scratch-mark

But Who Would Build Teh Rodez!

tech
 

I’ve been an anarchist for 20 years. In that time, I’ve never mistaken any ounce of opposition as anything but various proportions and mixes of ignorance, fear, hand wringing, laziness, parasitism, elitism, and most common of all: abject stupidity—by which I mean the other 90% of the opposition; who are: those who’ve never once questioned the status quo at moment of birth in their entire, insipid lives. They’re content to live a lazy, ignorant life of automatic, knee-jerk regurgitating: every dumbass thing they were ever taught by dumbass, ignorant parents, grandparents, teachers, friends—only ever repackaging them in some latest, mindless bromide they saw on the Internet with lots of “Likes” from equally ignorant, stupid regurgitators.

Here’s the key to identifying them: they always seek to be judged by the feelings they display for everyone to see, manifest in the packaged bromides they regurgitate. They resist being judged on their actual deeds.

We live in stupid times. But not everyone, of course. That’s why I have a blog. It’s not so much about the futile endeavor of fixing stupid, but to energize thoughtful, independent thinkers and just hope that Darwin is enough to take care of the rest.

T1saM
Hey the State: You didn’t build that!

Let’s do an object lesson with running commentary in-line, from a place where the city government is so incompetent they literally can’t even be trusted to take out the trash: Detroit, Michigan.

Amidst Detroit banktruptcy, spontaneous order and market anarchy flourish

The language of budget cuts, austerity, and sequestration seem to dominate the media’s landscape these days, instilling fear into Americans of vital government services being cut and chaos ensuing if governments aren’t allowed to spend and borrow infinitely. Conservatives decry supposed cuts to the military-industrial-complex, and liberals bemoan that without government welfare transfer programs, there would be social Darwinism. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) even blamed the Benghazi scandal on — wait for it — budget cuts and the sequester.

I was laughing my ass off while driving up to do a camping thing for the weekend, Friday. Seems the “sequester” (sounds ominous, huh?) resulted in many federal employees getting a 4-day weekend: Friday off too, without pay. Accordingly, on the “news,” they did a round-robin of breathless soundbites about how having federal offices closed for a single extra day would reign down hellfire on Earth—from a license for “big business” to pollute (EPA was closed Friday) to how a person living on the street in LA was on the living-on-street day that broke the camel’s back (HUD was closed Friday). So reconsider how hyperbolic my lede actually is, when this was “National News” and it’s done this way because, well, see my lede.

Detroit is absolutely bankrupt. The city faces a cash shortfall of more than $100 million by June 30. Long-term liabilities, including pensions, exceed $14 billion. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder wants to bail out Detroit’s city government even further. Thanks to the financial situation of Detroit, emergency services like police and fire departments are being severely cut short. 911 is only taking calls during business hours. Homes have been abandoned making parts of the city look like a ghost town.

redpill
 

…And healthcare, and food production, and, and, security and policing…

Dale Brown and his organization, the Threat Management Center (TMC), have helped fill in the void left by the corrupt and incompetent city government. Brown started TMC in 1995 as a way to help his fellow Detroit citizens in the midst of a rise in home invasions and murders. While attempting to assist law enforcement, he found little but uninterested officers more concerned with extracting revenue through traffic tickets and terrorizing private homes with SWAT raids than protecting person and property. [em-phasis, meng!]

You don’t say! You mean equipping GI Joe Wannabes with fashions and guns and giving them monopoly power to wield force and then charging them to produce revenues via fines on peaceful citizens for violating an endless array of municipal statutes—all while pretending to be tough guys, though spending 99% of their time safely harassing peaceful people—yields predictable results, including determining the character of the sort of people who seek to be enforcer-jobholders in the first place?

You. Don’t. Say.

red pill
Just red. Leave white & blue out of it.

In an interview with Copblock.org, Brown explains how and why his private, free market policing organization has been so successful. The key to effective protection and security is love, says Brown, not weapons, violence, or law. It sounds a bit corny, yes, but the results speak for themselves.

Almost 20 years later and Detroit’s financial mess even more apparent, TMC now has a client base of about 1,000 private residences and over 500 businesses. Thanks to TMC’s efficiency and profitability, they are also able to provide free or incredibly low-cost services to the poor as well.

…But who will help Teh Porez? Well isn’t it ironic? The same cops who prey on the relatively wealthy in their cars and in their businesses to raise revenues, the heads they bust most often are the poor people without the means to defend themselves in the legal system that is out of their reach.

Hey, how about that? Free healthcare? Are we altogether sure that’s not just the age-old antagonism between doctors and lawyers coming to head, with the latter holding the legislative upper hand? How come there’s no calls for free legal services so that the poor, without adequate access, can have the best PLAINTIFF representation money can buy? Don’t we need a federal Legacare Bill, with an agency to determine appropriate billable hours and rates?

lead balloon
Lead Balloon

The reasons TMC has been so successful is because they take the complete opposite approach that government agencies, in this case law enforcement, do. Brown’s philosophy is that he would rather hire people who see violence as a last resort, and the handful of Detroit police officers who actually worked with Brown in the earlier years and have an interest in genuine protection now work for TMC. While governments threaten their citizens with compulsion, fines, and jail if they don’t hand over their money, TMC’s funding is voluntary and subject to the profit-loss test; if Brown doesn’t provide the services his customers want, he goes out of business.

This means that Brown is not interested in no-knock para-military SWAT raids, “officer safety” as the highest priority, bloated union pensions, or harassing people for what they have in their bloodstream. TMC works with its customers on the prevention of crime as well rather than showing up after the fact to take notes like historians. [yeaz, emphacizin’]

This is all elementary. You know who are the stupidest people in terms of anarchist human animal living? Randian Objectivists. That’s right. But it’s no surprise, because most of them are kinda ivory tower, intellectual types and/or simple elitists with an irrational fear of the unwashed masses. Or; Rand worshippers, and she said anarchy was evil and that’s gospel forevermore.

The unstupid who are nonetheless admirers of Rand have been saying for longer than the 20 years I’ve been saying it that businesses run like businesses. Protection agencies aren’t “competing over greater force,” as anyone familiar with such inanity has heard a million times. They’re competing over satisfied customers, primarily; efficient cost management secondarily, such that they can offer more of what customers want—stupid: that’s PREVENTION OF CRIME—at the lowest cost possible…to either beat the competition or make it more naturally difficult for new competitors to enter the market.

pulpfiction
Mixed Filmaphor: Make My Day!

I’m not done. Surely, if someone other than the state can build a good road and defend your sorry, lazy ass at a decent price, you’d still need government to get you around here and there on teh rodez, especially if you’re one of Teh Porez who spends his money on meth instead of cars & gas. C’mon, meng. You need “public transportation.”

…As just another lesson in undercutting your lazy, automatic thinking, consider how “public transportation” is a loaded concept that begs the question. To wit:

Law enforcement isn’t the only “essential government service” that the private sector is taking over and flourishing in. The Detroit Bus Company (DBC) is a private bus service that began last year and truly shows a stark contrast in how the market and government operates. Founded by 25-year-old Andy Didorosi, the company avoids the traditionally stuffy, cagey government buses and uses beautiful vehicles with graffiti-laden exterior designs that match the heart of the Motor City. There are no standard bus routes; a live-tracking app, a call or a text is all you need to get picked up in one of their buses run on soy-based biofuel. All the buses feature wi-fi, music, and you can even drink your own alcohol on board! The payment system is, of course, far cheaper and fairer. [BYOB]

Comparing this company’s bus service to say, my local San Francisco MUNI transit experience, is like comparing the services of local, free-range, organic farms in the Bay Area to the Soviet bread lines. [Now that the USSR has crashed and burned, and “The Land of the Free” is showing its wear, distinctions just aren’t what they used to be]

pulp2
 

Not at all surprisingly…

Not surprisingly, the city government, which has no time to protect its citizens, does manage to find the time to harass peaceful citizens in this spontaneous, market order. Charles Molnar and a couple of other students from the Detroit Enterprise Academy wanted to help make benches for the city’s bus stops, where long-waits are the norm, equipped with bookshelves to hold reading material.

Detroit Department of Transportation officials quickly said the bench was “unapproved” and had it taken down. Silly citizens, don’t you know only governments can provide these services?

woods
Who’s gonna build a rodez?

It’s all not all, y’all. Just tip-o’-the-‘burg.

The TMC and the DBC are just two of the larger, more visible examples of the market and voluntary human cooperation reigning in Detroit. “Food rebels,” running local community gardens, are an alternative to Big Agriculture and government-subsidized factory farms. Private parking garages are popping up. Detroit residents are using Lockean homesteading principles to repurpose land amongst the rubble of the Fed-induced housing bubble. Community events like Biergartens and large, civic dining gatherings (with no permits or licenses!) are being organized privately. Even Detroit’s artists are beginning to reflect this anarchic, peaceful movement in their artwork.

slaves
If you can make me pay for your healthcare, how come I can’t make you pick my cotton?

How on Earth could human animals possibly survive and prosper without everyone trying to live at the expense of everyone else by means of favoring their favorite agents of force?

Detroit’s city government may be in shambles financially, but the citizens of Detroit are showing what happens when people are given their liberty back. For centuries, libertarians have been arguing for strict limits on state power, the benefits of private, civic society, and the bottom-up, spontaneous order that arises where free markets and voluntary interactions dominate. Perhaps we shouldn’t be so scared and sicken with political Stockholm Syndrome the next time politicos fear-monger over budgets cuts.

3uci32
Consequences. But Hey, Rodez! And Public Transportashnz!

The takeaway here is that no revolution is required. That’s critically important, because revolution, apart from killing people for the sake of the Nomenclatura who’ll eventually take over anyway, has a 100% failure record (it’s just that Americans appear to be the last to get that memo—1776 is a failure!). People merely need to get together in small, local, personal venues and see to their own shit cooperatively, endeavoring to produce more value than one’s own needs require.

Human evolutionary success—that saw it migrate to all corners of the globe unlike any other animal that ever existed on the planet—is explained very most fundamentally by this: we have an intellectual/emotional urge—call it pride if you like—I likee—to produce more than is required for our own selves, and we do it because we love other human animals in multi-faceted ways. We’ve solidly transcended the animalistic urge to see every other human animal as either a potential fuck, or a potential I could be fucked.

This was all fundamentally part of my 9-part series, Anarchy Begins at Home. It’s. Simple. Pimple.

  1. We’re animals.
  2. We can think in symbolic concepts, create metaphors and hierarchies of knowledge (epistemology).
  3. There is a distinct difference between what ancient wild human animals based their knowledge upon and what modern domesticated human animals base their knowledge upon.
  4. That quality of knowledge matters materially and has myriad consequences. It’s the difference between the natural ability to survive and prosper in the wild, and the pathetic need to live in an urban zoo, such that everyone who can possibly help you survive and prosper is in range of texting capability.
  5. Additionally, there is a distinct difference between true social power that comes from a small circle of those who recognize a leader’s abilities and interest in furthering his life by being a value to his small social tribe, and two elite sociopath parasites seeking your vote, with everyone making meaningless distinctions over it, and everyone publicly masturbating behind a curtain every 2-4 years.
  6. Anarchy Begins at Home.
  7. Even Detroit, Michigan.

For an 18-minute talk that summarized that 9-part series, there’s my Ancestral Health Symposium presentation from last year at Harvard. About 18 minutes.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

59 Comments

  1. Nigel Kinbrum on May 29, 2013 at 16:39

    I have to ask…Who will maintain the roads in a good state of repair, once built? And how?

  2. Richard Nikoley on May 29, 2013 at 16:42

    “Who will maintain the roads in a good state of repair, once built? And how?”

    The same sorts of people who lock the door of _their_ pubs at 2am when they leave it.

    Get it?

  3. Richard Nikoley on May 29, 2013 at 16:43

    …And by the same means as they are able to order full kegs of cask ales when empty.

  4. Tim Starr on May 29, 2013 at 16:44

    Seeing this stuff literally requires a different interpretive lens through which to see the world. The way I put it is that we live in an ocean of spontaneous order, with islands of statism in it. Anarchy is all around us all the time, every time people interact peacefully without asking the State what they should or shouldn’t do.

  5. […] The Animal / Posted on: May 29, 2013 Free The Animal –   I’ve been an anarchist for 20 years. In that time, I’ve never mistaken […]

  6. Joshua on May 29, 2013 at 17:07

    Nigel – you are already paying for the roads you use through taxes. You would still pay to use the roads, but it would be on a voluntary basis- i.e. you can choose to pay and use the road, or not pay and not use the road.

  7. Dainon on May 29, 2013 at 18:16

    Who maintains the roads in Dallas, now? Really, I’d like to know.

  8. John on May 29, 2013 at 18:18

    Nigel, I live in Los Angeles. A better question might be “Who the Hell maintains the roads now?”

  9. Puzzled on May 29, 2013 at 18:29

    I expect that, had this monstrosity called government never existed, we wouldn’t have roads – we’d be far more advanced by now and have better ways to travel.

  10. Nigel Kinbrum on May 29, 2013 at 19:18

    I posed the question of road maintenance here:- http://nigeepoo.blogspot.com/2013/04/of-roads-and-rulers.html I don’t want the job of being “in charge”. 😀

  11. Richard Nikoley on May 29, 2013 at 20:17

    @Tim

    Absolutely and in fact, a quote by Jeffrey Tucker Im sure you’re familiar with leads off that series of mine.

  12. John on May 29, 2013 at 20:27

    Well, toll entrances and exits would certainly be one possibility, but hardly the only. Local or national companies and businesses might subsidize or create their own roads without tolls. If there were no roads, car and gas companies wouldn’t sell near as much product. So, they could just build it into the price of their product. Who built the infrastructure for cell phones? That was all businesses. Private individuals could also build their own roads. And businesses subsidizing or paying for transportation is hardly new. Look up the Los Angeles Red Cars of the 1920’s. Or shipping across the ocean. Or someone could finally build a hovercar like in Back to the Future 2 and we wouldn’t even need roads.

  13. Richard Nikoley on May 30, 2013 at 15:53

    Thanks Tim.

    I never knew about that.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_System

    I suspect that there are untold instances of private, profitable services in operation up to the mid 1900s people generally think of as possible only through coercion.

    And of course, there’s The Great Northern transcontinental railway, the one that was privately financed 100%, did not use eminent domain, opened the first trade with Japan, and was profitable from day one—and all anyone ever hears about is the corrupt fed & business partnership that lost money from day one.

    .)

    This and other such things are very well documented in Burt Folsom’s The Myth of the Robber Barons.

  14. Richard Nikoley on May 30, 2013 at 16:50

    Hey Joseph.

    Do me a favor and forward to Jeffrey. Also, mention to him that I led off my whole 9-part anarchy series with a quote by him because it totally frames the entire series.

    Cools.

    BTW, did you see this? Designed by sometimes commenter here AB Dada.

  15. SeanII on May 30, 2013 at 03:24

    They say the best way to tell where your land, ends is to look at where your neighbour stops mowing his lawn.
    If roads weren’t developed from a top-down, State infrastructure, we might be using many different types of paths to facilitate transport of people and goods.
    The transport tech will be different too. Not necessarily a Detroit driven (look at that!) standard.
    Groups have ALWAYS made roads in order to prosper.
    The First New Hampshire Turnpike was ORIGINALLY a toll road. So refreshing!!

  16. Nigel Kinbrum on May 30, 2013 at 04:37

    “If roads weren’t developed from a top-down, State infrastructure, we might be using many different types of paths to facilitate transport of people and goods.”
    The fact that just about every country has roads of some sort or another suggests that roads are the optimum solution to the problem of transportation.

    When there are few roads, putting a toll gate at each end is easy. Look at a modern road map and tell me where you would put toll gates, so that every journey on every road is paid for?

  17. Mike Walker on May 30, 2013 at 07:24

    But do the roads have painted lines?

  18. Mike T on May 30, 2013 at 09:55

    Radley Balko has a nice peice up about how police priorities warp in time of budget cuts. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/the-agitator

  19. Richard Nikoley on May 30, 2013 at 10:31

    Thanks MikeT. I think I’ll go in for a penny in for a pound and quickly follow up blog that.

    It might interest you to use the search function on my blog for Radley Balko.

  20. Paul on May 30, 2013 at 10:48

    You should make a series out of this…

    Part 1: Who Would Build the Roads
    Part 2: Who Would Build the Prisons
    Part 3: Who Would Build the Public Schools
    etc., etc.

  21. Richard Nikoley on May 30, 2013 at 11:30

    @paul

    Part 3 is presumptuous. 🙂

  22. SeanII on May 30, 2013 at 12:36

    @NK

    All have a way of moving people, goods and services. From Pole to Equator, from desert to mountain top. Macadam and Pneumatics are part of that range of solutions.

    The toll comment was a chuckle as it reminded me of the Dartford Crossing which originally collected tolls to offset expenses and create a maintenance fund. When that target was reached, the tune changed. 10yrs later we are paying ‘charges’ – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dartford_Crossing

  23. Steve W on May 30, 2013 at 13:31

    Richard how do you reconcile your anarchist ethos with an immigration policy that invites the world’s socialistic minded? I would not be adamantly opposed to immigration if there were no welfare state. But there is and it ain’t going anywhere. You can’t have open immigration and a robust welfare state. How do you reconcile this?

  24. Richard Nikoley on May 30, 2013 at 13:48

    “Richard how do you reconcile your anarchist ethos with an immigration policy that invites the world’s socialistic minded?”

    That’s easy. I want them to eat us out of house and home. I hope a billion of them come.

    I’m dead serious.

    …Because, nobody will listen to the actual solution. Just stop dominating EVERYONE with tax, spend, bread, circuses and then immigrants are no threat.

    I hope they bankrupt us and I hope it happens very soon.

    You must understand. I want to see all government bankrupt, just like Detroit.

    I especially want to see Ivory tower intellectuals in soup lines.

  25. Ulfric Douglas on May 30, 2013 at 14:07

    Here’s WHO will maintain the roads ; People with a truck and a shovel. Last week we hit a pothole on the street outside our house, “oh that’s new!”. A couple of days later our neighbor turns up with his truck, shovels and some hot steaming tarmacadam : fills in the holes, packs them down by driving slowly over them, then disappears. No government involved, job done. True story, and so topical!
    If everyone is basically skilled and working and useful you don’t need no stinkin gubmint. If everyone’s a lazy fuckwit, different story. Sod ’em.

  26. Tim Starr on May 30, 2013 at 14:22

    “Who would build the death camps?” 🙂

    Seriously, the Bay Area Rapid Transit system had a predecessor, the Key System, which was a streetcar network just as fast as BART, which covered most of the same territory (or even went even further – e.g., all the way to Stockton), privately built, operated, funded, etc., and profitable. The bottom deck of the Bay Bridge was originally just for the Key System light rail cars. It shut down in the late 1940s due to competition from cars & buses, only to get duplicated decades later by BART – government built, funded, operated, and unprofitably.

  27. Joseph Fetz on May 30, 2013 at 16:25

    Roooooooaaaads …

    Yes, Jeff Tucker is a very good dude, Richard. He’s an excellent public speaker, as well. He and I talk enough that I consider him a friend. Another friend of mine, Bob Murphy, wrote a good book called *Chaos Theory* that tackles the issue of private law and private security in a stateless society. I really think that you’d enjoy it.

    http://mises.org/document/3088

  28. Nigel Kinbrum on May 31, 2013 at 00:03

    Ulfric Douglas // May 30, 2013 at 14:07
    “Here’s WHO will maintain the roads ; People with a truck and a shovel. Last week we hit a pothole on the street outside our house, “oh that’s new!”. A couple of days later our neighbor turns up with his truck, shovels and some hot steaming tarmacadam : fills in the holes, packs them down by driving slowly over them, then disappears. No government involved, job done. True story, and so topical!
    If everyone is basically skilled and working and useful you don’t need no stinkin gubmint. If everyone’s a lazy fuckwit, different story. Sod ‘em.”
    “packs them down by driving slowly over them”
    That’s not the proper way to repair a pot-hole. A very heavy metal roller should be used. What if the surface cracks-up due to ingress of moisture and it causes someone on a bike to have an accident? Who gets sued? Your neighbour? Random people with a truck and a shovel who then disappear can’t be sued if things go wrong afterwards.

  29. Joseph Fetz on May 31, 2013 at 04:58

    Richard,

    Sure, not a problem. Just out of curiosity, can you send to me (or post) the links for each of the completed articles for your 9-part series? I know it is all filed under “politics and culture”, but you’ve got a lot of other stuff in there. Thanks in advance.

    No, I didn’t see that. Dada and I cross paths quite often on the intertubes, so I’m surprised that I hadn’t run into that particular item. While I don’t know Dada personally, he’s a very smart dude and I often enjoy his penchant for playing devil’s advocate.

    Joe

  30. Joseph Fetz on May 31, 2013 at 06:37

    Whoops, forget it. Found the “anarchy” tag on the bottom of the article.

  31. Wade on May 31, 2013 at 08:36

    I remember this gem of an article a few years ago. “Their livelihood was being threatened, and they were tired of waiting for government help, so business owners and residents on Hawaii’s Kauai island pulled together and completed a $4 million repair job to a state park — for free.”

    ZOMG! Who will maintain teh roadz?!?

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/04/09/hawaii.volunteers.repair/index.html

  32. Steve W on May 31, 2013 at 08:43

    “That’s easy. I want them to eat us out of house and home. I hope a billion of them come.

    I’m dead serious.”

    Bullshit, man. There are countless “wild” places on this planet where the reach of the capital is nil; where “village” people live the very type of free, animal life you espouse. Go then.

    And no, Detroit was built by a people. It was maintain by a people. But then what happened Mr. Nikoley? You seriously want this played out a thousand times, from sea to shining sea? The result will be violence on a grand scale and old-school gated feudalism. The notion that the populace of Detroit or Chicago or East L.A. are going understand your white Anglo protestant brand of anarchy is downright silly.

    I pray you live long enough to see the folly of your desires.

  33. Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2013 at 11:12

    “Bullshit, man. There are countless “wild” places on this planet where the reach of the capital is nil; where “village” people live the very type of free, animal life you espouse. ”

    Indeed, though non sequitur because it has nothing to do with how America changed from being a land of opportunity so people could be free to pursue their dream, into being a place where people dream of living a lazy life of public supplementation. Still lots of mavericks, which is good and I see them all the time here in CA, but the system is a different thing an woefully broken on too many dysfunctional levels to count.

    I want to see it undergo a stress test. It can’t of course, and the whole scheme is predicated upon an organized influx of democrat voters. This is actually the root of the issue. The republicans want to shut it down because they’ll all get on the dole, in their view, and the democrats want as many as possible because they will be on the dole and that equals a loyal voter. The negotiated settlement is that we’ll let them in on a measured basis to be democrat voters (this is why I call the Republicans the Stupid Party). It’s really all just how it always is: maintain the illusion of a material difference and have people fight over it.

    So, I want to see it break. I want to see 1 billion in need of dire assistance from all of us show up. I want everyone to see what a fantasy you live, Steve.

    “Go then.”

    Oh, I certainly will and within a few years at most (Ecuador is top of list, currently), because America is shaping up to be the very most spectacular failure in earth history and I can’t wait to laf about it and I will. And I will gloat because it will fail on the ignorance of sound rational principles I’ve been being laghed at for highlighting for 20 years and everything is going exactly to plan. I will laugh when I see 30%+ unemployment. I’ll laf more when I see starvation.

    You can not have your cake and eat it too.

    As to the rest of it, how can there be folly in desires for justice? I desire justice and 1st world socialism is coming up, within a few decades at most, of accounting for all of it and it’s going to hurt deeply unless people on large scale do as I suggest now: ignore all of it and go local, form a local support and trade network because anarchy begins at home. Whatever that means for any individuals and tribes locally, anywhere.

    Make no mistake, Steve. I very much fully understand your utter ignorance and emotion about all of this. 20 years. Little changes. I want to see justice. I will stand against an morn bloody revolution and I hope to hell is doesn’t happen because that will reset the clock decades. I want to see elites starve. Literally. Because no one will care to help them.

    But have a nice day.

  34. Tim Starr on May 31, 2013 at 11:27

    Toll gates are so 20th-century (or before, actually). We have technology now. I-470 in Denver is a gateless toll road. You can either get a transponder to track your mileage, or they’ll send a bill in the mail to the address where your vehicle is registered.

    “Duh, where you gonna put the toll booths” is an instance of the Argument from Lack of Imagination, often seen in close proximity to the Argument from Ignorance – e.g., “I can’t think of any solution to the problem, therefore there isn’t one.”

  35. Steve W on May 31, 2013 at 12:17

    “(Ecuador is top of list, currently)” I wonder if the region of Ecuador you seek will have the infrastructure to except the generous public pension the Nikoley house looks forward to – an amount I might add that has few corollaries in the “free market”. (I’m sure she’s earned every penny…)

    This was a great nation with great cities. California is a perfect example. Were you around 50 years ago? Clean public neighborhood parks, state parks and beaches, quality schools, free community college – the envy of the world. A standard of living for the common man unrivaled in history. this was created by Europeans.

    But liberal white folks hated conservative white folk so much that they opened the flood gates and welcomed third-world, illiterate peasants in order to win politically – as you astutely note in your response. And look what’s happened. Drive through the central valley and just look at the trash, graffitied state parks, multi-million dollar school campuses where the Mestizos can’t read English or Spanish. Been to LA lately? Compare it to the LA of fifty years ago. You want brown you got brown my friend.

    None of this was inevitable. It was purposeful. And it has succeeded.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2013 at 18:06

      Steve

      I am in no way disagreeing with the results. CA and the US in general is getting exactly what it deserves. Obviously having a public trough and letting the world in to eat from it has predictable consequences. You believe the problem is letting people in. I believe the problem is the trough.

      Incidentally, I tell Bea all the time that her CA retirement is crazy and unsustainable and she agrees. Of course, she won’t refuse it. It’s 100% her money. We have no joint bank accounts or credit cards. We do not pool money at all and never have.



  36. Tim Starr on May 31, 2013 at 13:10

    “Generous public pensions”? WTF are you talking about? I know someone who already gets Social Security now, and it’s a grand total of about $900/month, BEFORE Medicare deductions. If you really think that’s enough money for someone to live on in the USA, then you won’t mind reducing the minimum wage to $3.75/hr, right?

    Unknown to the free market? Uh, both Singapore & Chile have completely private retirement account systems. They’re mandatory, but it’s all private savings, invested in private mutual funds. Get rid of the stupid taxes we have to pay for other people’s benefits, and we’ll be plenty able to afford our own retirement.

    I dunno ’bout Ecuador specifically, but many countries in Latin America have private tax treaties for expats in which you can live there tax-free if you bring enough income in from outside the country (something like $1,000/month, as I recall). Costa Rica does, Belize does, etc.

  37. Puzzled on May 31, 2013 at 13:13

    Laughing at Tim Starr’s comment – mandatory – meaning I put money in at the point of a gun – but free market!

  38. Humunculous on June 2, 2013 at 07:15

    Overfishing is already bad with government, but how will anarchy combat this? Or can I just go and make a killing on all the orange roughy left out there?

  39. Richard Nikoley on June 2, 2013 at 08:09

    First of all, I always hate the question “how will anarchy solve X?” At least you begin by acknowledging that the “problem” already exists in a world dominated by state sanctioned force. As I always ask, what happens in anarchy? the answer: EVERYTHING HAPENS (just like now). There is no mode of human social organization that “solves” problems. Organizations have never solved a single problem in all of mankind. Human individuals, sometimes operating in cooperation with one another, solve problems (and also create them). Anarchy is simply a recognition that individuals and smal groups operating for their own interests are at least as likely to solve any problems as any other kind of organization, especially one based upon domination and force where decisions are often made far removed from the actual action, imposed by force and just as often enough, benefit people who have no real stake in the problem.

    First of all, given current fishing technologies it’s difficult to imagine a species of fish going extinct. Whales, perhaps, because they are big, they are mammals (they don’t just lay a million eggs). Salmon and other such fish are a problem because they spawn in rivers—but that has nothing to do with overfishing and you’d probably have to “tell it to the bears” anyway.

    But bears offer a good example as to the fundamental economics (ecosystem-nomics in their case). Of course they have no concept of over fishing, only starvation and inability to get enough calories for hibernation. So, they overfish, not enough salmon, lots of bears die off,, bear populations decrease, salmon come back to populations and it’s a continual ebb & flow that’s been going o for a a lot longer than humans knew anything of it.

    In the case of human overfishing, when overfished there is less to be had for the costs involved in a fishing and distribution chain, so wholesale and retail prices go up and up until end users switch to less expensive species and then fishermen switch to providing them in greater abundance as well, and overfished populations begin to return. In other words, a free market is the best protection by letting prices determin things.

    There’s also farming. Not ideally healthy, but there are now open ocean farming operations that serve as a good analog to free range animal farming.

    http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/ai/aquaculture-and-livestock-support-services-branch/open-ocean-fish-farming/

    This is actually a topic I’ve had interest in for a long time, I think because Ron Bailey at Reason does too and writes on it often. Here’s a ton of search links you can scan through and check some of it out.

    I first became interested in this back in 2001 from an article in the print edition about how Alabama fishermen were solving such problems by creating, owning maintaining and fishing their own artificial reefs.

    http://reason.com/archives/2001/10/01/reef-madness

    Go figure. Actually owning something provides individuals an incentive to maintain its sustainability rather than the notion that everything is public.

  40. Nigel Kinbrum on June 3, 2013 at 11:48

    Wade // May 31, 2013 at 08:36
    “I remember this gem of an article a few years ago. “Their livelihood was being threatened, and they were tired of waiting for government help, so business owners and residents on Hawaii’s Kauai island pulled together and completed a $4 million repair job to a state park — for free.”

    ZOMG! Who will maintain teh roadz?!?

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/04/09/hawaii.volunteers.repair/index.html
    Are you seriously comparing what happens on a small self-contained island with what happens in a large country?

    I believe that anarchy & libertarianism aren’t scalable. So shoot me.

  41. Richard Nikoley on June 3, 2013 at 20:58

    “I believe that anarchy & libertarianism aren’t scalable.”

    Uh, at least you kinda get the point.

  42. MC on June 3, 2013 at 21:57

    Richard,

    would anarchy eventually lead to government again? Like this video “Why Libertarianism Is So Dangerous” shows:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbNFJK1ZpVg

    Like the circle of life.

  43. Richard Nikoley on June 3, 2013 at 22:08

    “would anarchy eventually lead to government again?”

    Would atheism lead to theism again?

    It’s up to individuals. I didn’t even bother to look at the video because only about 3 people in the world really understand what anarchy really is and I’m one of them.

  44. MC on June 3, 2013 at 22:54

    The video is actually just a funny video that’s actually pro-libertarianism, but pretends not to be. Basically squashes the whole “without government, criminals would take over, anarchy=chaos.” The criminals take over and just end up resembling the government.

    Question. Does anarchy still have a constitution?

  45. MC on June 5, 2013 at 17:36

    Anarchy seems to work so long as nobody violates anybody else’s rights. Once that violation occurs, people would get together to do something about it. Would it not just be a local, smaller government, one that stays out of everything government is supposed to stay out of, and focuses entirely on upholding natural rights?

    People would get together to figure out what to do with certain violations, and probably write a governing document. Government seems inevitable.

  46. Richard Nikoley on June 5, 2013 at 18:08

    “Anarchy seems to work so long as nobody violates anybody else’s rights.”

    Well that puts its ahead of government, which exists principally to violate everyone’s rights at all times. Today I was subject to dozens, if not hundreds of petty rights violations, every single one by government. I can’t recall the last time my rights were violated by a _human_.

    …Let’s see…. Oh, yea, I left my car door unlocked like more than six months ago and came back in the morning to find it ransacked. Nothing taken though, not even my fancy tire pressure gauage.

  47. MC on June 5, 2013 at 19:21

    “Well that puts its ahead of government, which exists principally to violate everyone’s rights at all times.”

    That’s not why it exists. It might not be what it was actually designed to be, but that is the fault of individuals that have taken it over for their own purpose, directly in violation of those governing documents.

    I do think an end to the federal government is a welcome step, but I’m not opposed to small, local governments. A government that has nobody on it’s payroll, that is completely transparent, run by the locals, with the sole purpose of upholding your natural rights.

  48. Richard Nikoley on June 5, 2013 at 22:30

    “That’s not why it exists”

    Yes, it is. This is simply a fact. Government exists for the sole purpose of exercising force, which unless defensive or retaliatory, is by definition initiatory, preemptive, and always a violation of humanity and nature in the context of human life.

    This has been acknowledged over the centuries by many thinkers ans statesman, including George Washington, who called government “force.” IOW, they are not denyi g the fact, but claiming it’s a “necessary evil.” I say hat evil is unnecessary.

    But you can’t deny the fact of the matter.

    As to units of force yes, I agree the smaller and more numerous competing with one another, the better.

  49. MC on June 5, 2013 at 23:46

    ” Yes, it is. This is simply a fact. Government exists for the sole purpose of exercising force, which unless defensive or retaliatory, is by definition initiatory, preemptive, and always a violation of humanity and nature in the context of human life.”

    Yes, but I’m arguing that proper government would use that force, on your behalf, out of defense of your rights. That it would be wrong for government to initiate force, and only after rights were violated first should it step in.

    That government can be defensive or retaliatory only, I don’t see how that’s an impossibility or evil.

  50. Richard Nikoley on June 6, 2013 at 07:33

    “proper government”

    Begs the question. You’re assuming there is or could be such a thing. While government certainly does engage in defense and retaliation against initiation of force, so can/could anyone or any group organized to such objectives.

    What’s distintive, definitional and distinctive about governments is that the vast majority of force they employ is initiatory—a moral wrong, no exceptions—and they assert and enforce a monopoly on defense (with the single exception of immediate threat) and retaliation.

  51. Tim Starr on June 6, 2013 at 11:01

    “Proper government” makes about as much sense in the real world as “proper Church.” We used to think that you had to have only one Church in order to save souls, and that if only we all had the right one that all our souls would be saved. Now we think that we have to have only one government to protect everyone’s rights, and if only we had the right one all our rights would be protected.

  52. Richard Nikoley on June 6, 2013 at 14:36

    @Tim

    It’s ironic, but the vast majority of people have had far, far more exposure to the idea that religion is BS fantasy than they have had the idea that government is merely filling the void on any hint of skepticism in that regard.

    Everyone begs the question, nobody every questions the premise. Not only do we not need either, both, as bedfellows, have been more destructive of humanity that anything other than natural death and disaster.

    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM

    It’s so discouraging. Adults just can’t seem to let go of their fantasy pacifier. make them _feel_ good. And safe. And after all, nothing is more important that how you FEEL.

    BTW, how goes it over there in CO? I’m regretful we didn’t have the chance to get together and BBQ before you got out of Dodge.

  53. Tim Starr on June 6, 2013 at 15:20

    CO ain’t perfect, but it’s much better than CA. I’m sorry we couldn’t BBQ, too.

    When I hear “Proper government” I interpret is as “Proper agency that substitutes its judgement for how to best secure my rights in place of mine.” IOW, just another bunch of elitist know-it-alls who think they know best for me & everyone else.

  54. MC on June 7, 2013 at 02:25

    @Richard

    “While government certainly does engage in defense and retaliation against initiation of force, so can/could anyone or any group organized to such objectives.”

    Yes, and that “group” would be acting as a government. The only difference is what you’re calling them.

    “the vast majority of force they employ is initiatory—a moral wrong, no exceptions—and they assert and enforce a monopoly on defense”

    I’m not aware of that being set as a rule “government has to behave this way.” How about a government that doesn’t do any of what you just mentioned?

    Not only do we not need either, both, as bedfellows, have been more destructive of humanity that anything other than natural death and disaster.

    @Tim

    “When I hear “Proper government” I interpret is as “Proper agency that substitutes its judgement for how to best secure my rights in place of mine.” IOW, just another bunch of elitist know-it-alls who think they know best for me & everyone else.”

    When I hear “proper government” I hear “governing documents, that lay out in writing, the rights you already have and were born with.”

    @Richard

    “far more exposure to the idea that religion is BS fantasy than they have had the idea that government is merely filling the void or any hint of skepticism in that regard.”

    Government is a little more difficult to dismiss, that’s why. If religion ups and goes away tomorrow, what happens? Nothing really. If government goes, then you’d have to set up some private replacements, for things like court trials and police. It could be chaos initially, unless we get rid of the monopoly and have government compete for business.

    “Everyone begs the question, nobody every questions the premise. Not only do we not need either, both, as bedfellows, have been more destructive of humanity that anything other than natural death and disaster.”

    If a leader says we need to start a war to spread “freedom,” do we blame freedom for the war? I feel the same way when people blame religion. Some person might have tried to use it as a justification, but I blame the person.

  55. Richard Nikoley on June 7, 2013 at 09:17

    MC:

    Sorry, but [eye roll]. The bright side is that you have motivated me to draft a post so I don’t have to keep fielding the same questions over and over as I’ve been doing for 20 years.

    So, thanks.

    “Anarchy for Dummies” coming up soon.

  56. Tim Starr on June 7, 2013 at 09:48

    It’s not a “government” unless it’s a MONOPOLY – unless it stop everyone else from doing what it does in the same territory. But thanks for proving your complete ignorance of the basic concept under discussion here.

    Words on paper don’t enforce themselves. Parchment barriers to tyranny aren’t worth the paper their written on.

    “It would be chaos” is dis-proven by reality, all the time. You just can’t see it, because you have conceptual blinders on.

  57. MC on June 7, 2013 at 18:06

    @Richard

    “Sorry, but [eye roll]. The bright side is that you have motivated me to draft a post so I don’t have to keep fielding the same questions over and over as I’ve been doing for 20 years.

    So, thanks.”

    That’s cool. I might not be getting it, but believe me, I want anarchy over what we have now, just hesitant to dismiss government altogether.

    @Tim

    “It’s not a “government” unless it’s a MONOPOLY – unless it stop everyone else from doing what it does in the same territory. But thanks for proving your complete ignorance of the basic concept under discussion here.”

    I never read that definition of government, so I’m not sure if you’re making it up. Where does it state government has to be a monopoly, and a monopoly on what? Defending your rights? I’m pretty sure you have the right to defend your rights. Monopoly on force? I disagree with any initiation of force by the government. But force used in defense should be available to anyone. Government would only need to get involved when someone is incapable.

    “Words on paper don’t enforce themselves. Parchment barriers to tyranny aren’t worth the paper their written on.”

    Well, what’s to stop people from giving you an unfair trial, because they don’t like you, if you get a trial at all? It’s those kinds of questions that make me hesitant to dismiss government altogether. The saying “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water” comes to mind.

    ““It would be chaos” is dis-proven by reality, all the time. You just can’t see it, because you have conceptual blinders on.”

    I said “it COULD be chaos……..INITIALLY.” I chose my words very carefully. I was just was giving a reason as to why religion is more easily dismissed. But the possibility for chaos in certain areas, and for certain reasons, if government instantly disappeared, would exist.

    I want to get rid of the federal reserve, but if it just disappeared tomorrow, there would be some problems. You’re the one with blinders on if you don’t see that.

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