Sunday, July 07, 2013

Pol Ideology 44: Another Debate With an Anarchist

Another debate with an anarchist in facebook. It started in one thread where I was discussing the stem cell therapy scandal in the Philippines, and I suggested that the DOH and FDA should focus more on promulgating the rule of law. Then the debate shifted to “abolish government” as suggested by Shakaru. I wanted that thread to focus on stem cell controversy, so I started a new fb status just on the debate on limited vs. zero government.

This is seven pages long. 3.600+ words. Enjoy with your fave drinks :-)

(Copied from a previous thread….)

Shakaru Macht But wherever you look at it, government is always anti-business... The mere fact that they take away a portion of income from the producers (through taxes!) is a great testament to this...

Nonoy Oplas Shakaru, your point is one-sided. True that most taxes are unnecessary and extortionary. But if some armed men will go to your shop and demand that you give them big extortion money otherwise they will burn your shop or abduct your kids and rape the girls among them, one will run to the government -- police, the court, etc. to seek protection from such aggression by bullies. If you don't believe the police, then you must also bring your own army of armed men to protect your shop, and you will soon be shooting each other until you are dirt poor if not dead. We need rule of law, transparent justice system.
Zero government and zero taxes are impossible and diiotic.

Shakaru Macht Well, while I admit my solution is unrealistic - at least in the near future, the way towards a free-market anarchy - the one that gives you laboratories and the professionals you mentioned since people would demand for it - is just there... Just let the people do their own thing, provided they don't hurt others...

Nonoy Oplas  We can debate about anarchism and its impracticality in another thread. Stay on the role of government health regulators, DOH and FDA. You remove FDA from the picture, anyone can put up a drugstore and sell chicken innards or dog intestines, etc. as cheap and effective treatment against many types of diseases, with good and flashy marketing and packaging. Some sick people believe the ads, they buy, they get sick even more, if not die. Someone must be accountable and go to jails, if not be hanged. Who can their families sue? A non-existent government regulator, the drugstore, the seller of innards and intestines, or the government abolitionists? Most likely the abolitionists will wash hands in this case and put the blame on anyone else. Just one impracticality of an anarchist position.

Shakaru Macht Well, then tell me, isn't it your very own government that's guilty of this... "Pay your income tax or we'll put you in jail" sounds so much like extortion...

And as for defense, there are basically three ways to provide it:
1. Provide your own self-defense...
2. Form a voluntary association dedicated for defense (e.g. militias)...
3. Shop and pay for your defense...
Take note that none of these are mutually exclusive... In fact, in a free market, all these three will co-exist!!!

So instead of forcibly making me avail of the services of a certain army that acts like a gangster if you don't pay and honor them, why don't you let people provide, associate and pay for their own defense???

Shakaru Macht Okay, let's start!

Anarchy is only possible if and only if there is a free market... When we mean a free market, such a thing is merely regulated by natural and moral law (I sound redundant here!) and not by legislation and regulation from above courtesy of your expanding government... In fact, that free market will provide all of us with defense (the defense contractors, the anti-burglar alarms, martial arts, guns etc.)...

However, I agree with you that we must engage with government (better term is "engage against government")... We must hijack the seat of power ourselves - by whatever means necessary, even if it means bloodshed (as a desperate last resort) - to save the peoples in this land from the theft, extortion and slavery...

Minarchism is only a via media towards anarchy!!!

Shakaru Macht At the same time, I also agree with David that we must make alternatives... For example, we can set up an arbitration system for small businesses and the poor - instead of they using the oppressive, inefficient and legislation-driven courts... In fact, we can charge them considerably cheaper!!! Or we can set up militias, coops that make roads etc...

And while we're at it, we are continuing our hijack against government!!! In short, a two-front strategy against the government!!!

Nonoy Oplas Fine, in a "zero government" society, people can put up their own armed defense teams to defend themselves from bullies and thieves and murderers. And you need to pay mandatory contribution, forced contribution with penalties for non-payment, to maintain those self-defense armed men. This is a tax as it is mandatory contribution.

Meanwhile, the bullies will pack more guns and bring in more thieves and murderers. And people can be shooting each other, let the bigger army win. Anyway, there is no bigger army or armed police to act as mediator between and among them.

If some guys will shout "stop the shooting, let us settle this peacefully", then they will create a new body, a mutually agreed referee or court, to settle disputes. Now this will again require mandatory contribution, forced and coerced contribution, to maintain this body of referees and judges. It's a tax. And those referees may be elected with term limits, and there will be campaigning and elections who get to be placed in that referee or court. Back to government.

Shakaru Macht In a zero government society, however, people are free whether to join or not those militias... In fact, I can stay away from those militias and hire my own security guards!!! Or if I want neither, I can always attempt to provide my own defense... In short, where is coercion there???

Also, if I disagree with whatever the plans of the defense team where I am a member of, or any of its rates of payment or schedules, I am always free to leave them, I am always free to join another, form another one, shop or even provide self-defense...

In short, you rely on an assumption that people will agree with "one defense team, one arbiter" system... A free market is not like that...

Oh, can you first simply excuse me... I need to eat some breakfast... Wait for me later...

Nonoy Oplas True, people are free not to have any personal security. If armed thieves and murderers enter their house or shop and shoot those attackers, then fine. But if they outside their shop and burglars forced open their shop and steal anything they like, sorry na lang. No government force, no private force, to protect it. Thus, if people want peace of mind, they better help fund a private security force -- and pay mandatory or forced contribution, a tax by nature.

You can leave one private security force and go to another security force, the result is the same -- you must pay mandatory contribution, forced payment, to maintain that security force. A zero tax is impossible and an illusion. Hence, anarchy is an illusion.

Nonoy Oplas Coercion is everywhere, happens at the micro and household level, it's just a matter of degree. Examples:

1. Parents who force their kids to stop watching too much tv or youtube and force them to study at night is practicing coercion.

2. Clans who disown a family member for marrying someone outside a specified clan is practicing coercion.

3. Residential condo owners who disallow dogs or other pets inside the building is practicing coercion. There are penalties for violating their rules.

4. A cycling club or rotary club that kicks out members who do not pay their annual dues are practicing coercion, there are penalties for not following club rules.

So coercion is everywhere, they just differ in degree. Thus, a zero coercion, zero government society is impossible. We have to live with certain degree of coercion. When the state declares, "No killing, no murder, no stealing", that is coercion, a kind of coercion that actually expands our individual freedom. We can live with our lives with little or zero fear that any criminal can just shoot and stab us or our family members and friends for no reason at all, if the state will stick to its core function of protecting the rule of law.

Shakaru Macht How about if the private force whom I contract to provide defense fails??? Don't tell me that I need to "elect another "'president' or 'congressman'" just for this purpose!!! In a free market, however, if I see or feel that may defense contractors are not doing their job well, I will only opt to shop for another.... If I see that my defense association is doing something else other than defend my person, family or property, I am always free to disband from them and join another - even form another one... In fact, if children simply don't want to be taken care by their own (natural) parents can simply leave and make independent living - or have themselves adopted by another set of parents, or join or set-up an orphanage...

As for condos, I can simply leave that settlement, sell that property and have another settlement where I can do my own thing... For clans, I can set-up my own clan... So, now I ask you, did these activities and circumstances restrict your freedom much like government does??? In a government - you are restricted to two choices: FOLLOW US or BE JAILED, KILLED OR EXTORTED... In fact, government wants to know virtually everything you do and say... It wants to keep track of you, instead of being left alone doing your thing...

Nonoy Oplas If your private security force does not please you, you move to another private security force -- and still pay the same mandatory contribution, forced payment, with penalties for non-payment, like withholding of service and face thieves, murderers, extortionists, all by yourself. That is a tax, and coercion.

Zero coercion, zero tax, zero forced contribution, is an illusion. Anarchy is an illusion, and its believers simply refuse to recognize it.

Shakaru Macht Besides, what forces a criminal to be a criminal??? Do you think that it is always the choice of a criminal to be a criminal... Well, if trade, production and association were easier to accomplish - I don't think we will have so much murders, robberies and rapes abound... Trade, production and association is easiest if there were no government to get your produce and tell you whom to deal and associate with...

Well, here's my point: You join an association not merely because you want to socialize, but rather you want its mission, values and policies - including its payment schedules and benefits... If your mission is merely to socialize, you simply talk to a random "stranger" down the street and start conversing... You dare call it coercion - if you are not coerced to join it in the first place???

Nonoy Oplas Hay naku. Confront it. Any association -- running club, rotary club, cycling club, church org, private security force, etc etc -- you need to pay mandatory, forced payment to sustain them. Such forced payment is a tax. I said this statement 3x or 4x above, if I have to say it again for the 5th time or more, there is problem with comprehension.
Anarchy is an illusion and its believers refuse to recognize it.

Btwau, will blog this exchange, I am sure ok with you. cheers.

Shakaru Macht Your assumption is that people ought to join associations so that they will have their "benefits"... That is not always the case. however... There are benefits of being left alone - at least for a time... You become responsible, resilient and productive than if you have an association that guarantees you something for nothing (e.g. a government giving welfare)...

And again, you miss the point... You hate the association's policies??? Just shut up, leave - and live your own life!!!

Nonoy Oplas Yes, live your own life. If someone just likes your daughter or wife and drag them to a corner and rape them, even kill them, live your own life. No one -- no voluntary association, no govt force, no private force, to protect you. Have fun.

Shakaru Macht Well, I'll kill the rapist in the first place... The nature of man is that if I see some thief or murderer or kidnapper doing his own job, I kill that man... In fact, other people will join me!!! After the rescue, we return to our private lives... Btw, look at the "wild" West during the early 19th century... I would rather live there than be under the American government running the states east of Mississippi river - debating about slavery and tariffs...

Well, taxes for defense??? No way!!! The free market will provide me with one... (Have you read David Friedman's 'The Machinery of Freedom'??? It is a comprehensive argument for anarchism - so I suggest you read it if ever you haven't - or even if you have, take a second look...)

Nonoy Oplas Sure. And the rapist/s might even kill you first before you find them. They know that you live alone. No association, no government, no private security to defend you. Have fun.

Shakaru Macht Sure. And the rapist/s might even kill you first before you find them. They know that you live alone. No association, no government, no private security to defend you. Have fun.

Okay. I'm ready... I have guns, anti-burglar alarms and security guards... And you said that I live alone??? If that is the case, I have no responsibility to provide defense except unto myself and whomever I see...

Nonoy Oplas Then do not leave your house. Tell your daughter/s and wife never to leave the house. Armed rapists might be around the corner. No private security, no govt security, no other association to protect the family, you live alone.

Shakaru Macht An ad hoc band of defenders is not an association, since it is not permanent... Similarly, that band will not demand me that they pay for their services... Only simple reciprocity (the golden rule) matters in this case...

My wife and daughter are all trained in self-defense as much as I am... They have guns, so anybody daring to rape them can get killed!!!

Nonoy Oplas Fine, everyone should be armed, I support that. I also support that everyone should be accountable for their actions or inaction. Someone shooting you or a family member for no reason at all, maybe they got drunk, they are crazy, high on drugs, or simply dislike that you are richer or more good looking than them. No courts to hear complaints and counter-complaints, fine. Just people shooting each other even for minor altercation. That should be fun.

Shakaru Macht You're missing my point... All associations must be voluntary, done without coercion, but some other force - the defensive and retaliatory force - is required... We can provide these without resorting to taxes... Set-up a militia, shop for private contractors, or provide your own defense... In fact, you can mix and match!!!

Courts??? No need for such funded by taxes!!! We can set-up arbitration associations - of whose members act as a jury - but its decisions are tempered by some professionals in philosophy... If you don't want arbitration, just have simple talks... Most people do just the latter option, even for crimes as listed in the thick Penal Code of the Republic of the Philippines... Besides, do I need it just to declare that murder, rape and theft are all criminal acts??? Throughout the history of man, he has been governed by mechanism such as tradition and custom... Ultimately, all across human cultures in space and time, there is a mechanism called NATURAL LAW... Anyone, including a dog or cat, can simply enforce it... Some philosophers (e.g. John Locke, Spinoza) and the scientists have observed this law in action, because included in it are PHYSICAL LAWS (the mechanisms governing the bodies and their relations to each other) and the SOCIAL LAWS (the mechanisms governing social and economic relations)...

Accountability is possible if and only if you are guaranteed responsibility for all your actions - and is possible if and only if you are free - in short, having no government to begin with...

Nonoy Oplas Inconsistency exhibited 2x. You were emphatic that you do not need any voluntary association that requires mandatory contribution and forced payment of annual dues, assocaiton dues, etc. And now you mention again that you need an association. An "arbitrary association" to replace govt courts will still require mandatory contribution to be sustained. There will be elections who can sit in that "arbitrary association." In cases of dispute of who won and who cheated in the elections, there will be another voluntary association that will act as referee and judge will have the final judgement to rule if charges of cheating is valid or not.

Repeated inconsistency is one indicator that the position is invalid and illusory.

Perez Michael Bautista Brothers, let there be unity among us.

Nonoy Oplas Hi Mike, the ideological conflict is often inevitable. I was discussing the proper role of the DOH and FDA in promulgating the rule of law in another thread, then Shakaru came in to suggest that those agencies and government in general should be abolished. I do not believe in zero FDA or zero DOH. I suggested that these agencies can stay -- but they shd focus on enforcing the rule of law, law against fakes (fake physicians, fake medicines, fake food supplements, etc) as these products and services can be fatal to people. So I think this conflict bet anarchy and minarchy will continue. Better we explore them and expose which philosophy is more realistic and which one is illusory.

Shakaru Macht My point is so clear - YOU CHOSE TO ASSOCIATE, SO BEAR THE CONSEQUENCES... In government, your choice is limited to associate or get in jail...

Perez Michael Bautista The realities and the messiness of life can't be single-handedly simplified by these ISMs.
We will unite or we shall fall (wika ni elrond)

The problems that facing us today is the ever-expanding power of government, anarcho-capitalist must agree that we should reduce these powers to reasonable levels since minimal government is a part of the solution.

My plea is simple, anarcho-capitalists must refrain from bashing government directly because it will create repercussions on minimalists cause.

Shakaru Macht Yes, Michael... But I won't let these governments limit our choices, invade our privacy and trample upon our rights... And - I agree for a temporary minimal government that will gradually fade away as we transition to anarchy...

As for Nonoy, I would leave you David Friedman - a free-marketeer himself... I think he would be able to articulate these arguments better than I... I'm so, so amazed at how you drop your faith in the free market whenever we talk about defense and arbitration...

So here is "The Machinery of Freedom"... Please read it:

Perez Michael Bautista minarchists are like anarcho-capitalists having grace under pressure and we are not offended by government force.

And if men were angels, we don't need government or some kind of a collective force.

Shakaru Macht And for the record: I'm not not amazed by Ayn Rand... I can't see how she can defend anarchism just by using too few axioms... However, I argue for anarchism due to its practical long-term viability...)

(Besides, if as Nonoy claims, the state shall coerce that there be no murder, then it is liberty, you are wrong... As I said earlier, there is such a thing as NATURAL LAW - the law that governs the UNIVERSE... It is a mechanism by which we must live, and everybody is the enforcer of it... Violating it entitles anybody to render the rules as contained in it... So, can you tell me why there is a need for government when there is NATURAL LAW to begin with???)

Perez Michael Bautista The law of the universe, natural laws is harsh and unforgiving as mother nature itself, thats why man created systems to protect himself.
these systems of learning, agriculture, collective defense (i.e. government) is a product of these systems.

Shakaru Macht And if men were angels, we don't need government or some kind of a collective force.

Exactly an argument why we should never run governments... Government relies on perfect rules, perfect regulation... Voluntary force is however fine, and NATURAL LAW guarantees it... I would rather stick to a mechanism that has efficient feedback and control (NATURAL LAW) rather than a top-down approach that is done by government - especially in matters of defense and arbitration...

Perez Michael Bautista You said it perfectly. We need intelligence and sound KNOWLEDGE. Man itself must move forward to evolution or else face extinction.

I didn’t reply after these additional comments from Mike and Shakaru. Incohenrence and inconsistency of the anarchy position have been displayed several times above. Elaborating and prolonging such inconsistency is further mark of such confusion.


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