Dialogue with wilkox on anarchy, part IX

This is my response to part VIII on an ongoing discussion with wilkox on the concept of anarchy. The start of this dialogue is here.

Freeze, I claimed that the belief that stealing and killing are wrong is incompatible with the belief that government is justifiable. You didn’t seem to offer any response to this. Do you dispute my claim? If so, why?

I dispute the claim that stealing and killing are wrong at all times. There are places and situations where killing and stealing is necessary, and I am sure at least to a minor extent you would agree. While government actions may or may not fall under appropriate stealing/killing, that is not to say that it can’t be justifiable. I’m personally comfortable with paying appropriate taxes, and while I’m opposed to the death penalty (for a heap of sociological and psychological reasons) I will confer that war in some instances is necessary.

Backtracking slightly from his previous assertion that democracies only exist with the majority in mind, wilkox continues.

Agricultural subsidies offer a good example: farmers, a minority of the population but one with strong lobbying power, commandeer government’s monopoly on violence to steal money from the population at large. The absence of the state would make this type of minority action impossible, a net benefit to society.

While I lament your choice of words (violence, monopoly, steal) I confess my alternatives would need a whole addendum of discussion to justify (policing, state, tax). Lobbies for minorities can only be strong because they are strong- agriculture etc. are essential business for any society. There’s nothing stopping agricultural lobbies etc. becoming disproportionately powerful in an anarchy, perhaps more so because they don’t have anyone to answer to beyond a free market (a market that they can own entirely).

Wilkox continues

However, in the absence of government such laws would not exist, and the work of such groups would be the easier for it. In both the cases I have described, government hinders rather than helps the interests of minority groups.

But out-and-out racism certainly would. While there is a degree of racism that anyone must respect (the right to personal opinion), I would find it reprehensible for racism to escalate without these minority awareness groups in place, or legislature making it illegal for such action

This is a very strange claim. In what sense is the Australian Government, to pick a relevant example, not controlled by a single party? Looking at the current UK government, which is controlled by two parties in coalition, does it really seem that the act of combining multiple political entities makes the government more representative than not? Why do you think the number of parties is relevant?

I would say that getting more interests into the mix makes it more representative. By having several stances on particular issues, you accommodate for the public that value having several stances.

individual rights are just that – rights – and infringing on any one of them is a morally wrong act. There is no such thing as 10% slavery, partial theft, slight murder. There is no reason to accept any violation of any of your rights.

Where do this rights come from?  I’m not questioning them per se I’m just curious.

In regards to an actual anarchist ‘state’ forming wilkox asks

Do you think the examples provide any evidence that an anarchist society is doomed to failure? Do you think there is any such evidence elsewhere?

Yeah I think so. I would say that any sufficient, single-minded force would roll over and smoosh a whole heap of independent people and areas. Violence and stealing are evolutionarily ingrained traits and I would think without at least a vague sense of Big Brother it would happen rather frequently. Other issues previously raised in this discussion also stand. I recently read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, in it a character describes the collapse of a colony of people who are intelligent and hard working, but were required to form their own governance. While I disagree with the particulars it seems to me all too easy to fall into vice.

If not, why the popularity of democracy, which as you note is the most rights-protective form of government?

Many people like rights, but I would not say the majority. Is a fully functioning democracy even the dominant form of government anyway?

In regards to definition of social institutions that are not government based…

They involve people cooperating voluntarily, rather than pointing guns at each other and barking orders.

Again with the difficult word use! Have either of us even *seen* an armed unit in our country? 99% of institutions in government behave in a voluntary, co-operative manner. Everyone might grumble about tax, but on the whole it’s paid and there is regard as to its implementation back into society.

So why do you like competing, armed nations fighting against each other in a bid for land, resources or customers? You and I both live in Australia, which famously takes a hardline approach against “illegal” immigration. In other words, a heavily armed group of people calling themselves the Australian Government have declared for themselves the right to violently prevent the impoverished people of the world from offering their cheap labour to people as incredibly rich and fortunate as ourselves in a bid for a better life. I don’t like armed warlords spreading misery about the planet any more than you; that’s why I don’t like governments.

Well they do own the land of Australia. Wouldn’t an illegal immigrant be “stealing” if they set up here? (buried in mind I am opposed to immigration laws as they stand).

Another topic

I’m not particularly fond of your own utopian society as it makes demands of people who are unwilling and also uncapable.

What demands? Upon whom?

The start of this discussion was centred around the prospect of actually starting an anarchy and your statements pertaining to the fact that most people would not be capable or interested in starting an anarchy.

Newborn babies don’t have money, but have a whole life ahead of them. The charity of their fellow humans has pulled many of the world’s poor into a decent standard of living, and the free market has done so for many times that number.

Is there obligation for a free market to do so?

Wilkox’s response can be seen here

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~ by freeze43 on September 21, 2010.

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

  1. […] market, freeze43, government, market, morality, rights, state, violence This is my response to part IX of an ongoing dialogue with freeze43 on the topic of anarchy. Read freeze’s introductory post or […]

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