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Anarcho-capitalism VS Objectivism

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Wow, what a ridiculous collection of obfuscations, equivocations, non sequiturs and definitions by non-essentials.

One might as well say that Stalin breathed air, and Ayn Rand breathed air, and therefore Ayn Rand was a Communist just like Stalin.

Jonathan,

I couldn't get through it. The guy gets Communism wrong, not just Rand. In his view, Communists are only concerned with grandiose visions and good capitalists should be concerned with making and supplying toilet paper.

To him grandiose means telling other people what to do on a massive scale through the government, not inventing something new and building a huge private company out of it. He certainly forgets all those non-grandiose civil servants running the Communist government.

I could go on and on if I wanted to, but this one ain't worth it. That thing's a holy mess.

I never thought I would see someone so close to one of Rand's comments in The Romantic Manifesto about a certain kind of art as this guy, but there he is. Her comment was the one about the guy down at the pizza joint with his date saying he has to cut it short, baby, because he has to go back to the lab and split the atom.

The author of that article wants to talk about sense of life? Heh. I think the greaser atomic scientist level of superficiality and cluelessness--as a sense of life--applies to him.

Michael

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Once in a while I run into someone, usually from the liberal side of the political spectrum, who has nonsense opinions that are based on what Rand called "definitions by non-essentials." They'll say something very surprising about, say, a business man who is locally famous for being a very outspoken and active liberal Democrat, like, "I don't like Mr. Jones because he's a Republican." I'll ask them what they're talking about. Did Jones renounce his liberal views and switch parties recently, or what? They'll answer that no, Jones still gives large amounts of money only to liberal candidates, organizations and causes, and he writes and publishes liberal opinion pieces and makes local television appearances in which he passionately promotes liberal beliefs, but he must be a Republican because he's in business and is rich and powerful.

Moronic. And very similar in mindset to Steven Farron's piece on Rand.

I'd expect more from a retired "professor of Classics at the University of the Witwatersrand."

J

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btw - The more I study the concept of sense of life, the more I have a huge difficulty with it.

I knew more about sense of life when I didn't understand as much as I do now. :smile:

Michael

Heh. I agree. I still like the concept despite its being really just a hunch of Rand's, and its having no objective, scientific support. It's something with which I can identify with in many ways, but also at the same time recognize that it's all guessy/intuitive, somewhat self-contradictory, and sort of zombie/deterministic. It's a messy concept, and anything but objective, but I'm glad that Rand didn't recognize its problems and therefore abort it.

J

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Here is my issue with Laissez-Faire in general (this includes Objectivist type minarchism as well as anarcho-capitalism).

One of the fundamental roles of nation-states has been to provide for military defense of the country. In order to defend the country, the state must ensure that it has all of the necessary supplies to wage war, that is, food, ammunition, weapons, soldiers, etc. If all of these things are controlled by markets, problems immediately ensue. Generals must be able to make plans for national security that look as much as 20 years ahead. If prices for goods fluctuate in the meantime, as they often do, it would be next to impossible to ensure that the military has the supplies it needs to carry out its objectives.

Secondly, markets encourage economic specialization in order to take advantage of the law of comparative advantage. But from the viewpoint of national defense, this is a death sentence. For example, if one country specializes in the production of textiles, let's say, and another country specializes in the production of food, and the first country depends on trade with the second country for food, then the first country will be at a serious disadvantage if the two countries go to war (the second country will cease to trade its food to the first country, starving it).

This is why, as the modern nation state emerged during the period 800 - 1400 AD, European kings started developing permanent taxation (before, taxes were only levied during times of war), tariffs on imported goods, and other kinds of control over trade. They needed taxation in order to pay off debts during peace time that were incurred in war time. Tax laws became extremely complicated because they were intentionally structured in such a way as to ensure that there is no outflow of important goods during wartime. They later also imposed tariffs on foreign goods in order to protect domestic industry, thereby maintaining their productive independence from threatening neighboring countries. All of these practices continue to the present day, and are just as necessary now as they were back then, if not more so.

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Here is my issue with Laissez-Faire in general...

You advanced three points. The first was price fluctuations. Commercial projects like skyscrapers, residential developments, factories, railroads, mines, and oil fields are undertaken on an investment horizon of 30-50 years. What the military needs most is innovation, and the competitive free market delivers it faster and better than bureaucratic state institutions. The military needs tax revenue or an ancap system of private funding, just like cops and firefighters. The free market creates far more wealth than government-controlled monopolies.

Your second objection is silly. Freedom spawns division of labor and multiplies the variety of industry, farming, technology start-ups, and investment channels. The only countries that are stuck in the mud of a single crop or a dominant industry are Third World dictatorships.

Lastly, you want a mercantile system, taxing trade with other countries? No raw materials in, no high-value goods out. Brilliant.

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@Wolf DeVoon

You advanced three points. The first was price fluctuations. Commercial projects like skyscrapers, residential development, factories, railroads, mines, and oil fields are undertaken on an investment horizon of 30-50 years. What the military needs most is innovation -- and the competitive free market delivers it faster and better than state-controlled institutions. The military needs tax revenue (or an ancap system of private funding), just like cops and firefighters. The free market creates wealth.
These commercial projects are only possible over such long time-spans because commercial ventures can tolerate losses. Not enough resources to produce as much as you like? No big deal, you just make less profit. This is not possible in military endeavors.Historically, innovation has been driven nearly 100% by state subsidization and funding. Computers, radar, microwaves, nukes, you name it. Most modern military technology has been developed primarily by the public sector at first, and then sold off to the private sector when it became possible to make it profitable.Actually, I think the free market does a lot to destroy wealth, as I'll explain below.
Your second objection is silly. Freedom spawns division of labor and multiplies the variety of industry, farming, technologies, start-ups, and investment channels. The only countries that are stuck in the mud of a single crop or a dominant industry are Third World dictatorships.
Economic and military imperialism on the part of the US and its allies explain this last part. There is a general trend throughout history whereby Great Powers have imposed free market policies on weaker countries in order to destroy that country's domestic industry and make it dependent on the Great Power. This happens because Great Powers subsidize their industries, and those industries are then able to produce the same goods at lower prices and then sell them to weaker countries. This is called capital divestment, and it rips economies apart. This is generally why Third World countries are so poor.Many dictators have risen to power through the active support of the US and the British Empire (especially in the Middle East), and the US continues to give economic and military aid to those dictators even today. Often, when a country recognizes the threat that free trade poses and refuses to sign free trade agreements, its government is deposed by US military intervention and replaced with a dictator who will do what the US tells him to do. There are many examples of this in recent history. (This sometimes backfires, though, like with Saddam).After the local economy has been destroyed and a dictator has been installed, if the country has a valuable resources such as oil, then that country's economy will be specialized for the production of that resource by the Great Power through the dictator as proxy. The dictator will also be able to suppress wages and any popular uprisings that take issue with the Great Power's meddling in their country's affairs.
Lastly, you want a mercantile economy, cutting off trade with other countries? No raw materials in, no high-value goods out. Brilliant.
Of course not. Mercantilist policies have a lot of problems and are unsustainable in the long-run. That's why I support a system of imperialism like I described above.

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@Wolf DeVoon

You advanced three points. The first was price fluctuations. Commercial projects like skyscrapers, residential development, factories, railroads, mines, and oil fields are undertaken on an investment horizon of 30-50 years. What the military needs most is innovation -- and the competitive free market delivers it faster and better than state-controlled institutions. The military needs tax revenue (or an ancap system of private funding), just like cops and firefighters. The free market creates wealth.
These commercial projects are only possible over such long time-spans because commercial ventures can tolerate losses. Not enough resources to produce as much as you like? No big deal, you just make less profit. This is not possible in military endeavors. Historically, innovation has been driven nearly 100% by state subsidization and funding. Computers, radar, microwaves, nukes, you name it. Most modern military technology has been developed primarily by the public sector at first, and then sold off to the private sector when it became possible to make it profitable. Actually, I think the free market does a lot to destroy wealth, as I'll explain below.
Your second objection is silly. Freedom spawns division of labor and multiplies the variety of industry, farming, technologies, start-ups, and investment channels. The only countries that are stuck in the mud of a single crop or a dominant industry are Third World dictatorships.
Economic and military imperialism on the part of the US and its allies explain this last part. There is a general trend throughout history whereby Great Powers have imposed free market policies on weaker countries in order to destroy that country's domestic industry and make it dependent on the Great Power. This happens because Great Powers subsidize their industries, and those industries are then able to produce the same goods at lower prices and then sell them to weaker countries. This is called capital divestment, and it rips economies apart. This is generally why Third World countries are so poor. Many dictators have risen to power through the active support of the US and the British Empire (especially in the Middle East), and the US continues to give economic and military aid to those dictators even today. Often, when a country recognizes the threat that free trade poses and refuses to sign free trade agreements, its government is deposed by US military intervention and replaced with a dictator who will do what the US tells him to do. There are many examples of this in recent history. (This sometimes backfires, though, like with Saddam). After the local economy has been destroyed and a dictator has been installed, if the country has a valuable resources such as oil, then that country's economy will be specialized for the production of that resource by the Great Power through the dictator as proxy. The dictator will also be able to suppress wages and any popular uprisings that take issue with the Great Power's meddling in their country's affairs.
Lastly, you want a mercantile economy, cutting off trade with other countries? No raw materials in, no high-value goods out. Brilliant.
Of course not. Mercantilist policies have a lot of problems and are unsustainable in the long-run. That's why I support a system of imperialism like I described above.

The government had nothing to do with the invention or development of commercial electrical systems and grids.

Tesla invented AC with private means.

Edison developed DC power and lighting by private means

Steam Engines were invented and improved privately

Internal combustion driven vehicles and ships were developed privately

The theory of relativity was developed by Einstein while goofing off at the Swiss Patent Office. He was moonlighting on the company nickle, so to speak. He was never paid to develop physical theories by the Swiss Patent Office.

No one in the German government gave Max Planck a directive to invent quantum theory. He did it on his own initiative.

The form of internal combustion using non-volatile or low-volatile fuel was developed mostly privately. It was perfected by Eugen Diesel (hence the name) and patented privately in several countries. These engines were never developed on government initiative although they were used by government for naval purposes.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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@Wolf DeVoon

You advanced three points. The first was price fluctuations. Commercial projects like skyscrapers, residential development, factories, railroads, mines, and oil fields are undertaken on an investment horizon of 30-50 years. What the military needs most is innovation -- and the competitive free market delivers it faster and better than state-controlled institutions. The military needs tax revenue (or an ancap system of private funding), just like cops and firefighters. The free market creates wealth.
These commercial projects are only possible over such long time-spans because commercial ventures can tolerate losses. Not enough resources to produce as much as you like? No big deal, you just make less profit. This is not possible in military endeavors. Historically, innovation has been driven nearly 100% by state subsidization and funding. Computers, radar, microwaves, nukes, you name it. Most modern military technology has been developed primarily by the public sector at first, and then sold off to the private sector when it became possible to make it profitable. Actually, I think the free market does a lot to destroy wealth, as I'll explain below.
Your second objection is silly. Freedom spawns division of labor and multiplies the variety of industry, farming, technologies, start-ups, and investment channels. The only countries that are stuck in the mud of a single crop or a dominant industry are Third World dictatorships.
Economic and military imperialism on the part of the US and its allies explain this last part. There is a general trend throughout history whereby Great Powers have imposed free market policies on weaker countries in order to destroy that country's domestic industry and make it dependent on the Great Power. This happens because Great Powers subsidize their industries, and those industries are then able to produce the same goods at lower prices and then sell them to weaker countries. This is called capital divestment, and it rips economies apart. This is generally why Third World countries are so poor. Many dictators have risen to power through the active support of the US and the British Empire (especially in the Middle East), and the US continues to give economic and military aid to those dictators even today. Often, when a country recognizes the threat that free trade poses and refuses to sign free trade agreements, its government is deposed by US military intervention and replaced with a dictator who will do what the US tells him to do. There are many examples of this in recent history. (This sometimes backfires, though, like with Saddam). After the local economy has been destroyed and a dictator has been installed, if the country has a valuable resources such as oil, then that country's economy will be specialized for the production of that resource by the Great Power through the dictator as proxy. The dictator will also be able to suppress wages and any popular uprisings that take issue with the Great Power's meddling in their country's affairs.
Lastly, you want a mercantile economy, cutting off trade with other countries? No raw materials in, no high-value goods out. Brilliant.
Of course not. Mercantilist policies have a lot of problems and are unsustainable in the long-run. That's why I support a system of imperialism like I described above.

The government had nothing to do with the invention or development of commercial electrical systems and grids.

Tesla invented AC with private means.

Edison developed DC power and lighting by private means

Steam Engines were invented and improved privately

Internal combustion driven vehicles and ships were developed privately

The theory of relativity was developed by Einstein while goofing off at the Swiss Patent Office. He was moonlighting on the company nickle, so to speak. He was never paid to develop physical theories by the Swiss Patent Office.

No one in the German government gave Max Planck a directive to invent quantum theory. He did it on his own initiative.

The form of internal combustion using non-volatile or low-volatile fuel was developed mostly privately. It was perfected by Eugen Diesel (hence the name) and patented privately in several countries. These engines were never developed on government initiative although they were used by government for naval purposes.

Radio was the result of scientific work by Maxwell and Hertz and bought into practical being by Tesla (who is the true inventor of radio communication) and Marconi.

The night that Titanic sank the first SOS was transmitted by a private Marconi Machine on the Titanic and received by David Sarnoff on a privately owned receiver. Government had nothing to do with it.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Are you familiar with the Teapot Dome section of US history wherein the large oil field reserves under the "Dome" were set apart as a US Naval reserve.

Seems like Harding's poker buddy became Secretary of the Interior and managed to transfer that reserve to the Interior Department and strangely enough a certain companies oil trucks and drilling equipment were all over that "reserve."

Government is innately corrupt because the human being is more than capable of acting in a corrupt manner.

One of Ayn's concepts in Atlas through Judge Narragansett, was adding a "separation of economics and the state clause" to the Constitution.

A...

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Here is my issue with Laissez-Faire in general (this includes Objectivist type minarchism as well as anarcho-capitalism).

One of the fundamental roles of nation-states has been to provide for military defense of the country. In order to defend the country, the state must ensure that it has all of the necessary supplies to wage war, that is, food, ammunition, weapons, soldiers, etc. If all of these things are controlled by markets, problems immediately ensue. Generals must be able to make plans for national security that look as much as 20 years ahead. If prices for goods fluctuate in the meantime, as they often do, it would be next to impossible to ensure that the military has the supplies it needs to carry out its objectives.

Secondly, markets encourage economic specialization in order to take advantage of the law of comparative advantage. But from the viewpoint of national defense, this is a death sentence. For example, if one country specializes in the production of textiles, let's say, and another country specializes in the production of food, and the first country depends on trade with the second country for food, then the first country will be at a serious disadvantage if the two countries go to war (the second country will cease to trade its food to the first country, starving it).

This is why, as the modern nation state emerged during the period 800 - 1400 AD, European kings started developing permanent taxation (before, taxes were only levied during times of war), tariffs on imported goods, and other kinds of control over trade. They needed taxation in order to pay off debts during peace time that were incurred in war time. Tax laws became extremely complicated because they were intentionally structured in such a way as to ensure that there is no outflow of important goods during wartime. They later also imposed tariffs on foreign goods in order to protect domestic industry, thereby maintaining their productive independence from threatening neighboring countries. All of these practices continue to the present day, and are just as necessary now as they were back then, if not more so.

So much for Objectivism as it addresses politics?

--Brant

you aren't telling us how you came up with this kind of historical analysis and how it is verified in juxtaposition to (invalid) contrary explanations or even where we might go read about it (three paragraphs do not get your airplane off the runway)

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@Ba'al Chatzaf

That is all true. But the thing that incentivized so much private innovation in the 19th century were patent laws and private property, not laissez-faire policies, which actually never existed in the first world. Eventually, it became apparent that innovation couldn't be left up to the private sector alone, first of all because it has extremely important effects on the military (any technology can potentially revolutionize the way wars are fought), second of all because there are some technologies that need absolutely staggering amounts of investment before they can become profitable, so they are unlikely to develop at all in a timely manner without state funding. For example, although I think it is entirely possible that some company could eventually make so much money that they could afford to research computers intensively for many decades with no prospects for profit, any country that uses the state to research computers before this happens would be at a huge military advantage with respect to others.

@Selene

I agree 100% that people are capable of acting corruptly. That's why I consider myself a realist in politics.

@Brant Gaede

Mostly it's stuff I pulled together from what I know of economics and independent study of European history.

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Eventually, it became apparent that innovation couldn't be left up to the private sector alone, first of all because it has extremely important effects on the military (any technology can potentially revolutionize the way wars are fought), second of all because there are some technologies that need absolutely staggering amounts of investment before they can become profitable, so they are unlikely to develop at all in a timely manner without state funding. For example, although I think it is entirely possible that some company could eventually make so much money that they could afford to research computers intensively for many decades with no prospects for profit, any country that uses the state to research computers before this happens would be at a huge military advantage with respect to others.

So essentially you support, for noble reasons of course, the Dr. Stadler approach, that "science" is too important to leave to greedy industrialists who only fund what might make the greedy bastards "profit."

So what percentage of the citizen's money are you going to extort at the point of your state gun to "fund" all the technology that will enable our military to be cutting edge?

30%

91%

_____%

And it's OK to tell Hank Reardon types, that you are taking his "metal" for the good of all.

A...

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@Selene

Yes. Essentially. However, I have no problem whatsoever with private funding of research. In fact, I encourage it.

As for taxation, I think the citizens are repaid many times over in the form of a) not being subject to the whims of a foreign power, b) increased profits through commercialization of these technologies, and c) new, affordable consumer goods.

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@Selene Yes. Essentially. However, I have no problem whatsoever with private funding of research. In fact, I encourage it. As for taxation, I think the citizens are repaid many times over in the form of a) not being subject to the whims of a foreign power, b) increased profits through commercialization of these technologies, and c) new, affordable consumer goods.

Gary, thank you for being clear.

Do you have a percentage in mind?

Based on your argument that the citizens are "...repaid many times over...," it appears that 100% would work perfectly, since that would be repaid many times over.

How, with vouchers? EBT cards?

A...

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Gary, thank you for being clear.

Do you have a percentage in mind?

Based on your argument that the citizens are "...repaid many times over...," it appears that 100% would work perfectly, since that would be repaid many times over.

How, with vouchers? EBT cards?

A...

Based on my argument, I don't see how you can justify a 100% tax rate. Taxes should be the minimum necessary to complete our objectives as a country. I think current tax rates are just fine, and we can incentivize further economic investment through temporary tax breaks.

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Gary, thank you for being clear.

Do you have a percentage in mind?

Based on your argument that the citizens are "...repaid many times over...," it appears that 100% would work perfectly, since that would be repaid many times over.

How, with vouchers? EBT cards?

A...

Based on my argument, I don't see how you can justify a 100% tax rate. Taxes should be the minimum necessary to complete our objectives as a country. I think current tax rates are just fine, and we can incentivize further economic investment through temporary tax breaks.

This is business-suit fascism. Plus terrible economics. I'm flustered not knowing how to begin. There's so much wrong.

--Brant

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@Brant Gaede

This is business-suit fascism. Plus terrible economics. I'm flustered not knowing how to begin. There's so much wrong.
I think fascism is the wrong word for it. Me and many of my good friends have all worked in the private sector, the military sector, and the public sector. Anybody who has extensive experience or contacts in all of these areas agrees with me 99%. There's a reason that laissez-faire policies are not taken seriously by any top businessmen. In my opinion, it's the people who actually have business experience that should be deciding this country's policies, not academics who have no idea what it takes to be successful.

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Taxes should be the minimum necessary to complete our objectives as a country. I think current tax rates are just fine, and we can incentivize further economic investment through temporary tax breaks.

Gary,

Just curious.

Who should decide what completing "our objectives as a country" means?

You?

:)

Come on, admit it. You imagine yourself right there in the middle of the controlling elite somewhere...

:)

Like the man said, do it with other people's money.

:)

Just ribbing you, but you can see your rule by technocrats (who always know so much better than we do about what we should do with our lives) ain't gonna be an easy sell around here.

You didn't actually say "rule by technocrats," but that's where your arguments all point to so far.

Suppose a charismatic leader and movement arose and the majority's will was to eliminate all taxes and replace them with free-market alternatives. So they changed the law to suit this will. Would you agree to that? Or would you act to subvert it?

Therein lies a pretty good indication of what you truly believe about the rights of others.

Michael

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@MichaelConsidering that businessmen are the producers in this society and considering how much we pay in taxes, I think we should get to decide how this country is run. We can't do that with other people's money, because other people don't have any money, lol.

Suppose a charismatic leader and movement arose and the majority's will was to eliminate all taxes and replace them with free-market alternatives. So they changed the law to suit this will. Would you agree to that? Or would you act to subvert it?
There are already many safeguards in place to prevent a seizure of the state by the majority. If things have gotten to the point where their plan has already succeeded, I would have left the country long ago.

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Gary, thank you for being clear.

Do you have a percentage in mind?

Based on your argument that the citizens are "...repaid many times over...," it appears that 100% would work perfectly, since that would be repaid many times over.

How, with vouchers? EBT cards?

A...

Based on my argument, I don't see how you can justify a 100% tax rate.

OK let's start with baby steps.

If, as you proclaimed, that citizens are "repaid many times over."

So, if you tax a person earning $100, $30, that taxed citizen, based on your assumption would that $30 get back many times over.

Therefore, the higher the taxes the more the citizen would get back.

You sound like Elizabeth Warren from Mass.

A...

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