I don't have a problem with 'my' 'state.' I have a problem with 'my' bureaucracy, my education system, my tax structure, my police system and my army. Ultimately, I have a problem with my system of succession.
Do these things together make up a state? Can an organization satisfy me on all these measures and still be a state? Err...why would I care? I just want these problems solved.
Especially as the solution is so simple. My problem is that they think they have the right to regulate, educate, tax, police, and kill me without my consent. They have no right, and I do not consent.
Ideally they would actually seek my consent - and the consent of everyone else they want to lead - but I would settle for a general admission that they're doing it because they're bigger than me and I can't stop them.
Morality really is simple. I would stop them if I could. Since they continue, I must not have the power to stop them. Which means the only reason they can continue is that they're bigger than me. Which everyone agrees is wrong - unless applied to the magical machine 'state' which can invert morality - but there's no such thing as a state. There's only people. Performing actions.
And, oddly, people performing actions under a (fantasy) rubric that can, supposedly, invert morality don't, strangely, behave morally. Fancy that! Who could have possibly predicted that wouldn't work out so hot? I'm totally flabbergasted here.
Since we're defining things carefully, I'm going to use my turn on 'government.'
Government denotes all organizations directly answerable to the allodial owner, especially those directly upholding, causally allowing, or executing the allodial claim.You can try to argue that coercive governments are inevitable if you want, yet for some reason government-funded education always tries to argue that their government is moral...
Nevertheless, Devin Finbarr happily provokes my thought by asking what a state is.(HT) Apparently I will quoting slightly out of order.
"The mistake the anarchist makes is that he thinks states are bad because they have a monopoly over force in a territory. In reality states are bad because they have no one higher holding them accountable."Anarchists confuse these things because they're the same.
Ultimately responsibility must be enforced through physical force as otherwise the bad apples can just physically violate the standard. [Edit: this is not exactly true. The power may stem from organizing a group, and organization depends on supplies such as cash and legitimacy.] Physical dominance is usually mathematically transitive, which means there must be a most dominant physical force at all times. (A constitution attempts to force the most dominant force to hold itself responsible.)
The most dominant physical force in a territory [jurisdiction, physical or otherwise] will have a monopoly on violence. (Imperfect, but generally over 90% or so.) During civil war it won't, but generally it will use its physical dominance to maim any competitors before they become comparably powerful. Any apparently stable competitors must either be explicitly tolerated or actually enslaved by the most powerful force - by definition, the most dominant force can crush the 'competitors' at any time.
The actual reason I think state-associated actors are bad is because they think they have the right to coerce. I can't even imagine what having such a right would look like.
"Empirically, no society with multiple, competing armies in a given territory exhibit a quality of governance that is anywhere close to bad Western governments. And in 99% of the cases there has been a horrific level of violence."I support MM's statement that there's more to history than objective data. Which, until I wrote that down, seemed to support the above statement.
The problem is that we - that is, anyone anywhere - don't want to repeat history. Historically, society has sucked balls. We want to do better, which means innovation, which means reasoning beyond what history can tell us.
In this case, 'multiple, competing' does indeed lead to horrific violence - in one sense. In another sense, it may not. The difference is legitimacy. 'Multiple, competing' normally means civil war. At least two self-righteous armies each attempting to force the others to admit its self-righteousness by use of arms. A non-corrupt private security firm knows that its rights stem from the fact it receives voluntary subscriptions from its customers. Let's try the latter sense out somewhere, shall we, then judge it?
Perhaps corruption is inevitable. Totally possible. As we're forewarned, we can work out what corruption looks like and end the experiment before full-blown civil war breaks out, or at least tell the volunteers the signs by which they'll know when it is reasonable to start panicking.
Also, baby steps. Phase I trials should have small populations.
"If you have multiple militaries contending over a territory, both moderating influences are lost."But gain in return the fact that allowing subscriptions to remain voluntary is the path of least resistance - and most legitimacy. You'd have to first conquer your bank which, if it is smart, won't allow the conflict of interest that is subscribing to you for security. Which means you have to beat up another security agency. Or you could just go out of business peacefully - or improve service.
"They'll try to beat up that other agency - they have nothing to lose!" Yes, that's possible. Businesses with nothing to lose take crazy risks, such as trying to secure a market by fraud or force. Which is why clear and simple legitimacy rules are important. (See footnote.)
"First, with no secure title there will be underinvestment in city infrastructure, and over taxation of the peasants."Unsophisticated futurism. The security firm would secure on behalf of a manager, who does have secure title - if not by subscription to this firm, then to another.
Well, probably. Let's try it and let the market work it out. The market is smarter than me. Are you smarter than the market?
"If I say, "should schools be unaccountable to the public, or accountable to the public", of course I want the latter."Orwellianisms are so common that I automatically overcorrect for most of them by now. When someone says, "Public or privately owned?" I hear, "Government owned or owned by its actual owners?" I don't want schools accountable to the private or public spheres. I want them accountable to their owners.
I found out this week that 'nationalize' still bothers me, though. It means to forcibly seize assets because the security force feels like it. Sans coercion I have no problem with government-owned businesses, and my first thought on seeing 'nationalize' is imagining one of those. Causes a little bit of meaning dissonance.
"But then what does it mean to privatize the police? Or to privatize a city?"To a coherent libertarian, to privatize a thing is simply to take away the perception that it can rightfully coerce.
 Defining government was a really good idea - I got a massive 'Ah ha!' moment from doing so.
The allodial ownership title rests only penultimately on the army or physical dominance. By similar logic to the inevitability of physical dominance, a leader inevitably emerges. The owner is a single individual - in a conflict, there will be a winner. That winner is the controller. It may not be clear a priori, but there's always such a person.
Ultimately allodial title rests on psychology. The allodial owner commands the loyalty or at least obedience of the dominant physical force. The psychology rests on legitimacy. The army will only follow an authority they consider legitimate.
Thus, in theory, a well-defined, clear, simple and widely-known definition of morality that identified and proves 'coercion' should defeat all coercive governments, more or less permanently.
Which is why no existing government will let you start phase I trials of a non-coercive security force.