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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Occupy The Shire


Though I had been traveling back to New Hampshire from Baltimore by bus on the big day of action and was unable to attend any of the demonstrations, I spent Sunday in Manchester with the city's mini-demonstration in solidarity. I brought a sign reading: "CAPITALISM = VIOLENT MONOPOLY = STATISM".

My friend Matt directed me to the pre-General Assembly going on, where a handful of people discussed the issues they wanted to raise and the direction they wanted the rally to go in. One of the people speaking, a large young man dressed like a biker, was a libertarian, quite possibly a free stater. He insisted that the entire rally should serve as an anti-war demonstration since that's the one thing everyone in attendance could agree on. The person taking notes seemed a little reluctant but jotted it down anyway. I butted in, saying that if we're going to turn this into an anti-war rally we can't overlook the profit aspect of war and how wars are waged to control resources and people for profit. The libertarian was pretty irked. He accused me of sectarianism and said words like mine would only divide the people there. "To me, profit is not a bad thing," rushed out of his mouth. He went on about how corporations are a "legal fiction" created by the state, as if every single business would behave like angels if only the state wasn't there to protect or subsidize them.





Matt and I spent our time hanging out, discussing the action from the past few days. We knew most of the people here were either free staters or people with right-libertarian tendencies. Others were mostly working people or students whose views were much more in-line with ours.

Something Matt and I both noticed was a flag propped up in the middle of the park. It was styled identical to the traditional anarchist red-and-black triangle flag, only instead of red it was blue-green with an elaborate pattern designed within the color. We went up to it to see what it was exactly. The possessor of the flag approached us. He said the flag was blue-green to express individualism; for him, red is the color of collectivism and blue-green is supposed to be the opposite of that. I found that a bit strange: if your entire goal is to achieve freedom, how can you be truly free if everyone around you is still in chains? Isn't every kind of social organization "collectivist" in its own way? I didn't question him though. He was a really nice guy.

I saw him again a little while later as Matt and I were standing on the sidewalk with other activists. He told us he didn't think his explanation of his views was concise enough. He said he's part of a movement that combines ecology and permaculture with revolutionary market anarchism (agorism). I asked him about agorism and how efficient he thinks it would be in attacking the state. He said it all comes down to how many people chose to join in and participate. When people chose to participate in the "white market" they are funding statism. He used the exact words "building a new society within the shell of the old" (which originates from the IWW constitution, actually) and I agreed with him, though I said I'm not sure that the solution has to be completely market-based. I told him that I say "freed markets" because I sometimes doubt whether or not there can ever be a truly free market system. After all, I said, market economies were first established through force by kings (states) as a way to keep people in submission. He said, quite boldly, that he believes any "voluntary" human actions are part of the market. I thought that was absurd. I asked him where he got this idea from, and he said from austrian economics which, according to him, explicitly states that all voluntary actions are market actions while all involuntary actions are statist ones. I still didn't get it. I asked him, "So, me giving my friend a back rub out of affection is viewed the same way as consumerism?", and he said yes. In a sense, it's like talking with religious nuts, like the nutty Christians from my high school, nutty Jews from CSUN, or nutty Muslims from the anti-war/pro-Palestinian groups I used to work with; they will tell you that the shape of your hand is "proof" that their version of "God" exists. I don't understand...



But we agreed that leaving everything up to "the market" is not enough. I told him that I believe a lot of what our new society will come down to is the values we chose to hold and base our new institutions off of. That includes doing away with the fascination of property and profit. The way I see it is, if we still hold true the idea that "more stuff" equates to "more freedom" and define how "free" we are based on what we own (as opposed to who we are and what we do as people) then there will always be an incentive to create monopolies and have a state to enable their creation. My friend Ross wrote that faith in the market is not enough, that we need to expand our moral awareness if we want to have a free society because we will be no freer if we don't. You could make the argument that a freed market would be like karma; if we support firms that do wrong, it will come back to bite us. As Ross said, so much of what the market supplies is what we demand. The whole idea that all businesses would have to put people before profits if the state didn't exist to protect them only works if the people are responsible enough to go after those businesses that do wrong. It's not enough to simply attack the state, build new institutions, or create a completely free market. We have to show people that basing a society on mutuality rather than selfish desire for stuff is not only much better for each other but also much freer; create conditions where the love of profit is outweighed by the love of freedom and love of each other. Let's put it this way: if I can make more profit for myself with a patent monopoly, then why would I want the state to blip out of existence if it meant more competition and less profits for me? If I love owning more property than I use, why would I want a stateless society where "property rights" outside of active personal use would no longer exist? What if I'm a capitalist boss whose income comes from the exploitation of others - why would I want the state to disappear, or why would I join in with the anti-statists in abolishing it? The idea that the state will go away once everyone "stops believing in it" is naive and oversimplified. He was uneasy about my conclusions though. I get the feeling that he, too, holds a love of property. There always seems to be this overriding consensus that 51% of the people around are trying to steal everything they own - it's completely bogus even today. If I knew my community was always going to be there for me, and loved me, why should I care about how much many material objects I own? (Read some anthropology books if you want some evidence for this.)



It was only later during the demonstration that I realized this young man was a friend of one of my other friends. I went up to him as he was setting up his sleepover tent and asked him if he was who I thought he was. Turns out I was right. He told me he was originally from Texas and moved up to Grafton back when the village was an agorist haven. Now most of the original agorists have left and the scene there has mostly died out. Most of the "activism" there now, according to him, revolves around top-down political campaigns. Both of us agreed that it's totally useless: even if Ron Paul was elected president he wouldn't be able to do anything, and even if he did strip the government down to its "constitutional minimum" the institutions and conditions would still be in place to start the cycle of "big government" all over again. It turns out he was a very nice guy who shares a lot in common with myself. I told him that people we both know are planning on creating some kind of (mutualist) cooperative community in the Merrimack Valley. He was interested.



I hung out with Matt and a few others at the end of the day. We sang along with the man who brought his guitar and talked with a few women who were Manchester locals.

"Your sign is backwards," I heard someone nearby say sharply.

"No, I think it's being held the right way," I replied, trying to sound naive.

"It wasn't capitalism that created statism. It was statism that created capitalism. The economic system would never have happened if it hadn't been for the state."

Well, if you read Dr. Graeber's book you'd understand why markets in general would have never existed if it hadn't been for the state!

"Yeah," I said, "and that's why these corporate bosses are going to be the first people to resist statelessness."

This guy went on about all of his agorist activism (though unlike my earlier conversation buddy he was pretty blunt about everything) and insisted that it's going to be what drains the rich and the state. He even went so far as to say that sites like Craigslist and eBay will create a stateless society, since there's no taxation involved. I told him I was very skeptical of his expectations that black and "gray" market activism would be enough in themselves. He kept insisting that black and gray markets have become "huge" in NH since the Free State Project began, even after I told him I had no idea they were even present in the area to begin with. The two of us went back and forth about why we feel the other is full of shit in many areas. He asked me what I thought the solution is and what I was doing to solve the problem. I told him the first thing we need to do is organize, just like we were doing right there and then in the park. Bring people together and build solidarity networks. Then we need to start taking over unused properties and workplaces. He insisted that organizing expropriations would take too long (despite the fact that people did it in the past in a quick amount of time) and a much better idea would be to get as many people as possible to more to this magical agorá so that the state and capitalists start to drain. I asked him how long that would take, or how realistic it would be since most people in NH have no clue that this (metaphorical) agorá exists in the first place. He also told me that he's living in a squatted home owned by Deutsche Bank and did so as a way of fucking with the police. In his lexicon, "squatting" is called "homesteading", much more akin to neo-lockean principles than classical anarchist ones. I kept telling him of my initial skepticisms. I have no idea how NH is more free now that the state government is dominated by self-proclaimed anti-statists. He told me I'd see it sooner than later.

**** Update: arrests have been made in Manchester.





My friend Matt, who was arrested, said the arrests were due to "criminal trespassing". More proof that the police primarily exist to protect property.

19 comments:

  1. Libertarians remind me of the Communists back in the day. When the evidence of the horror of Stalin's USSR became too big to ignore American Communists said the USSR wasn't really Communist so don't blame us. Now libertarian types like to claim that we are not a free market, not a capitalist economy at all, but rather a Corporatist economy run by the alliance of big business and government. OK, fine. But hasn't every capitalist society ended up as a Corporatist state? If capitalism always ends up being an alliance of businessmen and the government leaders they buy then why would anyone think that capitalism would ever have a "free market"? That is why anarchy makes so much sense - get rid of all sources of coercion, all sources of power.

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  2. Capitalism can't exist without the state. Never has and never will. A "corporatist" state arises when capitalists, who have shared interests, get together and pay off politicians to implement policies which enable them to expand their profits, secure monopolies, all that. Even if "anarcho-capitalism" was able to be put into practice, it wouldn't last very long before it just dissolved into mutualism or the capitalists brought the state back.

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  3. "Capitalism can't exist without the state. Never has and never will."

    You say that but there is nothing within capitalism that is inherently part of statism.

    "A "corporatist" state arises when capitalists, who have shared interests, get together and pay off politicians to implement policies which enable them to expand their profits, secure monopolies, all that."

    The problem with that sentence/thought/idea is that if "capitalists" do such a thing they are no longer capitalists.

    "Even if "anarcho-capitalism" was able to be put into practice, it wouldn't last very long before it just dissolved into mutualism or the capitalists brought the state back."

    You say this with religious faith - but where is the evidence that people will always have to sink to one form of barbarism or another?

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  4. "But hasn't every capitalist society ended up as a Corporatist state?"

    No. There has never been a capitalist society. So long as there is government there is a shortage of capital (as it is stolen one way or another by the government) and it is not a capitalist society.

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  5. Hank, every time you've left comments on this blog I've been left wondering if you're trolling me or if you really are dead serious.

    "You say that but there is nothing within capitalism that is inherently part of statism."

    So a boss having autocratic control of the means of production which allows him/her to rob wage slaves of the value they produced isn't identical to statism? And hell, I'd like to know who or what is going to enforce your "right" to property you don't occupy and use without an institution that has a monopoly on violence.

    "The problem with that sentence/thought/idea is that if "capitalists" do such a thing they are no longer capitalists.

    Define "capitalist" because your claim makes no sense to me. Even in NH there are libertarians who join together out of their shared business interests so they can influence state policy. I'd argue that free staters being elected into the state house and then proceeding to sell of state assets and cut the budget is a clear example of this.

    "You say this with religious faith - but where is the evidence that people will always have to sink to one form of barbarism or another?"

    The fact that capitalism has never existed without a state and never can (seeing as how it requires institutionalized coercion to keep itself alive) is proof of this. And mutualism is hardly barbarism. Mutualism is based on totally free AND equal exchange (i.e. you trading the apples you picked for the fish your neighbor caught).

    You don't seem to realize that workers themselves have shared interests (usually the demand for more autonomy and control of the means of production and better conditions in the workplace), and judging from history we see workers joining together in unions and federations (and even political parties) to demand such things. What makes you assume that workers won't try to join up and take the means of production from the boss as soon as the state dies out? What makes you assume tenants will still pay rent to landlords when there's no police to throw them out if they don't? And contracts won't mean shit if there's no gun to enforce them.

    "No. There has never been a capitalist society. So long as there is government there is a shortage of capital (as it is stolen one way or another by the government) and it is not a capitalist society."

    Capitalist businesspeople created the modern nation-state in the first place. Study your history. Take a look at how monarchies were done away with and were replaced by republics as capitalism replaced the old traditional economic models. The entire purpose of the state is to safeguard the assets of the rich.

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  6. "Hank, every time you've left comments on this blog I've been left wondering if you're trolling me or if you really are dead serious."

    I don't troll. I make a few jokes a year. If I should ever be less than serious I'll tag or otherwise explicitly call attention to it.

    "So a boss having autocratic control of the means of production which allows him/her to rob wage slaves of the value they produced isn't identical to statism?"

    1. Wage slave is an impossible oxymoron. If you are getting paid you aren't a slave. If you are a slave you aren't getting a wage. The two are mutually exlusive. It's like having a giant midget/midget giant. One can not be 3 feet tall and 7 feet tall at the same time. If you are one you aren't the other.

    2. Those who are paid aren't being robbed of the value they produce. Again, these are mutually exclusive. If you are being paid you are not being robbed. If you are being robbed you aren't being paid.

    3. Statism is the use of physical violence and the threat thereof in order to coerce people. Paying people is not physical violence.

    Are you really incapable of distinguishing between the two? Go get yourself enslaved, work as a slave for a month or a year, escape if you can, then work as a worker and get paid, quit, then compare and contrast the two and see if you can't tell the difference.

    "And hell, I'd like to know who or what is going to enforce your "right" to property you don't occupy and use without an institution that has a monopoly on violence."

    Me and my guns. Death to thieves. No monopoly or offensive violence is necessary to shoot looters.

    "Define "capitalist" because your claim makes no sense to me."

    One who saves and voluntarily exchanges resources.

    "The fact that capitalism has never existed without a state and never can (seeing as how it requires institutionalized coercion to keep itself alive) is proof of this."

    There is no need for coercion to voluntarily engage in exchange. In fact, there is a need for a lack of coercion.

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  7. "And mutualism is hardly barbarism. Mutualism is based on totally free AND equal exchange (i.e. you trading the apples you picked for the fish your neighbor caught)."

    Mutualism denies the value of money, credit, and other more advanced forms of exchange. Thus it is barbarous.

    "What makes you assume that workers won't try to join up and take the means of production from the boss as soon as the state dies out?"

    1. As a boss I will defend my property.

    2. They might do so successfully, but then they will doom themselves as they lack the qualities of a boss.

    Some people can do menial labor for all of their life. God bless them. However, if they decide they can run a business, and they are willing to use force to obtain a business, God damn them (and they will be damned as one who is fit only for pushing a broom is not fit to manage a business).

    Most workers, and most people, are stupid short sighted greedy lazy incompetent and otherwise unfit to run a business. Your idealization of "the workers seizing control of the means of production" ignores the fact that they as a group aren't able to manage the means of production.

    "What makes you assume tenants will still pay rent to landlords when there's no police to throw them out if they don't? And contracts won't mean shit if there's no gun to enforce them."

    I'm planning on becoming a landlord. Without a state those who refuse to pay what they owe me will be removed by force. Oh, the horror of not being able to steal! /sarcasm (see, there in the last line I wasn't serious.)

    Don't worry - I don't need a state gun and I don't need to steal - but I do have guns and will defend that which I own same as I do now.

    "Capitalist businesspeople created the modern nation-state in the first place. Study your history. Take a look at how monarchies were done away with and were replaced by republics as capitalism replaced the old traditional economic models. The entire purpose of the state is to safeguard the assets of the rich."

    State-capitalists formed the modern state. Anarcho-capitalists did not. The two are very different and mutually exclusive. Regardless of how the current mess was created the state is not needed.

    However, for anyone wishing to live at a more than primitive level, credit and money and debt and interest are needed.

    I read the beginning and end of Graeber's book. He's an advocate of primitivism and communism. I may or may not finish the book...I really don't see the point in trudging through all of that just to learn exactly why the author is a barbarian.

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  8. IMHO we don't have a capitalist society, but we do have a capitalistic society, by which I mean some of the traits of the former are exhibited in the latter.

    I love how far well even this shabby attempt at capitalism works. If I want something someone else will produce it. i.e. I wanted a .40 S&W revolver - and the market produces it! Now all I have to do is produce something others want, exchange it for money, exchange the money for the pistol and I will have what I wanted! Even if I only work a wage slave job it will only be a couple of weeks before I can afford this gun, whereas it would take me a lifetime to make it on my own.

    How can mutualism possibly create such an advanced piece of technology? How will it ever possibly produce an MRI machine? Or a small airplane? How will mutualism create the complex sophisticated things that I want?

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  9. "Mutualism denies the value of money, credit, and other more advanced forms of exchange. Thus it is barbarous."

    First of all, without a state-imposed money monopoly, who is to say what has "value" as a means of exchange? If we are in a stateless market society and I don't want your gold, then I'm not going to accept your gold.

    Something tells me you haven't done much research on mutualism. May I advise going through the archives of the Libertarian Labyrinth to read the works of Proudhon, Warren, Tucker, Greene, etc. etc. so you can get a better understanding?

    "Most workers, and most people, are stupid short sighted greedy lazy incompetent and otherwise unfit to run a business. Your idealization of "the workers seizing control of the means of production" ignores the fact that they as a group aren't able to manage the means of production.

    Which is why cooperatives are growing quite nicely in the UK and have dominated parts of Italy and Spain.

    I would think that I would know how to do my job much better than my boss who is simply making profit off my labor. It's like the old saying: "When someone tells you they became rich through hard work you ask them 'whose'?"

    "I'm planning on becoming a landlord."

    Because society totally needs more thieves...


    "Without a state those who refuse to pay what they owe me will be removed by force. Oh, the horror of not being able to steal! /sarcasm (see, there in the last line I wasn't serious.)
    Don't worry - I don't need a state gun and I don't need to steal - but I do have guns and will defend that which I own same as I do now."


    So if 50 of your tenants decide to rent strike, you by yourself will put them down and evict them through force? Doesn't sound like you'll come out the winner in this case.

    Here's an analogy: my college is situated near the Appalachians. Back int he early 20th century, several mining towns in the area had no formal town government and were "owned" by the mining companies. It was only when the workers decided to strike that the bosses of those companies brought in state police. You can say whatever you want, but chances are you'll be crying for some state police as soon as your tenants decide that housing is a right and no longer want to pay a parasite for that right.

    "State-capitalists formed the modern state. Anarcho-capitalists did not. The two are very different and mutually exclusive. Regardless of how the current mess was created the state is not needed."

    Yes, because "anarcho-capitalism" is impossible. You do realize that it's not just Walmart, McDonalds, GE, and BoA that benefit from having a state, right? Even medium-sized businesses love statism because it provides them with things like patent monopolies, land monopolies (even smaller ones), protectionism, subsidized roads, subsidizes education (even my mother who has a home-based business needs educated people to work for her), subsidized health care (businesses love single-payer health care because it takes the burden off of them to provide health insurance for their wage workers), and a lot more.

    On the same note, it should be apparent why "anarcho-capitalism" wouldn't really be all that popular with most people anyway and why most businesspeople would want to resist statelessness. If we live in a market where the bottom line is profit, and institutions are set up in such a way to create that profit, then no one is going to want a truly freed market because it would mean less profit for them, since competition would be insane and no one would be able to secure monopolies (at least not traditionally). If I was making a ton of profit off of a patent monopoly, why would I desire anarchy where my patent and profits would go down the toilet?

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  10. "I read the beginning and end of Graeber's book. He's an advocate of primitivism and communism. I may or may not finish the book...I really don't see the point in trudging through all of that just to learn exactly why the author is a barbarian."

    I get the feeling he's also sympathetic to Islamic societies (which I personally don't like either seeing as how Islam is just another form of authoritarianism) but I highly doubt he's going to be preaching Qu'ran anytime soon.

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  11. "I love how far well even this shabby attempt at capitalism works. If I want something someone else will produce it. i.e. I wanted a .40 S&W revolver - and the market produces it! Now all I have to do is produce something others want, exchange it for money, exchange the money for the pistol and I will have what I wanted! Even if I only work a wage slave job it will only be a couple of weeks before I can afford this gun, whereas it would take me a lifetime to make it on my own.
    How can mutualism possibly create such an advanced piece of technology? How will it ever possibly produce an MRI machine? Or a small airplane? How will mutualism create the complex sophisticated things that I want?"


    Producing what people demand could happen just find under mutualism or even a gift economy. Your assumptions make no sense.

    "1. Wage slave is an impossible oxymoron. If you are getting paid you aren't a slave. If you are a slave you aren't getting a wage. The two are mutually exlusive. It's like having a giant midget/midget giant. One can not be 3 feet tall and 7 feet tall at the same time. If you are one you aren't the other."

    Chattel slaves were also "paid" in a sense that they were provided for by their slave-owners. In some cases, chattel slaves in the American South were much better off than wage slaves in the North (especially the mill towns in the Merrimack Valley Area). Because chattel slaves were the slave-owners' capital, the slave-owners were obliged to treat them fairly well (at least much better than the capitalist bosses treated the 14-year girls working in the mills over in Lowell-Lawrence-Nashua-Manchester). Studies show that slaves were much better off and much healthier in 1850 than they had been in 1750. Does all of this legitimize the hierarchy of chattel slavery? No. So why should the idea of being "paid" legitimize wage slavery?

    "There is no need for coercion to voluntarily engage in exchange. In fact, there is a need for a lack of coercion."

    In a system where the bottom line is profit, there will always be an incentive to create institutionalized coercion. Show me a successful hierarchical market society without a state.

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  12. "One who saves and voluntarily exchanges resources."

    That could define anyone.

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  13. "So if 50 of your tenants decide to rent strike, you by yourself will put them down and evict them through force? Doesn't sound like you'll come out the winner in this case."

    By "rent strike" you mean "steal"?

    Machineguns were invented for a reason. I plan on buying them for several reasons, including mobs of criminals. I think I'll come out ahead as criminals don't have keen powers of foresight and comprehension of cause and effect.

    "You can say whatever you want, but chances are you'll be crying for some state police as soon as your tenants decide that housing is a right and no longer want to pay a parasite for that right."

    Why would I desire an organized crime outfit to go after criminals when I can take out the trash myself without subjecting myself to servitude to a criminal outfit? That makes no sense.

    Housing isn't a right. Your logic is the same as a rapist who claims sex is a right and that the woman who says no unless he wines and dines her is a parasite.

    Just because you desire something doesn't make it a right...and just because someone is willing to provide you with what you want doesn't make them a parasite. On the other hand, taking what you desire without paying for it does make you a parasite. You want a free lunch and apparently you are willing to steal in order to pretend that it is possible.

    "If we live in a market where the bottom line is profit, and institutions are set up in such a way to create that profit, then no one is going to want a truly freed market because it would mean less profit for them, since competition would be insane and no one would be able to secure monopolies (at least not traditionally). "

    We live in a market where the bottom line is often loot. Most everyone wants to steal - you are right about that - including yourself. Like any thief you want to steal from those who have - makes sense, why would you want to rob a poor tenant when you can rob the rich landlord?

    Is the real reason you oppose prisons because you don't want to be incarcerated for your crimes against your fellow man?

    While that is the state of the world, it shall not always be. Any society predicated on looting is doomed.

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  14. "Machineguns were invented for a reason. I plan on buying them for several reasons, including mobs of criminals. I think I'll come out ahead as criminals don't have keen powers of foresight and comprehension of cause and effect."

    Wonderful. You've just admitted that you'll resort to acts of terrorism in order to keep making $$$$.

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  15. "Housing isn't a right. Your logic is the same as a rapist who claims sex is a right and that the woman who says no unless he wines and dines her is a parasite."

    Because having a home totally violates other people's "rights".

    Take a look at gift cultures and tell me if those societies (which take care of each other and provide each other with all needs for free, seeing as how they don't use money) are any less "free" than we are in our money-driven society.

    "We live in a market where the bottom line is often loot. Most everyone wants to steal - you are right about that - including yourself. Like any thief you want to steal from those who have - makes sense, why would you want to rob a poor tenant when you can rob the rich landlord?"

    That's why "anarcho-capitalism" has NO support outside of its internet cult. As long as we live in a system based on acquiring more for "me me me" people will want a state to exist. Your system wouldn't even get off the ground it you really tried to implement it.

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  16. A worker isn't a slave if they are paid one cent per hour. That's fair, right?

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  17. Your right. Employment is slavery whether your paid one cent an hour or $5 an hour. Employment is based on exploitation of one person for the profit of another. As for the other libertardian- 'Hank' housing/ healthcare/ and food are basic human rights, and having them doesnt infringe on anybody elses rights, no matter how much you might think 'property' is a right, its not. Why are there so many homeless people AND so many empty houses? Something doesnt add up there. Also, appartently you think its OK to kill lots of people so you can keep making your 'profits'?

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  18. Housing a right? A right doesn't require the labor that someone else did. If someone else built a house than what right does another person have to it unless they pay the builder? What about food? Do your rights include the food that someone else grew or killed without paying them? No. Humans have the right to make these things for themselves these things not to be given them. Your right to eat means you can go out in the wilderness and hunt and gather and nobody has the right to stop you. Your right to housing? Go find a place that nobody cares about and build some rocks up until it provides shelter. Don't expect the product of some other person's work as your right. Talk about a privileged mentality.

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  19. edilberto, you need to do your research on human society before the state forced markets on populations: nearly everything was distributed for free among populations (food, housing, resources, etc.). In fact, in several gift cultures those who produced the most food were the ones who shared the most with their tribe/community. For example, there is a culture in Papua New Guinea (I forget exactly which culture it was, but they're mentioned in Seaford's book about Ancient Greek myth/philosophy and money/markets) whose "cash crop' (if you will) is salt, though they only ever "barter" or "sell" salt to those outside of their community while they give and distribute salt within themselves. You tell me if you would consider that culture to be less "free" than our culture which is based on greed.

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