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    • Michael Stuart Kelly

      New upgrade with simpler interface   05/13/2016

      Once again, the fine folks at IPB made a new upgrade and things might not be where you started to learn they were. However, this is one time where I think they actually improved things for navigation. There are only a few big buttons: When you click on one of those buttons, some other stuff opens up, depending on which button you click. (Later Note: These only appear when zoomed in or in the mode for smartphones/tablets.) I'm learning this as you are, so I suggest you do what I am doing: click on these big buttons, see what they open and fiddle with the software some. Ironically, you will find there is a lot that is intuitive. That's what I'm discovering. (Later note: I just discovered that I was viewing the site zoomed in too far to see the normal view. The menus are still there with the old buttons, but when I zoom in too much, they disappear and the new buttons appear. I believe this zoomed in way is what the site looks like on mobile devices. I'm going to mess with it some more, then maybe make some explanations.) Sorry for the inconvenience. Still, over time, I hope you end up liking these changes. Michael

Bosco

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  1. You seem fixated on Wiki as a source to a degree that I fail to understand. But, yes, two of my articles (1979) probably should have been cited, given their influence on a number of prominent libertarian intellectuals: Justice Entrepreneurship in a Free Market ; and Justice Entrepreneurship Revisited: A Reply to Critics . The latter article converted Randy Barnett to my position, as he discussed in an article in the Harvard Law Review and in his book The Structure of Liberty.Ghs I don't think it's an exaggeration to say "Justice Entrepreneurship" was a significant breakthrough in sketching how the facts that give rise to the need for judicial services (the prospect of third party intervention) are the same facts that should be considered when assesing the likelihood that they will tend to be fair and impartial. Most people, in my experience, take the existence of protection and judicial services in a stateless society as a given and fail to deal with the more fundamental question of whether and why such agencies would exist in the first place, their objective and the likely means to accomplish that objective. This is a fault shared by anarchists and minarchists alike.
  2. Svanberg takes a que from Binswanger, gets it wrong

    I think Kevin Carson has stated that interest and rent enjoy a disproportionate share of the returns of productive activity because of the distortions produced by the mixed economy, and that interest and rent, while not inherently objectionable, would be minimal in a true free market without the influence of the state to tip the balance.
  3. The Exploitation of Trayvon Martin

    I think the recurring reports on American television about the Royal Baby Watch tell us everything about American culture that anyone needs to know. 8-)GhsThe media seems poised to retry the Zimmerman case either by means of a civil rights suit, or promoting a repeal of "stand your ground" laws. And with those endless CNN close ups of Obama, head down, pursing his lips together, I think it's as good as done. But once the royal baby is born, every hiccup and diaper change will make headlines for weeks. Lets enjoy the break.
  4. All very well, but is it really rational to assume that only rational people would want to live in an anarchistic society? In other words: how would 'Anarchia' deal with its irrational members when it comes to making decisions? Is it really rational to assume that only rational people would be interested in controlling a limited government oringinally modeled on objective law? If we can count on a vigilant public to prevent a limited government from overstepping its bounds, why wouldn't this same vigilant public keep it's market institutions from doing the same thing?
  5. Aren't cartels and monopoliies pretty unstable economic arrangements when the state is not around to enforce them?
  6. Given these and similar statements by Rand, is it any wonder that Randian anarchists have been led to ask: So how can a monopolistic government that one is "forced to join," an association of men that is not based on "voluntary, individual choice and contractual agreement," be regarded as anything other than "a gang or mob"? O'ists have twisted themselves into philosophical pretzels in their efforts to deal with this problem. If Rand had not dismissed anarchism so bluntly and vehemently -- this probably had a lot to do with her personal dislike of Rothbard -- I doubt if this would have been such a hot-button controversy. Ghs How is one "forced to join" a Randian government? --Brant By being compelled to pay a "membership fee" (tax)? Tim Hopkins
  7. Do there exist any "anarcho-objectivists"? I have the impression that those who were affiliated with the Objectivist movement but finally rejected minarchism in favor of anarchism no longer call/called themselves Objectivists. By "anarcho-objectivists", I'm obviously referring to those who largely agree with Ayn Rands epistemology, ethics and fundamental political principles, but reject minarchism as inconsistent with these principles. I agree that anarchists should not consider themselves Objectivists, although I have heard some try to slip past this issue by referring to themselves as "open source" Objectivists
  8. Thank you for linking to this. I think his comments about the anarchistic implications of the "power of exit" (emigration) were particularly interesting. He does seem to have distanced himself from anarchism now, although there is no evidence I am aware of that he's repudiated it. Tim Hopkins
  9. Where does this "objective law" reside? What if the "agency" doesn't respect it? Now we have law, police, courts (and prisons) basically under one roof. When your agency comes knocking on my door investigating a crime wanting to search my abode and meets my agency where is its warrant? Who issued it? No warrant, then no law, then my agency opens fire when your agency tries to force its way in. Since I have the right to defend myself I might also be one of the shooters. The need for law and a uniform set of rules is why government has its monoploy but that monooly is the law not its derivative functions and aspects. There can private security and prisons and courts even police all competing. Competing regarding law, though, is for political philosophers competing for codification by legislation. The anarchist must be reduced to everyone, if not his tribal group, with his own competing idea of what is "objective law" and that competition would be with various weapons making and maintaining space for his or its existence. --Brant problems, problems--everywhere, problems--everybody has them and some are optional George mentioned Randy Barnett as one theorist who took significant steps towards addressing these issues. You might be interested in an article that was published in the Libertarian Forum in 1976, where he makes the case that, from a rational, "horizontal" (as opped to verticle, or unidirectional) conception of law, the state is not really a method of administering law at all, since it fails to establish the minimum requirements of a legal code. The piece is on page 5. http://www.mises.org/journals/lf/1976/1976_02.pdf Tim Hopkins
  10. Angela: Good. I will take that as positive movement towards answering a key issue in terms of how an anarchistic society/mineanarchistic society could resolve the murder of one citizen by another citizen. Adam This concerns the debate over punishment vs restitution, which is not directly relevant to the issue of anarchism vs minarchism. How should an ideal Randian gvt deal with murder?
  11. Ayn Rand opposed anarchism, and despite the fact she she was almost always precise in her arguments, she didn't leave minarchists with much to go on except some passing thoughts in VOS. So I don't think she considered the position to be credible or worthy of any real serious consideration beyond regarding it as a lunatic fringe of a deluded libertarian movement. I have a feeling that had she examined it more closely, what she might have left behind would have made debates between O'ist minarchists and "anarcho-objectivists" more interesting and informative for both sides.
  12. The mafia is better characterized as a byproduct of government. With a similar hierachy and power structure, the mafia competes with the government over control of prohibited activities, like drugs, prostitution and gambling. That has little to do with defense agencies. Tim
  13. Few of us desire, or have the ability, to manufacture our own shoes. Does this mean there must be one (and only one) producer of shoes, to ensure people don't go barefoot? It's curious that libertarians and Objectivists are so keen on specialization and division of labour as part of the unintended benefits of a free market, but when the subject of protection, defense and adjudication come up, these insights are lost and the worst prejudices about free markets return. Tim Few of us desire, or have the ability, to manufacture our own shoes. Does this mean there must be one (and only one) producer of shoes, to ensure people don't go barefoot? It's curious that libertarians and Objectivists are so keen on specialization and division of labour as part of the unintended benefits of a free market, but when the subject of protection, defense and adjudication come up, these insights are lost and the worst prejudices about free markets return. TimTim, I also find it curious that instead of a single, restricted agency operating completely by permission of the populace, anarchists prefer a mutable number of small agencies operating by market forces. (And I've got as much distrust for government - and its potential for runaway power - as the average anarchist, I think.) But, practically, I'd rather have one big camel inside the tent - where I can keep a careful eye on it, and smack it if necessary - than dozens or hundreds of small ones running loose outside. Your private enterprise application is a well taken. However, what I know about business and industry is that there are many slips between cup and lip. Glitches and hiccups of supply, production, work-force and delivery. The shoe manufacturer has to dial in all these short-term factors, occasionally take the odd risk - and all the while be looking over his shoulder at the competition, and finding ways to expand his territory. A lot of energy is used up in being creative. When those hiccups result in interrupted production or sales, less shoes are made and sold, and his figures suffer, temporarily. When private protection agencies suffer glitches, or temporary breakdowns, their clients' property can be damaged, and lives can be lost in the interim. Individuals and their rights are not a 'product' - and a government (of any form) is not in the business of getting 'creative', or expanding their influence. Free enterprise in governance, as I understand it. (But my knowledge about anarchism is limited, I freely admit.) Why expend so much energy trying to restrain the size of a single agency, when firms in the market can act as a counterbalance and check against one another? And remember, it's not merely "force" that is being sold in a free market, but (in a libertarian society) the legitimate use of force, which is defined by moral principles and argument, and not who wins an election. This is what would generate the need for courts in the first place. Anyone can potentially use force in a free society, so, considered in isolation, it's value as a professional service would be extremely limited, as opposed to the ability to justify and persuade others. The same facts and social needs that give rise to competing defense agencies also explain why they would tend to respect rights rather than violate them. You wrote: When private protection agencies suffer glitches, or temporary breakdowns, clients can also take their business elsewhere. When the same happens with government, you pretty much have to suck it up and keep the "payments" rolling in. Individials and their rights may not be a product, but the protection of these individuals and their rights is most definitely a service with perceptible levels of quality. And what existing government is not in the business of getting creative or expanding it's influence at the expense of freedom?
  14. Few of us desire, or have the ability, to manufacture our own shoes. Does this mean there must be one (and only one) producer of shoes, to ensure people don't go barefoot? It's curious that libertarians and Objectivists are so keen on specialization and division of labour as part of the unintended benefits of a free market, but when the subject of protection, defense and adjudication come up, these insights are lost and the worst prejudices about free markets return. Tim
  15. Doesn't this imply a central planning perspective? How do libertarians and Objectivists respond when asked for a blueprint explaining how health care or education would work? In short, they can make broad, general predictions based on the spontaneous order of the market, But a "plan" is something mapped out in advance by someone independant of the system in question, which misunderstands the position of the anarchist. Tim