Kings in Feudalism vs. Kings in Anarcho-Capitalism

Over on kehlkopfmikrofon (yes that’s the name of the blog, and it’s cute, but the site can’t ever get traffic because no one can remember it’s name. I think it translates to something like voice or throat microphone – my German is terrible):

Saturday, April 12, 2008
I just don’t understand it
A legitimate point of contention, that I have not completely figured out yet, is how decision-making would work in a stateless society.
The Libertarian critique of democracy is sort of a consequence of the Libertarian rejection of the concept of a social contract that could be just. Obviously we disagree.
But I dunno, that argument at least makes sense to me.
What doesn’t make sense is people like Hans-Hermann Hoppe and Lew Rockwell talking about how much better feudalism is than democracy.
I just don’t get that.
So this island Sark just finally abolished feudalism. In favor of universal suffrage. To me there are only two ways that you can argue this: it’s a step in the right direction (in some miniscule way), or, it doesn’t really make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. What I just don’t get is anyone calling this “very sad”.
I just don’t understand it.
Aren’t paleolibertarians supposed to support capitalism? Isn’t feudalism sort of NOT CAPITALISM?
As best as I can define it right here off the top of my head, feudalism is a system in which the different classes have mutual obligations to each other, so the monarch grants the lords titles, in exchange for service, and the lords let the serfs use the land in exchange for a part of their product. And the big thing about feudalism is that it theoretically doesn’t really allow change. There is all this anti-profit stuff worked into the framework of the society because when you have profits you have the possibility of changing status and well competition and well competition is contrary to the feudal system.
Bah that’s a bad explanation of feudalism , well that’s what I’m thinking about right now.

And lest you say that I’m equating direct democracy with the sort of democracy being adopted by Sark, fear not. I know that there is such a huge difference. Of course, that’s another thing these people (Rockwell, Hoppe, et al.) don’t get.
Well, I dunno about that, they seem to all toe that line that the USian Founding Fathers drew with “this is a republic not a democracy because we protect the rights of everyone blah blah blah” because we all know that democracy is just mob rule.

Some day I’ll write a much more detailed post about decision making and stuff…

Posted by camelCase at 9:19 PM

Curt Doolittle said…

RE: “Hans-Hermann Hoppe and Lew Rockwell talking about how much better feudalism is than democracy.”

They are not talking about feudalism. Feudalism is control of all property and resources one can conquer and hold.

They are talking about kings in the sense to which they had evolved in the nineteenth century in Germany. They mean kings like in Lichtenstein.

You are implying that the king can run a government. They are basing their decisions (Hoppe is, not necessarily Lou) on the concept that property makes possible economic calculation, and a king, as a property owner, acts in better interest of his property and that of his citizens than do any other governors. In Hoppe’s world, private industry (now that we have insurance companies) can provide all government services, and the king simply exists to prevent the establishment of government. (This is oversimplified but it’s close enough.)

There is a mp3 lecture that can be downloaded at mises dot com that covers the evolution of the English common law, and then the usurpation of the administration of that law by kings. It is this usurpation of the law that makes kings bad, just as it does with any other form of government.

Anyway, happy to keep open the dialog if you want to. I’ll cross post on my blog. Thanks. -Curt

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