Monday, August 17, 2015

Re: Re: Steel Anarchism

"It may be a good idea to lock your door when you go out, but if you don’t, Rothbardianism will not excuse the man who stole your television set."
Security has to be provided by some person, who will decide what is and is not secured. I imagine a firm because it's more coherent in the wave-interference sense, but the analysis holds for individuals if you keep the feedbacks in mind.
Meta-Rothbardianism: whether it will excuse the thief or not depends on what the security-provider has decided to define as theft. What is excusable or not is defined by prior contract, which is in turn defined by what is prudent to so define.

 "How do you make sure that your defense organization doesn’t loot your property?"
You don't, to first order approximation. That's what primary property owner means.
Consider the feedback: if it were not likely they would do so, it will rapidly become known and you won't sign up with them in the first place.

Further, it would be wise to insist on a clause where the security firm secures propaganda supporting the norm of being a good agent.

"The danger with both of these options is that they can be turned against you."
Nirvana fallacy. It doesn't have to be a good idea, it just has to be better than kratism. 

"If Jim can defend himself or can switch providers, you might well find yourself in a pickle."
He will successfully stiff you on one bill. Henceforth, he will have no security agency, having forfeited his contract, and will only be able to trade with other outlaws. Okay, if he really thinks stiffing you on that one bill is worth it...

"If the criterion for ownership of a resource is the ability to defend it, why would anyone submit to arbitration?"
As a secondary property owner, what counts as a reasonable level of defence will be defined in the security contract. Arbitration is then used for edge cases. For example perhaps there's a revolver deductable, where you're not necessarily expected to walk around armed, but you are if you need to travel into Harlem. As a neighbourhood gentrifies, an arbitrator might find that it was reasonable to wander around unarmed, and thus deserve legal remedies if victimized.

"in which Alrenous’s rule that it’s yours if and only if you can defend it holds sway; we’ve already got one: the real world. The one with states all over it.

 How did we get states where we should have gotten anarchy?"
If they ever claim to hold something by right of being able to hold it, they will stop being able to hold it. This is one of the facets of the core reason states keep killing themselves and everyone nearby.

Moral legitimacy is a very important force for security and stability. States as they are now cannot be stable as their moral arguments are self-refuting, as can be seen during the frequent contradictions between what they claim to secure on behalf of their subjects and what they in fact secure on behalf of themselves.

All political formulae but one are lies, and thus at constant war with reality. The one left is Exit.

Dark Lockean aside: Exit is the only coherent political formula. Exit is unsustainable and hardly even possible. You're all just fucked.

"Indeed, the Melians found to their sorrow that in the real world “the strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must.”"
Weapon technology and communication technology. As weapon technology improves it becomes cheaper and cheaper to inflict more damage on an attacker than they can possibly gain. As communication technology improves, it becomes harder to hide the irrationality of such losses, or for independent foolishness to arise.

If, to kill a phalanx, you need a phalanx of equal size or bigger, then yes this kind of dynamic ensues. If instead you can lob a few bombs at Athens from the comfort of your living room, destroying more than your lifetime earnings with each one, the proposition is far less feasible.
Further, as per Sun Tzu, it was never a good idea to attack in this way, because 1984 has never obtained. Whenever you weaken yourself against one opponent, your rivals gain by comparison, of which there's always been more than two. A war between A and B should always go to bystander, C. This didn't happen basically because this foolishness was repeated so often that eventually one of them got lucky, though the Byzantines spent 800 years or so profiting from exactly this foolishness, without engaging in it themselves.

Nowadays everyone knows instantly whenever one country or another makes a mistake. The feedback makes for great learning.

Also modern weapons make it much harder for someone to declare war and live to brag about it. Or live to run away, even. Puts a damper on enthusiasms for using other people's money to kill strangers.


Anonymous said...

It's always interesting to see the lack of understanding of AnCap on display in such a fashion. By assuming that the preferred state of a stateless society would be to essentially recreate all of the same coercive elements of the previous state, but would somehow be tempered by a complex of contract law.

Exit to an extent is one option, it's widely practiced in Africa, when civil war erupts, people grab as much stuff as they can, and then beat feet out of there. To those of us in the west, we often prefer our gilded cage to the certain uncertainty of a refugee camp where food, clean water, hygiene and heath care are all in critically short supply.

In at least some areas of the west, stalwart, and even violent resistance is at least possible, and not entirely unheard of. Really the only counter to this, is as you point out, an arbitrated settlement, as the cost of conflict is greatly intensified by modern technologies. A single actor may be deprived of his life by a larger group, however, the larger actor will always muster and march slowly, and can easily be deprived of hearth and home while in pursuit.

As humans, there is a proclivity to consolidate and maintain perceived gains, even at the cost of actual gains. The idea that you can only keep what you can defend is utterly alien to any westerner that has lived since the enlightenment, with but a few pointed interruptions, but would be recognized as an absolute truth everywhere else.

One of the fascinating things you bring up, is that of weapons and communications, both of which have had a profoundly democratizing effect on the world. Oddly, the key example of this would be ISIS, which enjoys a strange combination of hierarchy, as well as flat democracy, in that it's forces marshal quickly to advantage, and disperse just as quickly when at disadvantage. While this has lead to certain notable defeats, such as Kobane, they are contrasted with fantastic successes in the conquest of Anbar.

What is rather ironic, is that this mode of warfare was essentially outlined by Lind in "the changing face of war: into the 4th generation", is often quoted and mulled over by neo-reactionaries, who likely see Lind's conservative monarchist proclivities as similar to their own.

Arguably, the largest failure in the neo-reactionary tool kit, is it's inability to understand that concentration of power is the wellspring from which eventual corruption flows. That AnCaps would simply hire a security force, and create a division of labor that would be perfectly at home in feudal europe is laughable on it's face.

Alas, there is but one point made worth considering: nothing lasts forever. But this curse affects us all, and if the seed germinates, it will become a plant, if that plant bears fruit, then more seeds will be spread. It doesn't have to last forever because there will be a next time, until the end of time.

Thanks for the fun read, it's been quite thought provoking.


Alrenous said...

Glad you liked it. It's good to succeed in provoking thought, and to hear the details of what I've provoked.

Unknown said...

lest we be foolish, lets admit that any anarchism is revolutionary.

states always exist, at least as a security of a group.

Alrenous said...

States have not always existed. A state is a central authority for whom coercion is considered legitimate. Since it can be analytically shown that coercion is always parasitic, the only way to create a stable society is to use security groups with voluntary membership.