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Henry Herskovitz Defends the 1st Amendment; Thomas Willcutts Refutes Libertarianism A.K.A. “anarcho-capitalism”
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First hour: Henry Herskovitz of Witness for Peace has been picketing the Beth Israel synagogue in Ann Arbor, Michigan for many years due to that congregation’s support for Zionism. Now they’re trying to shut him down…and he’s fighting for his First Amendment rights. Will attorney Marc M. Susselman succeed in his “lawfare” action contending that Witness for Peace has no First Amendment rights to carry signs on public sidewalks?

And are we lucky to even have public sidewalks protected by the First Amendment? Would a fully privatized world, in which all sidewalks are private property (as in shopping malls) and the owners decide what you can say and what you can’t, be a libertarian paradise or a dystopian nightmare?

We also discuss the internet oligarchs’ escalating violations of the First Amendment. Are social media and streaming platforms private publishers who are fully responsible for everything they publish—giving them the right to censor anyone they disagree with? Or are these platforms a de facto town square, protected under the First Amendment, in which individual users post their own material, and are responsible for their own Constitutionally-protected speech?

“’Government’ is the methodology by which any given human society – 1) Creates the rules of the society; 2) Interprets the rules and adjudicates disputes concerning the rules; 3) Enforces the rules of society.”Second hour: Thomas Willcutts argues that pro-capitalist libertarians are wrong: scaling back government just intensifies corporate tyranny. He writes:

He argues that anarcho-libertarianism “does not do away with government – it privatizes it. Laws will no longer be created by legislative bodies – they will become a creature of private contracts. Laws will no longer be interpreted and adjudicated in courts of law, as those functions will be taken over by for-profit, private arbitration fora. And finally, the laws will no longer be enforced by the police functions of the State, but instead they will be enforced by ‘PDAs’ – private defense agencies. This book will compare and contrast these functions of government when operated under Public Law vs. Private Law. As set forth in the Title, the conclusion reached herein is that privatization of government is a formula for a tyrannical corporate dystopia.”

40 minutes into the hour, libertarian Rolf Lindgren calls in with a different view.
Thomas Willcutts has undergraduate degrees in Physics and Philosophy from Rice University, and he is a trial attorney by profession, where he specializes in representing individuals in securities fraud cases against the major banks of Wall Street. Willcutts has had a life-long interest in political philosophy, and he frequently engages in on-line debates and discussions on this topic, several of which can be found on YouTube, including here, here, and here.

(Republished from Truth Jihad by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Freedom of Speech, Libertarianism 
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  1. Rational says:


    I am glad people are speaking up against this racket called “libertarianism”. These libertarians are kooks. They are basically corporate thugs, promoting corporatism. To fool the public, they did not call it corporatism, they labeled it as “libertarianism”.

    Some of the crazy things these corporate thugs want:

    The liberty of the corporations to:

    a. Liberty of unqualified inexperienced people to practice professions without a license.

    b. Liberty to do human trafficking, import cheap labor (alienism), paying them 3rd world wages while selling their products at first world prices;
    c. The liberty to dump chemical wastes in rivers and lakes and pollute the air;
    d. The liberty to spray chemicals on land and farms, and the liberty to kill people with cancer;
    e. The liberty to let alien workers sexually harass and rape women at work and on crusie ships;
    f. The liberty to defame consumers with bogus credit reports if they don’t pay up fake bills;
    g. The liberty to charge $100 for Hep B vaccine which they sell in 3rd world countries for $1;
    h. The liberty to not pay taxes;
    i. The liberty of the CEO to pocket all the profits, leaving shareholders high and dry.
    j. The liberty to sell empty insurance, where the consumer thinks he bought insurance, but the fine print contract contains all kinds of clauses that nothing is ever covered and the insurance company never pays;
    k. The liberty to harm people and not have to pay for it (tort reform).

  2. You don’t need to throw out libertarianism or free market thinking to reign in the tech giants. You guys (and much of the alt-right) are barking up the wrong tree and are trying to throw out the baby with the bath water.

    Instead, the following actions will do the job:

    1) Eliminate section 230 of the 1996 telecoms act that allows the tech giants to blur the distinction between publisher and platform.
    2) End the Federal Reserve Bank’s cheap money policies that shovel money preferentially to the finance industry and big companies that, in turn, creates the asset bubbles that we have been experiencing over the past 20 years.
    3) End the NSA’s covert financial support of the tech giants.

    Doing these three things will solve the problem of the tech giants.

    • Replies: @jack daniels
  3. @Rational

    Libertarianism is about empowering the individual with freedom of body and property to make choices for his or her life. It is because we don’t have libertarian principles that we have the mess we are in today.

    In a libertarian country people wouldn’t be forced to sell or rent their homes to dangerous people who commit a disproportionate amount of crime and violence, and ruin once safe neighborhoods in the process. They wouldn’t be forced to hire and be complicit in the livelihoods of dangerous people who commit a disproportionate amount of crime and violence. They wouldn’t be forced to send their kids to schools filled with dangerous people who commit a disproportionate amount of crime and violence. They wouldn’t be forced to hand over their paychecks to politicians, bureaucrats and the thugs who do their bidding, who brainwash our kids from day one with propaganda in schools or through government ad council ads.

    I rather have voluntary and consensual contracts with individuals and organizations rather than be dictated to by the mob of majority rule democracy and bureaucrats. I rather let individuals choose who they want to perform a service rather than having government monopolies and professional rackets centered on academia.

    Your view centers on the public being intelligent, noble and wise. Thousands of years of history has taught us to the contrary. If you don’t like how things are going in this country more laws and less freedom only make the problem worse.

    • Replies: @anon
  4. anon[252] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jackson Detrix

    Libertarianism is about empowering the individual…especially the child sellers!

    In short, we must face the fact that the purely free society will have a flourishing free market in children.

    Murray Rothbard (1926-1995)

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  5. APilgrim says:

    I call these ‘Anarcho-Libertarians’ … ‘Libertines’.

    Websters Definition of libertine: 1 disparaging : a freethinker especially in religious matters, 2 : a person who is unrestrained by convention or morality specifically : one leading a dissolute life,

    Synonyms: Definition of libertine: backslider, debaucher, decadent, degenerate, deviate, libertine, perv, pervert, profligate, rake, rakehell, rip

    Anarcho-Libertines appears to be a better description.

  6. @Rational

    The idea that corporations will take over from where gov’t left off just has one problem. What is going to make the average person agree to what some corp wants when the organized threat of violence aka ‘government’ no longer exists? Although private defense agencies will surely spring up, who will force someone to use their services? Who will force someone to use an arbitration service when the primary force agent – gov’t – is removed from the environment.

    In the absence of gov’t, the individual is no longer threatened to do this or that by an armed thug known as a police officer. Everyone becomes their own police officer because everyone will realize that they must protect themselves. Crime gradually, but quickly gets reduced as individuals meet out punishment to anyone that threatens their person or property.

    Gov’t encourages crime as it subsidizes it. Criminals are housed, clothed and fed for years only to be released to commit more crimes. Without gov’t protecting the criminals, the predators in the society would be taken out within months leading to a much more peaceful society long term.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Tom Willcutts
  7. @anon

    Epstein has been protected by the ‘system’ for decades. In the absence of such a protection racket, he would have been dead years ago. First offense = last offense when pushing up daisies.

    • Replies: @anon
  8. anon[570] • Disclaimer says:

    > Everyone becomes their own police officer….

    Really? Where (other than in your make-believe fantasy)?

    If a society provided no organized protection against force, it would compel every citizen to go about armed, to turn his home into a fortress, to shoot any strangers approaching his door—or to join a protective gang of citizens who would fight other gangs, formed for the same purpose, and thus bring about the degeneration of that society into the chaos of gang-rule, i.e., rule by brute force, into perpetual tribal warfare of prehistorical savages.

    “The Nature of Government,” The Virtue of Selfishness, p. 108

    > …the predators in the society would be taken out within months…

    You being an anarchist makes you target #1 in Galt’s Gulch. Isn’t it ironic, dontchathink?

  9. anon[570] • Disclaimer says:

    Oh, so you’re all for the selling of children, just not Epstein’s selling of children. How convenient is that?

  10. APilgrim says:

    This guy comes to mind, as an example of anarcho-capitalism.

    Grover Glenn Norquist (born October 19, 1956) is an American political activist and tax reduction advocate who is founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, an organization that opposes all tax increases. A Republican, he is the primary promoter of the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge”, a pledge signed by lawmakers who agree to oppose increases in marginal income tax rates for individuals and businesses, as well as net reductions or eliminations of deductions and credits without a matching reduced tax rate. Prior to the November 2012 election, the pledge was signed by 95% of all Republican members of Congress and all but one of the candidates running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. According to a 2011 memoir by former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Norquist was one of Abramoff’s first major Republican party contacts. Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform were also mentioned in Senate testimony relating to the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal which resulted in a 2006 guilty plea by Abramoff to three criminal felony counts of defrauding of American Indian tribes and corrupting public officials. Records released by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee allege that ATR served as a “conduit” for funds that flowed from Abramoff’s clients to surreptitiously finance grass-roots lobbying campaigns.


    Two billionaire-backed groups have provided over 66 percent of Norquist’s funding: (2012)

    • The Center to Protect Patients Rights donated $4,189,000 to Americans for Tax Reform in 2010, 34 percent of the group’s budget that year.

    • Crossroads GPS donated $4,000,000 to Americans for Tax Reform in 2010, 32.46 percent of the group’s budget that year.

    The Center to Protect Patients Rights is the foundation used by the billionaire clique led by the Koch brothers to distribute grants to allied groups. In 2010, wealthy moguls like Steve Bechtel of Bechtel Corporation and Steve Schwarzman of the Blackstone Group met behind closed doors to help lend money to these types of efforts.

    Crossroads GPS is the undisclosed group run by Karl Rove. The only known donors are folks like Paul Singer, the “vulture” hedge fund king who benefits enormously from tax strategies like the carried interest loophole.

    In 2004, at age 48, he married a Palestinian Muslim[66] named Samah Alrayyes, a Kuwaiti PR specialist who was formerly a director of the Islamic Free Market Institute and specialist at the Bureau of Legislative and Public Affairs at United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

  11. Milton Friedman’s hardcore brother David, questioned about Islam and libertarianism, said that Islam may be the most successful libertarian experiment yet. The Islamic legal system is primarily enforced by God, not man. Since it raises the moral-spiritual pitch of both the individual and the group, there is relatively little need for human enforcement. (People who are mindfully performing the yogic postures of ritual submission to God five times a day, with their hearts in it, are relatively unlikely to engage in criminal or unethical behavior.)

    Though much of the Islamic world is economically backwards, and though Islamic institutions have been degraded by centuries of anti-Islamic rule by colonialist invaders, Muslim communities still outperform other cultures on key indices of civilizational health, with relatively low rates of crime, suicide, drug addiction, depression and mental illness, broken families, etc.

    Imagine what they could do if they regained full independence and seriously attempted to implement Islam!

  12. @RoatanBill


    What is going to make the average person agree to what some corp wants when the organized threat of violence aka ‘government’ no longer exists? Although private defense agencies will surely spring up, who will force someone to use their services?

    Okay RoatanB – Let me address your questions. Who forces you to sign agreements with corporations now? Are you saying that if the State were eliminated tomorrow – you would no longer buy a smart phone, buy insurance, open a bank account, contract with an internet provider, buy a car, fly a plan, stay in hotel? This is a very short list of corporations that most people sign contracts with all the time. Would you or others all of a sudden stop doing that?

    You don’t need to sign a contract with a private defense agency (PDA). Let’s say that Exxon discovers oil on a large tract of land that includes the land where you built your house. Exxon simply goes to their PDA and tells it that you are on their property and the PDA needs to remove you, which given the PDA’s large and lucrative contract with Exxon — they quickly do and you are stripped of your residence – kicked out, which is destroyed so Exxon can drill on the land beneath it.

    You lose – agreement does not enter into it.

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  13. @Tom Willcutts

    How is what you describe any different than what happens now? Eminent Domain is what you described. The only difference is the law makes it OK and encourages it.

    A corporation is a legal animal created by gov’t. Without gov’t there is no corporation with special rights given to them under law. Voluntarily signing up for anything is fine with me. It’s when the threat of force is applied, which is solely the legal right of gov’t, that seems inappropriate to me.

    Human nature stays human nature with or without gov’t. Right now, gov’t protects the filth in the society and in the US’s case, is itself the largest criminal organization the world has ever known. It aggregates the morally deficient into military units and sends them worldwide to murder people. It steals my money to craft weapons no one should have to aid in their destructive impulses.

    Gov’t and religion are the two must destructive things man has invented.

    “Throne and alter were twins–two vultures from the same egg.
    To attack the king was treason; to dispute the priest, blasphemy.
    The sword and cross were allies.
    Together they attacked the rights of men; they defended each other.
    The king owned the bodies of men, the priests the souls.
    One lived on taxes collected by force, the other on alms collected by fear.
    Both robbers, both beggars.
    The king made laws, the priest made creeds.
    With bowed backs the people carried the burdens of one, with open-mouthed wonder received the dogmas of the other.
    The king said rags and hovels for you, robes and palaces for me.
    The priest said God made you ignorant and immoral; He made me holy and wise; you are the sheep, I am the shepherd; your fleeces belong to me.
    You must not reason, you must not contradict, you must believe.” – Robert G. Ingersoll

    • Replies: @Tom Willcutts
    , @anon
  14. @RoatanBill

    How is what you describe any different than what happens now?

    That’s my entire point … anarcho-capitalism does not do away with government – it merely privatizes it. Any evil that anarcho-capitalists identify with government persists after they privatize government, except you can expect it to get much worse, because you have eliminated all public law rights and protections that have evolved over time – like the Bill of Rights, guaranteeing free speech, due process etc.

    A corporation is a legal animal created by gov’t. Without gov’t there is no corporation with special rights given to them under law.

    This is one of those complete factual fabrications that has been spread over the internet. The source of this claim is that the State did not allow corporations to exist without granting a Charter. As a private government, with its own Articles of Incorporation (private constitution) and Bylaws (private laws), the shareholders (citizens), who elect a Board of Directors (Parliament) that elects/appoints the Officers of the Corporation – CEO (or President), CFO (or Treasurer) etc. … States were initially wary of permitting these competing private governments to exist. The State granting a Charter to a corporation to permit it to operate as a private government is a form of granting a license. To say that corporations would not exist without the government is the same logic (or illogic) of saying that automobiles would not exist without the State granting a license to operate one. If you doubt that what I am saying is true, there is actually at least one attorney out there who is an anarcho-capitalist who educates Libertarian Tom Woods on this very point – listen to it yourself. (You can search and find a video where he does the same with Molyneux – and they both agree he is right.)

    Corporations are not a “legal animal created by gov’t” as you state – corporations are a legal animal created by private contracts. If you think by eliminating the State tomorrow that Walmart will suddenly vanish into thin air … you are wrong. And the only difference in your contracts with the thousands of corporations that you do business with is that now when you click that button “Accept all terms and Conditions” you are no longer protected by the public law restrictions on corporate contracts – you had better read that fine print without those protections, because you may have just agreed to become a slave for life or given away your first born as a slave or that they can simply empty your bank account and take all of your property. And it does not really matter what the contract says, because you have agreed that any disputes will be adjudicated by their private (arbitration) court and enforced by their Private Defense Agency.

    You identify the abuses of the United States government and you are correct on that point. But everyone knows that the United States government is for all practical purposes controlled by large multi-national corporations, international banking and various oligarchs. BUT … that control is based upon an effective propaganda machine that fools the people into going along with it. And you also need to understand that part of that control system over the people includes giving them certain rights, where they believe the government serves them. Over the course of history, people rebelled against tyrants, dictators and slave masters. Part of the Genius of “self-government” as a superior control mechanism is that the people do not rebel against themselves. HOWEVER, fundamental public rights and self-government public control still exist within the governing legal documents of the United States and the People still have the ability to awaken and seize control the system.

    But what the Anarcho-capitalists would do instead is dismantle fundamental public rights and dismantle the theoretical public control that still exists and simply hand the keys of Society directly to the ruling corporations, banks and oligarchs. You think things are bad now … these well-meaning and uneducated Anarcho-Capitalists would create the type of Corporate Dystopia that is the stuff of Sci-Fi novels and sometimes approximated in Third World Countries where governments are a very thin ruse for Corporate control and exploitation, uninhibited by meaningfully effective public law restrictions.

    Eminent Domain is what you described.

    Let’s use this claim of yours as a practical example to illustrate the differences between the State seizing control of your land in Eminent Domain and my Exxon example. If the State does it – you can fight it in court with rights of due process and appeal, and even if you lose, you are entitled to compensation. To the extent Exxon decides to give you any pretense of legal process or compensation … it would only do so if it decided it wanted to maintain some form of appearances, which in the vast majority of cases would be unnecessary – the ordinary person would become irrelevant in the Anarcho-Capitalist corporate dystopia, where the people have shedded all public law rights and public law control of private corporations.

    • Replies: @jack daniels
  15. To some extent we are talking past each other by misusing language. For example, corporations are absolutely grants from the gov’t in today’s world as without such a grant they would not exist. This focuses on the current legal definition of a corp. I agree with you that in the absence of gov’t that people would still get together to form something resembling a corporation, but to use that term conflates today’s reality with what might be.

    You seem to think that corporate types are the equivalent of war lords. Some may be as they’ve learned that with gov’t protection they can indeed do as they like. It is gov’t protection that gives them cover. Most corporation, however, are run by NORMAL people just trying to make a living. I’ll agree that today’s huge corporations that are ‘too big to fail’ (banks & other financial institutions), get gov’t to become their sales agents (weapons manufacturers), get gov’t to seize territory for them (eminent domain, wars, threats of violence), get gov’t to write laws that make them immune for damages (big pharma), write laws for them to force people to purchase their product (auto & medical insurance) are indeed a major problem. But it is gov’t that allowed this to happen.

    It is gov’t that fosters the environment where big money can purchase anything with little regard for the average person. It is gov’t with their monopoly military, monopoly police, monopoly threat of violence that keeps the population from taking matters into their own hands. I’d much rather take my chances fighting Exxon and any goon squad they might want to assemble than fight the US military goon squad.

    • Replies: @Tom Willcutts
  16. anon[570] • Disclaimer says:

    > Gov’t and religion are the two must destructive things man has invented.

    Spoken like a true Marxist.

    “This is no surprise, as libertarianism is basically the Marxism of the Right…Like Marxism, libertarianism offers the fraudulent intellectual security of a complete a priori account of the political good without the effort of empirical investigation. Like Marxism, it aspires, overtly or covertly, to reduce social life to economics.”

    Robert Locke | Marxism of the Right | The American Conservative, March 14, 2005

  17. @RoatanBill

    Roatan –

    You are simply wrong about asserting that corporations would not exist without government. Again, it is a very common misunderstanding about the interrelationship between corporations and government. Stephan Kinsella, an anarcho-capitalist attorney, has a half-dozen videos on YouTube where he corrects this misconception with numerous anarcho-capitalist speakers – like Stephan Molyneux. You mistake the fact that many governments barred the private creation of corporations and then later handed out licenses for their creation with the notion that government is necessary for the creation of corporations. Again, that’s like saying that government is necessary for the creation of automobiles, because you need a government license to operate one. And another obvious means of explaining that your belief about corporations is not true would be to consider the hypothetical possibility that the anarcho-capitalists win the argument and convince the people to dissolve all Nations, States and other forms of public government. Do the corporations suddenly go *Poof* and disappear? Clearly not. If your only point is to make a definitional argument – we no longer call them corporations post-government, and we call them companies instead. Again, that’s like saying, post-government, that we no longer have registered automobiles and instead they all become cars …. Why would you make such a meaningless and vacuous point that is obviously immaterial to the real world?

    But Roatan – no Logic is going to convince you, because anarcho-capitalism has every feature of a Religious Faith. This Religion identifies all evil with public government, where the elimination of that Evil is the Key to improvement of human society. The Communists had a similar religious belief in the elimination of the evil Capitalists as being the key to the betterment of mankind. One important difference between these two Religions is that it was much more difficult to refute Communism, until it was tested in the Real World. Private Government, on the other hand, has been tested over and over and over and over again, such that the Anarcho-Capitalist tenants can readily be refuted with cold hard facts, which I will do in the Book I am writing on the Subject.

    Roatan … I encourage you to watch the YouTube video linked below, where Molyneux recites his Vision of what a private criminal justice system would look like. Understand, he was free to come up with any description his heart desired, and what he describes (which my creative brother put to video) is an extremely frightening example of the Big Brother, Corporate Dystopia envisioned by one of the leading Anarcho-Capitalists out there (he perhaps has the largest following – no?). The privatization of prisons by the U.S. (prisons for profit) has led to the largest prison population in the World, but if you listen to Molyneux … what he describes is clearly much, much worse – because the private (for-profit) prisons are combined with a private for profit judicial system and a private for-profit police force. AND notice how he describes how any person who resists such runaway injustice will lose everything they own and become social outcast – just by serving the accused a meal …. that’s what your Religion would deliver – Hell on Earth.

    • Replies: @anon
  18. anon[570] • Disclaimer says:
    @Tom Willcutts

    Thanks for bringing up Kinsella, who basically wants a DICTATORSHIP of the PRIVATARIAT.

    “We libertarians do not oppose hierarchy or command or authority…” -Stephan Kinsella

    Meet the new boss same as the old boss.

  19. Libertarianism is a worthwhile thought-experiment but we are so far from the sort of society libertarians envision that it isn’t very relevant to practical politics. The ideal of liberty is morally compelling, but realizing it without intolerable side-effects must proceed within the confines of common sense and it must define itself in relation to existing arrangements and how they should be utilized or modified.
    – Is free speech for pornographers or purveyors of fake medicine as important as free speech for political dissenters?
    – Do property rights allow people to forbid passage between points separated by another’s property?
    – Who judges and enforces justice re broken contracts and what if they rule corruptly?
    – What if some people have the wealth or power to bring about the abolition of liberty and use that as a threat?
    – What rights if any to children and animals have and who enforces them?’
    – What is done with mentally ill people, and with what justification?
    – Do people have the right to agree to obviously harmful or exploitative contracts such as selling body parts, prostitution, selling themselves into slavery, selling their children, agreeing to commit suicide, etc.?
    – If the distribution of wealth grows very unequal, what is to stop the majority from seizing the property of the wealthy minority?

  20. @Tom Willcutts

    One quibble: Corporations are defined by protection from owner liability and that is something government provides via laws.

    Increasingly I view ideas, not in terms of truth and falsity, correctness or incorrectness, but as vehicles for various sorts of people and mindsets to demand influence. (Is this Nietzschean on my part?) I think of libertarians as mostly Jewish, atheistical, nerdy, high-IQ, socially inept — people who are “legends in their own minds” being convinced that in a fairly run society they would rise to the top.
    When I meet such people I often want to hit them in the face with a pie or trip them. Very wicked I know.

    • Replies: @Tom Willcutts
  21. @Abelard Lindsey

    Few people today doubt the value of the free market mechanism. The argument is over how much it needs to be reined in for certain purposes. Traditional advocates of capitalism see the drawbacks of monopoly and accept government action to break up monopolies. The social media companies are monopolies of a uniquely dangerous kind owing to their ability to censor political viewpoints. Your proposals would help, but what we on the right most need is to see that a free market does not guarantee many of the things we most value about our way of life. We need a more sophisticated model, and we need to stop ignoring the “social issues” just because we don’t have simple solutions to them. But in any case we need to get away from the facile application of libertarian tropes when discussing the rights of giant corporations. One must have a sense of proportion, the ability to say No on the basis of common sense or intuition, without appealing to complicated theories.

  22. @jack daniels

    To say that government provides “protection from owner liability … via laws” does not distinguish the operation of a corporation with or without a State. What the anarcho-capitalists envision is a modern, vibrant society, with just the State removed from the equation. Laws would still exist. In fact, as I keep pointing out, government still exists – its functions have merely been privatized.

    So in a stateless society, there would still be laws – correct? In fact, the anarcho-capitalists very much favor much of the modern laws of commerce as they have evolved over time – much of that evolution took place through the “common law” – something they also say they like (though most of them do not fully understand or appreciate what the common law is).

    More than anything else, the anarcho-capitalists love Contracts – if you listen to Molyneux’s video linked above where he imagines what an anarcho-capitalistic legal system would look like – you will note that he refers to all laws as existing through the terms of the parties’ contracts.

    The fact that the owners’ of the corporation would have no liability beyond their investment in the corporation is a function of contract. That’s the agreement you personally make when you interact with a corporation. That rule ONLY APPLIES to passive investors in the corporation who take no action on behalf of the corporation. Any corporation Director, Officer, Employee or Agent can be fully liable for their actions.

    Did you know that? That’s why in my example of Enron I discussed with Mr. Barrett – Ken Lay (Chairman of the Board) and Jeffrey Skilling (CEO) were sentenced to Prison for their crimes and could have also forfeited all of their personal wealth.

    Don’t feel bad for not knowing these things … most Americans fancy themselves to be Legal Experts, with no education in law.

    • Replies: @jack daniels
  23. jtgw says:

    About private prisons: it’s not like mass incarceration only became a problem when private prisons started. It was a problem when prisons were all still directly run by the government. And private prisons are not examples of ancap in practice because their revenue is still from the taxpayer through contracts with the government and it’s the government who decides who gets sent to prison.

    • Replies: @Tom Willcutts
  24. @jtgw

    jtgw – you played the ancap get out of jail free card (no pun intended), which is to say that until the State is completely eliminated – you cannot blame anything upon the privatization of government. And just as a point of clarification – you should stop referring to “the government” and properly label it as the “State.” Again, the ancaps do not do away with government – they privatize government. They do away with public government or the State.

    Here is the point you are missing – it is the privatization of prisons that creates a profit-motive for incarcerations. Now you have corporate lobbyists pushing lawmakers to pass laws to increase their profits. There are certain functions of government that should never be operated on the profit model, and the incentives that profits create.

    Listen to the Molyneux video I posted. He admits how the entire ancap judicial system he envisions is operated for profit – including profits created as a result of slave labor that his private prisons will have. He speaks of a judicial system that recovers twice its costs from each convicted criminal – or from the accuser if the accused wins. If the judicial system fails to convict the accused, then the victim must pay the accused and the system, because after all, the system must make its profit. Unbelievable.

    You say the prisons are funded by taxes – even that is the same under the ancap model. Except instead of taxes – it is premiums. Same difference. Again, listen to Molyneux’s video – you cannot do anything – buy property, open a bank account without entering into a contract that includes choosing a DRO – “Dispute Resolution Organization.” DROs are effectively insurance companies under the ancap model, and they manage disputes – they operate the private ancap judicial system, and instead of paying taxes for that function of government – you pay premiums. It’s a distinction without a difference, because you really have no choice – they will exist in every contract. If you know anything about insurance – it operates under the law of large numbers – insurance companies are by their very nature very large to spread risk over large numbers of people. These DROs would be large corporations, operating for profit. In effect, the legal system would be operated by AIG, Travelers, Aetna and the like …. Trust me, I have litigated cases against AIG, Travelers and Aetna, and they are the last choice anyone would ever make to operate a fair judicial system. Fairness is not part of their business model – Profit is. I could teach a Seminar on the history of the Insurance Industry and its history of cheating its insureds and the public on massive scales, in order to increase profits. The notion of handing the keys to Society’s legal system to them is Tragicomical.

    As I have repeatedly said, the ancaps mean well, but in developing this simplistic solution for all of society’s ills – do away with the State and public government and privatize all government functions instead … simply displays an ignorance of how private government would operate — which is much worse than public government.

    • Replies: @jtgw
  25. jtgw says:
    @Tom Willcutts

    The fact that the “private” prisons’ revenue comes from taxes, i.e. from involuntary expropriation of taxpayers, defeats your argument. The reason profit is a good thing in the market is because revenue must be obtained by voluntary exchange; making a profit is therefore a sign that you are satisfying people’s preferences. If people did not want your service, they would not pay for it and you would make losses, not profits.

    How does the private prison profit by incarcerating people? Because the State promises to give it more money the more people it incarcerates. The prison can’t derive revenue directly from the prisoners; on their own they represent only a cost to them. So it’s the State, not the profit motive itself, that encourages mass incarceration. If the State only offered a fixed subsidy per prison, the prison company would have no motive to lobby for more prisoners; it would have a motive to lobby for less to reduce its costs.

    In an Ancap world, private prisons would probably get paid by the DROs, and the DROs would get paid by protection agencies, who in turn would get paid by their clients. Every transaction would be voluntary. In that system I don’t see how profit-seeking would motivate excessive incarceration. You would only expect that if the prisoners themselves generated revenue for the prison companies (i.e. if it were basically a slave operation). That is conceivable but then everyone else would know what it was about and would presumably not do business with it.

    • Replies: @Tom Willcutts
  26. Would you agree that Stephan Molyneux is one of the better known Anarcho-Capitalists out there and that he understands as well as anyone how an Ancap society would function?

    • Replies: @jack daniels
  27. @Tom Willcutts

    I have always known that if the management of Raytheon decides to hire a gunman and bump off a senator they would face a murder charge and could be sued as well. But if consumers are injured by a product they might think they are owed compensation by the owners of the company. They have signed no contract and are just buying a product that they assume is safe. Laws will determine what sort of recourse they have, and it will be relevant whether the company is a limited liability corporation. In a libertarian society there would be some elaborate body of contracts to replace the role of government. I don’t find libertarian theory very interesting because the whole concept is so artificial. As for Molyneux, he’s a dope who for mysterious reasons thinks he has a high IQ and is a philosopher.

    • Replies: @Tom Willcutts
  28. @Tom Willcutts

    Molyneux has a ton of YouTube videos but where living theorists are concerned I would think the people at Cato such as Sheldon Richman would be sharper. Also there are a few recent academic philosophers with libertarian leanings such as A. J. Simmons and the late Robert Nozick. As I mention below, I don’t take Molyneux seriously as a philosopher or intellectual. He may think he’s a philosopher but he’s got a long way to go.

  29. @jack daniels

    But if consumers are injured by a product they might think they are owed compensation by the owners of the company. They have signed no contract and are just buying a product that they assume is safe.

    There is a contract involved in the purchase of a product, even if it is just a simple offer and acceptance (contracts don’t have to be in writing). First, there is a contract with Walmart, if you buy the bottle of coke from Walmart. Whether there is also a contract with the Coca Cola company may be a little more problematical – the laws are very advanced when it comes to product liability claims against the manufacturer. You do not, however, have a contract with Mr. Smith, who invested $100 dollars in Walmart or the ABC Bank that loaned $100 to Walmart. You likely don’t know who they are, and you have no agreement with them in any case. If you choose to do business with a corporation, you are freely choosing to limit your contract rights to that corporation. This is, however, a problem with the whole ancap approach to the laws of society. They hypothesize the creation of a societal legal system with no legal scholars amongst them who know anything about the creation and evolution of our modern laws, even though they embrace those modern laws that are used to operate modern commerce. Kinsella is a single attorney who joined their camp after the fact and has tried to line up their theories with the law, and he has corrected them on this notion that “limited liability” is a creature of the State, instead of a creature of contract.

    I’ll agree with you that Molyneux is a huckster – he pontificates on so many things where he doesn’t have a clue what he is talking about. I am happy to address the more sophisticated scholars on these issues, but I was just trying to find some common ground and a common reference point with jtgw.

  30. @jtgw

    Would you agree that Stephan Molyneux is one of the better known Anarcho-Capitalists out there and that he understands as well as anyone how an Ancap society would function?

    – jtgw, that question was meant to go to you. Molyneux gives a concrete ancap proposal for how an ancap prison system, judicial system and police enforcement system would operate. We need to stop talking theory and to get down to concrete examples.

    If you do not favor Molyneux – you and I can walk through our own case example, if you are game.

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