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Are you planning to vote in the 2012 election

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If the government didn't penalize people that didn't pay taxes then no one would pay taxes. Even the government services you do like would have no funding. How would you fund fire departments, sanitation, roads, food & drug safety... Expect everyone to be reasonable and chip in? Who would collect it and who would determine what each person should give?

Taxes suck but I'm not aware of another way...maybe better methods of taxation but the elimination of it?

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UtF: You keep mentioning these "Conflict Resolution Centers," but you provide no context or explanation for what they are or how they work. They seem either pie in the sky or government by another name to me. If you think that they are so amazing, it would be helpful to your argument to share details with us.

Yeah, sorry about that. I realized I left out all descriptions of Dispute Resolution Organizations, but I was too lazy to describe them because I know it took me a bit of reading and a good amount of thinking before I bought the idea, and that was starting at a much more conservative point than you all so I doubted that I would receive anything but quick rejections from you all if I described them. And that would only lead to a big long discussion that I didn't feel like having at the moment. But, anyways, here is some information. This guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan_Molyneux , Stefan Molyneux, came up with the idea of Dispute Resolution Organzations (DROs). I think other anarchists have come up with similar things, but these DROs were the first things presented to me when I was trying to figure out how to deal with criminals without a violent government. Stefan Molyneux writes some about his DRO idea here: http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/molyneux1.html . I don't know if it'll make sense as an introduction to DROs, but you can tell me if you have any questions. You can also just Google the subject (that's what I just did). I just found http://www.acrnet.org/Page.aspx?id=691 which I don't think is about anarchism, just alternative forms of settling disputes. Just because our government and essentially all governments in history have used violence to resolve disputes doesn't mean you need violence to solve such conflicts. Just think about your personal life if you doubt it. When you disagree with your parents or your friends, etc, you don't use violence against each other do you? Let's say you and your friends are going to buy a pizza, but you don't want a pizza with X topping for whatever reason and say you won't pay for any of it if it has that topping. Would your majority friends vote to force you to anyways? Of course not. Your friends can either agree with you to get a pizza without X topping and you can all agree on how much of the bill you are each paying or else your friends can just buy the pizza with X topping themselves and you can get your own food. In your personal life you rarely, if ever, use violence when you disagree with someone. Why is it suddenly okay to use violence against someone who disagrees with you just because you're dealing with more people? Using the silly false excuse that "anarchism doesn't work with large numbers of people" as I've heard from multiple people several times recently simply isn't true. Certainly we live in a complex world where you interact with many people, but that's not an excuse to use violence.

I go back to Churchill's quote: It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.

I would agree with that, but I'm talking about a stateless society--no government.

To date, I can't think of a single anarchic society that has existed since the pre-tribal era tens of thousands of years ago. So I guess that you could argue that it might be better because it's never been tried, but that's a false dilemma since there's no guarantee that it would be better. I don't see a way to build a stable society around an anarchic model. Churchill's point was that most of the other forms of government tried in the world have been autocratic in nature and generally tyrannical with an extreme minority (often a single person) controlling the actions of everyone else.

I'm glad you said that you don't see a way to build a stable society around an anarchic model. I didn't either a year ago. But, also a year ago I didn't see any good reasons why a society wouldn't be able to function without violence. There's certainly a lot of dogma out there that makes us think that violent governments are necessary to avoid falling into chaos, but until you really take the time to think about how a society might operate without using violence to "solve" disputes, etc, you'll continue to just say that you don't see a way for a stateless society to function simply because there aren't any example stateless societies you can look at in history.

And about that "false dilemma since there's no guarantee that it would be better," since when is the fact that there aren't any historical examples of something enough to dismiss it? Take anything as an example. When the Wright brothers were making their first plane they didn't dismiss the idea saying, "Well nobody else has made a plane before so we're not going to try it." Okay, maybe that's not a great analogy. But, anyways, you have to admit that anarchism is worth looking into when the alternative is our violent system. The worst case scenario would be that after investigating how a stateless society might function you would decide that violence is necessary for a peaceful society to function (lol, although I highly doubt you would come to that conclusion unless your investigation was superficial) and we would be left with our current democratic governments that only are dictatorships to minorities of people.

In a society of 300 million people, how can each person's wishes be fulfilled, especially if many people's wishes lie in direct opposition to each other? In a stateless society, everyone would have to negotiate their own livelihood with their neighbors and and associates. If your views didn't align with your neighbor, at least one of you is going to have to be disappointed. You can't satisfy everyone's wants and needs in every situation, regardless of what your government structure is. I don't see how a stateless society can mitigate this particular problem. So while the majority in a democracy might step on the toes of a minority, it's the best system that we've field-tested because at least a majority of people's needs are getting met. In an autocratic society, we can only guarantee that the minority in charge is getting served. So between an autocratic society (the vast majority of societies in history) and a democratic one, the democracy is worlds better.

Liberal progressives support democracy because it provides the best chance to protect the interests of the most people. A well-structured democracy can protect the interests of the majority, while simultaneously trying to mitigate the collision with the interests of the minority (it doesn't have to, but that's the goal of liberal progressivism as I define it).

As I said, I agree that our current democracies are just about the best the world has seen. I don't mind if you work to make them better and better (i.e. they use violence against fewer people (the minorities that disagree with the governments' uses of force get smaller and smaller)) as you say by making government more accountable, but I must urge you to consider the real progressive step of consider all the violence as unnecessary. You don't need any of the government violence for society to be stable.

Sorry, but I don't have time to read/reply to this at the moment, but I will soon:

I have trouble following your arguments. You talk of anarchy and then use terms that imply structured government to me. What is a "law" in a stateless society? Who decides what is "right"? If you don't have a government creating laws, then what constitutes a "crime"? I don't see how any of these words can have any meaning in a society that doesn't have a State. :wacko: I guess if there were no laws, then there would be less crime by definition since you can't have a crime without a law to transgress. :P

The mafia is a good example. What would happen if a mafia-like entity rose up in a stateless society? :huh: Who would oppose it? If a violent minority of people got together and decided that they could impose their own rules on the rest of society, who would be there to challenge it? You would need the other people to rise up against it in a relatively unified fashion to prevent them from taking violent control. If you wanted to oppose the mafia, you couldn't compel your neighbor to join you. He's under no obligation to defend you if you challenge the mafia. He might decide that it's easier (and safer) to just pay the protection money.

The state is an overarching entity that can deal with groups that will overpower an individual. The state already opposes the mafia today. Sure, it doesn't work 100% of the time, but organized crime's power is greatly reduced from what it could be because the state tries to root it out. You could argue that paying taxes to the state to defend you is paying "protection money" to defend you from the actual mafia, but it's a weak comparison. The mafia doesn't build a sewer system or a road system or an educational system with your money; it just uses it to support its own interests. A democratic government is supposed to use your money to support your interests. And I think that of any form of government, a democracy provides the best chance that your money will be used as you want it, while also trying to balance the needs of the rest of society. You can get no such guarantee from any more autocratic one.

What makes "violence" a crime? I don't really see you as an adherent to "Natural Law," as that's generally associated with a theological worldview. If there are no natural laws and no state to create laws, from what do these laws originate? :unsure: I don't see how a law can exist without a state to regulate and enforce it.

Again, you bring up the concept of "money." How can money exist without a state? Legislators in South Carolina are trying pass a bill to create a state currency (which is blatantly unconstitutional). But even if it wasn't illegal, what good is it for them to do that? Who would want to use it? If I lived in SC and I wanted to do business in North Carolina, Georgia or Florida, I would want to use US dollars, since that's the currency used in all three of those states. It would only be useful in the state of SC itself. Once you leave the state, it would be useless. You would have to exchange it with US dollars. So why bother in the first place? :huh:

If each state had its own currency, how could any form of interstate commerce exist? That was the problem with the Articles of Confederation. The central government had no authority to create a currency, so every state had its own currency. When you traveled to a different state, you had to exchange it. It made any sort of large commerce operation inefficient and impractical. So when they wrote the constitution, they mandated that only the federal government could produce currency. It seems like you are opening the door for creating the Articles of Confederation on steroids. If you wanted to use the dollar for commerce and I wanted to use the yuan, who would decide which got used? Would people have to take dollars to you and bring yuans to me? Even if we adopted a unified currency, who decides what it's worth? It seems somewhat arbitrary and leading to financial inequity without some greater entity to step in and try to regulate it.

I agree that many of the laws passed are pretty out there. There are perhaps better ways of dealing with petty thieves and drug users than the current system, but just because some of the laws are bad doesn't justify throwing out the whole system. That would only work if we could guarantee that what replaced it would be on the whole better, and I don't see that from a stateless society. You bring up these "truly amazing" things concocted by people advocating for stateless societies, but you don't actually mention them in any detail. How could we evaluate their viability if you don't tell us what they are? Please, enlighten us.

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Yes, I am against all forms of taxation where the taxation is coercive (i.e. the person didn't agree to be taxed). To clear up the confusion I will say that there are some government services that I support and others that I do not support. For example, I do not support paying for the U.S.'s wars and military, but I do agree with paying for some other government program services. The thing is, though, that even though I may agree with some government spending, it remains that not everyone agrees with that spending and thus I don't support the government using force to tax those people against their will. So an analogy for your perspective might be that you agree with paying for our public schools, but if I were you I would still oppose that taxation because there are OTHER people who do not wish to pay for those schools who you are coercing to pay against their will. Did I clarify or is there something else?

The big question is:

Is money fungible?*

If money is fungible, then your system of taxation can't work. Once you give the money to the government, there's really nothing you can do to determine how "your" money gets used. If the government spends any money at all on something with which you disagree, some of that money was "yours." There's no reasonable and efficient way that you can keep that money separate for every individual with an opinion (and there's a saying about opinions that I won't repeat here). But sufficed to say, everyone has a different idea regarding how their money should get spent.

*

I think by any sensible definition of money, it is clearly

fungible.
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http://wagingnonviolence.org/2009/12/can-peace-be-obtained-through-anarchy/ I think this beautifully illustrates why anarchy can't be done, without bringing the money problem into it.

I simply don't think a peaceful society is possible without a state; we're not even fully there with one, although we are certaintly working on it.

And also, UtF, he says that America was built on the ideas of small gov. This is not true. Think: Washington was a federalist, an advocate for large gov. The founders realized that the Articles of Con. didn't work, and so they made the constitution, which increased the size of gov. http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h445.html If they had really been for small gov., then the Constitution wouldn't have been made (as the anti-federalists wanted)

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The big question is:

Is money fungible?*

If money is fungible, then your system of taxation can't work. Once you give the money to the government, there's really nothing you can do to determine how "your" money gets used. If the government spends any money at all on something with which you disagree, some of that money was "yours." There's no reasonable and efficient way that you can keep that money separate for every individual with an opinion (and there's a saying about opinions that I won't repeat here). But sufficed to say, everyone has a different idea regarding how their money should get spent.

*

I think by any sensible definition of money, it is clearly

fungible.

No, no, miscommunication. So when I said "yes, I am against all forms of taxation where the taxation is coercive (i.e. the person didn't agree to be taxed)" I mean that I am against all forms of taxation. I wasn't suggesting an alternative system of taxation. I think we should abolish taxation completely. Then, if people wish to voluntarily choose to pay for certain goods/services like hospitals, schools, roads, wars, etc, (i.e. services that are currently primarily paid for by government), then they can do so. So I wasn't suggesting an alternative system of taxation. I was simply saying that there are some things that my tax money goes towards (e.g. schools) that I support and some things that my money goes towards (e.g. wars) that I don't support and in a free market (stateless society) I would be able to choose to pay for those schools in the same way that I pay for them now. My point was just supposed to be a reminder that just because it's a stateless society doesn't mean you're not allowed to pay for those "collective" services that our government currently pays for. I made the point because people were saying that in a stateless society there would be no way to pay for schools, roads, hospitals, etc, as if somehow those things could only be paid for if you vote for people to violently force you to pay for them. That's simply not true... you can pay for such things voluntarily in a stateless society. So, I wasn't suggesting an alternative tax system. I was simply saying that in a stateless society I would most definitely pay my money to some of the things that my government currently taxes me for, such as schools, roads, etc. Did I clarify myself?

And as for, "There's no reasonable and efficient way that you can keep that money separate for every individual with an opinion (and there's a saying about opinions that I won't repeat here). But sufficed to say, everyone has a different idea regarding how their money should get spent."

Exactly, everyone has their own opinion. I guess that means we have to vote so that the majority can point guns at the minority and violently force them to pay for what the majority wants people to pay for. So seriously, isn't the only reasonable and efficient way that you can keep money separate for each individual so that they can pay for what they want to pay the free market? I think that is a very reasonable and efficient way. Why would you use violence to force people to pay for things against their will when you don't have to? It's completely unnecessary and I would say immoral. Think of your friends forcing you to pay for the pizza.

Edited by Use the Force
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http://wagingnonviolence.org/2009/12/can-peace-be-obtained-through-anarchy/ I think this beautifully illustrates why anarchy can't be done, without bringing the money problem into it.

I simply don't think a peaceful society is possible without a state; we're not even fully there with one, although we are certaintly working on it.

And also, UtF, he says that America was built on the ideas of small gov. This is not true. Think: Washington was a federalist, an advocate for large gov. The founders realized that the Articles of Con. didn't work, and so they made the constitution, which increased the size of gov. http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h445.html If they had really been for small gov., then the Constitution wouldn't have been made (as the anti-federalists wanted)

1. I don't claim that a stateless society would be completely peaceful although I do believe that there would be less violence than in our current society with a government.

2. That article defines anarchy as “a utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government" which as I have repeated many times is not an assertion that I make. I don't declare that anarchy is utopian and as I have stated many times as well, I'm sure there will still be some violence in a stateless society (so why do you keep calling that utopian?).

3. Money isn't a problem... it's perfectly possible to have money without a violent government. As long as people decide money is in their interest so they don't have to trade they will find ways to cooperate to make a system of money.

4. "And also, UtF, he says that America was built on the ideas of small gov. This is not true." How does this apply to what I have been saying?

5. I of course agree that we have a very "big" government. It could certainly be a lot more limited, although at the same time there are governments that are much more of dictatorships than the U.S. government.

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UtF: You never answered the question of "What would the money be based of off?" (Unless I'm that oblivious, but I don't see it). What would it's value be based upon? What if I say paper clips are worth more than gold, and so i want to use it? WHo says it's wrong? WHat if you think that a gold coin is worth 20 paper clips but I think a peper clip is worth 20 gold coins? WHo's system wins?

What gives money value, to sum it up nicely?

And I only brought up the small vs. big gov issue because he used it as part of the basis of his argument. I just wanted to point it out; it can be disregarded.

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And I keep bringing up utopia because that is what anarchy tries to reach; that's whay it was created. "We don't need the gov.! We can be fine ourselves. Let's sing Kumbaya!"

That's why. It's at the core of anarchy, just as utopia is at the core of communism.

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I have trouble following your arguments. You talk of anarchy and then use terms that imply structured government to me. What is a "law" in a stateless society? Who decides what is "right"? If you don't have a government creating laws, then what constitutes a "crime"? I don't see how any of these words can have any meaning in a society that doesn't have a State. :wacko: I guess if there were no laws, then there would be less crime by definition since you can't have a crime without a law to transgress. :P

Murder is a crime. Why? Because it's wrong. Why is it wrong? Because you and I consider it wrong along with a lot of other people. One definition of crime is because there is a governmental law that says something is a crime, but that is not the one I am using. Even if the U.S. made it legal to murder people I would still say that murder is a crime. Even if everyone else in the world thought that murder was okay, I would still say it is a crime as well.

What makes a law right? The fact that it's the government's law or the fact that you consider it morally right? I would certainly say the latter. In a stateless society the system of "laws" wouldn't be drawn up by an institution like our government, but would instead be upheld by a lot of people supporting them. It would be like a free market for laws. Let's say you chop off my leg. I would say that's a crime, but let's say you didn't think it was a crime. Well, in a stateless society I would go to my DRO and tell them what happened. They would make sure I wasn't lying and then would contact your DRO (yours may be the same or a different DRO than mine). Our DROs would then hold something like a court case where both of them (and us) try to agree on a price for you to pay of some form for your crime of cutting off my leg. Now, because our society as a whole tends to consider it wrong to randomly chop off other peoples' legs, both your DRO and mine are going to consider your act a crime. Thus, your DRO and mine will agree on a price that you will have to pay me. Perhaps I demand 10 million dollars, but my DRO and the other DRO agree that that is too much and they instead say that you only have to give me a million. Then you can either do that (you might have some sort of insurance to cover it... this is a vague crime so just pretend you have a way of paying it; that's not the point of this example) or your DRO will drop your membership. When this happens you're essentially an outcast (read that first link I sent you if you don't see why). But, let's consider another example. Let's say I demand 100 million dollars for my leg and the DROs agree that that's the fee you should have to pay. Now, this is a crazy high fee for something that might have been an accidental act of you cutting off my leg (let's say that was the case). In this case you could not pay and then go appeal to another DRO that agreed with you that this price was too high. That DRO would likely make me a new offer to settle the crime for a smaller amount. Another version of this example might be that my DRO and yours say that you only have to pay me 10 dollars. If this was the case, I would drop my DRO's membership and go to a different DRO. The thing you should realize is that in a stateless society these DROs would be competing for the best "laws"/rulings. If a DRO were to actually make such an absurd ruling, many of its members would likely change memberships to other DROs that were better and the original DRO that made the terrible ruling would go out of business. So in a way the "law" is still determined by your peers. The difference is that rather than one group of representatives determining the absolute law enforceable by violence (note: DROs don't use violence unless you give your consent to have violence used against you if you do blah or don't do blah that you agreed to) there are multiple organizations creating laws and resolving disputes and they are competing to make the best rulings in disputes. Those that make the best rulings will be rewarded with more members and those that make crazy rules will go out of business or their rulings just won't be taken seriously. So remember, these DRO's aren't violent. If one makes an immoral ruling you're not doomed to violence (as you would be if the government made a poor ruling against you). Rather, you could appeal to a different DRO and they could give you membership. So if your DRO makes a bad ruling against you, your future employer won't hire you. That is, he won't hire you until you go appeal to a different DRO and get membership there. That way, when he hires you you have a decent DRO that you can agree to follow the decision of should you have any disputes with your employer that you can't resolve yourself.

The mafia is a good example. What would happen if a mafia-like entity rose up in a stateless society? :huh: Who would oppose it? If a violent minority of people got together and decided that they could impose their own rules on the rest of society, who would be there to challenge it? You would need the other people to rise up against it in a relatively unified fashion to prevent them from taking violent control. If you wanted to oppose the mafia, you couldn't compel your neighbor to join you. He's under no obligation to defend you if you challenge the mafia. He might decide that it's easier (and safer) to just pay the protection money.

Again, there's nothing wrong with using violence in self defense. And what mafia do you think is going to take over society? Did you read this link: http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/molyneux1.html ? "The second problem is the fear that a particular DRO will grow in size and stature to the point where it takes on all the features and properties of a new State.

This is a superstitious fear, because there is no historical example of a private company replacing a political State. While it is true that companies regularly use State coercion to enforce trading restrictions, high tariffs, cartels and other mercantilist tricks, surely this reinforces the danger of the State, not the inevitability of companies growing into States. All States destroy societies. No company has ever destroyed a society without the aid of the State. Thus the fear that a private company can somehow grow into a State is utterly unfounded in fact, experience, logic and history.

If society becomes frightened of a particular DRO, then it can simply stop doing business with it, which will cause it to collapse. If that DRO, as it collapses, somehow transforms itself from a group of secretaries, statisticians, accountants and contract lawyers into a ruthless domestic militia and successfully takes over society – and how unlikely is that! – then such a State will then be imposed on the general population. However, there are two problems even with this most unlikely scare scenario. First of all, if any DRO can take over society and impose itself as a new State, why only a DRO? Why not the Rotary Club? Why not a union? Why not the Mafia? The YMCA? The SPCA? Is society to then ban all groups with more than a hundred members? Clearly that is not a feasible solution, and so society must live with the risk of a brutal coup by ninja accountants as much as from any other group.

And, in the final analysis, if society is so terrified of a single group seizing a monopoly of political power, what does that say about the existing States? They have a monopoly of political power. If a DRO should never achieve this kind of control, why should existing States continue to wield theirs?"

I really don't see why so many people have the fear of the reimbursement of a state. Why do you think you would have to violently force your neighbor to help defend himself and you from this mafia? How dumb do you think people are that they would want to let themselves get taken over by a mafia? You would have to have loads more of completely idiots than there are in our current society for anything like that to happen.

The state is an overarching entity that can deal with groups that will overpower an individual. The state already opposes the mafia today. Sure, it doesn't work 100% of the time, but organized crime's power is greatly reduced from what it could be because the state tries to root it out. You could argue that paying taxes to the state to defend you is paying "protection money" to defend you from the actual mafia, but it's a weak comparison. The mafia doesn't build a sewer system or a road system or an educational system with your money; it just uses it to support its own interests. A democratic government is supposed to use your money to support your interests. And I think that of any form of government, a democracy provides the best chance that your money will be used as you want it, while also trying to balance the needs of the rest of society. You can get no such guarantee from any more autocratic one.

The state IS a mafia. You said yourself that it is a good example and as I said, I know it's not as bad of a mafia as it could be, but it is still a monopoly on violence and it still violently forces me to pay for many things against my will and so it's still unacceptable. Why should I have to pay it protection money? Shouldn't I be free to choose if I want to pay protection money for my own good or not? And if you claim this protection money is for others (some sort of charity or welfare) (which I agree it is in some sense) then you should still seriously consider not using violence against me to force me to pay for it. What if I wish to give to another charity instead that I think is more efficient, for example? You certainly wouldn't be able to use the silly excuse that I'm an evil person or something then. So why would you still insist on using violence against me to pay for the military, etc? Why do you support the mafia? The state is organized crime. You said earlier that comparing government to the mafia was a good comparison, but here you say it is weak. Why? If I steal your money then use it to buy food to give to poor people, would you consider that moral? No? Why not? It's what you're saying the government does. Stealing is wrong, even if you're Robin Hood.

What makes "violence" a crime? I don't really see you as an adherent to "Natural Law," as that's generally associated with a theological worldview. If there are no natural laws and no state to create laws, from what do these laws originate? :unsure: I don't see how a law can exist without a state to regulate and enforce it.

Laws originate from the idea that people think certain things are moral and certain things are immoral. If you killed my pet I don't need to point a gun at you and force you to pay me something. (I wouldn't want to lock you up in a cage unless you were a complete nutcase, in which case I would only lock you up until I was sure you were a nutcase and then would kill you, but that would be extremely rare. In the vast majority of crimes, violence wouldn't be used to "punish" the crime. Rather...) If you killed my pet all I would have to do is tell everyone you know; everyone who might interact with you. When you friends and family and (more importantly) the people who sell you goods/services at the store, etc, received word that you decided to kill my pet intentionally, you would be in big trouble, economically and socially. Why? Not because some dictator would decide to lock you up or force you to pay, but because if you didn't pay then the people who consider your act immoral (almost everyone) wouldn't sell you anything (food included). I think I said this on this forum before. It's called economic ostracism. And the thing is, I wouldn't have to go telling everyone about your crime. All I would have to do is go to my DRO and they would rule against you and your DRO would drop your membership unless you agreed to pay up for the crime. Then, when you go to the store to buy your lunch you wouldn't have a DRO membership so the grocery store owner wouldn't sell you anything. Now, perhaps your crime wasn't so major and so your DRO might give you some time to make your decision before revoking your membership. Certainly in an instance where your crime wasn't clearly immoral DROs would give you some leeway. Nobody would want to join a DRO that immediately revoked their membership any time they thought its ruling was slightly unfair. Although, even if you did think it was slightly unfair, it would still be best to pay up anyways to avoid the extreme economic/social ostracism. You could always appeal to another organization later if you wanted.

Again, you bring up the concept of "money." How can money exist without a state? Legislators in South Carolina are trying pass a bill to create a state currency (which is blatantly unconstitutional). But even if it wasn't illegal, what good is it for them to do that? Who would want to use it? If I lived in SC and I wanted to do business in North Carolina, Georgia or Florida, I would want to use US dollars, since that's the currency used in all three of those states. It would only be useful in the state of SC itself. Once you leave the state, it would be useless. You would have to exchange it with US dollars. So why bother in the first place? :huh:

I think someone else brought up the concept of "money" first, not me. I think that of course there would be money in a stateless society. You don't need violence to have an enforceable money system that would actually work.

Perhaps you should have researched the issue a bit. There are plenty of reasons to have your own currency systems.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_currency

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_currency

Here's an example:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calgary_Dollars , http://calgarydollars.ca/

A currency like Calgary Dollars that just exists in a local area (smaller than Florida) can still be good. Have you heard all of the "Think Globally, Act Locally" stuff? All of those environmental folks and whatnot saying to buy food locally, etc? Well one good thing about a local currency would be that it would encourage local economic activity. If a town or city decided got its own local currency then that would likely encourage people to buy foods locally, etc.

Anyways, of course people would want to be able to buy things outside of Alberta, South Carolina, etc. That's why you can exchange U.S. dollars for other country's dollars. Anyone who wanted to develop a useful currency would of course make sure that there were easy ways to exchange it to other currencies or else few people would want to use it (for, as you said, they would only be able to use it in a small area).

Anyways, your question of "how can money exist without a state?": If you haven't already for some reason, you should ask yourself if its in people's self-interests to have money? Yes, that way they don't have to barter for goods and services. Next, if you dismiss the possibility of using violence to do what the U.S. does, do you think you could find a way to non-violently develop a system of money? Your current answer seems to be no, but I'm sure you're smarter than that. Just because the major currencies in the world right now are run by violent government monopolies, shouldn't prevent you from thinking about what's not happening right now: non-violent systems of money that would be developed in a stateless society.

If each state had its own currency, how could any form of interstate commerce exist? That was the problem with the Articles of Confederation. The central government had no authority to create a currency, so every state had its own currency. When you traveled to a different state, you had to exchange it. It made any sort of large commerce operation inefficient and impractical. So when they wrote the constitution, they mandated that only the federal government could produce currency. It seems like you are opening the door for creating the Articles of Confederation on steroids. If you wanted to use the dollar for commerce and I wanted to use the yuan, who would decide which got used? Would people have to take dollars to you and bring yuans to me? Even if we adopted a unified currency, who decides what it's worth? It seems somewhat arbitrary and leading to financial inequity without some greater entity to step in and try to regulate it.

I agree that many of the laws passed are pretty out there. There are perhaps better ways of dealing with petty thieves and drug users than the current system, but just because some of the laws are bad doesn't justify throwing out the whole system. That would only work if we could guarantee that what replaced it would be on the whole better, and I don't see that from a stateless society. You bring up these "truly amazing" things concocted by people advocating for stateless societies, but you don't actually mention them in any detail. How could we evaluate their viability if you don't tell us what they are? Please, enlighten us.

Seriously, I know you're smarter than this. It's a market--there's competition. Who is going to use a currency if only 100 people use it and it's not easily exchangeable? Very few people. When you eliminate the government's monopoly on money many private money systems in the free market will undoubtedly crop up. Surely the most successful systems will be those that are not only reliable (can keep your money safe, the money maintains its value, etc), but also can be used in a lot of places and can be easily exchanged into other forms of currency in the places that it can't be used. Is it so hard for you to think that people would try to make the best currencies they could?

"You bring up these "truly amazing" things concocted by people advocating for stateless societies, but you don't actually mention them in any detail. How could we evaluate their viability if you don't tell us what they are? Please, enlighten us." Sorry about that, but I'm trying to get you in the right mindset. There is a lot to think about and you still seem to be bent the wrong way. This money example is a good example of it. You seem to reject the idea that people would create money in the absence of a state when it is in their self-interest to do so. You seem to say that you think they would try to, but would fail at it and that nobody would manage to develop a currency that was stable or functional without first creating a monopoly on violence. Why do you think that? Sorry for the lack of detail, but you have to try thinking of some answers yourself. There are far too many details for how every aspect of a society might work for any one person to come up with an it is far too easy to throw out cheap rejections like "you can't do that without a violent monopoly first". I could refer to you some reading for more detail than I am giving on some ideas for how people might achieve things without violent monopolies if you would like. I would recommend anything by Stefan Molyneux that seems to be on the topics you're wonder (dispute resolution, money, for starters) because I have found that I agree with essentially everything that I have read of what he has written. He may have suggested some things that I have found problems with, but I have managed to find solutions and he has left me with little doubt that many of these problems we are discussing (dispute resolution, money, etc) can certainly be solved without violence. So I think if you really want to learn how a society might develop money in the absence of a state, you should first put your belief that such things require violence aside and then try thinking of some answers yourself (or read about what others have come up with). If you do that, I think you'll be surprised at what you come up with. Essentially all anarchists were once libertarian. They thought that states were necessary for a few things like money, police, firefighters, and roads. But, as these people (like me and the anarchists I know and have heard of) think more on the subject we realize that our beliefs that states were "necessary" for such "collective" services were unfounded. We soon realize that we can have these things without using violence. The uploader comments on this video illustrate how I'm seeing our discussion right now: ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1B-5Lbpk_3Y

Of course you're not accusing me of having faith in the free market like that "DonVoghano" guy on Youtube. Rather, you're just accusing me of not putting forth enough detail in support of why I think people would solve these problems on their own in a free market free from violence. And one response to that is a quote by another anarchist Howard Reith:

"When discussing a design for a new society, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First of all, I am not going to discuss every little gap, nook, and cranny of every argument possible. There is an endless list of “what if” arguments that can be made when proposing any new theory. When Einstein proposed a constant speed of light, he was not asked to predict when every broadcast of I Love Lucy would reach Jupiter. When Adam Smith proposed his theory of the free market, he was not required to predict the price of IBM stock in 1984. In other words, what I am presenting is a lesson on how to become a mathematician; I am not going to solve every single math problem. This is a framework for a stateless society. When a stateless society emerges, people will simply have to apply the philosophy to solve problems. Having spent my entire life in a society with a government, I can’t possibly predict every way it will be different, any more than the American founding fathers could have predicted how debates regarding the first amendment could apply to the Internet. We can, however, propose some ideas and see how they would work out with problems we have today."

That is part of an introduction he wrote in a long series of Facebook Notes on the subject of how a stateless society might function. He said that he based much of it off the book "Practical Anarchy" by Stefan Molyneux, which I haven't read, but I guess would be informative in providing you with some possible details on how things like money and dispute resolution would work in a stateless society. Here's the book, if you want to check any of it out: http://www.freedomainradio.com/FreeBooks/PracticalAnarchy.aspx . I'll also try to provide you with details on how society might function without relying on violence to have money, etc, in my following posts on this forum as well, though, rather than only redirecting you to what others have wrote on the subject.

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UtF: You never answered the question of "What would the money be based of off?" (Unless I'm that oblivious, but I don't see it). What would it's value be based upon? What if I say paper clips are worth more than gold, and so i want to use it? WHo says it's wrong? WHat if you think that a gold coin is worth 20 paper clips but I think a peper clip is worth 20 gold coins? WHo's system wins?

What gives money value, to sum it up nicely?

And I only brought up the small vs. big gov issue because he used it as part of the basis of his argument. I just wanted to point it out; it can be disregarded.

This isn't a question about a stateless society--this is a question about our current society that most people learn by elementary school. Assuming you mean that the gold coin is money, you're asking, what is the value of money based on? If you say that a paperclip is worth more than a dollar who says you're wrong? The person who won't give you a dollar for your paper clip. What if I think that a dollar (gold coin) is worth 20 paper clips but you think that a paper clip is worth 20 dollars (gold coins)? Who's system wins? Are you kidding? This sounds like a question a kindergartener might ask. It's quite simple; it's not about winning. It's as simple as if you think that 20 paper clips are worth a dollar and I think that 20 paper clips are worth 400 dollars, then I'm not going to sell you 20 paper clips for less than 400 dollars and you're not going to buy 20 paper clips for more than a dollar so we're not going to trade that way, but I would be willing to buy your 20 paper clips for a dollar because in my view that would make me 399 dollars richer, so if you want we can trade. Note, however, that in real life I wouldn't buy a typical paperclip for 20 US dollars.... But, that's how the money works. If we agree on a price then we buy/sell. Otherwise, we don't. That's how the price is determined... in stateless societies and in our current society.

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And I keep bringing up utopia because that is what anarchy tries to reach; that's whay it was created. "We don't need the gov.! We can be fine ourselves. Let's sing Kumbaya!"

That's why. It's at the core of anarchy, just as utopia is at the core of communism.

I just quoted Howard Reith in my post to dawh, and immediately following the quote I used there, Reith wrote, "Secondly, when discussing anything in philosophy, it is important to ask the question “compared to what?” People have a tendency to compare new ideas to Utopias and impossible scenarios. “Your proposal for a society does not eliminate violence.” That is true, because that is impossible. Rather than comparing any idea for a new society, whether it is Marxism, Fascism, Democracy, Theocracy, Anarchy, Oligarchy, etc., to a Utopia, it is better to compare it to societies that exist today and have existed in the past. I do not believe an anarchist society will be a Utopia. There will be violence, there will be evil, and there will be people who struggle. I am, however, confident, that all three of these will be TREMENDOUSLY reduced compared to even American Democracy, which I believe is the best idea for a society until now."

I completely agree with the quote and it answers my reply to your post perfectly. It's a good way to save time replying I think.

EDIT: Any by the way, seeing as I have stated several times that I do not consider anarchy utopian I'm not sure why you keep bringing it up. Just because someone else who identifies as an "anarchist" as well is a pacifist and believes that an anarchist society is a utopian one doesn't mean that you should keep arguing to me about it. You should have seen several times by now that your arguments don't apply to me. You're arguing with a straw man to let you know for the umpteenth time.

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The one really nagging issue I have is that Anarchy relies on a completely free free market, which, as I claimed earlier before you dismissed my claim, is paradoxical in nature: It needs to be slightly restricted so as not to destroy itself. I know you say that's BS, but let me explain:

first off, there is evidence of this everywhere. Think of such examples as the Standard oil company or US Steel. They took advantage of the 'free' market to make, basically, their own empires that could not be controlled by competition because the competition was essentially destroyed. Why do you think that the US needed to put anti-trust laws in place?

And think about the recent crash of 2008. That was caused in large part by wall street, for wall street, who ended up getting bonuses anyway. They speculated, they did their thing (i don't know how it works), and they f***** us up. Not completely the fault of wall street due to the wars (you seem to think that I'm a war-mongerer. i'm not; i too hate wars, especially the pointless ones we're in), but they still played a role. And you want to ive these people more freedoms? Really? You honestly think the Free market can stand up to the force of a huge a** monopoly? Then it ain't free anymore.

Thus, thsat is why, up until a certain point, the freer the market is, the less free its people. i would love to hear evidence to the contrary; please enlighten me.

(I also want to bring up: America's money is, basically, printed by a private bank, the Fed, to whom we owe 50% of our money to. That's how private corporations take over; the fed is owned by some of the richest non-Americans in the world, and we are basically enslaved to this private bank.)

And npt for nothing, but the DFO's sound like a judicial system! Appeals, seperate courts... all your doing is privatizing it! I can't see how that's a good idea in anyway. Corruption takes place in gov. often, it's true, but more so in private areas. My dad's a business me; he knows first hand. He is involved in an anti-trust suit that is a risk to his business. The risk is real, and i see no method to control it without gov.

I hope I don't sound to wacko; i haven't gotten that much sleep the past few days. But please answer, as these are really two of my biggest problems with anarchy. These, and the fact that humans are naturally greedy to aid in survival; but that's a different argument.

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I agree with gvg. I'm more concerned about free-market principles and the rise of corporate monopolies than I am of state overreach. In a democracy, the state is ostensibly responsive to the people. A company only has to be responsive to its shareholders. Free marketers like to quote Darwin and "Survival of the Fittest" to argue why they should be allowed to act unimpeded. But anyone who studies ecosystems knows that cooperation is a far more effective tool in many instances than competition. If company A provides all the water for a community and starts to charge exorbitant prices for it, what recourse do citizens have? Company B may try to compete with A to lower the price, but if A has the monetary muscle to either force B out of business, they can go back to being a monopoly, and otherwise, they can negotiate with B to say, "If we both charge the same exorbitant fees, then we both make more money. So there's no reason to compete." Without some stronger entity to force compliance, what can the townspeople, who need the water, do? :huh:

Look at the coal towns of 19th Century. They were "Company towns" (and some still are). They had to buy all their produce from the company store and work in the company mine. There was no opportunity for them to change their own circumstances. That was the company's doing (perhaps with the government turning a blind eye to the situation), so you can't argue that companies would be better than the government. I reject the idea of the unrestricted free market. Thus, I find the ideas presented by Molyneux to be less than convincing because I don't accept his premise that the free market is always right. Heck, Adam Smith didn't think that the free market was always right.

Molyneux rubbed me the wrong way. I was once handed a pamphlet from Lyndon LaRouche and I glanced at it and got really fed up with his ramblings. I felt the same way trying to slog through Molyneux's article. He hates certain things, so he attacks them needlessly while trying to make his point. While talking about societies ills, he suddenly attacks the income tax and acts like it's the fault of the income tax, while implying that the ills of statism have been around since the dawn of civilization.

All Western democracies currently face vast and accelerating escalations of State power and centralized control over economic and civic life. In almost all Western democracies, the State chooses:

where children go to school, and how they will be educated

the interest rate citizens can borrow at

the value of currency

how employees can be hired and fired

how more than 50% of their citizens’ time and money are disposed of

who a citizen’s doctor is

what kinds of medical procedures can be received – and when

when to go to war

who can live in the country

…just to touch on a few.

Most of these amazing intrusions into personal liberty have occurred over the past 90 years, since the introduction of the income tax.

His attack on the income tax in this quote is a complete non sequitur. It's not related to the problem about which he is arguing (or at least he only manages to tenuously connect it). There was no compelling reason why he should have included it. He doesn't bring it up in any of his later arguments, but he doesn't like it, so he attacks it. That's propaganda in its own right.

He also uses a "medical metaphor" to argue why the state needs to be abolished:

To use a medical metaphor, if the State is a cancer, they prefer medicating it into an unstable remission, rather than eliminating it completely.
The "metaphor" only works if you accept the assertion that the state is a cancer. And there's no compelling justification for that assertion in the article (in my opinion). Maybe I think the state is more like a virus. It's somewhat parasitic, but with the proper care, it won't kill you and you can build up a resistance to it with antibodies. That's a "medical metaphor" that's just as apt, given the same information.

I'll agree that saying there's never been a stable anarchic society, so why should I expect it to work is a poor argument. However, he's just as guilty in that regard:

People who believe that the State can somehow be contained have not accepted the fact that no State in history has ever been contained.

It's the same false dilemma. Just because no state has ever been contained doesn't mean that's impossible to contain a state. So far, I'm not convinced. And that's all from his introduction. :rolleyes:

To change the subject a little, I never wanted to imply that I thought money in a stateless society was impossible. What I was trying to say is that I don't see a way to keep it reliably stable in any scalable system without state regulation. There would have to be some entity that is granted permission to "print" the money and you would have to make sure that it couldn't be easily counterfeited. And I don't really see how you could competently police counterfeiting operations in a stateless environment. The US is able to do it because they have dedicated institutions set up specifically to track down counterfeiters and arrest them. It seems like any entity sanctioned by the "DROs" would have to have state-like powers to be able to find and shut down people who print their own money.

And the "credit rating" service is problematic too. The bad mortgage securities that caused the financial crisis were mostly highly rated by the credit rating industries because they were too closely tied to the financial institutions that they were supposed to be rating. I don't see how DROs could work if the credit rating systems got corrupted.

The most fundamental problem with Molyneux's ideas is that it would require cooperation and comprehension of the vast majority of citizens in the system. People would have to be civic-minded and actively participate and pay attention. If Stan gets dropped from his DRO and becomes a pariah, that only works if the citizens that do business with Stan react to the DRO's statement and stop doing business with him. If they keep going to his store "because I know him and he's a nice guy" or "I can't get that brand of chocolate I like from anywhere else" or even from complete ignorance of the DRO's proclamation, the system won't work.

When I read Molyneux's article, I remembered Plato's Cave. In it, the philosopher leaves the shadows on the cavern walls where all of the masses live and goes out and sees the sun (something that no one else has ever seen). He then goes back into the cave to try to convince the rest of the people to come with him to see the real truth. But the people laugh at him and refuse to believe. Having lived in the caves all their lives, they cannot conceive of a light source as powerful as the sun. That was why Plato advocated for a world led by "philosopher-kings." That way, the people would not be hampered by their own blinders.

Maybe Molyneux has a good idea, but I don't see it to be practical to implement in any way, shape or form. If you look back through history, you never see a situation where the majority of people in a society were civic-minded and actively participated in their government. (Often, they weren't allowed to participate, but even when given the option, most people prefer to let "experts" do the hard political thinking for them.) And I don't see Molyneux's world becoming a reality without eradicating the political apathy of the general populace. That's why gvg calls his views a "Utopia." Utopia means "No Place." It's been used more to mean a paradise recently, but by its original definition, I do think that it is a Utopia. It's not a practical world that could exist or work in the world as it exists today. There are too many ways that it could be overcome or corrupted or broken. I just don't see it as a feasible alternative to the current system.

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Note: I haven't forgotten this / I'm not ignoring it. I just don't have the time to write an adequate response at the moment. I do intend to though in the next couple of days.

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Note: I haven't forgotten this / I'm not ignoring it. I just don't have the time to write an adequate response at the moment. I do intend to though in the next couple of days.

Well understood. Don't worry.

There's more important stuff to do =)

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First off I will state once again that taxation is not violence. So I see no need to argue on those lines.

The main thing I got out of the last few pages from you UTF was this:

There will be violence, there will be evil, and there will be people who struggle. I am, however, confident, that all three of these will be TREMENDOUSLY reduced compared to even American Democracy, which I believe is the best idea for a society until now."

What could possibly make you think there will be less violence??? Human history has shown us, that on large scale societies, the lack of government has only led to increased violence. Also I personally believe our system while not perfect is TREMEDOUSLY superior to yours. Ok ok that last was just a cheap jab at all you yanks :) but I do prefer our parliamentary system.

Oh yeah the law thing yes laws are not justice but again why does your house belong to you? In our current society it belongs to you because we have property laws. In an anarchistic society it would belong to you why? What claim would you have on it? Will street gangs and the mafia cease to operate because their activities are no longer illegal or will they expand because there is no longer any police force to stop them?

We have said you are talking of a Utopia because that is what it is. You are talking of a place that exists in idyllic form only and ignoring the “human condition”. ie. People will more often than not look after their own welfare as opposed to that of society.

Modern democracy is not perfect I strongly believe that govt is far to involved in everyday life. If you had ideas on how to reform govt that would be nice and laudable and please bring them forward. It seems though that you are not looking at the real consequences of an anarchistic state and just pretending that the problems it would cause would be minor compared to the problems it would get rid of. If this were true I would join you. Unfortunately the opposite is the case.

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Quag: I do wonder, because I'm not sure of the answer:

What's the difference between a parliament and the US's congress? i personally like our system, but it does need some reforms.

But i do want to know the difference. What is it?

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We have 2 houses here in Canada, the House of Commons and the Senate.

House of commons is elected. Senate is appointed by the house. Senate is life long unless a senator quits.

A senator is only added when one has died/quit or a new senate seat added (i.e. not replaced every 4 years or so), kinda like your Supreme Court.

The Prime minister is not elected as such. he/she is the leader of the party that gains the most seats in the House of Commons. It is technically possible for a leader to not win his/her seat in the election. Thus the leader of the party in power would not have as their leader the PM (prime minister) but a deputy leader until they get a seat in a by-election (someone would step down causing the election to occur) never actually happened but it does happen with opposition party leaders. Also if a PM quits/dies while their party is still in power that party just chooses a new leader and they become PM an election is not required, though usually one follows not too long afterwards.

Basically if a govt has a Majority (as is the case now, after several minorities) they can do whatever they want. This has been described as a democratically elected dictatorship. Only the desire to get re-elected and the possibility of laws getting overturned by the supreme court keep them from doing things like declaring all newborns to be killed (obligatory bible reference please excuse)

Legally the PM is not the head of the country that would be the Governor general or GG. And technically the PM is just another member of the house of parliament. His (gonna stop the he/she too hard) power comes from his party. If the PM starts doing poorly in the polls or starts acting really nuts, he can be shoved out by his own party.

Only if you live in the riding where a leader of a party is running can you vote directly for/against a possible PM. I only had the chance one in my life so far I voted against the departing Pm he won seat but his party lost power and he resigned. (Leaders never run in the same riding as each other)

Also MPs (members of Parliament) can change parties. Thus forcing a change in govt. This again does not necessarily require an election though usually results in one

Example: there are 308 Mps in the house

160 are party A

148 are party B

10 members of party A are so pissed at the PM because of reason X that they switch to party B

Parliament is now

150 Party A

158 Party B

The govt falls.

Leader of Party B can go to the GG and say I hold majority let me govern instead of an election. And presto tada party B now runs the country.

Ok I know a bit confusing and well I’m over simplifying things. But main advantages I see are no deadlocks on budgets when house and Pres are not in agreement (debt ceiling anyone) Govt can actually pass laws and PM (not actuall head of state but defacto one) can be changed at any time.

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BTW our system needs reform as well. But I can only hope that it is well thought out before hand. All too often people jump on a band wagon because someone says this reform will erase this problem without actually thinking of the true effects of the reform.

Ex: we now have set election dates I am totally against this folly. Seems good on paper as before a parliament could sit for a maximum of 5 years before an election was obligatory but govt could cause one at any time, usually they lasted 4- 41/2 years. Argument was that govt by deciding when the election was held had an unfair advantage over the other parties.

Only historically speaking the timing of the election has worked against the govt as much as it has worked for them, or in other words there was no actual advantage. Several govts have lost a sure thing election because the population was pissed that they were going to the polls only because those in power thought the timing was right (Joe Clark and David Peterson are prime examples) Now let’s look at the disadvantages of set election dates (as pertains to our system)

1. Minority govts can fall at any time thus fixed dates cannot always be followed (in fact since law came into effect we have never used the fixed date due to minority govts)

2. Majority govt can become a minority due to by-elections/defections etc

3. Old system had short election campaign 1-2 months. With a fixed date the campaigning will start sooner and sooner every year. Wasting time/money and having politicians spend their time campaigning instead of governing well seems backwards to me. Of you don’t believe me on point 3 here just remember that you guys had a Rep leadership debate the

other night. That’s 1.5 years ahead of the election!!!

Thus I find fixed dates to be a step backwards for our county

Our Senate must be reformed as well (or as some say abolished) though this is hard to do and most of the proposals I have heard would make it worse.

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First off I will state once again that taxation is not violence. So I see no need to argue on those lines.

If you don't see this then there's no way you'll understand how a stateless society would likely be much less violent than our current society built around a state.

If I steal from you and you let me for fear that I will lock you up using violent force if you don't let me, are my actions of stealing from you violent? I certainly would say so. If you disagree then I don't have more to say to you... I value consent, but you seem to be willing to force your will on others, including me, which I consider wrong. What is it that makes you think you are superior?

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I agree with gvg. I'm more concerned about free-market principles and the rise of corporate monopolies than I am of state overreach. In a democracy, the state is ostensibly responsive to the people. A company only has to be responsive to its shareholders.

A company also has to be responsive to it's customers, not only its shareholders as you said. This is very important, because customers aren't forced to buy from private companies (unlike how they are forced to buy from the state monopoly) so in order for the company to profit, people must still choose to buy its products.

Free marketers like to quote Darwin and "Survival of the Fittest" to argue why they should be allowed to act unimpeded. But anyone who studies ecosystems knows that cooperation is a far more effective tool in many instances than competition. If company A provides all the water for a community and starts to charge exorbitant prices for it, what recourse do citizens have?

Note how you start off your hypothetical situation with "If company A provides all the water for a community and starts to charge exorbitant prices for it..." Why are you presuming that a monopoly already exists? How did this monopoly come to be?

Company B may try to compete with A to lower the price, but if A has the monetary muscle to either force B out of business, they can go back to being a monopoly, and otherwise, they can negotiate with B to say, "If we both charge the same exorbitant fees, then we both make more money. So there's no reason to compete." Without some stronger entity to force compliance, what can the townspeople, who need the water, do? :huh:

So here you mention the two situations. Either the last company to sell itself to the almost-monopoly finally does or the last company decides to cooperate by forming a cartel with the almost-monopoly company so they can charge high prices. You seem to fear both of these things from occurring in a free market, but really I think there is just too much potential profit for the last remaining competitors if they don't sell themselves to the monopoly and don't form a cartel. If you don't mind me quoting Howard Reith again for a description of why I think this monetary incentive exists that would prevent the last competitors from joining the company that is trying to obtain a monopoly I will to save my time. Here's the essential response the same exact question you're asking except using a railroad company as an example rather than a water company. It's the same thing though; you can substitute it in.

Reith:

"Let’s imagine you have six competing railways. One railway controls 50% of the market and the remaining five each control 10%. The large rail company decides to buy out the other five in hopes of achieving a monopoly and charging customers monopoly prices. How will this play out?

The railway company will make a bid on the first competing line. Let’s assume for the moment that this line is willing to sell, and does so for a reasonable price. The large rail firm now controls 60% of the market while the remaining four firms control 40% of the market, 10% each.

If you were the head of one of the remaining firms, how would you react to this behavior? Would you begin to suspect the large firm was attempting to achieve a monopoly on the provision of rail services? You probably would. As such, you would recognize two possibilities. If all of the other rail companies agree to merge with the large company, you will be the one remaining line able to compete with the monopoly. By charging lower prices than the monopoly, you stand to steal countless customers and make enormous profits. On the other hand, if you are the last hold out, and you sell your company to the monopolistic firm, you could charge an extremely high price, as you would be extremely valuable to the monopolistic firm. Either way, if you hold out on selling, rather than selling quickly, you stand to profit enormously.

All four of the firms would recognize this.

As such, every time the monopolistic firm buys out an additional business, the remaining businesses become enormously more expensive to purchase. If it comes down to the last business, that firm can demand pretty much whatever price it wants. If you were that firm, given your potential profits, how much would you charge to be bought out? Chances are it is far more than the monopolistic firm has left, especially after purchasing the previous four businesses at premium costs. Even if the monopolist did have the funds available to meet your extreme demand, it is highly unlikely that the losses could be made up, even by charging the monopoly rate. What’s worse, even if you achieve a monopoly for some time, there is nothing preventing new entrepreneurs from entering the market and breaking it.

Because buying out remaining firms is cost prohibitive, monopolization does not happen on a free market. They are only possible through violently-enforced state grants.

What can happen on a free market, and ultimately what people are really talking about, is cartelization. While a single business may not be able to single-handedly dominate a market, it is possible for the dominant businesses in the market to get together and raise prices simultaneously, thus allowing them all to charge the monopoly rate without undercutting one another.

The problem with cartels is that they are extremely unstable. The first firm to break the cartel and charge lower prices will make enormous profits, thus there is a constant incentive within the cartel to break up. To make matters even more difficult, profits attract investment. If a particular sector of the economy is known for being extremely profitable (as is the motivation to cartelize in the first place), investors and entrepreneurs will be attracted to that sector to get a piece of the action. These entrepreneurs are not members of the cartel and have no qualms about undercutting it if they are able. Thus, not only are the cartel members threatened by their own members, but also from outside forces. [use the Force note: I don't know this robber baron history, but perhaps you do?:] This is why the 19th century robber barons were forced to seek land grants from the state to maintain their cartels. Despite the high costs associated with starting a new railroad, new entrepreneurs would enter the industry on a regular basis, undercutting the cartels. The rail owners needed the state protection of land grants to keep their prices higher than the equilibrium rate.

In short, it is extraordinarily difficult to achieve a cartel, much less a monopoly, on a free market. They necessitate violent enforcement, and without a state, the costs of engaging in such enforcement are far higher than the profits one gains through monopoly rates."

And I'll throw in the last of Reith's notes I have on the subject here for a summary of the subject that I agree with:

"The idea of a free market monopoly is entirely fallacious, invented in the 20th century by corporate interests in hopes of using it as a bogey man to justify destruction of their competition by their lobbied politicians. If you look through the writings of any of the classical economists, you will not find anything on the fabled “free market monopoly.” Why? Because they did not exist. It was a ludicrous thing to suggest. “Monopoly,” is derived from the Greek “monopōlium,” meaning a singular (mono) right to exclusive sale (poly). It is a legal term. Monopolies were (and are) granted by governments to individual businessmen. They do not form organically in a market."

"You’d think that if people are so afraid of monopolies, the last thing they would advocate would be a coercive monopoly like a state, which claims ownership of all land, labor, and resources within whatever it considers its borders. Why it is that so many people prefer coercive monopolies to practically impossible “free market monopolies” is beyond me. I can only assume it’s due to horror stories they were told as children in state-monopolized public schools."

And then to add in my own bit, you could argue that as company B, the last competitor of company A, you might sell your company to the monopoly despite the economic incentive not to, and thus the people would be faced with exorbitant water prices until entrepreneurs got in and started their own water companies and charged lower prices, thus gaining back the many customers. While this could happen in the sense that there's no violent organization (i.e. state) that would arrest those associated with company A should it hold 100% of the water market and charge monopoly prices, I simply don't think that would happen: people are too selfish to give up the large profits they could make by competing with company A's monopoly prices. And besides, if customers were afraid of their water companies getting too large, they could always ask the companies to form some sort of board or democratic process to determine prices, rather than leaving the water prices in the hand of a few people who might corrupt that power and try to form a monopoly. Suppose there were two dominate water companies for simplicity sake, competing with each other, but still big enough that people feared they might become a monopoly or might try to cooperate to charge exorbitant prices. If the customers just say they will buy their water from the company that distributes the price-controlling power the most, then the companies would have an economic incentive to distribute the power away from a few top people to some sort of board or whatever process that could not be corrupted so easily. You don't have to say, "Hey companies, if you get too big and start charging exorbitant prices we will use violence against you." All you have to do is say, "Hey companies, if you get to big we are going to buy from your smaller competitors instead even if they're not quite as cheap as you simply because we don't want you to suddenly raise your prices on us," or you could say "Hey companies, if you don't pass the power for who gets to determine prices from those few powerful chairmen (or whatever) to more people in a process that would less likely be corrupted, then we're going to buy our water from the other companies that do a better job of distributing that power so that it doesn't become corrupt."

Now, to jump down to the last part of your post, because I think it pertains to what I'm saying:

If you look back through history, you never see a situation where the majority of people in a society were civic-minded and actively participated in their government. (Often, they weren't allowed to participate, but even when given the option, most people prefer to let "experts" do the hard political thinking for them.) And I don't see Molyneux's world becoming a reality without eradicating the political apathy of the general populace.

I assume by this that you mean that people are too stupid and apathetic to say the things to the water companies that I just said that could say above and would thus say that that's why you don't think the free market would prevent the water companies from forming a monopoly and raising prices. To that I say that economic incentive of the last remaining competitors to not sell themselves to monopolistic water company is too great, as described in Reith's quotes above, and is thus enough to prevent the monopoly from forming even with an apathetic public that stupidly buys the lowest priced water regardless of the company behind it. Even if people are as apathetic as you say they are and wouldn't say a thing to these water companies letting them know that they will buy from the smaller companies if the monopolist companies don't sort out the power over which members of the company determines prices, etc, then the monopolies still won't form. The few selfish competitors left on the market (and all the entrepreneurs who are joining the market because they see that they will be able to profit a ton should a monopoly form and begin raising prices) would stay separate and compete. If the companies agree to raise prices together to make a cartel, as Reith said, both the companies have a strong incentive to break the cartel and charge lower prices because then all the customers who want water will flock to them for lower prices and they will thus make more profits of the greater number of customers.

Look at the coal towns of 19th Century. They were "Company towns" (and some still are). They had to buy all their produce from the company store and work in the company mine. There was no opportunity for them to change their own circumstances. That was the company's doing (perhaps with the government turning a blind eye to the situation), so you can't argue that companies would be better than the government. I reject the idea of the unrestricted free market. Thus, I find the ideas presented by Molyneux to be less than convincing because I don't accept his premise that the free market is always right. Heck, Adam Smith didn't think that the free market was always right.

Oh cool, Reith mentioned 19th century robber barons and here you bring up 19th century coal towns. Does this mean you might be knowledgeable of the land grants Reith mentioned?

Again, I'm not an expert on these company towns (I did learn/read about them before, but not in a lot of depth). How did these company towns come to be? Did one company buy a bunch of land and then begin mining it and set up a town around the mine in which workers came because the mining company was offering them work? (This is just a guess). Because first of all, if this is the case, then surely the workers are responsible for choosing to move in to a town owned by one monopolistic company. Surely the demand of the people to live in a town with competing businesses rather than in a town where everything is owned by a single business would mean that in a town where there are many businesses and competition, such a monopolistic company would never form. It is only when the mining company buys a whole plot of land that it plans to mine and build a city around that people desperate for jobs would move into. But, could you honestly imaging a town in a free market stateless society that began with competiton--like the town you live in, for example (whichever town that is)--ever forming into one big company like that that could charge whatever exorbitant fees on everything it could? Of course not. You and every other person in the town wouldn't dream of it. You all like the competition and you would all make sure not to sell your companies to one big massive company that would employee and give you food, your house, etc. You wouldn't have to use violence against people to make sure that this monopolistic company didn't form, would you? (Please tell me at this point you're at least admitting the possibility that violence wouldn't be necessary to prevent your town from becoming a "company town"? If not, I must say you're perception of the people in your town is depressing... how stupid and apathetic do you think they are that they would allow your town to become a "company town"? I think it's essentially impossible. You can either start out by having one company buy a large plot of land with valuable resources or... that's it. There's no way your town would form into a company town even without using violence to prevent it from happening. Don't you agree? It seems absurd to me to think it would happen. Every incentive is against it and almost every person in the town wouldn't want it. So the few people who want to own your town wouldn't ever fulfill their dream... nobody would sell them their businesses to let them form such a monopoly. Do you agree?)

Molyneux rubbed me the wrong way. I was once handed a pamphlet from Lyndon LaRouche and I glanced at it and got really fed up with his ramblings. I felt the same way trying to slog through Molyneux's article. He hates certain things, so he attacks them needlessly while trying to make his point. While talking about societies ills, he suddenly attacks the income tax and acts like it's the fault of the income tax, while implying that the ills of statism have been around since the dawn of civilization.

His attack on the income tax in this quote is a complete non sequitur. It's not related to the problem about which he is arguing (or at least he only manages to tenuously connect it). There was no compelling reason why he should have included it. He doesn't bring it up in any of his later arguments, but he doesn't like it, so he attacks it. That's propaganda in its own right.

I think you have to understand that Molyneux has written and spoken a lot on the subject and has argued it in great detail, but for something as short as a couple page essay on a position that so extremely contrasts most peoples' views, he only has time to state his views. Surely you shouldn't take the essay as an argument for why you should hold those views too. I mean, his "argument" probably seems like a line of premises to you because you disagree with everything he says. It's not meant to persuade you to hold his views; that would be impossible in such a short amount of space. Rather, I think it's meant to just get you to see his views, because his views are so different than yours and the millions of other statists in our society. When society as a whole has grown to accept the state, anyone who rejects it surely is going to seem like a lunatic and won't be able to convince you that state violence is unnecessary in a couple pages. Instead he's just letting you know that there are people out there who hold that position--he's inwhat his position is not to persuade people, but just to enlighten people in the first step by letting them know that there are people who don't accept the common view that government is necessary. Few people in our current society even consider the anarchist's view that government is unnecessary for a just, stable and prosperous society and even gets in the way by violently violating peoples' consent. So don't expect the essay to argue you into his views; that's not what it does. It just shows you the views. Anyways, I sent you that link because of the description of dispute resolution organizations in the essay. I notice you replied with "He hates certain things, so he attacks them needlessly while trying to make his point. While talking about societies ills, he suddenly attacks the income tax and acts like it's the fault of the income tax, while implying that the ills of statism have been around since the dawn of civilization" but not with what he said about dispute resolution organizations. What did yirou think of the concept? Do you still think that violence is necessary to resolve disputes or do you think that people could agree to abide by the rulings of the dispute resolution organizations so that if there is a dispute, the two peoples' DROs would hear the case and make a ruling. It's similar to the government's courts except instead of only one organization with one set of laws per geographic region (e.g. USA, Canada, Mexico, etc), there are several organizations in a single geographic region which compete for customers by providing the best rulings that the most people in society agree with. This works (not sure why I'm saying this again, but I am) because the rulings aren't enforced by violence, but by economic ostracism by the people in society. If you're a member of the society and a prominent DRO drops the contract of another member for committing a crime ("crime" in the sense that the prominent DRO ruled it was a crime (you mentioned before uncertainty about what a crime was without a single monopolistic organization determining absolutely what things were crimes and which things weren't for a specific geographic region)) then when that person tries to buy your product or service you refuse to sell, non-violently dealing with the crime. Criminals will find that it is easier to live by abiding by the DROs rulings (of fines, etc) than by dropping of the DRO map, because dropping of the DRO map means extreme economic ostracism. Anyways, do you still think the state is necessary to solve disputes or do you admit the possibility that there are ways to deal with disputes and criminals non-violently and without advocating for the state to violently tax me for its court systems against my will?

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He also uses a "medical metaphor" to argue why the state needs to be abolished:The "metaphor" only works if you accept the assertion that the state is a cancer. And there's no compelling justification for that assertion in the article (in my opinion). Maybe I think the state is more like a virus. It's somewhat parasitic, but with the proper care, it won't kill you and you can build up a resistance to it with antibodies. That's a "medical metaphor" that's just as apt, given the same information.

Yes, yes, I know. As I said, don't take it as an argument. In my opinion he doesn't provide compelling justification either. All it is is an assertion. His views (and mine) are so different than yours and the popular views of today that the state is necessary that all he has time to do in the essay is state his views (i.e. make assertions). Really his assertion is that the initiation of force is wrong except in self defense (the non-aggression principle) which you can reject, but I would shun you for not valuing our consent and choosing to use violent force against me against my will. So really all of his arguments really come across as assertions, but really they are mostly just the derivations of this non-aggression principle which you follow in your everyday personal life, but for some reason abandon when making political choices. Why? Large scale? I went over that I thought... that's not a decent reason at all to start using violence against people against their will.

I'll agree that saying there's never been a stable anarchic society, so why should I expect it to work is a poor argument. However, he's just as guilty in that regard:

It's the same false dilemma. Just because no state has ever been contained doesn't mean that's impossible to contain a state. So far, I'm not convinced. And that's all from his introduction. :rolleyes:

Hmmm... okay. Just a thought: Does the fact that essentially all societies on Earth for the past centuries have been societies with states make you doubtful that states will ever be "contained" (i.e. made more accountable and stop being violent towards people)? Surely you can point to how states have been getting better... democracies are better than some of the dictatorships we have seen in the past, but I can see quite clearly due to what a state is, that no state will ever come close to being completely "contained" (did you start using that word?). This is because your idea of "contained" likely means eliminating some of the corruption and inefficiency that exists in our government today, whereas as mine includes eliminating the state's violation of peoples' consent including when people don't want to pay for certain things (like roads and wars and schools and welfare) and yet the state violently forces them to anyways. I consider even that state violence wrong. So, in this sense, I wouldn't say it's the same false dilemma. You're saying that the "false dilemma" is that just because no state has ever been contained doesn't mean that it is impossible to contain a state and I'm saying that no state will ever be "contained" because by its very definition it is a violent institution that violently forces people to pay taxes, etc, without their consent. Whether it be North Korea or the democratic USA, all state governments do it and for all conceivable institutions that I would deems states, they do it too. So I don't think your "It's the same false dilemma" thing is true... by the nature of what government is I assert that all governments are tyrannical and immoral, even if some (like the US government) are more just and less tyrannical than others (like North Korea's government).

To change the subject a little, I never wanted to imply that I thought money in a stateless society was impossible. What I was trying to say is that I don't see a way to keep it reliably stable in any scalable system without state regulation.

Uh... in my interpretation this is a contradiction. If a money system in a stateless society is possible then to me that's the same meaning as it's possible to have a reliably stable and scalable system of money without state regulation.

There would have to be some entity that is granted permission to "print" the money and you would have to make sure that it couldn't be easily counterfeited. And I don't really see how you could competently police counterfeiting operations in a stateless environment. The US is able to do it because they have dedicated institutions set up specifically to track down counterfeiters and arrest them. It seems like any entity sanctioned by the "DROs" would have to have state-like powers to be able to find and shut down people who print their own money.

What is so hard to fathom about a private business offering a system of money to its customers printing its own money and manufacturing the money in such a way that it couldn't be easily counterfeited? Surely the business would have to devise a way so that its customers would know for sure that it wouldn't become corrupt and give itself free money or whatever your fears are, but the point is that it could still devise the system without needing violence. But, anyways, I'm glad you said you think there's a possibility for a non-violent stable money system and that you just think it's unlikely/you don't see how it could possible work. This is because I would like to ask you, who would you say has the burden of proof? Now you could argue something about our current money system being decently-stable (although I think it's inherently significantly flawed for reasons I could go into in a later post in a later discussion), and so the burden of proof is on me because there aren't really any prominent stable scalable money systems that don't involve government to look at in the world or history. But, I would argue that the burden of proof is on you because your statist money system involves state violence, which as you know I am going to say, is immoral. Surely, though, you would agree that the violence should be used only as a last resort (if at all)? If it's possible without violence then we better do it without the violence. We would only want to use the violent money system if it was absolutely necessary, right? If we could get along fine without the violence then we wouldn't use it, right? So I think it is you who needs to explain why it is necessary (for the greater good?). I know I keep using that phrase for the "greater good" much more than you, but I do feel that this is essentially your perspective. I think that you think that violence is bad, but I think that you support it only because you think it is necessary for society to "work" (i.e. for the greater good?). Am I right in assuming that is your perspective? You support violating peoples' will, not valuing your consent with them, because you think that's the only way for society to function properly, right?

And the "credit rating" service is problematic too. The bad mortgage securities that caused the financial crisis were mostly highly rated by the credit rating industries because they were too closely tied to the financial institutions that they were supposed to be rating. I don't see how DROs could work if the credit rating systems got corrupted.

Bringing in "the bad mortgage securities that caused the financial crisis were mostly highly rated by the credit rating industries because they were too closely tied to the financial institutions that they were supposed to be rating" as a reason why a credit rating system for contracts in a stateless society wouldn't work is a non-sequitur in my opinion. Why the comparison? Just because they are both credit ratings? If your point is that the system in the US was flawed because the credit raters were corrupted by being to close to the people they were supposed to be rating, then it seems to me that you're arguing that because of one example of a corrupt/flawed system of credit ratings means that no credit rating system could work without getting corrupted at some point and failing. That's nonsense to me. Why is it impossible to have a credit rating system for how reliable/honest people are, how well they abide by their contracts, just because a credit rating system for some other thing in the US failed?

"I don't see how DROs could work if the credit rating systems got corrupted."

How about, "I don't see how the government would work if the taxing/spending system (or anything else) got corrupted."

What is that? Surely corruption is a problem everyone has to watch out for, but dismissing someone's idea for how one may go about interacting economically with diverse people, many of whom are strangers, without using violence (i.e. developing a non-violent system if contract ratings so that people are held accountable for being dishonest and thus uphold their contracts rather than agreeing to pay an employee, for example, and then deciding not to pay them just because there is no punishment for not paying), on the basis that corruption might break such a system is complete nonsense. Complete complete nonsense. You can say the same thing about the state. What if the US courts get corrupt and criminals who make agreements with their employees and then break them get let free by the courts? The system won't work! This is what you just said about the DRO solution. Just saying corruption will make it not work doesn't mean anything.

The most fundamental problem with Molyneux's ideas is that it would require cooperation and comprehension of the vast majority of citizens in the system. People would have to be civic-minded and actively participate and pay attention. If Stan gets dropped from his DRO and becomes a pariah, that only works if the citizens that do business with Stan react to the DRO's statement and stop doing business with him. If they keep going to his store "because I know him and he's a nice guy" or "I can't get that brand of chocolate I like from anywhere else" or even from complete ignorance of the DRO's proclamation, the system won't work.

That is why Molyneux imagined a system where everyone is on the DRO map/grid. If someone goes to your store and tries to buy something, you ask for the DRO identification and he says he doesn't have one, that's a BIG thing. To get an idea, let's pretend that instead of imprisoning people for X years, the US government gave prisoners the option of not going to jail, but having to go around telling everyone who they might do economic business with that they are a criminal for X years. So this criminal comes to your store and say, "hi, I murdered someone and didn't pay the price, but I would like to buy that table from you." Would you say, "sure, I'd be happy to do business with you" and sell him the chair, or say, "I'm afraid I'm not going to sell that to you unless you pay your victim's family back in the amount determined by your DRO's ruling." ? Okay, you might just say it seems people would do business with criminals because they have money, but that might be because you're used to a society where people are used to the government dealing with criminals. When that's not the norm, I'm sure people would adjust and would see that by not ostracizing criminals economically they make society significantly better. Also, don't forget that by doing business with the criminal in the stateless society, your own DRO would likely drop your membership (especially if the crime was murder) unless you paid some penalty, or something. Perhaps some sort of warning system would be established rather than dropping your membership immediately, but you get the point hopefully. So again, you're saying that you don't think the DRO system would work without everyone's cooperation and comprehension, but I think even with our dumb/apathetic (as you say) people in our society it could work just fine. The DROs compete for customers and the best DROs would make it easy for everyone to know who has membership and who has committed a crime and has not paid for it and has thus had their memberships dropped and are thus off the grid. I mean, with today's technology and all I don't think it would be difficult at all to come up with a little identification card that you could swipe at the store and it could tell the business everything it needs to know. Perhaps the DROs could even join up with banks (those organizations that produce debit/credit cards, etc) to incorporate members' DRO information into their credit cards so that when they go to the store and buy something with their money, it will notify the company if the DRO has dropped them from their membership. Anyways, I'm not sure why you're rejecting these ideas so quickly, but even if you do there are more ideas out there that you and others can come up with. But, I don't think you need to solve every problem before deciding that the government violence to solve problems of abiding-by-contracts accountability is unnecessary. You just have to see that the government violence is morally wrong, and reject it then, and then once the violence is no longer forced, if you still feel that it is necessary you can always voluntarily choose to join an organization that will use violence against you and the rest of its members for not abiding by contracts in the same way that the US government will use violence against you for not abiding by contracts (like not paying your employee when you agreed to pay him for his work). In a stateless society, I personally wouldn't subscribe to a violent contract accountability organization, but you could, and it would still be a free market and I would support your choice; I just wouldn't support you if your organization used violence against people who never agreed to it using violence against them should that person break a contract with someone. That I deem immoral for you would have violated that person's consent. So just realize that even if you still think the violence is necessary then you can have it morally... just not if you are going to use it against people against their will... you can voluntarily submit yourself to the violence should you break a contract, but not others. And also, I should note that violence could be used in the DRO system too in some cases. For example, if when you are being employed your employer agrees that if he doesn't pay you any money despite agreeing to pay you money, then his DRO can seize the money from him (or some other property of equivalent value) and give it to you, using violence if necessary. Now, I would be careful about when to have violence used against me, but there's nothing wrong with it if you give your consent. It's only when you use violence against people without their consent that it's immoral. If someone gives their consent to have violence used against them to seize the property should they violate the contract then that's fine and I think the contract accountability system would function just swell.

When I read Molyneux's article, I remembered Plato's Cave. In it, the philosopher leaves the shadows on the cavern walls where all of the masses live and goes out and sees the sun (something that no one else has ever seen). He then goes back into the cave to try to convince the rest of the people to come with him to see the real truth. But the people laugh at him and refuse to believe. Having lived in the caves all their lives, they cannot conceive of a light source as powerful as the sun. That was why Plato advocated for a world led by "philosopher-kings." That way, the people would not be hampered by their own blinders.

Not a bad comparison. You're like the prisoner in the cave seeing the world on the cave wall and Molyneux is the prisoner who escaped and saw the real world directly with his eyes, but you just laugh at him because everything he says just seems to crazy to you. :P

Maybe Molyneux has a good idea, but I don't see it to be practical to implement in any way, shape or form. If you look back through history, you never see a situation where the majority of people in a society were civic-minded and actively participated in their government. (Often, they weren't allowed to participate, but even when given the option, most people prefer to let "experts" do the hard political thinking for them.) And I don't see Molyneux's world becoming a reality without eradicating the political apathy of the general populace. That's why gvg calls his views a "Utopia." Utopia means "No Place." It's been used more to mean a paradise recently, but by its original definition, I do think that it is a Utopia. It's not a practical world that could exist or work in the world as it exists today. There are too many ways that it could be overcome or corrupted or broken. I just don't see it as a feasible alternative to the current system.

Oh, so you don't see not using violence against others against their will (i.e. without their consent) to be practical to implement in any way, shape of form. That's funny, because presumably that's what you do in your everyday life, so how is it not practical? It's only when you turn to politics that you decide that using violence against people is necessary for a society to function practically.

The fact that many people are apathetic to politics isn't an excuse to point a gun at your fellow human for not wanting to pay for your programs. Just because that human isn't your friend and just because the issue you're dealing with isn't what pizza to order doesn't suddenly make it right to point a gun at your friend for not wanting to pay for a pizza with onions on it to force him to pay for it anyways. It IS practical to get pizza and for society to function without that violence and even if you disagree, it's still immoral of you to force your friend to buy the pizza (even if that's the only way to get any pizza) and it's still immoral of you to support a system that forces people to pay for wars, congressmen, schools, roads, welfare, etc, that they do not wish to pay for.

"And I don't see Molyneux's world becoming a reality without eradicating the political apathy of the general populace. That's why gvg calls his views a "Utopia."" It's not Molyneux's world: it's a moral choice to accept the non-aggression principle. It's wrong to use violence against people except in self defense or if they agreed to have the violence used against them. I value consent, but you're tyrannical for the reason that it's necessary for society to function. You're rejecting "Molyneux's world" when the real thing I am advocating the non-aggression principle (the same thing Molyneux advocates). The thing that you're missing is that you can reject Molyneux's ideas for how people might deal with societal problems without violence while still accepting the non-agression principle. You can live in a stateless society and sign your life over to a democratic dictatorship very much like the United States. I would never dream of doing such a thing, but you can. All I ask is that you don't force me to submit to that dictatorship's taxation, etc, as well. You can give your consent for a government to rule over you, but I ask that you don't force me to submit to that government also. If you think the taxation is necessary, then you can agree to pay your taxes and receive the institution's societal services like roads, schools, hospitals, wars, law systems, etc in exchange for your taxes, all without involving me. Just don't give me the services and you have no need to violently force me to pay the taxes. You're rejecting the non-violent solutions I've mentioned on this forum, but that's not a reason to hold your position that it's necessary to use violence against ME for YOU to live in a functioning society. Don't you see? If you think that violence is necessary you can use it against yourself all you want. Submit yourself to a state, a state just like the one that you live in now except that it is a voluntary one so that only people like you an not me are members of it. Why advocate having that state use violence against those who don't think it's necessary? You rejected Molyneux's thoughts quickly, but that's not a reason to reject my assertion that you can live in your functioning statist society without forcing me to submit to it also. Even if none of Molyneux's or anyone else's nonviolent solutions to societal problems actually work you can still let me and the other anarchists who find your violation of consent immoral go fail in our own non-violent society while you choose to live under your dictatorship. I fully support that. You don't have to abandon your taxation, just your taxation of others without their consent. That shouldn't hurt you and your society, but it is the moral thing to do for those who don't like you using violence against them. Go buy a pizza with your friends who want to buy a pizza; leave me to fail pizza-less. Will that really stop your society from functioning? Is it really necessary to force me to buy your pizza for you to get a pizza? Capeesh?

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I apologize for that being a little lengthy, but I was accused of not providing enough detail before and I didn't want to leave anything out in an attempt to be terse, so I applied to every part of dawh's post.

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If I steal from you and you let me for fear that I will lock you up using violent force if you don't let me, are my actions of stealing from you violent? I certainly would say so. If you disagree then I don't have more to say to you... I value consent, but you seem to be willing to force your will on others, including me, which I consider wrong. What is it that makes you think you are superior?

Who is stealing from you??

Taxation is not stealing.that statement is wrong and untrue.

Now i dont like taxes any more than the next person but to say that it is stealing or violence is absurd.

lets look at in another way. if you own a car do you think you should have to pay for the gas? of course. should you have to pay for the roads? that is taxation. In fact if you do not wish to you need not pay almost any taxes.

You pay income tax? well why not make less than the cut off rate? why because you choose to, you are not forced to

dont like gas tax? dont own a car or ride a bus.

dont like property tax? hmm last time i checked real estate was not an obligation.

only tax that is really hard to avoid is sales tax and as i understand it not all states have one, even then you could use a barter system if you wanted to. currency comes from govts. those links you posted are all for useless systems dotn get me started on calgary dollars.So once again Taxation is not violence or theft!

I am sorry your starting on a false premise. ie taxation does not equal violence,

MAFIA uses violence to take your money, govt uses taxation not the same thing.

Now please answer me why will the mafia become less violent if there is no police to try and keep them in check??

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My stuffs in red ok?

A company also has to be responsive to it's customers, not only its shareholders as you said. This is very important, because customers aren't forced to buy from private companies (unlike how they are forced to buy from the state monopoly) so in order for the company to profit, people must still choose to buy its products.

Note how you start off your hypothetical situation with "If company A provides all the water for a community and starts to charge exorbitant prices for it..." Why are you presuming that a monopoly already exists? How did this monopoly come to be?

So here you mention the two situations. Either the last company to sell itself to the almost-monopoly finally does or the last company decides to cooperate by forming a cartel with the almost-monopoly company so they can charge high prices. You seem to fear both of these things from occurring in a free market, but really I think there is just too much potential profit for the last remaining competitors if they don't sell themselves to the monopoly and don't form a cartel. If you don't mind me quoting Howard Reith again for a description of why I think this monetary incentive exists that would prevent the last competitors from joining the company that is trying to obtain a monopoly I will to save my time. Here's the essential response the same exact question you're asking except using a railroad company as an example rather than a water company. It's the same thing though; you can substitute it in.

Reith:

"Let’s imagine you have six competing railways. One railway controls 50% of the market and the remaining five each control 10%. The large rail company decides to buy out the other five in hopes of achieving a monopoly and charging customers monopoly prices. How will this play out?

The railway company will make a bid on the first competing line. Let’s assume for the moment that this line is willing to sell, and does so for a reasonable price. The large rail firm now controls 60% of the market while the remaining four firms control 40% of the market, 10% each.

If you were the head of one of the remaining firms, how would you react to this behavior? Would you begin to suspect the large firm was attempting to achieve a monopoly on the provision of rail services? You probably would. As such, you would recognize two possibilities. If all of the other rail companies agree to merge with the large company, you will be the one remaining line able to compete with the monopoly. By charging lower prices than the monopoly, you stand to steal countless customers and make enormous profits. On the other hand, if you are the last hold out, and you sell your company to the monopolistic firm, you could charge an extremely high price, as you would be extremely valuable to the monopolistic firm. Either way, if you hold out on selling, rather than selling quickly, you stand to profit enormously.

All four of the firms would recognize this.

As such, every time the monopolistic firm buys out an additional business, the remaining businesses become enormously more expensive to purchase. If it comes down to the last business, that firm can demand pretty much whatever price it wants. If you were that firm, given your potential profits, how much would you charge to be bought out? Chances are it is far more than the monopolistic firm has left, especially after purchasing the previous four businesses at premium costs. Even if the monopolist did have the funds available to meet your extreme demand, it is highly unlikely that the losses could be made up, even by charging the monopoly rate. What’s worse, even if you achieve a monopoly for some time, there is nothing preventing new entrepreneurs from entering the market and breaking it.

Because buying out remaining firms is cost prohibitive, monopolization does not happen on a free market. They are only possible through violently-enforced state grants.

What can happen on a free market, and ultimately what people are really talking about, is cartelization. While a single business may not be able to single-handedly dominate a market, it is possible for the dominant businesses in the market to get together and raise prices simultaneously, thus allowing them all to charge the monopoly rate without undercutting one another.

The problem with cartels is that they are extremely unstable. The first firm to break the cartel and charge lower prices will make enormous profits, thus there is a constant incentive within the cartel to break up. To make matters even more difficult, profits attract investment. If a particular sector of the economy is known for being extremely profitable (as is the motivation to cartelize in the first place), investors and entrepreneurs will be attracted to that sector to get a piece of the action. These entrepreneurs are not members of the cartel and have no qualms about undercutting it if they are able. Thus, not only are the cartel members threatened by their own members, but also from outside forces. [use the Force note: I don't know this robber baron history, but perhaps you do?:] This is why the 19th century robber barons were forced to seek land grants from the state to maintain their cartels. Despite the high costs associated with starting a new railroad, new entrepreneurs would enter the industry on a regular basis, undercutting the cartels. The rail owners needed the state protection of land grants to keep their prices higher than the equilibrium rate.

In short, it is extraordinarily difficult to achieve a cartel, much less a monopoly, on a free market. They necessitate violent enforcement, and without a state, the costs of engaging in such enforcement are far higher than the profits one gains through monopoly rates."

I call bullsh*t. First, what the F is a gov. monopoly? Second, monopolies can't exist? Seriously? Have you slept through US history class?

Before the gov. stepped in, business was brutal for the little guys. Two prominent examples:

Standard oil. FOrced every oil company out of business through inhumane, and now illegal, business practices that allowed them to charge the cheapest amount possible for oil. They bought out everyone else, since they were going bankrupt anyway, and remained the only oil comaoany until Teddy Roosevelt, a member of the GOVERNMENT, busted it with new laws. Laws that don't exist without gov.

US Stell. Bought out different suppliers of steel ingredients until they owned every part of production, allowing them to do the same as standard oil. They also had to be busted up by the gov.

Want a cartel? How's about Wall Street? Modern corporations? The people that played a major role in fing up the economy?

And I'll throw in the last of Reith's notes I have on the subject here for a summary of the subject that I agree with:

"The idea of a free market monopoly is entirely fallacious, invented in the 20th century by corporate interests in hopes of using it as a bogey man to justify destruction of their competition by their lobbied politicians. If you look through the writings of any of the classical economists, you will not find anything on the fabled “free market monopoly.” Why? Because they did not exist. It was a ludicrous thing to suggest. “Monopoly,” is derived from the Greek “monopōlium,” meaning a singular (mono) right to exclusive sale (poly). It is a legal term. Monopolies were (and are) granted by governments to individual businessmen. They do not form organically in a market."

"You’d think that if people are so afraid of monopolies, the last thing they would advocate would be a coercive monopoly like a state, which claims ownership of all land, labor, and resources within whatever it considers its borders. Why it is that so many people prefer coercive monopolies to practically impossible “free market monopolies” is beyond me. I can only assume it’s due to horror stories they were told as children in state-monopolized public schools."

bullsh*t as well. Governments busted monopolies, they didn't create them. WTF is this guy looking at?

And then to add in my own bit, you could argue that as company B, the last competitor of company A, you might sell your company to the monopoly despite the economic incentive not to, and thus the people would be faced with exorbitant water prices until entrepreneurs got in and started their own water companies and charged lower prices, thus gaining back the many customers. While this could happen in the sense that there's no violent organization (i.e. state) that would arrest those associated with company A should it hold 100% of the water market and charge monopoly prices, I simply don't think that would happen: people are too selfish to give up the large profits they could make by competing with company A's monopoly prices. And besides, if customers were afraid of their water companies getting too large, they could always ask the companies to form some sort of board or democratic process to determine prices, rather than leaving the water prices in the hand of a few people who might corrupt that power and try to form a monopoly. Suppose there were two dominate water companies for simplicity sake, competing with each other, but still big enough that people feared they might become a monopoly or might try to cooperate to charge exorbitant prices. If the customers just say they will buy their water from the company that distributes the price-controlling power the most, then the companies would have an economic incentive to distribute the power away from a few top people to some sort of board or whatever process that could not be corrupted so easily. You don't have to say, "Hey companies, if you get too big and start charging exorbitant prices we will use violence against you." All you have to do is say, "Hey companies, if you get to big we are going to buy from your smaller competitors instead even if they're not quite as cheap as you simply because we don't want you to suddenly raise your prices on us," or you could say "Hey companies, if you don't pass the power for who gets to determine prices from those few powerful chairmen (or whatever) to more people in a process that would less likely be corrupted, then we're going to buy our water from the other companies that do a better job of distributing that power so that it doesn't become corrupt."

Entrepenuers cannot take down monopolies.

And to the second point: Exactly as you said, people are selfish. A democratic corporation? That doesn't, nor will it ever, exist. And if you want an example of huge corporations that refuse to do what the American people, and those in the gov. that are not republican or otherwise cons., want, i again point to wall street and corporations that are not only too big to fail, "They're too big to exist" (Bernie Sanders). What he meant was that they should be broken up, and you know what? The companies don't give a crap. At this point, some are too big to manage, and no one knows what the hell is going on.

I would trust anyone, even a politician, over a big (not small, like my dad) businessman anyday. ANY.

Now, to jump down to the last part of your post, because I think it pertains to what I'm saying:

I assume by this that you mean that people are too stupid and apathetic to say the things to the water companies that I just said that could say above and would thus say that that's why you don't think the free market would prevent the water companies from forming a monopoly and raising prices. To that I say that economic incentive of the last remaining competitors to not sell themselves to monopolistic water company is too great, as described in Reith's quotes above, and is thus enough to prevent the monopoly from forming even with an apathetic public that stupidly buys the lowest priced water regardless of the company behind it. Even if people are as apathetic as you say they are and wouldn't say a thing to these water companies letting them know that they will buy from the smaller companies if the monopolist companies don't sort out the power over which members of the company determines prices, etc, then the monopolies still won't form. The few selfish competitors left on the market (and all the entrepreneurs who are joining the market because they see that they will be able to profit a ton should a monopoly form and begin raising prices) would stay separate and compete. Really? Why didn't they challenge the monopolies i stated above? The entrepenuers you're referring to would have the economic incentive of either going bankrupt or selling. What would you do If the companies agree to raise prices together to make a cartel, as Reith said, both the companies have a strong incentive to break the cartel and charge lower prices because then all the customers who want water will flock to them for lower prices and they will thus make more profits of the greater number of customers. I've already replied to this.

Oh cool, Reith mentioned 19th century robber barons and here you bring up 19th century coal towns. Does this mean you might be knowledgeable of the land grants Reith mentioned?

Again, I'm not an expert on these company towns (I did learn/read about them before, but not in a lot of depth). How did these company towns come to be? Did one company buy a bunch of land and then begin mining it and set up a town around the mine in which workers came because the mining company was offering them work? (This is just a guess). Because first of all, if this is the case, then surely the workers are responsible for choosing to move in to a town owned by one monopolistic companyWhat if they were born there???? Ever see Red October? (I think that's the movie) where it's footballl or die a miner? And it was a true story. Surely the demand of the people to live in a town with competing businesses rather than in a town where everything is owned by a single business would mean that in a town where there are many businesses and competition, such a monopolistic company would never form. It is only when the mining company buys a whole plot of land that it plans to mine and build a city around that people desperate for jobs would move into. But, could you honestly imaging a town in a free market stateless society that began with competiton--like the town you live in, for example (whichever town that is)--ever forming into one big company like that that could charge whatever exorbitant fees on everything it could?Hell yes. Walmart is already trying to do what i said above. Their prices are low, cause they use slave labor like other companies do in other countries, and it even put waldbaums out of business here recently. And blockbuster is going out of business due to netlfix. It's happening now damnit! Open your eyes, man! Of course not. You and every other person in the town wouldn't dream of it. You all like the competition and you would all make sure not to sell your companies to one big massive company that would employee and give you food, your house, etc. You wouldn't have to use violence against people to make sure that this monopolistic company didn't form, would you? (Please tell me at this point you're at least admitting the possibility that violence wouldn't be necessary to prevent your town from becoming a "company town"? If not, I must say you're perception of the people in your town is depressing... how stupid and apathetic do you think they are that they would allow your town to become a "company town"? I think it's essentially impossible. You can either start out by having one company buy a large plot of land with valuable resources or... that's itNot if they force everyone out of business, as I've shown before. There's no way your town would form into a company town even without using violence to prevent it from happening.Government isn't violence! This is getting annoying Don't you agree? It seems absurd to me to think it would happen. Every incentive is against it and almost every person in the town wouldn't want it. So the few people who want to own your town wouldn't ever fulfill their dream... nobody would sell them their businesses to let them form such a monopoly. Do you agree?)

I think you have to understand that Molyneux has written and spoken a lot on the subject and has argued it in great detail, but for something as short as a couple page essay on a position that so extremely contrasts most peoples' views, he only has time to state his views. Surely you shouldn't take the essay as an argument for why you should hold those views too. I mean, his "argument" probably seems like a line of premises to you because you disagree with everything he says. It's not meant to persuade you to hold his views; that would be impossible in such a short amount of space. Rather, I think it's meant to just get you to see his views, because his views are so different than yours and the millions of other statists in our society. When society as a whole has grown to accept the state, anyone who rejects it surely is going to seem like a lunatic and won't be able to convince you that state violence is unnecessary in a couple pagesI don't think anarchists are lunatics. They have an opinion that i can't see working, that's all. Like communists. Noone is a lunatic. Except theocrats.=). Instead he's just letting you know that there are people out there who hold that position--he's inwhat his position is not to persuade people, but just to enlighten people in the first step by letting them know that there are people who don't accept the common view that government is necessary. Few people in our current society even consider the anarchist's view that government is unnecessary for a just, stable and prosperous society and even gets in the way by violently violating peoples' consent. So don't expect the essay to argue you into his views; that's not what it does. It just shows you the views. Anyways, I sent you that link because of the description of dispute resolution organizations in the essay. I notice you replied with "He hates certain things, so he attacks them needlessly while trying to make his point. While talking about societies ills, he suddenly attacks the income tax and acts like it's the fault of the income tax, while implying that the ills of statism have been around since the dawn of civilization" but not with what he said about dispute resolution organizations. What did yirou think of the concept? Do you still think that violence is necessary to resolve disputes or do you think that people could agree to abide by the rulings of the dispute resolution organizations so that if there is a dispute, the two peoples' DROs would hear the case and make a rulingThat's a private court system! You think that'll remain uncorupted for long? Our judiciary branch works because there is a common law that everyone follows. What if i don't care? Alright, you shun me. What if I'm someone who has a skill that no one else in the community has, say a doctor or something? Then what? Or what if i'm rich, gather a private army (you said it yourself, people are selfish. People do crazy things for money) and simply say screw you? i know it's one example, but the point I'm making is that, of all thing, privatizing the court system is the craziest of your arguments, IMO. . It's similar to the government's courts except instead of only one organization with one set of laws per geographic region (e.g. USA, Canada, Mexico, etc), there are several organizations in a single geographic region which compete for customers by providing the best rulings that the most people in society agree withThat doesn't sound fishy to you? Seriously?. This works (not sure why I'm saying this again, but I am) because the rulings aren't enforced by violence, but by economic ostracism by the people in society. If you're a member of the society and a prominent DRO drops the contract of another member for committing a crime ("crime" in the sense that the prominent DRO ruled it was a crime (you mentioned before uncertainty about what a crime was without a single monopolistic organization determining absolutely what things were crimes and which things weren't for a specific geographic region)) then when that person tries to buy your product or service you refuse to sell, non-violently dealing with the crime. Criminals will find that it is easier to live by abiding by the DROs rulings (of fines, etc) than by dropping of the DRO map, because dropping of the DRO map means extreme economic ostracism. Anyways, do you still think the state is necessary to solve disputes or do you admit the possibility that there are ways to deal with disputes and criminals non-violently and without advocating for the state to violently tax me for its court systems against my will? Taxing isn't violent, for the reasons Quag pointed out (and the additional reason that if you give to charities or non-profit organizations then you get tax breaks) and a private court system is ridiculous

I'll reply to your other post when I have more time

Edited by gvg
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