- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Initiating force OR anarcho-capitalism, not both

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on August 25, 1999 at 17:01:51:

In Reply to: Leave your door open posted by Gee on August 25, 1999 at 14:24:15:

: : SDF: And if I violate your "right," my punishment?

: That the one you violate would respond accordingly,

SDF: i.e. "initiating force"

: or in any state which observe that 'rule' that you could be penalised by state for doing so. No guarantee that you couldnt get away with it.

SDF: So you believe in states now, as long as they enact your favorite law? What if they don't?

: : SDF: Nope, you're refusing to recognize that the "force" you so despise is a legitimate commodity under the rules of "free trade".

: It doesnt matter if force is initiated when 'bought or sold' with posessions or with whims and favors. It is of no consequence to 'force' whether it is enacted in a culture of private ownership, dictatorial state ownership or RD style collective ownership. It is folly to imagine that getting rid of private ownership and free trade as legally supported rights would get rid of the initiation of force.

SDF: No, it's not. If people don't feel obligated to defend their own private stashes, they won't feel obligated to hire security forces to protect such stashes. The requirement for the end of the state on the W.S.M model is the end of the acquisitive society. The W.S.M. illusion is that it can all be established tomorrow, whereas the reality is that it requires people to become saner and less apt to hoard. No, it's not going to be forced on people; as the experience with Soviet religion shows, pointing guns at heads is not an efficacious way of changing their personalities. Technology, on the other hand, has changed everyone's personality, so technology also often serves as behavioral technology.

The caveat is that it has to be the real deal, that people have to feel genuinely motivated to do it that way. Hoarding is counter-productive -- it goes against human group survival, it makes people unhappier and leaves them with an illusion that as individuals they "have a stake" in the hoarding game whereas in reality most of them don't. Enormous disparities in wealth bear this out, and even the statists agree -- "As of 1995, corporate dominance of the world political-economic system has produced 358 billionaires while 1.3 billion people live in absolute deprivation".

On the other hand, who says people can't produce a technological society without hoarding? Small-scale communes come to mind. There's even a well-developed model.

If it's not the real deal then you get the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union is precisely one example of what I'm talking about by "anarcho-capitalism" along this model -- since from start to finish it was run by "criminal" syndicates of apparatchiki taking for private use while pretending to the end of private property. These syndicates were precisely the birthplace of state capitalism.

: : See, under capitalism, people are compelled to be entrepreneurs, there's no other way to eat, and people have to eat.

: Under any situation a person is compelled to seek those values which enable him to survive.

SDF: Starving people do not wake up in the morning looking for values to eat. And in a capitalist business environment, it's more cost-effective just to shoot the starving people and save on the food bill, as they do in Brazil.

: Those values are created not found under rocks so anyone who wishes to obtain them must do so, or acquire them form those who can.

SDF: With anarcho-capitalism it is capitalist values, not the end of the state, which are objectionable, since capitalist values demand the return of the state as a "security cost" against others with capitalist values. The regime of profit demands a society obsessed with profits, and "initiating force" is just part of the bargain. It's just that simple. Before the state is to end, people will have to learn how to share fairly, without some mafia (the folks who keep private property for themselves) coercing them. Otherwise the state is simply too convenient -- the monopoly use of police power offers everyone a secure business climate at a cost that isn't regulated by a "seller's market" in police power, as it is in Russia.

: In the latter a person may offer a return value of some kind, or simply take it away and await the consequences of doing so.

SDF: People do not eat values. We are still in the condition which requires illusions. Talk straight.

: : You're still under the illusion that capitalists don't want to commodify "force," that slums, racism, etc. will just "go away,"

: No SDF, you appear to labor under the misapprehension that the above conditions and uses of force are *caused* by private ownership, and would absent if private ownership were not protected by law.

SDF: Private ownership builds buildings, then later moves the jobs performed in such buildings elsewhere. Local economies collapse because of investment flight. Private ownership causes slums.

: : SDF: Who's serving time for not lobbying officials? Evidence please? Another illusion? Look, we pay taxes, which you don't agree with, and we get government, which you don't like. But nobody is threatening anybody with a jail term if they don't support a $1.5 billion per year lobbying industry.

: You get jailed if you dont pay the taxes levied upon you.

: : SDF: I want to take food, clothing, and shelter from grocery and department stores and unoccupied buildings, without paying. I need these things for biological survival.

: In doing so you are taking what others have produced without offering anything in return. These others may accept you doing so or they may not. I would suspect the latter.

SDF: So they would "initiate force," as promised in Gee's utopian vision. LOL!

: Just as you might begrudge someone rifling through your house everyday and removing what they decide they should have without regard to you.

SDF: No, I'd call the cops. That's why I prefer statism to anarcho-capitalism, it's a "lesser of two evils" choice. It's nice to have only one set of professionals stopping thieves, since two sets would drive the cost up because we'd have to pay one set for protection against the other set.

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup