Friday, May 4, 2012

Anarchist and anti-anarchist



Anti-anarchist: We need the government to protect the economy. You won't have free markets without the government.

Anarchist: What you need is not a government, but law, justice, and protection of people's rights for the free markets. That's true. You also need paper. But just like there is no reason to nationalize paper industry, there is no reason to nationalize "government" industry.

There is no reason that paper-producing service cannot be provided by competing private agencies (non-monopolies). Likewise, there is no reason that law, justice, or protection could not be provided by competing private agencies.

Anti-anarchist: What you're advocating for is mafia!

Anarchist: Actually, mafia is the government's creation. When the government says it's illegal to sell alcohol (or gamble, or carry guns), only the outlaws (violent individuals with high time preferences who don't care about social norms) get involved in that activity. The moment the government legalizes alcohol, mafia organizations go out of business. Why? Because the public would rather buy beer from a local bar or alcohol store than from Al Capone.

The same goes for protection or law. The public would rather hire a peaceful law/justice/protection–providing firm than a violent mafia organization.

Anti-anarchist: But won't the warlords take over?

Anarchist: Let's go back to your first question for a second. When you said that "we need a government to have free markets", you didn't mention what sort of conditions in a society you need to have a government. Surely not an already-existing government — that would be paradoxical. (Unless you claim that government is some sort of unmoved mover.) So, even the governments need something else that will allow them to exist. What?

Some people say that they need consent of the governed. But that is actually not true. As Lysander Spooner explains, most governments operate without the citizens' consent. (In that, they are different from most other businesses.)

It is more accurate to say that what they need is the people's tolerance. A government will not be able to survive, despite all armies, if the populace does not tolerate its existence. That is why governments have fallen in the history. Now, let's go back to anarchy and warlords. If no government can exist without tolerance of the governed, why would you say that a bunch of warlords competing with peaceful protection agencies could exist without tolerance of the governed?

In a society whose people demand a necessarily peaceful government, even more so will the people favor only those competing private "protection agencies" (mini-governments) that are peaceful. Just like they favor bars owned by reputable people/organization rather than anti-social jerks who gun-down any competition.

So, the only way that warlords could take over an anarchist society is if the population overall prefers strife and conflict over peace and tranquility.


Sources: Robert Murphy's video and talk.

8 comments:

e said...

yes, but who will pay for the poor people to see doctors?

Certified Ashkenazi said...

Either people will give their own money, or they will take others' money away and give that.

Charity is a service not principally different from paper production. No reason that the free markets won't provide for a demand for charity services.

A gutten Shabbos.

e said...

it is different. the paper producer and the paper consumer both benefit from the transaction. The charity giver (due to the influence of his animal soul) thinks that he does not benefit from the charitable transaction.

Certified Ashkenazi said...

Benefit is not the point. The point is desire for a service to be done.

Oftentimes we do things from which we do not benefit. Yet, we still do them. Or we hire people to do them for us.

For instance, I give charity. If I want to give money to a charitable cause, I will send a check to whatever organization that acts for this cause. Whether or not I benefit from this is irrelevant. What's relevant is that I want the service (my money to go to someone in need) to be done and there are people who can do this service.

That's the simple answer. There will be people willing to give money to charitable causes (helping poor to get medicine being only one of them). There will be organizations willing to distribute money (or food or water or medicine or whatever) to the people in need.

There are already such organizations today: http://vimeo.com/6202666

If your question is "Who will rob rich people to give poor people medicine?", then the answer is somewhat more complicated. It is either: "Nobody, since such an activity will be considered unlawful", or: "The same way that today you have a monopoly doing this, and most people consider it to be lawful, under anarchy, private companies will be able to rob rich people on poor people's behalf, and if the majority of population considers that to be ok, then private legal authorities — selected by free markets — will also consider it to be ok."

I suspect the answer is the former, but I also suspect that we won't need legalized robbery, since medicine cost will be much lower without government intervention into medicine market.

Anyway, it could be that giving poor people charity does nothing to bring the medicine costs down. If nothing else, it increases them and does not allow them to go down. If you have 100 apples per 1000 people, then the price of apples will be such that richest 100 people can afford the apples (assuming, each person demands only one apple).

If you give the poor people money to afford the apples, this will simply drive apple prices up. Apples will remain unaffordable. They will always be unaffordable for the 900 poorest people. As you give them money to buy apples, some of them will start bidding, and the apple prices will go up, thus always remaining beyond the majority of poor people's reach.

This is not because apple growers hate poor people. It's because there is no way to increase the number of apples magically from 100 to 1000. You can only allow the apple growers to charge as much as they can and hope that (in an effort to earn more money), they will use some of their profit to plant more apple trees and increase the availability of apples, driving their prices down.

e said...

that was quite the tome in response to an innocent comment.

Certified Ashkenazi said...

Well, now you know the full the answer. (Besides, this is only a portion of the answer I had in my mind.)

e said...

I would know the answer, if I would have read it.

Certified Ashkenazi said...

So, now you have the full answer. Even though you don't know it.