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Are you planning to vote in the 2012 election

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31% of the time meant that in 100 tests with 5+ people around only 31 tests saw someone (at least one not all 5+) getting help. Simplifying it to 1 person in 5 helping out 31% of the time would be 31/500 = 0.06 people helping on average. In the bystander experiments I've seen all 5+ people didn't go to help only one to maybe a few.

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One thing I do not recall seeing is what happens when two people with different DRO have a disagreement? Which DRO is used?

I think it likely that a person is going to want the DRO that is more likely to side with them. How do you choose? If it is defendants choice then you are forcing the accuser to go to a DRO they might not want to use. Same if it is the accusers choice. Or you end up forcing them to pick the same one.

Okay, perhaps I was the one who misinterpreted what that 31% number meant.

Good question. When you subscribe to a DRO you agree to follow by its rulings against you (if you later decide you think the ruling is unfair and don't follow the ruling then they will drop your membership and you can try to appeal to another DRO that might rule differently and give you membership. Failure to find another prominent DRO that would give you a ruling that you like leaves you with the choice to either accept the DRO's ruling anyways (a fine, etc), join a less prominent DRO that gives you a ruling you accept and hope that you'll find enough businesses willing to do business with that DRO's members that your life can be manageable or else go off the DRO map completely in which case you would face tremendous economic ostracism. But that wasn't your question, sorry. To answer your question, when you have a conflict with another person who has a different DRO than you or when you are simply trying to form a contractual agreement with a person who has a different contractual agreement, then what you do is you both agree to follow an agreement agreed upon by both of your DROs. So, let's say you hire me and then I claim you didn't pay me enough. I contact my DRO and they contact yours and we hold the case. Perhaps my DRO decides that you indeed didn't pay me as much as you said you would and your DRO says that's rubbish and that you paid exactly what you said you would. Now, chances are such disagreements between DROs wouldn't occur very often at all in cases dealing with contractual agreements (because really all they have to do is look at the well defined contracts), but in a different case, two DROs may quite possible make different rulings. So, for example, imagine I steal something from you and you go to your DRO about it because we are unable to resolve the conflict ourselves. Your DRO contacts my DRO and they hear the case. Your DRO says that i Have to pay you $10,000 (let's say whatever I stole from you wasn't replaceable (a pet?)). Now, let's say my DRO disagreed with that ruling and thought that I shouldn't have to pay you any more than $1000 for whatever reason (perhaps they thought I really accidentally stole your pet or something). Anyways, the two DROs disagree. If the DROs fail to agree on a ruling to settle our dispute, then they must both agree on yet a third DRO on which to hear the case and make a ruling. So our two DROs don't agree, so they decide that they'll agree to uphold the ruling made by a third DRO that they agree on. As these DRO hearings/"court" cases could be quite costly, I doubt many DROs would need to go on to a third DRO, but it's always an option. You might as what happens if our two DROs can't agree on a third DRO. I haven't really thought about that actually. I know that I don't think it would happen often at all simply because these DROs are businesses with little personal interest in the cases. They just want to make the fairest rulings in the eyes of the public so that more people will want to seek membership with them. It would be in their interest to take care of these disputes in the quickest, most cost effective way possible. Certainly agreeing on a third DRO to hear the case would be costly and so would probably rarely happen except maybe in some extreme cases of large scale crimes, etc. As I'm thinking about this right now I also just remembered the fact that even if my DRO disagrees with yours, it would probably be less costly to pay a little extra money than hold another case in a third DRO. Anyways, I think when people have a dispute what it really comes down to is they can find a way to agree on a solution to the problem they are disputing or else they can engage each other with violence in an attempt to "resolve" it. As very few people probably wish to resort to violence I think people will find ways to agree. (See the * in the next paragraph for a note on this.) When you and can't agree on a dispute we're having, one way to solve that problem is to agree to follow the resolution drawn out by other people who we trust as being fair and who we know are more likely to come to a fair resolution as they aren't personally involved in the dispute as you and I would be.

* Note: I think our current system resorts to violence in that if I commit a "crime" against you, the government may rule that I have to pay you X dollars, or go to prison, etc. Perhaps this is legally a "crime" but is really boarder line and is not something that I actually consider a crime. Anyways, the government forces me to follow its standard of what is right and wrong and gives me no leeway. If I don't pay the fine or do the crime as the government says than that's it. I never agreed to follow the governments ruling, but I really have no choice as they will use force against me if I don't. So, my note here is that in our current system people resort to violence to solve their legal disputes. The thing is, however, that the people aren't really personally using that violence against the people they are convicting of crimes. Rather, they are only indirectly using the violence by supporting the system that solves disputes by violently enforcing one standard of law across a geographic region. For this reason, I think it's reasonable to say that in a stateless society, because people who would want to enforce rulings with violent force would have to fund such coercion themselves rather than having it funded already by every taxpayer who pays for the government, then I think people would be less likely to solve their disputes with violence. So, going back to the example between you and me. Let's say you and I couldn't agree on a resolution to our dispute, and you thought that I should have to pay you $10,000 for what I stole from you. If I never ended up finally agreeing with you and our DROs couldn't agree on a third DRO because your DRO didn't want the price to drop below $10,000, for example, then you would have to either lower that money, or use violent force against me to obtain that $10,000 or otherwise seize my property or lock me up for not submitting to the demands of your ruling for my crime against you. Now, like a government, you could choose to force me to pay up or else lock me up if I didn't pay, but unlike in our current society where there are already police funded by everyone (including me) would lock me up for me, you would have to personally cover the cost of using force against me. Because I doubt you would want to personally pay to lock me up (especially since that would likely cost more than the difference between the amount you wanted me to pay you and the amount I was offering to pay you for my crime), I doubt you would choose to financially fund the force to lock me up. Now, another note on this issue (if I haven't bored you already with my incessant rantings) is just to say that if someone committed murder or some atrocious crime and was a danger to society and needed to be locked up (at least for some period of time before some ruling could be made), you wouldn't have to cover all the costs of locking up that murderer yourself. You would pay some of the cost, surely, but like in our current system you could pay a little bit along with many other people who, like you, wanted to have a way to lock up people who commit ghastly crimes like murder that would be a continuing danger letting them get away with the murder. So what I'm trying to say is is that my point with you having to pay personally to lock me up should you wish to use force against me for not paying the $10,000 you wanted for my crime (which others might view as a crime (your initiation of force against me), might I mention, and might press charges against you for it depending) is not in all cases where you wish to use force against criminals, but only in cases where ~most people don't agree with you. For such a minor "crime" as not agreeing to pay the $10,000 that you wanted for my crime against you, I would surmise that most people would view an initiation of force (violence) against me for it as crazy. I would guess that these people (the general public really) would think that you should have agreed with my DRO to agree on a third DRO (one of the "people's" DRO) to hear my case rather than being stubborn and demanding $10,000 (a price that my DRO wouldn't agree on). Anyways... I have a feeling my rant is getting harder to follow simply for lack of clarity in my writing. I'm done though.

Does this answer your question? What do you think of the idea of Dispute Resolution Organizations?

Personally I think they're rather brilliant. It's funny; I wanted to find a way to solve societal problems (e.g. resolving disputes) without using force against each other, and yet when I tried tackling these problems myself I didn't come up with much and thought I was going to go back to thinking that government coercion is necessary for society to function. My friend told me about these DROs and after thinking about them it made me realize that there were many things I wasn't thinking of and perhaps people could get along without having a single organization that makes rulings that everyone in a society must follow (i.e. is enforced with violent force, not economic/social force, as would be the norm in a stateless society). So I'm optimistic. Although, even if you think force is necessary to some extent does there really need to only be one institution that enforces its "law" forcibly per geographic region? Why can't multiple institutions have overlapping jurisdictions and then just agree when their rulings overlap. Internationally countries have overlapping jurisdictions... when the U.S. disagrees with other countries it doesn't always go to war with them. Sometimes it just makes trade embargoes with those other countries. I'm telling you: economic ostracism could work on the individual level too. We don't currently have DRO organizations everywhere that would make it easy for individuals and businesses to decide quickly whether they are going to do business with a stranger or not (i.e. is that stranger a criminal? It's easy in small towns, but in large nations people seem to think it's impossible... but, I'm telling you, I think all we need is a system... DROs could make it happen so that you could tell if a stranger was a criminal that you wanted to not do business with or not very easily). So I think economic ostracism on the individual level (not just on the international level with trade embargoes) could really happen and could be good enough to greatly eliminate the need to use government coercion to resolve disputes with people. In a similar same way that governments don't always wage war with each other when they disagree with each other, I don't think people need to resort to coercion to resolve their disputes. We don't do it in our personal lives and I don't think we need to do it with the vast majority of the strangers in our society who we deem criminals or with our professional coworkers or neighbors whose crops we damaged with our factory's pollution, etc. Sure it's more complicated than resolving the dispute of how to buy a pizza with multiple people when one person doesn't want to pay for a pizza with onions (I mentioned this in a previous post if this seems random...), but I don't think it's a reason to say the violent force that governments used to enforce its decisions is necessary. No, I think we can still find ways to resolve disputes with agreements rather than force. That is all for now, thanks.

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I brought up water utilities earlier because I think that they are the most obvious example of how and why monopolies would develop in an anarchistic society. Let's see if I can provide an adequate demonstration:

Let's say a group of anarchists get together and buy a plot of land somewhere and prepare to build a city from scratch. They contract a company to build water utilities for delivering clean water and removing sewage from the houses (built by some other company that isn't important to this discussion). I assume that this is how you would envision something like this occurring, right? :unsure:

Fine so far....

So as the houses and other buildings get built, the water utilities company comes in and adds their plumbing under the roads (also privately built) and hooks them into their water purification plant and their sewage treatment plant. Everything is going smoothly in Anarchtopia and everyone is getting along. :)

For the umpteenth time, I don't consider it a utopia. There will still be violence and crime. There will still be phsychopaths and murderers. The differences lie in the fact that people resolve disputes themselves, etc, rather than handing over power ("handing over" in a social contract, not an agreed upon voluntary contract... i.e. no consent) to representatives in a coercive government who use violence to enforce it's single standard of "law" across it's geographic boundaries/jurisdiction, etc. It's not utopian, it just doesn't have this single institution with the right to use violence against others. Just because it wouldn't be the norm to point guns at people to take their money (like the norm of gov't taxation) doesn't mean it's a utopia.

For whatever reason, there's a change of management at the water company and they begin to raise prices for maintaining the water service to the town. What remedy could the people find to avoid these monopolistic practices? :huh:

Okay, so here is what you are saying the problem is. If I may summarize your solution and mine so as to make it clear about what I'm arguing I will: You're essentially advocating a government, which is an institution of force which can force (violently, as I always say to remind you what the force really is) these water companies, against their will and without their consent to offer lower prices for their water. Now, I don't know about you (well I do, you support it), but I don't support using such violent force against people simply for refusing to sell you their water unless you pay some very high fee. I certainly wouldn't say I support this water company's decision, but that doesn't mean I support using force against it to make it offer fees that I think are more reasonable. No, if the price is too high, don't buy it. And if it's the only way you can get water nearby (so you really have no "choice" as you would say) then I would say that the solution is not to yours of violently forcing them to offer lower prices, but is the anarchist's solution of anticipating such problems and dealing with them before they arise. Maybe I'm a kid born into a family of parents who didn't anticipate this problem and are stuck at the mercy of this water company exploiting the fact that they didn't prepare for this to happen, but if that's the case, I still advocate that family trudging through it without advocating a system of society that involves pointing guns at these people to make sure they offer better prices. Okay, so how to deal with the problem before it happens--my solution:

You suggest forcing the water company to offer reasonable fees for its water, but I suggest that before the anarchist family moves into that house, it makes sure that it has made contractual agreements with the water company supplying water to its house, the road company that surrounds its house and its neighborhood with roads, the sewage companies it will be using, etc, in which the companies guarantee certain prices (or at least certain defined price raises with defined amount of prior notice before making a price raise, etc). So, for example, when I am thinking about buying a house in this town, when I am making sure that I have a company that will get water to my house, I should also make sure that that company will be able to supply me water for at least a year or however long, and if not, I should make sure that there are other water companies in town that I will be able to buy the services of, etc. We do these things in our current society, don't we ?(I'm 19, have never bought a house so I don't know much about this :)) . The additional things that we would have to do in a stateless society that we don't have to do with a government I would think are small though... it wouldn't be very difficult to sign up the specific contracts with all the companies whose services we want to make sure we can guarantee. I don't think you need a government to guarantee you those services at a reasonable cost... you just need to get the company to agree to offer you the services at those reasonable costs before moving in to make sure that if the company goes berserk and raises its prices because it think it has a monopoly on water from your perspective stuck in that house, then it will be considered a crime (as it violated its agreement). It would be defined in the agreement with the company what the penalty would be should the company go berserk and demand monopoly prices for its water for continued water service to your house. Without a government watching out for all of these things, it would become the norm for businesses like water, sewage, and road businesses to sign contracts guaranteeing their services at reasonable prices for X amount of time simply because people wouldn't want to end up in a situation where they don't have easy access to products/goods that are "necessary" like water, roads, electricity, sewage, etc. So I don't think the violent government coercion is necessary to solve these problems of guaranteeing "necessary" services, just prior planning to guarantee that the companies don't suddenly raise their prices. If the company doesn't sign agreeing to the guarantees that you want before moving into the house, then seek another company that can/will guarantee in a contract to you that it won't raise it's prices without X time notice, etc. And by the way, these agreements would of course not just be a piece of paper saying "Our company agrees to offer you reasonable prices for the next year on water to your house" but would clearly define what the company was guaranteeing and would clearly define the consequences for the company failing to do what it agreed it would do (e.g. for example, "If we do not supply you with water for at X cost until Y date then we agree to let blah DRO (or whatever other organization... DROs are just one idea) to seize Z property from N company official using force if necessary and blah blah blah. Of course you could have pages of details making sure everything is good, but the point is that you can make an agreement with a company to make sure that that company doesn't just go berserk and charge high prices because it think it can get away with exploiting you because you need water. No, make sure before buying the house that if your water company does go berserk then it is punished appropriately as defined by the contract that you and the company agreed to follow. If people want businesses that offer "necessary" services to guarantee their services then such businesses will naturally be more competitive on the market the better they can satisfy that desire of their customers. One easy way is to sign away their right to become a monopoly and charge monopoly prices by agreeing to have force used against them if they do such things (sound like the government? It should, except that the companies agreed to the force... unlike in our current society where companies can do random things that government regulations call "crimes" but really shouldn't be crimes. So you could think of this solution to the water company monopoly problem as privatizing regulations into agreements between customers and the businesses. You don't need government to regulate the businesses to make sure they offer reasonable prices. You just have to make sure that the water company agrees to be punished should it try to exploit you by raising its prices. In this way you're not being tyrannical towards businesses that don't wish to follow your regulations... you're giving them a choice to say, "Sorry, but we are unable to guarantee X price for the full Y year like you requested due to a forseen increase in demand of water that may cause our prices to have to be raised to Z", etc.

On an unrelated note, for different types of government regulations such as you're not allowed to dump X amount of chemicals onto my property or into the air, etc, then you can go to dispute resolution organizations to make a case against the company's whose pollution you think is a criminal initiation of force against you (your land, your water, etc). Private property. There's a lot to be discussed on these things, but perhaps we should wait until later after we finish off with the issues we're on now before going on to dealing with pollution and other things that there are government regulations for without using violent coercion (like the government does). I think we can come up with most solutions by looking at DROs and contractual agreements you can make with people, but of course there are endless details and endless problems to tackle. No one person or even small group of people could tackle them all (especially not the U.S. Congress or some government departments :-p), which is why I advocate leaving them to the individuals to resolve between themselves. If you're polluting my land, I don't think I need a violent U.S. government to make a ruling against you and then force you to stop what you're doing. No, I think we could resolve the problems ourselves or our DRO's could resolve the problems... I don't think we need to initiate force against each other. Although, remember, if you think that one standard is necessary, then you can simply set up a court and a congress and an election system just like the U.S. government to make one set of laws and rulings and then agree to follow that system and have that system use force against you. The thing is, if you get into a dispute with someone like me who doesn't agree to that system also then I ask that you give me a chance to settle the dispute with you nonviolently before your court system initiates its massive force against me. I don't think I'd stand a chance. And if I wouldn't use the same force against you, why would you use it against me. What about the golden rule? Treat others they way they treat people (variation?) / the way you would like to be treated. (The "way you would like to be treated" doesn't always work if someone wants to have force used against them against their will :)... usually it does work simply because almost everyone wants to be treated kindly, with respect, etc... not with force... that's why there is the variation... If I don't initiate force against others, I don't think you should initiate it against me. On the other hand, if I murder someone completely unjustly, feel free to give me the death sentence... no because that is how you would like to be treated, but because that is how I treat people. Good variation to the golden rule? I think so.).

They use the company's pipes in the ground attached to the company's water filtration system. A competitor would have to come in and either set down new pipes (dealing with the road-building company to tear up the streets) or buy the rights to the pipes going to the buildings (and they would still have to reconnect them into their own service plant). In any case, they would have to make some kind of deal with the monopoly in order to even get a foot in the door. If the monopoly refuses to cooperate, no one can compel them without violence. In the meantime, people cannot refuse to use the water system "owned" by the company because they are dependent on it for their own survival.

I don't see a feasible way to prevent abuse in situations where many people depend on shared infrastructure. Everyone could build their own self-contained water system, but it's not an efficient use of resources since you would have to have one for every house and business, rather than one central system that serves everyone. And then, there would be no guarantee of a consistent supply for each household. Everyone would have to work on their own to make sure they will be getting enough water for their needs. The expense of such a system could prove to be beyond the means of many people, leaving them at the mercy of the company.

If the government controls water and other utilities, they can ensure that everyone in the community gets cheap access to water and other necessities for modern society. An "every man for himself" system could (and I say could in the very theoretical sense) only work if everyone is already well-to-do (and remains that way).

So, as I said, I think these problems could be solved by making agreements with the company before they decide to exploit your circumstances by raising prices on you so that they can't their prices to extreme fees without facing the defined terrible consequences. I don't think you need governments to regulate these companies, just the people. The most successful businesses will please their customers the most by agreeing to the most of the customers "regulations." Before buying your house in that town you can even require that the water company gives its employees decent working conditions, if that is a cause you wish to support. If the company declines your regulation, seek the services of a more reasonable company and make a contract with it (note: this of course wouldn't be the main way I would suggest dealing with worker working conditions in a stateless society... it's just one thing I thought of).

To change the subject significantly, you seem to be advocating a system that requires every individual to be an expert at devising contracts and everyone would have to be vigilant in paying attention to the behavior of the DROs. The system is grossly inefficient and convoluted if it's working, so far as I can see.

It sure seems it at first, doesn't it? But, so do half the things involved in buying a house today, but your real estate agent helps you out with that. In a stateless society, I really don't think it would be much more difficult than in our current society. Rather than paying for those billion dollar elections for those congressmen and those government workers to research all these problems and make nationwide regulations requiring the water companies, etc, meet certain standards, your real estate companies and other companies (for other things other than buying a house) could take on the work. I certainly don't think ever individual has to be an expert at devising the contracts. Certainly any decent entrepreneur would fine ways to make the process of buying a new house, etc, easier. I've never bought a house before, but I certainly don't think I know how to hand half of it myself, but when I do buy a house I plan on having a real estate agent whose job it is to make it easy for me to buy a house help me out. Entrepreneurs would devise companies that would help people out in the most efficient ways they could and I'm sure they would succeed in making it an efficient system (not a "grossly inefficient" one or a "convoluted" one). This isn't blind faith in the free market, but simply a good enough understanding of the sorts of things that companies would need to do to make it easier for people to buy houses and get all these services they want without having to go through all the trouble to personally contact the companies and write up contracts and agree with them. Standards aren't bad--they're quite often very good. So I'm sure these companies would make standards so they would have standard contracts with the water companies, road companies, etc, so as to do business more efficiently to save money, satisfy the customers, etc. I just oppose the government's knack of forcing a single standard across every person and every company in the entire geographic United States. Why not let private companies come up with their own standards of reasonability with water companies / road companies etc to make it easier for the consumer who wants to buy a house, but not be the universal government single standard that is unavoidable by the businesses and consumers that don't agree with the standard? A good real estate agent would see the same problems that I am facing with many other customers and would get good at solving the problems efficiently because we all have similar desires. They could make standards for things like buying a house that has water services, electricity services, etc, that I could buy if I wanted (you're following me, right?) in order to avoid the extreme hassles of making agreements myself with every single person I wish to do business with. The less bureaucratic these companies got the more customers they would get (and thus more money) and the more flexible they were at altering their standards to allow customers to request that the water company at their house offers a fixed rate for 2 years or something, etc, the more they would satisfy their customers also and would be more successful businesses. I don't think it would be any more inefficient than our current system. And as you know, I think it would be more efficient, producing not only a more just society (where gov't coercion.violence/force to accept one standard of what is right and what is wrong is not the norm), but also a more prosperous, happy society (the "greater good"?).

And actually, at this point I want to thank you for causing me to write this post because with these recent thoughts I've been having on these issues my confidence that these problems can be solved peacefully in a stateless society has increased even more. It's a great feeling knowing that resorting to violence isn't necessary for society to "work." Very great.

In order to buy groceries, I can't just walk in, select the produce I want to buy, give the shopkeeper money and walk out with my goods. First, I have to have a contract with a DRO. Then that DRO needs to have a contract with the store. If they don't, then they need a contract with a DRO that does have a contract with the store. In order for me to buy goods from that store, all of those contracts need to be verified and any time an entity in the chain changes, it may require a renegotiation for any/all of the contracts. Contract lawyers would love this system. :rolleyes:

While I would think that most everyone should be a member of some DRO and while it certainly would also make sense that businesses choose which DRO is going to deal with their disputes as well, I wouldn't say that every transaction necessarily needs to be verified (although that certainly would be great if someone found a way to do it efficiently). I mentioned before my idea of incorporating the check into your debit card. So, for example, if I go to the check out at the grocery store, the machine could automatically check my debit card when I pay to see my DRO and make sure that my status is good and that my DRO is a DRO that the business recognizes as legitimate. I don't think this would be difficult to do at all actually, so maybe every transaction could indeed be checked easily. It would only be unofficial transactions (not sales with actual businesses, but things like you pay your neighbor to borrow his pressure washer for your deck) that wouldn't be noticed by the DRO map. But, I think every day business like buying groceries could easily be checked in an efficient (cost and time) way. Perhaps new start up DROs could go to other companies that deal with serving these grocery stores and other companies to let them know what DROs are legitimate to get recognized so that the new DROs customers could go to the grocery store and be on the companies' list so that the computer passes their credit card successfully. I really think it could be very efficient. I'm just thinking of all of the things I don't understand about how governments and banks and other businesses operate and deal with services and get things done and these problems seem no more difficult than those problems to solve.

"any time an entity in the chain changes, it may require a renegotiation for any/all of the contracts" - I don't think this would be a problem either. Maybe is similar problem is when I'm buying something on amazon.com and it rejects my debit card within minutes because my bank "dropped my DRO coverage" so to speak (not what happened, but essentially the same type of problem, no? maybe not exactly...). What enties would change that would require a difficult renegotiation of the contracts? I have my DRO. The grocery store has theirs. They have a list of DROs they recognize and those DROs have a list of members to do economic business with. I'm one of those members. I go to the store and the computer at the check out automatically checks and verifies that I'm on the list when I pay with my debit card. It seems perfectly doable to me. Propose a specific example problem with this if you want and I'll try solving it :).

One of the features of modern government is that it abstracts the red tape of most mundane contracts out of our daily lives. (An oversimplification) The store applies for a corporate charter with the government. Once granted, I, as a citizen of the government, am free to do business with the store without worrying about any of the contractual obligations arranged to allow the transaction to happen. I simply offer the storekeeper my government-issued currency and he gives me the produce in exchange. My contract with the government is implicit in its social contract or Constitution with the people.

Yes, government regulations do make us not have to deal with making sure our water companies have a good reason not to go berserk and charge monopoly prices and do make our businesses not have to deal with making sure they aren't selling to criminals, etc, but I really don't think that the free market couldn't efficiently solve these problems without a government.

You mention how "the store applies for a corporate charter with the government. Once granted, I, as a citizen of the government, am free to do business with the store without worrying about any of the contractual obligations arranged to allow the transaction to happen." Can't this same thing happen with the DROs? Can't the store apply for the same thing with a DRO so that its customers know that they don't have to sign any contracts or anything when they buy products from the store. The customers will know that the company submitted itself to the ruling of the DRO and that it is defined in the company's contract with the DRO that all the customer has to do is give the storekeeper your currency and he gives you the product and any disputes involving that will be dealt with by the company's DRO? It seems to me like this aspect of the government's services isn't even coercive because the company voluntarily applies to the government to have it watch over the company's transactions with its customers to make sure that it is done fairly. So I think the same thing could happen in a stateless society... just like in our current society the store could apply for membership with a DRO in the same way that businesses in our current country apply for corporate charters with the government, as you said. In both instances, I wouldn't think the customers would have to do anything but go in and pay the money to get the products. Am I missing something you're saying? To me it seems the only difference between the stateless society version and the version with our own government in practice would be that customers would be checked by the stores to make sure the store wants to sell to the customer (i.e. the customer is not a criminal who is off the DRO map). Everything else involving dispute resolution between the grocery store and its customers could be dealt with my the DROs instead of the government. What am I missing, if anything?

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You are not forced to use the roads, you choose to, that is my point. I cannot understand how you think your CHOICE of living in a certain spot is the same as someone FORCING your to drink a glass of water. Yes your CHOICE of where you live FORCES you to use the roads, but again that obligation comes around only due to the previous CHOICE of living arrangements.

If you cannot see the difference between a CHOICE you make and something you are FORCED to do then you are compeltely unclear on the concept and are in fact the WACKO

I was trying to distinguish between choosing to use roads and choosing to use gas from the gas station. It's easy for me to choose not to use gas from the gas station, but because there are roads everywhere within hundreds of miles of me all owned by the same government, it is difficult for me to choose to not use any of them.

So, perhaps you should choose any other example of a government product/service other than roads to see why I am not "choosing" to use that thing, but am forced to pay for it by the government anyways.

For example, I do not choose to use the U.S.'s war in Afghanistan, but I'm taxed to pay for it forcibly against my will anyways.

Or another example: I may choose to go to a private school instead of a public school, but I would be taxed to pay for it forcibly against my will regardless of whether or not I used the public school.

The same goes with all government weflare: Whether I wish to pay for it (i.e. buy it) or not is not my choice: the government forces me to choose between paying for it, going to jail, or getting shot at. I don't call that a "choice"... I call that being forced to pay for it against my will because force is being initiated against me.

I do not choose to pay President Obama's salary, but part of the tax money that the government forces me to pay go towards it anyways.

Social security, pensions, health care, defense, protection, transportation, national debt interest, etc. I don't want to pay for any of these things. Some things, like roads, I use anyways simply because the government has surrounded my life with them and I have little choice but to use them anyways in the same sense that a slave has little choice but to eat the meal his master gives him. Yes, the slave chooses to eat the meal, but only because he has no reasonable alternative. And if you justify forcing me to pay for the roads I use then I would say that would a similar justification that the slave should have to pay for the master's meal that he ate.

I'm not talking about you putting a meal in front of me and me eating it. Yes, I should pay for it if I eat it. If I go into a restaurant and someone puts food on my table and I eat it I should pay for it. But, a slave who eats his masters food should not have to pay for it because he had little choice but to eat it. Similarly, because government roads exist in so many places around where I live, I have little choice but to use them too. But, if you don't see this, forget about the roads and answer the question for everything else. I don't use the war in Afghanistan, but am forced to pay for it anyways. If you argue that I benefit from the war and thus should have to pay for it in the same way that you argued I benefit from wars and thus should have to pay for it then I'm going to go buy a bottle of water and give it to a poor thirsty person who wants it and then go to your house and forcibly take $5 from you to pay for it, because you benefit from it in that you're now living in a world with fewer poor people. What if I don't want to buy government welfare? What if I want to donate to my own private charities and not government welfare? Are you going to force me to pay for government welfare anyways in the name of I'm benefiting from welfare being responsible for fewer poor people in my society so I should have to pay for it? That's absurd... by the same reasoning you should have to pay for the water I give the poor thirst person. Would you really support me using violent force against YOU to force YOU to pay for the water bottle that I give the poor person?

"If you cannot see the difference between a CHOICE you make and something you are FORCED to do then you are compeltely unclear on the concept and are in fact the WACKO"

Don't worry; it's quite clear to me... I'm just astounded at how far you are willing to go in thinking that I "choose" to be born into a society where people build roads and schools and wage wars that you claim benefit me and use that as a justification to force me to pay for them. I laugh, but I'm half depressed that you hold such views too.

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I was trying to distinguish between choosing to use roads and choosing to use gas from the gas station. It's easy for me to choose not to use gas from the gas station, but because there are roads everywhere within hundreds of miles of me all owned by the same government, it is difficult for me to choose to not use any of them.

It may be difficult for you to avoid the govt roads but it is not impossible. There are many people living outside of the govt road system, they do not pay for the roads. they CHOOSE to foregoe the advantages of living in a city/town. Just because you dont WANT to live in the boonies doesnt mean you should get to live in town and enjoy the advantages of that life tax free, that would be stealing. You seem to completely misunderstand the concept of free choice. you mention the slave again. Last time i checked a slave could not choose to leave the plantaion, that is to say they are FORCED to stay where they are and work for the master. You CHOOSE to stay where you are but think you you are then being FORCED to pay taxes?

Again you choose to make a certain amount of money, you do not have to make so much you want to because it gives you certain material advantages in life. You are not forced to work at doing X job. The slave is FORCED to work. again do you see the difference?

Before we move on to the other issues I will stick with the roads till we understand each other. Do you admit that you pay taxes for roads because of where you live? Do you admit that you have the right to move elsewhere to where there are no taxes for roads? Do you see the difference between you and a slave? You may not want to live elsewhere but it is not the same thing as not being allowed to.

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Before we move on to the other issues I will stick with the roads till we understand each other. Do you admit that you pay taxes for roads because of where you live? Do you admit that you have the right to move elsewhere to where there are no taxes for roads? Do you see the difference between you and a slave? You may not want to live elsewhere but it is not the same thing as not being allowed to.

I could move to Antarctica and no government would tax me for roads, so in some sense you could say that I chose to not move to Antarctica in the first 19 years of my life, but that's really an absurd argument. I could use the same reasoning to say that because you "Choose" to live on Earth rather than Mars, you have to pay me $100 a year because you benefit from my awesomeness. It's complete nonsense. If I go up to you an sing you a song, can I charge you for that song against your will just because you heard it and experienced it? Of course not... you never wanted me to sing a song to you in the same sense I never wanted the government to build me roads. Just because I happen to live in North America and you happen to be near enough to hear me when I sing my song doesn't mean I'm right in violently forcing you to pay for the beautiful song that you benefit from and doesn't mean you're right to violently force me to pay for the roads that I benefit from.

Anyways, you're too insane for me to want to "move on to the other issues"... if you want to reply to them you can, but presuming you reply with the same nonsense, I most likely won't respond.

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UtF, this discussion reminds me of this. We call it "Utopian" because you are only looking at it from an "ideal" perspective. If we implemented your ideas, then the truth would wind up being much uglier. I really don't think you (or Molineux) would like it.

Your premise depends on the vast majority of people behaving rationally and optimally. As soon as you get a significant portion of the population behaving in ways contrary to commonsense and self-interest (either out of ignorance or malice), then the cookie starts to crumble. In an ideal world, maybe this would be the "Best. Idea. Evar.," but this isn't an ideal world. This isn't the "best of all possible worlds." (I don't really have a reason for this link, but I thought of it while I was writing this, so I threw it in for fun. :lol: )

If you don't have time to read all of those authors I suggested (they're all such light reading too :P ), I would read the beginning of Hobbes' Leviathan because that is the basis for Locke's Second Treatise on Government. I would also suggest reading excerpts of the Treatise. Particularly, Chap. II On the State of Nature, and Chapter XIX On the Dissolution of Government. The quote I'm interested in most regarding the Dissolution is below:

Sec. 223. To this perhaps it will be said, that the people being ignorant, and always discontented, to lay the foundation of government in the unsteady opinion and uncertain humour of the people, is to expose it to certain ruin; and no government will be able long to subsist, if the people may set up a new legislative, whenever they take offence at the old one. To this I answer, Quite the contrary. People are not so easily got out of their old forms, as some are apt to suggest. They are hardly to be prevailed with to amend the acknowledged faults in the frame they have been accustomed to. And if there be any original defects, or adventitious ones introduced by time, or corruption; it is not an easy thing to get them changed, even when all the world sees there is an opportunity for it. This slowness and aversion in the people to quit their old constitutions, has, in the many revolutions which have been seen in this kingdom, in this and former ages, still kept us to, or, after some interval of fruitless attempts, still brought us back again to our old legislative of king, lords and commons: and whatever provocations have made the crown be taken from some of our princes heads, they never carried the people so far as to place it in another line.

Locke believed (and I agree) that people are content to deal with a certain amount of hardship and suffering, rather than changing the system as soon as there is trouble. It would take a great outrage to really cause a change.

So if all the companies in the area start charging slightly higher than "fair market value" for a commodity, people are not going immediately boycott or reject that just because they broke their contracts by 5%. There will certainly be some people who are upset by it, but not enough to cause any significant change (especially if everyone who wants restitution has to chip in to get it). If the amount is unfair, but only by a little bit, it would be more costly in the short-term (if not the long-term) to fight it and most people won't care enough to change it.

So that's one of the primary reasons I see your ideas as "pie in the sky." If some entity starts abusing the system by degrees, people will be slow to respond in general because they don't want to have to deal with changing things. Most people value stability above the best deal. If they have to keep changing services to get the best deal, it will get tiring to keep track of and most people will just opt to continue using whatever system they are currently in, even if a rival one would be better for them. I don't see you addressing this in any way.

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I could move to Antarctica and no government would tax me for roads, so in some sense you could say that I chose to not move to Antarctica in the first 19 years of my life, but that's really an absurd argument. I could use the same reasoning to say that because you "Choose" to live on Earth rather than Mars, you have to pay me $100 a year because you benefit from my awesomeness. It's complete nonsense. If I go up to you an sing you a song, can I charge you for that song against your will just because you heard it and experienced it? Of course not... you never wanted me to sing a song to you in the same sense I never wanted the government to build me roads. Just because I happen to live in North America and you happen to be near enough to hear me when I sing my song doesn't mean I'm right in violently forcing you to pay for the beautiful song that you benefit from and doesn't mean you're right to violently force me to pay for the roads that I benefit from.

Anyways, you're too insane for me to want to "move on to the other issues"... if you want to reply to them you can, but presuming you reply with the same nonsense, I most likely won't respond.

Ok this is an absurd statement but Ill let that down to you being only 19 years old and a product of an education system that is getting worse by the year.

You need not move to Antarctica, and the Mars thing is physically impossible for me to do. So let’s deal with reality. You need only move outside the municipal boundaries to avoid paying for the roads. There are millions of Americans who do just that. The hippie communes of the 60’s are a good example of this. That they are mostly gone now is a direct result of the people living there wanting to have the advantages of civilization.

Yes if I come up to you and sing a song it is absurd to expect you to have to pay. My example was you CHOOSING to enter a bar and then refusing to pay because you didn’t want to watch the show. If you don’t want to pay for the show or hear/see the show, then don’t enter the bar. You seem to think that you have every right to enter the bar but no obligation to pay because you are not watching the show. This is a ludicrous and to use your own words immoral position.

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I've only skimmed the first two pages of this thread, so I don't know if opinions have been held the same for the continuation of the conversation, but UtF, let me ask you this:

You complain a lot. How are you going to change anything by letting everyone else (the people that do vote) decide how the country is run?

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UtF, this discussion reminds me of this. We call it "Utopian" because you are only looking at it from an "ideal" perspective. If we implemented your ideas, then the truth would wind up being much uglier. I really don't think you (or Molineux) would like it.

If we implemented my ideas then I wouldn't like it? You mean if you stopped using force against me and others against our will I wouldn't like it? What nonsense, but if you're right then I could always ask you to raise your gun at me again. You may think adults are still children that can't take care of themselves, but even if you do, at least give them the chance to make a mistake so that they can learn. They can always come back to you to ask you to rule over them with force once again if they find out they don't think can't take care of themselves as well as you can after all. I think it's wrong of you to force your will on other adults "for their own good" even if you think you're smarter than them and know how to take care of them better than they know how to take care of themselves.

Your premise depends on the vast majority of people behaving rationally and optimally. As soon as you get a significant portion of the population behaving in ways contrary to commonsense and self-interest (either out of ignorance or malice), then the cookie starts to crumble.

Of course my premise doesn't depend on the vast majority of people behaving rationally and optimally. And that's not my premise anyways. My premise is that it's morally wrong to initiate force (violence) against others against their will except in self defense. Forcefully stealing my money in the form of taxation because you think that will produce a society that I like better than the society produced by not stealing from me against my will is certainly not self defense.

Although, taking the premise that society will be "better" if more people (including you) stop using violent force against other people against their will (meaning you stop supporting taxation, etc, unless the person agrees to be taxed) then I would still say that the premise doesn't depend on people being any more rational than they are now. I think even now with many of the people we have in our society being irrational, it is still "better" (for "society") if you to stop using force against people against their will. But, this is my secondary premise if it is my premise at all. That's because I have found that people manage to reject this premise so easily just by making up excuse like "society won't work unless I point guns at people to take their money against their will." So I go by the first premise instead. Because, after all, even if people are children who are unable to take care of themselves, I think it is still wrong of you to not let them make their own choices and make mistakes if that is what they want to do. I think it's easier for you to think that pointing a gun at me results in a "better society" than to think that it's morally right for you to point a gun at me. And while I would disagree with you on both points (pointing a gun at me results in a worse society and its wrong to point the gun at me like you do anyways), for the sake of our discussions I hope to get you to understand why I think it's wrong to point guns at non-criminal adults (even if you think you know what's good for them better than they do) and hopefully come to agree with me (at least somewhat agree so that the next time you're voting for something you decide to vote to let people choose rather than force your will on everybody even if you think your choice is the best choice for everybody... let the kid make the mistake... if you don't he'll never learn).

If you don't have time to read all of those authors I suggested (they're all such light reading too :P ), I would read the beginning of Hobbes' Leviathan because that is the basis for Locke's Second Treatise on Government. I would also suggest reading excerpts of the Treatise. Particularly, Chap. II On the State of Nature, and Chapter XIX On the Dissolution of Government. The quote I'm interested in most regarding the Dissolution is below:

Locke believed (and I agree) that people are content to deal with a certain amount of hardship and suffering, rather than changing the system as soon as there is trouble. It would take a great outrage to really cause a change.

I'm sort of illiterate, but I'll try to read some of what you recommended at some point in the near future.

I also agree that most people are able to tolerate some amount of hardship and suffering before finally doing something about it. Not only do they not react to a company that does something small they don't like, but they also don't rebel against their government until it starts to really do things they don't like.

So if all the companies in the area start charging slightly higher than "fair market value" for a commodity, people are not going immediately boycott or reject that just because they broke their contracts by 5%.

As soon as the company breaks the contract the person can easily go to their DRO and let them know and the consequences drawn up and agreed upon (by the company and the customer) will be carried out, using force if defined. I don't imagine boycotts being necessary often. If you just take the precaution of drawing up consequences in the contract with the company before the company goes crazy on you then you shouldn't have to boycott your water company or whatever.

There will certainly be some people who are upset by it, but not enough to cause any significant change (especially if everyone who wants restitution has to chip in to get it). If the amount is unfair, but only by a little bit, it would be more costly in the short-term (if not the long-term) to fight it and most people won't care enough to change it.

So that's one of the primary reasons I see your ideas as "pie in the sky." If some entity starts abusing the system by degrees, people will be slow to respond in general because they don't want to have to deal with changing things. Most people value stability above the best deal. If they have to keep changing services to get the best deal, it will get tiring to keep track of and most people will just opt to continue using whatever system they are currently in, even if a rival one would be better for them. I don't see you addressing this in any way.

Let's see: If my grocery store starts charging 5% more then I wouldn't mind changing grocery stores. If my water company starts charging 5% more then I WOULD mind changing companies because it's not like I just walk into the store to buy the product... you need the pipes, etc. So, that's why I'd make sure to make an agreement with my water company before actually buying its services that if it does suddenly raise its prices 5% above the market value that other water companies are delivering to people in town, then it will face X consequences. In this way the company wouldn't raise the prices by 5% because of the consequences and even if it did, boycotts wouldn't be necessary: my DRO would take care of it for me because the company broke its contract.

So if I want more stability and don't want to have to change companies, then I just draw up my plan with the company (costs and everything) rather than learning the price of my water the day I get it. It's really not that difficult. "I don't see you addressing this in any way." Perhaps I'm missing the problem? What are you worried about companies doing that you wouldn't be able to deal with without a coercive state watching out over what companies are selling?

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There will certainly be some people who are upset by it, but not enough to cause any significant change (especially if everyone who wants restitution has to chip in to get it). If the amount is unfair, but only by a little bit, it would be more costly in the short-term (if not the long-term) to fight it and most people won't care enough to change it.

So that's one of the primary reasons I see your ideas as "pie in the sky." If some entity starts abusing the system by degrees, people will be slow to respond in general because they don't want to have to deal with changing things. Most people value stability above the best deal. If they have to keep changing services to get the best deal, it will get tiring to keep track of and most people will just opt to continue using whatever system they are currently in, even if a rival one would be better for them. I don't see you addressing this in any way.

Let's see: If my grocery store starts charging 5% more then I wouldn't mind changing grocery stores. If my water company starts charging 5% more then I WOULD mind changing companies because it's not like I just walk into the store to buy the product... you need the pipes, etc. So, that's why I'd make sure to make an agreement with my water company before actually buying its services that if it does suddenly raise its prices 5% above the market value that other water companies are delivering to people in town, then it will face X consequences. In this way the company wouldn't raise the prices by 5% because of the consequences and even if it did, boycotts wouldn't be necessary: my DRO would take care of it for me because the company broke its contract.

So if I want more stability and don't want to have to change companies, then I just draw up my plan with the company (costs and everything) rather than learning the price of my water the day I get it. It's really not that difficult. "I don't see you addressing this in any way." Perhaps I'm missing the problem? What are you worried about companies doing that you wouldn't be able to deal with without a coercive state watching out over what companies are selling?

Yes, you did completely miss my point on this. I'll get to the rest of your post later.

I said that "There will certainly be some people who are upset by it," meaning people like you. There will be pedantic people like you who will always try to go for the optimal situation for themselves, but if human history is any indication, they will be a minority. Most people would rather use the same system, even if it's more expensive. You also provided the primary reason why it wouldn't work in these conditions in an earlier post. If the company thumbs its nose at the DRO and says, "We'll break our contract because we can!" the DRO will need to take whatever "violent" means it is contracted to take. That might mean hiring a private security firm or other actions, but regardless, they all will take money to execute.

If there is insufficient ire over the company's overreach, then their won't be enough money to fund the endeavor against the insolent company. The few who do complain will have to provide an inordinate amount of the funding, if the people at large aren't required to chip in (and of course they wouldn't as that would be a "violent" intrusion on their freedom). If a DRO doesn't have some sort of central fund to deal with breach of contract cases (raised by some sort of "fee," perhaps? :rolleyes: ), how else would it raise the dough to go after a large, well-financed provocateur? :unsure:

That was my point. If the company takes a calculated risk that they can breach a contract (or even create a legal contract that lets them push the boundaries) without significant consequence, your system provides no means to actively remedy the situation. It depends on a vigilant, engaged public and that isn't something known to history. Like it or not, government takes care of a lot of the boilerplate decisions in people's lives, and most people prefer it that way.

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UTF, I hope I don't come across as a complete cynic here...but I must say, while I agree with what seems to be driving your views there is one flaw with your vision. You completely overestimate human nature. History has shown there to be times without government intervention. The wild west for example. Not the Wyatt Earp Hollywood west. Read Blood Meridian by Cormac Macarthy. But I'm not just talking about human morals or ethics. What I believe you severely overestimate is the intelligence of the masses. You seem like a bright person, but you are not the norm. The ideas you have spoken of can not be implemented because people are just not bright enough (as a whole or on average or at the bottom , however tou care to measure it) to follow through.

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I've only skimmed the first two pages of this thread, so I don't know if opinions have been held the same for the continuation of the conversation, but UtF, let me ask you this:

You complain a lot. How are you going to change anything by letting everyone else (the people that do vote) decide how the country is run?

"You complain a lot." Good question. I wonder if the slaves in the America in the early 1800s complained a lot or not. My guess is that most didn't often because they knew they would be punished for it. Considering this, I suppose I'm somewhat lucky that my government doesn't punish me for complaining about how it uses violence against me so often for no good reason at all. Unfortunately though, it seems that no matter how much I complain about all the guns pointed at me forcing me to do what the government says I have to do, none of the guns go away. If point a gun at you and say "Give me your money" or "buy this license" or "don't build that fence," etc "or else I'll lock you up in a cage or shoot you if you try to stop me" then it doesn't seem much better if I say, "you can complain about all this and I won't lock you up or shoot you so long as you continue to do what I say." Free speech is one thing, but if you can't actually choose to do (or not do) what you say you want to do without getting locked up then you're really still not very free.

So how am I "going to change anything by letting everyone else (the people that do vote) decide how the country is run?" That's a good question too. If my speech doesn't seem to be too effective at changing anything then perhaps I should cast my vote. Perhaps my vote will tip the balance and the gun will be moved away from me (or at least closer to the edge of my body). But, the thing is I really don't support pointing the gun closer to the edge of my body (and everyone else's bodies). I support pointing the gun away from people entirely or not pointing it at all. The problem with this is very few other people support this also and so if I cast my vote that way it will most certainly be ineffective at changing anything at all. At least my speech occasionally sways some peoples' minds to see what they're really doing. So perhaps I should cast my vote to point the gun closer to the edge of my body. I don't support that, but a lot of other people do so there's a chance my vote will be effective in moving the gun. And while I don't want the gun pointing at the edge of my body (and everybody else's bodies), I do think that's better than pointing it closer to the center of my body. So maybe I should vote. Well, I think I better not. And the reason is because pointing the gun closer to the edge of my body isn't "better" than pointing it closer to the center of my body; it's less bad than pointing it closer to the center of my body, but still extremely bad. I don't support it. So while I could vote for something less bad, the fact is that by voting for it I'm supporting it and while it's better than the other possibility of what could win the vote, it's still terrible. Here's an analogy: Let's cast a vote, just you and I. We'll vote to either shoot 10 people or shoot 100 people. Okay, what's your vote? You could vote to shoot only 10 people so as to avoid me voting for killing 100 people and then having 100 people die, but really you don't want to kill 10 people either so I would think you wouldn't vote. This is my thinking when it comes to politics. Well, that and that you could vote to kill 0 people, but over 99% of people who vote always vote to kill a lot of people so you will surely lose and thus taking the time to go vote would be a waste of your time. Now, when people vote in reality they're not voting to kill people, but they're still voting to support violence that I do not support, so the analogy works for you getting to understand why I don't vote and don't plan to vote in any of my country's political elections.

But, your question wasn't why don't I vote, but how am I going to change things if I don't vote. Well, if you now see why I can't change things to make them the way I want by voting, perhaps your updated question is "do you think you can change things to make them the way you want and if so how do you plan to do it?" Well to be honest, I don't think regular "non-criminal" people like you, dawh, gvg and the vast majority of everyone else are going to stop using violence against me and others on a regular, constant basis any time in the near future. I think it's quite plausible that these regular people may finally stop using violence against each other on a regular basis before humans go extinct, but I'm very uncertain of what my effect on whether or not that occurs is. I am part of a small minority challenging many years of tradition, which is always very hard to do. You could ask an atheist in the 15th century how he thinks he's going to get people to be more rational, stop brainwashing their children and stop believing in gods themselves and he might say that he doesn't think his efforts are going to be very successful any time soon. Similarly, I doubt I'll be successful with more than a few handfuls of people. But, even if that doesn't manage to move the gun away from me I'm still going to do it. Anyways, I think the best chances at changing things are to sway peoples' minds. Voting to stop our government from pointing guns at people (regular non-criminal people like me and you) surely isn't going to do anything, but talking with people to get them to see how a government manages to get people to give them their money despite the fact that they don't want to give the government their money might. So my answer is this--this, my friends, my family, etc. How much I manage to change I'm not sure, but I know my plan to change things involves discussing the problem with people.

Also, as a random comment that I'll throw on to this post:

I hadn't really looked in to the subject of politics until two years ago, when I was a senior in high school. At that point in time I had thought a lot about religion. I thought that it was important that people stop brainwashing their children, etc. And while I still do, really religion doesn't cause a lot of harm today. Sure, I'm friends with some very smart people who have been brainwashed into thinking the world is 6000 years old and humans and trees don't share a common ancestor (we come from Adam and Eve!). While I think that's terrible, I now think that that problem will go away somewhat "naturally" in the coming years and also it really isn't doing that much harm to the world today. Yes, my friend thinks we came from Adam and Eve, but no that doesn't stop him from getting a great education and going on to help out the world. Since delving into politics in the last two years, however, I have decided that politics is a much more significant issue than religion to our society. So I'd rather be passionate about politics and spend my time discussing politics with people than spend that discussion time talking with my religious friends trying to convince them not to brainwash their future children, etc. I think it would be great if I could do that, but really I don't think it's as good of a cause as politics. Although I think the two things do have something in common which is the whole rationality, critical thinking, questioning dogma (even the dogma that it seems you obviously shouldn't waste your time questioning) thing which I advocate for. While such thinking for yourself can get you to reject the view that all humans are descendants of Adam and Eve, it can also get you to question the common view that government coercion is necessary for society to function well. So at this point I'll say that while it may seem that I am almost preaching anarchists views (rather than the rationality that I just said I was an advocate of) on this thread, what my goal really is is just to get you to seriously consider these views. Think about them yourself. Try to argue them to yourself. Try to see if you can argue to yourself why you shouldn't use violence against people who disagree with you to get them to do what you want.... why you shouldn't use violence against people who disagree with the democratic majority to get them to do what the democratic majority wants. You don't force people to follow a specific religion just because a majority of people do so why should you force people to pay for a war just because a majority of people think they should? Why should you force them to pay? Do you have a decent reason? Is your reason really decent? Will society collapse into chaos if you stop forcing people to do things and pay for things against their will?

EDIT: Just a random note (that some people I know might say is annoying when I say such things, but whenever I hear other people say such things I tend to like it): I just remembered... I realized that not only have I ever told someone to stop complaining in my life, but the thought has never crossed my mind. If you told me to think of a time when I remember someone complaining about something... nothing comes up. Hmmmm... actually now that I think about it I can think of instances where someone else told someone else to stop complaining, but I never thought of saying such a thing myself. I think people usually say "stop complaining" with a negative connotation, but I have never thought to say such a thing. If anything I would say "Good job, keep complaining," although I don't recall using those words ever. This note may seem odd, but as someone who has been told to stop complaining countless times and yet has never felt the urge to say the same thing to someone else (and has only met a couple of people who are the same way) I thought it was interesting. I suppose it's just a personality thing.

Edited by Use the Force
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Stop playing victim for a second, I'm not pointing a gun at you. :P

You do complain a lot. I gave no intimation of this being a good or a bad thing. It wasn't a question; it was a fact of this thread. In fact, it's good that you complain because it shows that you think about things and aren't afraid of voicing what you believe to be truths. You did hit my point, though, sort of. Complaining, especially via a forum, will get you nowhere. This isn't considered political activity. Since this method is ineffective, how, if not through voting, will you achieve your end - is what I wanted to know.

Let's see how you addressed it.

So maybe I should vote. Well, I think I better not. And the reason is because pointing the gun closer to the edge of my body isn't "better" than pointing it closer to the center of my body; it's less bad than pointing it closer to the center of my body, but still extremely bad

If something is less bad, then by definition, it is better. :P I get your analogy, though. However, let's take it further. Say we live in a terrible terrible world where the majority of people are split, approximately 50-50 between wanting to kill a hundred people, and wanting to kill ten people. Minority protests aside, it is apparent that spoiling your ballot or voting with the third party will do nothing. Would you still not vote if you could make a difference between an additional ninety lives being lost? I agree: neither outcome is desirable, but one is definitely preferable. Likewise, if it came down to it, I'm sure you'd prefer being shot in the arm or leg as opposed to a fatal wound to the head.

I'll accept that we can't get what we want through voting. I, and dawh (as far as I know) are incredibly liberal and ridiculously pacifistic. I assume by violence you mean restrictions on your freedoms. If you recall our old thread, you'll realize this isn't my desire. I'm completely open to a sort of globalized secession where people are free to move within boundaries in the world set up to meet their political desires. I hate that our political system makes us choose between ourselves and society, because I realize people have arbitrary preferences and neither are "right". I prefer a structured and socialized democracy, but I completely get that people like you don't. I have absolutely no desire to force you into doing something you want to do. That's why I'm trying to help. I want you to have an effective method to get what you want, but I don't think what you've outlined will get you anywhere. The impact you'll have on your friends and family, if you can persuade them, is minimum.

Bear with me for a few words, because I think I have something that might help you, as much as I disagree with most of your views. :P

It starts with voting. People hate change, so you have to ease them into it. Go with the lesser of the two evils. Kill ten people instead of a hundred, and maybe in the next election, the choice will be between twenty and five. If society retrogresses a bit and votes for the twenty, over time, you can work the numbers down. It's similar to drugs. I'm a massive proponent of decriminalization and in most instances legalization of all drugs. If people see a ballot grouping heroin, cocaine, and marijuana with a yes or no vote for legalization, given our current drug laws, there's no chance in hell it'd get passed. Start with the easy stuff. Get weed legalized, throw the "If we can have weed, why can't we have LSD too?" and people will just go with it because it isn't this scary startling change. Does that make sense?

Get off the internet. You're not convincing anyone that you need to convince. If you feel so strongly about this stuff, become a lobbyist and find like minded people to rally with. You exist. Take it slowly, but realize it's possible.

...Like.. also. You sound really conservative. I don't know why you think you're in the minority, lol. Well, socially liberal, but definitely a fiscal conservative. Welcome to the middle. :P

*edit* I apologize if I'm repeating anything anyone else has said. I don't have time to read this thread in it's entirety at the moment. =/

Edited by Izzy
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Yes, you did completely miss my point on this. I'll get to the rest of your post later.

I said that "There will certainly be some people who are upset by it," meaning people like you. There will be pedantic people like you who will always try to go for the optimal situation for themselves, but if human history is any indication, they will be a minority.

A note on "optimal situation for themselves": I think anarchy allows everybody to go for the optimal situation for themselves so long as that situation doesn't involve feeding off of other people, as our current system does. In our current system, the majority can say, "Hey, I want to take some rich people's money and spend it on these causes" and wallah!--they vote and because they are a majority they are allowed to forcibly take the peoples' money and spend it to improve their situation for themselves, but at the expense of the rich people who got their money stolen from them. This is unacceptable to the anarchist because the anarchistic thinks that everyone, not just the majority, should have a chance to improve their situation as much as they can. Hurting someone else for your gain (even if you think your gain is charitable) just isn't acceptable.

Most people would rather use the same system, even if it's more expensive. You also provided the primary reason why it wouldn't work in these conditions in an earlier post. If the company thumbs its nose at the DRO and says, "We'll break our contract because we can!" the DRO will need to take whatever "violent" means it is contracted to take. That might mean hiring a private security firm or other actions, but regardless, they all will take money to execute.

I'm not quite sure what you're talking about here. Are you talking about a company like the water company that decides it is going to charge more money even if that means breaking the contract that it agreed to? If so, you're saying that the DRO might be ineffective against doing anything about the water company breaking it's contract, right? I'll make this a short response since I'm still not sure if this is your question. So first, the DROs would rarely use violence, and even when they did, it would rarely require hiring a too-costly security firm. If it did require such people, then these people would have to be paid for by the DRO members who wanted the DROs service of enforcing the members' contract with the company. So, for example, if I make the contract with the water company and the contract specifies that if the company breaks X part of the contract, then some security army is going to go seize the company's property forcefully (this doesn't sound exactly like a contract I would make, but it's possible), then surely some payment plan for this security army would be devised. Perhaps the company would pay some of it and the customer or perhaps all the customer or perhaps the DRO would create an insurance plan in which the customer (or the company too) pays only part of the cost and the DRO counts on it happening a small percentage of the time. Anyways, I don't imagine forcefully taking property from people/companies too often. I think just publicizing the company's crimes and encouraging consumers to not use its services due to such crimes would be enough to make the company lose business, thus making the sudden water price increases or whatever not financially worth it. Also, if it looked like a blatant act of intentionally breaking the contract for financial gains by exploiting the customers (exactly what the contract was meant to be a deterrent of) then the DRO could perhaps also go after the company managers responsible for the price change charging them with some sort of criminal conduct, perhaps dropping their DRO memberships if they don't pay some fee and lower the prices back to the agreed upon levels, etc.

If there is insufficient ire over the company's overreach, then their won't be enough money to fund the endeavor against the insolent company. The few who do complain will have to provide an inordinate amount of the funding, if the people at large aren't required to chip in (and of course they wouldn't as that would be a "violent" intrusion on their freedom). If a DRO doesn't have some sort of central fund to deal with breach of contract cases (raised by some sort of "fee," perhaps? :rolleyes: ), how else would it raise the dough to go after a large, well-financed provocateur? :unsure:

So as I said, it depends on the specific instance, contract, etc, but for an example like the water company one where there's an agreement between the customer and the company on a certain price for a certain period of time or something, not only are the consequences drawn up for breaking the contract, but also of course the means of making sure those consequences actually happen are drawn up. So obviously you wouldn't just "if the company breaks our agreement we will take it's property," but you figure out ahead of time in the contract how you are going to pay for the process of taking the company's property or whatever the consequence is.

That was my point. If the company takes a calculated risk that they can breach a contract (or even create a legal contract that lets them push the boundaries) without significant consequence, your system provides no means to actively remedy the situation. It depends on a vigilant, engaged public and that isn't something known to history. Like it or not, government takes care of a lot of the boilerplate decisions in people's lives, and most people prefer it that way.

It's all about calculated risk. You could steal from my house right now and benefit from it, but there's a high risk because of the government coming after you so chances are you won't gain from it. In a stateless society, security organizations and dispute resolution organizations and all the people whose job it would be to write up these contracts for the companies that would deal with them (e.g. the real estate agent trying to sell the house to a customer who cares about having a reliable source of water and electricity to the house) would make sure that the contracts would make sure that it wasn't worth the risk for the companies to violate the contracts. If they didn't make sure of this, and it was worth the risk and so the company did violate the contract and did exploit their customers, then the real estate agency or the DRO or whoever was involved in helping make the contracts for the customers and businesses that wanted the contracts wouldn't be in business for long.

You're right that my system (as far as I can think at the moment) doesn't provide a means to actively remedy the system if a customer signs a poor contract with the company and the company ends up violating the contract because the consequences aren't as great as the benefits from violating it. No government organization would zoom in on that company and say "we don't like what you're doing" and use force against them to stop them. But, that's fine and I think it would rarely rarely happen. It's not that hard to come up with an agreement that has defined consequences that are surely stronger than the benefits the company could make by breaking the contract.

"It depends on a vigilant, engaged public and that isn't something known to history. Like it or not, government takes care of a lot of the boilerplate decisions in people's lives, and most people prefer it that way."

I think you're clearly overstating the "it's depending on a vigilant, engaged public" thing. I think our current public is perfectly capable of operating itself without forcing everyone to pay for a state to force everyone to behave and not be too corrupt or whatever. If people don't want a company to be corrupt they don't have to vote to force everyone to pay for the Department of Corruption to figure out when the government should use its guns to stop companies from doing one thing or another. If they don't want corruption they can fund their own organizations that find ways to give companies reasons not to exploit their customers, such as contracts between the customers and employers for the easily exploitable services like water and electricity to your house to make sure it doesn't happen. You don't need taxes as you hinted at when you said a "fee" (You: "If a DRO doesn't have some sort of central fund to deal with breach of contract cases (raised by some sort of "fee," perhaps? :rolleyes: " ) as long as this is a service that people want. If you want it then pay for it and you can get it to happen. You don't have to force businessmen to not be corrupt. They need you to voluntarily give them their money so just make them agree to your standards of non-corruptness with strong enough consequences before buying from them. This doesn't require a vigilant public or whatever you keep saying. Our current people would be just fine. Just because it's a different system than the one we have now and there aren't currently organizations with people solving all of these problems peacefully doesn't mean people are too dumb to do it--I don't know why you think they are. ... Imagine you didn't know how our current system works and you were explaining it to a world without governments. People would be asking questions about how the groups of elected officials would ever control all the corruption across an entire country. They wouldn't even know about all of it to come up with the laws to cover everything that people wanted. How would they do it? I think that the problems you're having with understanding how people would solve all of these problems with a state would also exist if you were trying to figure out how to have a state operate successfully while living in a stateless society. It's only because you have history (and knowledge/research about what we're currently doing) to reference that makes a statist society seem so much more plausible to you and it's the lack of a stateless society to look at (in present or history) for how one might be successful that makes you doubt it could work. If you lacked a society with a state to look at though, I'm sure you would have all of these unanswered questions and wouldn't be convinced it could work either. Lastly I'll say that essentially all anarchists were once libertarians. They wanted government for things like money, dispute resolution, police, roads, and fire stations, but not social security or some of the more "liberal" jobs that our government has taken on. The anarchist and the libertarian are similar except that the libertarian thinks that the government is "necessary" for roads, police, etc. If you start moderate and just go more conservative you'll first stumble across crazy ideas like privatizing education with things like roads, dispute resolution, and security last. Something I've noticed in the short amount of time I've been thinking about politics though is that whenever you bring up the anarchists views about the initiation of force being wrong except in self defense, the statist always responds with it's necessary for society to work (whether the statist be a libertarian or a liberal). Most of us seem to have the same ideas of what a good, happy, society look like ... most people seem to be utilitarians in some respect. But, the reason why I don't call myself a utilitarian is because it makes people like you think I agree with you using violence against me to make a better society (or else we'll dissolve into chaos!) While I think I have similar values as you (I care about the poor too) I don't share your view that a system of government that lets people vote to see how to spend other peoples' money (what they produce) produces a better society. Perhaps sometimes you're right and you do know how to spend other peoples' money for their own good and the good of society better than they know how to spend it, but I also think you're wrong a great deal of the time. And even if you are sure you're right (although you can never know for sure), as I said in my last post, I wouldn't use force against them to spend their money the way you want to if they don't want to spend it that way. Sorry for yet another rant.

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UTF, I hope I don't come across as a complete cynic here...but I must say, while I agree with what seems to be driving your views there is one flaw with your vision. You completely overestimate human nature. History has shown there to be times without government intervention. The wild west for example. Not the Wyatt Earp Hollywood west. Read Blood Meridian by Cormac Macarthy. But I'm not just talking about human morals or ethics. What I believe you severely overestimate is the intelligence of the masses. You seem like a bright person, but you are not the norm. The ideas you have spoken of can not be implemented because people are just not bright enough (as a whole or on average or at the bottom , however tou care to measure it) to follow through.

I'm glad that you agree with what's driving my views (non-aggression principle basically). And everyone's been saying the thing about how people are too dumb to take care of themselves and that a government that has the legal right to use violence to take peoples' money from them to pay for societal services is necessary for society to "work" (as if people would be dieing left and right for lack of roads and wars if it weren't for the government). So you're not alone. Although I must admit that the more I think about these issues the more confidence that I get that people are indeed smart enough to take care of themselves without a coercive government to watch out for things like corruption and make sure that there are schools. In my last post I ranted to dawh about this same issue. I really think that the reason why you seem to think anarchy wouldn't work is because you don't have a historical or present example of a stateless society that you can look to as an example of a success and you haven't put in enough theoretical thought into trying to see what a society without a state would need to do to "work". I think your statement that human nature and human unintelligent means we need coercive states in order to have functioning societies is just an excuse you're making up as a reason why you think government is necessary. I don't think you can really say that government is necessary (which is really synonymous to saying you don't think that people are smart enough to solve the societal problems we've been talking about in this thread without a state) until you have tried all possible thoughts on how to solve these problems and then conclude from your exhaustive search that it is thus impossible. By saying people can't solve the societal problems without a state because they're not smart enough is just an excuse of a reason--how do you know that people aren't smart enough to think up ways to make society work? Have you thought of everything and concluded that there's no way to solve some of the problems? And don't forget that there may be people smarter than you (although I'm sure you're smart enough to come up with many solutions to some of the problems like security, dispute resolution, roads, schools, etc, yourself).

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Maurice touched on the heart of what I'm saying. Regardless of what you think is "fair" for you, allowing people to dissolve or secede from their governments at will would lead to chaos, even if some of them go on to make a structured anarchy (talk about an oxymoron :lol:). I was reminded of this quote while reading this (from Men in Black :D):

Edwards: Why the big secret? People are smart. They can handle it.

Kay: A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow.

You seem to have some very strongly held views based on only a very limited sample size of experience with politics and the world. Your viewpoint is extremely idealistic and winds up ignoring a lot of what history and human psychology teaches us. For one thing, saying that religion is a minor issue in the world is extremely naive. Sure, religion might not have a huge impact in New Hampshire, but it's still a hugely influential voting bloc of the Republican Party across much of the country and it continues to fuel wars and unrest in much of the rest of the world. I just find it hard to take your views too seriously when you admit to so many information gaps in subjects that I view as critical to understanding human interaction (with covers politics, government and religion, among others).

In a society that doesn't have a safety net, what is a person who is stuck working low-wage jobs, living pay-check to pay-check supposed to do when they are too old to work, or if they get injured or gravely ill? They would have to depend on the charity of people who are under no obligation to give them anything. A government taking taxes from those who benefit the most from the government (the wealthy) can support those who do the necessary, small jobs that don't pay well in their old age or in time of sickness. I know that last statement's liable to raise a few eyebrows, but I'll leave as it is. :P

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Stop playing victim for a second, I'm not pointing a gun at you. :P

You do complain a lot. I gave no intimation of this being a good or a bad thing. It wasn't a question; it was a fact of this thread. In fact, it's good that you complain because it shows that you think about things and aren't afraid of voicing what you believe to be truths. You did hit my point, though, sort of. Complaining, especially via a forum, will get you nowhere. This isn't considered political activity. Since this method is ineffective, how, if not through voting, will you achieve your end - is what I wanted to know.

Oh, that's great! Whenever people tell me that I complain a lot or to "stop complaining" it is almost always with a negative connotation. I know of few people who really enjoy my complaints except for me and some of my close friends.

Discussing politics through forums certainly isn't the only way I do it, but it is one way. Will it get my views literally "nowhere"? I sure hope I have some effect on the people participating in this 14 page thread, even if they don't become anarchists.

If something is less bad, then by definition, it is better. :P I get your analogy, though. However, let's take it further. Say we live in a terrible terrible world where the majority of people are split, approximately 50-50 between wanting to kill a hundred people, and wanting to kill ten people. Minority protests aside, it is apparent that spoiling your ballot or voting with the third party will do nothing. Would you still not vote if you could make a difference between an additional ninety lives being lost? I agree: neither outcome is desirable, but one is definitely preferable. Likewise, if it came down to it, I'm sure you'd prefer being shot in the arm or leg as opposed to a fatal wound to the head.

I'm usually the one to bring this up before the person I'm talking to does. I admit it does depend in some situations, but in our U.S. politics I still wouldn't vote. I have a friend from Singapore whose Mom works for the government there. If you didn't know, Singapore is a pretty terrible dictatorship relative to the United States but not the worst in the world (parties of 5 or more people are illegal assemblies basically whenever the government wants!) and they had their elections recently. The Ruling Party which always wins (I think literally always) which is very corrupt was supposed to face its strongest opposition yet this election (which it did, but it still won easily). My friend's mom wanted to vote against the government of course even though she worked for it since she knows it's extremely corrupt and thinks its wrong. She ended up spoiling her ballot because of the consequences of voting against the Ruling Party (they find out... at least by district, and give far less funds to the districts that don't vote for the ruling party). But, I was thinking with regard to that election, what would I want to do? While as an anarchist I have said I would spoil my ballot regardless I can't say I would be opposed to voting against the ruling party. What I would actually do I'm not sure. My point is though I'm not going to vote Republican to oppose the Democrats or anything like that. If Ron Paul stood a decent chance of winning I might vote for him if it was close, as you said (50-50) and I might actually effect something, but in general since the 50-50 is usually Democrat-Republican I wouldn't vote for the lesser of those two evils. If it was libertarian candidate (still statist) versus Democrat or Republican, that might be a less enough evil that I would vote. But, in general I wouldn't bother voting for the lesser of two evils.

I'll accept that we can't get what we want through voting. I, and dawh (as far as I know) are incredibly liberal and ridiculously pacifistic. I assume by violence you mean restrictions on your freedoms. If you recall our old thread, you'll realize this isn't my desire. I'm completely open to a sort of globalized secession where people are free to move within boundaries in the world set up to meet their political desires. I hate that our political system makes us choose between ourselves and society, because I realize people have arbitrary preferences and neither are "right". I prefer a structured and socialized democracy, but I completely get that people like you don't. I have absolutely no desire to force you into doing something you want to do. That's why I'm trying to help. I want you to have an effective method to get what you want, but I don't think what you've outlined will get you anywhere. The impact you'll have on your friends and family, if you can persuade them, is minimum.

Incredibly liberal and ridiculously pacifistic. Well, I do think that there are different types of violence, some which I dislike more than others. Certainly cutting off someone's head for not paying taxes is worse than taking ownership of their house or locking them up in a cell, etc, but locking someone up against their will is still violence. Now, I'm not a pacifist (I think violence is fine in self defense) so if you lock someone up because they murder someone I'm fine with that.

I'll reply to the rest later when I get the time.

Bear with me for a few words, because I think I have something that might help you, as much as I disagree with most of your views. :P

It starts with voting. People hate change, so you have to ease them into it. Go with the lesser of the two evils. Kill ten people instead of a hundred, and maybe in the next election, the choice will be between twenty and five. If society retrogresses a bit and votes for the twenty, over time, you can work the numbers down. It's similar to drugs. I'm a massive proponent of decriminalization and in most instances legalization of all drugs. If people see a ballot grouping heroin, cocaine, and marijuana with a yes or no vote for legalization, given our current drug laws, there's no chance in hell it'd get passed. Start with the easy stuff. Get weed legalized, throw the "If we can have weed, why can't we have LSD too?" and people will just go with it because it isn't this scary startling change. Does that make sense?

Get off the internet. You're not convincing anyone that you need to convince. If you feel so strongly about this stuff, become a lobbyist and find like minded people to rally with. You exist. Take it slowly, but realize it's possible.

...Like.. also. You sound really conservative. I don't know why you think you're in the minority, lol. Well, socially liberal, but definitely a fiscal conservative. Welcome to the middle. :P

*edit* I apologize if I'm repeating anything anyone else has said. I don't have time to read this thread in it's entirety at the moment. =/

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*edit* This is @Dawh.

^ What I've realized lately is that you can't force people to care. It's not their responsibility; it's the government's. If UtF wants nothing to do with it, I don't see why he can't leave.

Imagine America set up not by arbitrary boundaries of ancient land agreements and geographical traits, but instead boundaries being political. I know it will be very complex and that there are an infinite number of combinations of laws that people can come up with, but it is a legitimate resolution to some of the most annoying issues. Imagine a country where all the conservatives like in Texas. :P All the cool kids in Michigan can have their drugs and their national healthcare, the less cool kids in Florida can just have their healthcare, and the kids in Texas can have their big suburban houses, their guns, and their religion.

Obviously, there will be a limit on successions and regulations so people aren't creating new states every few seconds. I know one of the biggest problems will be the distribution of land. But.. I think this is the future. Rather than forcing people to agree, just put people that agree together.

I know I'm completely oversimplifying this. Before replying with the problems, take a minute to think out the solutions. They exist. It won't be perfect... but it sure as hell is better than what we have now. I can't guarantee the happiness of everyone... but at least ~48% of people won't constantly be unhappy.

Edited by Izzy
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... didn't we just fight against that in the other thread?

And btw, you basically described state laws. I have said for a while: On social and political issues, i would rather have the federal gov. say that everything reasonable (like weed, gay marriage, etc.) is legal and/or recognized. Now, this would be kinda hard to do becaue of those conservatives in Texas =) So, if necessary (which i don't think it has to be) I would then go with what Ron Paul said: Let the staes decide. If all the conservatives want to move to texas then because it most matches their views, i don't give a damn.

There is, however, a problem: Half the country would be behind dramatically in terms of social/political evolution. Their 'zeitgeist', as Richard Dawkins calls it, wouldn't move nearly as fast as the others. And that can create issues. So i would MUCH MUCH MUCH rather have the Federal government say (for example) "weed's legal all over, if you don't like it don't participate." That makes the situations better, and actually increases social evolution in a way. When envengelical teens see gays married.... and realize the anti-christ ISN'T killing people because of it... they'll realize "Oh, it's not too bad then. Huh."

That was part of the problem pre-civil war. The States in the south said "slavery, mwuhahaha", and the north didn't like that. Bam, civil war (yes i know it was officially to save the union, but slavery played a part), and suddenly, slavery is illegal. What happens? look at most people now, even in the south. While they aren't as civil-rights oriented as me and my fellow northerners are ( :rolleyes: ), I doubt most would be OK with slavery, and the ones who are OK with it are usually viewed as wackos.

And btw, UtF, this is one of (not the biggest, but one of) the problems i have with anarchy: humanity isn't ready for it yet. people are not naturally charitable. White southerners would have issues with helping poor black families, even today (yes, I'm generalizing). It can't work YET. That is why I am a statist. If it was a group like those in this thread, hell even if it was all of brainden. i'm sure it would work. but society as a whole? Not ready.

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For one thing, saying that religion is a minor issue in the world is extremely naive. Sure, religion might not have a huge impact in New Hampshire, but it's still a hugely influential voting bloc of the Republican Party across much of the country and it continues to fuel wars and unrest in much of the rest of the world. I just find it hard to take your views too seriously when you admit to so many information gaps in subjects that I view as critical to understanding human interaction (with covers politics, government and religion, among others).

I must have misspoke: Religion used to be my most significant world issue, but after taking on politics I think the governments that control the world really have a more significant effect on things than whether my intelligent friend has been brainwashed or not. I still think the religion issue is huge, just not as huge as the governments that let Republicans cast votes and start big wars. Without the government I don't think those religious Christians would be able to fund such wars. It's only when they get to pay for them with tax dollars rather than out of their pockets that they decide to go to war. I don't think those wars would happen so much with the religious nuts but not governments, whereas the wars would happen as much (perhaps somewhat less, but not as less as if there weren't governments) without the religious nuts.

As for you not taking my views seriously because of my knowledge, I just don't understand. Shouldn't you be scrutinizing my views for what they are and not care at all whether I'm a complete idiot saying them by chance or whether I'm the most knowledgeable person on the planet? Yes I have a lot of information gaps and I don't know a ton on how society functions, but as I said, my views don't stem from wanting the "greater good" like a utilitarian. While I do think society would be better without coercive governments that can tax people against their will to pay for wars, that's not why I'm an anarchist. I'm an anarchist because I decided it doesn't make any sense to ignore my morals that it's wrong to force your friend to pay for a pizza with onions on it if he doesn't want to pay for a pizza with onions on it. Don't force him to buy it! It's not about knowledge and information (gaps), it's about morality. So what if it's best for more people to make your friend buy the pizza; you're hurting him by forcing him pay for it when he said he didn't want to. I know that not because of knowledge and information that I have read up on, but because of an inherent/taught morality that I have. You know it's wrong to use force against people like that and yet you've convinced yourself to do it anyways because you're convinced it produces a better society. Even if it is better, I still wouldn't do it, especially since in a stateless society people could choose to join state-like organizations/societies that provide the services that the state does and collects "taxes" like the state does, etc. The difference is that you don't force everyone to join that society; you let those who don't wish to pay taxes that could be spent on wars to stay out. But, sadly, I don't have that option right now in a world where almost all the land is claimed by governments that tax you.

In a society that doesn't have a safety net, what is a person who is stuck working low-wage jobs, living pay-check to pay-check supposed to do when they are too old to work, or if they get injured or gravely ill?

Since you, me, and a majority of people presumably (since our government does it) cares about these problems, why don't you expect us to voluntarily pay for charitable organizations that take care of these problems? I know I would and I bet you would. Socially and economically ostracize those who don't. You don't have to point guns at them :unsure: ... I see and understand all your fears, but I can't bring myself to point guns at people to pay for these things because it's "necessary." I don't think it's necessary. I'll donate and get my friends and family to donate and if there are strangers living in my community who don't and my ostracism doesn't affect them then that's that. I'm not going to force them to pay for these things if they don't want to.

They would have to depend on the charity of people who are under no obligation to give them anything. A government taking taxes from those who benefit the most from the government (the wealthy) can support those who do the necessary, small jobs that don't pay well in their old age or in time of sickness. I know that last statement's liable to raise a few eyebrows, but I'll leave as it is. :P

Actually I didn't raise my eyebrows. You're talking about the part where the wealth benefit the most from government, right? I agree with that. Yes, the poor who don't have to pay taxes but seek all the benefits are "free riders" some say, but the actual money benefit per person by far goes to the wealth business owners who get to make all that much more money by getting to use all of that road for their business, etc. And it's not just roads of course. But, still, those wealthy people may not have wanted the government to make roads for them or the government to provide health care, housing, etc, for all of their workers so they could do a good job. And if you didn't tax them so much for all of those government services, then wouldn't those wealthy people have the money to pay for the roads, etc, to make sure that their businesses ran properly and were as successful as they could be? It's still the same issue. I don't like the idea of forcing people to pay for these things. Especially wars... I can hear you on the subject of roads (that's one of the last issues to deal with before becoming an anarchist), but what's wrong with privatizing wars? If the war is supposed to be for the taxpayer's protection then surely no matter how dumb or selfish they are they would voluntarily pay for the war anyways to protect themselves. Do you agree? Would you be against privatizing the military (you can hold on to law enforcement for now... but what about cutting down that $700 billion dollar or whatever it is military budget to $10 billion or something and privatizing all of the charitable wars the U.S. is fighting? :-) I'm going to slow down with my posting pace substantially hopefully because I've written a ton in the past day and it's probably getting to be low quality writing and other people may have trouble keeping up with the pace.

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*edit* This is @Dawh.

^ What I've realized lately is that you can't force people to care. It's not their responsibility; it's the government's. If UtF wants nothing to do with it, I don't see why he can't leave.

Imagine America set up not by arbitrary boundaries of ancient land agreements and geographical traits, but instead boundaries being political. I know it will be very complex and that there are an infinite number of combinations of laws that people can come up with, but it is a legitimate resolution to some of the most annoying issues. Imagine a country where all the conservatives like in Texas. :P All the cool kids in Michigan can have their drugs and their national healthcare, the less cool kids in Florida can just have their healthcare, and the kids in Texas can have their big suburban houses, their guns, and their religion.

Obviously, there will be a limit on successions and regulations so people aren't creating new states every few seconds. I know one of the biggest problems will be the distribution of land. But.. I think this is the future. Rather than forcing people to agree, just put people that agree together.

I know I'm completely oversimplifying this. Before replying with the problems, take a minute to think out the solutions. They exist. It won't be perfect... but it sure as hell is better than what we have now. I can't guarantee the happiness of everyone... but at least ~48% of people won't constantly be unhappy.

I know you said this was at Dawh, but I couldn't help but comment--you sound like an anarchist! That's exactly what anarchy is. If it weren't for the geographic problems we'd have anarchy right now and let people who want X size government (or no government at all) choose to have that government along with the other people in the world who want that government. That's exactly what you can do in a stateless society. Sure it may be difficult to find everyone with your same political views and get them in the same geographic area (the same geographic area is necessary for liberals as they are paying for things like roads, etc, but the geography is not necessary for anarchists like me), but once you're there you can CHOOSE to have a "government" (not coercive, because you choose to join it and you don't force anyone to join it who doesn't want to... but once you choose to join it, it collects "taxes" from you and pays for roads, schools, wars, etc). So that's great, you want everyone to be able to retain their choice rather than forcing your taxation on them. Thanks :-P . So I suppose you could be a liberal in a stateless society. I don't encounter many people like that (people like you who say what you just suggested), because usually it is the people who don't want a central organization collecting money that then votes to decide how to spend it (liberals) who become anarchists, but since anarchy at least as I have been presenting it is really just accepting the non-aggression principle, you could certainly have such a society where half your income is given to that central organization (like a government, but you choose to join it so not really a government by my definition) to spend on societal services, etc. So this is fantastic; while we have very different political views, you just made a suggestion that shows you can be a liberal anarchist. The term sounds like a contradiction, but it makes sense to me.

Edited by Use the Force
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On social and political issues, i would rather have the federal gov. say that everything reasonable (like weed, gay marriage, etc.) is legal and/or recognized.

:lol: The problem is that the people in the government likely won't agree with you on everything that is reasonable and everything that is not reasonable.

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This is true. I just think fed. gov. should stay out of social/political issues all together, unless it's something stupidly dangerous (which i can't think of right now).

if they said "f*** it, drugs are leagl, gay marriage is legal, tc.", that would make me a happy man.

Let me explain what I believe the gov. should be for:

An economic regulator, preventing the rich from screwing people over and preventing corporations/wall street from forming impenitrable monopolies that basically eliminate the free market.

A social protector, protecting the rights, like legalized weed (or something already in place, like civil rights laws), not limiting them as republicans are wont to do.

A welfare provider to help those who can't help themselves until they can get bcak on their feet (and working to eliminate as many 'free riders' as possible)

A physical protector, with an army, a police force, etc. that defends our country, not our oil interests.

An enviornmental protector, and innovation supporter (such as funding physics experiments), and an infrasctructure provider.

Really, this looks like a lot, but all of these can basically be classified under regulator, protector, progressor. (i'm sure there are minor exceptions that are out of these three, but nothing extremely important.)

Basically all the things I want (that haven't been said up there) can fit under these three. For instance, eductaion goes under progressor. Alt. Energy goes under progressor. Free/ more affordable healthcare/college (like the stuff in many successful European countries) goes under either progressor or protector (of health). Seperation of church and state, I would argue, goes under protector.

You, as an anarchist, probably thinks this is a lot. But i don't want a social rgulator. I don't want a militarist army. I don't want to waste our money on useless areas, like Afghanistan, where the people hate us anyway were it not FOR our money.

And i think my ideas can easily be acheived through voting, the slow, contnuous process of constant voter education (with or withour compulsory voting, which i support) and education in general. No more paying corporations oil subsidies and what not. No more of all the bullsh*t.

It'll take a while, but I think it's possible. And I think government is needed to acheive that. I don't trust an unfettered free market. i don't trust the general intelligence of the public (yet). And I can't see any of my ideas coming to life without a government. I just don't see it. THe DRO's, I know you claim otherwise, are acting as a sort of governing body. Government, my firend, is:

gov·ern·mentnoun /ˈgəvər(n)mənt/ 

governments, plural

1.The governing body of a nation, state, or community

- an agency of the federal government

- government controls

2.The system by which a nation, state, or community is governed

- a secular, pluralistic, democratic government

3.The action or manner of controlling or regulating a nation, organization, or people

- rules for the government of the infirmary

4.The group of people in office at a particular time; administration

- the election of the new government

5.All bonds issued by the US Treasury or other federal agencies

6.The relation between a governed and a governing word

Basically, anything that governs. You are simply, in my mind, suggesting, with the use of the DRO's, a very limited, very privately influenced gov. that is, nonetheless still a government. it is simply a very liberterian one, which I respect but respectfully disagree with.

I think my views can be summed up as social (as in socialist) capitalist, liberterian in social/political freedom issues.

*passionate rant now over* ^_^

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@UtF: I am not an anarchist because I want to live in a socialist society. That's the antithesis of anarchy. I just recognize that forcing people who disagree with me into this political structure is unjustifiable. Me allowing you to have your anarchy in say, Florida, doesn't affect my non-anarchy in Massachusetts.

Though... eh, I see where you're coming from. I think of myself as much of a libertarian socialist than anything. If I change that to socialist anarchist on Facebook, I think people would get confused and have a fit. :P

@Gvg: We have that now, lol. Is it working? :P

Edited by Izzy
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A few years ago my wife and I were foster parents to a young boy, 10 years old. He had no continuity in his life. He had spent a year (around age 8) with his dad and that was it for a male role model. But that influence was bad...drugs, partying, what would be described as sexual deviancy (in front of the child), 2am at Wendy's on a school night. The kid had no structure, no discipline, no real guidance. Now, I am no disciplinarian, but our home gave him that structure and we realized early on that he desired it, although he didn't always quite seem to understand that desire. But it was there. He was drawn to me. He wanted someone to show him how to live a structured life. At times the poor kid was at odds with himself, because he saw what a poor father his dad was.

Point to the story is we are all like my foster son in some way, as a people at least. UTF, the reason we have the structure we have is because we are drawn to it, historically. We put up with what negatives come from being government controlled because we do not want to do away with the positives, and believe it or not there are many. Now I get that you do not require the governement at the same level that most people do...I'd venture to say that many on BD do not. But it is a collective decision to require the government. It is a decision that is made not from looking at one's own life, but from looking at society. And if you truly look at society's needs a government is required. Remember there are 300,000,000+ people in the US, 6billion + in the world. I can look around at my own family (not the one I'm raising, the one that raised me) and say "Yes, I am glad there is a governemnt for them. I can not see them able nor willing to live under the UTF scheme" (scheme used for lack of a better immediate term, no negative connotation desired).

And while our government does have flaws, realize this. You essentially have three options. 1) Do as Quag expressed and live off the grid. 2) Make the necessary changes from within the system (ie voting, running for office, lobbying) 3) Do nothing. Because here's the way I look at it. Many intelligent people have walked this earth before us. You speak of what's been tried in the past, well we are here where we are through their efforts and I can't see things changing anytime soon.

@ dawh your Men in Black quote reminds me of my sentiments (and again maybe I have grown cynical). " love people. I hate people." I adore and appreciate each individual for their own unique attributes. Collectively I am not a fan of people. Not for what they are capable of as a group (mob). In a way I think that UTF is slightly misguided because he is looking at the world from his own viewpoint and can't see the flaws that the idiots, miscreants, and other unseemly people in the world would expose. But mayhaps I do underestimate humankind. As much as I don't trust humankind, I have faith in humanity.

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