The Homestead Commences…

Procrastination is a stupid lapse in time where the separation of inspiration and initiative persists. And it’s always for worse. Hopefully my lapse of this sort is over now, and if all goes well it should stay that way for some time to come.

 

For the past several days I’ve pondered what keystrokes would best mark the first signs of life on this lonely sector of the world wide web. Actually, several months might be a more accurate way of putting it. But recently with the introduction of some new aesthetics to this site (namely the installation of WordPress) – as well as being content with what I already had – the gates have opened at last.

 

Yeah, this is a political site set up for a political book that seems to have it’s estimated date of completion pushed back by a year every, uh… year or so. My views are not about what politician would do best in office or for what level, which legislation needs to be passed or why, or what government ought to do or how. Rather, they are a wholesale rejection of the political system we have altogether. Anyone can profess to be an advocate for freedom – only those who do so with the goal that I (and a growing number of others) have in mind can affirm this for every issue government has attempted to get involved in.

 

While there are many who think laws against choices and behaviors that harm no one but those that initiate them should be taken off the books, I don’t think that goes far enough.

 

While there are many who hold that people have a right to decide how the fruits of their own labor are put to use, and that confiscation of wealth should be strictly limited, this by itself is still a starting point as I am concerned.

 

While there are some who feel government should be substantially smaller than it is today – to the point where it is limited to protecting use from waste, fraud, and abuse both domestically and internationally – I take that platform a step further.

 

I am one of few who hold that government – a regional sovereign of legitimized coercion – is unnecessary for allowing us to live our lives as productively and fulfilling as we can. Your standard Libertarian wants government to be limited, I want it to be removed from the picture altogether.

 

This is not a conclusion that I accepted suddenly out of nowhere; for me it was a process that began years ago. Nor is this something that I, or anyone else can persuade you to adopt in this post alone, there are much better attempts by like-minded individuals at doing that already. Even reading those probably won’t be enough. Being the first post of what I hope will one day number in the thousands – this is only meant to state the intentions of this blog.

 

Anarcho-What???

I am a market anarchist – an advocate of what is better known as Anarcho-Capitalism. I hold that all functions of government should be replaced with market solutions to all the necessary services it provides, namely security and dispute resolution. Operationally a government generally** differs from a market institution in three ways:

 

  • It excludes other persons or institutions from providing certain services within a given territory.
  • Within that territory it is permitted to express a wide variety of privileges ordinary citizens are prohibited from doing – taxation (wealth confiscation) being one of them.
  • No one is permitted to opt out from this scheme unless they want to change locations altogether – nor is explicit consent given to be part of it.

 

As I will defend in the years to come, I doubt there is a single case in which a good or service can be better handled by a group that has extended privileges over everyone else without undesirable consequences – nor do see any reason why such a group would want to. To say an institution with such traits is what sustains civilization itself is to reject the very standards we use to evaluate every other group entity that has ever existed.

 

To me, government is often the exception to every rule we apply to every other institution or individual. If I told you we should give a corporation a monopoly within a given region, as well as the power to take and do what it wants to the populace that surrounds it, you most likely would object to such circumstances. Highlight the fact that this is precisely the means by which governments operate (and that electoral incentives don’t fix much), and suddenly I start hearing a variety of circular arguments for why it’s “different” if government is the one doing the monopolizing.

 

Basic Rationale for my Views and This Blog ¬†(I know what you’re thinking)

Most who stumble upon this blog will likely dismiss the views I express here on the grounds of popular opinion alone. The desirability of government is no lesser or greater based upon how many people approve of it or not. If it was then we should refrain from objecting to the actions of every democratically elected dictator that ever lived for the same reasons.

 

While I think it would fill in the room for improvement over our current political/economic system, by no means do I believe in utopia. Let me state this in simple terms:

 

  • It’s not that I think wars or shootouts between people would be non-existent, I just don’t see why anyone would spend millions of their own money on cruise missiles and other armaments to make enemies while also risking other assets of their own.
  • It’s not that I think private judicial systems would never take bribes, I just can’t see any reason why the coercively-financed system we have today has more of a reason not to take them – especially when your stuck with the judge you get depending on where you live.
  • It’s not that I think we have no say whatsoever in how the government we live under treats it’s own citizens, rather I see no need for imposing the policies of a politician on others because you outnumber them every 2-4 years.
  • It’s not that I think businesses strive to be perfectly ethical all the time, I simply see no way a food or drug company could raise revenue by killing their own customers instead of getting repeat business from serving them well.
  • It’s not that I think we shouldn’t care about those less fortunate than us, I just think there are far more effective ways to do so than forcing other people to pay for it.
  • It’s not that I think people shouldn’t be allowed to own property (trust me, I’m all for it), I just don’t see how we can promote innovation by giving someone an absolute monopoly on an idea – especially when it limits how others can use property they already own.
  • It’s not that I think there would be no free riders under any circumstances that would arise under market anarchy, I just doubt that government can handle this issue without creating an even bigger problem: When taxing the hell out of people, how do we decide that enough is enough?
  • It’s not that I think Somalia is a total paradise, I just do not see how the region was any better overall when it was under a government.

 

For the time being, I intend for this blog to serve as a foxhole for market anarchist thought, a place where every post has some food for thought that will help others change the way they see even the most basic of political policies.¬†While intended mainly as an extension to a book I have in the works, I think this blog will have a life of it’s own.

 

I will update this blog with enough posts to just barely last a couple years – the reason being that this is not the only ideological venture I am trying to surmount. In the meantime I have some other writing to do…

 

-RJ Miller

 

Privatize + Legalize + Decentralize

 

**I say “generally” because I am speaking in reference to most governments in existence today. At a bare minimum, a government is an institution that can initiate force within a given territory without the surrounding populace objecting to the practice altogether. In practice, this minimalist definition means anyone living in it’s territory is forced to financially contribute a portion of wealth while excluding the choice of using that same wealth for a different “provider” or something else altogether. I will go into greater detail how I define government in a different post.

 

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