Dialogue with wilkox on anarchy part V

This is my response to wilkox’s part IV on our discussion on anarchy. The beginning of discussion can be seen here.

I found it interesting that you ignored my suggestion that the failing schools and accreditation services would put students (at least some of them) with difficult, possibly irreconcilable problems in that if these colleges and systems fail, the students learning them after n years would have really nothing of note to show for their efforts and time. The only workaround I can really see here is a system (or at most a small group of) teaching and accreditation so wholly useful as to blot out any competitors, which would create next to zero possibility for new systems to emerge in such an environment and create what free trade usually tries to avoid- a monopoly or oligarchy. Furthermore, this universal or quasi-universal system is only going to emerge after a great deal of competition which will at least garner a couple of generations of poorly taught, poorly accredited students. Now I’m not saying that the current system is the best fix for this concept (I would personally think a government-backed, scientifically assessed program would be far better than any alternative) but I would think that the free trade/anarchist method would be a worse option. Reading one of your links, I noticed that David Friedman commented that a similar “natural monopoly” could occur with police a la private protection. A dominant private agency speaking on behalf of a far from unanimous (if I might say, diminished in goals) committee sounds quite dangerous to me. I hark to Plato’s warning that every care must be taken to stop the auxilliaries overcoming the citizen and becoming savage beats, and this kind of usurper activity has happened in the past. Yes governments have police force, and yes they force people around who commit crimes, but at least this isn’t a force created and maintained by those who simply have the funds to do so, making it a sort of timocracy.

But this concept of natural monopolies is quite disconcerting if you are championing free trade (by and by, free trade is something I’m 100% in favor of). What is the group that owns a large section of the roads if not the RTA? Do they charge for the road use? Do we respect the landowner with a large property that refuses traffic thoroughfare and subsequently make the road system far more complicated? How does one “compete” with an industry based more or less on the property owned by a competitor?

I am also concerned about some crimes,which by punishing we affect a person’s rights, but are nevertheless very important. Some illegal drugs (by no means all illegal drugs) such as methamphetamine, have zero positive affects, are wholly addictive and scarily harmful to anyone. I would argue that it would be in a nation’s best interests to ban its manufacture and use, but how can that be accomplished in an anarchists position of “don’t harm others, don’t take other people’s stuff”? Even publishing and promoting educational material (or any material for that matter) could be considered tresspassing.

I remember a discussion that we had in person wherein you believed that men and women should not have free reign to produce children, especially if they are in poor conditions- is this an ideal you still agree with? If so, how would this be mete out in an anarchist state?

But beyond these points, there is still nothing to reinforce the attitudes of people to do no harm and not to steal. In order to combat people who choose to ignore these attitudes, I can only see a society which is either very cut off from everyone via personal security, or run by a private force who is hired by several wealthy groups (hence a timocracy) to which non-hirerers have no option for riposte- not even the symbolic act of voting.

Wilkox’s response to this article can be found here.

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~ by freeze43 on June 21, 2010.

3 Responses to “Dialogue with wilkox on anarchy part V”

  1. […] natural monopoly, reproductive rights, school sucks, statism, violence This is my response to part V of an ongoing dialogue with freeze43 on the topic of anarchy. Read freeze’s introductory post or […]

  2. “Reading one of your links, I noticed that David Friedman commented that a similar “natural monopoly” would occur with police a la private protection.”

    What statement of mine are you referring to and where did you find it? I have argued that private protection could be a natural monopoly, and if so that would be a problem for an anarcho-capitalist society, but I don’t believe I ever said that it “would be.”

    • My apologies David Friedman, but it is actually a rather insidious typo which I have now corrected- it should have been “could occur with police” as opposed to “would occur with police”. I think I speak for both myself and wilkox that we’re flattered that you’ve read a part of this discussion, even if it was due to a potential misquotation!

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