What is an AnarchObjectivist?

AnarchObjectivism

Atlas

An AnarchObjectivist is one who accepts the fundamental principles of Ayn Rands philosophy, but rejects her advocacy of minarchism as inconsistent with those basic positions in metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics.

The contradiction between the Objectivist Ethics and minarchism

“The basic political principle of the Objectivist ethics is: no man may initiate the use of physical force against others. No man——or group or society or governmenthas the right to assume the role of a criminal and initiate the use of physical compulsion against any man. Men have the right to use physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use. The ethical principle involved is simple and clear-cut: it is the difference between murder and self-defense.” – Ayn Rand “The Objectivist Ethics” (emphasis added)

and

“A civilized society is one in which physical force is banned from human relationships—in which the government, acting as a policeman, may use force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use.” – Ayn Rand “Man’s Rights” (emphasis added)

Now, the problem arises when Miss Rand elaborates on the nature of government:

a government holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force.” – Ayn Rand “America’s Persecuted Minority: Big Business” (emphasis in original)

If a government holds a legal monopoly on the retaliatory use of force, it necessarily initiates the use of force against those whom would seek to start businesses in the arbitration and defense services industries, as well as all those who seek to do business with such persons. If a defense service is not allowed to exist or operate, yet has not initiated the use of force against anyone, and only retaliates against those who have initiated the use of force, those individuals rights have been violated.

A government that holds a legal monopoly on the retaliatory use of force actually initiates the use of force against its citizens, which violates the basic political principle of the Objectivist ethics.

Best Case Scenario

If, under an Objectivist Minarchy, the government did allow competition in the fields of arbitration and defense services,market pressures would render the government obsolete. As such a government would be voluntarily funded (so as not to violate the basic principle), private firms, in a free market, would be able to provide services cheaper and more efficiently than a government could and so would put the government out of business, and lead to de facto anarcho-capitalism.

Resolving the Contradiction

In conclusion, AnarchObjectivists reject the coercive (at worst) and/or obsolete (at best) nature of the state in favor of Voluntaryist solutions to law, arbitration, dispute resolution, and defense

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9 Responses to What is an AnarchObjectivist?

  1. If you reject a central tenant of Objectivism, you’re not an Objectivist anything.

    It’s like saying your a Catholic that doesn’t believe in the Holy Trinity.

    • jamesshrugged says:

      Politics is a derivative of metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. Since the objectivist politics is in direct contradiction with its ethical base, I have rightfully rejected it in favor of non contradiction.

      • Mike says:

        I think it’s more likely that you’ve misunderstood the ethical base and the role of government within objectivist ethics. By objectivist morality, a government not only can be a good thing, it is a necessary thing. As soon as you have more than one person interacting with one another, then you have the need for rights. Rights are based on objective moral values; you don’t pick and choose moral values (and thus rights) like you would pick competing goods in a marketplace. One person may pick a Mac and one person may pick a PC, based on their needs and desires, but when it comes to ethics and rights, there is only ONE kind of government that is moral and necessary as a means toward protecting rights and removing and punishing the initiation of force. To say that a government that initiates force is OK if people freely choose it is to say that moral value is subjective.

  2. pipinghotsoup says:

    I’m also an ancap, but I don’t know if I follow your logic here:
    “If a government holds a legal monopoly on the retaliatory use of force, it necessarily initiates the use of force against those whom would seek to start businesses in the arbitration and defense services industries, as well as all those who seek to do business with such persons. If a defense service is not allowed to exist or operate, yet has not initiated the use of force against anyone, and only retaliates against those who have initiated the use of force, those individuals rights have been violated.
    A government that holds a legal monopoly on the retaliatory use of force actually initiates the use of force against its citizens, which violates the basic political principle of the Objectivist ethics.”

    I believe the reason Randians say a legal monopoly on the retaliatory use of force is necessary for an Objectivist government (OG) is because there is a presupposition that said government is always and necessarily *correct*; ie: is always using retaliatory force. *Under this assumption*, I don’t think any action taken by the OG against a competing defense agency could be considered the initiation of force, it would be merely retaliatory (remember we are assuming the OG is always correct).

    I want to throw out a couple examples and get your analysis:

    1. A gentleman in rural Vermont believes the local police will not react quickly enough to his summons should a scoundrel violate his property rights, and as such hires a club-wielding guard to patrol his property. The OG, being correct, would allow this one man security agency to continue and would license his operation, as his purpose is solely defensive.

    2. A frenchman is seen on camera walking by a rare blueberry stand at timestamp 4:21 PM. At 4:22 PM a witness hears the frenchman saying on his phone “Yes, the blueberries, get them all, bring them to my place” and walks off. Shortly after, an armored vehicle crashes into the stand and all the blueberries are seized by teenagers with tennis rackets threatening to smack anyone who dares to defy their delinquency. The OG court hears this and orders a warrant to search the frenchman’s house. The frenchman is appalled, says he is being discriminated against, and has the DRO of his neighborhood send a couple of boxing kangaroos to stand guard at his door to protect him against what they claim is an invalid warrant. Some of the friends of the blueberry stand’s owner decide to boycott the DRO and cancel their subscription. The stand owner is furious- the blueberries were quite rare

    3. A technically inept shopkeep sells antique record players. A jew comes in offering to buy, but on principle will only purchase with bitcoins. He offers the shopkeep an additional 15% for the inconvenience, and this sways the man. Unfortunately, the shopkeep’s computer malfunctions a day later, and he was not wise enough to prepare a backup. Furious and believing himself cheated of “real” money, the shopkeep calls the jew and demands the television returned posthaste. After appealing to the OG on the basis of fraudulent sale and having his claim denied, the man decides to call Defenseco. Considering the large number of non bitcoin users, the elderly shopkeep’s age and vulnerability, and the general support of the media swayed public (Geek defrauds Geezer! Why doesn’t OG ever care about the little guy!?) Defenseco knocks on the jew’s door and repossess the record player.

    It’s the repossession that is the point the OG would take issue with.

    Starting a company is no problem, the problem is that any judgements rendered by said company would necessarily involve the initiation of the use of force (correct?? I can imagine something could be said for predetermined contracts negating this point, but I’m not sure…)

    By orthodox objectivists assumption, the OG is always correct, and rendering separate judgements is just a way for monied interests to perpetuate injustice under the guise of rule of law.

    If what I’ve said is true, I posit that we cannot argue to them by saying stopping a DRO from forming is a violation of the NAP, because in their eyes said group’s sole purpose is violating the NAP. It’d be like arresting a person who says “I swear on everything I hold dear tomorrow I will plant a bomb in Citibank”. You don’t have to wait for the explosion to claim they are violating the NAP and should be obstructed.

    What I take issue with is the lack of explanation of how the OG would originally come into existence (democracy? fuck that nonsense.) but their assumption is that it has and that it is perfect. The OG would be right to keep Defenseco from repossessing the record player. You can argue that an OG isn’t always going to rule correctly (what I would argue), and you can argue that it’s impossible to create a monopoly that wont become corrupted, but if the assumption is that the OG is correct, I don’t think you can say any rights are being violated.

    *Under that specific assumption* I don’t see how one could argue they violate the NAP.

    Of course, I think that assumption is rubbish for the above mentioned reasons. I think it’s much more likely that capital would tend to accumulate in the hands of the most procedurally just company than that enough people would be swayed to implement an OG.

    The absurdity of the idea of a sufficient amount of people implementing the OG is exactly what keeps me anarcho-capitalist! Workplace studies have shown that people prefer procedural justice to distributive justice, and I view the NAP as the zenith of said’s implementation.

    Over time, perhaps a monopoly would even emerge naturally, and become an OG by nature of the best and brightest minds being attracted to well-paying positions.

    • jamesshrugged says:

      “I believe the reason Randians say a legal monopoly on the retaliatory use of force is necessary for an Objectivist government (OG) is because there is a presupposition that said government is always and necessarily *correct*; ie: is always using retaliatory force. ”

      Well, just saying that any force used by the government is retaliatory doesn’t make it so. The fact is that a defense agency has not initiated
      the use of force (by definition of being a defense agency), so any action against it by the government can not be characterized as “retaliation.”

      “Starting a company is no problem, the problem is that any judgements rendered by said company would necessarily involve the initiation of the use of force (correct??”

      I don’t think so. The defense company, to be able to act would have had an arbitration agency rule that their customer is the victim of the initiation of force, so any action taken by the defense agency under the ruling of the arbitration firm is characterized as retaliation against tht initial grievance.

      Thank you for your post piper. My phone is on 18% so I will have to continue this post later, but I did want to at least address what I saw as your major points.

  3. >The defense company, to be able to act would have had an arbitration agency rule that their customer is the victim of the initiation of force

    my *main and most important* central focal thought point thought is the assumption that under objective law, one party is correct.

    >The fact is that a defense agency has not initiated the use of force (by definition of being a defense agency), so any action against it by the government can not be characterized as “retaliation.”

    This is really key, right? Say an organization called Personal Reclamation forms in polynesia and starts turning over property deeds to ethnic islanders who *would* own the land if it wasn’t seized from their grandfathers by force. “The whites violated the NAP, seized all our land, then died and gave it to their sons.” would be their rallying cry.

    Now I honestly don’t know the objectivist position on what should happen if my dad shoots a guy in a lawless area, takes his land, gives it to me his son, then I have a guy come by a generation later with a will that says his dad gave the land to him, and that my dad was a criminal.

    My point though is if said organization came into an existence, to gain customers they would have to differentiate. If to, say, attract investors they posted their values online, “we’re looking out for the little guy” “we’ll find a way to get your land back!” “We’ll have armed guards go with you to get your land back, just pay us a finders fee”

    This is the type of “defense” objectivists are worried about as a blatant example. The point though is under objective law, *any* deviation of interpretation of contract would constitute a divergence from objective law. Even if my procurement agreement had unspecified payment terms (a common occurrence dealt with by the Uniform Commercial Code, which presents gap filler rules), DRO A had 5% 10 net 30 as gap filling payment terms and the OG had 2% 10 net 30 as gap filling payment terms, if they sent me a 5% discounted payment in 10 days when I expected them to only take 2% and he made his DRO protect him… I don’t think an objectivist government would be in the wrong for forcing him to maintain my contract

    Of course this depends upon objective government always being correct… which I think is their claim, otherwise I can see no reason why a DRO who is correct more often should not supersede them.

  4. Pingback: The Top Ten Most Anarchist Moments of Ayn Rand | A beginners guide to AnarchObjectivism

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