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Libertarian Thread # 3: Liberty will never die

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ExittheLemming View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ExittheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Libertarian Thread # 3: Liberty will never die
    Posted: February 18 2014 at 04:54
Originally posted by Equality 7-2521



My point is that no, that's not the case. And you have nothing to support your position. Humans have no default state they revert to in absence of our arbitrary definitions of authority.


It's not often I agree with anything you post but this struck a tiny chord in my psyche. I'm interpreting this as something close to you being in accord with the notion of being precedes essence i.e. there is no such thing as an innate human nature. If we agree that no critter exists with a 'hard wired' human nature, what would constitute natural laws or natural resources in your view? (apart from arbitrary definitions of jurisdiction and ownership created by ourselves etc)


I have a problem with the demarcation of natural versus man-made as if the former were somehow beyond our sphere of influence and control.



Edited by ExittheLemming - February 18 2014 at 04:59
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2014 at 06:11
Humans are a tribal animal, (in that respect a tribe is an enlarged family group, and any community is an enlarged tribal group), and rely on family bonds (ie bonds of association) to create an altruistic approach to survival that is inherently self-preserving (and thus self-serving and selfish); it is in every humans self-interest to be a part of a larger group, either as leader or follower. In any given group dynamic a hierarchy will quickly develop of organisers and of those who are happy to benefit from those with proven organisational skills. Deferred, (and/or conferred), leadership is a natural consequence of being a pack animal. We adopt leaders rather than they adopt us because a leader can only assume control if there is an established hierarchy to support them that is willing to follow them, or in other words - individuals do not assume leadership, organised groups do. So while I agree with Pat that humans have no default state in the absence of authority, that state is transitory, our hard-wired human nature is to form groups and confer leadership. Unless we are unceremoniously dumped on a desert island, (vis The Admirable Crichton or Lord Of The Flies), in the real world this can never happen because pre-existing organised hierarchies will fill the vacuum left by the departing power, and if there is conflict between rival groups seeking control then instability is the natural order until dominance is achieved and a new set of arbitrary definitions of authority are established. The abolishment of state power would also require the simultaneous abolishment of all organised power-groups before we can truly say that we have achieved an unregulated state.




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Post Options Post Options   Quote ExittheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2014 at 06:59
^ I can't fault the demonstrable historicity of any of that but the moral strictures from mate, to immediate family to tribe, to community to nation to race etc surely cannot be expected to hold up at every step of the chain? You state that in any transition to an agreed hierarchy, dominance will ultimately dictate what is deemed morally acceptable: so what's the difference between that and Might is Right Social Darwinism etc? I'm starting to come round to the widely discredited view held by the late R.D.Laing that the fount of mental illness is our ingrained prejudice that the family is a good thing in which a person should develop. Ronnie may have been right, healthy well adjusted, neurosis free individuals just might only exist in spite of their families. (and despite what his relatives may wish, you ain't Pat?)


Edited by ExittheLemming - February 18 2014 at 07:08
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2014 at 07:26
There is only so much information I can convey in one post and with that there is a limit to the information that can be inferred from it.

I never said to would dictate what is deemed morally acceptable, I simply state that once dominance is established a new set of arbitrary definitions of authority are established - this may not necessarily be by plan, design or intent (that's why they are arbitrary after all) if you have a hierarchy then you automatically have a definition of authority - morality does not come into it (directly) and that does not necessarily mean that coercion, threat or might is involved. Even in the most egalitarian group there is a inferred/deferred/conferred chain of decision making... someone will eat the last Rolo™ in the packet.

Nor did I say that moral strictures are the bond of association, though they certainly come into it, nor that these bonds are the same at every level in the chain - they have the same inherent human/animal core trait but the bonding (in any mentally healthy individual) is certainly not the same at every level because the group-dynamic is different at every level and the group goals are different at every level.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote ExittheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2014 at 07:45
^ I'm confused (and it doesn't take much granted) but once dominance is established which you say may not be planned, designed or intended, it's complexion is therefore a fluke which does not reflect any extant morality coercive or otherwise? I'm fine with the second paragraph (but you still ain't Pat and I've never seen anyone protect a confectionery trademark on PAThumbs Up)

There is no limit to the inferences anyone can extract from the written word (but it's refreshing to have the Libertarian thread to ourselves for a while)


Edited by ExittheLemming - February 18 2014 at 07:46
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2014 at 08:15
Of course you can infer all you want, but if it's not what I implied then it is inferring too much from the limited information provided, for example:

I never said that dominance was unplanned. I said the set of arbitrary definitions of authority that are established may not necessarily be by plan, design or intent. You cannot infer from what I said that the establishment of dominance was unplanned. 

A group will have the intention to establish dominant control of a community, they will plan to do that and may even have a designed set of definitions of the authority they wish to impose once that has been achieved, but that does not mean that the set of definitions of the authority that are eventually established will bear any resemblance to that design. This partly a consequence of idealism verses practicality and partly because the group-dynamic of the community is different from the group-dynamic of the dominant group.

My not being Pat is for you to decide whether to read or ignore my reply, I am not speaking for him or in support of him, and I'm certainly not putting words (nor Nestlés confectionery) in his mouth. I had an opinion on what you posted so I replied.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote The T Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2014 at 10:15
Originally posted by ExittheLemming



There is no limit to the inferences anyone can extract from the written word (but it's refreshing to have the Libertarian thread to ourselves for a while)

Especially since I asked a question about a current situation here in the US where the traditional libertarian answer seems absurd to me (a monopoly being formed). 

Someone needs to start a 4th libertarian thread. This one is too long. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The T Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2014 at 10:17
Originally posted by Blacksword

Originally posted by The T

Time to resurrect this thread to ask a question to the libertarians here: what do you feel about mergers like the one that is possibly going to happen between Comcast and Time Warner, thus creating a mega-monster company with a semi-monopoly of one industry? I guess your preference for the market to be let free and government not to intervene will make you say "if they want, why would it bother me?" But this is basically reducing options for people, this is basically making sure one single company can do whatever it wants in prices, offers and everything without any relevant competition that would be able to stop her from abusing its power. Isn't this a horrendous market consequence that can be addressed? I know libertarianism asks for anti-trust laws to be repelled, but I don't really see how this can be supported in the benefits of anyone but Comcast shareholders... 


I thought this was exactly the kind of thing people like Ron & Rand Paul claim to oppose. Although how they would propose to stop monoploies developing without significant government intervention in the marketplace - in itself an anti libertarian concept - I have no idea.


The Pauls would oppose government intervention and anti-trust laws. And I am ready to say that some libertarians will be quite ok with monopolies forming as long as they are free products of the free market (a situation where, in my opinion, the free market term becomes a total contradiction). 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ExittheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2014 at 14:55
Originally posted by Dean

Of course you can infer all you want, but if it's not what I implied then it is inferring too much from the limited information provided, for example:

I never said that dominance was unplanned. I said the set of arbitrary definitions of authority that are established may not necessarily be by plan, design or intent. You cannot infer from what I said that the establishment of dominance was unplanned. 

A group will have the intention to establish dominant control of a community, they will plan to do that and may even have a designed set of definitions of the authority they wish to impose once that has been achieved, but that does not mean that the set of definitions of the authority that are eventually established will bear any resemblance to that design. This partly a consequence of idealism verses practicality and partly because the group-dynamic of the community is different from the group-dynamic of the dominant group.

My not being Pat is for you to decide whether to read or ignore my reply, I am not speaking for him or in support of him, and I'm certainly not putting words (nor Nestlés confectionery) in his mouth. I had an opinion on what you posted so I replied.


I welcome your response as always and no, I didn't think you were replying on anyone's behalf apart from your own. Your tone however, comes across as a tad 'snippy' though (but like everything disagreeable, that can be dismissed as my inference)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 23 2014 at 23:28
Originally posted by The T

Time to resurrect this thread to ask a question to the libertarians here: what do you feel about mergers like the one that is possibly going to happen between Comcast and Time Warner, thus creating a mega-monster company with a semi-monopoly of one industry? I guess your preference for the market to be let free and government not to intervene will make you say "if they want, why would it bother me?" But this is basically reducing options for people, this is basically making sure one single company can do whatever it wants in prices, offers and everything without any relevant competition that would be able to stop her from abusing its power. Isn't this a horrendous market consequence that can be addressed? I know libertarianism asks for anti-trust laws to be repelled, but I don't really see how this can be supported in the benefits of anyone but Comcast shareholders... 


It's funny you bring this up. 
Just recently I was thinking this very same idea. 

It's kind of "anti market" honestly. 
I understand they are of course market players, and in reality we can't stop mergers, but yeah it reduces choice. 
This isn't the libertarian argument that it's ok if a monopoly arises naturally through prices/services, this is just someone eliminating a competitor by buying them off. 

I've asked before how the guys here feel about mergers and doesn't it reduce competition through kind of false means, but only llama answered and said 'well trying to stop it would be interfering with the market' but I agree, this is not really a good situation with Comcast, and mergers themselves are pretty much anti market! 

Just for discussion, I know nothing can be done in reality, and sometimes efficiency is improved via merger even. 



Edited by JJLehto - February 23 2014 at 23:32
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 27 2014 at 22:31
This thread is in a bad way, Keynesian stimulus to the rescue!


Capitalism is slowly softening the forces of nationalism, religion and race that has caused so much hatred of each other. 
Cold as it is, if we all want to make $ we have to at least kind of tolerate each other!


And with that small step comes better acceptance. 
Or at least no killing of each other
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The T Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 27 2014 at 23:05
Capitalism aided by pressure on all fronts. Capitalism by itself wouldn't probably have done it. It's as if there had been a wait for capitalism to get rid lf slavery: maybe it would have eventually happened, but much, much later.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Equality 7-2521 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 28 2014 at 17:24
Originally posted by ExittheLemming

Originally posted by Equality 7-2521



My point is that no, that's not the case. And you have nothing to support your position. Humans have no default state they revert to in absence of our arbitrary definitions of authority.


It's not often I agree with anything you post but this struck a tiny chord in my psyche. I'm interpreting this as something close to you being in accord with the notion of being precedes essence i.e. there is no such thing as an innate human nature. If we agree that no critter exists with a 'hard wired' human nature, what would constitute natural laws or natural resources in your view? (apart from arbitrary definitions of jurisdiction and ownership created by ourselves etc)


I have a problem with the demarcation of natural versus man-made as if the former were somehow beyond our sphere of influence and control.



I apologize, but I think I'm only getting a rough approximation of what you're saying. To make one clarification on my point, I'm not saying that humans are not hard wired for certain things because they certainly are. Yes though, I am certainly saying there is no innate human nature with regards to altruism/selfishness etc.

I've really grown away from a natural law stance (I assume we're using these terms with regard to politics). I certainly have my own feeling that there seems to be natural rights, but I have to acknowledge that my feelings are just products of my environment and incredibly arbitrary. A rights system should be formulated on a basis of what will produce good results. Though of course measuring that last statement in any way is a nightmare.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Equality 7-2521 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 28 2014 at 17:29
Originally posted by The T

Time to resurrect this thread to ask a question to the libertarians here: what do you feel about mergers like the one that is possibly going to happen between Comcast and Time Warner, thus creating a mega-monster company with a semi-monopoly of one industry? I guess your preference for the market to be let free and government not to intervene will make you say "if they want, why would it bother me?" But this is basically reducing options for people, this is basically making sure one single company can do whatever it wants in prices, offers and everything without any relevant competition that would be able to stop her from abusing its power. Isn't this a horrendous market consequence that can be addressed? I know libertarianism asks for anti-trust laws to be repelled, but I don't really see how this can be supported in the benefits of anyone but Comcast shareholders... 


There's nothing a priori wrong with the reduction of options. This is actually precisely the motivation for some anti-trust related laws.

I don't know enough about these companies to really say anything of import. My gut is that it's a horrible outcome since it's pretty well known that Comcast is a bloated and all around terrible company which garners most of its business due to municipal restriction of competitors.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ExittheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 02 2014 at 13:58
Originally posted by Equality 7-2521

Originally posted by ExittheLemming

Originally posted by Equality 7-2521



My point is that no, that's not the case. And you have nothing to support your position. Humans have no default state they revert to in absence of our arbitrary definitions of authority.


It's not often I agree with anything you post but this struck a tiny chord in my psyche. I'm interpreting this as something close to you being in accord with the notion of being precedes essence i.e. there is no such thing as an innate human nature. If we agree that no critter exists with a 'hard wired' human nature, what would constitute natural laws or natural resources in your view? (apart from arbitrary definitions of jurisdiction and ownership created by ourselves etc)


I have a problem with the demarcation of natural versus man-made as if the former were somehow beyond our sphere of influence and control.



I apologize, but I think I'm only getting a rough approximation of what you're saying. To make one clarification on my point, I'm not saying that humans are not hard wired for certain things because they certainly are. Yes though, I am certainly saying there is no innate human nature with regards to altruism/selfishness etc.

I've really grown away from a natural law stance (I assume we're using these terms with regard to politics). I certainly have my own feeling that there seems to be natural rights, but I have to acknowledge that my feelings are just products of my environment and incredibly arbitrary. A rights system should be formulated on a basis of what will produce good results. Though of course measuring that last statement in any way is a nightmare.


Kudos for such an honest response Thumbs Up

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Post Options Post Options   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 13 2014 at 11:50
Posted in the other, but I expect better discussion and more varied viewpoints here...



A little bombastic and sensational for my tastes, but this is yet another finance guy making the point: too large a finance sector is bad for the economy. 

If anyone still even posts here...I know regulation is a notch above Satan himself, but given past history (the 1920s) current history (late 80s - now) and how across the world instability, sluggishness, rapidly rising inequality and private sector debt have grown hand in hand with "financialization". There are also the claims that speculation on things like oil and food have driven prices up past their supply/demand should be prices...

With all this, is total de regulation still the way to go? At least with finance? If you want to talk about other areas, OK but at least with the finance sector, I can not see how de regulation is a good thing. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2014 at 11:38
Another good one. 

Former regulator William K Black has spoken at length about "control fraud" and how our last crisis should not have been a surprise, since it happened in the 80s, and people have always known things were rotten at the core. 
This may be his best video yet, and makes a good point: The role of the FED (or any CB) as regulator. They were given authority in 1994 to do so and Greenspan and Bernanke sat back and watched. 

I think the Fed, given its existence, should be made a regulatory body primarily, (and made more open and put under Congressional oversight). Only banks that comply with regulations would be able to receive LOLR benefits, if not kiss the company goodbye. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2014 at 19:15
Even as I agree with some of the points in the article (yet to get to the video),  I wonder if some of the hyperbolic bank-bashing is a smokescreen to shield the culpability of the govt in the crisis.  Even with all the outrageous swindling by the banks, I doubt there would have been such a large scale meltdown without the govt using Fannie Mae to stand guarantee for junk grade home loans. They must have failed to do so at the end of the day, I guess, because I later read about home evacuations in California.  Remember that before the Fannie Mae problem came to light, we were supposed to be living in an era where the fundamentals were as good as never before! LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2014 at 06:57
Listening now to the very pithy talk by William Black, hilarious. LOL It would be funnier if he weren't talking about actual frauds. Dead  However, I remain unconvinced that financial fraud by itself is in a different category from other frauds in the free market.  Take defective equipment, say cars that don't deliver the fuel efficiency advertised by the manufacturer. The customer has then paid more than he might otherwise have for the vehicle and is in addition paying more for the fuel than he budgeted.  That is also a cost on the economy and makes it inefficient. 

But where I agree (and possibly differ with the ultra-free market evangelism of Greenspan) is that fraud of any hue is a crime and needs to be treated as such.  It is NOT something the buyer was dumb enough to fall for,  it is cheating and creates a climate of distrust in the market.  Therefore, fraud certainly needs to be regulated.  I don't know exactly how LOL because financial firms are very, very smart and operating in intangibles makes it easier for them to get away.  But a starting point could be putting the Fed back in govt control (I believe it is independent in USA).  An independent Fed is only more vulnerable to being influenced by big banks not to act when it needs to.  It may be a hindrance to the unfettered growth of markets (an argument Greenspan was fond of making) but so be it.  You simply cannot let banks do whatever they want (and going to the extent of diluting regulation for that sake) to if that includes swindling their clients, directly or indirectly, out of billions of dollars.


Edited by rogerthat - March 15 2014 at 07:03
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2014 at 12:57
Yeah, I've seen some other vids with Black and he does not pull any punches!
If I can find it, there's one at a banking hearing where he starts with "You asked for a stern regulator, you have one here....it's time we be blunt in this hearing" and goes on to tear the fraudsters and banks a new one. When finished the mediator just responded, "Please remember to keep answers to the 5 minute time limit" LOL

That is actually what many of these economists I keep citing recommend doing (putting the Fed under more gov oversight). They claim, and I've seen some brilliant papers written, that while independent it is CLOSELY tied, and has for long periods pretty much done what the gov wanted....not until Greenspan did it gain more independence.
Thing is, by then supposedly the monetarism idea was dead and they admitted they can't really control the money supply in any meaningful way, and Greenspans "tinkering" had negative impacts and the CB should not have the role of "maestro" trying to guide the economy.

That is a problem, finance people are indeed smart. I got to speak to one once in a NYC bar (which was a weird time) and told me "The government will NEVER catch up to us" and how they will always regulate/move after the fact and they'll (finance) always be a step ahead.

I do agree with you, I find the constant bank bashing a bit over the top, and many of these guys I quote are VERY pro gov liberal...I'm less so and do agree gov can't have their hands totally wiped of the mess.

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