February 24, 2010 · Posted in Government
OK, all you freedom worshiping nutjobs, all you anarchists, anarcho-capitalists, anti-staters, you who run around with mohawks and ripped pants, I really need to tell you: I agree that something is wrong with this government, but to pose as a solution to GET RID OF IT?? Are you completely out of your minds?? Obviously you never read anything about economics or ethics. Without government can you imagine the madness that would unravel immediately? The nation would plunge into a state of mass mutual warfare, the rule of law would disappear, trade would get crippled and we would all be yearning for an apparatus that keeps together the fabric of society … the government.
OK, I will stop that rant right here. This is pretty much the nonsense most of us here are familiar with. It is what we get every time we confront someone with the idea of a stateless society.
The problem is of course as we all know that when we propose the idea of a stateless society, THEY think we want to get rid of the functions that the state fulfills in their minds, while WE think of nothing but abolishing an apparatus that subsists solely by the means of aggression.
This of course really means that both sides have a very different definition of the term state. They have the fantasy high level conceptual definition, we have the one that simply looks at reality.
With those two opposing definitions it is obviously impossible to gain common ground.
I recently talked about it with a friend who is, I would say, a classic liberal, and a soon to be convert-anarchist (*evil laugh*). The following was conceptually the gist of the dialog:
He said: “I agree that something is wrong with the current way the government produces justice.”
I told him: “Well, I just think that the service of justice should not be provided by an institution that obtains its resources by the means of aggression, it should be voluntarily provided by DROs who compete for consumers.” (of course I explained him a bit more about DROs)
He said: “Well, then THAT’S your government, whether you want to call it DRO or whatever, it is a government. See, we NEED a government.”
Obviously he is wrong when we apply our commonly understood definition of government. But if we apply a statist’s definition of government, such as “That institution that produces justice.” he is actually very much correct.
Thus I would like to suggest that our Anarcho-Capitalistic position is actually not all that different from moderate statists’ positions. By saying we want to get rid of the state we will always and everywhere meet resistance and ridicule. As crazy as it sounds in our definition, we do indeed just want a DIFFERENT government from their point of view if we work with their shallow definition of government.
Thus I think we shouldn’t put the “abolish government” banner at the front lines of our march, but rather try to keep in mind what definitions most people are working with …
Example: I have had more people agreeing with me when I told them things like “yes we need roads and police, but how about we let the people in charge raise the funds for these efforts voluntarily from those they are serving, and allow other people to try and provide these services in a better way to bring more customers on their side”.
What I said above is 100% anarcho-capitalistic, however it will be a lot more agreeable to deluded and misguided statists. I’m not saying it will be absolutely agreeable right away, but certainly a lot more than to open with the idea that you want to get rid of the state …