Friday, 23 July 2010

Tribal politics

One of the really cool (or frustrating!) things about becoming a libertarian and then an anarchist was the remarkable change in perspective that comes with being a total outsider.

And the most confusing thing I've ever seen is the tribal nature of voters.

"My dad voted Labour all his life, and even though I'm a mid-ranking manager in a large multinational that gets clobbered by lefty bollocks, and even though I send my kids to the local private school, I still vote Labour."


"I have voted Labour all my life, and even though the anti-war, pro-civil-liberties platform I signed up to in 1975 has long since been consigned to the dustbin, I'm still voting Labour."


"Back in the 1980's, the Tories stood for less government interference and more reliance on my own efforts. I liked it then, and even though Tory policies are entirely indistinguishable from those of Labour, I still vote Tory."


And the apologia I keep getting from Tory loyalists like Kingbingo do my head in. Claims that policies that are identical to Labour failures or LibDem wishlists are just "easing people into Tory thinking" or some such shit are nothing more or less than complete delusion.

The policies are exactly the same in most cases, and where they are not, they all stem from the exact same set of motivations and principles.

By all means, vote because of the colour of the guy's tie. But at least be honest with yourself and the rest of us about your blind, unquestioning allegiance to the tribe.

59 comments:

JuliaM said...

"Claims that policies that are identical to Labour failures or LibDem wishlists are just "easing people into Tory thinking" or some such shit are nothing more or less than complete delusion."

Rather like all those people who kept telling everyone sniping at iDave that, the minute he got into power, he'd reveal himself as a true conservative after all.

Like that would somehow be OK...

John Whitley said...

Obo, you seem to base your politics on the notion that most of us are stupid. Stupid because of our party loyalties and stupid because we haven't seen libertarian 'light'.

That's a really lousy starting point which pretty much guarantees libertarianism will never get a hearing amongst the general population. I sometimes wonder why you bother.

Anonymous said...

I was talking to a friend before the election; he was confidently predicting that the Labour party would be annihilated because everybody could now see what they doing to the country.
As I pointed out, a good third of the country would vote Labour even if they knew what they were doing the country ”because that is how my parents voted”
I used to work with someone that believed that the majority of the population are too stupid to vote (i.e. votes for short term self interest rather than long term self interest) and therefore should not be allowed to vote. Which left the unanswered question, who should vote? and for what?

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"Obo, you seem to base your politics on the notion that most of us are stupid."

No, I base my politics on the notion that people should be free to do things that affect themselves without any coercion. I base my politics on the notion that people, if left to it, will mostly get along fine. I base my politics on the idea that we don't need someone extorting money with menaces to make us all get along.

I realise that this is a frightening idea for most people. This is why I understand that most people will never see the anarchist light.

However, people who do not analyse their political motivations honestly are stupid, or at best, lazy.

Instead of making a rational decision at each election time and voting for the party that aligns most closely with their own ideals and objectives, they instead vote for their tribe and provide endless justification for their tribe's decisions, rather than criticising the party they voted for (cf. Kingbingo)

Kingbingo said...

Yes, I think you have managed once again to miss the point by a mile again so I shall repeat the argument once a bloody again, and I will type slowly. It is a pragmatic argument its simple.

a) In the UK we have a system that the vast majority of people may not love, but they definitely accept. That is that we have a government, and that government is chosen at elections.
b) That government has power, that power may only be to make things worse, but the speed it makes things worse, and the particular things it makes worse are within its gift.
c) There is the potential for this power to be used less often, and therefore not make things as worse.
d) For now, and probably for the next 30 years we have only two, or just possibly two and a half choices when it comes to this government.
e) These choices are Tory and Labour. No other choice seems remotely likely to be the largest party in government in the next 30 years.
f) Both of these choices are comprised of people
g) People have different opinions, take for example that political compass you have near the bottom of your page, different members of either choice will vary on where they fall on that spectrum. (for example I am about 1 notch to the left and about 2 notches up and I am in the same party as someone who might be much near the dead centre)
h) It would be desirable to have a government that genuinely believed that the state is too large and should be actually cut (as opposed just grown more slowly)
i) The more people within a party that believe this the more likely that the party will actively do this in power
Now please tell me at which point and why my logic is wrong.

You and I both want to reduce the size and role of government. You admittedly want to carry on reducing indefinitely to the point it no longer exists and you’re at the mercy of every thug and crime boss that wishes to fill the power vacuum. And I want to reduce the size and role of government back to its efficient size, at least a tenth of its current.

I wish to actually achieve something, so I focus on targeting a party that can actually win that I judge least hostile to my view and getting the right people to join it and within making the debate.

Your position is to say leave the two parties to the statists, they can have all the power. And instead you will focus your efforts on shouting and screaming as much as possible. Plus I think your conversion to anarchy is just nuts, but I’m still reading just encase you can present a decent argument of how you maintain property rights and deal with the 2% of miscreants.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"Now please tell me at which point and why my logic is wrong."

Well, you say that the Tories have a libertarian wing, but both Carswell and Hannan (and their ilk) will suck and have quite cheerfully sucked Dave's social democrat cock when the chips are down.

As one small example, Dave's "Big Society" schtick is being presented 57 different ways, occasionally even as taking power away from the state, but what we actually get is a new quango stealing money directly out of people's bank accounts and being handed out to a favoured few.

I sure when Gordon proposed the exact same thing, you were strutting around telling everyone what a cunt he was. Now your man is doing it and all you can do is tell me how it will all work out OK in the end.

Don't be such an utter dick all your life, or fuck off and be a dick somewhere else.

Kingbingo said...

“No, I base my politics on the notion that people should be free to do things that affect themselves without any coercion.”

Ah, beautiful! I see you have finally come round to the point I have been making that liberty can be liberty that is ‘Self regarding’ and ‘Other regarding’. Indeed it is not even my point. It comes from the genius of John Stewart Mill in 1859 long before the term libertarian was coined.

So I agree with you that all ‘Self regarding’ liberties should be left alone by the state. So for example the liberty to inject drugs into yourself. The liberty to freely associate and provide goods and services, so prostitution should not be legal, it is free association. And healthcare should not be delivered by the state, as the free market can provide it cheaper and much better, just like the free market gives us via Tesco’s and Bills restaurant cheaper and better food, for the rich and for the poor. (Although I am happy with the state paying for a little food and healthcare for those that really need it –via the free market).

But Obnoxio also has to realise that there are ‘Other regarding’ liberties. The liberty to go around making happy slapping videos, by walking up to random teenage girls and belting them round the face as hard as I can while filming it on my mobile. That may be a liberty that I enjoy, (and as we have seen in this country some people really do) but it clearly destroys the girls liberty to walk down the street in peace.
So how would Obnoxios new anarchic society deal with happy slappers? Would he hunt down the offend group of young feral men who slapped his daughter and beat them up personally? Even if Obnoxio is built like a brick shit house if he goes up against a dozen youths he is going to get hurt badly. Does he get a group of bouncers for hire, and having purchased their muscle on the free market send them in? But once anyone who has the resources to command muscle and force with no higher authority that claims the monopoly of violence (a state) then any group could simply decide to turf him out his home and claim it as their own, nothing would stop them.
Obnoxio’s blissful thinking is that the moment you have anarchy everyone will suddenly become incredibly respectful of others and their property, and any criminal element will either vanish, or not exploit the power vacuum.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

So, given that we have this enormous fucking state now, with CCTV and every self-righteous twat in a hi-viz vest able to stick his nose into your life, how is it that happy-slapping happens now?

And how is a smaller, less intrusive state going to stop this from happening?

Oh, I know: all they have to do is listen to Kingbingo and how he would tweak the state to make it all perfect and lovely.

Fuck's sake: stop deluding yourself.

Kingbingo said...

I’m not a fan of the Big Society, sounds like a load of old toss to me, you can’t assume that everything Cameron does I support. It’s merely that I think what he does is less worse that what Brown would have done. Ergo, he gets my support at elections.

“Don't be such an utter dick all your life, or fuck off and be a dick somewhere else.”

Isn’t this the nub. You have no answer to the questions I raise, if you did you would simply answer them with a smile on your face, confident with the superiority of your logic.

I happily read your blog for ages all the time you slammed examples of state lunacy. But at some point you became so wound up by the excess of the state you flipped over to becoming an anarchist. And being an archaist is lunacy. Sheer madness. I try and point out to you the considerable gaps in thinking that anarchy requires and you just ignore any gaps and assert that whatever the problem, anarchy is the solution, you have become the tribal one with this blind faith in an ideology you cannot explain (I assume to yourself as well as to us).

Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Obnoxio the Clown. I would love to buy you a beer one day. But I just think at some point you made a wrong turn and flipped into this anarchist position that does you no credit. I understand why under Gordon Brown you got so annoyed by the State that you decided to back no state at all. But it’s too far, it won’t work. The role of the libertarian is to ask how little state you need to allow a free market to operate.

Kingbingo said...

“how is it that happy-slapping happens now?”
Because some people are selfish and anti social. But now, there is X% chance they will be punished and that fact will provide a disincentive to do it again or others to do it on a more widespread basis.
The best a state can do is not to solve the tendency of a small number of people to be shits, but to mitigate their effects on the rest of us.

“And how is a smaller, less intrusive state going to stop this from happening?”
It is not. It will be exactly how it is now in this case, providing a disincentive to use force against other or to defraud others etc. Remember the police and the courts are almost the only thing I want a small state to keep doing. Almost everything else, including national defence, I want the private sector to provide. In doing so we eliminate masses of waste and non-jobs.
You want to remove law and order itself, and you think that without the disincentives to behave abusively there will somehow be less not more??


“Oh, I know: all they have to do is listen to Kingbingo and how he would tweak the state to make it all perfect and lovely.”
Your confused. I do not want to make the state perfect. I simply want to limit its role to what it must provide in order to enshrine property rights, and the free market will take over from that point forward.


“Fuck's sake: stop deluding yourself.”
The truth is EVERY time you ask me a question I can answer it, because minimal state libertarianism is a viable system that can be logically argued and in most cases backed by real world examples.

However, EVERY time I ask you a question you have to dodge it and/or ask me a question instead because anarcho-capitalism is not possible. You cannot have a sophisticated free-market with anarchy. It’s a bunk theory.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

I have already told you why I can't answer those questions, for exactly the same reason the state fails at everything:

I don't know every possible outcome of my decisions or actions. Consequently, any suggestion I might reasonably proffer, you may be able to find a fault with. So I would spend the rest of my life "proving" to you that there is a way to make such a way of life work.

And since I'm not an expert in everything and unlike the state, I'm happy to profess that I'm not an expert in everything I turn my hand to, I won't even begin to bother.

The thing is, the state isn't any smarter or wiser than me. The state, however, has the option of coercing us to accept their bad decisions, no matter what the consequences.

If people freely try out a mechanism and find it doesn't work well, they'll try something else until they find something that does. The state cannot be seen to be doing something wrong, so it just keeps on blundering along down a stupid path, tweaking stuff as it goes along.

But keep on trying to tell me how good the state will be if they only listen to you. You've already confessed that the state will never remain small, so I don't know why you're trying to sell me on the idea of a small state.

Kingbingo said...

Incidentally, Anna Raccoon once told me she was thinking about how she could best capture the debate we had on her comments section about the need for a state. I offered to write something in response to questions that she provided, if you did the same from a no state perspective.

The idea being that with a moderator asking the questions a 3rd party would be interested in we could each provide a thought out response. Lets the audience make their own minds up. A sort of moderated article opposing viewpoints type thing.

I don’t know if she might still be interested in anything like that, would it hold any appeal to you?

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"“how is it that happy-slapping happens now?”
Because some people are selfish and anti social. But now, there is X% chance they will be punished and that fact will provide a disincentive to do it again or others to do it on a more widespread basis.
The best a state can do is not to solve the tendency of a small number of people to be shits, but to mitigate their effects on the rest of us."

What makes you think that an anarchist society would not have some mechanism for punishing miscreants?

You seem to think that a lack of state means no mechanism for punishing people -- on the contrary, I would imagine that punishment could be quite harsh under certain models. Much more of a deterrent.

"minimal state libertarianism is a viable system that can be logically argued and in most cases backed by real world examples."

... says the man who has already confessed that the state never shrinks. And pray tell, where is this libertarian nirvana today?

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"I don’t know if she might still be interested in anything like that, would it hold any appeal to you?"

What do you think? :o)

Kingbingo said...

“If people freely try out a mechanism and find it doesn't work well, they'll try something else until they find something that does. The state cannot be seen to be doing something wrong, so it just keeps on blundering along down a stupid path, tweaking stuff as it goes along.”

Yes the classic argument for a free market. The argument as to why the market should allocate capital and other resources rather than a government ‘picking winners’ and as much as you like to paint me as having a diametrically opposing viewpoint to your own we agree on this absolutely. If you and I were to go through a list of things that government does today we would agree on about 95%+ that the state, should not do that, the free market can do it better.

But as you know it’s not the argument I’m making. I am saying that in order to have a free market to begin with you need law and a way of enforcing that law. And at no point in history can I find that being done on an individual basis, and everywhere in history can I find people banding together to secure liberty from aggressors and enforce property rights, by using collective action that was basically a small form of government over the area in which property rights are to be enforced.

If it was in your gift to do so you would tomorrow morning you would press a button that would abolish all government, all police/courts/law entirely.

So that means you need to have at least a working idea what you’re going to do tomorrow afternoon when you come home to find out a bunch of Romanian thugs have taken over your house and declared it’s theirs now. After all, you can’t call the police, you just abolished them.
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23838386-our-weekend-living-with-squatters---family-return-to-find-house-taken-over.do
(P.S. The police take far too long to enforce property rights in this case, but at least they do it.)

Kingbingo said...

“What do you think? :o)”

I think you will run a mile from actually make a case for anarchy, but I’m hoping you’re up to the challenge?

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"everywhere in history can I find people banding together to secure liberty from aggressors and enforce property rights, by using collective action that was basically a small form of government over the area in which property rights are to be enforced."

Really? That's funny, because people banding together to enforce property rights is exactly how I would expect Anarcho Capitalists to operate.

Your calling it a state doesn't make it a state.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"I think you will run a mile from actually make a case for anarchy, but I’m hoping you’re up to the challenge?"

You mean you're hoping I'll run a mile, but you're afraid I'm up for the challenge... :o)

Kingbingo said...

“What makes you think that an anarchist society would not have some mechanism for punishing miscreants?”

Because who have not the vaguest idea how it might work. You try and use the efficient allocation of markets argument to say that you don’t know how it might work. But I can still explain to a statist how the free market would deliver better prisons, healthcare, welfare, energy etc. So you should be able to explain to me how anarchy would provide law and order.


“You seem to think that a lack of state means no mechanism for punishing people -- on the contrary, I would imagine that punishment could be quite harsh under certain models. Much more of a deterrent.”
Sounds great....... Care to share, even a link to an article might be nice, anything......


“... says the man who has already confessed that the state never shrinks. And pray tell”
No, I have said that the challenge to libertarians to find a way to keep the state as small as possible. As I have explained to you before, I think I have such a model.

Kingbingo said...

”You mean you're hoping I'll run a mile, but you're afraid I'm up for the challenge... :o)”

Obnoxio, I’ve been reading you for ages, you’re a hero of mine, I would be delighted if you were up to the challenge.

Does that mean you are, shall I ask Anna?

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"Because who have not the vaguest idea how it might work."

Perhaps you might want to read what some other bloke wrote: "everywhere in history can I find people banding together to secure liberty from aggressors and enforce property rights, by using collective action"

You can quite easily have individuals working together without a coercive state dictating how that working together should occur.

"As I have explained to you before, I think I have such a model."

And it is?

"Does that mean you are, shall I ask Anna?"

Knock yourself out.

Kingbingo said...

“And it is?”

Regional governments splitting the UK into a dozen (or more) smaller regions and within those the election of ALL public servants and their budget. So for example the people of Wessex would elect a sheriff.

Bob and Bill would each put forward their prioritise and how much they need.

So Bob might say I need a £200m budget from the people of Wessex or 3p in every pound earned. I will focus on wild flower pickers and burglars. I will not have prisons, just lashes for a first offence and digit removal for the subsequent.

Bill might say I need a £800m budget from the people of Wessex or 12p in every pound earned. I will focus on people who make racist remarks and petty enforcement of everything the local government decrees is an offence. I will have prisons that provide every luxury known to man unless your middle class.

The good people of Wessex would then choose who they wanted to be their sheriff. The sheriff would use that budget to procure the services they need from the market.

The government of Wessex would decide what posts need to be filled, and the people would vote on them.

Applies to health, welfare, roads, education the lot.

If less than 50% of the electorate bother to vote the vote is declared void and it is assumed people do not want that job done. And the post is not created or renewed.

Simples.

(Of course all the above is a bit pie in the sky for now, but it’s a nice end game.)

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"If less than 50% of the electorate bother to vote the vote is declared void and it is assumed people do not want that job done. And the post is not created or renewed."

So if 51% of the people vote to fill the jobs in the Office of Jewish Extermination, that's OK then?

But seriously, what happens, as I suspect will happen, when 50% of the people don't vote for ANY offices????

Kingbingo said...

“So if 51% of the people vote to fill the jobs in the Office of Jewish Extermination, that's OK then?”
Well that can happen now with super sized states, in fact student of history that I aspire to be, I vaguely recall some sort of raucous over in Europe around about seven decades ago along those lines. The merit in my idea of lots of mini states is that it is easy to simply move to another state. Who does not have laws or roles you find distasteful.


“But seriously, what happens, as I suspect will happen, when 50% of the people don't vote for ANY offices????”
Then you get to have your anarchist experiment.

I think people will vote for law and order. But if they don’t then the wealthy will probably pay into companies that look halfway like current insurance companies combined with private military companies. If a crime is committed against a member than that insurance/military company will pay you out the agreed rate of compensation and go after the offender to recoup their losses, or to inflict a punishment that sufficiently deters reoffending.
They would have their interests aligned with the members, the lowwer the prevailing crime the lower the rate they would have to pay out.
Of course there are numerous major difficulties here. Firstly this will effectively exclude those who cannot afford the premiums of one of these companies, or who don’t bother, would be outside the law. Secondly, these companies or indeed any organised body of force could use aggressive methods to eliminate each other, and if any were to achieve dominance they could go rogue and act purely in their own interests. The way a state constrained by elections cannot.
This might happen in the occasional state, and if the nightmare scenario ensues the citizens of other states would quickly realise the importance of voting for a sheriff. But If your right and nothing bad happens then citizens of other states would stop bothering to vote for a sheriff.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"The merit in my idea of lots of mini states is that it is easy to simply move to another state. Who does not have laws or roles you find distasteful."

We now live in a world where most of the states have roughly similar laws. What happens when I can't find a mini-state to my taste?

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"I think people will vote for law and order."

It all depends. Right now, we would vote for law and order if someone would offer it to us.

What happens when neither Bill nor Bob offers us what we want?

Anonymous said...

"So you should be able to explain to me how anarchy would provide law and order."

No need to reinvent the wheel, "Democracy: the God that Failed" by Hans-Herman Hoppe

While not perfect, indicates the sort of mechanisms that could work in an AnCap Society.

Kingbingo said...

“No need to reinvent the wheel, "Democracy: the God that Failed" by Hans-Herman Hoppe”

Thank you anonymous. Is there an online resource for his writing? I assume advancing very similar arguments to a lot of the Murry Rothbard stuff and that’s all downloadable or online viewable.

Anonymous said...

@ KingBingo
Hans-Herman Hoppe is, at least according to Lew Rockwell, supposed to be the foremost Libertarian theorist alive today, in the Rothbard school.

"Democracy:..." is a collection of essays and most, but not all are available here

As you, at one point, were discussing private law, in the example of 'happy slapping', you may wish to start here.

Kingbingo said...

“We now live in a world where most of the states have roughly similar laws. What happens when I can't find a mini-state to my taste?”
Most of the countries have similar laws due to the homogeneity of people’s generally acceptable principles. Call it natural law if you like.

What I think you might be driving at is most state has onerous levels of bureaucracy?? Not so, smaller states like Switzerland and Singapore have much less onerous levels and look a lot more like what we would find desirable. Big states have too much government because to support a big state you need to take the state beyond its optimal size, and once you do that the bureaucracy expands to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.

Cut a state back to its optimal size, and elect ALL public servants and you nullify that problem.


“What happens when neither Bill nor Bob offers us what we want?”

You either move to another state with someone who does or…

You personally have spotted an opportunity. So you, Obnoxio the Clown stand for office, with whatever priorities you want, with whatever budget you feel you need, including within that budget any salary you feel you deserve.

If people vote for you bingo.

If they don’t, live with it.

Kingbingo said...

Thank you anonymous, I already knew the Lew Rockwell site. In fact I printed off Rothbards ‘Society without a State’ from it to read over lunch, after my conversation with Obnoxio. Although I had not looked at any Hans-Hermann Hoppe stuff, and even now my printer is busy churning away with my new weekend reading. Hopefully I will find that he does not leave the gaps that Rothabard did in my opinion

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"What I think you might be driving at is most state has onerous levels of bureaucracy??"

No. Every state has stupid laws. Even the Swiss, whose government seems to make you want to masturbate yourself into a coma, has recently declared Texas Hold 'Em Poker illegal.

Every country has stupid fucking laws, because every fucking government needs to find something to keep itself busy with.

What happens when I come along and find none of them to my taste? I'm still just as fucked as I ever was.

In order for this to work, you also assume something potentially even more unlikely than people giving up government altogether: government voluntarily giving up power to become smaller and remain smaller.

We are in a situation now where the country is fucked: bankrupt and over-regulated. No-one I've ever met doesn't think there is some part of government that can't be cut or trimmed. The motivation to shrink the state has never been greater.

And yet, what do we actually get? A state that is growing explosively, albeit microscopically less explosively than it would have under the Mad Scot.

At some point, reality is going to catch up with the UK. The money will, quite literally run out. And yet we will still have civil servants fighting tooth and nail to retain the budgets for diversity outreach co-ordinators.

How likely do you think it is that people who are used to that kind of power and control will actually relinquish it?

Kingbingo said...

Quite and laughed my arse off at the swiss comment.

You asked me about my ideal state so I told you. Now you’re asking about how we actually start getting anywhere near it. Now we are back to hard headed pragmatism and the realization that we can’t get everything we want. We just get to pick the least worse viable option. That’s why I’m a Tory.

It’s the least worse option.

If you have another/better plan, let us know, otherwise I’m still on the influence from within model.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"If people vote for you bingo.

If they don’t, live with it."

And if I'm quite happy with my chosen job? Why do I have to give it up and run for office? And even if I give up my life and run for office, what happens if I fail?

"Fuck you Obo," will be what I get. I get that now and it requires much less effort.

Kingbingo said...

“How likely do you think it is that people who are used to that kind of power and control will actually relinquish it?”

People become so disgusted by the many abuses of the state they elect an ideological nutter who drives a truly radical programme through.

In the States this could be Ron Paul, or Peter Schiff.

Here it could be Hannan.

It could happen. But it won’t unless Ron, Peter and Dan all decide to use the existing party mechanism and do what they can to subvert or control those entities.

John Demetriou said...

Hasn't the mindless hypocrite Obo given up in the face of his losing argument against KingBingo?

Joy to read this. Obo coming unstuck off the rails, soon to get derailed into a bush at any given moment.

Obo - the man who slams Boaty & D on the basis that we allegedly pretend to monopolise libertarianism. Yet his own narrow dogmatic view of libertarianism is presented as anarchism, and furthermore, fact, on his site.

Obo - the man who said we were wrong about blog censorship and the prerogative of private blog site / property owners, but who went ahead and took the same line as we did regarding 'a very public sociologist'.

Obo - the man who slams me for using ad hominems and cognitive dissonance in my arguments, yet when it comes to being challenged on here, he is the first to pile out the rampant abuse (noted by King bingo)

Obo - The man who belittles Boaty & D on the basis we blog war and hunt for stats, when it is in fact he who writes endless shit stirring articles about us and others to get attention.

Unbridled hypocrite. Absolute shameless charlatan. No wonder you and your Country Cunt pals like Anna, DK, Bella, CF etc etc all pull together. All in your cosy little bottom right hand corner of the political spectrum, making out like your way is the true way.

Oh, wait, we are the 'keepers', aren't we. Yes, of course. Us who dare to have a slightly different optinion...and say it on a blog!

HAHAHAHA! Expooooosed!

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"You asked me about my ideal state so I told you. Now you’re asking about how we actually start getting anywhere near it. Now we are back to hard headed pragmatism and the realization that we can’t get everything we want. We just get to pick the least worse viable option. That’s why I’m a Tory."

Right. Which is why we're so much better off under Cameron with his plans to recycle Gordon's failed policies.

Your "hard headed pragmatism" is actually a pair of rose tinted spectacles. The Tories are a whisker to the right of Labour, but not enough to make an measurable difference. Yet you keep telling yourself (and us) that it's all going to be different because your team are in charge.

But every single time they *do* anything, as opposed to *saying* anything, if you closed your eyes you wouldn't be able to tell them apart from Labour.

You keep telling yourself it's hard-headed pragmatism. You keep telling yourself that nobody could survive without a state to protect them. You keep telling me I'm a fool for looking at the mess every single permutation of the state has created and saying we can do fine without one.

You will forgive, I'm sure, if I do not accept your views. Because while your ideal is as unreachable as mine, it is a lot less desirable and impractical besides; and your bland suggestion that the Tories are the least-worst option is completed disputed by the facts of what they have actually done, when compared with what they said they would do.

Kingbingo said...

“And if I'm quite happy with my chosen job? Why do I have to give it up and run for office? And even if I give up my life and run for office, what happens if I fail?”

Some men are fighters not quitters. Bluntly.

Kingbingo said...

"the Tories are the least-worst option is completed disputed by the facts of what they have actually done"

Lets give them a full term at least before we judge what they have actually done

stimarco said...

I work in the IT industry. I've been watching Microsoft and Nokia slowly implode for at least five years.

One of Nokia's ex-employees, Juhanni Risku recently wrote a book explaining some of the key issues—the "Peter Principle" rears its predictable head regarding the 500-odd middle managers. (Interview with Risku here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/22/nokia_manifesto_risku/)

My point is: how is this kind of *free market* cock-up any better or worse than the "Big State" problem? Both are *exactly the same thing*.

A government isn't a special case. It's just a gigantic, legally-sanctioned monopoly. This doesn't mean it's not stuffed with *people*, each with their own agendas, each with their own level of incompetence.

For "shareholders", read "electorate". Show me any PRACTICAL difference between the two systems! Why should people trust capitalists any more than they trust governments?

Most importantly: Why should people expect capitalists to *avoid* creating vast, lumbering, corporate monopolies even though this is the natural tendency of *all* businesses?

How does a corporate monopoly become functionally any different to a big state?

How will money work? Without some form of central enforcement, it's just worthless paper. Will each corporation have its own mint too? Will we be forced to pay exchange rate commissions to convert our Sainsbury's Nectars into ASDA Pounds?

Will we need a completely new kind of economy based on time?

How do you encourage research and development if you have no way to enforce patent and copyright laws? What will happen to the research universities?

Who's going to enforce property ownership? Or will we all (a) have to own guns, and (b) hope to Codd that we don't have crap eyesight? (Which rules me out.)

Peperbarmi said...

Kingbingo said,

"Lets give them a full term at least before we judge what they have actually done"

Its not all doom and gloom,at least "cast iron" Dave is making noises about cutting quangos,but there is a hell of a lot that needs fixing, a lot of people are impatient to see results,I suspect we will have more of the same just blue instead of red.

Mama Peperbarmi said...

John Demoderatriou said,

"Us who dare to have a slightly different optinion...and say it on a blog!"


Whats an "optinion" genius?, "Us" er try "We".

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"Some men are fighters not quitters. Bluntly."

Right. So, even though I might not be articulate enough or presentable enough to get myself elected or I really don't want to tell other people how to live their lives, if I don't get myself elected, I have no right to complain about the government I have?

It's a curious thing to say: I don't want a government, and the only option you give me is that I actually have to run for government and govern. Which is something I don't believe in and don't want to do.

It's a bit like fucking for virginity, isn't it?

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"My point is: how is this kind of *free market* cock-up any better or worse than the "Big State" problem? Both are *exactly the same thing*."

Neither Nokia nor Microsoft operate in anything like a free market, so it's hard to compare. But the reality of it is, if they fuck up enough, eventually they will go pop, and some other bugger will come along and pick up the pieces.

You don't have that luxury with a government. It doesn't matter who wins the election, the state carries on uncorrected and unchanged -- apart from bigger.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"Lets give them a full term at least before we judge what they have actually done"

And when the state owes a trillion Pounds, and your bins are still being spied on, and there are more quangos than ever, what then, Kingbingo?

Will you still be saying "Yes, but it's better than it could have been"?

Even if that's true, has it really brought us any closer to libertarianism, or has it just taken us a yard less further away from libertarianism?

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"Why should people expect capitalists to *avoid* creating vast, lumbering, corporate monopolies even though this is the natural tendency of *all* businesses?"

Big business happens because regulation protects incumbents. Without regulation to protect the incumbent, new entrants to profitable markets can happen at the drop of a hat. These new entrants may offer services that are not cost-effective to the bigger company and will so chip away at the big companies' market share.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"How will money work? Without some form of central enforcement, it's just worthless paper. Will each corporation have its own mint too?"

Enforcement is a horrible word. What money should do, is represent value. You should have complete trust in the currency.

It is quite likely that different banks (or anyone!) could create their own currencies. A limited form of this exists in Scotland. But if you had less faith in RBS Pounds, you'd ask for more of them in exchange for your Tesco Pounds (or whatever).

Weak currencies would eventually be driven out of circulation.

Kingbingo said...

“How does a corporate monopoly become functionally any different to a big state?”
Exactly, what Rothbard and Obnoxio and Hoppe ( from what I can tell having read so far) all assume is that bureaucratic growth and coercion can only happen in organisations that bear the name ‘state’.

In each case they replace the state with a network of private enFORCEment agencies. But the use of force never goes away. Violence is a constant in any society with scares resources. So in their dream scenarios’ where law and order are enforced by private business there is nothing to stop these firms from, once they are large enough, deciding with their members consent to start charging non-members for the safety they provide, by coercion. And then your right back where we started with coercion and tax, with something that looks so much like a state it’s the same thing.

Its why libertarians despair the Ancaps and their preciousness about the role of monopoliser of force in a society.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"So in their dream scenarios’ where law and order are enforced by private business there is nothing to stop these firms from, once they are large enough, deciding with their members consent to start charging non-members for the safety they provide, by coercion."

I'm really not sure how that would transpire. The whole point of private business in a deregulated market is that there is no protection of incumbents. Before any business could get to monoploy size, other players would enter the market and chip away at market share.

Unless they ALL colluded together to claim "protection" which they would all be getting paid anyway?

And as soon as they tried to jack the price up, a dozen new competitors would emerge and undercut them. And because they were cheaper, everyone would stop paying the incumbents and they would go out of business.

Kingbingo said...

“Will each corporation have its own mint too? Will we be forced to pay exchange rate commissions to convert our Sainsbury's Nectars into ASDA Pounds?

Will we need a completely new kind of economy based on time?”
I assume they could all issue notes backed by gold, silver, although any commodity that is tradable would do. If people are willing to buy notes that are backed by something else, say, the land that Tesco’s built their stores on, or their capital equipment and people are willing to accept them why not.
The financial services industry will quickly develop pricing mechanisms, and online accounts that contain a basket of currencies and keep them constantly priced. If we move to electronic settlement (online/debit cards) people need hardly give the matter any thought. Although they would be more circumspect about whose notes they trust. This is close to what I do in financial services, it would be a doddle, the economy would not be the same, it would be considerably stronger with no more boom and bust from liquidity flow distortions like we have now with fiat money.

Kingbingo said...

“I'm really not sure how that would transpire.”

Let’s say Musclecorp is private insurance firm that 90% of your street sign up to provide protection.

You pay a premium and every time you get beaten up or burgled they have to pay you £10k. Classic insurance model.

Now Musclecorp decides that because so many people on your street are member they are going to have a full time bouncer patrol your street because it is cheaper for them to pay someone to do that then pay out every other month.

Wonderful. The free market is now giving you better security for less money in premiums than you used to pay in tax. As long as you avoid the streets with no enforcement where anything goes.

Number 12 & 23 Obnoxio lane is not a member, and pays no premiums, but they get the benefits of living on a street that is patrolled.

Musclecorp write to you and say that many people have complained that number 12 & 23 is freeloading, and that they want a team of bouncers to collect a premium from them, and oh, if they do they will accordingly adjust your premiums down. You agree because your fed up with them freeloading on your premiums.

Well done, you just reinvent taxation with another name.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

You assume a lot. What happens if 12 and 23 have insurance with Thugcorp? They're not freeloading, and the bouncer in the road is perfectly entitled to carry a sign saying "I don't protect 12 and 23".

And can you now see why I haven't bothered to provide you with a detailed plan about how an anarchist society would work? You have done nothing but pick apart every single thing I've said here, something that I recall you promised faithfully you would accept with a smile and move on.

Kingbingo said...

“ And can you now see why I haven't bothered to provide you with a detailed plan about how an anarchist society would work? You have done nothing but pick apart every single thing I've said here”

You have got to be joking! I supplied the example, based on your new religion and showed why it wouldn’t work in direct response to your question.

I have given up on your making your own case for yourself.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"You have got to be joking! I supplied the example, based on your new religion and showed why it wouldn’t work in direct response to your question."

But you didn't show why it wouldn't work. You made a number of "interesting" assumptions which are, to my mind at least, rather questionable.

But the problem is that everything I say will follow this process: I will suggest something, you will find a genuine or bogus flaw, I will rebut, you will rebut my rebuttal and round and round it will go.

I will never convince you because you do not want to be convinced.

"I have given up on your making your own case for yourself."

Did Anna tell you to fuck off, or what?

Fuck Perbarmi's Mama said...

@Mama Peperbarmi
You're back!!! Joy unconfined!!!
I'd fuck you myself, but I don't want to catch an 'exceedingly terrible sicki-ness'.
Tell me, have you noticed a yellow streak in the green pus ooze?

Consequential said...

@Obo

Cool it. Love your rants (& your sly .... whatevers). But sometimes one needs to take a step back.
I hold no brief for Kingbingo (& even less for the Two Cockwavers).
Assuming one votes. Voting for the 'least bad' alternative seems to be logical, whatever one's personal convictions.

davidncl said...

Here's an AnCap bibliography

link

Many of these works look directly at the provision of security and defence on the market.

Bayard said...

"Now please tell me at which point and why my logic is wrong."

Point a) "In the UK we have a system that the vast majority of people may not love, but they definitely accept."

No they don't. They only "accept" it because they've never been offered an alternative.

Anna Raccoon said...

"Did Anna tell you to fuck off, or what?"

Don't be daft - at my age I say yes to anything that's going.

Yes, I am quite happy to host a Libertarian/Ancap/Anarchist debate.

I think a lot of people would be interested in the discussion you two have been having, and perhaps want to join in?

I propose you both write a short piece setting out your main thesis, I shall put it up as a blog post, give it its own tab at the top of the page, and then anyone who wants to can join in or read it for reference at a later stage.

A clean fight mind you ladies, no ad hominem abuse!

Thaddeus and I will be watching.