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This Time, With Feeling

That makes two threads in the Debate Forum in a row on the nature of the role of government to descend into chaos; the second time, it was my thread, and very much my fault... Also, you guys are like pumas, only meaner. :)

The bone of contention here? You can probably guess what it is if you reckon that history repeats itself.

Why no government? At least chiefly because governments kill people:
http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/20TH.HTM
That's Prof. R. J. Rummel's website, by the way. He concludes that democide is allegedly responsible for the deaths of over 262,000,000 people in the twentieth century alone. I urge you not to dispute this number, because it is not the item being debated; the exact number is quite irrelevant, because, in any event, it is staggeringly massive.

Why no government? Governments leave people without a voice. In terms of written agreements, obviously excluding unwritten societal ethical mandates, individuals should feel morally bound only by decisions in which they take part in making.

Why no government? Because there is, in fact, an alternative: Falk, the political scientist, has demonstrated in so many essays that a move toward abandonment of the State is more likely to bring about world peace than any other alternatives.

You can dismiss market anarchism as fantastic utopian speculation, but the fact is, it is more relevant than ever. I hope we can get through this debate with no condescension on the part of either side.

But arguing in defense those things which are provided by government is just not a very good way of going about debating; we must imagine that, as has been true in every other instance, where the private sector can perform some facets of the responsibilities with which the State had been entrusted, the private sector can outpace and outperform the government. This is because of the varying structure of the two, and arguing that government should be let alone because it provides some meager conveniences is impossible if government is harmful on the whole.
 

GetOutOfBox

Original Series Fan
The creation and evolution of government is one of the major reasons humans have become the greatest species on the planet; government unites us more than you can imagine. It allows humans to unite with a common cause, providing means for great discoveries and accomplishments.

You realize that back in the early ages of humans when we were a young species (although physically no different than today, we have not changed much in the last 50 000 years), despite our great intelligence we were still a weak race, divided into tiny pockets of nomadic tribes spending most of their time hunting, sleeping, and having kids. Development sped up when monarchy was established with a single ruler over a large state. There were limitations to this government though, especially if the ruler was corrupt. Anyways, so look at today's government and the amazing golden age of science we're living in (compare today to the 1980's, it's pretty crazy the technological advances since then) and tell me that we'd be better without government.

The study you cited is ridiculous, since it fails to take into account that the 20th century was dominated by 2 world wars, whose causes unrelated to the fact that the countries had governments, it was specifically the actions of a corrupt leader and political extremists that caused those wars. Those world wars are the main cause of the deaths listed in it. It is also focused on corrupt governments, which is stupid, since small tribes with corrupt leaders would be just as bad, except on a more individual basis.

Anarchism would not be good for the world. It is the sole reason for the economic and intellectual prosperity we experience in this modern day and age. What you are looking to criticize is corrupt governments.
 

Empoleon Bonaparte

Well-Known Member
He concludes that democide is allegedly responsible for the deaths of over 262,000,000 people in the twentieth century alone.

Let's say there's total anarchy. If there isn't a group of strong, smart, strategic, etc. people who govern (see where I'm getting at) the population, wouldn't there be even more deaths because of mere fights about who gets the last loaf of bread in the supermarket?
 

BigLutz

Banned
If we look at Iraq right after the fall of Saddam's regime, we can get a good idea of what anarchy in a society looks like. Religious strife, mass looting, violence on a unprecedented scale. With out order, which like it or not the Government provides. Society devolves into a almost animal like nature of "Strongest of the Fittest" at which point you get to a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by whoever has the most guns.

You can throw out numbers that X people died in X century because of democracy. But flip that around and consider how many people would be killed if this world were created by small enclaves of tyrants who battle eachother for land, property, racism, or religious belief. You may not have wars on massive scale, but you substitute it for what is essentially never ending gang warfare.
 
The creation and evolution of government is one of the major reasons humans have become the greatest species on the planet; government unites us more than you can imagine. It allows humans to unite with a common cause, providing means for great discoveries and accomplishments.
Yeah, because governments usually aren't the ones whose planning creates the classes along which we are divided in the first place, amirite?

You realize that back in the early ages of humans when we were a young species (although physically no different than today, we have not changed much in the last 50,000 years), despite our great intelligence we were still a weak race, divided into tiny pockets of nomadic tribes spending most of their time hunting, sleeping, and having kids.

The brush you use to paint human history is well north of overly simplistic. I'd like to quote Dr. D. R. Fox, who does a bang-up job here:
...In the view of many anthropologists, anarchism is the "natural" form of human society. Although the term "natural" may not deserve the quasimystical reverance in which some people hold it, it is important for psychologists in particular to be aware that, as anthropologist Harold Barclay (1982) noted, it is the small egalitarian anarchist community that is "the oldest type of polity and one which has characterized most of human history" (p. 12). Ashley Montagu (1981) cited the anarchist (and biologist) Kropotkin as one of the rare few who long ago recognized the importance of "love and cooperation" (p. 93) in the evolution of humanity, and anthropologists in general have concluded that a combination of tradition, communal interdependence, peer pressure, and direct intervention by the community as a whole has for the most part been enough to maintain order and provide for basic needs, without any strong hierarchical institutions. It's clear to many anthropologists that early human society was vastly different from the Hobbesian image presented in Hollywood movies, wherein so-called "primitive" life is generally depicted as having been an eternal struggle dominated by all-powerful dictatorial chiefs.
The lesson here...is that the transition from small face-to-face egalitarian communities to large mass society has been extremely rapid in terms of human evolution, and the consequences of that transition need to be examined in more detail. Anarchist thinkers can make a reasonable case that human beings are still adapted only to a small-community existence, and that, simply, what we find around us today is clearly a maladaptive--and perhaps short-lived--deviation (see Crowe, 1969). It's interesting to note that, perhaps because of their greater exposure to cultural variation, it is anthropologists more than psychologists who have proposed widespread alteration of global political and economic structures; both Sol Tax (1977) and Marvin Harris (1981), for example, have called for "radical decentralization" in one form or another.

The study you cited is ridiculous, since it fails to take into account that the 20th century was dominated by 2 world wars, whose causes unrelated to the fact that the countries had governments, it was specifically the actions of a corrupt leader and political extremists that caused those wars. Those world wars are the main cause of the deaths listed in it. It is also focused on corrupt governments, which is stupid, since small tribes with corrupt leaders would be just as bad, except on a more individual basis.
Ever dwell much on the notion that all governments are corrupt? It is not just the worst among them which I seek to see disbanded, it is all central planning.

Also, about the study, meh. 80,000,000 of those killed were killed after 1945.

Anarchism would not be good for the world.
It is interesting that you should say this as market anarchism has not yet been tested in a modern arena, my point being that this claim is complete conjecture and there's really nothing I can say other than that I disagree.

As for Empoleon Bonaparte and BigLutz, let's review the basis of both your points, which appear to be identical: that human beings are inherently a murdering and pillaging bunch, who, left to their own devices, would just engage in donnybrook and mayhem. The problem is that this is, for obvious reasons, not the case. Human beings are perfectly capable of reasonable, even altruistic, behavior. Let's take the "last loaf of bread" example. In your vision of an anarchic society, these two start slugging one another, and you ask who is there to stop them? How about everyone else in the store, or the market, or the bakery? Aside from the fact that law and order and law enforcement would inevitably exist in anarchism, in the given picture, these are unnecessary. Is it usually the police who break up a fight? Because, from where I'm sitting, the cops more often get there to slam the two bloodied men on the hoods of their cars long after the spectators disperse. But all of this, all of it, is irrelevant, because most people aren't going to do something as absurd as fight over a loaf of bread. People bargain, people freely give, people sometimes ask for nothing in return. People, especially empowered people, are basically peaceful, rational creatures.
 
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We've already been through a thread like this, and the common consensus was that a certain form of anarchy might work, but the conditions for said system would have to be borderline Utopea. Face it, not everyone is going to show the responsibility and selflessness that it takes to run a society like this. It's just not human nature.
 

BigLutz

Banned
Ever dwell much on the notion that all governments are corrupt? It is not just the worst among them which I seek to see disbanded, it is all central planning.

Also, about the study, meh. 80,000,000 of those killed were killed after 1945.

And let me get this straight do you honestly believe that there would be less deaths if there were no Governments? Do you honestly believe that? Have you not been to South LA?
 
I am persuaded that anarchy is the most legititmately peaceful concept devised by man.

We've already been through a thread like this, and the common consensus was
Whoa. Stop right there.

Does the common consensus matter in the arena of ideas?
 
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BigLutz

Banned
I am persuaded that anarchy is the most legititmately peaceful concept devised by man.

Really? So when we look at situations in which there is no Government to provide a hand in guiding the people, and in which people devolve into mobs and gangs, and create constant warfare, that is what? Peace?

People are going to seek protection, they are going to seek stability no matter what. If it is not through a rather beign Government, it is going to be through what ever megalomaniac Gang/Religious/Cult/Group Leader is in charge of that little section of land they live in.

From every scrap of evidence we have seen, you are essentially advocating a state of constant war through gang conflict, religious genocide, etc etc etc.
 

GetOutOfBox

Original Series Fan
<TL;DR post>

Governments do not create "classes" (i.e upper, middle, lower class), if you're rich, you're in the upper class. If you have a good enough amount of money to enjoy life in moderation, you're in the middle class. If you're just barely getting along/living on the street, you're in the lower class. There is no way to change this, at least without causing a widespread economic crisis as was seen by the USSR's implementation of communism.

This "Dr. D. R. Fox" seems to be a "nobody", one of those "scientists" most of the scientific community considers to be wackjobs.

Not all governments are corrupt. That's a pathetic claim made by someone obviously desperate to prove their point. Only a paranoid schizo would actually think that by definition a government is corrupt. Yes, government's don't always make choices everyone likes, but to appeal to everyone is an impossible task.


Anyways, the very concept of this post is stupid to debate about. Human's as social animals will usually establish "herds"/"tribes" of people who elect a leader(s) to represent them. We like having others make decisions for us, we like a rigid hierarchy of authority with out place on it clearly defined. Regardless of whether all of the governments are overthrow, we will eventually recongregate given time to form alliances, etc.
 
If a certain militia was lawless and violent, this would bring it into conflict with other enforcement agencies. Since this market is narrow and the consumer bases overlap, we can posit that monopolization is unlikely--some, like the Tannehills, would say impossible.

And so this violent militia would be found a matter of the courts. It could reject their verdict, but it would ensure its own destruction.

Why would you join a mob when you could just contract out your right to defend yourself? The usage of force to defend oneself is a dangerous proposition, anyway.

You ignore the fact that, in market anarchism, militias and PMCs will have to pay for any war they intend to wage, and war is incredibly expensive. Going to war is senseless when you have a bottom line to make.
 

BigLutz

Banned
If a certain militia was lawless and violent, this would bring it into conflict with other enforcement agencies. Since this market is narrow and the consumer bases overlap, we can posit that monopolization is unlikely--some, like the Tannehills, would say impossible.

That is kind of the point I am saying, you would have a constant gang warfare going on as we now see in many areas of the world where gangs or militias control with no overriding force to stop them.

And so this violent militia would be found a matter of the courts. It could reject their verdict, but it would ensure its own destruction.

And who is going to create the courts? Who is going to maintain impartiality? With out a Government to do that, you are essentially going to have kangaroo courts created by what ever leader is in power in that section of land.

Why would you join a mob when you could just contract out your right to defend yourself? The usage of force to defend oneself is a dangerous proposition, anyway.

By joining the mob/gang, you are essentially contracting out that right, you are paying either through services, or something else to be under their protection inside that territory.

You ignore the fact that, in market anarchism, militias and PMCs will have to pay for any war they intend to wage, and war is incredibly expensive. Going to war is senseless when you have a bottom line to make.

Unless of course they are doing it either for land, resources, or for any other type of thing such as religion. Basically what you already find now in lawless areas, in which people form gangs/cults/groups to survive.
 
Governments do not create "classes" (i.e upper, middle, lower class), if you're rich, you're in the upper class. If you have a good enough amount of money to enjoy life in moderation, you're in the middle class. If you're just barely getting along/living on the street, you're in the lower class.

I was referring to political classes, not economic ones.

This "Dr. D. R. Fox" seems to be a "nobody", one of those "scientists" most of the scientific community considers to be wackjobs.
Wackjob? Really?

Not all governments are corrupt. That's a pathetic claim made by someone obviously desperate to prove their point. Only a paranoid schizo would actually think that by definition a government is corrupt. Yes, government's don't always make choices everyone likes, but to appeal to everyone is an impossible task.
Government is corrupt because it almost certainly vomits the money of the public everywhere, claims to seek to help people but kills many in the process, is blind to the consequences of its actions, and refuses to allow anything to stand in its way. If a person exhibited these characteristics, would we not do well to call them ethically corrupt?

BigLutz, I loathe that I see the need to utilize a quotation again here, as I'm almost certain to take flak for it, but this is from James D., owner and proprieter of Jim.com, which I am not necessarily endorsing, and he explains it better than could I:
For all this to work, we need free markets and competition, thus enforcement areas must largely overlap, so that there is no monopoly of enforcement, and courts must be independent from enforcement organizations, and people must have reasonable grounds to believe they are independent from enforcement organizations, and it must be hazardous for any man to act as judge in his own cause. If enforcement or court monopolies arose, or exclusive cartels of enforcement or courts arose, anarcho capitalism would resemble industrial feudalism for those people who found themselves with little choice of enforcement.

Under anarcho-capitalism enforcement is based on fealty and association, not on location.

If someone suffers an adverse judgment from a well respected court, and refuses to abide by that judgment, then the judgment will not automatically be enforced, but his reputation is damaged in a fashion that makes it comparatively safe to use violence against him.

Courts are kept honest because they fear loss of respect, leading to loss of authority and thus revenue. Enforcement organizations generally, but not always, adhere to what the courts commend because they fear loss of respect, leading to violence from other enforcement organizations and loss of customers and clients.

Oh, and organizing a militia to go out and fight for land and resources is an expensive prospect. What sort of real estate or resources are these and how can they make you money? If they're exceptionally valuable somehow, they are very likely already under the control of someone or some organization who has an expensive contract standing with a PMC guaranteed to be more powerful than a rag-tag rogue militia.
 
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BigLutz

Banned
Government is corrupt because it almost certainly vomits the money of the public everywhere, claims to seek to help people but kills many in the process, is blind to the consequences of its actions, and refuses to allow anything to stand in its way. If a person exhibited these characteristics, would we not do well to call them ethically corrupt?

We would have to ask ourselves do the consequences justify the means. Obviously many Governments, especially the U.S. could be more fiscally Conservative, and be more well placed in their money, but the money does do good. They help people, but deaths do happen, but you can look at many places, such as say World War 2, or even Iraq now, and find the good justifies the death toll. And in many democracies, the people in the end do stand in the way, as they are the ones who can elect their leaders, and they are the ones who can repeal them.
 

GetOutOfBox

Original Series Fan
I was referring to political classes, not economic ones.


LOLwut?


Government is corrupt because it almost certainly vomits the money of the public everywhere, claims to seek to help people but kills many in the process, is blind to the consequences of its actions, and refuses to allow anything to stand in its way. If a person exhibited these characteristics, would we not do well to call them ethically corrupt?

You realize that Political Classes (for those that don't know, they're basically people who get important political jobs because of their lineage or connections)are pretty much a thing of the past now especially in America where they never really existed anyways (at least in important positions). Anyways "Political class" is a form of corruption, so saying that corruption exists in governments and the corruption is proof of this is what is a form of "Circular Reasoning", a form of fallacy (not phallicy you sick man ;)), so I wouldn't recommend using such examples should you ever attempt a formal debate.

In answer to your extremely well thought point of "LOLwut?", that Dr. D. R. Fox has no reputation that I can find, the extremal radical opinion of a man who has no presence in the scientific community is generally not a good one to cite as your sole proof.

That last point is just ridiculous. None of the major developed countries are "vomiting the public's money everywhere", I'd like to see a few examples linked to some unbiased source before even responding to this ridiculous point.
 
Here are his credentials.
If you so much as try to attack his qualifications, I might just overdose on irrelevance and die of an asploded head.

I never cited political classes as an example of corruption, but since you want to dance, let's. The argument isn't circular: it's deductive.

If governments breed political classes and make use of the spoils system, they are corrupt.
This government has a political class and makes use of the spoils system.
Therefore, this government is corrupt.

Cwhutididthar?

I don't mean to force the issue as far as ruling classes are concerned, because, you're right, in the West they are, for the most part, a thing of the past.

But not seeing how government wastes the money of its taxpayers? That makes me a sad, sad panda...that's probably the most universally true statement on the planet and by far the least controversial thing I've said in this thread.

I'll illustrate the point with a little piece of legislation called the Supplemental Terrorist Relief Act. It was intended to offer low-interest loans to Manhattan businesses either physically or economically affected by the September 11th. You know, hotels, retail outlets, small service businesses, places like that? But the American government decided to pass the money out everywhere, including Dunkin' Donuts shops in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Vermont, Ohio, and Georgia. That isn't even egregious, nor is it the best example by far, but it is fairly ridiculous, and it's what governments do.
 
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GetOutOfBox

Original Series Fan
Here are his credentials.
If you so much as try to attack his qualifications, I might just overdose on irrelevance and die of an asploded head.
A PDF containing a long list of essays and alleged degrees from the person's own website is hardly credible proof. Looks like you're going to overdose, someone call the Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahmbulance.

I never cited political classes as an example of corruption.

I was referring to political classes, not economic ones.

Looks to me like you did.


If governments breed political classes and make use of the spoils system, they are corrupt.
This government has a political class and makes use of the spoils system.
Therefore, this government is corrupt.

Governments aren't breeding political classes. At least in most developed countries. What government are you talking about?

But not seeing how government wastes the money of its taxpayers? That makes me a sad, sad panda...that's probably the most universally true statement on the planet and by far the least controversial thing I've said in this thread.

I'll illustrate the point with a little piece of legislation called the Supplemental Terrorist Relief Act. It was intended to offer low-interest loans to Manhattan businesses either physically or economically affected by the September 11th. You know, hotels, retail outlets, small service businesses, places like that? But the American government decided to pass the money out everywhere, including Dunkin' Donuts shops in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Vermont, Ohio, and Georgia. That isn't even egregious, nor is it the best example by far, but it is fairly ridiculous, and it's what governments do.

I can't find anything on this "Supplemental Terrorist Relief Act", maybe you should link to a (reliable, as in government) source.

I've pretty much been dismantling every single proposal you've made in a painstakingly long process. How about you just put everything on the table at once so that we can go through everything at once.
 

Profesco

gone gently
I can't claim to be very knowledgeable when it comes to government and economics, so much of this debate will be out of my reach, but it is interesting. One thing I am moderately versed in though, is human nature. If there's one area in which I agree with you, PokeJustice, it's that human beings are not able to be glibly summed up as selfish, barbaric creatures. I too see some reason to the idea that human beings can coexist peacefully, with a bit of thought and responsibility as part of their mental makeup.

To that end, I'll have to agree most strongly with SunnyC's comments in your previous thread. In any situation where two or more human beings must coexist, there will arise a system of rules and consequences governing their interaction. With each additional person in this group, the system will be proportionally larger and more comprehensive in order to provide for each's interests, and there needs to be an interconnected system of cooperative agents to manage all cooperative endeavors. Whether you want to call it "government" or not, it will exist.

What I see in the concept of anarchy that I can respect is the desire to rid our interaction of corruption. Anarchy chooses to do so by targeting corrupt government, and then finding any and all government corrupt. But as a system, a total lack of human cooperation protected and managed by a governing body? I think that's an extreme, and extremes are rarely productive or wise. We are a species of ideas as well as the earthly world, and as such, we are a species that craves structure and order. We could not be satisfied with anarchy.
 
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I've pretty much been dismantling every single proposal you've made in a painstakingly long process. How about you just put everything on the table at once so that we can go through everything at once.

Seconded.

AustrianAnarchist made a decent argument to some things in the last thread rather well, let's see if you can as well, PokeJustice.

My question is, how do you propose an anarchist society would deal with public services, such as police and roads, without government? After all, there would be no tax money from the citizens to pay for these services. And how would peace be kept without a police force ran by the government to protect its people?
 
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