It is also a theory that violates the theory he claims to be defending.
Robert has posted a response to several comments regarding his view that a property owner is justified via libertarian theory for shooting a child who stole an apple. I will only focus on his replies to my comments.
To set the stage, general descriptions regarding my earlier comments, as offered by Robert:
…[bionic] has left the world of anarcho-capitalism and entered the world of limited government.
…you are, at least, a limited government advocate.
These because I suggest culture would have a role in society.
Now, you sound like a total government propagandist….
This because I used the decades-long fighting between Israelis and Palestinians as an example of a blood-feud – ongoing, retaliatory violence.
Now, on to his comments in some detail. Regarding my views on culture:
I am not sure Bionic Mosquito realizes it here, but he has left the world of anarcho-capitalism and entered the world of limited government. The moment there is a central party, be it culture or whatever, that sets the rules that overrule the desires of a person on his property, it is a central power, that is, it is government. Regardless of how modest the desires of such a ruling power that is what it is. It is no longer anracho-capitalism.
Please note: culture = government according to Robert. I guess I have a different definition of “culture” and / or a different definition of “government.”
When “culture” has a monopoly of a police force and military, courts and taxation, when culture allows for those with badges to live by different rules than those without, I will bow down to Wenzel. To describe “culture” as a “central party” or “central power” akin to a monopoly provider of force completely misses the point, or purposely distorts it.
I have written often about the difference of “government” and “governance.” There will always be governance – else there is no civil society. It is to governance that I introduce and discuss culture.
I am talking about a society where people mind their own business and respect private property….
So why write a post entitled “Additional Comments on Penalties for Violators of the Non-Aggression Principle”? If “people mind their own business and respect private property,” why speak of penalties? Why speak of violators?
It is easy for a political theory to sound good in a world made up of “people like me.” Unfortunately, there will always be individuals who do not “mind their own business and respect private property.” So Wenzel must be speaking of a world made up of non-human beings.
The following questions come to mind:
Is there a point to advocating a political theory that ignores human nature? Some would call this “mental masterb…” well, you know the term. Of course, Wenzel will distort this into suggesting that I advocate for monopoly government (see above).
Does a common, unifying culture increase or decrease the likelihood for the demand of the service of a monopoly fixer of all things? I say decrease. Is it “central planning” to point this out, or merely a recognition of human nature?
Is it “government” when neighbors voluntarily agree to abide by a certain code of conduct despite not being pleased with every single clause? No – it is called life.
But there is a more basic question: Is it possible for a property owner to initiate aggression on his own property? The answer, of course, is yes (I hope this doesn’t need explaining or defense).
Looked at another way: Is it possible for a penalty to cross the line into the initiation of aggression? Again, yes. (This isn’t self-evident to Robert, but perhaps one or two others might read it and say “duh, how stupid does bionic think we are?”)
Wenzel suggests shooting a child for stealing an apple is not initiating aggression. In any civil society – meaning any society that has some reasonable chance of putting libertarian theory into practice – he would be wrong.
Picture the scene: the child, dead in a pool of blood; the parents, neighbors, and other community members show up. Wenzel says “that dumb kid stole my apple, so I shot him. You have to respect my property rights.” Everyone says “you know, that Wenzel guy is right. Let’s buy him a beer.” And the child’s father picks up the tab.
On what planet?
I place the half-life of this “private property society” at about six months. Thereafter it will be gang-style warfare and blood feuds.
Shooting a child for stealing an apple is initiating aggression. Robert advocates that a political theory that disallows the initiation of aggression allows for the initiation of aggression.
Wenzel’s theory of punishment could never survive practice; what good is such a theory? Further, his theory of punishment violates that very theory which he claims to be defending – the non-aggression principle; he has to destroy the village in order to save it.
All of Wenzel’s dancing around the issue cannot change these realities. His theory on punishment is wrong in theory and will never function in practice in any place populated by human beings.
Did I mention, the title of his post is “The Current State of Anarcho-Capitalist Theory.”
Let’s hope not.