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Richard Garner

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Anarchy in Somalia
« on: May 09, 2009, 06:50:33 AM »

From the Independent Institute, Peter Leeson "Better off Stateless: Somalia Before and After Government Collapse."

Notable quotations:

Overall assessment

Quote
I use an “event study” to investigate the impact of statelessness on Somali development. This study compares the state of 18 key development indicators in Somalia before and after its government collapsed. These indicators are comprehensive in covering all angles of development for which data are available pre- and post-statelessness. While it is important to avoid romanticizing Somalia, the results suggest that statelessness has substantially improved Somali development. I find that on nearly all indicators Somalia is doing significantly better under anarchy than it was under government. This improvement has been made possible by renewed vibrancy in key sectors of the economy and public goods in the absence of state predation.

Violence

Quote
Most depictions of Somalia grossly exaggerate the extent of violence. In reality, fewer people die from armed conflict in some parts of Somalia than do in neighboring countries that have governments. In these areas security is better today than it was under government (UNDP 2001). About the same number of annual deaths in Somalia are due to childbirth as are attributable to war—roughly four percent of the total UNDP/World Bank 2003: 16). And these deaths are combatants, not civilians. “Atrocities against civilians are now almost of unheard of” (Menkhaus 2004: 30). This is still too high, but far from cataclysmic. In fact, it’s not far from the percentage of deaths due to homicide in middle-income countries such as Mexico, which in 2001 was 3.6 (WHO 2006).

Crime relative to governed neighbours

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Information about crime in stateless Somalia can also be gleaned from this thriving [cross border cattle trading] sector. The cross-border livestock trade is facilitated by brokers (dilaal) who certify for buyers and sellers that traded livestock are not stolen. Dilaal incur liability if livestock they certify is illegitimate. In this capacity they act as insurance for cross-border traders. Data on brokers’ fees pre- and post-anarchy suggest that fees have not risen since government’s collapse. Between 1988 and 1998 dilaal fees remained the same (Little 2003: 109). If thievery increased between 1988 and 1998 we would expect to dilaal fees to have risen. The fact that they have not suggests that, at least in the sizeable livestock sector, thievery has not increased under anarchy. In fact, dilaal fees are lower on the Somali side of the cross-border trade than they are on the Kenyan side, indicating that thievery is more problematic in Kenya, which has a government, than in Somalia.

General improvements

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The data depict a country with severe problems, but one which is clearly doing better under statelessness than it was under government. Of the 18 development indicators, 14 show unambiguous improvement under anarchy. Life expectancy is higher today than was in the last years of government’s existence; infant mortality has improved 24 percent; maternal mortality has fallen over 30 percent; infants with low birth weight has fallen more than 15 percentage points; access to health facilities has increased more than 25 percentage points; access to sanitation has risen eight percentage points; extreme poverty has plummeted nearly 20 percentage points; one year olds fully immunized for TB has grown nearly 20 percentage points, and for measles has increased ten; fatalities due to measles have dropped 30 percent; and the prevalence of TVs, radios, and telephones has jumped between 3 and 25 times.

Quote
Importantly, the indicators in Table 1 also do not measure the substantial increase in personal freedoms and civil liberties enjoyed by Somalis since the emergence of anarchy. The Somali government ruthlessly suppressed free speech, censoring newspapers, radio andtelevision. Most forms of free expression were punishable by death and foreign travel was severely restricted. Today, in contrast, Somalis are free to travel as they please (restricted only by governments of other nations) and enjoy greater freedom of expression, both privately and publicly. 20 private newspapers, 12 radio and television stations, and several Internet sites now provide information to the Somali public (Freedom House 2005). Satellite-based televisions
enable the transmission of international news services, including CNN (Little 2003: 170-171). Authorities in Somaliland and Puntland have attempted to interfere with media providers in their territories, but freedom of expression remains improved compared to its status under government. This constitutes an additional important, though unmeasured, increase in Somali welfare under anarchy.

Compared to Governed neighbours

Quote
Consistent with Table 1, Somalia performs worse on adult literacy compared to its neighbors between the periods. Still, on the majority of the indicators considered here, Somalia improved more than its neighbors over the same period, suggesting that the collapse of government resulted in greater development improvements than would have occurred in its absence. In a number of cases, Somalia has been improving while its neighbors have been declining.
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fatcat

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Re: Anarchy in Somalia
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2009, 08:15:19 AM »

I'm not sure why libertarians feel the need to in any way exemplify or hold up Somalia as an example of anarchism in practice.

Between the warlords, the islamic courts and incursions by ethopia, its far from stateless.
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Richard Garner

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Re: Anarchy in Somalia
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2009, 09:25:21 AM »

I'm not sure why libertarians feel the need to in any way exemplify or hold up Somalia as an example of anarchism in practice.

Between the warlords, the islamic courts and incursions by ethopia, its far from stateless.

I'm not sure any of these things are states, which are instituions the monopolise the authorisation of legitimate force in a country. Sure, they engage in aggression, and so do states, but the fact that states are thieves doesn't imply that theives are states.

Further, though, I think that, anarchy or not, people will claim that (a) Somalia is stateless, and (b) Somalia is the worse for it. Sure, we can respond as you do, by saying (a) is false, but we can also say that (b) is false.
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NHArticleTen

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Re: Anarchy in Somalia
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2009, 09:41:10 AM »

The Somalians are victims of insidious outside forces(mainly through black-ops conducted by various shadow divisions of more commonly known entities such as the CIA).

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Alex Libman 14

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Re: Anarchy in Somalia
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2009, 10:32:30 AM »

Government did not disappear in Somalia.  It simply became ever more corrupt and fragmented.

People who fail to understand that simply fail to understand the definition of "government".

Any thug with a gun who achieves local power through force is government.  Western governments started out the exact same way thousands of years ago.
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fatcat

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Re: Anarchy in Somalia
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2009, 11:16:20 AM »

I'm not sure why libertarians feel the need to in any way exemplify or hold up Somalia as an example of anarchism in practice.

Between the warlords, the islamic courts and incursions by ethopia, its far from stateless.

I'm not sure any of these things are states, which are instituions the monopolise the authorisation of legitimate force in a country. Sure, they engage in aggression, and so do states, but the fact that states are thieves doesn't imply that theives are states.

Further, though, I think that, anarchy or not, people will claim that (a) Somalia is stateless, and (b) Somalia is the worse for it. Sure, we can respond as you do, by saying (a) is false, but we can also say that (b) is false.

So warlords and islamic courts don't initiate force on people?
 
The islamic courts don't try people according to sharia law? Including death penalty for alcohol distribution?

please...


just because there isn't one monolithic state doesn't mean there are the same kind of authority gangs as in any other country.
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Richard Garner

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Re: Anarchy in Somalia
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2009, 11:28:30 AM »

I'm not sure why libertarians feel the need to in any way exemplify or hold up Somalia as an example of anarchism in practice.

Between the warlords, the islamic courts and incursions by ethopia, its far from stateless.

I'm not sure any of these things are states, which are instituions the monopolise the authorisation of legitimate force in a country. Sure, they engage in aggression, and so do states, but the fact that states are thieves doesn't imply that theives are states.

Further, though, I think that, anarchy or not, people will claim that (a) Somalia is stateless, and (b) Somalia is the worse for it. Sure, we can respond as you do, by saying (a) is false, but we can also say that (b) is false.

So warlords and islamic courts don't initiate force on people?
 
The islamic courts don't try people according to sharia law? Including death penalty for alcohol distribution?

please...


just because there isn't one monolithic state doesn't mean there are the same kind of authority gangs as in any other country.

That is precisely what I said when I said this: "Sure, they engage in aggression, and so do states, but the fact that states are thieves doesn't imply that theives are states."

I didn't say nobody initiates force, or tries to impose their authority. I said that the fact that all states initiate force and try to impose their authority doesn't imply that everybody who initiates force or impose their authority is a state. To say the opposite would be to commit the same logical fallacy as claiming because tigers are stripey, stripey things are tigers.
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fatcat

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Re: Anarchy in Somalia
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2009, 01:15:24 PM »

I'm not sure why libertarians feel the need to in any way exemplify or hold up Somalia as an example of anarchism in practice.

Between the warlords, the islamic courts and incursions by ethopia, its far from stateless.

I'm not sure any of these things are states, which are instituions the monopolise the authorisation of legitimate force in a country. Sure, they engage in aggression, and so do states, but the fact that states are thieves doesn't imply that theives are states.

Further, though, I think that, anarchy or not, people will claim that (a) Somalia is stateless, and (b) Somalia is the worse for it. Sure, we can respond as you do, by saying (a) is false, but we can also say that (b) is false.

So warlords and islamic courts don't initiate force on people?
 
The islamic courts don't try people according to sharia law? Including death penalty for alcohol distribution?

please...


just because there isn't one monolithic state doesn't mean there are the same kind of authority gangs as in any other country.

That is precisely what I said when I said this: "Sure, they engage in aggression, and so do states, but the fact that states are thieves doesn't imply that theives are states."

I didn't say nobody initiates force, or tries to impose their authority. I said that the fact that all states initiate force and try to impose their authority doesn't imply that everybody who initiates force or impose their authority is a state. To say the opposite would be to commit the same logical fallacy as claiming because tigers are stripey, stripey things are tigers.

I'm clearly not making that fallacy.

Anarchy = Absence of any form of political authority.

Clearly both the Islamic courts and the warlords count as forms of political authority.

Just because there doesn't happen to be 1 giant government, but several smaller governments, doesn't mean they're not governments.

They have taxes, they have laws, they have regulations, they claim forms of authority to do these things. walk, talk, is duck.
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BonerJoe

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Re: Anarchy in Somalia
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2009, 01:35:52 PM »

I'm not sure why libertarians feel the need to in any way exemplify or hold up Somalia as an example of anarchism in practice.

Between the warlords, the islamic courts and incursions by ethopia, its far from stateless.

I'm not sure any of these things are states, which are instituions the monopolise the authorisation of legitimate force in a country. Sure, they engage in aggression, and so do states, but the fact that states are thieves doesn't imply that theives are states.

Further, though, I think that, anarchy or not, people will claim that (a) Somalia is stateless, and (b) Somalia is the worse for it. Sure, we can respond as you do, by saying (a) is false, but we can also say that (b) is false.

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fatcat

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Re: Anarchy in Somalia
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2009, 02:30:50 PM »

I'm not sure why libertarians feel the need to in any way exemplify or hold up Somalia as an example of anarchism in practice.

Between the warlords, the islamic courts and incursions by ethopia, its far from stateless.

I'm not sure any of these things are states, which are instituions the monopolise the authorisation of legitimate force in a country. Sure, they engage in aggression, and so do states, but the fact that states are thieves doesn't imply that theives are states.

Further, though, I think that, anarchy or not, people will claim that (a) Somalia is stateless, and (b) Somalia is the worse for it. Sure, we can respond as you do, by saying (a) is false, but we can also say that (b) is false.

So warlords and islamic courts don't initiate force on people?
 
The islamic courts don't try people according to sharia law? Including death penalty for alcohol distribution?

please...


just because there isn't one monolithic state doesn't mean there are the same kind of authority gangs as in any other country.

No, you miss the point. A state holds a monopoly on use of coercive force. Somalia is a stateless society. Whether it's an anarchist one, is up for debate.

So countries with proportional representation are stateless because they don't have one group with monopoly control?

Thats an entirely pedantic definition of a state.

The places where Islamic Courts are in control, how about we call that the Islamic Court state, and the places where the warlords are in control, lets call them the Warlord state. Now we have 2 states. It doesn't fucking change anything.

Either way, the point still stands, its fucking stupid to use Somalia as an example of how things are without government because the place is fucking swarming with them.

The original article compares Somalia to "governed areas" so its assumed that "stateless" is being used as a byword for "governmentless" which is blatantly false, anyway, enough of this semantics bullshit
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Scott in Winnipeg

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Re: Anarchy in Somalia
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2009, 10:09:09 PM »

I'm not sure why libertarians feel the need to in any way exemplify or hold up Somalia as an example of anarchism in practice.

Between the warlords, the islamic courts and incursions by ethopia, its far from stateless.

True. In the absence of a "state", religious courts have taken over some areas, where people get their hands cut of for stealing and put to death for apaostacy and bullshit like that. A story came out today about that actually.

http://topicagnostic.com/2009/05/10/religion-law-torture/
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hellbilly

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Re: Anarchy in Somalia
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2009, 10:55:32 PM »

Totally agree with fatcat.
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ziggy_encaoua

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Re: Anarchy in Somalia
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2009, 11:52:41 AM »

Quote
not sure why libertarians feel the need to in any way exemplify or hold up Somalia as an example of anarchism in practice.

Me neither as it sounds like a total shithole riled by warlords & pirates
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mikehz

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Re: Anarchy in Somalia
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2009, 01:05:05 PM »

Quote
not sure why libertarians feel the need to in any way exemplify or hold up Somalia as an example of anarchism in practice.

Me neither as it sounds like a total shithole riled by warlords & pirates

And, socialists already like to play it up as an example of libertarianism. Visit any socialist forum and you'll soon come across something like this: "What! You want us to live in a place like Somalia?"
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Alex Libman 14

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Re: Anarchy in Somalia
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2009, 12:52:15 PM »

I blame Ian and Mark.  :lol:

Seriously, a dysfunctional and fragmented government may be less competent at getting in your way, thus some advantages that Somalia has had over its even poorer neighbors, but evil is still evil.  I&M failed to clarify that well enough on the several occasions when they've read positive articles on Somalia...
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