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Is Voluntaryism Reductionist?

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Nitroadict Posted: Sat, Mar 6 2010 1:39 AM

Not much of an OP here, just figured it would be a good barebones thread to toss out there.

Discuss.

"Look at me, I'm quoting another user to show how wrong I think they are, out of arrogance of my own position. Wait, this is my own quote, oh shi-" ~ Nitroadict

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Bert replied on Sat, Mar 6 2010 1:51 AM

Is the whole of Austrian economics reductionist?  If the focus starts with the individual and then the transactions between multiple individuals (and so on) it seems to be reductionist in the point of it starting with the simplest elements possible, the individual and their actions.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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I don't know much about voluntaryism, but it can not and will not be consistently existing in free society.

We can't become multipurpose creatures to support our civilization. To do so contradicts division of labour and specialization. Even if I like the thought of tutoring a few eight-year olds in math for an hour, running a charity for disabled for another hour, working as an ambulance driver for another hour, and doing all such activities every day or week, I can neither become a good tutor, a good social worker, a good medical assistant, or good at my own job like this.

Such a thing would have been feasible in agricultural societies where we could support ourselves with three days of work a week, but not in this day and age.

I am afraid charging a fee for services is the only outcome, either through state taxes or through private services. No other way.

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filc replied on Sat, Mar 6 2010 2:15 AM

Woops Prateek,

Voluntaryrism here typically means, free exchange. That exchange, and social interaction, and in general all human action is done voluntarily and un-coerced. That I chose to trade and do business with you on my own terms, and not the terms of someone else(the state). It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with being a volunteer in the philanthropist sense. 

Though I agree, the term is misleading if we take todays modern concept of what a volunteer is. 

Forgive me if I misunderstood you.

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filc replied on Sat, Mar 6 2010 2:20 AM

Nitroadict:
Not much of an OP here, just figured it would be a good barebones thread to toss out there.

I would say that much of AE is reductionist in comparison to the empirical positivists of today. Empirical positivist simply stumble over themselves every few years when new statistics are published, confusing themselves continuously. And their cognition has made them believe that each section of an economy, society, or any social action is treated as it's own isolated section, and un-related to any other part.

Voluntyrism if anything just shows people how to connect the dots, that things are in fact related. I guess I am somewhat of a fan that simpler is better.

Thoughts?

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I assumed it meant volunteering.

Thank goodness I qualified my statement in advance.

I am sorry, but people have even used the term voluntaryism in the context of volunteering, so that's what has thrown me off.

Thanks.

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Yes.

Where I find conflict in the reductionist approach is over public goods, such as the environment and natural resources.  I take a more institutional approach.

See Alan Randall:

1. "What Practicing Agricultural Economists Really Need to Know About Methodology" (1993),  American Journal of Agricultural Economics, vol. 75:48-59.

2.Methodology, Ideology, and the Economics of Policy: Why Resource Economists Disagree (1985), American Journal of Agricultural Economics, vol. 67: 1022-1029.

Lots of good stuff in there for you methodology folk.  Randall addresses various schools and leaves it up to the reader to decide on which school of thought they belong to.

Natural Resource ownership is a difficult problem, but it must take on a holistic approach.  Individuals own themselves and their labor, but not resources.

Anyways, a voluntayistst approach isn't always reductionary.  Property ownerships over natural resource ownership isn't always clear, nor valid.

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filc replied on Sat, Mar 6 2010 1:40 PM

I am not sure I understand. I have never been convinced that there is such a thign as public goods. Always seemed made up to me, or for that matter all goods are public, the public is consumers no? Smile

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Nielsio replied on Sat, Mar 6 2010 2:00 PM

Nitroadict:

Not much of an OP here, just figured it would be a good barebones thread to toss out there.

Discuss.

Just read Wiki to learn what reductionism means. It appears to me that it has the same meaning as 'materialist', because: '(b) a philosophical position that a complex system is nothing but the sum of its parts'. To me, the only alternative to that proposition is a religious statement, namely that the sum of parts can somehow be more, and have qualities that are in direct opposition from it's sub-parts; and that makes no sense to me. Stefan Molyneux has tried to argue the same thing in the past, namely that 'free will' is attained through qualities that are more than and in opposition to it's sub-parts.

People try to make the same disconnect with micro and macro-economics, and micro and macro-evolution. All of that seems completely irrational to me.

What was the thought behind bringing this up?

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AJ replied on Sun, Mar 7 2010 10:15 AM

Nielsio:
'(b) a philosophical position that a complex system is nothing but the sum of its parts'. To me, the only alternative to that proposition is a religious statement, namely that the sum of parts can somehow be more, and have qualities that are in direct opposition from it's sub-parts

I don't know if "nothing but the sum of its parts" is what is meant by reductionism, but I think it's fairly obvious that there are possible synergies or multiplicative effects among the elements of a system.

As an intuitive example, consider a movie that has great music, storyline, and visual effects. Meaning: you could listen to the soundtrack all by itself and call it a great piece of music, even if you knew nothing of the movie. Likewise, the screenplay reads as a great book in its own right. The visual effects are something you'd watch just for fun because they're just that cool.

The questions is, is there a difference between adding all these elements together so that they merely don't grate on one another, and between coordinating these elements so that they enhance and help give meaning to each other?

Or more simply:

3 bites of a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich  >  1 bite of peanut butter + 1 bite of jelly + 1 bite of bread ?

(For someone who knows: does reductionism say that the ">" sign above should be an "=" sign?)

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Nielsio replied on Sun, Mar 7 2010 10:55 AM

AJ:

I don't know if "nothing but the sum of its parts" is what is meant by reductionism, but I think it's fairly obvious that there are possible synergies or multiplicative effects among the elements of a system.

As an intuitive example, consider a movie that has great music, storyline, and visual effects. Meaning: you could listen to the soundtrack all by itself and call it a great piece of music, even if you knew nothing of the movie. Likewise, the screenplay reads as a great book in its own right. The visual effects are something you'd watch just for fun because they're just that cool.

The questions is, is there a difference between adding all these elements together so that they merely don't grate on one another, and between coordinating these elements so that they enhance and help give meaning to each other?

Or more simply:

3 bites of a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich  >  1 bite of peanut butter + 1 bite of jelly + 1 bite of bread ?

(For someone who knows: does reductionism say that the ">" sign above should be an "=" sign?)

But these are examples of the experience of reality. But the human brain, evolution, economics and social interaction systems are descriptions of reality itself. Surely you wouldn't say that a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich is anything BUT it's components; or a causal-material product of it's components?

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filc replied on Sun, Mar 7 2010 1:27 PM

I am wondering if my primitive understanding of reductionism is correct, at least as far as Nitr is getting at. Perhaps someone can provide a definition. Something a bit more simple then wiki.

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What the hell is voluntaryism? What does it even mean?

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AJ replied on Sun, Mar 7 2010 1:40 PM

Nielsio:
But these are examples of the experience of reality. But the human brain, evolution, economics and social interaction systems are descriptions of reality itself. Surely you wouldn't say that a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich is anything BUT it's components; or a causal-material product of it's components?

Well OK, you're obviously talking about whether voluntaryism is reductionist, whereas I was just talking about reductionism itself. I confess to not understanding the intent of the OP: in what sense is voluntaryism purported to be reductionist?

In other words, what are the elements and what would constitute the "sum of the elements" in the case of voluntaryism?

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filc:
Though I agree, the term is misleading if we take todays modern concept of what a volunteer is. 

So what about "contractualist"?  Someone who believes only signed contracts bind people to obligations?

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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filc replied on Sun, Mar 7 2010 1:47 PM

Spideynw:

filc:
Though I agree, the term is misleading if we take todays modern concept of what a volunteer is. 

So what about "contractualist"?  Someone who believes only signed contracts bind people to obligations?

Yea I don't really care what it's called to be honest. There are lots of good names out there, like the one you just provided. Any how this name has kind of already picked up the ball and ran with it.

http://www.vforvoluntary.com/

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Nielsio replied on Sun, Mar 7 2010 3:27 PM

Stranger:


What the hell is voluntaryism? What does it even mean?



1. Done or undertaken of one's own free will
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/voluntary

----------

[..] a philosophy that opposes aggressive force or coersion

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voluntaryism


Continued from Wikipedia:

[..] Most voluntaryists regard much of what government does as aggressively coercive, and call for its abolishment, but, unlike a number of anarchistproperty rights which they regard as a natural law that is compatible with non-coercion. philosophies, voluntaryists support strong

The goal of voluntaryism is the supplantation of the state by a voluntary order, in which political authority is reverted to the individual, and association among people occurs only by mutual consent. Voluntaryists believe voluntaryism itself should be the means to achieve this goal, rather than forceful action.

The term voluntaryism is often used today as a synonym for free-market anarchist or anarcho-capitalist philosophies. The voluntaryist movement, however, is distinct in its rejection of electoral politics. Because they consider electoral politics to be counterproductive or immoral, voluntaryists seek to dismantle the state by non-political means such as secession, counter-economics, civil disobedience and education, rather than voting.[2]

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From my website:

- You own your life
- You own the fruits of your labor
- You decide

You are the sole owner of your body and the fruits of your labor. You should be free to sell your labor, to trade with others or to give gifts, without any other person having the right to any of it. Only you should be able to decide what happens to your person and with whom you associate. In either case governments form no exception, and so protection organizations should too rely on voluntary contributions and associations. This is the only way to prevent tyranny.

http://www.vforvoluntary.com/

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Nielsio:

Stranger:


What the hell is voluntaryism? What does it even mean?



1. Done or undertaken of one's own free will
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/voluntary

----------

[..] a philosophy that opposes aggressive force or coersion

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voluntaryism


Continued from Wikipedia:

[..] Most voluntaryists regard much of what government does as aggressively coercive, and call for its abolishment, but, unlike a number of anarchistproperty rights which they regard as a natural law that is compatible with non-coercion. philosophies, voluntaryists support strong

The goal of voluntaryism is the supplantation of the state by a voluntary order, in which political authority is reverted to the individual, and association among people occurs only by mutual consent. Voluntaryists believe voluntaryism itself should be the means to achieve this goal, rather than forceful action.

The term voluntaryism is often used today as a synonym for free-market anarchist or anarcho-capitalist philosophies. The voluntaryist movement, however, is distinct in its rejection of electoral politics. Because they consider electoral politics to be counterproductive or immoral, voluntaryists seek to dismantle the state by non-political means such as secession, counter-economics, civil disobedience and education, rather than voting.[2]

----------

From my website:

- You own your life
- You own the fruits of your labor
- You decide

You are the sole owner of your body and the fruits of your labor. You should be free to sell your labor, to trade with others or to give gifts, without any other person having the right to any of it. Only you should be able to decide what happens to your person and with whom you associate. In either case governments form no exception, and so protection organizations should too rely on voluntary contributions and associations. This is the only way to prevent tyranny.

http://www.vforvoluntary.com/

Sounds more like stupiditism. It's against a bunch of "bad things" but not in favor of anything.

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Nielsio replied on Sun, Mar 7 2010 8:31 PM

Stranger:

It's against a bunch of "bad things" but not in favor of anything.

It's in favor of these things:

- You own your life
- You own the fruits of your labor
- You decide

People generally use their life and their labor for consumer-ware, technology and innovation, arts, culture, and generally ..to build a society.

What more do you want?

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Nielsio:

 

It's in favor of these things:

- You own your life
- You own the fruits of your labor
- You decide

People generally use their life and their labor for consumer-ware, technology and innovation, arts, culture, and generally ..to build a society.

What more do you want?

So is absolutely every other ideology ever.

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filc replied on Sun, Mar 7 2010 9:30 PM

Stranger:
Sounds more like stupiditism. It's against a bunch of "bad things" but not in favor of anything.

The kind of insightful response we come to expect from our MVP's.

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Nielsio replied on Sun, Mar 7 2010 10:23 PM

Stranger:

So is absolutely every other ideology ever.

No, not every other ideology is in favor of self-ownership and property-rights, and it's products.

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Stranger replied on Sun, Mar 7 2010 10:33 PM

Nielsio:

Stranger:

So is absolutely every other ideology ever.

No, not every other ideology is in favor of self-ownership and property-rights, and it's products.

Sure they are. They are all in favor of smiles on the faces of children as well. I might as well go and start smilism, where all children must be allowed to smile.

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Nielsio replied on Mon, Mar 8 2010 7:01 AM

Stranger:

Nielsio:

Stranger:

So is absolutely every other ideology ever.

No, not every other ideology is in favor of self-ownership and property-rights, and it's products.

Sure they are. They are all in favor of smiles on the faces of children as well. I might as well go and start smilism, where all children must be allowed to smile.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAY_hHGKL4M

 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBIKP4W50-I

 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7mRSI8yWwg

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good videos.  Watch the logic of gov't officials even give away their own house!! (Richardson).  It's obvious these individuals don't recognize the axiom of property, so, when they try to deduce property rights their logical contradiction becomes explicit as they agree to the premises at the beginning of the interviews and then go on to contradict these agreed to premises.  And to think that's only an interview.  What goes on in their mind from certain premises they adhere to when they actually sign off on legislation, etc.... !  Hint:  It's not only Richardson house that is being given away.

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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Stranger replied on Mon, Mar 8 2010 10:18 AM

See, even Harry Reid is a voluntaryist.

Have enough courage to call yourself an anarcho-capitalist. It might be confusing, but it's not as meaningless as voluntaryist.

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filc:

I am not sure I understand. I have never been convinced that there is such a thign as public goods. Always seemed made up to me, or for that matter all goods are public, the public is consumers no? Smile

Air or an endangered species.

I would argue for clean water, but water can be controlled.  However, clean water should be public good or forced into that direction.

 

Perhaps, you are turned off by my words of "force", but tell me why trying to making clean water non-excluding and non-rival is a bad thing?

And then tell me why, first claim, first serve over water property is a good thing?

 

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