Walter Block on… basic human decency.

And why the “anarcho”-capitalists don’t have any… (human decency, that is)

Consider the sexual harassment which continually occurs between a secretary and a boss . . . while objectionable to many women, [it] is not a coercive action. It is rather part of a package deal in which the secretary agrees to all aspects of the job when she agrees to accept the job, and especially when she agrees to keep the job. The office is, after all, private property. The secretary does not have to remain if the ‘coercion’ is objectionable.

That’s it, isn’t it? It’s the voluntaryist fallacy. That’s what turns these reasonable people into monsters. Whatever is not “coercive” according to property theory is therefore just fine, and you can love it or leave it. That’s exactly the same reasoning that statists use to defend the nation-state.

Voluntaryism and “anarcho”-capitalism have to be exposed and demolished as the evil ideologies that they really are.

Thanks to division by zero.

15 thoughts on “Walter Block on… basic human decency.

  1. Sean September 26, 2009 at 23:23

    Yeah, it’s too bad though that Db0 is no better, as witness his comments here:

    http://www.skepticaleye.com/2008/04/income-tax-is-theft.html

    As for “love it or leave it” Db0 said this to me about my objection to the income tax: “Of course, you are always free to move to private location with your family, outside of any other contact with your current society.”

    Hypocrite!

  2. Noor September 26, 2009 at 23:36

    Most ancaps will disagree with that reasoning, but that seems to be a logical conclusion of Austrian propertarianism.

    Besides, according to their premises, whatever happened to “self-ownership”? Do you just lose ownership of your body by walking on someone else’s land? If so it should be fine for me to murder you as long as you’re on my property.

    And no, these are not “nightmare scenarios.” It’s not that the theory delves to a nightmare world, it’s about whether the theory _justifies_ the “nightmarish” situation or action.

  3. db0 September 27, 2009 at 06:58

    Hypocrite!

    Does not follow.

  4. Hellbound Alleee September 27, 2009 at 10:19

    I can’t help saying that the scenario sounds a bit like someone has been watching too much “Mad Men.”

    How many “secretaries” does anyone know who sign on to an older-than-40-years cliche in today’s workforce?

    But, yes, I get the point that we’re supposed to be agreeing to a power dynamic that automatically includes weakness of “position in the company.”

    I’m now thinking about that secretary–I think she works for Congress.

  5. David Z September 27, 2009 at 11:46

    Block is (as you’re well aware) an ass. This is a strawman argument

  6. Francois Tremblay September 27, 2009 at 18:02

    “Block is (as you’re well aware) an ass. This is a strawman argument”

    How is it a strawman argument?

  7. Anon73 September 27, 2009 at 23:11

    I think the correct market anarchist response is to acknowledge that, yes, this kind of behavior is reprehensible but would not happen in a free market. The problem of secretaries being harassed is just a symptom of the real problem, which is huge monopolistic corporations that have no incentive or obligation to give respectable working conditions. Break the state support of private companies and the cartelizing laws and this kind of bizarre insanity will be competed away in a real free market.

  8. Francois Tremblay September 27, 2009 at 23:22

    “I think the correct market anarchist response is to acknowledge that, yes, this kind of behavior is reprehensible but would not happen in a free market.”

    Actually, Block’s entire point IS that sexual molestation would happen in a free market, and that the way to deal with it is to pay secretaries who don’t want to be molested more money until they accept. My next entry will give everyone the full context: I am going to publish the whole thing. The truth is going to scandalize people, I think.

    “The problem of secretaries being harassed is just a symptom of the real problem, which is huge monopolistic corporations that have no incentive or obligation to give respectable working conditions. Break the state support of private companies and the cartelizing laws and this kind of bizarre insanity will be competed away in a real free market.”

    I agree. The bizarre insanity of ancapism and property may very well be competed away. But why let it exist in the first place?

  9. Sean September 28, 2009 at 04:03

    When did Block write this?

    Looking forward to your publishing of the “whole thing”.

    db0: nothing follows in your world. But, if it’s Block’s view that the secretary can just leave if she doesn’t like sexual harassment, and it’s your view that I can just leave society if I don’t like the income tax…

  10. Francois Tremblay September 28, 2009 at 04:12

    I’m hoping that this is gonna blow the lid wide open.

  11. Db0 September 28, 2009 at 05:22

    Here you go

    and it’s your view that I can just leave society if I don’t like the income tax…

    Actually it isn’t, or at least not anymore. However if your view is one of voluntarism, then you must both accept Block’s view of this and also the argument that if you don’t like the society your only option is to “opt-out”. This is not according to my worldview mind-you, but according to the “Anarcho”-Capitalist one which says that if one accepts a situation “voluntarily” it must be because they want to. Therefore since you “volunteer” to live in this society…

  12. Sean September 29, 2009 at 04:01

    Hi Db0.

    Well, I’m happy to hear that is not your view.

    As for myself, I really have moved away from a pure anarcho-capitalist view. Perhaps my experience as a wage slave has partly led to this. Posts at my blog may not always seem to reflect this, but I’m still in transition and want to be inclusive of many libertarian viewpoints. I certainly started out as an anarcho-capitalist when the blog began.

    As I said in a previous comment here on Franc’s blog, I’ve warmed up to his point of view. Maybe I’m even farther along now.

    I now call myself a libertarian and an anarchist, but no longer a voluntaryist, and, maybe soon, not any kind of “capitalist” either.

  13. Db0 September 29, 2009 at 04:56

    I think when we clashed we were much more at our respective polar ends as I was myself a Libertarian Socialist who still considered the state as necessary to provide public functions. I’ve since moved away from that position towards the more accurate LibSoc position that the state is absolutely unnecessary.

    I’m glad to see you’ve followed a similar left-ish path (albeit starting from the opposite diretion).

  14. Francois Tremblay September 29, 2009 at 04:58

    Add me as another person who supports both of you, db0 and Sean!

    Also, if you guys could check my latest Block Corollary entry and post about it on your blogs, that’d be great.

  15. […] because we had quite clash a while back when both of us were more in our respective polar ends so when he explained that he’s almost abandoned his pro-capitalist ideas, it was just a very powerful real-world […]

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