(These ideas are explicated in this sloppy manifesto)

Saturday, November 19, 2005
My property is mine...

Yet again from comments at No Treason:
Joshua Holmes: >>> Not every entry onto property requires easements or prior agreements. This has never been the law of property, nor should it be.

Greg Swann: >> You'll have to clarify that one. Under what circumstances are you willing to welcome forceful trespass onto your property by armed thugs? Do you claim that this willingness--here hypotesized and almost certainly specious, as it would be an attribute only of a very strange sexual fetish--is univeral to humankind, that no one, ever, should own his property by absolute right, with an absolute right to repel all intruders? Is this what you think Anarchism is?

>> Is that what others here hope for, an idealized condition where cops can break into your home ar any time, without notice, coercing your person and confiscating your things? If so, stand down. You're already there.

Stefan: > I think Holmes is referring to those cases where assessing the boundaries of property and the intent of the owner are difficult. For example, if I have a tool shed 50 feet from the nearest wall of my house, is it trespassing to stand midway between them at 25 feet? Or consider the act of walking up to someone's door to knock on it - some people would approve of it, but some wouldn't. Typically however there are no signs that tell you that; you just have to guess what their intent is.

If this is what Holmes meant, then, first, it doesn't matter, and second, it has nothing to do with what we're talking about. Innocent trespass has nothing to do with cops breaking into your house, either to arrest you or to quarantine you. Even so, it is absurd to think that we are going to undergo a radical, revolutionary change to become an Anarcho-Capitalist utopia and yet people are going to be just as stupid about their property as they are right now. These discussions--and Friedmnania as a mental condition--always work from the demented premise that everything will be completely different by being exactly the same. This is untrue.

How will an interloper get to your shed without your permission? Only by crossing hundreds of other properties without permission. He will get to your shed only if that is where you do embalmings or cremations.

I was unfair to Holmes in one respect: He speaks of what has "never been the law of property"--and this doesn't matter at all. Practically speaking, there has never yet been a law of property. Property has always been owned subject to the whims of the local mafia of superior firepower. Whether or not there will ever be a just law of property is yet to be determined. But, if there is, such a law would never countenance a righteous entry onto another person's property without "easements or prior agreements." This doesn't mean that a trespass would be necessarily actionable--which in my court would mean materially injurious. But neither does it mean it would ever be just.

My property is mine. You use it only by my permission. Does anyone here wish to take the contrary position?

If not, then getting back to the actual point, neither ordinary cops nor Friedmanical Rent-A-Cops can justly undertake the sine qua non function of their jobs, criminal trespass to arrest, confiscate--or quarantine.

I would welcome a short note of concession of this painfully obvious point from Kennedy, Holmes and the other contributors to NT.

You will not rid the world of cannibals by eating them...

This is me from Usenet on May 7 2001:

As we are seeing, discussions of non-coercive dispute-resolution tend to be polluted by what I identify as persistent thoughtlessness and ugly bravado, but it remains that the argument for coercive "justice" is undefended and indefensible. Even stripping away the centuries of ignorance and manly posturing, while advocates of coercive "justice" may be seeking good as their end, in the end good cannot be achieved by evil means.

That's the first point: Coercive "justice" is necessarily destructive of the egos of the people who attempt to effect it, and it is therefore evil in se. There is a distinction that must be made between response to violence as it is happening and retaliation after the fact. This is a distinction advocates of coercive "justice" consistently occlude. Nevertheless, I disagree with Jim Klein somewhat; I don't think a violent reaction to violence is amoral. It is an ego-destructive and therefore immoral action. It can be less immoral than failing to act, but the choice between less ego-destruction and more ego-destruction is a calculus of loss. That the one loss is preferred does not make it something other than a loss.

For a second thing, no human being can ever have the capacity to control the purposive behavior of another, and so the objectives sought by coercive "justice", as with all objectives sought by coercion, cannot be attained. This is an aspect of the identity of volitional beings as things, an inviolable law of nature.

Third, and more easily grasped, you simply cannot argue that you have the righteous political authority to do the things you wish to do.

You do not have the right to hurt people.

You do not have the right to effect retribution.

You do not have the right to exact revenge.

You do not have the right to demand recompense for injuries that might have occurred but didn't.

You do not have the right to make an example of Joe so that Jerry will be deterred.

You do not have the right to teach anyone a lesson.

Other people's lives are not yours to dispose of. Not ever.

Two wrongs do not make a right. Not ever.

The political philosophy undergirding coercive "justice" is undefended. There is simply no rational basis for saying that Jill is free in her person except when my ox is gored, but I am free in my person even when Jill's ox is gored. This is simply Rotarian Socialism, and there is nothing new or "radical" about it. See me at Meet the Third Thing.

Fourth, and obviously--and I weep for my fellowmen that this is so obvious and so little understood: You will not rid the world of cannibals by eating them. Your political philosophy is not only inane and undefended, is is hideously impractical for achieving the objectives you (claim to) seek. You will not rid the world of violence violently.

I advocate a particular model of non-coercive justice because it appeals to me, but it is not the only possible model. I've presented a number of others here, and one that makes a particular kind of sense is to react after the fact solely by correcting the newly-identified defects in your passive defenses; iteratively, you will achieve a safety far safer than anything ever known in human history. (Incidentally, this is exactly what you would do about an "evil" such as lightning or an insect infestation; it is worth your while to consider how much your love of retribution is rooted in religious ideas of vengeance.)

Janioism is more active than this, using the credit-reporting mechanism to post and collect judgments of restitution for injuries. The surmise is that people in groups will want that kind of lubrication when there are conflicts, but the modus vivendi is that we will never act upon another human being coercively after the fact. If someone defaults on a judgment, he will lack all access to the marketplace, to the trading medium, to all rights of way, to all commerce. His options then will be to make good on the judgment, run away, or starve. But there will be no involuntary social contact, no coercion, no institutionalized or ritualized crime.

You have the right and the power--the capacity--to do everything you have the right and power and capacity to do. Your rights and powers are not changed by other people's behavior--nor are theirs.

It's absurd that I have to point this out...

In the long run, we are all... alive...

More from the thread cited below at No Treason:
> I suppose I don't need to tell you of all people what happens in the long run.

In the long run, human beings will live forever, except as they behave foolishly. Stupid people--and some innocent victims--will perish. The rest of us will be very, very civilized.

Caesar said to be civilized is to be effeminized, but the proper expression of the idea is to be risk-averse. Hotheads die. May they rest in peace, since they never learned to live that way. The rest of us stand a fair chance to live so long that we will die only by choice.

This is not part of my political philosophy, by the way, just an acknowledgement of the realities of the biological sciences.

So, to answer you: Keynes was wrong. In the long run, we are all alive. In addition to learning how to think as Anarchists, we need to learn how to take the long view on everything.

Thursday, November 17, 2005
Stop the plague--of government...

This is me at No Treason. The question was raised more or less like this: If government quarantine is an invalid response to a life-threatening communicable disease, what would be a valid anarchist response? I'm not nice to the boys at NT, but I thought they were particularly lame on this topic. Here's my take:
It's a perfectly valid question. If you were in the habit of thinking like anarchists, instead of pretendedly-privatized statists (that is, Friedmaniacs), you'd know the answer. In a true agora, every square inch of property is privately owned. It is not coercion to forbid access to my property, which may serve secondarily as access to the property of others. You enter and pass only by my permission. If someone contracts a potentially fatal communicable disease, every life-loving property owner would forbid entry to that person while he was contagious. Different people (and different easement agreements) can differ, but it is hard to imagine that owners of major routes of access would incur the liability of knowingly serving as disease vectors. Barring intervention by burly Friedmaniacs (bellowing "Liberte! Egalite! Utilite!"), the problem is self-correcting.
Market Anarchists, Anarcho-Capitalists, Agorists--you name us--spend an inordinate amount of time pondering crime. This is the origin of Friedmania, how to deal with crime without official cops--while looking and acting just exactly like official cops. But the underlying issue is almost identical, as is the solution. People who injure others and don't make good on the injury have would no access to other people's property--at least not people serious about good behavior. In addition, they have would no access to the trading medium, hence to the marketplace itself.

The would-be Anarchists crave an angry evil-smoting god, but they don't need one. If the majority of people are well-behaved, the few bad actors will either starve to death at home or run away. They may try to shoot their way out, but this will prove to be a diminishing return, as it were.

A coercive after-the-fact dispute resolution system is unjust, whether it is a true state or the fake Friedmaniacal kind. But it also is unnecessary. Everything the Friedmaniacs want to do would be done better, faster and cheaper by non-coercive means. But that's a Utilitarian argument, where the defense for Anarchism and Capitalism is moral: We do not use force except in real-time self-defense because other people's lives, time, bodies and property are not ours to dispose of.

Hey, Mister Tambourine Man, help me find the beat...

Bored and not listening to something else, I read this story to the end and stumbled onto the absolute best Bob Dylan joke:
"He reminds me of something I think about when I attend Bob Dylan concerts," Miller said. "He's definitely moving to the beat of the song, but it's not the song that's being played at that moment."