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u/JanePoe87 · 4 pointsr/GoldandBlack

There’s an interesting interview over at Jacobin Magazine of Daniel Zamora, who has written a book about Michel Foucault’s fascination with neoliberalism in the latter stages of his intellectual life. The whole thing is worth a read, but there are a few parts that stand out:

>Foucault was highly attracted to economic liberalism: he saw in it the possibility of a form of governmentality that was much less normative and authoritarian than the socialist and communist left, which he saw as totally obsolete. He especially saw in neoliberalism a “much less bureaucratic” and “much less disciplinarian” form of politics than that offered by the postwar welfare state. He seemed to imagine a neoliberalism that wouldn’t project its anthropological models on the individual, that would offer individuals greater autonomy vis-à-vis the state….
Foucault was one of the first to really take the neoliberal texts seriously and to read them rigorously. Before him, those intellectual products were generally dismissed, perceived as simple propaganda. For Lagasnerie, Foucault exploded the symbolic barrier that had been built up by the intellectual left against the neoliberal tradition.
Sequestered in the usual sectarianism of the academic world, no stimulating reading had existed that took into consideration the arguments of Friedrich HayekGary Becker, or Milton Friedman. On this point, one can only agree with Lagasnerie: Foucault allowed us to read and understand these authors, to discover in them a complex and stimulating body of thought. On that point I totally agree with him. It’s undeniable that Foucault always took pains to inquire into theoretical corpuses of widely differing horizons and to constantly question his own ideas.
The intellectual left unfortunately has not always managed to do likewise. It has often remained trapped in a “school” attitude, refusing a priori to consider or debate ideas and traditions that start from different premises than its own. It’s a very damaging attitude. One finds oneself dealing with people who’ve practically never read the intellectual founding fathers of the political ideology they’re supposedly attacking! Their knowledge is often limited to a few reductive commonplaces.

The irony is that Zamora may well be correct in his critique of the “intellectual left,” but as Reason’s Brian Doherty points out, intellectuals outside the left have been quite happy to plumb the depths of neoliberal thinking (though one could argue that the intellectual right has its own bugaboos… such as reading Foucault without mocking him).

Indeed, one could argue that we’re in the middle of a golden age of serious intellectual histories of the topic. Angus Burgin’s “The Great Persuasion,” Daniel Stedman Jones’s “Masters of the Universe,” and Jennifer Burns’s “Goddess of the Market” have all recently looked at how free market advocates managed to emerge from World War II to advance a set of ideas that became intellectually dominant a half-century later. The great thing about these intellectual histories is that they take the ideas and the progenitors of the ideas seriously, without being either hagiographic or oppositional.

Zamora’s interview closes with his pretty astute observation about Foucault’s significance in today’s academy:

>[I]t seems to me that relations of power within the academic field have changed considerably since the end of the 1970s: after the decline of Marxism, Foucault occupied a central place. In reality, he offers a comfortable position that allows a certain degree of subversion to be introduced without detracting from the codes of the academy. Mobilizing Foucault is relatively valued, it often allows his defenders to get published in prestigious journals, to join wide intellectual networks, to publish books, etc.
Very wide swaths of the intellectual world refer to Foucault in their work and have him saying everything and its opposite.

One of the virtues of teaching at a policy school is that Foucault is not quite as central to scholarly conversations as in traditional humanities departments. That said, Zamora’s observation rings true — which is why conservatives should embrace him and his work. From a conservative perspective, the great thing about Foucault’s writing is that it is more plastic than Marx, and far less economically subversive. Academics rooted in Foucauldian thought are far more compatible with neoliberalism than the old Marxist academics.

In some ways, Zamora’s book is an effort by some on the left to try to “discipline” Foucault’s flirtation with the right. It will be interesting to see the academic left’s response to the book. But Zamora also reveals why free-marketeers might want to give Foucault another read and not just dismiss him with the “post-modern” epithet.

u/fatalconceit1929 · 2 pointsr/GoldandBlack

So the OP was not the author of this post, I was. But stating property rights just wasn't necessary for the point I was trying to get across here.

In formulating those three dimensions, I was trying to generalize as broadly as possible to encompass the views that liberal Democrats have. The key term there is "however they may be interpreted." As you point out, some liberals, especially libertarians and neoclassical liberals like John Thomasi, view property rights as a basic requirement of justice which pre-exists the formation of the political community. If that's your view, then respect for property rights would be viewed as required by the ethical dimension.

However, that's not the unanimous view. Most contemporary liberals, like Thomas Nagel, take a more Rawlsian view that property rights are not required by any principles of justice (are not "basic liberties), and are only created by the state's legal procedures out of practical necessity. If one takes this view, then respect for property rights would be required under the proceduralist dimension.

I agree with you in taking libertarian view that property rights are required by liberal ethics, but for the purposes of this article I did not need to take a stand on this issue and doing so just would've invited tangential criticisms from Rawlsian liberals. All I was trying to show is that it's not possible to hold attain three dimensions at the same time. Regardless of whether you view property rights as required by liberal principles of justice or required by respect for legal procedure, this point still stands.

If you take the libertarian view that property rights are ethically necessary, respect for proceduralism threatens them when the state's laws run afoul of your conception of property rights, such as with civil asset forfeiture or eminent domain. If you view respect for property rights as required by procedure, some other ethical demands of liberalism might require you to violate the procedure of property rights. For an example, a Rawlsian belief in the difference principle might require the state to violate legally guaranteed property rights to redistribute wealth. And however you justify property rights, majoritarianism obviously still threatens property rights when populist movements demand the state take action against some group.

I also think you're mostly correct here:
>Maybe what is successful about Western "Democracies" is not Majoritarianism at all. Maybe the liberalism (i.e. respect for property) combined with Legal proceduralism (if there ever was any) that limits the state is what has made Western "Democracies" successful. Now that Majoritarianism is more valued than in the founding of the US and Legal proceduralism is potentially more lax, and liberalism no longer refers to respect for property there is less appreciation for what likely made the US succesful.

But I would add one thing to be said for majoritarianism: it acts as a release valve against populist revolutions and allows for more stability. If the majority of people believe, rightly or wrongly, that their opinions matter for the formulation of policy, they're less likely to want to overthrow the state. If people begin to believe that the state is largely unaccountable, they might revolt. This is all that is usually meant when people refer to "release valves of democracy." At the very least, paying lipservice to majority opinion in the way most democracies do helped ensure stability, even if doing so has the danger of leading to crises of populism.

u/1791067421612 · 3 pointsr/GoldandBlack

First, I don't know much about the graph or the data. Statistics can be used to mislead and I wouldn't be surprised if there was more hiddden in this.

And then, there comes his rant. My god, what a shitshow.

>Let’s go back before World War II to the Great Depression. Speculative unregulated policies ruined the economy.

Seriously? How can someone believe that? This is for people who do.

>The New Deal policies reflected that national purpose, honoring a social safety net, increasing bargaining power for workers and bringing public interest into balance with corporate power.

Come on. This is not that hard...

> In this narrative, they [CEOs] deserve more wealth so they can create more jobs, even as they lay off workers, close factories and invest new capital in low-wage countries.

Yep, fuck those poor people over there. This is the hypocrisy I find most astonishing. The entire article is his complaining about wealth inequality but when the market starts leveling out the greatest example of income inequality (first world vs third world countries), then he's all up in arms to prevent it.

>In the new moral view, anyone making “poor choices” is responsible for his or her own ruin.

No comment.

>Millions of part-time workers must please their employer to get hours.

Thanks, Obama.

>We can start rebuilding our social cohesion when we say all work has dignity. Workers earn a share of the wealth we create.

How can socialists still argue this? Workers can earn a share of what they create. Anyone can. It's called a stock exchange. The problem is that few of them want to. And why would they? An important part of having a steadily-paid job is the risk-minimalization. Why would the worker want to decrease their income uncertainty and increase it at the same time?

This whole thing is just ridiculous. And sad.

u/LateralusYellow · 4 pointsr/GoldandBlack

Yeah I'm researching now, and I've forgotten that of course what's needed is a combination of tort AND contract law.

I think I've found what I'm looking for, The Enterprise of Law: Justice Without the State - Bruce L. Benson

I'll be going over this article as well by Kinsella: A Libertarian Theory of Contract: Title Transfer, Binding Promises, and Inalienability

u/rtomberg · 6 pointsr/GoldandBlack

I'd check out Anarchy Unbound by Peter Leeson. Unlike a lot of other Anarcho-Capitalist works, like Machinery of Freedom or For A New Liberty, it's much more empirical, looking at historical examples of privately-provided governance and showing their effectiveness. It's much better, at least for debating purposes, to be able to point to an actual rather than a hypothetical society.
Here's a lecture on the book, and here's a Cato Journal article that summarizes the book's points.

u/kitten888 · 2 pointsr/GoldandBlack

The best book for debating with statists is The Problem of Political Authority: An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey by Michael Huemer. He recommends to ask questions and put the burden of proof on your interlocutor. Would it be fine if I taxed you for leaving on your property? Why then the IRS allowed to do so? The conversation goes like that:

  • Why obey?

  • Because social contract.

  • How to exit?

  • Leave it or love it.

  • Why they can claim land?

  • Because social contract. (oops. logic circuit. Somebody tries to justify the implicit application of the social contract in certain land by the contract itself)
u/Scrivver · 2 pointsr/GoldandBlack

I also hope automod doesn't harass me for linking here, but you might also really enjoy a book called The Enterprise of Law, which is dedicated to this topic, and perhaps To Serve and Protect, another work by the same author (Law Professor Bruce L Benson).

u/underthehall · 8 pointsr/GoldandBlack

There's an excellent book on this and NSA wiretapping that I highly recommend - [The Shadow Factory: The NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America] (

It's an older book - it's still a fascinating read and still very relevant.

u/ExisDiff · 8 pointsr/GoldandBlack

I recommend you start with Hazlitt's book.

Try to avoid the capitalism vs socialism dichotomy, that is not going to be majorly helpful.

The most obvious is that taxes that is reducing the incentive to make a profit, but there are a myriad of other reasons that reduce the incentive that the book elaborates on.

u/mike-kaz · 3 pointsr/GoldandBlack

How about the eugenics/racist origins of welfare policies such as the minimum wage? There's a lot of good material in the new book [Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics and Economics in the Progressive Era] ( Could be really provocative and enlightening!

u/WilliamKiely · 2 pointsr/GoldandBlack

> Isn't it sort of a prudent obligation to read conflicting materials to maintain objective and rational views...

This is why I love Huemer's book. His argument for libertarian anarchism (specifically his argument against political authority) consists almost entirely of examining all of the best arguments for political authority and then explaining why they don't work.

Your shadow list would ideally be a list like that found in Huemer's book plus more and better arguments of the kind that Huemer examines in his book.

u/JobDestroyer · 8 pointsr/GoldandBlack

If you're new to econ, I would suggest either Basic Economics, as /u/snatchinyosigns suggested, or "Economics in One Lesson" by Henry Hazlitt.

From there, you might want to get into some of the morality-focused books, if you want a short/easy one, I suggest "Anatomy of the State" by Murray Rothbard

If you want to learn about how an anarcho-capitalist society could work, I'd read Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman

u/TheGermanSpyNeetzy · 3 pointsr/GoldandBlack

No problem. Well in the comments here I point someone else to a source and a few legal systems. So, I suggest looking for that. It should only take a second. You can also google/YouTube the topic at hand and you will be met with a lot of introductory material. Going these routes will be far more comprehensive and easier than getting that info here on a thread.

Anyhow, here
are a few places to

u/bames53 · 4 pointsr/GoldandBlack

I assume you're asking how that would be handled without a state. Of course the system I described could be implemented under a state and without implementing the entire anarcho-capitalist system, and in that case liability would be enforced just like any other liability is today in our current legal system. As for how it would be done without a state, that's covered by many descriptions of legal systems and enforcement under anarcho-capitalism:

u/Waltonruler5 · 2 pointsr/GoldandBlack

Without a doubt The Problem of Political Authority. It's explains things so clearly and convincingly, you'll wonder how you ever tried explaining libertarianism another way.

u/thestudcomic · 3 pointsr/GoldandBlack

I have written some future non fiction. Yes there will be a point where there will be no jobs but that is a good thing. The Future: The Last Job

u/bdunbar · 1 pointr/GoldandBlack

These give ancapistan a fair shake. And it even comes up wanting in places.


  1. The Powers of the Earth (Aristillus Book 1) by Travis J. I. Corcoran
  2. Causes of Separation (Aristillus Book 2) by Travis J. I. Corcoran


    Bias: the author send me an early draft, and I consider him a friend.
u/E7ernal · 12 pointsr/GoldandBlack

Along those lines, there's a book my gf read a while back that was very good.


And there's this as well:


Basically - there are a lot of things people assume about primitive cultures and societies which are not universal or are outright incorrect.

u/Anen-o-me · 1 pointr/GoldandBlack

> How can you have criminals without laws or laws without a state.

Ancap society is not one without laws, but rather laws are privately produced by agreement with others.

Imagine a private city, it established rules of conduct and (financial) penalties for breaking those rules.

Any visitors coming in must agree to these rules in order to get in. Thus if they agree not to steal and are caught stealing, they agreed to pay the value of the thing they tried to steal to the person they tried to steal it from, or w/e was agreed on.

Here's a whole book on the topic:

u/HorAshow · 1 pointr/GoldandBlack

William J Bernstein

this is probably the most important book I've ever read.

u/Polarisman · 3 pointsr/GoldandBlack

> can i ask for a source on that?

Basic Economics

u/phaethon0 · 3 pointsr/GoldandBlack

See the new book Illiberal Reformers. I haven't read it yet so this isn't an endorsement, but it's on the exact topic being discussed.

u/DenPratt · 1 pointr/GoldandBlack

Huemer is one of the most important modern philosophers. His
The Problem of Political Authority: An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey is a must read for those who talk to non libertarians about social contract.

u/n_ullman176 · 4 pointsr/GoldandBlack

>And there's this as well:


​Am familiar, not sure why you think this:

>Basically - there are a lot of things people assume about primitive cultures and societies which are not universal or are outright incorrect.

..other than an esoteric language theory that it puts into question. What am I missing?

u/natermer · 5 pointsr/GoldandBlack

'Conspiracy Theory' is a weaponized term. It's designed to shut off critical thinking so that people dismiss ideas out of hand without consideration.

The phrase that keeps reoccurring in my mind when dealing with Hillary is: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks"

Hillary being full of shit on clown-ish levels and people's willingness to still defending her on a knee-jerk level is one of the very few more amusing things about this election cycle.

u/aducknamedjoe · 2 pointsr/GoldandBlack

You should also read The Aristillus duology:

Explicitly AnCap and updated compared to The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

u/Homeless_Nomad · 5 pointsr/GoldandBlack

A lot of them are written with the intention of "trapping" people into situations that they feel are morally wrong, but cannot explain why rationally due to a lack of consequence or victim. Haidt lays out where this particular line of moral psychology came from in his book, which I highly recommend.

u/MarvinaFaustino · 7 pointsr/GoldandBlack

> Most of the examples given were where police used the tech to identify people at a rally that had outstanding warrants and then arrested them.

This combined with the idea of Three Felonies A Day (How the Feds Target the Innocent) can really lead to some draconian, selectively enforced punishments.

u/dootyforyou · 2 pointsr/GoldandBlack

It's relying on the general characteristics of human self-interest and economics. The idea is that, if compulsory taxation is out of the picture, human action and economics progresses towards efficient institutions, and non-aggressive institutions are the most economically productive.

But it is true, before that can get off the ground, we would likely need a base level cultural commitment to the general wisdom of libertarianism, i.e. non-aggression and a Lockean-ish theory of the just acquisition of private property.

"Majority preference" in economics is a lot different than "majority preference" in politics. Democracy suffers from structural problems that cannot be overcome (for example, see The Myth of the Rational Voter Majority votes diffusely managing the entire corpus of the nation's property does not create efficient private property institutions.

In contrast, market institutions would be driven by more accurately perceived self-interest. Each person is more qualified to rationally determine what to do about his automobile, his house, his backyard, his job, then he is about which far-away buerocrat to empower to allegedly deal with complex society-wide problems. Through rational choice applied to each local action, efficient, non-destructive, and therefore non-aggressive ways of living would arise - again assuming some important baseline starting points in people's general preferences tending towards libertarianism.

> Flogging? Who does this help?

Maybe no one, I don't know. The businesses involved in providing security and adjudication will have a financial interest in determining what plans of "punishment" help their customers. If retributive punishment is chosen at all, I was suggesting the economics of the situation would better support immediate physical punishment than costly plans of long-term confinement. It might be the case that retributive justice would disappear entirely in favor of societal expulsion or financial compensation.

> Paying restitution? So if I buttrape you, how much "financial restitution" would I have to give you to make you cool with me again?

Again, people would not be deciding these things under the inflamed passion of having personally been the victim of a specific crime. They would have contractual terms in advance which they decided dispassionately. I think a lot of people would sign up for such things.

Also remember: it is not just the financial penalty. If they commit rape, no one will contract with them anymore. Without an insurance/defense firm to sign them as a client, no property association will allow them to buy or rent. Their employment opportunities will become more limited.

If they have done things which mean that no defense/insurance firm will work with them, they also have to fear that they will be killed. If you cannot get a defense/insurance firm to work with you, it might be the case that no one will be able to assert a claim on your behalf. If you are a serial rapist, no court or defense agency will sign a contract with you, your victims can put a bounty on your head and you will not be able to assert a defensive murder claim. This could be the situation, I don't know. You would probably have to be a very bad criminal for this to happen.

u/anon338 · 0 pointsr/GoldandBlack

If you are sincerely looking for answers, I suggest you look deeper into more materials. There are a lot of interesting books about this topic. It would be silly for you or me to dismiss the extensive treatment of all these topics, only because of one question or challenge to the idea remains unsatisfactorily answered.

Here are some resources on Anarcho-Capitalism:

It is important to have a basic understanding of economics on the level of Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt or Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell before getting started on anarcho-capitalist texts.

AnCap Books and audiobooks:

Chaos Theory by Robert P. Murphy (Audio)

Anatomy of the State by Murray N. Rothbard

For A New Liberty by Murray N. Rothbard (audiobook)

The Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman (e-book) and (audiobook).

The Market for Liberty by Morris and Linda Tannehill (audiobook)

Anarchy Unbound by Peter Leeson

The Problem of Political Authority by Michael Huemer

For a more complete list see Anarcho-Capitalism: An Annotated Bibliography by Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Going though the issues you raised in order.

The states didn't come about through people making choices about their own lives. Do you refuse to accept that there is a difference between utter chaos and conflict and people making choices through exchange and negotiation? Your question assumes they are the same thing.

States come through wars, occupation, coercion and taxation. This is all ongoing. You have no choice. If it were to generally stop, then you would have people choosing different ways to arrange society.

How willing are you to concede that most people don't want matters of justice and court cases to be decided based on corruption?

If a criminal organization or rogue criminal (no matter how wealthy) attempts the things you are talking about, to change rules and control it through force (monopoly), people would massively react against it.

> Another worry is that the rich would rule. After all, won’t justice just go to the highest bidder in that case, if you turn legal services into an economic good? That’s a common objection. Interestingly, it’s a particularly common objection among Randians, who suddenly become very concerned about the poor impoverished masses. But under which system are the rich more powerful? Under the current system or under anarchy? Certainly, you’ve always got some sort of advantage if you’re rich. It’s good to be rich. You’re always in a better position to bribe people if you’re rich than if you’re not; that’s true. But, under the current system, the power of the rich is magnified. Suppose that I’m an evil rich person, and I want to get the government to do something-or-other that costs a million dollars. Do I have to bribe some bureaucrat a million dollars to get it done? No, because I’m not asking him to do it with his own money. Obviously, if I were asking him to do it with his own money, I couldn’t get him to spend a million dollars by bribing him any less than a million. It would have to be at least a million dollars and one cent. But people who control tax money that they don’t themselves personally own, and therefore can’t do whatever they want with, the bureaucrat can’t just pocket the million and go home (although it can get surprisingly close to that). All I have to do is bribe him a few thousand, and he can direct this million dollars in tax money to my favorite project or whatever, and thus the power of my bribe money is multiplied.
> Whereas, if you were the head of some private protection agency and I’m trying to get you to do something that costs a million dollars, I’d have to bribe you more than a million. So, the power of the rich is actually less under this system. And, of course, any court that got the reputation of discriminating in favor of millionaires against poor people would also presumably have the reputation of discriminating for billionaires against millionaires. So, the millionaires would not want to deal with it all of the time. They’d only want to deal with it when they’re dealing with people poorer, not people richer. The reputation effects – I don’t think this would be too popular an outfit.
> Worries about poor victims who can’t afford legal services, or victims who die without heirs (again, the Randians are very worried about victims dying without heirs) – in the case of poor victims, you can do what they did in Medieval Iceland. You’re too poor to purchase legal services, but still, if someone has harmed you, you have a claim to compensation from that person. You can sell that claim, part of the claim or all of the claim, to someone else. Actually, it’s kind of like hiring a lawyer on a contingency fee basis. You can sell to someone who is in a position to enforce your claim. Or, if you die without heirs, in a sense, one of the goods you left behind was your claim to compensation, and that can be homesteaded.

Excerpt from Libertarian Anarchism: Responses to Ten Objections by Roderick T. Long

For more read:

Can We Escape the Ruling Class? - Roderick T. Long

Who's the Scrooge? - Roderick T. Long

Did you ever consider that states have the means and incentives to burden the people they hold as subjects with the full cost of war and conflict?

Do you think there would be more wars or less wars if politicians had to pay for wars out of their own pockets? How many politicians do you know that have $2.4 trillion to spend on war?