Monday, 2 August 2010

When was the last time you had to deal with the government?

In my continuing quest to convince people that they don't need a government, I'd like to raise a straw poll here on what your latest interactions with the government have been.

To get you started, my last interactions with the government have been:
  • querying income tax -- not relevant in an AnCap society, and no fucking loss.
  • submitting an income tax return -- not relevant in an AnCap society, and no fucking loss.
  • registering a car I bought privately -- not relevant in an AnCap society, and no fucking loss.
  • renewing the tax disk on my other car -- not relevant in an AnCap society, and no fucking loss.
  • seeing my doctor -- not relevant in an AnCap society, and I've been to countries which only have private health care and I think they're all better than the NHS.

Of course, the most frequent interaction I have with the government is when they reach into my wallet and take half my earnings, quietly, efficiently and silently. I only object when I see how much gets pissed out in foreign aid, dole-bludging, corporatist whoremongering and lesbian diversity outreach co-ordinators.

The point I'm trying to make is that for almost everything I choose to do voluntarily and for my benefit, I have no government involvement. I don't look to the government for anything. On those rare occasions where I've had to deal with the law, they've been of less use to me than Tampax.

I probably break dozens of regulations or statutory instruments or badly-drafted New Labour laws or health and safety rules every day, but I've never harmed or hurt anyone, nor do I have any intention of doing so.

I'm quite happy to get along with my neighbours, I don't litter, I don't tag buildings, I don't shit on the pavement.

I don't see myself in any way as exceptional. So what, exactly, is the government giving me in exchange for all the money I give them? And how do you feel about the deal you're getting out of them?

60 comments:

Morlock said...

Christ on a crutch, Obo.

I'm an anarchist too; but your wilful misrepresentation of the facts (or is it simply lack of thought?) so, so easily allows others to have a pop at the concept.

Your most recent interaction with the state? Probably the second you last stepped outside your front door onto the pavement/road. Your taxes pay for crap like so-called 'public goods' as well as the obvious stuff as well.

Don't agree with that (any) use of taxation? Good. Argue the case. But don't pretend that the state is simply unnecessary bureaucracy -- that simply allows others to dismiss your thesis as that of the product of somebody who hasn't really thought things through.

George said...

Spending 20quid on renewing the photo on my licence, even though in the 10years since I got the photo licence I have hardly change. Also had to renew mine and the sprogs passports £££££££

Obnoxio The Clown said...

OK, Morlock, public goods is something I've discussed and am pretty comfortable can be privately provided.

But here I was thinking more about direct interactions with the state, and how necessary it is to have an armed bully to direct your daily life.

Anonymous said...

There, there Obo.

Dick Puddlecote said...

George, I had to pay that £20 for a change of picture myself last week. Irritating as it may be, the icing on the cake was that the DVLA (a state-run organisation) couldn't even stretch to a reply-paid envelope (from another state-run organisation).

Anonymous said...

Morlock, if you're an Anarchist, I must be something they haven't invented a word for yet. The road outside my house is private, the road connecting to it and most of my Village was built privately and stolen by the government. Saying that using stolen government roads is an interaction with government is madness. They're not here, I didn't get their permission to go on it and it'd be a damn sight nicer if they pissed off and let someone own it.

And of course the majority of interactions with government will be to remove money from you. That's sort of the entire reason for government, there's nothing else to it but extracting more and more money.

I've had no other interactions with the state ever, because the majority of people aren't criminals, so I've had no reason to use their "police force", and I'd be ill then go into one of their death trap hospitals.

Steve Antony Williams said...

About to deal with them today. It'll probably be a thoroughly demoralising experience as usual.

Steve Tierney said...

Devil's advocate for you anarchists -

On the way into London today I saw a team of guys working machines to trim the lawns, verge and central reservation on a major A-Road.

Now I'd certainly agree that such public works are often inefficient and expensive. But.

In your non-government world, the road would be private, right? So I couldn't travel on it unless I paid a fee to whatever land baron had taken the road area and chosen to toll it? Once I had paid dozens of fees for a cross-country journey would I be any better off? I doubt it, actually.

Or perhaps you envision nobody would own it? In which case I'd be trying to drive along a thousand potholes (as opposed to the few dozen there now) while swerving to avoid the overgrowing weeds, bushes and other greenery that was running wild.

I propose that when people band together to pay for something they mostly all need - like a major A-Road to drive from one town to another - therein lies the roots of government. But people will always do that - being tribal in our nature. Which suggests to me we will always have government.

In my view there's nothing wrong with government except that it always wants to increase its remit beyond the sensible and necessary. THAT is the issue that needs challenging I reckon. Small state - not NO state.

Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

I don't interact with the public sector at all, if I can possibly help it. I pay my accountant to do that, and it's worth every penny.

KrAzY3 said...

Well, just because the government owns something doesn't mean it should, which is part of the point.

The question is, what role does the government fill that the private sector couldn't do better? Yesterday I made several stops, at each stop I paid taxes. At no point did I ask for any service of any kind. Simply because some things might be seen as a service does not mean I wanted or solicited them any more than I wished to pay taxes.

As far as interactions with the government, I can say that the government has done practically nothing for me. My education (to the point I had one) was entirely private. My health care has been entirely private. Mind you, I grew up poor to middle class, but I was never on welfare and the government honestly played no meaningful role in my life.

The government inserts itself into our lives against our will. What do they do that we could not do for ourselves? What do they do for us that we desperately needed? The government didn't feed me, educate me, or care for my health.

The government needs me more than I need it.

Obnoxio The Clown is a cunt said...

Fail.

John Demetriou said...

Squawk!

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Remember everyone... if you disagree with me or my fellatio friend Boatang, you are a cunt!

Squawk!

Grimy Miner said...

Politics Explained
FEUDALISM: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

PURE SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all of the cows. The government gives you as much milk as you need.

BUREAUCRATIC SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and put them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and eggs as the regulations say you need.

FASCISM: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them and sells you the milk.

PURE COMMUNISM: You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.

RUSSIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.

CAMBODIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. The government takes both of them and shoots you.

DICTATORSHIP: You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.

PURE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.

BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. Then it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.

PURE ANARCHY: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to take the cows and kill you.

LIBERTARIAN/ANARCHO-CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

SURREALISM: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

Anonymous said...

@Steve Tierney: Speak english man. Why would you travel on private roads that made you worse off, instead of doing what people actually do in reality and picking the road that you want to travel on at a price you are willing to pay.

Better yet, you not only get to drive on superior roads, but I, who doesn't drive aren't forced at gun point to subsidize terrible quality raods for the pleasure of others.

Also, generally we just call payment, payment. The word toll is meant to imply that it is different from payment, and also presupposes the inability for other methods of payment, like an Annual scheme that allows you to drive on many different roads, or transparant payment as you drive through technological means.

Kingbingo said...

“So what, exactly, is the government giving me in exchange for all the money I give them? And how do you feel about the deal you're getting out of them?”

I feel the government is giving me exceptionally poor value for money. It could do the essential bits of what it does at drastically cheaper, without all the non-jobs and ‘rights’. If this were 99% of internet blogs I would now go on to give an angry tirade against the state and its failings. However, this is currently an anarchist site, so I’m moved to point out that the government does give me two things that are extremely important. A common rule book, and property rights.


The common rule book means that the local police chief cannot form a personal dislike of me and expect to get away with overtly harassing me. I note that a senior Asian Met officer (Ali Dizaei ) did that with a business man he fell out with and is now in the clink.

In an ancap society whoever has the most power can use it as they see fit, and if you lack the resources to hit back you simply have to accept your fate. We are back in the time of the robber barons and serfdom.

However, I most certainly acknowledge that our current rule book, is far far too large.


Secondly, I cannot be deprived of my property or liberty in an arbitrary process. Sure that state helps itself to an insane amount of money from my pay-check, it can tax me ad hoc for getting caught out by ambiguous traffic work instructions where they have installed a revenue camera.
All of that is of course very very wrong. But what is right is that it’s never arbitrary, the rules are well known and I can plan my affairs around them. Now the precise way the state raises revenues needs work. I know Obnoxio just before he turned anarchist produced some back of the envelope calculations based around a flat tax etc, that was quite sensible. But the simple underlying point that the process is structured is correct.

In an Ancap society if we were to dissolve the state tomorrow you would get gangs of Albanian gypsy’s turning up and throwing people out their own homes and unless that person had the personal resources to take action would have to live with it.

You would get criminals stealing your car and offering to sell it back to you. Sure that happens now, but the number of these incidents are keep low, because everyone can access the police, and so every theft could incur a police response and jail time. Thus the risk is high.

With an Ancap society thieves would get very adept at identifying anyone that does not have recourse to private security, and would be a plague upon these people. Once you create a open thriving environment of criminality you start to raise the costs at very least for people that can afford their own private security like Obnoxio.

FTAC Watch said...

Does the police banging loudly on my door at 2am to "check that I was alright" count?

I would love to have the chance of contacting the government, any of them. However, they won't talk to me.

Tip: If they think you are a dangerous nutter, they leave you alone.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"In an ancap society whoever has the most power can use it as they see fit, and if you lack the resources to hit back you simply have to accept your fate. We are back in the time of the robber barons and serfdom."

You blandly assert this over and over again, but there is no reason why this should be.

In fact, it is much more likely that someone else's wealth can be used against you in a corporatist society such as we mostly live in today, precisely because the people with power are most likely to be connected to the people with money.

In an anarchist society, I would expect it to be much more difficult to become a wealthy robber baron simply because you wouldn't be able to get rich using impenetrable legal techniques or suckling off the teat of the taxpayer.

"every theft could incur a police response and jail time"

This, unfortunately, is a piss poor example. The police couldn't give a rat's fuck about vehicle crime.

"With an Ancap society thieves would get very adept at identifying anyone that does not have recourse to private security, and would be a plague upon these people."

Tell me something, Kingbingo: if you saw someone robbing your neighbour's house, what would you do? I'm guessing that you'd look at them and say: "Nothing to do with me, mate!"

And walk away.

Another clue is the "one-size-fits-all" mentality you show here. Someone could patrol a street all day every day and it might cost pennies to have that someone just walk past your house with a truncheon and cap. You might pay a bit more for having him taking evidence or photos or whatever, more to actually try to stop thieves, and even more for "guaranteed results", whatever they may be. (Dead bodies, hopefully.)

And if you're poor, you're assuming that your neighbours are all heartless cunts like you who won't stump up the pennies for a basic service for the entire street.

There's a million ways that private security could work that you or I haven't considered, precisely because we're mired in the stupid mindset of government provision.

"In an Ancap society if we were to dissolve the state tomorrow"

That would be lovely, but let's face it, it's going to take decades to change people's mindset. And if it takes decades to get people there, then you've got decades to make sure that private replacements for things like security are in place.

And frankly, I think you'd be pretty shocked at how quickly you could put together a new, innovative security approach if there wasn't tons of useless regulation in the way.

Kingbingo said...

Did I tell anyone I'm a Tory voter yet?

Obnoxio fancies me.

Anonymous said...

LMAO KingBingo, I thought you were serious, now I realise you're just a parody of Minarchism.

A Common Rule Book? There's at least 200 rule books across the world, far more than a free society would have or need, and in reality there's twice as many, with a special immoral one always available for the political class and with no recourse to the law. These books are also of course contradictary to the nature of the government, which brings me to the second point.

Property rights? HAHAHA. BY DEFINITION, Government requires you to surrender property rights to it's whim. Property Rights means No government.

John Demetriou said...

Moo!

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instead for some quality reading. We've currently got an exciting piece up talking about how much we love cigarettes and how much we hate Daily Mail and its resident cunt, Paul Dacre. Paul Dacre is a man who disagrees with us on most subjects - making him a cunt of Obnoxio The Clown proportions. This is all brand new material which has never been seen on the internet before. Because we were the first true keepers of libertarianism to arrive on the blogosphere and we are the only ones around. Don't listen to Obnoxio The "Cunting" Clown, Old "Cunt" Holborn, Guido "Cunt" Fawkes" and especially Anna "How Dare She Ban Us From Her Website, The Fucking Cunt" Raccoon. Listen to us, because everyone else is a cunt.

Moo!

Kingbingo said...

“And frankly, I think you'd be pretty shocked at how quickly you could put together a new, innovative security approach if there wasn't tons of useless regulation in the way.”

Not really because I’m wealthy. I would just buy a gun and a big dog and live in an expensive gated community with a private security force, job done.

What I’m more concerned about is all the people who are not as savvy and as wealthy who can afford none of the above.

And the knock on effect of abandoning law and order among a large section of society.

Look, put it this way, my last pay-check had over two grand of PAYE and about four hundred quid of National insurance. I can afford that much and still live well. But I am frustrated because I know that if I got charged a fifth of that and the government did a fifth of what it currently did than economic output would increase dramatically. And I would be better off, and the poor would be better off as they would have increased opportunities with the expanded output.

However, just to save myself the last fifth I do not advocate casting aside a common book of law and enforcement of that common book of law for my personal financial benefit when I think the effect would be so detrimental to so many.

I am a libertarian because I want everyone to be wealthier and freer and happier.

I do not go that step further to anarchy just to make me personally that little bit wealthier than I would be in a libertarian socirty.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"Not really because I’m wealthy. I would just buy a gun and a big dog and live in an expensive gated community with a private security force, job done."

And when you set foot outside your fort, what then?

You (and your security supplier) are going to have to think a bit harder than that.

"However, just to save myself the last fifth I do not advocate casting aside a common book of law and enforcement of that common book of law for my personal financial benefit when I think the effect would be so detrimental to so many."

The "common rule book" existed long before the government enforced it.

How the hell did they manage without a government to enforce it, huh?

That last 20% is not about money, Kingbingo, and it's telling that you continue to talk about money as the be-all and end-all of liberty.

I reckon you're much happier being in a corporatist world than you admit. I wouldn't be remotely surprised to find that a lot of the money you make is precisely because your employment depends on a lot of complex regulation.

Anonymous said...

"However, just to save myself the last fifth I do not advocate casting aside a common book of law and enforcement of that common book of law for my personal financial benefit when I think the effect would be so detrimental to so many."

Again, government has no common book of law. There are hundreds of completely different legal systems in the world, and the government never follows it's own rules.

Government could never follow the rules, because by your definition only violence can create rules, and therefore the rules are worthless... Any law that stipulates violence is ok (which is what government is by definition) is not a good law book, however common.

Rationalist said...

I've posted a reply (or 4) to you in the comments to "Defenceless AnCaps".

No wish to go O/T here.

Rationalist said...

the last should be
@Kingbingo

Anonymous said...

TOTAL WASTE OF ENERGY.

Kingbingo said...

“And when you set foot outside your fort, what then?”
Precisely, and that why I don’t advocate your position.

“The "common rule book" existed long before the government enforced it.”
If you referring to the concept of natural law, sure. But without a state that cannot be enforced, only what you can enforce personally is enforced.

“How the hell did they manage without a government to enforce it, huh?”
They suffered what they must at the hands of those with power to inflict what they wished. It was only after an effective and reliable courts system and enforcement of property rights became widespread that economic progress really started to take hold.

“That last 20% is not about money, Kingbingo, and it's telling that you continue to talk about money as the be-all and end-all of liberty.”
Rubbish, your every Ancap post follows the same vein, you don’t think you personally benefit from the state, therefore you don’t want to pay for it. That again is not my position, I am happy to be taxed to provide a legal framework and property rights.


“I reckon you're much happier being in a corporatist world than you admit. I wouldn't be remotely surprised to find that a lot of the money you make is precisely because your employment depends on a lot of complex regulation.”
Yes I’m happy. But I would be much happier without that regulation which is why I rally against it. And I’m not just saying that. In 2007 myself and a few other city types wanted to launch our own firm. We had the knowhow, the financial backing, the business support processes and crucially, a very viable customer base. The only thing we did not have was regulatory blessing.
If you think you know about bureaucracy because you occasionally renew your tax disc then think again. Getting regulatory approval in financial services involves wading through a stack of forms, disclosers and compliance notes about the size of 4 yellow pages books stacked on each other. Except with smaller writing. It beat us. As it’s (unknowingly) designed to do. Stopped another new firm emerging to provide competition, the free markets way of regulating, choice, and failure to the firms that don’t attract customers.

Kingbingo said...

@Rationalist/anonymous/other names you go by.
“I've posted a reply (or 4) to you in the comments”

Encase it wasn’t clear to you before let me be explicit now. I am not going to engage with you as you are unable to conduct discourse in a civilised way.

You pop up from time to time under a different guise or plain anonymous to take a pop at me, and I’m through feeding your trollism. In future when you resurface under your lasted guise I will ignore you then the second I clock it’s you yet again. Grow up, and learn some manners if you want to be taken seriously by anyone. The end.

Anonymous said...

"Precisely, and that why I don’t advocate your position. "

Erm... before Obo has to respond, you know that was your position right?

The Anarcho-Capitalist one is simply not to advocate a monopoly on violence, the structures are whatever comes from the infinite-1 solutions then available... most likely not a costly private security force which would be an absurd and unneccessary oppertunity cost when there wouldn't be constant dangers right outside your door.

At least, no where near as many as there are today when you'll be robbed of far more than half your stuff, more than two thirds of your labour in terms of purchasing power and 90% of your life in energy output compared to what you get back.

Anonymous said...

"learn some manners".

That's real cute. "Rationalist" uses language you don't like and he has no manners? You encoruage a monopoly on violence to shoot people to get your way and you do? Man, you take psychotic and mentally unstable to a whole new level.

Anonymous said...

"If you referring to the concept of natural law, sure. But without a state that cannot be enforced, only what you can enforce personally is enforced."

PROVE IT.

That's as absurd as saying I can only ever eat what I cook. Well no, I can also eat what other people cook. Why would I spend my life enforcing natural law when I can pay someone else to protect me?

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"They suffered what they must at the hands of those with power to inflict what they wished. It was only after an effective and reliable courts system and enforcement of property rights became widespread that economic progress really started to take hold."

That's all good and well, but why do you associate the arrival of effective and reliable courts with the government? Effective and reliable courts existed for many centuries in the UK before they were taken over by the government.

"But I would be much happier without that regulation which is why I rally against it."

Ah! So you're happy with the government doing things you like, but you're unhappy with them doing the things you don't like.

As is everybody. The problem is that every person has a different idea of what the government should and should not provide.

Imagine someone working in an incumbent financial services company: he's bloody happy with government regulation and wants the government to do even more. Why are you right and why is he wrong?

None of this, however, in any way validates your opinion that the government provides any kind of security or any kind of property rights.

One small example: your precious government is now fully entitled to take your property without due process thanks to the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Not only is the no different from your putative anarchist robber baron, it's even worse, because you don't even have the means defend yourself from this.

So remind me again, what property rights are these armed thugs giving you?

Anonymous said...

"They suffered what they must at the hands of those with power to inflict what they wished"

Argh, projection, calm down.

"Power" is government, you're the one supporting the existence of an organisation with power to inflict whatever they wish - and the government does inflict whatever it wishes, not one state is ever limited by magic paper or whatever other magic you intend to use.

Anonymous said...

"It was only after an effective and reliable courts system and enforcement of property rights became widespread that economic progress really started to take hold."

This is either self-deception, or you're intentionally lieing because you really are a Corporatist.

Early governments didn't have growth because they were glorified human labour farms. Serfdom, was human ownership, and no growth could take place while the STATE enforced ownership of the labour of people.

When people were allowed free movement between work, though still violentlly being forced to pay Taxes to their now-centralised (The local owners moving to "The Lords" or their countries equivelant) masters, but with the ability to make decisions and have choice over what labour was not extracted instead of those decisions being made also.

Growth happened because of a lack of state, not because of it, fool. The development was away from the state, not towards it.

Billy Blofeld said...

@ George and @Puddlcecote

I had my passport stolen. I paid for the replacement and was then summoned to see the passport office in person.

My crime: - that my new photo "looked too similar" to my old photo.

I pointed out that this was because I was the same person in both photos.

The Passport Office solution was to take a photo of me themselves. They used a camera that made me look jaundiced and contravening their own rules, they took a shot which was missing the top of my head.

Fucking twats.

Kingbingo said...

Obnoxio, are you under the impression I’m defending the current state and what it does?

Anonymous said...

@Kingbingo: If the fundemental premise (use a monopoly on violence to achieve certain goals) is the same, then all the immoral is out of the way, why do the details matter? Every single Statist has a different idea of what the state should do, and if you're not all hypocrites and would-be Utopian Kings, then having anything bad to say about even the Nazis is just silly. The state is either good, or bad, stop pretending you know a magic state that doesn't violate property rights, just because you consider your own interactions voluntary, doesn't make ours so.

Rational said...

@Kingbingo
I don't know where you get the idea that I 'take a pop at you' under other aliases.
Enough other people 'take a pop at you', under whatever name they choose, to satisfy anyone.
The word is paranoia.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Kingbingo, you've already admitted that governments never get smaller, so the only difference between your ideal government and this government is a number of years.

I've also highlighted one case (and I'm sure there are hundreds or thousands) where the Swiss government that is your model for all that is good bans its citizens from a perfectly reasonable pastime called Texas Hold 'Em, which proves that the size of the government does not preclude it from making stupid laws that you have to live by.

So, it's entirely possible for a government the size of the Swiss government to introduce something as hateful as the PoCA.

Can you please tell me how your ideal government would neither grow, nor indulge in nonsense laws to keep itself busy?

Can you also please explain how a monopoly on force protects you?

Rational said...

@Kingbingo
Having introduced the mental health (ha!) concept of paranoia into the discussion, I suppose I'll be blamed for the 'Anonymous' who uses the words: psychotic and mentally unstable.
Right?

Rational said...

Or is anyone who can spell and use words correctly me, by definition?

Rational said...

@Kingbingo
I tell you what:
Ask Obo nicely and I'm sure he'll do an IP address match to prove your (unfounded) allegation.

Rationalist said...

I invite anybody who so wishes to slip across to the last few 'Comments' under "Defenceless AnCaps" for evidence against my accuser, Kingbingo.

Kingbingo said...

“Can you please tell me how your ideal government would neither grow, nor indulge in nonsense laws to keep itself busy?”

In fairness I have done that about eleventy times before. Small regional state, election of ALL public officials and their budget which are then provided by the free market etc.

I don’t really want to make the same case yet again. I will just have to get around to waking my blog up and posting all this stuff in one place. I wouldn’t hold your breath though, I’ll get around to it at some point.

“Kingbingo, you've already admitted that governments never get smaller, so the only difference between your ideal government and this government is a number of years.”

Ditto

“the Swiss government that is your model for all that is”

Again you’re confused. I don’t think they are the model. But I do frequently cite them as being a country with a smaller government that does things better than that our larger government does. Thus evidence of how a smaller government can be more effective government.


“So, it's entirely possible for a government the size of the Swiss government to introduce something as hateful as the PoCA.”

Obviously. Its why you need the choice of multiple small states, not just one.



“Can you also please explain how a monopoly on force protects you?”
Perhaps ultimate arbiter of acceptable force would be a much better way of saying it. I believe there should be only one central body in state that gets to decide how force can be used. i.e. punching a burglar which kills them in your own home = fine, punching a old man walking his granddaughter in the street which kills him = you get lined up and shot.

Rationalist said...

Oooh - I see in 4 of my last 5 posts I've used Rational instead of Rationalist.

Before this, in the spirit of paranoia, is used as evidence against me, let me claim/acknowledge/admit responsibility for those posts.

Purely a typo, I assure those who can find it in their hearts to forgive me. I may (Oh, woe is me!) have done this before.

Kingbingo said...

Give you a great example.

I knew an old boy that was a young officer in the second world war. During the war he got assigned to patrolling the docks, he was in that capacity the official representative of the state.

He patrolled around, and left the workers and citizens to do their own thing. He never demanded to see papers, or demand they fill out forms, or ordered anyone to comply with regulations. He did exactly what the state should do. Provide security and the rest of the time stay the hell out the way.

After a year or so of this he caught some guy who had been stealing those huge old cheese wheels. He took him aside and made it plain it was wrong to steal, and that he was not to do it again, and if he did, he would be shot. Then he sent him on his way, a clear warning clearly given.

The very next day he caught the guys stealing again. So he ordered him put up against a wall and shot.

Then he went back to patrolling and minding his own business. Never bothering the legitimate workers or citizens, never making up stupid rules for someone to comply with. Just getting on with being a visible reminder that rules will be enforced.

I think there is something to be said for such a system. I wonder what Britain would look like today if instead of providing offenders with empowerment and creating a army of non-jobs to manage society. We just had the occasional officer and his patrol.

Rationalist said...

@Kingbingo
"I will just have to get around to waking my blog up and posting all this stuff in one place".

Do that. Then you can match IP addresses and censor to your heart's content.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"Its why you need the choice of multiple small states, not just one."

Right, and can you please explain to me how it is, given that every fucking government in human history has come up with such complete bollocks, including the governments of Lichtenstein and Andorra, why just having more small states is going to stop them from all having fucking moronic laws?

"Perhaps ultimate arbiter of acceptable force would be a much better way of saying it."

You can say it any way you like, Kingbingo, but that doesn't change the fact that the government can promulgate a law declaring that anyone who goes by the pseudonym "Kingbingo" is a terrorist who can be shot on sight.

We have no more control of that with directly elected officials than we do now.

If one of your directly elected officials promises to raid neighbouring countries, kill Jews and gypsies and annex the Sudetenland, and he gets voted in by 50.1% of the electorate, does that somehow make it morally right?

Kingbingo said...

“why just having more small states is going to stop them from all having fucking moronic laws?”
It’s not meant to produce laws you personally 100% support. It’s meant to provide choice.


“government can promulgate a law declaring that anyone who goes by the pseudonym "Kingbingo" is a terrorist who can be shot on sight.”

And on your preferred system, I can be shot by anyone for any reason, and unless my family or friends are prepared to risk their own life and limb claiming vengeance it goes by without recourse.
I suspect if you ever got your anarchy the moment your teenage daughter got kidnapped by an Albanian gang, you would suddenly find paying just enough to provide law and order was not such a bad deal after all. Or maybe you could afford the premiums to a security company that rescues her, and it’s just bad luck for the guy across town who didn’t sign up to any security service and now his daughter has been kidnapped he can’t afford the premiums and just has to live with it.
All because Obnoxio wanted to shave the last £50 off his tax bill.


“We have no more control of that with directly elected officials than we do now.”

J H CHRIST ON A FUCKING TRICYCLE!!! I DO NOT SUPPORT THE CURRENT SYSTEM!!!


“If one of your directly elected officials promises to raid neighbouring countries, kill Jews and gypsies and annex the Sudetenland, and he gets voted in by 50.1% of the electorate, does that somehow make it morally right?”
Well that can happen today, and indeed as I vaguely recall something like that may even have occurred a few decades ago in Europe.

But presumably it would be just dandy and find if racist groups ‘privately’ went around killing Jews and gypsies. After all. You can do what the hell you want in an anarchist society, and no state is going to force you to do otherwise.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"It’s not meant to produce laws you personally 100% support. It’s meant to provide choice."

There are nearly 200 countries in the world right now. That's more than enough "choice" and yet there is still no country that I really, desperately want to live in.

Let's face it, if you were buying a TV or a car or a house, would you look at 200? No, you wouldn't.

So what is more choice going to give me?

"And on your preferred system, I can be shot by anyone for any reason, and unless my family or friends are prepared to risk their own life and limb claiming vengeance it goes by without recourse."

Nonsense. I have lived in significantly more violent countries than the UK, some of them would even be considered lawless. I never had a private bodyguard and yet, somehow, I am still here.

You assume, contrary to all reason, that an anarchist society is a completely chaotic free-for-all.

Look at it this way: did the government teach you manners? Did the government teach you right from wrong? Did the government intervene in every dispute that you ever got involved in? Is the government defining the terms of this discussion?

Given that 99% of human interaction is peaceful and mutually beneficial, why do we need that thug with a monopoly on power?

"J H CHRIST ON A FUCKING TRICYCLE!!! I DO NOT SUPPORT THE CURRENT SYSTEM!!!"

But you support a system that differs only from the current system by a small degree. Once you accept that there is some magic that occurs that justifies an organisation that breaks property rights to somehow enforce property rights, that has the right to steal from you with menaces, then you're on a continuum with Joe Stalin on one end and your nirvana on the other. I don't want to be on that continuum. Your "pragmatism" is just being an apologist for thuggery.

And really, it's only a matter of time before your nirvana ends up somewhere deeply unpleasant.

Anonymous said...

How old are you Obno? Genuine question.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Mid-forties.

*sob*

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Kingbingo:

"But presumably it would be just dandy and find if racist groups ‘privately’ went around killing Jews and gypsies. After all. You can do what the hell you want in an anarchist society, and no state is going to force you to do otherwise."

I've no idea why you persist with this crazy idea that an anarchist society would be a lawless society. Personally, I would expect an anarchist society to be much more "lawful" because every interaction you had with people could have consequences, for which you would personally be liable. There would be no get-out clauses like "well, we were full compliant with government regulations".

And if you went around town centres "giving it large", you could quite conceivably run into somebody who wasn't afraid of you who wouldn't also be wondering whether the police would back his claim of self-defence or rather side with the yobs.

Quite contrary to your visions of an apocalyptic society, I would expect it to be much more peaceful, too.

You assume that the state controls undesirable behaviour. I assume that it breeds it.

Anonymous said...

Mid forties!! So realistically you are not going to change much except databases at this stage in life. Hence blogs are generally a waste of time!!

Rationalist said...

Even as a mincap, I must (still?) applaud:

"You assume that the state controls undesirable behaviour. I assume that it breeds it."

True of all times & all places? I would happily put forward that proposition.

Rationalist said...

@Obo
Given the tenor of the "one to whom you respond['s]" remarks about Jews, the question has frequently been asked "Why didn't they resist? Why clamber peacefully aboard the rail-car?".
The answer is that they (probably) thought they were living in a Rechtsstaat, and were thus protected by the law.
Interesting thought-experiment: what if they'd all been carrying?
Modern-day Israel?

Rationalist said...

Oh, full disclosure - realise I slipped!
I sometimes comment on ukpollingreport & B&D using the cognomen Ir'Rational - given to me (without the apostrophe or the immediately following capitalisation) by JD in what can best be described as 'one of his moods'. Maybe I really did piss him off - who knows?

Kingbingo said...

"You assume that the state controls undesirable behaviour. I assume that it breeds it."

This is what makes you a tricky beast.

90% of what you say is spot on perfect. Yet you take that and assume I mean the opposite and use it as a stick to beat me.

But seriously, how many people in the UK today agree with you on as much as I do?

The difference between you and I is so close the vast majority of the population wouldn't even acknowledge the difference.

So stop pretending I'm some sort of arch statist, wedded to every perversion the bloated unwieldy state today produces.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Is this a chat room now? How do I set my profile? ;)

Blofeld: Doesn't surprise me one bit.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"The difference between you and I is so close the vast majority of the population wouldn't even acknowledge the difference."

No, Kingbingo, the difference between you and the vast majority of the population is what is so small.

"So stop pretending I'm some sort of arch statist, wedded to every perversion the bloated unwieldy state today produces."

I don't and it's misdirection for you to claim that I do. But the fact of the matter is that there is more in common between the min-est of minarchists and Joe Stalin than there is in common between the min-est of minarchists and an anarchist.

The fact that you either refuse to see this or pretend that it's not so means that you haven't really got as firm a grip on liberty as you like to think.