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Hobbes’ Mistake – The Rational Case For Anarchy

July 30, 2011 2 comments

Post link: http://anarchists.tk

whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. – The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independce of the United States, adopted by Congress on July 4th, 1776


Concerning the above police crime stats picture: What I call the Tax and Peace/Crime Paradox (TPP/TPC): Kentucky, with the lowest amount of police crime, has the highest amount of taxes on its citizens, and Vermont, with one of the lowest amount of taxes, has the highest rate! Kentucky is also one of the most polluted states. If that isn’t sad news for the American patriots and the poor, then what is?!

Perhaps anarchy can cleanse the United States and Britain, somewhat, temporarily, of its oppressive governments and their brutish criminal police forces, criminal for supporting their corrupt laws with the consent of most of them. But genuine cleansing that lasts, for those who want peace, will only come from God. Here is some insight on anarchy from Sauvik Chakraverti:

Hobbes’ Mistake – The Rational Case For Anarchy
by Sauvik Chakraverti
Times of India

In his classic “Leviathan”, written in 1651, the English political philosopher Thomas Hobbes established the liberal case for the state. He said that, without the ‘mortall god’ of the state to hold us all in awe, society would disintegrate, there would ensue “a war of each against all” and life would be “nasty, poore, brutish and short”. Since then, liberals in the West have upheld statism – and have encouraged state-building in the Third World. Today, it is seen that almost all the states of the Third World are predatory states, enemies of the people. They are huge kleptocracies which amass and then misuse economic powers and keep people poor. When libertarians talk of the need to do away with states and statism, we are accused, even by our liberal friends, of being anarchists. How do we defend ourselves from this charge?

The fact is: Thomas Hobbes was wrong. Very wrong. The following thought experiment will show how. Carry a tray of ripe bananas before a group of monkeys. What will happen? The monkeys will snatch and steal all the bananas: the Hobbesian war of each against all. Now take another tray of ripe bananas and carry them to a place where there are no monkeys but lots of human beings: Chandni Chowk, Connaught Place, Crawford Market… What will happen? No one will steal your bananas. If they want your bananas, humans will politely ask whether you will offer them in exchange for money. Homo Economicus is a moral creature. Because he has the ability to exchange, which the monkey does not, Homo Economicus does not snatch and steal. He has an inborn morality that respects property rights. In stark contrast, the Constitution of India does not recognise property rights!

Now, hang around in the market a little longer and observe who are the monkeys amongst us. Then you will see the policeman extorting goods for free; you will see the municipal functionary preying on urban commerce. These are the cutting-edge personnel of the predatory state. This clearly shows that: 1) the market is a secular basis of human morality; and 2) power corrupts.

Yet, it is important to note that Thomas Hobbes was a liberal. In Leviathan he does mention that every man would very much prefer to rule himself. We sacrifice some of our freedoms in exchange for the law and order that the state creates. The original cover illustration of Leviathan shows a huge king-like figure wielding a massive sword. A little careful examination reveals that the body of the ‘mortall god’ is completely made up of little people: the citizens. “Leviathan bears the body of the citizenry,” Hobbes says. In predatory states it is obvious that the sword of state is not borne by a ‘mortall god’. Rather, it is in the hands of a huge monkey. And its body is not composed of the citizenry; rather, it is composed entirely of little monkeys. Why should the entire Third World continue to suffer this situation? Will not absolute freedom – anarchy – be better?

The word anarchy has a beautiful meaning: no ruler. It does not mean chaos, as the enemies of freedom would have you believe. It means, quite simply, that the king is dead, and there are to be no more kings. All human beings are free and equal. There is no one to lord over us. There is no one with power. Before dismissing this option outright, let us inquire into what forces within civil society will maintain morality and order in the absence of the state.

Under conditions of anarcho-capitalism – no state – all the people will seek their survival in the free market. Statists believe that under such conditions robbery and thievery will ensue, but are their fears based on reality? After all, in a free market, cheating succeeds only in the short term. Every capitalist knows that, for long-term success, he has to protect his reputation. That is why brand names and brand equity matter so much in assuring us of quality. Only those who satisfy customers will succeed in the long run, and that is why morality will rule.

Secondly, in a completely free market, credit will go only to the creditworthy. Unlike today, when political allocation of credit prompts many to not pay their dues, under anarcho-capitalism, everyone will realise that creditworthiness is something to be cherished and carefully nurtured. Free banking will ensure more moral behaviour than politicised banking.

Thirdly, human beings, apart from being economic creatures, are also sexual creatures. This prompts them to raise families. Without a state that will look after them in times of trouble, under anarcho-capitalism, the family will be the main source of support. Families will be strong. Children will be well brought up. This shows that there are only two secular bases of human morality: the market and the sexual union. Not the state, which is a promoter of immorality.

Some will say that the free market cannot exist without supporting institutions. This is true. There must be courts and justice. But law is also an enterprise. Today, the monopolistic state courts system is hopelessly clogged and does not deliver timely justice. Further, it is based on the socialistic disregard for property rights, which cannot co-exist with the free market. We will need property rights to be enforced; we will need disputes to be settled or adjudicated. All this can happen easily under anarcho-capitalism.

Lastly, we will need some form of policing. This must be done because there will be a few thieves, rapists and murderers amongst us: a free society is not a perfect society. But, throughout history, such plunderers have come from outside the city, and the city people have always organised themselves for their own protection. Today, in our cities of joy, entire communities get murdered with tacit state police support. Tomorrow, with self-policing, we shall surely be safer.

The entire Third World, comprising two-thirds of humanity, is suffering because of Thomas Hobbes’ mistake. We must unitedly reject the notion of Leviathan. Statelessness and anarcho-capitalism will make us rich, moral and safe. We will all achieve our destiny. The path we must take is not to reform the state and its institutions, but to do away with them altogether. What is required is shifting the paradigm from nation-states to associations of free trading cities: limiting politics to the polis. – Source

I was wondering, thinking that anarchy in America at this point would be better then the system we have now, because there are millions of people in jail, sapping the states caring for them all, many of them in there for petty reasons (though I imagine many of these people in jail for petty offenses have done worse and just didn’t get caught, and were pestering others) and police officers offended at people giving them attitude. I know people hate me and Christians for judging them (not as in simply pointing out a person’s sins so they will stop, which the Bible implies not to do, but only if it’s to correct an attacker on Christianity the first or second time you hear their mockery and don’t see anyone else rebuking them, or so that others will learn from their mistakes, or to lead someone to Christ), so, it makes sense that the world would also hate police officers for “playing judge” over them. But it’s obvious that there are many corrupt and mentally ill police officers and judges all over the world who are wasting time and money by locking people away for petty offenses who are not a great danger to society like dealers of hard drugs are, molesters, murderers (that includes abortionists), rapists, prostitutes, people who do sexual acts in public, people who expose themselves in public, habitual thieves, thieves who steal items that can hurt a person’s life badly, robbers of the poor, being severely drunken or disorderly in public (and especially if unprovoked), abusers of children, stalkers, terrorists of some sort, and people who misuse their authority, like judges , police, and corrections officers to harass, interrogate, harm, detain or imprison people unlawfully. Instead, many American jails are filled with people who have offended an officer and charged therefore with “obstruction”, trespassers (people taking shortcuts to get somewhere, and not bothering anyone or damaging anything on their way) and people caught with some drugs, some alcohol, or who were a little drunk or drugged in public. And the time spent on dealing with so many people, moving them around and caring them, is a huge waste of time and money which could spent on people who are already very dangerous, in hiding, or on the prowl. Any many people are in jail on the word of one witness or two, and one witness is doubtable. And many of the rebels in prison are habitual offenders, who should be banished or executed, not lumped in with millions to drain the rest of the country to death of its wealth. Is that just, does this help the supposed goal that the authorities of America have to improve its efficiency, economy, peace, happiness, morality and advancement in science or religious truths? No way.

Now about Sauvik’s writing on anarchy here, I disagree with him about humans necessarily acting better than animals, especially since the Bible, in my opinion, makes animals out to be less sinful (will all monkey’s rob someone walking around with food, or more monkeys vs humans? that all depends on the monkeys and humans doesn’t it?), but, in general, given the huge amount of waste and oppression from the top to the bottom authorities, including the many stupid parents, young adults, and kids that decent to righteous people must struggle with in some way daily, it sure does seem like America and other police states would be better off, again, in general without police, without state governments, or rather, with only state and federal police and only the central governments we have now. And everyone who has been to court or waits on it and who is in jail or prison awaiting justice, knows that it is hardly speedy for most people. Justice for the poor is poor, and the few rich in comparison can and do easily afford justice, even injustice, attacking those they hate through the police and courts or mass media. Some might argue that the poor can’t afford good weapons to defend themselves, and that is why it’s good to have police and a state and national government: but I would argue all the time and money used on police and by them could be freed up by getting rid of them which would then make it available to the poor so that they could defend themselves. And everyone knows the argument that there would be less crime if everyone had their own guns to defend themselves (and I imagine that raising the stakes of making it a life or death situation when attacking someone would also make many gun-owning criminals delay any attacks they plan on making). Further, it is known that police do not hang around to prevent incidents in most cases, but just look around for a while, if at all, or when seeing those who’ve been accused of crimes (and there is evidence of those crimes) make things worse by there mere presence, inspiring the criminals to come up with lies or to take revenge and leave for a while, allowing them to get away with their crime. The current police system is also anti-capitalistic: where is the competition other than between counties and states? Imagine if you had to move to a different town, county or state to get a better product, at some point, unless you were very healthy, had a large family (helpers) and a job that didn’t depend on your location, you’ be worn out and drained of money fast. Can you call one police “company” over another? The only alternative for a weak, defenseless, sick, disabled or disoriented person is some local security, but if the population of the area is small, there may not even be that alternative. And few people are willing to or able to afford to move to go to some place where the police and community friendliness have a high approval rating and the amount of crime is low.

References:

Police brutality cases on rise since 9/11

[Police Murder the Disabled] In Cold Blood

U.S. Prison Population Tops 2 Million

1 in 142 US residents now in prison U.S. Prison Population Tops 2 Million

Prison and Jail Population Reaches 2.2 Million

US Prison Population at All-Time High

Prisons, Jails & Probation – Overview

New High In U.S. Prison Numbers
Growth Attributed To More Stringent Sentencing Laws

Incarcerated Felon Population in the US by Type of Crime Committed, 1974-2008 (note that there is a very annoying bookmarking panel in the way of the text, but clicking settings on the bottom of it makes it go away, and you must also close the window that pops up when you do that to make this “settings” window go away too)

More Information:

A Case for Anarchy

Efficient Anarchy

Forest Life – Anarchy Does Work

The Moral Case for Anarchy

Why Hobbes’ State of Nature is Best Modeled by an Assurance Game

Thomas Hobbes Was Right Anarchy Does Not Work

The Bible, Government and Christian Anarchy

Related Information:

Talk about unfair power: US Police are protected by the defense of immunity

Most people in prison or jail have low levels of educational achievement, have limited job skills, and report low earnings prior to their incarceration

Incarceration is not an equal opportunity punishment

Links to virtually all the empirical criminal justice research available online

“The Israelites said to Gideon, “Rule over us—you, your son and your grandson—because you have saved us from the hand of Midian.” But Gideon told them, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. Yahweh will rule over you.”” – Judges 8:22-23

“In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” – Judges 20-21

“locusts have no king,yet they advance together in ranks” – Proverbs 30:27

“When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.” – Proverbs 28:2

“A ruler who hearkens to lies will have corrupt officials” – Proverbs 29:12

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