A Reference

Burden of proof: Logic dictates that the burden of proof be put on the positive claim. In this case, while common belief dictates that the anarchist has the burden of proof, it actually belongs to both parties. Both are making a positive claim about social organization. Furthermore, most statists make the same claim as the anarchist (i.e. that markets should exist) but adds an extra claim (i.e. that the state should exist), therefore the statist has an extra burden of proof. Statists are incapable of shedding this extra burden, which makes this a powerful argument, if you can get an honest statist to admit that he's making a positive claim.

Moral Argument: A moral principle or system, or a political principle or system, is invalid if it is asymmetrical in application (to locations, times or persons). Can also be called "universality." Argument made by Murray Rothbard in his book The Ethics of Liberty.

  • Gun control is invalid because it sets one principle for one group (state exploiters)- you can have guns- and another principle for the rest of us- you can't have guns. Taxation is invalid because theft remains criminal in all other instances. If it is just for some people to steal in the name of the "common good", then it should be good for everyone. And so on.

Geometric Argument: Consists of setting up a fictional scenario involving three people on a desert island, pointing out that statist behaviour in such a scenario is immoral (such as taxation- two people deciding to steal a third's resources because they think he has too much) without noting that it is statist behaviour, and expanding the situation in numbers until you reach the "millions of people" stage, at which point you reveal the statist analogy.

Argument from the State of Nature: Consists of examining every possible alternative about the nature of man and showing how the state is undesirable in all these alternatives. For example: if everyone is born good, then we don't need a state, if everyone is born evil, then the state would be evil as well, and if everyone is a mixture of good and evil, then a state only gives an opportunity for the most evil to wield power over the rest of us.

Semantic Argument: Consists of pointing out the conceptual absurdity of concepts such as "state", "country" and "citizenship", and showing that statism is literally meaningless. A favourite argument of Marc Stevens'.

Argument from Freedom: Consists of explaining the value of freedom, and demonstrating how Market Anarchy is the system most conductive to freedom.

Argument from Public Goods

1. A public good is defined as a good which cannot be efficiently provided because its provision benefits a wide population regardless of how many people paid for the good. Every single agents is faced with a high cost and a low proportion of the benefit, and thus will most likely not desire to shoulder any costs, making financing impossible. (Standard statist definition)

2a. In a democratic system, good governance is a public good because:

  • Any individual voter would need to shoulder great costs in order to form informed opinions on all issues of public policy, and, if his vote means anything at all, would only reap a very small proportion of the benefits. Therefore each individual voter has a negative incentive in bringing about good governance.
  • In trying to improve his situation, any individual lobbyist is faced with two alternatives: attempt to repeal the hundreds of laws passed by his opponents which make his life slightly worse (and which repeal could cumulatively make his life much easier), or pass one law for his interest group which makes life much easier for himself and slightly worse for everyone else. Since it is much easier to pass one law than repeal a hundred laws, he will necessarily choose the former.

2b. In a Market Anarchist system, good governance is a private good, because every individual directly reaps the reward of his good decisions, due to the one-to-one relationship between the customer and his agency. He faces the full costs, but reaps the full benefits as well.

2c. In a Market Anarchist system, bad governance is a public good because:

  • Any individual customer would need to shoulder additional costs in order to endorse a bad rule or institution (such as the War on Drugs), and therefore every individual customer has an incentive to reduce bad governance.
  • Any individual trying to bring about a State or other collectivist structure cannot do it alone. He would need the support of most people living on the same territory, as the State is a territorial monopoly. In doing so, he (and his eventual supporters) shoulders an enormous cost, with the anticipation of reaping only a small proportion of the (assumed) benefits of a State. Therefore States will tend to be very difficult to form within a Market Anarchy.

3. Therefore, Market Anarchy will more easily bring, maintain and cultivate good governance than democracy can, because democracy suffers from a fatal public goods problem, while Market Anarchy doesn't.

Freedom's Imperative
by Jim Davies

Proving that Market Anarchy is the only justifiable organizational system by demonstrating that self-ownership is axiomatically true and that Market Anarchy is the only organizational system built on that premise.

The Problem of Collectivist Obligation

(1) One or more of three possibilities must obtain:
  • Morality does not exist.
  • Morality is determined by the individual (realism, subjectivism, etc).
  • Morality is determined by the collective (autocracy, utilitarianism, etc).
(2) Morality necessarily exists, because:
  • Morality is axiomatic (cannot be denied without direct contradiction).
  • Morality is a necessary fact for all moral agents.

(3) Either morality is determined by the individual moral agent, or the collective, or both. (from 1 and 2)

(4) Collectivist obligation is inter-subjective relative to the collectivist belief system.

(5) Any moral obligation towards the collective would have to be demonstrated objectively (i.e. as a fact that exists independently from the group).

(6) It is impossible to go from inter-subjective propositions to objective propositions, as any given sum or network of inter-subjective propositions must still remain grounded to the belief system.

(7) It is impossible to justify the passage from collectivist obligation to moral obligation. (from 4, 5 and 6)

(8) Morality cannot be determined by the collective. (from 7)

(9) Morality can only be determined by the individual moral agent. (from 3 and 8)

Spooner's Dilemma

If there be such a natural principle as justice, it is necessarily the highest, and consequently the only and universal, law for all those matters to which it is naturally applicable. And, consequently, all human legislation is simply and always an assumption of authority and dominion, where no right of authority or dominion exists. It is, therefore, simply and always an intrusion, an absurdity, an usurpation, and a crime.

On the other hand, if there be no such natural principle as justice, there can be no such thing as injustice. If there be no such natural principle as honesty, there can be no such thing as dishonesty; and no possible act of either force or fraud, committed by one man against the person or property of another, can be said to be unjust or dishonest; or be complained of, or prohibited, or punished as such. In short, if there be no such principle as justice, there can be no such acts as crimes; and all the professions of governments, so called, that they exist, either in whole or in part, for the punishment or prevention of crimes, are professions that they exist for the punishment or prevention of what never existed, nor can ever exist. Such professions are therefore confessions that, so far as crimes are concerned, governments have no occasion to exist...

Lysander Spooner, "Natural Law," Section V

*Graveyard of the Gods

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