Monday, December 5, 2011

Conversation with an Anarchist

The following is the thread of a conversation on one of the Occupy Facebook pages.  It is presented here to induce conversation.  Please feel free to add your comments below.  

Anarchist: "Government regulation" = man with gun to your head who will shoot you if you disobey.

Respondent:  Business with out regulation = enslavement. Take your pick! Working the salt mines for slave labor and pollute the planet or put a gun to a CEO's head and make him play by rules that are fair for everyone?

Anarchist:  Which business claims you as a slave? Which business demands your time, energy, labor, etc, or a cut of what you got working for yourself/someone else, under threat of violence? Which business demands you work for them and does violence to you if you don't?  What is "fair" about putting a gun to someone’s head and ordering them around as if they were your slave?  Who are you to 'regulate' other peoples business?

if there were no "police," and someone was breaking into houses in your area, would you demand all your neighbors pay to have someone "protecting" them/their property.. and send armed men.. the same armed men you claim will be "protecting" them.. to remove your neighbors from their houses by force if they didn't pay?

If there were no public schools, but there was a local private school nearby that you had to pay for directly... would you go to your neighbors house and demand they pay to send your kid to the school, and send armed men to remove them from "their" property by force if they didn't? if you think that is wrong, what about "voting" makes it okay for a politician, "tax" collectors, and the police to take part in such activities?

If the "government" can tack on fees for various 'services," regardless of your wishing for or using those "services.." regardless of if you voted for the politician who imposes such "services,"... and remove you from property by force for not paying.. who owns property?

If you vote against a politician, or you don’t vote.. and the guy you voted against, or didnt vote for, wins and imposes some "law" upon you, when did you consent? would you consider defending yourself against these impositions to be immoral? what's immoral about defending yourself against encroachment? what's immoral about defending yourself against the tyrannical imposition of a politician/"law" that you never consented to in the first place? what's moral about forcing your beliefs and such on others under threat of violence for "breaking the law" which they never consented to? is bowing to the rule of an imposed "leader" what makes you civilized, or is it imposing your tyrannical rule on others that makes you civilized?

if the people in "government" are your servants, why do they demand your obedience under threat of violence?

the philosophy of liberty

voluntaryists debate socialists

Objectivism & The State: An Open Letter to Ayn Rand, Roy Childs, Jr. Regarding the contradictions of "limited government."

Larken Rose (anarchist) debates Michael Benoit ("Libertarian") pt I -

pt II

The Myth of The Rule of Law - John Hasnas

The Obviousness of Anarchy, Hasnas

No Treason, No. 6, The Constitution of No Authority, Lysander Spooner

Outside The Cage ep1, Larken Rose

"It [the belief in/the institution of "government"] is not a rational construct, not a way to get along, not a way to organize and cooperate.. it is a hallucination of something that is not there: a group with the right to rule."

Larken Rose - Free Your Mind Conference 2011

In eight minutes, you'll understand liberty. Visit

To "govern" is to rule. Who rules you man?
Any "business" that tries to enslave you is trying to 'govern' you.
You have to want to wake up. or keep acting as if people are your slaves, if that's your thing. Your "plans" are destined to fail. You cannot "regulate" "the market." "the market" is us. A 'government' cannot possibly "regulate" the entirety of "the market." supporting "government regulation" = YOU THINK EVERYONE IS YOUR SLAVE.

Respondent:  Slavery for economic gain still exists today.  There are three million child slaves and even more indentured servant children in India making rugs.  Slave labor exists in China.  There are sex slaves in Asia and around the world.  There is human trafficking and a huge amount of exploitation in sweatshops here in the US and all around the world as well.  Slavery exists in every nook and cranny where government regulations fail to reach because slavery is the ultimate outcome of unregulated capitalism.  If there were no more regulations we would all eventually become either slaves or owners.  In fact, without government regulations and laws there would be no society as we know it today.  Look at the failed states around the world today, like in Somalia.  With out the self-regulating forces of a citizen run central government societies break down into chaos and violence.  Even the ten commandments are enforced, not by their moral authority, but by laws and punishment imposed by the collective.  If there were no laws there would eventually be no wages either.  So you can either put a gun to the head of owners and make them pay their employees so people can live in dignity or you can allow owners to enslave everyone else.  That is just the way things work.

Respondent:  I just viewed the Philosophy of Liberty (see link above). It is an excellent primer on my own firmly held beliefs up to the point where it pictures government as being responsive only to those with malicious intent. How absurd! Your view on government seems to be that government can only be a malevolent force in the world. You don't seem to grasp that it is equally true that government can be a force for positive change, human rights, protection of individual liberty and orderly living; including all the values presented in your video. These positive values are exactly why governments are constituted by the consent of the governed. It is exactly this vision of government that our founding fathers tried to create and generations since have tried to perfect. It is what is most American about America. When government, even our own government, fails to achieve these goals it is time to fix the government, not abandon government all together. The antidote for bad government is good government, not anarchy or free market madness. The problem with our current government is not that it regulates business too much, but that it sides so greatly with business interests to the detriment of the majority of citizens whose interests are ignored.

Anarchist: If you consent, nobody is claiming to 'govern' you. The state is nothing but a malevolent force. "The government" is nothing but a human claiming to be your master. It's not "my view on 'govt," it's what 'the government" is. It's viewing the "government" without any bullshit propaganda. It is tyranny. It can be nothing else. To be 'governed' is to be RULED.  There is no such thing as 'good government." to say one wishes for or thinks there can be 'good government" is to think slavery can be good.  Anarchy is all there is. Who rules you?  Six billion people. Six billion governments.  If someone said "I want to offer protection/defense services," and you wanted this, and you said "yes, I will pay you, voluntarily, for your services" - nobody is claiming to rule anyone but themselves. If someone says "a bunch of us DEMAND that you pay US for our "protection" services, and if not, we will initiate violence against you," then they are claiming to rule you. to be your ruler. to have the "right' to decide what you do with your life.

If you vote, and the person you voted for imposes "law" upon you, and you choose to obey. .. who is ruling who? When someone chooses to disobey, and the person you picked to be ruler does violence to them, who is ruling who? Nobody "governs" anyone but themselves. "The government," a mythical entity that enacts "the will of the people" and can do violence and have it not be "immoral," does NOT EXIST.

"true that government can be a force for positive change, human rights, protection of individual liberty" actually, no, it's not. "the government" first and foremost lays waste to ALL individual liberty, by claiming the "right" to "govern" everyone on what they view/claim by force as their turf ("the country") 

If you don’t vote, or you vote for someone who loses, and the winner imposes "law" upon you and his goons do violence to you for disobeying, when did you consent?

Respondent:  What you seem to be saying is that you cannot imagine government by consent of the people that holds the principles of "self-ownership" (to quote from your video) above what our founding fathers referred to as the tyranny of the masses.  Also it seems that you would call such a system something other than "government".  To call such a system something else is  purely semantics.  The problem for us is that we have been sold the line that democracy is both good and sufficient.  Democracy is neither good or bad.  It is one essential element to bring about good for society, but the goodness of democracy is not intrinsic.   There is more than one condition to bring about good government for society.  The others include a higher set of principles that upholds the rights of individual person hood over majority rule, the rule of law to address individual and group grievances, The separation of powers in government with effective checks and balances, and a free and independent press that fully investigates the claims of those who represent us in government.  There is no "them" in government.  Government is us, or what we allow to pass for "us".  To the extent our present government isn't acting in our best interest and protecting our individual citizens right, it is in our name that this is happening and it is our obligation to change these circumstances.  We are all in this together.  We are letting the great experiment in self-government slip away from us.

Respondent:  Having said that, we all consent to rules all the time.  We cannot function as families, clans, tribes or nations without consenting both to a set of rules and a set of consequences for violating those rules.  Imagine playing soccer against a team that doesn’t consent to any rules.  How would that work out for you when you are constrained by the rules of soccer?  And when someone smashes out your teeth in the game (if I understand your point correctly) because they didn’t consent to the soccer rules they should be immune to all consequences as well?  What sort of logic is that?  We agree to the rules of the games we play, whether in sports or in life, and we agree to a set of consequences if the rules are violated.  This is what we mean when we say, “by the consent of the governed”.  But in America, we also agree that the consequences have to meet those higher standards of protection for individual rights and freedoms so we don’t end up executing someone knocking out our teeth in a soccer game.  And we have the rule of law to redress our grievances and hold even our government in check.

Anarchist Exhibit:   Objectivism and The State An Open Letter to Ayn Rand by Roy A. Childs, Jr. (excerpted here)
“There is a battle shaping up in the world – a battle between the forces of archy – of statism, of political rule and authority – and its only alternative – anarchy, the absence of political rule. This battle is the necessary and logical consequence of the battle between individualism and collectivism, between liberty and the state, between freedom and slavery. As in ethics there are only two sides to any question – the good and the evil – so too are there only two logical sides to the political question of the state: either you are for it, or you are against it. Any attempt at a middle ground is doomed to failure, and the adherents of any middle course are doomed likewise to failure and frustration – or the blackness of psychological destruction, should they blank out and refuse to identify the causes of such failure, or the nature of reality as it is.

Respondent: Ugh!  This seems wrong on so many levels.  I believe it is usually safe to ignore any philosophy (or religious ideology) that splits everything into an “either this or that” construction.  Childs ideas are D.O.A. in my book.  The limitations of our brains require that we summarize, simplify and construct symbolic representation in order to perceive and mentally manipulate the patterns in nature.  But these symbolic representations are never reality.  A yes or no, good or bad, true or false argument is a purely human construct to help us explain a point we want to make. It is never proper or accurate to have such mental constructs form the basis of ones philosophy.

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