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Old 04-28-2009, 08:10 PM   #1
zan nen
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Inclined to Liberty

This is a short, recently released book that seems to do a decent job of making anarcho-capitalist or Austrian economic theory more easily approachable.
free online (Scribd/PDF)

The first two chapters are here for you to discuss. It was fun reading at times, even if you get it. I will add a chapter or two every day.

Quote:
WHILE WRITING THIS BOOK, I often asked myself, “Why write this at all? Will I come up with such an unusual view and explanation of that view that someone with a socialist bent will, after reading it, suddenly exclaim, ‘Oh! Now I concur’?” Hardly! Writing may not gain advocates, but it does help to codify one’s own thoughts and beliefs, and that alone is rewarding.

I have often wondered why those with strong opinions about social affairs are always attracted toward one of two opposing poles. There are those inclined to liberty—freedom of the individual to live his or her life in any peaceful way. And there are those who are inclined to mastery—permitting others to live their lives only as another sees fit. It seems also that, once so inclined to one or the other of these philosophies, one is so inclined for life.

It is rare, in my experience, that people who align themselves with one camp or the other will, upon seeing some new evidence or hearing an argument contrary to their beliefs, switch camps. Why are some inclined to agree with, for example, a passage written by Milton Friedman, but disagree with one written by John Kenneth Galbraith, or the reverse? Perhaps we carry genes that predispose us to one inclination and render us immune to contrary evidence.

So, why debate if we are so firmly predisposed? There seems to be a spirit within us that wants to convert others to our beliefs without having to assess the real value of such conversions. After all, what one person believes does not obstruct the beliefs of another. If one converts a socialist to a libertarian or an atheist to a Christian, or vice versa, what is gained? Maybe the gain is simply the comfort we experience when someone else reconfirms that our beliefs are “correct” after all.

Whatever the case, the dinner party that evening led to my own personal search for answers and, ultimately, the writing of this book, a most rewarding venture that I would never have undertaken had it not been for the views expressed by my guests that night. I thank them, and my friend Don De Francisco, in particular, for having made that experience possible.
Quote:
SOME OF THE PROPOSITIONS offered during that lively evening were:

“No one should be allowed to own a yacht.”

“The salaries of company executives are too high.”

“No one should be allowed to inherit wealth.”

But the statement that I found most intriguing, and the one that initially drove me to write, was:

“It is not fair that companies can terminate their workers just to increase profits.”

However, as I thought of a suitable response, I realized that this proposition was no different in principle from the others. While some statements were more radical than others, each basially contains a notion that something is unfair and that we ought to do something to right that unfairness by instituting prohibitions. Reading these “is” and “ought” notions into the propositions,the statements then become:

“It is unfair that someone can earn much more than another, so we ought to prohibit people from earning that much.”

“It is unfair that someone can own a yacht, so we ought to prohibit such ownership.”

“It is unfair that someone can bequeath wealth to an heir, so we ought to disallow such transfers of wealth.”

“It is unfair that an employer can terminate workers just to increase profits, so we ought to prohibit employers from doing so.”

The “we” in each of these cases is the royal “we”—that is, the state. The royal “we” connotes a moral justification for physically forcing others to live their lives as the personal “I” sees fit. Imagine how alarming these propositions would sound if the personal “I” were used instead of the abstract and justifiable royal “we.” For instance:

“The salaries of executives are too high, so I will personally threaten to incarcerate any executive who accepts a salary and any company owner who pays a salary higher than what I think is reasonable.”

“I will incarcerate anyone who buys, builds, or sells a yacht that I consider too large and luxurious.”

Any prohibition by the State also implies incarceration or death if refusal to comply is carried to its ultimate end. Although incarceration and death hide behind each proposition mentioned that evening, the clear realization of such physical punishments comes to the forefront when we substitute “I” for “we.” The royal “we” seems to moralize and justify acts that the “I” would render reprehensible.
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:30 PM   #2
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

Too much state is bad state. Some of the examples make that point well.

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Any prohibition by the State also implies incarceration or death if refusal to comply is carried to its ultimate end.
In the sense that a fictitious corporate person "dies" through withdrawal of its government-granted charter for failure to comply with the conditions thereof, yes.
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:38 PM   #3
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

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In the sense that a fictitious corporate person "dies" through withdrawal of its government-granted charter for failure to comply with the conditions thereof, yes.
The feds tell me that my corporation is violating regulations, and order me to shut down.

I ignore them, and they revoke my corporate charter.

Do you really think it ends there?

What if I continue doing business? My customers don't seem to care. They enjoy the services I provide regardless of the government's arbitrary approval.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:53 PM   #4
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The feds tell me that my corporation is violating regulations, and order me to shut down.

I ignore them, and they revoke my corporate charter.

Do you really think it ends there?
Maybe not, because when you accepted the state's permission to operate as one of their fictions, you agreed to play by certain rules. It's possible you could be personally liable as well.

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What if I continue doing business? My customers don't seem to care. They enjoy the services I provide regardless of the government's arbitrary approval.
It is not arbitrary. The government has the fiduciary obligation to go after you since you broke laws made by the people's representatives in the legislature. Pretending to still be the corporation while no longer having license to do so is at least fraud.
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:33 AM   #5
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

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Maybe not, because when you accepted the state's permission to operate as one of their fictions, you agreed to play by certain rules. It's possible you could be personally liable as well.



It is not arbitrary. The government has the fiduciary obligation to go after you since you broke laws made by the people's representatives in the legislature. Pretending to still be the corporation while no longer having license to do so is at least fraud.
Cue hot dog in 3...

2...

1...
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:01 AM   #6
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

Hotdog sales have been temporarily suspended due to swine flu panic. Please standby while we re-formulate to an all-beef recipe. Keep sending your checks, though, since we have to pay some exorbitant bribes to the kosher inspection rabbis.
 
Old 04-29-2009, 01:23 AM   #7
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

Wow , your hot dog vigilance deserves a medal. Midnight?! I thought the old folks home had people down by 8pm.
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:29 AM   #8
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

I heard there was some leftover pudding in the fridge so I'm sneaking around after curfew.
 
Old 04-29-2009, 03:05 AM   #9
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

Hopefully, lil' smokies remain unaffected.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:44 AM   #10
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

What in the cases where some see a violation of NAP and others do not? I'm not sure this has anything to do with OP exactly but it came to mind reading it for whatever reason. What I mean is that even in ACist society it seems like you would need a court whose decision is final and is respected, no?
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:39 AM   #11
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

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Originally Posted by vixticator View Post
What in the cases where some see a violation of NAP and others do not? I'm not sure this has anything to do with OP exactly but it came to mind reading it for whatever reason. What I mean is that even in ACist society it seems like you would need a court whose decision is final and is respected, no?
Only one who both the complainant and complained against see as final which is a little easier to organise. If they both agree to be bound by the decision of a particular court who cares what the rest of the world thinks about it.
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:36 PM   #12
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

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Originally Posted by tomdemaine View Post
Only one who both the complainant and complained against see as final which is a little easier to organise. If they both agree to be bound by the decision of a particular court who cares what the rest of the world thinks about it.
The winner will care, because otherwise there is no penalty for the loser saying "**** this, I'm not respectin this decision." DUCY?
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:40 PM   #13
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

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The winner will care, because otherwise there is no penalty for the loser saying "**** this, I'm not respectin this decision." DUCY?
They agree to respect the decision before it is made ducy?
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:16 PM   #14
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

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They agree to respect the decision before it is made ducy?
Why would a clearly guilty defendant in a serious case agree to anything?
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:23 PM   #15
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Why would a clearly guilty defendant in a serious case agree to anything?
Because taking your medicine is sometimes better than the alternative.
 
Old 04-29-2009, 02:28 PM   #16
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

Yeah, that's the one thing that I don't quite grasp about AC. I don't see how you can have justice without coercion. You can say that both parties would agree to respect the court's decision, but if I shot a guy, what incentive is there for me to agree to stand before any court? And once you have private courts using coercion to arrest murderers, I don't see what is stopping MADD from starting their own courts to go after drunks and drug abusers and religious nuts going after abortion doctors, etc etc.

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Because taking your medicine is sometimes better than the alternative.
And what exactly is the alternative? Are there going to be vigilantes going after anyone who doesn't submit to a court? That doesn't sound very voluntary to me.
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:32 PM   #17
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

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Yeah, that's the one thing that I don't quite grasp about AC. I don't see how you can have justice without coercion. You can say that both parties would agree to respect the court's decision, but if I shot a guy, what incentive is there for me to agree to stand before any court? And once you have private courts using coercion to arrest murderers, I don't see what is stopping MADD from starting their own courts to go after drunks and drug abusers and religious nuts going after abortion doctors, etc etc.
Because you agree to be bound by a court before you shot a guy. And if you're running around AC world and you haven't yet agreed to be bound by any court that may come across as a little suspicious and people maybe somewhat reluctant to allow you in their shops, or on their roads, or anywhere.
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:35 PM   #18
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

So? I'm a straight out gangster, I don't care about not being able to enter voluntary transactions because I profit from entering into involuntary transactions.
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:36 PM   #19
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

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Because taking your medicine is sometimes better than the alternative.
What alternative is -EV compared to, say, 25 to life in a voluntary prison?

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Originally Posted by Dudd View Post
Yeah, that's the one thing that I don't quite grasp about AC. I don't see how you can have justice without coercion. You can say that both parties would agree to respect the court's decision, but if I shot a guy, what incentive is there for me to agree to stand before any court? And once you have private courts using coercion to arrest murderers, I don't see what is stopping MADD from starting their own courts to go after drunks and drug abusers and religious nuts going after abortion doctors, etc etc.



And what exactly is the alternative? Are there going to be vigilantes going after anyone who doesn't submit to a court? That doesn't sound very voluntary to me.
This.
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:37 PM   #20
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

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So? I'm a straight out gangster, I don't care about not being able to enter voluntary transactions because I profit from entering into involuntary transactions.
Then we shoot you. Which is perfectly moral by your own code of ethics.
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:39 PM   #21
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

That doesn't sound very voluntary to me, and in any event, we already have people with guns to do that, not much of an improvement.
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:40 PM   #22
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What alternative is -EV compared to, say, 25 to life in a voluntary prison?
Starving to death because nobody will trade with you or allow you onto their property?

BTW, I have serious doubts that prisons as you think of them would exist in Voluntariopia.
 
Old 04-29-2009, 02:42 PM   #23
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

Did OJ starve to death? I don't see the groundswell of economic pressure against known criminals.
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:45 PM   #24
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

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That doesn't sound very voluntary to me, and in any event, we already have people with guns to do that, not much of an improvement.
It's perfectly within your stated moral code. It'll be a vast improvement for the 99% of people who aren't violent sociopaths who can now have choice between which private courts they pre subscribe to, and the 1% that are can't complain because they are being treated 100% in line with their own stated moral code, that using violence to get what you want is ok. We want them out of our society so by their own standard can use violence to achieve that.
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:47 PM   #25
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That doesn't sound very voluntary to me, and in any event, we already have people with guns to do that, not much of an improvement.
Wait, you think you should be able to unilaterally open transactions without others' consent, but you're going to object to people doing the same to you? If you open a transaction without consent, you've got zero legitimate objection to someone else closing it without your consent.
 

 
      

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