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Animal Rights in an Anarchical Society?

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VanDoodah Posted: Fri, Sep 4 2009 12:09 PM

How would an anarchical society be able to provide for animal rights? As someone who believes in them, what effective market forces would there be to prevent widespread battery farming and animal rights abuses? Or would animals simply be treated as profit-rendering tools?

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Fintan:
How would an anarchical society be able to provide for animal rights?

Under anarcho-capitalism, there would be no animal rights.

Fintan:
As someone who believes in them, what effective market forces would there be to prevent widespread battery farming and animal rights abuses?

Hot womenz might not date you because you spank your dog or monkey.

Fintan:
Or would animals simply be treated as profit-rendering tools?

In that sense, not necessarily. Cat ladies could abound since the would be no state from preventing them from owning 50 cats in their homes. Also, people would be able to own African elephants and mate them so as to produce more of them. Right now, since they are not ownable as pets they are easy targets for poaching.

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
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xahrx replied on Fri, Sep 4 2009 12:30 PM

Fintan:
How would an anarchical society be able to provide for animal rights? As someone who believes in them, what effective market forces would there be to prevent widespread battery farming and animal rights abuses? Or would animals simply be treated as profit-rendering tools?

As an advocate it would be up to you to convince people that they should care, communicate that to the providers of animal products, and have them act accordingly.  That is at least until the animals made a statement of their rights and demonstrated intent to enforce them, at which point we'd have to recognize them as equals in that sense and stop eating them.  At least if that's what they wanted of us.  Until then, they are property.  And as such the only acceptable way to influence someone as to how to use their property is through convincing.

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Animal rights don't exist, so they wouldn't be enforced by a market-based law system.

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What would be provided is whatever the group of people in question choose to provide. People that care about animals like me, would group with others like me. I would actively boycott and take every measure against the disrespect of animals that I could justify. Including defaming people and protesting.

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Saan replied on Fri, Sep 4 2009 12:59 PM

That is what I would do, but animals still do not have rights.

 Criminals, there ought to be a law.

Criminals there ought to be a whole lot more.   Bon Scott.

 

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I. Ryan replied on Fri, Sep 4 2009 1:20 PM

Saan:

That is what I would do, but animals still do not have rights.

That statement is meaningless because no one ever defines the term "rights".

If I wrote it more than a few weeks ago, I probably hate it by now.

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xahrx replied on Fri, Sep 4 2009 1:23 PM

Saan:
That is what I would do, but animals still do not have rights.

Just as a thought experiment, what would you say one day if animals demonstrared problem solving intelligence and a group of them made it clear somehow that they wanted to be left alone, not farmed or herded, etc.?  Because the former has already come to pass, and it's not impossible that speech and some level of more advanced intelligence is within the grasp of some animals.  And, should they evolve a bit and start complaining about how they are treated, what next?

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Saan replied on Fri, Sep 4 2009 1:37 PM

xahrx:

Saan:
That is what I would do, but animals still do not have rights.

Just as a thought experiment, what would you say one day if animals demonstrared problem solving intelligence and a group of them made it clear somehow that they wanted to be left alone, not farmed or herded, etc.?  Because the former has already come to pass, and it's not impossible that speech and some level of more advanced intelligence is within the grasp of some animals.  And, should they evolve a bit and start complaining about how they are treated, what next?

Then they must engaged as rationally acting entities and treated as such.

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Criminals there ought to be a whole lot more.   Bon Scott.

 

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Ansury replied on Fri, Sep 4 2009 1:37 PM

As someone who feels similar to the OP, I have/had similar concerns.  But I think what it comes down to is: people that wish to protect animals need to, well, actively protect them.  :)  I don't mean by force but through persuasive measures such as those suggested above.  And there are quite a few people who feel similarly about this issue, it's no small number at all, so I believe that helps.

Also I think you should keep in mind realistic goals--it's true that in such a society, all animals won't be protected, there will be instances where there are abuse and so on.  But that happens even today with the use of force.  And when you look at the grand scheme of things, through the entire world... clearly we're nowhere near the point of being able to eliminate the suffering of even humans.  So it's not realistic to hold an ancap society to such a higher standard and complain that it's flawed when it really isn't all that different from the current situation.

This is a bit of what I took away from a recent and very long discussion about this topic.  It's not a perfect answer, but the reality today isn't perfect either.

 

I do still think that this is a bit of a controversial issue among the "freedom movement" or whatever we're going to call it, because the reasoning behind human rights vs animals rights is a highly philosophical and very difficult to grasp train of thought.

 

By the way, please ignore the irony of what PETA might call "animal abuse" in my avatar pic. lol They're having fun!

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Saan replied on Fri, Sep 4 2009 1:39 PM

I. Ryan:

Saan:

That is what I would do, but animals still do not have rights.

That statement is meaningless because no one ever defines the term "rights".

Fair enough. How about this.  I would protect the animals I have an affinity for and eat/kill the ones I do not.

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Criminals there ought to be a whole lot more.   Bon Scott.

 

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Ansury replied on Fri, Sep 4 2009 1:40 PM

I. Ryan:

That statement is meaningless because no one ever defines the term "rights".

This is part of the reason I think this topic is a controversial one, even among crowds such as ours.  The terms and definitions aren't always used the same, and I feel the reasoning behind human rights is complex and non-trivial to understand.

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I. Ryan replied on Fri, Sep 4 2009 2:01 PM

From "Human Action", a relevant quotation:

"For man, animals are a material factor of production. It may be that one day a change in moral sentiments will induce people to treat animals more gently. Yet, as far as men do not leave the animals alone and let them go their way, they will always deal with them as mere objects of their own acting. Social cooperation can exist only between human beings because only these are able to attain insight into the meaning and the advantages of the division of labor and of peaceful cooperation.

Man subdues the animal and integrates it into his scheme of action as a material thing. In taming, domesticating, and training animals man often displays appreciation for the creature's psychological peculiarities; he appeals, as it were, to its soul. But even then the gulf that separates man from animal remains unbridgeable. An animal can never get anything else than satisfaction of its appetites for food and sex and adequate protection against injury resulting from environmental factors. Animals are bestial and inhuman precisely because they are such as the iron law of wages imagined workers to be. As human civilization would never have emerged if men were exclusively dedicated to feeding and mating, so animals can neither consort in social bonds nor participate in human society."[p.624 of the Scholar's Edition]

If I wrote it more than a few weeks ago, I probably hate it by now.

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Saan replied on Fri, Sep 4 2009 2:20 PM

What chapter is that from?

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Criminals there ought to be a whole lot more.   Bon Scott.

 

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Saan replied on Fri, Sep 4 2009 2:23 PM

Genuine question. I read it from time to time.  Haven't read that in awhile

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Criminals there ought to be a whole lot more.   Bon Scott.

 

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I. Ryan replied on Fri, Sep 4 2009 2:39 PM

Saan:

What chapter is that from?

XXI: Work and Wages. You will find the quotation in the last section entitled "The Work of Animals and of Slaves".

If I wrote it more than a few weeks ago, I probably hate it by now.

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Ansury replied on Sat, Sep 5 2009 12:09 AM

I. Ryan:

From "Human Action", a relevant quotation:

"For man, animals are a material factor of production. It may be that one day a change in moral sentiments will induce people to treat animals more gently. Yet, as far as men do not leave the animals alone and let them go their way, they will always deal with them as mere objects of their own acting. Social cooperation can exist only between human beings because only these are able to attain insight into the meaning and the advantages of the division of labor and of peaceful cooperation.

Man subdues the animal and integrates it into his scheme of action as a material thing. In taming, domesticating, and training animals man often displays appreciation for the creature's psychological peculiarities; he appeals, as it were, to its soul. But even then the gulf that separates man from animal remains unbridgeable. An animal can never get anything else than satisfaction of its appetites for food and sex and adequate protection against injury resulting from environmental factors. Animals are bestial and inhuman precisely because they are such as the iron law of wages imagined workers to be. As human civilization would never have emerged if men were exclusively dedicated to feeding and mating, so animals can neither consort in social bonds nor participate in human society."[p.624 of the Scholar's Edition]

Wow, this is why he's the man I guess.  He explains this better than anything I've read on the subject yet.

I'm not grasping the meaning of one sentence, though--"Animals are bestial and inhuman precisely because they are such as the iron law of wages imagined workers to be."  Not sure what he's saying with "the iron law of wages" and such.

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AJ replied on Sun, Sep 6 2009 2:21 AM

Animal rights (in the legal sense) would be provided for according to consumer demand, as with everything else.

Anarchy is just removing the monopolies on force, and what a monopoly on force does in general is distort consumer preferences so they are not as accurately reflected. Accordingly, removing that monopoly on force will allow consumer preferences to be better reflected, and so if people want more protections for animals, the market will indeed provide that.

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If you believe in "animal rights" you can buy some prime time and present the general public
with "commercials" showing e.g. battery farming or butchery, promoting vegetarianism, etc.

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xahrx replied on Thu, Sep 10 2009 12:20 PM

Ansury:
Wow, this is why he's the man I guess.  He explains this better than anything I've read on the subject yet.

I think he's proceeding from a false premise, that man is inherrently different from and superior to other animals.  Superior in intelligence, yes.  But almost every aspect of our behavior has some primitive counterpart that can be found in the rest of the animal kingdom, and we are ourselves animals.  Animals with a peculiarly advanced intelligence, self awareness and ability to think rationally and make decisions consciously rather than on mere instinct.  We are however, still animals, and not the only ones to demonstrate intelligence on some advanced level.  There are chimps I'd wager that have a better understanding of markets than most high school graduates.

Mises' quote leaves out the possiblity that instead of man deciding to treat animals more gently, animals may one day demand to be treated more gently themselves.  Likely?  Perhaps not.  But I see no reason why evolution need stop with us or endow us exclusively here on this Earth or elsewhere perhaps, with intelligence to the extent we have.  Thinking so is hubris, even though the current reality has us at the pinnacle of advanced beings.

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xahrx replied on Thu, Sep 10 2009 12:24 PM

MariusAureus:
If you believe in "animal rights" you can buy some prime time and present the general public
with "commercials" showing e.g. battery farming or butchery, promoting vegetarianism, etc.

I wonder if, given the choice and the ability to choose, where animals would prefer to be.  Take it as a given they're going to be eaten, would they rather live on a farm or in the wild?  It seems to me the natural state of most if not all animals in the wild is one of severe agitation and nervousness.  "Crap, I need food!"  "Damn, someone ate the kids!"  "Damn, there's a predator in my house!"  "Damn, winter is almost here and I don't have enough nuts stored!"  "Damn, someone just ate me!"

I think most animals would trade the inevitable execution for the knowledge that they have no other predators to deal with, their kids will be well fed, and it will be relatively painless to be killed by us, most of the time, than it would be to be eaten in the wild.  And the domesticated pet animals?  I think it's a no brainer.  What's a poodle going to do in the wild, without salons and couches to pee on?

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DanielMuff replied on Thu, Sep 10 2009 12:44 PM

How come ants don't drive around in mini automobiles?

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
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I. Ryan replied on Thu, Sep 10 2009 12:44 PM

xahrx:

I think he's proceeding from a false premise, that man is inherrently different from and superior to other animals.  Superior in intelligence, yes.  But almost every aspect of our behavior has some primitive counterpart that can be found in the rest of the animal kingdom, and we are ourselves animals.  Animals with a peculiarly advanced intelligence, self awareness and ability to think rationally and make decisions consciously rather than on mere instinct.  We are however, still animals, and not the only ones to demonstrate intelligence on some advanced level.

[...]

Mises' quote leaves out the possiblity that instead of man deciding to treat animals more gently, animals may one day demand to be treated more gently themselves.  Likely?  Perhaps not.  But I see no reason why evolution need stop with us or endow us exclusively here on this Earth or elsewhere perhaps, with intelligence to the extent we have.  Thinking so is hubris, even though the current reality has us at the pinnacle of advanced beings.

It does not seem that you have read the other words which Mises wrote adequately carefully. Read the these quotations:

Ludwig von Mises:

One may admit that in primitive man the propensity for killing and destroying and the disposition for cruelty were innate. We may also assume that under the conditions of earlier ages the inclination for aggression and murder was favorable to the preservation of life. Man was once a brutal beast. [...] But one must not forget that he was physically a weak animal; he would not have been a match for the big beasts of prey if he had not been equipped with a peculiar weapon, reason. The fact that man is a reasonable being, that he therefore does not yield without inhibitions to every impulse, but arranges his conduct according to reasonable deliberation, must not be called unnatural from a zoological point of view. Rational conduct means that man, in face of the fact that he cannot satisfy all his impulses, desires, and appetites, foregoes the satisfaction of those which he considers less urgent. In order not to endanger the working of social cooperation man is forced to abstain from satisfying those desires whose satisfaction would hinder the establishment of societal institutions. There is no doubt that such a renunciation is painful. However, man has made his choice. He has renounced the satisfaction of some desires incompatible with social life and has given priority to the satisfaction of those desires which can be realized only or in a more plentiful way under a system of the division of labor. He has entered upon the way toward civilization, social cooperation, and wealth.

Ludwig von Mises:

Christian theology deprecated the animal functions of man's body and depicted the "soul" as something outside of all biological phenomena. In an excessive reaction against this philosophy some moderns are prone to disparage everything in which man differs from other animals. In their eyes human reason is inferior to the animal instincts and impulses; it is unnatural and therefore bad. With them the terms rationalism and rational behavior have an opprobrious connotation. The perfect man, the real man, is a being who obeys his primordial instincts more than his reason.

The obvious truth is that reason, man's most characteristic feature, is also a biological phenomenon. It is neither more nor less natural than any other feature of the species homo sapiens, for instance, the upright gait or the hairless skin.

In the quotation which you responded to, Mises used the word "animal" to describe the nonhumanlike animals. If a certain species of animals further evolved and developed sufficient reason and variability of skill so division of labor and therefore so society became evolutionarily viable, his term "animal" would not anymore refer to that species. The above quotations show unambiguously that Mises does not believe that humans are "special" and instead that he believes that humans are merely more evolutionarily advanced but not somehow categorically different than other animals.

The quotation which you responded to represents the first two paragraphs of a section in "Human Action" which he entitled "The Work of Animals and of Slaves". The reason that he began that section via those two paragraphs is because he wanted to explain that animals do not realize the benefits of the division of labor and therefore we must either (1) allow them to 'go their own way' and therefore allow them to leave society or (2) forcibly integrate them into our production processes but that humans do indeed realize the benefits of the division of labor and therefore if we allow them to 'go their own way', that does not imply that they would therefore leave society; instead, they would most likely continue to live within society.

xahrx:

There are chimps I'd wager that have a better understanding of markets than most high school graduates.

No. That assertion is ridiculous.

If I wrote it more than a few weeks ago, I probably hate it by now.

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xahrx replied on Thu, Sep 10 2009 1:10 PM

I. Ryan:

xahrx:

There are chimps I'd wager that have a better understanding of markets than most high school graduates.

No. That assertion is ridiculous.

How many such graduates do you know?  I've met quite a few, and I'm nervous for the future.

Or do I need to surround some remarks with <sarcasm> to make sure the point is gotten?

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I. Ryan replied on Thu, Sep 10 2009 1:18 PM

xahrx:

How many such graduates do you know?  I've met quite a few, and I'm nervous for the future.

Or do I need to surround some remarks with <sarcasm> to make sure the point is gotten?

You evidently do not understand what the term "sarcasm" means. The term "sarcasm" describes a phrase which literally means X but figuratively means the opposite of X or, at the least, categorically different vis-a-vis X. If you did not truly mean what you said, what you said would be an instance of exaggeration, not sarcasm.

If I wrote it more than a few weeks ago, I probably hate it by now.

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xahrx replied on Fri, Sep 11 2009 8:57 AM

I. Ryan:
You evidently do not understand what the term "sarcasm" means. The term "sarcasm" describes a phrase which literally means X but figuratively means the opposite of X or, at the least, categorically different vis-a-vis X. If you did not truly mean what you said, what you said would be an instance of exaggeration, not sarcasm.

May you live long, and prosper.

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wilderness replied on Fri, Sep 11 2009 10:09 AM

xahrx:

May you live long, and prosper.

lol... you've got to admit I. Ryan this was very funny!Big Smile

I. Ryan's been reading something cause he's turned up the volts in understanding of late.  I've been learning from him more and more.Geeked

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There is market demands for cruelty free products and vegetarian/ vegan food.All of my grocery stores supply these products not out of compassion but for profit.The consumer rules-its up to them.

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I am a Vegan and a Libertarian. As a Vegan I have done research on the health aspects of a Vegan diet and was surprised to learn that a Vegan diet is one of the most libertarian things a person can do.

This is so because it promotes health. In Canada, if I fall ill with Heart Disease,Diabetes,Obesity,etc,etc I would be a major drain on our healthcare system.It is better to take control of your own health.I find this article by Dr Douglas Graham to be very interesting.

http://foodnsport.com/blog/articles/the-one-car-theory.html

 

 

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AnonLLF replied on Sat, Sep 25 2010 7:22 AM

Animal rights would only be legitimate if animals have free will (meaning they act meaning they reason) .Science nor reason has proven this-contrary to claims by alleged advocates of both.

How would it work in anycase?

Ok so humans could enforce rights violations against other people.But what about rights violations among animals?(it seems somewhat contradictory to claim it is part of animals nature to have rights yet part of their nature is that they eat or attack other animals) would we have  to arrest a bat for eating a fly? which animals would have rights and which wouldn't? how do we decide?

I don't really want to comment or read anything here.I have near zero in common with many of you.I may return periodically when there's something you need to know.

Near Mutualist/Libertarian Socialist.

 

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' As a Vegan I have done research on the health aspects of a Vegan diet and was surprised to learn that a Vegan diet is one of the most libertarian things a person can do.'

No it's not. 

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krazy kaju:

Animal rights don't exist, so they wouldn't be enforced by a market-based law system.

 
Isn't this a non sequitur? If enough people believe in 'animal rights'; then such a concept will probably be defended by a market-based law system. 

The state is not the enemy. The idea of the state is. 

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"As someone who believes in them, what effective market forces would there be to prevent widespread battery farming and animal rights abuses?"

Boycotts. Animal lovers could refuse to do business with animal abusers. Animal loving workers who work at animal abusing companies (or anywhere really) can organize and form the United Animal Lovers Union and refuse to work until their employers stop abusing animals. If the United Animal Lovers Union isn't big enough, they can form an alliance with the United Anti-Child Labor Union and strike until both of their demands are met. If that's still not big enough, they can keep making alliances with other causes (like the United Minimum Wage Union, the United 40 Hour Week Union, and the United Workers Rights Union). That's right, unions would exist in a free market.

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As an advocate it would be up to you to convince people that they should care, communicate that to the providers of child products, and have them act accordingly.  That is at least until the children made a statement of their rights and demonstrated intent to enforce them, at which point we'd have to recognize them as equals in that sense and stop eating them.  At least if that's what they wanted of us.  Until then, they are property.  And as such the only acceptable way to influence someone as to how to use their property is through convincing.

Right?

In States a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themselves altering what is bad, people begin by demanding a law to alter it. ... In short, a law everywhere and for everything!

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If I find you're abusing your animals, I know damn well I am having my PDA arrest you.  We'll let the courts decide if it was unlawful or not.

In States a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themselves altering what is bad, people begin by demanding a law to alter it. ... In short, a law everywhere and for everything!

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"If I find you're abusing your animals, I know damn well I am having my PDA arrest you."

On what charge? It is not a crime for one to abuse one's own property. So you will have to demonstrate that animals are not property.

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Sieben replied on Sat, Sep 25 2010 9:40 AM

Regardless of whether or not he can defend it on propertarian grounds, he doesn't like what you're doing. He's saying he'd be willing to bear all the costs of forcing you to stop tortuing animals.

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If he doesn't like what I'm doing, then he is free not to do business with me. He is free to make some kind of deal (as in $$$) for me to stop doing it. He is not free to "force" me unless I have violated natural law.

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Sieben replied on Sat, Sep 25 2010 9:49 AM

Right he can try all those non-aggressive methods. Or he can pay for aggression. You can violate natural law :P

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Epicurus Ibn Kalhoun:

If I find you're abusing your animals, I know damn well I am having my PDA arrest you.  We'll let the courts decide if it was unlawful or not.

 

If I find you're committing sodomy, I know damn well I am having my PDA arrest you. We'll let the courts decide if it was unlawful or not.

Do you realize that these arguments are the same?  The NAP doesn't work differently when its applied to "left wing" issues.

they said we would have an unfair fun advantage

"enough about human rights. what about whale rights?" -moondog
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