Archive for February, 2010

Voluntaryist FAQ

February 2, 2010

I am attempting to create a succinct article that can be browsed through by curious minds to understand the positions of extreme libertarianism also known as Anarchism, Anarcho-capitalism, Voluntaryism .. and probably a few more names I have not yet come across.

The fundamental position of this ideology is based on two principles

1. Non-Aggression Principle (or Axiom).. referred in shorthand as NAP.

2. Use of Private property allocations to determine what is .. and what is not right.

Before going further, I must point out that a detailed understanding of these is HIGHLY CRUCIAL to understanding libertarianism – and quite often non-libertarians do not have the same understanding of these principles as libertarians.. and this is a common source of misunderstandings about libertarianism.

For detail understanding of these – please read Dr. Murray N. Rothbard’s numerous scholarly works, or talk to any one of the intellectual giants of libertarianism.  At this moment, I would caution against referring to libertarian party or that of any “libertarian” think-tank’s position as libertarian principles.  A rule of thumb, make no exceptions, make no concessions while you think of principles and/or their implementation.  This rule will help you identify true libertarians and those that are libertarians only in name.  Dr. Rothbard is my reference standard, although there are many others who continue in the tradition and are quite eloquent spokespersons for the idea.  Glenn Beck, fortunately or unfortunately, .. is NOT one of them – that is not a knock on Glenn, just the status of his positions as it is right now.

So lets get to the FAQ.

Who will protect you from those that wish to do you harm in a stateless society?

This question has an implied assumption built into it.  That a state will protect you from those that wish to do you harm, or at least is obligated to.  This is simply not true – there is violent crime within the protection of the state.. even sometimes perpetrated by state’s employees against otherwise peaceful people.  Clearly this is a failure of the state to protect you from harm!  As to the obligation part, explicit court rulings have made it clear that the state funded police are NOT obligated to protect you and will suffer no significant consequences for failing to protect you.   It is a common illusion that a state is protecting you – and is quite dangerous an idea to hold, especially as it makes you vulnerable to actual crimes by lowering your guard against them.

How will people in stateless society go to work, and be assured that their families are safe at home?

There is no such thing as an absolute “safe”.  It is a comforting thought that you are safe.. but how smart is it to live in this comfortable illusion until the point it is shattered by being victimized by violent crime?  Not very.. I would say.  As to the logistics of it, I advice you to look at your finances and figure out how much you spend and what portion of it goes to taxes.. directly, indirectly and even more indirectly through price inflation for favored industries e.g. corn growers.  Whatever income strata you belong to.. please consider the kind of safety you can purchase for the kind of money you spend  towards taxes!  If you need a trusted armed guard to patrol your neighborhood constantly, this too is considerably cheaper than what you currently pay in taxes.  It is very hard to figure out what exact price you pay and for what product/service in tax based system.. and that is not some accident.  If people can really figure this out, without going through the goobly gook of accounting of the state, and compare it to.. it will really put a huge dent in the fiction on which the state operates.

If we get rid of government, as you extreme libertarians argue for, who will provide national defense?

The first thing to consider here is that there is no such thing as national defense, much less that a state has or can provide for it.  Indeed people living in a particular geographical area might choose to overthrow domination of their lives by a foreign entity/people/govt.. and that is quite justified.  However, it is noteworthy that in most of these wars, the fight waged by a wellarmed populace is far more effective than a collectivized/nationalized defense infrastructure.  Throughout history – there is not a single instance where a well armed society was invaded, defeated or occupied by a foreign power – which is quite a telling statistic.  This is because, if a well armed people decide to resist an occupation force, they can inflict terrible damage on the occupying forces as evident in the American war of Independence from the British rule.  It is therefore, essential that a populace maintains all the means and equipment to defend itself.   It is quite an evidence that EVERY single state.. including the US of A has actively prohibited its people from maintaining such means, which begs the question – Why?  Why does an entity that claims to provide national defense, actively degrades the voluntarily organized efforts of its the people to defend themselves?

Also the same states also maintain an outrageously expensive standing armies, armed to their teeth.  It cannot be that these states can magically transform the nature of human beings, just because they join the state military from fallible sometimes evil human beings to infallible, decent and virtuous people.  So what can account for the difference between the risks of armament levels of the populace and that of the standing army?  The state would like to claim it is the training these military personnel receive.. which is ironic, because many of the good training and tactics that are used in the armies of today were developed by private persons while they were engaged in defending themselves.  Had it not been for these courageous and innovative folks, the military would still use a standing line – shooting a cloud of lead towards each other, resulting in far worse casualty rates..  It took a priest .. not a military scientist to develop body armor that has ever since saved a whole lot of lives!  What could be more enlightening than that?

For all my libertarian and non-libertarian brothers and sisters, please post questions – I will try to incorporate them into this FAQ.  Lets grow this into a good resource for thinking minds.

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