Now What?

atlascott's picture
Submitted by atlascott on Tue, 2009-06-30 12:46

Without getting into too much detail, there are some persuasive bits of evidence which suggest that financially, America is in for it, and it is going to continue to get worse. And this is leaving aside the ideological issues.

Despite valiant efforts, American politics and culture continue moving in the wrong direction.

So, now what?

At some point, fighting a losing ideological fight is like putting your head in the sand, or hiding in a closet, repeating the same mantras, over and over again, to a relatively fixed audience already in agreement.

We are living in THEIR world now. And we are the enemy, and unwelcome.

I soldier on.

Others solider on, extricating themselves from government as much as possible, but still fund it.

Politicians, largely dumb and self-interested in dishonest ways, do harm in a more or less random way, but always with increases in government size and inefficiencies and expenditures.

But our enemies have infiltrated the government, and use our own tax dollars against us.

Our waking hours are spent making a living.

Theirs are spent plotting movement further away from traditional American ideals and the Constitution, on the living we provide them, with staff we provide them, on stress-reducing trips and vacations and pensions and perks we provide them, while many of us struggle to find employment, struggle to keep the jobs we do find, struggle to keep our business concerns afloat.

And little by little, but in ever increasing speed, the landscape changes. Home becomes a foreign land.

Not randomly, but with intent. Intent that some of us understand, that some of us fight actively against, but against which we are less than effective.

Tea Parties are a late night punchline. No group has marshaled the anger and frustration into useful capital of any kind.

Due to irredeeably corrupt politics, there is no "side" for us to join, except on a particular issue, and by fighting that fight, we cede the war.

Hope is necessary but requires some evidence. Otherwise, hope is a wish, and illusion.

So, where is the evidence to sustain hope?

And if there is none, then, Now What?


( categories: )

Leonid

sharon's picture

Good questions. Questions that came to mind when I converted to anarchist philosophy.

Hey, I think you are more serious minded about this issue than Phil. He is rather sulky and supercilious. But I think Phil believes he’s clever--which is really pathetic. And I think he believes that he is making a case against me. That is really sad. I hope he has someone to look after him.

Sharon

Leonid's picture

"Competing DRO's and private protection agencies would certify order since the competition wouldn't enable one DRO to achieve supremacy and become a "de facto" government."-however, one DRO's may become very big and could dominate the market as, for example Microsoft does and become "de facto government".

“And: Why couldn't private agencies provide effective national defense?"-they could, but in absence of central government who will decide about national defense policy, who will give them orders? And who will finance them? And how? Market cannot accommodate it since military is expensive business and doesn't bring any profit. It deals with the tools of destruction, not wealth creation.

""Leonid may well have lost the argument, but not the argument."

I don't really mind whether I win or lose the arguement or argument. So don't behave like the best school girl in the speech contest.
My primary concern is the order in which my children and grand children will live. In regard to DRO's question I cannot see much difference between it and the government. The only difference is that DRO's are voluntary financed. But this is Objectivist position as well. The question how to voluntary finance it is difficult technical question which belongs to the philosophy of law and economics. I don't think that any of participants, me included, have enough knowledge in these matters to provide any meaningful contribution. The main thing is, that government in its present form is unacceptable and incompatible with the man’s inalienable rights and should be replaced

I don't grant your

sharon's picture

I don't grant your statement.

I have more than "basic knowledge" of DROs and the anarchist philosophy.

"Leonid may well have lost the arguement, but not the argument."

Then make your argument.

Silly me for expecting

PhilipD's picture

Silly me for expecting someone who presents the case of DRO's with such certainty to have some sort of basic knowledge of them.

Leonid may well have lost the arguement, but not the argument.

Objection therein? No.

"No, but as your guru says

sharon's picture

"No, but as your guru says it would be all but impossible to survive without belonging to one; not only couldn't you buy a coffee but there would be hordes of 'spies' tracking your every movement if you were outside the system."

So this isn't an objection?

Leonid

sharon's picture

You lost the arguement. You know this. I know it. I think Phill knows this too. So now he is picking at scabs.

I know the essential moral

sharon's picture

I know the essential moral point behind the system—just as you know the morality of capitalism in Rand’s philosophy. But I don’t know if you have to have an identification card to purchase coffee or pastry or bubble gum. (The system is a model, not in existence; the details would be worked out depending on the DRO, but the essential moral point is clear in my mind). I have great detailed knowledge, but not of the sort you bring up. So what?

You have no objection? You have no counter-argument either. No point. Nothing really. Your posting is an end in itself.

'I really don’t know what

PhilipD's picture

'I really don’t know what your objection is.'

I haven't expressed an objection. But seem you have already conceded that you have little understanding of what you call the 'details' of DRO's Sharon, I am trying to see just how shallow your understanding of them is.

That's Philip to you, Shaz.

"No, but as your guru says

sharon's picture

"No, but as your guru says it would be all but impossible to survive without belonging to one; not only couldn't you buy a coffee but there would be hordes of 'spies' tracking your every movement if you were outside the system."

I really don’t know what your objection is. No force is being used against anyone. That’s right, you don’t have to belong to a DRO (would you prefer it some other way) and no DRO organization has to take you on as a client. You also can’t (for all intense purposes) survive without having a job, making an income, being productive, but nobody is required to hire you or use whatever services you might make available, right? In other words, the initiation of force is banned. Um, it's called freedom of association. Or just plain' ol' freedom. It would definitely be to your self-interest to belong to a DRO the same way it would be to your self-interest to have coverage or to visit your dentist--but you DON'T HAVE TO.

Got it? Really, Phil, what is your point?

'You aren’t forced to belong

PhilipD's picture

'You aren’t forced to belong to one.'

No, but as your guru says it would be all but impossible to survive without belonging to one; not only couldn't you buy a coffee but there would be hordes of 'spies' tracking your every movement if you were outside the system. (according to your guru)

'I’m not aware of this microscopic detail.'

But as an avid defender of DRO's I would have expected that at least you were aware of some of the greater detail. (best you see your Guru) But then I guess 'details' have never been your go as Perigo recently, and rightly pointed out.

He’s not my guru anymore

sharon's picture

He’s not my guru anymore than Rand is yours. As for attempting to bring the issue down to concrete-bound issues, I’m not aware of this microscopic detail. Over all, I would say, yes, membership has its privileges to belong to a DRO. You aren’t forced to belong to one.

'How so? By what means? By

PhilipD's picture

'How so? By what means? By force? And who said anything about any one company running the database?'

Under your guru's DRO system a I.D card would be required for every single transaction- right from buying a cup of coffee up. Correct so far?

"And of course that is

sharon's picture

"And of course that is bollocks, Sharon. Most likely the company that runs the DRO's database would become a monopoly quite quickly."

How so? By what means? By force? And who said anything about any one company running the database?

What’s more, I take the tenor of what your saying is this: monopolies held by force are bad. Well, good. You are more on the anarchist side than you care to let on. ;]

'Competing DRO's and private

PhilipD's picture

'Competing DRO's and private protection agencies would certify order since the competition wouldn't enable one DRO to achieve supremacy and become a "de facto" government.'

And of course that is bollocks, Sharon. Most likely the company that runs the DRO's database would become a monopoly quite quickly.

Leonid

sharon's picture

DROs depend upon a voluntary customer base—this is an essential point. Competing DRO's and private protection agencies would certify order since the competition wouldn't enable one DRO to achieve supremacy and become a "de facto" government. A centralized state has the means to devastate an entire country whereas a corrupt DRO organization is always less of a threat.

And: Why couldn't private agencies provide effective national defence?

Sharon

Leonid's picture

"Anarchist philosophy is all too aware of the human capacity for evil--"-Yes, and that includes the possibility of foreign aggression. What about national defense, military forces? They are expensive! How market anarchism is going to accommodate an army and all affiliated services?

"human beings can’t handle the power that a central state entails without being corrupted."- The question is whether de-centralization of power will diminish or increase corruption? In case of de-centralization the total number of the people involved in the process will increase and so may corruption. Observe that corruption mostly affects low levels of government-like municipalities and not President's office. ( South Africa is of course an exception)

"Ideally, if all people

sharon's picture

"Ideally, if all people around the Globe could live according to objective laws and behave as rational beings there wouldn't be any need for any kind of government. But this is, of course, Utopia."

Anarchist philosophy is all too aware of the human capacity for evil--while ascribing no original sin or original virtue to human beings—and fully committed to the idea that human beings can’t handle the power that a central state entails without being corrupted.

Sharon

Leonid's picture

"This is exactly what the DRO models would have, thank you."-then it's settled.

“asked you to define what you think I mean by anarchism"-truly, I don't know. I know, what I mean by anarchism.

“An anarchist society with the DRO model in place would be more efficient than a singular state held in position by force."
Anything would be more efficient in comparison with the current mess we have for government today. There are many different models which could be designed as government-DRO, minarchy, etc...Ideally, if all people around the Globe could live according to objective laws and behave as rational beings there wouldn't be any need for any kind of government. But this is, of course, Utopia.

Leonid

sharon's picture

“…for thousandth time-if you don't violate objective laws do what you please. This is nobody's business. However bear in mind: if you want to comply with the moral law you'll need institution which will endorse this law and ensure that people will indeed comply; you will need set of objective laws and institutions to identify, try and punish whose who don't comply and you will need people who write and implement these laws. You also will need a system to put these people into the office. Don't call them government if you wish, but you'll need them nevertheless.”

This is exactly what the DRO models would have, thank you. Learn more about what the DRO model offers. That information, if interested, can be provided.

All property would be privately owned. Owner sets the law (or rules) where his person and property are concerned. As you said: Objective laws don't require agreement. I agree. An anarchist society with the DRO model in place would be more efficient than a singular state held in position by force.

It is all that I mean by market anarchism.

"Otherwise, what you'll get will be, yes, an anarchy."

Whatever. I asked you to define what you think I mean by anarchism, but you tap dance around the issue.

Sharon

Leonid's picture

"and not some other set of men and women? Is it “first come to offer objective protection first served"- Idiot child if he could read,would understand that I'm not talking about offering protection-that for you agencies who compete with each other to do. I'm talking about legal basis, set of laws. Men and women for this particular task elected by public in general elections. And you are big enough child to see the difference between process of legislature and use of force which should be based on legislature.

"Obligation? There are no positive obligations imposed on anyone!" And who said about imposing anything on anybody? The people who decided to apply for office do it voluntary.

“We have special moral properties that you—oh vast and varied populace of this specific geographical region—don’t have, therefore we are going to impose these injunctions [objective laws] upon you, agreement or not, and only us.”

Objective laws don't require agreement. You may disagree with law of gravitation, it exists nevertheless. Therefore there is no need to impose them. The function of government is to make sure that in case you violate these laws you pay price, exactly as you do if you violate the Newtonian laws by driving your car into the wall.

"We’ll comply with the moral law."-for thousandth time-if you don't violate objective laws do what you please. This is nobody's business. However bear in mind: if you want to comply with the moral law you'll need institution which will endorse this law and ensure that people will indeed comply; you will need set of objective laws and institutions to identify, try and punish whose who don't comply and you will need people who write and implement these laws. You also will need a system to put these people into the office. Don't call them government if you wish, but you'll need them nevertheless.
Otherwise, what you'll get will be, yes, an anarchy.

Leonid

sharon's picture

I said: “If the state holds its monopolistic power by the use of force..."

You answer: “legal use, that is-under objective Laws.”

I have no problem with that. But the question remains: how is it that these specific men and women—these specific aggregate of men and women (setting themselves up as ‘the government’)--and not some other set of men and women? Is it “first come to offer objective protection first served”?

“…but its obligation to endorse these Laws.”

Obligation? There are no positive obligations imposed on anyone! So an aggregate set of men and women—calling themselves ‘”government” comes along and says: “We have special moral properties that you—oh vast and varied populace of this specific geographical region—don’t have, therefore we are going to impose these injunctions [objective laws] upon you, agreement or not, and only us.”

Yeah, right.

“As a matter of fact, government doesn't have monopoly on using force as I mentioned before. Everybody can use force-with or without guns. But only government has ability-not monopoly-to use force legally, that is-according to objective rule.”

LOL. Listen to yourself: ONLY government has the ability to use force legally? So they possess an opposing moral property denied others. (And what the hell do you mean “ability”? Crap! They exercise the force of the gun, buddy. That's the "ability" thay have. And they use it.

"If DRO can do it properly-it becomes government by everything but name.”

Oh, great, back to semantic arguments. Fine. I scream UNCLE—you win. But the point remains: are you—or that magical mystical entity called “government” going to stop me (and others) from forming various DRO services? We’ll comply with the moral law.

“Market is anything but anarchism”

I said “market anarchism—I didn’t say ‘”it was anarchism.”

An idiot child can see the glaring contradictions and double standards.

Sharon

Leonid's picture

*If the state holds its monopolistic power by the use of force..."-legal use, that is-under objective Laws. No divine rights of king or society or party or race. Legal Laws which based on two basic objective facts-Law of Identity and inalienable rights which are metaphysically given and could be denied only by initiation of force. So government doesn't make any Laws as it doesn't make Law of gravitation. It's not government right, but its obligaton to endorse these Laws. It also doesn't matter whether this is All-World government, or government in any county and district-these Laws will be exactly the same: A is A, murderer is murderer and in order to punish him you have first to identify him and to show objective proof of his crime-using objective legal procedure. As a matter of fact, government doesn't have monopoly on using force as I mentioned before. Everybody can use force-with or without guns. But only government has ability-not monopoly-to use force legally, that is-according to objective rule. If DRO can do it properly-it becomes government in everything but name.

"If we are to speak of the citizenry who would voluntarily pay for “government services”—then this establishes a market." I have no problem with that. People can pay voluntary for different service providers which can compete between them. I wouldn't however call it market anarchism. Market is anything but anarchism, it's also ruled by objective Law called trade principle. What is not for competition is legal system itself, since all laws involved are objective laws. So different service providers cannot offer different legal systems, set of laws. They can compete on quality of service and price-like insurance companies. Practically speaking government is an instrument of legislature. How to pay for that service? There are many possibilities. For example, people pay to service providers as they pay for health insurance and small fracture of this money is transfered to the government voluntary, as payment for service; or people pay for govenment service voluntary as they pay for car insurance. If person doesn't have such an insurance he would be charged full price when he needs government services etc...you can figure it out.

Leonid

sharon's picture

*If the state holds its monopolistic power by the use of force...um...then it is claiming opposite moral principles by that very action.*

Ya with me so far, big guy? Good.

There have been attempts made in history to justify this use of force, such as the ‘divine rights of Kings’ or ‘social contract’, etc, etc. I’m sure you agree that this is nonsense—and I will assume that you agree with Rand that the establishment of the government must be done by the actual consent of the people whereby she postulated “voluntary contributions to the government” because, as she said on the Donahue show, “we need the government.”

Hmm, voluntary contributions. Payment for services. Hmm.

As you know, governments don’t grant or endow men with rights; there supposed function is to protect rights which MAN (you ladies too) already possess. The only way to violate rights is by the use of force. Realizing this, Rand was swift to keep consistent with this principle by adhering to *voluntarism* when she put forth with the idea of supporting a government by voluntary contributions. (Repeat after me: Voluntary contributions).

But this is where we get to the thick of it:

If we are to speak of the citizenry who would voluntarily pay for “government services”—then this establishes a market.

Are you connecting the dots yet?

Here are the key words.

*Voluntarism
*Contributions (or even direct payment for services)
*Services
*Market

Let's keep connecting those dots....here we go...here we go...

*Market Anarchism*

Ah, that felt good.

Thank you. I take a bow.

Sharon

Leonid's picture

"What is our fundamental disagreement, as you understand it--if indeed we disagree?"-there is no disagreement, as long as you don't answer my question. You said that I assigned special rights to government. It is important to me to understand what do you mean by special rights. I think it is serious question too. Why don't you just answer? My position in any case is, that no government, no society, no club or DRO have any special rights. More than that-there is no such an animal as special rights. Government qua government doesn't have any rights whatsoever, only individuals have rights. Government has only obligations-to serve and protect. So please clarify your position-what special rights you think I assign.

Leonid

sharon's picture

Let me change up the approach, instead of us getting competitive and snarky.

Let me ask you this: What exactly is our disagreement as you understand it?

That is, what do you think I ascribe to when I describe myself as an anarchist? What fence divides our philosophy, pertaining to politics? What is our fundamental disagreement, as you understand it--if indeed we disagree?

This is a serious question. Let’s put aside the one-up-on-ya thing, ok?

***

But to also deal with your post:

"Second-to regulate doesn't mean to monopolize-these are two different categories."

I agree. I never said otherwise.

Sharon

Leonid's picture

"Was that not your position?"-No. First, I don't consider this question as important. I brought it as an example that in organized society some sort of regulations are needed if we want to live comfortable. In this particular case it doesn't have to be government (see my response about traffic police). Second-to regulate doesn't mean to monopolize-these are two different categories. Third, even on guns current government doesn't have monopoly. How many licensed gun owners are in America? In South Africa the number is about 3 millions out of 45 millions of total population. I own gun, nice 9mm Beretta. Does it make me monopolist? No. Can I run around and shoot everybody who looks suspicious? Also no. Does it give me any special rights? No again. Can you explain why? Fourth, You evaded my question: To whom do I assign special rights and what are these rights? Try again.

Leonid

sharon's picture

One example: You have spelled it out yourself. As far as you are concerned, we need the government to regulate and monopolize the running of roads—which are not, I suppose, to be in the hands of many competitors. Was that not your position?

Sharon

Leonid's picture

"You ARE assigning special rights and privileges –opposing rights--to this aggregate of men that have assigned themselves as “the government” above and beyond that of others."-What special rights I'm assigning? Spell it out.

Let's start again, One, Two and Three.

sharon's picture

Leonid

I said: "Then competing defence agencies would not be “prohibited” by a government that does not possess any special rights--either different or above any other person"-

You say that you agree, and then go on to say: "...In general no action should be prohibited as long as this action performed within framework of the law which protects inalienable rights-including right for self-defence which could be delegated to different agencies-as, it fact, is happening even today. We have multitude of such agencies in South Africa, but all of them operate according to the common law of the country. Like government they cannot be above the law or law in themselves. That would be anarchy."

You agree? Really, I don’t know what you “think” you’re agreeing with. You’re entire paragraph entirely contradicts what you purport to agree with. You ARE assigning special rights and privileges –opposing rights--to this aggregate of men that have assigned themselves as “the government” above and beyond that of others. Really, read it again. IF you really did agree with my statement—you would be endorsing anarchism.

Really, a child can grasp the issue...even an Objectivist.

Frediano

Leonid's picture

"And, in response to the latest constructivist failure of single point of failure concentrated federal power, we've embraced ever more concentrated federal power."-Ayn Rand observed that mixed economy is unstable political structure. Soon or later it will collaps. The outcome could be or laisser-faire capitalism or fascism. Seemingly Americans are moving toward fascism. The monopolists with guns, however,could be inhibited only in free laisser-faire society.

Sharon

Leonid's picture

"What "mechanism" did you have in mind?"-I think this is a question for philosopher of law or political science specialist which I'm not.
I can think about independent judicial comission.

"Then competing defence agencies would not be “prohibited” by a government that does not possess any special rights--either different or above any other person"-we discussed that before. I agree. In general no action should be prohibited as long as this action performed within framework of the law which protects inalienable rights-including right for self-defence which could be delegated to different agencies-as, it fact, is happening even today. We have multitude of such agencies in South Africa, but all of them operate according to the common law of the country. Like government they cannot be above the law or law in themselves. That would be anarchy.

"That “mechanism” is a government (call it what you like) that does not hold a monopoly by armed force. There, solved. "
Cannot see how that can solve anything. Even without monopoly government can employ armed force, for example- national defence force-as any of your agencies.Without legal framework your agencies would be in permanent armed clash with government forces and between themselves. That is much worse than corruption. The solution is proper iron-clad defininition of government functions. Such a definition should have the power of fundamental law which could be abolished only by the price of total destruction of the whole social structure.

Exactly

Frediano's picture

That “mechanism” is a government (call it what you like) that does not hold a monopoly by armed force.

Exactly. "Federalism" in the American experiment used to imply a balance of devolved power, between the federal government and 50 states and in fact, 'the people' whose consent as the governed is the only license that a legitimate government holds.

That 'balance' no longer exists. The current imbalance is a monopolistic federal government, unfettered in the last century to face down virulent totalitarian alternatives, as a do or die necessity. But the soft fascist beast we unfettered never stood down. It has grown to be its own ends via our means.

For concrete proof of this in the current 'the economy', see DC real estate market.

We've inhibited 'monopolists', but we've tolerated 'monopolists with guns.'

And, in response to the latest constructivist failure of single point of failure concentrated federal power, we've embraced ever more concentrated federal power. In a perfect example of being collectively tone deaf, our tribe, instead of peacefully and rationally pursuing devolution of concentrations of power, is in a mob panic state, bewildered and 'hoping' that ever more concentrated federal power will lead to anything other than revolution in America. Pure 'Madness of Crowds.'

Leonid

sharon's picture

"Government doesn't have any special rights."

Really? Good. You said it this time, not me. Then competing defence agencies would not be “prohibited” by a government that does not possess any special rights--either different or above any other person(Drunk.

Ok, we are getting somewhere.

"Proper government should have special safe guard mechanism which prevents government from abuse of power."

That “mechanism” is a government (call it what you like) that does not hold a monopoly by armed force. There, solved.

What "mechanism" did you have in mind?

The Pot is black too, is it not?? ;]

sharon's picture

>It is impossible to have any sort of resolution with an anarchist because they stake their claim on an imaginary world and imaginary men and an imaginary state--"anarchy".<

Come on, Scott, get over this lame argument. The type of world you are fighting for, I imagine, is “imaginary” too--since it doesn’t exist, this teeny tiny government you espouse, right?

atlascott

Leonid's picture

"You, Leonid, seem to stake your claim on an imaginary government."
Well, right, I do. Government is not metaphysically given fact of Nature; it is man-made institution which made according to certain political philosophy. My imaginary government should be made according to Objectivism. Since people possess Free Will it is up to them which kind of government they will have. I suppose that before American Revolution the present form of American Republic also was imaginary government. And in regard to corruption-this is a crime as any other, and should be treated accordingly. Government doesn't have any special rights. Proper government should have special safe guard mechanism which prevents government from abuse of power.

Utopian

atlascott's picture

"Government has no other functions except protection of individual rights. It's actually doesn't matter whether people recognize or don't recognize government authority as long as they are not criminals or victims of criminals. In the first case government will get them, in the second they will come to the government for protection and justice."

Our government(Drunk, and every other government ever known to man, has had several other functions. It is easy to imagine scenarios--too many to imagine, really--where an individual and a government of the type which has actually existed, have come into conflict, and it does not matter one whit who is just and who is unjust, or who is the "criminal."

It is impossible to have any sort of resolution with an anarchist because they stake their claim on an imaginary world and imaginary men and an imaginary state--"anarchy".

You, Leonid, seem to stake your claim on an imaginary government. Now, it happens that I agree with you that the proper scope of government is very, very limited. And I am not yet dissuaded that the best resolution to the problem of violence is NOT a government. I still think DRO's are an unworkable mess. I am still in agreement with you--that a properly limited government is man's only real chance at meaningful freedom. And I agree with Robert--you do not throw out the one thing which has worked, even if it is a frying pan, when it means that you will leap, blindly, into the fire.

But my position is that as a natural consequence of government, there will be errors, corruption, and the government trampling on some individuals as a certainty. One man's life is a hell of a price to pay, because to that one, just man, it is all he ever really had. So I take this pretty seriously. With what coin are we buying the benefits of what we agree is a properly-limited government? The certain knowledge that there will be error and corruption that leads to some injustice.

Right now, where I am at is: if you have to pay a price, then pay it, but don't ignore it. Acknowledge it, and doing so helps guard against abuses and reminds everyone of the costs.

The Paradox of Violence

Frediano's picture

What do you do with people living in your territory who do not voluntarily join or agree to accept your authority?

It is the nature of violence that it cannot be unilaterally disavowed by any system of tribal organization, without introducing some mythical utopically perfect deux ex machina(literally, a machine, in the original 'The Day The Earth Stood Still", which was all about the Paradox of Violence.) The establishment of local 'law and order' is the law and order of the political entity most able to enforce its will. Even within the borders of the United States, sometimes, mostly, this is ultimately the federal government offering rule by violence, and sometimes, locally, it is the Latin Kings.

Violence is inevitable. We squirm and wish otherwise, but it is practically a universal law, a physical boundary condition of the universe, as it is.

So, the question is not, 'will there be violence?' The question is always, 'what form of violence will locally rule?' What use of force will we accede to?

It is seldom 'a' tyrant that oppresses, except locally, as in criminal. And often, it is the promise of protection from such singular tyrants that local mobs use as incentive for local support. When widescale tyranny is exerted, it is inevitably some tyrant or clique leading a mob. We forever either accede to violent rule by our local mob, or we work politically to change it, or ultimately we work megapolitically -- we exert violence to resist it, to assert our preferred rule by our superior local mob. The paradox of freedom requires forming mobs to subdue mobs, without arbitrarily empowering a mob. The hope is, the mob we empower is a fettered mob. The reality is, our empowered mob finds ever more creative ways to politically unfetter itself, thus destroying freedom. Hence, the paradox of freedom. Freedom ... requires mobs ... eats freedom.

When a mob organizes under an idea of self-mob fettering, a set of rules, a constitution, that constitution is still just a suggestion, a set of wishes on paper, without the means of enforcement. As in, effective access to force to bring about as other than a wish on paper. The local mob will always rule by force, there is no escaping that fact. That fact is, the irresistible power of all of us over any one of us. The mob is always the biggest beast in the Jungle, and it ultimately rules by force, no matter what set of rules of enforcement it established for itself. Enforcement by who? When it is enforceable only by the empowered machinery of the state, then it is a fragile enforcement if the machinery of state becomes self-serving, which in our case, it long has.

The American Experiment was a great idea. We mobbed up under the concept of being free from the arbitrary rule of mobs, including, each other. It was an idea so powerful that free people willingly mobbed up to defend each other's right to be free from arbitrary rule by mobs, ie, each other; the Paradox of Freedom.

And then, the state machinery of our local mob grew into something else, an end onto itself. See 'DC Real Estate market' in the current 'The Economy' for concrete evidence of that.

Local mobs rule by force, and the existing successful mobs enforce payment of dues. A purely hypothetical competing mob that does not enforce dues payment must, to exist, exert enough violence to enforce its right to exist under that model. But, be forewarned; such a purely hypothetical mob is competing in the world, as it is, with mobs that enforce the payment of dues.

As much as I loved the book, and it changed my life, there was a significant flaw in Atlas Shrugged. The assertion was made that 'Galt's Gulch', the little enclave in the mountains of Colorado, was established on land originally 'paid for' by Midas Mulligan. That was an incomplete assertion. It was 'paid for' in a political context wrestled from totalitarian alternatives by a nation half our present size, that sent 16 million into uniform and left over 400,000 of themselves in the meatgrinder, defending our political context from virulent totalitarian alternatives. ie, the political context that Midas Mulligan 'paid for' that land was established by the American mob. That nation borrowed over $3T in today's dollars via war bonds and so on from an uncertain future, in order to establish that uncertain future. Hitler wasn't faced down by a sharp shooting pirate and six of his closest buddies in a Hinckley yacht. Virulent totalitarian alternatives were faced down by the US establishing its own soft fascist beast, period. We launched our own soft fascist entity, a melding of the guns of state with commerce, paradoxically to create 'the free world.'

We'd have hoped, ours was a fettered fascism, one established only for the purposes of facing down virulent totalitarianism. Well, hope wasn't enough, because ours never stood down, and is presently lurching towards its own totalitarian model.

Totalitarianism = monopolistic rule by guns of state.

When did totalitarian/monopolistic ideas suddenly come back into vogue? Why is our nation blind to monopolists with guns, as in GSEs, and so on? Do the guns make them invisible? In a way, yes. But the guns do not make them not-monopolies...

The American Experiment was once power empowered to devolve power, before we embraced the European/teutonic models.

What happened to that very American idea?

It's "United we stand." Not "United it stands."

atlascott

Leonid's picture

"Any government or any aggregate with enforcement powers must EITHER be voluntarily joined, and if not, then they employ coercion and force."-this is false dichotomy-that doesn't have to be either/not. It could be both-voluntary aggregate which uses retaliatory force.

"What do you do with people living in your territory who do not voluntarily join or agree to accept your authority?"-exactly nothing, as long as they don't violate any laws. (meaning-don't violate rights of others).

"Are you slapping the label "retaliatory force" on your force used upon them because they will not join the political entity?"-not at all. Retaliatory force used only for retaliation toward people who initiate use of force.

"How do you get there? What force did they use which makes yours retaliatory?"- they have to initiate the use of force against others.

"Or is your point that by NOT joining your political entity, they are preventing you from enjoying your freedom, and therefore, they have initiated force against you?"-definitly NO. Only by using actual physical force one may deprive me from my freedom. There are no other ways to do that.

Government has no other functions except protection of individual rights. It's actually doesn't matter whether people recognize or don't recognize government authority as long as they are not criminals or victims of criminals. In the first case government will get them, in the second they will come to the government for protection and justice.

Not a false dichotomy

atlascott's picture

A false dichotomy presents one or another view, with the notion that if you oppose the first, then you must, of course, support the second.

One example is: "If you do not support Obama, then you must support Bush."

Here, there is no false dichotomy.

What do you do with people living in your territory who do not voluntarily join or agree to accept your authority?

They have not used force or fraud against you--they just object to your use of force against them.

Are you slapping the label "retaliatory force" on your force used upon them because they will not join the political entity?

How do you get there? What force did they use which makes yours retaliatory?

Or is your point that by NOT joining your political entity, they are preventing you from enjoying your freedom, and therefore, they have initiated force against you?

I would be careful if this latter is your position. It expands use of force and the justification on use of retaliatory force beyond reason.

"No one has answered this point

Leonid's picture

"No one has answered this point, on this site, on any site, or in anything I have read since, anything I read before, in any way that is satisfying (i.e., makes sense).
Any government or any aggregate with enforcement powers must EITHER be voluntarily joined, and if not, then they employ coercion and force."-I did many times over. And the answer in short is: you present false dichotomy. Any government or any aggregate with enforcement powers must be voluntarily joined, and THEN it must employ retaliatory force-since this is its only justification, that is-to "support individualism, individual rights, and individual freedom"

Linz, she says...

Marcus's picture

...she has resigned to fight the current elite in Washington full time, regardless of whether they're Republican or Democrat!

She says they have gone too far now and she asked her family if it was the right time to do this for her kids and they said 'hell, yes!'

At least that's what they reported on BBC news.

She's just resigned ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... as Governor. Not sure what that's about.

Sarah Palin 2012!!!

Marcus's picture

Ye-ha!!!

Your knight in shining armour is on her way and is going to kick Obama's butt out of the white house!!!!

Americans are going to get their first Margaret Thatcher.

Congratulations, happy Fourth of July!!!
....................................................................................................................

From The Times
July 2, 2009

Sarah Palin: Run against the President? You betcha!

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/t...

From The Times
July 4, 2009

Sarah Palin resigns as Alaska governor, raising speculation over White House bid

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/t...

Lip service

atlascott's picture

But lip service to a reduced government and freer markets as an alternative to what we have now?

In comparison, a better choice, imo.

Not THE solution, obviously, but also not someone who would nationalize industry.

On the other hand, McMoron said that he would have the government buy everyone's delinquent mortgage, didn't he?

As a Republican Party member, she will march to the tune the Party plays.

Lip service is too little, too late, and that's why the Republicans have lost any current relevance in American politics.

Hello Scott

Cindy's picture

"American schools in the last 25 or 30 years are brilliant socialist indoctrination centers, getting worse by the year. Brilliant at creating a populace dependent on a strong central government to solve all of their problems."

Scott,

Don't forget about the absolute slackening of good parenting. Many adults today also rely or depend on the government or state to do one thing or another for them. This is also passed down as a lesson to the kiddies right at home and it hasn't been good at all. Collectivist ideals are taught to one and all. Most people speak and think in the context of *we* instead of *I*. They have been taught that *I* written or spoken too many times denotes selfishness and egoism. *I* for one do not agree with that.

Good Post Scott. (don't know what happened to my photo, guess I have to find a new one)

Sarah Palin : "We Told Ya So"

Marcus's picture

No one knows

atlascott's picture

No one knows what WILL happen.

But any student of history can say with a certainty what might happen or what CAN happen.

Without a trained intellect to direct him, man's state otherwise seems to be barbarism and violence and injustice results.

American schools in the last 25 or 30 years are brilliant socialist indoctrination centers, getting worse by the year. Brilliant at creating a populace dependent on a strong central government to solve all of their problems.

As a product of public schools, and the last generation of students being taught any sense at all, I have absolutely ZERO confidence as I grow older that there is going to be any Atlas uprising, any mass uprising of principled people.

When starvation and other manner of privation sets in, there WILL be uprisings. But they are more likely to be of the unruly mob hanging a rich man rather than a gaggle of John Galts taking matters in hand. That is why Obama is going to need that domestic security force. To hold onto power and to put down the riots.

A domestic security force, here in the US. God, that could make you want to cry.

On this issue, I agree with Mr. Maurone--there is little which "the American people" might do now that would strain my credulity.

Predictions or wishful thinking?

Jmaurone's picture

Brant: "Now we get to see how much damage is done before the dems lose their super majority control of Congress in a year and a half and how much damage will subsequently continue out of statist cultural inertia."

Ya know, before the election, there were many saying Obama couldn't win, that national health care wouldn't get far (because Hillary failed before), that the American people wouldn't do this or that, etc. And all those predictions were wrong. So, no offense, but let's just all admit that NO ONE KNOWS what will happen, and not be so certain in our "hopes" that this, too, will pass. At least not without a major fight.

Brant: I used to think what is now happening, the world of Atlas Shrugged, was going to happen after I was dead and gone. Instead, it's driving by right under my nose."

Me: "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst..."

Don't print up the membership card just yet.

atlascott's picture

Thanks for the well-wishes, sharon, but I 'aint there yet.

Statist Quickening

Brant Gaede's picture

The inexorable trend is to bigger and bigger government, the question is how fast? It's lumpy. "Black swan" events accelerate the trend. The Great Depression. The assassination of President Kennedy. The credit collapse. Ironically, the man most responsible for the last was Alan Greenspan who sat at the knee of Ayn Rand, supposedly, since he ended up taking the job John Galt was tortured for.

I used to think what is now happening, the world of Atlas Shrugged, was going to happen after I was dead and gone. Instead, it's driving by right under my nose. Now we get to see how much damage is done before the dems lose their super majority control of Congress in a year and a half and how much damage will subsequently continue out of statist cultural inertia.

Nearly two hundred years of public German-like education and finally everything is going to the inevitable shit of its students being in charge. Cogent reasoning and love of freedom. The former went first, the latter followed.

--Brant

good on you, Scott

sharon's picture

"No one has answered this point, on this site, on any site, or in anything I have read since, anything I read before, in any way that is satisfying (i.e., makes sense).

Any government or any aggregate with enforcement powers must EITHER be voluntarily joined, and if not, then they employ coercion and force.

So it comes down to: do you support individualism, individual rights, and individual freedom, or not.

If you do, and you support government, or any democratic mob, and their right to impose themselves on any individual, then you also support the subjugation of the individual."

This>>"Any government or any aggregate with enforcement powers must EITHER be voluntarily joined, and if not, then they employ coercion and force."

That is exactly right. Whatever subjectivist loony toons that exist--that pegged themselves as “anarchists”—are free to do so, but they do not speak for me. I am an anarchist for the same reason that I am 100% for voluntarism and the none aggression principle.

Your quote above, speaks to the heart of the anarchist strip I ascribe to. Welcome aboard, mate. ;]

Leonid, as always

atlascott's picture

You make good sense.

atlascott

Leonid's picture

And Russia? As an example of good post-socialism? My impression is that it is rife with corruption, still overwhelmingly Russian Mafia controlled and controlled by a paternalistic and irresistable federal government with Mafia and KGB ties, with Vladimir Putin as Furher.

Imagining that such is in America's future is hardly the stuff from which hope flows.

That's very true. Post-socialist Russia became Mafiocracy because during last 92 years all enterpreneurs have been virtually eliminated.
In America it's different. The whole nation is a nation of enterpreneurs. It's so happened that the spirit of silly altruism which Americans take as benevolence prevailed and Obama has been elected. But I think they will learn quickly. Pity, they have to do it hard way. In any case, sells of Atlas Shrugged are soaring. So there is a hope. And for the proof hire and watch " Pursuit of Happiness"

The question

atlascott's picture

It is my own statement. More accurately, it is the product of my thought after digesting things I have read, so it is not highly abstract or original thought. I cannot cite it specifically.

The question is: why is there no answer to or acknowledgment of the fundamental logic that a government necessarily implies coercion--any answer or simple nod of the head by Objectivists, critics of anarchy, and lovers-of-freedom in general?

The call, not directed to you, is: Simply, either agree with it, or disagree with it and say why. But don't IGNORE it.

The response here and, it seems, almost everywhere is: ignore it, focusing instead on the perceived problems of particular manifestations of what might be thought to be anarchy.

Middle Man

Jmaurone's picture

"Similarly, it does not have to be a choice between violence and passivity. Nor is the choice between geographical flight or submission."

Of course, there are in-between options, which is why I mentioned the "Simon Jestering."

Scott, I don't understand

Kyle Bennett's picture

Scott, I don't understand the question you are asking to be answered. Starting with "Any government...", is that a quote, a paraphrase, or your own statement? I agree with the statements in it, but I'm unclear on what your question is about it.

Here's what it comes down to

atlascott's picture

from my perspective.

No one has ever answered Billy Beck's fundamental position ~*as I understand it*~. That last part is important because Billy was not always clear to me, and I do not wish to misrepresent his position on anything, nor yours, Mr. Bennett.

No one has answered this point, on this site, on any site, or in anything I have read since, anything I read before, in any way that is satisfying (i.e., makes sense).

Any government or any aggregate with enforcement powers must EITHER be voluntarily joined, and if not, then they employ coercion and force.

So it comes down to: do you support individualism, individual rights, and individual freedom, or not.

If you do, and you support government, or any democratic mob, and their right to impose themselves on any individual, then you also support the subjugation of the individual.

Stop. That is all.

Answer that, anarchy critics and freedom lovers. Explain how, if you take concepts seriously, how you get past this fundamental problem of government.

The criticisms of anarchy are all based on practicalities which do not address the above.

#############################

We know that sustainable fusion reactions are possible, but sustained and economical fusion power is beyond us--right now.

That does not mean that we should avoid the facts of its theoretical underpinnings because their exact application is currently unknown.

#############################

Economical and safe fusion power is nothing to man next to true and sustained individual liberty.

I don't know whether that means pure anarchy, limited government, anarcho-capitalism, or what.

But any government whatsoever means: the first time any individual says "no" or disagrees with government action or edict, there is coercion.

############################

Can things get worse? Sure, and I think that they will.

by fighting that fight, we

Kyle Bennett's picture

by fighting that fight, we cede the war.

For this, respect.

So where is the road for us to follow? Must we each blaze a completely separate trail?

It cannot be the collective we, and it does not have to be the lonely rebel. Cooperation is not collectivization, individualism is not isolation.

(Jmaurone)Barring some kind of violent revolt,

Similarly, it does not have to be a choice between violence and passivity. Nor is the choice between geographical flight or submission.

This is a new era with no remaining physical frontiers, and no unbridgeable distances. The principles of past eras still apply, but the answers are not found in the concretes of their successes. I don't know where the specific answers are, but I know what they look like. I'm in this hostile, foreign land, scouting, surveying.

Bingo

atlascott's picture

You and I are on the same boat in many ways. Far be it for me to criticize the brave and staunch efforts of people who ARE carving out bits of their lives to try to make a difference. To the contrary, I respect their efforts.

I don't expect others to deliver what I want to my doorstep--and that includes freedom, opportunity, or anything else.

So where is the road for us to follow? Must we each blaze a completely separate trail?

And if that is the answer, then we will each fall, separately, to the mob. I know that separate trails IS the path espoused by some.

The same mob running the show, the same mob who is getting more than they are giving, and will never voluntarily give up the Ponzi scheme.

"Our waking hours are spent making a living."

gmshoward's picture

Scott, I hear you. I can't find time to participate in politics in even the shallowest of ways. Why? Because I'm earning a living and/or taking care of my kids. Even writing this response to your post necessarily takes time away from either my job or my (freely undertaken but very consuming) family obligations. I can't imagine doing something as radical as taking a weekend to attend a political rally.

The Libertarian Party of Alabama (which is the party I would join if I could find the energy for politics) had their statewide convention this past weekend. Not that I went, mind you, but I understand that twenty-six people attended. Twenty-six. Why so few? I suspect it's because people with a philosophical commitment to radical freedom also have that bent toward minding their own business and doing what they do.

And to tell the truth, I don't see that changing until the status quo sinks to the level of unlivable. When people who are good at their jobs lose their jobs and can't find another, then they'll take to the streets. Maybe it won't be too late. Until then, the professional politicians have us where they want us.

No

atlascott's picture

"The evidence is overwhelming. Cannot you see that Atlas, Great American Civilization, is finally shrugged?"

While I appreciate the hopeful message, I see the exact opposite of Atlas shrugging.

I see good people who know something is wrong just shrugging and going about their business.

I see the equally-corrupt Republicans and Democrats at each other's throats, constantly, when their platforms vary in the barest degrees.

Admittedly, Obama is a lot worse than I suppose McCain might have been, but McCain once admitted that he was lost when it comes to economics.

And Russia? As an example of good post-socialism? My impression is that it is rife with corruption, still overwhelmingly Russian Mafia controlled and controlled by a paternalistic and irresistable federal government with Mafia and KGB ties, with Vladimir Putin as Furher.

Imagining that such is in America's future is hardly the stuff from which hope flows.

Scott

Leonid's picture

" So, where is the evidence to sustain hope?"
The evidence is overwhelming. Cannot you see that Atlas, Great American Civilization, is finally shrugged? For how long time, you think, Americans will tolerate Obama's version of socialism? I'm sure, for much less than 70 years, as Russians did.

Cool photo

atlascott's picture

"Welcome to exile, Scott. "

Thanks. The water's warm and getting warmer, but why are there carrots and potatoes in the hot tub?

Exile on Main Street

Jmaurone's picture

Welcome to exile, Scott.

Barring some kind of violent revolt, we'll just have to wait for the Obama balloon to burst...but you can help it along; make friends with Simon Jester...

The hope is that after the

jeffrey smith's picture

The hope is that after the implosion, something better will take shape.
What is needed therefore is to prepare both for the implosion and for the efforts that will be needed if something better is to actually take shape.

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