Anarcho Capitalism Sucks... Get Over It

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Anarcho Capitalism Sucks... Get Over It

Postby OciL » Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:36 am

I feel the need to start a new thread on why I hate anarcho-capitalism, because just the fact that people need to continuously explain why anarcho-capitalism is a stupid idea is very annoying. I hope to make this the thread to end all anarcho-capitalist threads.

Capitalism is a corrupt system where CEO's take advantage of what's not regulated and exploit labor for the good of rich people who do less work than the workers themselves for more money. Then at the end of each year you have multi-billion dollar business owners running companies while starving people in Indonesia knit the sweaters for the stores.

If you're going to have capitalism, the best thing you could do is heavily regulate it so less people get screwed (even though they will anyways). Now take capitalism and subtract the government and you have a land of highly exploited, lawless businesses paying kids 5 cents a day to breathe in coal for the good of their own profit. Black markets will become the only markets and unregulated hazardous, cancer causing resources will be at an all time high because people are only working for money. There won't be any taxes so the gap between the poor and the rich will be much higher than it already is and it'd be a complete disaster.

In anarcho-capitalism there'll be no cops. Now people can live without police but if you have a system based on exploitation, people will just steal and murder for money and it'll all be one big mob society (again... worse than it already is today). You want private property with no government? Good luck fending for yourself when the less privelleged blow up your house.

If you still consider yourself a capitalistic anarchist... instead... call yourself an extremist libertarian, set up a huge store and impose your business on third world countries so that way you can exploit all you want on 10 year old kids in Central America and then your dreams will come true! Many of today's CEO's already live their luxurious lives of this anarcho-capitalist paradise.

Ps - If an anarcho-capitalist revolution emerges... I'm taking your shit! :)
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Postby Parallax » Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:55 pm

I don't "hate" anarcho-capitalists (except for maybe the right-wing proto-Randroid type that writes of all other anarchists as Marxists), but I honestly do not see how their preferred society would be better than the one we have now. I mean, who would want to live in a society where your boss is in absolute control and there are no labor unions or government power to curtail his authority over you? I imagine such a world is an employer's dream, but not a dream for those who aren't employers or business owners.

There's an old biblical verse "Ye will know them by their fruits". Look at what type of people are usually "anarcho"-capitalists: business owners, investors, minifundists, workplace managers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, Wall Street workers, etc. Look at what kind of people usually comprise the other forms of anarchism: blue-collar laborers, white-collar workers, peasants, landless farmers and tenant farmers will little land, service workers, etc.

I think that says a lot. While some left-leaning forms of anarcho-capitalism might come close to forms of anarchism such as individualist or mutualist anarchism, I believe their wishes are still very different from that of indies and mutualists. Anarcho-capitalists (at least the majority of them, from my experiences) still fully expect a world where people would work 9-5 jobs (including cruddy service industry jobs and harsh factory jobs) and answer "Yes sir" "No ma'am" to their bosses. You still have to work for Bill Lumbergh. It's just that they view such contracts as "voluntary". The fact that your boss is a small-time capitalist instead of high-powered corporate CEO doesn't make much a difference. You're still a servant engaging in wage labor either way.

It's a little off-topic, but I agree with this post on the main news page where someone talks about how how individualist and mutualist anarchists need to stop pandering to anarcho-capitalists and the libertarian right and start engaging other anarchists if they want their movement to be as popular and relevant as it was in the late 19th century. Anarcho-capitalist organizations have more than enough support from corporate thinktanks like the Cato Institute and others. They aren't the ones out there in the streets protesting NAFTA and corporate "free trade" agreements and businesses with unfair labor practices.

http://www.infoshop.org/inews/article.p ... 9091450646

If "market" anarchists can support direct action coming from the general anarchist movement, perhaps a new dialog can be created. Market anarchism can be with us if they explicitly support our infoshops, our prison solidarity, our guerilla gardens, our desires for autonomous zones, our property damage and so on. Until this happens, I have little reason to support a form of anarchism that fetishes a jargon and dialog with American right wingers, while ignoring or dismissing the contemporary anarchist movement. The relevance of tax struggles and usury has more to do with small business interests, affecting only a small number of anarchists. Market anarchists are more disengaged from the general anarchist movement than anarchist academics.

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If practicing direct action market anarchists want to be relevant, they need to engage anarchists in general and stop pandering to the libertarian right wing. Kevin Carson has some good ideas with his holistic mutualism, but that only brings mutualism into a systems framework with only market variations on libertarian municipalism.

Ian McKay, the collectivist author of "An Anarchist FAQ" is also a "market" anarchist and his ideas also don't go far beyond Bookchin. Other Market anarchists, outside of the collectivists, make few references to the general anarchist movement. Their writings appeal to business minded people, presenting anti-authoritarian business ethics and ideas on changing small capitalism.

I would like to see more economic support for anarchists and their projects. While the economic system makes sense for business, the support from this shadow system for anarchists is political because of the open democracy. Liberals might buy the idea of mutualist business ethics, but give support to the state. The new mutualism promoted by the United Nations also disempowers.

In the business world, anarchists benefit from being exclusive and specifically anarchist. In Pittsburgh, the IWW worker-coop movement seems cool and close to what I'm talking about, but I don't see strong discussions from worker-coops that expose the mutual aid benefits for open anarchist projects, nor how worker-coops can provide clandestine support, prisoner solidarity and a role for anarchists that don't have the desire or ability to join a black bloc or other propaganda of the deed affinity tactic.

This is something that is deeply important to the movement as a whole. Trust fund kids do exist, but they are rare and the money often isn't available beyond a period of time. Theft and DIY do provide many things, but they don't provide for lawyer costs, mega-zines (magazines), strike (monetary) solidarity or permanent infoshop/media/community center space. All of this is currently a struggle for anarchists.

Market anarchists benefit from breaking with the idea they are promoting an ideal society and working in that direction. They benefit from a rejection of pacifism and an acceptance of (anti-)political property damage as propaganda of the deed. They benefit from being a support shadow economy and not necessarily a "dual power" in the traditional sense.


Some mutualists and indies fancy anarcho-capitalists as "comrades" simply because they profess to prefer small competition markets over industrial/post-industrial corporate capitalism and hold simlilar social libertarian values with other anarchists. They seem to view social anarchists as overreacting when we don't want any relationship with anarcho-capitalists. Maybe some of us do get carried away, but just because they share similar social values doesn't make anarcho-capitalists comrades. Especially when many of them have little concern for economic hierarchy, or their criticism for the current system is only against the state and not against anything in the current market system itself. Anarcho-capitalists and their friends (some anarcho-capitalists sympathize with "tax patriots", constitutionalists and paleoconservative neo-confederates) aren't the ones who will stand with anti-capitalist guerillas, mutual aid communities and prisoners.

If solidarity with pro-'free marketers' have become are more important than non-hierarchy, equality, solidarity, mutual aid and anti-authoritarianism (all kinds of authoritarianism, not just the government), maybe it's time to reconsider where your priorities lie. The reason why indies and mutualists have problems gaining popularity is because the majority of working people around the world aren't too concerned with market forces and libertarian business ethics when they can hardly feed themselves or are worried about being laid off.
"You may be the ones who own the plantations, but we are the ones WHO CUT THE CANE."
--Jose Dolores from iQueimada!; English Translation: Burn! Modeled after Toussaint L'Overture--
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Moderation warning

Postby Chuck0 » Sat Jul 14, 2007 8:12 pm

I want to point out to everyone that this thread is a classic example of trollbait. Starting a thread by saying that "XYZ sucks" is a form of trollbait.

I don't want to delete any threads, but if threads like this become more common, they will be deleted.

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Postby Tuckerite » Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:13 pm

Ocil you seem to have the mistaken idea that regulations actually are anti-big business. In general they aid them and help cartelise the economy.
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Postby skatetokil » Mon Jul 16, 2007 6:33 pm

I can hardly believe my ears. An anarchist calling for regulation? By the state?
e
Picture this ideal world of yours, call it up into your mind. Are you lounging on a beach eating berries that hang from conveniently placed bushes, screwing some beautiful maiden and watching the world go by? If so, remove head from ass and proceed directly to nearest library.

Survival is hard, it has always been hard, and even if it stopped being materially hard human beings would make up other ways for it to be hard.

I presume you are not so naive as to believe you will not do work to produce goods for yourself or others in this ideal world, but your posts don't indicate much realism in your political views. You might say that our current standard of living depends on slavery, but I think that such simplistic declarations do more harm than good. Every human relationship is a mixture of domination and submission, cooperation and coercion. So are we all slaves? Yes. But are we not masters also?

You say you want to end the corrupt capitalist system and that anarcho-capitalism would only preserve the authoritarian features of the present. However, consider the fact that "capitalism" as we know it and capitalism in theory are very different. Capitalism in theory is a system of voluntary association for production in which entrepreneurs can have access to the savings and wealth of the whole society for the right price. Capitalism in practice is the banner behind which armies march, the prices set by the men with the best guns and the markets anything but free.

So we're clear, capitalism has never existed in a world uncorrupted by the state. Even the so-called shadow economy, free free markets etc are reactions to its regulatory and coercive power, reactions that we view as freedom enhancing but still results of the ongoing battle between the forces of authoritarianism and the forces of freedom.

I know which side I'm on. I oppose offensive violence, coercion, propaganda, taxes, regulations, subsidies, bureaucracy, and secrecy. You might also oppose certain kinds of voluntary association, certain kinds of contracts that I would permit if I ruled the world but we can argue about the precise nature of the utopia we will never live to see or we can help fight in the showdown we all know is brewing.
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Postby Parallax » Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:08 pm

skatetokil wrote:I can hardly believe my ears. An anarchist calling for regulation? By the state?
e
Picture this ideal world of yours, call it up into your mind. Are you lounging on a beach eating berries that hang from conveniently placed bushes, screwing some beautiful maiden and watching the world go by? If so, remove head from ass and proceed directly to nearest library.

Survival is hard, it has always been hard, and even if it stopped being materially hard human beings would make up other ways for it to be hard.

I presume you are not so naive as to believe you will not do work to produce goods for yourself or others in this ideal world, but your posts don't indicate much realism in your political views. You might say that our current standard of living depends on slavery, but I think that such simplistic declarations do more harm than good. Every human relationship is a mixture of domination and submission, cooperation and coercion. So are we all slaves? Yes. But are we not masters also?

You say you want to end the corrupt capitalist system and that anarcho-capitalism would only preserve the authoritarian features of the present. However, consider the fact that "capitalism" as we know it and capitalism in theory are very different. Capitalism in theory is a system of voluntary association for production in which entrepreneurs can have access to the savings and wealth of the whole society for the right price. Capitalism in practice is the banner behind which armies march, the prices set by the men with the best guns and the markets anything but free.

So we're clear, capitalism has never existed in a world uncorrupted by the state. Even the so-called shadow economy, free free markets etc are reactions to its regulatory and coercive power, reactions that we view as freedom enhancing but still results of the ongoing battle between the forces of authoritarianism and the forces of freedom.

I know which side I'm on. I oppose offensive violence, coercion, propaganda, taxes, regulations, subsidies, bureaucracy, and secrecy. You might also oppose certain kinds of voluntary association, certain kinds of contracts that I would permit if I ruled the world but we can argue about the precise nature of the utopia we will never live to see or we can help fight in the showdown we all know is brewing.


Jeez, where are all these anarcho-capitalist sympathizers coming from lately? Now you're sitting here trying to justify capitalism? While you're talking about not believing an anarchist wanting state regulation, I can't believe I'm seeing an anarchist claim that the sins of capitalism are only because it is not "true capitalism" (trademark symbol). I'm no fan of either capitalism or the state, but if I have to live in a capitalistic system for the time being, I'd prefer one with social services so I can send my children to college and have available medical care for them if they get sick instead of my health care being a conditional job perk that my private sector job feels I can have. I'd rather have a job where I can at least be part of something of a union instead of being a union-less job where the employer can pay barely above minimum wage and there is no one for me to turn to. While you wax poetic about idea "free market" capitalism, the rest of us are living out here in reality in the Neoliberal sweatshop. I don't like the state but in the meantime I'd rather that I and my children have jobs to look forward to other than Wal-Mart and McDonald's, even if it means the government regulation and cracking down on monopolies and oligopolies. Why do you condemn bureaucratic social services but not corporate welfare and tax breaks for the wealthy?

You claim you oppose coercion, bureaucracy, regulations, etc. Do you also oppose capitalism?
"You may be the ones who own the plantations, but we are the ones WHO CUT THE CANE."
--Jose Dolores from iQueimada!; English Translation: Burn! Modeled after Toussaint L'Overture--
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Postby Tuckerite » Mon Jul 16, 2007 10:20 pm


Jeez, where are all these anarcho-capitalist sympathizers coming from lately? Now you're sitting here trying to justify capitalism? While you're talking about not believing an anarchist wanting state regulation, I can't believe I'm seeing an anarchist claim that the sins of capitalism are only because it is not "true capitalism" (trademark symbol). I'm no fan of either capitalism or the state, but if I have to live in a capitalistic system for the time being, I'd prefer one with social services so I can send my children to college and have available medical care for them if they get sick instead of my health care being a conditional job perk that my private sector job feels I can have. I'd rather have a job where I can at least be part of something of a union instead of being a union-less job where the employer can pay barely above minimum wage and there is no one for me to turn to. While you wax poetic about idea "free market" capitalism, the rest of us are living out here in reality in the Neoliberal sweatshop. I don't like the state but in the meantime I'd rather that I and my children have jobs to look forward to other than Wal-Mart and McDonald's, even if it means the government regulation and cracking down on monopolies and oligopolies. Why do you condemn bureaucratic social services but not corporate welfare and tax breaks for the wealthy?

You claim you oppose coercion, bureaucracy, regulations, etc. Do you also oppose capitalism?

The problem is that regulations help capitalism, they are not in general first and foremost to help the people but big business. Hence corporate interest were behind the New deal and the progressive era reforms.

The minimum wage for instance disadvantages smaller competitors cutting competition for big business and helping to cartelise the market.

I despise wage labour as much as you but it is important to have a realistic view of the market.
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Postby Parallax » Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:31 am

Tuckerite wrote:

Jeez, where are all these anarcho-capitalist sympathizers coming from lately? Now you're sitting here trying to justify capitalism? While you're talking about not believing an anarchist wanting state regulation, I can't believe I'm seeing an anarchist claim that the sins of capitalism are only because it is not "true capitalism" (trademark symbol). I'm no fan of either capitalism or the state, but if I have to live in a capitalistic system for the time being, I'd prefer one with social services so I can send my children to college and have available medical care for them if they get sick instead of my health care being a conditional job perk that my private sector job feels I can have. I'd rather have a job where I can at least be part of something of a union instead of being a union-less job where the employer can pay barely above minimum wage and there is no one for me to turn to. While you wax poetic about idea "free market" capitalism, the rest of us are living out here in reality in the Neoliberal sweatshop. I don't like the state but in the meantime I'd rather that I and my children have jobs to look forward to other than Wal-Mart and McDonald's, even if it means the government regulation and cracking down on monopolies and oligopolies. Why do you condemn bureaucratic social services but not corporate welfare and tax breaks for the wealthy?

You claim you oppose coercion, bureaucracy, regulations, etc. Do you also oppose capitalism?

The problem is that regulations help capitalism, they are not in general first and foremost to help the people but big business. Hence corporate interest were behind the New deal and the progressive era reforms.


I understand that. Trust me, I have no illusions that the government actually cares for workers any further than making sure they won't rebel against the system. I'm just saying that in the meantime, even though the state is the partern in crime with capitalism, I'd rather live in a capitalist system where I have some job security and job benefits rather than living in a deregulated capitalist system where there are no unions, jobs are constantly being outsourced and job security is almost non-existent.

But I also understand the danger that state reforms in a capitalistic system could bring about just as many problems as Neoliberal capitalism. And capitalistic reforms also have the potential of dampening revolutionary spirits by making the population more accepting of the status quo as state capitalism becomes more tolerable.

The minimum wage for instance disadvantages smaller competitors cutting competition for big business and helping to cartelise the market.


I've heard this said before, but respectfully I don't think it's completely true:

http://www.marylandpolicy.org/blog/2005 ... -wage.html

I despise wage labour as much as you but it is important to have a realistic view of the market.


True. I don't believe that markets are inherently bad. I just believe that capitalist markets, no matter what form, are bound to become unanarchistic. Just like if implemented in an authoritarian and centralized way, communism can potentially be bad, so can markets if markets have centralized authority and centralized control of propety (bosses) and centralization of wealth.
"You may be the ones who own the plantations, but we are the ones WHO CUT THE CANE."
--Jose Dolores from iQueimada!; English Translation: Burn! Modeled after Toussaint L'Overture--
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Postby |Y| » Tue Jul 17, 2007 1:42 am

Tuckerite wrote:The problem is that regulations help capitalism, they are not in general first and foremost to help the people but big business. Hence corporate interest were behind the New deal and the progressive era reforms.

The minimum wage for instance disadvantages smaller competitors cutting competition for big business and helping to cartelise the market.

I despise wage labour as much as you but it is important to have a realistic view of the market.


Indeed, regulations help capitalism. So why wouldn't capitalists invent regulations for their own benefit? What motivation would I have for not creating regulatory bodies for my own benefit? If I can do better by regulating my contracts with others, if I can do better by creating insitutions that regulate things, why would I not do it?
"There are self-styled "anarcho-capitalists" (not to be confused with anarchists of any persuasion), who want the state abolished as a regulator of capitalism, and government handed over to capitalists."

— Donald Rooum in What is Anarchism
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Postby Mike/R » Tue Jul 17, 2007 6:33 pm

Who pays for enforcing the regulations? It may be more cost-effective for the plutes to lobby a poly, and have the rest of the taxpayers pay for enforcement, than for the plutes to pay for enforcement themselves.
I receive and I give - such is human life. Each directs and is directed in his turn. Therefore there is no fixed and constant authority, but a continual exchange of mutual, temporary, and, above all, voluntary authority and subbordination. - Bakunin
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