as your grandfather. Also, with the sort of society I am talking about, your grandfather could have got help from communes, etc. to build the means of production. Also, no matter how hard a man has worked, he doesn't have a right to exploit his labourers (not saying your grandfather does, just that some people do).

    It's only exploitation when he gets more than the employees!
    Not necessarily: I think that everyone, manager, whoever deserves the full produce of their labour. I'm just trying to propose a system which puts this into place.

    (2) Secondly, you touch upon the idea of the "National Minimum Wage" regulations as a means of preventing capital exploitation of the worker. I don't want to go into this too much, since you only touched upon it, but almost all the statistics correlates it as a regressive system that denies the most unskilled, with little experience and education, any opportunity to compete against those that have that valuable experience. I have always seen it as a tarrif to keep out competition.
    Ok. Forgive me if I am being historically inaccurate but before we, as a society, introduced laws regarding basic working conditions, minimum age you could work at, minimum wage, benefits, etc., weren't we (the workers) much worse off? Didn't people have to go to work houses, debtors prisons, weren't their children working at the age of three in mines and things? It just seems that if we get rid of all these measures we are going to go back to a much more unjust system. As for these statistics, could you point me to any, as I am just interested, cheers. As for competition, it seems that having a certain amount of people unemployed causes competition amongst the workers: employed workers can't ask for better wages, etc. because there is an army of unemployed workers to replace them if they get sacked.

    Tbh, I don't really understand why someone would think he is entitled to anything, other than his productivity. If he makes 7 cakes in an hour, why should he get a wage that correlates to 9 cakes?!
    No but he doesn't always get a fair share. I don't know, he may make 7 cakes per hour and only get back 2 cakes. The point of the minimum wage would be that he gets back a 'fair' deal of 5 cakes.

    (i) Firstly, I think someone is "exploited" if he is being underpaid or if the Capitalist is breaking other terms under their contract. As I said above, I think the best way of paying someone is based on their productivity.
    I agree but under a system where capitalists are rewarded according to accumulation of capital and where the worker must submit a percentage of his product (as decided by his employer) I don't think its always the case that someone is rewarded based upon their productivity.

    As a side comment, you assert that capitalists are being exploitive when they seek to employ cheaper labour (particularly, in the third world countries - although, I think the term is "less economically developed countries" ). Personally, I don't understand why anyone would deny people in Asia or Africa the opportunity to compete with British employees. I always saw this as nationalism - which, I am sad to say, is ineradicable. Moreover, why do you think those people are poor? Because they don't have capital. Why would you deny them the opportunity to be involved in capital formation and driving their economy? So, it obviously helps them. What about us in the UK? Well, it makes my clothes and chocolate cheaper (or, at least, supposed to without inflation) since the factors of production are less expensive. I am more than happy to go into this, in more detail, if you like.
    First off, I despise nationalism. Second of all, I don't think that they shouldn't give them the chance to work and earn better wages, I just think they should pay them justly. Also, I do feel a bit guilty about buying stuff that was made by the labourers other there (but then I also realise that if I'm one less consumer then that'll just be one more labourer they fire, sad really). Also, I do realise the benefits that capitalism has but I think that eventually, we are going to want to start trying to move away from it, mainly in industrialised countries.

    (ii) Your second point deals with competition and monopolies. For starters, why is a monopoly - in itself - bad, or undesirable? A monopoly in the free-market (to which, as far as I know, there hasn't been a single case) can only sustain itself by providing excellence to the consumers to such an extent that nobody can do better! Wouldn't that be pretty amazing? Anyway, I'd like to discuss how anarcho-capitalism would work regarding competition. They are, almost entirely, not self-sustaining. Cartels is an argument often presented to weaken anarcho-capitalism, but cartels are involved in the business of collectively rising prices and that won't survive very long. Since, the guy who can charge less than the "cartel price" would make a killing and so cartel members are driven to cheat on each other to reduce prices. In any case, I think most of the arguments you present regarding monopolies are corporatist.
    I think monopolies give people too much power, in many different ways. For a start off, Rupert Murdoch has been able to use his media monopolies to present his own free market ideologies in quite an energetic manner, might I add. The government have tried to put a cap on it, as far as I'm aware but then they wouldn't have the power to do this in an ancap society. Also where monopolies become that powerful, and you get privatised judicial and security forces it scares me that they might be able to give them 'generous donations', so to speak. Also I don't fully get your point about cartels.

    Also, what is wrong with packet spaghetti bologneise? I eat it .
    Nothing, I eat it too! I was just giving an example of a cappie selling particularly rubbish spag bol to reduce costs, lol.

    I'm gonna need to leave the discussion here - dinner, and by coincidence I think its spaghetti bologneise as well! :P
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    (Original post by Lord Hysteria)
    (iii) Ok, your third point is huge and touches on so many points, but I feel the "class warfare" plays a big part in your ideals. I think we already have a few worker owned companies? No? In an anarcho-capitalist society, there would be nothing stopping such organisations competing with "capitalist mode of production." I am slightly sceptical as to where investment will come from to create value, who will take the risk? The reason we don't have many of these organisations today is because they don't want to invest their capital, and think they are entitled to the profits without bearing the cost and risks associated? At least, they'll be free to compete in anarcho-capitalism.
    Yeah, we have workers' co-ops and things but I don't think its a substitute for the real thing though tbh. Also the idea of ancap is a bit disturbing (at least to me) to be honest because I don't think a lot of people will be able to afford healthcare, etc. and I think no restrictions such as working conditions/minimum wage laws will make a lot of people poorer and unhappier. Also I don't like the idea of having to take risks, investing capital and stuff like that: I think everyone deserves a stable future (but small businesses will risk destruction as a result of competition, etc. in the market). I think co-operation will bring humans further than competition.

    When you say "society owns the means of production", you mean the employees own it? I'll assume that.
    The employees manage it but society owns it (under communism). During the transition phase, workers that own the means of production join collectives etc. which organise the distribution of labour. Some smaller businesses will stay privatised but co-operate with communes to get supplies, etc. while the larger monopolies and vast majority of technology will be seised by organisations of workers. Basically with most of the capital generated into the hands of society I think we can eliminate a lot of poverty, etc. For instance solar pannels will be able to fuel a lot of poor peoples' homes.

    I really have nothing with a company setup and ran by the employees competing freely against the "conventional system" without any form of subsidies etc ... given to that "commune." As I say, you're free to do so in anarcho-capitalism. The same can't be said in syndicalism? Right?
    They don't have to co-operate with communes but they'd probably find it a lot easier if they did.

    My only problem is that I don't think it is possible to maintain such a system. I think you could perhaps set one up. Unlikely, but perhaps? I am not sure how effective such commune systems would be, and of all arrangements, I would have thought that would be most vulnerable to some sort of government arising to deal with problems the "business" might encounter. It is a bit late now - and I can't be arsed to research - but I'd be curious as to how the co-operative is run. My mum used to have a points card and she used to get dividend back, so I always wondered whether the consumer "earnt" shares of the profit - but not a vote kind of thing. Also, could you link me to a neutral page regarding this communes of Spain in 1936. How would such an arrangement work in the globalised 21st century?
    Rocker talks about Spain later down the page

    This article might take a more neutral stance

    Co-operatives would function very differently assuming there wasn't money. They'd join a commune and democratically decide upon the distribution of goods and services based upon labour.

    (2) I am sorry but I have to correct you when you say the "power" is given to one person in Capitalism. This is not true at all in the free-market. The only "power" is that in the hands of the people, quite literally. This isn't just emotional rhetoric. They can get to vote with their money for-and-against products and services that they value, and those they don't like. I think it is the most effective way of empowering people to make their own decisions. This power - in everybodys' hands - is then transferred to a government bureaucrat and he is the one person who takes that power away from the people.
    The thing is, the people have this power today and yet a lot of businesses, e.g. Shell, still carry on with corrupt business dealings. People could stop buying oil from Shell if they were concerned about the fact they were polluting Nigeria but they don't seem to care much. Also, they don't necessarily possess, as stated before, an encyclopedic knowledge of the goods they purchase.

    Oh, I wasn't accusing you of being "mixed-up". You're anti-statist so you have your thinking cap on. You're also an atheist? I remember you made a thread about agnosticism, or at least, I think it was you? I am, incidentally, an antitheist. I am opposed to the belief in God (as being untrue) but also assert that religion is positively harmful and poisonous. I genuinely think this ought to be the de facto status with fellow anarchists. Oh but this is a side-track. Lol. I probably shouldn't be online posting at 2:30 drinking wine and listening to jazz.
    Yeah, I started the agnostic thread, lol. Also I like wine and jazz as well as classical music.

    Quite a few of the LEDCs have found their economies greatly improved & where the standards of the living of the average person is much better thanks to globalisation. I sometimes think people see free-market Capitalism as a "zero-sum" game where someone has to win and there has to be a corresponding loser. But that is not the case. All commercial interactions are mutually beneficial in the ex ante sense, and, as a matter of overwhelming empirical reality, beneficial in the ex post sense as well.
    Capitalism isn't zero-sum but it would appear that resources are inevitably finite and capital eventually won't be available to everyone if too few people own too much of the capital.

    I came across this image the other day, and think it is pretty good:
    Hmm ... I can't see this image.

    I have to admit my knowledge of various other anarchic systems isn't as robust as yours. Are you an anarcho-syndicalist? I always though anarcho-communism was rather similar to syndicalism? What are the differences?
    This should explain: http://anarchism.pageabode.com/afaq/secA3.html#seca32

    You've dealt with "labour exploitation" above, but what is wrong with "money make[ing] more money"? Capitalists don't just earn for nothing ...
    Well, I think it means people are being rewarded for accumulation of capital rather than labour.

    Capitalism isn't depleting Earth's natural resources at all. Humans are consuming those resources. Capitalism simply matches a desire with that good. Are you going to stop some people having X simply because you think they shouldn't? That sounds like the start of government to me, and humans on their authoritarian moral crusades! Also, we can build more land. We have skyscrappers. We can create more lands from earth material, or we can dig underground ... so, land isn't really - in the sense - "limited".
    I think that communes can organise renewable sources of energy, etc. I think that since it is the worker who is the first to suffer the environmental consequences of a business it will be the worker who is the first to try and fix the problem, so to speak.

    Could you explain why you think "the harder you work, the more you should be paid for it - your skills shouldn't really come into the equation." I can appreciate the appeal behind it, but it really doesn't have much economic [or moral] reasoning behind it. Actually, I think I discussed this earlier ...
    Yeah, I just mean that if a cook or cleaner works as hard as a doctor, well their jobs are just as important (cleaning improves hygiene and prevents diseases, etc., cooking provides food which we all need and being a doctor saves lives) so, in order to encourage all three of them to work hard, why not reward them according to their labour value?

    (Original post by Lord Hysteria)
    (1) Your first question is essentially asking whether or not I think people have certain "rights". The answer is no. Within the last few months, I have turned somewhat amoral in my views on economics and politics. I now reject most ought-from-is claims . So, when someone says "I have a right to X", what they mean is that they ought to have the right to X, and my question is where does this right come from? What the guy really means is that he fancies X, and thinks everyone else ought to pay for it. Moreover, there is no such thing as "free" NHS. Someone has to pay for it.
    I think its a good thing that here in the UK, our health service provides for everyone. Moreover you know how I feel in regards to the people not necessarily receiving the full value of their labour - this could be a key reason why a lot of people wouldn't be able to pay for it. Also nationalised services are good because they are democratically accountable for (to an extent) - the socialised services I've discussed would be directly accountable for. Moreover, I think people should have compassion towards another person when his life is in direct danger.

    [QUOTE[(3) This is Nozick's argument, and I dealt with it somewhere in this thread with jakepearson. But you have to remember that the state forces customers to pay for protection even if they don't want it, by them and only them. You have to ask how the PPA would even get to a stage where it can become a monopoly? This is rather difficult, I imagine, in that sector anyway. But it can only do this if it provides an excellent service whereby nobody can do a better job. Once it starts acting like the state and ordering people around and stuff, then a different PPA will start up. You could say that the monopolistic PPA could attack the new PPA, but I can't imagine that happening because the monopoly can only sustain itself by providing customers with what they want. Once, it starts waging wars, then its costs increase and customers will go elsewhere. War is generally a bad business policy that involves heavy costs, that consumers don't like.[/QUOTE]

    First off, what is the PPA? Lol. Second, thats interesting but what happens if the two different PPAs combine and out power any other PPA? Or if a PPA pays off police and military (to enforce their law, or lets say to invade Saudia Arabia to get hold of the oil supplies) and the judicial system (so trials made against them are in their favour, maybe because the "law" [note I put this into quotation marks] is different or whatever).

    (4) The moment a fire emergency service starts setting peoples' homes on fire, my PPA will approach them and ask them to compensate me. If my PPA decides to ignore me, then I'll sign up to a new PPA and how long do you think the original PPA will last with such a policy (and the fire service incidentally)? Remember this is the free-market. You can only succeed by serving the customers and giving them what they want. The moment you deviate, someone else will come in and undercut you.
    Ok, but how does your PPA "ask them to compensate [you]"? Violence? Persuasive language? A financial agreement?

    (5) There would be PPA, so no need for "military." Remember, this is anarchy.
    Ok, but it seems this PPA (and forgive me because I don't fully understand what it is, I can only put it into context according to your points) will enforce the will of the customers who have the most money. What if they are child molesters, for instance? Does the PPA stand up for the traditional elites?

    (6) No, they won't - at least, if they're intelligent. Remember war is expensive, and the cost of war has to hit the customers. There is no way other way to fund war. There is no government that can force customers to pay for it. So businesses with such a policy won't survive long at all.
    1st off, war might be beneficial for them if it means they can seize oil production from local citizens or businesses or whatever. 2nd, ok so war is too expensive. What happens if there is a national crisis? How do they keep the peace? Why would citizens pay for a military service? If not citizens then would it not be other businesses who fund them? Again, my thinking would be that a business would only fund a military service for it to act in a way that is beneficial to themselves (e.g. military is used to seize capital which is shared with business who funded them).
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    I apologise if I misunderstand some of your argument since I'm some of your English is new to me - I'm still just an ignorant A level student

    (Original post by Lord Hysteria)
    Self-ownership only ever really comes up when someone tries to defend property rights. But it depends on the context in which you use it. The fact that I control something doesn't prove that I ought out. Also, the fact that no-one else can control my body (in the same way that I do) is not proved by the fact that I purposefully act. The "performative contradiction" arguments rely on switching between descritptive and normative senses of ownership (the right to control vs. the fact of possession). If you mean self-ownership in the sense of possession, then I doubt anybody really disagrees, even non-libertarians! If you define it in the normative sense, as wikipedia does in the bit in italic: "the concept of property in one's own person, expressed as the moral or natural right of a person to be the exclusive controller of her or his own body and life.". The concept is problematic since it involves cartesian mind-body dualism and that ownership describes a property relating to a subject (the owner) and object (the owned). This would mean that man is both the owner and is owned, thus rendering self-ownership an oxymoron. The other problem is that self-ownership manifests itself with respect to private property. So does self-ownership justify private property,or does private property justify self-ownership? So, we get a circular argument. Avoiding all the problems regarding the entire concept of "ownership". I quite like Anthony de Jasay because he is pretty different in libertarian circles. He dismantles a lot of the rhetoric regarding libertarian axioms, such as self-ownership but also shows how such explanations are somewhat misunderstood, fallacious and extremely unnecessary. It is not for me to explain why I have the right to myself and my products (since that is the de facto state), but rather the chap who thinks he is entitled to my labour etc ... If you couldn't show him that you ought to have exclusive control over your body and fruits, that doesn't justify his intrusion. He is left with having to make his own normative claims! Anyway, my point was that the late Anthony de Jasay explains that all this waffle about self-ownership is necessary since the intruder is the one who has to make the case!
    To be honest, I wasn't trying to use self-ownership as a moral basis for my views. Regardless though, I still think 'self-ownership' is something that is clearly self-evident. My reasoning for this probably somewhat crude, but there is a clear physical truth to 'me' being the 'owner' (which is probably an incorrect word to use to describe this) of 'myself' in the same way my there is a physical truth me being dark skinned and therefore being a 'black man'. I haven't yet made any moral or philosophical inferences from this, but if we accept this fact as being self-evident, then we can start having moral discussions on that basis.

    I wouldn't really try to use that idea to justify private property, because I'm still not completely sure how people can arbitrarily (or not) fence off land and then claim it as 'theirs' when it has no connection to the 'self' (which is the only thing they own). Private property itself is a normative claim now that I think about it. Obviously, there are massive practical benefits to recognising the concept of private property, but to argue that everyone else (when debating with the socialists for example) should recognise that concept as 'just' or 'correct' is making a moral assertion, which is something I generally do not like to do.

    Self-ownership does not justify private property at all in fact, all it does is show that any generalised arguments about what society should do or be like are pointless because at the end of the day, we are all individuals who act in our interests (which vary widely), so we shouldn't bother trying to create systems like socialism/communism etc because they violate that axiom and generally, make everyone poor and unhappy.

    I think one can defend the free-markets by dismantling all statist normative ethical claims, as being just that. But we can defend the free-market in terms of the benefits and improvements it allows humans to enjoy - as opposed to relying on normative claims. I try to be amoral in my arguments, because I can appreciate why someone would think the government is need to curb perceived "injustice" or how the free-market is unfair and so forth. It's not hard at all to see why people hold these views. I think throwing around moral proclamations, like "property is theft" or "tax is theft" really don't do any justice to the debate subject. So, my position is essentially "look, I appreciate what you're saying but the provision of X can be provided much more efficiency in the market ..." Have you read any stuff by Thomas Sowell? He is a pretty amazing economist - a colleague of Milton Friedman - who has published innumerable books, but two of them try to deal with the issue of how and why people believe in statism and seem to hate the free-market, and how despite the overwhelming evidence towards the improvement of man's conditions, the freer the market, a lot of people persist with the ideas like the minimum wage. I am always baffled, for instance, as to why someone like Paul Krugman would make some of the most nonsensical economic statements, and Thomas Sowell gives us his views. He also really talented writer, and writes in such a way that just makes you laugh. I subscribe to his column articles, which manage to sometimes get over a-thousand comments!! Anyway, I thought you might be interested.
    I generally agree with this, but the fact is, modern society is the way it is. Human beings created these massive 'commonwealths' that destroyed the de facto 'free-market' state society was in. You and I are arguing that this state is more effective or 'better' than the current one. Obviously, we can use as much economic information as we want, but when we start saying that society 'ought to' go back to that state, then we have also bridged that gap and started making moral (ie normative) assertions have we not?

    Opps. Yes, PPA and not PPE .

    Ok. I think your looking at anarcho-capitalism with the current mindset.

    You have to realise that, in anarcho-capitalism, there won't be "courts" in the sense that we understand it. I would rather call them "arbitrators" and their job isn't to enforce morality but rather to resolve disputes and smoothen the co-operation of people. They'll be involved in dispute resolutions. I think you stole my bike, you assert that you didn't, and so we go to an "arbitrator" who'll observe the facts and make a decision and we'll agree beforehand to agree to whatever he says. By the way, we already have dispute resolution today in the form of commercial arbitration. So, arbitrators won't be in the business of enforcing morality (remember, they're free to choose) but rather resolving disputes. So, there is no need for "massive convergence" on morality. On the most part, people generally regard theft as undesirable and so most PPAs would have a system to protect a client who thinks he has been a victim of theft via an arbitrator.
    I don't know, I can certainly see your point, but I don't like it. This view seems to be divorced from what human beings are actually like. It seems to be built on an unrealistic standard of human beings who are amoral and accept that not interfering with each other is beneficial. Right now, in the 21st Century, this is not the case at all. You only have to look at the popularity of religion (an institution based on interference and forcing a moral view on people) in the world to show you how unrealistic that view is. People are currently waging wars because they want to create an international Islamic 'Caliph', what would stop them in an anarchist society? Of course, the PPAs, but that will just create well... anarchy!

    While governments at the moment are created and run in the wrong way, I think I much prefer a system where 'governments' exist to maintain the rule of law (enforce - or as you put it 'arbitrate' in contractual disputes contracts, counteract the use of force against each other and uphold private property 'rights' - I hate that word!)
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    (Original post by D.R.E)
    I apologise if I misunderstand some of your argument since I'm some of your English is new to me - I'm still just an ignorant A level student
    Not at all. I am enjoying our discussion.

    To be honest, I wasn't trying to use self-ownership as a moral basis for my views. Regardless though, I still think 'self-ownership' is something that is clearly self-evident. My reasoning for this probably somewhat crude, but there is a clear physical truth to 'me' being the 'owner' (which is probably an incorrect word to use to describe this) of 'myself' in the same way my there is a physical truth me being dark skinned and therefore being a 'black man'. I haven't yet made any moral or philosophical inferences from this, but if we accept this fact as being self-evident, then we can start having moral discussions on that basis.

    I wouldn't really try to use that idea to justify private property, because I'm still not completely sure how people can arbitrarily (or not) fence off land and then claim it as 'theirs' when it has no connection to the 'self' (which is the only thing they own). Private property itself is a normative claim now that I think about it. Obviously, there are massive practical benefits to recognising the concept of private property, but to argue that everyone else (when debating with the socialists for example) should recognise that concept as 'just' or 'correct' is making a moral assertion, which is something I generally do not like to do.

    Self-ownership does not justify private property at all in fact, all it does is show that any generalised arguments about what society should do or be like are pointless because at the end of the day, we are all individuals who act in our interests (which vary widely), so we shouldn't bother trying to create systems like socialism/communism etc because they violate that axiom and generally, make everyone poor and unhappy.
    I like what you have just said here. It sounds a bit like my views.

    If you mean self-ownership in the purely descriptive sense, then that's fine. Although, the word "ownership" is tricky. How are you the owner and the thing owned? It is an odd way of describing oneself, in terms of a subject and an object. Also, the fact that we seem to have physiological control of our bodies, in my opinion, doesn't really say anything about the fact that we ought to have that control. If by self-ownership you refer to the capacity of people to make autonomous decisions in the process of actions, then I think a better word might be the abstract concept, like the will. But this is all rather clouded stuff, and it is only now that I don't see why it is necessary.

    I see private property as a social convention which produces much better results (like division of labour, and allows people to acquire "rights"), then collective ownership.

    I generally agree with this, but the fact is, modern society is the way it is. Human beings created these massive 'commonwealths' that destroyed the de facto 'free-market' state society was in. You and I are arguing that this state is more effective or 'better' than the current one. Obviously, we can use as much economic information as we want, but when we start saying that society 'ought to' go back to that state, then we have also bridged that gap and started making moral (ie normative) assertions have we not?
    Well, it's the "axiom" (or more appropriately, the human desire) to improve one's standards of living. It's what unites socialists and libertarians - we both believe our system will improve the human condition and standards of living.

    [QUOTE]I don't know, I can certainly see your point, but I don't like it. This view seems to be divorced from what human beings are actually like. It seems to be built on an unrealistic standard of human beings who are amoral and accept that not interfering with each other is beneficial. Right now, in the 21st Century, this is not the case at all. You only have to look at the popularity of religion (an institution based on interference and forcing a moral view on people) in the world to show you how unrealistic that view is. People are currently waging wars because they want to create an international Islamic 'Caliph', what would stop them in an anarchist society? Of course, the PPAs, but that will just create well... anarchy!

    I don't think so. I'd be scared if my system won't work, because there is something wrong with the free-market.

    You have to understand that conflict is inevitable part of being human. The free-market ensures that costs expended in disputes are kept as low as possible. That is reason it would be very difficult to establish a "Caliph," because that one person would have to fight every-single PPA. How would he do that? He'd have to spend lots-and-lots of money on military equipment, and perhaps and army. How long do you think he'll last? The only way to impose your views on everyone in society, is through government coercion. You think that we ought to be punished for "causing" global warming, you then go to government and voila! Carbon tax! Almost every single imposition possible requires the state - the free-market won't allow it because it is costly!

    While governments at the moment are created and run in the wrong way, I think I much prefer a system where 'governments' exist to maintain the rule of law (enforce - or as you put it 'arbitrate' in contractual disputes contracts, counteract the use of force against each other and uphold private property 'rights' - I hate that word!)
    Don't you think people should be able to choose what kind of legal systems they would like to deal with other people in?

    Government has a single legal system, a one-size-fits-all, but it isn't efficient (in the sense that people would choose it, in competition with others). I think people tend to think of law as something that is enforced. What if I could prove to you that in anarcho-capitalism arbitration and dispute resolution would be much more efficient. In the sense, that people would be enforcing the rights they have purchased to higher standards and more efficiently? But why do you think government is best to enforce law?
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    (Original post by Lord Hysteria)
    I like what you have just said here. It sounds a bit like my views.

    If you mean self-ownership in the purely descriptive sense, then that's fine. Although, the word "ownership" is tricky. How are you the owner and the thing owned? It is an odd way of describing oneself, in terms of a subject and an object. Also, the fact that we seem to have physiological control of our bodies, in my opinion, doesn't really say anything about the fact that we ought to have that control. If by self-ownership you refer to the capacity of people to make autonomous decisions in the process of actions, then I think a better word might be the abstract concept, like the will. But this is all rather clouded stuff, and it is only now that I don't see why it is necessary.
    Hm, I see why you mentioned the whole idea of 'mind-body dualism' in one of your earlier posts now, it is rather complicated. The word 'ownership' is probably far too loaded and imprecise to describe what I was thinking about, but it's the only one I can think of at the moment! Ownership just seemed to sum up what would have been a rather long-winded explanation for the fact only the individual can really know what their desired utility is and there can be no blanket world view that can be applied objectively. The only aim, in my view, politics can have is to find a system that allows the individual to be able to try and get to their desired end, to the best of their ability or efforts.

    I usually try not to bring this idea of 'self-ownership' up in debates because it's more of a basis for my own personal 'moral code', which in some ways goes into how I view politics, but hopefully not too much!

    I see private property as a social convention which produces much better results (like division of labour, and allows people to acquire "rights"), then collective ownership.
    I agree completely with this view.

    Well, it's the "axiom" (or more appropriately, the human desire) to improve one's standards of living. It's what unites socialists and libertarians - we both believe our system will improve the human condition and standards of living.
    LOL, it pains me when people say this! But admittedly, it is somewhat true. I just think socialists want to create a better world, whereas we want to let the world improve itself.


    I don't think so. I'd be scared if my system won't work, because there is something wrong with the free-market.

    You have to understand that conflict is inevitable part of being human. The free-market ensures that costs expended in disputes are kept as low as possible. That is reason it would be very difficult to establish a "Caliph," because that one person would have to fight every-single PPA. How would he do that? He'd have to spend lots-and-lots of money on military equipment, and perhaps and army. How long do you think he'll last? The only way to impose your views on everyone in society, is through government coercion. You think that we ought to be punished for "causing" global warming, you then go to government and voila! Carbon tax! Almost every single imposition possible requires the state - the free-market won't allow it because it is costly!
    Hm, I can certainly see the sense in what you're saying; but something is leaving me somewhat unsure. The thing that worries me is not the kind of 'capitalist' who wants to make money and decides to attempt an invasion somewhere, that would be crazy, but the kind of moral crusaders who will do anything to 'save' people from whatever vice they see.

    Moral crusaders care little about money and would be willing to create governments and pay them taxes in order to see their goal through. The Victorians are a good example of this with their attempts at 'teaching Africans civilisation' and abolishing the slave trade.

    Don't you think people should be able to choose what kind of legal systems they would like to deal with other people in?

    Government has a single legal system, a one-size-fits-all, but it isn't efficient (in the sense that people would choose it, in competition with others). I think people tend to think of law as something that is enforced. What if I could prove to you that in anarcho-capitalism arbitration and dispute resolution would be much more efficient. In the sense, that people would be enforcing the rights they have purchased to higher standards and more efficiently? But why do you think government is best to enforce law?
    I don't necessarily think government is good at enforcing law, I just don't think that while the world is at is now, anarchy is feasible or desirable.
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    (Original post by D.R.E)
    Hm, I see why you mentioned the whole idea of 'mind-body dualism' in one of your earlier posts now, it is rather complicated. The word 'ownership' is probably far too loaded and imprecise to describe what I was thinking about, but it's the only one I can think of at the moment! Ownership just seemed to sum up what would have been a rather long-winded explanation for the fact only the individual can really know what their desired utility is and there can be no blanket world view that can be applied objectively. The only aim, in my view, politics can have is to find a system that allows the individual to be able to try and get to their desired end, to the best of their ability or efforts.
    Hey there, I think there are quite a bit of problems with this idea, but it is nonetheless interesting.

    I usually try not to bring this idea of 'self-ownership' up in debates because it's more of a basis for my own personal 'moral code', which in some ways goes into how I view politics, but hopefully not too much!
    I think if you're going to do this, then instead of justifying self-ownership in the normative sense (i.e. I, and only I, ought to own my body and the fruits of that body) is really unnecessary. As Anthony de Jasay said, it is not for me to justify myself but rather the chap with the moral crusade who thinks he has claim to my body (and the fruits of it) ... I am always shocked at how quite a few people don't accept self-ownership in the descriptive sense. They think they're part of a community, and that the community can tell them what to do & so forth.

    Nonetheless, what do you mean by a personal moral code? Just out of interest, in a non-confrontational style.

    I agree completely with this view.
    Awesome.

    Hm, I can certainly see the sense in what you're saying; but something is leaving me somewhat unsure. The thing that worries me is not the kind of 'capitalist' who wants to make money and decides to attempt an invasion somewhere, that would be crazy, but the kind of moral crusaders who will do anything to 'save' people from whatever vice they see.

    Moral crusaders care little about money and would be willing to create governments and pay them taxes in order to see their goal through. The Victorians are a good example of this with their attempts at 'teaching Africans civilisation' and abolishing the slave trade.
    Yes, I know. David Thourou made a great remark, saying that I should be afraid of a guy coming to do me 'good'. I am always shocked by the sheer arrogance of people who not only think they're intelligent and know best (Melancholy, in our discussion earlier, remarked at how bright he is) and how they're going to impose their views on the rest of society. I don't understand why people frown at Born-again Christians who knock on your door, and yet allow such arrogance a free-pass. I would be ashamed of myself if I made any such imposition of anyone in society!

    I am a consequentialist. I used to be a deontologist a while back, and had a massive debate and grilling from someone in the Mises Institute and realised that my position wasn't based on reason at all. I don't oppose government because it is "evil," but rather because I know results are far higher and much better with the free-market. I don't believe in any rights whatsoever, in the sense that you're born with an entitlement. I know a lot of libertarians who feel uneasy about anarchy stem from the idea that people have a "right" to protection and so forth, and it is something people shouldn't "pay" for. But this, in my humble opinion, seems like nonsense. The provision of protection and arbitration is based on the laws of economics - supply and demand, like everything else. The provision of rights is subject to material scarcity. And if central planning fails to provide food & cars, then why do we expect it to produce efficient law and protection! The optimal provision of rights can only be made when there is a free and open market - so people can compete to provide protection in a more efficient way, than government monopoly. Thus, my idea of anarchy isn't to abolish the state immediately in a war or something, but rather to allow competition in the provision of rights (or anything that people want and need), that is conventionally assumed to be the role of the state.

    I think the only system that really has freedom to it's optimal level is anarcho-capitalism. In anarcho-syndicalism the means of production are owned by the workers. There is no such thing as private property in that system. By contrast, in an anarcho-capitalist, you could have communes of workers who own their own factory (and I don't see anything "wrong" with that - I just don't think it'll come about efficiently or sustainable) and other systems, competing with Capitalists. I tend to think that such communes are inefficient simply because they want the benefits without accepting the risks. I wrote about this above to anarchistnutter. But people will be free to own property or to arrange communal ownership over things ...

    I think your main reservation - which I also experienced - is that some people in the anarcho-capitalist system won't be able to afford protection. The idea that government provides protection implies that it does it well. If you consider how much you pay in taxes, and the benefits you get, then I think you could easily point to how inefficient it is. I want to do the maths some day soonish, and I'll let you know what I get. In a nutshell, my view is that people will have more efficient provision of "rights" in the free-market (for the same reason central planning fails to provide 'food'). Once you talk about the free-market, you realise that some people may not be able to afford X. That may be true, and there are solutions there. But before I go there, the free-market allows scarce resources to be used in the most efficient manner, so we'll develop a situation where people get the most efficient protection at the lowest possible price. Do you think government *really* does that? How can the government know if it is efficient? It has no competition. It also doesn't "earn" any money. It's cashflow is determined not by the amount people are willing to pay, but because they have no choice. With regards to the poor, people will still contribute towards charities (with even higher donations - since everything will be cheaper and there are no taxes) and the cost of protection would become increasingly less, so more-and-more people will afford it. But the absolute poorest, they'll have charities, and perhaps a few PPAs will donate some time and energy to help people. You could also have "neighbourhood watch" schemes, so everyone on the street contributes something. Sure there will be a few problems. I paint a simple picture of how it will operate. It will be much more complicated, for sure. But where there are problems, human ingenuity (i.e. the free-market) will resolve it. For instance, if there is a large market of people who, at the moment, can't afford protection, then it is in my interest to arrange a system where I can offer something they're willing to pay for. Human compassion is something that we shouldn't underestimate. The free-market isn't meant to provide everybody with X, but rather the optimal and efficient provision of X. And where some people can't afford it, then human compassion & charity fills the gap.

    Let me know if you have any other reservations .

    I don't necessarily think government is good at enforcing law, I just don't think that while the world is at is now, anarchy is feasible or desirable.
    I think a lot of people tend to view a government as a sign of social progress. And it seems today that we are progressing in many fields (on the TV, this weekend, I heard reports over being able to eliminate the flu all together!) and when someone advances a case of anarchy, then people tend to think we'll devolve.
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    (Original post by Lord Hysteria)
    I am always shocked by the sheer arrogance of people who not only think they're intelligent and know best (Melancholy, in our discussion earlier, remarked at how bright he is) and how they're going to impose their views on the rest of society.
    Hmm, sorry, but how frankly pathetic. You accuse somebody of "thinking that they're so clever", and that person responds, honestly, that they think that they have reasonable grounds for thinking that they are quite clever (as a direct response to such a provocative personal attack), but then proceeds to make an argument rather than dwell in the realm of personal insults. Presumably most university students believe that they're "quite clever", and so I don't see why it's necessary to bring me into your discussion.

    Also, the sheer hypocrisy is quite amusing, since Libertarianism too makes normative claims which they seek to "impose upon people". I despair.

    !
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    (Original post by Lord Hysteria)
    As Anthony de Jasay said, it is not for me to justify myself but rather the chap with the moral crusade who thinks he has claim to my body (and the fruits of it) ... I am always shocked at how quite a few people don't accept self-ownership in the descriptive sense. They think they're part of a community, and that the community can tell them what to do & so forth.
    In what sense are human beings not part of a community? When has there ever been a human being we would recognise, be able to communicate with, be able to have relations which would take on a moral aspect with who was not, ever, a part of a community of humans?
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    (Original post by littleshambles)
    In what sense are human beings not part of a community? When has there ever been a human being we would recognise, be able to communicate with, be able to have relations which would take on a moral aspect with who was not, ever, a part of a community of humans?
    I agree with you entirely. The sentiment expressed by LordHysteria, I feel, is a little too isolationist and far too much like the infamous 'there is no such thing as society' quote although I quite see what you're trying to put across.

    On another note; would just like to get the ball rolling on current affairs at the same time. What do those interested in the thread think of the strikes currently put forward (fire fighters, tube workers and journalists) and about the concept of striking in general.

    ANARCHY__
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    (Original post by Lord Hysteria)
    Nonetheless, what do you mean by a personal moral code? Just out of interest, in a non-confrontational style.
    I'll just respond to this because I think we've more-or-less settled everything else.

    My personal moral code is rather a massive mess at the moment since I recently abandoned the objective morality of religion; so in a lot ways, I'm still finding myself. I think self-ownership in it's descriptive sense is self-evident, and I think that violating this is the biggest moral infringement I could do. I mean, I'm not averse to influencing people towards certain ends, but that is not the same as coercion. Like for example, I became a Vegetarian recently for various reasons, and I don't see anything wrong with debating with someone about why Vegetarianism is the correct stance.

    This is why I think Socialism is actually evil (yes I know, very emotive) because it takes away that 'ownership' through coercive means and strives to destroy the individual in the name of some ridiculous notions like 'fairness' or a 'common purpose'. The people who are proselytising Socialism know that in practice it is inherently coercive and it deeply disturbs when I see people fervently arguing for it.

    I did Politics at AS level last year - which was before I even started identifying myself as a Liberal - and my teacher for that was a Socialist. She used to remark that 'Right-wing political theory is based on a philosophy of fear', which I found rather ironic considering Socialists are the ones who spend most of their time demonising large sectors of society as 'evil' capitalists who are oppressing the workers - as if once you go over a certain income bracket, you suddenly become less human.

    I like when you said this:

    (Original post by Lord Hysteria)
    Human compassion is something we shouldn't underestimate
    because that is essentially what I think Liberalism/Libertarianism is about - respect for the endless capabilities of human compassion and ingenuity while also recognising the possible 'vices'.

    But of course, this is all my personal moral code and I would not usually bring this up in a debate about politics because it has no relevance to it at all.
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    (Original post by littleshambles)
    In what sense are human beings not part of a community? When has there ever been a human being we would recognise, be able to communicate with, be able to have relations which would take on a moral aspect with who was not, ever, a part of a community of humans?

    There is no reason we're not part of a community, at least, in the sense that you mean. I was referring to the concept of self-ownership
 
 
 
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