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    (Original post by Lord Hysteria)
    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
    Moral arguments/systems which construe humans as ontologically individuals, are, I think, flawed in that they fail to consider the deep and integral importance of the community to the formation of the individual. I mean, they may be useful for the practical negotiation of human relationships (in a certain socio-economic context) but treating them as *actually* any more than subsumed in a set of community relations is a bit, well, wrong-headed. In my opinion.
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    (Original post by ANARCHY__)
    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
    That is not what I meant at all. People easily arrange themselves into groups, the family unit, for instance.

    Incidentally, I don't think people understand the real essence of the quote "there is no such thing as society". Thatcher didn't mean it in the literal sense, but rather in the idealogical sense.

    By preferencing "society" above individuals, its suggests that people do not have an individual identity (driven by one's own rational self-interest) or individual responsibilities and so forth. It was believed that every person was obligated to contribute to "society". I think this is what Thatcher was opposed to. She believed that if people were allowed to act in their own interest, then "society" would also benefit, as a consequence of each person's self-interest.

    But no, I am not an isolationist at all. I don't live on some island, but have friends, family, and I am member of several clubs (including the wine and chess club).
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    (Original post by littleshambles)
    Moral arguments/systems which construe humans as ontologically individuals, are, I think, flawed in that they fail to consider the deep and integral importance of the community to the formation of the individual. I mean, they may be useful for the practical negotiation of human relationships (in a certain socio-economic context) but treating them as *actually* any more than subsumed in a set of community relations is a bit, well, wrong-headed. In my opinion.
    What do you mean?

    When it comes to the various things that effected me, in my life, I tend to think of people. I don't arrogate myself (and everything that I am) to "society". I wouldn't say Britain, or St Albans (where I grew up), or my old school made me who I am. But most notably certain people. I think communities become a place for like-minded people to enjoy eachothers' company. I am a member of a chess club, near where I live, and I go there to have a game and chat etc ... Merh, anyway, I am not sure what this has to do with moral arguments ... Perhaps, you could explain what you mean?
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    (Original post by Lord Hysteria)
    What do you mean?

    When it comes to the various things that effected me, in my life, I tend to think of people. I don't arrogate myself (and everything that I am) to "society". I wouldn't say Britain, or St Albans (where I grew up), or my old school made me who I am. But most notably certain people. I think communities become a place for like-minded people to enjoy eachothers' company. I am a member of a chess club, near where I live, and I go there to have a game and chat etc ... Merh, anyway, I am not sure what this has to do with moral arguments ... Perhaps, you could explain what you mean?
    You wouldn't exist if it weren't for other people. You wouldn't be able to speak, much less accumulate capital. Without some kind of "society", there would be no "you" to speak of. Thinking of humans as discretely and absolutely individuals might be useful for justifying certain socioeconomic systems (i.e. a priori property rights or "descriptive self-ownership" [which seems like a nonsense phrase to me] and therefore capitalism, although historically I don't think it's been that relevant), but for actually describing and understanding humanity I think it's pretty inaccurate. Humans are fundamentally social animals. Human society/ies may nowadays have become so "complex" (for lack of a better word) and populous that it is difficult to say that and how "societies" on a large scale affect and produce individuals, but the fact remains that they do, and in the same ways that "simple" (again for lack of a better word) societies do.

    What I'm saying is that this is mostly to do with the set of normative claims you want to make to justify some method of social organisation or other, and less to do with any sort of analytic or objective treatment of moral claims* or even an accurate understanding of the conditions of human existence.

    *I know that from what I can gather, you said that this idea of "descriptive self-ownership" is amoral, yes? I disagree: I think it is based on normative assumptions, or at least descriptive assumptions which reveal a "biased" (again for want of a better word) view of things.
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    (Original post by Lord Hysteria)
    That is not what I meant at all. People easily arrange themselves into groups, the family unit, for instance.

    Incidentally, I don't think people understand the real essence of the quote "there is no such thing as society". Thatcher didn't mean it in the literal sense, but rather in the idealogical sense.

    By preferencing "society" above individuals, its suggests that people do not have an individual identity (driven by one's own rational self-interest) or individual responsibilities and so forth. It was believed that every person was obligated to contribute to "society". I think this is what Thatcher was opposed to. She believed that if people were allowed to act in their own interest, then "society" would also benefit, as a consequence of each person's self-interest.

    But no, I am not an isolationist at all. I don't live on some island, but have friends, family, and I am member of several clubs (including the wine and chess club).
    I see. Well, I'm sorry for misunderstanding what you said and you are quite right, people do arrange themselves into group inherently.

    As for the Thatcher quote, I did understand that it was referring to an ideological standpoint but I disagree with the ideology. I believe the way you live shouldn't be so arbitrary in fact; there will be some instances where you act for the individual and some where you act for society and if balanced correctly, will lead to a better community. The problem comes when people take one extreme or the other. With too much individualism, you lose your sense of community. With too much society, you lose your sense of identity. Both have their flaws but I personally believe that viewing issues in a communal sense is, in the main, often more beneficial. I'm not a believer in trickle down economies or trickle down anything. People do need to be helped and the best way, in my view, is to act in a communal fashion.
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    (Original post by ANARCHY__)
    I see. Well, I'm sorry for misunderstanding what you said and you are quite right, people do arrange themselves into group inherently.

    As for the Thatcher quote, I did understand that it was referring to an ideological standpoint but I disagree with the ideology. I believe the way you live shouldn't be so arbitrary in fact; there will be some instances where you act for the individual and some where you act for society and if balanced correctly, will lead to a better community. The problem comes when people take one extreme or the other. With too much individualism, you lose your sense of community. With too much society, you lose your sense of identity. Both have their flaws but I personally believe that viewing issues in a communal sense is, in the main, often more beneficial. I'm not a believer in trickle down economies or trickle down anything. People do need to be helped and the best way, in my view, is to act in a communal fashion.
    What if acting for the benefit of society is in one's self-interest?

    Anyway, I quite like Adam Smith's invisible hand:

    (Original post by Adam Smith)
    It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages
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    (Original post by littleshambles)
    You wouldn't exist if it weren't for other people. You wouldn't be able to speak, much less accumulate capital. Without some kind of "society", there would be no "you" to speak of. Thinking of humans as discretely and absolutely individuals might be useful for justifying certain socioeconomic systems (i.e. a priori property rights or "descriptive self-ownership" [which seems like a nonsense phrase to me] and therefore capitalism, although historically I don't think it's been that relevant), but for actually describing and understanding humanity I think it's pretty inaccurate. Humans are fundamentally social animals. Human society/ies may nowadays have become so "complex" (for lack of a better word) and populous that it is difficult to say that and how "societies" on a large scale affect and produce individuals, but the fact remains that they do, and in the same ways that "simple" (again for lack of a better word) societies do.

    What I'm saying is that this is mostly to do with the set of normative claims you want to make to justify some method of social organisation or other, and less to do with any sort of analytic or objective treatment of moral claims* or even an accurate understanding of the conditions of human existence.

    *I know that from what I can gather, you said that this idea of "descriptive self-ownership" is amoral, yes? I disagree: I think it is based on normative assumptions, or at least descriptive assumptions which reveal a "biased" (again for want of a better word) view of things.
    Hello littleshambles,

    Thanks for explaining, but I don't think I really get what you mean. Do you mean "society", in the sense of community groups with people sharing passions and interests? Then, of course such a setup is commonplace. Or do you mean, a "society", in the sense, that I owe something (notably through taxation) to. I don't want to attack a strawman, so I'll assume that is your position? For starters, most things of external value are provided in the free-market. I'll explain what I mean exactly in a moment. But I also feel that I "owe" some things to certain people in my life, such as my family. I think they contributed mostly to my internal value system, and providing me with happiness in my childhood years. When my mother gets old and needs my, and my siblings, help, then we'll all help her - just like she took care of us. That settled, onto external values. You say I "wouldn't exist if it weren't for other people", and that is true. My existence is down to my parents, and a God (if you're inclined that way), but not "society". Why should I compensate "society"? Surely, I should be "compensating" my parents and thanking them? Although, this seems little bizarre to me. You can't be thankful for existing, because it implies an appreciation of a state of non-existence - which, of course, we lack the capacity of experiencing. It is true, that "society" contributed towards my speaking, although, my parents surely should take the credit for this - as opposed to "society"? But so what? My parents paid for me to go to nursery. Therefore, they invested in my education. Lastly, you mention "accumulate capital", by which I assume you refer to the idea of the historical accumulation of wealth? People, like Kevin Carson, have argued because yesterday's wealth distribution was not legitimate, neither can be today's. But economic reality is that most capital has been created fairly recently. I was reading a pdf a while back, whereby in 2030, 90% of all capital will have been produced after 2005! Today's wealth distribution is legitimate because capital yields income - which may be invested & about 1/4th of income is invested. Thus, in the long run, capital will have been derived from invested labour income (i.e. deferred consumption). This briefly explains why I think wealth distribution is legitimate, from a purely economic perspective. I have dealt with the moral issue of the historical injustices involving the theft of land, notably through the use of government, but I'll happily go into that, if you like.

    You say that it is "justified" to think of humans as "discretely and absolutely individuals", in Capitalism, but that is not itself very true. Humanity, it seems, are held together by family bonds. I am always reminded of this through the economic observation that parents often under-consume, in order to save up capital for the benefit of their children. This, in my view, is perfectly inline with the notion of "self-interest" and yet humans aren't "discretely and absolutely individuals". I also think humans are social animals, a trait we carry from our primate ancestors. But with respect, I don't understand what you're trying to say with all of this? Either way, I don't understand how you derived the conclusion that I have a normative view of how society ought to be arranged?! I admit that, until a few months ago, I used to. My views on variety of other philosophical issues have also changed. I suppose at the heart of everything is the only normative position I seem hold - namely, that humanity ought to tend towards an increase in human happiness, and that that is chiefly brought about through an improvement in the standards of living of humans. I haven't really given that that much thought. I just accept it as some axiom.

    Lastly, I do think that the concept of "descriptive self-ownership" is amoral. I don't think that the concept that "one's will directs one's body" conveys a moral position. I think it is a position you either accept as an "axiom," or you don't.
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    I have limited PM space, and I am not wasting it on a scumbag zionist! I hope you don't mind me posting our conversation. I'll delete if you want.

    (Original post by JakePearson)
    I should have just responded to this yesterday because I didn't eventually get to sleep until 0230 hours. I agree with what you've said here - as the government is a monopoly if we want to get rid of evil dicators the government is the only option. So what would you suggest happen in a fully free market? Private Dictator Elimination Agencies? Seem like a good idea, although I'm sceptical about giving organisations the power when to decide force is necessary and how much. The illustrious Rand said something like that once. So you're a consequentialist anarcho-capitalist? It's strange because most an-caps are so because of the ultimate application of self-ownership and the NAP. In fact, I think state control over the courts etc. gives more liberty as a consequence than market control, but that's just my view.
    In a free-market, it is impossible for a Saddam to arise. At least, that I can seriously think of. You see coercion is costly, and the free-market tends towards a reduction in costs. So, when disputes arise, people (in the free-market) are driven, through their self-interests, to deal in peaceful ways. Unless, it involves zionist f*ers. This won't be perfect and there will be moments when there are violent conflicts. This isn't a fault of the market, but humans. Let's assume we have an anarcho-capitalist (AC) system. Saddam would have to spend money buying all the Private protection agencies (PPAs), arbitrators, insurance companies etc ... that involves a lot of money. Let's assume he already has a lot of money, he can only sustain this "business" if e is able to pay of all PPAs. Let's deal with PPAs for simplicity. Remember the PPA would expect to be paid off to a sum greater than that which they can make in the free-market with normal people. But eventually his money is going to run out. The goods he is selling (from where he managed to get all that money) would increase in price, to compensate the high charges. The nature of the free-market is that tends towards a system of the best product for the cheapest price, and therefore someone will undercut him. Either that, or they'll just not do business with him - because they realise what he is up to.

    So dictators are a complete creation of the state. When they do arise, there is nothing the "free-market" can do, because there is a government there, propping him up. And nor should it. Wars are generally costly, and involve wasting scarce resources that could have been more useful elsewhere. The only solution is the use of state power to fight the original state problem. Therefore, I am pro-Iraq war on the grounds that (1) Saddam Hussein needed to be removed and (2) the only solution available involved the government. Being pro-Iraq war, in my view, doesn't undermine the free-market. I think there is one problem I have come across, in the mises institute, which challenges deontologists. How do you justify the use of force and coercion to get a person to fight in the war? My response would largely be "well, you've signed up for the marines ... what did you expect", but also, weighing up the pros-and-cons. My opposition to the use of force and coercion is that they produce poor results, but in this case, it meant the removal of a state cancer.

    No. But then I'm a deontologist. Stealing is wrong and people have self ownership/ownership of their voluntarilly acquired goods. Therefore removing Bob's gun without his permission is theft and wrong, and sod the consequences. Of course I'd inform Bob of why it would be damn handy if he gave me his gun. And your argument is a good case for why everyone should be allowed to carry guns. :awesome:
    With respect, I think this is silly. I would probably take the gun (without the consent of Bob), and shoot the physco. Mostly, from weighing up the pros-and-cons. But also, if Bob choose to sue me, then I could ask everybody whom I saved to contribute a fiver. So, in this way, the negative externality is cancelled-out. It is clear that you think Bob had a natural rights to liberty. The problem, in my humble opinion, is not the question of where this right comes from, but rather how it transposes to reality. Rights can only really exist, if they are enforced, and their enforcement is limited by material scarcity. Thus, I think right are subject to the economic laws of supply and demand.

    I have explained quite a bit of my thinking in the last few posts, with D.R.E and anarchistnutter.
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    AnarchistNutter,

    Thanks for responding. Sorry about the delay, but we seem to discuss so many topics. I am quite enjoying it though. Although, I have questions for you - more trying to understand Syndicalism.

    But, just out of interest, what is the basis of your anarchism against the state?

    (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
    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.
    It always interests me how most people strive for common goals. Both of us, for instance, desire a world where people would be happier. That, I think, is the basis of my anarcho-capitalism.

    But, I can relate to your criticisms. I had those reservations regarding the poorest in society & how they could survive in AC (anarcho-capitalism). I genuinely wouldn't support AC, if I felt that they'd become victims and would be marginalised. But with respect to the poorest, I have two comments: (1) they'd be increasingly fewer of them and (2) private charities would assume the role, that we have arrogated to the state, in dealing with the poorest. I suspect you'll disagree, but for what it is worth, I'll paint you a picture of what I, in my humble opinion (I don't want to sound arrogant), think will happen. Firstly, the free-market moves towards an improvement in the standards of living of people. Not only does it free man from having to work really hard (we have machines to do most back-breaking work), but also ensures the use of resources in society most efficiently. Instead of cooking 10 cakes, a baker would have the incentive of cooking 20 cakes in a given time. That conserves scarce resources on the planet, and means consumers can pay less-and-less for a cake. So, this deals with the first point - there will be fewer poor people (by poor, I mean abject poverty). My second point comes mostly from what I have observed from my own experience in working at Oxfam books every 2 weeks. In a nutshell, private charities are *much* more efficient at helping the poorest. If you compare how much money goes into the government for the purpose of welfare distribution, and give it an efficiency rating, as a percentage, then you'll see how the private charities are so much more effective at *actually* helping people escape poverty. I briefly explained this here recently. It probably won't change your mind, but you can see why I don't feel AC is, at all, disturbing. But I think it would lift society out of poverty, almost entirely.

    I have seen the minimum wage as a regressive government tactic to keep the poor poor. As I said earlier, my anarcho-capitalism (or libertarianism) stems from the belief that standards of living humanity enjoy would improve for all. The minimum wage denies the poorest, most unskilled, most uneducated and most inexperienced the opportunity to compete with the only weapon they have - being able to work at lower wages. Sure, he might start off at a low wage but he just got his ticket out of poverty. Now, it's only a question of time till he becomes efficient and more productive. It is in his economic self-interest to do so, and his employer's to reward such productivity. Thus, we have a situation where employer and employee work together to improve their lives. But this opportunity is denied to those who most need it. I think this is one of the reasons why I dislike government. If you remember in the monarchy thread, I said that I'd much rather a monarch than an elected politician. An elected politician brings in policies that improve the lives of 51% of the voters. Which portion of society, then, get to have what they want. The answer is the middle classes. The poorest are poor because of their economic inactivity which relates to their political inactivity. They won't realise that the minimum wage, far from helping them, keeps them poor and prevents them competing with the middle classes. What about the rich? Well, the rich are a bunch of tosers who we can take money from! A government, by definition, needs the consent of the 51% majority. The rich, like the poor, are a small minority. Their interests are dismissed, in favour of the middle classes. That is why, almost every single economic study, has conclusively shown that government intervention, such as rent regulation and subsidised higher education, benefit the middle-class at the expense of the poorest. I'd much rather a monarch who has no such interest, and will enact laws to benefit all, since they have no interest to please the majority over anyone else and won't award disproportionate power to special interests groups.

    Lastly, you refer to risk-taking. I can appreciate what you mean. I would, also, much rather a system where people didn't have to suffer the negative consequences of risk-taking. Unfortunately, due to the scarcity of resources we have to take risks. We take a risk crossing the road, since our body is scarce. The first principle is to accept risk as a feature of our world. It is not because of Capitalism or socialism, but reality. Secondly, it is to reward those who took risks and not "prop-up" those who lose. That sounds harsh, but let's consider the secondary consequences. If we have an economic system where the winners are forced to spread the winnings amongst the losers, then very few people would choose to engage in the risk altogether. Where is the incentive to take any risk, if you'll always end-up where you started? Remember that both parties went into the risk, knowing the consequences. In the long-run, there will be some losers but there will be amazing winners. And what they have to offer the world, would driven humanity a step-away from poverty. People, like Henry Ford, revoluntionised the car-industry, and allowed poor people to finally be able to afford a car! Milon Friedman once said: "The economic race should not be arranged so that everyone ends up at the finish line at the same time, but so that everyone starts at the same time."

    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.
    Ok. Here is a scenario. How do you start-up a business? Someone has to (1) underconsume and (2) take a risk? Do you remember the example I gave about my grandfather? Well, he carried the risk (and not the employees), since they got their salaries regardless of what happens. He would be the one to suffer. But also, my grandfather had to borrow capital to start-up the business. Who is going to underconsume, if it is owned by "society"? Is it everyone? Do they all put something into a pot, and that accumulates? What happens if the venture fails?

    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.
    Could you explain to me how you "democratically decide upon the distribution of goods and services based upon labour"?

    So, factory A makes 100 chocolate bars, do they make elections? Who decides - the workers? What about a guy who didn't want to work @ the factory? He has nothing? Does each person's entitlement to x depend on how many hours he works?

    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.
    Yeap. I also dislike corporatism. They're an extension of the state, operating under the veil of the free-market.

    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.
    It is because resources are finite that, in my humble opinion, they should operate under the economic laws of supply and demand. They ensure an efficient use of those scarce resources, and as little wastage as possible. I also described above how the functioning of Capitalism is to spread those scarce resources to as many people as possible.

    Thanks. I'll go through it later =].

    Well, I think it means people are being rewarded for accumulation of capital rather than labour.
    Yeah, but that is good. The accumulation of capital is the reason you, and I, don't have to work on the fields 24 hours-a-day! The accumulation of capital frees man to spend more time doing other, more pleasurable, pursuits - like posting on TSR! In the short-term, the accumulation of capital allows, someone like my grandfather, to start-up his business and provide people with something of value. Wouldn't you rather have capital working, than humans?

    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.
    "renewable sources of energy" ~ awesome! But doesn't that require *gasp* capital ?

    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?
    Two questions:

    (1) What about the sacrifice the doctor undertook in spending 6+ years in medical school? Why would he go to uni, have a massive debt, if he'll get paid the same rate as a cleaner? He'd just go to cleaner's school!

    (2) Let's suppose there is a shortage of doctors one day in Syndicalism, which isn't hard to imagine , then what signal would be sent to encourage more people to "fill the gap"? Supply and demand curve ensures that resources, including labour, are used most efficiently in the market place. What signals are there going to be, that we need more doctors, or whatever?

    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.
    I think I discussed this earlier in the thread. But it's such a big subject that I'd have to spend an hour, breaking this topic to pieces to discussing it. Too tired. Lol. Perhaps another time.

    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).
    PPA = Private Protection Agency

    Lol. What is your obsession with Saudi Arabian oil? Did you lose shares?

    I think you're describing protection, as it is, with the state. They're the only people who do anything, and still be paid. Remember this is the free-market, the moment *any* firm starts using violence, then costs go up. If costs increase, then prices they charge also increase. If that happens, a different guy will come in and undercut them. He'll apply more sensible peaceful policies. As I said in a different thread to you, the free-market tends to anti-war and violent policies. Only states can afford to wage wars. The free-market allocates optimal resources to demand most efficiently. Wars are a complete waste of resources.

    Ok, but how does your PPA "ask them to compensate [you]"? Violence? Persuasive language? A financial agreement?
    They'll probably do it in the cheapest way. My PPA will phone up the other one, and say "hey, erm, Lord Hysteria is pissed off. You destroyed his garden ... blah blah". My PPA will know the other guy very very well, since they'll be dealing with each other all the time, so they'll arrange a system that meets their demands in the most cost-effective way.

    From this point onwards, you better not say a PPA will wage war or use violence. This is the free-market.

    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?
    In the free-market, a business serves as many customers as possible. It can't really afford a policy of enforcing only a certain bunch of consumers. That is the reason why banks and sainsburies don't ban black people from going into their outlets. If that happens, then a different PPA will take up that niche, and they'll lose money. Moreover, most PPAs will tend towards a standardisation in the market. So although, there will be some differences (to suit certain customers), most will have a similar setup. For the same reason, you don't get triangular ATM cards. Since society frowns upon child molestation, then a PPA knows that having such a policy would be as economically dangerous, as banning black people.

    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).
    Look. You have to get the idea that this is not the state of a corporatist company - but the free-market. They are the only people who can afford to do whatever, no matter how costly, and still be "paid". The moment a PPA wages war, it will have higher costs, and thus higher prices. It won't survive long.

    With regards to national crisis, could you give an example?
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    (Original post by Lord Hysteria)
    What if acting for the benefit of society is in one's self-interest?

    Anyway, I quite like Adam Smith's invisible hand:

    (Original post by Adam Smith)
    It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages
    Interesting point you pose there and, to me, the two are intertwined. By acting for the good of society, you inherently improve your own lifestyle whilst by acting for the good of oneself, you inherently improve society. However, as I've said, the problem lies with both; unless you're okay with it, acting solely for the good of society leads to a lack of lifestyle and acting solely for oneself leads to a lack of society; both of which you, on average, need to function as a human being. Sure, Adam Smith is making a valid point but I think he takes it too far in terms of individual self-interest (if I'm reading this correctly) and so that's where I'd break off from his point of view.
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    It is the opposite, surely?

    I go to a chess club purely out of my own self-interest. I like some of the people, we have a drink and have a few games. Other members also go out of their own self-interests. So the community is born, not from sacrificing for the "better" of society, but from everyone deciding it was in his interest. Zoom out, and society at-large also works by the same system. All kinds of people coming together, trading and exchanging stuff in order to improve their lives, also improve society, as a whole. Suppose we could freeze time, and zoom into one exchange. Suppose that I was going to exchange a pen for an apple with you. You decided to do this because you valued my pen more than the apple, and vice-versa with me. So, we have two people co-operating out of nothing other than their own self-interest, and, in doing so, improve society as a whole. That is why, I am inclined to think, profit is a virtue.
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    (Original post by Lord Hysteria)
    It is the opposite, surely?

    I go to a chess club purely out of my own self-interest. I like some of the people, we have a drink and have a few games. Other members also go out of their own self-interests. So the community is born, not from sacrificing for the "better" of society, but from everyone deciding it was in his interest. Zoom out, and society at-large also works by the same system. All kinds of people coming together, trading and exchanging stuff in order to improve their lives, also improve society, as a whole. Suppose we could freeze time, and zoom into one exchange. Suppose that I was going to exchange a pen for an apple with you. You decided to do this because you valued my pen more than the apple, and vice-versa with me. So, we have two people co-operating out of nothing other than their own self-interest, and, in doing so, improve society as a whole. That is why, I am inclined to think, profit is a virtue.
    Sorry. I misunderstood you once more (this is becoming a bad habit, heh). So yes, trade agreements and the like, as well as social cohesion is borne solely out of self interest and I do agree with this. It should not be the case that one is forced into or obliged to stay with a particular group for any reason. What I mean to say is that once within the group, then such parameters as I was speaking of apply. So let's say I'm a builder and I go to a bakery and trade a week's worth of food for let's say a double glazed window in the shop. Out of self interest we both do the deal but it inherently benefits society too because the builder is now well fed and can help others and the baker has a good environment to provide food for everyone to trade in. However, if we take it to mean that the loaf is simply to be shared around the community, then the builder becomes unhealthy. Similarly, if the builder's skills are kept only to those who can pay or trade with him, you end up with an unfair society with people resenting others for no real need. The commune would provide and help each other wherever assistance is needed whilst at the same time, improving one's own lifestyle for the development of one's own person.
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    (Original post by Lord Hysteria)
    I have limited PM space, and I am not wasting it on a scumbag zionist! I hope you don't mind me posting our conversation. I'll delete if you want.



    In a free-market, it is impossible for a Saddam to arise. At least, that I can seriously think of. You see coercion is costly, and the free-market tends towards a reduction in costs. So, when disputes arise, people (in the free-market) are driven, through their self-interests, to deal in peaceful ways. Unless, it involves zionist f*ers. This won't be perfect and there will be moments when there are violent conflicts. This isn't a fault of the market, but humans. Let's assume we have an anarcho-capitalist (AC) system. Saddam would have to spend money buying all the Private protection agencies (PPAs), arbitrators, insurance companies etc ... that involves a lot of money. Let's assume he already has a lot of money, he can only sustain this "business" if e is able to pay of all PPAs. Let's deal with PPAs for simplicity. Remember the PPA would expect to be paid off to a sum greater than that which they can make in the free-market with normal people. But eventually his money is going to run out. The goods he is selling (from where he managed to get all that money) would increase in price, to compensate the high charges. The nature of the free-market is that tends towards a system of the best product for the cheapest price, and therefore someone will undercut him. Either that, or they'll just not do business with him - because they realise what he is up to.

    So dictators are a complete creation of the state. When they do arise, there is nothing the "free-market" can do, because there is a government there, propping him up. And nor should it. Wars are generally costly, and involve wasting scarce resources that could have been more useful elsewhere. The only solution is the use of state power to fight the original state problem. Therefore, I am pro-Iraq war on the grounds that (1) Saddam Hussein needed to be removed and (2) the only solution available involved the government. Being pro-Iraq war, in my view, doesn't undermine the free-market. I think there is one problem I have come across, in the mises institute, which challenges deontologists. How do you justify the use of force and coercion to get a person to fight in the war? My response would largely be "well, you've signed up for the marines ... what did you expect", but also, weighing up the pros-and-cons. My opposition to the use of force and coercion is that they produce poor results, but in this case, it meant the removal of a state cancer.
    I understand. I don't think we disagreed on tihs one much, although I don't think you need force and coercion to get people to fight in wars: they can be fought withough conscription.

    With respect, I think this is silly. I would probably take the gun (without the consent of Bob), and shoot the physco. Mostly, from weighing up the pros-and-cons. But also, if Bob choose to sue me, then I could ask everybody whom I saved to contribute a fiver. So, in this way, the negative externality is cancelled-out. It is clear that you think Bob had a natural rights to liberty. The problem, in my humble opinion, is not the question of where this right comes from, but rather how it transposes to reality. Rights can only really exist, if they are enforced, and their enforcement is limited by material scarcity. Thus, I think right are subject to the economic laws of supply and demand.
    I don't agree. Whilst I think your Bob-and-his-gun argument portrayed deontological opinion on property rights as almost irrational in emergency situations, I think there is no point in defending property rights if you are not going to apply them universally and accept that they are final. I also think the argument that all actions should be weighed up in terms of what has more 'utility' seems silly. For example, let's say it was proven that all ginger people (say, 5% of the population) were hated by the other 95%, and that killing all ginger people would give more utility to the majority of the population, what defence other than a natural-rights argument would you have to say that situation was wrong? I don't really get the last sentence - I don't think that rights are subject to anything. They are simply there.
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    (Original post by ANARCHY__)
    Sorry. I misunderstood you once more (this is becoming a bad habit, heh). So yes, trade agreements and the like, as well as social cohesion is borne solely out of self interest and I do agree with this. It should not be the case that one is forced into or obliged to stay with a particular group for any reason. What I mean to say is that once within the group, then such parameters as I was speaking of apply. So let's say I'm a builder and I go to a bakery and trade a week's worth of food for let's say a double glazed window in the shop. Out of self interest we both do the deal but it inherently benefits society too because the builder is now well fed and can help others and the baker has a good environment to provide food for everyone to trade in. However, if we take it to mean that the loaf is simply to be shared around the community, then the builder becomes unhealthy. Similarly, if the builder's skills are kept only to those who can pay or trade with him, you end up with an unfair society with people resenting others for no real need. The commune would provide and help each other wherever assistance is needed whilst at the same time, improving one's own lifestyle for the development of one's own person.
    Not at all. I am quite liking this thread. =]

    I have no objections to most of this post. If both the baker and builder are happy with such an arrangement, then that is fine. But why should the builder go all the way to some guy's home, and spent time and money repairing his shed, for instance, only to get no compensation. Then, what is the incentive in becoming a builder? That builder has to earn a living too.

    It is unfair that there will always be "haves" and "havenots", but that is an observation of reality and the scarcity of resources. The question becomes which system reduces the amount of "havenots" in a society, as much as possible. And the answer is Capitalism. The free-market tends to a system of the most efficient and optimal use of scarce resources. It stretches those resources to as many people as possible. A system where people don't benefit, in terms of accumulating such resources, only increases the "havenots". The expend time and energy (scarce resources in themselves), and get nothing.
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    (Original post by JakePearson)
    I don't agree. Whilst I think your Bob-and-his-gun argument portrayed deontological opinion on property rights as almost irrational in emergency situations, I think there is no point in defending property rights if you are not going to apply them universally and accept that they are final. I also think the argument that all actions should be weighed up in terms of what has more 'utility' seems silly. For example, let's say it was proven that all ginger people (say, 5% of the population) were hated by the other 95%, and that killing all ginger people would give more utility to the majority of the population, what defence other than a natural-rights argument would you have to say that situation was wrong? I don't really get the last sentence - I don't think that rights are subject to anything. They are simply there.
    I deliberately used an emergency situation because it illustrates my point. Rights need to be transfered from theory to reality, in order for it to have any meaning. I like using "extreme" example because it is a way of testing ideas. In my example of Bob, the idea of rights (it exists is theory) is simply inapplicable in that situation (i.e. reality). I wouldn't hesitate to steal the gun and shoot the mad-man. Material scarcity justifies private property. Since such rights involve material goods to be enforced, they can't be universal. In order to explain my views on rights, perhaps you could tell me what you mean by "rights"? I am assuming the right to life, liberty and property? Yes? Do you accept the "right to medical care" and so forth?

    If you rather, we could revert back to PMing?
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    (Original post by Lord Hysteria)
    Not at all. I am quite liking this thread. =]

    I have no objections to most of this post. If both the baker and builder are happy with such an arrangement, then that is fine. But why should the builder go all the way to some guy's home, and spent time and money repairing his shed, for instance, only to get no compensation. Then, what is the incentive in becoming a builder? That builder has to earn a living too.

    It is unfair that there will always be "haves" and "havenots", but that is an observation of reality and the scarcity of resources. The question becomes which system reduces the amount of "havenots" in a society, as much as possible. And the answer is Capitalism. The free-market tends to a system of the most efficient and optimal use of scarce resources. It stretches those resources to as many people as possible. A system where people don't benefit, in terms of accumulating such resources, only increases the "havenots". The expend time and energy (scarce resources in themselves), and get nothing.
    Ah well, you see if the guy repairs someone's shed out of goodwill, it creates a better environment for the whole community. For example, if everyone did these good deeds, then eventually, you'd lose this whole "you do something for me, I'll do something for you" mentality. People would just naturally work to fulfil their own and society's needs.

    Of course, this is an unfair system and therefore, what one must do is look at which system will remove the most havenots, not in its purest form (where I think Capitalism may have a stronger argument) but where the situation is watered down by the imperfections of life. This, I feel, is most likely to occur in an anarchist society. The free market, in my view, is a different matter. I wouldn't say it's a explicit facet of Capitalism nor does it hold back anarchy but I guess that's another discussion for later.

    Just out of interest; what do people think on the student riots which have occurred?
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    (Original post by Lord Hysteria)
    I deliberately used an emergency situation because it illustrates my point. Rights need to be transfered from theory to reality, in order for it to have any meaning. I like using "extreme" example because it is a way of testing ideas. In my example of Bob, the idea of rights (it exists is theory) is simply inapplicable in that situation (i.e. reality). I wouldn't hesitate to steal the gun and shoot the mad-man. Material scarcity justifies private property. Since such rights involve material goods to be enforced, they can't be universal. In order to explain my views on rights, perhaps you could tell me what you mean by "rights"? I am assuming the right to life, liberty and property? Yes? Do you accept the "right to medical care" and so forth?
    Why is the idea of rights inapplicable in that situation? Because it leads to an outcome that you personally dislike? What I mean by "rights" is a negative duty on every individual not to do certain things - not to kill, steal or interfere with the property or lives of others. I do not believe in the right to medical care, education or clean water because these impose a duty of every individual to do a certain thing (pay tax) and must be backed up by the threat and use of coercion on the part of government. Healthcare is not a right because any right that necessitates the violation of the rights of others cannot be a right.

    If you rather, we could revert back to PMing?
    No no, I don't mind here.
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    (Original post by JakePearson)
    No no, I don't mind here.
    Yes yes, he does. Double negative!
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    Yes yes, he does. Double negative!
    Damn, you caught me!
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    (Original post by JakePearson)
    Why is the idea of rights inapplicable in that situation? Because it leads to an outcome that you personally dislike? What I mean by "rights" is a negative duty on every individual not to do certain things - not to kill, steal or interfere with the property or lives of others. I do not believe in the right to medical care, education or clean water because these impose a duty of every individual to do a certain thing (pay tax) and must be backed up by the threat and use of coercion on the part of government. Healthcare is not a right because any right that necessitates the violation of the rights of others cannot be a right.
    When it comes to Bob and the theft of his gun, there is no answer in terms of natural rights. If you allow the Mr Psycho to shoot children in a playground, you would have killed those children through an omission. But, in order to prevent such a catastrophe, you'd have to steal Bobs gun. The idea of natural rights exists in theory, but the difficulty, in my opinion, involves those rights existing in reality. By rights we mean the unarguable "right" all humans possess at any time, and any place. The difficult here is that these "rights" need to be enforced, in order to have any meaning. In order to prevent a theft from Bob, he'll need to employ protection and so forth. So the enforcement of these rights in reality requires scarce material goods to be used.

    I used to be deontologist until a few months ago. I now see "rights" as the application of material goods achieved through action. Therefore, they are subject to economic laws of supply and demand. Thus, rights can't be universal and timeless (in reality). It depends on the supply of protection and the limits on the scarce material available at a given time and place. This is the image people have when the state is removed. I suspect minarchists are inclined to allow the state to exist to allow certain "universal" goods, otherwise they'll allow economic laws to determine supply of rights. I am a different sort of anarchist. I would argue for a slow privatisation of everything the state does - one by one. In other words, opening up competition with the state. Since, the free-market wil tend towards an optimal and efficient supply of rights, it will do a much better job than central planning. Thus, resources that are needed for the supply of rights and they will tend to be used more efficiently, so standards improve and more-and-more people will be able to afford protection. So, my position is that the provision of "rights" will be much better in the free-market, for the same reason the production of other goods is more efficient in the free-market. Moreover, when the state makes a declaration to supply some rights to its citizens, it has to (1) consume resources and (2) centrally plan the use of those resources, in a given area, to that effect.

    The distinction between negative and positive rights fails to take into account the resources required for the prohibition of action that negative rights entail. If a state proclaims the right to life, then it has a duty of preventing threats to your life. Thus, the state is made to centrally plan the supply of certain goods - namely, police, armies, courts and jails and so forth. The law of marginal utility allows more and more resources to be invested to produce even more police and secure "rights". Out of which, police powers are increased. At some stage, though, the state will have to decide to resources to protect rights, or as a different material good. Therefore, I think "rights" are not universal but are subject to supply and demand, as any other economic good. As a consequence, they must be economized, in terms of their relative scarcity. Also, where do "rights" come from - in the theoretical sense? Not God, since he doesn't intervene to prevent children dying from cancer. It has to come supply and demand of resources.
 
 
 
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