Dialogue with wilkox on anarchy, part VI

This is my reponse to part V of an ongoing dialogue with wilkox on anarchy. To see the beginning of this discussion, click here.

In my previous post I stated

How does one “compete” with an industry based more or less on the property owned by a competitor?

To which wilkox was not able to understand without example. He also mentioned in his reply

It’s worth pointing out that natural monopolies form when the barriers to entry are high or a company is able to gain complete control of a limited resource crucial for a certain purpose.

And moves on suggesting that some, certain state-run concepts would be a good idea (such as roads, although maybe not based on the evidence). I would put forward that a privately run road without any state-run legislation can become a physical, literal barrier to entry, and that the finite nature of property (future space travel exploits notwithstanding) would be a pretty strong breeding ground for natural monopolies/oligarchies.

One point that left me a little sour was

I know that you, like I, have experienced the frustration of talking to a religious person whose every argument seems to boil down to “if you can’t explain it, it must be God”! You know what it looks like when somebody stubbornly insists that the correct default position is some ridiculously baroque conglomerate of ideas which would never have occurred to them had it not been taught to them from a young age.

Considering that I felt I avoided that point by making sure I was asking anarchism a question, not having government as a statement. In addition, wilkox falls on his own sword when he replies to Plato’s warning:

Absolutely. The best way to do this is to make sure that there are multiple groups with the ability to fight should a single group ever attempt tyranny.

How can an anarchy ensure multiple groups at all? Why is anarchy the only force capable of doing so? What is to stop the auxillaries combining forces in some sort of military coup? I would suggest that a government can do this albeit with fairly radical changes to its current form.

I’m going to reflect this one back at you as my question for this post. What stops people from doing harm and stealing now? How would this be different in your idea of an anarchist world?

The strong, apparently brutal, arm of the law is what stops people from harm and stealing (overwhelmingly powerful cultural ideals aside). But more than that there is a holistic system which runs quite well in regards to monitoring a person over great distances of land as well as several faculties (money, employment, education and so on). While I appreciate a truly advanced anarchy could theoretically cut the red tape through country and discipline between companies, I would suggest that it would probably be a great deal more difficult than one body sorting through itself (although with NSW state government I could be giving you a straw man here).

How is a world with a police force run by people who most of us didn’t vote for, against which we have no recourse, apart from which we have no other choice, any different to the one we live in?

Well hang on there. While current governments are not exactly the best run institutes, I see it only fair that if you are using a theoretical anarchy I can be allowed to use a theoretical state. The police force, its laws, legislation and so on are decided by a party and that party is voted for, with votes from other parties (hence their policies) and scientific discovery all taken into appropriate consideration. Recourse against police brutality is well understood and highly active- there shouldn’t be a huge set of problems against something like this (again, provided it is mete out effectively). I know you will come back with the fact that it isn’t, in some instances, particularly well done, but that’s the theory behind it.

I read this

I can think of only a handful of highly contrived scenarios in which it would be acceptable for somebody to intervene and prevent a pregnancy from occurring because of something which would happen to the future child.

and I feel that my appreciation for wilkox’s views on anarchy was a little better. Morality and ethical standpoints tend to either work well at the extremities (see utilitarianism) or the norm. Would it be fair to say that anarchy is one that works in the norm very well but could have difficulties at the extremities?

I’m not saying governments are excellent right now. I would give them a B- : functional, with some nice quirks, but needs improvement. If government legislation was based more on scientific principle, had a more effective voting system, reduced taxes to a crawl (which can happen here and there but real examples have there own share of issues) then I think the benefits of some state run institutions such as your quarantine example (as well as my personal preference for national currency) would be worth the keeping. That being said, where does your “some state institutions” end and my “state exists with reduced power” begin?

If I may divulge into philosophy for a moment, where do you feel the zeitgeist is going to go once there’s no one binding force?

Wilkox’s response is here


~ by freeze43 on June 22, 2010.

One Response to “Dialogue with wilkox on anarchy, part VI”

  1. […] police brutality, property, property rights, statism, status quo bias This is my response to part VI of an ongoing dialogue with freeze43 on the topic of anarchy. Read freeze’s introductory post or […]

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