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SnowDog

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Principled Minarchy
« on: June 06, 2009, 02:12:43 PM »

I think that in a free society, a large group of people can form an organization, calling themselves 'The State of X', and using voluntary funding, establish themselves as a force to prevent smaller gangs from exerting tyranny over society.

Thoughts?

« Last Edit: June 06, 2009, 03:31:33 PM by SnowDog »
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SnowDog

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Re: Principled Minarchy
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2009, 03:24:55 PM »

I think the question is a good one because many people believe that, no matter how bad the existing government may be, a failure to establish a government would be worse, with rogue gangs running around, and foreign nations possibly threatening to conquer the land. If we could show them more precisely how a voluntary civil authority could fill the gaps where they see possible market failure, then we can win the intellectual argument. That argument has not yet been won, despite the work of Murray Rothbard and other voluntaryists, who neglect to answer the fundamental questions as to how justice would be established, how a country could defend itself in a war, and how several sundry types of order, which the government now provides, would be replaced, such as fishing rights, air traffic control, etc.

So, the broader question is, would there be some remnant of a government in a free society? I think there would be, simply because nothing would stop it from forming under the non-aggression principle. Speculating farther, following are the types of things in which it might be legitimately engaged. I believe that a principled minarchy can organize and pass civil guidelines (in lieu of laws), which might be followed due to the size of the organization, as it represents the will of a large group of people. This would give society guidance in many areas where proper action is not clear. Some of these areas are as follows:

1) Establish a database of records, so that people can voluntarily record their birth date and location.
2) Record land surveys and assessments to be used in private courts.
3) Establish guidelines for ownership of airways to benefit air traffic control, which could be implemented through private means, by the airlines. Courts could then have a guideline for determining when a rogue pilot may have violated airspace recognized as owned by an airport, or air traffic control network, for instance.
4) Establish a means by which ownership of new property can be claimed and delineated, as in Earth orbits, broadcast airways, the moon, and fishing rights.
5) Raise an army in times of war, providing they can raise the money for it.
6) Intercede in resolving disputes beween parties who cannot otherwise agree, on behalf of one of the parties. For instance, say Party A is robbed, and has his defensive agency drag Party B into a jail without trial. The principled minarchy could hire someone to intercede on behalf of Party B, if no one else will, and allow him to be tried and convicted in a court it deems to be fair.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: June 06, 2009, 03:31:45 PM by SnowDog »
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Dylboz

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Re: Principled Minarchy
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2009, 04:16:12 PM »

Witness the United States. It will not last.
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thebrokenwings

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Re: Principled Minarchy
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2009, 04:40:21 PM »

I think the question is a good one because many people believe that, no matter how bad the existing government may be, a failure to establish a government would be worse, with rogue gangs running around, and foreign nations possibly threatening to conquer the land. If we could show them more precisely how a voluntary civil authority could fill the gaps where they see possible market failure, then we can win the intellectual argument. That argument has not yet been won, despite the work of Murray Rothbard and other voluntaryists, who neglect to answer the fundamental questions as to how justice would be established, how a country could defend itself in a war, and how several sundry types of order, which the government now provides, would be replaced, such as fishing rights, air traffic control, etc.

So, the broader question is, would there be some remnant of a government in a free society? I think there would be, simply because nothing would stop it from forming under the non-aggression principle. Speculating farther, following are the types of things in which it might be legitimately engaged. I believe that a principled minarchy can organize and pass civil guidelines (in lieu of laws), which might be followed due to the size of the organization, as it represents the will of a large group of people. This would give society guidance in many areas where proper action is not clear. Some of these areas are as follows:

1) Establish a database of records, so that people can voluntarily record their birth date and location.
2) Record land surveys and assessments to be used in private courts.
3) Establish guidelines for ownership of airways to benefit air traffic control, which could be implemented through private means, by the airlines. Courts could then have a guideline for determining when a rogue pilot may have violated airspace recognized as owned by an airport, or air traffic control network, for instance.
4) Establish a means by which ownership of new property can be claimed and delineated, as in Earth orbits, broadcast airways, the moon, and fishing rights.
5) Raise an army in times of war, providing they can raise the money for it.
6) Intercede in resolving disputes beween parties who cannot otherwise agree, on behalf of one of the parties. For instance, say Party A is robbed, and has his defensive agency drag Party B into a jail without trial. The principled minarchy could hire someone to intercede on behalf of Party B, if no one else will, and allow him to be tried and convicted in a court it deems to be fair.

Thoughts?

. I'm new here, I've been interested in liberty for a while, I've considered myself an objectivist, and I hold the idea that an objectively defined law is necessary to resolve disputes between rational men. In my view this would not involve any power allocated to any specific individuals. The idea being that lynch mob justice would be averted and disputed under agreed objective law, the sole tenet of which would be the non-agression principle.
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dc0de

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Re: Principled Minarchy
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2009, 05:36:41 PM »

Objectivism doesn't make sense to me... or at least, objectivism based on Rand's original ideals.

Objectivists seem to propose a minarchist viewpoint... that a single government will make the laws but that it will be funded voluntarily. But they refuse to accept the concept of a separate "government" forming as a free market institution, offering defence and justice at a lower cost/more efficiently than the current government. They agree with the non-aggression principle and yet they think their government has to have monopoly on force, which is a huge contradiction, the government cannot maintain a monopoly on force without violating the non-aggression principle.

Unless I have something wrong, please educate me if so :)
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SnowDog

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Re: Principled Minarchy
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2009, 06:40:38 PM »

I'm new here, I've been interested in liberty for a while, I've considered myself an objectivist, and I hold the idea that an objectively defined law is necessary to resolve disputes between rational men. In my view this would not involve any power allocated to any specific individuals. The idea being that lynch mob justice would be averted and disputed under agreed objective law, the sole tenet of which would be the non-agression principle.

But what would the objectivist government look like? I think I've outlined it...
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SnowDog

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Re: Principled Minarchy
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2009, 06:42:16 PM »

Objectivism doesn't make sense to me... or at least, objectivism based on Rand's original ideals.

Objectivists seem to propose a minarchist viewpoint... that a single government will make the laws but that it will be funded voluntarily. But they refuse to accept the concept of a separate "government" forming as a free market institution, offering defence and justice at a lower cost/more efficiently than the current government. They agree with the non-aggression principle and yet they think their government has to have monopoly on force, which is a huge contradiction, the government cannot maintain a monopoly on force without violating the non-aggression principle.

Unless I have something wrong, please educate me if so :)

A government, as I've outlined above, would have a monopoly on force, simply because it would be the largest institution in the country. Yet, it doesn't violate the non-aggression principle.

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dc0de

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Re: Principled Minarchy
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2009, 07:01:06 PM »

A government, as I've outlined above, would have a monopoly on force, simply because it would be the largest institution in the country. Yet, it doesn't violate the non-aggression principle.

Sure, but your government isn't Objectivist (in a Randian sense), it would be a natural monopoly, rather than a coersive one. In Rand's objectivism there is only one government, she hated the idea of competing governments because (she said) people need an objective set of rules to abide by... i.e. if you have different governments enforcing different rules then you've just got a mess... so she's arguing from the consequences why we shouldn't have multiple governments, but her philosophy doesn't anywhere give any way to achieve that goal, there's no way to achieve "one government" based on her initial axioms of objectivism, so it seems clear that an objectivist government would have to forcefully maintain its monopoly status if any form of competition should arise.

My previous post was more aimed at thebrokenwings, as he claimed to be an objectivist. Your version of free market governments is fine and it seems likely that people would get together like that, but perhaps not, it doesn't really matter as long as we have choice not to be a part of it if it does happen.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2009, 07:03:13 PM by dc0de »
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SnowDog

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Re: Principled Minarchy
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2009, 11:12:35 PM »

Just to note, I have read just about everything that Rand wrote, and while your description of a Randian government is accurate in that she wanted a monopoly on the use of force, I believe that Rand also wanted a government funded through voluntary means, and she speculated on a method of funding a government through court insurance, in the Virtue of Selfishness. We can't know for sure because she didn't say that much about how her vision of a government would look; we can only speculate.

Here's what she says about taxation:

"In a fully free society, taxation -- or to be exact, payment for governmental services -- would be voluntary." (Government Financing in a Free Society, Virtue of Selfishness, p 157 (116 pb))"

The government I envision has a natural monopoly on the use of force, and follows the non-aggression principle. Note, also, that Rand is the one who first discovered and described the non-aggression principle in its current form, as a prohibition on the initiation of force or fraud. Others came close, but didn't make the distinction between the initiation of force and defensive force. The point being: she was well aware of the non-aggression principle.

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dc0de

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Re: Principled Minarchy
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2009, 12:20:49 AM »

I dont think I contradicted any of that - voluntary taxes and the non-agression principle are part of objectivism. OK, but what if I think that I can offer government services cheaper than the current government and I have the means to do so?

So I become a competitor for the government, the government is no longer a monopoly. Unless the government violates the non-aggression principle there isn't anything they can do to stop that, so it is no different from free market anarchism with large firms offering defence and law services.

Actually all my arguments have been done better before me:

http://www.isil.org/ayn-rand/childs-open-letter.html

Of course we should really be arguing against the statists - it amuses me how much argumentation goes on between all the different groups who essentially want the same thing(no state, or at least, no state based on the coersive use of force) and are merely arguing over what would happen or what society would emerge when that occurs. Since we all agree that using force is bad, there's no way to ensure that any one "system" will occur, so all the arguments between collectivist-anarchists, socialist-anarchists, anarcho-capitalists, objectivists, libertarians etc all amounts to arguing over which unpredictable future society we would like to see emerge from removal of the state.
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SnowDog

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Re: Principled Minarchy
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2009, 12:38:21 AM »

I don't think the public will ever buy the argument that we should just get rid of the state, and see what happens. We need to push for a principled minarchy, to solve the fundamental questions as to who will defend us from aggression and settle disputes. We need to have more focused vision as to what the ideal society 'should' look like -- not necessarily what it will look like. It's the fear of nihilism which people will not accept, and that is thwarting our argument.

We also need something in to which the state can morph. If it's going to be doing something, and I believe it ultimately will still be around, then it needs to act in a voluntary fashion. Drawing that picture for everyone to see, goes a long way toward advancing our cause.

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Bill Brasky

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Re: Principled Minarchy
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2009, 02:06:05 AM »

One of the benefits of a minarchy is less chance of bureaucratic corruption, and smaller structure requires less funding.  If you get everything down to a small basket of necessities, an inordinately high number of people would benefit from lower taxes.  When a small contribution goes to a worthwhile cause from a large number of satisfied people, and in return they are left the fuck alone to do as they please, and still protected from violent vampires who get locked up for preying on innocent, civilized citizens, the opposition to minimally invasive policies and simple laws would be negligible. 

I'm sure a number of the more ardent anarchists here would violently object to any intrusion, but to be realistic, they are a extremely tiny part of the population, even if they comprise a large segment of this forum. 

I really can't find an argument within myself over a society where I'd have to pay a relatively small portion of my higher wages, and in return almost never see a cop except on television apprehending a murder suspect. 

I'm sure there'd be a loud objection at first, people worried about the social safety nets.  I think people need to be weaned off that slowly.  If you give them the options of opting out of the social nets like Social Security, which most younger people believe will be bankrupt by their retirement anyway, they'd opt out.  And in a few decades, as things progress, there'd be nobody left who contributed, therefore it would be a ghost agency, paying the elderly who contributed their rightful dues they were promised. 

Guiding the stewardship of a nation like this into a direction of smaller government is a huge undertaking that is much like the "not in my back yard" arguments of nuclear power.  Everyone agrees it is a fine concept, and the most cost effective method, but you gotta do it somewhere else.  Politicians would basically be arguing they are unnecessary.  Thats a fucked up argument.  It needs to be implemented in a top-down manner, a president who will wipe certain sectors off the government slate and allow it to guide itself, and that eliminates jobs and power structure.  You're certainly not gonna see this Obama fella do that. 

But leaping right into crazytown Randian arguments doesn't do any good, either.  Its a waste of perfectly good constructive discussion, you might as well discuss building a city under the ocean.  Nobody's gonna give any legitimate consideration to something nineteen steps away, you gotta discuss the first step, then the second, then the third, and so on. 

The people with horse-sense, who are the catalyst to that eventual destination, are the leverage to push us back into that general direction.  And you're not gonna win them over with jibber-jabber about voluntary, optional, stateless quasi-governments where you can simply object to being jailed for societies more heinous acts, refuse to pay anything for the programs that preserve the stability and comfort of the population as a whole.   
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anarchir

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Re: Principled Minarchy
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2009, 02:11:08 AM »

I'm anarchist to be sure, but if we get society down to that of a minarchist one then I say we can discuss whether to continue to shrink it or not.
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Bill Brasky

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Re: Principled Minarchy
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2009, 02:17:31 AM »

I'm anarchist to be sure, but if we get society down to that of a minarchist one then I say we can discuss whether to continue to shrink it or not.

I don't think there'd be much to discuss.  With a little creativity, you could probably find some easy methods of being left alone enough so it didn't matter to you.  Unless you really stepped out of line, there'd be nobody to give you any shit.  And in an anarchy, you'd get your hand slapped for bigtime infractions anyway, so what does it matter who the hand-slapper works for?

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SnowDog

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Re: Principled Minarchy
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2009, 09:30:22 AM »

The anarchists act as if the non-aggression principle is an axiom: something never to be questioned. But it's not an axiom, in that you can't prove that you should respect the rights of others. The reason we should respect the rights of others is so that we can all enjoy liberty, which lets each of us be the best that we can be. It's the only way to maximize freedom in society.

However, the non-aggression principle is a very powerful tool. It's so easy to push for a small government which takes some privilege from it's power. But once you allow a government, even a minimal government, to be the exception to the rule, then more and more exceptions will be made for it, which will cause it to grow back to the tyrannical dinosaur it is today.

So when popular momentum changes, and the idea of liberty starts whittling down the size of the state, we must then ensure that the state becomes completely declawed. We must truly make it a voluntary organization, else some future generation will have to fight the battle all over again.

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