Debate Rounds (3)
I find Vountaryism to be a very nice ideal or Utopia but as with all Utopia's to have some glaring flaws. You have a society reliant on bitcoins however I don't see how people would have access and the ability to transfer them easily. While apps and smartphones will help this transition, people in rural areas, averse to technology and those who live at lower technology standards would have difficulty using such a system. Without a regulatory body around such a monetary system dangers of other currencies arising and competing would be an issue as any bank could freely issue its own money without fear of reprisal. A multi-currency system often has dangerous levels of inflation, fraud and restriction on trade.
Roads being maintained by the people is quite general and I am not sure what you mean by this. Is there an owner of the road? is there a body that is in charge of keeping the roads maintained? would people be compensated for their road maintenance, if so how is that money collected and dispersed correctly? If not what is the incentive for people to maintain the road? Road maintenance, especially in our modern era is expensive and hard work, unless properly motivated a return to dirt roads would be the norm. Dirt roads are very dangerous for vehicles and heavy loads traveling on them which can seriously affect economies. I would ask that in the next round you expand on this topic.
When you say everything would be privatized I must ask if the FDA, the EPA and other regulatory bodies would be privatized. I ask because if so by any amount of study of human nature it is easy to see that corruption and bribery would become rampant. Similarly without a regulatory body monopolies and trusts would be easy to set up, especially if there is no regulatory body over currency. It would not be difficult for corporation owners to collude and basically decide what currency is worth what and where.
My last issue with the idea of Voluntaryism is courts and officers of the law. From what you have suggested a dissolution of a government also means a dissolution of courts and the officers that enforce their judgement. Doing so will lead to privatized cops, which are gangs who are paid to keep corporate interests safe. Courts will either be nonexistent or exist primarily as mob courts which will result in lynchings and mob justice which, despite the name, is unjust.
Voluntaryism would solve these problems by having privately owned inspection fields to find fraud in business. If you disapprove of what a business is doing, you can personally boycott it. Roads would be maintained because everyone needs them, so people would contribute money and/or effort to keep them paved. Bridges could charge tolls until the expense is paid for, or be privately funded. Bitcoin would be the choice currency, being effective while not relying on any government or institution. Freedom at the cost of having to take responsibility for yourself and others.
There is nothing stopping corporations from colluding together. Colluding here meaning "come to a secret understanding for a harmful purpose". Corporations or simply groups of people could collude and define rules within a region without reprisal. If one person, or a group of persons, owns all of the means of production of a single good they will have a monopoly and be able to use that monopoly to extort and control others. You might suggest boycotting that business, a valid point however what if that business provides a vital service or product. What if the oil companies collude together and decide that to buy gasoline you must follow their rules there is nothing to stop them.
The inspection fields that you mentioned would ultimately be undercut by the fact that they have no authority over the businesses they inspect. Currently the reason inspectors are able to freely inspect and report on companies is because of the governing authority that they represent. Should a company in our current system deny an inspector the ability to inspect their business the government can legally seize the business's assets and bring them to court for interfering with government business. Inspection companies that you mentioned could simply be refused at the door and not allowed to inspect. Further what would the inspectors being inspecting for? There is no governing body to dictate how a business should run, without such a body the inspectors could brand companies corrupt or inept on a whim without ever inspecting as the inspectors themselves could be corrupt and bought.
The cost of maintaining state owned roads, so this is not including privately owned roads, in 2012 was $132 billion. In some states it was as low as $39,000 per mile of road, in others it got to as high as $2 million per mile of road. Just because people need the roads does not mean they will maintain the roads as they are currently. Roads are extremely complex pieces of engineering, different kinds of concrete need to be used in different areas, roads need to be strengthened and reinforced with metal. What about roads between cities? How would they be maintained, the cities themselves do not have governments so what incentive is there for an individual person to want a road they might use once every few years maintained. A more likely scenario is again corporate collusion, corporations, and in many cases gangs, without fear of reprisal from a government could easily establish tolls that would restrict trade and free movement of people. This restriction on movement is only one of many ways that the wealthy and militarily powerful could control the weak and poorer classes.
While you say the bitcoin would be an effective currency it has no actual backing, by opening an bank and establishing a currency backed by precious metals, barrels of oil, or some other physical object this new currency would far out strip bitcoins. With no governing body requiring the use of a single currency a gang or corporation would establish a footing as I described above, creating a monopoly or trust to control the wealth in an area accompanied by restricting movement by establishing exorbitant tolls, could choose not to accept bitcoins at any of my businesses and only allowing the use of currency issued by their own bank. They could then make the exchange rate between bitcoins and their own currency extremely unfair thus increasing their own wealth and devaluing bitcoins.
While you have given people their ultimate freedom you have also exposed them to all the nefariousness and evil of man. There is no part of history in which you can look and not see what I have described above the Roman civil wars, The French Revolution, The Russian Revolution, the early 1900s in america, the 1800s in south america, etc ad nauseam. These terrible times in which you see some of the worst of humanity did not end or become better because people volunteered to do so but because they were forced to do so by governing bodies.
My final point is a question to you. How would an army be maintained by such a society? If your response is there would be no military, then how would such a society not be taken over by a foreign threat? If your response is the military would be a volunteer military, then how would such a military be structured, regulated and trained? Most of all how would we prevent the leaders of said military from simply establishing a military dictatorship?
Monopolies only really spring up because of government intervention. Whether by restricting trade with other nations or making it next to impossible to jump into a market, 9 times out of 10 it`s the government`s fault. With free trade, monopolies have almost no chance, as the competition is maddening.
2nd question answer:
you need roads. I need roads. Just about everyone needs roads. People will take care of them because, let`s face it, you need them and, if you are a business owner, your customers need them to get to you. So, you`re gonna contribute time, money, or both to make sure the roads work. You know, "Roads" is the #1 argument people make for statism.
3rd question answer:
Bitcoin would be managed by people all over the world keeping a ledger, keeping track of how much everybody has. It`s an extremely effective currency, being almost unhackable, capable of being used anywhere, only 21 million will ever be produced, and it can be divided to 0.00000001 bitcoin.
4th question answer:
Normal people don`t run around naked. They don`t cut in line, even though there`s no law against them doing so. They tip their waiters and waitresses, even though such isn`t required by law. Why? Because they`re decent people.
5th question answered: there wouldn`t be an army. As Isoroku Yamamoto said in WWII: "You cannot invade mainland America. There would be a gun behind every blade of grass." He took our armies head on, but he was scared of the PEOPLE. If people are defending themselves like they should, they will stop an invasion. And don`t say "WARLORDS!!!!!!!" Because we don`t need a morally exempt entity in place to keep morally exempt entities from springing up.
Unfortunately, your last comment is probably going to make a question, and this is my last comment so I won`t be able to answer it. So please don`t ask a new question in your last comment.
1. You claim that monopolies spring up only because of government intervention. That 9/10 of them are because of restrictions made by government. This explanation does nothing to explain The International Harvester and American Tobacco Monopolies in the early 1900's. Harvester controlled all agricultural equipment production in America when it was a very agrarian nation, by doing so it could set its prices. Similarly American tobacco, by controlling all tobacco production could set their prices far too high, and also illegally claim their cigarettes could cure any ill. These monopolies, and many others like them, were not broken up because people boycotted them. If people did not buy from them they would have no alternative, farmers would not have farm equipment and tobacco smokers would not have tobacco full stop. There was no alternative until the government began enforcing the Sherman Antitrust act of 1890.
If there is no government to restrict trade doesn't necessarily mean trade will be more free to move. Oceanic trade is possible only because of the long time patrolling of the seas by navies. Look at any point in history, including today, and you will see that piracy has always been a problem. With our modern technology and powerful navies today we still lose between 6 and 16 billion a year in trade. Now you are suggesting we dissolve all such navies and trust that people will not pirate. If people under the threat of death and imprisonment currently still pirate it does not follow that by removing such threats they will cease from doing so. Without a doubt heavy tolls and guarded territories would spring up in the oceans as well as outright piracy that would heavily restrict oceanic trade. This heavy restriction on trade would cause countries to become much more isolationist which only further supports a monopolization of different aspects of the market.
Finally you say that the competition is maddening. Your logic does not follow here, if a business has a better product they will do well. Better than the others in their field, they will expand, by expanding they will generate enough revenue to capture a large part of the market. At this larger vantage point in the market they will be able to easily crush competition by price gouging in the regions that their competition exists and float these losses by raising prices in regions where there is none. At a certain point the business will become large enough to simply purchase any competitors. If you do not believe me look at how our current market works. What I just described to you is exactly the model Walmart follows and that is in our own restrictive market. Your argument does not follow that businesses would not continue or even escalate their tactics in a market without restrictions.
Your second argument about roads has not addressed my issues I have brought up with roads. Not only that roads are extremely complex pieces of engineering but that exorbitant tolls could easily exist. I am not arguing that a state needs to exist for roads, I have simply asked how the roads' upkeep would be managed. Wherever centers of wealth are roads would be fine, however in rural areas, ghettos even simply low income areas roads would suffer because those people can not afford to keep their roads well maintained. By having poorly maintained roads you would see disparity between the classes increase and the roads in certain areas would not be maintained. Also there would be no way of deciding how the roads would be built, if everyone helps and everyone contributes then everyone has a say in how the road is built. Is it an overpass? Is it a 6 lane, 4 lane, 2 lane? Is there a light? What speed is driven on the roads? What side of the road do you drive on? All of these are decisive issues that if a single person doesn't consent then the road cannot be built as according to this system no actions can be taken without consent. The decision could be 99% to 1% and the road would be unable to be built as building it would be against the 1% consent.
Your answer to my third question has not addressed my issues with bitcoins. You have not provided the safe guards to support and defend the currency you have nominated for use. You have not provided an answer to the issue of people's access to an electronic based currency. If you do not wish to debate this portion of your argument I accept your concession.
Your response to my fourth answer is that people do do those things in our current system. Your response that people are decent is ultimately flawed. If that is true than there would be no prisons and there would be no prisoners. You have ultimately shown your own naivete in this answer. If people are decent why were 506 people killed in chicago last year, even though there is a law against it? If people are decent why is fraud and identity theft at an all time high when there is a law against it? Your response is troubling as it leads me to believe you don't think war has ever happened.
Your response to my fifth question is, and I apologize if this comes across as rude, laughable. The line you quoted from Isoroku Yamamoto has been debunked and was falsely attributed to him. It's funny that you use a quote about a nation of people with a government defending their country and government to defend a government-less society. People will defend themselves true, but will they travel hundreds of miles to defend people they have no connection to? Will they defend their property? If an army did invade such a society where would the call to arms come from? The army could go from city to city and take it at their leisure. While you are correct those people could defend themselves, there is nothing stopping the army from simply besieging the city and waiting until their food or water runs out and taking the weapons of the populace. There would be no breaking the siege as there would be no army to rescue them, untrained individuals that conglomerate into a massive army have repeatedly been shown to be crushed against well disciplined troops. Look at any battle in history and you will see that numbers have far less to do with victory in battle than discipline in troops.
To finalize my argument I must say that I could not endorse such a system as the many flaws have been made apparent in this discussion. I do not believe it is the failure of the maintenance of roads or a warlord that would bring down a system simply human nature. There has never been a time in which chaos and anarchy has not produced some form of governing body. Tribes, clans, federations, monarchies, dictatorships, communist regimes, democracies, fascism, republics, oligarchies all have resulted from the chaotic system you have described, humans time and again have shown that given such a vacuum they will gladly fill it with whatever governing body that is willing to fill it.
Thank you for the debate, I enjoyed myself very much, if you wish me to provide sources for anything I have said in this argument I will be glad to provide them in the comments as I have run out of characters.
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