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Voluntaryism is Morally, Economically, and Socially Better for Society than Statism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/26/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,732 times Debate No: 49942
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




The Debate will follow a few simple guidelines. When stating a fact or statistic, sources must be posted. If one side resorts to personal attacks (Ad hominem,) they forfeit the debate. One's "view" or "opinion" can be "irrational, stupid, or retarded," but the person them self is not. (I don't think we will have a problem with this.) I will post my opening statement to address my opinion on the topic, and I will expect the opposition to post their opinion in the same manner. I will follow with my criticism, and questions. The next post by the opposition will answer the questions, criticize my opening statement, and ask me questions. This will be considered a round. On the final opportunity for either of us to post, we will wrap up our thought with a conclusion. Let us begin:

I like to start a discussion off with definitions to avoid unnecessary conflict:

Voluntaryism: The belief that every interaction between two parties should be voluntary, and the the initiation of force to coerce someone into a contract is immoral and unjust. The belief that any aggression against another human being, who has not initiated the aggression, is immoral, and intolerable.
This can also be defined as:
Anarco-Capitalism: Unfettered capitalism, not to be confused with modern corporatism. AnCap is regulated by the market itself, rather than by a centralized power.
Non-Aggression Principle: Anybody has the moral right to do anything they wish to do, so long as it does not affect the safety or liberty of another person or their property. Any initiation of force/aggression (not in defense of one"s self or another person) is considered immoral and intolerable. It is the belief that violence should never be used to manipulate non-violent behaviors. The use of force is determined by the situation it is used in, not by who is using it.

Statism: The religious belief that society cannot organize in a "civil" manner without a centralized monopoly of force to initiate violence, extort all parties, and coerce the minority into whatever the majority, or the person in power, wishes to impose on them. In truth, the belief in government is a terrifying religion, made up of a set of dogmatic teachings, irrational doctrines which fly in the face of both evidence and logic, which are methodically memorized by the faithful. Men, often the most corrupt, are "chosen" and through ceremonial rite, are given the "right" to declare what is morally acceptable, and what is not. Might becomes right, and legality triumphs over morality. The worshipers of the state are most dangerous, for history has shown Democide to have killed 360,000,000 people in the last 100 years*. Statists are known to abandon all personal morality for the morality of the state, even at the cost of their own life when necessary.

Morality: principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.

Voluntaryism is morally better for society on the simple fact that anarchists do not know what is best for everyone. It is the simple recognition that no man, woman, or group thereof is ever wise enough to come up with the best possible way to run other people"s lives. Just as no one else should be able to enforce on you his choice of marriage partner, or compel you to follow a career of his choosing, no one else should be able to enforce his preferences for social organization on you. As long as what a person is doing does not violate the NAP, no other person has the moral right to govern that individual.

Statism is immoral, and fails to stand in the face of simple logic. I have no right to kick in your door, drag you away from your family, throw you in a rape cage, and kill you if you resist if I don't like what you do. I do not have the right to send men with guns into your home to for not donating money to my cause. If myself and my co worker vote 2 to 1 that you owe us money, I have no moral right to collect. We also cannot bestow the right to rob you onto another person or group, simply because we do not have that right to begin with. The only thing the state and government are needed for is to attempt to legitimize immoral force. No matter how peaceful, humanitarian and tolerant you are, no matter how well meaning and honorable your goals " if you ask for a government law, program, or plan, ultimately that program will be paid for with the property taken by force from others and the law will be enforced at the point of a gun.

Voluntaryism is Economically better for society in that businesses will not be burdened with centralized regulation, therefore becoming more productive and able to generate high paying jobs. Health, Fairness, Safety, and corruption will be regulated by the consumers and by crediting services that companies voluntarily associate with in order to please consumers. Companies currently being taxed enough to support the entire military industrial complex** will be able to reinvest their money into the economy, and into services that directly affect them like the maintenance of roads. When companies conspire to raise a price or become corrupt, instead of enlisting government to mandate liability away from themselves, they will be subdued by the competition of the free market.
"Most people believe that once one conceded the importance, or even vital necessity, of some particular activity of the state " such as the provision of a legal code " that one has ipso facto conceded the necessity of the state itself. The state indeed performs many important and necessary functions: from provision of law to the supply of police and fire fighters, to building and maintaining the streets, to the delivery of mail. But this in no way demonstrates that ONLY the state can perform such functions or, indeed, that it performs them even passably well." - Murray Rothbard
Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.

The reason why Voluntaryism is Socially better for Society ties in with Morality. People ultimately own themselves, and have no right to tell others how they should live their lives, so long as what they do does not infringe on the NAP. People will be able to live their lives without a centralized monopoly of force coercing them into any social reform.
Terms such as morality and crime, law and legislation, leaders and citizens, are often used by people who have never rationally examined such concepts. Anarchists believe we have no right to rule you, and there should be no centralized coercive monopoly of violence to force you into a way of life. Voluntaryism is no guarantee that some people won"t kill, injure, kidnap, defraud or steal from others. Government, however, is a guarantee that some will.
I will end my rant with a quote by Robert Higgs,
"Anarchists did not try to carry out genocide against the Armenians in Turkey; they did not deliberately starve millions of Ukrainians; they did not create a system of death camps to kill Jews, gypsies, and Slavs in Europe; they did not fire-bomb scores of large German and Japanese cities and drop nuclear bombs on two of them; they did not carry out a "Great Leap Forward" that killed scores of millions of Chinese; they did not attempt to kill everybody with any appreciable education in Cambodia; they did not launch one aggressive war after another; they did not implement trade sanctions that killed perhaps 500,000 Iraqi children.
In debates between anarchists and statists, the burden of proof clearly should rest on those who place their trust in the state. Anarchy"s mayhem is wholly conjectural; the state"s mayhem is undeniably, factually horrendous."


If you had limited your topic to pre-industrial societies, or island nations, you might have had a chance. But since your opening argument "Voluntaryism is morally better for society" must refer to today's society, the global society which you and I gather the benefits of every day, your argument is doomed 6 words in.

First I'll follow the spirit of your discussion regarding Voluntaryism, then I'll deal with Anarchism then the side note of Anarco-Capitalism. Since you define the Con position as being "Statist" I also need to support my "burden of proof".

The development of States by virtually all human societies on earth (as well as many animal societies) is a necessary logic path that comes from the need to attend to the scarcity of resources, talent, and time that occur in all of nature. In early societies, for example, an uncrossable section of river often defined a border. It also provided sustenance in the form of water and food in the form of plants nearby as well as animals coming to drink. As a result, if you look at a globe today, you will likely notice that virtually all confluences of two or more rivers have a city built next to them. This makes for a natural defence against predators of both the animal and human kind.

Although the need for defence from animal predators is too obvious to debate here, the development of a "state" came from the need to protect your precious resources from tribes of other humans. In early societies, without knowledge of what other humans might exist, you might likely treat any human being not from your own tribe as an enemy. If you were in the possession of food, or other resources that an adversary tribe wanted, hunger or just mere envy might force them to become your enemy, just by necessity of their own survival. We may live in a complex global village now, but these drivers still have an effect on our day to day living. Hungry, envious humans want our stuff that we spent resources to build up.

As a result of that need of defence, the need for defenders naturally follows. Since survivors of earlier onslaughts had a greater likelihood of surviving future conflicts, simply by having the experience developed in battle. These experienced veterans would tend to become in charge of defence of a chosen area, and likely had a lot of say in what went on in a day to day sense, since some activities might have dramatic consequences regarding defence. I.E. if everyone went fishing at the same time every day, since that was when the fish were biting, the city/village/state might be left defenseless for regular periods. If there were adversaries present, they would most certainly take advantage of easy targets.

So those veterans became chieftains or whatever they called them, and those people defined the borders that they felt could be secure, and in those early days especially, if you chose not to listen to the chieftain, you did so at your own peril. Yes, at risk of death. This is because the seasoned veteran knows that if people choose not to follow him, all could be lost, not just the individual, but the entire city/village/state.

In a broad sense, this is the argument for all of today's "states" from super powers right down to your local city council deciding on what the fine should be for not picking up your dogs poop. Today's chieftains/leaders are chosen by an agreed set of means by an individual society. It could be by vote, by violence, or by divine guidance.

Voluntaryism, by your definition, includes an individuals ability to refuse the wishes of whatever leader serves your society. Since all leaders are aware that this ability, if exercised, could have the unintended consequence of all being lost, this is why, as you say, leadership is "enforced at the point of a gun." Society, as you know it, would simply not exist without that force and frankly, you wouldn't exist either because we might have gone the way of the Neanderthals (extinct). Where is your morality if you don't exist?---topic for another debate?!?!?!?

Anarchism has tones of Voluntaryism, including the inborn right to refuse the wishes of a leader/government. Although there have been attempts at it, and some types of states have allowed/tolerated it, in general it has been put down due to the supposition that if you are not with us, you are against us, and therefore an enemy/adversary to be dealt with.

Anarco-Capitalism is currently in use in some of the more dangerous areas in Africa, Asia, and South America. Although you put your faith in the market, the unfettered market has the consequence of disenfranchising anyone that is not associated with whatever the largest player in the market wants. Without the establishment of a body that looks out for the general health and well being of the populace, raw greed has the tendency to be the driving force in an area. Look deeper into the concept of a *"Banana Republic" (not the store) and you will find atrocities that will make you shiver, Anarco-Capitalism at its best.

In conclusion, the state is necessary, not moral or immoral. The morality argument can be run against specific regimes, or perhaps certain time periods in history, but cannot stand up as a discussion topic. Voluntaryism, since it requires the right to refuse the wishes of whatever leadership you operate under, unfortunately carries with it the burden of "if you are not with us, you are against us" and therefore puts those who promote it at peril from the leadership.

Debate Round No. 1


For such a strong opening, I really expected more from the text that followed. The majority of your argument ignored the passage that voluntaryists are actually for organization in society, and used the fact that "things have always been this way" as the foundation to why it can"t exist any other way:
In the beginning, you stated why people organized. I think we can both agree on this. Our difference lies where you believe it is "necessary" to keep a 10,000 year old system where a hungry and envious human can simply be put into centralized control over all resources, rather than have to take it by force.
"Society, as you know it, would simply not exist without that force." Although that is your opinion, the entire idea that violence is necessary for people to organize is what we are debating. Once a person sees that it is unnecessary and immoral, then the foundation of the state itself is exposed as mere sand. This is why there is so much effort put into brainwashing children through public education into conformity, submission, anti-creativity, and belief in authority over one"s own personal needs (having to raise your hand to use the bathroom.) If you can state a solid example of people acting like animals in the absence of the state, please post a historical source. For every one action committed by a person in "the chaos of anarchy," I will show you 200,000 examples of people killing innocent people in the name of the state. It is far easier for me to demonstrate that humanity will become extinct because of its belief in authority, rather than individuals governing themselves.
At one point in time, slavery was legal. People argued "without slavery, the economy would collapse, and you and I would cease to exist" (actual anti-abolitionist argument.) Thankfully, human beings were able to decide that morality trumped "necessity," as you put it, and freed the slaves, despite whatever may be the outcome. Despite fears, the world improvised, adapted, and overcame as it naturally has throughout history.
You mentioned that AnCap is being used in dangerous places and that, anarchism itself has failed. You fail to see that it is the state interfering with the market that has created a niche for this this environment to become dangerous. Most of what you are describing involves drug trafficking or Civil War, which are both direct products of the action of government. Any amount of research into the War on Drugs will show that it is the state that is making it into a dangerous environment. Without the state, no one would be using deadly force to regulate what people do with their own bodies; and, for that matter, no one would be funding entire wars to control the distribution of drugs (by this I mean wars such as Afghanistan, where my good friend is currently in charge of protecting certain farmers poppy plants and burning others.) One may think de-criminalizing drugs would have disastrous outcomes (drug lords ruling certain geographic areas,) but such an experiment has been successful in Portugal. Drug cartels need government to exist, for the failed war on drugs is proof that an organization cannot control something that grows naturally and can be made in a garage. Without a cornered market, created by the actions of government, drug cartels in these dangerous regions will lose their power, and unless they become valuable to the market in some other way, they will collapse.
I will also add that in regards to a "Free Market" and Anarchism, you have overlooked successful examples of peaceful coexistence amongst humans. History has seen forms of society as existing peacefully under polycentric law, without a violent statutory monopoly on force over peaceful people. Harappa existed successfully without government for 700 years, until a state was formed that regulated how certain resources could be accessed. The same peaceful coexistence between humans can also be found in early Jericho and neighboring Catalhoyuk, where archaeologists find no traces of government or hierarchy.
In 1681, William Penn decided to create an environment that would attract fellow Quakers into his community. The citizens of what is now Pennsylvania formed a self-governing colony, Penn eventually left the colony after multiple attempts to tax them. The council of elected officials either ignored all requests to extort their own people, or the people themselves refused to cooperate. Penn noted his difficulty trying to control a populous that did not believe in authority by saying, "The great fault is, that those who are there lose their authority one way or another in the spirits of the people and then they can do little with their outward powers." This example alone shows that authority only exists by the consent of the governed, and violence is not necessary for people to coexist.
Your mention of Asia was probably from, once again, a publicly educated standpoint. The corruption of the state has created a market for drugs. Without this state-created channel for drug cartels to exist, they have no market to operate within. What you again overlook is that Southern and South Eastern Asia is a successful example of modern day Anarchism. For the past 2,000 years, a large section of inland mountainous Asia, coined "Zomia" by a Yale Professor, has existed outside of the reach of empires and states. The following article by The Boston Globe goes into detail about how the society purposefully remains outside the reach of the state, and exists in non-hierarchical societies.
The Banana Republic reference wouldn"t have even survived a public educational standard of research, for all I had to do was actually take a reference from your own source to destroy your theory, "The national legislature is, in effect, for sale, influential government employees illegitimately exploit their posts for personal gain." Your own example is, naturally, an example against the state. Centralized control over people or a corner of the market attracts corrupt people; the same ones you claim the state exists to defend against. In Anarcho-Capitalism, a monopoly cannot form because a government does not exist to regulate who can start a business, how a business can be run, provide bailouts for a failing corporation, and it is not able to limit the amount a company can be held liable for a massive failure. When one person "corners a market," other businesses will jump up to offer the same or similar product for a cheaper price. When a large company collapses, new economic life will spring forth. This is the only way a market can properly function, for regulation is but debris in the cogs of what is otherwise a well-oiled machine.
Although one would have to stretch to claim that a free market has been the prelude to any major travesty in human history. F.A. Hayek's The Road to Serfdom describes in detail that not only is a free market more efficient, but that all major genocidal actions of the state were preluded by government control of the marketplace (writing his book in 1936.) So, if you can site for me an example of a free market, unfettered by the government that lead to mass genocide, please post a source like this:
I will end my criticism with a quote before I move to questions.
"Liberty is not a pill that makes men angels. Through the decentralization of power, we can limit the extent to which evil can be expressed."
1:If necessity is more important than morality, how does one regulate when their external authority knows better than them about what is necessary and what is not?
2:At what point does an individual have ownership over himself?
3:Does might equal right


I think we are talking past each other to some extent, so I will try to put some clarity to both our positions in as short a form as I can manage.

My side:
1. Statism is necessary and neither moral nor immoral.
2. In order to keep this complex system from descending into chaos, we need to have reliable social/governmental/economical structures in order for businesses to exist.
3. Voluntaryism is one of the less reliable choices to be able to support today's global enterprises and standard of living, far below the need.

Your side:
1. You believe that our current system/s of governance cost lives and that switching to a system of Voluntaryism will limit the size of such losses, and that our standard of living would improve for everyone under a Voluntary style of governance.
2. You also believe that atrocities are a natural expectation of Statism, and that almost anything would be better.
3. You are trying to make the case that Statism is part of the 10,000 year old past and that Voluntaryism will be an obvious successor to the current system.

Hopefully I was fair with that. I wanted to keep to the subject at hand rather than overly dramatic phrases like "rape cage" and kicking peoples doors down. I'm sure Hitler will be in your next diatribe.

You had asked for any current variations of Anarco-Capitalism and I thought of one; Somalia. It is essentially a failed state, so that meets your criteria of no governance, and the pirates you hear about on mainstream television are essentially Anarco-Capitalists. In this case, you are right, their atrocities are limited only to those they come across. That is because no one will do business in Somalia. They cannot rely on anything from that country, no legal recourse is enforceable. Life there is a dream though, with occasional electrical service, and if you are hungry, you can go to your local warlord and prostrate yourself at his feet. When you say that you can counter my death rate, are you counting infant mortality?

Moving on, I'd like to address the reason why I feel I feel that relying on peoples ability/desire to volunteer (even for pay) cannot sustain a viable structure in today's world.

1. Complexity--Here is an indication of how difficult it is to build a toaster in today's society: . Although we can imagine how easy things would be to achieve complex things, the reality is that we need to be able to work with diverse societies, and in order to work with them, we need global enterprises. Global enterprises only work with rules based ideologies, and that requires governments.

2. Unfettered markets are good at a few things, poor and even horrible at others. An unfettered market will:
a. Keep the rich in power
b. Reward cheats, scammers, and assist any knowledge differential to cause suffering
c. Ignore or avoid basic human rights
d. Retard progress
e. Eventually fall to a more structured approach. Structure denotes reliability, reliability builds resources.
f. Develop what is left of society into money driven despotism, like Somalia.

To answer your questions in round 2
"1:If necessity is more important than morality, how does one regulate when their external authority knows better than them about what is necessary and what is not?"
Great question, and the answer lies in an individuals ability to learn information about whatever subject is at hand. If you are a mechanic in real life for example, and you fear the fact that fluoride has been added to your water, how do you react? Do use your time to learn what experts who have spent decades researching. Do you develop access to the real databases and test practices that have essentially proved it not only to be safe but also beneficial to the populace? Or do you Google it and listen to the crackpots with pseudoscience, slanted journalism, and conjecture?
My answer: Assume nothing, find reliable sources of information. Use science as your best guide. Don't go crazy.

"2:At what point does an individual have ownership over himself?"
There is a line of thought that we all exist at the whim of the government.
My feelings are: You are responsible to yourself, and to others, most especially those who are directly affected by you. The rest is in the realm of philosophy and not able to be kept within this debate.

"3:Does might equal right"
For nearly 300 million years dinosaurs ruled the Earth under that premise quite successfully. For most of human history, that was also true, but beginning with the Magna Carta, and the printing press, things are changing. Might still equals right, but the definition of might is changing. The definition of might now includes scientifically verifiable results, which may change everything. Brute force is now a small part of the definition.

I'd like you to answer part of your own question number 1 "1:How does one regulate when their external authority knows better than them about what is necessary and what is not?"

To conclude this round, I would like to again emphasize that voluntaryism is in existence today, and is horrible. It is the opposite of everything you state in the name of the debate. It is morally wrong, economically deterrent, and socially abhorrent. Statism is a solution, although flawed, to those societal ills.

I would also like to recognize that I misspelled defense several times in the prior round. I must not like fences.
Debate Round No. 2


Clarification: Waterfalls are neither moral or immoral, they are necessary, along with gravity, breathing, and living. Saying something involving the decisions making being in the hands of people or a small ruling class as "necessary" rather than a moral argument, is incredibly closed minded. There are other options, such as polycentric law, that can be properly improperly handled, the same as a state can be more or less comfortable for it's followers. Now, excuse me while I once again use your own sources against you:
The Federal Republic of Somalia- Funny you mention that I shouldn't use a "dramatic" example like the Nationalist Socialist Party's reign over Europe, yet you use an extremely uneducated example like Somalia. For the sake of everyone reading our debate, please start reading your own sources before posting them. Somalia DOES have Xeer, which a polycentric system that has worked for them for thousands of years... until small groups entered the scene to try and force their own centralized form of Statism, whether through religion or civil law, and started a conflict with each other. These warlords, who gained power after the british rule during WWII, have gained control of the entire country and cut off aid to people in need. This is, as you titled it, a failed STATE, where someone is in a centralized position to rule over other people.
Toaster- I was going to use an even simpler example of making a pencil. Trade has existed between humans since our existence, and markets were only recently "regulated." In my embassy there is no one that deals with international trade. International business between two cultures is not handled by government, it is handled by "International Business" companies, private companies. Government only puts it's hand in in the form of taxes and tariffs.
Now I want to clear up my side a little more as far as economics. Not only does everything the government touches breaks, but there is nothing the government can do more efficiently than can be done by private means. Every time a country has moved towards socialism, it has increased the wage gap, and every a business has been taken over by the state, it proceeds to collapse.
This excites me: "Unfettered markets are good at a few things, poor and even horrible at others. An unfettered market will:
a. Keep the rich in power
b. Reward cheats, scammers, and assist any knowledge differential to cause suffering
c. Ignore or avoid basic human rights
d. Retard progress
e. Eventually fall to a more structured approach. Structure denotes reliability, reliability builds resources.
f. Develop what is left of society into money driven despotism, like Somalia."
Your argument is completely conjectural, while I can prove with sources that every state in history has, and does, EXACTLY what you claim. Please, for my entertainment, read the following statement:
The State exists to:
a. Keep the rich in power:
b. Reward cheats/scammers:
c. Ignore basic human rights:
d. Retard progress:
e. Eventually fall to a more structured approach:
f. Develop what is left of society into money driven despotism:
As far as the "authority" I mentioned, I did not mean "Credible source of knowledge" part of the definition, I meant person who has ownership over you. We both know that a human being can go to whatever "crackpot" knowledge source they want, the problem is Statism allows that same person to be in a position of power and use their crackpot ideas to oppress and rule over the masses. *insert obligatory Hitler citation.* Although it is not limited to Hitler, it has happened in every single government to ever rule in the existence of statism, and that is a fact. My question was, at what point can I say, "That law is immoral, and I have no moral obligation to follow it." This could be as simple as me selling raw milk to my neighbor, or as "extreme" as kicking down doors (, shooting people minding their own business (, and throwing people into Rape Cages ( I'm not a fan of giving such things sugar coated titles in order to make it seem more civilized, and if you consider that an "extreme" example you should be upset that it happens rather than that I am calling it what it is. So to answer my own question per your request: People have a right to do whatever they desire as long as it does not infringe on the safety or liberty of another person. I do not have the right to tell you how to live your life, or make you pay for things that interest me. Therefore, I do not have the moral right to use the state to do that, and you have no obligation to tolerate it.
As far as "Might =Right," You do not have to explain to the audience that the bigger animal gets his way in the animal kingdom, and that a group of fanatical people can gain power by force. You agree that the definition of might is changing, and my former example of the Quaker experiment in Pennsylvania is proof that one cannot control a mass of people who do not believe in authority. When you have that mindset in a group of people, it is impossible to control them in any other way than making them want to participate. People will want protection, so the market will provide it. You can elect a private security company to have a monopoly on law and violence, and if you don't like them, all you have to do is convince just over half the population that they need to change the company ever four years or so, but you still have to live under their rule for the rest of their contract... Oh, wait, my bad, that's insane. What I MEANT to say was you can simply fire a company and hire another to protect you efficiently from fraud, crime, and scammers, rather than creating a centralized position of power for fraudulent criminal scammers to control people. My argument can be summarized as "People have the natural human right to be free and do as they please without the initiation of force, and everything the State does can be provided more efficiently by private means."
Your argument is: "People cannot be trusted with liberty, so we have to trust these same people with power." Do you see where someone could see the problem with that logic?
As far as charity, Americans give an average of $300 Billion in charity every year, much of which is used to fill the social and economic potholes caused by the state. (
This was even true in more troubling economic times, when Grover Cleveland denied a bill to help farmers, and told them to resort to charity, the farmers end up receiving more than they asked for ( People have always been charitable, and letting them keep 30% of their pay will only increase this.
Stating Voluntaryism is in use today meets the definition of an ignorant remark. Nothing about anything you have said involves voluntary trade between two parties, and everything you have explained has been the cause of the state. By claiming Voluntaryism is immoral, you are agreeing this is an argument about morality, and I request you explain how Voluntaryism is less moral than the state.
I deserve extra points for typing this out in a blackberry on my tropical island vacation =). I also have no spellcheck, so please forgive my grammatical errors.


Melvinotis forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


With the world of information a click away, ignorance is a choice. So if you have an idea you believe to be true, it should survive you putting it aside and questioning it top, bottom, left, and right with the scientific method. If your belief or assumption is true, it will still stand. If you cover your ears and say, "It"s not right or wrong, it"s necessary," and you have evidence showing you it is not, you are choosing to live a lie. Not only can a free market provide a more efficient means to anything the government does, without violence, there is scientific evidence, the Stanford Prison Experiment, proving that people placed in a centralized position of authority naturally become corrupted.
In addition to that study, the Milgram Experiments show that people, who know very well what is right and wrong, will listen to an authority figure to maim and/or kill another person if told to do so, even against their own will.
As far as a state being necessary, the Spanish revolution in 1936 resulted in different forms of Anarcho-Communism forming and creating a substantially more economically productive society until being flushed out by the violence of the state. Although this was not Voluntaryism, it was a society peacefully existing without government, and differing factions uniting to try to defeat their common enemy, statism.
You are advocating a system where any human being, whom you say is not responsible enough to be trusted with liberty, can be in a monopolistic centralized position that can control masses of people who are indoctrinated to follow him unquestionably, and you are deeming it necessary. You are quite literally saying, "People cannot provide private means to protect themselves from thieves, kidnappers, and murderers; so we need to have a monopoly of people, that has all of the power, to steal from people and jail or kill anyone who resists, in order to "protect" them." If you can explain the difference between that and a mafia, without sounding like an insane person, I will be impressed. One thing you and I both understand is that there are bad people out there who want to hurt us and take what we have. The fact that you want to keep a system where only these corrupted people are in charge, shows how twisted and deluded your view of reality truly is.
There is scientific evidence, supported by historical events that indicate how dangerous believing in authority truly is. In addition, there is evidence that a market becomes more productive with less regulation (
It's easy to point at a particular regime and say, "Well that"s the bad guy, those are bad things, lets go do something about them." But the problem we have is not with those bad guys, the bad guys will always be there. The problem exists with the power these bad people are able to get by manipulating people into believing they have control over their lives. If you remove the victim factor, if you fix the perception of the victim, the control freaks have no power. Hitler would have just been an angry little man with a silly mustache if those millions of people would have recognized that they own themselves and do not have to follow the orders of a man because he has a certain title, costume, hat, or sits in a fancy chair.
Before you try to use the argument that society will collapse without government, I want to emphasize that voluntaryism does not advocate overthrowing the current system and forcing people, dependent upon it, to immediately live without the state. True anarchists believe in building a better model by educating people and informing them that they own themselves and through time people will resort to living by morality rather than by some twisted, indoctrinated delusion about what is "necessary." It starts small with the Free State Project (, and will eventually grow to people questioning police, questioning politicians, and protesting paying taxes for things that are against their moral integrity. Some communities are already resorting to private means to replace their government ( and are finding it cheaper than if the government played the role of the middle man. This is all it takes for the idea to spark, and eventually people will see that government is not only unnecessary, but also immoral. It is one thing to go to a slave owner and tell him slavery is immoral and everyone should be free, but it is much more efficient to tell the slaves that they are sovereign human beings, own themselves, and are only slaves by their own choice.
Slavery was legal, and many thought of it as a necessity. In his autobiography, Frederick Douglass wrote about how most slaves thought they were meant to be slaves, so much as to accuse an escaped slave of being a thief for stealing himself from his master. Harriet Tubman claimed she could have saved thousands more than she did if only they knew that they owned themselves. Eventually society evolved, and now we look back at those times as extremely immoral and unecessary. My belief is that people can peacefully coexist by voluntary and private means, without the need for an external arbitrary governing figure to force the beliefs of others upon them with violence. This is the next step in human social evolution, and eventually my decendants will look back at statism in the same manner we look at slavery; wondering why it ever happened, and what made people think they could rule over other people.
So believe it or not, you are the ultimate authority in your life. I feel I spend most of my debates telling people, "You should be free," to which they reply, "No, I shouldn't." I do not expect to see the world convert to Voluntaryism in my lifetime, but I am willing to plant a tree and not live to rest in it's shade, in the hopes my grandchildren will.


Authority, let us take a minute to define a couple of variations that word stands for. Here is
1. the power to determine, adjudicate, or otherwise settle issues or disputes; jurisdiction; the right to control, command, or determine.
2. a power or right delegated or given; authorization: Who has the authority to grant permission?
3. a person or body of persons in whom authority is vested, as a governmental agency.
4. Usually, authorities. persons having the legal power to make and enforce the law; government: They finally persuaded the authorities that they were not involved in espionage.
5. an accepted source of information, advice, etc.

The part you are fighting derives from the first 4 definitions. But all of their power derives from #5. And here is the part you cannot fight. An accepted source of information, advice, etc, is the part that is necessary and operationally critical to today's life. The rest is a framework to channel that power. All of it has the opportunity to be misused, or improved/changed to the benefit of the constituency.

The drink of water you had today came through pipes put in by plumbers and pipe fitters with specialized knowledge you have no access to unless you choose to follow that path. The cleanliness and clarity of that water depends on specialists on chemical processes. Another piece of information you have no ability to learn, unless you make that your life's work. Specialists, experts, veterans, our very lives depend on those who have that kind of information and power. Pretending that you can replace them with a Google search is the height of folly, and when you dismiss them, especially in cases where health or security are at stake, you put peoples lives at risk.

Your sources outline the lives lost or affected due to misuses of power, but ignores the lives saved by the beneficial aspects of that power. It ignores the lives that exist as a result of the beneficial aspects of that power. In effect you suffer from something called "Confirmation Bias"; searching for sources that confirm your already held beliefs. . You look at the news, but what is news? News is a reporting of stuff that hardly ever happens. Stuff that is normal never makes the news. And frankly, in today's first world countries, prosperity is normal. Not newsworthy, certainly, but normal.

Suppose that a news organization gave the same level of coverage to every successful flight that happened. Suppose it gave the same coverage to a successful flight as they do to MH370, the lost Malaysian flight. How many times would they have to trumpet "The flight made it! Yay! How quickly would you tune out?

One of the other difficulties you suffer from is that of scale. There are many aspects of society that would never warrant further study due to rarity. You mentioned raw milk. The Center for Disease Control, a government agency, says that Raw Milk caused "From 1998 through 2011, 148 outbreaks due to consumption of raw milk or raw milk products were reported to CDC. These resulted in 2,384 illnesses, 284 hospitalizations, and 2 deaths. Most of these illnesses were caused by Escherichia coli, Campylobacter, Salmonella, or Listeria. " Scientific Method includes all of the available data, not just cherry picking preferred outcomes. In your world, the CDC, one of the many public goods, cannot exist.

So let's do some math. Raw Milk is not available everywhere and is a minuscule portion of the total milk consumption in the U.S. Just to put a made up number on it, because I cannot find figures, let's say that 5 million gallons of raw milk is sold and consumed each year. (if you have different figures, I will happily oblige) there are approximately 20520 million gallons of milk consumed each year in the U.S. If we all had raw milk, your scheme would cause about 8,200 deaths, 1,165,558 hospitalizations, in about a 13 year period.

Going back the other way, 2 deaths from 1998 to 2011 is hardly worth investigating. 2,384 illnesses divided by 50 states, divided by 13 years = 3.66 illnesses per year per state. Those are numbers that are easy to ignore when you look at a state, and you could never hire someone to do the investigations without some sort of super-fund.

So this is an example of the size of the hole in your arguments. Ignore the prosperity, focus on the heartache. This typifies and defines most of your arguments, and is why they are so easy to discredit. You never look at the whole picture, and your sources, by not mentioning the whole picture, are not just suspect, but most certainly biased and occasionally diabolical. If you concede this point, I will forgo thrashing every single one of your references beyond all recognition. I have already done most of the work so the death of each of your data points will be swift and painless.

I will grant you this, today's society is so different than that of the most recent generation before you, that radical re-thinking of distribution of power is needed. So much of how power was distributed was due to bottlenecks of information that simply do not exist to a great extent anymore. You are following some of the paths that will lead to that, and I commend you for it. I simply believe your research would be better served attacking the real problems rather than the framework that virtually all of our society is built upon. Tilting at windmills hurts you more than it hurts the windmills.
Debate Round No. 4


Once again, I was really hoping to face an argument, rather than an uneducated opinion. Your concept of authority exposes the root of your delusions, and explains your religious devotion to your extremist views. The fact that you took the time to argue my minuscule analogy, with no common sense applied, out of all of the other points I brought up to destroy your argument, actually disappoints me. Now, as per tradition in our debate, let me use your own sources against you:
Focus on #5 of that definition 5. AN accepted source of information. It says, "an accepted source," not "THE accepted source." The very definition of the word offers the idea of a decentralized authority. My "System" you speak of does not do away with experts, the CDC, pipe layers, or road companies, it privatizes them. Your delusion springs forth from the idea that letting one person use his choice from an abundance of accepted sources of information, to get the populous to do what he wants, and to use violence to enforce what he believes, is the only way humanity can exist. For which, I might add, you have shown zero proof of. People will only buy products from companies who can prove the safety or quality of their product, for which a market will develop for private health inspection. By "Google," I'm sure you're referring to any form of consumer report. This would be used to ensure companies are not corrupting health organizations, by letting people say, "Hey, I found a mouse in my soup." A system of accreditation, like we have in the financial world, would rate the reliability or safety of a company, and let the consumers decide for themselves what services to use, based off of an experts opinion.
Milk: If you would have read my analogy, I was using Raw Milk as the lesser part of a scale when talking about rights over others, and you have proved my point. You, yourself, are picking and choosing data in this case. I promise you, people who want raw milk are still getting it where it is available: Farms. You are pretending that just because something is not banned by the state, you will be forced to participate in it. Legalizing Raw Milk would not make companies replace your Vitamin D with milk straight from the cow, it would stop federal thugs from fining and arresting farmers making voluntary trade with willing customers. It was also in reference to your belief in having ownership over another person, which you proved in your statements. You were trying to justify, by misunderstanding or deliberately twisting the reliable source of information, the criminalization of raw milk. A subject that affects you in no way, yet you are attempting to justify using lethal force against me for wanting to participate in voluntary trade. Had you actually read your own source, it would go on to explain how to safely pasteurize your own milk; But why actually pay attention to information before forcing your views on another person with violence? You have just proved the largest hole in your argument: People cannot be trusted to be in a monopoly to decide what is best for other people.
I use raw milk as an example because people usually go through a mental shut down when you talk about the legalization of drugs. When, in fact, it is identical to the raw milk argument. A person getting hopped up on something and driving in public is a violation of the NAP, and is no different than alcohol. Yet you people feel the right to tell me what I can or cannot do with my own body, in my own home, and you are willing to use the violence of the state against me for something that affects you in no way. That was the point of mentioning raw milk, to which you took for the audience hook, line, and sinker.
Saying, "Ignore the prosperity, focus on the heartache. This typifies and defines most of your arguments, and is why they are so easy to discredit" is like saying, "I know every baby sitter we have ever had has raped half of our children, but rape is necessary. Without rapist babysitters, who would change the diapers?" To add, you have not only discredited nothing, everything you have posted has been an argument against the state.
All of those, What If"s you worry about? Those are called choices. The nice thing about freedom is people get to make their own decisions. I'm not entirely sure why this bothers you so much. Every time you ask me "What if X?" I have 1000 different answers I can give you, if you don't like the first one, I'm happy to give you another. The whole point is, you get to decide for yourself what suits you best in a market environment.
The beauty of a voluntary society is if you want to have people threaten you all the time and tell you what to do, that's your business. We don"t recommend it or anything, but really you're more than welcome to submit to someone else's authority in the absence of the State. We might talk to you about the virtues of freedom, but we're honestly not trying to force you to be free. All we're saying is you have no right to force us under the same authority.
By contrast, you want to take our property, force us into wars, "educate" our children, and control our business and personal relationships. You have some really weird idea in your head that this notion of "government" makes that okay, but there is no other circumstance in which you would consider that socially acceptable. We don't believe in government, so we look at this like any other lunatic trying to do these things to us.
I notice you have waited until the conclusion to put up any resistance, so that I cannot destroy your debate with your own sources for a third time, so I will try to prevent as much child's play as I can with this: My entire point is that you don't need a monopoly who initiates violence to force other people to follow what THAT individual or group decides to do. You have PROVED to us how one can misinterpret data to try and justify using violence for something as minuscule as the trade of raw milk. In the end, every "law" written by the state is enforced by the point of a gun, and after thousands of years of repeated abuses of this power, with the absolute promise of worse abuses in the future, it is literally insane to keep going down the same road. The private market has a more efficient alternative to everything the state currently provides, and is perfectly able to regulate itself. As soon as you utter the words that it is not able to regulate itself, try to think about who you have regulating the government, and please explain to me how that works without sounding like a crazy person. I'm sure you'll argue that the state is responsible for the technological advances achieved by the private market, which have improved quality of life for people in first world countries; but I assure you that any slight amount of research will show that the vast majority of these things were invented by way of private means. We can argue that one could not have been created without the other, but what is obvious is the fact that both exist now, and can be improved by the private market. Without slavery the pyramids would not have been built, so it's safe to say that slavery was necessary to build the pyramids, but now it is not. We have little use for pyramids, slaves, and masters. The next step in evolution is one of peace and freedom. Or we can just keep killing peaceful people with the state. That choice has, and always will, belong to the individual; and that power, as you say, is about to make a very radical change.
Audience: I must add that up to this point my opponent has delivered little to no facts, and has only offered deluded opinions without sources. Any sources he used were turned against his own argument, and have done nothing to prove the necessity of the state, defend its failures, or prove the necessity of the initiation of force. If my opponent spends his 8,000 characters "destroying" my sources, he will still have failed to fill the gaps in his own porous religious beliefs.


Audience, if you have made it to this, the last argument, you are truly noteworthy. My opponent is a very likable person, I actually consider him a friend of mine. His argument, however, has holes entire civilizations have driven through. I shredded his arguments below, but will not force you to read them and don't even want you to read them because I like Evan.

In its briefest form, my response proves that all of his statements mention the chocolate chips, and forgets the cookie. Oh, and usually his chocolate chips are so small, you wouldn't be able to find them in the dough. That's it, read below if you wish. You can feel fine just voting based upon this paragraph.

You have 27 citations, probably 40 references, I read all of them, but cannot respond to all of them due to the format.

I think this is the driver behind your argument, as well as the references you cite.

So here are your citations so far, including how they gauge in comparison to their settings. by the way, any citation you have that comes from a governmental agency, or sponsored by the government, or developed as a result of a government program or initiative, you are basically conceding to my side of the argument.

1. University of Hawaii, Last sentence at the end of the page you referred "This means to foster democratic freedom. "
Win Melvinotis

2. Immaterial to the discussion

3. I'll allow that it is central to the discussion

4. Worthy part of the discussion, but still experimental, you have no way of knowing the long term consequences of this program (even if it looks promising)

5. I would make light of the fact that you are referring to a civilization we need radiocarbon dating to check into, but this little tidbit from your reference:
What is clear is that Harappan society was not entirely peaceful, with the human skeletal remains demonstrating some of the highest rates of injury (15.5%) found in South Asian prehistory. [10][11] Furthermore, rates of cranio-facial trauma and infection increased through time, demonstrating that the civilization collapsed amid illness and injury. The bioarchaeologists who examined the remains have suggested that the combined evidence for differences in mortuary treatment and epidemiology indicate that some individuals and communities at Harappa were excluded from access to basic resources like health and safety, a basic feature of hierarchical societies world-wide.
Yeah, sounds like Harappa was a great place to be.

You seem to have an expectation that there should be basic human rights, but you do not seem to understand that even the concept of "rights" comes from whatever set of humans you happen to have been born around and how you are set up in their world. Whoever you are, and when ever you are born, and what you do with your life after that will be based upon whatever society allows you to do. Forever. Is this good? It doesn't matter. Because unless you become an evil super genius bound to eliminate the scourge of humans from the face of the earth, you will always have to deal with humans one way or another.

Your definitions are lacking, as mentioned, they highlight the bad while denying or ignoring the enormous amount of good.
Voluntaryism: initiation of force is the last resort. there is an infinity of solutions between suggestion and force or aggression that you encounter every day, but deny their existence. When you don't wear your seatbelt, they do not threaten your life, they in fact, by supporting seat belt wear, increase the likelihood of you living longer.

"the belief that violence should never be used to manipulate non-violent behaviors." That is a fair statement, but it again ignores the greater context. If you let your dog poop and do not pick it up, no big deal, right? But what if it is near the water source for the town? should the town consider you violent because you do something that risks making hundreds of people sick and making those who are already sick perhaps die? Is your realization that you are doing something that could potentially make someone die important? Or how about just following an ordinance developed by a governing body that says you should pick up your dogs poop? Or in a different scenario, you happen to be one of thousands of people in a city who do not pick up the poop over the winter. So when the snow melts, it pours so much bacteria into the water system that it overcomes the water systems ability to protect the populace, and now that bacteria is in all of the pipes, potentially ruining the system? Are you considered violent? Should the response be violent? Why not just do what you are told, via ordinance or law, rather than initiate retaliation for something you perceive as innocuous.

Again, from you:
"Statism: The religious belief" --Religion refers to god worship, which is not necessary for a state. So again, your argument is doomed 4 words in this time. It makes it simple to dismiss the entire paragraph, because the premise is unsound. You could easily have said "Statism is like a religious belief" and followed down wherever that path lead, but you wanted to grandstand, so here you are with your premise in your hand looking at a computer screen. Not pretty, and not pertinent to the discussion.

"anarchists do not know what is best for everyone" I'll agree with that, but add the question of why would they know what was best for anyone, including themselves? Anarchy does not make anyone smart, and if given free reign, eliminate the structures that allow the populace to educate themselves.

Statism is immoral--dealt with that already
"Rape cage" From YOUR sources, rape happens in prisons 4.4% overall, leaving 95.6 unraped. From my research, the general populace is at risk of male on male rape (the rarest form of rape) at 3%. That leaves you a 1.4% deficit, and that allows you to call it a rape cage? A little more research and you find out that women in college run a 28% risk of rape, which brought tears to my eyes. But under your schema, sending your daughter to prison instead of college will actually significantly protect her from rape! Would you start calling it the University of Rape Cage?

"The worshipers of the state are most dangerous, for history has shown Democide to have killed 360,000,000 people in the last 100 years" Yet the world, dominated by states, has increased in population from 1.5 billion to over 7 billion in that time period. Your number, not including generational totals, represents .0514% of the total current population. Again, you are ignoring the bulk of the evidence, finding your favorite needle in a haystack that is larger by orders of magnitude.

"businesses will not be burdened with centralized regulation" Businesses thrive on centralized regulation, as long as it is central to their interests. This is a discussion worthy of another whole debate, which I will also win.

"There is nothing the government can do more efficiently than can be done by private means." Except provide a framework for business to be done, protect civil rights (I understand why you do not agree with me on this, but privatization makes it worse, not better.) and absolutely tons of little things and big things that are either economically unfeasible, or just a flip of a coin who does the work.

There are winners in your schema, they look like this:Inline image 1

And they will tell anyone that will not submit to them; "Just Walk Away
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by StatismHeretic 7 years ago
Chimera, you own yourself. If you would like a debate, throw out a challenge, but both of us can agree that a state is not the answer.
Posted by Chimera 7 years ago
So, I can either advocate for a system where the government owns me, or a system where a capitalist owns me.

F$ck this, xD.
Posted by StatismHeretic 7 years ago
I have to add that the Source for "Retard Progress" posted as a video link on the top. I have no power over this.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by baus 6 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeited round gives the auto-conduct vote to Pro. Sources were about to go to Pro at Con relied on Wikipedia but he last round saved Con. The resolution stated economic, social and moral aspects to the debate but I feel that Melvin only relied on the moral whereas StatismHeretic covered religious freedoms to slavery and Con kept rebutting them with fairly baby-sized rebuttals relying on quick snappy remark or undeveloped ideas. Pro elaborated on all his/her ideas to an extent that Con never came close to. This is my vote for those reasons. I also genuinely believed in the Pro side after the debate, so it had that effect whereas Con seemed like a copy-paste-editor that I really don't have time for.

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