Empifur’s Caveats

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    Spooner Bookman
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    Empifur’s Caveats

    Below is an offshoot of a conversation regarding something @empifur (representing AnCom) said in a conversation elsewhere:

    “I would say that in AnCap one would NOT be subject to aggression from communities which one did not choose to voluntarily associate with – at least in theory.

    I consider this acknowledgement a triumph. However, it was not Empifur’s final word on the matter:

    “That said, I think that there are some critical caveats.”

    The following is beginnings of addressing these caveats, if @empifur (or any AnCom representative) wants to respond?

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    AnCom’s Caveats: AnCap Will Result in Violence!

    A system like AnCap which pledges to protect the sovereignty of property will necessarily result in forceful violence against individuals.

    Evidence #1: The reason this result is inevitable is because it is in the interest of any such system to use violence in edge cases where it is unclear if a violation occurred or not, rather than to not.

    . . .

    Hypotheticals:

    Hypothetical #1: For an example of an edge case where it is in the interest of a private property regime to use violence, if two people create a thing together, and both claim sovereignty over it after a falling out, who gets it? How will AnCap solve a conflict like this if not by forceful violence against individuals?

    Hypothetical #2: For another example of an edge case where it is in the interest of a private property regime to use violence, if a dead parent doesn’t leave a will, who does their land belong to? How will AnCap solve the forceful violence against individuals that will occur as a result of this situation?

    Hypothetical #3: Suppose a good is unowned.

    . . .

    Questions Regarding Hypotheticals:

    Question #1 Regarding Hypotheticals #1 & #2: In the above two examples, what agents enforce these property rights?

    Question #2 Regarding Hypotheticals #1 & #2: Could these agents be influenced by wealth?

    Question #1 Regarding Hypothetical #3: How does a person come into ownership of it?

    Question #2 Regarding Hypothetical #3: If there are competing claims of ownership over a good, how is it arbitrated?

    Summary: In AnCap theory, there may not be excessive violence, but if AnCap ever got carried out, there will necessarily be excessive violence, and hence, AnCap ought to be rejected.

    AnCap Response
    I think you would admit there’s a lot of chicken on that bone?

    To try and get at it one manageable bite at a time: is it your assumption that AnCap has no response to any of these evidences, hypotheticals, and questions, or alternately, are you aware of the best AnCap responses to each but you still find them unconvincing? (Or something else I’m not thinking of?)

    Further, if you had to pick just one question from the above for me to address first, what question would it be?

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Epilogue: What Is Freedom, Anyway?

    AnCom: I would define ‘freedom’ as ‘the ability to achieve as much happiness in one’s life as one chooses to.’ As such, ‘freedom of action’ is ‘the ability to reach for happiness’ (as opposed to ‘a safeguarding against cutting off of choice’).

    In light of this, I have two questions for you:

    #1: Why is this definition of freedom necessarily worse than (that which I assume is) yours?

    #2: How would you define that?

    AnCap: #1: I don’t think your definition is ‘necessarily worse’ than mine. You are free to define any word however you want, and I’m happy to use any word in accordance with your definition. Definitions of words are simply there so we can communicate, so you can call a tree a fire hydrant if you want, just so long as you let me know what your definition is, and as long as you don’t change up your definition whenever it suits you (because that would make communication impossible and there’s no reason to continue).

    #2: Define what? Freedom? My short definition would ‘to not be subjected to aggression’.

    But the Google definition also works fine, i.e., ‘The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. Absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government. The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved. Independence, self-government, self-determination, self-rule, home rule, sovereignty, nonalignment, autonomy.’ (All of that jives with ‘not being subjected to aggression’ as far as I can tell.)

    AnCom: If “freedom of action” means something other than “freedom for everyone to achieve maximum happiness,” why should we value it?

    AnCap: Why should I value your definition of ‘freedom of action’ when it condones atrocities like rape? (Or do you not recognize your definition of ‘freedom’ clearly means the ‘freedom’ to rape someone?)

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