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  1. I have a question. Who gets to decide whether the content of a given speech is hateful or inciteful, and who decides where these rules will be applied? Are we talking about public or private spaces?
  2. No, they control who enters the cinema. Try going to your local multiplex and asking if you can go into the cinema, but not watch the movie. I see I completely wasted my time explaining all that to you. Obviously, your prejudices are just too strong. Your loss. Anyway, I have repeatedly answered your question. You like to pretend I haven't because you don't seem to have a statisfactory response to my answer. My answer, again, is that intellectual property is metaphysical and not subject to the laws of scarcity. Cinema owners should be able to build walls. This allows them to control the scarce resources of their physical cinema. On the other hand, should a cinema owner be able to prevent someone going to see the movie, taking mental notes and then staging a play very closely based on the movie? Self-interest. You'll get more of what you want at the price you like if you reveal the information. Keep it secret if you want - but it'll cost you. You can't really conceal it anyway. Whether or not you buy a plasma TV today, for instance, reveals to the vendor the value you place on it. The goods and services you buy and choose not to buy give all the information about your wants and needs that is needed. This is why markets are so much more efficient than States: since the State offers no price for negotiation, it has no way of knowing how much people value its services, and whether or not it is being inefficient. I don't recall banking fees having been increased. But the costs to the consumer are decreased anyway - unless you feel that your time is so worthless that you're happy going to the bank or to the office of your utility companies to pay them. You are pretending that credit and debit cards offer nothing not also offered by cash, and that the fees are pure costs without any benefits. This is wrong. Debit cards let consumers carry little or no cash on them, which makes their money more secure against robbery. They also eliminate the need to have or make change. Credit cards carry a lot more benefits, like consumer protection, extended warranties, deferred payment, air miles, you name it. These are just a few examples. But again, like the question of the double-standard in State law, you are trying to build a strawman and ignore the facts you find uncomfortable.
  3. Yes, I am. And if you had read the rest of my post - or at least not pretended not to have read it - you would understand why, bearing in mind the subject of this thread. Strawman. The piece of paper is not what the patent purports to control. Perhaps I should illustrate this in a way that shows you how polycentric law works. Let's say we both live in an anarcho-capitalist society. I don't support the notion of intellectual property, so I will contract with a defence agency that uses an arbitrator who also does not support intellectual property. You, however, do. You will contract with an agency who supports intellectual property, and let's say that you can register your ideas with them and they will guard them from being copied and used without your consent. If I have an idea, and Bill, another client of my protection agency, copies it, my agency will take no action, but then I asked them not to. If you have an idea and you patent it, and Bob, another client of your pro-intellectual-property arbitrator copies it, then that arbitrator will find in your favour and order Bob to pay you damages, as both you and Bob agreed to in advance. Everyone gets the law he wants. But what if I copy your idea? Your protection agency thinks that what I have done is a crime. But mine does not. Now, as I have discussed elsewhere, violent conflict is really bad for business, so our agencies would settle this between them. Now, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that pro-copyright and anti-copyright agencies are inevitably going to lock horns, so almost certainly they would have negotiated an agreement between the two of them ahead of time and stipulated this in our contracts. So how is it going to be settled? Let's say that I feel strongly enough about not having intellectual property that it's worth about $2,000 per year to me. On the other hand, you feel strongly enough about having intellectual property that you feel it's worth $5,000 per year. Our defence agencies get together. Your agency offers to pay mine $3,000 per year in order to get my agency to recognize their notions of intellectual property. My agency agrees. Now, when dealing with you I have to respect your copyright. I feel that this loses me about $2,000 worth of value per year, however, my premiums have been cut by $3,000, so I'm $1,000 better off for having this arrangement. You are going to have to pay $3,000 more per year for this arrangement. However, you had indicated that this was actually worth $5,000 per year to you, so you're $2,000 better off as well. Let's say a third party comes into the picture. They feel so strongly anti-copyright that they feel it's worth $10,000 per year to them. Their agency offers to pay your agency $7,000 per year to get your agency to allow their clients to copy your ideas. They agree. Now, you have lost the copyright to clients of this agency. You value this loss at $5,000, however, your premium has been cut by $7,000, so you are $2,000 better off. The strong anti-copyrightists gain the ability to copy your ideas, but they're getting a $10,000 value for only $7,000, so they're $3,000 better off as well. Everybody is happy, and gets the law that they want at a price that they like.
  4. It doesn't particularly matter. It is my belief that intellectual property would not be enforced in an anarcho-capitalist system. Unlike the notion of physical property, the idea of intellectual property came very late to human thinking and was imposed by States rather than evolving without them, unlike physical property. This seems to indicate that it is not in accordance with economic law. Anarchism is not about making normative prescriptions, but in this instance (and many others) anarcho-capitalists are merely proposing their idea of the most likely scenario. It may well be that it is completely wrong, and certainly there are many inventions and developments that have completely revolutionized business and transactions. Intellectual property rights do not seem to be necessary from a utilitarian point of view. Ideas are nowhere near as important as capital. For instance, the steam engine was invented well before the birth of Christ, but until James Watt found a way to create a practical commercial application it sat idle. Interestingly, because James Watt guarded his patented ideas so jealously the industrial revolution never really got started until after his death, when the steam engine was introduced to the market in order to become cheaper and better. Taking away intellectual property rights could actually be more utilitarian since it would place an emphasis on ideas that were marketable, and developing and marketing them, rather than wasting time on useless ideas that have no practical application (do you know how many patents are held for time machines?). Regardless, even if I were to concede that intellectual property were right and just it does not negate anarchism one bit, unless you can demonstrate to me that private courts could not uphold intellectual property rights and that only State courts could - which I very seriously doubt. Cinema walls are physical.
  5. You can try and do whatever you like. Try and patent an idea, but without a State making such ridiculous laws you'll have a hard time standing in court and asking the judge to extract money from a guy because he saw your blueprints, committed them to memory and made a copy from his own resources. Basically, you want the right to control what's in other people's brains. Sound familiar? You can restrict access to the physical. In fact, it's impossible not to restrict access to it, because it's scarce. It's extremely difficult to restrict access to the metaphysical, and that is because it is not scarce.
  6. Wrong. The Law of Scarcity is economics 101, August. The seats are made of physical resources which have a finite supply. You could not build a hundred theater seats for every person in the world, at least, not without making huge sacrifices elsewhere. However, every person in the world could know a hundred songs, without any sacrifices being made anywhere, and without it affecting the ability of a person to know another song. So what? It doesn't help your argument at all, except to demonstrate another really basic economic fact: goods and services will tend to be traded in a way that minimizes transaction costs. New developments constantly occur to further minimize transaction costs: telephone banking, then online banking, for instance. I might be persuaded not to use one of the same electrical appliances that caused Mrs. Jones's fire. But your analogy assumes your conclusion: you pretend that the State is the only way to obtain certain goods and services, which you have never satisfactorily demonstrated. To further your analogy, insisting that we continue to have democratic States in spite of what happened in Germany, and in the USA, and Britain, Canada, heck, pretty much everywhere at some point or another, is like insisting that we continue to use electrical appliances proven to cause fires but "taking precautions" rather than just switching to a less dangerous brand. Rubbish. And to this day, it is the case that the overwhelming majority of a musician's income comes from live acts and not recordings. And that is why their distribution is easy to control. Physical goods necessarily lend themselves well to the notions of property rights and control, because their scarcity makes their distribution controllable. The metaphysical song itself is impossible to control. How can you stop someone who hears a song from knowing it? So was I. All you have demonstrated is that by taking an isolated quote from a person completely out of context, you can claim that he was making a totally different point. You've seen it. Time for you to do some remedial reading, methinks.
  7. You assume that taxes are even necessary. "We accept coercion into purchasing large inflatable rubber model elephants because we understand that nobody would purchase large inflatable rubber model elephants otherwise." If it were possible to do that then economics would be very different. However, all transactions have costs. Just because marriage has high costs does not mean it is not a transaction. If you choose not to have choice, that is a choice. Sorry. They didn't have much success tossing out Hitler or circumscribing his crimes, did they? Democracy is not a guarantee that Government will be either gentle or just. Oh, none, August. That's why absolutely no songs were composed before 1909. This analogy is fraudulent. The seats are a scarce resource. Metaphysical things are not. David Friedman is an anarchist and states quite clearly that he considers a State to be both unnecessary and dangerous. He advocates downsizing existing States as a precursor to their abolition, not least because he believes that for anarcho-capitalism to be successful it must have institutions and markets ready to take over the functions currently monopolized by the State.
  8. My first question is why you would therefore support a system that gives non-standard laws and punishments in the same geographical area, let alone every few feet. Not only do we have different laws for police officers, MPs, taxmen and private citizens, but the punishments meted out change at the whim of a judge which neither the prosecution nor the defence agreed to have hear the case, but which the State appointed (and we must also ask why the State appoints judges when it is also either the prosecution or, sometimes, the defence). My second is how you have decided where the boundaries of law should end. Why not every few feet, but every few miles at municipal borders, or every few hundred at the provincial borders? Why every few thousand, at national borders (much less in Europe)? What's on these lines that says to you, "laws should change here" - or are you advocating One World Government?
  9. You're assuming your conclusion. If an individual cannot steal from, kidnap or kill another, why can he "empower the State" to do these things? At what point do you have enough consent to make a crime a non-crime (assuming the victim never consents)? What's the magic number - how many people do you need to support you to make your violation of my rights just? You just finished telling me that the people - the mob - can empower a State to carry out justice. Now you are telling me they cannot carry out justice. If they can collectively empower someone else to mete out justice, why can't they collectively mete it out themselves? If you fear that turning justice over to the mob will result in injustices, why do you think that allowing the mob to pick a State to mete out justice will somehow not result in injustices? I don't think that is correct at all. Review my summary of polycentric law. I also don't see how "we must have some laws" translates into "some people must be above the law."
  10. It's already been covered quite extensively, I think across several threads. Here is some of it.
  11. Why? If the individual lacks the right, why does the mob have the right? Mobs are made of individuals. If the individuals cannot fly, could the mob? Basically, you're back to saying that might makes right. So, the only reason we have a State is because they control the greatest means to violence. We don't need them, and it is not objectively justifiable that they exist. Why? You've conceded that government is made of people (and therefore will become self-serving) and that it steals to support itself, and the only reason that it exists is because it controls the means to force. Therefore, the government is basically a criminal gang, like the Mafia but more successful. So why do you support it? I assume you don't support the Mafia, so why support a criminal gang worse than the Mafia? The means become part of the ends. When stealing, kidnapping and murdering are your means, how just can the ends be? Moreover, even assuming no objective idea of justice, how can the State claim that actions which it actually forbids can be just when it commits them?
  12. They are going to have to be, or they can't govern. To tax, for instance, they will have to be exempt from the laws of theft and robbery. Why don't you address this point? A Government is made up of people. To have a Government needs a double standard in law. Popular approval wouldn't make private theft a non-crime in law, so why does popular approval make theft a non-crime when it is committed by agents of the Government? To have a State, you need two bodies of law: one for the rulers, and one for the ruled. Therefore, there can be no equality of rights where a State exists. The former may do to the latter what the latter cannot do to the former. This is nothing more than the resurrection of your earlier strawman. You claimed that the double-standard in law was illusory because not all laws had a double standard, which was never my claim. Now you claim that government employees pay taxes. They don't. Their entire income is derived from taxes, so if they pay taxes on that income, it basically means they are getting paid less, but still from exactly the same source: wealth expropriated from others. The idea of a government employee paying taxes is duplicitous chicanery, upon many other examples of which the popular acceptance of the State rests.
  13. Catch-22. If a Government must impose rights for all, it must have the right to steal (tax) to support itself. Therefore, there will not be equal rights for all. If it does not tax, then people who wish to violate its decreed rights may do so since it will be optional, so there will not be equal rights for all.
  14. Yes, but there is all sorts of rubbish propounded here "according to you." "Making future loans possible" is just doublespeak. So how is any of this coercive, exactly? You are taking an example of a group that asks you to do action A, otherwise unpleasant circumstance B will be visited upon you by C, a force outside their or your control. You equate this to a group that asks you to do action A otherwise they will personally visit unpleasant circumstance B upon you. Examples: take your vitamins, or you'll get sick. Give me your money, or I'll break your kneecaps. You're asking the wrong man. Ask them. All human behaviour is rational behaviour, since rationality is subjective and what a person is doing invariably makes sense at least to them. Indeed, why not? What's stopping that? (Hint: starts with "S" and ends with "ate"). Yes, they do. No, it doesn't. Alimony is agreed upon. Taxes are not.
  15. If they were able to wield overwhelming force to apply equal rights to all then the rights would not be equal, because the arbiter would not fall under them. To 'rule the country' means that you cannot have the same benefits and equal privations as everyone else. As I had said before, the existence of government requires a double standard in law or rights. Basically, the State must be able to do what private citizens are forbidden to. Therefore, you now understand my mock amazement. Equal rights for all, even if achieveable, is never achieveable under government since it is an inherent self-contradiction. A government to ensure equal rights for all is like getting rich by giving away all your material goods and money. Basically, whimsical nonsense.
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