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11/29/2006 c1 8Atlas Bergeron
I thoroughly. enjoyed this essay, just a few points of contention.

"Social order evolves spontaneously out of each individual’s desire to better his own lot."-you are partly right here, but as you yourself stated, "Humans are atomistic, anarchistic animals; this is to say that the human being is primarily concerned with its own benefit."- Aristotle once said, "I have gained this from philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law." Many (maybe only some) humans will see immediate benefit in obtaining property through theft, thus social order doesn't evolve as "spontaneously" as you claim. Although, I must admit, it has at least the tendency to appear.

I would like to advocate the possibility of minarchism funded through the LVT on private messages. It is an option that seems most ethical and reasonable to me.

"At any rate, Tiefling would be standing on much firmer ground were she arguing that I, as an individual, would be better off (according to what she imagines my values to be) if I were to engage in voluntary charity."-I wonder if this is indeed your view. Do you have empathy (do you see the strugle of others, internalize it, and then gain pleasure from amending it) for homeless and starving children? Would you be willing to give to a non-profit which you saw as reputable which helped such people (or any *other* people. Substituting any other group would suffice)?

"It’s true for example that the education of a given individual might have positive effects on individuals far removed from where and how that individual was educated"- personally, and this is a wholly unfounded claim, I would say that were public education removed, we would see a large appearence of scholarships enter. Buisenesses would need intelligent workers, and the only way to meet demand might be to educate the more impoverished. But that is just a thought.

Well written. I actually found it quite humorous in spots (spots where you meant to be humorous)
3/29/2005 c1 holocaustpulp
I made an error in my response, saying that communism would involve coercion when I meant that it WOULD NOT involve coercion (i.e., coercion of the state, minority groups, etc.). Just thought I needed to clear that up.

- Holocaustpulp
3/26/2005 c1 holocaustpulp
No Trust: "In this essay I was using ‘anarchic’ in a wholly non-philosophical sense."

I just needed the clarification.

"What is ‘extreme capitalism’?"

Excuse the vague language. Extreme capitalism is meant to signifiy the libertarian model of capitalism, i.e., without or with highly limited government.

"For communism to be enforced, there must be those entrusted with the authority to coerce obedience to the 'group'."

You're plagued with stereotypes of communism, specifically the authoritarian Marxist-Leninist method which I continually accuse of being counter-productive and not actually socialist/communist.

In all reality, a proper functioning communism would involve such coercion. The final communistic society would be characterized by a social willingness to participate in the community. Another misinterpretation you seem to make is that the inidividual would sacrifice his or her inidividuality to the state-like entity of the society. In fact, each individual would have a better opportunity to express themself and show their personal capabilities without being marginialized by such impediments as the class system.

"To pull a pinko: There never was a true 'free market experiment' in Africa (with the exception of parts of Somalia, which are exceeding the living standards of other African nations and show a promising rate of growth) or Latin America."

The free market experiment was not necessarily an "experiment", so to speak, but rather a capitalistic initiative, that of which was led by the West and the World Bank in an attempt to quell Cold War fears as well as half-heartedly attempt to pull these countries out of the economic muck. Its result was post-Soviet dissent against the West.

"Yes, gangsters like to exercise power. In the process they disenfranchise the most productive individuals in their countries..."

You insist on the communist movement being "gansters" when militancy is only taken as an extreme measure to face the brunt of the repressive bourgeois governments. You also need to recognize that communalist societies have the potential to exceed productivity of capitalist governments. Just look at the Paris Commune, where the Paris masses alike adapted a socialist government and functioned just fine. If that doesn't get you, look at the societies established by Robert Owen, an English pre-Marx socialist, who established conditions for workers that were safer and more agreeable than factories at that time (the time of the Industrial Revolution). Also, productivity in this society exceeded that of the rest of capitalist England.

"People ‘unite’ to serve their individualist aims."

So what happens when these "individualistic aims" become communalistic, and all participate in the "individualist union" for the welfare and equality of all others? Is this not the nullification of "inidividualist aims"?

"Individualism is denied by no-one in a de facto sense."

Which is why it is still present in communism, just without the economic capitalist pretense.

"Capitalism remains even under socialism or communism."

To some degree. It is true in such countries as the late USSR and Cuba, discounted trading did exist, but it indeed still retained a capitalist character (i.e., the use of currency). However, complete capitalism in socialist countries will never exist; only the above-mentioned quasi-capitalist trades will ever vaguely represent capitalism. If these trades implemented correctly (communally), they wont even possess a capitalist nature at all.

- Holocaustpulp
3/26/2005 c1 15No Trust
“For now, one thing you need to clarify is the definition of "anarchy". It is only individualist-anacrhists that make up a faction of the philosophy of anarchism. To go further, please distinguish between left and right, or communalist and laissez-faire, anarchists.”

I am well aware of all the philosophical bitchfighting and semantic hairsplitting that comprises ‘anarchism’, with all its hyphenated flavors and pseudo-intellectual nonsense. In this essay I was using ‘anarchic’ in a wholly non-philosophical sense. It is my view that humans always and everywhere already live in ‘anarchy’; that there is no such thing as government (a wholly theological concept that has no proper place in political or economic theory) and that “governments” or “states” are merely very large and very well-armed gangs of individual humans that, like everyone everywhere else, act solely in their own self-interest.

If I had to be pigeonholed into an “official” school of anarchism I would be a right-anarchist, as my profile plainly states. I know that this means, by some people’s standards, that I’m not a “true anarchist” and I absolutely do not fucking care.

“One of your main arguments was against the state. I agree, the whole concept of the state is ultimately regressively and indeed, to an extent, coercive.”

I didn’t really make an argument for or against anything in this particular essay. I just laid out economic reality. If people prefer “equality” (whatever the fuck that even means) to prosperity and the right to be left alone, my arguments would not persuade them to embrace my ideology even if they accepted the arguments as entirely correct.

”This is why communism does not possess a government, as extreme capitalism would not either.

What is ‘extreme capitalism’? There is only capitalism—all else is feuding over who should hold the power to do what, where, to whom. For communism to be enforced, there must be those entrusted with the authority to coerce obedience to the “group”. You can devolve these groups to a highly localized level if you will (a good thing IMO since small power gangs are easier for individualists to defeat or secede from than gigantic power gangs) but it remains the same in principle.

”The free market experiment did not work in Africa or Latin America.”

To pull a pinko: There never was a true “free market experiment” in Africa (with the exception of parts of Somalia, which are exceeding the living standards of other African nations and show a promising rate of growth) or Latin America.

“Especially in Latin America today, where quasi-socialist populist movements (not to mention guerrilla organizations such as FARC) are demanding the end to the free market, or the strict limitation of the free market, in their countries.”

Yes, gangsters like to exercise power. In the process they disenfranchise the most productive individuals in their countries and send them screaming northward where they don’t have to fear being murdered by demagogues and their greedy armed thugs (at least not for another 5-10 years, when the whole thing collapses into a new communist Dark Age and possibly wipes humanity out in a nuclear holocaust). This invariably impoverishes their countries.

“If capitalism is the end-all-be-all manifestation of the individualist, atomistic human character, then how come the world is still uniting (community) for the common cause of all, not some, not class?”

People ‘unite’ to serve their individualist aims. For instance, peasants in third world countries ‘unite’ in some cases to steal stuff from more productive individuals, in other cases to defend their own properties from confiscation or destruction.

“If inidivualism is as commonplace as genetics, then how come it is routinely defied and utterly denied by the majority of the masses?”

Individualism is denied by no-one in a de facto sense. Even those who deny it de jure exercise their own individual brains, to however little extent, and their own individual vocal chords (or fingers as the case may be) in the process.

"Inidivualism", what you consider capitalism, is something that has been imposed externally (mimic of state action) on developing countries - it is not something that is willingly borne. It is instead an onus.

Nonsense. Capitalism remains even under socialism or communism. The powerwhores trade with each other in loot, peasant-slaves, masturbatory praise, and other favors. The “black market” steps up and deals in everything from luxuries like liquor and cigarettes to necessities like food and guns, and is the only thing that softens the tragedy of the commons and eases the suffering of the masses you pretend to value so highly.
3/25/2005 c2 132holocaustpulp
I must say No Trust, this definitely read better than some of your hostile reviews. I have a sense its only a matter of circumstance, however.

There are many things that I feel the need to address but which I will cover in future essays. I'm sure you'll be there to criticize them.

For now, one thing you need to clarify is the definition of "anarchy". It is only individualist-anacrhists that make up a faction of the philosophy of anarchism. To go further, please distinguish between left and right, or communalist and laissez-faire, anarchists.

One of your main arguments was against the state. I agree, the whole concept of the state is ultimately regressively and indeed, to an extent, coercive.

This is why communism does not possess a government, as extreme capitalism would not either.

I'll deal with my own logic of humans in near-future essays (not to elude the topic). Just one more thing, however.

The free market experiment did not work in Africa or Latin America. Especially in Latin America today, where quasi-socialist populist movements (not to mention guerrilla organizations such as FARC) are demanding the end to the free market, or the strict limitation of the free market, in their countries. If capitalism is the end-all-be-all manifestation of the individualist, atomistic human character, then how come the world is still uniting (community) for the common cause of all, not some, not class?

If inidivualism is as commonplace as genetics, then how come it is routinely defied and utterly denied by the majority of the masses?

"Inidivualism", what you consider capitalism, is something that has been imposed externally (mimic of state action) on developing countries - it is not something that is willingly borne. It is instead an onus.

- Holocaustpulp
12/29/2004 c2 12A.R. O'Neal
Sorry... I really don't know what I was thinking whenever I submitted that review. Maybe my ideas have just shifted since then.

I also have absolutely no idea why I started going into my ideas about democracy :D.
12/1/2004 c1 Giygas666
Hi, there was something else I forgot to add:"Surely, that the vast majority of people in first world countries—almost all of them products of government-run public education-favor ever increasing amounts of socialist interventionism and welfare statism is a product of reactionary/bourgeoisie/consumerist propaganda, rather than social engineering on the part of benevolent government-employededucators."You know, this reminds me of a debate in which I participated a couple of weeks ago. My bioethics class was debating the merits of a national DNA database, and I was arguing against it on the basis of individual property rights while my opponents argued in favor of it based on the "greater good" hypothesis. They even had the gall to say that "privacy is a privilege"! They all thought I was being paranoid for espousing libertarian lideas instead of government interventionalism, lol.My point? Anyone who thinks government schools don't brainwash people is sorely mistaken.~Just a suggestion: maybe you should write an essay expounding on the checks and balances of the free market system.

~Zell
11/30/2004 c1 Giygas666
Makes sense to me! Actually, the problem with the term "public goods" is the same as with the terms "self-esteem" or "social responsability" or "greater good" in that the definitions are very veryy fuzzy. and normally, I like furry and fuzzy things (like bunny rabbits), but when it comes to semantic terms, I like 'em firm and hard and unambiguous.

Which reminds me, next time I start ranting about "corporate fascism" I really ought to provide a firm definition-how's this? "The marriage between big business and government and all the anti-capitalistic crap that clings to it."

But I digress. I just have one thing to point out:

"Tiefling might argue that if everyone behaved in this way, the welfare state would break down, thus leaving everyone without the cherished safety net; but the fact is that whether or not anyone else dodges taxes is entirely independent of whether or not I do."

Whether or not you pay taxes is indeed up to you and you alone, and if you don't pay them, the government will lose a tiny, insignificant piece of its revenue-and you'll still be able to get the benefits of its services; that much is true.

But it's also true that if all (or even most) taxpayers were to stop paying their annual tribute to the blowhards in D.C., then the revenue stream would indeed be shut down and the state would indeed starve. And voila! no more welfare state! Whether or not this is a good thing-or whether it's likely to happen at all-is open to debate.

Aside from that caveat, I thought this was a well-argued essay, perhaps a bit more reader-friendly and succinct than your previous essay on the Constitution. Good work.

~Zell

PS: I hear ya on the technical difficulties-does anyone have a clue as to why Fictionpress is being such a bitch about formatting lately?
11/27/2004 c1 No Trust
“I think I said in a review a while back that I don't think I can really have a meaningful debate with you,”

You consistently fail to comprehend my arguments and attack them even when you agree with them so… you might be right. No offense, I’m not saying you’re stupid, you just seem to approach my words with a bias that prevents you from seeing what they mean, and, more often than not you take me a bit more seriously than I intend to be taken.

”Oh well. I don't know anything about Austrian economists,”

The ability to deduce from the premise that humans act to satisfy their preferences is all that is required to follow my arguments.

”and I don't understand much of what you say in this essay.”

You were essentially offering the argument that taxation is needed to supply public goods; I was pointing out that most of the services you mentioned are private goods absent attempts to coercively fund them.

“No 'sneak atack' on your character was intended. I don't believe I said anything about you that you had not said or at least implied about yourself.”

You know what the word ‘facetious’ means, yes?
11/27/2004 c1 33Tiefling
I didn't notice that this was here for ages...oops. Ah well, better late than never...(I haven't had my net access cut off just yet)

I think I said in a review a while back that I don't think I can really have a meaningful debate with you, which I think is still the case so I fear I will dissapoint you here. Oh well. I don't know anything about Austrian economists, and I don't understand much of what you say in this essay. Maybe you're 100% right, or maybe you're talking out of your arse, I just can't tell.

'I can appreciate a clever sneak attack upon my character more than most people would, '

No 'sneak atack' on your character was intended. I don't believe I said anything about you that you had not said or at least implied about yourself.
11/24/2004 c1 No Trust
Democracy in and of itself is not a solution to tyranny. Plenty fo third-world hellholes are democratic.

If you want to continue this discussion, please email me, as I do not want my review board straying into tangents provoked by my reviews of other people's work.

Unless you have something to say about this particular essay, please do not review it again.
11/24/2004 c1 h
to respond to your review of the essay on arafat's death:

democracy seems to have created peaceful conditions within the democracies. why should we not think that the spread of democracy will not also spread peace and nations where rulers do not torture thier subjects (I mean like horrific torture, not taxes!)?
11/22/2004 c2 1apemantus
This essay is EXCELLENT, in my opinion.

I found the discussion of the question of rationality one of the many interesting parts of the work...do you imply that human beings are unaware of thier own motives? And if we are unaware of our own motives, how can we really be anything more than automatons?
11/21/2004 c1 12A.R. O'Neal
I think you go a little to far in your libertarianism. I myself lean libertarian but I am not NEARLY as radical as you. You advocate a complete abandonment of the poor and disenfranchised. I just want to take some power away from the goverment. I think it is far more logical to do that than have the chaos your system proposes. And as for private charity, it is almost certain that absolutely no one would contribute to that. You may say "then it is their opinion", but the majority is not ALWAYS right. Majority rule in a democracy is a guidelines, not an absolute thing. Remember, the majority decided to ban black civil rights and to elect the Nazi party.
11/21/2004 c1 Le Creature
I think any sort of "confusing" words are located primarily within your first paragraph, because its the most advanced of the piece.

"Praxeological Economics" From The Ground Up

The m-w definition of Praxeological is "the study of human action and conduct." That doesn't help me in the slightest in trying to figure out what "Praxeological Economics" are in relation to your essay.

"Humans are atomistic, anarchistic animals concerned primarily with surviving—and thriving."

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "atomistic" and how people can be "anarchistic" with so many authoritarian governments. If what you mean is that they are, "primarilly concerned with surviving and thriving" then perhaps you should just say that, sense you don't use the terms anarchistic nor atomistic at any length in the rest of the piece.

"Desires cannot be examined rationally; they precede rational judgment and are in fact the metric by which actions are determined to be rational or irrational."

While perhaps this is true if you use the argument that "all people have desires therefore no person has rationality," I don't think that's what you meant here. Desires can and are studied every day rationality in psychological institutions the world over. The results seem to concur with the second half of this sentence, that "they precede rational judgment." Rather than "Desires cannot be examined rationally" you mean "Desires are not rational"?

"When Objectivists say that most people are irrational, they are — whether they realize it or not — stating only that most people behave in ways that they would not behave, given their values (in the case of hardcore Objectivists, emulating Rand as closely as possible)."

Your use of "Objectivists" here is slightly ambiguous. "Objectivism" is one of those terms that, like liberal or conservative, have a variety of definitions. Is your definition of "Objectivists" in this case "those like (but usually less extreme) in their beliefs like Ayn Rand?"

Other than that, this essay in general makes a great deal of sense and is well organized. If you cleaned up what you mean in the beginning I think it'd be a great essay.

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