Talking with Minarchists

So on today’s episode of the Logical Anarchy Today Show I talked about my conversation on the Being Classically Liberal page. You can check out Being Classically Liberal here. I wanted to document my conversation for posterity here. I often do this because I know you guys like it and you never know when moderators on social media will take a post down or ban you. That has happened to me before and not because I was rude but because the truth and logic I was laying down was not to the page owners liking. So below is how the conversation has played out thus far.

Original Post by BCL: Jeremy Corbyn, a far-left politician in the UK’s Labour Party, suggested that taxpayers should be able to opt out of funding the military.

Mr Corbyn said: ‘British taxpayers have a right of conscience not to participate in the Armed Forces in time of conscription and should have a similar right in time of peace to ensure that part of their tax goes to peace, not war.’

If we take this reasoning to its logical conclusions, then people should be able to opt out of funding welfare schemes if they oppose them on moral grounds. Of course, I seriously doubt Corbyn realized that.

Weston Moss: Not a bad idea, frankly. I think all taxpayers should get a form each year allowing them to allocate their income taxes to whichever programs they want in any proportion that adds up to 100%. That’s the fairest way to fund government: if there’s not enough cash to run a program, then it means nobody wants it.

Me: You could just privatize everything and let the market do exactly this without the bureaucracy…

Suzanne Renee: If you don’t want to privatize everything (which I agree with, Jon Torres), keep the basics like roads taxpayer funded. I think roads are probably the only thing that all people will ever need during their lifetime.

Me: Suzanne Renee, shoot, privatize the roads too. Anything government provides the market can provide better and more cheaply without using violence and coercion to do so. Roads would still exist even without government jamming a gun into people’s ribs to pay for them.

Ben Larson: “You could just privatize everything and let the market do exactly this without the bureaucracy…”
You can’t privatize the national defense or the courts.

Robert O’Hayre: Jon, explain to me exactly how you can privatize the military. It will always be a public good, and everyone who refuses to fund it will benefit for free. That fact justifies its compulsory public funding.

Me: Haha, you can privatize the courts though. Look up polycentric law. It’s existed through [out] history rather successfully. Brehan law in Ireland is a great example of it.
Look, you are no doubt against Obama care or single payer health care services right? Why? Because you rightly understand that when the government controls something through its monopoly on the initiation of violence, that the cost rises and the quality of the service or product goes down. That’s why health care is a mess right?

Why don’t you apply this logic consistently to each service government monoplizes, including defense?

And the courts?
And police?
And the environment?

Oh and Robert, you absolutely do not have the right in your personal life to initiate violence against others to achieve what you want. If you do not have that right, a collection of individuals just like you who happen to call themselves the state lack that right as well. You are also incapable of delegating the right to initiate violence to state representatives if you lack that right yourself. I do not have the right to use your house or car whenever I please therefore I cannot delegate that right to anyone else. The state is the same way.

Do not advocate for coercion unless you yourself are comfortable having it reversed onto you.

Robert O’Hayre: I don’t think you understand basic reality Jon. If there is no national defense, each of us will be taken out individually. Anarchy will fail because people will work together, under a leader who will become a dictator because that’s how humans interact.
Me: Robert O’Hayre so your solution is a violent monopoly right now so that a violent monopoly won’t take over? Interesting.
When your house is on fire, does putting it out mean it will never catch fire again? No. Does that mean you should let it burn? Of course not. Just because coercion could occur in a free society doesn’t mean it should keep you from doing the right thing.

It’s statism that has given us Japanese internment camps, nazi death camps, Mao’s great leap forward, and war. The chaos within anarchism is completely conjectural while the atrocities of the state are fact. The burden of proof is on you to explain why government should continue to exist despite its atrocious record of failure.

Don’t forget, it wasn’t anarchists that made the surveillance state, drone assassinations, or the militarization of police. That’s statism.

262 million people were killed by government in the 20th century and your response to this is essentially “Well, government wasn’t implemented properly. We’ll get it right this time.”

I’m sorry but that is insane. I’m not the idealist, the people that can’t trust people with freedom but do trust people with power are the idealists. They think just the right amount of violence done by just the right people in the right way equals peace. That is a fantasy if I ever did hear one.


Ben Larson: So the nation will be defended by various disparate mercenaries?
Me: Ben Larson why not? Do you realize how hard it would be to conquer a society that values its independence and is well armed? Setting up a taxation racket to fund a state would be pretty difficult.
Like I asked though, you are against socialized medicine for the reasons I listed. Why do you view defence, police and courts as services incapable of being sold on the free market at competitive prices?

Your profile says “don’t tread on me” but the ideas you are saying are more like “don’t tread on me… too much.”

You are jumping ahead too. Lets not worry about who is going to defend anyone yet. Lets first flesh out if you have the right to use violence in order to achieve what you want. Lets first flesh out if government has the right to initiate violence against anyone. Lets first figure out, morally, what is right and wrong. Do you have the right to initiate violence? If you do or do not, do you have that right to delegate that privilege to a central authority? Aren’t central authorities just collections of individuals? They have to follow the same rules you do right? If you don’t have the right to initiate violence, why does a collection of individuals? They are not made from a “finer clay” than you or I? What makes them special?

Alexander Rathjens: Why I’m a minarchist and not an anarchist, in one paragraph.
“The use of physical force—even its retaliatory use—cannot be left at the discretion of individual citizens. Peaceful coexistence is impossible if a man has to live under the constant threat of force to be unleashed against him by any of his neighbors at any moment. Whether his neighbors’ intentions are good or bad, whether their judgment is rational or irrational, whether they are motivated by a sense of justice or by ignorance or by prejudice or by malice—the use of force against one man cannot be left to the arbitrary decision of another.”- Ayn Rand
Me: Again, that doesn’t make sense Alexander Rathjens. You need a monopoly on the initiation of violence right now in order to keep a monopoly on violence from happening? Or another way, you don’t trust people with absolute freedom but you trust them with power over their neighbors?
I’d rather take the violence where force is decentralized than one in which only a select few have that privilege. In that paragraph itself, intitiating violence is frowned upon, so miss Rand supposes we need to initiate violence in order to stop violence from being initiated against people? Do you see how this doesn’t make sense? Can a minarchist here please sort that out?
As of writing this, this is as far as the conversation has gone. I am thankful that minarchists are at least partly right and have a solid basis for their beliefs in some respects. That means these conversations end up being far more fruitful than talking with a neo-con or liberal. I still find it fascinating how statists of all stripes run from answering the question “Are you justified in initiating violence against people in order to achieve what you want?” I know that it is because they know where I am going with it that line of reasoning and if they plug their ears and go “la la la la” they don’t have to face the contradiction.

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