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Panarchy simulator needed

24 January 2009 by Mike Gogulski
Posted in philosophy | 14 Comments »

Since Noor logged off at an inopportune moment, the question is now to you:

[3:39:44 AM] Mike Gogulski says: imagine this scenario
[3:39:59 AM] Mike Gogulski says: a flat earth, all resources distributed evenly
[3:40:04 AM] Mike Gogulski says: identical climate everywhere
[3:40:14 AM] Mike Gogulski says: all environmental conditions the same everyplace
[3:40:19 AM] Mike Gogulski says: no subsidy of history
[3:40:29 AM] Mike Gogulski says: every person starts with an equal land and resource claim
[3:40:50 AM] Mike Gogulski says: 25% of the population subscribes to anarcho-communism and organize with their mind-fellows
[3:41:12 AM] Mike Gogulski says: 25% are anarcho-syndicalists
[3:41:15 AM] Mike Gogulski says: 25% are mutualists
[3:41:16 AM] Mike Gogulski says: 25% are ancaps
[3:41:30 AM] Mike Gogulski says: everyone starts equal, then let the simulation run
[3:41:33 AM] Mike Gogulski says: 2 questions:
[3:41:58 AM] Mike Gogulski says: 1: what system(s) of law (dispute resolution) arise(s) among the 4 philosophical communities?
[3:42:25 AM] Mike Gogulski says: 2: which community, over time, grows numerically dominant as members of other communities defect to its model?
[3:42:40 AM] Mike Gogulski says: 3,000 words, by Monday. Dismissed!


  1. 14 Responses to “Panarchy simulator needed”

  2. By Noor on 24 January 2009

    Yeah, my internet failed that moment.

    Hm, you could always design some kind of a game simulator to play around with that. Adjust the proportion of different anarchisms, etc.

  3. By David Z on 24 January 2009

    i knew you were a flat-earther all along!

  4. By Mike Gogulski on 24 January 2009

    Oh noes! I am undone!

  5. By Kel on 26 January 2009

    I would argue the ancap one would grow dominant, but I imagine that’s only because I belong to that particular philosophy. The correct answer, though, is this: It doesn’t really matter. So long as each deem their philosophy didn’t give them a right to rule over the other groups, it wouldn’t matter which one would be most popular.

    I have a post titled “It’s the Anarchism that’s important” that I’ve long needed to finish and publish.

  6. By Mike Gogulski on 26 January 2009

    If everyone stays in their territories, it’s fine.

    But what happens when anarcho-communists who don’t believe in private property come around and start expropriating your means of production?

  7. By Zargon on 27 January 2009

    A tricky question, one which I think needs some inspection into how an an-comm society might work in the first place to answer. (I’m not an an-comm, and I haven’t really thought about it before now, so I could be off in my train of thought)

    I think in an an-comm society, people would have to come to an agreement over when it’s okay to take something. I think that the person who last “had” whatever the item is, and the person taking it would have to agree on the same rule that allows the 2nd to take it in that instance. For example, an-comms might fragment into two groups, one saying it’s ok to take anything that’s not in a house that’s been occupied in the last month, and another that sets the time limit to a week, for example. Of course, the minutia of the rules (sheds, cars, driveways, warehouses, fields, ect) would necessarily be enormously complicated, but lets leave it at that for now.

    If someone in the “week” group wanted to take a house that was unoccupied for 2 weeks, but which was previously being used by someone in the “month” group who took an extra long vacation, there would be an obvious dispute.

    I think the only way an an-comm society works is if they all agree to the over-arching rule that if both parties don’t agree that something may be taken, it may not be taken (note: anarchists of other shades would agree to this rule). If the more free-wheeling an-comms don’t like restrictive sets of taking rules, they can choose not to trade with them.

    This over-arching rule for an-comms could then mediate disputes between them and others. an-caps, for instance would simply say it’s never ever okay to just take something previously owned (except in edge cases such as the owner is dead/gone with no will and no relatives, or the owner can’t be identified), and that’s that. Both other an-caps and an-comms would have a valid complaint if he (the an-cap) took something of theirs, because by his own rules, he wasn’t allowed to.

    If they didn’t agree to that over-arching rule, then I don’t see any limit to the abuse that could happen. You could follow somebody around and take all his food and immediately eat it until he starve and simply say you think it’s okay to take anything, anytime, and that ham sandwich he just made is as much yours as his.

  8. By Anarcho-Mercantilist on 27 January 2009

    “But what happens when anarcho-communists who don’t believe in private property come around and start expropriating your means of production?”

    I criticize against the collectivistic anarchists an a similar fashion of yours. But let us assume, for sake of argument, that the anarcho-communists do not want to attack the anarcho-capitalist society.

    Kropotkin’s anarcho-communism differs from Bakunin’s anarcho-collectivism in some ways. The former advocates a more decentralized system, and the latter (similar to anarcho-syndicalism) advocates a global federation of labor syndicates. So I view anarcho-communism as the “lesser evil” of the two, since I imagine anarcho-collectivism as the more organized, centralized, and powerful one.

    Of these four societies, I think the anarcho-capitalist society will get wealthy very quickly, according to Austrian economic theory. Also, because the anarcho-communists want to eliminate money and use a barter system, this would give the anarcho-capitalist entrepreneurs the incentive to earn profits at the expense of the anarcho-communist society. Some anarcho-capitalist entrepreneurs will exploit the suboptimal pricing of bartered goods in the anarcho-communist society, and then perform arbitrage on these goods for profit. The mutualistic society will develop a suboptimal allocation of land-use and of some large capital infrastructures, but not as far as the other two.

    This will envy the anarcho-communists and the anarcho-collectivists, thus seeking them to start a civil war with the anarcho-capitalists, in attempt to initiate an anarcho-syndicalist privatization of the means of production in the anarcho-capitalist society. However, if the anarcho-capitalists succeed in defending itself in the long run, then the anarcho-capitalist society might possibly show its strength and outcompete the others.

    Strategically, however, I do not think allying with either of the anarcho-communists or the anarcho-collectivists will get as far as other, alternative methods. I consider “anarchism without adjectives” (as advocated by many, but not all, of the “left”-libertarians, including Charles Johnson, Roderick T. Long, Brad Spangler, Alex Strekal, David Zemens, Niccolo Adami, and Jeremy Weiland) as a loaded term and a violent movement. I cannot think of any reason to ally with the “anarcho”-communists and “anarcho”-collectivists, other than to form a larger army for a violent attempt to overthrow the currently existing state.

  9. By gilliganscorner on 27 January 2009

    Depends. Who implements the first central bank/fiat currency/fractional reserve banking system? ;)

  10. By marta pe on 31 January 2009

    there’s something i don’t like here. in this kind of discussions people usually think about all these groups as uniform masses. what if i’m born into an anarcho-communism society and i believe nobody has the right to take my possessions? do i have to leave? do i have the ethical obligation to let them have their way, because they are the majority in a given location? i don’t believe my neighbors, in whichever community i’m currently living, have the right to decide about such things as my property. if the only way is to escape such society, how exactly is this situation different from what i’m experiencing now?

    anyway, getting back to the questions,
    1. war, of course. anarcho-communist ideals are in part against ancap ideals, so if an ancap is born into the an-comm society, she calls for help (if she doesn’t want to move), and some, if not all, ancaps with the means to free her, will try to free her.
    2. ancaps, i think, as they’re least restricted in development. but on the other hand, they might have fewer children than other societies, on the whole, as the ethos of individual growth might change the traditional views of what constitutes achievement/success.
    but they can outsource children-bearing heh

  11. By Mike Gogulski on 31 January 2009

    @Marta: Unless I’ve missed something essential in my shallow survey of the thinking there, the more communistic/propertyless anarchisms still support the right to individual secession. With that in mind, the principal process by which one anarchism grows while another shrinks is through the individual choices of people living with one system or the other to defect and switch their allegiance — de-federating themselves from the collective, or whatever, and phoning up Bob’s Insurance & Protection Services Inc. to become a subscriber.

    Like Anarcho-Mercantilist, I envision the ancaps prevailing, since I believe such a society would enjoy economic advantages in comparison to the others, and would also attract defectors in that (I personally believe) large numbers who found themselves born to or otherwise living under regimes which provided less solid property protection would likely seek a different mode of living as well as the greater opportunity for relative wealth offered by the anarcho-capitalist framework.

    To question 1, war may be an eventuality. However, there should be strong incentives for people living under all systems to find dispute resolution vehicles short of war, as war is morally repugnant (to many, we hope), expensive in terms of human lives and economically inefficient — particularly where the conquering party cannot seize control of a (non-anarchist) resource extraction/taxation mechanism already existing in the conquered territory.

    If an an-comm society permits a member to secede and join the ancaps, bringing at least their personal property and residence with them, then it seems to me that the overarching legal philosophy best suited to resolving disputes among the ancaps and an-comms is in fact that advanced by anarcho-capitalist theorists. If we assume that each group handles disputes regarding non-property issues in its own way, in order for an overarching system to support the private sticky property of anarcho-capitalism and the collective property or propertylessness (confined to a territory defined by individual membership, treaty, etc.) of anarcho-communism, that overarching system must be the one which can allow for both.

  12. By marta pe on 31 January 2009

    Mike,
    i understand they wouldn’t allow individual ancaps to live among them and have property, they’d consider it OPPRESSION.
    but if i’m wrong, then no war initiated by ancaps would be necessary (ancap war understood as individual attacks on individual people, not society-wide bombings btw).
    only the desperate losers motivated by envy, like Anarcho-Mercantilist said, could attack the more productive ones, but they’d have worse technology, so they’d lose.

    “..collective property or propertylessness (confined to a territory defined by individual membership..” – now how is it different from property? territory on which you decide about things, because you’re a member? that’s what i don’t understand in communism.

  13. By Aaron Kinney on 3 February 2009

    This Noor person sounds like a STATIST! >:(

  14. By William on 9 February 2009

    Surprise answer: The ANARCHO-COMMUNISTS. (The individualist communists, not the gift econers or the collectivists; they’re three very distinct takes on property-less anarchism.)

    Why?

    Because of one of your preconditions; the perfectly flat distribution of resources.

    Property titles shine when efficiently allocating material resources. But they get in the way when the focus is efficiently developing projects. Ancaps focus on the state of things, whereas Ancoms focus on the intent of actors. Points versus vectors.

    Ancoms suffer tremendously from the lack of diffuse price signals regarding goods (at least, I’ve never heard them propose a more efficient system), but they make up by allowing multiple people to simultaneously and fluidly utilize the same resources as need be, negotiating directly with one another between their various desires by means of SOCIAL capital.

    tah-dah!

    Of course the Ancaps would never stand for this. They’d have marked out their own arcane borders and boundaries (buried in the bottom of a basement in a decrepit lavatory in a filing cabinate with a sign saying “beware of leopard”), something the ancoms would never have participated in, and so the ancap that built a machine to till an entire valley (or a fleet of machines over an entire subcontinent) would claim the entire thing and then he’d start making demands on the traveling ancoms passing through. And there’d be war. But the ancaps, having internal incentive to spread out and take as much territory as possible would prove poor at rallying a common defense. And the ancoms would divide and conquer them.

  15. By Justin Dixon on 14 May 2011

    What do you think of the idea of using a text based mmo as your simulator? You would be able to account for countries that are just after power as many people play mmo’s to take resources and become the most powerful, not necessarily the best traders, or civil servants.


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