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post #841 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

 

Would you say that you understand the difference between cooperative and competitive societal models?

 

I'm sure I could guess, but I'm not familiar with those exact terms, their meanings, or origins.

 

From a libertarian perspective, "society" is nothing more than a group of interacting individuals.

 

Rothbard lays it out quite nicely:

 

Quote:
We have talked at length of individual rights; but what, it may be asked, of the "rights of society"? Don't they supersede the rights of the mere individual? The libertarian, however, is an individualist; he believes that one of the prime errors in social theory is to treat "society" as if it were an actually existing entity. "Society" is sometimes treated as a superior or quasi-divine figure with overriding "rights" of its own; at other times as an existing evil which can be blamed for all the ills of the world. The individualist holds that only individuals exist, think, feel, choose, and act; and that "society" is not a living entity but simply a label for a set of interacting individuals. Treating society as a thing that chooses and acts, then, serves to obscure the real forces at work. If, in a small community, ten people band together to rob and expropriate three others, then this is clearly and evidently a case of a group of individuals acting in concert against another group. In this situation, if the ten people presumed to refer to themselves as "society" acting in "its" interest, the rationale would be laughed out of court; even the ten robbers would probably be too shamefaced to use this sort of argument. But let their size increase, and this kind of obfuscation becomes rife and succeeds in duping the public.

 

Rothbard goes on to say that other terms such as "nation" and "country" have also been used in such a context, but the meaning is the same.

 

How would you answer the question I posed above?

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #842 of 1058
When you see society as something that we must nurture and take care of, raise to maturity, it's not difficult at all to understand the morality of it.

"Daddy, if I am going to grow up, I must take money from you to invest in my education, health, and technology. If I don't, I can't compete."
post #843 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

When you see society as something that we must nurture and take care of, raise to maturity, it's not difficult at all to understand the morality of it.

"Daddy, if I am going to grow up, I must take money from you to invest in my education, health, and technology. If I don't, I can't compete."

 

Why should I see "society" as something it is clearly not?

 

My child does not impose his will on me through violence.

 

My child does not take my money and property without my consent.

 

And I made the conscious choice to start a family and assume the duties and responsibilities it entailed.

 

"Society" (a group of individuals) imposes its will on me through violence.

 

"Society" (a group of individuals) makes its claim on me and my substance whether I consent or not.

 

And I did not make the conscious choice to be a part of this "society" (a group of individuals) - it laid claim to me and my property the moment I was born.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #844 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

 

Would you say that you understand the difference between cooperative and competitive societal models?

 

I'm sure I could guess, but I'm not familiar with those exact terms, their meanings, or origins.

 

From a libertarian perspective, "society" is nothing more than a group of interacting individuals.

 

Rothbard lays it out quite nicely:

 

Quote:
We have talked at length of individual rights; but what, it may be asked, of the "rights of society"? Don't they supersede the rights of the mere individual? The libertarian, however, is an individualist; he believes that one of the prime errors in social theory is to treat "society" as if it were an actually existing entity. "Society" is sometimes treated as a superior or quasi-divine figure with overriding "rights" of its own; at other times as an existing evil which can be blamed for all the ills of the world. The individualist holds that only individuals exist, think, feel, choose, and act; and that "society" is not a living entity but simply a label for a set of interacting individuals. Treating society as a thing that chooses and acts, then, serves to obscure the real forces at work. If, in a small community, ten people band together to rob and expropriate three others, then this is clearly and evidently a case of a group of individuals acting in concert against another group. In this situation, if the ten people presumed to refer to themselves as "society" acting in "its" interest, the rationale would be laughed out of court; even the ten robbers would probably be too shamefaced to use this sort of argument. But let their size increase, and this kind of obfuscation becomes rife and succeeds in duping the public.

 

Rothbard goes on to say that other terms such as "nation" and "country" have also been used in such a context, but the meaning is the same.

 

How would you answer the question I posed above?

 

Your question appeared to be a malformed attempt at a false dilemma. I was trying to figure out if that was deliberate or not. It was also off-topic, in that the question that you were responding to, or rather not responding to, addressed the pragmatic issue of whether cooperative behavior within a society strengthens or weakens the society. Your question addresses the philosophical issue of whether competitive behavior within a society is "right or moral", whatever that might mean.

 

To dissect your question - it starts with an asserted conditional (if not b then not a), and finishes with an unrelated asserted conditional (if not b then not c). And then you ask if positing that statement is right or moral - two terms that "Libertarians" seem to be most obsessed with, but seldom define.  So, no, I can't say whether your statement is right or moral, but I can comment that it appears to be meaningless babble that attempts to distract from a question that you did not want to answer.

 

Ironically, your quote is itself a masterclass in obfuscation.

post #845 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

 

Your question appeared to be a malformed attempt at a false dilemma. I was trying to figure out if that was deliberate or not. It was also off-topic, in that the question that you were responding to, or rather not responding to, addressed the pragmatic issue of whether cooperative behavior within a society strengthens or weakens the society. Your question addresses the philosophical issue of whether competitive behavior within a society is "right or moral", whatever that might mean.

 

To dissect your question - it starts with an asserted conditional (if not b then not a), and finishes with an unrelated asserted conditional (if not b then not c). And then you ask if positing that statement is right or moral - two terms that "Libertarians" seem to be most obsessed with, but seldom define.  So, no, I can't say whether your statement is right or moral, but I can comment that it appears to be meaningless babble that attempts to distract from a question that you did not want to answer.

 

Ironically, your quote is itself a masterclass in obfuscation.

 

Libertarians seldom define what is right or moral? You apparently have some reading to do. The non-aggression principle is a good place to start.

 

And he didn't ask a question, he made a statement, which I responded to with a question...which you apparently don't want to answer.

 

Irony, indeed.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #846 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

 

Your question appeared to be a malformed attempt at a false dilemma. I was trying to figure out if that was deliberate or not. It was also off-topic, in that the question that you were responding to, or rather not responding to, addressed the pragmatic issue of whether cooperative behavior within a society strengthens or weakens the society. Your question addresses the philosophical issue of whether competitive behavior within a society is "right or moral", whatever that might mean.

 

To dissect your question - it starts with an asserted conditional (if not b then not a), and finishes with an unrelated asserted conditional (if not b then not c). And then you ask if positing that statement is right or moral - two terms that "Libertarians" seem to be most obsessed with, but seldom define.  So, no, I can't say whether your statement is right or moral, but I can comment that it appears to be meaningless babble that attempts to distract from a question that you did not want to answer.

 

Ironically, your quote is itself a masterclass in obfuscation.

 

Libertarians seldom define what is right or moral? You apparently have some reading to do. The non-aggression principle is a good place to start.

 

And he didn't ask a question, he made a statement, which I responded to with a question...which you apparently don't want to answer.

 

Irony, indeed.

 

I did not say that Libertarians seldom define what is right or moral - they do seem to spend an inordinate amount of time labeling things as right or moral (or more usually, as wrong and immoral) - I said that they do not define the terms right and moral.

 

Noted - it was a statement rather than a question. You still changed the subject. And as to your question - I clearly stated that I cannot answer it, not that I don't want to answer it.

post #847 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

 

I did not say that Libertarians seldom define what is right or moral - they do seem to spend an inordinate amount of time labeling things as right or moral (or more usually, as wrong and immoral) - I said that they do not define the terms right and moral.

 

Noted - it was a statement rather than a question. You still changed the subject. And as to your question - I clearly stated that I cannot answer it, not that I don't want to answer it.

 

Let me simplify my question:

 

Let's use a specific example that most people would agree would be "wrong" and "immoral": stealing.

 

It's wrong for me to go to the corner convenience store and take a candy bar without paying for it, agreed?

 

Do you believe it is any less "wrong" or "immoral" for a group of individuals acting together to engage in stealing when it is almost universally considered "wrong" and "immoral" for an individual to do so? Why or why not?


Edited by jazzguru - 2/20/13 at 1:17pm

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #848 of 1058
Begging the question that the group is engaging in stealing. As usual.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #849 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

 

I did not say that Libertarians seldom define what is right or moral - they do seem to spend an inordinate amount of time labeling things as right or moral (or more usually, as wrong and immoral) - I said that they do not define the terms right and moral.

 

Noted - it was a statement rather than a question. You still changed the subject. And as to your question - I clearly stated that I cannot answer it, not that I don't want to answer it.

 

Let me simplify my question:

 

Let's use a specific example that most people would agree would be "wrong" and "immoral": stealing.

 

It's wrong for me to go to the corner convenience store and take a candy bar without paying for it, agreed?

 

Do you believe it is any less "wrong" or "immoral" for a group of individuals acting together to engage in stealing when it is almost universally considered "wrong" and "immoral" for an individual to do so? Why or why not?

 

I'd have to side with BR on that. If you are making the presumption that any form of taxation amounts to stealing then the discussion has no place to go.  I would present an alternative view of a structured society in which the members implicitly choose to support the jointly funded services that they enjoy. The support mechanism is taxation, on which they have a say via elected representatives.  It has proven to be a successful way for humans to organize and prosper - arguably the most successful to date.  Unlike Libertarianism, that, as far as I can tell, has never succeeded even enough to make it into recorded history. And yes - I've heard the argument that it has not been given a chance, but if it's such a great idea then why do you suppose that might be?  The ensemble of events that represent human history has seen all kinds of crazy ideas tried and fail. It's the sociological analog of a disadvantageous mutation.

 

The Libertarian view that following society's rules as a condition of living in the region occupied by that society is an infringement of rights is fatuous on at least a couple of levels.

 

Firstly, this whole inalienable rights thing.  Why do you believe that anyone has inalienable rights?  They do not exist in nature, which, at least until human intervention, represented pure Darwinistic survival of the fittest. Rights are a human construct. Human society can be viewed merely as a cooperative modification of individual competitiveness - where societal cooperation leads to more success than just the sum of the parts.  It's just a pack, but tweaked with concepts of fairness and morality. You have the rights, and restrictions, assigned by society, which evolve and change in a process of dynamic optimization that appears to be controlled by resistance to the drift towards the short-term advantages of a more competitive but less stable structure.  If you personally don't like them, then you can work for change, leave, or be a de facto outcast.

 

Secondly, the entire premise of Libertarianism is as flawed and naive as communism (though for different reasons), because of the competitive side of human nature.  Pre-democracy human history demonstrates that in the absence of such a structure, the result is not a free and happy market-driven utopia where everyone voluntarily pays their share and helps their neighbor, but rather a feudalistic struggle for power, wealth and against oppression.


Edited by muppetry - 2/20/13 at 7:51pm
post #850 of 1058
I would not say that libertarian anarcho-capitalism hasn't been tried. In the Middle Ages it was feudalism. In more recent times, although libertarians deny it with aplomb for obvious reasons in a blazing display of intellectual dishonesty, we have a perfectly valid example in Somalia, where the government was dissolved, and never replaced, and the void filled by warlords as would be the natural consequence of anarchy. Feudalism, warlord states, call it what you will, but this is exactly what happens in the absence of government, and we have examples to show for it.
post #851 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

I would not say that libertarian anarcho-capitalism hasn't been tried. In the Middle Ages it was feudalism. In more recent times, although libertarians deny it with aplomb for obvious reasons in a blazing display of intellectual dishonesty, we have a perfectly valid example in Somalia, where the government was dissolved, and never replaced, and the void filled by warlords as would be the natural consequence of anarchy. Feudalism, warlord states, call it what you will, but this is exactly what happens in the absence of government, and we have examples to show for it.

 

These are not valid examples. But they work for your simplistic analysis. 1rolleyes.gif

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply
post #852 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

I would not say that libertarian anarcho-capitalism hasn't been tried. In the Middle Ages it was feudalism. In more recent times, although libertarians deny it with aplomb for obvious reasons in a blazing display of intellectual dishonesty, we have a perfectly valid example in Somalia, where the government was dissolved, and never replaced, and the void filled by warlords as would be the natural consequence of anarchy. Feudalism, warlord states, call it what you will, but this is exactly what happens in the absence of government, and we have examples to show for it.

 

These are not valid examples. But they work for your simplistic analysis. 1rolleyes.gif

 

Why are they not valid, and in what way is his analysis (too) simplistic? Is simplistic bad? Do you have a better, more complex analysis? And why are you frowning?

post #853 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

 

Why are they not valid, and in what way is his analysis (too) simplistic? Is simplistic bad? Do you have a better, more complex analysis? And why are you frowning?

He's not frowning.  He's rolling his eyes in order to demonstrate how much he respects tonton.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #854 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

I would not say that libertarian anarcho-capitalism hasn't been tried. In the Middle Ages it was feudalism. In more recent times, although libertarians deny it with aplomb for obvious reasons in a blazing display of intellectual dishonesty, we have a perfectly valid example in Somalia, where the government was dissolved, and never replaced, and the void filled by warlords as would be the natural consequence of anarchy. Feudalism, warlord states, call it what you will, but this is exactly what happens in the absence of government, and we have examples to show for it.

These are not valid examples. But they work for your simplistic analysis. 1rolleyes.gif
Give me a break. Your own posted essay on security cited feudal Ireland as an example. Ignoring the negative aspects of feudal Ireland, of course.

These are not valid examples for you, simply because they don't support your utopian ideal outcome. But it's not the outcome that sets the example, it is the foundation. Modern Somalia began with zero government, no taxes and 100% freedom to do whatever anyone wanted. It was mostly a religious society, its private citizens were armed, and it was certainly a society in which assault and theft were considered immoral. The outcome of that foundation is what we see today, with warlord territories and pseudo governments, in other words, feudalism.
post #855 of 1058

About Somalia...

 

There once was a government and the people once knew things such as riches, etc.  When the government evaporated, people acted on what they knew.

 

Thus I wonder if it would be virtually impossible to create a perfectly libertarian state; you would have maroon a bunch of kids on an island and provide no contact with the rest of the world.  They would have to not know the ways of the world.

 

Of course, whether they could survive is another important question...

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #856 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post


Give me a break. Your own posted essay on security cited feudal Ireland as an example. Ignoring the negative aspects of feudal Ireland, of course.

These are not valid examples for you, simply because they don't support your utopian ideal outcome. But it's not the outcome that sets the example, it is the foundation. Modern Somalia began with zero government, no taxes and 100% freedom to do whatever anyone wanted. It was mostly a religious society, its private citizens were armed, and it was certainly a society in which assault and theft were considered immoral. The outcome of that foundation is what we see today, with warlord territories and pseudo governments, in other words, feudalism.

 

I've actually posted a lot more for you on Somalia which you have simply dismissed or ignored. You have flatly refused to engage in actual discussion this example you repeatedly use. Furthermore the fact that you fail to recognize what feudalism was and is and the effective similarities to today's governing models in practice astonishes me. Well, not really, not much from you astonishes me any more.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply
post #857 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

 

I'd have to side with BR on that. If you are making the presumption that any form of taxation amounts to stealing then the discussion has no place to go.  I would present an alternative view of a structured society in which the members implicitly choose to support the jointly funded services that they enjoy. The support mechanism is taxation, on which they have a say via elected representatives.  It has proven to be a successful way for humans to organize and prosper - arguably the most successful to date.  Unlike Libertarianism, that, as far as I can tell, has never succeeded even enough to make it into recorded history. And yes - I've heard the argument that it has not been given a chance, but if it's such a great idea then why do you suppose that might be?  The ensemble of events that represent human history has seen all kinds of crazy ideas tried and fail. It's the sociological analog of a disadvantageous mutation.

 

In my opinion, the "gold standard" for any foundation of government is the Declaration of Independence. If you compare what we have today with the principles set forth in that document, it's plainly obvious that what we currently have is systemized plunder under the guise of representative government. Government derives its power from the consent of the governed, and when you take consent out of the picture, it is invalid and despotic.

 

For example, I do not consent to money being taken from me under threat of violence and used to fund the killing of innocent children overseas. My compliance with tax law cannot be construed as consent, because I have complied under duress, not of my own free will and choice.

 

Libertarianism has not been given a chance, but I believe it is due to far more nefarious reasons than you might think.

 

Quote:

The Libertarian view that following society's rules as a condition of living in the region occupied by that society is an infringement of rights is fatuous on at least a couple of levels.

 

Firstly, this whole inalienable rights thing.  Why do you believe that anyone has inalienable rights?  They do not exist in nature, which, at least until human intervention, represented pure Darwinistic survival of the fittest. Rights are a human construct. Human society can be viewed merely as a cooperative modification of individual competitiveness - where societal cooperation leads to more success than just the sum of the parts.  It's just a pack, but tweaked with concepts of fairness and morality. You have the rights, and restrictions, assigned by society, which evolve and change in a process of dynamic optimization that appears to be controlled by resistance to the drift towards the short-term advantages of a more competitive but less stable structure.  If you personally don't like them, then you can work for change, leave, or be a de facto outcast.

 

Do you really believe that your right to life, liberty, and property is granted to you by a group of individuals? What if this group of individuals decides to "rescind" one of those rights? Are you bound to comply?

 

I believe our rights are inherent and exist independent of government. They existed before government, exist in spite of it, and will exist long after mankind has progressed beyond the need for government as we know it today. Government is not a granter of rights, it is supposed to be a protector of rights. Nothing more, nothing less. At least, that is what the founding documents and writings of the founding fathers of the United States implicitly state.

 

What you have said here is almost in direct contradiction to the very principles upon which this nation was supposedly founded.

 

 

Quote:
Secondly, the entire premise of Libertarianism is as flawed and naive as communism (though for different reasons), because of the competitive side of human nature.  Pre-democracy human history demonstrates that in the absence of such a structure, the result is not a free and happy market-driven utopia where everyone voluntarily pays their share and helps their neighbor, but rather a feudalistic struggle for power, wealth and against oppression.

 

It would seem your assumption is that "pre-democracy", people lived in quase-libertarian state. This is not so.

 

We have tried slavery. We have tried servitude. We have tried institutionalized violence and plunder. Libertarians simply ask: why not try liberty?

 

I believe your understanding of libertarianism is narrow and limited. If you have a desire to broaden that understanding, I really think you would enjoy reading For a New Liberty by Murray N. Rothbard. It is a great place to start a more in-depth study of libertarian philosophy.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #858 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post


Give me a break. Your own posted essay on security cited feudal Ireland as an example. Ignoring the negative aspects of feudal Ireland, of course.

These are not valid examples for you, simply because they don't support your utopian ideal outcome. But it's not the outcome that sets the example, it is the foundation. Modern Somalia began with zero government, no taxes and 100% freedom to do whatever anyone wanted. It was mostly a religious society, its private citizens were armed, and it was certainly a society in which assault and theft were considered immoral. The outcome of that foundation is what we see today, with warlord territories and pseudo governments, in other words, feudalism.

 

I've actually posted a lot more for you on Somalia which you have simply dismissed or ignored. You have flatly refused to engage in actual discussion this example you repeatedly use. Furthermore the fact that you fail to recognize what feudalism was and is and the effective similarities to today's governing models in practice astonishes me. Well, not really, not much from you astonishes me any more.


The only thing you've posted on Somalia is denial of the fact that modern Somalia started out as a perfect example of the system you proscribe. And I know what feudalism is, and it's not exactly government. What it is, is the only historical example, a logical example, and a predictable example of what happens as a natural progression of anarchy.

post #859 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

About Somalia...

 

There once was a government and the people once knew things such as riches, etc.  When the government evaporated, people acted on what they knew.

 

Thus I wonder if it would be virtually impossible to create a perfectly libertarian state; you would have maroon a bunch of kids on an island and provide no contact with the rest of the world.  They would have to not know the ways of the world.

 

Of course, whether they could survive is another important question...


Have you never read "Heart of Darkness"? Or you've read it and are being facetious?

post #860 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Libertarians simply ask: why not try liberty?

Because the fact is that as long as there is ONE person out of an infinite number of people who doesn't grant you liberty, then you will never have liberty. Libertarianism assumes that everyone follows the rules of libertarianism.

post #861 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Because the fact is that as long as there is ONE person out of an infinite number of people who doesn't grant you liberty, then you will never have liberty. Libertarianism assumes that everyone follows the rules of libertarianism.

 

You are quite confused, unwilling to actually understand and, as a result, unworthy being engaged with any further "debate" and discussion on this subject.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply
post #862 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

 

You are quite confused, unwilling to actually understand and, as a result, unworthy being engaged with any further "debate" and discussion on this subject.

 

How does the old saying go? "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink."

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #863 of 1058
Irony.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #864 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

The only thing you've posted on Somalia is denial of the fact that modern Somalia started out as a perfect example of the system you proscribe.

Wow.
Modern Somalia began with zero government, no taxes and 100% freedom to do whatever anyone wanted. It was mostly a religious society, its private citizens were armed, and it was certainly a society in which assault and theft were considered immoral.

Now rebut.
post #865 of 1058

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

 

I'd have to side with BR on that. If you are making the presumption that any form of taxation amounts to stealing then the discussion has no place to go.  I would present an alternative view of a structured society in which the members implicitly choose to support the jointly funded services that they enjoy. The support mechanism is taxation, on which they have a say via elected representatives.  It has proven to be a successful way for humans to organize and prosper - arguably the most successful to date.  Unlike Libertarianism, that, as far as I can tell, has never succeeded even enough to make it into recorded history. And yes - I've heard the argument that it has not been given a chance, but if it's such a great idea then why do you suppose that might be?  The ensemble of events that represent human history has seen all kinds of crazy ideas tried and fail. It's the sociological analog of a disadvantageous mutation.

 

In my opinion, the "gold standard" for any foundation of government is the Declaration of Independence. If you compare what we have today with the principles set forth in that document, it's plainly obvious that what we currently have is systemized plunder under the guise of representative government. Government derives its power from the consent of the governed, and when you take consent out of the picture, it is invalid and despotic.

 

It may be your gold standard, but don't forget that the declaration of independence marked the creation of a system of government fundamentally identical to that which you are objecting to. It was elected, it enacted laws, it levied taxes etc..  And despite the pious proclamation on inalienable rights, it condoned slavery by not condemning it, which rather smokes its claim to the moral high ground.

 

That said, I do not disagree with the rights that it describes - I think that they are a reasonable basis for a cooperative society. I do disagree with the statement that they are inalienable. Since we appear to be a product of nature, and since nature self-evidently does not grant any such rights in the absence of human declaration, that position is untenable in my opinion.

 

For example, I do not consent to money being taken from me under threat of violence and used to fund the killing of innocent children overseas. My compliance with tax law cannot be construed as consent, because I have complied under duress, not of my own free will and choice.

 

Libertarianism has not been given a chance, but I believe it is due to far more nefarious reasons than you might think.

 

As for your compliance being under duress, it is your free will to choose not to live in any given society, but if you do choose to do so the accompanying social contract is that you abide by the laws and support that society. Your statement that government derives its power from the consent of the people is missing the point of democracy.  Government derives its authority from being elected by the people.  It is not some intended to be some machiavellian organization that subverts the will of the people, and will not become that provided that the electorate appropriately exercises its discretion.  The origins of government destruction of rights are generally pragmatic, and preventable by electoral vigilance. Ah, you may say - but I do not support the elected government, and I do not recognize the right of the majority to decide for me or levy taxes.  Well then you are rejecting the benefits of living in that society and it is time to find somewhere more to your liking.  Because hanging around benefiting from society's protection and infrastructure without paying taxes is, itself, theft.

 

Quote:

The Libertarian view that following society's rules as a condition of living in the region occupied by that society is an infringement of rights is fatuous on at least a couple of levels.

 

Firstly, this whole inalienable rights thing.  Why do you believe that anyone has inalienable rights?  They do not exist in nature, which, at least until human intervention, represented pure Darwinistic survival of the fittest. Rights are a human construct. Human society can be viewed merely as a cooperative modification of individual competitiveness - where societal cooperation leads to more success than just the sum of the parts.  It's just a pack, but tweaked with concepts of fairness and morality. You have the rights, and restrictions, assigned by society, which evolve and change in a process of dynamic optimization that appears to be controlled by resistance to the drift towards the short-term advantages of a more competitive but less stable structure.  If you personally don't like them, then you can work for change, leave, or be a de facto outcast.

 

Do you really believe that your right to life, liberty, and property is granted to you by a group of individuals? What if this group of individuals decides to "rescind" one of those rights? Are you bound to comply?

 

I believe our rights are inherent and exist independent of government. They existed before government, exist in spite of it, and will exist long after mankind has progressed beyond the need for government as we know it today. Government is not a granter of rights, it is supposed to be a protector of rights. Nothing more, nothing less. At least, that is what the founding documents and writings of the founding fathers of the United States implicitly state.

 

What you have said here is almost in direct contradiction to the very principles upon which this nation was supposedly founded.

 

I can't help you here. That may be your belief, but I would say that it is just wishful thinking contradicted by the overwhelming evidence of history and science.  Your blind acceptance that those rights are inalienable because a group of 18th century rebels said so makes as little sense to me as believing that we were created by a supernatural being because an ancient legend says so. And I'm not contradicting the principles on which the US was founded, I'm disputing the premise behind the principles.


Quote:
Secondly, the entire premise of Libertarianism is as flawed and naive as communism (though for different reasons), because of the competitive side of human nature.  Pre-democracy human history demonstrates that in the absence of such a structure, the result is not a free and happy market-driven utopia where everyone voluntarily pays their share and helps their neighbor, but rather a feudalistic struggle for power, wealth and against oppression.

 

It would seem your assumption is that "pre-democracy", people lived in quase-libertarian state. This is not so.

 

We have tried slavery. We have tried servitude. We have tried institutionalized violence and plunder. Libertarians simply ask: why not try liberty?

 

You misunderstood my point here; perhaps I made it poorly. I'm not arguing that pre-democracy was libertarian, I'm pointing out that libertarianism did not arise before democracy was adopted, and has not arisen since as an alternative to democracy. It thus does not appear to be a stable or quasi-stable solution attainable within the boundary conditions represented by human nature.  Could it be externally imposed and turn out to be a local minimum in an unfavorable region of the parameter space - perhaps - but much of what we know to be true of selfish human behavior suggests that it would be taken advantage of by the strong and unscrupulous and degenerate back to something akin to feudalism or tribalism. In other words I would argue that liberty, as you define it, is inherently unstable.

 

I believe your understanding of libertarianism is narrow and limited. If you have a desire to broaden that understanding, I really think you would enjoy reading For a New Liberty by Murray N. Rothbard. It is a great place to start a more in-depth study of libertarian philosophy.

 

Thanks for the suggested reading. I've looked at it before but never managed to get very far. Its almost total lack of deductive reasoning, relying instead on assertion, leaves me most unsatisfied. I'll take another look and see if it provides more insights into your thinking.

post #866 of 1058

MJ thinks allowing hunters to hunt with AR15's is more important to him and them than what this father has suffered. Mind boggling. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/27/neil-heslin-assault-weapons-ban-newtown_n_2774598.html

"Islam is as dangerous in a man as rabies in a dog"~ Sir Winston Churchill. We are nurturing a nightmare that will haunt our children, and kill theirs.
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"Islam is as dangerous in a man as rabies in a dog"~ Sir Winston Churchill. We are nurturing a nightmare that will haunt our children, and kill theirs.
Reply
post #867 of 1058

And we have a winner in the "Use the Straw Man and the Appeal to Emotion Fallacies in 21 Words or Less" category!

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #868 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

MJ thinks allowing hunters to hunt with AR15's is more important to him and them than what this father has suffered. Mind boggling. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/27/neil-heslin-assault-weapons-ban-newtown_n_2774598.html
It's not just that. MJ thinks hunters should be allowed to hunt with M16s, rocket launchers and grenades if they want to. If anyone happens to get killed accidentally because of the fact that these weapons are overpowered for their chosen use, it's all okay, because the user will be held accountable for the death. So everybody is happy in the end. And eventually, users won't choose to use these weapons because of their own personal risk. Or something.
post #869 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post


It's not just that. MJ thinks hunters should be allowed to hunt with M16s, rocket launchers and grenades if they want to. If anyone happens to get killed accidentally because of the fact that these weapons are overpowered for their chosen use, it's all okay, because the user will be held accountable for the death. So everybody is happy in the end. And eventually, users won't choose to use these weapons because of their own personal risk. Or something.

 

We certainly don't want these kinds of weapons in the hands of fallible, flawed, and corruptible people, do we?

 

Thank goodness there are no fallible, flawed, or corruptible people in government. Let's give them a monopoly on violence. What could possibly go wrong?

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #870 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

It's not just that. MJ thinks hunters should be allowed to hunt with M16s, rocket launchers and grenades if they want to. If anyone happens to get killed accidentally because of the fact that these weapons are overpowered for their chosen use, it's all okay, because the user will be held accountable for the death. So everybody is happy in the end. And eventually, users won't choose to use these weapons because of their own personal risk. Or something.

We certainly don't want these kinds of weapons in the hands of fallible, flawed, and corruptible people, do we?

Thank goodness there are no fallible, flawed, or corruptible people in government. Let's give them a monopoly on violence. What could possibly go wrong?
There absolutely are fallible, flawed and corruptible people in the government. There is also increased legal and political accountability for their actions, as well as checks and balances. What checks and balances are there against the next Adam Lanza simply firing an RPG at a school bus instead of bringing an assault rifle into a school?
post #871 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post


Have you never read "Heart of Darkness"? Or you've read it and are being facetious?

That is a better example.

 

I was thinking of "Lord of the Flies"...  High school was many, many, many Mays ago (in Hannity-speak).

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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post #872 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Have you never read "Heart of Darkness"? Or you've read it and are being facetious?
That is a better example.

I was thinking of "Lord of the Flies"...  High school was many, many, many Mays ago (in Hannity-speak).
Oops you're right. My bad.
post #873 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

It's not just that. MJ thinks hunters should be allowed to hunt with M16s, rocket launchers and grenades if they want to. If anyone happens to get killed accidentally because of the fact that these weapons are overpowered for their chosen use, it's all okay, because the user will be held accountable for the death. So everybody is happy in the end. And eventually, users won't choose to use these weapons because of their own personal risk. Or something.

We certainly don't want these kinds of weapons in the hands of fallible, flawed, and corruptible people, do we?

Thank goodness there are no fallible, flawed, or corruptible people in government. Let's give them a monopoly on violence. What could possibly go wrong?
There absolutely are fallible, flawed and corruptible people in the government. There is also increased legal and political accountability for their actions, as well as checks and balances. What checks and balances are there against the next Adam Lanza simply firing an RPG at a school bus instead of bringing an assault rifle into a school?
I still see no response to this question.

Also, it's highly likely that anyone in government with any degree of power to initiate violence has gone through a rigorous vetting process, training, and has relevant experience. In your libertarian utopia, what kind of vetting process has the guy going in to Walmart to buy a grenade launcher gone through?

This is precisely why when I think of a libertarian future, I think of Mad Max. Somalia damn well resembles the Mad Max environment someone might predict.
post #874 of 1058

Life is a gamble.There are no sure ways of knowing what will happen next. Here today gone tomorrow.
 

post #875 of 1058

My shooting buddy was telling me today that the store shelves are empty of ammo. I asked about 22 ammo considering it's sold in boxes of 500 for less than $10 ... there's none. Too bad we have such and untrustworthy president to inspire this type of panic.

post #876 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

My shooting buddy was telling me today that the store shelves are empty of ammo. I asked about 22 ammo considering it's sold in boxes of 500 for less than $10 ... there's none. Too bad we have such and untrustworthy president to inspire this type of panic.

Or perhaps too bad we have a bunch of dimwits that play right into the hands of right-wing fearmongers.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #877 of 1058
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

My shooting buddy was telling me today that the store shelves are empty of ammo. I asked about 22 ammo considering it's sold in boxes of 500 for less than $10 ... there's none. Too bad we have such and untrustworthy president to inspire this type of panic.
Or perhaps too bad we have a bunch of dimwits that play right into the hands of right-wing fearmongers.
Why is it "too bad" at all? I think it's hilarious that these mostly poor folk are wasting their hard-earned cash on something so stupid. Let them buy up all the bullets in the world, it won't affect the number of people who have easy access to firearms, except perhaps to make it harder or more costly for NEW gun owners to stock up, which is a good thing!
post #878 of 1058

Indeed, let's wish for a situation in which only the rich (or well-connected) have the means and tools to defend themselves.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #879 of 1058
That's it, spread fear! The big bad guvmint is coming to get us! Don't bother to vote. Don't bother to run for office. Don't bother to call your congressman! Guns are our salvation! They will protect us!

/moronic
post #880 of 1058

Oh look...a straw man...a non sequitur (or two...actually...three)...another straw man...and then, once again referring to people who whole a different opinion (or, in this case, simply point out a simple fact) as "moronic."

 

Lovely.

 

Is that the best you can do tonton?

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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