Recently, Brad Spangler has taken his turn at bat to try to disprove the Block Corollary. For those of you who don’t know him, Brad Spangler is one of the most prominent agorists today. An agorist is a capitalist who claims to believe in something called the “counter-economy,” which is basically the theory that if we do enough trading outside of the State’s grasp, the State will eventually dissolve and we will all live in a wonderful capitalist utopia (see for instance the insipid novel Alongside Night).
Now, here’s the interesting thing about his reply. On the main point, that property theory implies permissiveness towards aggression as long as it’s done on one’s property, he says absolutely nothing. Not one word! Instead, we get a fistful of red herrings. Here are Spangler’s points, in the order of their paragraphs:
1. “Anarcho”-capitalism is anti-capitalist. (!)
On this nonsense, please see Db0’s response Socialism is not merely Anti-Capitalism.
2. I am conflating allowing something with not using force to stop it, therefore I am stuck in the mindset that being against something means using force against it (never mind that I’ve been strenuously arguing against this very mindset, including on this blog). Instead, I should talk about “the holistic integrity of a stateless society arising from non-violent mechanisms of social normatization that cross the arbitrary topical boundaries one imposes on one’s self” (what?).
I’m not sure why this was even brought up, as I did not say a single thing about the use of force in my entry. This is a pure projection, since it is the capitalists who see opposition as being necessarily based on force (to wit, jumping to the conclusion that we want to use force against people who are trading with each other without following, say, basic logic, or LTV, or whatever other principle I happen to believe in). Spangler then follows this up with a nice bit of rhetoric about social normatization, which is a fine thing for a capitalist to talk about, since every successful attempt at social normatization has been done “over their dead body.”
3. A hiring manager is not a business owner.
I don’t know why this was brought up. I never said anything about hiring managers.
4. If the business does not have a sexual harassment policy, they will get “reputational damage.” Also, I am apparently scared of the word “competition.”
This paragraph is actually a big mess, where Spangler flies off into his imaginary “hyper-competitive” agorist utopia and imagines that, in this utopia, the loss of reputation would straighten things out real fast. Spangler is free to imagine any kind of utopia he likes, but it’s not clear at all that any “hyper-competitive” system would tend towards any sort of egalitarian respect, rather the opposite, as increase in competition generally entails worker insecurity, lower wages, deteriorating working conditions, and a strengthening of hierarchies in general.
The word “competition” does not scare me, it simply vexes me, as I see less and less rhyme or reason to it.
5. Social change is an ongoing process which can continue indefinitely and take a multiplicity of forms (thank you, Prof. Spangler).
6. If the boss is sole proprietor, then he will be impacted personally by everything done against his business.
I haven’t said anything about that either, so I don’t know what this is supposed to answer. The point is not whether the boss would be punished for the acts of sexual harassment, the point is that there’s no reason why someone who believes in property theory should denounce them in the first place.
The agorist Brad Spangler seems to fancy himself a magician these days. First he tries to make “anarcho”-capitalism disappear into socialism, and now he tries to make Block’s Corollary disappear into the statist mindset. His tricks are not very good, and he needs to get new ones.