What is an AnarchObjectivist?


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This is an old, old argument, and yet one where (until now) not a single new thought or perception has been offered. If I may offer an analogy, Sir Isaac Newton invented calculus when he was 22. He demonstrated his ideas with geometry, which was the common language of mathematics of his time, even though algebra was 200+ years old. (He actually published 20 years later, only on the insistence of Edmund Halley who paid for the printing.) What we learn as calculus is the work of 19th century developers. We do not learn Newton. Newton's work was limited by his own understanding. It was wonderful, but he could take it no further. He did not know the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus.

If a government holds a legal monopoly on the retaliatory use of force, it necessarily initiates the use of force against those whom would seek to start businesses in the arbitration and defense services industries, as well as all those who seek to do business with such persons. If a defense service is not allowed to exist or operate, yet has not initiated the use of force against anyone, and only retaliates against those who have initiated the use of force, those individuals rights have been violated.

A government that holds a legal monopoly on the retaliatory use of force actually initiates the use of force against its citizens, which violates the basic political principle of the Objectivist ethics.

My favorable review of The Market for Liberty in the fall of 1971 brought me and my wife to Lansing to meet Linda and Morris Tannehill in the spring of 1972. They thought that insurance companies, having a clear interest in preserving life and property, could supplant the government. Fifteen years later, I offered a moderated statement of that to The Greater Lansing Business Monthly, which published it. I had a college class in principles of insurance. I wrote software for insurance agents. More recently, I accumulated ten years of experience, largely part-time as a private security guard. I capped that with an associate's in criminal justice, a bachelor's in criminology administration, and a master's in social science with a criminology core and some interesting cognate electives. So, I have given this some thought based on experience.

I am not an anarchist.

Following Wolf Devoon, I believe that law precedes government. Departing not too far from Devoon, I believe that government is one way to instantiate law.

Similarly, buying from Dell is one way to get a computer. You could build your own. We could have other institutions of law - and indeed we do. If you build a computer that is so unique and non-standard that it can only run the programs you write and cannot connect to the Internet - or to a commercial printer; you have build one of those, too - then you are paying a high price for your independence. (You can choose to do that.) If an agencies of protection and adjudication are so peculiar that they cannot work without conflict, then they cost more than they are worth. The world has no shortage of tribal warlords who disagree with that: they think it is worth the lives of others for themselves to make laws.

Most of the intelligent people in the world find government a pretty good way to achieve peace and prosperity though the creation and administration of law.

It is not perfect. Nothing is. Governments are good and bad, benevolent and evil, sometimes the same government in different contexts.

Nothing in Rand prevents the government from licensing protection agencies and adjudicators. And (hold on to your hat) here and now in the real world, a lot of that happens.

Police departments started contracting for parking enforcement and towing, dispatch and clerical support, vehicle service and repair. They have "auxiliary" officers within the community who are tapped when the community enjoys special large events. I have worked events where private guards and public police share complementary duties. As Adam Selene here can attest, public courts often assign cases to private arbitrators, adjudicators, arbiters, and negotiators. And as Wolf could point out, lawyers come together to "do" law in order to keep their clients out of court.

I see "anarcho-capitalism" (so-called) as a model for understanding a complex global capitalism where a German car company, buys Japanese parts, for products sold in the USA. At every step, someone's contract with someone else specifies WHOSE LAWS will be the standard for interpretation. If you read your own contracts for credit cards, home mortgage, or car loan, you may see that you agreed to arbitration, likely with the American Arbitration Agency. And like BMW and Nippon Densu, your contract with a credit card company in one place, issued by a bank in another, for your use in a third, tells you WHOSE LAWS govern the agreement. Someone shopped around for that and took the best deal.

But no one pulled a gun. And therein lies the necessary power of the government to hold a monopoly on the use of retaliatory force.

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The Uniform Commercial Code was created as a product fresh and new by a self-selected, self-appointed committee whose goal was to reconcile the inevitable conflicts in contracts terms. Typically, a purchase order from the buyer has one set of terms favorable to them; the invoice from the seller has their preferred terms. What happens when they disagree? The UCC was a solution. Soon, states began making large parts of it their own civil law. Some states took the whole thing. This is reality. It works. Already.

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The Hague Convention of 1899 on "The Conflict of Laws" modernized the 6th Century AD Code of Justinian's "Fourth Book of Law" - What do you do when two citizens from different cities in the empire - different nations today - have a private problem like a divorce or an adoption?

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