View Poll Results: Answer the bolded question in the OP

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  • North Korea

    2 20.00%
  • Somalia

    7 70.00%
  • I would refuse to make a decision, thereby causing my captor to flip a coin

    1 10.00%
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Thread: Thought experiment: North Korea vs. Somalia

  1. #1
    Regular Member minarchist's Avatar
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    Thought experiment: North Korea vs. Somalia

    North Korea and Somalia are both relatively poor countries, yet they are diametric opposites on the amount-of-government axis. The former has lots and lots of government, and the latter has essentially zero government. If forced to choose between being forcefully parachuted into one or the other, which would you choose?

  2. #2
    Regular Member minarchist's Avatar
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    Exclamation My answer

    Though Somalia and North Korea are far from identical in areas other than the amount-of-government axis, thereby making a perfect control group style experiment impossible, both countries are relatively poor (though North Korea is quasi-industrialized and Somalia is not industrialized). I created this thought experiment because I think that it poignantly cuts to the heart of the eternal debate over how much government is appropriate. In North Korea, you are not free to leave (indeed, not only are you subject to torture and death if you try to leave this statist hell hole, but your family members are subject to such treatment as well if you attempt to leave). In Somalia, you are free to leave. This demonstrates the immense moral and practical superiority of little-to-no-government over lots-and-lots-of-government.

    QED

  3. #3
    Regular Member minarchist's Avatar
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    To the surprise of many, there are numerous sectors of Somalia’s economy that have remained robust or have turned better than they were before the war. This is the Somalia you don’t get to read about.

    Even more striking is the fact that a number of these sectors are more upbeat than those of the neighboring countries that have enjoyed relative peace.One of the economic areas enjoying robust growth amid the volatility in the country is trade.
    http://afrikanews.org/news-mainmenu-...d-anarchy.html

    Civil War, Anarchy....Yet Somalia's Mobile Phone Industry Thrives

    A number of mobile phone, Internet and landline companies are revolutionizing Somalia’s telecommunications industry.

    Among their customers are farmers and business people.

    Establishing a phone company and making it profitable in a country where there is no government is a challenge according to sales and marketing director for Nationlink Telecom, Abdulahi Amir.

    “When the country’s civil war occurred, a growing need for people to communicate with each other came about as families became dispersed. The industry took off throughout the country almost immediately since there was no other form for people to communicate,” Amir says.

    Weak Governance Creates Advantage

    Compared to land lines, cell phones require little infrastructure and can be made available almost immediately.

    Because of the absence of a central government, there is no bureaucracy to issue a license, or tax the industry. However traditional clans, make sure bills are paid and contracts honored.

    No matter how dire the situation in Somalia, the entrepreneurial spirit lives on. By building small airstrips and using natural harbors businessmen are able to import cell phones, from faraway places like China.
    http://www.voanews.com/content/a-13-...87/409305.html

  4. #4
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    The choice I would pick is "neither." Posing the question commits the logic error of false choice, positing that only one of two eventualities is possible, usually by creating ridiculously implausible circumstances to create a false dichotomy.

    Oh, and while Somalia might not have a real and formal government, everyone in Somalia is subject to being governed by someone. Without the People getting together and choosing a government, they will get default government, usually from the nearest and strongest thug.

  5. #5
    Regular Member minarchist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    The choice I would pick is "neither." Posing the question commits the logic error of false choice, positing that only one of two eventualities is possible, usually by creating ridiculously implausible circumstances to create a false dichotomy.
    There is no false choice. The hypothetical scenario is you get abducted, placed on a plane, and asked where you want to be dropped. If you refuse to choose, then a choice will be made for you. I chose extreme opposites to illustrate my point. I never stated or implied that these are the only two viable real world choices.

    Oh, and while Somalia might not have a real and formal government, everyone in Somalia is subject to being governed by someone. Without the People getting together and choosing a government, they will get default government, usually from the nearest and strongest thug.
    As my username indicates, I prefer something in between these two extremes, albeit much closer to the Somalian end of the spectrum.

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    Whether you recognize it or not, you have engineered a false choice.

    My other point was that there is no other end of the spectrum. A government vacuum is not possible. It will be filled by despotism, creating a bunch of tiny North Koreas that will suck each other up, creating a few small, but not tiny, North Koreas.

    The opposite of despotism is not anarchy. It is something akin to what the Framers tried to create. The US (at least as it was intended) is not in the middle of the spectrum. It is almost all the way to the Liberty end.

    Anyway, I've made my point. Moving on.

  7. #7
    Founder's Club Member Jim675's Avatar
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    Somalia has had a central government for about 7 months now. And they're already having problems as the gov's muscle grows.

  8. #8
    Regular Member minarchist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Whether you recognize it or not, you have engineered a false choice.
    What can possibly be false about a hypothetical scenario (as long as said hypothetical scenario doesn't involve breaking the laws of physics)?!?!

    My other point was that there is no other end of the spectrum. A government vacuum is not possible. It will be filled by despotism, creating a bunch of tiny North Koreas that will suck each other up, creating a few small, but not tiny, North Koreas.
    Right, but Somalia is as close an example as possible to the opposite end of the spectrum as North Korea.

    The opposite of despotism is not anarchy. It is something akin to what the Framers tried to create. The US (at least as it was intended) is not in the middle of the spectrum. It is almost all the way to the Liberty end.
    Right, the USA was founded as a minarchist, libertarian republic, and it has grossly strayed from that state to some dystopian statist nightmare, due to human weakness (among other factors).

  9. #9
    Regular Member minarchist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim675 View Post
    Somalia has had a central government for about 7 months now.
    Correct. I was referring to the near term past, and I should have made that explicit.

    And they're already having problems as the gov's muscle grows.
    Of course they are.

  10. #10
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    Of course if one doesn't want to play one does't have too.

    Personally I'll take the least amount of goverment.
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  11. #11
    Regular Member minarchist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    Of course if one doesn't want to play one does't have too.

    Personally I'll take the least amount of goverment.
    Yes, the idea that I am attempting to illustrate is that, when push comes to shove, anarchy (or near anarchy) is preferable to a prison state (something that we are rapidly approaching). I think that it is a simple, elegant demonstration of the superiority of small government to large government (regardless of whether said large government is "conservative" or liberal in nature).

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    Question

    NK, no food, no cover, paranoid people made so by a paranoid government, freezing cold at night and in the winter, stark landscape, hard to negotiate, communist to the north, DMZ death zone to the south...
    Guess where I voted...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by minarchist View Post
    Yes, the idea that I am attempting to illustrate is that, when push comes to shove, anarchy (or near anarchy) is preferable to a prison state (something that we are rapidly approaching). I think that it is a simple, elegant demonstration of the superiority of small government to large government (regardless of whether said large government is "conservative" or liberal in nature).
    "To say that a bad government must be established for fear of anarchy is really saying that we should kill ourselves for fear of dying."

    -Richard Henry Lee

  14. #14
    Regular Member DrakeZ07's Avatar
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    Definitely North Korea, every Asian I met have been well endowed where it counts ;3
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  15. #15
    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    Don't forget about the tunnels under the DMZ from North Korea to South Korea.

    Officially they don't exist.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by georg jetson View Post
    "To say that a bad government must be established for fear of anarchy is really saying that we should kill ourselves for fear of dying."

    -Richard Henry Lee
    I like his way of getting his point across.

    Using Eye's comment about getting a thug government by default as an example, statists seem content to declare with certainty what would happen, when there is no evidence that such always occurs.

    During the Articles of Confederation, one of the northern states went quite awhile without a state government. So, literally, they had anarchy, but without any more violence or crime.

    Along the lines of Lee's comment, statists are just saying that we should elect and support criminals and criminality in order to avoid worse criminality when thugs are allowed to fight it out among themselves to see who gets to be king. Or, rather, statists are almost saying that. They're not quite that honest. Because, after the criminals are elected to conduct criminality, the statists then try to clothe those particular criminals with legitimacy. And, try to convince the rest of us that government is not criminal.
    Last edited by Citizen; 03-14-2013 at 04:31 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  17. #17
    Regular Member rushcreek2's Avatar
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    No-brainer ! Drop me over Somalia . Reasonable prospect of meeting up with rational minds.

    Absolutely do not drop me over the U.S. for the same reason.
    Last edited by rushcreek2; 03-14-2013 at 05:46 PM.

  18. #18
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    Thuggery and violence don't come from the lack of a government, but rather from the attempts to establish one.

    Despotism by violent warlords and despotism by established dictactorial central governments might seem a dilemma but really isn't. That's because you have a far greater chance of fighting the warlord, than the government.

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