Monday, July 24, 2006

The Radical Libertarian: It's about your freedom, stupid

The Radical Libertarian: It's about your freedom, stupid
Suppose that in Ancapistan (the name always given to a hypothetical market anarchic territory), most of the population voluntarily gives half of their income to a big organization of bureaucrats, who then redistributes that money according to whatever criteria the socialist desires. Furthermore, people only trade with others who follow a certain code of morality that the socialist agrees upon. In short, an ideal situation - a whole society that behaves, purely voluntarily, like he desires.

I guarantee you that if you ask socialists and communists what they would think about such a scenario, 99% of them will answer that they don't like it. Why? Because voluntary action is not an expression of "the will of the people", it's vile, disgusting "capitalism" - even if it goes exactly as they desire.

11 comments:

Delta said...

No, we would oppose it because it wouldn't work, because it's a highway to fascist totalitarianism.

In a society where people control resources that are scarce, you are not guaranteed the opportunity to trade with someone whose political stances you support. If 2 people own 90% of the farm land in my community, are fundamental Christian, Nazis, and racists, and want to charge $100 for a loaf of bread, I'm fucked. I'll have to pay it unless I want to starve. And the farmers can pay the private security companies to make sure the population don't take matters into their own hands.

breakerslion said...

Many of the ideological problems that could, and probably would, arise from such a system have been well rendered in The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin.

"Wrong" thinking would be discouraged and eventually punished.

Francois Tremblay said...

Uh yea, delta... and this has to do with what we observe in reality how?

breakerslion... fiction cannot disprove a tested system.

Delta said...

The vast majority of the world's wealth is in a limited few hands. That is a fact.

breakerslion said...

Franc:

Never underestimate a human being's ability to exploit.

What tested system are you referring to? Lots of things look good on paper (or in a test environment that is biased toward success). As far as I know, the scenario described here has no analogue in human history.

The hypothetical description also contains a contradiction:

" ...most of the population voluntarily gives half of their income..."

"... a whole society that behaves, purely voluntarily..."

Then we get to this tidbit:

"Furthermore, people only trade with others who follow a certain code of morality that the socialist agrees upon."

So do I adopt that code through my own acceptance, or is it a matter of necessity, ergo coercion? A man's gotta eat ... "When in Rome..."?

No, I really do think that you give human beings too much credit when it comes to how they behave in groups, and what they will do to achieve a feeling of self-importance.

Hellbound Alleee said...

Delta, you support violence, so that the Christians won't make the amazingly stupid mistake of selling bread for such an un-sellable price, so they'll go out of business? You think you're fucked because both of you don't know anything about economics? You think that because bread in your community is expensive for some completely insane reason, you won't be able to buy bread from another community? Delta, have you ever bought food from the next block over? They have food, too. And your Christian Nazis will have to sell their farmland/bakeries (wow) to people who have a little sense. Because your imaginary christian nazis who can't count wouldn't be able to afford a security company to protect it from the poor oppressed people who don't know how to make a tortilla.

Wow, control the farmland, Franc, did you hear that? All the Bad People have to do is buy up all the farmland, and they'll control the world! See, all we have to do is price the food out of the affordability range of our community, and somehow, we'll personally manage to have a really great lifestyle, from all that money we don't have and from all the luxuries that won't exist in our communities! It's foolproof! We'll take over the world!

You people are geniuses.

Hellbound Alleee said...

Breakerslion: if people are evil, then why do you support government, that would be by definition evil? You know, "never underestimate people's ability to exploit?"

Francois Tremblay said...

delta: "The vast majority of the world's wealth is in a limited few hands. That is a fact."

Once again, which has to do with your stupid example how? They don't go around selling 100$ for loaves of bread.


breakerslion: "Never underestimate a human being's ability to exploit."

Yea, breakerslion, especially when they have control over all the guns.

Wake up you imbecile. You are getting bamboozled by yourself.

Delta said...

I don't support violence. I'm an anarchist, which is why I oppose your capitalist utopia. Your security companies are merely states for hire.

Those who own all the land in the nearby community would also have a interest in fixing the prices to be extraordinarily high if they were able to.

The whole point is that free markets can't exist in real life. You don't solve the problem of scarcity of resources by assuming that resources aren't scarce and that anyone can freely compete and enter the market.

breakerslion said...

Franc:

"Wake up you imbecile. You are getting bamboozled by yourself."

Would that have been your message to the Jews in Europe as they were being herded into cattle cars?

Not liking the fact that cream and scum both rise to the top does not change the reality of the situation. Honest people are in large part too trusting, and dishonest people don't give a fuck about them. To an exploiter, you are a tool. If you don't "work" the way the exploiter wants to work you, he will either discard you in favor of another tool, or perhaps figuratively or literally kick you into compliance. You can go the non-violent route and grin through your bleeding and missing teeth, or you can fight back and achieve much the same result. Neither option will change the fact that some deeply unethical people have a very real lock on power by virtue of the fact that they have created a huge population of people that see themselves as victims in some way, and are therefore beaten before they drink their first cup of coffee every morning.

I am bamboozled by a wide variety of assholes that support a corrupt system because that same system rewards them for doing so. I know I am being bamboozled. I also know the futility of mice wanting to bell the cat, or throwing rocks at tanks. I object to your telling me that I am doing it to myself. I allow it to be done on whatever scale I can manage because that's what passes for commerce on this fucked-up planet. Every time I get shaken down for pocket change in a toll booth, I accept the fact that the system is screwy, and I do what I have to to get where I'm going. I am not a victim, I am a grudging participant.

Seth said...

"Those who own all the land in the nearby community would also have a interest in fixing the prices to be extraordinarily high if they were able to."

No, they have an incentive to sell the bread at a lower price than the farmers in my community, so that they can sell more bread. Why on earth would you think they would have an incentive to price a good beyond the reach of consumers to buy? What sense does that make?

I don't think you understand the concept of profit, Delta.