[cross-posted at Liberty & Power]
News and video from the repression in the Twin Cities continues to flood in; check the past few days on LeftLibertarian.org for details. You can also see some great footage of William Gillis and other members of the RNC Welcoming Committee here and here.
The law of diminishing marginal utility states that as the number of units of a stock X increases the utility ranking of the nth unit decreases. However wikipedia says it is not a law at all and gives the following counterexamples:
*bed sheets, which up to some number may only provide warmth, but after that point may allow one to effect an escape by being tied together into a rope;
*dosages of antibiotics, where having too few pills would leave bacteria with greater resistance, but a full supply could effect a cure.
Are these counterexamples, or if not what’s wrong with them?
Which kind of anarchists are these? Are we talking about the anarcho-capitalist, mutualist and left-libertarian pro-market pro-private property variety? Or are we talking about the whiskered, bomb-throwing, anti-market, anti-private property, socialist, crypto-statist variety?
One woman in a video said that she wouldn’t condemn the person who smashed a Macy’s window because there is a problem with capitalism (I assume she means state-regulated markets, not markets per se?). Has Macy’s ever lobbied for and received the benefit of state intervention on its behalf? What justifies smashing a Macy’s window?
This, from the RNC Welcoming Committee website:
“Capitalism: A Capitalist system values profit and material greed above everything else. The bosses own the machines and coerce profits out of the workers. They use their monopoly on wealth and control over institutions of force (the police) to pay the lowest possible ‘wages’. Capitalism is a distortion of the market to provide privileges to one class at everyone elses’ expense. This is the current economic system in almost the entire world.”
…strikes me as more representative to the latter group of anarchists that I mentioned in my previous comment, the socialist, anti-market, anti-private property crytpo-statist variety.
It’s very confused. There’s nothing wrong with property or wanting to acquire material things. There’s nothing wrong with employers owning the means of production. They don’t generally coerce profits out of the workers, not in the sense of aggression (violating rights). Sure, state regulations make the labor market unfree, privilege large corporations, etc., but that doesn’t mean that all workers have their profits coerced out of them by their employers. That sounds like Marxism. They’re confusing systemic distortions of the market, and the aggressive actions of some corporate elites, with all employers. Their definition is also less than clear about the role of the state in state-regulated capitalism.
“There’s nothing wrong with profit or wanting to acquire material things” I mean.
They don’t generally coerce profits out of the workers, not in the sense of aggression (violating rights)
Has Macy’s ever lobbied for and received the benefit of state intervention on its behalf?
the socialist, anti-market, anti-private property crytpo-statist variety
You can read more about left-anarchism here, and judge for yourself if they are indeed statists or not:
Keep in mind that between the communist anarchists and the anarcho-capitalists there are various grades, like individualist anarchism etc.
A mostly splendid media performance, but I agree with Geoffrey about the window smashing.
“Keep in mind that between the communist anarchists and the anarcho-capitalists there are various grades, like individualist anarchism etc.”
I’m familiar with the differences, just not with the particular people involved in this event. I’m trying to figure out which they are. Seems some of them were real market anarchists and others, perhaps the bulk of them, might have been anti-market, anti-private property, socialist crypto-statists.
“Has Macy’s ever lobbied for and received the benefit of state intervention on its behalf?
How does this answer my specific question about Macy’s above? If Macy’s has done what I ask about I’m still not sure it justifies smashing a random Macy’s store window. If it hasn’t, and has merely benefited passively as many people and companies have, from state-regulated capitalism, I see even less justification. My question specifically asked if Macy’s has actively violated rights.
“They don’t generally coerce profits out of the workers, not in the sense of aggression (violating rights)
Again, I don’t see how this answers my questions. The RNC Welcoming Committee definition of capitalism seems to incorporate some very questionable Marxist notions about profits. Laborers earn wages, not profits. They don’t have profits coerced out of them. As I pointed out, however, they do work in an unfree labor market which has consequences we’re both familiar with. But not all employers are actively responsible for this. At the same time, state-regulated capitalism doesn’t benefit all businesses, nor all businesses equally. It’s not like all businesses are evil, active rights violators.
How does this answer my specific question about Macy’s above?
I dunno, read the stuff in the links and think about it?
Again, I don’t see how this answers my questions.
Read the anarchist faq, especially appendix F, and think about it?
As with any multi-tendency group, I doubt every member of the RNC welcoming committee would agree with every word of their website’s statement. My impression is that it includes both pro-market and anti-market anarchists. I thinking breaking the Macy’s window was a dumb idea (notice that the woman on the tape didn’t say she favoured it, though, only that it was complicated).
I’m not some uninitiated newb, ignorant of left-libertarian anarchism. Your replies and links are unhelpful.
“I thinking breaking the Macy’s window was a dumb idea (notice that the woman on the tape didn’t say she favoured it, though, only that it was complicated).”
But she did say she wouldn’t condemn it. That’s not quite the same as saying she favored it, but it’s close. She’s not opposed to it.
Roderick, these guys are starting to push me back towards Reisman! 🙂
Roderick, “My impression is that it includes both pro-market and anti-market anarchists. I thinking breaking the Macy’s window was a dumb idea (notice that the woman on the tape didn’t say she favoured it, though, only that it was complicated).”
Why do you say it’s merely a “dumb idea”–do you believe it was criminal trespass, unlibertarian, a rights violation, or not? I do. In fact, if the proprietor had used a shotgun to shoot the vandals, I’d say he was justified (unless you make a good case that this would be disproportionate).
In fact, let’s say that this had happened: the owner defended his property with force, and injured one of the would-be vandals. Would you say the vandal’s rights had been violated? (Assuming the force was not grossly disproportionate, to set that isssue aside.)
On the other thread I said I did not mean to imply that Carson was an anti-market anarchist. I had assumed he was one of the market anarchists. I had assumed the RNC Welcoming Committee crowd was all anti-market anarchists, and some market anarchists tried to get involved. I had assumed Carson was a market anarchist.
But it is my feeling that anyone who believes the Macy’s attack was justified is indeed a non-libertarian, anti-market anarchist, crypto-statist. At this point, given that you defended Gillas along with Carson, and given that Gillis now seems to be justifying the damage to Macy’s and denying rights, I don’t know what to believe. Give your own seeming reluctance to call the glass-breaking trespass but merely “dumb,” I am not sure what your stance or Carson’s is in this regard. I’d love some clarification esp. from you and Carson.
See my comment in the other post.