- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Protecting illusions of anarcho-capitalism

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on August 25, 1999 at 20:19:35:

In Reply to: Preotecting your property? posted by Gee on August 25, 1999 at 17:52:18:

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

: : : That the one you violate would respond accordingly,

: : SDF: i.e. "initiating force"

: So defending oneself against an attacker is now *initiating* force?

SDF: On your part it is.

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

: I said in a state that could happen, where was "i believe in states"?

SDF: You believe in your favorite law, don't you? What would enforce it?

: : 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.

: Thats very reasonable. the proviso that it will not be forced upon anyone would have any proponent of this W.S.M model rigerously opposed to laws wich seek to curtial acquisitiveness via forceful re-distribution.

SDF: You still obsessed with protecting hoarders? In a world as full of poverty (amidst wealth) as ours? See, this is why I say stuff like that you're rotten to the core. Do you have any values that aren't sold out to the rich?

: It is also why I do not forsee such a W.S.M model ever coming about or attaining any kind of stability should it do so on any significant scale.

SDF: Because you're the type that would prefer to hoard while others starve (while having such hoarding redefined as "advantage"), and so you think of your activity as a "right"?

: : 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 doesnt where the hoarding is done for the benefit of those whom you value as part of your group. People are selective of others.

SDF: Nope, it goes against the survival chances of the whole society. Everyone's interdependent, autonomy's a myth. We all need to live on a planet that is safe from thermonuclear war, for one, for even the dropping of one bomb raises everyone's cancer risk.

Once I start hoarding, it becomes a fad, everyone who can do it does do it, and then people who have something I need for my survival can start cheating me of my hoarded wealth, because they've got me by the balls.

: : 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.

: Such communities would be fine examples of human interaction without force, where membership of the community is voluntary, provisional and revocable by all concerned. Just like any good relationship between adults.

SDF: It's a better way of life than the paranoid defense of hoarders.

: : SDF: Starving people do not wake up in the morning looking for values to eat.

: They look for food, aka things of value to human life.

SDF: RD's point on this is well taken. Starving dogs do not "value" food -- starving bodies don't have values, even if they are "human."

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

: Youve simply misunderstood it. Value : Worth; that property or those properties of a thing which render it useful or estimable; or the degree of that property or of such properties. The real value of a thing is its utility, its power or capacity of procuring or producing good (Websters, 1828)

SDF: We are still in the world where "value" of the starving individual is to be equated to the "value" of the yacht-owning bourgeois. The point of talking of starving people as if they eat values is to make precisely that equation, and deprive the starving individual of her humanity under the philosophy of "everyone can't realize all of their values."

: : 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.

: An assumption that the same economic strength would be present without private ownership, that slums would *not* have simply existed all along.

SDF: It takes capital to build buildings and employ people, it takes private ownership to permit the (uneven and ad hoc) development of capital and to discourage the sharing of wealth that a slum requires. But this is only under capitalism; a real community shares and cares for its own, thus transcending profit in its internal relations. Capitalists, on the other hand, like cheap, dependent, and pliable labor forces.

: Still doesnt really adress the assertion that force results from private ownership and would vanish if it were barred.

SDF: It takes more than the end of private ownership to create a society at peace, it takes trust. Private ownership and the suspicion of thieves go hand in hand, however.

: As with the previously mentioned model, force would vanish only when poeple voluntarily gave it up, where it gave no advantage.

SDF: A society without thieves IS an advantage, but people do not "realize advantages" in any economistic calculation of life. People learn reinforcing behaviors. Learning to live in a society without thieves, like sharing in Kindergarten, is an acquired behavior, something one teaches oneself. Living in a society where everyone is permitted self-improvement is a greatly reinforcing stimulus. Please spare us the Benthamite description of people as seekers of "advantage," it's a false psychology and "advantage" can be defined any way you please and thus is a meaningless way of telling us we're all accountants, which we're not.

: A post socialist revolution culture would be as vulnerable to advantage seekin users of force as any other.

SDF: But such a culture would not encourage such users, as does anarcho-capitalism, and would in fact have a chance to discourage them from disrupting the social fabric, whereas anarcho-capitalism is laissez-faire, i.e. "everyone for himself," and actually encourages the "initiation of force," i.e. it's profitable in the short run, and in a world with no government, short-term profit is the only cushion between bankruptcy and security. It's a matter of cultural values, anarcho-capitalist ones are rotten to the core and they need to be propped up by illusions like the religiously-incanted prohibition against "initiating force." The syndicates now controlling Russian business and reaping 40% of its "take" skip the pieties, thank you, and they get on with business.

: It is a fantasy to imagine perpetual peace.

SDF: Prove it! There have been pacifist societies, e.g. the Semai of Malaya...

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

: They would defend themselves from your acting upon them, which is waht stealing is.

SDF: But I don't use any "force," not by my definition, when I shoplift food, and I am following a biological urge. Your moral rule is 1) filled with fine lines which make it impossible to follow (what counts as "force" or "coercion" is either variably, contradictorally, or circularly defined), and 2) if defined as above, contrary to the biological urges of those who must eat but cannot be entrepreneurs. Therefore even if anarcho-capitalists believed in your prohibition against the initiation of force, they would feel fully justified in killing shoplifters, loiterers, and other nonviolent "users of force," even though such people may have been biologically denied a "choice". Brazil is your paradise.

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup