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2007-08-08

Totalitarians looking for another name

Leftist politicians are abandoning the word "liberal" in favor of the word "progressive." Of course, they pretend they are fighting to restore the original definition of "liberal," which meant being in favor of freedom, which they definitely are not. But as we know, it's politically expedient to claim that things which are not freedom and liberty actually are freedom and liberty. Like democracy, for example.



I know a bunch of libertarians who would love to have the word back. That's what it used to mean. Of course, it's truly bizarre to see advocates of religious faith in government like Hillary Clinton pretend to care that liberal doesn't mean liberty anymore.



I'm fine with them labelling themselves progressives. I just hope there will always be an extremely large number of people like me around to point out that the "progress" that they want is totalitarian. What this world does NOT need is just the "right" leaders in charge so that we can finally make "progress." True progress would be liberty.



A couple of years ago my local city politics had a group calling itself "Moving [our city] Forward." I opposed it, of course. What utter dreck! You'll never hear a politician who doesn't say things along the lines of "a vote for me is a vote for moving forward; I just think we need to move forward," etc.



Free human beings don't define "moving forward" like a collective, like a communist nation, like the Borg. The only meaningful definition of "progress" at the government level is the progressive elimination of government itself. Want to make progress today? Call one of your agents in government and tell them to stop doing anything, and especially to stop taking money from your neighbors and telling them what they can and cannot do. And convince your neighbors to do the same. Help build a world where we don't gladly hand out the reigns of tyranny to people who promise to make the most "progress." That would be a world where anyone who stands up and says "put me in charge, I'll help us make progress" doesn't get a single vote.

11 comments:

Mookie said...

Isn't xianity one big hierarchy, with SkyDaddy at the top? How is xianity compatible with anarchy?

Also, isn't capitalism based on a restriction of access to the means of production, a mainstay of hierarchies? How is capitalism compatible with anarchy?

A.B. Dada said...

Isn't xianity one big hierarchy, with SkyDaddy at the top? How is xianity compatible with anarchy?

SkyDaddy is at the top, but it is the equivalent to a mortal-anarchy, spiritual-monarchy. Mortally, Xtians such as myself should consider ourselves anarchists because Jesus (GroundDaddy?) said to have no kings but one King. So technically, from a mortal king standpoint, we are anarchists, but from a Heavenly King perspective, we're Monarchists.

Also, isn't capitalism based on a restriction of access to the means of production, a mainstay of hierarchies? How is capitalism compatible with anarchy?

Goodness, no. Socialism, fascism and Statism of any kind is based on restriction of access to means of production (regulations, tariffs, taxes, laws). Capitalism is about a mutual profit for two parties in every transaction, or the transaction doesn't take place. This is fair and just -- two people ONLY make a transaction if they BOTH gain from the transaction.

Your questions, to some, might seem like a troll, but I think they're very apropos and I appreciate them.

Mookie said...

"...is based on restriction of access to means of production"

So if you and I were to wash ashore on an island with a few fruit/coconut trees for our survival, would we both communally "own" them and share the resources provided by them? Or would one of us lay a claim to them and hammer out schedules and conditions of use for the other?

"two people ONLY make a transaction if they BOTH gain from the transaction."

What about in the case of cigarettes or some other addictive, health-damaging substance? The consuming party may believe they are getting value, but after a while it's just slow suicide.

A.B. Dada said...

So if you and I were to wash ashore on an island with a few fruit/coconut trees for our survival, would we both communally "own" them and share the resources provided by them? Or would one of us lay a claim to them and hammer out schedules and conditions of use for the other?

I'm sensing a strawman argument here, but I'll take the bait. If you and I washed ashore on an island with limited resources -- say, coconuts only on one tree, we likely would either find a way to share our labor to provide for the survival of both of us, or we would risk a battle to see who the victor is. I'm guessing that most islands have more than one coconut tree, so to me that issue is moot -- a big supply of coconuts reduces the reason for harmful interaction.


What about in the case of cigarettes or some other addictive, health-damaging substance? The consuming party may believe they are getting value, but after a while it's just slow suicide.

I smoke. I started to smoke because my doctor told me to try it to reduce my attention deficit issues and to try to cure my kidney stones. Guess what? It works. Just fine, actually. There are many more harmful products out there -- trans fats, fractionated oils, corn syrup and other corn solids (poisons) that you probably ingest, or at least a great segment of the population does.

Who cares? I buy cigarettes for the health BENEFITS, so that's a gain. The cigarette manufacturer profits financially. We mutually made a decision where we both gain something. You could say that I "lose" because of the risk factor of other health problems, but the manufacturer also "loses" because they don't have as many cigarettes to smoke themselves. When you make a voluntary exchange with another, you have to weigh your gains versus your losses.

Mookie said...

"we likely would either find a way to share our labor to provide for the survival of both of us, or we would risk a battle to see who the victor is"

I do not want a battle. But what I was wondering was, how would we determine how we labour and how much each of us gets?

A.B. Dada said...


I do not want a battle. But what I was wondering was, how would we determine how we labour and how much each of us gets?


I agree -- but the other guy might decide to expel their energy fighting rather than utilizing his talents as best as he could.

When you have a "market" of only 2 individuals, and you have a limited supply of raw materials, you have to do what you can do best and hope that you have talents the other person needs.

We can assume there are more than 2 coconut trees, and that the island has enough land for both people to at least lay down without being on top of each other. If one party or both don't want to work together to try to benefit both, then going to separate parts of the island and doing you best makes sense. If you end up finding a talent, say coconut harvesting, and the other person finds a talent, say hut building, you would both have a natural desire to barter for each other talents.

In a larger market, people find the labors that are needed in that market (low supply of labor with a high demand for the product or service) and they'd try to excel or learn that talent. Then they'd use their talent to barter for the talents that other people have excelled at or learned.

There's no need to justify equality in a market -- not everyone is equal. But everyone has a talent, and most everyone (other than the lame, the mentally retarded and SOME eldery) can use those talents to support themselves while attempting to gain new insight into newer talents or added efficiencies in their given talent -- making them worth more bartering power.

voice said...

Mookie, Christianity is a [i]voluntary[/i] hierarchy. Christians are never permitted to compel other people to submit to God. In fact, the Bible specifically forbids them to do so.

Under anarchy, you can form whatever social structure you want. Want to put together a socialist commune? Great! Just don't compel other people to be members; only accept members who agree to the terms. Everybody who doesn't agree has the right to go be a part of some other structure of their own design with other willing participants. This is actually just what the Declaration of Independence says: "whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." Anarchists just go further and say that it's wrong to build such a structure (government) and deny other people the right to do the same, as seems best to them.

Christianity fits nicely into this. If you want to be a Christian, you can. Otherwise, you don't, and nobody makes you. You're permitted to try to persuade people to be or not be a Christian, but not to force them either way. Christians can band together and set up their church how they think they are supposed to, and accept willing participants who are willing to submit to the terms, and the worst they can do to somebody who doesn't keep the church's ways is to put them out of the church. This is exactly the maximum penalty a church is permitted to impose according to I Corinthians 5.

As for anarchy being compatible with capitalism, don't think of state capitalism, where governments befriend big business. Just think of the freedom for private individuals to spend their money where and how they please. If individuals don't have this freedom, then you don't have anarchy. And of course obviously if a state is controlling it, then you don't have anarchy. This is true if the state takes money and rights away from people to benefit business, and it is also true if the state takes money and rights away from people to form socialism. Forms of "anarchy" that want to impose socialism on people are definitely not anarchy. They are just a different kind of archy.

You can find a lot more if you Google for anarcho-capitalism.

Mookie said...

Unfortunately, I didn't find a suitable answer to this question:

How would we determine how we labour and how much each of us gets?

Maybe I should elaborate.

In the early days of the church in Europe, the bible was in Latin. Not everyone could read, let alone Latin. People knew enough about the theology to know that their souls were in grave danger - they just lacked access to the means to save themselves. Fortunately, the church had a nice bunch of people that could read Latin. And, even more fortunately, the church only asked for 10% of one's income to receive the salvation they desired. By restricting access to something that everybody needed, they were able to capitalize and form a monopoly on their skills.

If you and I were on an island, would we lay claim to the means of survival? If so, how would we then determine who does what, and how much each of us gets?

A.B. Dada said...

If you and I were on an island, would we lay claim to the means of survival? If so, how would we then determine who does what, and how much each of us gets?

You determine it based on what your needs are, through bartering. If you are good at something, and I am good at something else, we do what we need to do to survive first, and whatever is left over we can trade with each other to acquire the other products/services.

If you think I am asking for too many of your coconuts in trade for a hut I'd build for you, you would withdraw from that particular barter and maybe build it yourself. If I thought you wanted to give me too few coconuts in exchange for the dry wood I harvested, I'd withdraw from the exchange and go find my own coconuts.

There is no "fair" value for labor in any market -- the value for the labor is set by what others need, and what others are willing to pay for. Would you pay someone $100 to point out weeds in your lawn? Of course not, you can do it yourself. Would you pay someone $100 to build a car for you? Absolutely -- but so would everyone else, so that $100 would quickly rise until the person building cars found the maximum income for their talents, whereas the "weed pointing" guy might settle for $1, or there might not be any market at all.

That's the beauty of the market economy -- people's talents don't go to waste, and if they find they aren't getting enough for their talents, they are free to learn new ones and market themselves again.

Mookie said...

So you and I wash up on an island. Before you wake up from the ordeal, I go around and pee on all the coconut and fruit trees, claiming all the foodstuffs on the island. Including the materials you would need to make a fishing pole. Being a capitalist, you must respect my claim to all this property.

Because I own everything (sucks to be you), you'll have to go through me to get anything on the island. What I'll probably end up doing is make you pick all the food, take the largest cut for myself (I did bother to pee on all the trees, after all), and then give you the not so delicious parts that are left over.

Of course, while you are doing all the hard work, I'll be training my army of monkeys to ensure I remain the owner of everything on the island.

And in one fell swoop, we have 1) restriction of access, 2) exploitative labor as a result of this restriction of access, 3) the formation of a small hierarchy of me over you (based on property rights!), and 4) the formation of the state to protect my property. I did pee on it, after all. And now my army of monkeys can help me defend it.

This is why anarcho-capitalism is not anarchy. It can never be. This is going to shock you, too, but anarchy, the REAL anarchy, is based on socialism, which to you may sound like an oxymoron. Of course, anarcho-capitalism is by far the more moronic of the oxy. I hope my little example has demonstrated why.

This is why I asked you:

"If you and I were on an island, would we lay claim to the means of survival? If so, how would we then determine who does what, and how much each of us gets?"

Your answer was way off, addressing what you thought to be something else.


Oh, and in regards to this post about Hillary - she is not a progressive. She is of the corporate elite, the ones that run this country because they own the means of production.

There's a good article on her in the PROGRESSIVE magazine The Nation:

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070604/berman

I'm done trolling now. Later, anarcho-posers.

A.B. Dada said...

Thanks to Mookie for allowing me to have the final, and most convincing, words:

So you and I wash up on an island. Before you wake up from the ordeal, I go around and pee on all the coconut and fruit trees, claiming all the foodstuffs on the island. Including the materials you would need to make a fishing pole. Being a capitalist, you must respect my claim to all this property.

Not really. Anarcho-capitalists believe that the person who discovers land, and maintains it, owns that land. Just planting a flag is not enough -- you also have to go through with keeping it up and useful. Sure, there are side notes regarding nature habitats and the like, but in general, after you're done urinating on the foodstuffs, once you leave it natural I am free to maintain it and recoup the benefits and proceeds of my labors.


Because I own everything (sucks to be you), you'll have to go through me to get anything on the island. What I'll probably end up doing is make you pick all the food, take the largest cut for myself (I did bother to pee on all the trees, after all), and then give you the not so delicious parts that are left over.

How would you do this? By using force? In a tiny island, killing the other person would likely rob you of future benefits of my labor, so you may be sealing your own death. This is also generally true in large markets -- reducing the population gets rid of an individual who might buy, or who might produce. Also, in a larger market, the risk of being discovered to be a murderer and ruining your future market potential is great as well.


Of course, while you are doing all the hard work, I'll be training my army of monkeys to ensure I remain the owner of everything on the island.

And while you do that, who will be getting your food? Your monkeys?


And in one fell swoop, we have 1) restriction of access, 2) exploitative labor as a result of this restriction of access, 3) the formation of a small hierarchy of me over you (based on property rights!), and 4) the formation of the state to protect my property. I did pee on it, after all. And now my army of monkeys can help me defend it.

No, what you're doing is creating a government. All governments, especially Progressive ones, do exactly what you just dictated.


This is why anarcho-capitalism is not anarchy. It can never be. This is going to shock you, too, but anarchy, the REAL anarchy, is based on socialism, which to you may sound like an oxymoron. Of course, anarcho-capitalism is by far the more moronic of the oxy. I hope my little example has demonstrated why.

Socialism is government at its highest level. Anarcho-capitalism is voluntary trade for the mutual gain of both parties. There is no trade in socialism, only theft with the penalty of harm or death.