no third solution

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Market Anarchist Carnival – Leap Year Edition

February 29th, 2008

Welcome to the 12th edition of the Market Anarchist Carinval. This is a special edition, because it occurs on Leap Day. If we’re still publishing 4 years from now, someone else can have this unique honor. Until then, I’m in a class by myself.

There were a lot of submissions, most of which were shitty, and by shitty I really mean “spam.” I suppose that this is the nature of the beast. Sometimes I like to point out these people, other times, I send them an e-mail telling them that I’ll gladly post their article, as long as they can explain what it has to do with anarchy or agorism. I’ve gotten no responses thus far.

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Eric Sundwall missed the deadline, but I feel generous, so I’ll include Neil’s Saga, a prosaic ode to a future without nation-states.

Of course the financial meltdown of the 21st Century was the first and last lesson of Market Anarchy. The chaotic, craziness and violence was a result of the other structures collapsing, not the inherent nature of man in a power void.

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Shaun Connell’s presents Socialized Healthcare at his blog, The Rebirth of Freedom. Shaun’s submission was also past the deadline, and although it is not particularly agorist or anarchist in theme, it is certainly a stab at the State’s myths of socialized healthcare, and thus merits consideration.

A system of medicine that rations care and dictates coverage will not solve the problems of costly medical care. After examining how universal healthcare fares in other parts of the world, surely, with American invention and the will to see things “done right”, we can make socialized medicine work, right?

To answer this question, we will first look to the efficiency of the US government in general…Oh. That’s right. There really isn’t much, is there?

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I’m not exactly sure what this experiment at The Picket Line has to do with anarchy or agorism, but if you’re interested in finding out whether the local markets have better produce prices than the big chain stores, it might be worth a read. You should probably conduct your own experiments. I know that certain non-produce items I buy are more expensive at the local stores than at the chain stores, but I value time and convenience more than the 19 cents I save on a can of mandarin oranges.

Conventional wisdom says that the big chain stores can provide better prices and/or better selection and/or better quality. All things (e.g., opportunity costs) considered, this may be only partly true, or it may not really be true at all.

Maybe he should buy an earthship, it’s a giant greenhouse incubator building, he could grow his own food and reduce his utility bills to near-zero.

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Logan Flatt’s analysis accurately describes the Fed’s actions during the boom years of the current cycle, but I don’t know how it’s market-oriented. It’s certainly not anarchy-oriented. A case should have been made for a free-market interest rate, and solvent banking. Technically, I think this article is “spam,” but because it touches on current economic/political issues, I’ll post it because it’s not entirely devoid of value.

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Wenchypoo describes in detail what’s wrong with the fair tax, and also ways to reap some of it’s alleged benefits without any of its consequences. Not really anarchy-oriented, but Wenchy’s writing is excellent, and thus merits a plug.

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RadGeek wants to know why people continue to accept this sort of law and order:

If I got up in an old lady’s face face, implicitly called her crazy, threatened to have her committed, and then responded to the insults that my unhinged behavior so clearly merited by pulling her out of her car, cuffing her behind her back, and locking her in a cage, you’d consider me an asshole, at least. If I did all that based on a complete mistake, in which I barged onto somebody else’s property, ignorantly ordered around people in their parking lot, and then, when corrected about the owner’s policy for use of the parking lot, insisted that I was entitled to tell them how they should run their own damn parking lot and to yell at or arrest anybody who didn’t pay attention to my ideas about how it should be used, you would consider me not only an asshole, but a dangerous lunatic and a menace to public safety.

Remember the story about the old lady in Florida who arrested for taking too long at the McDonald’s drive-thru? Sound familiar, now? To make matters worse, “Friday afternoon, Merola spent $160 to retrieve her impounded Town Car.”

Nobody in his right mind would pay voluntarily for this sort of justice, and any organization engaging in this sort of behavior (in a freed market) would quickly find itself in financial distress.

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The next two are very inter-related. I’m a fan of the Geek, although I don’t read the People’s Daily anywhere near as frequently as I ought.

Here, the Geek presents a long, but thought-provoking post on the anarchy-minarchy debate.

If minarchists believe in limited government, then they believe in the right to make anarchistic arrangements not viable by prohibiting at least some individual people from seceding or otherwise withdraw their allegiance from the minimal state in favor of competing defense associations, or in favor of individual self-defense.

Then, in, Take the A-Train, the Geek goes after the myth of the “less government train,” where supposedly anarchists and minarchists and smaller-government libertarians can all ride along together, each getting off at their respective stop on the path to freedom.

So the appropriate image for anarchist-minarchist compromise really isn’t a train ride where minarchists hop off at the next-to-last station, and let the anarchists ride on towards the anarchy station. Statist politics don’t work like that. Rather, what will happen on this ride is that once the train pulls into the minarchy station, the minarchists will get off the train — and then they will try to block the tracks and threaten to open fire on the rest of us if we try to take the train any further towards the end of the line. That’s what being a minarchist means: government always comes out of the barrel of a gun, and that’s true whether the government is unlimited or limited, maximal or minimal. If you try to move, in any concrete way, from minarchy towards anarchy, those minarchists you spent so many years working with are still going to try to shoot you.

He’s right: If the minarchists let the train keep a-rollin’, then they’re not minarchists. If they’re minarchists, then they’re the ones holding the guns.

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Francois Tremblay, author of “Eight ways you can personally help to smash the state,” recommends “Putting the ‘market’ back in market anarchy,” in which he makes a compelling argument for freed markets

There are only two basic alternatives: a market (voluntary trade of resources, exchange of values) and a State (organized coercion). This is something that collectivist Anarchists fail to understand: that Anarchy by definition is all about markets, and that a market is necessarily Anarchist in nature. When they talk about barter as if it was a replacement for markets, they fail to realize that bartering is just a somewhat less efficient form of market

If [interaction] is voluntary, then it is a market process. If it is force, then it is a statist process, and has no place in an Anarchy

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Government is not your daddy, gives us an exposition of the political nature of the welfare state. and some of the twisted logic behind their supporters in “Feeding the needy or bolstering the Bureaucracy. I’m particularly fond of this point: proponents of transfer programs support them because:

2. They want to feel like humanitarians but, if it were left up to their own discretion, they’re not sure they would be as generous as the government is with their money. It isn’t that they have such great faith in the government, but that they’d rather hand over the responsibility to someone else than to accept that responsibility themselves

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Alex Ramos says we shouldn’t be willing to trade stability for freedom in The Argument from stability at his blog, The Freedom to Say 2+2=4.

The argument from stability is based on the premise that a stable system is better than an unstable one, without referring at all to the characteristics of the systems in question. Totalitarianism is very stable – leaders often rule for life, and conditions, while bad, can remain static for long periods of time. Anarchy, on the other hand, might be unstable, but it is also most conducive to freedom.

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Normally I would contribute a new, original post of my own, but I’ve been on vacation for a week, and I closed on my first house yesterday afternoon (in escrow, as the seller’s wire didn’t post…)  Needless to say, I’ve been busy enough that I can’t even provide links to other articles I’ve found interesting during the past few weeks, in fact, my Google Reader is filled with something like 600 blog posts, news articles, etc., that I haven’t read, being away from the interwebs.

Regular blogging should resume shortly.

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no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics