A Misoid Revolution

Ahistorical assumptions, wishful thinking, privatization, utopianism, plutocracy, “one dollar, one vote.” The Mises.org plan on bringing about a better world hits all the right buttons.

Murray N.
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Have I got a treat for you this time! I just found a Mises article presenting am idea on how to bring about a change toward the kind of perfect society they envision. An actual article dealing with the social change rather than fantastical conceptions of free markets or utopias. I was stunned and I couldn’t but take the time to go through this novelty.

Unfortunately from the whole essay, only 1/5th or so was devoted to the actual methods. Most of it was restatements of assumed natural laws, denunciation of the state, praising of private property and the other classic preaching to the choir one expects from Mises.org articles. Although largely irrelevant to the final suggestion, the author couldn’t help but providing me with ample ammo for criticism of their rampart idiocy.

But first, let’s see the argument on why Monarchy is better than Democracy. For the lulz.

Why is it better? Why because of course the King was at least to an extent a “natural elite” and his only flaw was that he monopolized the protection. Still though, he was superior since he was putting the interest of the social elite (ie, the rich) in generally above the “mob’s” and thus was closer to the Propertarian ideal, even though the cost of protection was higher and worse due to his monopoly. Another benefit to the King was apparently that he was more malleable by the elites than a democratic state. That is, at least with the one King, the rich had it easier to get their way since that was the only one they had to convince to make top-down changes that would benefit them. The unwashed masses didn’t get to have as say, as is apparently right.

Princes and kings were dilettantes as rulers, and normally had a good measure of natural elite upbringing and value system so as to act often enough simply as a good household father would have done. Democratic politicians on the other hand, are and must be professional demagogues, constantly appealing to even the basest — and that is typically egalitarian instincts — as every vote is obviously as good as any other. And because publicly elected politicians are never held personally accountable for official public service, they are far more dangerous, from the viewpoint of those who want their property to be protected and want security, than any king has ever been.

It is hard to decide if one should be laughing or getting angry at this patriarchal nonsense. Why is democracy worse? Because it does not shamelessly give more benefit to the elite and rather tries to spread some measure of power among all those affected by this “monopoly of protection”. This is the “curse” of democracy it seems. That the scum of the earth get to have a say in the affairs of their own lives, even if they *gasp* possess no property.

But monarchy of course did not just get mentioned to display more of the expected Misoid intellectual bankruptcy. It was brought up to explain how much easier it would have been if we had Monarchy now. At least in that case, according to Misoid fantasies, it would have been relatively simple to convince a kings to abdicate of his “monopoly of power.” No seriously. With a straight face. It would have been simple(r) to convince a king to give up his kingdom. You can’t make this shit up.

What follows afterwards is a long assumption of what would follow when the king abdicated his monopoly or protection. It’s all fantastical nonsense of how humans would act if they were all Misoids or somesuch and how it would have lead to a perfect world naturally and peacefully. Of course actual history has shown us that humans freed from monarchical tyranny acted quite unlike to what the author expects.

I won’t go into much detail on the rest of the filling of the essay as it’s mostly irrelevant to the main tactic proposed, with the exception of the denunciation of reformism and intellectualism. I only mention this because it only makes the actual suggested tactic even more hilarious.

So how do the Misoid suggests to take down the state? How is his implementation of “Bottom-up revolution” to happen?. Via reform and intellectualism. Ayeap.

Lets break down the suggestion for commentary

And even if it is impossible to win a majority for a decidedly antidemocratic platform on a nationwide scale, there appears to be no insurmountable difficulty in winning such a majority in sufficiently small districts, and for local or regional functions within the overall democratic government structure. In fact, there seems to be nothing unrealistic in assuming that such majorities exist at thousands of locations.

Here the author takes a great leap of faith. Not only does he assume that there are areas where undemocratic sentiments are strong, but that also those undemocratic sentiments are mostly aligned with propertarian ideals and that all those undemocratic people will decide to democratically vote the undemocratic platform. That the author assumes and imagines his way through most of his suggestion is just hilarious.

The problem that the author seems to be missing is that even if somehow such a undemocratic majority existed somewhere it is extremely unlikely that they would be positive to propertarian ideals but most likely would align with the Anarchist (i.e. libertarian socialist) movement. As such, not only would they stay away from all elections whatsoever but even if they were to vote, it’s unlikely to follow the undemocratic platform. The author is basically asking for undemocratic people to trust in democracy this one time because this time it’s going to work. It’s not difficult to see the flaw in this plan.

Likewise, even though the intellectual class must be by and large be regarded as natural enemies of justice and protection, there exists at various locations isolated anti-intellectual intellectuals, and as the Mises Institute proves, it is very well possible to assemble these isolated figures around an intellectual center, and give them unity and strength, and a national or even an international audience.

Emphasis mine for the lulz. Much like the undemocratic democracy he suggests, he follows up with anti-intellectual intellectualism. It’s difficult not to imagine this essay as some kind of joke playing on oxymorons.

So these anti-intellectuals of crass individualism would somehow be convinced to suddenly co-operate with the Mises institute in order to promote collective action? Does this make sense to anyone?

First, as an initial step, and I’m referring now to what should be done on the local level, the first central plank of one’s platform should be: one must attempt to restrict the right to vote on local taxes, in particular on property taxes and regulations, to property and real estate owners. Only property owners must be permitted to vote, and their vote is not equal, but in accordance with the value of the equity owned, and the amount of taxes paid.

In my opinion, this is absolutely the best part of this essay. The central plank, the core ideology of the platform one is going to try to get elected on by the “mob”, is going to be to replace “one person, one vote” to “one dollar, one vote”. Can anyone see the fail in this idea? Anyone? Ok, let me put it out there: He’s expecting the majority of people in an area, which generally comprises of proletarians since the property owners are always in a small minority, to vote for taking all power out of their hands and giving it to the rich minority only.

Of course it all makes sense if you assume that a “small area” exists where people are likely to be converted to misesian ideals but such an area could only be a village where only rich property owners live. Like, I dunno, a vacation village or something.

But no, the absurdity does not stop yet.

Further, all public employees — teachers, judges, policemen — and all welfare recipients, must be excluded from voting on local taxes and local regulation matters. These people are being paid out of taxes and should have no say whatsoever how high these taxes are.

So all these people must be convinced to vote for outright removing their right to vote, because voting benefits them. Right.

With this platform one cannot of course win everywhere; you cannot win in Washington, D.C. with a platform like this. but I dare say that in many locations this can be easily done. The locations have to be small enough and have to have a good number of decent people.

Emphasis mine again for the lulz. I like that the author is keeping this realistic the most.

I guess by “decent people” he means willing slaves and power-hungry propertarians.

Consequently, local taxes and rates as well as local tax revenue will inevitably decrease. Property values and most local incomes would increase whereas the number and payment of public employees would fall. Now, and this is the most decisive step, the following thing must be done, and always keep in mind that I am talking about very small territorial districts, villages.

I like that how the most difficult part of his whole idea is already past. No talk on how people are going to be convinced. No talk on where such villages might exist or some examples. No talk on how local campaigns are going to be run and promoted. No. Let’s just assume that the perfect village, full of “decent people” exists and we managed to get elected already.

In this government funding crisis which breaks out once the right to vote has been taken away from the mob, as a way out of this crisis, all local government assets must be privatized

Is “taking the right to vote away from the mob” a solid position in your platform? But wait, now we have a crisis on our hands. So the solution to the crisis that the Misoid platform has created, the solution is…more Misoid platform.

An inventory of all public buildings, and on the local level that is not that much — schools, fire, police station, courthouses, roads, and so forth — and then property shares or stock should be distributed to the local private property owners in accordance with the total lifetime amount of taxes — property taxes — that these people have paid. After all, it is theirs, they paid for these things.


So here’s the plan gang. First we convince everyone to allow only us to take decisions based on how rich we are. Then we create a funding crisis. Finally we use the excuse of the crisis to pillage all public property by all voting to pass it to ourselves. Nothing could ever go wrong!

So apparently nobody but the rich pays taxes around there and thus they deserve to become even more rich. No, proletarians who worked all their lives as wage-slaves and have nothing to show for it never paid taxes. They were simply exploiting the capitalists. And the public workers? Those even less deserve any say in this as they were being paid by exploiting the capitalists or by the money of those exploiting the capitalists. It all makes sense now.

These shares should be freely tradable, sold and bought, and with this local government would essentially be abolished. If it were not for the continued existence of higher superior levels of government, this village or city would now be a free or liberated territory.

I like how “liberated territory” here means “The rich will own all of the village and make all decisions.” It seems that the most liberated territories in the history of the world where none other than company towns.

On the small local level, we can be as certain, or even more so than we could have been one hundred years ago about what would have happened if the king abdicated,

“Certain” here should mean “I imagined it in my head so it must be right.”

And many former teachers, policemen and judges would be rehired or resume their former position on their own account as self-employed individuals, except that they would be operated or employed by local “bigshots” or elites who own these things, all of whom are personally known figures[…]Local “bigshots” frequently provide public goods out of their own private pocket; and they obviously have the greatest interest in the preservation of local justice and peace.

I like how it’s assumed that the rich are “personally known figures” and that they are going to be the most charitable and eager to maintain local justice and peace. Of course, we all know the kind of justice and peace the rich generally dish out. It’s the justice geared to make them richer and the peace of putting down any challenge to their power.

But you know, those rich people who felt so unfair on having to subsidize public institutions and now going to turn charitable and out of the goodness of their heart now subsidize these public institutions to maintain justice and peace. That, or try to make them profitable, which we all know how that translates in regards to things like Firefighters….

Accordingly judges must be freely financed, and free entry into judgeship positions must be assured. Judges are not elected by vote, but chosen by the effective demand of justice seekers.

Right. Effective Demand. Interesting choice of words. So obviously someone who has no money gets no justice, while the richest with the most effective demand, get as much “justice” as they need. Something which becomes even more obvious once one considers that they now also own the courthouses as well. Basically what the author is suggesting is that justice should be explicitly geared to protecting the interests of the rich. But that’s not very surprising since the author considers them to be the only ones that count and the “natural elite.” All that the competition among judges (for effective demand of course) will do is to simply prune out those who are not sufficiently focused on protecting the interests of the plutocracy.

it should be clear that only a handful of local people, and only widely known and respected local personalities — that is, members of the natural local elite — would have any chance whatsoever of being so selected as judges of local peace.

And just to make things even more certain, you can’t become a judge unless you’re already rich and have the appropriate bias. Got that? Huh, scum?

Only as members of the natural elite will their decision possess any authority and become enforceable. And if they come up with judgments that are considered to be ridiculous, they will be immediately displaced by other local authorities that are more respectable.

What he means here is that since the rich will own all enforcement institutes like the police, if the judge makes a decision they do not like, they will simply refuse to enforce it. Obviously any decision that goes against the plutocratic interests must be “ridiculous.” That judge will most likely be arrested on the decision of less ridiculous judges and the eager enforcement of the (now) private police.

This implies that a central government cannot possibly enforce its legislative will, or perverted law, upon the entire population unless it finds widespread local support and cooperation in doing so. This becomes particularly obvious if one imagines a large number of free cities or villages as I described them before.

Yes, because there will never be local support at all from all those disenfranchised workers who now not only have no vote, but also no public goods and shamelessly skewed justice. Not at all. Plus, there will be “a large number of free cities and villages” already. They will just pop-up like mushrooms or something. It’ll never be the case that one (as impossible as that sounds) will take this step and be immediately crushed as a warning to the rest. Oh no, that would no be a perfect enough scenario.

The author then continues to say how those very small villages would resist the might of the government by not cooperating with them because the natural elite will be “only obligated to their local constituents.” Apparently it goes without saying that the rich will be more interested in protecting all those people they exploit (who are glad for it of course) rather than risk the wrath of the federal govt. Of course. Because the rich have always been paragons of courage and solidarity…

Consistently applied, no cooperation, no assistance whatsoever on any level, the central government’s power would be severely diminished or even evaporate. And in light of the general public opinion, it would appear highly unlikely that the federal government would dare to occupy a territory whose inhabitants did nothing else than trying to mind their own business. Waco, a teeny group of freaks, is one thing. But to occupy, or to wipe out a significantly large group of normal, accomplished, upstanding citizens is quite another, and quite a more difficult thing.

Putting aside the comparison to Waco (which believe me, it’s a difficult thing to do right now). The author’s willingness to assume what the government would be doing and what its motives are is brilliant. Not only will the public opinion remain on the plutocracy’s side, not only would the government be weakened by the “many such villages” but they will suddenly start caring about the lives of citizens outright challenging the power of the national plutocracy (expressed via the federal state of course). No the National Elite will be more than willing to allow the local upstarts challenge their power just like Kings were more than willing to suffer autonomous feudal lords rather than make them join their kingdom. Truly.

And it is in this situation then, when the central government will be forced to abdicate its protection monopoly and the relationship between the local authorities that reemerge and the central authorities, who are about to lose their power, can be put on a purely contractual level, and one might regain the power to defend one’s own property again.

And finally I’ll be able to shoot those damn kids playing on my lawn.

So there we go then. This is the first “practical” scenario I’ve seen from the Mises Institute about how to bring their utopia about. I hope I don’t have to explain the scare quotes around ‘practical’ by now. Unfortunately the more I read from them, the more their insane rants really make me challenge people who can take the whole institute seriously still. It really boggles the mind that some would even link me to this drivel as some feasible way to go forward.

TL;DR Version

  1. Find many many perfect small villages full of “decent people.”
  2. Vote to change “one person, one vote” to “one dollar, one vote.”
  3. Engineer a financial crisis.
  5. ???
  6. Profit.
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70 thoughts on “A Misoid Revolution”

  1. Good god these people are idiots! Though I do think they illustrate beautifully what Libertarian anarcho-capitalism is really about.

    1. Tell me about it. I felt my braincells screaming in agony as I was reading this nonsense. Oh well, I take it in stride in the knowledge that I suffer so that you don't have to 🙂

      1. lol I didn't mean to impose any suffering on you. Be assured I suffer plenty too, but probably get much more angry and aggressive about it.

  2. Well many Anarchocapitalists, like David Friedman, are are very much against the ideas of Hans-Herman Hoppe (who gave the lecture in question as far as I know). I personally think Hoppe has gone completely batty after his mentor, Murray Rothbard, died. A lot of what I've read from him in the last decade is heavily tainted with bigotry and plain error. So I can't defend Hoppe. That doesn't mean that I agree with your counter-arguments above.

    1. If you think my counter-arguments are flaws, I'll be glad to hear how. This has nothing to do with who wrote them but with how valid the arguments are. If they have merit then it shouldn't matter if the author is "batty"

      1. ok, here goes, in separate comments. I should first note that my comment is not a endorsement of HHH or of his ideas that you are arguing against.

        1. In any case, you attempt to refute the possibility which Hoppe suggests by linking to a text by Kropotkin. Having just read the text I find two problems:
          First, it is full of unsubstantiated hypotheses as to the motives of the historical people that he describes. He uses adjectives like "brotherly" and "friendliness" for patterns of organization that are of course historical facts, like guilds, things etc., but his explanations for the existence or the motives behind the relevant actors are of the "just because".
          But aside from that he severely distorts historical reality at least in one case, specifically in the treatment of medieval Iceland. He selectively mentions the allthing and the law speakers while omitting the other facts that make medieval Iceland a corroboration of Hoppe's hypothesis.

        2. In any case, you attempt to refute the possibility which Hoppe suggests by linking to a text by Kropotkin. Having just read the text I find two problems:
          First, it is full of unsubstantiated hypotheses as to the motives of the historical people that he describes. He uses adjectives like "brotherly" and "friendliness" for patterns of organization that are of course historical facts, like guilds, things etc., but his explanations for the existence or the motives behind the relevant actors are of the "just because".
          But aside from that he severely distorts historical reality at least in one case, specifically in the treatment of medieval Iceland. He selectively mentions the allthing and the law speakers while omitting the other facts that make medieval Iceland a corroboration of Hoppe's hypothesis.

          1. Actually Medieval Iceland does not corroborate with Hoppe's hypothesis if you notice how much mutual aid took part in it's organization.

            As for the motives of the medieval people, part of it is explained in the previous chapters which show how important mutual aid was in the daily life of humans and which forms it took. Obviously nobody can know the motives of the humans building those guilds but when one notices the historical continuation of mutual aid as the coherent factor of human societies it's not a leap of the imagination to see that it's probably the same case here. This is further substantiated by the way the charters of the guilds were written, which point exactly to the same kind of "brotherly" and "friendliness" spirit.

          2. Where does Hoppe (or any AnCap for that matter) say that mutual aid must be absent from an anarchocapitalistic society? Anarchocapitalism is anarchism *with* capitalism, not anarchism without mutual aid.

          3. What does this have to do with anything? Mutual Aid will exist as it is a evolutionary psychological trait of humans but the point is that there's a difference between a society built around mutual aid and another which not only is built on competition but mutual aid is systematically marginalized (as in the case of people wanting to help other people but not being capable because they will starve themselves if they leave their job)

          4. Well then you must acknowledge that the defense and security aspects of Medieval Iceland were built on free fee-based competition. Also it is evident that these aspects did not marginalize mutual aid in Iceland, since, by your own admission, it was flurishing. The only question remaining is as to what happened when after 300 years of peace Iceland collapsed into chaos but I believe it is answered satisfactory by the Tithe explanation.

          5. They are also built around communities providing a lot of socialized elements of social safety nets built around mutual aid and while there was some element of private protection from the godi, this is actually a central point for the cause of the collapse of the Iceland living since this led to the rise of the state

            "The position of the godi could be bought and sold, as well as inherited; consequently, with the passing of time, the godord for large areas of the country became concentrated in the hands of one man or a few men. This was the principal weakness of the old form of government: it led to a struggle of power and was the chief reason for the ending of the commonwealth and for the country's submission to the King of Norway."

            Needless to say, this is a very similar way most modern state came into existence from.

          6. The only question remaining is as to what happened when after 300 years of peace Iceland collapsed into chaos but I believe it is answered satisfactory by the Tithe explanation.

            It isn't. There are a lot of other issues that led to this chaos, one was the concept of the godi "statifying" itself, second was the move away from possession and into private property which increased inequalities and discarded many of the aspects of mutual aid. All of this is explained in the article I linked to you.

          7. There is a reason why the godi system would statify as my quote from the Britannica showed above. In fact, this historical truth makes it far more solid than the "economic reasons" which are based on free market fantasies and basically one big "we say so" argument. You have to ask *how* did a country-wide tax get implemented? Wasn't it enforced by someone?

          8. The Britannica quote does not state a reason why centralization was a consequence of free competition, it only states your conclusion.

            The Tithe was imposed by the allthing, that collective and mutual-aid organization that on a whole performed ok but at this point simply made a mistake. The problem with mistakes made by a collective institution is that individuals belonging to the collective cannot avoid them.

          9. Very similar to your above then, why was the tithe imposed by the allthing? It didn't "just happen". Where there kings at that time? Where there all powerful godis? What was the status of Private Property? How was it "imposed" by the Allthing? Voluntarily?

            And certainly one can aviod collective decisions. By leaving the collective.

          10. The tithe seemed like a good idea at the time since Iceland had already accepted Christianity as the official religion and consolidating different fees payed to churches into one single tax probably made sense to the farmers. At the same time Pope Gregory demanded that the church be given a steady income and the people of Iceland were promised seats in Heaven. The Chieftains of course also supported the issue once it was proposed that they, being church-owners, be exempt from this tax. This is where rent-seeking started to take place. In any case the allthing had the power to impose things like this. Decisions made at the allthing could not be ignored without the person becoming an outlaw, i.e. leaving the judicial collective. Of course once you left the collective you were almost certainly going to be the target of attack since you were not under the protection of the law any more.

            As far as we can tell the Icelanders were not coerced via force into imposing the tithe. Perhaps they were duped, but this is not the fault of their original political system.

          11. There seems to be a lot of "probably" and "seems" around here which I do not like. The way you describe it, it certainly looks like that the Allthing had already statified and thus able to promote the wish of the minority over the rest. Whatever the Pope demanded would be impossible to achieve unless it could be enforced somehow.

            Looking more into this, I fail to find evidence that such a tithe played a large role or that it is something that came about peacefully or naturally. From Wikipedia:

            When Olaf Tryggvason ascended to the crown of Norway, the effort to Christianize Iceland intensified. King Olaf sent an Icelander named Stefnir Thorgilsson back to his homeland to convert his fellow countrymen. Stefnir violently destroyed sanctuaries and images of the heathen gods — this made him so unpopular that he was eventually declared an outlaw. After Stefnir's failure, Olaf sent a priest named Thangbrand (Old Norse: Þangbrandr). Thangbrand was an experienced missionary, having proselytized both in Norway and the Faroe Islands. His mission in Iceland from c. 997-999 was only partly successful. He managed to convert several prominent Icelandic chieftains, but killed two or three men in the process.[citation needed] Thangbrand returned to Norway in 999 and reported his failure to King Olaf, who immediately adopted a more aggressive stance towards the Icelanders. He refused Icelandic seafarers access to Norwegian ports and took as hostages several Icelanders then dwelling in Norway. This cut off all trade between Iceland and its main trading partner. Some of the hostages taken by King Olaf were the sons of prominent Icelandic chieftains, whom he threated to kill unless the Icelanders accepted Christianity.

            The Icelandic Commonwealth's limited foreign policy consisted almost entirely of maintaining good relations with Norway. The Christians in Iceland used the King's pressure to step up efforts at conversion. The two rival religions soon divided the country and threatened civil war.

            it very much supports the idea that I already presented that it was the increasing power provided to those "private defense companies" or the kings which made such changes possible.

          12. In any case, Medieval Iceland of course had mutual-aid, but as the article you linked to explains it also had anarchocapitalist institutions as well. And since anarchocapitalism does not exclude the possibility or likelihood of mutual aid it is valid to say that Iceland was an anarchocapitalist society. Additionally it was a society that flourished for 300 years and one that, as Friedman, Solvason and Rockwell have explained many times, collapsed most probably due to the democratically imposed church-tax called the Tithe and not because of any supposed spontaneous centralization of wealth and power.

            Btw, the Hanseatic League also included "mutual aid" but was very much a completely sinister and violent regime, no?

          13. it is valid to say that Iceland was an anarchocapitalist society

            No it's not, because that would suggest a wage-labour productive system as the dominant form of production. It also had communal living and possession, not private property. It far more repressents Mutualism than it does any form of Capitalism. Not to mention that it probably collapsed because of enforced rules by traditional rulers and not democratic means (ie, the flaws of traditional communism compared to rational communism). As argued in the article itself

            The "anarcho"-capitalist argument that Iceland was an example of their ideology working in practice is derived from the work of David Friedman. Friedman is less gun-ho than many of his followers, arguing in The Machinery of Freedom, that Iceland only had some features of an "anarcho"-capitalist society and these provide some evidence in support of his ideology. How a pre-capitalist society can provide any evidence to support an ideology aimed at an advanced industrial and urban economy is hard to say as the institutions of that society cannot be artificially separated from its social base. Ironically, though, it does present some evidence against "anarcho"-capitalism precisely because of the rise of capitalistic elements within it.

          14. It is rather trivial to suggest that Iceland, lacking an heightened division of labor like all of Medieval Europe, was not a capitalist society. No one is saying that Icelanders had capitalism as we know it today, only that their private market for defense and security is an example of how it could work in a capitalist society. 300 years of working and stable private peace-keeping is not something you can disregard.

          15. I'm not disregarding it. On the contrary I'm pointing to it as the cause for the eventual rise of a state as the concept of private property replaced possession and the institutions of mutual aid were disbanded.  That it managed to work within a communitarian, possessive society does not give any indication that it would be able to work for a propertarian, wage-labour society which due to its vast inequalities would lead to such private defence companies becoming de-facto states in no time.

          16. I do not consider the fact that private defense and security worked in Iceland as an "indication" that it would work today, but as a refutation of the proposition that such a thing cannot work at all. Apart from the fact that I consider your phrase "which due to it's vast inequalities" false on many counts there are theoretical arguments in favor of private defense that I won't get into now, since I am not prepared to spend all day arguing with you just because of HHH.

          17. You miss the point that Anarchist critics of private defense companies do not just say that they "can't work" but rather that in a system of inequality and private property, such defense companies will very very quickly transform into private states.

            The situation of Iceland is not much different than how most ancient states ended up being created. Most started from a line of chieftains which traditional retained the leadership and slowly morphed into a state around their local area in order to maintain peace and counter the injustice caused by the inequality of private property.

          18. 300 years is not "quickly". And of course the demise of the Icelandic commonwealth is not explained by the "injustice" caused by private property. Of course you will disagree but perhaps then have for the moment exhausted this issue.

          19. 300 years is not "quickly".

            Neither did Iceland start from a situation PP and inequality. Remember, it started with Communal living and possession. The "quickly" was going for the case of moving our current society to such a private defense system.

        3. As to whether there exist anti-state propertarian majorities in "thousands of small jurisdictions" as Hoppe imagines I do not have anything to say in favor of his hypothesis, but I can reject though your counter-argument since it is equally unsubstantiated as Hoppe's. There is no overwhelming reason to suppose that anti-state majorities will be socialist any more than there is for Hoppe's hypothesis.

          1. Undeniably, there's far more wage-slaves, public workers and unemployed in a capitalist system than there are business owners. Wage-slaves are more opposed to capitalism and the exploitation they experience daily the more exploited they are because of it. It is no great leap to imagine that the same type of distribution will exist within anti-statist cycles as well. This can be emprirically shown of course by the difference in numbers between anarchists and “anarcho”-capitalists who are practically non-existant as a movement.

          2. OK, since you probably didn't know it was Hoppe who gave the lecture (for some reason it's not mentioned on the mises.org page) and perhaps you hadn't even heard of him by now it is reasonable that you are confused about what he is saying. Hoppe is a crossbreed between anarcho-capitalism and ultra-conservatism. So when he envisions majorities of undemocratic people he is not imagining that suddenly majorities of Murray Rothbard fans will spring up across the country. He is imagining the often existing conservative majorities adopting anarchocapitalism, which in his mind is tied to conservatism. Of course I disagree completely with him on the above.

        4. Regarding this issue, your main criticism of Hoppe's hypothesis is that it would be hard to convince a constituency to democratically vote for undemocratic reforms. Of course this has been proven false historically in all those cases where dictators have been elected for reasons conflicting with democracy (think Hitler). So winning small democratic majorities in a world where liberalism is still alive and kicking is probably equally easy or easier than pursuing anarchist, liberal or other a-democratic agendas through non-democratic means.

          1. Of course this has been proven false historically in all those cases where dictators have been elected for reasons conflicting with democracy (think Hitler).

            No, don't think Hitler who wasn't democratically elected. In fact, democratic processes have in their vast majority (at least,I cannot think of any atm) NOT brought about undemocratic events. This is a nice lie that is repeated very often by opponents of democracy and you should really start questioning why that is. As such, your following assertion fails.

          2. Listen, your are avoiding the reality that a democracy, practically being something more than a simple absolute majority-vote based system, can and has selected undemocratic political proposals. Hitler is an example even if he never won an absolute majority since when HHH is talking about securing majorities in small jurisdictions he is not necessarily referring to an absolute majority. Another example would be Chavez but please let's not get into disagreement on that.

            Having said that I agree with you that democratic processes mostly do not bring about undemocratic change. Obviously HHH disagrees with both of us. But we cannot refute the fact that such events are possible, even if we do not believe they are likely. Indeed society is a complex beast and to say that such a thing is not likely could be like the turkey that believes he will likely be alive on Thanksgiving night because that's what happened the previous nights.

          3. You insist with Hitler when he didn't get a majority! Yes, hes talking about small juristictions but you cannot disconnect Hitler's and the Nazi party's rise to power from the fact that it was a national campaign. And no, I do not consider Chavez as the kind of undemocratic example you're looking for. He really does have the popular vote still.

            So no, I deny your assumption that something like this is easier to happen when talking about small juristictions. I find it as impossible as the claims of reformism that it will progress capitalism towards socialism via the government.

          4. You insist with Hitler when he didn't get a majority! Yes, hes talking about small juristictions but you cannot disconnect Hitler's and the Nazi party's rise to power from the fact that it was a national campaign. And no, I do not consider Chavez as the kind of undemocratic example you're looking for. He really does have the popular vote still.

            So no, I deny your assumption that something like this is easier to happen when talking about small juristictions as it has no empirical or historical basis. I find it as impossible as the claims of reformism that it will progress capitalism towards socialism via the government.

          5. Did you read my comment? I didn't say that Hitler won an absolute majority. I said he was elected democratically. This does not have to be in the form of an absolute majority.

            Also I haven't argued for or against the claim that Hoppe's hypothesis is likelier in smaller jurisdictions. Actually I said that I agree with you, against Hoppe, on whether his hypothesis is generally likely. But I also said that our view is a hypothesis too and there has not been any refutation's made either against our view or Hoppe's.

          6. He was NOT elected democratically. He wasn't! WTF? He. Was. Not. Elected. Democratically. He was a mere candidate among a minority of the german people who furthermore built his support on *lies about socialism and democracy* not an undemocratic platform.

          7. Listen, democratic election has other rules than just majority voting. The Nazi's won the plurality of the votes in 1932. Also, Hitler's appointment to the position of Chancellor, head of a coalition government, in 1933 was according to the rules of the German democracy. If Hitler was not elected democratically then neither is Angela Merkel today.

          8. The fact that constitutional rules might be flawed to allow undemocratic practices speaks much more about the flaws of the (undemocratic) constitutions than democracy. It speaks more about how flawed constitutional representative democracy is than about how democratic means lead to flawed decisions.

            In the case of Hitler I couldn't say it better than this

            On January 30, 1933, President Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler chancellor of Germany. Although the National Socialists never captured more than 37 percent of the national vote, and even though they still held a minority of cabinet posts and fewer than 50 percent of the seats in the Reichstag, Hitler and the Nazis set out to to consolidate their power. With Hitler as chancellor, that proved to be a fairly easy task.

          9. ok, you must remember then that the issue is not whether abstract forms of democracy lead to this or that but specifically the practicality of an anarchocapitalist political platform winning over small real-world jurisdictions. As we have seen there are opportunities provided by real world political institutions for such a thing. Whether there are many or few is another matter.

          10. Fair enough, but you have to remember that even in those cases of constitutional democracy allowing the wrong person to come on top, that person was still elected on promises of democracy and populism. Hitler based his campaign on promises of "socialism" and outright terror. Chavez is a very populist ruler etc etc. This to me points that an undemocratic platform of the type HHH suggest would be impossible to get elected.

        5. Next you suggest that it is an oxymoron to say that intellectuals, like the Mises institute or like Friedrich Hayek could oppose the subsidized intellectualism of today, and that is is also something of an oxymoron to say that, qua individualists. they could cooperate to promote their anti-intellectual individualist views. I find this obviously false but before I argue could you perhaps confirm that this is indeed what you are saying?

          1. No, I find oxymoronic to support "anti-intellectual intellectualism". Perhaps he meant to say "subsidized intellectualism" but that is not the same thing.

            I also say that it's oxymoronic to promote an undemocratic democracy.

          2. well if you believe you can judge the full intended meaning of three or two word phrases out of context and without any clarification then of course you would find them to be oxymora. Now I haven't read a lot of Hoppe but with what little I have read I can tell straight away that anti-intellectual intellectualism refers specifically to a type of person, commonly called "the intellectual", whose interests are aligned with the state. Hayek has famously discussed this alignment of interests. So you should read the word "intellectual" in "anti-intellectual" as a noun, not an adjective.

            As to undemocratic democracy it is only slightly an oxymoron, as I discussed in previous comments.

  3. Wow. I couldn't stop laughing while reading this entry. Good job db0 for helping to show how demented ancaps are.

    Also, I saw you liked the first part of my entry on equality. You might like the second one even more.

  4. I always figured the final battle would be decided between ancap villages and ansoc villages after civilization collapses. I guess actual affairs are more mundane. :/

    1. Well one must figure out how AnCap villages might even come to exist. Or do you think the above tactics have merit?

      1. Most ancaps that I've read like Friedman tend to think education and reform will eventually lead people to realize they should get rid of the state, at which point anarcho-capitalism will "naturally" come about. Some socialists seem to think a similar thing, i.e. that educating people will lead the masses of society to produce the kind of outcomes they desire, or at least diminish the state sufficiently to put mutual aid, direct democracy, etc into action. At any rate I agree with the other poster who said Hoppe is batty, and even many libertarians who would otherwise be friendly to the Mises Institute try to distance themselves from Hoppe (e.g. Radgeek). You've written a nice piece, but to debunk ancapism thoroughly you have to take on Rothbard and Friedman, who are really the best proponents of that system. The AFAQ only mentions Medieval Iceland in trying to argue against Friedman, but I'd like to see more analysis of The Machinery of Freedom than of the Mises Institute natural-law types since the AFAQ has done that to death already.

        1. I've already refuted one article of Rothbard already and I generally counter them as they come. Personally I don't select who I counter but rather pick what comes to my attention from Mises.org. And if they have a few “batty” ones around there like Hoppe or Block, well, then that tell quite a lot on what is acceptable for the Mises institute in general doesn't it?

  5. So, regarding Hoppe's predictions as to what would happen if hypothetically a King abdicated his monopoly powers I must first note that he does not state that it would be "simple" to convince a king to do this. This would have been evident to your readers if you had quoted the relevant part instead of a completely irrelevant part. What he said was before mass democracy it would only have been necessary to force the King. Additionally he doesn't say it would be a simple thing or an easy thing to do this.
    What he does say, and this is where perhaps you got confused, is that until the mid-19th century there was much less political centralization in the world which arguably means that the different monarchies and principalities were much more vulnerable to the sort of action that could force a change as radical as that which Hoppe hypothetically imagines.

    1. Oh come on. This is the first thing he says when he opens the paragraph about kings

      The problem up to 1914 was comparatively small and the possible solution was comparatively easy then; and today as we will see, matters are more difficult and the solution is far more complicated

      Yes, he does use "comparatively" there but the whole expression in the later part of the paragraph makes it sound really simple

      One hundred and fifty or even one hundred years ago, only the following thing was essentially necessary in order to solve the problem.

      But of this has almost nothing to do with the meat of the Hoppe's argument or my criticism of it.

      1. I already explained and reading it again should make it clear: Hoppe says a) it was easier back then (for reasons of political decentralization) and b) removing the monopoly of power was simpler back then. Simple is not the same thing as easy.

        1. It's only simpler (which is the word I used myself, even clarifying it with "relatively") if one takes a very shallow count of what need to be done in the case of Monarchies as "Convincing the King" and compare it with all the stuff that HHH wants to do in today's scenario. But Convincing the King could have realistically been harder than all of this together.

          1. but HHH never said the word "Convince"! Instead he said "force". And judging how frequently Kings and Princes were forced to do different things (mainly die :-p ) it is not inconceivable that this could happen. What I read Hoppe as saying, in effect, is that revolution against a king of that time was simpler and easier (for different reasons) than revolution against a present-day totalitarian democracy. Btw this statement of HHH does not hinge on the details of the forced proposal to the king, he could for example conceivably be forced to declare anarchosocialism as his succeeding order.

          2. Killing a king is not the same thing as forcing him to willingly give up his monarchy. And revolutions that did happen against kings were backed by a democratic sentiment which convinced the people that there was a benefit to a rule that would give more power to them instead of leaving it at the “natural elite.” So you're now left with two propositions, either that it would be easier to convince a king to abdicate his monarchy or that it would be easier to convince the “mob” to make an “anarcho”-capitalist revolution.

            You're also missing the point that most liberal revolutions did in fact happen to get rid of the king for the benefit of the bourgeois. They were simply done by actually lying to the “mob.”

            And lol at the “totalitarian democracy”

          3. Hoppe is a little vague but the word "force" seems to indicate that it would be some kind of revolution. I do not think he even hints at convincing a king, that is via peaceful argument. In any case convincing the "mob" is something you would have to do to effect any type of revolution by such a "mob" so there is nothing to compare. And of course we are not discussing whether such or such a revolution is a good or honest thing.

          4. I don't know. To me it really sounds as if he's suggesting that the king might be convinced, more because of his distaste for the "mob" than anything else.

          5. HHH never used the word "convince" in this lecture. He used the word "force".

            (I thought I had already commented on this but it seems Intensedebate has sucked up my comment somehow. If you find the original comment please publish it since it has more than the following and I'm too bored to rewrite it)

  6. There seems to be some kind of problem with your blog, when I load this page it's fine but loading the front page gives some kind of php error.

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