Talk:Gustave de Molinari

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The picture is not from Molinari, is from Thornstein Veblen. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Joroba2k (talkcontribs) 16:42, 15 May 2009 (UTC)


What's a good word to replace "continuator"? Do we need all these links? -- Zoe

To Nat[edit]

Okies Nat, I changed this: "In 1849, Molinari published several essays describing how a free market in justice and protection could advantageously replace the State. Many feel this work makes him effectively the first theorist of anarcho-capitalism."

to this: "Though much of his work predated the origin of anarcho-capitalism by a hundred years, many feel it is similar enough to effectively make him the first theorist of anarcho-capitalism."

Why? Because you and I both know that Molinari never called himself an anarcho-capitalist, because at that time the word did not exist. That means that, no matter how much we might believe that Molinari's views are similar (or disimilar) to what later became known as anarcho-capitalism, it is not proper to call him the first anarcho-capitalist. What you are doing is putting an interpretation of the facts (one that literally could not have existed in Molinari's time) into wikipedia and allowing it to take precedent over the facts themselves. I don't think there is necessarily anything wrong with this when there are no objections, but there are objections, and that means the fact (that many consider Molinari the first theorist of anarcho-capitalism, and that anarcho-capitalism by that name came into being 100 years after his major works) should take precedent over the interpretation (that the philosophy which later became known as anarcho-capitalism is identical to or so similar to what Molinari espoused (i.e. anti-state liberalism) that he ought to be considered the first anarcho-capitalist theorist). The reasons for this are clear, they are the same reasons that it would be objectionable to claim that anarchism is 2500 years old and originated from Lao Tzu, despite the fact that many believe this interpretation to be valid. Please let me know what you think so we can work this out, perhaps you can come up with a wording you like better. Kev 09:45, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Well, I don't agree. Normally, when we use a word, we are referring to the underlying concept rather than the word itself. I could say that Confucius was a philosopher, and I would be right, even though Confucius would never have called himself a philosopher any more than he would have called himself Confucius. So, the fact that Molinari didn't call himself an anarcho-capitalist is irrelevant if his ideas were anarcho-capitalistic. It seems to me that the purpose of "effectively" in this sentence is to indicate that we mean in pracice rather than by name. As I said in my edit summary, if Molinari is effectively the first anarcho-capitalist thinker, then he can't predate it by 100 years. - Nat Krause 16:44, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I find your analogy very lacking, while you seemed to skip over the one that I used and seems to be obviously more relevant. "Philosopher" is a vague term generally used as a descriptive. If it entailed a particular tradition (like say Western rhetorical art) than many people probably would object to refering to Confucius as a philosopher. Anarcho-capitalism does suggest a tradition, indeed it refers to a relatively narrow political spectrum. This makes it rather different than "philosophy" which arguably could be used to describe any instance of 2nd order thought. I would think this difference would be clear to you given that you have yourself claimed a tradition of anarcho-capitalism extending back as far as Molinari's time. Again, your claim, or the claim of anyone else, that Molinari was an anarcho-capitalist is an interpretation rather than a fact. Its a pretty good interpretation, he was very close to anarcho-capitalism in a number of ways (though not all), but that doesn't change history. Anyway, I understand your desire to represent those who believe that Molinari demonstrates a coherent ac tradition before the 1950s, so I will try an edit that merely balances this claim rather than demonstrating it to be false. Kev 07:14, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I skipped over your analogy, because you and I use different definitions of the word "anarchist", so I thought the example would be less edifying. But, yes, I think that one could certainly argue that Laozi was an anarchist, and this would not be wrong on the face of it, although, as far as I know, it is incorrect. You're right that "anarcho-capitalist" and "philosopher" are different sorts of concepts, but my point was simply that one need not call onself something in order to be be that thing. Anarcho-capitalism is indeed a tradition, but it is a tradition that has always had Molinari as one of its central figures. Now, this doesn't prove that Molinari actually was one, but it leaves open the possibility that he might have been. The rest is, as you say, a matter of judgment. I think that my wording: "Many feel this work makes him effectively the first theorist of anarcho-capitalism" was sufficiently tentative. Your changes are pretty fair, too, so I don't think I will make any substantial changes, although I might edit the phrasing. - Nat Krause 13:53, 3 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Sex offender?[edit]

Someone had included the following: Molinari was also a convicted sex offendor. He claimed to "chase away evil sprits" using his "nudity". Molinari was forever naked.

I searched and could not find any support for this. It sounds like a smear to me. Nevertheless I preserve it here on the Talk page in case anyone can back it up. Because it is so inflammatory I think it is fair to require that someone provide a source for the allegation before including it in the article. ~ Matt Apple, 3/8/05

land ownership[edit]

I'm trying to figure out what Molinari's position is on land ownership. Does he support ownership of untransformed land, as the anarcho-capitalists do? RJII 04:55, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

This suggestes that he does - see GM-FNP.4 . I think that rules out any justification for the belief that de Molinari advocated something different from current anarcho-capitalists. Of course, we're all supposed to refrain from hinting at this, all while the "anarcha-feminists" can be anachronistically named! 05:39, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
No one has suggested that Molinari be excluded from the anarcho-capitalism article, and in fact he is even introduced in most versions of the anarcho-capitalism section in the anarchism article. However, I see nothing wrong with the suggestion that we prefer facts over interpretation. Molinari never called himself an anarcho-capitalist, and predated the existence of any movement by that name by almost a hundred years. That is a fact. Molinari's views are fundamental to anarcho-capitalism and he is closely associated with anarcho-capitalism. Those are facts. Molinari is an anarcho-capitalist, that is interpretation.
To my knowledge anarcha-feminism is handled in much the same way, with individuals like Goldman and Voltairine being associated with anarcha-feminism, for the most part. However, there is a relevant distinction here. Molinari never considered himself an anarchist (and indeed would have rejected the title), whereas both Goldman and Voltairine believed themselves to be both feminists and anarchists. Kev 05:54, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
No one has suggested that Goldman be excluded from the anarcha-feminism article, and in fact she is even introduced in most versions of the anarcha-feminism section in the anarchism article. However, I see nothing wrong with the suggestion that we prefer facts over interpretation. Goldman never called herself an anarcha-feminist, and predated the existence of any movement by that name by almost fifty years. That is a fact. Goldman's views are fundamental to anarcha-feminism and she is closely associated with anarcha-feminism. Those are facts. Goldman is an anarcha-feminist, that is interpretation.
It's extremely misleading to have Goldman's picture. Further, it needs to clearly state that she was an influence, not "associated" (which is ambiguous) with anarcha-feminism.
By the way, can you name one issue on which Molinari's beliefs, circa 1850, diverged from modern anarcho-capitalists? 06:06, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
Hi Hogeye. I'm sorry, but you are not supposed to be posting here, as you are a banned user who continues to change his IP in order to violate the conditions of your ban. Once your ban expires, assuming you are not permanently banned for your continuous intentional violation of wiki policy, I will continue this conversation with you. Kev 06:38, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
I'm not Hogeye. If that's the best you can come up with, I'll be editing the article and reporting you for vandalism if you revert it. I'm sorry you decided to pass up the chance to defend your position. 18:27, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
Hogeye is the only person I know of who is both immature enough to reply to a post by simply repeating back what someone else has said, and dense enough to miss the fact that the reverse position does not hold due to relevant differences. Yep, you are Hogeye. And you can report me for whatever you want, you are a banned vandal and your credibility is zip. Kev 22:30, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
First, if Hogeye is banned, and you think I'm Hogeye, violating a ban, you have grounds to ask the head honchos at Wikipedia to trace my IP. Until you do that, lay off the accusations. Second, many people repeat an argument back to its proponent; it's an effective, concise method of showing the flaws in a point. Third, the reverse position does hold. Goldman never did called herself an anarcha-feminist, and she did predate the existence of any movement by that name by almost fifty years (by the counting scheme you used that put Molinari 100 rather than 50 years before the use of the term "anarcho-capitalist"). Goldman's views are fundamental to anarcha-feminism and she is closely associated with anarcha-feminism. It further is a creative interpretation to call Goldman something she did not call herself. If, on the other hand, you want to compare the *content* of an ideology with the *content* of the views promoted by certain people, hey, I'm all for that. By that standard, Goldman is an anarcha-feminist, and, of course, de Molinari is an anarcho-capitalist. Unless of course you want to quit dodging my challenge and state precisely where de Molinari's views diverged from modern anarcho-capitalists. I'm still waiting. 00:09, 7 August 2005 (UTC)
Stating that she is associated with anarcha-feminism is entirely NPOV, as it does not imply that she was an anarcha-feminist. The article, further, at no point says that she is an anarcha-feminist, so your point doesn't hold. Finally, she considered herself both a feminist and an anarchist, and there is nothing described in anarcha-feminism that does not apply to the combination of those two terms. This is relevantly different from Molinari, who never called himself an anarchist and most likely would have insisted he was not one. As I've already said on the anarchism talk page, your analogy would hold if you were trying to call Molinari an anti-state liberal. He never called himself that, but he did call himself a liberal and he did indicate that he was anti-state, and there is nothing in the term anti-state liberal that is not described in the combination of the two terms. And given that Hogeye continues to use anon IP routing services, and hopes from one ISP to the next, tracing his IP is not sufficient evidence. However, similarity of edits goes a long way, especially similarity of edits to an anonymous user who just recently showed up but still appears to be quite knowledgable about how wikipedia works, and immediately jumped into the anarchism revert war with particular arguments and reverts similar to those of Hogeye. So hey, if you wanna report me you go right ahead. Kev 10:58, 7 August 2005 (UTC)
Your version of the article leads people to believe Goldman (btw, it's polite to use someone's name first before going to pronouns) was an anarcha-feminist; don't pretend it doesn't.
"My" version? It is the version I support, sure, but I didn't write it. Nor do I think it leads anyone to believe anything that it doesn't say, and it doesn't say that Goldman was an anarcha-feminist. If it does, feel free to change it.
It has her friggin picture there.
And for very good reason, anarcha-feminism is founded in large part from the feminist and anarchist writings of Goldman.
Anyone who reads that section is going to think she was one. By your own standards, it needs to make it clear she wasn't.
It does, because it never states that she was. The reason I'm against saying it explicitly is because she was in fact an anarchist and a feminist and there is nothing in anarcha-feminism that is not described in the combination of feminism and anarchism, something I've now told you three times.
When you start talking about the content of anarcha-feminism being simply a direct addition of anarchism and feminism, you're wrong (most feminists are not anarchists and in fact demand lots of government intervention) but let's set that aside for now.
You clearly are not reading what I am writing. I didn't write that anarcha-feminism is identical to feminism, or that it is identical to anarchist feminism. What I said is that there is nothing in the COMBINATION of those two philosophies that anarcha-feminism doesn't describe. In other words, if someone is a feminist, and they are an anarchist, then there is no reason to think they are not an anarcha-feminist, because anarcha-feminism claims to be nothing other than anarchism and feminism.
Once you endorse comparing the content of the beliefs of anarcha-feminism to what someone believed, you're endorsing my standard. If de Molinari were told that "anarchism" means "opposition to all government", he certainly would call himself an anarchist.
Doubtful, as I believe he supported private governing agencies. But if you were to say "anarchism means the absence of the state", then I'm sure he would agree he was an anarchist. The problem is that the latter claim is a violation of wiki NPOV, since it is contested that anarchism means nothing more than absence of the state. Kev 21:06, 7 August 2005 (UTC)
There is currently a debate on wikipedia about whether or not anarchism means only "opposi That "anarchist" might not have been used in the broader sense back then (I think it was though) is irrelevant.
I'm afraid it is extremely relevant to anyone trying to maintain NPOV. Of course, that might be exactly why you think it is irrelevant.
Also, he favored private property as advocated by ancaps. Since anarcho-capitalism is merely the addition of anti-statism (damn those dictionaries!) and private property, he was undoubtedly an anarcho-capitalist.
Well if you are willing to write in the anarcho-capitalism article that they are not anarchists, since they only believe in the absence of the state rather than in the absence of all forms of government, then I'm willing to have Molinari included as an anarcho-capitalist. Of course, that would have to be in the anarcho-capitalist article, since you would have just defined anarcho-capitalism right out of the anarchism article. Kev 21:06, 7 August 2005 (UTC)
All I ask is that we balance this out by making clear, by your own standards, Goldman was not an anarcha-feminist. You refuse even this simple compromise. (Btw, I'm still waiting to hear where de Molinari diverged from modern ancaps...) 16:56, 7 August 2005 (UTC)
There already is balance. Goldman is not refered to as an anarcha-feminist, and if she is then she should not be. Molinari is not refered to as an anarcho-capitalist, nor should he be. That is the same standard applied to both cases. Kev 21:06, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

Can you maybe clean up that indentation mess a bit? Well, there might not be a need. Since you now seem to be okay with the anarcha-feminist section making clear Goldman was not one, you are now being consistent, so I'm happy. Just one more thing though: when I said de Molinari was against government, yes, I was talking about the state. If you want to adhere to your usual hobby of switching definitions midstream to make others look stupid, then sure, de Molinari favored certain kinds of government, and so do most traditional anarchists. 21:24, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

My "usual" hobby? Gee, I thought we just met each other, you being a new user and all. Could you possibly be more blatant that you are a sock puppet? My position on Goldman hasn't changed, you simply saw a problem were none existed. As for the definition of anarchists being against all forms of government, I'll happily apply that to any and all anarchist traditions and rule any out that do not merit inclusion, because that happens to be the actual definition of the word, in fact it is the one anarcho-capitalists push most often. Kev 09:16, 8 August 2005 (UTC)
I say your "usual" hobby because this isn't the first place or time I've encountered you. That would be December 2002 on the Flag forums. (And of course, I've been following the discussion pages of Talk:Anarchism for a while.) I don't think you and I will have a problem on Goldman unless you continue to re-insert weasel words. And if you do, there won't yet be a reason to involve the head honchos. If you insist on weaselishly saying that Goldman is "associated" with anarcha-feminism, I will make sure that de Molinari is described as "associated with" anarcho-capitalism (which he is) and leave it vague on whether he was one or not - exactly as Goldman is handled. 23:38, 8 August 2005 (UTC)
Oh, and could you please clean up the indentation mess? 23:39, 8 August 2005 (UTC)
Oops, almost forgot: if you want to use the definition of "opposing all government" without taking "government" to mean "State", that would mean eliminating almost all types of anarchism discussed. Just something to think about. 23:41, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Regional monopolies?[edit]

The article claims: "In his 1899 book, The Society of the Future, he moderated his position on defense slightly, calling for private regional monopolies rather than competing defense agencies." I don't believe it. Can someone find a citation from "The Society of Tomorrow" to back this up? Hogeye 01:47, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

citations referring to Molinari as anarchist or anarcho-capitalist[edit]

  • For the record.. ""And as happened on several occasions in the history of nineteenth century liberalism, extreme anti-statism and faith in the cooperative free market were pushed into a form of liberal anarchism along the lines developed later by Gustave de Molinari, Thomas Hodgskin and Herbert Spencer." ([from The Radical Liberalism of Charles Comte and Charles Dunoyer by David Hart) Hart is a professor of history at University of Adelaide, South Australia in 1986. He earned an M.A. in history from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Cambridge. RJII 02:23, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
  • "Workers are propertyless and forced to wage labor because they cannot finance their self-employment: the state monopoly over money is the problem. Let the people issue their own private, fiduciary moneys and the choice between working for an employer or for oneself will become entirely voluntary. This is the individual anarchism (or anarco-capitalism) championed by Lysander Spooner and Benjamin Tucker in America and Gustave de Molinari in France." A RATIONAL THEORY OF SOCIALIST PUBLIC OWNERSHIP by Mario Ferrero RJII 19:04, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

David Hart is hardly a reputable, neutral, or third-party source. One of his works on Molinari credits help from Rothbard and was published in the Journal of Libertarian Studies, a part of the politically-motivated Ludwig von Mises Institute, founded by Rothbard [1]. The article in question was never even published [2], and credentials go out the window without any sort of peer review process. The Mario Ferrero source seems a bit more reputable, but he doesn't seem an authority on Molinari, rather just mentioning him in passing. His claims that Benjaming Tucker and Lysander Spooner were capitalists also undermines his credibility. Sarge Baldy 22:37, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

One doesn't have to be a "neutral" source (whatever that is) to be a credible source. The guy is a respected scholar. He's a credible source. It's only natural that the historians who LIKE liberalism are the ones that are going to be researching it. You're not going to find communists researching Molinari, because they don't care about him. As far as Ferrero, I've found that the Italians often refer to anarcho-capitalism simply as individualist anarchism (and there is a suprisingly large number of anarcho-capitalist theorists in Italy). I don't think he's saying there that Tucker and Spooner were anarcho-capitalists, but just noting that anarcho-capitalism is a form of individualist anarchism. RJII 03:39, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
  • "The first explicit defender of Market Anarchism was the 19th-century economist and social theorist Gustave de Molinari." -The Molinari Institute website (they should know) RJII 03:53, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
  • "Bastiat is largely known as a brilliant economic journalist and tireless exposer of statist and protectionist fallacies, and de Molinari as a relentless advocate of the logic of laissez-faire towards a version of free market (and lawful) anarchy." -Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio. 20 Vols. [3] RJII 05:29, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
Why would the Molinari Institute "know" anything? Calling him an anarchist can never be anything more than an opinion, and one that's obviously more popular among libertarians and anarcho-capitalists who define anarchism as purely anti-statism and want to establish historical claims to anarchism. Libertarian thinktanks are pretty clearly a biased source. And credentials are pretty pointless unless someone else has actually read over what you had to say and made some attempt to verify it. In Hart's case, he never even had his essay published. I would have thought you held higher standards for sources than that. Sarge Baldy 05:43, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
Well, the Molinari Institute is run by someone with academic credentials: [4] David Hart's GUSTAVE DE MOLINARI AND THE ANTI-STATIST LIBERAL TRADITION is published in the Journal of Libertarian Studies. He calls Molinari an anarchist in that. And, of course they define anarchism as pure anti-statism. That's the definition of anarchism. Anarchism is any doctrine that opposes coercion, in favor of voluntary relations, which necessarily entails opposition to a State. RJII 05:58, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
Right. Now you just need to go and convince the 98% of anarchists who disagree. And again, the Insitute of Libertarian Studies was edited by Murray Rothbard, and part of the Ludwig von Mises Institute thinktank. I'm finding your criticism of Infoshop as partisan pretty hypocritical considering your welcome attitude towards an organization explicitly designed to promote libertarian capitalist politics. Sarge Baldy 06:04, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
Encyclopedia after encyclopedia, dictionary after dictionary, defines anarchism as I've stated it. Infoshop? So that's where you're getting your definition of anarchism --"hieararchy" and all that nonsense? The Anarchist FAQ there was written by communists who are trying to redefine anarchism. No credible reference sources are falling for it. I would respect the opinions of people from the FAQ that's at Infoshop if they had academic qualifications, but as far as I can tell it's just a bunch of internet-anarchists with no academic qualifications to comment. It's the worthless propaganda written by self-described "social anarchists." Whatever. The rest of the world knows what anarchism means. See any widely acknowledged published reference source. RJII 06:08, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
No. As I already stated on the anarchism talk page, I think Infoshop is a load of bunk. And you're certainly jumping the gun if you think "government" means the same thing as "state". It doesn't. If I gave one shit about dictionaries, I might note that the definition notes anarchism opposes "all forms of government" means that all definitions of government need also be included, and "Administration or management of an organization, business, or institution" is one definition of government, thereby proving anarcho-capitalism isn't anarchism. But I haven't bothered with that claim, because dictionaries are a worthless source. And maybe if you and Hogeye didn't keep assuming everyone who disagrees with you is a braindead retard who gets all their ideas about anarchism from Infoshop, conversation might actually take place on some relatable, human level. Sarge Baldy 06:15, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
I don't think you're braindead at all. I've always considered you one of the more reasonable and open-minded people that works on the anarchism article. Anarchism, at its root, is opposition to being coerced. Anarchists want people to interact on a voluntary basis. That's how individualists approach anarchism. Opposition to the State comes as a result of opposing coercion --the result of being an anarchist. It's not opposition to the State just for the sake of getting rid of the State. RJII 06:22, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
Right. I think all anarchists would agree. But many also believe that anarcho-capitalism is a progression of minarchism, aimed more at removing barriers from capitalism than at removing exploitation. I know that was how I ended up in anarcho-capitalism myself. Rothbard seems to argue both, but people don't tend to buy into the latter point. That's probably because anarcho-capitalism abandons the state but actively promotes institutions with authority to govern (i.e. governments) and the notion that people should be governed. In short, they consider the ideal society one with all the functions of government, only privatized. That seems pretty out there, since anarchists have traditionally opposed the functions of states just as much as the states themselves. As for your bit on opposition to coercion, I tend to define that term pretty much as the dictionary does ("the act of compelling by force of authority"), so I can't well picture how a society with armed authority figures avoids coercion. Sarge Baldy 07:07, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
You can still oppose coercion, and support self-defense. Yes, self-defense is coercion, but I think coercion is usually taken to mean the initiation of coercion. Fighting back when someone is attacking you is "compelling by force," but it's defensive, not initiatory. If you ask someone else to defend you, so you don't have to get in a fight with the attacker, that's anarcho-capitalism. Saying you oppose all coercion, including defensive is easy to say, but isn't that a bit ridiculous? What you would be saying is you favor a change in human nature. RJII 21:00, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
No. I just don't accept the liberal conception of human nature as innately competitive. Nor do I accept Kropotkin's conception of human nature as innately cooperative. I see human nature as simply adapting to the system in whatever way makes the most sense. In competitive, meritocratic societies like in the United States, it's in most people's interest to "play the game". Even still, this is circumstantial. Women, for instance, have traditionally taken a more cooperative role because competition serves no purpose in the domestic sphere. In fact, competition for resources within a family would inevitably render the concept meaningless and destroy it. Similiarly, if competition were to exist in a hunting-gathering group, it would collapse almost immediately, because these groups work together towards a common aim, and if each were to serve their individual efforts, the group would disband and no one would be able to survive. I see human nature as malleable, and a response to environmental conditions. Government is only necessary where these conditions render it necessary. The point to social anarchists is an organization where it is unnecessary, since a forced anarchy is just as totalitarian and domineering as any other system. Communally organized systems such as those of hunter-gatherers and the Native Americans are thus popular models to look at, since they best fit these aims. Liberal anarchists, on the other hand, want to keep competition over resources, so sure, crime is inevitable. And of course that forces them to create methods to control for unwanted behavior. When that gets to the point of maintaining order from the barrel of a gun, I don't see how that's any less authoritarian than any other system. And even worse, it's utterly hypocritical to the idea of practicing non-coercion. Natural concessions to make, for sure, but I consider it better to critically examine the weaknesses of a system than treat them as innate and requiring of forceable "correction". Sarge Baldy 23:53, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
I think you overlook the fact that competition is enjoyable. People compete because they enjoy it --it's thrilling. I see you bring up women as being less competitive. There is a simple reason for that --low testosterone. Give a blood test to the female competitors in the Olympics, and you'll see they have a higher testosterone level than the average woman. As long as testosterone exists, people will be competitive. There is nothing more thrilling for the competitor than acheiving dominance over everyone else. Human nature is never going to change, because it IS human nature. Speaking for myself, I enjoy competition. I wouldn't ever want to stop being competitive, because it's just so exhilarating --whether it's here on Wikipedia or in the business world. Without man's desire to rise above all other men, there are no men. Competitors are never going to go away, simply because it's enjoyable to compete. Accept the attributes of human nature, and design a system that embraces them. RJII 03:42, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
Er, right. I see you're on the far other end of the nature vs nurture debate. It's unfortunate no one takes sociology classes. Even an intro class can be eye-opening. Not that I think that suggestion makes any sense, since it's pretty clear women have become much more competitive in recent years, due to economic necessity and evolving gender roles rather than magic or modified biology. And if you do really think that men are biologically competitive and women aren't, then it's interesting to see your candor in wanting to force a system utterly incompatible with the human nature of half the population. Sarge Baldy 04:04, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
Well, non-competitive people are not the ones you have to fear. So, you don't have to worry about them. They aren't going to cause do as much harm, or as much good, as competitors. I'm not advocating forcing anything on the non-competitive people; but, I ask you, how are you going to protect the non-competitive from the competitive? The drive to compete is what drives crime, as much as it drives progress. As long as you're adocating a system that expects it to diminish, you're advocating a change in human nature that's never going to happen. I for one am not going to let it happen because I enjoy competing. It's part of my biology that I would never want to relenquish. You can only eliminate the competitive spirit through chemical castration of everyone in the world. The drive to compete is just as much as a natural force of nature as are the waves in the ocean. You need to recognize the natural forces in the world and devise systems that harness those forces. Anything else is just useless fantasy. RJII 04:23, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
I recognize people as naturally adapting to their circumstances. You yourself, a male American, represent that perfectly, seeing your own socialization towards competition and winning, and the basic pressure towards those attitudes as basic requirements of success. I obviously was socialized the same way. But then I rejected it, and I don't think it had anything to do with my testosterone levels dropping. Just looking around the world, it isn't hard to see that some areas are more fervent about competition than others. But if you want to take it as a hard fact, there isn't much I can say. You might also want to take that testosterone statistic with a grain of salt. It's worth considering the possibility that testosterone levels increase as a result of physical activity, rather than assuming the opposite. Sarge Baldy 05:00, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
Think about what you're saying. If the drive to "competition and winning" is gone, there will be no more sports, not more Olympics, no more games of chess, no more Friday night poker games with friends trying to outcompete each other to take each other's money, etc. Do you really take what you're saying seriously? I wouldn't want to live in a world without competition. How pathetically boring. (And, you're right that testosterone levels increase as a result of physical activity --I've seen studies. I go to the gym 4 times a week, so I probably don't have a shortage of the stuff.) RJII 05:24, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
Well, I enjoy a little friendly competition as much as anyone else. Although when I'm doing that sort of thing, the point isn't really so much about winning as just hanging out together and doing something. And I'd say there's a fair difference between having poker games with friends and using the poker game as a prototype for your overall economic model. Sarge Baldy 06:47, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
I know people like you then. They play a game just for the comradery. You're the best kind of person to play poker with. People like me take your money. Seriously, the same motivation applies beyond card games and into the business world. It's the same basic instinct that is woven throughout society in everything. Whether it's a card game, or trying to outcompete people in business, it's all the same underyling drive. I think that's crucial to recognize that. These people are never going to go away, and you have to take that into account when devising a political/economic system. If your system doesn't physically defend against them, they're going to come in and dominate you just for the thrill of it. RJII 07:39, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Inclusion of explanation of the origins of the term capitalism[edit]

I've removed the following from the article:

The first known use of the term "capitalism" was not until 1854 by novelist William Thackeray. Morever, capitalism was not defined in terms of an economic system until later in the 20th century. For example, as recently as 1909 the Century Dictionary defined it as 1) The state of having capital or property; possession of capital. 2) The concentration or massing of capital in the hands of a few; also, the power or influence of large or combined capital." Additionally, the term "anarchist" was primarily being used as an insult.

I was the one that added the Rothbard quote about one of Molinari's writings being the first known instance of anarcho-capitalism. My sole intent in including that quote was simply to show that Ancaps consider Molinari to be one of their intellectual forebearers as evidenced by a quote from the foremost authority on Anarcho-Capitalism. I even went out of the way to include the part of the Rothbard quote where he explains "Molinari did not use the terminology, and probably would have balked at the name" so that no one could get the wrong idea and believe I was suggesting that Molinari was a card-carrying Anarcho-Capitalist.

It is obvious to me that the portion I redacted is a direct response to my inclusion of that quote. I'm redacting this response for the following reasons... An explanation of the origin of the term "capitalism" or the historic usage of the term "anarchism" have no place in a biographical article about Molinari. The fact that the word capitalism wasn't used until 1854 (if true) is irrelevant since no one suggested that Molinari did or would use that term (or anarcho-capitalism) when describing himself. In fact I went out of my way to make it clear that he didn't and probably wouldn't. I meant only to express that modern-day Anarcho-Capitalists look at a particular writing of Molinari and recognize the earliest known expression of the core notions of their own ideology. This is a fact and isn't really up for dispute, go to any AnCap site and ask around. Furthermore this isn't the place to argue the merits of anarcho-capitalism, either for or against. - Matt Apple Apr-3-2006


I've put de Molinari back in the cat anarcho-capitalists. One is categorizing by today's standards, not those of the 19th century. Plus, this would allow people browsing the category hierarchy find more people who share some (if not all) beliefs. Intangible 23:05, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Prévost writes: Auparavant l'apanage de quelques esprits originaux (le Belge Gustave de Molinari, le Britannique Auberon Herbert, l'Américain Lysander Spooner), l'anarcho-capitalisme est aujourd'hui défendu par de jeunes universitaires dont les travaux portent notamment sur la possibilité d'ordres monétaires et légaux non étatiques." (La theorie anarcho-capitaliste de l'Etat: une critique methodologique, 1992, [5]). Intangible 23:13, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
That doesn't say Molinari was an anarcho-capitalist or that he would identify as one. It says that he had "the spirit" of anarcho-capitalism. Owen 23:27, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
No one says that Molinari did describe himself as anarcho-capitalist in the 19th century, but it is the most logically categorization. "Auparavant l'apanage" means that the label "anarcho-capitalism" would be the natural description for these three authors. Intangible 14:45, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
I think it needs more citations than this. Academics often disagree with one another on these issues and we have to establish some form of academic consensus. One author might describe Benjamin Tucker as a capitalist, but it's still not an acceptable categorization due to his own statements to the contrary and widespread academic opinion. In a case like this it needs extensive citation. This author's claim to Lysander Spooner as an anarcho-capitalist seems even more controversial, and gives the impression of a minority position. While an acceptable opinion, it seems necessary to establish things as a majority position before using the terms to describe someone's beliefs. Owen 19:14, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I reverted before I read this. For one thing, there's a clear problem with labeling someone under a political philosophy that didn't exist for well past someone's lifetime. He couldn't be an anarcho-capitalist, because anarcho-capitalism didn't exist. Retroactively labeling people is a very sketchy area to begin with, and should be heavily sourced. And it does make sense in this case to categorize by the standards of the period. Otherwise we would be writing revisionist history. For instance, if someone in the 19th century explicitly said they were an socialist, it would be highly sketchy to say they weren't in the 21st century because of changes in the definition of "socialist". It's not our place to redefine people's political opinions. The definition might change, but the label does not. We are not seers, we are editors writing an encyclopedia. It's impossible to know just how people would react to new terms and modifications of existing ones. If you do want to make an exception, it needs to be heavily sourced. As I've already stated, even Murray Rothbard did not think he would accept the term for himself. Owen 23:21, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Actually, it makes a lot of sense to clarify that someone would probably not be considered "socialist" by today's standards. Otherwise people will misunderstand. And it's of course very common practice to label someone as something long after their death. Did Socrates call himself a "philosopher"? (Note that this hasn't stopped you from labeling Goldman as an anarcha-feminist.) MrVoluntarist 14:34, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
Seeing as philosophos is an ancient Greek term, it doesn't seem entirely unlikely that he did. And I'm not saying that there's never a time where exceptions can be made. I suppose it's acceptable to list Godwin as an anarchist, because there is a general academic consensus that he was one. This article needs to show a similar consensus regarding Molinari's purported status as an anarcho-capitalist. I also never claimed Goldman was an anarcha-feminist, which would be false. She was an anarchist feminist, a term that later became synonymous with anarcha-feminism. Just as "anarcho-communism" came to become a synonym for "anarchist communism", "anarcha-feminism" came to be a synonym for "anarchist feminism". Since the two terms are synonymous and interchangeable it only makes sense to include both in one article, but when applied to individuals it is better to use contemporary terminology. Thus it would be inappropriate to describe Emma Goldman as an anarcha-feminist, since it was not her own choice of term, nor a choice of term that even existed during her lifetime. And so it's also inappropriate to describe Molinari as an anarcho-capitalist (without extensive citations), since again it was not his own chosen term. Owen 19:14, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Bastiat and Molinari[edit]

The article says:

On his death bed in 1850, Bastiat described Molinari as the continuator of his works.

This would be interesting, given that Rothbard, in his 1977 preface to Molinari's "The Production of Security", described Bastiat as one of the objectors to Molinari's theory of private security. (see here)

Does anyone have a source for this? Balden2 (talk)