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Thread: Anarchy.

  1. #41
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    Re: Anarchy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Martyr View Post
    They may provide the standard, but they fail to uphold it. I have no way of proving, nor should I have to, how corrupt the justice system is. The system has so many loopholes and mistakes that anyone with enough influence can get away with crimes continuously.
    You certainly do not have to prove there is occassional corruption in our government. You do however, have to prove it is so bad as to warrant dismantling it and leaving a country of close to a billion people with nothing but anarchy to defend them.

    How exactly do they fail to uphold their standard?

    I agree, and the demand for this would favor reputable colleges that are able to compete without government aid, which also results in cheaper tuition costs. Why bother to strive for excellence if the government will support you either way?
    It would demand reputable colleges, but that does not mean ones who could compete without government aid. So long as the college had qualified staff and were teaching academically valid material, I do not see why the business would care if the college were government funded or not.

    Thats right, a lot of parents will try to force their children to learn, but good schools will refuse service to students who harm the school's learning environment. Failure to do so will most likely result in reduced sales, which will force students to either not pick on others or pick a lesser school that allows this.
    What exactly does "harming a school's learning environment" mean? If it means preventing the majority of students from learning, then you may be right.

    They already do. If they don't, they will lose reputation which will result in more than the reduced sales from kicking the bullies out. They would however, try to change the bullies before kicking them out unless they have a zero tolerance rule.
    That is not necessarily true. Isolated cases of bullying rarely grab any type of public attention unless they are severe.

    Public education has failed miserably to deal with these bullies. They have no reason to try and be better because the government will always be their to save them when they fail. Walk into any school in a bad neighborhood and you will see the same - students who pick on other students and teachers who try not to notice.
    You need to support these statements. While there is no doubt in my mind that there are bad schools and bad teachers out there, you have no proof that this statement deserves to be applied to all, or even most public schools. I have been a teacher for three years and one of the schools I worked in was located in the poor section of Charleston, South Carolina and I never saw a teacher simply ignore bullying.

    In Anarchy people would not be taxed to death, so the mean amount of money everyone owns would be higher. This would make donating not seem like such a burden, and people who like these type of societies have a tendency to be very involved with their community.
    Are you saying that people do not donate to charities because they do not have enough money, or that they do not donate as much?

    In the old days, orphans were very rare because mothers who decided to abandom them would be treated as black sheep for making such an inmoral decision. Anarchy would be like the old days with new technology.
    Exactly what "old days" are you talking about?

  2. #42
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    Re: Anarchy.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Well, I'm using bread as an example. You can substitute anything else you want as "an example" and my point is the same.

    And I see no reason to believe that no matter what, no one will buy bread. If you jack the price up high enough, I could see most people not buying bread but then there will be people rich enough to afford it so bread goes from being a staple to a luxury.

    And would you consider that a preferable society to what we have now? A society where bread goes from being one of the most common foods there is (and for our cultural history it's a consistent staple) to a luxury that only the elite consume?
    Mican, you're still doing a LOT of silly assuming here. You can't tell me that the Bread Company is going to control ALL the resources used to make bread, so that people aren't even capable of making their own in the absence of commercially owned bread. So only the richest people could afford commercial bread, but bread was always a common good, even when people DID make it themselves. The same thing occurs today, and more often than it has at any other time in my life. People are sick of paying outrageous prices for goods, they make their own... They grow gardens and livestock, collect water from natural sources, employ alternative means of generating energy... These people call themselves homesteaders, and they are far more common than I'm sure you'd think. There's no reason the same couldn't apply in a stateless society.

    What is inherently immoral about a company charging what their customers are willing to pay for their products??
    "And that, my lord, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped." ~ Monty Python


  3. #43
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    Re: Anarchy.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Mican, you're still doing a LOT of silly assuming here. You can't tell me that the Bread Company is going to control ALL the resources used to make bread, so that people aren't even capable of making their own in the absence of commercially owned bread. So only the richest people could afford commercial bread, but bread was always a common good, even when people DID make it themselves. The same thing occurs today, and more often than it has at any other time in my life. People are sick of paying outrageous prices for goods, they make their own... They grow gardens and livestock, collect water from natural sources, employ alternative means of generating energy... These people call themselves homesteaders, and they are far more common than I'm sure you'd think. There's no reason the same couldn't apply in a stateless society.

    What is inherently immoral about a company charging what their customers are willing to pay for their products??
    But LP, we KNOW that monopolies are a serious issue in today's free market economy. We KNOW that governments often need to get involved and implement anti-trust laws to prevent businesses from acting in an anti-competitive manner. It's not an isolated thing. It's been a KNOWN FACT all over the world and throughout the years.
    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world" - Richard Dawkins

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  4. #44
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    Re: Anarchy.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    You can't tell me that the Bread Company is going to control ALL the resources used to make bread, so that people aren't even capable of making their own in the absence of commercially owned bread. So only the richest people could afford commercial bread, but bread was always a common good, even when people DID make it themselves. The same thing occurs today, and more often than it has at any other time in my life. People are sick of paying outrageous prices for goods, they make their own... They grow gardens and livestock, collect water from natural sources, employ alternative means of generating energy... These people call themselves homesteaders, and they are far more common than I'm sure you'd think. There's no reason the same couldn't apply in a stateless society.
    This debate is not about bread. I'm using bread as an example. I could substitute it with oil, pet food, oranges, cars, shampoo, etc. and my point is the same.

    Without regulation that prohibit monopolies (regulations that will not exist in a monopoly), there's pretty much nothing stopping one company from monopolizing the selling of any particular product.

    And yes, people can bake their own bread. So now we have a society where if you don't bake your own bread or can't afford to pay what The Bread Company chooses to charge, then you don't get bread.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    What is inherently immoral about a company charging what their customers are willing to pay for their products??
    I don't claim that monopolies are inherently immoral. I claim that competition is better than monopolies for the common people. And since anarchy will result in more monopolies, that is a reason why anarchy is not a preferable system to a system that sets regulations so that industry cannot create monopolies.

  5. #45
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    Re: Anarchy.

    Say then everyone is subsistent or live in small communities where large corporations won't take over. I think that this situation is probably the one best fitted for an anarchist government.

    On a side note though, studies show that small communities tend to have the least health problems.
    http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/01/2....html?hpt=Sbin
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  6. #46
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    Re: Anarchy.

    Quote Originally Posted by angryhippo View Post
    Say then everyone is subsistent or live in small communities where large corporations won't take over. I think that this situation is probably the one best fitted for an anarchist government.

    On a side note though, studies show that small communities tend to have the least health problems.
    http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/01/2....html?hpt=Sbin
    The shutting down of big buisness would be the shutting down of modern technology. Your electricity is supplied by big buisnesses, small buisnesses for limited communities could not make a profit on a minor local scale. Research and Devlopment around the world (or at least where anarchism was) would shut down without scientist collaboration.

    Is the loss of modern society (including incidentally pharamecutical companies [all large corporations that again could not make a profit on a strictly local scale] therefore most of modern medicine as well. It certainely looks like we'd need to be on average healthier) really worth an anarchist state?
    -=]Eliotitus[=-
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  7. #47
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    Re: Anarchy.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    This debate is not about bread. I'm using bread as an example. I could substitute it with oil, pet food, oranges, cars, shampoo, etc. and my point is the same.
    And my rebuttals can be extrapolated to every other industry as well.

    Without regulation that prohibit monopolies (regulations that will not exist in a monopoly), there's pretty much nothing stopping one company from monopolizing the selling of any particular product.
    So you're saying, from what I'm reading here, that there's no way that individuals could produce, even on a small scale, for profit, if a bigger company existed? I'm just curious. Is there some violence or threat of violence which prevents it somehow?

    And yes, people can bake their own bread. So now we have a society where if you don't bake your own bread or can't afford to pay what The Bread Company chooses to charge, then you don't get bread.
    ...in the case of bread, individuals raised the ingredients to make bread long before bread was sold commercially, so this doesn't seem like that big of a deal. In the case of other modern amenities, people can either live without, acquire by trade, or sell to neighbors for a small profit until he can afford that which he really wants.

    I don't claim that monopolies are inherently immoral. I claim that competition is better than monopolies for the common people. And since anarchy will result in more monopolies, that is a reason why anarchy is not a preferable system to a system that sets regulations so that industry cannot create monopolies.
    Does this apply to things like... police and court systems?

    Also, I would like you to show me where an absence of coercive state will necessarily result in a monopoly. It might make it easier to set one up, but there are monopolies all around us, specifically in the areas of "law enforcement." That's not an issue, is it? Monopolies are not necessarily bad, and if they are bad, people either take responsibility and not buy from them so they are forced out of their communities, or they accept that they allowed them in the first place and live with it. Absent some aggressive force, there is nothing but nature and skill preventing human beings from converting resources for a profit.

    What you're doing here is saying, "If I can't afford it (non-essential item to human existence), I should use aggressive force (the law) to make sure I CAN afford it by preventing successful businesses from becoming too successful." That's what it sounds like to me, assuming that you have no problem with forcible taxation for government purposes and police as a monopoly... you haven't stated as much in this thread, that I'm aware of, so I'm adding the qualification.

    ---------- Post added at 07:00 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:56 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eliotitus View Post
    Is the loss of modern society (including incidentally pharamecutical companies [all large corporations that again could not make a profit on a strictly local scale] therefore most of modern medicine as well. It certainely looks like we'd need to be on average healthier) really worth an anarchist state?
    That entirely depends upon your values. If you value drugs more than freedom, I'm sure your answer will be no. There are some of us, however, who are willing to suffer the consequences of our choices, knowing full-well what they are because we value freedom more. It doesn't mean that we want to see technology die, and really, I don't know why you think it HAS to. I sure don't that end of state means end of all modern industry, but I, for one, would be willing to forgo certain (mass produced) creature comforts for freedom from coercive state.
    "And that, my lord, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped." ~ Monty Python


  8. #48
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    Re: Anarchy.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    And my rebuttals can be extrapolated to every other industry as well.
    But your rebuttal, in part, is we don't really need bread and that we can make our own. How does that apply to everything else?

    Some things we do need and some things we cannot make by ourselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    So you're saying, from what I'm reading here, that there's no way that individuals could produce, even on a small scale, for profit, if a bigger company existed? I'm just curious. Is there some violence or threat of violence which prevents it somehow?
    Well, some things, like electronics and machinery, cannot be produced by individuals. And for items that can be produced by individuals (like bread), I'm sure some people can produce their own bread. But with aggressive monopolies (that can use violence or unfair trade practices to squash all competition), the producer cannot set up a corporation to sell his bread in any kind of large-scale.

    So maybe Fred the breadmaker does sell some loafs to a few of his neighbors but most people will be stuck with whatever The Bread Company sells at the prices it sets.

    And yes, I'm saying that a monopoly is free to use violence to ensure that it remains a monopoly since, in anarchy, there are no rules or law-enforcement to prevent it.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    ...in the case of bread, individuals raised the ingredients to make bread long before bread was sold commercially, so this doesn't seem like that big of a deal.
    Again, my argument is not that no one can live under anarchy but that it's not preferable to having the rule of law.

    So the question isn't whether it's a "big deal" whether bread production is restricted to either monopolies or individuals baking their own, but whether it's better to have various corporations compete with their differing breads and the competition between them making it so that all citizens have access to a wide variety of breads at affordable prices.

    I think it's obvious that competition is the better way to go.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    In the case of other modern amenities, people can either live without, acquire by trade, or sell to neighbors for a small profit until he can afford that which he really wants.
    As above, while you can survive without certain amenities that we currently enjoy or perhaps get a third-hand version through trade, isn't it better to be able to be able to afford and have access to those amenities when they are brand-new?


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Does this apply to things like... police and court systems?
    Without the rule of law, such things clearly will not exist. So while I'm sure there will be security, it will all be private and therefore represent the interests of whoever pays them (regardless of whether what they are paid to do is right or wrong), not the interests of society as a whole (like the police do).


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Also, I would like you to show me where an absence of coercive state will necessarily result in a monopoly.
    I don't say it will happen, but it will make it much more likely and frankly, I don't see why any industry would not want a monopoly nor how it can be prevented.

    I mean isn't something you want to do, can do, and no one can stop you from doing something you are almost certainly going to do?

    So if a company wants to establish a monopoly, has the power to do it, and there are no laws saying it can't, how is it not going to result in a monopoly?


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    It might make it easier to set one up, but there are monopolies all around us, specifically in the areas of "law enforcement."
    But since the police's sole employer is every citizen of the US (it is our laws they are to enforce), they represent everyone's interests equally.

    And you can hire private security and private detectives.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Monopolies are not necessarily bad, and if they are bad, people either take responsibility and not buy from them so they are forced out of their communities, or they accept that they allowed them in the first place and live with it.
    If you need something and there is only one seller (the monopoly), you will have to buy it from the monopoly.

    And are you really saying, on average, the monopolies are better than competition? Again, the debate is about what is preferable. So please stop arguing about how it's possible we might be able to live with monopolies - that's not the issue. The issue is whether monopolies replacing competition is preferable or not. If you agree that competition is better than monopolies, then you likewise must concede that what we have now is better than anarchy (at least as far as how people buy-and-sell products goes).


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Absent some aggressive force, there is nothing but nature and skill preventing human beings from converting resources for a profit.
    And I see no reason to assume that such aggressive force would not be employed. And it doesn't have to be violent force. A corporation could drive a mom-and-pop store out of business by setting its prices in the area so low that the local store cannot compete (and it can certainly cover its temporary loss with the huge profits from its other stores).

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    What you're doing here is saying, "If I can't afford it (non-essential item to human existence), I should use aggressive force (the law) to make sure I CAN afford it by preventing successful businesses from becoming too successful."
    No, I'm saying the WE (the people) have the right to set the rules on how trade is done to benefit the population in general.

    What is wrong with setting up a rule saying "no monopolies" if not having monopolies increases the quality of life for everyone in general?

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    That's what it sounds like to me, assuming that you have no problem with forcible taxation for government purposes and police as a monopoly... you haven't stated as much in this thread, that I'm aware of, so I'm adding the qualification.
    So you're saying that a society setting it's own (singular) rule of law and having a police force to enforce those laws is not the best way to go?

    If not, what is the better option for ensuring justice for all? Certainly private security companies (which seems like the alternative to the police in an anarchy) aren't concerned about justice for all - they are concerned with getting paid which means they will do what they are paid to do and without laws against murder, they can be hired to murder.

    ---------- Post added at 11:40 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:59 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by angryhippo View Post
    Say then everyone is subsistent or live in small communities where large corporations won't take over. I think that this situation is probably the one best fitted for an anarchist government.
    It may be, but it's not realistic. I mean if we suddenly went to anarchy, are all of the people who live in the city and want to live the city going to move out and live in small communities?

    I don't think so.
    Last edited by mican333; January 27th, 2010 at 08:11 AM.

  9. #49
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    Re: Anarchy.

    It may be, but it's not realistic. I mean if we suddenly went to anarchy, are all of the people who live in the city and want to live the city going to move out and live in small communities?

    Are we talking about suddenly switching all of america to an anarchist system?

    I don't think so. ( if we are i apologize, if not, i still don't think so)

    ---------- Post added at 04:28 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:24 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eliotitus View Post
    The shutting down of big buisness would be the shutting down of modern technology. Your electricity is supplied by big buisnesses, small buisnesses for limited communities could not make a profit on a minor local scale. Research and Devlopment around the world (or at least where anarchism was) would shut down without scientist collaboration.

    Is the loss of modern society (including incidentally pharamecutical companies [all large corporations that again could not make a profit on a strictly local scale] therefore most of modern medicine as well. It certainely looks like we'd need to be on average healthier) really worth an anarchist state?
    I'm not talking about switching the entire world to anarchy, just a small, sustainable country with something to export in return for medical supplies and other non-local commodities. (hypothetically).
    I am Hippo

  10. #50
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    Re: Anarchy.

    Quote Originally Posted by angryhippo View Post
    Are we talking about suddenly switching all of america to an anarchist system?

    I don't think so. ( if we are i apologize, if not, i still don't think so)
    We are debating if Anarchy, in general, is better than what we have now.

    So yeah, we are debating if it's better if we all switched to Anarchy.

  11. #51
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    Re: Anarchy.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    But your rebuttal, in part, is we don't really need bread and that we can make our own. How does that apply to everything else?

    Some things we do need and some things we cannot make by ourselves.
    What exactly is essential to human survival that we didn't have before commercialized trade? I'm curious, because it's a wonder we survived before commercial trade, if that's the case. The things we can't make by ourselves are generally NOT essential to our survival. They are therefore luxuries (non-essential). If someone is able to convert his resources into these luxuries, why should he NOT offer them in trade for a profit? You're going to say "but, I'm not saying he shouldn't." But you are. You're saying he shouldn't be allowed to do whatever it takes (absent some immoral/aggressive act) to maximize the return on this investment.

    Well, some things, like electronics and machinery, cannot be produced by individuals. And for items that can be produced by individuals (like bread), I'm sure some people can produce their own bread. But with aggressive monopolies (that can use violence or unfair trade practices to squash all competition), the producer cannot set up a corporation to sell his bread in any kind of large-scale.
    There's no reason that one must have a "corporation" to sell large-scale. Electronics and machinery are luxuries, and they generally require an extensive supply chain, as well as people working for a company whose purpose is to convert those "supplies" into whatever complex machinery or electronics. I don't think that monopolies in those industries are likely, given that a company who causes harm to a community would find it difficult to find employees willing to shed their own moral compass in order to work for them.

    So maybe Fred the breadmaker does sell some loafs to a few of his neighbors but most people will be stuck with whatever The Bread Company sells at the prices it sets.
    This is insane. "Most people" would be making their own bread, like they did a couple hundred years ago, if their local vendor is a miser.

    And yes, I'm saying that a monopoly is free to use violence to ensure that it remains a monopoly since, in anarchy, there are no rules or law-enforcement to prevent it.
    For an anarchist society to take hold, the majority of people would have to be morally opposed to aggressive violence. I highly doubt that this situation would occur in an established anarchist society. Are you suggesting that in the absence of state there are no consequences for the use of aggressive force?

    Again, my argument is not that no one can live under anarchy but that it's not preferable to having the rule of law.
    FOR YOU, perhaps.

    So the question isn't whether it's a "big deal" whether bread production is restricted to either monopolies or individuals baking their own, but whether it's better to have various corporations compete with their differing breads and the competition between them making it so that all citizens have access to a wide variety of breads at affordable prices.

    I think it's obvious that competition is the better way to go.
    You're thinking very small here. Unless the owners of the bread company control literally ALL the resources used to make bread, there will always be a way for competition to arise. Either in the form of individuals buying those resources small-scale, directly from suppliers, or for other businesses offer cheaper products by having cheaper suppliers or paying less for labor. The bread company may control the price that IT sells its bread for, but if it's cheaper for me to acquire the raw resources and make the bread myself, that's how I'm going to go about it. It cannot control the prices of its suppliers, especially if there is more than one supplier.

    As above, while you can survive without certain amenities that we currently enjoy or perhaps get a third-hand version through trade, isn't it better to be able to be able to afford and have access to those amenities when they are brand-new?
    Mican, the very nature of amenities is that they are non-essential. That's why I picked the word. It's not "we can live without certain ameneities" it's "we can live without amenities, period." Of course it's better to be able to have affordable "stuff." And if most people believe like you do, this problem wouldn't arise. Logically, if most people believed that monopolies were a bad thing, or even just that an individual monopoly was causing them grief, they'd stop giving that monopoly their business and they would either have to change their ways or go out of business. If the people continued going to that monopoly for whatever it's selling, then your community is telling you THEIR interests are obviously in conflict with your own. Who are you, in that case, to employ the aggressive force necessary to enforce "the law" when obviously a majority of people disagree with it? You always have the option of living without or making your own. You're not FORCED to buy from anyone, even if they are the only vendor in town.

    Without the rule of law, such things clearly will not exist. So while I'm sure there will be security, it will all be private and therefore represent the interests of whoever pays them (regardless of whether what they are paid to do is right or wrong), not the interests of society as a whole (like the police do).
    Who are you to say what the interests of "society as a whole" are?

    Not only that, but you are ridiculously mischaracterizing arguments here. This is the reason I got out of debating this crap in the first place. You (and others) simply ignore the arguments. It's annoying at the very least, and dishonest to have continued this long. I'm going to lay this out only one time.

    If we're talking about a successfully established anarchist society, the first conditions which must be met are a commonly held (not universally, mind you, just generally) belief that aggressive acts are immoral and that it is every individual's responsibility (not only right) to defend against aggressive violence, even if that defense means employing deadly force. If such a society were to be established, security companies would not desire to do anything but fulfill the role of defense for two reasons: 1) their employees, as members of this society, would likely not believe aggression was a moral activity to engage in for or any reason, much less for profit, 2) they would be aware that in THIS SOCIETY, an attempt to commit acts of aggression against other individuals or groups of individuals would likely result in their lifespans being dramatically shortened.

    So yes, while it's certainly POSSIBLE, as it's possible today if we look at gangs or the mob, it's not likely that it would occur in such a social structure.

    I don't say it will happen, but it will make it much more likely and frankly, I don't see why any industry would not want a monopoly nor how it can be prevented.
    As I said before, unless a business owns all the means of producing whatever its products are, that business is going to value competition, even if only from its suppliers. Also, in a society which emerged from a commonly held belief that aggression is immoral, it's not likely that the agents of that monopoly would employ aggressive means to squash competition. I'll get to this part shortly...

    I mean isn't something you want to do, can do, and no one can stop you from doing something you are almost certainly going to do?

    So if a company wants to establish a monopoly, has the power to do it, and there are no laws saying it can't, how is it not going to result in a monopoly?
    If it wants to establish a monopoly, it still has to please its customers. If it's not pleasing its customers, monopoly or not, it's going to run itself out of business, period.

    But since the police's sole employer is every citizen of the US (it is our laws they are to enforce), they represent everyone's interests equally.
    Pardon me, but that's a crock of bull if you ask me. Police represent their own interests just like everyone else does. Whatever those interests are, they simply cannot, just like anyone else, act contrary to their own interests. They do a job, and that job is to "enforce the law." Those laws are not made by every citizen of the united states... they aren't even made by a majority of the citizens of the united states. Not only that, not every citizen of the united states approved of the hiring of each individual law enforcement officer... not even a majority approved. I fail to see how "every citizen" has anything to do with the process, quite frankly.

    And you can hire private security and private detectives.
    You show me where private companies bid for contracts to enforce "the law." Private security enforces my rules on my property, not "the law," and PIs investigate things which are not violations of the law... if they were violations of "the law," why would I hire a PI when I don't have to pay up-front for police detectives? That I can hire them doesn't at all rebut that there is a monopoly in "law enforcement."

    If you need something and there is only one seller (the monopoly), you will have to buy it from the monopoly.
    Define "need."

    And are you really saying, on average, the monopolies are better than competition? Again, the debate is about what is preferable. So please stop arguing about how it's possible we might be able to live with monopolies - that's not the issue. The issue is whether monopolies replacing competition is preferable or not. If you agree that competition is better than monopolies, then you likewise must concede that what we have now is better than anarchy (at least as far as how people buy-and-sell products goes).
    Please. I'm really saying that even if monopolies occur in an anarchist situation, it's simply not the end of the world. Yes, I agree that competition is ALWAYS better than monopoly, which is PRECISELY why I favor an anarchist position, because I don't think that even the state should be able to use aggressive force to monopolize industries, unchecked.

    And I see no reason to assume that such aggressive force would not be employed. And it doesn't have to be violent force. A corporation could drive a mom-and-pop store out of business by setting its prices in the area so low that the local store cannot compete (and it can certainly cover its temporary loss with the huge profits from its other stores).
    First off, aggression, as most people define it, only applies to attempts to deprive people of their property (including themselves as a part of their property). Tell me now setting my prices lower to attract customers can be defined as aggressive. How is the (intended) monopoly taking property from a mom-and-pop operation in that scenario?

    No, I'm saying the WE (the people) have the right to set the rules on how trade is done to benefit the population in general.
    As long as you (the people) don't attempt to use aggressive means to force businesses and individuals who don't agree with your "rules" to abide by them... I'm totally cool with that.

    What is wrong with setting up a rule saying "no monopolies" if not having monopolies increases the quality of life for everyone in general?
    Because you don't have a right to decide how I allocate my resources, unless that allocation necessarily deprives you of your own resources. Monopolies do not, by their mere existence, do that. You and a group of your buddies don't want monopolies, you don't have to buy from them. If your group constitutes the majority, you're probably going to keep competition alive in you community, keeping monopolies from ever forming in the first place. Anything beyond that constitutes aggression.

    So you're saying that a society setting it's own (singular) rule of law and having a police force to enforce those laws is not the best way to go?
    Sure. I'm saying a society that aggressively deprives a single person of his property without his consent, which is necessarily the nature of law enforcement, is a tyrannical society, and I would have to morally oppose it.

    If not, what is the better option for ensuring justice for all? Certainly private security companies (which seems like the alternative to the police in an anarchy) aren't concerned about justice for all - they are concerned with getting paid which means they will do what they are paid to do and without laws against murder, they can be hired to murder.
    I'm going to let my explanation above take care of this.

    It may be, but it's not realistic. I mean if we suddenly went to anarchy, are all of the people who live in the city and want to live the city going to move out and live in small communities?

    I don't think so.
    If we suddenly saw an end to state (like, say, tomorrow), anarchy would not result. Re-estabilshment of state would result, but only after much chaos and bloodshed. However, I do believe that in THIS case, most people would venture out of cities because it would be near impossible to achieve sustainable living conditions in metropolitan areas.
    "And that, my lord, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped." ~ Monty Python


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    Re: Anarchy.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    What exactly is essential to human survival that we didn't have before commercialized trade? I'm curious, because it's a wonder we survived before commercial trade, if that's the case. The things we can't make by ourselves are generally NOT essential to our survival. They are therefore luxuries (non-essential). If someone is able to convert his resources into these luxuries, why should he NOT offer them in trade for a profit? You're going to say "but, I'm not saying he shouldn't." But you are. You're saying he shouldn't be allowed to do whatever it takes (absent some immoral/aggressive act) to maximize the return on this investment.
    People are free to trade as they will as long as they follow the rules. And the economic rules should be set up to benefit the society as a whole, not those very few who end up on top at the expense of everyone else.

    There is no constitutional right to make a profit. And individual making a profit is an incentive that makes the Capitalist system a very good system as it motivates people to produce. But quite simply if an economic system is not working well for most people, then we need to switch a different system. And if switching to a different system won't benefit the most people, then we should not switch.

    And if Regulated Capitalism (where there are laws against monopolies) work better for most people (allows them better access to goods and services as well as allowing those who work harder and/or innovate to gain luxuries) than Unfettered Capitalism (lets certain individuals make huge profits while most people are not living very well), then Regulated Capitalism is the way to go.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    There's no reason that one must have a "corporation" to sell large-scale.
    Name one large-scale sales operation that is not a corporation.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Electronics and machinery are luxuries, and they generally require an extensive supply chain, as well as people working for a company whose purpose is to convert those "supplies" into whatever complex machinery or electronics. I don't think that monopolies in those industries are likely, given that a company who causes harm to a community would find it difficult to find employees willing to shed their own moral compass in order to work for them.
    Are you kidding? People would never compromise their morals to get work and would rather have their families (including children) starve and live on the streets? There might be some like that, but everyone?

    I find that notion incredibly unrealistic.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    This is insane. "Most people" would be making their own bread, like they did a couple hundred years ago, if their local vendor is a miser.
    Please remember the point of this debate is whether what we have now is preferable to Anarchy. You keep making arguments about what people would do in the face monolithic corporations. And the only relevant issue is whether what we have now if preferable to having those monopolies. So don't bring forward options with living under Anarchy unless those options are equal to or better than what we have now without monopolies. If the option is not preferable, then don't bother bringing it forward as it only makes my case (which is it's not as good as what we have now).

    For instance, back them "most people" baked their own bread and it's probably because they did not have easy access to a wide variety of bread at affordable prices. Nowadays "most people" buy their bread because it's very convenient (remember the saying "The greatest thing since sliced bread") and they apparently prefer doing that to making their own (which can be quite a hassle and time-consuming). So if Anarchy forced people to go back to the inconvenience of baking their own bread because buying good affordable bread is no longer an option, then that's a reason that we don't want to live under Anarchy.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    For an anarchist society to take hold, the majority of people would have to be morally opposed to aggressive violence. I highly doubt that this situation would occur in an established anarchist society. Are you suggesting that in the absence of state there are no consequences for the use of aggressive force?
    I'm not going to entertain an argument that alters reality as its premise. The debate is whether WE currently are better off living under Anarchy. If people as they are now have a less peaceful existence under Anarchy, then the answer is "NO", Anarchy is not preferable to what we have now.

    But to answer your question, in Anarchy what the consequences of murder would be really depends on the circumstances. For instance, if someone is murdered that has no close friends or family, then there probably are no consequences for the killer (short of whatever guilt he may feel). On the other hand, if someone from one family kills someone from another family, then perhaps there will be an attempt at revenge and then the two families have a feud and then perhaps half of one family and all of the other are killed in the feud. Personally, I think it's be better if the killer was arrested by the police and convicted but then that won't happen under Anarchy.



    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    You're thinking very small here.
    Please refrain from personal comments (like how I think). It's by no means a flame but I just prefer we not even tip-toe in that direction.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Unless the owners of the bread company control literally ALL the resources used to make bread, there will always be a way for competition to arise. Either in the form of individuals buying those resources small-scale, directly from suppliers, or for other businesses offer cheaper products by having cheaper suppliers or paying less for labor. The bread company may control the price that IT sells its bread for, but if it's cheaper for me to acquire the raw resources and make the bread myself, that's how I'm going to go about it. It cannot control the prices of its suppliers, especially if there is more than one supplier.
    Again, my argument is not that there are no possible ways of getting bread, but whether that situation is preferable to what we have now. There's nothing stopping people from baking their own bread now, but usually they prefer to buy it.

    So the relevant question in the debate concerning bread is not "Can people still find a way to get bread if there are monopolies who's bread they can't or don't want to buy?" but "Is the situation where people are forced to bake their own bread because there are no good sources to purchase bread preferable to people having access to a variety of affordable breads".

    Assuming the answer to the above question is "NO", then, at least as the bread argument goes, my argument that Anarchy is not preferable is correct.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Mican, the very nature of amenities is that they are non-essential. That's why I picked the word. It's not "we can live without certain ameneities" it's "we can live without amenities, period." Of course it's better to be able to have affordable "stuff." And if most people believe like you do, this problem wouldn't arise. Logically, if most people believed that monopolies were a bad thing, or even just that an individual monopoly was causing them grief, they'd stop giving that monopoly their business and they would either have to change their ways or go out of business.
    Actually, in this society the restrictions that people want on corporations are turned into laws restricting the corporation from doing those things. If people wanted monopolies, the legislature (who are elected by the people) would change the laws in accordance to the wants of their constituents and then monopolies would be allowed.

    But people don't want monopolies so the laws against them stays on the books.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    If the people continued going to that monopoly for whatever it's selling, then your community is telling you THEIR interests are obviously in conflict with your own.
    No, they aren't. Just because you'd prefer to have bread at a lower price due to competition does not mean that you won't buy monopoly bread if that's all that is available.

    I mean I drink cola and I prefer Pepsi Throwback to regular Pepsi because it has sugar instead of corn syrup but right now they've discontinued Pepsi Throwback. So what do I do? I drink regular Pepsi, even though I prefer the alternative. So the notion that if people buy it, it must be what they prefer is not true at all.

    And this is especially true if the monopoly continues for a while (like over a generation). If you grow up with The Bread Company and aren't even aware of a time where there was competition with cheaper, better bread, then you aren't even going to be aware that things could realistically be much better. If you want bread, you get it from The Bread Store. Sure, if someone told you that it's possible to get bread cheaper, you'd be interested in that, but if that cheaper bread situation did not materialized you aren't suddenly going to stop buy monopoly bread out of protest to something that never even happened.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Who are you, in that case, to employ the aggressive force necessary to enforce "the law" when obviously a majority of people disagree with it? You always have the option of living without or making your own. You're not FORCED to buy from anyone, even if they are the only vendor in town.
    Hey, if people actually want monopolies and that gets voted into law, then I will concede that my desires and the desires of the people don't jibe. If I see a poll saying that the public prefers monopolies, I will likewise concede.

    But the fact is I have always heard people say how great our system is due to competition which ensures high quality at competitive prices and I've never heard anyone seriously voice a preference for the opposite and while this might not be a scientific sampling of opinion, I really do feel pretty secure in my belief that most people prefer competition between industries and support the laws enforcing this.

    Well, if there's only one store in town selling food, I guess I could starve instead of buying food from them, but that doesn't sound like much of an alternative. I'm pretty sure most people would buy food regardless and therefore that food monopoly is there to stay.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Who are you to say what the interests of "society as a whole" are?
    I'm a person with an opinion. I mean it's my opinion that people prefer their goods and services at as low a price as they can get them and they prefer to likewise be able to afford amenities.

    I likewise hold the opinion that competition between companies better delivers what the people want over monopolies.

    And I have yet to hear any argument that even attempts to counter this opinion of mine. Not to put words in your mouth (and if you actually think otherwise feel free to correct me and I will take it back), but I suspect you agree with that lower prices and better quality due to competition is better for the common person than monopolies.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Not only that, but you are ridiculously mischaracterizing arguments here. This is the reason I got out of debating this crap in the first place. You (and others) simply ignore the arguments. It's annoying at the very least, and dishonest to have continued this long. I'm going to lay this out only one time.
    Uh, I'm not going to put up with being called "dishonest". Please take my word for it that if I mischaracterize your argument, it's due a misunderstanding of some kind.

    I've noticed you are "ignoring" my main point that all I'm arguing is what is preferable and therefore bringing forward alternatives that could happen Anarchy (like people baking their own bread because buying it is no longer a viable option), but clearly are not preferable to what we have now (the option of buying affordable bread), is not a relevant argument and yet such arguments keep getting forwarded (like we don't need amenities - yes we don't need them but it's preferable to have access to them).

    So again, I think the problem is not that anyone is being dishonest, but that it's not entirely clear what each of our positions is. Again, my argument is that Anarchy is not preferable to what we have now (enforced rule of law and Regulated Capitalism primarily).


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    If we're talking about a successfully established anarchist society
    See? Already you've gotten far away from the argument I'm having. I'm debating whether switching to Anarchy would be a good idea (and saying that it's not) and your argument starts with a "successfully established" society, which presupposes that it would work. But to continue...(and I'll try to respond on your terms as best I can)

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    the first conditions which must be met are a commonly held (not universally, mind you, just generally) belief that aggressive acts are immoral and that it is every individual's responsibility (not only right) to defend against aggressive violence, even if that defense means employing deadly force.
    And is this keeping with human nature as we know it?

    I mean if Joe is the toughest guy around and is better at dealing violence than anyone else, we can only hope he's a peaceful guy who'd only do harm to protect his family. If on the other hand, he's a thug who takes what he wants and hurts who he wants and he comes after you, while you certainly have the right to confront Joe with deadly force, the fact that he's deadlier than you means that odds are you the one who loses the fight. And if your peeps don't think messing with Joe is worth avenging what he did to you, then Joe gets away with it.

    And sure, perhaps the whole community gets sick of Joe's thuggery and joins forces and takes care of him. And perhaps they don't (perhaps Joe has a gang and the community doesn't think it's worth the risk).

    But with a centralized police force who do their job well, Joe will most certainly be convicted and punished for his crimes.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    If such a society were to be established, security companies would not desire to do anything but fulfill the role of defense for two reasons: 1) their employees, as members of this society, would likely not believe aggression was a moral activity to engage in for or any reason, much less for profit, 2) they would be aware that in THIS SOCIETY, an attempt to commit acts of aggression against other individuals or groups of individuals would likely result in their lifespans being dramatically shortened.
    Well, if people were like this, we'd have little crime in this society.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    As I said before, unless a business owns all the means of producing whatever its products are, that business is going to value competition, even if only from its suppliers. Also, in a society which emerged from a commonly held belief that aggression is immoral, it's not likely that the agents of that monopoly would employ aggressive means to squash competition.
    But with people as they are, a society will not emerge from such a commonly-held belief.

    I mean if you want me to concede that if people were generally much better morally than they are now and are more likely to act on behalf of the common good than their own interests, Anarchy might work better than what we have now, I will concede it. So if that's your argument, you've won.

    But getting back to my argument, given that people are not so holy and that if one seeks profit above all other concerns (like the common good), then allowing monopolies will benefit those at the top of the monopoly over most people and therefore Anarchy would not be good for most people. And with the rule of law being no more, there will probably be a lot more violence. Private security forces, who will be beholden to those who pay them, will not mete out justice but just do what they are paid to do, even if it's murder. In other words, whoever has the most money (which means they can hire the most security) is who comes out on top, not whoever is morally right.



    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    If it wants to establish a monopoly, it still has to please its customers. If it's not pleasing its customers, monopoly or not, it's going to run itself out of business, period.
    But there are degrees. For instance, if there's a food monopoly and it does such a poor job that people are generally starving, I imagine that the people will violently revolt and literally tear down the monopoly.

    But if the monopoly is only kinda crappy but overall people get what they need, then they are not going to risk starvation by opposing the monopoly.

    And again, the point is the monopoly will not be as good as competition. Again, my argument is that competition is better, not that monopolies can never work. A food monopoly may be satisfactory, but regardless competition is better and therefore what we have now is preferable to anarchy.

    BTW, I've repeated this "preferable" argument at least three times so far so feel free, for the sake of brevity, to respond to it once and not respond to the other times it is made.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Pardon me, but that's a crock of bull if you ask me. Police represent their own interests just like everyone else does. Whatever those interests are, they simply cannot, just like anyone else, act contrary to their own interests. They do a job, and that job is to "enforce the law." Those laws are not made by every citizen of the united states... they aren't even made by a majority of the citizens of the united states. Not only that, not every citizen of the united states approved of the hiring of each individual law enforcement officer... not even a majority approved. I fail to see how "every citizen" has anything to do with the process, quite frankly.
    Really? So the citizens, on average, do not support laws against murder and do not want a centralized police force to arrest those who murder? And police are not doing the will of the citizens when they do "their job" and seek to arrest those who commit murder?

    I mean I oppose certain laws on the books (I'm pretty libertarian so I do not believe in victimless crimes), but certainly I'm alright with punishing murder, rape, and theft and would be shocked if I found out that a vast majority of the citizenry are not in agreement with me on this.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    You show me where private companies bid for contracts to enforce "the law." Private security enforces my rules on my property, not "the law," and PIs investigate things which are not violations of the law... if they were violations of "the law," why would I hire a PI when I don't have to pay up-front for police detectives? That I can hire them doesn't at all rebut that there is a monopoly in "law enforcement."
    Let's say your brother is murdered and the police do nothing about (maybe they think it's an accident but you know better). You hire a private detective to find the killer and he succeeds in identifying the killer, but the killer has left the area and the detective won't chase him. So you fire a bounty hunter to find the guy and he succeeds and brings the guy back to your area where he is turned into the police. The detective hands over the evidence proving the guy is the killer and he's convicted in a court of law. You've basically hire men privately to do the police's job.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    I'm really saying that even if monopolies occur in an anarchist situation, it's simply not the end of the world. Yes, I agree that competition is ALWAYS better than monopoly, which is PRECISELY why I favor an anarchist position, because I don't think that even the state should be able to use aggressive force to monopolize industries, unchecked.
    The state does not force industries into monopolies, it prevents them. If not for the rules that corporations cannot monopolize they would monopolize and if you think competition is preferable, then you must likewise support the rules that ensure that there are no monopolies.

    And as far as the police go, you are not advocating competition in administering rule of law but no rule of law whatsoever.



    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    First off, aggression, as most people define it, only applies to attempts to deprive people of their property (including themselves as a part of their property). Tell me now setting my prices lower to attract customers can be defined as aggressive. How is the (intended) monopoly taking property from a mom-and-pop operation in that scenario?
    I'm not going to get into a semantics debate, here. My point is the monopolies can certainly ensure that no mom-and-pop store lasts long. I don't care what you want to call it when the mom-and-pop (MP) store goes out of business. The fact is that it is preferable that a MP be able to open up and do business and last a while and if a monopoly prevents this from happening, then that is a reason we don't want monopolies.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    As long as you (the people) don't attempt to use aggressive means to force businesses and individuals who don't agree with your "rules" to abide by them... I'm totally cool with that.
    So you don't care if there's monopolies over competition and therefore we have inferior products at higher prices as long as nothing that you define as "aggressive" happens?

    I prefer having competition regardless.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Because you don't have a right to decide how I allocate my resources, unless that allocation necessarily deprives you of your own resources. Monopolies do not, by their mere existence, do that. You and a group of your buddies don't want monopolies, you don't have to buy from them. If your group constitutes the majority, you're probably going to keep competition alive in you community, keeping monopolies from ever forming in the first place. Anything beyond that constitutes aggression.
    But you're acting like that's the primary concern in society. Let's challenge this. I'm going to give you a hypothetical.

    Let's say that there is a food monopoly and it not only has the only means of distributing food but has also bought up all means of producing food (owns all of the farmland, livestock, etc) and pretty much one guy owns everything. Now, he's set prices so high that most people cannot afford to buy any food and many are starving to death. All individual attempts to grow food (like local gardens) don't produce enough to feed everyone so even including individual food production, many will starve to death. So a hundred million people will die from starvation within a year unless something is done.

    Now, without using aggression (such as the people forcibly taking food from the monopoly to feed the hungry), how is this situation is to be resolved?

    Assuming the owner of The Food Monopoly's right to keep what he owns is the highest priority, then in this situation we should let the hundred million people die. Right? Actually, if the food is his property and he can do with it what he wants he doesn't even have to sell it to anyone if that's his choice and therefore has the right to keep all of the food to himself and let everyone starve. Right?

    And like I said, this scenario is hypothetical and not being forwarded as what will happen under anarchy, so complaints about how unrealistic this scenario is is not a relevant rebuttal.
    Last edited by mican333; January 28th, 2010 at 10:33 PM.

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    Re: Anarchy.

    For an anarchist society to take hold, the majority of people would have to be morally opposed to aggressive violence. I highly doubt that this situation would occur in an established anarchist society.
    Wouldn't it be easier to establish a prevailing philosophy of peace in a small society. I'm just saying. No need to be harsh.
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    Re: Anarchy.

    Notice I've skipped some. It's getting too long as it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    People are free to trade as they will as long as they follow the rules. And the economic rules should be set up to benefit the society as a whole, not those very few who end up on top at the expense of everyone else.
    Then what we have here is a fundamental difference in values. My first concern is freedom from aggression. The sort of rules you're talking about, if enforced by the state, violates that freedom. You're more concerned with the "whole of society." I'm sure that Hitler thought it was good for the "whole of society" to exterminate the Jews... but I'm betting the Jews had something to say about that... And that's exactly why I don't presume to know what's good for EVERYONE.

    There is no constitutional right to make a profit.
    And there was an argument that there is?

    And if Regulated Capitalism (where there are laws against monopolies) work better for most people...
    You're willing to commit acts of violence to make sure that "most people" are "happy." I understand. I just don't agree.

    Name one large-scale sales operation that is not a corporation.
    Corporation is a legal term, dude. If there's no law, there's no corporation. But here's a start... Whitecastle. It's no McDonalds, but it's certainly not a mom-and-pop establishment.

    Are you kidding? People would never compromise their morals to get work and would rather have their families (including children) starve and live on the streets? There might be some like that, but everyone?

    I find that notion incredibly unrealistic.
    Today, I'd agree with you, but if you're going to discuss hypotheticals, you need to account for premises, which so far, you seem to be picking and choosing which ones you accept and which ones you don't. I certainly want anarchy today, but I'm not fool enough to think that it could possibly exist today without first having suffered GREAT chaos, destruction, and loss of life. If the question is "could anarchy exist tomorrow" the answer is "no." So if we're going to discuss anarchist hypotheticals, we have to assume that an anarchist society exists, hypothetically. Otherwise, there is nothing to argue.

    Please remember the point of this debate is whether what we have now is preferable to Anarchy.
    There's nothing to debate. What we have now is not preferrable, and all we need to establish that is me telling you that, since it's obviously a ridiculously subjective opinion in the first place.

    I'm not going to entertain an argument that alters reality as its premise. The debate is whether WE currently are better off living under Anarchy.
    There's a certain conceit involved in thinking you can argue for other people. I am not guilty of that conceit, and therefore I refuse to argue what anyone else's preferences are. I prefer that there is no state, not like we know it now, and that's all I'm prepared to argue.

    Please refrain from personal comments (like how I think). It's by no means a flame but I just prefer we not even tip-toe in that direction.
    Please. If this is really how it's going to be, I don't think I should even risk engaging you further.

    Actually, in this society the restrictions that people want on corporations are turned into laws restricting the corporation from doing those things. If people wanted monopolies, the legislature (who are elected by the people) would change the laws in accordance to the wants of their constituents and then monopolies would be allowed.
    It's incredibly naive to think that if "the people" wanted something, their legislature(s) would necessarily deliver.

    Well, if there's only one store in town selling food, I guess I could starve instead of buying food from them, but that doesn't sound like much of an alternative.
    Or you could take responsibility for your continued survival instead of demanding that someone give you his property for less than he values it for.... Just a thought.

    I likewise hold the opinion that competition between companies better delivers what the people want over monopolies.
    I agree that historically speaking this is probably true. But I fail to see where a) law is required or b) the existence of a monopoly justifies the aggressive force necessary to enforce laws against them.

    Uh, I'm not going to put up with being called "dishonest". Please take my word for it that if I mischaracterize your argument, it's due a misunderstanding of some kind.
    How many times do I have to say the same thing before I can legitimately assume it's intentional?

    I've noticed you are "ignoring" my main point that all I'm arguing is what is preferable and therefore bringing forward alternatives that could happen Anarchy (like people baking their own bread because buying it is no longer a viable option), but clearly are not preferable to what we have now (the option of buying affordable bread), is not a relevant argument and yet such arguments keep getting forwarded (like we don't need amenities - yes we don't need them but it's preferable to have access to them).
    Anarchy is certainly preferable to what we have now, FOR ME. Your argument lacks such a qualification. You presume to argue FOR ME. If you want to argue YOUR position as YOUR position and not the position of "the whole of society," I'll concede and walk away.

    I'm debating whether switching to Anarchy would be a good idea (and saying that it's not) and your argument starts with a "successfully established" society, which presupposes that it would work.
    Then there's no point in having this conversation. If you're unwilling to entertain the objections that monopolies could be prevented in an anarchist society (hypothetically, because an anarchist society is a hypothetical thing in the first place) then there's absolutely no point in discussing anything further. Your position relies solely on the fact that monopolies would make people starve to death. If you aren't prepared to hear counters, then there's no arguing with you.

    And is this keeping with human nature as we know it?
    And just what is "human nature" as we know it?

    I mean if you want me to concede that if people were generally much better morally than they are now and are more likely to act on behalf of the common good than their own interests, Anarchy might work better than what we have now, I will concede it. So if that's your argument, you've won.
    Not at all. I count on people being absolutely self-interested.

    But getting back to my argument, given that people are not so holy and that if one seeks profit above all other concerns (like the common good)
    You cannot argue for what is good for me, Mican. It's a conceit I won't allow. If you want to get together with a bunch of like-minded individuals that's fine, but *I* have VERY different values than you and it is not for you to decide what is "good" for ME. That is exactly what the law does, necessarily, the way we know it today.

    But if the monopoly is only kinda crappy but overall people get what they need, then they are not going to risk starvation by opposing the monopoly.
    Perhaps they should take responsibility for their own survival instead of demanding that others give them their resources for less than they value them. That seems to be almost theft, in my opinion.

    I mean I oppose certain laws on the books (I'm pretty libertarian so I do not believe in victimless crimes), but certainly I'm alright with punishing murder, rape, and theft and would be shocked if I found out that a vast majority of the citizenry are not in agreement with me on this.
    You really think that without laws and police there are no consequences to actions?

    The state does not force industries into monopolies, it prevents them.
    Then there are absolutely no monopolies today?

    then you must likewise support the rules that ensure that there are no monopolies.
    Wrong, I believe that the damage done by a monopoly is not worth the acts of aggression it would take to forcibly stop them.

    And as far as the police go, you are not advocating competition in administering rule of law but no rule of law whatsoever.
    Two totally separate arguments. I'm using the fact that there is no competition as a demonstration that there are monopolies. Of course I would prefer there was no "law" as we know it today.

    The fact is that it is preferable that a MP be able to open up and do business and last a while and if a monopoly prevents this from happening, then that is a reason we don't want monopolies.
    And there are non-aggressive means to prevent monopolies which don't require law.

    So you don't care if there's monopolies over competition and therefore we have inferior products at higher prices as long as nothing that you define as "aggressive" happens?
    No, because I consider myself responsible for providing for my own survival, and if that means that i have to grow my own food and make my own clothes, or loosely barter with my neighbors, so be it.

    I prefer having competition regardless.
    I prefer having competition but not at the cost of what I would pay to have it "enforced" by "law."

    But you're acting like that's the primary concern in society. Let's challenge this.
    Wrong. I'm acting like this is MY concern, and I don't entertain the conceit of knowing what is a concern for people other than myself, or what is "better" for them.

    ---------- Post added at 07:01 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:57 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by angryhippo View Post
    Wouldn't it be easier to establish a prevailing philosophy of peace in a small society. I'm just saying. No need to be harsh.
    Oh, sure... but I don't think a small society is going to survive with neighbors like the US. There isn't a bit of land that I'm aware of that isn't subject to some state and its laws, so I'd literally have to be granted my autonomy from a state (which I don't see as happening, today, to be honest) or fight off would-be "enforcers" of the state... As we see in places like Waco and Ruby Ridge, those sorts of attempts really aren't tolerated by the US, at least. We could look at Saddam and the Kurds as another example. Bottom line, it'd be nice, but I don't see it as being very successful in the long-term. But, I don't know every single state on the planet... so I could certainly be wrong.
    "And that, my lord, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped." ~ Monty Python


  15. #55
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    Re: Anarchy.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Notice I've skipped some. It's getting too long as it is.
    That's alright in general, but I think you skipped what I thought was my most important point, so I'm going to reintroduce it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Then what we have here is a fundamental difference in values. My first concern is freedom from aggression. The sort of rules you're talking about, if enforced by the state, violates that freedom. You're more concerned with the "whole of society." I'm sure that Hitler thought it was good for the "whole of society" to exterminate the Jews... but I'm betting the Jews had something to say about that... And that's exactly why I don't presume to know what's good for EVERYONE.
    First off, Hitler was not concerned for the good of everyone. Clearly he knew that what he was doing was not good for those he exterminated.

    And if your first concern is freedom from aggression, then I can assume you thought we shouldn't have opposed Hitler and what he was doing with aggressive means (like joining the war).

    Now, let me re-introduce what I thought was my most important argument that challenges your position. And again, I don't have a problem skipping some points for brevity's sake but if you do it for this post, this is one the arguments I want you to respond to:

    Let's say that there is a food monopoly and it not only has the only means of distributing food but has also bought up all means of producing food (owns all of the farmland, livestock, etc) and pretty much one guy owns everything. Now, he's set prices so high that most people cannot afford to buy any food and many are starving to death. All individual attempts to grow food (like local gardens) don't produce enough to feed everyone so even including individual food production, many will starve to death. So a hundred million people will die from starvation within a year unless something is done.

    Now if "no aggression" is the first principle and millions of people will die, then we either have to let those people die or we have to use aggression to force the monopoly to get food to those people.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    You're willing to commit acts of violence to make sure that "most people" are "happy." I understand. I just don't agree.
    Well, let's test this as well.

    Going back to the food monopoly and starving people scenario.

    The monopoly owns an apple grove and some starving people walk by and see it and walk onto the grove and start eating the apples. Now, without using aggression, how is the monopoly going to prevent this?

    And really, who says the monopoly even owns those apples? In today's society, there will be documents saying that the monopoly paid for the land and therefore "officially" owns the land and its contents (like the apples). But in an anarchy, such documents no longer exist so really it's nothing more than the monopoly's opinion that it owns those apples and if it's the starving people's opinion that they have the right to eat those apples, then no one is really "officially" right or wrong in this scenario. The people have just as much right to eat those apples than the monopoly has to keep those apples to itself.

    And if we hold to your premise that no aggression or violence may occur, then the people get to eat those apples and if the monopoly uses force to prevent this (even dragging people off the property without hurting them is pretty aggressive), then it is no longer abiding by what you value first and foremost.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Corporation is a legal term, dude. If there's no law, there's no corporation. But here's a start... Whitecastle. It's no McDonalds, but it's certainly not a mom-and-pop establishment.
    But it's a corporation.



    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Today, I'd agree with you, but if you're going to discuss hypotheticals, you need to account for premises, which so far, you seem to be picking and choosing which ones you accept and which ones you don't. I certainly want anarchy today, but I'm not fool enough to think that it could possibly exist today without first having suffered GREAT chaos, destruction, and loss of life. If the question is "could anarchy exist tomorrow" the answer is "no." So if we're going to discuss anarchist hypotheticals, we have to assume that an anarchist society exists, hypothetically. Otherwise, there is nothing to argue.
    Well, in actuality they do exist. For instance, there's rainbow gatherings.. Basically it's a bunch of hippies who gather in the tens of thousands at a national park for about a week for once a year and set up a temporary intentional community. There is no official leader, no official rules (but there are guidelines - things you should and should not do to keep the gathering healthy and respect the environment), and there are peacekeepers who only use as much force as necessary to prevent violence (so if someone is violent, they may have to wrestle him to the ground and try to get him to chill out). There is no money so if you want to transact, you have to barter (there are trade circles). And it works pretty well. BUT the thing is all who show up there are those who want to be in that situation and likewise it's only a temporary thing so it works fine for the short period of time that people are there. If they had to live there permanently and likewise have people who don't want to live like that as part of the group, it almost certainly would get awful pretty quick.

    So really, to find an example of anarchy working well, I have to pick and choose (like I just did). But the question is whether Anarchy is a better system in general which likewise means we can't pick-and-choose where it's implemented and picture it being implemented everywhere and everyone. And surely, that would not work out well.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    It's incredibly naive to think that if "the people" wanted something, their legislature(s) would necessarily deliver.
    It would be naive to think it always works as it should. I agree with that. I do think that the legislature, at times, looks after interests other than the people as a whole (like those who contribute a lot of money to their campaigns for example).

    But it's no less a fault to believe the opposite, that the legislature never works on behalf of the people. And one of the reasons is that we elect our leaders so a legislator cannot defy the will of the people too egregiously or he will be voted out of office (if not removed earlier by something like a recall).

    But the fact is, as far I've seen, the people generally do not want monopolies and the laws don't allow them. So at least in this instance, the people's will and the laws are in harmony.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Or you could take responsibility for your continued survival instead of demanding that someone give you his property for less than he values it for.... Just a thought.
    Or people could band together for their common good, form communities, and decide how they are each going to get what they need and work together to make sure they survive. And if someone in the community "owns" something, it's only because we, as a group, have chosen to recognize his ownership. And instead of having people just agree, we can set laws that if someone does the necessary thing to achieve ownership (in our current society, he usually pays the appropriate amount of money for it) he officially owns it, but then the law likewise has to be generally recognized and accepted by the people to be valid.

    But without rules dictating who own what, as far as I can see, you own what you think you own.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    I agree that historically speaking this is probably true. But I fail to see where a) law is required or b) the existence of a monopoly justifies the aggressive force necessary to enforce laws against them.
    It's necessary because without the law against monopolies, most companies will likely form monopolies. And laws regulating business is not "aggressive force". No one is getting beaten up.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    How many times do I have to say the same thing before I can legitimately assume it's intentional?
    That's up to you, but if you really think I'm being dishonest then you shouldn't be debating with me. And since I'm not dishonest, I refuse to put up with being called that (I don't think you directly called me that but I'm saying you shouldn't go there lightly).


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Anarchy is certainly preferable to what we have now, FOR ME. Your argument lacks such a qualification. You presume to argue FOR ME. If you want to argue YOUR position as YOUR position and not the position of "the whole of society," I'll concede and walk away.
    No, I'm arguing that what we have is preferable for people in general. I forward that people in general (and there can be exceptions and perhaps you are one of them) prefer competition to monopolies, prefer rule of law enforcing laws against murder to either having to avenge a loved one's death or never getting justice and so on.



    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Then there's no point in having this conversation. If you're unwilling to entertain the objections that monopolies could be prevented in an anarchist society (hypothetically, because an anarchist society is a hypothetical thing in the first place) then there's absolutely no point in discussing anything further.
    I'm willing to entertain anything. But I'm certainly not just going to concede my point that monopolies are much more likely (and could very well exist for everything that people buy) without a good argument against my position.

    Give me an argument about how monopolies would not happen in an anarchy and I will entertain it and if I disagree, I'll present a counter-argument. If your argument is iron-clad, then I will concede (and for the record, I have conceded arguments in the past although it's by no means a frequent happening).

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Your position relies solely on the fact that monopolies would make people starve to death. If you aren't prepared to hear counters, then there's no arguing with you.
    Beyond hypothetically (which means I do not present it a factual, but as a "what if"), I never said monopolies would cause people to starve to death. And rejecting the premise of an argument is a valid rebuttal to the argument. I mean if I DID argue "since monopolies would surely cause people to starve to death..." as the start of an argument, you could very reasonably reject the argument because the premise (people will starve to death) is not valid (I have to prove it will cause starvation before I can base an argument on that "fact").


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Not at all. I count on people being absolutely self-interested.
    And I count on people (not all, but enough) to be greedy, aggressive, and sometimes hateful. And whatever works best to counter these instincts from doing the most harm to people is the way to go.

    If laws against murder leads to fewer killings and more justice than just leaving it in people's hands to deal with it themselves, then that's the way to go.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Perhaps they should take responsibility for their own survival instead of demanding that others give them their resources for less than they value them. That seems to be almost theft, in my opinion.
    But again, what one "officially" owns is based on a societal agreement that he owns it. If you reject the concept of LEGAL ownership, then ownership boils down to nothing more than personal opinion that you own something (and if I think your car is mine as much as you think it's yours then I own it as much as you do). And if you accept the concept of LEGAL ownership, then laws against monopoly (denying company A to buy out company B to form a monopoly) is not theft as company A is not legally entitled to own company B any more than I'm legally entitled to own your car without your consent to transfer ownership of it to me.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    You really think that without laws and police there are no consequences to actions?
    No. But I think the consequences of, say, a murder is much less likely to result in justice (the actual killer being punished for the crime and no significant blowback afterwards).

    So let's say Joe kills Frank and the killing is witnessed by many so there's no doubt what happened.

    In out current system, what will likely happen is Joe gets locked up for a long time. Frank's family has received justice - the killer of Frank has been punished. Joe's family may be unhappy that Joe is locked up but there's not much they can do about.

    Now under Anarchy, the same killing occurs - various possible scenarios:
    1. Frank's family wants justice but Joe's family refuses to hand him over and they are much tougher than Frank's family and Frank's family cannot muster enough muscle to enforce their will. So Joe gets away with it.
    2. Frank's family finds Joe and kills him and then Joe's family, in revenge, kills someone in Frank's family and then a series of revenge killings occur and many more people die.
    And there are many more scenarios that can occur. But with what we have now, the most likely scenario is that justice will be served. Under anarchy, short of the scenario that Joe's family decides to hand Joe over or give him appropriate punishment themselves, justice will not be served (or it will other bad things will happen.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Then there are absolutely no monopolies today?
    I don't know about "absolutely" but a vast majority of what you buy is not sold by monopolies.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Wrong, I believe that the damage done by a monopoly is not worth the acts of aggression it would take to forcibly stop them.
    But as far as I can see, the "aggression" is just not allowing certain financial deals to happen. By that definition of "aggression", almost any law regulating business.



    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    And there are non-aggressive means to prevent monopolies which don't require law.
    Short of the owners of companies volunteering to not form monopolies, I honestly can't think of any. So you will need to enlighten me on what those other means are.

    Again, I think not allowing a financial deal to happen is pretty non-aggressive (which is all preventing monopolies entails - just not allowing the last two companies merge into one).


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    No, because I consider myself responsible for providing for my own survival, and if that means that i have to grow my own food and make my own clothes, or loosely barter with my neighbors, so be it.
    And seriously, there's nothing wrong with that. I think it would be really cool if you and other like-minded people formed a community where you all got along and were completely self-sufficient. And I say that without sarcasm.

    But I don't think most people want that and I don't think it would even work large-scale. And of course to make people live like that when they don't want to is forcing something on them against their will and therefore violates the principles of anarchy.

    Yeah, if some people want to go and form their own communities and not have rules (more like social agreements like there are at rainbow gatherings), that's fine. And I'm not saying that won't work or might not be better, for those people, than what we have now.

    But I stand by my argument that a large nation-wide change to anarchy would not be preferable.



    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Wrong. I'm acting like this is MY concern, and I don't entertain the conceit of knowing what is a concern for people other than myself, or what is "better" for them.
    I don't either. I'm not saying competition is better than monopoly for people because I think it's what's best for them but because I'm pretty sure it's what they would prefer.

    Maybe more people would prefer monopoly bread (expensive but not as good) to competition bread (lower price, higher quality, variety), but I would be extremely surprised if that's the case.

    And I likewise don't think not allowing two companies to merge is so aggressive that it overrides the above concern.
    Last edited by mican333; January 29th, 2010 at 12:03 PM.

  16. #56
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    Re: Anarchy.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    First off, Hitler was not concerned for the good of everyone. Clearly he knew that what he was doing was not good for those he exterminated.
    And?

    And if your first concern is freedom from aggression, then I can assume you thought we shouldn't have opposed Hitler and what he was doing with aggressive means (like joining the war).
    I would have expected the millions of jews to fight for their lives... But instead they allowed themselves to be disarmed and systematically exterminated. I think that Hitler should have been violently opposed. You're confusing "aggression" with "defense" and in this case, aid in defense. His were the acts of aggression, not those who resisted him.

    Let's say that there is a food monopoly and it not only has the only means of distributing food but has also bought up all means of producing food (owns all of the farmland, livestock, etc) and pretty much one guy owns everything. Now, he's set prices so high that most people cannot afford to buy any food and many are starving to death. All individual attempts to grow food (like local gardens) don't produce enough to feed everyone so even including individual food production, many will starve to death. So a hundred million people will die from starvation within a year unless something is done.

    Now if "no aggression" is the first principle and millions of people will die, then we either have to let those people die or we have to use aggression to force the monopoly to get food to those people.
    A business wanting to stay in business would be cutting its own throat to kill off it's customers. This seems like an incredibly unlikely scenario. But in the end, if the company didn't take, frocibly, the land or other means of production from people, it sounds like they made their own bed. Tragic, to be sure. Does it justify aggression? Not in my opinion.

    Well, let's test this as well.

    Going back to the food monopoly and starving people scenario.

    The monopoly owns an apple grove and some starving people walk by and see it and walk onto the grove and start eating the apples. Now, without using aggression, how is the monopoly going to prevent this?
    Aggression =/= force =/= violence. You seem to be using the terms interchangeably. Aggression doesn't have to be violent, and certainly not all acts of violence or physical force are aggressive in nature.

    That said, the monopoly would have people forcibly removed, I'm sure.

    And really, who says the monopoly even owns those apples? In today's society, there will be documents saying that the monopoly paid for the land and therefore "officially" owns the land and its contents (like the apples). But in an anarchy, such documents no longer exist so really it's nothing more than the monopoly's opinion that it owns those apples and if it's the starving people's opinion that they have the right to eat those apples, then no one is really "officially" right or wrong in this scenario. The people have just as much right to eat those apples than the monopoly has to keep those apples to itself.
    Not true. Such documents would be more important. I see no reason why there wouldn't be a neutral third party as a witness to such transactions, just like a notary is today. The state doesn't have to be a party to a contract or transaction for it to be considered legitimate.

    And if we hold to your premise that no aggression or violence may occur, then the people get to eat those apples and if the monopoly uses force to prevent this (even dragging people off the property without hurting them is pretty aggressive), then it is no longer abiding by what you value first and foremost.
    Just as I suspected, you do equate aggression and violence. Aggression is an act designed to deprive a person of his legitimately owned property. The people have absolutely no right (entitlement) of association with the company. Denial of such association is not, in my opinion, an aggressive act. That is to say, it is not FORCED to do business with or allow passage onto its property to anyone it doesn't want to. Someone entering the monopoly's land or stealing its property is the act of aggression in this case.

    But it's a corporation.
    My bad, I looked to see if it was publicly traded. I didn't look any deeper than that.

    Well, in actuality they do exist. For instance, there's rainbow gatherings.. Basically it's a bunch of hippies who gather in the tens of thousands at a national park for about a week for once a year and set up a temporary intentional community. There is no official leader, no official rules (but there are guidelines - things you should and should not do to keep the gathering healthy and respect the environment), and there are peacekeepers who only use as much force as necessary to prevent violence (so if someone is violent, they may have to wrestle him to the ground and try to get him to chill out). There is no money so if you want to transact, you have to barter (there are trade circles). And it works pretty well. BUT the thing is all who show up there are those who want to be in that situation and likewise it's only a temporary thing so it works fine for the short period of time that people are there. If they had to live there permanently and likewise have people who don't want to live like that as part of the group, it almost certainly would get awful pretty quick.
    Right. Anyone can play nice for a week. Let's see how the US government likes it when these people stop paying taxes, start smoking weed (openly), and refuse to permit entrance of state personnel (police, etc.). This is hardly what I would consider an "established" anarchist society.

    So really, to find an example of anarchy working well, I have to pick and choose (like I just did). But the question is whether Anarchy is a better system in general which likewise means we can't pick-and-choose where it's implemented and picture it being implemented everywhere and everyone. And surely, that would not work out well.
    What does it mean, exactly, to "work out well?" And why do you think that it wouldn't "work out well?"

    It would be naive to think it always works as it should. I agree with that. I do think that the legislature, at times, looks after interests other than the people as a whole (like those who contribute a lot of money to their campaigns for example).

    But it's no less a fault to believe the opposite, that the legislature never works on behalf of the people. And one of the reasons is that we elect our leaders so a legislator cannot defy the will of the people too egregiously or he will be voted out of office (if not removed earlier by something like a recall).
    How many terms was Hitler elected to? Not for nothin', but he was elected, by the laws of Germany at the time. It only took the one term for him to transform his election into dictatorship. I don't think that's likely here (in the US). Just making an observation.

    But the fact is, as far I've seen, the people generally do not want monopolies and the laws don't allow them. So at least in this instance, the people's will and the laws are in harmony.
    If it's "the people's will" that monopolies not form, laws wouldn't be necessary. Laws only give legitimacy to aggressive means of, in this case, "punishment."

    Or people could band together for their common good, form communities, and decide how they are each going to get what they need and work together to make sure they survive.
    Wouldn't that be awesome? Just make sure that you don't include me without asking me first.

    And if someone in the community "owns" something, it's only because we, as a group, have chosen to recognize his ownership. And instead of having people just agree, we can set laws that if someone does the necessary thing to achieve ownership (in our current society, he usually pays the appropriate amount of money for it) he officially owns it, but then the law likewise has to be generally recognized and accepted by the people to be valid.
    And if someone chooses to not be included in your community? He is devoid of ownership of property?

    But without rules dictating who own what, as far as I can see, you own what you think you own.
    Really? How about you define "ownership" for me... I think that would really help here.

    It's necessary because without the law against monopolies, most companies will likely form monopolies. And laws regulating business is not "aggressive force". No one is getting beaten up.
    Theft is aggressive force. Coercion is aggressive force. Forcibly siezing assets of a company who defies you is an aggressive act. If I stood in the way, I'd be kidnapped... er... um... arrested. Yeah, that's it.

    Companies may ATTEMPT to set up monopolies, but there is no guarantee they will be successful. You seem to be assuming that customers are not necessary for a company to become a monopoly, that a propietor can wake up in the morning and say, "Ok, today, I am a monopoly!!" And poof, it's done. It hardly works that way.

    That's up to you, but if you really think I'm being dishonest then you shouldn't be debating with me. And since I'm not dishonest, I refuse to put up with being called that (but I don't think you directly called me that earlier but it was kind of implied).
    You're quite right. Perhaps I'm a masochist and I just don't know it.

    No, I'm arguing that what we have is preferable for people in general. I forward that people in general (and there can be exceptions and perhaps you are one of them) prefer competition to monopolies, prefer rule of law enforcing laws against murder to either having to avenge a loved one's death or never getting justice and so on.
    How about this. I'm sure "people" would prefer to kill attackers on site before they had a chance to kill their loved ones so there needn't be any "revenge (which you seem to be calling "justice" here). Why don't they just do that instead, I wonder?

    I'm sure that "people" prefer the rule of law, when they agree with the laws.

    I'm sure that "people" prefer affordable goods. The problem here is that you assume that without the "rule of law" it's not possible for those same people to insure that affordable good are available to them.

    I'm willing to entertain anything. But I'm certainly not just going to concede my point that monopolies are much more likely (and could very well exist for everything that people buy) without a good argument against my position.
    Given that the "people" you keep referring to are the ones who would make monopolies possible in the first place, they're only as likely as people are willing to permit them (by patronizing them).

    Give me an argument about how monopolies would not happen in an anarchy and I will entertain it and if I disagree, I'll present a counter-argument. If your argument is iron-clad, then I will concede (and for the record, I have conceded although it's by no means a frequent thing).
    I'm not saying they wouldn't happen. I'm saying they'd happen only if people permitted them to happen. And if your "people" are so dead set against them, they'll see to it that monopolies do not succeed.

    Beyond hypothetically (which means I do not present it a factual, but as a "what if"), I never said monopolies would cause people to starve to death. And rejecting the premise of an argument is a valid rebuttal to the argument. I mean if I DID argue "since monopolies would surely cause people to starve to death..." as the start of an argument, you could very reasonably reject the argument because the premise (people will starve to death) is not valid (I have to prove it will cause starvation before I can base an argument on that "fact").
    So you're arguing that "monopolies are evil because they could cause people to starve to death?"

    And I count on people (not all, but enough) to be greedy, aggressive, and sometimes hateful. And whatever works best to counter these instincts from doing the most harm to people is the way to go.

    If laws against murder leads to fewer killings and more justice than just leaving it in people's hands to deal with it themselves, then that's the way to go.
    What if the consequence of trying to cause harm to another person was, more often than not, death or grave injury? How likely do you think it would be that people would try to commit murder? What about those people who knew that they would likely die in their attempt to do so, but did it anyhow?

    But again, what one "officially" owns is based on a societal agreement that he owns it. If you reject the concept of LEGAL ownership, then ownership boils down to nothing more than personal opinion that you own something (and if I think your car is mine as much as you think it's yours then I own it as much as you do). And if you accept the concept of LEGAL ownership, then laws against monopoly (denying company A to buy out company B to form a monopoly) is not theft as company A is not legally entitled to own company B any more than I'm legally entitled to own your car without your consent to transfer ownership of it to me.
    Not quite. Define "ownership" for me. (I asked you to do that above, so you don't also have to do it here.)

    No. But I think the consequences of, say, a murder is much less likely to result in justice (the actual killer being punished for the crime and no significant blowback afterwards).
    What sorts of consequences do you think there would be for murder/attempted murder in a stateless society?

    So let's say Joe kills Frank and the killing is witnessed by many so there's no doubt what happened.

    In out current system, what will likely happen is Joe gets locked up for a long time. Frank's family has received justice - the killer of Frank has been punished. Joe's family may be unhappy that Joe is locked up but there's not much they can do about.
    Franks family has received no such thing. They have received only a mild assurance that Joe will not kill anyone else who isn't already locked up in jail (or working in one), assuming he's in there for life. Some people murder and are paroled, what sort of justice have those families received?

    Now under Anarchy, the same killing occurs - various possible scenarios:
    1. Frank's family wants justice but Joe's family refuses to hand him over and they are much tougher than Frank's family and Frank's family cannot muster enough muscle to enforce their will. So Joe gets away with it.
    Joe and his family risk exile from their community, and likely, restriction to their own property if their immediate neighbors refuse them passage.

    2. Frank's family finds Joe and kills him and then Joe's family, in revenge, kills someone in Frank's family and then a series of revenge killings occur and many more people die.
    That sort of killing is a VERY costly endeavor. How many of the Hatfields and McCoys actually died during their feud?

    And there are many more scenarios that can occur. But with what we have now, the most likely scenario is that justice will be served. Under anarchy, short of the scenario that Joe's family decides to hand Joe over or give him appropriate punishment themselves, justice will not be served (or it will other bad things will happen.
    I don't think it's for you to decide what is justice between two parties.

    I don't know about "absolutely" but a vast majority of what you buy is not sold by monopolies.
    That's not the point. I'll even narrow the field. Are there no monoplies in the US today?

    But as far as I can see, the "aggression" is just not allowing certain financial deals to happen. By that definition of "aggression", almost any law regulating business.
    Bingo!

    Short of the owners of companies volunteering to not form monopolies, I honestly can't think of any. So you will need to enlighten me on what those other means are.
    Monoplies don't just appear, they become monoplies by succeeding in luring a significant number of customers from their competition, so much so that said competition must close its doors from becoming so unprofitable. If people don't want monopolies, they will patronize many businesses, not just one.

    Again, I think not allowing a financial deal to happen is pretty non-aggressive (which is all preventing monopolies entails - just not allowing the last two companies merge into one).
    "Not allowing" a financial deal is pretty aggressive. Say for instance, the consequence of you buying a jug of milk from your local quick-e-mart is that I'll take your house. I won't stop you from buying that jug of milk, but I'll take your house if you do. What is that called? How is it different from what you're suggesting?

    And seriously, there's nothing wrong with that. I think it would be really cool if you and other like-minded people formed a community where you all got along and were completely self-sufficient. And I say that without sarcasm.
    I don't think you're being at all sarcastic.

    But I don't think most people want that and I don't think it would even work large-scale. And of course to make people live like that when they don't want to is forcing something on them against their will and therefore violates the principles of anarchy.
    I don't want to be totally self-sufficient either. I think the division of labor is what has made societies prosperous in the past. I'd like to see markets and trade. I don't want to have to learn to do metal working, on top of animal husbandry, electrical generation, water purification, medicine, and algebra... I'd like to be able to trade what I'm especially good at for other things I'm not super good at. What I am is prepared for a situation where it may be necessary for me to be largely self-sufficient. There's a big difference.

    And I absolutely agree that forcing a way of life on people who don't want it is absolutely aggressive, and I wouldn't dream of it.

    Yeah, if some people want to go and form their own communities and not have rules (more like social agreements like their are at rainbow gatherings), that's fine. And I'm not saying that won't work or might not be better, for those people, than what we have now.

    But I stand by my argument that a large nation-wide change to anarchy would not be preferable.
    Ah, and I have recognized a technicality. I would argue that the vast majority of people in the US today certainly do not prefer Anarchy. I won't say "would not" because I can't presume to know what they would prefer if they were literally aware of what it is that I advocate, but I'll concede that spot-polled, right now, no prep, people would say, "Anarchy! AAAHHHHHH" and run screaming away. While I believe that there are reasons for this which could be remedied with time, I reocognize that most people react strongly and emotionally to the idea of living without state/police/law/etc. *I* find that a universal change to anarchy is certainly preferrable, but I do recognize that I am currently in the minority.

    *Note that this has absolutely nothing to do with your argument about monopolies.*

    *After thought* This also says nothing as to whether or not anarchy is "better" or "worse," comparatively to what we have now, only that it is currently "unpopular."

    I don't either. I'm not saying competition is better than monopoly for people because I think it's what's best for them but because I'm pretty sure it's what they would prefer.

    Maybe more people would prefer monopoly bread (expensive but not as good) to competition bread (lower price, higher quality, variety), but I would be extremely surprised if that's the case.
    As I've said, I am sure that most people prefer a division of labor. There is nothing, however, to suggest that monopoly bread would be inherently expensive but not as good.

    And I likewise don't think not allowing two companies to merge is so aggressive that it overrides the above concern.
    This totally depends upon your values.

    I think it's interesting, though, that you think that a monopoly preventing transactions (stopping people from buying bread from one anohter, presumably by aggressive means) is immoral, and yet the state preventing transactions (stopping a business from buying another business or selling its bread at whatever price it wants to, by similar aggressive means) is moral.
    "And that, my lord, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped." ~ Monty Python


  17. #57
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    Re: Anarchy.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    And?
    And therefore Hitler is not a valid example of my principle in action.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    I would have expected the millions of jews to fight for their lives... But instead they allowed themselves to be disarmed and systematically exterminated.
    Well, to be fair, they weren't necessarily aware of what was in store for them at each step.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    I think that Hitler should have been violently opposed. You're confusing "aggression" with "defense" and in this case, aid in defense. His were the acts of aggression, not those who resisted him.
    Well, if you're allowing the "it's in defense" loophole in taking aggressive action (I mean the US did invade Germany - that's aggressive action), then people can likewise take direct action to oppose monopolies to protect their interests. I mean people need food and shelter to survive so if a monopoly is interfering with their means to survive, then it could be seen as a threat to their lives and therefore defensive action is warranted.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    But in the end, if the company didn't take, frocibly, the land or other means of production from people, it sounds like they made their own bed. Tragic, to be sure. Does it justify aggression? Not in my opinion.
    I think if one has the means to save millions of people and refuses to do so, then he is pretty much guilty of murder (with millions dying, genocide even).

    I don't want to put words in your mouth, but are you saying that saving those millions of people from what is practically genocide is not worth being aggressive against the man who is responsible for their deaths?



    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Aggression =/= force =/= violence. You seem to be using the terms interchangeably. Aggression doesn't have to be violent, and certainly not all acts of violence or physical force are aggressive in nature.

    That said, the monopoly would have people forcibly removed, I'm sure.
    And that's not aggression? I'm sorry but I don't think I know what you mean by aggression, then. As far as I can see (and I doubt this is the case), you seem to conjure word when it's something you oppose and refrain from using it when you want to justify the action (and again, that's just how it looks - I would not be surprised if you have a very consistent definition).

    For instance how is telling a company that it cannot buy another company (which is what it takes to prevent monopolies) aggression and dragging starving people from an apple orchard not aggression?


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Not true. Such documents would be more important. I see no reason why there wouldn't be a neutral third party as a witness to such transactions, just like a notary is today. The state doesn't have to be a party to a contract or transaction for it to be considered legitimate.
    Whether anything is "considered legitimate" is purely subjective. If you think it's legitimate then it's legitimate (to you) and if you don't think it's legitimate then it's not legitimate (to you).

    Let's go back to the starving person (which will be me) and the monopoly owned apple orchard.

    Now in my (hypothetical) opinion a man who is so immoral that he would rather let me starve than let me have an apple is by no means a legitimate human being, let alone a legitimate owner of anything.

    So I'm going to go and take an apple so I can survive. And since the apples are not legitimately owned by this man (as far as I'm concerned), then I'm in no way doing anything wrong. And since legitimacy is a matter of opinion and everyone is ultimately equal (especially under Anarchy), if the millions of starving people feel the monopoly owner does not legitimately own the apple orchard, those hard numbers (Millions of opinions that concur) is about the most objective measure of the legitimacy of his ownership of the orchard (under Anarchy, that is).

    If I do not recognize the right of anyone to own the apples and feel that I have the right, since I'm starving and will die, to save my own life and that anyone that would deny me the means of saving my own life is not a "legitimate authority", then I have the right to take an apple from the orchard and eat it.

    Now, why does the "owner" of the orchard (who is not recognized as such by me) have more of a right to keep me from eating an apple than I have to eat that apple? Who gives him that right? And who says I do not have the right to eat an apple?




    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Just as I suspected, you do equate aggression and violence. Aggression is an act designed to deprive a person of his legitimately owned property.
    Here's the definition I go with (from the dictionary) for aggression: any offensive action, attack, or procedure; an inroad or encroachment. And I'm certainly not going to say something's not aggression if it fits this definition. And physically dragging a person anywhere is aggression (and sometimes I think aggression is warranted btw).

    So theft, however it occurs, would be aggression. But whether taking property from someone is theft is based on, as you said, whether the property is "legitimately owned" and whether it's legitimately owned is based, in this society, on whether it is legally obtained.

    So if the law says you cannot own something, then by definition, your possession of it (or potential possession) is not "legitimate" and therefore to deprive you of ownership (before or after the fact of possession) is not theft.

    But then (to step ahead) under Anarchy, there are no laws to say that the property one possesses is not "legitimately owned". So then, in an Anarchy, how can it be decided if something is legitimately owned?

    As far as I can see, there are only two ways - consent and coercion.

    For example, let's say you own a car and you've even spray painted your name on the side of it to make it clear that you own it. Now, in your community, people may routinely see you and your car and hold the opinion that you own that car. So they "consent" to your ownership of the car. The other way is coercion. Perhaps you are so scary that no one would dare cross you and therefore be too afraid to take your car and therefore agree that you own the car because they don't want to go against your claim of ownership.

    But if I wanted your car and neither agreed that you are the legitimate owner nor was too intimidated by you to take possession of the car, then there's no reason I shouldn't take possession of it. In fact, since I do not consider the legitimate owner of the car, I'm not even guilty of "aggression" (in my opinion at least).

    And the same thing with the starving people and the monopoly apple orchard. They, en masse, say "We do not recognize you as the legitimate owner of these apples so we will eat them" and again, who's to say that they are not correct? In a society with rule of law, the society that is under that rule of law would go by what the law currently says (he has the legal documents to show he owns the land and therefore, under society's law, he's the legitimate owner). But with no rule of law, these people are under no legal obligation to recognize his ownership of the apples and whether they are under any moral obligation is completely up for debate.



    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    If it's "the people's will" that monopolies not form, laws wouldn't be necessary. Laws only give legitimacy to aggressive means of, in this case, "punishment."
    No, the law gives people the ability to enforce their will on others who otherwise would defy their will.

    Come on, do you really think people are always vigilant and acting perfectly in unison and are so passionate about no monopolies that if there were no rules preventing monopolies and monopolies formed because of that the people, en masse, would stop them?

    And if they did somehow rise up and tear down the monopolies, wouldn't that qualify as "aggression" and therefore be wrong (in your opinion)?



    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Companies may ATTEMPT to set up monopolies, but there is no guarantee they will be successful. You seem to be assuming that customers are not necessary for a company to become a monopoly, that a propietor can wake up in the morning and say, "Ok, today, I am a monopoly!!" And poof, it's done. It hardly works that way.
    There's no guarantee that any one particular company will become a monopoly, but it's likely that most things that one purchase will eventually be sold by a monopoly (unless there are laws explicitly forbidding monopolies).

    And what happens to the proprietor in your scenario is that either he does manage to become the monopoly by buying out or eliminating all competitors or he's the owner of one of the companies that gets bought out or eliminated by the company that becomes the monopoly.




    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    How about this. I'm sure "people" would prefer to kill attackers on site before they had a chance to kill their loved ones so there needn't be any "revenge (which you seem to be calling "justice" here). Why don't they just do that instead, I wonder?
    Because they can't identify the attackers beforehand, of course.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    I'm sure that "people" prefer the rule of law, when they agree with the laws.
    And for the most part, they do. I mean there's laws that I don't agree with and would like to change, but I agree with most laws and prefer having them enforced.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    I'm sure that "people" prefer affordable goods. The problem here is that you assume that without the "rule of law" it's not possible for those same people to insure that affordable good are available to them.
    Never said that. Again, my argument is that anarchy is not preferable, not that there's no possible way people can live under it.

    But if anarchy leads to monopolies, then goods will generally be higher price and lower quality. That doesn't mean no one can afford the items but just that they were better off when there weren't monopolies.

    And just in case there's confusion on this here, let me reiterate that the apple grove scenario is purely hypothetical - I do not forward it as a likely scenario under Anarchy.



    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Given that the "people" you keep referring to are the ones who would make monopolies possible in the first place, they're only as likely as people are willing to permit them (by patronizing them).
    And if you need something and there's only one place to get it, you are very likely to patronize the place, even if you are aware that it would be better if there are competition.

    You surely aren't suggesting that people never "settle", do you?


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    I'm not saying they wouldn't happen. I'm saying they'd happen only if people permitted them to happen. And if your "people" are so dead set against them, they'll see to it that monopolies do not succeed.
    I'm not saying people would be "dead set" against monopolies. If given the choice between competition and monopolies, they will certainly prefer competition to monopolies, but if the monopoly is what they're given, they may well settle for it even though they prefer the alternative.

    The argument that whatever people want is what they get does not follow. I think if a situation is truly intolerable, the people will see that it's undone (like in my apple orchard scenario, I think the starving people would overthrow the monopoly), but something that's "not that good" is likely to not be strongly opposed. Most people are too preoccupied living their day-to-day lives to put energy into opposing anything that isn't intolerable.

    So short of a monopoly truly making everyone's lives hell, they will probably let it exist even though they'd prefer the lower prices and better quality from competition and if they could do something like vote for a law against it (or vote for legislators who would outlaw monopolies), they would. So without rule of law, many things that people want and could easily get will remain unattainable.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    So you're arguing that "monopolies are evil because they could cause people to starve to death?"
    I never said they are evil and I never said they could cause people to starve to death.

    I'm saying competition is preferable to monopolies. That's it.



    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    What if the consequence of trying to cause harm to another person was, more often than not, death or grave injury? How likely do you think it would be that people would try to commit murder? What about those people who knew that they would likely die in their attempt to do so, but did it anyhow?
    These are questions, not rebuttals. So I will repeat my statement.

    And I count on people (not all, but enough) to be greedy, aggressive, and sometimes hateful. And whatever works best to counter these instincts from doing the most harm to people is the way to go.

    If laws against murder leads to fewer killings and more justice than just leaving it in people's hands to deal with it themselves, then that's the way to go.



    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    What sorts of consequences do you think there would be for murder/attempted murder in a stateless society?
    There's a variety of consequences. But one that is less likely to occur than in a society with the rule of law is that the person who committed the killing gets appropriate punishment for the crime.



    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Franks family has received no such thing. They have received only a mild assurance that Joe will not kill anyone else who isn't already locked up in jail (or working in one), assuming he's in there for life. Some people murder and are paroled, what sort of justice have those families received?
    Joe has been locked up for a very long time and therefore he has been punished for his crime and therefore Frank's family has received justice (the killer is punished). If Joe gets paroled, it will be after decades of prison - still a severe punishment.

    And I'm not saying that the system is perfect. Perhaps there will be some legal snafu and Joe will go free. All I'm saying is that the scenario of Joe getting real punishment for his crime is more likely when there's rule of law.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Joe and his family risk exile from their community, and likely, restriction to their own property if their immediate neighbors refuse them passage.
    It all depends on a variety of factors, doesn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    That sort of killing is a VERY costly endeavor. How many of the Hatfields and McCoys actually died during their feud?
    Many. And without the rule of law, the same thing is much more likely to happen between Joe's and Frank's family.



    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Monoplies don't just appear, they become monoplies by succeeding in luring a significant number of customers from their competition, so much so that said competition must close its doors from becoming so unprofitable. If people don't want monopolies, they will patronize many businesses, not just one.

    First off, there are other ways of becoming a monopoly. There can be two successful businesses and one just offers the other one enough money for it to make financial sense to sell out (and then go live the rest of his life off the profit he made selling his company). And then how many people would go to the business that sold out is irrelevant as the business does not exist anymore.

    And the notion that people will buy with the intent to prevent monopolies does not jibe with any reality that I'm aware of. Are you suggesting that is first and foremost the motivation when people decide where to shop? I, for one, buy my groceries at the store that's closest to me about 90% of the time (and it's a pretty good store besides).


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    "Not allowing" a financial deal is pretty aggressive. Say for instance, the consequence of you buying a jug of milk from your local quick-e-mart is that I'll take your house. I won't stop you from buying that jug of milk, but I'll take your house if you do. What is that called? How is it different from what you're suggesting?
    "Not allowing" someone to buy something means that they don't allow someone to buy something. So your scenario is not accurate at all. The appropriate scenario would be that for some reason I can't buy a jug of milk so when I go to buy it, I'm told they can't sell it to me.

    Why would my house be in danger?

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    I think it's interesting, though, that you think that a monopoly preventing transactions (stopping people from buying bread from one anohter, presumably by aggressive means) is immoral, and yet the state preventing transactions (stopping a business from buying another business or selling its bread at whatever price it wants to, by similar aggressive means) is moral.
    I didn't say "immoral". I said it's not preferable.

    I believe that people prefer a variety of options and good quality at a reasonable price over lower quality at a higher price and as competition is more likely to deliver the former, it is preferable.

    And I do not find the notion that in certain situations, a transaction cannot happen to be particularly aggressive.

    Let me ask you some questions:

    1. Is it wrong for our justice system to lock up criminals?
    2. Is it wrong for an average person to lock another person in a cage against his will?

    Assuming you answered differently to each question, what is the relevant difference that makes one alright and the other one wrong?

  18. #58
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    Re: Anarchy.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Well, to be fair, they weren't necessarily aware of what was in store for them at each step.
    So they were careless? They weren't vigilant. They didn't prepare. It's tragic, but they shouldn't have let it get that far. The jews are not a people who are unaware of what slavery is. Do you know what a seder is?

    Well, if you're allowing the "it's in defense" loophole in taking aggressive action (I mean the US did invade Germany - that's aggressive action), then people can likewise take direct action to oppose monopolies to protect their interests. I mean people need food and shelter to survive so if a monopoly is interfering with their means to survive, then it could be seen as a threat to their lives and therefore defensive action is warranted.
    My usage of the word doesn't allow a "loop-hole." Aggression as I define it is inherently non-defensive. The NAP (Non-Aggression Principle) only applies to non-defensive means to convert property against the will of the owner (property including the owner's very body). It's not a loop-hole, it's simply that "defensive" acts are inherently non-aggressive.

    Defensive action doesn't apply to theft. If something isn't yours, taking it for whatever means, is an act of aggression. I don't care if the person you're taking it from has one dollar to his name or a trillion. If you have to steal to provide for your survival, you risk the consequences of an aggressive act. You may think that "but I'll die if I don't steal" is good enough justification, but the person you're taking from most likely won't. And just because your survival depends upon it, it doesn't make it "defensive." It's not like a person who rightfully owns property does so with the sole intent of depriving you of your life.

    Again, if a monopoly wishes to remain a monopoly, it would be killing itself to kill its customers.

    I think if one has the means to save millions of people and refuses to do so, then he is pretty much guilty of murder (with millions dying, genocide even).
    I have argued this to death with others on this very board. I fail to see how I am morally obligated to save a life if I am able. I could have saved a 12 year old girl if I'd donated my heart, but I didn't and she died. Am I guilty of murder? Hardly.

    I don't want to put words in your mouth, but are you saying that saving those millions of people from what is practically genocide is not worth being aggressive against the man who is responsible for their deaths?
    How's the man responsible for their deaths? Then we'll discuss whether or not the acts required to save the "millions of people" is an act of aggression, or whether or not that act is mitigated.

    If I sold you my land, squandered the profits, then died of exposure or starvation or whatever else may have been prevented had I not sold you my land... are you telling me I would be right in forcibly stealing land that I sold you back...?

    And that's not aggression? I'm sorry but I don't think I know what you mean by aggression, then. As far as I can see (and I doubt this is the case), you seem to conjure word when it's something you oppose and refrain from using it when you want to justify the action (and again, that's just how it looks - I would not be surprised if you have a very consistent definition).
    An act of aggression is an act aimed at depriving a person of his property (consider his body as a part of his property). Acts of aggression can be overtly violent, or they could be deceptive or fraudulent. Any means through which a person converts the property of another without his (informed) consent. Defensive actions are actions which seek to mitigate or stop aggressive acts (in progress, because such an act after-the-fact would be an act of revenge, and I would consider that aggressive).

    For instance how is telling a company that it cannot buy another company (which is what it takes to prevent monopolies) aggression and dragging starving people from an apple orchard not aggression?
    The first is aggressive because it converts the property (assets) of a company to a purpose other than that which its owners consent to willingly. The second is defensive because the starving people converted the property of the owner of the orchard. Kicking them off the property would be a defensive act... it may be unethical (I also employ a very unusual definition for "ethics," if you're interested in that, let me know), but it's still a defensive act.

    Whether anything is "considered legitimate" is purely subjective. If you think it's legitimate then it's legitimate (to you) and if you don't think it's legitimate then it's not legitimate (to you).
    Indeed, but for society to exist, for men to co-exist without killing one another, they have to have a similar understanding of things like property and conduct. This exists today, as I'm sure most people don't need the police or the law to tell them not to attack strangers on the street. There are a few a-holes, but for the most part, people get along without resorting to random violence or violation of property.

    Let's go back to the starving person (which will be me) and the monopoly owned apple orchard.

    Now in my (hypothetical) opinion a man who is so immoral that he would rather let me starve than let me have an apple is by no means a legitimate human being, let alone a legitimate owner of anything.
    Letting you starve isn't immoral, in my opinion. It's unethical. It's heartless. But it's absolutely immoral for you to think that I should HAVE to sustain you, for absolutely nothing in return, or even for less in return than I value my property for, merely because you exist. You are not so inherently entitled to my association.

    So I'm going to go and take an apple so I can survive. And since the apples are not legitimately owned by this man (as far as I'm concerned), then I'm in no way doing anything wrong. And since legitimacy is a matter of opinion and everyone is ultimately equal (especially under Anarchy), if the millions of starving people feel the monopoly owner does not legitimately own the apple orchard, those hard numbers (Millions of opinions that concur) is about the most objective measure of the legitimacy of his ownership of the orchard (under Anarchy, that is).
    Everyone is not ultimately equal under anarchy. I have no idea where you got that idea from. But if that bunch of people overtook the orchard, I'd judge their acts as aggressive.

    If I do not recognize the right of anyone to own the apples and feel that I have the right, since I'm starving and will die, to save my own life and that anyone that would deny me the means of saving my own life is not a "legitimate authority", then I have the right to take an apple from the orchard and eat it.
    I'm sure you could hold that opinion, but I have no doubt it would lead to your early demise, especially in a society which has the NAP at it's foundation.

    Now, why does the "owner" of the orchard (who is not recognized as such by me) have more of a right to keep me from eating an apple than I have to eat that apple? Who gives him that right? And who says I do not have the right to eat an apple?
    First, we have to assume that ownership is possible at all. If you don't assume that ownership isn't possible, then there's nothing to discuss. I define ownership as something synonymous with possession, but add that there is moral value to ownership which is applied by evaluating the means through which a man acquired his possessions. If we assume that a man can own something, we assume that he, at the very least, owns his body. If a man owns his body then it is quite reasonable to assume that he also owns the skills and abilities of that body. He alone is entitled to the benefits of that body. If this is true, why shouldn't he be able to trade those benefits to those of whom would find them valuable for that which he finds valuable? I see no reason why he shouldn't. So, if the owner of the orchard acquired the orchard by moral means, and you are attempting to acquire an apple from his orchard (his property) by immoral means, starving or not, you are in the wrong. His behavior may be all manner of emotionally reprehensible, but they are not immoral in my opinion.

    Here's the definition I go with (from the dictionary) for aggression: any offensive action, attack, or procedure; an inroad or encroachment. And I'm certainly not going to say something's not aggression if it fits this definition. And physically dragging a person anywhere is aggression (and sometimes I think aggression is warranted btw).
    I don't think aggression is ever a moral act. Aggression, though, as you've noted here is inherently "offensive" which means it is not "defensive." I think that you're applying it differently, though. I do not believe that one is morally obligated to save a life if it is at all possible.

    So theft, however it occurs, would be aggression. But whether taking property from someone is theft is based on, as you said, whether the property is "legitimately owned" and whether it's legitimately owned is based, in this society, on whether it is legally obtained.
    Legitimacy only deals with what a group designates as a permissible behavior. If a group permits theft, than ownership achieved by such means is legitimate ownership. It doesn't take the law to establish this.

    So if the law says you cannot own something, then by definition, your possession of it (or potential possession) is not "legitimate" and therefore to deprive you of ownership (before or after the fact of possession) is not theft.
    I disagree. To deprive another person of ownership of property is theft, regardless of whether that property was gotten by immoral means. This is what I was talking about when I mentioned revenge before. Defensive acts are only acts which seek to stop/impede an (active) aggressive act. Anything else is "revenge."

    I'd also like to introduce, for the sake of making things easier... "harm." Let's define "harm" as "depriving owners of their property." It doesn't carry with it any inherent moral value. We'll assign that as we discuss harm. But it makes it easier to have a word instead of having to type out five words to describe a concept every time.

    I believe that all people should be held accountable for all harm (accidental or intentional) to the people they harmed, and only to the people they harmed. It is not for me to make George pay for harm he caused you by stealing your dog. But it's likewise not for you to cause him harm (take revenge) in order to "make right" the wrong (harm) he committed against you... "two wrongs don't make a right" and all that.

    But then (to step ahead) under Anarchy, there are no laws to say that the property one possesses is not "legitimately owned". So then, in an Anarchy, how can it be decided if something is legitimately owned?

    As far as I can see, there are only two ways - consent and coercion.
    A society where there was no common understanding of property ownership would quickly disintegrate, I'm sure.

    But if I wanted your car and neither agreed that you are the legitimate owner nor was too intimidated by you to take possession of the car, then there's no reason I shouldn't take possession of it. In fact, since I do not consider the legitimate owner of the car, I'm not even guilty of "aggression" (in my opinion at least).
    You must have a very different definition of ownership than I do.

    But with no rule of law, these people are under no legal obligation to recognize his ownership of the apples and whether they are under any moral obligation is completely up for debate.
    No, but they almost certainly risk their lives in order to make such a costly incursion. Consider, someone with enough resources to own an orchard surely has the resources to insure his continued ownership of that orchard. I'm sure if your choice* is die painfully by bullets or die painfully by starvation, you're going to pick the least likely of the two, but only one of those is, in my opinion, the moral choice.

    No, the law gives people the ability to enforce their will on others who otherwise would defy their will.
    I sincerely disagree. I have the ability to enforce my will upon others without the law. How else am I able to steal or murder? The law doesn't prevent me from doing those things.

    Come on, do you really think people are always vigilant and acting perfectly in unison and are so passionate about no monopolies that if there were no rules preventing monopolies and monopolies formed because of that the people, en masse, would stop them?
    I think that you seek to mitigate the responsibility that these individuals have for providing for their own survival. It sounds like a lot of justification of committing acts which would be otherwise immoral in order to survive. I'm not saying I wouldn't make those same choices, but from a purely unattached perspective, I don't suddenly think that theft is moral because I'll die if I don't steal.

    And if they did somehow rise up and tear down the monopolies, wouldn't that qualify as "aggression" and therefore be wrong (in your opinion)?
    Yes. And I've never suggested they do such a thing.

    There's no guarantee that any one particular company will become a monopoly, but it's likely that most things that one purchase will eventually be sold by a monopoly (unless there are laws explicitly forbidding monopolies).
    How? I don't see that being likely at all.

    And what happens to the proprietor in your scenario is that either he does manage to become the monopoly by buying out or eliminating all competitors or he's the owner of one of the companies that gets bought out or eliminated by the company that becomes the monopoly.
    He lives like a prince because he was paid handsomely for his efforts. I don't know what he does. You tell me?

    Because they can't identify the attackers beforehand, of course.
    Then they weren't paying attention. All sorts of bad crap happens when you're not paying attention.

    And for the most part, they do. I mean there's laws that I don't agree with and would like to change, but I agree with most laws and prefer having them enforced.
    Then we have a serious difference of values.

    And just in case there's confusion on this here, let me reiterate that the apple grove scenario is purely hypothetical - I do not forward it as a likely scenario under Anarchy.
    Your argument is that anarchy is not preferable because of likelihood of these sorts of scenarios. So you must be forwarding this whole thing (the monopoly issue) as "likely" or there's no point in discussing it. "Well, it's not likely to happen, but it's possible so anarchy's bad!" I can't imagine you would consciously forward something like that though.

    And if you need something and there's only one place to get it, you are very likely to patronize the place, even if you are aware that it would be better if there are competition.
    If it were really that bad of a situation, I'd take advantage of the market for better quality or cheaper products and start my own little competing business.

    You surely aren't suggesting that people never "settle", do you?
    Not at all. But if they're going to bitch about their situation, they better have exhausted all other avenues first, otherwise they're just lazy, and I have absolutely no sympathy.

    Most people are too preoccupied living their day-to-day lives to put energy into opposing anything that isn't intolerable.
    I don't think this would be the case in an anarchist society.

    I'm saying competition is preferable to monopolies. That's it.
    And I don't disagree.

    There's a variety of consequences. But one that is less likely to occur than in a society with the rule of law is that the person who committed the killing gets appropriate punishment for the crime.
    Define "appropriate punishment."

    All I'm saying is that the scenario of Joe getting real punishment for his crime is more likely when there's rule of law.
    So your concern is not for the victim, but for punishing the guilty party. Again, our values here diverge somewhat.

    It all depends on a variety of factors, doesn't it?
    Not for nothin', but everything that has anything to do with society depends on a multitude of factors that are intricate and complicated, so much so that neither you nor I could possibly hope to understand them all. What does that matter here?

    Many. And without the rule of law, the same thing is much more likely to happen between Joe's and Frank's family.
    Seven. And in the grand scheme of human existence, it's not even worth mentioning. That sort of endeavor is a very costly one, and when a single person or a small group of individuals has to incur that cost, alone, without the limitless resources of, say, taxation or conscription (like states have), it's highly unlikely that this sort of behavior would become the "norm."

    Are you suggesting that is first and foremost the motivation when people decide where to shop? I, for one, buy my groceries at the store that's closest to me about 90% of the time (and it's a pretty good store besides).
    Again, if monopolies are that offensive to the collective "will," people won't be so lazy.

    "Not allowing" someone to buy something means that they don't allow someone to buy something. So your scenario is not accurate at all. The appropriate scenario would be that for some reason I can't buy a jug of milk so when I go to buy it, I'm told they can't sell it to me.

    Why would my house be in danger?
    The state doesn't prevent these things from happening. It only punishes people after the fact. It's prevention by coercion, which is exactly what I described.

    I didn't say "immoral". I said it's not preferable.

    I believe that people prefer a variety of options and good quality at a reasonable price over lower quality at a higher price and as competition is more likely to deliver the former, it is preferable.
    I don't disagree. But your argument is that anarchy is not preferable because monopolies are not preferable and they are somehow more likely in an anarchist society. It is therefore my argument that monopolies exist today, and therefore today is at least as good as, in terms of monopolies, an anarchist society would be. So there's no real reason not to prefer it.

    And I do not find the notion that in certain situations, a transaction cannot happen to be particularly aggressive.
    We obviously differ on what constitutes aggression.

    Let me ask you some questions:

    1. Is it wrong for our justice system to lock up criminals?
    2. Is it wrong for an average person to lock another person in a cage against his will?

    Assuming you answered differently to each question, what is the relevant difference that makes one alright and the other one wrong?
    I answer yes to both, so your last question is not applicable.
    Last edited by ladyphoenix; February 2nd, 2010 at 11:46 AM. Reason: *fixing silly mistakes
    "And that, my lord, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped." ~ Monty Python


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    Re: Anarchy.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    So they were careless? They weren't vigilant. They didn't prepare. It's tragic, but they shouldn't have let it get that far.
    And many fled the area before things got too bad. And for those who did end up in a camp, they believed they were not going to be killed. I'm thinking of the scene in the movie Schindler's list where a Jew in a labor camp who didn't believe they were going to be killed because it made no sense to kill one's labor force.

    I mean I think you better see how easy or hard it is for you to be tricked into winding up in a death camp before you pass judgment on someone who who was likewise tricked like that.

    But this is clearly off-topic.

    Also, like you did before, I'm going to not respond to every point to shorten things a bit (but I think I responded to the most pertinent things).

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Defensive action doesn't apply to theft. If something isn't yours, taking it for whatever means, is an act of aggression. I don't care if the person you're taking it from has one dollar to his name or a trillion. If you have to steal to provide for your survival, you risk the consequences of an aggressive act. You may think that "but I'll die if I don't steal" is good enough justification, but the person you're taking from most likely won't.
    But then going by the apple orchard scenario, the person who willfully lets others die when he could help is very immoral and in weighing the morality of taking an apple from him, that need to be factored in. And likewise if stealing the apple will help someone survive, then that also makes it more moral act than stealing an apple would be otherwise.

    So while I agree that theft in general is wrong, a moral situation is often more complex than that and putting "no theft" at the very top of the moral pyramid doesn't make a lot of sense. I think letting someone die when you could help them is a greater immorality.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    And just because your survival depends upon it, it doesn't make it "defensive." It's not like a person who rightfully owns property does so with the sole intent of depriving you of your life.
    What if that is his intent? In my apple orchard hypothetical, I am intentionally skewing things as far as I can to make the monopoly-owner the villain (short of him breaking any laws). If it's legal for him to do what he wants with his apples, then he can refuse to sell them, at any price for any reason, to whoever he chooses not to sell them?

    Again, if "no theft" (which equates to having his property taken from him without his consent) is at the top of the moral pyramid, then he must be allowed to intentionally starve those people if that's his choice. Their lives and his intentional actions to deprive them of their lives is not as big a moral concern then respecting to do as he wants with his "property".

    Of course in an Anarchy "property" becomes a much more nebulous, if not irrelevant concept (so really it could be argued that there will be no monopolies under Anarchy because no one will be able to own anything, let alone everything).

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Again, if a monopoly wishes to remain a monopoly, it would be killing itself to kill its customers.
    And if that's the very reason he formed a monopoly, to kill a lot of people (or perhaps he just refuses to sell to those of other races so really his intention is genocide), then it's alright that he formed a monopoly?

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    I have argued this to death with others on this very board. I fail to see how I am morally obligated to save a life if I am able. I could have saved a 12 year old girl if I'd donated my heart, but I didn't and she died. Am I guilty of murder? Hardly.
    Well, that's a moral question. But then so is the issue of "no theft". If you don't think it's immoral to refrain from feeding a starving person, even though you could, so he dies, that's up to you. But then I see no reason I should consider it less moral to sneak onto the monopoly apple orchard (and again, the owner is a complete villain with genocidal plans), take an apple and feed the person and save his life.

    I mean if you think the genocidal person intentionally starving millions of people out of racial hatred is more moral than the person who steals and apple to save someone's life, I think we may be at an impasse here on morality as our morals are apparently very different. It sounds like I'll be trying to steal apples to save people's lives while you'll be doing your best to ensure that the owner's genocidal plans are carried out, not because you support genocide, but because you think the ultimate moral issue is if an apple is stolen. I don't want to put words in your mouth, but from the arguments so far this does seem to be the case.



    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    How's the man responsible for their deaths? Then we'll discuss whether or not the acts required to save the "millions of people" is an act of aggression, or whether or not that act is mitigated.
    Again, my hypothetical skews things as far as it can to make him the bad guy (short of him breaking the law) to test the notion that "theft" is the ultimate moral question. So let's say he sees an area with numerous "inferiors" and decides to get rid of them by buying up all of their food supplies (apples) and then refusing to sell them any apples at any price. It's his plan to starve those people before he bought up all of the food. So if they die, it's because of his direct action with the intention of killing them. I would say in that situation, he is responsible for the deaths of those who starve.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    If I sold you my land, squandered the profits, then died of exposure or starvation or whatever else may have been prevented had I not sold you my land... are you telling me I would be right in forcibly stealing land that I sold you back...?
    No. Did I say that?


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    The first is aggressive because it converts the property (assets) of a company to a purpose other than that which its owners consent to willingly.
    Just because you have assets and want to do something with them does mean that you have the right to do it. I'm sure a gun manufacturer would like to sell guns to anyone who would buy them and yet there are laws against felons buying guns so the manufacturer is denied the right to use his assets to make a profit off of selling guns to felons. So is it aggression to tell gun sellers they cannot sell to felons?

    And I suppose I should really say is it "wrong" to limit gun sales like that? I mean if you want to call it "aggression" and yet think it's alright to set laws against selling to felons, then "aggression" isn't always wrong.



    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Indeed, but for society to exist, for men to co-exist without killing one another, they have to have a similar understanding of things like property and conduct.
    But then who says men won't kill each other anarchy? There are portions of the world where there are lots and lots of men killing each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    This exists today, as I'm sure most people don't need the police or the law to tell them not to attack strangers on the street. There are a few a-holes, but for the most part, people get along without resorting to random violence or violation of property.
    In this society, where the law makes it very clear who owns what and there is a very established consequence for taking something that does not belong to you (which contributes to people consenting to another's ownership - what's the use of challenging it when the law is clear on the matter?). And likewise, what also prevents theft in this society (although in reality, there is still plenty of theft) is relative stability, something which could be lost if we switch to anarchy - if suddenly people have less than they used to, taking other's people stuff might be a more attractive option.

    You cannot go by what we have today to make predictions of what we will have if there are radical changes in our society.

    Without rule of law, there will be no official ownership of anything. Perhaps people will be nice enough in your area to consent that the car you drive and the house you live in is "yours". And if they don't recognize it as yours and take it from you, well then you don't own it anymore, not under law or by possessing it.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Letting you starve isn't immoral, in my opinion. It's unethical. It's heartless. But it's absolutely immoral for you to think that I should HAVE to sustain you, for absolutely nothing in return, or even for less in return than I value my property for, merely because you exist. You are not so inherently entitled to my association.
    As far as I'm concerned, you are just playing semantics games here.

    If you want to say that letting someone starve is "unethical and heartless" and stealing an apple to save someone's life is "immoral", then "unethical and heartless" actions are worse than "immoral" ones, IMO.



    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Everyone is not ultimately equal under anarchy. I have no idea where you got that idea from.
    I have no idea why you would contest it. Okay, so who exactly is "better" than someone else in an anarchy? Who has more of a right to live than someone else?


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    I'm sure you could hold that opinion, but I have no doubt it would lead to your early demise, especially in a society which has the NAP at it's foundation.
    Saving my life by eating an apple would lead to my early demise?

    And again, under Anarchy there is no "official" owner of the apple orchard. For my act of taking an apple to be an act of aggression, I have to take something that belongs to someone else. But if I, and especially the majority of the people of the area, do not recognize the monopolist as the owner of the apples, then we are not taking something that belongs to someone else and therefore not engaging in theft.

    And what if we hold the principle that whatever grows on the land belongs to the people who live on the land and that is our primary determiner of ownership? Then isn't the man who says "no, it is mine" and then harvests the apples and takes them from from OUR land the thief an aggressor?


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    First, we have to assume that ownership is possible at all. If you don't assume that ownership isn't possible, then there's nothing to discuss. I define ownership as something synonymous with possession, but add that there is moral value to ownership which is applied by evaluating the means through which a man acquired his possessions. If we assume that a man can own something, we assume that he, at the very least, owns his body. If a man owns his body then it is quite reasonable to assume that he also owns the skills and abilities of that body. He alone is entitled to the benefits of that body. If this is true, why shouldn't he be able to trade those benefits to those of whom would find them valuable for that which he finds valuable?
    But in the case of the monopolist, he did not use his body to create the apple orchard. And let's say that he didn't even earn the money he used to "buy" it. In fact, he live a life of complete leisure and never lifted a muscle to do anything for anyone (and isn't even a competent business person) and just inherited the money from his parents. Now, has he really earned any moral right to aquire and deny valuable, life-sustaining things from other people?

    And let's also say the apple orchard was created by the sweat and toil of the local people. It was their bodies that created those apples.

    So really, he has more of a moral right to the orchard than the people who live there do?

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    So, if the owner of the orchard acquired the orchard by moral means, and you are attempting to acquire an apple from his orchard (his property) by immoral means, starving or not, you are in the wrong.
    Well, "moral means" is a very subjective term. How about the people of the land considers "moral means" to include "with the consent of the people who live on the land" and therefore if they don't consent to the man owning the land and he uses force (like guards) to make sure no one can have any apples, then he has not aquired the orchard by "moral means" but by aggressive force.

    From the people's perspective, the guards dragging them away from what, in their opinion, they rightfully own, are using aggressive force.

    So now we have a sincere conflict. The owner sincerely feels he owns the apples and the people sincerely feel they own the apples. And all you're really doing in calling one action (taking the apple) "aggressive" and the other action (dragging people out of the orchard) "not aggressive" is just providing your own opinion that the monopolist is the owner of the apples and the people are not the owners. So why do you get to be the decider? Why are you more correct about this than someone who decides the people are the rightful owners and the monopolist is the aggressor?

    And if you can't provide an objective answer about why one of them is more entitled to be called the owner than the other, then really there is no "official" ownership of the orchard - it's all just opinion.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    I disagree. To deprive another person of ownership of property is theft, regardless of whether that property was gotten by immoral means. This is what I was talking about when I mentioned revenge before. Defensive acts are only acts which seek to stop/impede an (active) aggressive act. Anything else is "revenge."

    I'd also like to introduce, for the sake of making things easier... "harm." Let's define "harm" as "depriving owners of their property." It doesn't carry with it any inherent moral value. We'll assign that as we discuss harm. But it makes it easier to have a word instead of having to type out five words to describe a concept every time.
    This rebuttal does not work. It acts as if I never made my statement. So let me repeat it.

    So if the law says you cannot own something, then by definition, your possession of it (or potential possession) is not "legitimate" and therefore to deprive you of ownership (before or after the fact of possession) is not theft.

    You cannot be deprived of that which you never "legitimately" owned.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    A society where there was no common understanding of property ownership would quickly disintegrate, I'm sure.
    Well, I'm not going to concede the point that Anarchy works so if anarchy leads to no more official ownership and that leads to societal collapse, then there's a good argument against anarchy.

    And btw, is society disintegrates, then it falls into anarchy.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    You must have a very different definition of ownership than I do.
    Well, let me throw out some definitions and if none work for you, then you give me a definition.

    If ownership is possession, then theft is ownership (since you possess what you steal) - so that doesn't work (obviously).

    If ownership is possession that is recognized by the state (which is pretty much how it works in our current society), there is no ownership under anarchy as there is no state to recognize the ownership.

    If ownership is possession that is recognized by your neighbors (or whoever lives near you), then if your neighbors decide you don't own something (even if you've possessed all of your life) and refuse to recognize your ownership, then you no longer own it.

    So if none of those work, then you give me your definition of "ownership" and please refrain from any words that are as very open to interpretation like "legitimate" (I'll just ask you what you mean if you use such a word).


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    No, but they almost certainly risk their lives in order to make such a costly incursion. Consider, someone with enough resources to own an orchard surely has the resources to insure his continued ownership of that orchard. I'm sure if your death is die painfully by bullets or die painfully by starvation, you're going to pick the least likely of the two, but only one of those is, in my opinion, the moral choice.
    Enough with the semantics game. With "morals" we are going by the dictionary.

    of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/moral

    So in other words, moral is "right or wrong".

    And quite simply, the monopolist (who again, I skewed as far as I could towards "bad" short of breaking the law) is a highly immoral person. He is intentionally starving a population to kill them out of racial hatred. The person who steals an apple to save his child's life is:
    1. Saving a life of someone who would die
    2. Taking the apple from a very bad person who does not morally deserve to own those apples.

    His action is clearly more moral (right) than immoral (wrong) and the monopolist's actions are clearly more immoral than moral.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    I sincerely disagree. I have the ability to enforce my will upon others without the law. How else am I able to steal or murder? The law doesn't prevent me from doing those things.
    Compared to Anarchy, the rule of law makes you less likely to commit crimes.

    Under rule of law - there is a police force that is so strong that no matter how tough you are, they can take you down. So this provides a disincentive for you to commit crimes and likewise provides a means to take you off the street so you can commit no further crimes.

    Under anarchy, a gang might be the strongest force in an area and therefore can do bad things with impunity. There just is no local force that's strong enough to oppose it.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Your argument is that anarchy is not preferable because of likelihood of these sorts of scenarios. So you must be forwarding this whole thing (the monopoly issue) as "likely" or there's no point in discussing it. "Well, it's not likely to happen, but it's possible so anarchy's bad!" I can't imagine you would consciously forward something like that though.
    No, that argument is not presented as a possible scenario (maybe it is possible, but that's not why it's presented). It's a hypothetical to test your position that taking property is the most important issue. So I'm putting (hypothetical) genocide against stealing an apple to test your position.

    And I still say genocide is worse.



    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Seven. And in the grand scheme of human existence, it's not even worth mentioning. That sort of endeavor is a very costly one, and when a single person or a small group of individuals has to incur that cost, alone, without the limitless resources of, say, taxation or conscription (like states have), it's highly unlikely that this sort of behavior would become the "norm."
    Two families engage in a series of revenge killings. It's something that is more likely to happen without the rule of law dealing with the first killing. And seven killings is not as preferable as one killing followed by imprisonment.

    So however you want to set the bar, one killing is preferable to seven and therefore rule of law, in this particular instance, is better than anarchy.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Again, if monopolies are that offensive to the collective "will," people won't be so lazy.
    And again, the issue isn't whether people will find monopolies unbearable, but whether it's better to have variety, quality, and low prices offered by competition than less variety, quality, affordability under monopolies.

    I could see people just getting used to inferior monopoly products so without laws forbidding them people get inferior products and just accept it and it's by no means the end of the world.

    But it's not as good as competition and therefore on the simple question "which is better", the answer is "competition" and likewise the laws preventing monopolies are preferable to not having such laws.





    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    Seven. And in the grand scheme of human existence, it's not even worth mentioning. That sort of endeavor is a very costly one, and when a single person or a small group of individuals has to incur that cost, alone, without the limitless resources of, say, taxation or conscription (like states have), it's highly unlikely that this sort of behavior would become the "norm."
    Two families engage in a series of revenge killings. It's something that is more likely to happen without the rule of law dealing with the first killing. And seven killings is not as preferable as one killing followed by imprisonment.

    So however you want to set the bar, one killing is preferable to seven and therefore rule of law, in this particular instance, is better than anarchy.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    The state doesn't prevent these things from happening. It only punishes people after the fact. It's prevention by coercion, which is exactly what I described.
    If that were all true, Coke would have bought Pepsi (or vice versa) and then they would have been punished for it. But that hasn't happened. Instead what has happened is that Coke has not bought out Pepsi. The Coke-Pepsi Monopoly has been prevented by the laws disallowing it.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    I don't disagree. But your argument is that anarchy is not preferable because monopolies are not preferable and they are somehow more likely in an anarchist society. It is therefore my argument that monopolies exist today, and therefore today is at least as good as, in terms of monopolies, an anarchist society would be.
    No, because under Anarchy many, many, more monopolies would exist.

    It's not a binary question of "do they exist or not" but the question "which would result in more of them" and removing the laws against monopolies would result in more of them.
    Last edited by mican333; February 2nd, 2010 at 09:46 PM.

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    Re: Anarchy.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And many fled the area before things got too bad. And for those who did end up in a camp, they believed they were not going to be killed. I'm thinking of the scene in the movie Schindler's list where a Jew in a labor camp who didn't believe they were going to be killed because it made no sense to kill one's labor force.

    I mean I think you better see how easy or hard it is for you to be tricked into winding up in a death camp before you pass judgment on someone who who was likewise tricked like that.
    Two things here.

    1) I referred to slavery, did I not?
    2) It is ABSOLUTELY for me to judge the mistakes of those who came before me. Don't you think for a second that I am passing judgment on the jews, themselves. NO ONE deserves that fate, period. I'm not sitting here saying, "well, serves'em right..." Not by any stretch have I implied such a thing. There were, however, things they could have done differently, which is the only point I endeavored to make.

    And it's not off topic. The topic is that even Hitler believed he was doing what was best for "society" by ridding it of the jews. Naturally, you disagree, but Hitler did not afford the jews any sort of moral consideration, they were not human in HIS eyes. They may as well have been flies to him. Surely, extermination of millions of flies is not something you would find repulsive, eh? It's morally reprehensible in my opinion, but that doesn't change the fact that he believed he was doing the "right" thing. Just like YOU believe you are doing the "right" thing by encouraging "state." History may one day judge your actions differently than you do.

    But then going by the apple orchard scenario, the person who willfully lets others die when he could help is very immoral and in weighing the morality of taking an apple from him, that need to be factored in. And likewise if stealing the apple will help someone survive, then that also makes it more moral act than stealing an apple would be otherwise.
    I disagree on both counts. You claim that I am somehow morally bound to save lives if I am able to. You lay out the logic for that, explicitly, right here. I have no idea where it comes from.

    So while I agree that theft in general is wrong, a moral situation is often more complex than that and putting "no theft" at the very top of the moral pyramid doesn't make a lot of sense. I think letting someone die when you could help them is a greater immorality.
    Well, I don't. I'm sure that we could get into a great deal of depth over this issue, but I have seen nothing to convince me of this.

    What if that is his intent?
    So what if it is? If he's not taking from people without their consent, why am I somehow obligated to judge his behavior as immoral?

    In my apple orchard hypothetical, I am intentionally skewing things as far as I can to make the monopoly-owner the villain (short of him breaking any laws). If it's legal for him to do what he wants with his apples, then he can refuse to sell them, at any price for any reason, to whoever he chooses not to sell them?
    Sure. Why?

    Again, if "no theft" (which equates to having his property taken from him without his consent) is at the top of the moral pyramid, then he must be allowed to intentionally starve those people if that's his choice. Their lives and his intentional actions to deprive them of their lives is not as big a moral concern then respecting to do as he wants with his "property".
    Again, I disagree. You're arguing from a very socialist perspective. "You exist, therefore I (and everyone else) must do everything possible to insure you continue to exist." I will not accept such a moral edict as valid, ever.

    And if that's the very reason he formed a monopoly, to kill a lot of people (or perhaps he just refuses to sell to those of other races so really his intention is genocide), then it's alright that he formed a monopoly?
    That doesn't make sense. To form a monopoly is to embark on a business venture. Business exists to make money. You can't make money if you're killing your customers.

    Well, that's a moral question. But then so is the issue of "no theft". If you don't think it's immoral to refrain from feeding a starving person, even though you could, so he dies, that's up to you. But then I see no reason I should consider it less moral to sneak onto the monopoly apple orchard (and again, the owner is a complete villain with genocidal plans), take an apple and feed the person and save his life.
    Obviously you and I have very different values.

    I mean if you think the genocidal person intentionally starving millions of people out of racial hatred is more moral than the person who steals and apple to save someone's life, I think we may be at an impasse here on morality as our morals are apparently very different. It sounds like I'll be trying to steal apples to save people's lives while you'll be doing your best to ensure that the owner's genocidal plans are carried out, not because you support genocide, but because you think the ultimate moral issue is if an apple is stolen. I don't want to put words in your mouth, but from the arguments so far this does seem to be the case.
    I've answered this above.

    Again, my hypothetical skews things as far as it can to make him the bad guy (short of him breaking the law) to test the notion that "theft" is the ultimate moral question. So let's say he sees an area with numerous "inferiors" and decides to get rid of them by buying up all of their food supplies (apples) and then refusing to sell them any apples at any price. It's his plan to starve those people before he bought up all of the food. So if they die, it's because of his direct action with the intention of killing them. I would say in that situation, he is responsible for the deaths of those who starve.
    So it's tragic that these people refuse to figure out ways to feed themselves without resorting to stealing. Tragic, indeed. And I certainly wouldn't ever do business with someone who behaved in that way. But I absolutely refuse to believe that he should be somehow compelled to provide for a people who refuse to provide for themselves. There is no way that a single man could physically control (own, rightfully or otherwise) all food resources in the entire world to the exclusion of every other person, or the land for that matter. If that were at all possible, I'd wonder why everyone in the world thought it would be a good idea to sell/trade/give all of their property (and means of producing food) to a single man in the first place. But seriously, it's not going to happen like that, anarchy or otherwise.

    No. Did I say that?
    If you're telling me that the man didn't harm others and acquired his property righfully (with full consent from the previous owners), then yes, that's exctly what you're saying.

    Just because you have assets and want to do something with them does mean that you have the right to do it. I'm sure a gun manufacturer would like to sell guns to anyone who would buy them and yet there are laws against felons buying guns so the manufacturer is denied the right to use his assets to make a profit off of selling guns to felons. So is it aggression to tell gun sellers they cannot sell to felons?
    Nope. I don't believe that people should be foricbly prohibited from selling guns to felons. Why do you seem to continue making assumptions about where I stand on laws that exist? You do realize that I'm an anarchist, right? Meaning that I don't support the law, as we know it today. I thought this was pretty clear.

    And I suppose I should really say is it "wrong" to limit gun sales like that? I mean if you want to call it "aggression" and yet think it's alright to set laws against selling to felons, then "aggression" isn't always wrong.
    And I disagree. I believe aggression (the foricble conversion of property against the will of its owner) is always wrong.

    But then who says men won't kill each other anarchy? There are portions of the world where there are lots and lots of men killing each other.
    Who says men aren't killing each other while supposedly being subject to the law? If this is a critical flaw in an anarchist system, this is a critical flaw in all systems.

    You cannot go by what we have today to make predictions of what we will have if there are radical changes in our society.
    I can certainly draw conclusions about how people would behave based on how they behave today, and draw logical conclusions about how that behavior could (not necessarily WOULD) change if certain forces acting upon "society" were to change.

    Without rule of law, there will be no official ownership of anything. Perhaps people will be nice enough in your area to consent that the car you drive and the house you live in is "yours". And if they don't recognize it as yours and take it from you, well then you don't own it anymore, not under law or by possessing it.
    Are you really suggesting that the only means of ownership of anything, period, is bestowed upon us by the "good graces" of the state?

    As far as I'm concerned, you are just playing semantics games here.

    If you want to say that letting someone starve is "unethical and heartless" and stealing an apple to save someone's life is "immoral", then "unethical and heartless" actions are worse than "immoral" ones, IMO.
    It is not immoral to be lacking in compassion, in my opinion. It is not immoral to behave in a way that others find distasteful. It is immoral to convert the proeprty of others without their consent. I'm struggling to see how this is so confusing.

    I have no idea why you would contest it. Okay, so who exactly is "better" than someone else in an anarchy? Who has more of a right to live than someone else?
    Interesting. You're playing fast and loose with "equality." Men and women (and their individual skills) are not valued equally, inherently or otherwise. I value my doctor more than I value the guy who sprays chemicals on my fruit so it will "look good" when I see it in the grocery store. Those people are not equal. Likewise, I'm not equal, to say Aspo, in terms of ability to speak more than one language. Aspo's ability to speak more than one language fluently makes her more valueable (to some) than I am.

    That says nothing about an imaginary "right to life." If I am entitled to live, you are obligated to provide for my life, by means of medicine, food, clothing, shelter, etc. Are you going to provide those things to me if I quit my job tomorrow? Hardly. I wouldn't expect you to. I don't believe I am in any way entittled to take the lives of others (without their consent) because that would involve violating their bodies (their property) and that is an immoral act, but I am also not obligated to INSURE that they live simply because they live.

    Saving my life by eating an apple would lead to my early demise?
    Committing an act of aggression (theft) in a "society" where acts of aggression are vigilantly defended against would LIKELY lead to your early demise, in my opinion.

    And again, under Anarchy there is no "official" owner of the apple orchard. For my act of taking an apple to be an act of aggression, I have to take something that belongs to someone else. But if I, and especially the majority of the people of the area, do not recognize the monopolist as the owner of the apples, then we are not taking something that belongs to someone else and therefore not engaging in theft.
    The law does not dicate ownership. And if you want to toy with the definition of ownership to make it so that you can (morally) steal from me, I'll disagree with you, and I'll do whatever I am physically able to in order to prevent that theft... within certain limits... but those limits are wholly self-imposed. I wouldn't seek to limit how and when others defend their own property against theft.

    And what if we hold the principle that whatever grows on the land belongs to the people who live on the land and that is our primary determiner of ownership? Then isn't the man who says "no, it is mine" and then harvests the apples and takes them from from OUR land the thief an aggressor?
    How did you come to live on that land?

    But in the case of the monopolist, he did not use his body to create the apple orchard. And let's say that he didn't even earn the money he used to "buy" it. In fact, he live a life of complete leisure and never lifted a muscle to do anything for anyone (and isn't even a competent business person) and just inherited the money from his parents. Now, has he really earned any moral right to aquire and deny valuable, life-sustaining things from other people?
    So he's a spoiled brat, that's not my concern. He traded, fairly, something of value for something else of value, and he didn't lie, cheat, or steal. You're suggesting that the children of affluent folks should be denied their affluence simply because other people are born without?

    And let's also say the apple orchard was created by the sweat and toil of the local people. It was their bodies that created those apples.
    Were they paid for their work?

    So really, he has more of a moral right to the orchard than the people who live there do?
    The person who owns the property.

    Well, "moral means" is a very subjective term. How about the people of the land considers "moral means" to include "with the consent of the people who live on the land" and therefore if they don't consent to the man owning the land and he uses force (like guards) to make sure no one can have any apples, then he has not aquired the orchard by "moral means" but by aggressive force.
    If I've clearly stated, which I believe I have, that the only real immorality is an attempt to convert property against the wishes of the owner, than it would reasonably follow that "moral means" would indicate anything that didn't violate the will of the owner from whom the property was acquired. If my morality is in question, that's one thing. But there's no secret here as to what I mean by "moral means."

    From the people's perspective, the guards dragging them away from what, in their opinion, they rightfully own, are using aggressive force.
    And?

    So now we have a sincere conflict. The owner sincerely feels he owns the apples and the people sincerely feel they own the apples. And all you're really doing in calling one action (taking the apple) "aggressive" and the other action (dragging people out of the orchard) "not aggressive" is just providing your own opinion that the monopolist is the owner of the apples and the people are not the owners. So why do you get to be the decider? Why are you more correct about this than someone who decides the people are the rightful owners and the monopolist is the aggressor?
    I don't claim that my answer is the only answer. You're asking me to assume a capitalist anarchist society exists, that there's this orchard owned by this dude, or a bread company which is the only bread company. I've stated that for such a society to exist, certain assumptions have to be made. You're still denying those assumptions. If you continue to deny them, then there's no point in bringing up a hypothetical, because you're obviously working from a different starting point than I am.

    I should rep you for the "Bush" jab, though. That was ridiculously brilliant. And I mean that sincerely. My husband calls me "the decider" all the time... amazingly, more often than not it's during these sorts of conversations.

    And if you can't provide an objective answer about why one of them is more entitled to be called the owner than the other, then really there is no "official" ownership of the orchard - it's all just opinion.
    HA! You should know by now that I'm not one to argue objective anything. I've never EVER claimed that we were discussing anything more than my opinions on the matter at hand.

    This rebuttal does not work. It acts as if I never made my statement. So let me repeat it.

    So if the law says you cannot own something, then by definition, your possession of it (or potential possession) is not "legitimate" and therefore to deprive you of ownership (before or after the fact of possession) is not theft.

    You cannot be deprived of that which you never "legitimately" owned.
    I DISAGREE. There's no more to it than that. I ignore your statement because it doesn't factor into my answer.

    Well, I'm not going to concede the point that Anarchy works so if anarchy leads to no more official ownership and that leads to societal collapse, then there's a good argument against anarchy.

    And btw, is society disintegrates, then it falls into anarchy.
    Oh posh. So now society is synonymous with "government?" Do you really believe that?

    Well, let me throw out some definitions and if none work for you, then you give me a definition.

    If ownership is possession, then theft is ownership (since you possess what you steal) - so that doesn't work (obviously).

    If ownership is possession that is recognized by the state (which is pretty much how it works in our current society), there is no ownership under anarchy as there is no state to recognize the ownership.

    If ownership is possession that is recognized by your neighbors (or whoever lives near you), then if your neighbors decide you don't own something (even if you've possessed all of your life) and refuse to recognize your ownership, then you no longer own it.

    So if none of those work, then you give me your definition of "ownership" and please refrain from any words that are as very open to interpretation like "legitimate" (I'll just ask you what you mean if you use such a word).
    You've ignored my explanation of how I employ the word "legitimate" then, so let me restate.

    Legitimacy only deals with what a group designates as a permissible behavior.

    That's pretty narrow, in my opinion. If that doesn't work for you, I am not the one with an issue.

    However, I think that's totally irrelevant at this point. Here's the bit that is relevant.

    If I am going to stand here and tell you, point blank, that violation of property ownership (which I can equate to what most people define as possession) is the only sin, it must follow that I would consider retaliatory violation (violation of property ownership in response to violation of property ownership) as ALSO immoral. Otherwise, I've violated my own principles in order to uphold my principles... do you see where that creates a problem? I hope you do. I don't want to try to come up with a better way to explain that.

    So in other words, moral is "right or wrong".

    And quite simply, the monopolist (who again, I skewed as far as I could towards "bad" short of breaking the law) is a highly immoral person. He is intentionally starving a population to kill them out of racial hatred. The person who steals an apple to save his child's life is:
    1. Saving a life of someone who would die
    2. Taking the apple from a very bad person who does not morally deserve to own those apples.

    His action is clearly more moral (right) than immoral (wrong) and the monopolist's actions are clearly more immoral than moral.
    I don't play the game of more moral or less moral. Immoral is immoral. There's no reason to quantify, in my opinion.

    I do not judge the actions of the owner of the orchard (who, by your very admission did not STEAL from anyone to acquire the orchard) as immoral. Period. My morality does not dictate that his behavior is "wrong." Unfortunate, cold, sure, but not "immoral." Not every action that is "unpleasant" is "immoral." That's not how my moral compass works.

    Compared to Anarchy, the rule of law makes you less likely to commit crimes.
    Hardly. I would behave no differently than I do today. I believe murder is wrong, and absent the rule of law, I'm not going to go murdering people for kicks.

    Under rule of law - there is a police force that is so strong that no matter how tough you are, they can take you down. So this provides a disincentive for you to commit crimes and likewise provides a means to take you off the street so you can commit no further crimes.
    Crimes which are arbitrarily defined by a bunch of people *I* didn't vote for and are selectively enforced by both police (who, by all accounts, have a great deal of descretion) and judges. That hardly seems like a good (or equitable, since you seem to be concerned about equality) situation.

    Under anarchy, a gang might be the strongest force in an area and therefore can do bad things with impunity. There just is no local force that's strong enough to oppose it.
    There isn't?? Where does "anarchy" exist that we see this happen, right now? Again with the ignoring assumptions. If you don't accept fundamental assumptions necessary to discuss hypothetical anarchist scenarios, no rebuttal I make to this is going to amount to a hill of beans.

    No, that argument is not presented as a possible scenario (maybe it is possible, but that's not why it's presented). It's a hypothetical to test your position that taking property is the most important issue. So I'm putting (hypothetical) genocide against stealing an apple to test your position.
    Genocide is the killing people who don't want to die, is it not? Show me where this guy killed these people.

    Two families engage in a series of revenge killings. It's something that is more likely to happen without the rule of law dealing with the first killing. And seven killings is not as preferable as one killing followed by imprisonment.
    Sacrificing morality to uphold morality is never preferrable, in my opinion.

    So however you want to set the bar, one killing is preferable to seven and therefore rule of law, in this particular instance, is better than anarchy.
    No killing is preferrable, period. And the rule of law didn't stop those seven killings.

    And again, the issue isn't whether people will find monopolies unbearable, but whether it's better to have variety, quality, and low prices offered by competition than less variety, quality, affordability under monopolies.

    I could see people just getting used to inferior monopoly products so without laws forbidding them people get inferior products and just accept it and it's by no means the end of the world.

    But it's not as good as competition and therefore on the simple question "which is better", the answer is "competition" and likewise the laws preventing monopolies are preferable to not having such laws.
    Your answer is "it's ok to commit acts of aggression as long as is to insure that other people are 'comfortable...'" Is that what I'm reading?

    If that were all true, Coke would have bought Pepsi (or vice versa) and then they would have been punished for it. But that hasn't happened. Instead what has happened is that Coke has not bought out Pepsi. The Coke-Pepsi Monopoly has been prevented by the laws disallowing it.
    It isn't the only way, to be sure. But these people aren't phsyically kept from signing documentation. They are THREATENED in order to keep them from doing it in the first place. "If you do x, you will suffer x." That's coercion, pure and simple, and it's an aggressive act. Physically preventing them from doing anything would also be acts of aggression.

    No, because under Anarchy many, many, more monopolies would exist.
    So you're god now?

    It's not a binary question of "do they exist or not" but the question "which would result in more of them" and removing the laws against monopolies would result in more of them.
    How are we insured of such an unavoidable outcome? Surely, if we are, there's absolutely no hope for anything. I may as well die for all the difference my life would make, right? (No, I'm not remotely suicidal or nihilistic, just making a point.)
    "And that, my lord, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped." ~ Monty Python


 

 
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