Damian Green is not someone that I am a great fan of. He’s pretty much a classic statist Tory and IIRC he was a so

The big tools in the policy toolbox of modern democratic governments are taxation and subsidization (and to be honest ig

Two security stories showed up in my email box this morning. One was the further revelations of unbelievably lax securit

At long last, with the end of “net neutrality,” competition could soon come to the industry that delivers Internet s

The opportunity is to live every dream you have ever had. Now. The problem is that for every dream you realize, you have

Bit by Bit: How Peer-to-Peer Technology Is Freeing the World argues that today’s emergent technology is about more

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  • ***** RATIONAL REVIEW NEWS DIGEST The Freedom Movement’s Daily Newspaper Volume XV, Issue #3,867 Monday, December 18th, 2017 450 email subscribers Please forward this email to your friends so they can s [Read story]
  • Bolivia is divided geographically, economically, ethnically and culturally into two distinct parts.

    On the west is a vast, enormously high plane, the [altiplano between two cordilleras of the Andes mountains. It is inhabited by Aymara (mostly) and Quechua speaking Andean people many of whom now speak Spanish. These people, called Kollas, have…[Read more]

  • Great to finally see the V50 series published for free at Liberty.Me. This series was important in delivering thousands of folks to the cause of liberty. It originally sold for a hefty price. After the untimely dearth of the course originator, Jay Snelson, a group determined that the course should become freeware. Enjoy!

  • Just in time for the holidays, it’s a story that chronicles the mistakes of Ol’ Saint Nick.

  • So I imagine the thought has crossed other’s minds that the liberty.me community could migrate to a dapp like steemit.

    I humbly suggest that the founder(s) and original investors into liberty.me should consider creating a steemit like dapp and launch on the EOS blockchain this June.

    I have many ideas on how to improve Steemit which I can get…[Read more]

  • I was honored to be the guest speaker of the Yale University Political Union last week, addressing the need to abolish the welfare state. The structure of the union breaks down students into “parties” based on [Read story]
    • You quote Smith on the division of labour as if leftists are not aware of the issue, but I think they are. For example, what about this text which can be found in Marx’s “Capital”:

      “The understandings of the greater part of men … are necessarily formed by their ordinary employments. The man whose whole life is spent in performing a few simple operations … has no occasion to exert his understanding… He generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become […] The uniformity of his stationary life naturally corrupts the courage of his mind … It corrupts even the activity of his body and renders him incapable of exerting his strength with vigour and perseverance in any other employments than that to which he has been bred. His dexterity at his own particular trade seems in this manner to be acquired at the expense of his intellectual, social, and martial virtues. […] this is the state into which the labouring poor, that is, the great body of the people, must necessarily fall.”

  • There are some things I simply won’t voluntarily do. I won’t participate in Nazi/socialist rituals, even if everyone around me gets bent out of shape by my refusal. Nor will I sing or “honor” national an [Read story]
  • NATO warns Russian missile might violate missile treaty :: Tesla warns taxi, Lyft & Uber drivers not to use their Superchargers :: Winds fuel California wildfire, state’s third-largest on record

    #FPPradionews

  • Earl Zarbin published a new article, Everyone Welcome, on the site dailyrhyme 23 hours, 6 minutes ago

    I think I am Santa, At ease in the mall, The big and the little, There to chat with all.
  • Seriously, I like anarcho-capitalists and don’t think anyone should be shot, but no one seemed to be reading this post with the previous title. This site aims to be ecumenical, stimulating discussion between [Read story]
    • “People should be free to respect rules of their choice and to associate exclusively with others freely respecting these rules, but they should not be entitled to impose their rules on everyone everywhere. ”

      Sounds great and I mostly agree. But it is not possible in all cases to restrict your associations to those freely respecting rules. Ignoring the obvious example of common crime, if we imagine an ideal world where different settlements with different rules and beliefs have crystallized so that your ideal is nearly satisfied, there will still be cases of travelers encountering members of a different tribe, or settlements attempting to grow into the same area. Disputes among such parties need resolution in order to avoid warfare. While we can imagine diplomats from each tribe negotiating unique treaties (setting up a framework for resolving disputes)’with every other tribe, the number of necessary treaties rises much more quickly than the number of tribes:
      Tribes. Treaties
      1. 0
      2. 1
      3. 3
      4. 6
      5. 10
      Of course, if two tribes live far from each other, they may not bother, but it still seems possible that this might be a coordination problem, and having a standardized minimalistic treaty might be very popular. The treaties can’t be very detailed anyhow, since the parties to the treaties do not agree on basic property rules. I think this is an interesting scenario and I’ve been thinking about it, back-burner style.

      I associate communitarianism with Amitai Etzioni, who I also thought of as moderately anti-libertarian and statist. Looking at Wikipedia, it is not clear to me whether I have made a mistake or not. How would you distinguish your flavor of communitarianism from Voluntaryist or panarchy or something along those lines?
      In several places in your text you mention “propriety” where I think you might have intended to use “property.” Damn auto-spell checkers!

    • Thanks for replying, Dave. I understand your point, but I don’t imagine bilateral treaties between communities avoiding the problem you describe. I imagine a state. I don’t claim to be an anarchist. The state that I imagine enforces an individual right to free association as well as establishing boundaries between communities. Essentially, communities do own land and other resources, and the state does enforce these property rights, but individuals own resources within a community only subject to the community’s standards of propririety.

      If an individual wanders onto a community and violates its standards, the community may imprison him (not kill him), but this individual may appeal to the state. Upon appeal, the state essentially advertises the individual’s predicament to all other communities, and any other community may then offer the individual membership in the other community. This negotiation involves the individual, not the community imprisoning him. The individual may leave the community holding him, owing it nothing, as long as any other community will accept him on its terms. Another community’s offer may require the individual to compensate the community holding him in some way, but the state imposes no requirement of this kind.

      I also imagine a community of last resort, essentially the state of nature, accepting practically anyone on any terms. Of course, a civilized person does not want to live in this community of last resort, since it imposes no constraints on the behavior of its members other than the forces of nature.

      You may object that this limited state would not remain so limited, since it must be powerful enough to enforce these constraints on communities. I accept this objection, but since it applies to any state whatsoever, I don’t know what any minarchist (or nanarchist) can do about it. The objection doesn’t persuade me to abandon the whole idea of a state, because genuine anarchism (the absence of any state as I define “state”) raises many other objections that self-described anarchists cannot or will not address.

      “Communitarian” has many uses, and I rarely describe myself this way without qualification. “Nanarchist” is a term that I coined some time ago, so I risk little confusion by describing myself this way, but I also don’t associate myself with a larger denomination and therefore must describe in detail what “nanarchism” denotes.

      I’m not familiar with Amitai Etzioni, and Wikipedia’s summary of “Etzioni’s Communitarianism” is too vague to reach any conclusions. It does sound like an argument for statutory programs aimed at “building community”, and this “communitarianism” is practically the opposite of what I advocate. I have some sympathies with G. K. Chesterton, but I don’t identify myself as a distributist. The free association that I imagine requires a state entitling individuals wishing to establish a community (to associate on specified terms) to resources, and hereditary title in perpetuity is not consistent with the principle I imagine.

      A community losing many members must lose resources along with them, so I’m interested in how the distributists resolve this problem, but I don’t imagine the state having anything to do with the terms of association. If most people prefer a community governed by strictly individualistic (“every man for himself”) standards, that’s not a problem for me. I don’t expect this outcome, but it’s not a problem for me. I don’t advocate community for the sake of community.

      I call myself a voluntarist or voluntaryist, but these terms are also ambiguous. “Panarchy” sounds O.K., but I don’t identify myself this way.

      I don’t think I used “propriety” where I intended “property”. Conventional property rights, involving exclusive claims to resources, are what I call “standards of propriety”. “Standard of propriety” is a category including “property”, but many standards of propriety, other than conventional property rights, are conceivable. A community might require members to contribute to a fund for the care of orphans and widows, for example, as in the Temple treasuries of Hebrew tradition. A right of widows and orphans to this support within this community is a standard of propriety. Historically, conventional property rights have never existed outside of communities also enacting standards of this sort.

    • Oh, and your definition of the state seems confusing to me. Of course, it is a complicated concept. I try to define it for myself at http://roadmap.liberty.me/2014/07/24/a-voluntaryist-definition-of-the-state/

    • Weber’s definition looks O.K. to me, but I might instead write, “Human organization effectively monopolizing the systematic use of force within a given territory.” I don’t say that a state’s force is “legitimate”, unless “legitimate” simply means consistent with the state’s decrees, in which case the definition is circular.

      I agree that the state is a hierarchical organization of authorities and that it enforces an ideology by excluding any forcible ideology contradicting its own. Of course, a state need not be totalitarian. Its ideology need not determine every human action or even very many actions.

      The federation of intentional communities that I imagine is essentially a single state by your definition, but its hierarchy of authority is extremely flat, and its most central authority is extremely limited. Intentional communities could and presumably would negotiate bilateral and multilateral agreements with one another, but the state that I imagine does not enforce these agreements. If a community violates one of these agreements, other communities may refuse to trade with it or otherwise cease interacting with it, but no other enforcement measure exists.

      The primary force organizing these communities, their standards of propriety and the terms of association between communities is the flow of individuals between communities, including a flow of individuals out of established communities and into newly constituted communities. If enough individuals want to live in a community respecting particular standards, and if these people find no existing communities satisfying their preferences, the state entitles these individuals to resources necessary to establish a community, and this entitlement may require existing communities to surrender resources.

      A state must systematize this entitlement to resources somehow. An-caps do the same with homesteading, but homesteading requires a frontier with resources not already claimed, and this frontier doesn’t exist in reality. It didn’t even exist on the “American Frontier”, so the an-cap formulation seems impossibly utopian to me.

    • “Human organization effectively monopolizing the systematic use of force within a given territory.”

      Suppose a community exists which does not monopolize the systematic use of force within a given territory. It just sets the laws, but lets them be implemented without creating monopoly. I mean free market police forces (many) which are in competition with one another. Do you consider this organization a state?

      “Intentional communities could and presumably would negotiate bilateral and multilateral agreements with one another, but the state that I imagine does not enforce these agreements.”

      How do you sign an agreement with a community which lacks a central authority?

      “If enough individuals want to live in a community respecting particular standards, and if these people find no existing communities satisfying their preferences, the state entitles these individuals to resources necessary to establish a community, and this entitlement may require existing communities to surrender resources.”

      So, the state will have to decide who has right to resources, which resources, how much of them to divide between different requests, etc. An impossible task. There will be no way to justify any decision. Only the free market can distribute these resources correctly. Moreover the state is defined by its land. No land, no state. You mean that the state will surrender its land just so, because somebody wants to secede? It must be a strange state which will work for its demolition.

    • “It just sets the laws, but lets them be implemented without creating monopoly.”

      I don’t know how a community can establish laws without a monopoly of force within the community. Suppose I don’t obey one of these laws. What happens to me? If I may disobey a law with impunity, how is it a law?

      I can imagine a market in police services, private security guards for example; however, any monopoly of legislation must necessarily police a market in policing that it establishes by law; otherwise, policing services need not enforce the standards that the legislators legislate. Without a hierarchy of policing, I can’t imagine policing services enforcing any particular standards, and I can easily imagine a policing service enforcing things that libertarians generally don’t want enforced.

      “Do you consider this organization a state?”

      I consider it a state if it only enforces a particular set of laws that you specify here. You then are the monarch of this state. I am also the monarch of the minanarchy (or nanarchy) that I discuss here, and within my realm, you may have your own principality governed by practically any rules you wish to enact, other than rules that kill your subjects or hold them within your principality against their will.

      “How do you sign an agreement with a community which lacks a central authority?”

      Communities do not lack (intra-community) central authorities in general. A community could have little central authority, but then it couldn’t contract effectively with other communities as you say, so it would not enjoy benefits of these contracts. I expect most communities to have central authorities for this reason, but no more central authority, outside of free communities, settles contractual disputes. This more central authority is unnecessary, because individuals are free to leave communities that do not contract with other communities in the best interests of community members.

      “So, the state will have to decide who has right to resources, which resources, how much of them to divide between different requests, etc. An impossible task.”

      The task is hardly impossible. Every existing state does it. The state could enforce something like Rothbardian property rights, applicable to communities rather than to individuals, for example, but this approach is only one possibility. Discussing other approaches is one of the principal goals of this site. I’m not interested in imposing a particular outcome, like strict equality of wealth among communities, but I do want to entitle a sufficiently large group of people (the Free State Project for example) to establish a community governed by standards of their choice without assuming a frontier rich in natural resources.

      “Only the free market can distribute these resources correctly.”

      The “free market” that you imagine instead seems to require that individuals already own everything, by forcible standards that already exist, and this requirement is a fundamental problem with it. I don’t want my children bound this way by standards established before they exist.

      In the liberal archipelago, the cost of joining a community is adherence to the community’s standards. You shop for a community, from a practically unlimited variety of options, and you pay for it by adhering to the community’s standards. You may also establish a new community and offer it to consumers in this market, so this hypothetical archipelago raises a question. How does an entrepreneur obtain the resources necessary to offer an innovative option?

      If existing communities incorporate all natural resources, and if these communities want no more options to exist, then what? How do we enact a right of persons to secede from existing communities with sufficient resources to establish a new community competing for members of the existing communities? Distributists ask this question, and it seems a fair question to me, entirely consistent with ends that libertarians (as opposed to proprietarians) seek.

      “It must be a strange state which will work for its demolition.”

      The state that I imagine loses no land (no territory within its jurisdiction) when a new community forms. Other communities lose land. All territory of all communities within the archipelago is subject to the state, just as all privately owned land is subject to Rothbardian standards of propriety in Rothbard’s minarchy.

      An existing community could lose land only by selling the land to other communities, including a newly established community, to sustain itself as it loses members for example. This formulation gets the state involved in contracts between communities, and this involvement is problematic, but it’s a possibility. I don’t have a well established opinion on this question.

    • The ideas we support are quite close. Mine is here:
      http://voluntaristicsociety.liberty.me/2014/09/09/the-contradiction-between-private-property-and-the-existence-of-state-as-such-a-new-societal-organization/

      One difference seems to be that there will never be a “hierarchy of authority” in my preferred system.

    • “I don’t know how a community can establish laws without a monopoly of force within the community. ….…. however, any monopoly of legislation must necessarily police a market in policing that it establishes by law; otherwise, policing services need not enforce the standards that the legislators legislate.”

      My idea (in short): A jurisdiction (in my terms) or community (in yours) establishes the following law: “ Private police forces are allowed under the obligation that they support themselves by getting money from the criminals they apprehend. In doing so the private police forces must follow the rules of the community (whatever they are)”

      So, the community establishes the laws, but does not bother to enforce them (not policing the police). The police forces are however very highly motivated to enforce these laws, because only under them can they earn money. There will be many police forces which will be in competition with each other. When a police captures a suspected criminal it can send him to court and if the court finds him guilty then the criminal must pay the police the established free market price for this kind of offence. After this the criminal will have to pay for the judge and for his stay in prison.

      If you notice: One does not need to control the police because they will control themselves. If one police force brakes the prescribed laws then all other police forces are free to arrest them. In addition if one police force does not follow the law then it will not be able to run its business. For instance: it captures a criminal in an unlawful manner. This will not stand in court and they will not only not get any money, but will have to cover all their expenses themselves and possibly pay a compensation.

      “I consider it a state if it only enforces a particular set of laws that you specify here”

      So, my type of community (jurisdiction) is not a state per se, since it does not bother to enforce a particular set of laws. They enforce themselves automatically (no initiation of force).

      “The task is hardly impossible. Every existing state does it.”

      No state allows seceding from it. But seceding is necessary because new communities need land.

      “The “free market” that you imagine instead seems to require that individuals already own everything, by forcible standards that already exist, and this requirement is a fundamental problem with it.”

      Actually I do not have problem with community property at all. You are wrong. My system allows it, as long it is voluntary.

      “The state that I imagine loses no land (no territory within its jurisdiction) when a new community forms. Other communities lose land”

      What happens when a new community wishes to implement other laws than the ones accepted by the state? The only way to do it is to secede (with land, common or personal). But this means that the particular state may disappear. A state is defined by its land.

      “In the liberal archipelago, the cost of joining a community is adherence to the community’s standards. You shop for a community, from a practically unlimited variety of options, and you pay for it by adhering to the community’s standards. You may also establish a new community and offer it to consumers in this market…….”

      Exactly! I suggest the same! I have told you already that our system are not very different. The above is exactly the common ground.

    • “The police forces are however very highly motivated to enforce these laws, because only under them can they earn money.”

      Suppose my friends and I decide to enforce other laws, contradicting the jurisdiction’s laws, and still get money from the criminals we apprehend. What stops us from doing so? [My answer to this question involves an external authority, the state, tipping the balance in favor of the community’s proprietors and a charter that they enact.]

      “When a police captures a suspected criminal it can send him to court and if the court finds him guilty then the criminal must pay the police the established free market price for this kind of offence.”

      Who pays if the accused is not found guilty?

      What you describe here is similar to common law in the U.S. in the nineteenth century. Then, no public prosecutors existed, and a criminal complaint therefore required a motivated accuser. An accuser petitioned a grand jury to indict the accused. If the grand jury returned an indictment, the accuser could appear before a judge and present his case. If he wanted an attorney to argue the case, the accuser paid this attorney. The accused also presented his side of the case or paid an attorney to argue on his behalf.

      “After this the criminal will have to pay for the judge and for his stay in prison.”

      Suppose the criminal has no valuable property and his labor is not valuble to the prison either. Who pays the judge and to keep him in prison?

      “If one police force brakes the prescribed laws then all other police forces are free to arrest them.”

      Suppose other police forces decide that they prefer the rules that my friends and I enforce. We start arresting the police enforcing the jurisdiction’s rules. What stops us?

      “This will not stand in court and they will not only not get any money, …”

      Why not? Why wouldn’t my friends and I hold our own courts? You seem to be assuming some external force that prevents this.

      “So, my type of community (jurisdiction) is not a state per se, since it does not bother to enforce a particular set of laws. They enforce themselves automatically (no initiation of force).”

      You assume that the jurisdiction’s laws are enforced, but I’m not sure why they would be.

      “No state allows seceding from it. But seceding is necessary because new communities need land.”

      States register titles to property, enforce the rights of title holders and enact standards governing the transfer of titles. The nanarchy that I imagine does not permit secession either, but it does enact standards entitling peopled to resources necessary to establish a community. I confess that this distributive principle is vague and potentially problematic, but I need it to reach the conclusions I desire.

      “Actually I do not have problem with community property at all. You are wrong. My system allows it, as long it is voluntary.”

      You seemed to require individuals owning property individually before agreeing to share it communally, but I see now that you don’t.

      “What happens when a new community wishes to implement other laws than the ones accepted by the state?”

      The state is a minarchy, so it imposes very few laws. Essentially, it only compels communities not to violate individual rights to life and liberty, i.e. a community may not kill its members (or allow them to die of neglect) or hold them in the community against their will. It also records titles to community resources and enforces a community’s exclusive use of its resources. Communities do most of the defending of their own resources from external invasion, so in practice, the state enforces these rights of individuals and little else.

      “Exactly! I suggest the same! I have told you already that our system are not very different. The above is exactly the common ground.”

      We seem to have the same conclusion in mind.

    • Thanks a lot for your comments. I value them very highly because they allow me to look at my ideas from another side.

      “Suppose my friends and I decide to enforce other laws, contradicting the jurisdiction’s laws, and still get money from the criminals we apprehend. What stops us from doing so? “

      A jurisdiction (community) is defined by its land. This means that the owners of the land define the laws which are valid in this jurisdiction. If you and your friends decide to implement other laws on this land than the prescribed by the land owner(s), then you become common criminals. The owner’s police force would fight you, because you would look like a bag of gold to them. And the more you are the bigger the police force would become. If, however you and your friends happen to own land, then nobody would stop you from implementing any laws you deem necessary on it. That is how societies would form: different views would resolve themselves in different jurisdictions/types of law, which could co-exist. Still, respect to the property rights as such is necessary. Such a society could never exist today or before 500 years. People would never want it. People’s ideas shape their way of life, which is the way they have organized themselves.

      “Who pays if the accused is not found guilty?”

      “Who pays whom and for what?” would be the right question. The only organization which has spent some money is the police force. If it has arrested the suspected person and it turns out that he is not guilty (the court says so) then the police would have to carry its expenses for capturing, detaining, and suing the suspected person itself. So it will take responsibility for its own actions as any private company do. If they make a mistake they will suffer the consequences. Nowadays this is not so. Notice that because of this reason (the consequences) the police would arrest somebody if it has a very good reason to think that their case would pass in court.

      “Suppose the criminal has no valuable property and his labor is not valuble to the prison either. Who pays the judge and to keep him in prison?”

      In a free society there would be a great choice of labor types. If the criminal wants to work something there will be a prison which would be willing to offer him this or something similar. Since the criminal would choose to which jail to go he would have a very big choice. And the prisons would try to offer as many different varieties of occupations as possible, probably even allowing the prisoner to find new ones for himself. After all they are just companies in a search for clients to pay them.
      The hard question is what happens when the prisoner refuses to work. Nobody has the right to force him to do this. There could be many possible solutions. Since prisons would provide stimuli to work (if you work you can allow yourself more amenities) they would probably fund a very law quality prison so that the prisoners can get a feel what it is to live in a dumpster and then switch back to a proper lifestyle (a normal prison). Another option is for some charity organizations to provide minimum-conditions prisons too. Other options may also exist.

      “Suppose other police forces decide that they prefer the rules that my friends and I enforce. We start arresting the police enforcing the jurisdiction’s rules. What stops us?”

      The people who live on this piece (pieces) of land would stop you. They support and want their type of law. So if some of the police forces defect, new ones would be organized to fight the old ones. Remember: fighting crime would be a very profitable occupation, so one does not need to organize anything. The police would organize itself alone and develop (as it is with any other company in a market economy). On this piece of land the “bad” police forces would find zero support from the population.

      “Why not? Why wouldn’t my friends and I hold our own courts? You seem to be assuming some external force that prevents this.”

      As I said above, you could do this if you have enough supporters and your own piece of land. Otherwise you would be just common criminals.

      “You assume that the jurisdiction’s laws are enforced, but I’m not sure why they would be.”

      Because the police has interest in enforcing them. A very big interest. See above.

      “States register titles to property, enforce the rights of title holders and enact standards governing the transfer of titles.”

      Yes. However this is valid as long as the land under discussion is in the state and abides to its laws. No state would ever allow somebody to secede with his piece of land. So, without initiation of force to keep its subjects within its reach no state can exist.

      “The state is a minarchy, so it imposes very few laws. Essentially, it only compels communities not to violate individual rights to life and liberty, i.e. a community may not kill its members (or allow them to die of neglect) or hold them in the community against their will.”

      You forgot to add: and it brakes the private property rights by not allowing its citizens to define themselves (to secede with their land and live under other laws).

      “We seem to have the same conclusion in mind.”

      Yes, but in my system nobody if forced to pay for crime protection. No taxes of any kind. No payment for police, court, prisons, even army. One gets his freedom for free, as a side effect from fighting the crime. In addition nobody is excluded from the market. Never. Nowadays and in Minarchism the prisoners are excluded from the free market (they lose rights while in jail) and that is why prison/guard/police violence is so common.

      I have no time today to answer your other comments under the article about “owning of time”.

  • A century ago, having electric indoor lighting was a luxury of the rich. It was a dangerous technology at the time – one thing goes wrong and the whole house is up in flames – but people took the risk. 150 [Read story]
  • The clowns who blew up the balloon are unhappy!

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