Why some people shouldn't be allowed to buy ships

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DWG

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Three cryptocurrency entrepreneurs, able to drop $9.5m on a cruise ship to turn it into a libertarian village, discover that running a ship startlingly includes rules and regulations, and, well, the basic laws of physics - "no, you can't take the engine out of the side _at anchor_ to swap it for a more fuel-efficient one, it's below the waterline" (and probably weighs several hundred tonnes).

If you're incapable of doing basic research, then running a ship is not for you.
 
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Dilandu

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Libertarians... could always be relied upon to give a good laugh, but this is truly outstanding:
Fuel alone was costing the Ocean Builders trio about $12,000 a day. According to Harris, Koch wanted to try to make the ship more fuel-efficient by installing a smaller engine, which he thought he could do while the ship was at anchor. “We were like, how are you going to cut a hole in the ship’s side big enough to get the engine out, which is below water level, and not sink the ship?” Harris shook his head, his memories of Koch clearly fond, if perplexed. “I was forever saying, ‘No, Rudi you can’t do this; no, Rudi you can’t do that.’”
 

Archibald

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Another good one
An attempt to create a floating island prototype in French Polynesia in 2017 met with fairly fierce resistance from the people of French Polynesia and collapsed a year later when the government pulled out of the scheme.
Oh, really ? gimme a break. You are a libertarian, thus with a solid hatred of government and bureaucracy, and you try, of all places, FRENCH Polynesia ?
(what's worse, our overseas territories are poorer than the Métropole - which is a shame, make no mistake - and thus usually on life-support... FROM THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT. So it is kind of "squared horror" for any libertarian. I mean, for real. But really. )

My reaction

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6M1OF_E0IA


Also that one...


In a four-minute vision-dump, Friedman explained his rationale. Why, he asked, in one of the most advanced countries in the world, were they still using systems of government from 1787? (“If you drove a car from 1787, it would be a horse,” he pointed out.) Government, he believed, needed an upgrade, like a software update for a phone. “Let’s think of government as an industry, where countries are firms and citizens are customers!” he declared.

(facepalm)
 
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DWG

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The related Ocean Builders website is here: https://oceanbuilders.com/

Apparently "Having a first class bathroom experience has always been one of the most important elements of building a floating home."

Oddly I've never met any sailor who considered it a major priority. (Nice, yes, but not a major priority).

And you can try to ride out a hurricane in a pod 7.5ft above sea level with about a third of the outside hull being glass, but I'll give it a pass.
 

Orionblamblam

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If you're incapable of doing basic research, then running a ship is not for you.

While this may be true, I don't see how it relates to "some people should not be ALLOWED to buy ships." If you cannot figure out how to run a ship, if you buy a ship the only one to financially suffer will be you and your backers. And if certain financial disaster should preclude someone from being allowed to do something... well, at least then governments will be prevented from getting involved in various ventures.
 

DWG

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If you're incapable of doing basic research, then running a ship is not for you.

While this may be true, I don't see how it relates to "some people should not be ALLOWED to buy ships."

If you're running a ship, you take on the responsibility for the safety of all aboard. If you're incapable of realising that ships have safety issues (and remember, some of these people were watersports enthusiasts, they should have picked up a basic idea of the safety issues by, umm, immersion), then you aren't a fit person to be allowed to run one.
 

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Evidently, just because you're a cryptocurrency speculator doesn't mean you can bring a great project to fruition. Someone really, REALLY didn't do their homework here. In fact, it could be argued that they didn't really know what homework they needed to do.
 

Dilandu

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While this may be true, I don't see how it relates to "some people should not be ALLOWED to buy ships." If you cannot figure out how to run a ship, if you buy a ship the only one to financially suffer will be you and your backers. And if certain financial disaster should preclude someone from being allowed to do something... well, at least then governments will be prevented from getting involved in various ventures.
Assuming it would only end in financial disaster. And not in actual disaster with loss of life. People who put ideological position above well-established principles of command, either learn their errors quickly and do not repeat them... or die fast.
 

Conspirator

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isnt there a ship operator/pilot/safety certification??? i mean if you going to buy and operate a ship effectively you should have some sort of proof that you are capable of doing so. and think..... if someone is actually smart. they can outfit the ship with weapons or explosives and could take out vital military targets with a "civilian ship" just saying
Assuming it would only end in financial disaster. And not in actual disaster with loss of life. People who put ideological position above well-established principles of command, either learn their errors quickly and do not repeat them... or die fast.
 

Dilandu

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if someone is actually smart. they can outfit the ship with weapons or explosives and could take out vital military targets with a "civilian ship" just saying
Technically it is possible. On practice, naval weaponry is not exactly the easiest thing to obtain on black market. Such systems as stabilized guns, torpedoes and anti-ship missiles are massive, hard to conceal, and require qualified maintenance to be of any use. I suppose, it is possible for some particularly rich & nefarious individual to get those systems from some failed state (like Libya or 2010s Iraq), but it would be non-trivial operation.
 

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[]

If you're running a ship, you take on the responsibility for the safety of all aboard. If you're incapable of realising that ships have safety issues (and remember, some of these people were watersports enthusiasts, they should have picked up a basic idea of the safety issues by, umm, immersion), then you aren't a fit person to be allowed to run one.

Allowed by *who*?
 

Orionblamblam

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Assuming it would only end in financial disaster. And not in actual disaster with loss of life. People who put ideological position above well-established principles of command, either learn their errors quickly and do not repeat them... or die fast.

You say that like its a bad thing.
 

Orionblamblam

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You say that like its a bad thing.
Bad, because they are often dragging innocent lives with them.

Not in this case.
care to elaborate?

The people who would have been on that ship would have paid, or been paid, to be there. Unlike victims of governmental incompetance, these people would have all willingly chosen to take part in the risks and rewards.
 

DWG

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If you're running a ship, you take on the responsibility for the safety of all aboard. If you're incapable of realising that ships have safety issues (and remember, some of these people were watersports enthusiasts, they should have picked up a basic idea of the safety issues by, umm, immersion), then you aren't a fit person to be allowed to run one.

Allowed by *who*?

The International Law of the Sea and whichever Admiralty Court has jurisdiction. All merchant vessels are required by the Convention of the High Seas to have a flag state and flag states are supposed to regulate their shipping. In this case the flag state was Panama, which held legal jurisdiction not just over a Panamanian flagged vessel, but triply so as the vessel was in Panamanian territorial waters and the owners resident in Panama.

And even if your regulator isn't breathing down your neck, then there's a personal responsibility to not put other people at risk. Which is why I won't sail without another qualified skipper aboard, I'm legally allowed to skipper a yacht, but IMO I'm not physically capable of getting around the ship fast enough in an emergency.

Isn't libertarianism supposed to be all about personal responsibility?
 

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isnt there a ship operator/pilot/safety certification??? i mean if you going to buy and operate a ship effectively you should have some sort of proof that you are capable of doing so.

Yes, in most jurisdictions starting with being able to crew a small yacht in coastal waters, going all the way up to being able to skipper a yacht across oceans, and for commercial operations the various forms of mates tickets leading up to being a qualified captain.

Note that they didn't actually violate that here, because they hired a qualified captain, but only because they needed one to be able to legally sail the ship to Panama, and their intent was clearly not to have him in command long term - I think the article says he had a four month contract. And fortunately he was assertive enough to stop them engaging in rank stupidity that would have endangered the ship and crew.
 

Dilandu

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The people who would have been on that ship would have paid, or been paid, to be there. Unlike victims of governmental incompetance, these people would have all willingly chosen to take part in the risks and rewards.
No. People, who are not experts in seamanship, could not be expected to make a right judgement about competence/incompetence of the ship's crew. That's one of the problems with all those libertarian utopias; fool-proofing is nonexistent without a system of regulations.
 

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Maybe it was going to be like 'Ascension' and they just think they are on a ship at sea, when in fact they are in a warehouse, in Slough. Then it would be safe.
 

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People, who are not experts in seamanship, could not be expected to make a right judgement about competence/incompetence of the ship's crew.

That's why you hire an expert.

Or if you are a government, you make a Five Year Plan and just start executing the idiots you randomly put in charge and who fail even though they have the right ideology.
 

Orionblamblam

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If you're running a ship, you take on the responsibility for the safety of all aboard. If you're incapable of realising that ships have safety issues (and remember, some of these people were watersports enthusiasts, they should have picked up a basic idea of the safety issues by, umm, immersion), then you aren't a fit person to be allowed to run one.

Allowed by *who*?

The International Law of the Sea and whichever Admiralty Court has jurisdiction.

And if you have no state?

Isn't libertarianism supposed to be all about personal responsibility?

Yes. And from all appearances, that's what happened here. They spent their money, didn't do due diligence, then failed and didn't get bailed out by Uncle Sugar.
 

Dilandu

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That's why you hire an expert.
And who would ensure expert qualification? :) The other expert? So essentially to have a sea trip, any particular passenger is forced to hire expert in seamanship, who would review ship and crew for him? And even if all passenger combined and hire expert collectively - how exactly expert would be able to inspect the ship and crew properly, if he have no legal instruments to do it?

Frankly, the enormous Soviet Gosplan looks like elegant, simple solution in comparison with the monstrous mesh of conflicting interests, qualifications and mutual contradictions, that libertarian utopia supposed to have even for the simplest interactions.
 

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Ideologically related:

Amazon.com goes for jugular in FCC spat with SpaceX's Musk


"Whether it is launching satellites with unlicensed antennas, launching rockets without approval, building an unapproved launch tower, or re-opening a factory in violation of a shelter-in-place order, the conduct of SpaceX and other Musk-led companies makes their view plain: rules are for other people, and those who insist upon or even simply request compliance are deserving of derision and ad hominem attacks," Amazon wrote. "If the FCC regulated hypocrisy, SpaceX would be keeping the commission very busy."

Yes, SpaceX has played a little fast and loose with the regulators. And guess what: they are regularly launching reusable rockets to orbit. They will soon launch an all-civilian spacecraft into orbit. They might launch a Saturn-class reusable rocket within the next few years.

To compare with... Blue Origin, which plays within the regulatory system, has launched a tiny rocket a few dozen kilometers straight up. Their proposed orbital launcher appears to still be largely vaporware. And Boeing, which is deeply embedded within the regulations has spent dozens of billions and nearly two decades to launch *nothing*.

Yes, regulations are useful. But they quickly become little more than roadblocks to progress and sources of monumental graft. The hard-core Libertarians are naive utopians. Those who support regulations without restraint, however, would see civilization stagnate and then die. The sweet spot of growth and progress is in between, and rather closer to the Libertarian side.
 
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Orionblamblam

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That's why you hire an expert.
And who would ensure expert qualification? :) The other expert? So essentially to have a sea trip, any particular passenger is forced to hire expert in seamanship,

Nope. Lloyds of London and similar insurance companies would, in some hypothetical world where people were free, be paid to do independent reviews. If you bought a ship planning to turn it into a private nation, you're hire Lloyds (or somebody) to check it out the ship, the plan, the crew. Lloyds would publish the results of their audits. Or... you *wouldn't* hire a respected organization to do a review, and customers would take note of *that* fact. The reviewing organizations would be kept honest by the fact that their competitors would be on the lookout for bribery and chicanery.
 

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That's why you hire an expert.
And who would ensure expert qualification? :) The other expert? So essentially to have a sea trip, any particular passenger is forced to hire expert in seamanship,

Nope. Lloyds of London and similar insurance companies would, in some hypothetical world where people were free, be paid to do independent reviews. If you bought a ship planning to turn it into a private nation, you're hire Lloyds (or somebody) to check it out the ship, the plan, the crew. Lloyds would publish the results of their audits. Or... you *wouldn't* hire a respected organization to do a review, and customers would take note of *that* fact. The reviewing organizations would be kept honest by the fact that their competitors would be on the lookout for bribery and chicanery.

What's the difference between "libertarianism" and "crony capitalism" though?

Lloyd's wouldn't exist without the royal family's (the "government" at the time, if you will, since you pay taxes to the King) patronage and City of London Corporation in the first place, as powerful men in the government and state backed it in the 1600s when it was still a coffee shop. It's as if the US Congress all gathered at a tavern to discuss matters of state and personal insurance for government ventures, and that tavern decided it wanted to change tack from being an inn to being an insurance corporation, so the Congress gave them a big letter signed by the President to do so. Paid with your tax dollars, of course, because back then the concepts of "state"/"government", "rich man", and "higher caste" were basically synonymous.

So you still need to have permits from the people in charge who are above you, because you pay taxes to them, in order to officiate your bona fides. Otherwise you're just another grifter yelling into a marketplace, and modern capitalism is rife with grifters and dilettantes who have no practical knowledge to speak of but rely on ever shrinking pools of talent to sustain their own capabilities.

I guess to people like Koch or Peter Thiel who believe in that sort of bizarre ideology, private individuals have never been subject to perverse incentives to build cartels, engage in corruption, or create mafias. Of course, that's probably what the average capitalist rentier wants to believe for themselves, because everyone thinks they're a moral person at heart, and not even Peter Thiel goes to work thinking how much of a bad man he can be or whatever. That said it's almost as if "governments" were invented to deal with the problem of "bribery and chicanery" caused by unrestrained warlords/wealthy financiers/petty kingdoms in the first place or something.

If you want to see what an average "libertarian utopia" looks like in practice, then I'd suggest you go to Mexicali or Tijuana or take a stroll down the streets of Sao Paulo or Rio. Or watch a documentary or read a book about 1920's Chicago. Those are what it looks like when the people in charge have no ability to enforce the law beyond that enforced by local cartels or mafia kingpins: Which is exactly what libertarianism is in reality. All the silly attempts by coastal rich men who have no practical skills or knowledge to have some sort of California-esque kumbaya campfire non-state without the US federal government "interfering" is really just faux-nostalgia of elder greybeards born in the 1930's for their grandparents' Wild West, combined with a bizarre megalomania for collecting taxes as a means of furthering their passive income stream.

I guess if societies collapse by their own internal contradictions, then libertarianism has gotta have the biggest ones since it usually collapses before it ever starts it seems.

There's a difference between "less regulation" and "total crony capitalist anarchy" though, but you wouldn't really be able to sus that out with the most ideological libertarians since they seem to think there's an actual difference between "private" and "public" sectors or something (the only real difference seems to be that one gets its bailouts from common peoples' levied tax money and the other gets its bailouts from vulture capitalists though), and none of them are particularly well suited to discussing the miniutae of FCC policy regulations or tax code reform, because they don't know about any of that at all. As I said, they are professional dilettantes at worst (anyone can be this if born into it, naturally), or highly skilled actors at best (a rare talent, being able to convince people to go with your nutty elevator pitch), who fall into their positions almost entirely with a combination of luck and charisma, but they're not actual working people with true knowledge (or if they were, their knowledge is outdated at best). They have people for that, who might be able to sustain a conversation on the matter, but they also want to keep their job (which is to further the interests of their fief lord when discussing matters with the King).

IMO wrt to the whole thing about "regulation" versus "free enterprise": Libertarians' main argument seems to be that since they are so good at generating capital they should be in charge of the government and be allowed to levy taxes. There's some historical currency to this. As I said, it used to be that such rich people were capable of governing whole states and acting as benefactors or speakers for their respective divine right emperors. Then the same rich people decided to pool their assets to lower the barrier to finding such Confucian overmen as themselves, becuase they were so clever they recognized their cleverness was once-in-a-generation and often not hereditary, and so by pooling money it let even minor lords do the job of being a rich merchant without much trouble. We live in the aftermath of such, where great mediocrities like Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk can become rich and powerful people yet have no special talents beyond being charismatic to the right persons and picking talent. These are not particularly small feats, but they are something akin to being a very powerful clerk or high top secretary, and I suspect neither has the specialized educations necessary to actually talk about the things they supposedly traffic in.

So none of these ancient sorts of Renaissance Man-cum-capitalists are in living memory, especially true given that the government often has to bail out these same libertarian capitalists many times since the end of global capital controls in the 1970's, due to the capitalists' own incompetence and the overly financialized state of modern economies since the end of Bretton-Woods. A shame. Of course it's worth asking that if these guys can't even balance the pocketbooks of a tiny company like GM or Boeing or Tesla Energy/SolarCity without the massive, multi-trillion dollar government subsidies/bailouts (same thing) that keep them "profitable", how can they possibly be expected to do something actually important like levy taxes. That's a rhetorical question.

We live in a world where inter-cooperation and social hierarchies are necessary for the most basic survival means: no one in a Westernized, developed economy can survive on subsistence farming alone (there aren't enough hours in the day even for the strongest young men to milk a cow, tend a coop, and farm a vegetable garden and alfalfa or haygrass field, and most people are middle aged anyway).

Few people are capable of going it alone, least of all the rich, but perhaps if you asked the Amish or some sort of Polynesian tribespeople to build a boat and colonize an island they may be able to do it, provided you gave them enough money or told them about the island beforehand and the sort of soils they can expect there. But that's boring, and rich people want Internet and the ability to passively collect income, so that they can collect more income, solely for that purpose of course.

There's no real tangible end goals for the collection of income anymore I guess, which is problematic in itself. No one wants to build railroads that can accept another 20 tons of freight without an immediate reason to do so, or construct nuclear powerplants that might be generating profits in about 30 years or so after paying off the initial 5 year negotiation for site location, 10 year construction period, and 15 years of operation needed to turn a profit after the upfront capital fees, despite such things perhaps being necessary so that the same rich mens' grandchildren can enjoy the same benefits of life that they do now.

I guess the real reason libertarianism is bad is because it encourages rich people to continue being stingy about spending their money on things that actually help people.

Koch's boat is dumb, but to anyone who doesn't know better it isn't clear why, and Lloyd's didn't spring out of the aether. Were it to all crumble down tomorrow there would be no one left to simply say "that's not what you do". We would have to try again from the beginning and discover the most basic facts about the world, such as "you can't drill a hole on a boat below the waterline and pull out the engine like a car". Were libertarianism to be a dominant ideology, there simply would not be a Lloyd's to tell you anything about the boat. You would have to go into a problem space with no real knowledge of the matter as a billionaire like Koch, be outmaneuvered by a significantly better educated (for the field) albeit perhaps not substantially cleverer boatwright, and lose all your money in the venture. But it was never particularly uncommon in the Medieval periods for noble families to fall from grace after a scion failed to put out the proper tact, sense, and sheer chutzpah that usually got their forebears to the positions they would then be born into.

Suffice to say you would have a period of anarchy perhaps, and then people who are born into the field and highly knowledgable about the specifics of it, would dominate it. Rocket scientists, not South African dilettantes/amateur computer programmers, would be in command of SpaceX. So Tom Mueller I suppose would batista bomb Elon Musk off of the top of the Falcon 9 onto a giant air mattress, asserting his dominance as King of Space and ousting Musk from the field to go make a Moon Lander Tycoon on the VIC-20 (topping off the console's other ongoing, recent titles such as Planet X2) or something. Koch Industries might splinter from being a massively diversified conglomerate into a series of highly specialized refineries and firms corralling into industry specific cartels, led by their brightest engineer-managers, who are both knowledgable in the fields of chemical engineering or petroleum mining or construction equipment production, and sufficiently charismatic to be a board CEO. General Electric would make trains or something.

Highly diversified firms can only exist in worlds where specialized knowledge is not necessary to get ahead, but rather personal charisma and force of personality are more important. This is not possible in "normal" circumstances for much of human history, and for much of the world today, as many places are not quite at the combination of impersonal hierarchies where people simply act, as expected by greater social mores, in a manner befitting that of the common good as opposed to the rational selfish need. The Leviathan of Hobbes does not exist in places like Mexico or the DRC or even much of India and arguably the PRC, where rational actors (colloquially "mafiosos" or "cartel bosses") dominate as business magnate-cum-politician-cum-cartel leader, regional warlords, provincial governors, or local inner Party members, and the collective good is sacrificed.

Why such billionaire men like Koch didn't simply gather the richest lads of their own golf courses and commission a custom oil rig to be built at one of Korea or Japan's smaller shipyards (there are plenty of them) is beyond me (although they are not as rich as they think they are, and oil rigs and large merchant vessels are not as easily built as some might believe), but again, common sense evades you if you have no perspectives of such things, and perhaps the Japanese or Koreans weren't exactly lining up to pay for some old men's floating golf course when they have more important things to do like build a coastal container feeder ship for the Natori riverways. Regardless, the argument that some magical realism entity might deign itself to audit your boat and say you are wrong when it may in fact be more profitable to continue stringing you along and extracting as much wealth out of you as possible is only practical to believe when coddled in the Leviathan's embrace.

There is no Lloyd's without the King or the City of London. There is no audit without Lloyd's, and there is no King or City of London without the government and taxes. They are all the same. The Leviathan envelops modern Western society so tightly it has become as unimaginable to believe in life without it as it may have been at one time to imagine life without Rome's tax men.

But I digress. Libertarianism is bad but for reasons that are non-obvious to people who do not actually have any specific policy concerns with regulatory agencies. Those people are usually lawyers or accountants or something, and generally don't deign themselves to discuss such things openly, primarily because it is intensely boring and can cause injury from people falling asleep while standing up. Since libertarians never had any coherent regulatory concerns, just a vague sense of discontentment with paying taxes (join the club, but you will only see me talk about Jeff Bezos or Peter Thiel in the sense that they ought to be working in fields rather than collecting passive monies) and an arrogance that only comes with being rich and weakly educated on esoteric subjects, along with their satellite elements, well you can figure out about how well it goes in practice.

In truth it's just nostalgia for a time and place that never existed: the kumbaya camp fires of the Wild West combined with the alleged lawlessness of the early mass media era that many science fiction authors of the pulp and immediate post-pulp eras grew up in. But I don't think the times when the U.S. Army had to escort its own pay wagons simply because the hills were so infested with common bandits, Mormon insurrectionists, Mexican cattle rustlers based out of Tijuana or Mexicali, and Native American warbands, that it was not even worth the cost of ink and paper to mention it besides telling your boss you got shot at again, were much better than the Dillinger gang; although mass media's amplification effect may have made it seem that way.

But I still do enjoy a good old fashioned Space Western even if I find its ideological roots to be a bit bothersome, to say the least.

You can read this post in a Belarussian accent if you want to get the feeling of exasperation across properly, I suppose. I certainly did while writing it out.
 
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What's the difference between "libertarianism" and "crony capitalism" though?


Replace "libertarianism" with "whatever the hell system we've got now."


If you want to see what an average "libertarian utopia" looks like in practice, then I'd suggest you go to Mexicali or Tijuana or take a stroll down the streets of Sao Paulo or Rio. Or watch a documentary or read a book about 1920's Chicago.

Those are about as far from libertarianism as you can get. They are under the thumbs of authoritarian warlords, operating with socialist or at best mercantilist economic systems where the profits of the regular schmoe are taken by The System and private property rights are effectively nonexistent.

The usual line of argument from people who hate the idea of other people having economic freedom is that "Somalia is a Libertarian paradise." They are, as is usually the case with collectivists, wrong.

Neither real communism nor real libertarianism are likely possible, as both would require a somewhat different-from-standard human. Communism would require a beaten-down form of Man that will follow orders no matter what, has no personal ambition or pride, is satisfied no matter how low his station or crappy his quality of life. Libertarianism would require a form of man that is self-sufficient, yet entirely capable of co-operation, and ethical and uncorruptable. Since humans are on the whole neither of these, reality falls in between. But one of these extremes is better than the other.
 

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What's the difference between "libertarianism" and "crony capitalism" though?
Replace "libertarianism" with "whatever the hell system we've got now."

That being? That's a rhetorical question, because I don't want to be inundated with Twitter doom scrolling. I can get that by browsing Pocket on my tablet.

It's really hard for people to accept, because as I said mass media has an amplifying effect on your ordinary personal dispositions (by nature I would suspect that most people interested in esoteric subjects such as "old weapons" and "obscure airplanes" are pessimists but that is not supported by any sort of statistical evidence). However, I suggest you can start by looking out your window and telling us how many gangs you see, or how many times you need to slam the accelerator on your car to escape a carjacking at a red light, or shootout on your way to to the supermarket.

I suspect the number will be shockingly low.

For the hyper optimists the opposite would be to look at things relating to economic policy, like the deadly wedge of the US wage stagnation since the Nixon Shock/end of Bretton-Woods versus productivity growth, and the relative stagnation of even the latter for sometime now.

Things might be bad, but they're better than they ever were, and they're only going to get worse and better at the same time.

Neither real communism nor real libertarianism are likely possible, as both would require a somewhat different-from-standard human.

Libertarianism is totally possible because it has no practical ideology: It's just a vague sense of unease with the modern era and wistful nostalgia for a non-existent past.

Again, libertarianism as most people describe it is entirely a result of greybeard men born from between the 1880's to the 1930's United States remembering the time before the Dillinger gang and radio shows talked about crime from Al Capone or the Soviets' nuclear tests, with a wistful and non-existent recollection of the Wild West days of an imagined simpler time. Greybeards are, naturally as all people do in their old age, inevitably a dour and pessimistic people so they tend to be conservative leaning and remember their past without critical thinking when not prompted. All people do this, inevitably, if they live long enough to be old.

The result is eschewing the Leviathan for something closer to the Hobbesean state of nature in our current world, but the greybeards have convinced themselves that all they need to do is work together as they did in the times of barn raising and such, ignoring that barn raising was something done by specific communities of like-minded settlers who often traveled across a harsh wilderness after explicitly pooling together their money and resources to do so. A modern version would be the Unification splinter group, Rod of Iron ministries, who are a bunch of religious folks who have banded together to weather the coming <insert political or demographic or what-have-you disaster> here and emerge as warlords or something from their fortified compounds. In the meantime they're trying to not get the ATF's attention.

They also ignore the fact that barn raisings existed in a time when the United States government was so weak its legal territory able to be invaded by the Mexican Army and random banditos from across the border semi-constantly in the West, that the Native Americans were a fearful and terrifying force of military strength well into the 1880's, and that the carpetbaggers of the Antebellum South were often met with incredulous and vengeful folk of the Klan or such. These were variously fixed in the 20th century, more or less, but greybeards, in their dour rejection of the modern era, also tend to ignore the real problems of the past and its issues resonate today still.

Suffice to say whatever calls itself "libertarianism" is partly a uniquely American belief system that simply wouldn't exist in a world without people like the Dillinger gang or Al Capone, or the Manifest Destiny or Westward expansion, or the imagined threat of nuclear war or the Soviet Union, but it is neither unique nor especially universal to the human condition. It is also simply old men being mad at the world and wishing for a better time of their youth, as in the case of most libertarians of the 1940's and '50's, or the youths of their fathers or grandfathers as recited to them by the fireplace.

Communism would require a beaten-down form of Man that will follow orders no matter what, has no personal ambition or pride, is satisfied no matter how low his station or crappy his quality of life.

So man under the Leviathan? They exist, there are examples of them today. Communism, like "libertarianism", "capitalism", and "<insert religion here>" is simply a byword used for talking about something that is almost certainly not in the same zip code, much less the same neighborhood, much less a monolithic structure.

When I speak of libertarianism, I speak specifically of the belief system unique to the Western United States and its cattle baron elites, the faux-nostalgia of the Wild West and the rancher mentality, combined with the modern trappings of law and order and civilization that taxation and the Federal government provide, while eschewing the latter as unnecessary complexity or ineffectual and effete (or corrupt) burden on the supposed simple life of the rancher baron that waits if he simply grabs life by the horns and declares his own tax levies.

It's a false promise, but one that has a distinctly American allure, because it taps into the national myths of ruggedness, self-reliance, and independence that have been part and parcel of the post-Appalachian expansion since Thomas Jefferson's Presidency.

I don't know about you but it's hardly self-reliance when you require forty or fifty men of over a dozen trades to build a simple animal barn. They might be able to build a barn, of course, but such picturesque views of human cooperation for a common goal have more in common with revolutionary mindsets the world over than anything distinctly American, really. You may wish to look at some revolutionary era art of the early Soviet period or something, or not, given you ideological leanings, but they bear more than a passing resemblance to the American revolutionary mindset.

Libertarianism would require a form of man that is self-sufficient, yet entirely capable of co-operation, and ethical and uncorruptable.

Two of your four requirements are normative and morally loaded, therefore they can be discounted, unless you want to qualify what you mean by "uncorruptible" or "ethical", of course. There are ethical systems where backstabbing and cronyism are seen as virtues of a strong leader, you know. If you want to know more I recommend you watch The Godfather.

The other two are opposed ends of a spectrum that don't make a lot sense, either within themselves (why would someone who is self sufficient wish to cooperate? you only cooperate to get something, at the end of the day) or within the greater context of the other two (why is this cooperation done for the sake of ethical concern and not simply a ploy to take advantage of an overly trusting adversary you intend to stab in the back?).

I'd imagine if you had a human who was fully self-sufficient she would just end up being Horatio from Endless Space and multiply through parthenogenesis to conquer the world, because humans are an XY mammal, and XY chromosomes produce female offspring through that method of reproduction, but it is a fully self-sufficient system beyond childhood. Just eat enough to clone yourself half a dozen times and start a farm, but that's the only example my mind conjures up.

Such a self-sufficient clonal organism would either end up rapidly individuating due to minute genetic/environmental differences or be basically indistinguishable. Hard to say.

Without developing social technologies to restrain the state of nature, though, humans tend to resemble shrimp in general disposition.

Since humans are on the whole neither of these, reality falls in between.

A true but ultimately vapid statement, because it says nothing more than the obvious. Reality is always between ideological extremes which is why people invented politics: to discuss specific policy choices and matters of facts and concerns of public good in order to better redistribute resources. Again, without specification of actual issues or policy concerns, something most "libertarians" are loathe to do outside of broad strokes, it's meaningless to discuss such things so. This is, in a word, "ideological thinking" and a form of cognitive miserliness.

As I said, libertarianism typically never raises specific arguments, just a vague feeling of wrongness, because it's a bunch of old men from 1950 or so who were disillusioned with US society because they are old men. American society is still sufficiently open that you can debate specific regulatory policies at local and state or federal levels without being thrown in jail for wrongthink, so it's hardly what libertarians seem to imagine it to be.

When it does raise specific arguments, it tends to be nationalist or xenophobic in nature, such as Nick Land, although most libertarian Americans are hesitant to call themselves "hyper racists" or live in Shanghai (a sign of the Leviathan's reach, truly). That could be a result of libertarian's historic roots, or simply a sign of the times, though. Since libertarianism's most common strand is a rejection of the modern, rejection of internationalism and globalization and a return to a xenophobic nationalism is perfectly in line with it, but it would not be a specific facet of it. In a more nationalist world I imagine libertarians would be internationalist financiers or something. They certainly were in the time of Ricardo and Smith, at least.

But one of these extremes is better than the other.

I would argue otherwise, namely that "communism" and "libertarianism" hold no real weight in a discussion about Silicon Valley billionaires' failed attempts at seasteading and how Lloyd's would not exist in a world without government intervention to back the bona fides of the royal family's pet insurance firm, but you can believe what you want about the matter and I won't really do anything to stop you besides ask you to point specifically to regulatory issues you have with the U.S. Code or something, but that would be asking a lot. I don't have particular issues with the U.S. Code or anything beyond "why bad rich man not get jail", so in that sense we may be able to find common ground, but I'm just an alcoholic Leninist guy on the Internet.

I think it's pretty obvious there's no real incentive for anyone to be honest in a society where the only thing you have to go by is someone's word, which is why the Leviathan was invented in the first place: to obviate the need for the the intervention of the King and his closest confidants in the running of the country and enforce that the King's agents are everywhere, that the corporation of peasants, police, and powerful tax men that makes up the Leviathan can enforce its will upon you through sheer cultural inundation without any physical force of arms being applied to the local village that refuses to pay taxes (because it simply will not refuse), and that people can trust people at their word who have adopted a culture of honesty over a culture of duplicity.

Of course duplicity reigns in societies without practical methods of ensuring integrity. Why would I not lie to you if I can get away with it? One of the most practical methods is to build a Leviathan: I won't lie to you because there is a real threat of punishment, or better yet, because I have been inundated with a moral and political belief system since childhood that enforces honesty and integrity over duplicity and nefariousness.

Libertarianism is an attempt to critique the Leviathan in the same way that a Sovereign Citizen or Reichsbuerger attempts to critique speeding laws by going on a long winded spiel in court about the Boston Tea Party or Weimar Republic Constitution. But at the end of the day this is about you doing 45 in a residential zone.

You can critique the merits of speeding in a residential zone but it would be hard to overturn society's view that high speed travel in a short road where children might be playing (or old men getting the mail might be walking) is bad. But it's much easier to pass if you simply create a seed of cynical doubt in a society by never stating anything specific, just insinuating that bad things are happening without evidence beyond what people discover on the top headlines of the "bad things happening paper". One is going to get you more votes among the American public, which is what it all ultimately boils down to in the present.

But again I digress.

tl;dr There are plenty of real criticisms with the modern world, but people who genuinely believe in libertarianism aren't super keen on them because it's really boring to talk about.

People who actually think about the issues while steeped in libertarian schools of thought, but don't have any specific knowledge about the subject matter (national laws or tax codes or what-have-you) tend to turn into NRx "hyper racist" types like Nick Land or Curtis Yarvin, i.e. folks who at least have identified a specific problem (globalization) but will have about as much success changing it as die-hard Marxists did bringing about the proletarian revolution for similar reasons (people don't want to do things that will make them poorer).

Meanwhile people with actual knowledge about the subject matters in question tend to view it (dissatisfaction with the real world political outcomes versus your own internal ideal) as an inevitable background with which you have to work inside or around rather than try to change altogether, and will ask you to cite specific laws and why they are bad and charge you a lot of money to do it. Mostly because they have more important things to do, like figure out how to talk Joe out of his 3rd DUI conviction when they can't find the actual driver of the car because Joe was so out of it he woke up halfway in the trunk after the car wreck, or something like that.

I guess the reason it's popular nowadays is because people in America get all their news about things that don't affect them, like who the president is or how many random and unrelated killings happened in Chicago last weekend, but they can't even name their own city councilmen or where their mayor lives or even how their local city government works. So, things that affect you in real life, rather than things you read on the Internet news sites and whatnot that everyone watches at work on break, have been inordinately hit in a negative manner by the digital revolution.

But that's probably more due to the fact that news outlets are people too and there are only so many hours and so much money to be made in a local newsroom. Very easy for a rich carpetbagger to come in and buy your newsroom to produce articles on who you should vote for next election cycle because it works in the nearby eight counties so it will work there too. Not exactly unique to the Internet (or even television).
 
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Kat Tsun

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Libertarians... could always be relied upon to give a good laugh, but this is truly outstanding:
Fuel alone was costing the Ocean Builders trio about $12,000 a day. According to Harris, Koch wanted to try to make the ship more fuel-efficient by installing a smaller engine, which he thought he could do while the ship was at anchor. “We were like, how are you going to cut a hole in the ship’s side big enough to get the engine out, which is below water level, and not sink the ship?” Harris shook his head, his memories of Koch clearly fond, if perplexed. “I was forever saying, ‘No, Rudi you can’t do this; no, Rudi you can’t do that.’”

This one is my favorite of all the dumb seasteading ships.
 

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That being? That's a rhetorical question, because I don't want to be inundated with Twitter doom scrolling. I can get that by browsing Pocket on my tablet.

And thus I trimmed your wall-o-text.


why would someone who is self sufficient wish to cooperate?

To which utterly bizarre question the only good response is to shake one's head and walk away.
 

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There's a couple of episodes of a (Sadly defunct, but still online.) skeptical podcast called 'Exposing PseudoAstronomy) that are very pertinent to what's described in the OP, links to the transcripts of the relevant episodes are below along with the key quotes.

My science point here is that, again, he can solve the problem of a heat source by sticking this around a brown dwarf, but he introduces the lesser known problem of the effects of gravitational tides. He makes the layperson mistake of the hand-wavey explanation that tides would help because it warms up the planet more, but he doesn't do the math to see that in helping, he pushes too far, the tidal force is too much, and regardless of how you play with the numbers, you get a situation that probably can't work because you'd still end up tidally locked with one hemisphere too warm and the other too cold. You then require a lot of special pleading to make it all work out.​

This also gets into one of my pet peeves with the "amateur scientist" type who claims to re-write physics: They often say that mainstream scientists would never come up with their solution because mainstream science is all so specialized, that different fields effectively don't talk with each other. But the amateur scientist does.​

In fact, this is a perfect example of how this is often the OPPOSITE of what's true: By ignoring these other effects, by ignoring the full implications of what he's proposing, Andy comes up with a solution to a fake problem that no professional would suggest because of these implications from other fields.​

Exposing PseudoAstronomy 71: Andy Lloyds 'Dark Star'

...a broader issue of a so-called “amateur scientist” who may wish to conduct an experiment to try to “prove” their non-mainstream idea: They have to do this extra stuff. Doing your experiment and getting weird results does not prove anything. This is also why doing science is hard and why only a very small fraction of it is the glamorous press release and cool results. So much of it is testing, baseline measurements, data gathering, and data reduction and then repeating it over and over again.

Exposing PseudoAstronomy 82: How to Design a Hyperdimensional Physics Experiment
 

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That being? That's a rhetorical question, because I don't want to be inundated with Twitter doom scrolling. I can get that by browsing Pocket on my tablet.

And thus I trimmed your wall-o-text.


why would someone who is self sufficient wish to cooperate?

To which utterly bizarre question the only good response is to shake one's head and walk away.
Sure looks like the responses of a man who knows he just lost an argument to me.

Years (decades?) ago I took the Nolan Chart/Political Compass test after being accosted by a libertarian proselytizer and ended up pretty close to the middle in the centrist area (and yes, I was pretty surprised myself, but I guess that just goes to show how inaccurate/irrelevant that pseudo test really is). The real takeaway though is that while libertarians just *love* to portray themselves as being politically equidistant from both dems and repubs, in reality they politically systematically only ever align with repubs. Go figure...
 
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Sure looks like the responses of a man who knows he just lost an argument to me.

If you can't comprehend that someone can be both self reliant and willing and perhaps even eager to cooperate... I can't help you. There is too wide of a gulf. It'd be like trying to explain the color blue to a blind man.
 

Orionblamblam

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If you can't comprehend that someone can be both self reliant and willing and perhaps even eager to cooperate...
Problem is, that not all people have such combination. Self-reliant people often aren't good in cooperation.

And people who are woefully bad at self-reliance are *also* often bad at cooperation. Humans are buggy. That's why I shake my head at people who point and laugh at failed libertarian enterprises that cost willing participants their money, yet ignore collectivist enterprises that lead to famine and deaths measured in the millions.
 
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