This is a violation of the promised new format of the blog, but due to the furor it has apparently raised, I penned this response. I'll post it once, than return to the promised format changes.
Somewhere in the mountains
My comments opposed to the anarcho-capitalist point-of-view as a reality, including this one:
“the first dumb motherfucker that comments on this about how the Constitution was a Hamiltonian power-grab and that anarchy is superior to any form of governance, needs to email me through the blog with their contact information. I will personally pay for a one-way ticket to Somalia, or another suitably anarchic society, in order for you to put your precious, assinine, and unrealistic views to the test”
have elicited a great deal of comment on others' blogs who have linked to my articles. As I have repeated, ad nauseum, I support anyone's right to say anything they want.
That having been said, I notice that no one has emailed asking for their air-fare...
I will try and respond, this once, to this question, before reverting to the promised new format for the blog.
I do not view Somalia as a “straw man” argument whatsoever. Someone at WRSA anonymously claimed that Somalia is no more anarchist than the USA. While the idiocy of that statement is beyond comment, I do agree that Somalia gets thrown out as an example of a failed-state example of anarchy far too frequently, without comment. I'm as guilty of it as anyone. So, here's my comment on it for those not current on Somali history.
Somalia has a long history of relatively successful pastoral tribalism. Let's ignore their role in failed ancient kingdoms and empires, and focus on relatively modern history. Following the fall of the Socialist government through military junta, Somalia was ruled by a military “Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC)” led by Barre. This came about in 86 or 87 (I want to say 86, but I'm too lazy to Google it at the moment).
Obviously, as we can all guess (and are pretty much experiencing at the moment), life under a military dictatorship pretty much sucks goat's ass (no pun intended in reference to pastoral Islamic societies and goats...I promise). So, local tribal groups banded together long enough to overthrow the regime. That's fair. After all, a government should only be allowed to rule as long as it maintains the consent of the governed. No one disagrees with that, except the government that lacks the consent of the governed. The problem that arose was that, once the government was overthrown, the tribalists didn't really have any plan...except to return to their tribes and live happily ever after. Cool again. Hell, that's pretty much exactly what I want. Unfortunately, without some form of limited governance, they did what people do: They looked out for number one, using their tribe to take what they wanted from weaker neighboring tribes who didn't have the manpower to stop them. Dying for your private property is a noble concept, but staying alive to enjoy the fruits of that property beats it any day of the week, and twice on Sundays.
We can argue the semantics of what constitutes “anarchism” until we're all blue in the face. I'll sit and drink a beer with anyone and debate the relative merits of the philosophy all weekend long. Unfortunately, the reality that history demonstrates to us, every single time, is that when you pull out all the stops, with no plans to develop some method of protecting the rights of individuals/minorities, you end up with a situation that most rational people would not want, and one that few who clamor for it would survive.
I don't advocate for limited government because I'm besotted with love and adoration for the state. I don't advocate for limited government because I particularly NEED it's protections. Let's face it, I happen to possess a certain personality/psychology that made my personal professional background possible. Even without the government-provided training, I'd still have developed many of the same attributes and skills, even if through private “military/security” work, albeit in a less compressed time and convenience manner. I'll be just fine in a violent tribal society, and make no mistake about it, for all of our vaunted Judeo-Christian cultural ethics, if the government collapses, we WILL experience a similar state of affairs to what Somalia experienced following the fall of the Barre regime.
I advocate for a LIMITED government to help provide for the protection of those without my personal psychological make-up from incursions by other “tribes” against their persons and their private property rights. I advocate for limited government to protect the rights of the minority from the will and mass of the majority.
I think Cato, in a comment on AP's blog, hit the nail on the head, intentionally or not. If the PEOPLE won't protect the liberties and rights enshrined in the Constitution and BoR, what the fuck makes anyone think they'll protect their rights and liberties under an anarchist “system” (how's THAT for an oxymoron)? They won't. Instead, they'll revert to their basic nature and be clamoring for guys like me, with the critical psychological make-up (for definition: no innate psychological restraint proscribing the use of force, other than the recognition that an ordered, civil society with rule-of-law, makes life more pleasant than having to look over my shoulder every 30 seconds to make sure the brother of the guy I killed last week isn't sneaking up behind me), to go to guns in order to protect them.
The anarchist/”voluntarist” argument that free-market economic theory would provide for that defense through their ability to buy protection from mercenary companies is flawed as well. As historians like to point out, Rome ultimately fell because the citizenry decided it was easier to levy taxes and hire out the defense of the Republic rather than perform the duty themselves. Hiring mercenaries to defend your property and security is not a particularly sensible way to protect it, since they have guns, and the will to kill (they'd be pretty unprofessional mercenaries if they lacked either). Eventually, one or two of them are bound to realize that, if they just kick your ass and take your shit, they can get paid more, and not have to risk getting shot at for peanuts. The argument that society would go ahead and organize then, to overthrow them is ridiculous. If you're such a chicken shit, or just too weak, to defend your interests in the first place, what makes you think your neighbors are going to come to your rescue? They have their own self-interests to look out for. Tribalism is not the Disney-esque, pastoral nirvana too many anarchists have been suckered into believing it is.
So, yes, I advocate for limited governance, under the constitutional republican system enshrined in the Constitution.