This article is a continuation of an article written last week about how socialists deny that scarcity exists. I wanted to write a follow up simply because I had a hilarious “debate” with some left anarchists/libertarians who fell into many of the same logical fallacies I highlighted in that original article (Special Pleading, Motte and Bailey, and Non Sequitur). This article will be more a demonstration that explicitly shows these logical fallacies and how socialists and leftists seem to only communicate through them.
— Taharkisti (@taharkisti) October 16, 2016
This is what we call a strawman. The article specifies how a local community in Canada is unable to use a water source because it was out bid by Nestle. Government, which unjustly lays claim to land and resources without first appropriating it or homesteading it, used its monopoly on force to enforce a decision where it gave a permit to Nestle for exclusive rights to a well. How is anything that government does “anarcho-capitalist” or a problem for AnCaps? We are against government action like this too. Nothing government controls is legitimate. David Hume said the following:
“Almost all the governments which exist at present, or of which there remains any record in story, have been founded originally either on usurpation or conquest or both, without any pretense of a fair consent or voluntary subjection of the people. When an artful and bold man is placed at the head of an army or faction, it is often easy for him, by employing sometimes violence, sometimes false pretenses, to establish his dominion over a people a hundred times more numerous than his partisans.” 1
Since this is true of “almost all governments”, nothing governments claim is actually legitimately government’s property to sell. In fact, it could be argued that stuff like this is more a problem for the left-anarchist rather than the AnCap. Austrian economist Murray Rothbard points out how the logic of the anarcho-collectivist is that the solution to many of these problems is to use syndicalism or socialism to solve these problems. 2 Their argument is that each collective of peasants and workers would own their own means of production and they would work in common with other collectives. But this means that two things are bound to happen.
- A central planning agency within the syndicate will arise and would need to plan for all the various subgroups in order for them to properly coordinate and own the means in common.
- Or every syndicate will indeed plan for itself. 3
Rothbard point out that the critical question to ask is whether or not either option has the right to use force to enforce their ideas regarding communal ownership. All left-anarchists seem to concede that they will (I have personally had left-anarchists threaten me that they will come and kill me if I resist them when they seize the means). This is because these leftists function under the brain dead idea that private ownership is “violence” yet, killing me when I defend myself and my property is not. Obtaining property through voluntary trade is violence but killing someone for engaging in voluntary capitalistic exchanges is righteous. It’s important to note that there are historical examples of this kind of left anarchist violence.
“Anarchism was politically very powerful in Spain, and during the Spanish Civil War, anarchists established communes and collectives wielding coercive authority. One of their first steps was to abolish the use of money on the pain of a death penalty. It is obvious that the supposed anarchist hatred of coercion had gone very much awry. The reason was the insoluble contradiction between the antistate and the antiproperty tenets of left-wing anarchy.” 4
Note that the “anarchism” of Spain (left-Anarchism) was in fact exercising coercive control over a geographic area. That is the bare-bones definition of a state. So much for being “anarchist” right?But the first possible outcome, that a central agency would plan for all the subgroups, is nothing less than government and communism by a different name. The second option, that each group of workers, peasants, and collectives would plan for themselves, would end up becoming clashing forms of communism or socialism which would probably become the first option after a period of “social war” (this is because collective A would want to do X with given good G while Collective B would want to do Y with that very same good, so they clash). 5 This makes people that call themselves anarchists but are anti-capitalists and anti-private property just statists by a different name. And since there is a planning agency of some kind with the ability to exercise force against capitalistic competitors, something like what government has done with Nestle in the original example tweeted to me is more likely to happen under the leftist perspective than the AnCap one. Why? Well water is a socialized resource even today and is devoid of true market prices that allow economic actors to account for scarcity. And those in bed with the “central planning agency for the syndicate” (that would be the majority that would come about through direct democracy within a left anarchist order) will always receive priority over anyone else. This is why Nestle won the permits from government and not the local community. I live in Southern California myself and we are in the midst of a terrible drought because the central planning agency (that’s government my left anarchist friends) favors farm subsidies over anything else. That then brings us to the concept of scarcity. I have had three socialist now tell me that scarcity is not real. This person that tweeted at me is no different.
But to deny scarcity is just foolish. Try to visit your aunt who lives 10 miles north of you and your cousin who lives 10 miles south of you at the exact same time in these mutually exclusive directions. You can’t because the time is scarce and so is your body. Try both eating a whole sandwich and giving it away. I guess technically you could, but that sandwich would not be in the ideal form of consumption the person you are giving it too desires. This makes socialists that make statements like the one’s below ignorant morons that only deserve to be ignored. They are like people that deny that gravity is a factor of reality.
So if somebody pumps the groundwater used possibly by millions and sells it in his shop (or to Qatar) you cant do anything. @AnarchyEcon
— Taharkisti (@taharkisti) October 17, 2016
— Taharkisti (@taharkisti) October 18, 2016
I’m fairly certain that Taharkisti is the same person to ask me on Facebook about what I would do about an evil person that wants to burn the forest I hunt and gather in down. I made a meme out of that person here:
Their answer above is what we call a non-sequitur and could be special pleading as well. They ask a question of me but their “solution” doesn’t answer it. How is “sharing” going to stop the evil person from burning down the forest? And yet, these morons think that AnCaps are the ones that have not taken their ideology to it’s logical conclusion? So I answer with “who was there first? The original homesteader or the person that voluntarily exchanged for that forest/water source is the rightful owner.” They then go down a bunny trail about how socializing things and owning things in common is better. But how does “we’ll just share” answer their own question. Another example of this kind of moronic line of thinking can be seen in this set of tweets here:
@taharkisti By enforcing property rights. How does socializing deal with it? Or is this another non-sequitur/special pleading?
— Logical Anarchy (@AnarchyEcon) October 19, 2016
They ask a question, how does property rights deal with pollution? Again the answer is simple. Who first appropriated it or acquired it from someone else who was the first user? That person is the legitimate owner. If someone violates the Non-Aggression Principle, which states that initiating violence or using threats of initiatory violence against other people and their property is inherently unjust and illegitimate, than the polluter is actually using aggression against the other property owner. 6 But why is aggression against property unjust? Because we are self owners. We own our bodies. Our bodies are scarce resources that we currently control. But in order to exercise that body ownership, you need to control things outside of your body (land, food, a house, a printing press, a business, money, etc). This means we must be able to own and control scarce resources that are like our bodies that are outside of it. Take freedom of speech as an example. You need to be able to exercise exclusive control over the spot that you stand in order to have this right. You need to be able to own a printing press or a blog site. The collective (really the majority within a direct democracy that would come about from left anarchism) has to allocate scarce resources like blog sites, printing presses, land, and other such goods in some way. And it is not unreasonable to assume that minorities or “antisocialists” would be denied access to such things that would allow them to express this “free speech” right that comes about from self ownership. If the democratic majority controls all of these scarce resources, it’s just a matter of saying “no” to dissenters and enforcing their decision through violence. 7
Again, reference the Spanish anarchists that forbade people from using money and engaging in capitalistic voluntary transactions under pain of death. 8 This is a blatant act of one person using coercion and violence to dominate and control another person through threatening them or actually harming them. This is no different from states or governments so the delusion that left anarchists are actually “anti-state” is laughable. Violence is the only tool they have to enforce their stupid ideas.
So the AnCap position that we need private property in order to have liberty is not contradictory. Private property is just a logical deduction from self-ownership and anyone that denies self ownership (or at least exclusive control over one’s self) could be engaging in a performative contradiction. Hans-Herman Hoppe says the following regarding making such a claim.
“Argumentation is a conflict-free way of interacting. Not in the sense that there is always agreement on the things said, but in the sense that as long as argumentation is in progress it is always possible to agree at least on the fact that there is disagreement about the validity of what has been said. And this is to say nothing else than that a mutual recognition of each person’s exclusive control over his own body must be presupposed as long as there is argumentation (note again, that it is impossible to deny this and claim this denial to be true without implicitly having to admit its truth).” 9
Argumentation on the very subject of self-ownership seems to at least damage any denial of that fact. Perhaps that is why left anarchists have historically used violence to take and keep power (like in Spain). They don’t believe you actually own yourself, you are just human chattel for them to leach off of.
But again, “we could just share” is a non-sequitur and special pleading. I have demonstrated in many posts and numerous podcasts how socialism is fallacious and contradictory. Socialists just continually dismiss these arguments or demand more and more evidence to be brought against them. They provide nothing but empty declarative statements when they are pressed themselves and offer no rational reason as to why the same scrutiny they apply to my position is not applied to theirs (special pleading). It is non-sequitur because socializing water (as an example) still doesn’t answer the question they asked me about poisoning ground water. Their conclusion does not logically follow.
So in conclusion, we can only determine that socialists, left anarchists (anarcho-statists) and anyone else that advocates for communal ownership are just intellectually dishonest shysters. They think their strength in argumentation and debate comes from the pathetic logical fallacies they continually use. But any rational person understands that at the end of the day, they can’t even account for scarcity or answer the very questions they find “problematic” for Anarcho-Capitalists.
- “Of the Original Contract” by David Hume ↩
- “Are Libertarians ‘Anarchists?'” by Murray Rothbard” ↩
- Ibid. ↩
- Ibid. ↩
- Ibid. ↩
- “The Non-Aggression Axiom of Libertarianism” by Walter Block ↩
- “For a New liberty” by Murray Rothbard ↩
- “The Anarcho-Statists of Spain” by Bryan Caplan ↩
- “A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism” by Hans-Herman Hoppe ↩