Friday, May 21, 2010


Some pretty graphic stuff. Don’t watch, oh you, faint of heart. (Seriously.)

I am trying to figure out whether this is a result of the State, of anarchy, or [censored].

“Liberia is civil war on steroids. Child soldiers smoking heroine. Cross-dressing cannibals. Systemic rape.”

The first video is more graphic.

After watching the third video, I started thinking it has nothing to do with either the State or anarchy.

I have to say, seeing the picture of Obama and “yes we can” just cracked me up. What an appropriate context.


The Real Shliach said...

A Suede Ḥossid said...


The Real Shliach said...

Over Shabbos I was contemplating the two countries, and I came to the following conclusion: when Pirkei Avos said what it did about Government, it was talking about this situation. North Korea, for all its many evils, is at least a (semi) functioning country. It may be starving its citizens, but at least people there live slightly normal lives. Contrast this to Liberia, where without a government, people literally eat each other. It's crazy. They may be much more western in their outlook, but without government? It's horrific.

A Suede Ḥossid said...

a) In Liberia there is a government. All the problems that are going on happened exactly because of the corrupt government.
b) Comparing completely different cultures and systems is not fair — there are too many nuances missed.
c) I’d rather live in Liberia than in N. Korea (or Nazi Germany or Stalin’s Russia).
d) If US government pulled out of CH (or New Orleans), the same thing would happen. Certain members of the community would start going to bathroom right where they live. On the other hand, if US government pulled out of Manhattan, I don’t think this would happen. A lot depends on the culture (that was my point after watching the third video).

You have to compare Liberia with Somali, for example. See this:

In any event, anarchy does not mean chaos and lawlessness. It means private organizations providing law and policing as opposed to the State which monopolizes the law, police and defense. Just like the State monopolizing TV or agriculture is bad, the anarchists argue, it is equally bad for the State to monopolize law or defense.

I don’t know if I necessarily buy it, but it’s definitely nisht poshut. If you think it’s poshut, you are not understanding what libertarians are saying.

A Suede Ḥossid said...

Not that Somalia is an anarchist heaven either. It’s really not so simple.

This is a good answer to your comment:

A Suede Ḥossid said...

Finally, saying that “a father who beats his children is better than no father” may or may not be true, but even if so, so what? He is worse than a father who doesn’t beat his children.

My main point in all my posts is that limited US government would be better than the current government. I am not seriously advocating anarchy yet; just thinking about the arguments regarding it.

There are many obvious arguments against it (warlords, defense against other states, jurisdiction squabbles, mafia wars, rights of the children), some of which I raise too (I don’t think, for example, that they have a good answer re: child abuse). But anarchists are very well aware of these arguments, and there are many papers and lectures out there in response.

The Real Shliach said...

a. the government is not functional. Perhaps in the beginning your argument would make sense, but at this time, what Liberia needs is law and order, and the only way to provide that is with strong and effective government, not with turning things over to the private sector (the various rebel groups).

b. There is a common theme that runs through them- for whatever reasons (nuances), they are failed states.

c. Well, if you enjoy dying...

d. Lav davka.

e. Since when did we get into an argument about limiting the US government? I'm talking about Liberia vs DPRK.

A Suede Ḥossid said...

Who said warlords are a good example of private sector? Anarchy is freedom from any organization imposing its mafia-like “protection” on you. Warlords are just another form of government.

A failed state and a society which slowly moves towards privatization of law and order are two different things.

One is much more likely to die under Stalin, Hitler or Mao than in Liberia.

A Suede Ḥossid said...

Well, one could say it’s more safe than in a Nazi concentration camp than in Liberia either. So what?

A Suede Ḥossid said...


The Real Shliach said...

So according to you, anarchy is impossible.

Of course they are. I never equated the two.

As far as I can tell, that's not true.

A Suede Ḥossid said...

How is according to me anarchy not possible? It was never experimented with under right conditions. I.e., with a culture that had modern Western values and dissolved its government, allowing free market to provide law and order in a form of insurance companies.

Although in the cases where it was experimented with historically (Somalia and medieval Iceland), the society was statistically better off than under the State.

(Although in Somalia, the situation is complicated, since warlords are fighting each other for control of the country, since they are afraid that once there is a democratic government, whichever community takes over will bully the other communities; if there was no threat of the government, they would co-exist normally).

The Real Shliach said...

Why would a free market be any less than a government?

Bichlal, it seems to me that the Torah does not approve of anarchy.

Statistics are lies.

In your world, it's normal that coexisting=killing each other?

A Suede Ḥossid said...

Any less what?

My next post is going to be on Torah view. It’s not so simple.

No. Statistics are not lies. Their interpretation can be lies. Anyway, without statistics we have no way of knowing what’s what. I like the article from BBC which says: “At each of these "border crossings" all passenger vehicles and goods lorries must pay an "entry fee", ranging from $3 - $300, depending on the value of the goods being carried - and what the militiamen think they can get away with.

There is no pretence that any of this money goes on public services, such as health, education or roads. ”

So, the benefit of the African countries that have governments is that their government are pretending to spend it on public services, while the said services are as crappy as in Somalia (in fact, in half the cases, worse)?

Anyway, as I said, warlords are just another form of government.

No, normal = peacefully coexisting.

A Suede Ḥossid said...

Also, regarding the government being dysfunctional, you can say the same things about the cases of organized crime: in those areas (not just geographic, but those sectors of the market, such as drugs, prostitution, gambling and liquor during the Prohibition era), the government is dysfunctional, but look what happens: mafia. Organized crime kills off individuals who disagree with it (even though the major families tend to reach a degree of stability re: each other, which is an argument in favor of anarchy).

But if you think about it, organized crime happens only in those areas which the government made illegal. All the turf wards between Al Capone and his rivals were over alcohol. While nowadays, when the government legalized alcohol, you never hear of mafia in alcohol business. Nor do you hear that, say some members of Budweiser shot some members of Cors.

So, if you want to eliminate the crime in prostitution, you should legalize it. (Also, the pimps will stop mistreating the prostitutes, unlike today, when being a pimp is illegal, so only the lowlifes become pimps, and the prostitutes have no alternative but to stay with the same abusive pimps as opposed to go to the nicer competition.)

Anyway, but my point is: you can’t just say government dysfunctional = anarchy. We have government dysfunctional in most areas of what it’s doing today. In fact, since you live in CH, you know yourself how efficient police is at fighting crime. And in some areas of LA, police won’t even enter into the regions ruled by the gangs, because it’s too dangerous. So much for protecting us against warlords.

A Suede Ḥossid said...

(At the same time, while being dysfunctional itself, the government prevents from private policing companies arising. So, it is dysfunctional, but it doesn’t allow for private sector to show what it can do.)

The Real Shliach said...

Why would a free market be any less controlling than a government?

In general, you've watched way too much Penn and Teller.