Talk:Auberon Herbert

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BlackFlag, "However, Tucker was mistaken as Herbert always stressed that he was not an anarchist, maintaining his support for a democratic government to specify and defend Lockean property rights in land rather than the "occupancy and use" favoured by anarchists" Don't you understand how this is a POV statement and therefore shouldn't be in the article? I don't know if you're new to Wikipedia, but you can't say things like this. This is your POV. Tucker didn't consider himself mistaken. Obviously Tucker didn't think one has to have exactly the same position on land ownership as he does to be an anarchist. Tucker also vocally disagreed with Spooner over land but he never said he wasn't an anarchist. RJII 20:56, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

It is hardly a POV position to show that Herbert was in favour of government, a central agency which would determine what was and was not legal based on majority rule. That is hardly anarchism and Tucker was mistaken. Unless, of course, you think Herbert was mistaken about his own ideas? Which, apparently, is the case as you prefer Tucker's opinion over his! What next, will we exclude Kropotkin from anarchism because Tucker repeatedly denied he was an anarchist?BlackFlag 22:50, 28 March 2006 (UTC)i
It's your POV that Tucker was mistaken. Tucker obviously had a different definition of anarchism than you. If you can find a source that says Tucker's definition of anarchism was wrong, fine. But, what you're saying is blatant POV and has to be removed. RJII 00:45, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
It is hardly my POV when I've included a direct quote from Herbert maintaining that there would be a central body in his system! I would not have minded too much removing or rewriting the "mistaken" part, but to remove a quote by Herbert because it does not agree with *your* POV on what *he* thought is a joke.
I'm well aware that Herbert wanted private defense. Tucker does not oppose privatel defense. Tucker supports private defense --he advocates it. Tucker had no complaints about Herbert's proposed defense system. Obviously, if Tucker considers Herbert an anarchist, then what Herbert proposes is consistent with Tucker's definition of anarchism. RJII 08:16, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
And the point being? That government is now compatible with anarchism? Okay, feel free to support Tucker's quick review of Herbert's ideas over Herbert himself. I don't have a problem with that. Just allow others to provide Herbert quotes which show what he actually meant rather than what you think he meant. And does that mean that if Tucker does not consider Kropotkin an anarchist (and he did not), then he is not one? Why should Tucker's opinion of Herbert be considered valid while his opinion of Kropotkin is not?
Just because Tucker says Herbert is an anarchist, that doesn't make it so --of course. That's not what I'm trying say to here. What I'm saying is because YOU say Herbert is not an anarchist it doesn't make it so. Therefore, you have to be careful how you are wording things. You can't state that Herbert's philsoophy doesn't meet Tucker's definition of anarchism or that he's "mistaken," because obviously it does meet his definition or he wouldn't have called him an anarchist (especially with Tucker knowing that Herbert refused the term). RJII 08:25, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm actually saying that Herbert says he is not an anarchist and that there is sufficient evidence from his own writings to support him (assuming you do not remove it, of course). That Tucker considered him an anarchist is his own opinion and is in direct contradiction to Herbert's own statements and writings. I'm happy to believe Herbert on his own ideology, obviously you disagree. Given that Herbert clearly argued for a government based on the majority method, there are two possibilities. First, that Tucker thought that a central government was compatible with anarchism (unlikely). Second, that Tucker was mistaken (more likely, given Tucker's opinions on other anarchists). I've already removed "mistaken", reorganised the material into appropriate sections and differentiated between what he said and what others said. That should be sufficient, surely? Ironic, really, that there is more discussion on whether other people think he was an anarchist than what his own ideas were... BlackFlag 13:06 29, March 2006 (UTC)
There is no question that Herbert did want to be called an anarchist. And, there's no question that Tucker thought a "government" (as Herbert defines it) was compatible with anarchism, otherwise Tucker wouldn't have called him an anarchist knowing full well that Herbert didn't want to be called one. RJII 16:44, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
If Herbert wanted to be called an anarchist then he would have called himself one. As such, there is *no* question that Herbert did *not* want to be called an anarchist. Stop projecting. As for Tucker, I think there is a question on whether he thought "government" was compatible with anarchism or not. As for what Tucker thought Herbert wanted, again, stop projecting. BlackFlag 14:19 4, April 2006 (UTC)
Of course Tucker thought government was compatible with anarchism. This is just semantics. He may not have called it by the name "government" but he believed in law making and private defense of law and order. I don't see much significant difference between Herbert and Tucker on this. It just depends on whether you want to call it government or not. RJII 16:47, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
So let's get this right. First capitalism is compatible with anarchism, then police forces, monarchy, of course, fascism, racism, and now so is government. Which leaves anarchism a pretty amazingly useful term, doesn't it! Seems a little strange to me that you went from harping about the validity of dictionary definitions of anarchism calling it opposed to "all forms of government" to saying it doesn't necessarily oppose government at all. Sarge Baldy 00:06, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
It depends on how "government" is being defined. When most people think of government, they think of a tax-funded entity that initiates coercion. Herbert doesn't define it this way, which is why Tucker considered Herbert to be an anarchist. Which is why it's probably better to say anarchism is opposition to the "state." But, even that can be problematic because Benjamin Tucker said he supports competing "states." I think the only thing really essential about anarchism is opposition to the initiation of coercion. RJII 02:28, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
But Herbert said he supported government, and denounced anarchism for opposing it. And you're only using one sense of the word government, the rational-legal sense at the hands of a state. And that's not how Herbert defines it, nor how any practical dictionary defines it. For instance, Onelook shows us that no sources rely on your limited definition of the word government. Just to look at some, in the order they're listed:
  • Encarta's primary definition is "political authority: a group of people who have the power to make and enforce laws for a country or area"
  • Oxford lists "1) the governing body of a state 2) the system by which a state or community is governed 3) the action or manner of governing a state, organization, or people"
  • Merriam-Webster's primary definition is "the act or process of governing; specifically : authoritative direction or control"
  • Cambridge uses the definition "the system used for controlling a country, city, or group of people"
  • Wordsmyth lists "1) the direction and control exercised politically over people living in a community, state, or nation 2) the authorized body or organization that exercises this direction and control, or the individuals that comprise it 3) the specific system by which a community, state, or nation is governed"
  • Infoplease lists "the political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies, and states; direction of the affairs of a state, community, etc.; political administration"
  • To show the extent to which the word government can be used, even offers "7) Administration or management of an organization, business, or institution."
Since definitions of anarchism state that it opposes all rather than specific forms of government, it follows that your sense of the word "government", being far too specific for any reputable source, is not a very good one. If you trust dictionaries to define anarchism properly, you should hold the same standard for the word "government", rather than resorting to a supposed "common usage" definition which does not appear to be well-represented (or represented at all) in repuable sources. Sarge Baldy 03:15, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
In what way, relevant to the definition of anarchism, is Herbert's "government" different from Tucker's? Is Tucker not an anarchist either? (by the way, I wouldn't refer to Herbert's private defense as "government") RJII 03:24, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm not especially an expert on Tucker or Herbert, so I couldn't give a very informed answer. But I would say that someone explicity advocating government by normal definitions and disavowing anarchism cannot be appropriately called an anarchist, whereas there is clearly a case for someone who disavows government by another definition and embraces anarchism. Herbert may have been seen as an anarchist from Tucker's definitions, but applying those definitions to Herbert and calling him an anarchist is only as fair as hypothetically applying Herbert's definition of government to Tucker to claim he was not. Sarge Baldy 03:51, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
I'd just as much not make a big deal of it. Note that Tucker regarded Herbert as an anarchist and leave it at that. But, apparently BlackFlag wants to turn it into a big issue so I'm been trying to keep the original research and POV out of the article and provide some balance. But, certainly, Herbert doesn't use the terms "government" and "state" in an orthodox way and that should be made clear. A government/state that doesn't tax? And that doesn't aggress against anyone? Come on. RJII 03:56, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
I don't know how his definition is anything but "orthodox", considering the dictionary definitions above. Also, even a number of U.S. Libertarian politicians have argued for a "zero tax" policy (Harry Browne, for instance [1]) Do you want to call them anarchists too? Sarge Baldy 04:20, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
No, Libertarian people want zero income tax. They want to replace it with a sales tax. In that Harry Brown article: "5% sales tax OK, if income tax is eliminated." Libertarians (capital L) support taxation as a necessary evil to fund protection of individual liberty and property. Herbert wants no tax at all. It's an unnecessary evil, for him. RJII 04:26, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh, I guess it figures the assholes would support regressive taxation. Even when I was a libertarian capitalist (and before I was even an anarcho-capitalist) I believed in "voluntary taxation". But I wouldn't have called that anarcho-capitalist. I would have called it libertarianism. Renouncing forceable taxation isn't the same thing as renouncing the state. (And renouncing the state, of course, isn't the same thing as renouncing government.) Sarge Baldy 04:40, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
I think it's really odd to call an organization (a business) that people voluntarily pay in order to receive security services (such as a security guard to monitor their neighborhood for breakins) a state . How do you define a "state"? RJII 04:43, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Something along the lines of "a political body successfully claiming special rights, including jurisdiction over a specific area." I would consider security services a state unless they had no control or jurisdiction over anyone who did not specifically request their services. Preventing an individual who has not subscribed to an organization from commiting a "crime" is forceable control over someone who has not accepted (and may not be aware of) the "laws" of that organization. As an example, an Islamic PDA might decide that women freely showing their faces in public is an offense, and it is their duty to their contractees to protect them from such a horrendous sight. Thus they might decide to place bags on women's heads, force them from the street, etc. in much the same way as a capitalist PDA might use force to try and prevent a contractee from being mugged. Sarge Baldy 04:59, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Then the Islamic "PDA" would be indeed be like a state, sure, becuase it would be initiating coercion against a peaceful person. But, that's not the kind of PDA's individualists support. They only support PDA's that do not initiate physical force against anyone --they only use force in response to initiated force. Also, people who support PDA's do not think they should have exclusive "jurisdiction over a certain area" but that PDA's should be allowed to compete. So, it turns out you're defining "state" as Murray Rothbard defines it. RJII 05:05, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
So does that mean no restrictions could be placed on people whose actions AREN'T a form of physical force? Swiping things from a store isn't physical force, and if anyone tried to stop them they would be initiating physical force, and thus could be apprehended by a PDA. Sounds like a swell model. Sarge Baldy 05:12, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Theft is physical force, because you're forcefully taking someone's property. What makes it "forcefully" is that the person is not voluntarily giving you his property. What makes it forcefully is that you're taking something that belongs to someone else against that person's will. Just as a person's body is his property, so is the product of his labor (according to liberalism). So whether you're hacking off someone's harm and taking it or stealing his car, you're initiating physical force against that which belongs to him. What is it, you don't think a person should have a right to the product of his labor? RJII 05:18, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
You actually think wealth has anything to do with labor? Sarge Baldy 05:32, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
It has everything to do with labor. You create wealth by applying labor to a natural resource (or anything else) and turning it into something more valuable. By applying your labor to an unowned natural resource, that object becomes your property (according to liberalism). If you cut down an tree in the unowned forest and fashion a table and chairs out of it, you've transformed, through your labor, that wood into a form that is more valuable. You've created wealth through the application of labor (including intellectual labor). RJII 05:42, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh, so that's how most people make their wealth. Chopping down trees in the forest. Not by simple inheritance and the basic economic principle of wealth generating more wealth. But by turning forests into dining room furniture. I'll have to remember that. Sarge Baldy 06:17, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
You're confusing transfer of wealth with creation of wealth. First it has to be created, through labor. How it's transferred is another matter. Individualists think it's only properly transferred through trade or gift. Taking it without consent of the owner is theft. PDA's should protect this property from thieves (which may include protection from states). And, yes you can use the wealth you created to create more wealth. For example, if you exert your labor to fashion a machine out of materials from nature, that machine becomes your means of production. You can use that machine to facilitate producing several table sets, which you can then trade with others for the wealth that they produced that you need. (Of course it's more efficient with a medium of exchange -money. One person may not have the product you need so you trade it for money which you can use later to purchase exactly what you're looking for). And, you've saved others the labor of having to make their own table and chairs, which they willingly pay you for. If you keep the customers happy, you can get rich. RJII 06:24, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

blackflag and citation fraud?[edit]

I don't have any non-cirmcumstantial evidence for this, but it seems very clear that when user:BlackFlag wants to say something in the article that he doesn't have a source for, he goes and writes something and creates new sections for a FAQ then comes back and cites them. Look at the new sections tailored explicitly for the arguments I've been having with him that didn't exist a few days ago. There is a whole new section called "F.7 How does the history of "anarcho"-capitalism show that it is not anarchist?" [2] that is not on the FAQ on the Infoshop copy. [3] Is this how the FAQ works? Anyone can make things and sections up and anyone can come back here and cite them? What kind of crap is this? Here is another article that came about shortly after arguing with him about Herbert: [4]. It looks like BlackFlag is this "Anarcho" character. This is not the way Wikipedia research and citing should be conducted. If what it appears to be true, is true (it appears to be too much of a coincidence to not be), then this is fraudulent. RJII 19:57, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Here is a response I received from an administrator on the matter: "They don't look like credible sources to me. The first one (the geocities site) definitely isn't. The anarcho directory in looks like a personal directory. Anything that looks like a personal website is disallowed, in part for the very reason you've given above, viz. that anyone could add whatever they want to a personal website then use it as a source for Wikipedia. SlimVirgin (talk)" RJII 03:27, 25 April 2006 (UTC)


I know nothing about the issues on this page, but there was a query elsewhere about sourcing. No personal websites are allowed to be used as sources (unless the article is actually about that website). All sources must be reputable third-party sources e.g. books and newspaper articles. If you use websites, they should be run by a recognized, established organization. No self-published material is allowed, because we have no way of judging the quality of self-published books and websites. I hope this helps. SlimVirgin (talk) 06:47, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. I hope this helps too. A problem is if he actually is a part of the clique that writes the FAQ. In that case then whenever he doesn't have a source for anything he can just put his original research into that An Anarchist FAQ. That FAQ should never be cited on Wikipedia. RJII 14:51, 25 April 2006 (UTC)


I just read in "Anarchist FAQ" a protracted rant against Rothbard for believing that Auberon Herbert was an anarchist. That's a straw man if I ever saw one. I just did some research and Rothbard doesn't call Herbert an anarchist but a "near anarchist." So I thought I'd drop in to note that. Whoever writes that FAQ needs to get their facts straight. They pile one error on top of another and go on anti-anarcho-capitalist rants. That thing is a rag. TelegramSam 05:53, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Anarchy Means:[edit] (talk) 04:47, 7 March 2008 (UTC) Hi: I cut this line: Few anarchists would agree with such a position, noting that (at the minimum) anarchy means "no government." because: A) anarchy means "no ruler" and not "no government", a distinction which the preceding line had just made d B) "Few anarchists" is just a weasel term and personal opinion. Actually this line being in the article just made no sense at all.

Is the GK Chesterton quote really "criticism"?[edit]

Seems mostly descriptive, not critical. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:47, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

The Kropotkin quote seems to be about Herbert Spencer, not Aubern Herbert[edit]

"modern Individualism initiated by Herbert Spencer is..." Is he refering to Auberon Herbert as an example of something "initiated by" Herbert Spencer? Otherwise, it seems like this is a quote that belongs in another article.

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