June 4, 2017 at 2:12 pm #408
A major point that I stress when trying to introduce people to anarchist ideas is the idea of being able to opt out of a community without physically relocating. While one might technically be able to create voluntary communities that one could only leave by physically relocating, it seems like doing this is an attempt to emulate State based societies and the associated practices and ideas within a system that is only minimally different, just different enough to be technically “Stateless” without really taking advantage of anarchist ideas or creating a system in which it would be hard for a State to redevelop.
Since I think of this as such a core issue, I thought I would solicit feedback and try to start a discussion about it. Anarcho-capitalist Peter Leeson has an article criticizing advocates of “vertically integrated proprietary communities,” (communities which are technically voluntary, since people voluntarily join them, but which have a single institution providing various services for the community, and which require people to move away in order to opt back out of the community,) and discussing reasons why the people running the community would have strong incentives to exploit and harm their tenants.
Apart from the question of whether States would likely develop in these communities, I also want to ask how, (if at all,) people here might try to justify them from a voluntaryist perspective. In particular, if someone doesn’t agree to abide by the property norms that the “owners” of such a proprietary community use to justify their absolute claim of dominion over the physical area on which the community resides, then are they bound by those property norms despite not agreeing to be bound by them, or are they not?
- This topic was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Jacob. Reason: clarified some weird phrasing
June 12, 2017 at 8:19 pm #411
It seems to me that Leeson totally ignores competition between PDAs as the primary reason that they don’t go rogue and become States.
Let’s back up and check my understanding. Leeson talks about the “folk theorem,” but never says exactly what it is. It seems to be the tit-for-tat strategy, a well-known (generally best) strategy for iterated Prisoners Dilemma games. Leeson’s “vertically integrated proprietary community” is what I would call Heathian anarchy.
“The model for Heathian anarchism is multi-tenant properties such as hotels, shopping centers, industrial parks, and apartment buildings. Multi-tenant properties are the opposite of traditional real-estate developments; the developers would lease the homes rather than sell them, and thus be responsible for providing community services to maintain rental income and land value. Spencer H. MacCallum gives three arguments for the Heathian leasehold model being superior to a subdivision model for a libertarian community: individual autonomy, entrepreneurial opportunity, and quality of community life.” – http://www.thefullwiki.org/Heathian_anarchism
Leeson’s argument that tit-for-tat by itself by ProprietaryCo customers may be insufficient to stop gross contract violations does not bother me at all, since I think that the internal tit-for-tat game is but one consideration. Competition with other PDAs (including other proprietary communities) is what keeps them honest. If people start moving out to other proprietary communities, then the rogue contract-breaking firm loses business.
He does make a good point that a very large area proprietary community can make it expensive to opt out. So at worst, at some large size, it might become a State. But keep in mind that such large economies of scale do not exist for police or fire services (as David Friedman has pointed out) so without a State proprietary communities would likely be small. What is the largest gated community in the US? What is the largest apartment building? Are they not orders of magnitude smaller than States? For Leeson’s argument to have any import, he would have to show how a monopoly proprietary community firm could possibly arise in a freed market. Otherwise, his objection to Heathian anarchism is kind of like the braindead socialist’s, “But what if one capitalist owned all the food?” We anarcho-capitalists are not required to come up with replies to every unlikely or impossible scenario that someone can imagine, just reasonable and likely ones. “But what if the zombie apocalypse occurred?” is not a valid objection.
I see the future stateless societies as having lots of experiments in lifestyle and economic systems. No doubt there will be some areas with non-territorial law and defense services – the PDA model – with some or many proprietary communities. Probably many of the proprietary communities will be anarcho-socialist, anarcho-mutualist, and geo-anarchist.
June 12, 2017 at 8:43 pm #412
I found the largest gated community in the US. It’s in Arkansas! Hot Springs Village has a population a bit less than 13,000, and has 26,000 mostly wooded acres.
June 27, 2017 at 9:58 am #426
“A major point that I stress when trying to introduce people to anarchist ideas is the idea of being able to opt out of a community without physically relocating.”
. . .
“…one might technically be able to create voluntary communities that one could only leave by physically relocating…’
What do you mean by ‘technically’? (Like, I would just say you CAN create voluntary communities like this. Nothing ‘technical’ about it, is there?)
. . .
“While one might technically be able to create voluntary communities that one could only leave by physically relocating, it seems like doing this is an attempt to emulate State based societies…”
States create roads today. AnCaps would likely create roads. States have fire departments. AnCaps would likely have fire departments. There are aspects of State based societies that AnCap would ‘emulate’ to some degree, just like AnCom would.
What’s the problem, exactly? Having things in a free society that you would find in a State based society will lead us towards re-introducing States?
. . .
“…it is only minimally different, just different enough to be technically ‘Stateless’…”
I’d argue that the use of the word ‘minimally’ to describe the difference is a bit off: the voluntary nature of these communities, while only one single difference from a State, is a HUGE difference, not a minimal one. Right, or no?
And again, just take ‘technically’ out (or let me know what you mean by it as I’m not real sure?): it’s not ‘technically’ Stateless – it would be, as a point of fact, Stateless. Right, or no?
. . .
“…without really taking advantage of anarchist ideas or creating a system in which it would be hard for a State to redevelop.”
‘How do we stop States from forming’ is always a good question. I haven’t read the article yet, or Hogeye’s response to your post, as I just wanted to give some thoughts off the top of my head. But I’ll read both and if I have anything to contribute on ‘whether States would likely develop in these communities’ I’ll chime back in…
. . .
“…‘vertically integrated proprietary communities,’ (communities which are technically voluntary, since people voluntarily join them, but which have a single institution providing various services for the community, and which require people to move away in order to opt back out of the community…)”
Again, why the ‘technically’ voluntary? Are they or are they not voluntary?
. . .
“…how, (if at all,) people here might try to justify them from a voluntaryist perspective.”
I justify them from a voluntaryist perspective because they are voluntary. Who am I to tell you that you cannot enter into a voluntary arrangement? If I did this, I would be anti-voluntaryist. (All of this seems rather obvious to me?)
My (or your) likely erroneous guesses as to how things in a particular style of voluntary community will turn out is entirely beside the point. It’s not the potential for success or failure of a community’s rules that make it voluntaryist. It’s simply whether or not the arrangement is voluntary.
. . .
“…are they bound by those property norms despite not agreeing to be bound by them, or are they not?”
But they did in fact agree to them, so ‘not agreeing to be bound by them’ isn’t exactly accurate.
The key issue is that they DID in fact agree to be bound by them BUT later changed their mind.
THAT is the BIG, difficult, perplexing mystery we’re trying to solve.
The thing is, it’s not that difficult to figure out:
All such communities (like all POAs today) would have a clearly stipulated exit clause. The non-aggressive solution is obviously to abide by whatever that clause stipulated. If either party refuses to abide by that clause, they are the aggressors, and should be dealt with as such.
- This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by Spooner Bookman. Reason: Typo
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