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.