Abolish the State!
Debate Rounds (3)
1; Governments are necessary
2; Private organisations would have only negative consequences
3; Where is this coming from?
1; Governments are a necessary thing in today's society. You forget all the very useful thins that we rely on governments for; electricity, healthcare, defence, education etc. You might argue that these would carry on without governments, but on what system? Capitalism. Any who could not provide a service to the new world would perish. The sick, the disabled, the poor, these people would all die in your ideal world. Crime would rise as the civil sector (ie; police) are unemployed.
2; What do you mean by private organisations? I can assure you any group that would try to take power would be a company, a selfish one at that. Their morals would be even worse than the current government. They would have no qualifications and no notion of how the world would work.
3; We aren't that bad off. There are a lot of people in dire need, but anarchism would hardly help that. In fact, if governments were to cut off aid, many countries would experience even more death. Coercion laws haven't been introduced in most countries since the 1880s. If you're referring solely to the US, what about the nukes? Won't that leave the US open to attack from say... North Korea (they may be useless, but a disarmed US would stand no chance), Russia, China wanting their money back or any group that sees a large body of defenceless people. Not trying to be a pro American here, but where I live in Europe, the government's been doing well.
In conclusion, any new groups will be unregulated and cruel compare to the current government. Many reliant on aid and healthcare would die and we would return to a dark age without electricity. Have fun Mr. Durden.
Absent a central state, people would interact through the means of the free-market. A market activity is where people exchange their property without any outside interference. If Bob has one dollar and mike has a soda, Bob giving the dollar to get the soda would be a market exchange-note that if either party felt that this trade was unfair then they could simply refuse and hold onto their property. Individuals under Capitalism would be free to work for the companies they wish and choose what items they will spend their money on. There is a lot of fear that "unbridled" industry would quickly destroy an economy and create a cartelized society of super-rich lording over the impoverished, but this forgets the important factor of competition. Under Capitalism, business must stay honest and deliver quality products that raise the living standards of their customers-because if they don't they will lose the customers to more reputable businesses. But wouldn't they merge into monopolies? No, monopolies only emerge when governments artificially restrict entry into a market, a "free-market monopoly" has simply never happened. America's Corporate corruption is the result of the government giving special privileges to favored businesses which allows them to lord over smaller competitors. Private industry competing on an open market could easily provide the services government currently monopolizes such as transportation, education, healthcare, defense, electricity, etc. If it is poor quality, the company will lose sales and go out of business. Given time, a totally private economy would produce huge amounts of wealth for society and create enormous prosperity.
But what about the poor? This is a valid question. But, contrary to popular belief it is actually Capitalism that is the greatest aid program the poor have ever had available to them. Looking back, the allegedly "horrible" conditions of the Industrial Revolution were quite an improvement over the dawn-to-dusk toiling of England's agricultural economy. By allowing individuals to sell their labor and products to the highest bidder the poor were able to work themselves into undreamt living standards where they could enjoy financial independence and physical mobility. Where Socialism hands a man a fish so he can eat for a day, Capitalism hands a man a reward for learning how to fish so he can feed himself and earn a living.
As for the elderly and disabled who cannot work, Capitalists have long been known for making generous donations to charity to aid these invalids.
Government-run services have no incentive to be efficient or honest, since their pay-check is not connected to how well they perform and no competitor can out-match them. But even if they wanted to do well, they still could not, because they would lack the price-signals that Business enjoys. If people want electricity, the price of electricity goes up which signals entrepreneurs that they should enter that field and provide that service to make money-which then causes the price to fall as the supply of electricity increases. The business enjoys profits and consumers enjoy a low-cost power supply. This doesn't exist under state-planned ventures. How many resources should the government devote to its different projects? Where should the roads go? What size should the schools be? How many police should there be? Should there be more or less food production? Any government planner is just guessing when he answers these questions, he could not know the right response.
Wouldn't a stateless society be vulnerable to foreign attack? Another good question. For starters, it is true that America has enemies but it is also true that America's imperial foreign policy is the central reason for these countries having become hostel to the US. A stateless society would not exercise the aggression and imperialism that the US has and thus would have few if any of the same incited enemies. But suppose a country invaded anyways, it would immediately run into a well-armed society(after all there would be no gun laws)and who is to say that businesses looking to protect their investments could not hire private defense agencies to fight off the Chinese or the Russians or whoever did the invading?
Okay, maybe all of this is an interesting theory but even if such a society got started wouldn't it just break down into perpetual violence and gun-fights over turf and customers? Wouldn't the businesses constantly war with each other? Even if they did would this be as bad as the constant total-war and genocide campaigns carried out by governments? Haven't governments shown a near-obsession with killing their own people? Governments have the unique abilities of taxing and conscripting to raise large armies which they can use for long, expensive conflicts. Even if the worst happened and the stateless society had constant fighting we would still be safer than we would under government. But this concedes too much, violence is bad-very bad-for business and companies would want to avoid it. Rather than shooting it out every time two parties had a disagreement we can expect them to seek a compromise via a mutually agreed-on private judge who could look at a case and decide a verdict. Private courts? There is actually historical evidence to back up the idea that they could work. During the Medieval times, merchants made use of the Merchants Courts, a totally private network of judges that settled disputes. They were able to enforce their decisions because of the threat of boycott, any merchant who refused to submit to a judge would boycotted by the other merchants which would leave him in permanent unemployment until he submitted. Celtic Ireland, a land that could be described as Libertarian, maintained law and order for a thousand years strictly through the use of private courts.
The Free-Market has a bad reputation, but that is unwarranted. Capitalism is the surest way to peace and prosperity.
My first point would be that you have far too much faith in Humanity's virtues and honour. If every service is privatised, you must remember non-profitable organisations like charities, police, hospitals, national security, These industries do not make enough money to be attractive, and any that are virtuous enough to enlist will not be enough to cover the whole country. This demographic will also not be the most qualified, and schools will be privatised too. Now, I have spent my time in a private school, and it's about to go public because private schools don't make enough money. This system inevitably leads to the richest company hiring the private police to wipe out the competition, and establish colonial dicatorships to produce their products. If not that, then they only hire workers at the lowest possible wage, localised sweatshops.
The next issue is the disadvantaged. Those who cannot provide a service have no possible income. Normally, these people would receive some sort of welfare, but with the lack of government, these people all have no support. Your naivety allows you to claim they can survive on donations from the wealthy... What?! Are you dense? Do you actually think that there are enough donations in the world, let alone the US, to provide for the unemployed and disadvantaged? No! And if there was? Who would distribute this money? Anyone who did would keep most of it for themselves as there are no police to enforce this. And with the end of the US government, the civil servants all become unemployed, and you have an excess of currency left with the politicians. Now the printing press owners are the richest, and inflation increases. If you try to establish a new currency, what would that be? Who would make it? How would everyone agree? How will you make Congress or the UN agree to this?
Your notion that Capitalism is good for the poor is untrue. Behold! Using my history studies, i shall explain why. In the industrial revolution, skilled workers became unnecessary as machinery that required little maintenance was used. Many people were injured, and received little pay for their work. It was the MP wages that allowed poorer people to enter politics that allowed them to improve the working conditions and pay.
Socialism offers someone a crutch when they are injured, so when they are better they can return to work without long term harm, whereas Capitalism accuses the injured person of being lazy and living off welfare.
i also study economics. I'm doing Schools of Economic thought right now, so here's a free lesson. Adam Smith; the father of free enterprise. he believed that the government should stay out of business affairs and that the Invisible hand would improve overall standards. However, even he understood that government regulation, intervention and action was necessary. For instance, here in Ireland, we would have no bus service if not for the government as many routes are not making a profit. Education is free and healthcare is mostly paid for by the state (no one has to pay more than 100 euro for medicine) Sounds expensive, right? But what's our national debt? A hundred thousand times less than America's. And we are out of recession now, thanks to the theories of another economist, John Maynard Keynes, who favoured monetary policy with economic injections.
The solution is a mixed economy and government with private enterprise and essentials ran by the government. The best of both worlds. Corruption will occur even in an anarchistic society like yours, just more violently, as religious right wing paramilitaries soon begin to take over. The key is vigilance and monitoring of the government. Your speech has been quite a clustered read, so if anything you felt I left untouched, leave a comment and I will answer your questions either there, or in my next speech. I will end with a quote from Churchill; "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others."
See you next round,
"The claims of these organizers of humanity raise another question which I have often asked them and which, so far as I know, they have never answered: If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind? The organizers maintain that society, when left undirected, rushes headlong to its inevitable destruction because the instincts of the people are so perverse. The legislators claim to stop this suicidal course and to give it a saner direction. Apparently, then, the legislators and the organizers have received from Heaven an intelligence and virtue that place them beyond and above mankind; if so, let them show their titles to this superiority. They would be the shepherds over us, their sheep. Certainly such an arrangement presupposes that they are naturally superior to the rest of us. And certainly we are fully justified in demanding from the legislators and organizers proof of this natural superiority."
If a government ended its coerced monopoly on police, education, and healthcare these industries would be thrown open to market competition and individuals, able to realize that they need these essentials, would be willing to shop around and pay for the specific kind of education, healthcare, protection, etc., that they personally desired. But isn't it immoral to charge people for such necessary goods? Shouldn't they be free of charge? For starters, anytime the government provides something it is far from "free" it is payed for through taxation. Secondly, the tax-payer is often the poor person himself, who would likely pay less in fees to more efficient private services. In fact, I saw one study where a low-income black neighborhood paid more in taxes than it received in government aid benefits. How is that helpful?
Also, government-provision is no guarantee of availability; British hospitals routinely turn patients away on account of "insufficient funds". But wait, I thought Socialism was supposed to be the system where money is no object, why this discrimination? Lastly, government-aid programs increase poverty and crime-hear me out; in the US a jobless, single mother is given X amount per month for each child she has, this has an effect of rewarding(subsidizing)out-of-wedlock births of children who are not desired or cared for-and thus are much more likely to abuse drugs, become promiscuous, and and commit crime.
Prior to the welfare explosion in the US in the 1960s, families and mutual-aid societies took care of their own; reaching out to the needy and penalizing any who were just looking for a free-ride. Why does a politician have to organize something in order for it to be benevolent and caring? Couldn't someone be a Capitalist BECAUSE he wants to help the poor and give them opportunity?
The next dilemma is worker protection. How can Capitalism ensure that? Wouldn't employers cut corners to increase profit? Perhaps, but they wouldn't keep their workers very long if another employer can lure the workers away with higher pay and better working conditions. Hired labor has to be persuaded to come to and stay on a job, meaning it is actually profitable to offer pay and benefits. Can anyone imagine the owner of a dirty factory trying to hire workers for no wages? Workers could also subscribe to private watch-dog groups such as "Consumer Reports" and "Underwriters Laboratories" who keep tabs on product safety.
But wouldn't machines take over? Without machines an industrialized society is impossible and we would soon find ourselves in deep poverty while all toiling over small land plots. I find it quite odd that my opponent criticizes machine production by using a computer that was machine-produced. A worker who is replaced by a machine is freed up to do other labor. The pony express has certainly been mechanized, but its not as if the riders and their heirs have sat around bitterly ever since. Human labor will always exist as long as human wants and ideas exist.
A perspective from the Austrian school of Economics will answer the questions about money and banking: Recessions are caused by government banks granting free credit to investors, this creates faulty signals that make certain business ventures look in demand and profitable when they actually weren't. In the US the housing market was receiving huge injections of credit(obeying Keynes)and houses were being built at a very rapid rate but that bubble collapsed when it was realized that many of the homes were not being sold or were being bought by people who could not afford them(US law prohibits banks from denying loans). A recession is the economy ridding itself of bad investments caused by artificial credit.
Inflation is also caused by the government's bank monopoly on money printing. These little pieces of paper are about as valuable as Parker Brothers Monopoly money. Before the US had a National Bank, money was a fixed quantity of gold and there was no inflation. Paper notes were used because they were easier to carry than gold coins. Now, with a monopoly and without a gold backing, governments obsessively print money as they please which increases the supply of money and thus decreases its value. In a stateless society money would likely be precious metals but could be any mutually agreed on commodity. Abolishing the National Bank would abolish recessions and inflation.
But wouldn't warlords take over? Here is the Libertarian argument for private protection: Lacking a government, individuals would take out insurance policies on their lives and property, with the insurance company promising dollar-for-dollar repayment for any damage caused by an attacker or thief. The companies thus would have a huge vested interest in keeping their clients safe and would invest in private security agencies to patrol and protect the property of their clients. To increase their effectiveness, insurance companies typically contract and coordinate with other insurance agencies-which ensures economies of scale and their ability to have access to enough capital to back up their contracts with clients. The competition would keep costs low, and quality high. If a company becomes aggressive at starts shooting at people then its customers can leave it and be protected by another company. When governments fire on their own people they have no alternative short of revolution or fleeing the country. But war is unlikely between the companies, they will want to keep a quality brand name and war is very expensive which scares off customers. Already, insurance agencies have dispute resolution procedures to avoid conflict.
But enough about my side, my opponent must answer the major question; Is taxation theft? Isn't a tax the forcible removal of someone else's property? If I stole my neighbor's wallet would I be justified because I contend that I was doing it to "give to the poor"? Isn't coercing someone to pay for defense normally called a protection racket? Even if the majority casts their vote in favor of a tax, isn't that just the majority issuing approval of a theft? If he can show that taxation isn't theft then my entire argument falls apart and I must concede victory to him
You are a fool. A damned fool. You think I have faith in politicians? No, of course not. Is our system flawed? Of course it is. But if something is broken, you don't throw it out unless you're some spoilt fool who thinks that every poor person is just lazy, and there is enough charities for everyone. Politicians don't think themselves angels above us; they think that they can look inside their own heart and know what's right. Granted, that's stupid, but everyone else does it too. You try to spin some elaborate speech about sheep and mankind's destiny, I say screw that. We are debaters. Logic and reason are our weapons. No more on this, back to the debate.
Your main motivation seems to be resentment of the state, namely how by the end of the round, you are demanding I prove taxation is not theft. I believe this debate topic is entitled; Abolish the State. Not taxation is theft. There are a lot of people in every country and not everyone is going to benefit from every piece of infrastructure. If you don't like football, and the state builds a stadium near you, then you will complain they're wasting money. If you are an internet goer and the state proposes free wi-fi everywhere, you would sing songs of praise. You are selfish. So is everyone else. It is the role of the government to exact laws to inhibit our selfishness to a point, where we may fill the blanks with our culture, morality, religion and/or internet. The state need not be some utopia; such an idea is impossible. But what I do believe is that like exponential curves in maths, we will get closer and closer to the perfect world, but never reach it. But we don't need to. Our governments misuse our taxes and have high amounts of corruption. That is our fault. We knew the politicians were corrupt or inept, and yet we voted for them. We pay the price for our lack of vigilance; we should monitor the politicians more frequently.
Socialism is not a moneyless system. It is a cradle to the grave system, where those who fall below the avergae are given just the minimum to get by until they are back on their feet. True, some may never return to their feet, they are known as the structural unemployed, the unemployed who will be present in every society no matter what. Only communism and facism have ever achieved full employment.
You ask couldn't someone be a capitalist because they want to help the poor? Yes. But most don't. The ones that matter don't. The ones that make the difference, the ones which make up the 1% and influence markets, they don't use sweatshops and dirty tactics because they think they're helping. And if they do, they are falling into the Just World Fallacy, where one believes people "get what they deserve" and that they themselves are good people still.
Everyone needs food. That is the bottom line. A worker does not decide their pay. They can use a trade union, but my studies of Irish history have shown me that the worker's trade union loses to the employer's union. Look up the 1913 lockout if you want to know more. It's what would happen in your stateless world. We can't return to a barter system, the dollar will have to remain. Who has all the dollars? The politicians. Do you plan to rob them? Why would anyone utilise enterprise if they suspected they would befall the same fate? Labour will initially try and fight back against their low wages. They will lose, as the companies can wait a lot longer. Then they will return broken. Unskilled workers who can use basic machinery will replace them, at lower wages as they offer no qualifications because schools are non-profitable. Keynesian economics, which I also study (history and economics are my strong subjects), is a mix of government injections with fiscal and monetary policy, something the US lacks. If the dollar was eliminated, the entire world loses all their dollar savings. Bankers, the stock market, anyone with a bank account in the US just lost everything. What's the new currency? Gold would need to be melted down to be turned into currency, which is expensive, and would need to be subsidised, by.. the state.
So, store up your bottlecaps, and oil, because in your world, there's no more oil, so no electricity, so no power, or public services, no running water, no healthcare.
And onto the subject of gangs. With no state to inhibit them, gun manufacturers would sell to the highest bidder. And forget reputations and standards, the person with the most guns and trigger fingers is the winner. Most likely republicans fighting against gun control would take over, or extremist groups. In a society without proper money, companies will serve no purpose. There is nothing to buy. No power tools to build houses or cars, and no fuel to drive vehicles.
And as a final point, despite taxation having nothing to do with abolishing the state, no, taxation is not theft. It is your subscription to your society. You see, your passport doesn't come free. The police don't protect you for free. They are funded by your subscription. You may not benefit from every aspect of your subscription, but you get a vote and you can voice your opinion on how the country should be run. You don't like it? Then leave. You own your house, but you wouldn't be able to sit there on your own for long, surrounded by America, which belongs to the US government. The people may not agree with every law and tax incorporated, but if the american people could decide any law, they would long ago have a beer tap installed in every house. Tax is our membership due to the country we live in, and before you say you didn't have a choice to be born into your country, how many terms and conditions do you skip by every week without reading. You don't seem to care. You have become complacent. Lazy. Any faults in your world are because you and so many others have sat idly by when you could have done SOMETHING. You may say you had not the influence to change anything, but you didn;t even try, you just ranted on the internet about it. I have shown you what taxes are. Now accept your defeat with grace, as you said you would. In the comments. Or message me. I don't really care anymore. Fun debate. Thanks.
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