Tag Archive | anarcho-capitalist

Why Does the Libertarian Party Exist?

There are two main sides within the Libertarian Party these days. One side believes the party exists to win elections, and the other side insists that the party exists to spread the principles of liberty. We can definitively settle the matter right now by taking a look over at the Libertarian Party’s official website and checking out its official platform, wherein it states:

Our goal is nothing more nor less than a world set free in our lifetime, and it is to this end that we take these stands.

It’s pretty explicit and hard to misinterpret. So if you happen to fall in the “the party exists to win elections” camp, then I’m going to have to ask you to free your mind for a moment, because you’re wrong. The party exists to set the world free in our lifetime; winning elections is one of many ways of achieving that goal. The goal is “to create liberty,” basically, to  keep things short. The method–that is, how we get from here to “a world set free”–is not explicitly defined, except in the platform that follows, but that’s more or less just a list of ways that we aren’t free. There is nowhere in the platform any suggestion that we must or, heaven forbid, should go through the state in order to achieve liberty.

That is by design.

It is entirely possible that we may one day set the world free by doing nothing more than spreading the word and making people aware of the reality of the state, and that one day we might have the numbers to simply shake off the fleas and be done with them, without ever electing someone to a political office. That so many people assume that we must go through the state simply shows how trapped in the statist mindset they are. Not only have there been countless sweeping changes throughout human history that did not go through the state, but the best changes have always not gone through the state, and have always been spontaneous creations of individuals acting in liberty, not because of a mandate.

Anarchists Versus Minarchists/Classical Liberals/Statists/Big Ls

This is closest to being honest I’ve had one of the Big L Libertarians get. I’m sure many people reading will instinctively agree with what Tristan said. However, read what Tristan said. “This is our party, and we’re going to do what we want. If you don’t like it, leave.”

It’s been my contention for some time now that when Big L Libertarians talk about “compromise” they don’t mean “with anarchists,” and they actually mean “with Republicans and Democrats.” They love talking about compromise, but when it actually comes down to it, they’re typically intransigent and seem to think that “compromise” means that they get whatever they want, and dissenters get to go along with it or stfu. Compromise is a two-way street, and it means that one side gives up something to secure something that would be tolerable, while the other side gives up something to secure something that would be tolerable. If the nominations of Gary Johnson and William Weld, of all people, didn’t prove beyond any doubt that Big L Libertarians have absolutely no desire to make any concessions–when so many superior Vice Presidential candidates were available, like Will Coley–then I’m not sure what will.

I think that’s the part that Big L Libertarians don’t get: compromise means that they have to make concessions, too. The anarchist-preferred candidate of 2016 was undoubtedly Daryl Perry. Compromising on John McAfee would have been excellent middleground between Big L Libertarians and Daryl Perry. However, they had no reason to compromise, did they? No, because they outnumbered us and have always outnumbered us. We were willing to compromise with having Daryl Perry as a libertarian (not anarchist) candidate. And “we” (I say “we” meaning “me,” but surely most anarchists would have happily agreed) were more than willing to compromise with having John McAfee as something more like a minarchist (whether McAfee is a minarchist or anarchist, I don’t know, but he is certainly easier to sell in the mainstream, simply by weight of his name). And, of course, we had already compromised by playing at all in the system that we want to destroy.

We are, and remain, willing to compromise… with minarchists.

I gladly admit that I have no desire to compromise with Republicans and Democrats. I do not compromise with people who are so blatantly wrong and whose modus operandi is force, violence, and coercion. I will not compromise my freedom to people who see nothing wrong with outlawing abortion, or to people who want to steal from me to pay for other people’s stuff. Not only am I unwilling to compromise with the people who devastated the Middle East and the people who are gleefully beating the Drums of War with Russia, but if you are willing to compromise with such people, then that throws your judgment immediately into doubt, as far as I’m concerned.

If Big L Libertarians want to compromise with Republicans and Democrats, there’s not much we anarchists can do about it, because we are outnumbered–we seem to comprise about 15-20% of the party. Obviously, they are perfectly free to compromise with whoever they want… Or are they? Does compromising with a tyrant or a sycophant not stain one’s hands? Isn’t this a bit like compromising with Charles Manson–“Okay, Charles, we’re going to compromise. You can’t kill anyone, but, I tell you what, we’ll let you torture one person every six months, as long as you don’t kill them. Deal?” How clean would one’s hands really be in such a compromise? And aren’t we all aware that the state is infinitely more horrific than Charles Manson?

Regardless, the issue is that Big L Libertarians act and speak as though what they want is to compromise with the anarchists who actually belong in the Libertarian Party. This is part of the leadership crisis that we face, but we’ve also got a major problem with collectivist thinking having infected the party. They regularly talk about how they wish that the in-fighting in the party would end, and I have to agree, but I dispute their understanding of the in-fighting. The rift is between anarchists and minarchists, or radicals and moderates, however one would like to put it, and exists because the minarchists/moderates have convinced themselves that the Libertarian Party belongs to them and that, at best, anarchists are the red-headed stepchild.

It is not and has never been a minarchist party–nor is it an anarchist party. It is, however, every bit as much an anarchist party as it is a minarchist party, and as it is a classical liberal party. Larry Sharpe came under fire recently (does the drama never end???) for making a video that people interpreted as his saying that he didn’t want anarchists in the party. Even though that isn’t what he said or meant, the whole thing still dances around the issue without actually stepping foot on it: it’s not Larry Sharpe’s party. It’s not minarchists’ party. It’s not their party to say they do or don’t want us in it.

This is my house that I’m writing this from. It belongs to me. If I don’t want you in it, that matters. But if I’m in Bob’s house and I don’t want you in it, that doesn’t matter, because it’s not my house. The very idea that Larry Sharpe or anyone else is in any position to want or not want anarchists in the party is patently absurd–this house belongs every bit as much to the anarchists as it does anyone else. It’s not Larry Sharpe’s house for him to proclaim who he doesn’t want inside, and neither is it any other minarchist’s or anarchist’s.

And the entire root of this rift is that the Big L Libertarians (of whatever variety) do think that it’s their house, and that we’re simply guests whom they allow to sleep on the couch. That… is… wrong. It is factually and historically wrong. Minarchists simply told themselves and convinced themselves that it was their party, and then they began marginalizing the anarchists. However, proclaiming something to be true does not make it true.

The Libertarian Party of the United States was founded in 1971–some of its founders are still around, and you can find them on Facebook and discuss it yourself with them (assuming they are willing). Merely three years later, the Dallas Accord was struck between the anarchists and the larger minarchist faction, wherein the two sides agreed that the question of whether a state was desirable would be intentionally avoided until such time as a libertarian society had been achieved; it was the agreement that the Libertarian Party was neither a minarchist nor an anarchist party, and this was only three years after the party was formed.

In 2006, the minarchists took control and became hostile to the anarchists, deleting most of the party platform and replacing it with things like “Government exists to protect rights…” This doesn’t make it right, and it’s an outright betrayal of the anarchist faction. It caused a mass exodus of anarchists from the party that had betrayed them so brazenly, and was dubbed the Portland Massacre. Now we have a party platform that says that a state-owned military is necessary! It was an obvious stab in the back to the anarchists, and in the years since the minarchists have not only betrayed anarchists further but have betrayed themselves and leaped right into classical liberalism and something very much like Constitutionalism.

I dread to think what the Libertarian Party would become if there weren’t still anarchists out here trying to stick it out and keep the party tethered to its principles, because it has betrayed so very many people, factions, and ideas. Now we have language that says the state should use immigration laws to “protect” us, which not only is patently un-libertarian, but it’s not even classically liberal–it’s full-blown statist, as even the Constitution didn’t grant the Federal Government the power to control immigration. In its desperation for mass approval and Quixotic quest for electability, is there any principle that the Big L Libertarians won’t betray?

Politics & Elections

As stated clearly, the party exists to cause liberty to happen. It is certainly conceivable–although I find the idea incredulous for reasons I’ll detail in a moment–that winning elections could be a valid method of achieving that goal. However, it is foolish, absurd, and narrow-minded to act like it’s the only possible way of achieving that goal, or even acting like it’s the best method of doing so. Given the results so far (widespread betrayal of anarchists and libertarian principles, schisms in the party, some Big L Libertarians even calling people like me enemies…), I’d argue that it’s not even an acceptable way of achieving that goal, even if it is possible in theory.

There seems to be this idea that we can pull a Bait & Switch on the electorate, and that we can run a “moderate Libertarian” who gets into office and enacts actual libertarian policies. This is called “deceit,” and it is generally frowned upon. It is false advertising, and it is considered to be deceptive–because it is deceptive. It’s like marrying a woman not because you love her (as she thinks you do), but because she’s a millionaire with no kids and no one to leave all her money to when she dies. It’s a clear case of false pretenses–everything about it is immoral, and that’s before we get into whether or not it would actually work.

Hint: it wouldn’t.

It is strangely denialistic to think that if you can convince Bob to legalize marijuana, then you’ll have an easier time convincing him to legalize all drugs. If there was any truth whatsoever to that, then the repeal of Prohibition in the 1920s would have prevented any further substances from being outlawed in the first place, because, in American history, Bob was convinced that outlawing alcohol was more trouble than it was worth, didn’t actually eliminate alcohol, created a black market, created gangs, and was a gross violation of people’s liberties. That didn’t stop Bob from turning around and making marijuana illegal barely a decade later, or from adding methamphetamine, heroin, and countless other substances to the list of banned narcotics.

Libertarian: “Bob, Prohibition isn’t working. We need to repeal it and just let people be free. This has done nothing but caused death and misery.”

Bob: “You know what? You’re right. Repeal Prohibition!”

Libertarian: “Alright! Let’s not make this mistake again, either.”

*Ten years later*

Bob: “We’re outlawing marijuana.”

*Seventy years later*

Libertarian: “Bob, marijuana prohibition isn’t working. We need to legalize it and just let people be free. This has done nothing but caused death and misery.”

Bob: “You know what? You’re right. Repeal marijuana prohibition!”

Here we enter Fantasy Land.

Libertarian: “Great! Let’s repeal prohibition of heroin, too! And cocaine! And crystal meth!”

Bob: “Hey, you’re right!”

… That’s so obviously not what would happen. Bob would reply, “Are you out of your mind? Marijuana is one thing, but heroin? No way! That’s something else entirely!”

That’s the flaw with the incrementalist/moderate approach. Just because you can get me to drive five miles doesn’t mean you can get me to drive five hundred miles. It’s absurdly unrealistic, and I find it hard to believe that anyone actually thinks such an approach will have any success. Legalizing marijuana won’t end the drug war; it won’t shift Bob’s position on the Drug War even the tiniest bit. I can already point to at least a hundred people I know who want to see marijuana legalized but who would recoil in shock and incredulity if I suggested to them that we should also legalize heroin.

Phase 1: Legalize weed!
Phase 2: ????
Phase 3: The drug war is over!

Phase 2 is “something magical happens.”

The “legalize marijuana” versus “end the drug war” thing is such a wonderful parallel to the radical/moderate divide, because this is true in nearly every sense. I’ve convinced plenty of people that a business owner has the unalienable right to choose the people with whom they associate, and that they therefore don’t have to serve LGBTQ people if they don’t want to. It’s not too difficult to convince people of this. But the next thing out of their mouth is always, “But what if they’re racist and don’t want to serve black people? We can’t allow them to do that!”

It’s insane. It’s either a huge misunderstanding of reality or a purposeful self-delusion about human nature. Though I’ve convinced at least twenty people that discrimination of LGBTQ people by business owners is an unalienable right, I have never convinced anyone that discrimination of black people by business owners is an unalienable right. According to the incrementalist approach, once I convince them that discrimination against LGBTQ people is a right, they should be receptive to the “more extreme” form, yes?

Except they’re not, and they never are.

A World Set Free

It should come as no surprise that the Big L Libertarian faction (which doesn’t include every libertarian, minarchist, or classical liberal) seems incapable of grasping the idea that there might be some other ways to set the world free than by going through the established political system. For anarchists, the established political system is optional–however, we do not deny that it is an option. In contrast, the Big L Libertarian faction denies that there are any other options: they know only the state, and so they only know to go through the state. But that’s where libertarianism starts to contradict itself in the first place, because anyone who follows the ideas to their logical conclusions will end up as an anarchist, since aggression is the only way that the state can do anything while still being a state.

It’s just another example of how anarchist ideology isn’t even being considered by the larger faction, and, if they’re not even considering it, they can’t possibly be able to compromise with it. It’s like that Jody guy who blocked me when he claimed to be an anarchist immediately after saying that the state should exist to protect liberty. If you’re unwilling to even learn what anarchists think, then how can you compromise with them? If you’re trying to sell something to a person, don’t you kinda have to know what they’re offering to pay? But, of course, they’re not willing to compromise–as we’ve established–and they aren’t willing to even consider anarchists enough to learn what we have to say. If they were, then they would already know that going through the existing state is most certainly not the “only” way to set the world free (and, if one follows the ideas to their conclusions, it’s actually impossible to use the state to set the world free because the state is literally what you’re trying to set the world free of).

To compromise with someone, you must first know what they want and what they believe. Judging from my person experiences, the Big L Libertarians (which, again, isn’t inclusive of every minarchist, libertarian, and classical liberal) have no idea what anarchists want or believe. Jody’s silliness was the most flagrant, but it was hardly unique.

These Big L Libertarians seem to operate solely on their belief and their idea of what they want the Libertarian Party to be, making whatever assumptions they like, and from there they seem wholly resistant to facts. This Travis person has the idea in their head of what the Libertarian Party is (and, it’s worth mentioning, that their understanding of the Libertarian Party just coincidentally is exactly what they want it to be), and nothing will shake that delusion.

To say that the Libertarian Party exists to win elections is to say that anarchists aren’t welcome in the party, because we imagine different ways of achieving the Libertarian Party’s goal (which, one will read, is to set the world free, not “to win elections, duh!”). Having our methods spit upon and waved away even as we’re willing to go along with their methods, as long as they agree to the standards that we laid down in 1974 to solve exactly this problem… We’re using our preferred method, but we’re also willing to help you and use your preferred method to get libertarians elected to office. Our method and your method are only at odds because you set them to be by saying our method is meaningless, that yours is the only method that matters–by usurping the entire party and proclaiming it to be nothing more than a vehicle for your chosen method!–and that we’re not even welcome in the party if we don’t cease our method, shut up, and meekly go along with you.

This is our party, too.

And that’s why the goal of the party is to set the world free, not to win elections. Like the liberals I’ve talked about before who associate their emotion with their preferred method, it has trapped you and left you unable to even fathom that there might be some other way of achieving that goal. After all, the liberal takes “There shouldn’t be anyone starving in America!” and links that directly to “We need to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour!” It’s the basest and most confused of human behaviors to link a given goal inextricably to one’s preferred method of achieving that goal, and then dogmatically sticking to that method regardless of whether it works (like how liberals continue to demand increases to the Minimum Wage, despite the unemployment that it has caused).

Our method is 100% as valid as yours, and the Libertarian Party is 100% as valid as a vehicle of our method as it is a vehicle of your method.

We are anarchists, and this is our party, too.

Rantings & Ravings Rebooted Ep 03 – “Gays & Justice”

Intro (0:00)

General conversation about stuff.

News 1 (2:33)

Gay couple in Norway attacked by Moroccans, and reflections on the Pulse Shooting, as well as the fact that we’re not able to fix a problem if we aren’t allowed to discuss it. Also the mess in Syria, why Trump thinks it’s okay to create more terrorists, and the clusterfuck state of American foreign policy.

Stupid Comment of the Week (10:06)

A “former AnCap” who left the ideology because… he couldn’t envision a way for the ideology to come to fruition…? It was really hard to make sense of his ramblings, and this is from someone who rambles a lot. So we discuss various ways in which the radical ideology of non-violence could be implemented, and mention again that beautiful event during World War 1.

News 2 (23:52)

There actually isn’t a second news item this week. I had one, but deleted it to instead talk about the fact that we shouldn’t have this much shit to discuss in the first place, and how it’s an indication that something has gone awry. My anarchism doesn’t come out often (much of the time, I could be mistaken for a libertarian), but here it really shines through.

Are You Fucking Kidding Me? (36:37)

Skittles’ attempt to show solidarity with a rainbow-oriented group by… removing all colors from their candy…? What? I’m far from a Social Justice Warrior, but they have a point. Removing all color doesn’t show support; it shows antagonism, morons. “I’m going to show my support for the women’s march by waving my dick around!” What? No, it doesn’t make sense. A candy with the slogan of “taste the rainbow” removing all its colors to show “support” for a group whose emblem is the rainbow is, at the very least moronic, and that’s assuming it wasn’t meant as a snub of LGBTQ people in a society that wouldn’t tolerate it.

Darkside Philosophy (40:53)

Justice and AnCap principles–most people don’t mean “justice” when they say it. They mean “vengeance.” So I talk a bit about my murdered mother and how I might have justice over it. Spoiler Alert: the only way for me to have justice is to forgive the murderer. The conceit that it’s okay to inflict violence on someone because they used violence is called Eye For An Eye, and it’s not justice; it’s revenge.

What is Anarchy?

It occurred to me earlier today that if we’d never (stupidly) allowed Congress to begin taxing us without apportioning the funds (debatable anyway), then we wouldn’t have to deal with the silly “But muh roads!” arguments that we see so very, very often. I mean, it’s the Go To response for statists (a word that means “non-libertarian, non-anarchist”). I’ve seen a few statists recently be offended by being called that, but… it’s simply true. If you’re not a libertarian or anarchist, then you ipso facto favor the state, in which case… you’re a statist.

It’s just what the word means.

Granted, some anarchists may call you a statist as an insult, but to equate it to “infidel” isn’t accurate. It’s more like “fag,” honestly, but even then it’s not always used with negative connotations. When I call Gary Johnson a statist, I mean it condescendingly. But I only mean it condescendingly for people who claim to be libertarians or anarchists and… aren’t. It’s definitely a word that I do try to avoid, though, because I tend to reject dichotomies and, to my recollection, the only person I’ve ever called a statist is that pig Gary Johnson.

Fuck him.

Anyway.

There’s no religion or belief going on here. Anarcho-capitalism is built on science, human nature, and an abhorrence of violence. The scientific case can and has been made for anarcho-capitalism; the rest of the world simply has not caught up. Sorry, but that’s simply true. Anarcho-capitalism is only a belief in the same sense that “People should be free” is a belief.

Anyway, my recent video goes into direct apportionment and how it helps us to avoid ridiculous situations like this. Most damningly, if a billionaire has to pay $5m on his $100m yearly income, then we can readily assume that a person’s “tax liability to society” (terms that statists adore throwing around) must be $5m. If a person’s tax liability to society is not $5m, then we have forced the billionaire to overpay and have robbed him.

So we must proceed under the assumption that the highest dollar figure anyone in the United States pays is the tax liability that a citizen owes. If the dollar figure is lower, then we are stealing money from the people who overpay, right? Since no one is going to admit to doing that, it follows that I’m correct: the highest dollar figure that anyone pays is the citizen’s tax liability…

And this means that we all have underpaid and owe the government a ton of money.

Another addition to the series was Part 5, where I explained why the previous three videos were of lower quality than my usual work, and how that whole thing came about. It was primarily a response to one person in particular, to whom I said, “Fine. My shoes may suck, but the emperor is still naked.”

I’m also pretty sure that Part 4 hadn’t been uploaded when I posted the last update about the series, and in it I addressed a question that Tyler had actually asked before. This was tremendously bothersome, and he never explained why he did it, except that he might have been reading someone else’s question the second time (unclarified presently). Simply put, on 8/7/16 or around then, Tyler and I had a brief back-and-forth through videos where he ended up asking if there could be such a thing as voluntary taxes. In my reply, I specifically answered the question and its more general cousin: “What if it doesn’t rely on force, violence, and coercion?”

The answer, of course, is that then it’s a free market solution and not a state at all. It wasn’t until after I uploaded Part 4 that I realized Tyler had asked that question before, driving home for me the idea that he and the others might have been just playing games. In such a scenario, people intend only to keep asking the same questions repeatedly until we start giving short answers and start telling them to go educate themselves. At this point, they intend to declare victory with asinine statements like, “I guess you can’t put forth arguments then! lol!”

It’s a common tactic, covered excellently in TheraminTrees’ videos on Transactional Analysis:

It’s possible to see that in Tyler’s actions.

By asking questions, he is appearing to be a genuinely curious Adult (per TA terms). “I want to know the answer to these questions, and I am being skeptical. So here are my questions.” Naturally, people like me (who cannot resist) then answer the questions. Then something weird happens–often, time passes. Then subtle variations on those initial questions are asked again. Instead of “What if taxes were voluntary?” it is “Does everything the state does end in force, violence, or coercion?” which, yes, is the same question–just phrased differently.

Don’t get me wrong–I’m not accusing Tyler or anyone else of playing games. I’m saying that this is how it appears/feels in this case. It is not an allegation or statement of anyone’s intent or motives, because miscommunication and need for clarification are common the Internet, and especially Twitter’s 160-character limit. Any number of miscommunications, oversights, or poor phrasings could jam communication without anyone being playing games. Even with this clarification the language is still harsher than I intended it to be. I am sorry. I write a lot of fiction, and it trains you to use strong language.

Then, upon answering the question, the players repeat back “criticisms” of the answers that we have already addressed, a vicious cycle, in fact.

“Question.”

“Answer.”

“Follow-up question” / “Criticism”

“Answer” / “Clarification”

Then, the next thing you know, the entire process repeats anew. Once we become too frustrated and block them, victory is declared:

tyler blocked

No, Tyler.

He didn’t block you over anarcho-capitalism.

He blocked you because he doesn’t think you are listening, and probably because of statements like:

tyler being dumb

I’d love for you to demonstrate how that has anything to do with me. Maybe be more careful with your use of “all.” I’d love for someone to try to justify calling me selfish.

Anyway, I’m referring more specifically to this:

C'mon, man. You're being downright insulting here.

C’mon, man. You’re being downright insulting here.

The claim that statists have “blind faith” is stupid, yes. It’s not blind at all. You can see the state and its actions. You may close your eyes to its horrors, but you’re still not blind to them. However, you’re blatantly wrong to say there are no examples of anarchy, and you know that I gave you two of them. You know that, because I told you that, and you acknowledged that. I specifically told him I provided two examples dealing with the modern New York Diamond Traders and the Maghribi traders of the 11th century. He said he hadn’t watched the video, but that he would. Fair enough, I said, because the video did suck.

To say “there are no examples of anarchy” after choosing to ignore my video (on whatever grounds, considering at this time he knew that it had information that proved his statement incorrect) that presented them is horrific intellectual dishonesty, and yes, I’m surprised to see that from Tyler, because I’ve seen him correct himself in the past. It also shows, as I pointed out on Twitter, that anarcho-capitalism has been routinely demonstrated, through all of human history, and that he is revealing that he is not aware of what anarcho-capitalism is.

Anarcho-capitalism is simply allowing people to solve problems without a state. That’s all it is. Seriously, that’s it. That’s 100% of it, the entire ideology in a single sentence. The only rules are no violence, no force, no coercion, and no stealing. Do you see, then, how we have billions of examples? Any example of people solving problems without a state–without force, violence, coercion, or stealing–is, ipso facto, an example of anarchism, and if they do it in search of benefit, then it is an example of anarcho-capitalism. Such a sweeping statement, but also entirely true.

I needed to go to the store earlier. So I went to the store. It didn’t involve the state. That is an example of anarcho-capitalism.

Apple invented the iPhone. Android came into existence, with BlackBerry and Microsoft expanding as well. The state was never involved. That is an example of anarcho-capitalism.

The Maghribi traders working out trust relationships across thousands of miles in the 11th century just by talking and working together. That is an example of anarcho-capitalism.

Because that’s all anarcho-capitalism is. It’s the idea that people can solve problems without violence. That’s not me putting some weird spin on it–that’s literally what it is. The only question to be asked regarding anarcho-capitalism is this:

“Can we solve x problem without the state?”

Just think about it for a moment. What does the state do? It exists to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (ostensibly).

Can we protect life without the state? Absolutely.

Can we protect life without the state against foreign states? Absolutely, and covered here.

Any and all examples of people solving problems without the state are examples of anarcho-capitalism.

Can we protect liberty without the state? For fuck’s sake, the state is constitutionally incapable of protecting liberty.

Can we protect the right to pursue happiness without the state? Absolutely, as only force, violence, and coercion can eliminate a person’s right to pursue happiness.

The question is, and has always been, “How do we solve this problem?”

Because let’s face it–there will always be problems. We’re humans, and we fuck up. In addition to our fuck ups, the universe isn’t exactly kind to us, and neither is the planet. There is always shit to be done, and on top of that we’re an ambitious species. We don’t just want what we have. We want to turn what we have into something better. We didn’t land on the moon and go, “Cool. That’s probably far enough. Seen one lifeless rock, seen ’em all, right?”

There’s never just one way to solve a problem. A few decades ago, humanity gave itself the problem of needing handheld computers capable of mobile internet and phone usage. The smartphone was the answer we came up with, but it was not the only answer, was it? No, we also came up with the pager, didn’t we? And the tablet. We conceived multiple solutions, some of them better than others, and the winners lasted. Tablets are deprecated and fading out, and pagers are… Well, who do you know who has a pager?

We once were presented with the problem of needing to figure out how to make electronic devices talk to one another. Ethernet is common today, but did you know that it wasn’t the only option? There was also Token Ring, and a few others that I don’t remember because they had basically vanished even before I reached college. Then we had the problem of how to do it wirelessly, and the 802.11 IEEE–a completely voluntary body of experts who set standards of protocols for technologies. Linksys’s routers are 802.11b/g/n compatible because this ensures they will be compatible with all other devices that are 802.11b/g/n compatible, and no state was ever needed to enforce a standard for everyone to use. Just give people the chance to solve their own problems.

This is all anarchy in action. It’s just… people doing stuff.

In fact, there’s probably no better example of anarchy in action than IEEE. Virtually every electronic device manufactured in the past 30 years is compatible according to standards set by IEEE, but there is no law on the books forcing Linksys to make routers that are 802.11b/g/n compatible, and no law on the books forcing Apple to ensure that your iPhone can connect to 802.11b/g/n technologies.

Just think about that for a moment!

Think about the logistics! Think about what a monumental task that is!

“We want any phone made by any manufacturer running any operating system on any carrier to be able to connect to any wireless device made by any manufacturer.”

Can you even imagine a more monumental task?

Rest assured, we had at least two ways of handling this.

And IEEE handled it flawlessly, beautifully, and masterfully, without one single fucking law ever being passed. The system is completely voluntary. Apple uses it because no one would buy an iPhone if it couldn’t talk to everyone else’s devices. Linksys uses it because no one would buy a WRT54GL if no one could connect 90% of phones to it. Samsung uses it because no one would buy an S7 if you couldn’t connect it to most wireless networks. It’s in everyone’s best interests to use the standard, but there’s no law, no requirement, no prison, no fines for not complying.

Possibly the most monumental task humanity has ever been faced with! And we succeeded brilliantly.

Anarchy succeeded brilliantly.

Rest assured, the state would have fucked it up.

The State

You’re looking at the state as the creator and maintainer of society, and that simply isn’t true. The state is just some thing that exists over there to the side. All we have are people doing stuff. That’s all that exists in the entire world–humans doing stuff. Countries don’t exist, businesses don’t exist, nations don’t exist, and even states don’t really exist. There are only people doing stuff. I think you’re still viewing “anarchy” at least partially as the chaotic bullshit that occurs when a state fractures into smaller states. But as I pointed out here, what people commonly call “anarchy” is actually just several smaller states at war with one another.

Because we are social animals and recognize that our interests are best served through cooperation rather than antagonism, we sometimes come together and form groups, deciding to pool our resources and work together toward a common aim. When two people do this with romantic intent, we call it “marriage” (we are discussing formal agreements here). When two people do this with business intent, we call it “partnership.” When several people do this with business intent, we call it “corporation.” These people set the terms of their agreement, the goals of their agreement, and how they will work together to achieve those goals.

No new entity is created when two people enter into a marriage. There’s not really any such thing as a “family.” That’s just a collective idea we came up with to describe their agreement, to describe their relationship, to make it easier to communicate. Instead of saying “This woman and I pool our finances, live together, go out on dates, sleep together, have sex with each other, and do not do these things with other people,” then I simply say, “This is my wife” / “We are married.”

Businesses and corporations function under exactly the same principles, but their relationship goals and parameters are different. Just as I need other members of my marriage’s permission before dropping $8,000 on a vehicle, so does someone in a corporation need other member’s permission before dropping $8,000 on something. I realistically need my wife’s permission before I quit my job and take up a different career path, and a member of a corporation needs other members’ permission before they start working on a new invention. But the marriage isn’t a thing, the business isn’t a thing, and the corporation isn’t a thing.

It’s just people doing stuff, and finding that they can pool their resources to do better stuff. I may be great, but having a loving, awesome wife makes me greater, yes? Two heads are better than one, and all that? The same holds true for businesses and corporations.

The state is just another one of those businesses. In fact, you’ll find that the state is nothing more than a corporation that has the “authority” to use force, violence, and coercion to achieve its ends, relying on parasitism rather than productivity to acquire resources, and utilizing forced monopolies instead of competition to ensure it has consumers. This is why we aren’t on the same page here–you’re not seeing the state for what it is. It’s just a group of people who do stuff, but who are allowed to use force, violence, and coercion, while no one else is allowed to.

The only relevant questions for anarcho-capitalists involve things that the state is supposed to do:

Can anarchy provide a way to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

All other questions are irrelevant, because we do know that “people doing stuff” can solve limitless problems, and that force, violence, and coercion are never necessary for solving those problems. Roads, schools, technology protocols, whatever–force, violence, and coercion are not necessary. These all come back to that simple question: if we can solve the problem without using violence, then isn’t it worth every possible effort to solve it without violence? So we can erase all the questions about roads, schools, NASA, etc.

Whether anarchy can protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness can certainly be discussed, and we can also find real world examples of anarchy doing it. However, it isn’t necessary, because there has never been a greater threat to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness than the state, for reasons that I mentioned here: https://anarchistshemale.com/2016/04/22/a-crash-course-on-rights/

Any act that threatens life or liberty is, by definition, a state act, at the very least an attempt by one individual to become an authoritarian tyrant over another. It is irrelevant whether this tyrant rules over only one person or one hundred million; a state is a state. It becomes impossible, and is obviously so, to use force, violence, and coercion to prevent force, violence, and coercion. The only thing that can protect life is not killing people. The only thing that can protect liberty is not restricting people’s rights. If violence is universally rejected (as it would be, though, as I’ve pointed out, it’s ridiculous to demand 100% compliance, and neither anarchy nor the state can deliver that) and punished accordingly, and there is no mechanism in place to achieve goals with force, violence, and coercion… then there can’t be force, violence, and coercion.

And Society

Society is another example of people just doing stuff, but it’s one that happens organically and without conscious agreement; it’s just the product of people naturally having their own self-interests served by working together. It is of critical importance to remember that society is older than the state. Society created the state; the state did not create society. It is impossible that the state could have produced society, just as it’s impossible that religion could have produced morality. Just as religion is a product of humans doing stuff, so is the state, so is agriculture, so is the Internet*.

Society isn’t real, either, and can’t produce anything. Only people can. And people did. Without ever agreeing that we would work together, the overwhelming majority of humans get along relatively fine with one another and can have a functional society. The state isn’t really forcing me to work with my clients, or the people at the gas station, or the people at Subway, or the people at Facebook. I’m doing it because being an asshole isn’t in my best interests, and it’s obvious that, as a social animal, my best interest lie in working with other people.

The state did not produce morality, either. We do not think murder is wrong because the state told us so. We do not think stealing is wrong because the state told us so. We do not think rape is wrong because the state told us so. No, we individuals came up with this, and the state took the majority’s moral code and turned it into law. This is also how we ended up with anti-transgender, anti-homosexual, and drug laws. Once again, we find parallels to religion: religious people say that we get our morality from their holy book, but we know that isn’t true. The holy book is merely a reflection of their morality, just as the state’s laws are merely a reflection of our morality. And just as it’s hard to get religious people to change the morality they get from their holy book, so is it difficult to get the state to change its laws.

People do stuff all the time cooperatively without the state enforcing it. This is anarchism in action.

* I throw these last two in just to make it clear I’m not drawing another parallel between statism and religion, or asserting that all social products are bad.

How To Cause Anarchy to Rule the Globe

I freely admit that anarcho-socialism is a utopian fantasy within a utopian fantasy, but I also have to stress that the latter utopian fantasy is not impossible to achieve, and that, in fact, achieving it would not be terribly difficult. It would be relatively easy to cast off the shackles of the state and violence, and I’m going to take a moment to clarify what I think is the best way to achieve this.

godless & lawless

Step 1. Acquire Territory & Abolish Its State

In many ways, the easiest step, and in other ways, the hardest. Every single parcel of land on the planet is sectioned off to one state or another, so this territory acquisition is more than just purchasing territory: it is also telling the currently-ruling state that it no longer has any authority. Rest assured that the state won’t take this well–it never has before. When American colonists told the British Empire this, it resulted in war. I tend to think an attempt to do it today would also result in war.

We’re going to assume, solely for the sake of simplicity, that we can purchase land in Hawaii, and that native Hawaiians are ready and willing to refuse the state’s authority. So let’s presume that we anarchists do exactly this, and we tell the Hawaiian government that we will not pay another cent in taxes or listen to another of its laws. It will react with violence, and will enlist the help of the U.S. federal government to do it. We have to gloss over this for the time being. Plenty of people have written about this sort of scenario, and there’s no reason for me to spend much time in it. I’m not saying this step offers assured victory, but it’s certainly not impossible–as I said, the American colonists succeeded.

We need not declare war on the state to abolish it. We need only to refuse to consent to its authority. As countless others have observed, the state needs our consent; our consent is not optional, in theory or in practice. A state that deals with a population that does not consent to it will ultimately be abolished, as its reserves will wear out against the continued resistance, keeping it from accomplishing anything. It will not be the anarchists who declare war on the state, though; the anarchists will simply start ignoring the state.

The state will be the one to declare war, by kidnapping the anarchists (calling it “imprisonment”), killing the anarchists (calling it “war”), and stealing from the anarchists (calling it “taxation” and “resource acquisition from enemy combatants”). It will absolutely be within the anarchists’ purview to retaliate–the Non-Aggression Principle forbids aggression, not defense or retaliation.

Step 2. ???

With the state abolished, there’s not much more to be done, except for individuals to simply do whatever they think is best. That an individual’s own best interests are served through cooperation rather than violence is tautological, and is frequently called the Prisoner’s Dilemma. It has long been observed that cooperation–that is, reciprocation and presumed “give-and-take”–pervades human society*. Without question, which works better is revealed to be cooperation, not competition, though it’s worth mentioning that “competition” as used in these articles is speaking of “competition” in general terms, not economic ones*^.

It is stated that, in modern society, a mess of laws and rules help prevent companies from cheating, because cheating might be more beneficial than fulfilling an agreement*. In a certain, very limited and very short-sighted sense, this is true. I would benefit from dropping by a random gas station and cajoling its attendant into letting me pump $5 of gas that I’d “totally pay back” later that day, and then never return–I would net a $5 gain at their expense. Since there are numerous other gas stations from which I could purchase gas in the future, why don’t I do this?

Aside from inherent moral concerns, which are not always applicable, the truth is that I am likely to have to do business with them again. The fewer gas stations are in the area, the more likely I am to have to do business with these people from whom I have effectively stolen $5. As my options dwindle, the chance increase that one day the other gas stations will be out of gasoline, will not have my cigarettes, or any number of other things. Simply put, the fact that I’ll almost certainly have to deal with them again prevents me from screwing them over**.

It may be in my best interests in the short term to con them out of $5 of gasoline, but in the long-term it is tremendously damaging to my own self-interests to cheat them**.

Violence as a Driving Force

Intuitively, we all know this.

I’m sure we’ve all had that one friend who, at our party, gets drunk and becomes belligerent, ultimately getting into a fight. What happens next? Though the party may not recover that evening, the reality is that the friend who became violent (even if he did so because another friend who owed him $100 wouldn’t pay him back, or any other short-term gain the violent friend could have gotten) will not be invited to future parties, and will find himself increasingly without friends, and this will, for any social animal, be a negative thing^^.

Our belligerent friend may have beaten the $100 out of another friend, but he will be ostracized from the group, from the pack, and has harmed his own self-interests.

It is primarily when people will never be held accountable for their actions that people behave immorally (according to most moral conventions), and that should be no surprise to anyone. This isn’t to say that the average person will behave immorally if they know they can get away with it (I would argue that the average person obeys an internal moral compass that has been socially instilled in them, and that it is not fear of consequences that keeps the average person from stealing, raping, or killing), but it is to say that anyone who would be willing to do something immoral becomes significantly more likely to do something immoral as the chance of being held accountable drops.

If a person sees a $20 bill fall from someone’s pocket when no one is watching and no one can possibly see, the first person is far more likely to pocket the money themselves, instead of stopping the second person and handing it over. Yet if an attendant is watching, the person is substantially more likely to stop the person and return their dropped money. It’s worth pointing out here that nothing about anarchy precludes accountability.

Of course, in an age of surveillance cameras, national criminal databases, mugshots, and the Internet, is increasingly hard to find any place that a person can go where they cannot still be held accountable, but this is the reason that so many American politicians continue going to Thailand, the Philippines, and Cuba to have sex with child prostitutes–something they would never do in the United States because the chance of being caught is far too high.

As social exposure increases because of the Internet, the long-term consequences of short-term benefits at the expense of others become greater. The violent friend might be able to use Facebook and other websites to find a new circle of friends, but I would point you to this unusual Craigslist ad:

This screenshot is from a "Best of Craigslist Crazies" series I'm working on.

This screenshot is from a “Best of Craigslist Crazies” series I’m working on.

Remarkable, isn’t it?

Notice that the guy doesn’t appear to have even done anything overtly wrong, but has indisputably harmed his own self-interests in the long-run. A violent friend may learn that the friend he attacked has contacted the new circle of friends, and informed them of the guy’s violence, and that they, too, ostracize the violent guy. Cheating, conning, and lying are always about short-term gain at the expense of long-term benefit, and this is why an anarcho-capitalist society does not need (as John McAfee suggested in the Stossel debates) a requirement of people to keep their word.

People will keep their word because it is in their best interest to do so. No one would want to do business with a company that routinely breaks its contracts and agreements, and the problem would sort itself out, quickly eliminating the scruple-less companies while leaving only the honorable ones. This has routinely been accomplished in the past through free market means, and trust relationships have consistently formed throughout human history, a direct consequence of people recognizing that their own interests are served best by “playing nice” with the other kids**.

Step 3. Profit.

It’s hard for us to even comprehend how successful such a society would be.

There would, first of all, be no corporate tax or income tax, because there would be no one to charge, collect, or spend the tax. This would cause an incredible influx of international corporations and businesses. There would be so much money sloshing through this place’s economy that we’d be left breathless, and this is not hyperbole. How do you think the corporations would treat these wonderful people who were welcoming them?

With tremendous rewards.

Thankful to keep 100% of their money, the corporations would very quickly work together to pave every road needed, would build hospitals and schools, would build and maintain airports and seaports (this one primarily because they need them).

We in the west understand corporations only as straw men, and we’ve become completely unable to realize that these straw men… are straw men. Before we continue, we have to regain the ability to recognize these Straw Men Corporations for the straw men they are.

First of all, it takes remarkable levels of cognitive dissonance to call corporations greedy because we are helping ourselves to 35% of their money. Let’s take a moment to appreciate that. We are literally taking 35% of someone else’s money, and then bitching that they are being greedy. How dare you steal from someone for your own benefit and then call them greedy! Cognitive dissonance in full swing, of course, because the greedy one is quite obviously the one stealing money for their own benefit, especially since 0% of the money earned by corporations is earned through theft.

Secondly, we are swimming in a sea of corporations who do tremendously helpful and generous things. Even with the exorbitant tax rates, most corporations gladly give Senior Citizen discounts, after all. For centuries, doctors were expected by the bounds of morality to treat those who could not afford to pay; it was only when we started using the law to force them to treat people that this even became an issue. Our doctors have never allowed poor people to just die.

On a Guardian article yesterday, I found someone who said that Apple should have to make more contributions to society. I found that to be an utterly and remarkably stupid thing to say. Apple has made enormous contributions to society. Apple invented the smartphone. That’s a contribution so enormous that we have not fully understood who much of a game-changer it really was. I presume this person wasn’t there when the first iPhone was debuted; it revolutionized everything. “Apple should contribute to society…” Are you kidding me? They’ve contributed more to society than even Microsoft has, and far more than CERN has (though CERN’s contributions will increase exponentially in the future).

Seriously, when you have contributed to society to even 0.0001% the extent that Apple has, then you can demand that they contribute more.

Dealing With Growth

The rest of the world will not be happy with our prosperity.

Behold how the EU is forcing Italy to raise its tax rates. This is precisely what we are seeing. Italy has set its own tax rates, and the EU does not want to compete with the awesome deal that Italy is offering corporations. So what does the EU do? It demands that Apple pay Italy, and demands that Italy increase its tax rates. Instead of lowering their own tax rates to compete with Italy, the EU exercises its authority and power to maintain its monopoly.

Imagine that Italy is Wal-Mart, selling a loaf of bread for $1, while the EU sells bread for $2. The EU gets pissed off, because no one is buying its bread, not when they can buy it from Italy at such a lower price. So what does the EU do? Rather than lowering the price of their bread to $0.97 to compete with Italy/Wal-Mart, the EU whips out its guns, points them at Italy, and says, “Don’t forget we’re bigger and more powerful than you. Raise your prices, or we’ll punish you.”

Yay, democracy, right?

Stupid UK fools for wanting to get out of that…

After all, who doesn’t enjoy having a tyrannical authority point guns at them and force them to comply? I’m probably gonna get some of that this weekend, because it’s such a wonderful thing to experience.

We’d see this, too, in our anarchist society. The rest of the world, tremendously envy of our lack of taxation and the influx of international corporations that just drives our prosperity through the roof, would invade us. Here, we’d mostly have to rely on the hostility between the United States, China, and Russia to keep them from being involved, but it wouldn’t strictly be necessary. But have no doubt: nations would invade us out of envy, wanting the money for themselves, and many Americans, Europeans, Chinese, and Russians would justify it. “They should have to pay!” they’ll scream and cry, forgetting that they’d literally be invading and conquering a place to take its  money, and that it would be blatant imperialism. “Capitalist imperialism,” some people would call it, though the anarcho-capitalist society would be the capitalist one. :/

But it’s all about long-term benefit, isn’t it? What’s in the best interests of the corporations here?

To fight tooth and nail alongside us for our right to govern ourselves, and the corporations would have the power to do it.

Other states would not be willing to just sit and watch us prosper. They would grind their teeth as they stared enviously at us, thinking about why they should have our money, and justifying to themselves why invading and conquering us would be totally justified.

I’ve covered it elsewhere, but a free people fighting on principle to resist oppression and conquerors, motivated by liberty and justice, cannot be defeated.

* http://www.ped.fas.harvard.edu/files/ped/files/financialanalyst00.pdf

*^ http://www.charleswarner.us/articles/competit.htm

** http://mercatus.org/sites/default/files/publication/Public_Choice_and_the_Economic_Analysis_of_Anarchy_by_Strigham_and_Powell.pdf

^^ http://www.aipmm.com/anthropology/2010/05/humans-are-social-animals-1.php