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Libertarian Thread # 3: Liberty will never die

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JJLehto View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Libertarian Thread # 3: Liberty will never die
    Posted: December 13 2013 at 12:22
Hey whadya know? The rich suck and manipulate the people for their gain...
But you totally weren't gunna make that point on FB, right KoL?
That was the one time you weren't gunna make that same point, that you make with every comment and post? Wink 
 
 


Edited by JJLehto - December 13 2013 at 12:23
"It's fine, luckily we're all English so no one will ask any questions. Thank you centuries of emotional repression."
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Epignosis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 13 2013 at 19:48
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2013/dec/12/lie-year-if-you-like-your-health-care-plan-keep-it/

I went from hoping this President could mean something.  And now I'm terrified that he has.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2013 at 04:04
Originally posted by Equality 7-2521

 
My exact point was that you can't measure the value adequately so you can't justify your taxation and subsidies.  


And I disagree.  Too many aspects of our life have nothing to do with numbers at all.  Let's get away from 'qualities' like compassion or sacrifice and let's talk about the market now. What's 'differentiation', 'branding', 'aspiration' but intangible aspects influencing the sale of goods in the market?  People are made to associate certain subjective qualities with a product that probably cannot be quantified in a cost benefit analysis.  There's no reason why such factors would not influence decision making at the macro level and I believe they do.  

Originally posted by Equality 7-2521

 
I've never disagreed with the fact that you can't buy everything with money.    

Which is why you introduced the concept of 'paying a price' which has nothing to do with price in the economic sense of the word? 

Originally posted by Equality 7-2521

 
You've made some assumptions about what you think soldiers do and for what reason. I understand exactly what you're saying. And I disagree with you.

I haven't made any assumptions.  I have only given one example of A soldier sacrificing his life on the warfront.  I know some soldiers join the army for the pay. And some others don't.  Some soldiers are very bright people.  They could easily ace the B schools and land a cushy job with a consulting firm instead of fighting on the Indo-Pak border.  So there are all sorts.  You can't generalise it as they all do everything for money.  No, they don't.  And I have only focused on the part that's NOT about money.  Nowhere have I implied that people never do anything for money.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote King of Loss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2013 at 18:52
Originally posted by JJLehto

Hey whadya know? The rich suck and manipulate the people for their gain...
But you totally weren't gunna make that point on FB, right KoL?
That was the one time you weren't gunna make that same point, that you make with every comment and post? Wink 
 
 

I can also increase my post count +1. Embarrassed So I've decided to post that instead.

Zizou 1988-2006
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Post Options Post Options   Quote King of Loss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 26 2013 at 19:22

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ambient Hurricanes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 04 2014 at 20:13
I recently posted this article about the non-aggression principle on my blog.  It voices one of my few disagreements with libertarian philosophy and I would be interested in the rest of the PA libertarians think about it.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Epignosis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 04 2014 at 20:16
Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes

I recently posted this article about the non-aggression principle on my blog.  It voices one of my few disagreements with libertarian philosophy and I would be interested in the rest of the PA libertarians think about it.


My initial response is why are you hiking with a "misanthropic nihilist jerk?"
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ambient Hurricanes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 04 2014 at 20:33
Originally posted by Epignosis

Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes

I recently posted this article about the non-aggression principle on my blog.  It voices one of my few disagreements with libertarian philosophy and I would be interested in the rest of the PA libertarians think about it.


My initial response is why are you hiking with a "misanthropic nihilist jerk?"


Maybe it's Ayn Rand and you're discussing philosophy with her.  Although "nihilist" doesn't quite fit there...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Epignosis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 04 2014 at 20:40
You say, "One might object to my examples..." 

You're right.  I'm going to object to your examples, but not for the reasons you give.  Each of your examples assume a one-sided, assumptive perspective.


In the case of the dying man who needs water, there is no immediate assurance that we are safe.  So by robbing my friend of his water, I could be dooming him later.  Furthermore, who is to say that the dying man has led a life that warrants saving?  Perhaps he has killed many people and got lost in the woods on the lam.

Suppose you steal a car to take your dying friend to the hospital.  The owner of that car needed it that very evening to drive his child to the hospital.  And it isn't there.  Because you took it without asking.

Your examples all rest on this: "Is right to devoid someone of property in order to save a life?"

Suppose your son needs a kidney transplant to live.  Your friend has two kidneys.  Is it right to take your friend's kidney to save your son? 

This is where it gets blurry- "My income isn't my body," and so people are okay with taxation, etc.  If the authorities began demanding organ redistribution, I think people might have more of a problem with that.  But if you used your body to make your money...

Finally, your comparison of the non-agression principle to Newtonian physics is a flawed one: the former is a matter of philosophy (how things should be) and the latter is one of physics (how things are).  They are not comparable.


Edited by Epignosis - January 04 2014 at 20:43
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ambient Hurricanes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 04 2014 at 21:10
Originally posted by Epignosis

You say, "One might object to my examples..." 

You're right.  I'm going to object to your examples, but not for the reasons you give.  Each of your examples assume a one-sided, assumptive perspective.


In the case of the dying man who needs water, there is no immediate assurance that we are safe.  So by robbing my friend of his water, I could be dooming him later.  Furthermore, who is to say that the dying man has led a life that warrants saving?  Perhaps he has killed many people and got lost in the woods on the lam.

Suppose you steal a car to take your dying friend to the hospital.  The owner of that car needed it that very evening to drive his child to the hospital.  And it isn't there.  Because you took it without asking.

Your examples all rest on this: "Is right to devoid someone of property in order to save a life?"

Suppose your son needs a kidney transplant to live.  Your friend has two kidneys.  Is it right to take your friend's kidney to save your son? 

This is where it gets blurry- "My income isn't my body," and so people are okay with taxation, etc.  If the authorities began demanding organ redistribution, I think people might have more of a problem with that.  But if you used your body to make your money...

Finally, your comparison of the non-agression principle to Newtonian physics is a flawed one: the former is a matter of philosophy (how things should be) and the latter is one of physics (how things are).  They are not comparable.


To be fair, the first example did say that the hikers are near the end of the trail and don't need any more water.

I didn't deal with your other objections in the article; I do plan to address them in a future post, but I will answer as best I can:

My view is that ethics rests on the principle of loyalty.  Ethics is, ultimately, the art of competing loyalties.  Ethical decision making is essentially a weighing of one loyalty against another, not merely according to the strength of the allegiance (or else you could construe it ethical to kill someone and take his TV so you kids can watch Saturday morning cartoons) but also according to the extent of your obligation and to the demands of the specific situation; for example a married man has an obligation to protect his wife and may have to aggress against another's property or such to protect her life, but does not have an obligation to buy her everything she wants and thus cannot steal from a jewelry shop (for each has an obligation to all to respect their property) so that she can have an expensive ring.

I think that this makes sense both in principle and in practice; it is both how we should act and how humans tend to make ethical decision.  Of course, as a Christian I would view each person having an ultimate loyalty to God, with family coming after that, then friends, then the rest of humanity, etc.  Yes, it is blurry, it doesn't have many easy answers and it leaves quite a bit of room for disagreement even within the system.  But no one ever said that ethics was simple or easy.

Your kidney example is a real tough nut to crack, though.  I'm going to have to think about that one.  I do understand your objections to my examples, but consider if you were in those situations.  Would you act according to the non-aggression principle?  Would you feel justified in doing so?

The last example was merely an illustration to demonstrate how a principle (whether descriptive or prescriptive) can be applicable in most situations but not universally so.

I still object to taxation, by the way (and government coercion in general); I've grown progressively more libertarian to the point where I would now consider myself an anarchist, but I just reach that conclusion ethically in a slightly different way I suppose.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Epignosis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 04 2014 at 21:29
I love my wife with all my heart.  I will not steal from someone else to save her life. 

She knows this and respects it, and reciprocates that principle.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ambient Hurricanes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 04 2014 at 22:30
Well, I respect your principles too Rob, even though I may not hold to them myself.  You do have to make some sort of basic assumption whenever you want to talk about ethics and we're probably making different assumptions.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote manofmystery Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2014 at 14:04
Happy Birthday to Lysander Spooner
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Equality 7-2521 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 20 2014 at 13:32
Originally posted by Epignosis

You say, "One might object to my examples..." 

You're right.  I'm going to object to your examples, but not for the reasons you give.  Each of your examples assume a one-sided, assumptive perspective.


In the case of the dying man who needs water, there is no immediate assurance that we are safe.  So by robbing my friend of his water, I could be dooming him later.  Furthermore, who is to say that the dying man has led a life that warrants saving?  Perhaps he has killed many people and got lost in the woods on the lam.

Suppose you steal a car to take your dying friend to the hospital.  The owner of that car needed it that very evening to drive his child to the hospital.  And it isn't there.  Because you took it without asking.

Your examples all rest on this: "Is right to devoid someone of property in order to save a life?"

Suppose your son needs a kidney transplant to live.  Your friend has two kidneys.  Is it right to take your friend's kidney to save your son? 

This is where it gets blurry- "My income isn't my body," and so people are okay with taxation, etc.  If the authorities began demanding organ redistribution, I think people might have more of a problem with that.  But if you used your body to make your money...

Finally, your comparison of the non-agression principle to Newtonian physics is a flawed one: the former is a matter of philosophy (how things should be) and the latter is one of physics (how things are).  They are not comparable.


I have to for the most part agree with Rob here.

Specifically I would say two things:
1) Even for the purpose of analogy, i would refrain from equating a baseless axiomatic foundation for a man-made system to a experimentally verified law for a natural system.

2) You seem to be treating the NAP as an ethical axiom. You can do this and some libertarians do. But I believe properly that the NAP is only a pillar for a legal system. If a stateless Ancap society were achieved with the NAP being the defining ethical principle, I would be just as vehemently about burning to the ground as I am our current one.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ambient Hurricanes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 20 2014 at 17:05
Originally posted by Equality 7-2521

Originally posted by Epignosis

You say, "One might object to my examples..." 

You're right.  I'm going to object to your examples, but not for the reasons you give.  Each of your examples assume a one-sided, assumptive perspective.


In the case of the dying man who needs water, there is no immediate assurance that we are safe.  So by robbing my friend of his water, I could be dooming him later.  Furthermore, who is to say that the dying man has led a life that warrants saving?  Perhaps he has killed many people and got lost in the woods on the lam.

Suppose you steal a car to take your dying friend to the hospital.  The owner of that car needed it that very evening to drive his child to the hospital.  And it isn't there.  Because you took it without asking.

Your examples all rest on this: "Is right to devoid someone of property in order to save a life?"

Suppose your son needs a kidney transplant to live.  Your friend has two kidneys.  Is it right to take your friend's kidney to save your son? 

This is where it gets blurry- "My income isn't my body," and so people are okay with taxation, etc.  If the authorities began demanding organ redistribution, I think people might have more of a problem with that.  But if you used your body to make your money...

Finally, your comparison of the non-agression principle to Newtonian physics is a flawed one: the former is a matter of philosophy (how things should be) and the latter is one of physics (how things are).  They are not comparable.


I have to for the most part agree with Rob here.

Specifically I would say two things:
1) Even for the purpose of analogy, i would refrain from equating a baseless axiomatic foundation for a man-made system to a experimentally verified law for a natural system.

2) You seem to be treating the NAP as an ethical axiom. You can do this and some libertarians do. But I believe properly that the NAP is only a pillar for a legal system. If a stateless Ancap society were achieved with the NAP being the defining ethical principle, I would be just as vehemently about burning to the ground as I am our current one.


You're right, I was treating it as an ethical axiom.  As the basis of a legal system, yes, I agree it works, since I believe it generally applicable even if not axiomatic.  Ethics are too complex to be fully fleshed out in any system of law.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ambient Hurricanes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 20 2014 at 22:53
I would, however, argue that political philosophy has to be based upon ethics, or else it's meaningless.  I would be interested in finding out what other libertarians who do not see the NAP as axiomatic have as their ethical foundations.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Equality 7-2521 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2014 at 23:08
I'm not sure that you can say it's meaningless (whatever meaning means to connote here). I could see viewing it as arbitrary, but really any ethical system you have will be just as arbitrary so basing your legal philosophy on an ethical one only pushes the problem back one stage. Rather than basing laws on ethics I think most people agree on settling for having laws be ethical without the converse needing to hold.

There's plenty of Christrian libertarians who as a result of their religion don't take the NAP as the foundation of their ethical system. You have the objectivists. Most people in this thread would probably fall into that category. I have the idea of very many positive obligations being built into my personal view of morality which puts it at odds with NAP.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The T Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2014 at 22:09
It's been a while since I asked a question. . I was going to use another nation as the hypothetical case but let's bring it closer. Let's suppose one day finally government is reduced to almost zero (or zero depending on your flavor of libertarianism). Liberty reigns supreme. No central organization has force over nobody.... And after a while, let's suppose that this generates really abject poverty, horrendous inequality, and that, proving those who oppose libertarianism correct, only a few extremy wealthy powerful barons have control over the rest of the people, force them to work for miserable wages with no benefits, while they accumulate all the power of wealth. All without infringing the non aggression principle. Would then be acceptable to start proposing equalizing measures? Would that be a time where it would be justified to ask for the "return of the state"? Would then be justifiable to take from the "makers"? Or should liberty reign supreme even if most everybody is starving? How supreme can this principle be?

All of this hypothetical.

Edited by The T - January 23 2014 at 22:27
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ambient Hurricanes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 24 2014 at 00:21
Originally posted by Equality 7-2521

I'm not sure that you can say it's meaningless (whatever meaning means to connote here). I could see viewing it as arbitrary, but really any ethical system you have will be just as arbitrary so basing your legal philosophy on an ethical one only pushes the problem back one stage. Rather than basing laws on ethics I think most people agree on settling for having laws be ethical without the converse needing to hold.

There's plenty of Christrian libertarians who as a result of their religion don't take the NAP as the foundation of their ethical system. You have the objectivists. Most people in this thread would probably fall into that category. I have the idea of very many positive obligations being built into my personal view of morality which puts it at odds with NAP.


I don't think an ethical system would be arbitrary, messy, maybe, and blurred and somewhat vague and all that, but not arbitrary by any means.  I see what you mean but I still think that if you don't have an ethical foundation for law then law is rather groundless and susceptible to corruption or collapse.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ambient Hurricanes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 24 2014 at 00:35
Originally posted by The T

It's been a while since I asked a question. . I was going to use another nation as the hypothetical case but let's bring it closer. Let's suppose one day finally government is reduced to almost zero (or zero depending on your flavor of libertarianism). Liberty reigns supreme. No central organization has force over nobody.... And after a while, let's suppose that this generates really abject poverty, horrendous inequality, and that, proving those who oppose libertarianism correct, only a few extremy wealthy powerful barons have control over the rest of the people, force them to work for miserable wages with no benefits, while they accumulate all the power of wealth. All without infringing the non aggression principle. Would then be acceptable to start proposing equalizing measures? Would that be a time where it would be justified to ask for the "return of the state"? Would then be justifiable to take from the "makers"? Or should liberty reign supreme even if most everybody is starving? How supreme can this principle be?

All of this hypothetical.


Well, there would be several other options in that case.  The first and most obvious one would be to wait and see if the powerful coorporations collapse under their own weight, which brings up all sorts of other hypotheticals and intricacies of economic theory, but assuming that isn't an option then there are still more.  Armed revolution a la Marx would be a possibility, although it wouldn't necessarily involve the establishment of a new state if it was sufficient to cripple the robber barons.  A more realistic option would probably be for people just to establish communes and communities independent of the coorporations which would probably involve re-settling, but in a stateless society where no central entity has claim over a territory apart from their purchase/use of it re-settling would basically just function as a universal right to homestead.  It's likely that you'd end up with anarcho-socialist communities that would function mostly self-sufficiently, thus not overthrowing coorporations but simply operating independently of them.

And despite my passion for libertarianism/anarchy I don't see complete and total freedom of action as the highest human good and thus can accept that the state would be necessary if the alternative was total chaos and hell on earth (although obviously I don't think that would be the result of a libertarian society).  By the same token I wouldn't advocate (if, hypothetically speaking, it could occur) the immediate abolition of the state because that would just create chaos.  I'm a gradualist.  Sometimes the ends justify the means. 
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