[ExI] Americans are poor drivers

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Wed Jul 22 11:57:22 UTC 2009

2009/7/22 Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>:
> On Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 4:41 AM, Stathis Papaioannou<stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
>> The agreement may be that the common property will pass to any
>> children or new residents in equal share. They get it for nothing, but
>> they have to contribute to its maintenance and they can't give it up
>> or give it away. This is rather like a person who buys an apartment
>> getting a share in the common garden, whether he wants to or not, but
>> he can't sell his share to anyone else. It would take a majority of
>> the shareholders (or a supermajority - whatever the original
>> arrangement) to change this.
> ### You cannot compare a competitive situation where you make a choice
> to buy into one apartment complex among many versus an artificially
> initiated large monopoly you are born into. You cannot agree to the
> monopoly, just as the child of a slave cannot "agree" to be a slave -
> for agreement to be valid, there must be *choice*. Imagine you were
> born in ancient Rome, where by general agreement your father had power
> of life and death over his children - do you think your promise of
> indefinite obedience produced by ruthless flogging would constitute a
> valid agreement, and it would be legitimate for the Roman state to
> help your father kill you for a minor disobedience? Same applies to
> your monopoly - by denying choice it makes itself illegitimate.

If you inherit an apartment then you are forced to follow whatever the
pre-existing rules for the building are. You can sell it, or you can
try to change the rules if enough people agree with you. It is
admittedly harder to change countries than apartments, but we did
start off talking about anarchists running their roads collectively.

As for slavery and murderous parents, this stems from the idea that
people can be property, not from considerations of choice and freedom.
If you think it's OK to sell yourself into slavery then what's to stop
someone else from saying that it's also OK to sell your children into
slavery? And what do you think would happen to the children of slaves
if they were born technically free, but indebted from birth to their
parents' masters with no way to pay off the debt other than agreeing
to become slaves themselves? This is what a "free enterprise" system
could ultimately lead to, the capitalists insisting all the while that
no-one has been coerced into anything.

Stathis Papaioannou

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