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Objective law: Anarcho-Capitalism vs. Minarchism

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posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 09:03 AM
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This is an eternal discussion amongst libertarians, a debate that has no actual answer. I was recently reminded of Ayn Rand and came across these articles on the Free Nation Foundation’s website from a quote of hers:

"I see no ethical standard by which to measure the whole unethical conception of a State, except in the amount of time, of thought, of money, of effort and of obedience, which a society extorts from its every member. Its value and its civilization are in inverse ratio to that extortion."

-Ayn Rand



The Importance of Objective Law: Why I Support Limited Government



Most libertarians have at least some familiarity with the novels and ideas of Ayn Rand. Rand was, of course, an advocate of strictly limited constitutional government, and her own philosophy upholds the concept of objective law. Human beings exist in an objective reality, and must therefore be left free to function on the judgments of their own minds. And as one can infer from Rand, force and mind are opposites. Therefore, we who are libertarians agree that the initiation of physical force is morally wrong, and that it must be banned in all social relationships. The question then becomes, "How?" If one believes that it is evil to rule people by means of physical force, then it would follow that anarchy is the only defensible political system. But under anarchy, everything would be completely subjective. There would be no way to objectively validate rights, objectively demarcate property, objectively define anything. Thus, libertarians should support the kind of political system where everything is completely objective. And it is through her philosophy that Miss Rand shows us something: the only way to achieve such a system is through strictly limited constitutional government.


Why Objective Law Requires Anarchy



Consider the parallel case of objective science. Objectivity is a good thing in the sciences too; but how do we achieve it? We do not suppose that the way to get objective science is to put all scientific research into the hands of a single governmental monopoly; on the contrary, we recognize that it is only through allowing competition among scientific theories and scientific research programs that scientific objectivity is possible. As John Stuart Mill argued in On Liberty, we learn the worth of our ideas by seeing how well they can withstand challenge, whether in the form of intellectual arguments or in the form of alternative experiments in action. A view that is insulated from critique is less well grounded, since we cannot tell whether it would have survived had critique been permitted. Nothing would be more deadly to scientific objectivity than monopoly control. And as Austrian economists Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich A. Hayek have shown, this argument applies to the market for goods and services just as much as to the market for ideas; competition is a discovery procedure, a crucial source of information, but one whose data grow steadily less reliable as it falls under the direction and control of a centralized state. If this is true for ideas, goods, and services, why not for law as well?


I am leaving this as the open question that it begins and ends with.

I welcome comments from anarchists, minarchists and statists alike.





posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 09:48 AM
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a reply to: greencmp

Let states or even districts have legal autonomy - like education in Germany, which is in principle a matter for the federal states since the federalism reform.
That way the respective "laws of the lands" can compete, and people can measure whatever criteria they consider important and choose accordingly.



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 09:52 AM
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originally posted by: ColCurious
a reply to: greencmp

Let states or even districts have legal autonomy - like education in Germany, which is in principle a matter for the federal states since the federalism reform.
That way the respective "laws of the lands" can compete, and people can measure whatever criteria they consider important and choose accordingly.


I agree, besides the admittedly idealistic goal of a stateless society having very little hope for realization in this millenia, the United States constitution is already a minarchistic construct. It has worked before and it will work again.

"Free states can coexist with unfree states and lead by example"

-Ayn Rand
edit on 13-4-2015 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 09:57 AM
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a reply to: greencmp

Central planning of complex systems is doomed from conception. It's logically and mathematically impossible.
On the other hand, anarchy has some very clear weaknesses.
Solutions are in-between somewhere and require thought, reasoning and participation. Make a decision to deserve to be free.

If anyone tells you a problem is binary or a solution is binary don't accept it.

The US is on the brink of societal collapse from within. People are so programmed and drugged, they've capitulated critical thought altogether. It's a very dangerous time for the US. It's citizens need to wake up quickly to reverse the damage.

When you only have a hammer, everything is a nail.



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 10:13 AM
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a reply to: InverseLookingGlass

Yes, it is the constant intellectual tug of war itself which promises to deliver us from apathy and subjugation even if we cannot fully liberate ourselves from the arguably necessary evil of government.

For that reason, anarcho-capitalism will always have a place in my heart and its principals will guide most of my deliberations.



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 10:18 AM
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a reply to: greencmp

Not only can free states coexist with unfree states... they'll outlive 'failing' states and learn from their bad example.
A very important and often ignored aspect of failure, as it is intended by nature. Nature doesn't centralize.

Good thread.
Now I have to go back to earn some more taxmoney!



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 11:29 AM
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a reply to: greencmp

I think this is the general idea that I was trying to convey in one thread we were in, when I mentioned competing governments.

Kind of like this:


My guess, then, is that by "government" Hinton means something like: an institution or set of institutions governing human activity through the application of rules. In short, by government he means something rather like law.


I do believe that people have the right to choose what form of government they wish to be a party to. It only makes sense because government, law, and state are human creations--and there is no reason why we should not be able to switch one for another, on an individual level, and according to the nature of the individual.

Our current paradigm does not promote choice, voting is no guarantee of anything, it is the government equivalent of lottery--except, if you lose, you are forced to live under someone else's often subjective preferences.

It is very telling to me when a person does not defend another's right to choose. Opting instead to make excuses as to why they have the right to forcefully assimilate people who would rather not be assimilated.



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 12:22 PM
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a reply to: LewsTherinThelamon

I am especially attracted to that idea as a starting place for discussion with statists as it cannot be denied, only opposed.



But the historical record suggests otherwise. For example, the Law Merchant—the stateless system of commercial law that evolved during the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance—was able to compete successfully with government courts precisely because it offered a more reliable and uniform system than could its state competitors. The reason is not difficult to find: a competitive, voluntarily funded system needs to please its customers, while a government monopoly, which forbids competition and extracts its revenues by force, faces no such incentive. (To offer a contemporary analogy: the reason no company offers triangular credit cards is not because card shape is regulated by the government but because customers would not purchase a card that would not fit in standard ATM machines. Standardization emerges because of market pressure, not at the barrel of a governmental gun.)



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 01:20 PM
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Ms Rand is not an anarchist in any way, shape or form; she is an authoritarian corporatist.



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 01:36 PM
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a reply to: InverseLookingGlass

The biggest weakness I see with anarchy is that it will only be as moral/ethical as the people.

Right now, we have a very unethical/immoral populace.

And I am not talking about religiousity, but how many people complain constantly about greed without realizing their own greed prompts them to do it?



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 01:47 PM
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originally posted by: FyreByrd
Ms Rand is not an anarchist in any way, shape or form; she is an authoritarian corporatist.


You are correct that she wasn't an anarchist. She was a constitutional minarchist.

How do you glean authoritarian from her works?

As I said, I am unfamiliar with her fiction but, from what I know, she could not possibly be more diametrically opposed to it.



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 02:00 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko


The biggest weakness I see with anarchy is that it will only be as moral/ethical as the people.

Right now, we have a very unethical/immoral populace.


If people were as corrupt as you describe them, then we would have a great need to split government up into competing institutions--as opposed to an established, monopoly of power.


And I am not talking about religiousity, but how many people complain constantly about greed without realizing their own greed prompts them to do it?


Their greed prompts them to do what?



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 02:14 PM
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a reply to: LewsTherinThelamon

We do need to break up our government. It is that corrupt, or haven't you noticed?

A lot of the whining about "the rich" comes from the place of envy. He or she has more than I do and shouldn't, it's not fair is an outgrowth of greed. At the same time, it is greed that prompts people to strive to accumulate more in unethical ways which we also see more and more often.

It's one thing to have the drive to succeed and do it honestly. But when you start doing it by cheating or by tearing down those who have more, you've crossed into bad territory. Too much of that will spoil society.

And that's one example.


edit on 13-4-2015 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 02:31 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

"The fact is that libertarianism is not and does not pretend to be a complete moral or aesthetic theory; it is only a political theory, that is, the important subset of moral theory that deals with the proper role of violence in social life.

Political theory deals with what is proper or improper for government to do, and government is distinguished from every other group in society as being the institution of organized violence. Libertarianism holds that the only proper role of violence is to defend person and property against violence, that any use of violence that goes beyond such just defense is itself aggressive, unjust, and criminal. Libertarianism, therefore, is a theory which states that everyone should be free of violent invasion, should be free to do as he sees fit, except invade the person or property of another. What a person does with his or her life is vital and important, but is simply irrelevant to libertarianism.

It should not be surprising, therefore, that there are libertarians who are indeed hedonists and devotees of alternative lifestyles, and that there are also libertarians who are firm adherents of "bourgeois" conventional or religious morality. There are libertarian libertines and there are libertarians who cleave firmly to the disciplines of natural or religious law. There are other libertarians who have no moral theory at all apart from the imperative of non-violation of rights. That is because libertarianism per se has no general or personal moral theory.

Libertarianism does not offer a way of life; it offers liberty, so that each person is free to adopt and act upon his own values and moral principles. Libertarians agree with Lord Acton that "liberty is the highest political end" — not necessarily the highest end on everyone's personal scale of values."

-Murray N. Rothbard



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 02:37 PM
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a reply to: greencmp

I understand that. I was talking about an anarchy.

We need a minimal government to protect people's basic rights because we do not live in a solid or stable moral/ethical society is my basic point.

Since you cannot perfectly trust others, you need at least some recourse to law to back you up as it comes to contract and the like to help protect person and property.



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 02:50 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko


We do need to break up our government. It is that corrupt, or haven't you noticed?


Yes.

My point was that, corruption from the top-down affects a wide area. Anarcho-capitalism spreads power out, leaving random, sporadic pockets of corruption that are easier to manage than trying to organize against centralized government.


A lot of the whining about "the rich" comes from the place of envy. He or she has more than I do and shouldn't, it's not fair is an outgrowth of greed. At the same time, it is greed that prompts people to strive to accumulate more in unethical ways which we also see more and more often.

It's one thing to have the drive to succeed and do it honestly. But when you start doing it by cheating or by tearing down those who have more, you've crossed into bad territory. Too much of that will spoil society.

And that's one example.


Without a centralized government, businesses would have no choice but to rely on their customers for power. When you monopolize power, you make it conveniently accessible to businesses, thereby creating the incentive for businesses to shirk their customer's desires--simply by buying politicians.

Private security companies have to compete, and that is good for me and you. Government has no competition.



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 02:52 PM
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originally posted by: FyreByrd
Ms Rand is not an anarchist in any way, shape or form; she is an authoritarian corporatist.


Ms. Rand didn't write the article greencmp linked to. There's no need to use red herrings, and yes, Ayn Rand was a libertarian.

Don't confuse economic models with forms of government.



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 02:53 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: greencmp

I understand that. I was talking about an anarchy.

We need a minimal government to protect people's basic rights because we do not live in a solid or stable moral/ethical society is my basic point.

Since you cannot perfectly trust others, you need at least some recourse to law to back you up as it comes to contract and the like to help protect person and property.



Yes, this is at the heart of the debate, whether it is feasible to have a stateless society and whether non-monopolistic law is sufficient or even preferable.



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 02:57 PM
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originally posted by: LewsTherinThelamon

originally posted by: FyreByrd
Ms Rand is not an anarchist in any way, shape or form; she is an authoritarian corporatist.


Ms. Rand didn't write the article greencmp linked to. There's no need to use red herrings, and yes, Ayn Rand was a libertarian.

Don't confuse economic models with forms of government.


I think FyreByrd's inclusion of Ayn Rand is relevant because of the quote I included.

Also, this thread was at least partially inspired by a post by FyreByrd about Ayn Rand on Johnny Carson.

A Gift: Ayn Rand on Johnny Carson 1967



posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 03:00 PM
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originally posted by: FyreByrd
Ms Rand is not an anarchist in any way, shape or form; she is an authoritarian corporatist.


Are you aware that "Atlas Shrugged" is a fictional novel ?

Ayn Rand was never in politics or public office.

What scares you so much?







 
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