The purpose of this article is to attempt to dispel a very foolish idea that keeps recurring in literature and commentary that I see on anarchist or libertarian media outlets. This idea is that anyone who identifies with a group or engages in group work, team work, or projects as part of a central organization is somehow engaging in collectivism, socialism or central planning. The idea is that individuals just mulling about will somehow get complex tasks completed in all aspects of life. Furthermore, within this worldview, groups are bad because they can be targeted (as if individuals can’t be)
These literally retarded concepts, in my opinion, are preventing people from coming together and gaining the benefits of organizations for fear of betraying their individualist ideals or being labeled “collectivists”.
This essay might be a little long, even by my standards, but that is because discussing the subject matter herein is crucial, critical, and absolutely key if ancaps or any other ideologues seek to make progress. ‘Progress’ is defined by a specific group, or by individuals who then sell their concept of progress to a group. My idea of progress is moving towards the ability to live in an ancap environment one day, preferably sovereign, within my lifetime, as laid out here. I have to get this out of the way because the next article will tie a lot of these concepts together in an attempt to move towards real world application. It will be repetitive at times as an attempt to hammer these concepts down.
The essay you are reading now is a precursor to a more in depth article about how exactly to create ancap enclaves here (US), (or anywhere) on a budget, with like-minded people. I released this article before the domestic enclave article because without people willing to join and relentlessly work as a group toward a common goal there can be no realization of any ancap enclaves in reality.
First, I will define what central planning, socialism and collectivism is.
Then I will explain why and how these definitions are being misused.
I will then explain why group work is not only beneficial, but absolutely essential and necessary if anyone plans to live in an ancap environment or society within their lifetimes.
The words “we”, “us”, and possessive pronouns like “our” refer to people who agree with these ideas.
any of several types of social organization in which the individual is seen as being subordinate to a social collectivity such as a state, a nation, a race, or a social class. Collectivism may be contrasted with individualism (q.v.), in which the rights and interests of the individual are emphasized.
The earliest modern, influential expression of collectivist ideas in the West is in Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Du contrat social, of 1762…in which it is argued that the individual finds his true being and freedom only in submission to the “general will” of the community. In the early 19th century the German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel argued that the individual realizes his true being and freedom only in unqualified submission to the laws and institutions of the nation-state, which to Hegel was the highest embodiment of social morality.
Sourcs: “collectivism.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011.
Key Words: subordinate, general will, social contract ,unqualified submission to laws and institutions , state, nation, social class or race.
social and economic doctrine that calls for public rather than private ownership or control of property and natural resources. According to the socialist view, individuals do not live or work in isolation but live in cooperation with one another. Furthermore, everything that people produce is in some sense a social product, and everyone who contributes to the production of a good is entitled to a share in it. Society as a whole, therefore, should own or at least control property for the benefit of all its members.
This conviction puts socialism in opposition to capitalism, which is based on private ownership of the means of production and allows individual choices in a free market to determine how goods and services are distributed.
Source: “socialism.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011.
Key words: public control of property or resources, entitled, social product, society as a whole
Central Planning A.K.A. economic planning AKA Planned economy:
A planned economy is an economic system in which decisions regarding production and investment are embodied in a plan formulated by a central authority, usually by a public body such as a government agency. Although a planned economy may be based on either centralized or decentralized forms of economic planning, it usually refers to a centrally planned economy. Central planning aims to improve productivity and coordination by enabling planners to take advantage of better information achieved through the consolidation of economic resources when making decisions regarding investment and the allocation of economic inputs.
Planned economies are usually categorized as a particular variant of socialism, and have historically been supported by and implemented by Marxist-Leninist socialist states.
… Planned economies are held in contrast to unplanned economies, such as the market economy and proposed self-managed economy, where production, distribution, pricing, and investment decisions are made by autonomous firms based upon their individual interests rather than upon a macroeconomic plan.
Economic planning refers to a coordinating mechanism outside the mechanisms of the market. There are various types of planning procedures and different ways of conducting economic planning. As a coordinating mechanism for socialism and an alternative to the market, planning is defined as a direct allocation of resources; contrasted to the indirect allocation of the market.
The level of centralization in decision-making in planning depends on the specific type of planning mechanism employed. As such, there is a distinction to be made between centralized planning and decentralized planning. An economy primarily based on central planning is referred to as a planned economy. In a centrally planned economy the allocation of resources is determined by a comprehensive plan of production which specifies output requirements. Planning may also take the form of directive planning or indicative planning.
Economic planning (3):
the process by which key economic decisions are made or influenced by central governments. It contrasts with the laissez-faire approach that, in its purest form, eschews any attempt to guide the economy, relying instead on market forces to determine the speed, direction, and nature of economic evolution.
Source: “economic planning.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011.
Key words: economic system, production and investment controlled(enforced) by central authority, public (decision making)body, variant of socialism; implemented by Marxist/Leninist socialist states, DIRECT allocation of resources, specifies output REQUIREMENTS
A group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job, or project.
Team members (1) operate with a high degree of interdependence, (2) share authority and responsibility for self-management, (3) are accountable for the collective performance, and (4) work toward a common goal and shared rewards(s). A team becomes more than just a collection of people when a strong sense of mutual commitment creates synergy, thus generating performance greater than the sum of the performance of its individual members.
2. A group organized to work together: a team of engineers.
1. A collection of individuals who have regular contact and frequent interaction, mutual influence, common feeling of camaraderie, and who work together to achieve a common set of goals.
1. An assemblage of persons or objects gathered or located together; an aggregation
3. A number of individuals or things considered together because of similarities
A voluntary association formed and organized to carry on a business. Types of companies include sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability, corporation, and public limited company.
A company is an association or collection of individuals, people or “warm-bodies” or else contrived “legal persons” (or a mixture of both). Company members share a common purpose and unite in order to focus their various talents and organize their collectively available skills or resources to achieve specific, declared goals. Companies take various forms such as:
- Voluntary associations which may be registered as a Nonprofit organization
- A group of soldiers
- Business entity with an aim of gaining a profit
- Financial entities and Banks
A state in which two or more things work together in a particularly fruitful way that produces an effect greater the sum of their individual effects. Expressed also as “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Synergy is the interaction of multiple elements in a system to produce an effect different from or greater than the sum of their individual effects. The term synergy comes from the Greek word synergia συνέργια from synergos, συνεργός, meaning “working together”.
1. The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.
political and social philosophy that emphasizes the moral worth of the individual.
Source: “individualism.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011.
Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes “the moral worth of the individual”. Individualists promote the exercise of one’s goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance and advocate that interests of the individual should achieve precedence over the state or a social group, while opposing external interference upon one’s own interests by society or institutions such as the government.
Individualism makes the individual its focus and so starts “with the fundamental premise that the human individual is of primary importance in the struggle for liberation.” Liberalism, existentialism and anarchism are examples of movements that take the human individual as a central unit of analysis. Individualism thus involves “the right of the individual to freedom and self-realization”.
Libertarianism and Spontaneous Order:
Libertarians hold that some forms of order in society arise naturally and spontaneously from the actions of thousands or millions of individuals.
Libertarians, however, maintain that the most important aspects of human society—such as language, law, customs, money, and markets—develop by themselves, without conscious direction.
Smith developed the concept of spontaneous order extensively in both The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). He made the idea central to his discussion of social cooperation, arguing that the division of labour did not arise from human wisdom but was the “necessary, though very slow and gradual, consequence of a certain propensity in human nature which has in view no such extensive utility: the propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another.”
Source: “libertarianism.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011.
Spontaneous order, also known as “self-organization”, is the spontaneous emergence of order out of seeming chaos. It is a process found in physical, biological, and social networks, as well as economics, though the term “self-organization” is more often used for physical and biological processes, while “spontaneous order” is typically used to describe the emergence of various kinds of social orders from a combination of self-interested individuals who are not intentionally trying to create order through planning. The evolution of life on Earth, language, crystal structure, the Internet and a free market economy have all been proposed as examples of systems which evolved through spontaneous order.
Many economic classical liberals, such as Hayek, have argued that market economies are creative of a spontaneous order, “a more efficient allocation of societal resources than any design could achieve.” They claim this spontaneous order (referred to as the extended order in Hayek’s “The Fatal Conceit”) is superior to any order a human mind can design due to the specifics of the information required. Centralized statistical data cannot convey this information because the statistics are created by abstracting away from the particulars of the situation.
In a market economy, price is the aggregation of information acquired when people are free to use their individual knowledge. Price then allows everyone dealing in a commodity or its substitutes to make decisions based on more information than he or she could personally acquire, information not statistically conveyable to a centralized authority. Interference from a central authority which affects price will have consequences they could not foresee because they do not know all of the particulars involved.
This is illustrated in the concept of the invisible hand proposed by Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations. Thus in this view by acting on information with greater detail and accuracy than possible for any centralized authority, a more efficient economy is created to the benefit of a whole society.
Hayek on Spontaneous Order:
In composing a final set of arguments against socialism, Hayek made a distinction between “spontaneous orders” and “constructed orders.” He averred that many social institutions—among them language, money, the common law, the moral code, and trade—are instances of spontaneous orders. These orders arise as a result of human action, and they come about as a result of individuals pursuing goals, but they are not the product of human design, because no one intended that they arise.
By comparison, “constructed orders” often contain flaws because attempts by planners to redesign, create, or plan social institutions often have unintended, unanticipated, or adverse consequences. Hayek linked his discussion of spontaneous orders to his earlier insights about knowledge with the claim that spontaneously formed orders often are able to adapt more readily in environments characterized by rapid change and widespread uncertainty due to the dispersion of knowledge.
Source: “Hayek, F.A.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011.
Key words: SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS, centralized authority
Having defined some of the terms I will be talking about, I must say that many suggestions about forming ancap groups have been dismissed as collectivist or even socialist, and that engaging in the development of these ideas or ideas like ancap cities, enclaves, sovereign territories, or even businesses are akin to central planning. Anyone capable of reading comprehension should at this point see why those allegations are asinine, but allow me to spell it out.
A leader is different from a ruler.
Leadership is different from rulership.
A leader is someone who exercises influence over people who willingly follow them. People can and often do voluntarily CHOOSE to follow other people. Leaders can lead non-profits, social movements, and companies among other things. If people do not like what the leader of a company or movement or group is doing, they can leave. If enough of the followers leave a group, the organization either dies or changes leadership to get back on track.
A person can form their own group and attempt to become a leader themselves.
A leader does or says something first or portrays a message in a unique way that CONVINCES people to join them. People follow a leader VOLUNTARILY, because they believe in what the leader is saying or doing. People might admire the leader, they might find that the leader has an attribute or attributes that make them worthy of support.
Why follow a leader?
I have compiled list of the reason why people follow leaders. In this article I have resorted to lists to try to shorten the length XD
- The person is a trail blazer, the first to do something ever or at least in a given area
- The person has knowledge or skills that the followers seek to tap into
- The person is handsome or attractive or charismatic
- The person is good at convincing other people that they are right.
- The leader has accomplished some great feat
- The leader may have a plan to achieve a specific goals or solve a specific problem that the followers care about
- The leader is an organizer, demonstrating an ability to enable networking between the followers
- A leader may have no real unique or special attributes but simply be in a desired position or be doing something the followers find interesting.
For example, a leader can be someone like the president of a chess club who manages to get a bunch of people from all over the city together who want to play chess. When you join a chess club, you follow the organizational structure already in place. The leader of the chess club is not followed by virtue of his own merit, but because he has organized an activity that you enjoy participating in.
It doesn’t matter if you follow a leader because they have blue suede shoes, as long as it’s voluntary!
Even if someone, say Jeff Tucker, were to declare himself a king, and thousands of ancaps became his loyal subjects WILLINGLY in order to found Jeff-topia, so long as they voluntarily join and participate in the organization there is no problem.
There will be more on leadership in the next article.
A Ruler is someone who imposes, enforces, coerces. They are in charge because they have authority derived from the use of force to punish noncompliance. They enforce edicts that are arbitrary. They empower abuses of all sorts. They usually derive their income from different forms of theft, called taxation, or seizure of contraband, or fines. More sophisticated thieves debase the currency that they force everyone else to use. (counterfeiting)
A ruler doesn’t care about your opinion, they care about your obedience, and in the event of resistance, they care about the ability to use you as an example to keep everyone else in line.
A ruler can be put in place by a sovereign, for example, the state enforces the county rulers, who then enforce the city and local rulers. Their police forces create overlapping layers of military power projection from the national guard to the state police, to the county police, to the city police, to the small town cop. These cops enforce the mandate of politicians “elected” through a political method enforced by the state. The serfs are forced to obey this system whether or not they participate or consent. Mayors, sheriffs, judges, city council members, representatives, senators, governors, district attorneys, prosecutors, and all the heads of the various departments are all appointed rulers. YOU have no choice in the matter. They are all paid by theft.
Willingly choosing to follow someone who you agree with is not akin to being ruled.
The key here is that leaders are voluntarily followed because of something they have or offer that those who follow him/her desire or agree with or find interesting.
A Boss is different from a bureaucrat.
While both of these people may direct you or tell you what to do, there is a significant difference in the nature of the relationship you share with them.
Everyone loves to bash the boss. Believe me, I have had some Jackass fucks as bosses. However, a boss- employee relationship is a VOLUNTARY relationship. Indeed, in this economy it is difficult to find a job and most people would be HAPPY to take orders from a boss.
Human beings are born into a world where in order to survive, humans must work. It takes work to transform useless raw land to level and cleared land for building. It takes work to mine or to harvest lumber and create building materials. It takes work to gather food, hunt meat, raise meat or farm crops.
You can buy some land, start a farm and a homestead and live for yourself for the most part. Alternatively, you can live in a town or city, get a job, and use your income to buy food. You can even do a combination of both. Not everyone is cut out for or desires to participate in farming or entrepreneurship. Either way, you have to work to eat, human beings always have and as far as I can see in my lifetime, always will. It is a relationship imposed by NATURE. If nothing else, you at least have to work to maintain and repair your assets. In addition to all this, people do not work for free and at the very least, they need to be able to feed, house, and clothe themselves even if they work for charity.
The lucky among us who are born not having to work benefit from their fore father’s labor and foresight. A previous generation can save up resources and create yolk sacks for their children, similar to how a spider lays her egg inside of a fat host. In reality there is no such thing as an ill-gotten gain, but “morality” vs. reality may be addressed in a different article.
If you get a job, you will usually have a boss for many different reasons. For one, the boss is typically more trusted by the owners. They may or may not have more knowledge about the work. They play a role of regulating different parts of the business which is critical for any complex organization to function. They make critical decisions. A boss position is more of a networking and coordinating position rather than a technical position.
Why does the human body have a brain? The brain undertakes the coordination and control of many different complex parts and systems to achieve a definite set of ends; homeostasis, survival, and reproduction. A brain does practically nothing: it is not an arm or a leg or a heart, and yet it is critical to the function of a body. For complex systems to function it is necessary to have monitoring and feedback mechanisms to determine where one is vs. where one wants to be and to audit the use of resources and the efficiency of methods. A boss usually plays the role of managing the body, that is the workforce under his/her.
On the other side of the coin, the same people who complain about bosses love to be the boos of their own projects. If you start a company you are the boss. Obviously, since it is your capital at risk you want people to do work up to your standard, and efficiently as possible, and to achieve the ends you want to achieve.
When you hire a painter, you are the boss. You are paying good money to have your project completed and you expect quality and diligent work. The same reason why bosses boss you around is the same reason why you as a boss or a client boss others around.
Not only are you FREE TO LEAVE YOUR JOB ANY TIME, but in a statsit nation there are benefits to it. Ideological purists aside, it is often advantageous to exploit government programs while you can and at least take some of the taxes, fines, fees, that they have extracted from you and your family back. There is no state I know of that does not have some form of social welfare. In a statist society like ours, working is an OPTION, and so having a boss is also an OPTION.
A bureaucrat such as a teacher, a dmv worker, a court clerk, a state counselor, a state secretary, the person who collects your taxes and files them away, various department workers; these people are put in positions of power and authority over you WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT. The rulers give them a mandate, and the worker bees carry it out to the letter. You can do nothing to legally get rid if these people, they have lots of money from salary and pensions, they have friends and people who owe them favors for granting favors or looking the other way for other people’s family members. Department heads may come and go but many bureaucrats are often life-long. These people are given power over normal people often without basic qualifications. The people are forced to pay for their salaries, cars, houses, families, vacations, vibrators, etc.
Even in the prison system known as school, a homework assignment is backed up by the threat of force. The people are forced to participate in whatever nonsense programs and ceremonies they create for things to be considered “official”. You are forced to go to school and obey a teacher. You are forced to go to the DMV to avoid being literally ran off the road and shot. You are forced to go to court when you are robbed by the pigs on the highway or when it’s your turn to participate in the overt system of slavery called jury duty.
It is painful that I have to spell this out, but having a boss in a job you voluntarily choose to go and that in many cases you fought to get and maintain is far different from being lorded over by a long series of bureaucrat statist stooges.
Individualism DOES NOT NECCESARILY MEAN SOLITUDE
Individualism as defined does not mean the absence of group membership or being completely unique (which is probably impossible). It simply means that in a society, one prefers a system in which the ability of an individual to experience freedom (as defined in the about section) and express themselves has the fewest possible constraints.
You can still wear Nikes and be a Justin beaber fan(barf) and believe in individualism.
Individuals who choose to freely join groups do so because the group goals are in tune with their own. An individual can CHOOSE to subordinate lower ordered personal desires for sake of achieving a higher ordered desire that the group shares. For example, in a fitness group, each individual might like chocolate, but if the group goal is for everyone to lose 10 lbs in 10 weeks or something, they may choose to suffer and reject chocolate in order to help the group meet the goal. This does not somehow make them less of an individual or a slave to the group’s ‘collective will’, they simply strongly desire to see the group achieve its end goal and are thus willing to sacrifice for it.
Even Max Stirner, one of the most influential individualist anarchists advocated some form of social grouping:
“Stirner’s idea of the “Union of Egoists”, was first expounded in The Ego and Its Own. The Union is understood as a non-systematic association, which Stirner proposed in contradistinction to the state. The Union is understood as a relation between egoists which is continually renewed by all parties’ support through an act of will. The Union requires that all parties participate out of a conscious egoism. If one party silently finds themselves to be suffering, but puts up and keeps the appearance, the union has degenerated into something else. This union is not seen as an authority above a person’s own will.”
SHARED PREFERENCE IS NOT COLLECTIVISM
Going to a concern, wearing a certain style of clothing, playing a certain genre of music or a certain type of game does not make you a mindless member of the horde. You have preferences that are shared by many other human beings. The set of human beings who share this preference can be categorized as a group. Having preferences that are shared by many people does not mean you are a collectivist, again, collectivism refers to a very specific economic, social, and legal ideology as defined above. Yes, you can like football, basketball, and golf and not be a collectivist. Government subsidies of stadium construction is one thing, but I have never had a packers fan put a gun to my head and demand I buy them a ticket or watch a game. I’ve never even had anyone say “you should watch football”.
You can be an individualist, hold membership in one or many groups, and like things that many millions of other people like, without coercing others into liking what you like, or forcing others to pay for what you want or like (taxes) or punishing others for NOT liking what you like.
Planning is not the same as central planning; The act of planning is necessary in order to engage in economic calculation and activity.
This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions I come across. Whenever people talk about founding clubs, groups, businesses, or founding technological research companies, or planning villages or communities, someone inevitably says something like “that’s central planning man! Central planning doesn’t work HERP HERP DERP”
Recall the key words in the central planning definitions. For something to be centrally planned it must have the following attributes:
Central planning is an economic term that refers to a very specific set of production metrics IMPOSED on producers by a central authority. THIS central authority is usually the state or some other PUBLIC entity. That is, it taxes, enforces laws, is involuntary, and punishes noncompliance. For something to be centrally planned there must be mandatory production output quotas of some sort.
Not all planning is central planning. Architecture, business plans, social organizing, and real estate development REQUIRE A HIGH DEGREE OF PLANNING.
Toyota deciding how many Toyotas to produce in their PRIVATE factories is not Central planning, it is an act of entrepreneurship, a guess at what the market will demand based on many metrics! Eamples of central planning would include: UAW deciding through the government, how many cars all automakers must produce, and what types, and how they should be distributed IS central planning. UAW deciding how many workers the auto industry must employ, what their benefits should be and what they should be paid through government law IS Central planning.
Central planning is imposed by governments, and funded by taxation.
Doug Casey did not engage in central planning when determining where the vineyards, shops, golf course, tennis courts, and houses would go on the land he developed at La Estancia de Cafayate. When he hired his architects and they drew out the roads and the building sites and the blueprints for the different houses and the electrical and sewage lines they did not engage in central planning!
Jeff Berwich did not engage in in central planning when he decided where to locate his expat community in Galt’s Gulch Chile. It won’t be central planning when he determines where shops should go, it won’t be central planning when he determines the layout of the electrical or plumbing or when he divides up the land into plots and sells the plots. It is not central planning to plan out member ship schemes, lot prices, and criteria for admission to his community.
If I were to buy a large ranch, and map out a city, and say “here is a good place for power plant” or “this might make a good place for a runway” I am not centrally planning an economy, I am engaging in architecture, and property development.
The sea steading or startup city project may engage in city planning, the need detailed engineering work and they need to decide what land is best suited for what uses. THIS IS NOT CENTRAL PKANNING this is city planning, a form of real estate development.
Even If I set out areas for parks and areas for shopping and areas for residences and industry (loud, noisy, dirty plants of some type) I am not centrally planning until AFTER THE fact, I force some things to shut down and move because “zoning changed”. IF you buy a house in a private community that is residential, with the understanding that the area is residential, it makes sense that the deed reflects the use of the property is intended to be residential.
Business Planning is done by entrepreneurs with private capital. Private individuals who come together voluntarily to join clubs, group, organizations or companies CANNOT BY DEFINITION ENGAGE IN CENTRAL PLANNING.
I seriously doubt that it is possible to bring about an ancap city or enclave with a few keystrokes. You have to get up IN THE REAL WORLD and do things IN THE REAL WORLD to achieve ends. Given the small number of people and the small amount of currency available, developing anything like an ancp enclave in our lifetimes will require extensive planning and coordination. In general, for a given plan to succeed, the fewer the members, the better organized, coordinated, and dedicated those members must be.
The concept of Spontaneous Order does not mean you do not have to plan!
I bring this point up because in response to important questions about how complex systems or services should be designed, or in response to suggestions of creating organizations to hammer out details, a common response or objection is a cry of spontaneous order! The solution will emerge, man, to plan it will only lead to inefficiency!
The solution to any problem will only emerge once talented people dedicate time and energy to solving the problem. People need to identify the problem, and organize resources to be allocated toward finding a solution. Only then can solutions emerge, and if no one ever takes the steps to form concrete companies and groups to solve these problems, they will never get solved.
Spontaneous order in the context of political philosophy (as defined) refers to the idea that more efficient social institutions emerge in a society absent of central planning. Spontaneous order is an argument against central planning, and NOT an argument against ALL planning. I have already gone over why private citizens engaging in group activity cannot be central planners.
The concept of spontaneous order does not imply that:
- Roads, bridges communities will just pop into existence without careful planning, organization, and hard work.
- Social groups don’t need to be planned, or advertised.
- Companies should not form around the development of product or services
- People should not form groups to make the execution of some shared task easier
The point that the backers of the spontaneous order concept were making was that more people engage in the development of products, services, and institutions in a free market, and that as such, problems tend to get solved more efficiently when more than one person or firm are allocating resources towards them. As a result of all of these different people allocating resources to the problem, multiple solutions are developed and the most efficient solution tends to emerge. It does not mean we don’t have to plan ahead, or think about problems and how they will or could be solved. It does not mean we don’t have to organize in order to achieve our ends. It simply means that ends are easier to achieve when a free market exists because more resources are allocated to product development and problem solving.
When people ask what about the roads, saying that “the market will handle it” is an accurate statement. However, saying that “the market will handle it” and then opposing the creation of market actors such as:
- Think tanks to study optimal road design.
- Groups that engage in road mapping, layout and architecture.
- The incorporation of private road building companies to organize workers , materials, and equipment.
Makes no sense!
In terms of organizational structure, spontaneous order does not mean that one should not have organizational roles or clearly assigned hierarchy. It does not mean that you don’t need to advertise to find the right people for your organization.
The benefits of the division of labor come from people using their talents to accomplish tasks that they are best suited to do. This means it makes perfect sense to divide your organization into departments that deal with specializations.
Different industries and different companies maximize efficiency under different organizational structures. Having bosses or not having bosses is usually determined according to which structure achieves the organizational objectives the best. It could also be determined by the risk taker (entrepreneur) being biased towards a certain structure. Either way, the political concept of spontaneous order has nothing to do with your company structure. In other words, it makes no sense to just let anyone into your organization or let people do what they want in your company or group, especially when time and resources are scarce.
Planning and organization are essential components to any successful endeavor.
Engaging in groupswork, teamwork, or forming companies or organizations is not a form of socialism or collectivism.
Why do groups exist?
Groups exist mainly in order to multiply the power of the group’s members. The power we are talking about is the power to create, destroy, achieve, and endure things that are difficult to do alone.
The reason we do not have an ancap enclave or city or nation is because we lack the power to create one. The reason we are taxed is because we lack the military power to neutralize those who extract the taxes.
It is not altruistic, communist, or socialist, or collectivist to just be in a group! Not every group is communist, altruistic, or collectivist just because it is a group. People group up for many different reasons, most of them stemming from the fact that the individual is WEAK, no matter how rich, skilled, or talented or well-armed, when facing a rival GROUP.
To put it as simply as possible, A GROUP OF STUPID, WEAK, POOR, INCOMPOTENT, UNTALENTED, AND UNSKILLED MORONS can defeat one smart, skilled, talented, strong, rich individual quite easily. In an environment where many groups that are opposed to your ideology exist, many of whom are extremely powerful and well entrenched, organizing into groups can be an effective strategy as far as alleviating some of their control over you and creating a shared power base and indeed might be the ONLY winning strategy available.
The very existence of the term group implies that there are people within the group, and those outside of the group. The criteria by which people are admitted determine the nature and quality of the group. Having a group also does not mean you just let everyone in; standards, screening, etc. are a must for any group that seeks to accomplish difficult tasks. Members of groups must be vetted, tested, scrutinized, because the success of whatever goal the group has depends on the strengths and trustworthiness and commitment of the individual members. .
I cannot understand anti group sentiments. I am not anti-group, I am anti FORCED grouping .I am also against any group that intends to coerce me into anything.
Most organizations, both for profit and nonprofit, have a charter or organizing document with bylaws that layout its rules and procedures and a board of directors and officers. Within these bylaws are usually a statement of what determines membership, how one is a member in good standing, and the purpose of the organization, its goals, and some idea of its operations achieve those goals, among other things. I am not sure what some people find wrong with voluntarily joining something like this with the intent of advancing certain ancap strategies toward achieving freedom for the membership base is socialism or collectivism.
In theory, the very purpose of voluntarily creating or joining a team or group is that each individual realizes a benefit from being part of the team. If you found yourself in a team or group you joined by free will and you DO NOT benefit in some way, simply leave. You have made a mistake. If you have a certain time commitment, honor your commitment and then leave, it is that simple.
The same way that businesses produce products and services that best suit the market out of their own interests is the same way people form groups to look out for their own individual interests. Often these interests are shared.
I am not advocating forming groups just for the sake of being in a group(even though there is no reason not to), I am pointing out that it is a selfish act to form a group and that groups are usually formed because they make it easier for individuals within said group to achieve a desired end. People form groups, especially political or religious groups, so that each individual can have a better chance at achieving the common goals that the members share.
Group work is not collectivism, teamwork is not collectivism, organizing is not collectivism, shareholding or working for a company is not collectivism, planning is not central planning. It annoys me to no end to see people who are trying to organize being denounced for engaging in “socialist” activities.
Do you want to know why the communists who parade around as anarchists advance their position better?
1. They appeal to emotion with their rhetoric and
2. They are very well organized, much more so than “us”.
Lucky for us, the economic and organizational system they try to organize under(everything shared, no clear hierarchy, avoidance of official corporate structure and business) is ridiculously inefficient. Even so, they make much more progress in that there have been many attempts at creating communes(most failing, predictably) throughout the states and the world. In contrast, the only ancap enclave projects I know of are
- Out of the states and
- Just getting started.
I am discounting the laughable “libertarian” attempts to start micro-nations that don’t even really deserve note. (Google libertarian micro nations)
Joining Costco is not a collectivist action, each member benefits from larger portions of the products they carry and the cheaper prices they offer due to bulk purchasing.
Pooling capital is not a collectivist or socialist action. When an individual does not have enough money to undertake and investment or a project alone, they seek money from other people. This is not collectivist action, especially when this money that was voluntarily contributed goes towards a project that benefits the members or the investment produces profits that benefit the members.
No one I have ever known goes to work to benefit other people, they go to work to GET PAID. Working is a selfish act, done in a group because each member of the workforce benefits. Your work indirectly and quite unintentionally benefits your boss, the owners, whoever consumes whatever you produce. You don’t need to actively desire this end, in fact, like many people, you can fucking hate your job, your boss, your coworkers, and your customers and still benefit from being in a company. Likewise, being a part of a group with the goal of creating an ancap charter city or micro nation would not mean you have to be “buddy buddy” with everyone, just that you obey the etiquette, and play whatever role you elect to play. Presumably, by investing in or living in this territory or by participating in this project you would get SOMETHING, from it be it physical or mental. If not, again, simply stop or do not participate.
Group Dynamics: What makes a group effective?
Not having a group when facing a group is akin to suicide. I think it is obvious that only as a group or a team will any progress be made, and only a group or a team can face another group or team with a high probability of success. It is not enough to just have a group, which would be an improvement, but they have to be effective groups. That is groups capable of actually achieving their goals within a time table and under resource constraints.
What attributes do many effective groups share?
- A statement (mission statement and/or visions) that lays out the organization’s shared values and ideology. This statement can reference other documents.
- Vetting of members and especially of leadership.
- Clear set of definite goals with measurable metrics and objectives.
- A clear leadership structure with a means of advancement and personal development.
- A clear set of rules that punishes infractions and rewards sacrifice.
- Norms, rituals, that set the group apart and make it unique –uniforms, songs, colors, handshakes, ceremonies, and ettiquette
- Buy in/ buy out- a means, procedure, or ceremony by which members can enter and support or exit the group
- Clear membership criteria explaining what beliefs or characteristics separate those inside of the group from outside of the group.
What differentiates a group from a collectivist, socialist, centrally planned, statist endeavor?
People who voluntarily join a group, voluntarily agree to its bylaws, voluntarily participate, and have the ability to leave at any time or after one’s voluntarily accepted obligations are met are not engaged in such endeavors.
Here are examples of ways people voluntarily end relationships:
- If you invest in a company that has shitty management: Sell stock
- If your job has assigned you to a boss who turns out to be a real cunt: Quit.
- Volunteer groups: If you do volunteer work and the people have changed their ideology or are acting like they won you: Don’t show up
- If you have endorsed a brand that is now engaged in activities you disagree with: Sell your product sand boycott them (example: If you were a goggle fan boy before Prism, you can change E-mail providers, search providers, and sell your android powered phone)
- If you were hanging out with a bunch of people who it turns out support things you find distasteful, you can change hangout spots
- If you favorite bar/restaurant has started putting hair in the food: Shop somewhere else, find a new bar
- If you identified with some sub culture and have since changed tastes you can buy a new wardrobe (example, former goths can stop wearing black all the time and find some new friends, unfriend your old ones)
- If you’re sick of your boyfriend: break up
- If you’re sick of your husband: Divorce
- If you’re sick of your kids: Adoption
- If you don’t want kids: abortion, contraception, or preventative sterilization.
- If you switch sports teams, you burn your old jerseys and buy new ones.
- If you’re in a shithole and your lease is about to expire: do not re-sign and move
- If you are receiving magazines you no longer wish to read : Cancel them
Do you see a common theme yet?
The difference between a collectivist, socialist, centrally planned endeavor and a market, endeavor is CHOICE of whether or not, and to what extent, to participate.
Groups that are healthy in terms of individualist-anarchist philosophies do not seek to replace member identity, but rather to supplement them. Group identity supplements individual identity.
For example, one can be an atheist who is also dolphin fan. If I stop being an atheist, I am still a dolphin fan. If I stop being a dolphin fan, I am still an atheist.
I can be a dolphin fan, and atheist, and a vegan at the same time without being controlled by any one philosophy.
If you have read any of my previous articles, you know that I emphasize the concept of ideological sameness in groups. People can hold seemingly contradictory sets of beliefs.
Someone can be an ancap and also a racists. It is important to explain what type of beliefs you want group members to hold if you start a group.
This all goes back to the importance of ideological sameness, which in turn increases the potential for group cohesion. Groups that are facing overwhelming opposition need a very dedicated almost zealot nucleolus around which a wider network can be built around.
The basis of group formation has traditionally been: geography, race, sex ethnicity, nationality, language, and other accidental factors
The basis of group formation that I endorse is consent and common ideology. Out of these two attributes, a common group identity can be adopted and used to express group cohesion.
Synergy and ancap grouping
In anarcho- capitalist terms(see ‘about’ page for definitions) Being an anarchist, doesn’t mean no hierarchy, it means you choose whether or not to follow a proposed hierarchy based on the terms and benefits of your membership to any given organization.
It doesn’t mean no rules, it means you follow those rules you agree to follow.
It doesn’t mean no command structure, it means you choose whether or not you want to be associated with organizations that has a command structure. Therefore, you choose who to follow, if anyone.
It doesn’t mean no community contracts, it means you are free to go to a community where there are explicit tenant agreements OR live in an area where people have their own property and do as they will.
Groups that are well structured and well run achieve synergy. Synergy save the energy of each individual member while multiplying what the group produces. This is a key benefit because of the meager numbers and resources involved. Being part of a group gives you access to knowledge or skills or perspective that you do not possess and the spread of know how within a small group multiplies the group’s capabilities.
Now look, let’s say that all of this is nonsense and you don’t buy any of it. Fine. At the very least, understand this. Even if group work is central planning and collectivists, your puritan ideals do not apply under the circumstances imposed on all of us. The NAP does not apply when you are enslaved, and forced to conform to a master’s rules. You cannot apply your principles, that work fine in an idealized condition, to the current corrupt real world conditions without taking on significant competitive disadvantages (see so principled it hurts article)
The reason I am bothering to explain why groups are needed and beneficial is because one cannot hope to live free in one’s lifetime without a group. Barring a very wealthy person who can buy land and buy sex or get a low maintenance wife and live in the mountains, you will need other people and territory to live the way you want.
For example, an ancap enclave, charter city or charter nation needs a group of people to found it, organize it, and see it into existence.
You need people to trade with, you need a group from which to find a mate if you are inclined to do so, you need to be able to defend yourself and your property and this is easier with groups. a group, many people find social interaction enjoyable.
Crafting a theory of property and code of “law”
The most important concepts in a society is “law” or reactions to undesirable behavior. In an ancap society that seeks to maximize liberty, the only undesirable behaviors I can think of ( murder, theft, harassment, rape, fraud) would boil down to the unwilling interaction with other people’s property without their consent (lack of respect) and breach of contract (dishonor). Property in and of itself is ultimately a behavior animals exhibit with regard to other objects in the world, with other animals considered objects. I did mean to do an article on property, its origins and nature and I might release it eventually. In a given enclave, what constitutes property, and what constitutes violation of property would be spelled out in a charter.
I am in favor of a charter society, wherein all members in a group sign explicit documents that state their intentions, responsibilities, goals, rules etc., such that there is as little ambiguity as possible.
A charter exists to serve as a written record of the agreed upon rules and a record of everyone’s explicit consent to abide by those rules. Norms and etiquette exist to preempt conflict by prescribing certain modes of behavior. The property part determines a system of ownership, deeds, and contracts.
For an enclave, since one already lives under a set of laws, a charter would be fairly simple. For a charter city or a sovereign project, a charter might be more extensive and include things like property deeds, violation of property, what counts as a legitimate contract, and perhaps a default set of assumptions when it comes to behavioral expectations.
With an agreed upon definition of property, a contract system, and a code of Etiquette, all codified in a document explicitly signed by all members of a community, there can be little ambiguity. With a charter, courts that then specialize in the trying of cases relative to the charter can then arise and compete using a wide variety of methods. I have significantly more written about how exactly a system like this will work but that will either be a few articles from now or released with a much larger ebook.
To make progress, as defined, to make any real impact on the world that would benefit us, not only do we have to organize, but we must pool capital, agree upon a unified plan, and ACT; physically travel and perform labor, in order to build the community we SAY we would like to live in. Unless you have millions of dollars and can hire teams of workers, this requires very well planned and well-coordinated group work in groups that are very close knit and share ideological sameness.
What of paying taxes, obeying the law, and starting companies and voting?
Many people get hung up on supposed moral dilemmas when it comes to achieving success, gaining power and accumulating capital. I take a practical and opportunistic approach to business as all successful individuals usually do. As moral nihilists we have no such dilemmas here, but it is quite perplexing how inconsistent the adherents to the moral religion can be.
How can you idealize people who have openly admitted to making their fortunes in large firms (state registered corporations) and then at the same time say that this method of doing business is immoral? Wouldn’t that mean that your ideological leader and moral guide obtained their funds immorally? Why would you follow the moral advice of someone who made their fortune via immoral means?!
Why would you take the phrase “Cash is worthless” seriously when it comes from people who are millionaires?
How can you be against voting when most of you got into the “liberty movement” by following someone who was running for the most powerful and most statist position in the known universe?
Even if you buy into the immorality of registering with the state or paying taxes or voting, the top moralists I know of openly state that:
Morality does not apply in situations where you are forced to do something. In other words, according to the moralists, what you are forced to do with a gun to your head you cannot be held morally accountable for. The government is a massive solar eclipsing gun.
Realistically, it is a significant disadvantage to forgo state corporate structures, one cannot compete wisely without limited liability and using the IP structure to protect inventions and innovations. You do not get to choose whether or not to be affected by the politicians and the things they vote for. You connot choose to pay no taxes with no consequences.
Am I saying that YOU should start a company or YOU should stop agorism, illegalism, or perpetrating propaganda of the deed?(Google these terms) NO! I am not saying YOU should do anything, do what you want. I am laying out my position and explaining why I do not think it makes sense. Spitting in the state’s face doesn’t seem to work out too well for weak, poor, and disorganized people.
Any project I would ever get into would
- Obey all laws
- Pay all taxes
- Shy away from any illegal activity (given the volumes of laws this is almost impossible in its purest sense)
- Incorporate whenever beneficial to do so in order to maximize the benefits received by the existence of the state without blinking an eye.
- If it benefits the project, VOTE in local elections and if necessary donate to or run our own candidates where voting as a voting block might actually influence results.
I have stated before, I have no interest in making political statements, grand standing, or acting like I have a moral high ground. I do not wish to enlighten the masses.
I am interested in playing this game not to conform with some third party definition of morality, but to win freedom for me and those like me and to make it easier for us to profit.
Let me close by stating that
If I were hired to derail the liberty movement, I would immediately attack and belittle any form of group work or organizing because THAT IS THE ONLY THING THAT LEADS TO PROGRESS AND THAT COULD THREATEN THE POWERS THAT BE. I would advocate methods that are very illegal in the hopes that it would will flag and/or limit the people who engage in them in the system, locking them into the underclass.