More effectively summarizing the week in Anarcho-Capitalism discussions…
It began with a video from TylerPreston20, who refuted claims made by people who appeared to be anarcho-capitalists. It’s worth mentioning that these were not anarcho-capitalist arguments, and that they were arguments from anarcho-capitalists. They were also poor, misinformed “arguments,” and this is what inspired me to make my initial video reply. For the most part, I took no issue with what Tyler said, but I did want to clear the air on anarcho-capitalism. If we have people going around claiming to be anarcho-capitalists while saying that anarcho-capitalism influenced the foundation of the United States and that “governments are evil,” then it’s a problem for anarcho-capitalism.
Even now, I’m not particularly happy with my reply, and I’m still thankful that Tyler ignored the antagonistic and belligerent tone that I adopted, and instead focused on what I said. I did not intend to be hostile and onerous, and it was a critical lesson about being more careful with my tone. Then again, I also had not been awake long, so my voice was still scratchy and deep.
In a stunning display of intellectual honesty, Tyler recanted his initial video, admitted that I had a point, and released this:
I am still stunned to have encountered someone who display such intellectual integrity. That’s so fucking rare. While he has not subscribed to anarcho-capitalist or voluntaryist ideology at this point, he has accepted the foundations of it. I understand this entirely. Taking the leap from “You have a point, and I guess you’re right…” to “There shouldn’t be a state, then” is a big one, very similar to the step from “agnosticism” to atheism. And even if he is not interested in taking that step or exploring that direction, I think it’s safe to say that he’s been pulled closer to libertarianism than classical liberalism, though that is entirely conjectural on my part.
In answering his question and responding to the criticisms my video reply received, I released a three-part series.
I also did two podcasts on the subject. The first is about how the state presents us with the problem of “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” because the state reigns supreme. Who will protect us if the state tries to take us as slaves?
Of course, no one will, because no one can. That’s what it means that the state is supreme. We rely entirely on the state’s benevolence. This person asked what I would do in an anarcho-capitalist society if he tried to take me as his slave, and the answer is obvious: I’d shoot him. He replied that he would have better guns. Great, so that raises the question: what does he plan to do when the state comes to take him as a slave?
That one deals with the absurdity that believing our current moral understanding is absolutely right, and that it’s therefore okay to legislate it and force everyone to abide it. I was asked what my thoughts were about someone sleeping with a 12 year old girl, if the girl consented, and that’s an asinine question. We could ask the very same question today, with a state. I’m not going to be drawn into such a discussion about what is and isn’t morally wrong, but I will point out that just because most of us would agree that it’s wrong to have sex with a 12 year old girl even if she consents, the reality is that we could ask the same question about any moral claim. We’d quickly find that what the person believes is that their moral values are the correct ones, and that anyone who disagrees is wrong. They are fine pushing their moral values onto everyone else, but reject the idea that someone should push their own moral values onto them.
There is very little to say that I did not say in those videos, but I also want to call attention to a Transactional Analysis game that I was inadvertently caught in yesterday on Twitter. After I had been discussing anarcho-capitalism and the state with two or three other people, a new person entered the fray and raised an objection–one that I had already addressed. I handled the objection with a link to one of my answers on Quora that pointed out that: Yes, the state does, in fact, keep the poor poor, and that we do have a caste system. His objection was that people naturally form hierarchies, and the answer on Quora was the best way of addressing his remark: Twitter’s 160 character limit is poor to address the question of whether a hierarchy is even a real thing, or whether we are merely dealing with groups of people who self-segregate into groups, with only a perceived elevation to some of those groups.
He replied that he was not going to read what I wrote, and that instead he was just going to use the definition of the state. He went on to define “state” as “a large group of people,” basically, which is absurd in the highest degree. So the people at Disney World are a state? Monsanto and its employees are a state? Clearly, his criteria was flawed. He also added that I was wrong, and that we do not have a caste system here in the United States. I replied, “You’re wrong. See? I can arbitrarily assert things without evidence, too.”
Like most people, he had fallen into the trap of thinking “You’re wrong” constitutes an argument. That is a very different thing from saying “You haven’t convinced me.” Of course, he couldn’t be convinced, could he, if he wasn’t going to read my answers and articles? I fell into his game, however, and he retweeted something to the effect of “I just wanted to have a discussion with an Ancap. Why can’t they ever stick to the argument?”
Ridiculous in the extreme, as I was trying to make him stick to the argument by pointing out that he cannot just assert that I am wrong. He can say “You haven’t convinced me,” at which point it would probably fall to me to provide more evidence and reason, unless he was simply being stubborn–there is a fine line between skepticism and incredulity. I wouldn’t attempt to definitively say what that line is or where it’s located, but at that point I would have conceded that I hadn’t fully made my case. However, he did not say that he was unconvinced; he stated that I was wrong. This, of course, is an assertion–a claim–and requires evidence of its own.
Technically speaking, “I don’t believe you” and “I remain unconvinced” are also claims, but there is no reason to demand evidence that he doesn’t believe me. Such a demand would not merely cross but would leap the divide between justified skepticism and naked incredulity. If he says he is unconvinced, then there is no justification for me to assume that he is really convinced.
Anyway, I said, “If you wanted further evidence, then all you had to do was ask.” Naturally. If he wanted more evidence, then all he had to say was that he was not convinced. Someone who would say “You’re wrong” when what they actually mean is “I’m not convinced” is probably someone whose mind is closed, though, and I should have washed my hands of him when he retweeted that. Instead, I provided him with a link to my website and the article Berning the Economy to the Ground, at which point he immediately rejected it as “some stupid blog.” Well, no, actually–first of all, learn the difference between a blog and a website. Secondly, a website is only as valuable as the credentials of the person who writes it. Yet, in converse, a website is as valuable as the credentials of the person who writes it, and I have credentials to discuss economics and anarcho-capitalism. However, he was not interested in hearing them.
Once more, I fell into his trap, and directed him to buy the book V2: The Voluntary Voice, which, of course, I was published in. He immediately refused, said he wasn’t buying trash, that he might pirate it, that he wasn’t going to give me any money, and that he didn’t buy stupid books. Well, what was he demanding, as far as evidence and credentials go? He rejected my free content–my videos, podcasts, and articles here–as saying there was no peer review and thus the content hadn’t been vetted. While he’s not strictly wrong, he’s also not right; the credentials of those items depend entirely on my credentials. However, he also rejected my credentials from peers. He waved away Quora, its community-driven content, and its inherently peer-reviewed nature, as being “another stupid blog,” showing that he didn’t even bother to look into the credentials that I was offering. The fact is that I’m recognized on Quora as an expert in the subjects of anarchism and anarcho-capitalism. There is no education program in universties, no peer-reviewed journal of anarcho-capitalist ideas. Being published in the field and being approved by peers is seriously the best that a person can acquire in this subject. But the game was up the moment that he rejected the book.
It wouldn’t have mattered if Ludwig Von Mises rose from the dead and endorsed me. No credential that I cited would have mattered to him; he was not interested in a discussion. He was interested in using me to confirm his narrow-mindedness. He wanted me to keep throwing credentials at him that he could keep rejecting, so that he could then say, “See? No one knows what they’re talking about!” and use that to substantiate his own rejection of the ideas we were discussing.
We were locked in a Transactional Analysis game, where he threw out the hook that he wanted information and discussion from someone who was qualified to discuss it. He then went on to play “Why Don’t You, Yes But” in a way, but was more hostile in his mannerisms. Instead of asking for suggestions that he could shoot down one after the other, seeking validity of his position by having an anarcho-capitalist inadvertently acknowledge that no one could meet his “stringent” demands of credentials, he wanted credentials offered. And I, thinking he was sincere, offered him up credentials. If he’s looking for someone with a doctorate in anarchist theory, then he’s never going to be satisfied.
He didn’t want discussion. He’d already rejected anarcho-capitalism, and what he wanted was to back an anarcho-capitalist into a corner and force them to say that they couldn’t substantiate their argument in a way that would satisfy him, which would allow him to declare–both to the world and to himself–that his beliefs about anarcho-capitalism had been vindicated by an actual anarcho-capitalist. He did not want discussion. He wanted to justify his own closed-mindedness, and he wanted to manipulate me into doing that for him. It should have been obvious the moment that he retweeted me, but I’d been discussing things with people all day who were not simply playing games (though this isn’t to say that there was any chance I was going to sway them); it became inescapable when he rejected the book, even after I informed him that I get 0% from sales of V2: The Voluntary Voice.
Welcome, sir, to the Age of the Internet. I’ve talked before about how intellectuals go to the knowledge. In the past, this meant that intellectuals went to universities and colleges, because the universities and colleges were where the information was. This is no longer the case, though. The internet is where the information is these days. The true intellectuals of today are not wasting their time in colleges and universities; they are devouring as much of the Internet as they can, on an almost constant basis. Your mentality that intellectual rigor and knowledge can only come from someone who has been through a university program in a given field is laughably outdated. It is why we should not be worrying about higher education and how people are to pay for it.
Instead, we should be focused on finding ways to accredit people as experts outside of the intelligentsia apparatus, because the universities are no longer the exclusive holders of the information and knowledge. If you so desired, you could become an expert in Quantum Mechanics to rival Stephen Hawking without ever attending a college or university. I know this to be true, because I tested my self-education through the Internet against the education apparatus of college. I took Macroeconomics in college and never even purchased my textbook for the class. Instead, I relied solely on knowledge that I had gained via reading and the Internet, and I passed the class with an A. The education apparatus then went on to accredit me in the field of economics, and it was earned entirely through information I had gained outside of academia.
Places like Quora are at the forefront of the new world of endorsement and accreditation. Get with the times, man. The world has changed; the Internet has forever changed humanity. Adjust to its existence, and adjust to the fact that anyone out there can become an expert on any topic, and it won’t cost them a dime. Then learn about community-driven content, and realize how it works as a method of peer-review. Then factor in things like books being published, and you’ll have someone who has not only been peer-reviewed, but is actually at the forefront of the peer review.
Or keep waiting on someone to acquire a Ph.D. in anarcho-capitalism, continue demanding it and using its non-existence as justification for the closed-mindedness.
Predictably, I’ve been told that I’m annoying. This is from people who evidently expect that to bother me.
While it does to a degree, it doesn’t bother me for the reasons they expect it to.
The biggest criticism is that my voice is annoying. Hey, I totally agree. I’m also doing everything that a person can do on that front, so taking the time out of your day to tell me that I still have a long way to go does nothing but show your own ignorance, bigotry, and hostility toward transgender people. I’ll never understand why people think it’s easy to acquire a female voice.
That said, my voice is a lot less annoying than it could be. I don’t talk in falsetto, after all. If you really want to be annoyed by someone, find a transgender person who talks in a falsetto. That will annoy you.
Or maybe cut transgender people some slack as they work on things like this?
Nah, just keep on being a narrow-minded dipshit.
It was funny, though, to have the person say that I was too annoying for them to watch for 15 minutes, but that they would totally hear the discussion if it was in written form. Well… ask and you shall receive! I promptly provided a link here, to www.anarchistshemale.com, and never heard anything else from them. Of course, they didn’t really find me annoying. They didn’t want to hear the argument, and that gave them a convenient excuse. They might have found me annoying, but it’s not because I’m inherently annoying–it’s because they didn’t want to hear what I had to say, so they were predisposed to dislike me, which would justify their refusal to watch the video. It’s revealing that they never replied to the written content.