Debate Rounds (5)
Best of luck
Anarcho-Capitalism as I define it is a system where there is no state. Instead, it is a system of private property where all services are provided voluntary through the market.
My general approach to anarcho capitalism is based of libertarianism first and foremost. Now there are two axioms to libertarianism, two sides of the same coin, and these are the non aggression principle and property rights. The non agression is basically what it sounds like: do not initiate force, do not aggress against others. The only time force is legitimate is in self defense or defense of another. It's not very controversial, because who supports murder, assault, rape or theft? The second axiom is property rights. So let's say Person X has a cap on his head, and I snatch it off. Have I committed aggression? It depends. If it was X's hat and I just grabbed it then I am at fault, but if he stole it from me yesterday and I simply was repossessing it then I am innocent.
Libertarians when It comes to property usually borrow from the Lockian/Rothbardian homesteading theory. In other words, you mix your labour with the land, you cut down trees and build a cabin, grow crops, domesticate a cow etc, and this is how you come to acquire property if it is unowned. And because you own the property, you can transfer titles. Purchase, barter, gambling, and charity are examples of legitimate title transfer.
So by now you're probably asking just what the hell this has to to with this debate about anarcho capitalism and the state.
It relates to it because there are two main characteristics that the state possesses that distinguishes it from other institutions, and that is it's ability to tax and it's ability to forcefully eliminate competition in the provision of services. It's held to a different moral standard than other people. Let's give an example: in our everyday lives, when we want to accomplish things we get together voluntarily, we raise money, we persuade, we trade, we interact in many different formats, but never with guns. Never coercively. I didn't force anybody into accepting this debate challenge, and furthermore if I had, nobody would think it morally permissible. Let me expand upon this further.
Let's suppose that there is a man named Stuart. Stuart thinks that his town ought to have a public park. So he goes around collecting funds to pay for the endeavor. Being the greedy capitalist pig that I am, I refuse to pay when he comes to My door. In response, he takes out a baseball bat, breaks my knee and steals my wallet. What would the general reaction be? Something along the lines of "this man should be criminally prosecuted, he committed assault with a weapon and armed robbery." , and justly so. But let's tweak this scenario a little bit. Suppose that people in my neighborhood vote for Stuart to take my money forcibly, and he does. Most people would still find this morally repugnante. Theft is theft.
But let's go a little farther. Suppose now that Stuart is a member of the republican party, and he is voted into public office. What then happens when the time comes to pay my taxes, and I refuse, and men with guns clad in costumes and badges break into my house an forcibly remove me, and lock me in a cage? Stuart is now a public servant, a selfless representative of te will of the people. People chant his name, people revere him wheras a mere change in terminology and consistency would deem him a common thief, a looter for doing virtually the same thing as in the previous examples. This is explained better when German sociologist Franz Oppenheimer talks about what he refers go as the economic means vs the political means.
Another characteristic which I mentioned which the state possesses is it's ability to outlaw competition with it. For example, if you and I want to start a software company. We do not have it intrinsically in our possession to ban competiting entrepreneurs. We may be the favored business because our customers prefer our product to that of our competitors this limiting competition in that sense, but we cannot legally ban a group like Microsoft from entering the market to compete with us. By contrast, the state claims coercive monopoly on the provision of several services such as the law, law enforcement, currency, national defense, education, roads and in My country healthcare, to name a few. In this cases, competition is immensely limited, or sometimes outright banned. In My home country of Canada, private medical clinics are virtually outlawed. This presents some problems. First, there is the issue of aggression. The government monopoly on protection is analogous to outlawing competition in t-shirts or wrist watches. Force is being initiated against innocent people.
Another problem, this time economically speaking that when you are funded coercively through taxation and fiat currency and competition is banned, what real incentive do you have to provide a good service? In a free market system where businessmen must compete for the money of their customers, If they fail to provide a good service for a reasonable price they will go out of business because of competition. Your pay depends on your ability to satisfy customers. By contrast, In a state run system you have no real incentive because regardless of what you do you have the guns and the power To collect taxes, and if someone tries to compete with you they will be criminally prosecuted. As an example, there is a significant problem with police violence in the united states, and surprisingly in Canada as well. If there was legitimate competition in the provision of protection services, police that were abusive would e fired or punished substantially, because in a free market your reputation is very important, and if said reputation comprised of yor employees beating up black people you would lose customers fast, as people would take there business to less violent agencies.
This is a brief introduction to Anarcho Capitalist/libertarian thought and argumentation, I look forward to your opening arguments, followed by two rounds of rebuttals, further discussion and argument.
Who will build the roads?
Any anarchist will tell you that, when discussing anarchy one of the first objections that comes up is the issue of the building of the roads. Firstly, I would like to point out that this question is somewhat of a fallacy. It goes something like this: The state does x. X is important. Therefore of the state doesn't to x, x won't get done. When you put it in these terms, the ridiculousness of that statement becomes obvious. To use another analogy, suppose that it's the 1850s, and you are an abolishonist. You are in a debate with someone over the issue of slavery. The pro-slavery person says that slaves pick cotton. We need cotton. Therefore, if we don't force black people to pick cotton, the cotton won't get picked. The fallacy is obvious. Keep in mind, the only reason the question of without government, who will build the roads gets asked is because we've been stuck in this paradigm for quite a long time. If te government had been involved in the production of paper clips or nail polish, that would be a primary objection to anarcho capitalism.
But nevertheless, how would roads get built without the state? Well one of the first things one must do is look at incentives. Who has the incentive to build roads? One obvious answer is car companies. Car companies could partake in the funding/maintaining of roads. Another possibility is just companies in general, because if you are a company people obviously need to be able to get to where your location is. Or, people could simply get together and build them. The state is unnecessary for roads.
Now, the other common objection is the issue of police/law enforcement. Now in the system which I am imagining is a system where the job of protection and rights enforcement is delegated various firms and arbitration agencies. Like insurance, customers would pay a yearly/monthly/whateverly bill to their company. Now, an obvious problem arises, which is what happens if one day I find that my computer has been stolen. I look at my surveillance camera, and it appears that someone who looks exactly like Hugh Jackman has stole my computer. I call my security agency, and they call Hugh to tell him to give my computer back. He says he didn't steal it. My company says that if he doesn't return it, they'll send over big strong guys to retrieve my computer. But Hugh has a security agency as well. What happens? Do the organizations Go to war? The fact is, economically speaking that is a horrendous idea. So, the companies have every reason to resolve this peacefully. They could decide on an arbitration agency,which has a reputation for being fair which will review the case and give a decision. An advantage of this system is that companies will actually have to provide a good service in order to get customers.
This is in contrast to the government, which has an incentive for government to do the bare minimum. For example, the government is in charge of police and the justice system. And to an extent, it works. The police capture and put in prison some bad people. Murderer's, rapists, etc. But they also incarcerate a large number of non-violent offenders, there is a huge bureaucracy, many violent people get off early on plea bargains, they often go to the wrong house during raids, then there's the drug war, a lot of corruption, and these godawful trials that take years, often longer than the sentence itself. In other words, it's far from the ideal system. In his book, "the machinery of freedom" David Friedman talks about what he refers to as the law of constant dealings. Meaning that, companies like the ones I am describing will run into conflicts like the one I mentioned earlier very often. So they will ahead of time decide on an arbitration agency to mediate their disputes.
I will not have time to talk about military in this round, so I will next time.
"The state does x. X is important. Therefore of the state doesn't do x, x won't get done."
"Who has the incentive to build roads?"
I see the fallacy that you"re pointing out with your argument regarding roads. However, there are other things that the state does that no company or citizen has the incentive or power to handle. Who will handle foreign affairs? Who will help children get an education if they can"t afford a private school? Who will help make sure everyone has access to affordable healthcare? There are things that the government covers with the taxes we pay that are necessary but too expensive for companies to handle.
"Or, people could simply get together and build them."
Citizens would have the incentive to do this. But, they likely don"t have the time, money, energy, or resources. Highways are another problem. They"re longer, heavier, and busier. It would be really difficult to maintain all the highways we have now.
"If the government had been involved in the production of paper clips or nail polish, that would be a primary objection to anarcho capitalism."
The difference between highways, laws, and other things the government makes and paperclips and nail polish is clear. The government makes necessities for keeping its citizens safe, and that does not include nail polish.
In other words, it's far from the ideal system. In his book, "the machinery of freedom" David Friedman talks about what he refers to as the law of constant dealings. Meaning that, companies like the ones I am describing will run into conflicts like the one I mentioned earlier very often. So they will ahead of time decide on an arbitration agency to mediate their disputes.
"Now in the system which I am imagining is a system where the job of protection and rights enforcement is delegated various firms and arbitration agencies."
What rights are they enforcing, and who decides if something is a right? If we left it up to businesses to enforce our rights, there arises a problem if that very same business denies you some rights (remember Hobby Lobby, anyone?).Who is to say the "rights" a company enforces don"t only favor their customers? Will someone who can"t afford this protection have any rights? I understand you say delegated firms, but that in itself is a form of government.
"Like insurance, customers would pay a yearly/monthly/whateverly bill to their company."
If you can"t afford a good healthcare company, they have no incentive to insure you. With a government that does a good job of caring for its citizens, it will make sure there are at least cheaper options available to the poor.
"I look at my surveillance camera, and it appears that someone who looks exactly like Hugh Jackman has stole my computer."
"My company says that if he doesn't return it, they'll send over big strong guys to retrieve my computer. But Hugh has a security agency as well."
There are seemingly no solutions if you don"t have a security camera. If it was someone wearing a mask, or just happened to look like Hugh Jackman, the system is less likely to be fair to the innocent Hugh. If Hugh has the same security agency as you, they will be less willing to get involved in the case, or will have to favor one consumer over the other.
"An advantage of this system is that companies will actually have to provide a good service in order to get customers. This is in contrast to the government, which has an incentive for government to do the bare minimum."
This does not necessarily mean the company has to provide good service, just that it has to be powerful enough to beat other companies in legal wars (based on no laws). On the other hand, the government does not have the incentive to do the bare minimum. Many officials are elected, and are highly unlikely to get re-elected if they don"t do a good job. During their term, they could have to deal with annoying protesters as well.
"But they also incarcerate a large number of non-violent offenders, there is a huge bureaucracy, many violent people get off early on plea bargains, they often go to the wrong house during raids, then there's the drug war, a lot of corruption, and these godawful trials that take years, often longer than the sentence itself."
If the government messes up sometimes, the arbitration agencies probably will to. At the least, the government will be more publicly shamed for accepting bribes.
I have more, however I"m in a rush and will continue next round.
roark555 forfeited this round.
roark555 forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Theunkown 1 year ago
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||0||4|
Reasons for voting decision: Why shouldn't forfeits be penalized?
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.