יום שבת, 12 במאי 2018

עדכונים - הפודקאסט עדיין לא חזר, מפגש פעילים שבועי ועוד

מאחר ולא יוצא לנו להשתמע מידי שבוע כפי שהיה קורה בעבר כשהייתי משדר כמעט בכל שישי אחה"צ, חשבתי שיהיה נחמד לשתף בפוסט עם כמה עדכונים. הדבר הראשון הוא ההרצאה "ההונאה הכי גדולה ביקום" אותה סיימתי להפיק ופירסמתי בתחילת אפריל. זה התחיל מרעיון להעביר הרצאות קצרות של חצי שעה-שעה בלייב, וככל שהתקדמתי באיסוף החומר והעריכה התברר לי שמה שאצטרך זה לפחות 4-5 שעות. אז החלטתי לשחרר את ההרצאה להאזנה חופשית באינטרנט, ואני מקווה להכין הרצאות ממוקדות וקצרות יותר אותן אוכל להעביר בלייב במקומות שונים. אם אתם יודעים על מקום שיהיה מעוניין בהרצאה שכזו, אשמח שתפנו אותו אלי.

העדכון הבא הוא על מפגש שבועי בשם "ראשון וולונטרי" עליו החלטנו כשישבנו לשיחה ארוכה בפיקניק איש חופשי 2018. המפגש הראשון יתקיים מחר, ה-13 למאי ברמת גן (פרטים בדף האירוע בפייסבוק של ראשון וולונטרי, ניתן ליצור קשר איתי במידה ןאין לכם פייסבוק), כאשר המיקום יהיה בכל פעם ביתו של פעיל אחר. ישנם הרבה פרויקטים קטנים וגדולים שהתחלנו, והמפגש השבועי הוא מקום נהדר גם ללמוד עליהם, להכיר את האנשים שפועלים מאחורי הקלעים וגם לאלו שכבר התחילו - להיפגש ולתאם ולדון בפעילויות השוטפות.

לגבי הפודקסט, אני לא מתכנן לחזור ולשדר בקרוב, לפחות לא תחת הכותרת "פרויקט אין מדינה בישראל", מאחר ואני לא רוצה להפוך את זה לתוכנית מאוד שונה מ-"No State Project" של מארק סטיבנס. זה אומר שנצטרך פשוט לחכות שיותר אנשים ילדמו כיצד להתגונן בפני מתקפות ביורוקרטיות בשיטה של מארק, ואז יהיה טעם לשדר תוכנית שעוסקת בעזרה ודיון מסביב אקטיביזם מסוג זה.

ובקשר אישי אלי, הייתה לי תקופה מאוד קשה עם סימבה כלבתי האהובה שלקתה בסרטן ומתה בתחילת אפריל. זו הייתה חצי שנה עם המון עיסוקים מסביב ווטרינרים, טיפול בסימבה, ובילוי איתה. זו אחת הסיבות בגלל דחיתי המון פעילות חברתית. את מותה של סימבה היה לי מאוד קשה לקבל, אך עם זאת התפנה לי פתאום המון זמן מה שאיפשר לי לעבוד המון שעות ולשחרר את "ההונאה הכי גדולה ביקום" לאחר כמה ימים. אני עדיין מתגעגע ואוהב אותה וזה ישאר איתי לנצח. כולי תודה לסימבה שהייתה איתי. למדתי כל כך הרבה ממנה, ובלכתה למדתי שיעור ענק על משמעות החיים והתהום הענק שקיים בין אנשים שלכאורה נראים קרובים אלינו.

יום ראשון, 4 במרץ 2018

החובה לציית - העניין היחיד שצריך לדבר עליו

מידי פעם אני מואשם בעידוד פורענות ושאיפה ליצור כאוס כאשר אני מסביר שאין שום הוכחה שאנו מחויבים לציית לחוקים של "המדינה". בעוד שאני סבור שגם ללא חוקים המצב בכביש לא יהיה קטסטרופלי, חשוב להסביר שכאנרכיסט אני לא נגד חוקים, אני רק נגד מחוקקים. אז למה כאשר אני מקבל קנס אני לא משלם אותו, לא מקבל את הטענה לבעלות של "המדינה" על הכבישים ובמקום, מאתגר את חלות החוק?

בחברה אנרכיסטית הכבישים (כמו כל פיסת אדמה בערך) יהיו פרטיים. זה לא אומר שלכל מקטע כביש שנעבור בו יהיו חוקים שונים ואנו נאלץ ללמוד עשרות או מאות קבצי חוק שונים בשביל הנסיעות הרגילות שלנו. אדם או חברה שתרכוש כביש לא צריכה את העול של יצירת חוקים ואכיפה, בשביל זה יש את חברות הביטוח, וככל הנראה החוקים הבסיסיים יהיו זהים בכל חברות הביטוח.

כיום, כאשר שוטר עוצר אותך ורושם לך דוח על נאמר "מהירות מופרזת", העניין הוא לא עצם קיומה של מגבלה כלשהי, אלא השרירותיות בה אותה מגבלה נקבעת והסנקציה (תשלום קנס) שמלווה למגבלה הזו. בחברה חופשית, אתה תוכל לבחור את חברת ופוליסת הביטוח שלך מתוך מגוון הצעות שונות, שכוללות חוקים שונים (למשל מגבלות מהירות שונות על פי מבחנים ומחירי פוליסה שונים).

בתי המשפט של "המדינה" אינם מסוגלים לספק משפט הוגן, שכן, אותו הגוף שמאשים אותך הוא הגוף ששופט, וכביכול גם הגוף שכביכול, מספק לך שירות והגנה. זה טירוף לחשוב שקבוצה של אנשים שכל הבסיס להתקשרות שלהם איתך היא כפייה אלימה, יספקו לך הגנה ובטחון, וגם יאשימו אותך וגם ישפטו אותך. הדרך היחידה שנכון לתקוף את ההונאה הזו היא לאתגר את הרעיון שיש בנינך אליהם איזו התקשרות לגיטימית.

אני אחזור על זה -- אין שום דרך מועילה לאתגר את חוסר ההיגיון בתוכן של החוקים. התוכן של החוקים זה עניין "משפטי", ממש בדומה ל"מסוכנות" של קנאביס, דעה פוליטית ומשפטית, לעובדות המציאות, ראיות והיגיון אין ולא יהיה שום קשר במערכת השלטון. התעמולה מספרת שהחוקים קיימים רק בשביל להגן ולהבטיח את שלום הזולת, אבל אני לא באמת מאמין לזה. אני די בטוח שהחוקים פה בעיקר בשביל לשלוט, להכניע ולשדוד אותנו.

להצביע על כך שכאשר אתה נוהג בכביש ריק לחלוטין, לא יכולה להיות סכנה מהמהירות בה אתה נוהג - זה דבר שכנראה לעולם לא יפעל לטובתך. להפך, אתה תואשם בכך שאתה חושב שאתה יכול לבחור איזה חוקים מתאימים לך ואיזה לא. כאשר האנשים שמכנים את עצמם "המדינה" מתקיפים אותך, אין שום דרך מועילה לקיים דיון ענייני, כנה ומשמעותי סביב ההשלכות של המעשים שלך.

העניין היחיד שצריך לדבר עליו זו ההנחה שלהם שנקודת הפתיחה של כל הדיון זה שאתה חייב לציית לחוקים שלהם. שזה לגיטימי כאשר הם כותבים דעות פוליטיות ומשפטיות ותוקפים אותך כאשר אתה לא מציית. אם אתה מוותר להם על הנקודה הזו, לא יהיו לך שום בלמים ואיזונים בהמשך הדרך להחזיר את השפיות ביחסים שלך אם הפושעים האלה.

יום שני, 19 בפברואר 2018

An honest discussion with Jan Helfeld is impossible, here's why

The following conversation is brought as evidence as to why Jan Helfeld shouldn't be regarded as someone worth debating. Look, people can be wrong, people can be stupid, but when people are dishonest and intentionally undermine the basic requirements for a critical discussion - conversing with them is a waste of air.

After posting a post-debate analysis (Victor Pross and Jan Helfeld, Anarchism Vs. Minarchism), Jan Helfeld asked that I read and respond to this "questions and extended remarks" (which is a block of nonsense he copy and pastes for anarchists to answer). I have done so, in length, see the previous post on my blog. Jan didn't have the time to read my answer, but has instead asked me to answer some more questions. I took the time to answer those even though I suspected they are nothing more than a window to escape through, to allow him to not deal with my original criticism.

Here are the questions he asked me to answer (after I've answered his "questions and extended remarks")

JAN HELFELD: Here are some fundamentals for you to answer:

1) how do you construct a valid principle ?
2) What is the relationship between a valid principal and the consequences of the actions of subsume ?
3) What is your ultimate value? I mean your supreme good that you expect to achieve with all your actions including advocating for advocating for Anarchy?
4) Do you think that persuading people there should be no victimless crime’s advances freedom?
5) Do you think that persuading people to have a non-interventionist policy advances freedom?
6) Do you think eliminating redistribution of wealth advances freedom? This is what I do in the public arena which you claim does not advance freedom at all. Please confirm.

And here's the answers I gave him on those questions:

EYAL LIOR: "how do you construct a valid principle" - Moral principle I suppose, the answer is UPB. Universally Preferable Behavior. I use the UPB framework to validate moral theories.

“consequences of the actions of subsume” sorry I didn’t get what you mean by “subsume”.

My ultimate value would be to be happy, to be good.

With victimless crimes, people either know it within themselves and feel suddenly more connected to their inner self when someone for the first time in their life talks with them about this realization, or they don’t and they have an obedient slave mentality, and then talking with them about principles is not changing their thinking. They have no thinking of their own. But those who do think for themselves, by talking with them about philosophy of morality, we give them tools to see truth better and to connect with others who think alike. When thinking people start letting go of statist friends and start to align with like minded thinkers, freedom get’s built.

I think that persuading people to stay away from government, not become dependent on it, not in good times and not in bad times, is helping us not lose healthy minds to this monster. When people become dependent on government, either by getting some help or by doing business with them, working for them, they become biased almost beyond repair.

I also think that voting and promoting politicians has the same negative side effect like any magic diet, you avoid doing the heavy lifting because you believe voting and protesting will do the work for you.

I think that the root of all political problems is not the commands politicians give, be it i.e. to redistribute wealth, but the root and the big problem is the willingness of millions of people to blindly obey and commit immoral actions because of political rules. So if you work to change the rules, you’re fighting the symptom, not the root of the problem, and also I think it’s not working. Fixing the system from the inside just doesn’t work. The benefit for a power group to push for getting government funds is huge, while the benefit for all other people to push against such funding is very low. If there was not a lot of rains this winter and 300 farmers push the government to give them $300M, it’s really worth while for them to spend time and money to try to get this funding, but for 300M Americans, it’s not worthwhile to protest against that funding, they each will lose only 1$.

Also, taxation is theft, government does wicked horrible stuff, jails tons of innocent people, and even if it could be fixed it doesn’t deserve to be fixed. It’s an evil and dangerous institution, and everything it does could be done much better in the free market. There is no evidence that it’s improving, and if it’s not improving, then spreading false hopes is not only not advancing freedom, it hinders the efforts toward freedom.

And here is the conversation killer, the debate ender that Jan has thrown back at me.

JAN HELFELD: I am glad I asked you these fundamental questions. I was surprised to see when it comes to fundamentals you are a follower and not an independent thinker because you go by what is universally preferable which in the first place does not exist except in the sense of a majority of people may think something and you are the sheep who follows the majority. Regarding your ultimate value you do not define what it is to be good except maybe in terms of what other people think, That is universally preferable and who knows what that is. You need to define what you mean by to be happy. Anyway I can’t go through all the problems in your fundamentals believe me there are plenty . It also makes no sense to discuss political theory unless we are in agreement on your ultimate value because the purpose of any political theory is to achieve the theorists view and ultimate value. Good luck

This is what I wrote in a reply comment, explaining why it's a straw-man argument that he's attacking, and why I am sure he's not merely mistaken but intentionally being dishonest and evading the serious criticism given to his "tanks in the street/mini-wars" arguments scare-stories.

EYAL LIOR: Jan, not only you are incorrect about the meaning of "universally preferable", but you also not following basic critical dialog rules that require you to do your best to understand the opponent position, and not attack straw-man arguments.

"Universally preferable" is not "what the majority prefers". It's confusing, I know, lots of people get confuse there. Notice the ___able suffix of the word. Universally preferable behavior is that which logically *can* be preferred by everybody, so, not necessarily that which *is* preferred by all. To give an example - Take the behavior of "stealing". Stealing cannot be preferred by everybody, as, if you and I prefer that you to steal my car, it is not stealing because stealing requires that I don't prefer you take my car.

So far for the straw-man argument you were attacking, and your conclusion "you are the sheep who follows the majority" that is based on that straw-man.

Jan just admit it, you're not willing to discuss my criticism and this is why you try to steer the conversation to "what is good what is happy what is your ultimate value".

Honest critical discussion requires the participants to assume the good intentions of each other. Asking "what is good" is undermining the basic assumption REQUIRED in any discussion, which is that the truth is universally preferable and that both parties prefer the truth, see it as a good thing.

יום שבת, 17 בפברואר 2018

Response to Jan Helfeld's extended remarks (why he is not an anarchist)

In response to my post-debate analysis of “Anarchism Vs. Minarchism, Victor Pross and Jan Helfeld, part 2”, Jan asked me to answer some questions and relate to his extended remarks that he is copy-pasting to every debate he has with Anarchists. The following is my response. Moreover, I have listened today to the debate for a 2nd time, and I was amazed to pick up a lot of things that I didn’t notice in the first listening. For instance, there were some things that Jan said that in first listening, I took as attempts to gaslight (i.e. “don’t be so angry that you can’t think straight”) and in second listening I understand this to be a sincere worry. I don’t think that anarchists like Victor, and other prominent thinkers are clouded by anger, but I still take Jan’s statement as honest worrying and take back my accusation of gaslighting.

I’ll begin with agreeing with him that things not only could be worse, but I am with him on the position that many anarchists are mistaken when they claim it can’t be worse. And I mean it in two ways, one is that the government can become tyrannical, and second is that anarchy can be worse than what we have now. I think though, that the risk of a western government becoming tyrannical is higher than of an anarchist society becoming equally bad, and that is based on my basic understanding of free market mechanisms.

Jan’s conception of anarchy seems similar to a national geographic movie about a cheetah and a lion. In his specific movie, the lion gets to drive the cheetah away from the gazelle it caught, and the cheetah doesn’t get to eat its prey. This cheetah has spent hours waiting to catch the gazelle, she’s spent energy running after it, and now she’s left even more hungry, with nothing to eat. The End. Of the movie at least, because if this national geographic movie was representing of everything that happens in the jungle, then we wouldn’t see cheetahs today.

In an anarchist society, at some point in time and place, situations similar to that of the lion, cheetah and poor gazelle may happen unfortunately. They also happen in a statist society, and not very seldom. And just like the fact that the cheetahs don’t go extinct, and that lions don’t show up everytime cheetahs go hunting, in an anarchist society and under statist society, that “jungle rule” situation is not the norm. Also, it would be wrong to draw too much conclusions about human society by looking at cheetah and lions. They’re lack of ability to think abstractly on the whole situation, and work to change it and maybe invent some technology on the way, make them a bad model for humanity.

In the 2nd hearing of the debate I could understand better what Jan meant in the beginning when he said that under anarchy, there would be so many laws, that it would be impossible to know if you’re breaking one or not. This position is something big and it’s worth exploring and refuting, but also upon 2nd hearing I took notice how Victor wasn’t well prepared for the debate format. Maybe too focused on the rules, he used up his 10 questions in a way that seemed like he’s trying to show Jan how statism is a self contradicting theory, but what he didn’t do is focus on shedding light on the contradictions and errors in the specific ideas Jan was presenting, not knowing which laws to abide by being a big one.

We know that in an anarchist society, everything will be privately owned. Roads, parks, you name it. So let’s take roads for instance. One way things could work in an anarchist society, is that owners of roads will not have 1 book of rules for the road, but just basic rules like direction of driving, no stopping in the middle of a highway, the basics. Everything that is not that basic and where there are different approaches, for instance maximum speed - this could be the responsibility of the DRO of each driver. So for instance, one driver could sign up for a DRO policy that permits him to drive 80mph on a certain road, while another driver may choose a cheaper policy and be limited to 60 mph. One DRO may allow his customers to have 1 bottle of beer before driving, while another may have a more strict policy on alcohol and driving. Everyone will be fully aware of the rules that apply to them, since they sign up with a DRO of their choosing and they’re choosing based on the set of laws they like.

Arbitration, negotiations, financial and other forms of settlements between DROs would not be the norm, as they are expensive. So for instance, let’s say we have a DRO that forbids drinking and driving, not even a zip of alcohol, and another DRO permits his customers to drive after having 1 beer. And let’s say there is an accident now, and the DRO that forbids alcohol is convinced that the cause of the accident must have been the alcohol, and refuses to consider other options. And they want money. Now the more liberal DRO is in trouble. What will they do? Get into a costy conflict each time there’s an accident where the other DRO is involved? Stop letting their drivers drink (a little bit) and drive? No, because they know it’s not the reason for the accidents, and it’s a big market, many people drive responsibly after 1 beer and there is money to be made here.

There are several possible outcomes to that situation. One of them is that the policy that allows drinking and driving will become more expensive, or that the deductible will go up in case of an accident where the driver cannot prove he wasn’t drinking. Road owners may have a say too in the matter, and other DROs who have alliances may as well get involved in the equation. With today’s technology it’s even easier to prove who’s to blame for an accident, and anyways, if A caused an accident and collided from behind into B, it doesn’t even matter to B whether it’s because of drinking and driving or not -- A (his DRO) will have to pay restitution, and A’s premium will go up afterwards.

So far for it being impossible to live in anarchy, because there are too many DROs with too many laws. Basically, to say that it won’t work, because you can’t see who it will work, is a classic fallacy of “Argument From Incredulity”.

Next issue is the conception that DROs with little firepower will have to kowtow to DROs with big firepower. This in fact is true, but it’s not a problem in an off itself. The DROs with little firepower can still choose to which big DRO to kowtow to.

And now to the extended remarks. This piece is full of assumptions which are not supported by facts and logic, only by more assumptions. In it, Jan baselessly assumes DROs won’t go after gangs of criminals unless to directly protect a specific customer, so they’ll let murderers, rapists and terrorists flood the streets, and only act when a customer is in distress. I think there are better business strategies, but Jan baselessly assumes DROs will be managed by stupid people I guess. Think about it. If you were a potential customer, and the DRO would tell you “we don’t go after rapists and serial killers, we only act when their attacking you” -- would you buy their service? What if another DRO told you that they DO go after criminals in the area, and provide pro-active security, wouldn’t you prefer to contract with them over the former?

Next is the fact that Jan baselessly assumes DROs will be weaker than today’s state police (“an arms race between criminal gangs and defense agencies”). While some statist use the “free rider” argument to support their position that it would be difficult to fund DROs, Jan presents no theory to support his assumption that DRO’s will be weak.

And then comes civil war. Jan probably thinks of past civil wars where two statist groups were fighting over the control of the state. What he doesn’t get is that if a society refuses to be “governed” by a gang with monopoly on the use of force, then no group can win the control over the public. Also, even if we accept that indeed, there is some risk that two DROs will go to war, it’s a very low risk, and even though it’s higher than the… ok... about zero percent (0%) risk that today’s police will go to war with… hmmmm… there is no other police force to go to war with.

But why isn’t there? Oh, it’s because if you want to start your own peaceful police force, and just offer safety and protection from murderers, rapists and burglars…. The state police will go to war with you. So let me just take back what I wrote in the previous paragraph, because the risk that the state police will go to war with another police is not just high, it’s an absolutely certainty. Just test them. Declare publicly that you’re starting your own competitive police business, and see who starts the aggression.

And then come mini-wars. Jan has go one David to say that “sometimes” defense agencies will fight. The next sentence in the extended remarks is a conclusion that this will end in mini wars. But Jan needs to clarify what he assumes here, how many DRO will go to war? What kind of DROs? Will it be the ones with big firepower? small firepower? A big one against a small one? Jan is jumping into conclusions here. If two small DROs go to war, this may very much end in someone breaking a leg, someone losing an eye, and two companies gone bankrupt. Jan must present a valid theory why a conflict between DROs will lead to a mini war, what he exactly means by mini war, and why they won’t chose mediation, negotiation and compromise. War costs money. Warriors get paid way more than clerks, and if they get injured or die it’s millions in compensation for each, and it becomes even harder to hire new ones. Not a great business strategy this mini war thing. Why assume the most successful business people will do such a stupid move, and that this will be the norm? Why assume that? It’s nothing but a scare story, because there is no theory given to support it.

Jan's position that when more than one organization has fire-power, then there's a risk of mini-war and thus, it is better to have just one organization with firepower - is refuted by the answer he gave Victor's 6th question, regarding global government. According to Jan's logic, having one global world government is the solution to wars. But Jan doesn't want a world government, because he says people should be able to escape from one bad government to another. Well Jan, that's the exact reason more than one police is needed too.

Next after simple mini-wars we get the other DROs to become involved, and your life will be miserable according to Jan. You see, someone fights with you over a parking space, all the sudden it’s a slippery slope and everybody’s life is ruined in this city. You know that this is a logical fallacy, and not a valid argument right Jan? It’s called “Slippery Slope”.

Ok, we’re done with wars now and Jan talks about how crime rates will rise because with governments you have protection, and without governments, not everybody gets that wonderful protection that we all have now. But wait a moment, am I protected by the state against murder? No. Having my car stolen? Well, if you consider “protection” to equal being allowed to report a crime after it happened, and having almost nothing done later, than the conclusion that this will end in more crime is invalid.

And now finally come the tanks, guided missiles and drones which we’ve all waited for. Criminals will get tanks, and tanks create more victims than handguns. Makes sense no? Jan is convinced that DROs will let their customers sell tanks and guided missiles to criminals. I mean, look, if there are tanks and guided missiles to buy, there’s a factory that produces them, and the DROs must be the biggest clients, so no, a factory that will sell a tank to a gang of criminals will lose the sell of 100 tanks to a factory that doesn’t, and the criminals with a tank will have to face DROs with 100 tanks.

It’s time for a contradiction, and it’s not a little contradiction like would you steal an apple if hungry? Yes. Actually No. No, this one is a big contradiction on an essential element in Jan’s entire premise for government. Jan says that he would never rely on charity for his freedom. I tend to agree with him here. But wait and see what he says in the next sentence. Ready? “I think your chances protecting your liberty and property are greater by socially organizing with people that are willing to pay”. Never rely on charity. Socially organize with people that are willing to pay. Never rely on charity. People willing to pay.

Jan considers the american experiment a great success. Yes, it has deviated from limited government to some degree (that it is not limited anymore) but it’s still a success, compared to North Korea, we’re great! The “limited” part of the “american experiment” failed miserably. Admit it already Jan. Jan thinks the government gives us all a great life, it gives us liberty. But that’s like saying “every rapist out there is protecting women from rapist-murderers, and thus, rape is successfully providing a great life, compared to... being raped and murdered.” Jan, your fallacy here is “false dichotomy”.

“The more security agencies there are , the more probability there will be more conflicts” says Jan, as if more conflicts is necessarily a bad thing. It’s not. It’s a good thing! It means a lot of people will be appropriately represented, and won’t have to suck up and surrender to the tyranny of dominant political groups. And more scare stories: “and one of the parties will resort to physical force”. And actually, the number of conflicts would not increase, because conflicts exist today like when millions of peaceful cannabis users are being hunted by the police. What Jan calls “conflict” is actually what I call “two sides of a conflict being represented and find a win-win solution”. Jan says more conflicts make business and investment less likely, but it’s incorrect as under anarchy you don’t get “more conflict”, you just get “better resolution of conflicts”. Anyhow, it’s such a generalized statement that it’s a waste of time to try to refute. For such a generalized statement a huge burden of proof is needed. Needed and missing.

Time for a short history lesson. According to Jan, governments caused us to progress from hunter gatherer societies. But the truth is that the progress was not because of government, in fact, ruling classes formed only because there was progress in agriculture that enabled specialization and the concentration of resources. Jan points at the lack of much progress in the “Icelandic anarchist experiment”, but that’s like implying that if I open a bookstore and I go bankrupt, then capitalism has failed. And let’s set something straight here, there was no “Somali anarchist experiment”, only a failed experiment to make a government in Somalia.

Jan says that these “anarchies” had very high levels of predation and poverty, But Somalia wasn’t an “experiment in Anarchy”, and Jan didn’t present any theory as to why creating a ruling class in the pre-neolithic period would result in more safety to the hunters and gatherers. Just more baseless assumptions. The only valid example Jan gave was medieval Iceland, and comparing it to modern USA is like comparing apples and oranges.

Jan says that government was instrumental in the increased progress; for example, irrigation canals. He forgot to say “roads” I think. By the way, this is an Argument From Incredulity fallacy, again… implying there is no was irrigation canals would get built without a ruling class. Jan says it’s “difficult to predict exactly what kind of defense agencies there would be under anarchy and how they would operate”, but that’s odd, as he already said he knows how everything will play out: One DRO will initiate a mini-war, the rest will join. Simple. No?

White power groups, Black power groups, Islamic power groups and even pedophile power groups -- Jan says if these groups will have sufficient military power, nobody will mess with them. But really? I rather tend to think they would also not mess with each other, and not with the rest of the world which would consist of many more power groups. “Which ones would go broke and how long it would take them to go broke is difficult to predict” says Jan, but it’s really easy actually -- If your business plan is to start a war, it’s actually quite easy predict you’ll go broke, and fast. Paying a group of people to go to war is thousands of times more expensive than settling conflicts financially and contractually, which is the win-win method.

Towards the end of his extended remarks, Jan calls us to take some social responsibility and Vote. Only that voting doesn’t help, government’s violence is always growing, because for a political power group it’s much more worthwhile to fight for resources from the government, then for the rest to defend. Voters have to pick 1 thing they value, and give up on 9 others.

Jan believes that if you don’t run for office, don't vote, and don't discuss any political public policy, you’re shirking your social responsibility. But that is untrue, as those of us involved in creating crypto-currencies and in other forms of agorism are doing quite a lot to defend our freedoms. Jan says that if the government will become more tyrannical, the anarchists who refused to vote and participate will be to blame. But actually, the blame is on those spreading false hopes. It can take 10% of the population to put an end to the ruling class’ tyranny, the USA government cannot imprison 30 Million agorists, with 10% of minarchists you’ll get a government that keeps on growing, like a man who does a strict diet for 1 day, followed by 9 days of binge eating.

Jan thinks his work is contributing to freedom. Reality is, spreading false hopes and scare stories is not a contribution to anything good, but I do appreciate his ambition. I think what limits freedom the most is not minarchists like Jan, but anarchists who lack that ambition and industriousness that people like Jan, and I, and also politicians, video gamers and criminal gangsters have. I think what limits anarchism the most is that those who love freedom don’t yet organize as effectively as those who don’t care about it.

יום שלישי, 13 בפברואר 2018

Post Debate Analysis: Victor Pross Vs. Jan Helfeld

More than anything, this debate proved once again that Statism is not a belief people think and reason their way into. Reason and logic didn’t get people to statism, and here it shows that reason doesn’t pull them out of Statism.

Jan didn't take any lesson from his debate with Stefan Molyneux 9 years ago. He still brings scare-stories instead of arguing from first principles with logical and factual arguments, only this time he is armed with rigidness regarding this specific debate rules (and I’ll expand on those in a moment), and embarrassingly he hopes that if he'll get Victor to give contradicting answers on a life-boat scenario question, his position will somehow be proven correct. Newsflash Jan, whether Victor break the window or not, taxation remains theft, and Victor remains a principled Anarchist.

Another error in Jan's arguments is the overgeneralization in his questions. He is asking whether strong people will exploit weak people, whether criminal gangs will attack DROs... but fails to make an argument to support his point, and he also doesn't clarify specifically whether he means that "criminal gangs attacking DROs" will be the norm, it is not clear whether he's asking if criminals will merely attempt or whether criminals will succeed and defeat the DROs, and if the market will have a way to inoculate against such attacks in the future or will DRO's forever remain vulnerable to attacks by criminals.

Those vague and overgeneralized questions in no way help Jan advance his position, and it is unclear what he is trying to prove. It seems though as if through these overgeneralizations he is trying to confuse Victor to confirm his position without bothering to make an argument as to why "the criminals will win" at large. Victor is asked to answer yes/no to “will criminals attack DROs” and a yes may be taken as confirmation that “and the DROs will be defeated”.

At some point, Jan demanded a yes/no answer and insisted on not letting Victor expand and add some reservations. I think in response Victor should have switched to asking clarifying questions, as it would be very telling to see what Jan really means with his overly generalized questions. After all, I can’t believe Jan meant to ask if just one or two stupid criminals will launch an off-chance attack at some DRO, he must have meant whether this will be a substantive risk for the DROs, and this is like asking Victor to simply confirm Jan’s position without bothering to lay out a logical basis for the position.

Again we hear about the fear of tanks in the street, and it is unclear why Jan thinks criminals are that stupid or that determined to take down his house. I mean, what could Jan be hiding in his house that he worries about tanks in his street? I’ve talked to a lot of statist before, but no one have yet voices a worry about tank in the street.

Jan asked Victor whether DRO’s will start fights against other DROs. Well, the question has to be clarified, does he mean stronger DROs will initiate fights against weaker DROs? If so, then the answer is “seldom”, because the weaker violence is not worthwhile to any of the sides, and both can benefit from settling conflicts financially.

Jan also talks about the incentive for criminals to arm themselves better than DROs. Incentive? Sure. Possibility? Jan didn’t present a rational basis for assuming criminals, at large, will have a possibility to arm themselves better than DROs.

And Islam appears there too, where Islamic DROs will make no compromises with the rest of the world. Again, no argument is made to explain why we should assume this will be a problem besides in small portions of the world, if at all. We can also look at how nowadays expansionist political Islam organizations make concessions in order to keep existing, and many of those who don’t are supported by governments and make very little to no expansion. So the worry about Muslims oppressing the rest of the world through voluntarily contracting with non-conformist Islamic DROs, is baseless. In war, usually, the stronger side wins, and although there are 1 billion Muslims in the world today, reason suggest they will have to limit Sharia law to apply to those who want it, and to places where there’s a large majority of willing customers.

Jan is worries about criminal gangs making alliances with other criminal gangs. Again, no theory is presented how this could become substantive risk to the free world. If one gang (5-10 people) reaches alliance with another small gang, the world is still ok. There need to be a reason to think the free world will be at risk, that such alliances will make the criminals stronger than the security companies protecting the free world.

It is Jan’s opinion that Anarchists can simply buy some land and make their own experiment in Anarchy, that they should not “drag” everybody into that experiment. But here’s the thing, governments all over the world decisively forbid such an experiment, as they simply can’t afford it’s success. If the experiment proves a success, politicians and bureaucrats will fall from the top of the sand castle to the bottom of the food chain, and there’s no reason to suppose a Minarchist (unicorn) government will be different on this.

As usual, the Anarchists are expected to carry the burden of proof that dealing with crime without government is possible. That the free market will be able to erect security companies who’s joined force will be stronger than the joined force of gangs of criminals. Because (I’m being sarcastic here) somehow thieves, bullies and Islamic Jihadists are better thinkers, and are capable of more efficiency -- than managers in the free market. Seriously, if you want to refute this theory, simply imagine a situation where 10 people find themselves on a deserted island, and choose to NOT crown a king or start a religion called “government”. What are the chances that 2 criminals will be able to extort the (8) others, just because they fend for themselves or each other in freely formed alliances? 2 against 8. And if you think the criminals will are a majority, then you can stop believing in government and democracy right now as governments are made of… people.

So you think DROs will launch a full blown civil war? Over a parking space? Well, let’s look at the Swiss mercenaries. The Switzerlanders are known for their past as mercenaries, but for 700 hundred years they never fought each other, because you know, violence just doesn’t pay if you can form alliances. They were mercenaries and they were paid by kings, not by the free market, and they fought for kings, not for private individuals are free market companies, and they had alliances just like those you predict criminal gangs will have, but swiss criminal gangs did not pose a threat to them or at least did not defeat them.

My last issue is with the structure of the debate, the rules. They were not so good, putting it mildly. In the beginning Jan wasn't making any argument, then his questions led no-where, and when it came to the "refutation" part there was nothing for Victor to refute. At the end, Jan got to argue some baseless shit and got to escape any criticism to his claims. So after the debate I asked Victor "who picked the rules", the answer was obvious, Jan did.