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Anarcho-Capitalism

 
 
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2010 11:27 am
Any proponents, or even dissenters, of this political faction? I recently skimmed over the term and my curiosity was not suppressed by the little I read. So, before researching, I again appeal to the accomplished minds of this forum. For? Against? Ideal? Anarchism? It sort of has a objectivist ring. Any insight??????
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,218 • Replies: 38
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bmcreider
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jan, 2010 01:40 pm
@Camerama,
It does have an objectivist ring to it...I think it may be a fantasy never to be put into practice...people would not like the risk and loss of security they seemingly have with state promises.
Sam I Am phil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 07:47 pm
@bmcreider,
I'm a big believer in the values of anarcho-capitalism. Like communism, its an ideal form of government that can probably never be attained by humans. However, I think it has much more potential than communism because where communism relies on harmony and collaboration, anarcho-capitalism relies on constant conflict and competition, which I think seems more likely.
In a society like ours that places extremely high value on altruism, a lot of people find serious issues with anarcho-capitalism because its built upon principles of creative destruction, where failure is necessary to grow. Its closely linked to biological egoism, which I'm discussion in my blog.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 09:02 pm
@Sam I Am phil,
Why would we desire an economic model that not only promotes but relies upon immorality?
Sam I Am phil
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Jan, 2010 06:13 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;123152 wrote:
Why would we desire an economic model that not only promotes but relies upon immorality?


Morality is relative. We can't afford to shape a society upon what we think moral in the moment because we've seen morals lead people to evil and morals lead to stagnation. Its a better model to build a society off of logic and reasoning, with a healthy respect for good intentions.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Jan, 2010 06:24 pm
@Sam I Am phil,
Sam I Am;123571 wrote:
Morality is relative.


I disagree completely. It is true that people have various moral standards, but it does not follow that all of these various standards are correct. What is thought to be moral is relative, but what is moral does not seem to be.

An ethic is supposed to tell us how to act. If morality is relative, then ethics is impossible.

Sam I Am;123571 wrote:
We can't afford to shape a society upon what we think moral in the moment because we've seen morals lead people to evil and morals lead to stagnation.


When has doing the right thing been evil?

I'm not sure what you mean by stagnation, but it is a very interesting charge. I'd like to hear more.

Sam I Am;123571 wrote:
Its a better model to build a society off of logic and reasoning, with a healthy respect for good intentions.


This seems to assume that morality is somehow opposed to reason. I'm not sure you'll find many moral philosophers who would agree with that notion.

Besides, what is thought to be logical and reasonable is relative :bigsmile:
Sam I Am phil
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Jan, 2010 06:42 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;123578 wrote:
I disagree completely. It is true that people have various moral standards, but it does not follow that all of these various standards are correct. What is thought to be moral is relative, but what is moral does not seem to be.

An ethic is supposed to tell us how to act. If morality is relative, then ethics is impossible.


Morality is a thought. Nature has no morality. So when you say what is thought to be moral is relative, you're affirming that what is moral is relative as well. Morality is a human construct and human nature is to err. To say otherwise is to essentially claim your beliefs are better than others.



Didymos Thomas;123578 wrote:
When has doing the right thing been evil?


The right thing is relative. Plenty of people believe they are doing the right thing and in reality are committing atrocities. However, there is a whole thread in the Ethics forum handling this so I won't cover it in depth now. I'll won't fall back on the typical Hitler example, instead think of the crusades. Both sides thought they had a moral right to Jerusalem, so if there was a moral right one of them was wrong. But in the name of a moral right thousands of innocents were executed and many prisoners of war.

Didymos Thomas;123578 wrote:
I'm not sure what you mean by stagnation, but it is a very interesting charge. I'd like to hear more.


This is a little out there, but if you'll follow I can explain. Current moral systems suggests that altruism and equality are moral. However, this contradicts nature. No where else in nature would you see organisms sacrificing so much wealth and energy to providing for the less fortunate. I'm not against charity, but its important to realize that sustained, non-progressing charity programs force those with capital to spend on innovation to spend that on societal maintenance. So no advancement, only stagnation.



Didymos Thomas;123578 wrote:
This seems to assume that morality is somehow opposed to reason. I'm not sure you'll find many moral philosophers who would agree with that notion.

Besides, what is thought to be logical and reasonable is relative :bigsmile:


Let me clarify, I don't think all morality is unreasonable. Plenty of socially morally correct decisions can be arrived at through logic. My problem is that we don't arrive at them through logic. Instead its this gut reaction based on religious or societal principles.
0 Replies
 
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Jan, 2010 06:43 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;123152 wrote:
Why would we desire an economic model that not only promotes but relies upon immorality?

I like to trace it back to Mandeville and the Fable of the Bees: Private vices public benefits (1705). That seems to be the first time this idea was presented to the general public in a way that convinced large amounts of people that this absurdity had merit.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Jan, 2010 01:19 pm
@Deckard,
Sam I Am;123584 wrote:
Morality is a thought. Nature has no morality. So when you say what is thought to be moral is relative, you're affirming that what is moral is relative as well. Morality is a human construct and human nature is to err. To say otherwise is to essentially claim your beliefs are better than others.


We have to be careful about the sense of the word. It is true that I have a thought of morality, but it does not follow that morality must be relative just because my thoughts are my own.

If a person believes X to be moral, it does not follow that X is, in fact, moral. That's moral relativism, and moral relativism is not even an ethical theory because ethical theories tell us how to act.

Here, let me just give you this link from a previous thread about moral relativism. In this post I briefly explain moral relativism, and then show some of the inherent, inescapable problems with seriously maintaining moral relativism as an ethical theory:

Didymos Thomas;51348 wrote:
There are different kinds of moral relativism.

There is cultural relativism which states that: an action is right or wrong if and only if S (the society in which the act occurs) believers an action is right or wrong.

There is, then, individual relativism which states that: an action is right or wrong if and only if P (the person judging the action) believes an action is right or wrong.

The possible objections to these conceptions of moral relativism are numerous, but I'll bring up a few for thought (not that they have not been introduced already, but that perhaps by introducing them in light of these two types of moral relativism the objections might be more useful).

With individual relativism, the primary objection should be fairly obvious: individual moral relativism is not a moral theory, but a theory that denies the value of moral theories. Individual moral relativism has no explanatory value, it does not tell us how or why we should act. Not to mention the fact that no one, I think, would honestly claim to support individual relativism: it could not be said of Adolf Hitler that some of his actions were immoral according to individual relativism.

Cultural relativism has a number of problems. First, there is the objection from abhorrent practices: we might bring up cases of culturally accepted genocide or infanticide. Then there is what could be called the opinion poll objection: no society enjoys unanimous consent on any moral question. Cultural relativism cannot allow for moral progress, nor can cultural relativism account for moral reformers: cultural relativism could not, for example, claim that MLK or Gandhi's moral reforms were good or bad.

Then there is the question of: what is a culture? When you begin to break down any society in light of cultural relativism you end up sliding into individual relativism.

Cultural relativism is an appealing theory because it eliminates the cultural-egoism that has so often stifled research into foreign and unfamiliar cultures. However, there are other means by which cultural-egoism can be eliminated, so I do not see the need to hold onto cultural relativism any longer.


Sorry to just drop all of this on you, but I think it will be useful here. Now you know exactly what I mean by moral relativism (and I'm taking this definition from lecture notes I wrote sitting in Moral Philosophy), and you will also know from the beginning my basic objections to moral relativism.

Part of the problem, I think, is a common ground from which to work. This way, you at least know where I'm coming from.

Sam I Am;123584 wrote:

This is a little out there, but if you'll follow I can explain. Current moral systems suggests that altruism and equality are moral. However, this contradicts nature. No where else in nature would you see organisms sacrificing so much wealth and energy to providing for the less fortunate. I'm not against charity, but its important to realize that sustained, non-progressing charity programs force those with capital to spend on innovation to spend that on societal maintenance. So no advancement, only stagnation.


But charity is not simply social maintenance, as you say. Isn't it progress when more people are living better? How is it stagnation when the lives of people are improving?

Sam I Am;123584 wrote:
Let me clarify, I don't think all morality is unreasonable. Plenty of socially morally correct decisions can be arrived at through logic. My problem is that we don't arrive at them through logic. Instead its this gut reaction based on religious or societal principles.


Whether or not humans typically arrive at moral decisions through logic has little bearing upon our ability to do so. I agree with you - most of the time our moral decisions are gut reactions. But it does seem possible for human beings, with serious effort, to increasingly employ logic in their moral decisions.

That humans sometimes do not do something doesn't mean that humans cannot do something.
Pepijn Sweep
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Jan, 2010 01:35 pm
@Sam I Am phil,
Sam I Am;123146 wrote:
I'm a big believer in the values of anarcho-capitalism. Like communism, its an ideal form of government that can probably never be attained by humans. However, I think it has much more potential than communism
.

Sure, it's outlasting true communism.

People joked in Russia that communism was unfair. It was so much easier for the wealthy to become poor, than for the poor to become rich.

I travellled in USA 1985, Russia 1987 to compare. Difficult to say what impressed me most, Empire State Building or the Kremlin.:flowers:
0 Replies
 
Camerama
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Feb, 2010 09:03 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Sam I Am;123146 wrote:
In a society like ours that places extremely high value on altruism, a lot of people find serious issues with anarcho-capitalism because its built upon principles of creative destruction, where failure is necessary to grow. Its closely linked to biological egoism, which I'm discussion in my blog.



Didymos Thomas;123152 wrote:
Why would we desire an economic model that not only promotes but relies upon immorality?


How is it that Anarcho-Capitalism depends on immorality?

Sam I Am;123584 wrote:
Morality is a thought. Nature has no morality. So when you say what is thought to be moral is relative, you're affirming that what is moral is relative as well. Morality is a human construct and human nature is to err. To say otherwise is to essentially claim your beliefs are better than others.


I don't believe morality is a human construct, but that it exists independent of human nature, and humanity altogether. Objective moral standards are grounded in reason and derived from a reverence for life. I see human nature as the scapegoat for failed moral systems. Instead, I challenge the standard of the moral systems, not the consequence of them. Moral failure has adamantly pervaded humanity inasmuch as we have tried to dictate it's values.


Sam I Am;123146 wrote:
The right thing is relative. Plenty of people believe they are doing the right thing and in reality are committing atrocities.


Then, they are not doing the right thing. Belief follows from thought, but thought does not necessarily follow from truth. It follows from our subjective perception of reality.

Sam I Am;123146 wrote:
Think of the crusades. Both sides thought they had a moral right to Jerusalem, so if there was a moral right one of them was wrong. But in the name of a moral right thousands of innocents were executed and many prisoners of war.


That is bifurcation. Suppose neither of them have the moral right. Jerusalem is a human construct, and being so, it's rightness is dependent on a right to property, and a Human Justice system.



Sam I Am;123146 wrote:
This is a little out there, but if you'll follow I can explain. Current moral systems suggests that altruism and equality are moral. However, this contradicts nature. No where else in nature would you see organisms sacrificing so much wealth and energy to providing for the less fortunate. I'm not against charity, but its important to realize that sustained, non-progressing charity programs force those with capital to spend on innovation to spend that on societal maintenance. So no advancement, only stagnation.


Good point


Sam I Am;123146 wrote:
Let me clarify, I don't think all morality is unreasonable. Plenty of socially morally correct decisions can be arrived at through logic. My problem is that we don't arrive at them through logic. Instead its this gut reaction based on religious or societal principles.


I agree with you in disagreeing about the means by which we today, generally speaking, arrive at moral determinations. I definitely believe that more emphasis must be placed on reason and logic, rather than faith(Be it in god or government) and mysticism.

Deckard;123585 wrote:
I like to trace it back to Mandeville and the Fable of the Bees: Private vices public benefits (1705). That seems to be the first time this idea was presented to the general public in a way that convinced large amounts of people that this absurdity had merit.


Perhaps such vices have moral worth? Who is the arbiter of vice and virtue? Avarice, a love for money. The root of all evil. "Have you ever asked what is the root of all money?"(Rand) I cannot even fathom how pride and luxury are sins. Envy, sure.


Didymos Thomas;123152 wrote:
But charity is not simply social maintenance, as you say. Isn't it progress when more people are living better? How is it stagnation when the lives of people are improving?


But at what rate? And progress for whom? The money's coming from somewhere. Someobody's pocket is getting lighter. Yes, relativity is a debatable. My dollar goes a longer way in Africa than it does buying myself gum, and my gum means less to me than child's supper to him, but we focus too heavily on consumption. Innovation, rather than exchange produces wealth. Wealth is not a finite entity, but our finances are. We need to start teaching people how to fish. We need to change the system and prevent stagnation(as Sam said).



Didymos Thomas;123152 wrote:
Whether or not humans typically arrive at moral decisions through logic has little bearing upon our ability to do so. I agree with you - most of the time our moral decisions are gut reactions. But it does seem possible for human beings, with serious effort, to increasingly employ logic in their moral decisions.

That humans sometimes do not do something doesn't mean that humans cannot do something.


Touche
0 Replies
 
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Feb, 2010 01:39 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;123152 wrote:
Why would we desire an economic model that not only promotes but relies upon immorality?


Please explain? What's immoral about the economic model of anarcho-capitalism?
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Feb, 2010 01:53 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;124158 wrote:
Please explain? What's immoral about the economic model of anarcho-capitalism?

It would be better to describe it as amoral.
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Feb, 2010 02:05 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;124163 wrote:
It would be better to describe it as amoral.


Amoral would mean that it has nothing to do with morality, however every act or state of affairs can be judged in moral terms.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Feb, 2010 02:41 pm
@hue-man,
Camerama;124082 wrote:
How is it that Anarcho-Capitalism depends on immorality?


Because it relies upon greed for economic productivity.

Camerama;124082 wrote:
Perhaps such vices have moral worth? Who is the arbiter of vice and virtue? Avarice, a love for money. The root of all evil. "Have you ever asked what is the root of all money?"(Rand) I cannot even fathom how pride and luxury are sins. Envy, sure.


Rand... she has been pretty well discredited.

Sure, vices have moral worth, in that they are morally harmful. That is their worth.

If we love money, we are diverting our capacity for love upon money rather than focusing that love upon people. And my guess is that people are more valuable than money.

Camerama;124082 wrote:
But at what rate? And progress for whom? The money's coming from somewhere. Someobody's pocket is getting lighter. Yes, relativity is a debatable. My dollar goes a longer way in Africa than it does buying myself gum, and my gum means less to me than child's supper to him, but we focus too heavily on consumption. Innovation, rather than exchange produces wealth. Wealth is not a finite entity, but our finances are. We need to start teaching people how to fish. We need to change the system and prevent stagnation(as Sam said).


But material wealth is finite. There is only so much stuff in the world.

The rate of the progress would depend upon the rate of the charity.

And it is progress for everyone. It is progress for the recipient because they have an improved standard of living. It is progress for the giver because their standard of living is not meaningfully harmed, and because by practicing charity they are practicing love and compassion for other people.

Think about it: A person with a billion dollars. Does a person need a billion dollars to live well, to be comfortable, to have the luxury to indulge interests? Not at all. However, we do have people that starve to death. Many thousands die every day from starvation.

So let me ask: is it better for the billionaire to keep his billion so that he can buy a new super yacht? or is it better for the billionaire to give a portion to the needy so that they can live?
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Feb, 2010 02:41 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;124167 wrote:
Amoral would mean that it has nothing to do with morality, however every act or state of affairs can be judged in moral terms.

Can you give an example of what an anarcho-capitalist would consider a moral act?
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Feb, 2010 02:50 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;124178 wrote:
Can you give an example of what an anarcho-capitalist would consider a moral act?


Let's be fair - anarcho-capitalism is not an ethical theory. It is an economic theory. Thus, anarcho-capitalism does not determine what is and what is not moral.

However, some people have inflated anarcho-capitalism into a religious ideal, rather than simply an economic ideal. In doing this, they introduce an ethical system that can be considered on its own merits. And I think we should consider that ethic on its own merits.

I'd recommend the movie Wall-Street with Michael Douglas to anyone who takes seriously the 'greed is good' notion. Great speech in the movie defending that thesis, and a great depiction of reality that prostrates the thesis before our understanding.
0 Replies
 
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Feb, 2010 03:30 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;124177 wrote:
Because it relies upon greed for economic productivity.


That was my question, Didymos, not Camerama's. It sounds like you're speaking of capitalism independent of anarchism, correct? Are you saying that libertarian capitalism is immoral because it relies on greed for economic productivity? Greed is considered a vice by many because it has a tendency towards what many would perceive to be bad consequences. However, economic productivity is commonly seen as a good thing, so wouldn't that make greed, at least to some degree, a virtue in this case?

The highest moral and political value to me is the freedom of a person's non-coercive actions. I wouldn't endorse a public policy that demanded that people be virtuous.

Didymos Thomas;124177 wrote:
If we love money, we are diverting our capacity for love upon money rather than focusing that love upon people. And my guess is that people are more valuable than money.


You seem to presume that all people should be or are valued equally. I would say that I value most people more than money, but I can think of some people who I would choose money over. I value the worth of a productive citizen over a jailed murderer and rapist.

Didymos Thomas;124177 wrote:
And it is progress for everyone. It is progress for the recipient because they have an improved standard of living. It is progress for the giver because their standard of living is not meaningfully harmed, and because by practicing charity they are practicing love and compassion for other people.


It may not hurt the giver, but it doesn't benefit them, either. It basically has no effect (at least not immediatly) on the person's standard of living. Whether or not compassion is a good thing seems to be based on individual judgement. In most cases I would say that compassion is a good thing, as it does not conflict with the value of liberty. However, if a person violates my individual rights they can kiss compassion good bye (except in the case of a starving theif, presuming that I'm not starving as well).

---------- Post added 02-01-2010 at 04:31 PM ----------

Deckard;124178 wrote:
Can you give an example of what an anarcho-capitalist would consider a moral act?


Abolishing all coercive institutions and valuing the liberty of individuals.

---------- Post added 02-01-2010 at 04:42 PM ----------

Didymos Thomas;124182 wrote:
Let's be fair - anarcho-capitalism is not an ethical theory. It is an economic theory. Thus, anarcho-capitalism does not determine what is and what is not moral.


Yes but nearly everything can be judged from a moral perspective, especially something like politics or economics because they deal with subjective values. Your problem with anarcho-capitalism seems to be rooted in the fact that there is no coercive institution to redistribute the wealth, correct?
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Feb, 2010 03:51 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;124198 wrote:
That was my question, Didymos, not Camerama's.


Both of you asked the same question. She asked first.

hue-man;124198 wrote:
It sounds like you're speaking of capitalism independent of anarchism, correct?


No, I'm talking about anarcho-capitalism, not anarchism. We might also use the term pure laissez faire.

hue-man;124198 wrote:
Are you saying that libertarian capitalism is immoral because it relies on greed for economic productivity?


Basically. The economic model forces people to practice greed in order to thrive. The practice of greed is morally wrong.

hue-man;124198 wrote:
Greed is considered a vice by many because it has a tendency towards what many would perceive to be bad consequences. However, economic productivity is commonly seen as a good thing, so wouldn't that make greed, at least to some degree, a virtue in this case?


Not a virtue, but in a capitalist system, it makes greed necessary for economic health. Personally, I think the model is doomed to failure even if we are perfectly greedy, but that's another matter altogether.

My objection to capitalism is because it makes the practice of greed necessary for economic health. That's my problem with the model - because greed is immoral. It is a model that imposes immoral practices.

hue-man;124198 wrote:
The highest moral and political value to me is the freedom of a person's non-coercive actions. I wouldn't endorse a public policy that demanded that people be virtuous.


So then you would oppose a system that coerces people to be greedy, right?

hue-man;124198 wrote:
You seem to presume that all people should be or are valued equally. I would say that I value most people more than money, but I can think of some people who I would choose money over. I value the worth of a productive citizen over a jailed murderer and rapist.


Yes, every human has equal moral worth - that is, no matter what a person does, that person is still entitled to the same moral consideration we give to any other person. If this is not the case, then two wrongs can make a right.

hue-man;124198 wrote:
It may not hurt the giver, but it doesn't benefit them, either.


Sure it benefits the giver. By giving they practice giving, they practice love and compassion for other people. If love and compassion for others is good, then practicing love and compassion for others must be good.

hue-man;124198 wrote:
Whether or not compassion is a good thing seems to be based on individual judgement.


It is a judgment that each individual can make, but just because someone disagrees it does not follow that the dissenter is right. Moral relativism is bunk.
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Feb, 2010 04:28 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;124208 wrote:
Basically. The economic model forces people to practice greed in order to thrive. The practice of greed is morally wrong.


I think greed is immoral (my opinion), but I disagree that the model forces people to practice greed. I don't see how laissez-faire demands greed. Just because a person seeks to attain material wealth above their needs doesn't make them wrong or greedy in my eyes. I conceive of greed as being the unregulated drive for material wealth, which causes to commit acts of deception or fraud or self-harm in its name. In a libertarian capitalist system, people can still give to charity. The only difference is that charity wouldn't be coercised.

Didymos Thomas;124208 wrote:
So then you would oppose a system that coerces people to be greedy, right?


Laissez-faire capitalism doesn't coerce people to be greedy. No one will be aggressively forced to be greedy or thrown in jail for not attaining or wishing to attain excess wealth. You're confusing influence with coercion.

Didymos Thomas;124208 wrote:
Yes, every human has equal moral worth - that is, no matter what a person does, that person is still entitled to the same moral consideration we give to any other person. If this is not the case, then two wrongs can make a right.


That's your opinion. I value the well being of my father, mother and brothers over a stranger's well being. In my opinion, that is morally right.

Didymos Thomas;124208 wrote:
Sure it benefits the giver. By giving they practice giving, they practice love and compassion for other people. If love and compassion for others is good, then practicing love and compassion for others must be good.


Love and compassion is good in most situations, but I can think of some situations where love and compassion is detrimental. There is no direct material benefit to the giver, but the giver may feel good by practicing charity.

Didymos Thomas;124208 wrote:
It is a judgment that each individual can make, but just because someone disagrees it does not follow that the dissenter is right. Moral relativism is bunk.


It also doesn't follow that the dissenter is wrong. My disagreement with your statements is in how authoritarian you come across on this matter. Moral relativism is more descriptive to me than it is prescriptive. The one value that I feel all people should value above all others is the freedom of an individual's non-coercive/aggressive actions, but I don't think that I can tell everyone everything that's best for them. Moral relativism is less of a problem to me than moralism.
 

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