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Libertarianism, Positive Obligations, Morality vs Ethics

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wilderness replied on Thu, Mar 25 2010 10:45 AM

Conza88:
No, it's not a fallacy at all. Your fallacy is conflating political philosophy, with personal ethics. There is nothing universal about the latter, it is individual. How you can then somehow inject the concept of "justice" is beyond me.

I don't think Sage is conflating political and personal.  Sage is pointing out his personal ethics when it comes to cultural norms.  He's not saying arrest the racist.  But the issue is social.  More than one person finds racism something to not have in society.  Undoubtedly all of us in this discussion do not want it.

Plauche dissertation on social justice:

Plauche:
To keep the difference between the two types of justice clear, it will help to rename them: 1) We have political justice which pertains only to rights and is legitimately enforceable. And 2) we have social justice which pertains to our moral obligations to others and is not legitimately enforceable.

Plauche footnote to above:
This definition of the term ‘social justice’ obviously differs from popular usage; nevertheless, I can think of no more appropriate term for this type of justice. There is a sense in which one can speak of personal justice too, e.g., “I owe it to myself.”

Plauche:
Social justice is, as Aristotle remarks, complete virtue with respect to other people. It involves the fulfillment of the requirements of the other virtues with respect to other people, but unlike political justice is not legitimately enforceable. To enforce social justice by law, regulation or other means involving the threat or use of initiatory physical force is to set it in conflict with political justice, to undermine the very foundations of society, and to harm both the aggressor’s and the victim’s well-being.

There's more in the dissertation.  Social justice isn't such a far-fetched idea.  I think it is good to name the real act of virtue between individuals.  It can be called ethical conduct.  But the social justice distinction is the same as my example I gave in a previous post of mine in this thread on a racist family moving into a community and how the community deals with it.

Social justice is an instance of virtue.  To be virtuous I could pull out a whole list of virtuous actions.  Kindness for one.  A society full of hate will be inclined to be a society that degenerates into violence.

 

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Conza88 replied on Thu, Mar 25 2010 10:53 AM

Angurse:
You are just assuming that there will be (effective) PDA's

Come again? "It is true that there can be no absolute guarantee that a purely market society would not fall prey to organized criminality." - MNR

Angurse:
if a culture doesn't respect private property, it doesn't matter.

Yes.. and yet how is that relevant? Hark back to the anarcho-capitalist / libertarian society "model", and what is the problem? The racists can go live in their own onclave if they so choose, some communities would be diverse, others homogeneous - your "issue" or "problem" is null.

Angurse:
Are you even reading me?

Yes. I seem to be wasting my time though.

Angurse:
I'm not making any argument

That's appears to be the problem.

Angurse:
I'm pointing out the (one of) thick libertarian argument

Yeah and I've eluded to it's massive holes. What other arguments are there? You've said there are more, what are they?

Conza88:
But even if you think that is the case, great - condemn it, ostracize these people, campaign against them - whatever, just don't label yourself as being a libertarian whilst you're doing it - because it has nothing to do with libertarianism.

Angurse:
That makes no sense, it's libertarianism incorporated into a broader ("thick") commitment.

It makes no sense, if you have no understanding on the differences between political philosophy and personal ethics - nor what Libertarianism - really is.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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wilderness replied on Thu, Mar 25 2010 10:59 AM

Conza88:
Yes.. and yet how is that relevant? Hark back to the anarcho-capitalist / libertarian society "model", and what is the problem? The racists can go live in their own onclave if they so choose, some communities would be diverse, others homogeneous - your "issue" or "problem" is null.

It's about a diverse community maintaining their diversity and not allowing a current resident to spontaneously develop a racist attitude.  There doesn't need to be whole contracts drawn up and rules posted in each community on how that community will behave.  They can spontaneous choose to live a certain way and out of that certain norms will arise, etc...

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Conza88 replied on Thu, Mar 25 2010 11:09 AM

wilderness:
I don't think Sage is conflating political and personal.

My impression is that it's an attempt to 'universalize' what is ethical / unethical within the individual sphere.

wilderness:
He's not saying arrest the racist.

I know.

wilderness:
But the issue is social.

It's not universal. If an individual has yellow fever. He discriminates against another women, due to race. Is this unethical / immoral? What about the other isms?

wilderness:

Plauche:
To keep the difference between the two types of justice clear, it will help to rename them: 1) We have political justice which pertains only to rights and is legitimately enforceable. And 2) we have social justice which pertains to our moral obligations to others and is not legitimately enforceable.

Plauche footnote to above:
This definition of the term ‘social justice’ obviously differs from popular usage; nevertheless, I can think of no more appropriate term for this type of justice. There is a sense in which one can speak of personal justice too, e.g., “I owe it to myself.”

Yeah, I'm not a fan of the term as I think it breeds confusion.

wilderness:
Plauche:
Social justice is, as Aristotle remarks, complete virtue with respect to other people. It involves the fulfillment of the requirements of the other virtues with respect to other people, but unlike political justice is not legitimately enforceable. To enforce social justice by law, regulation or other means involving the threat or use of initiatory physical force is to set it in conflict with political justice, to undermine the very foundations of society, and to harm both the aggressor’s and the victim’s well-being.

I probably need to re-read particular parts of Nicomachean Ethics, lol.

wilderness:
There's more in the dissertation.

Thanks I'll take a look.

wilderness:
It can be called ethical conduct.

That's a better term imo.

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Angurse replied on Thu, Mar 25 2010 11:10 AM

Conza88:
Yes.. and yet how is that relevant? Hark back to the anarcho-capitalist / libertarian society "model", and what is the problem? The racists can go live in their own onclave if they so choose, some communities would be diverse, others homogeneous - your "issue" or "problem" is null.

There isn't a model, try some Friedman. And the model provided still requires a near uniform culture (in the realm of property) for it to be sustainable. 3) You haven't responded to the claim that some cultures won't remain libertarian at all The "problem" isn't null - you simply ignored it.

Conza88:
Yes. I seem to be wasting my time though.

Conza88:

Angurse:
Are you even reading me?

Yes. I seem to be wasting my time though.

Angurse:
I'm not making any argument

That's appears to be the problem.

I think you mean "no, I'm not reading you"

Conza88:
your "issue" or "problem" is null

Conza88:
Yeah and I've eluded to it's massive holes. What other arguments are there? You've said there are more, what are they?

No, you haven't. You even pointed out why certain values are necessary for a free society.

Conza88:
It makes no sense, if you have no understanding on the differences between political philosophy and personal ethics - nor what Libertarianism - really is.

Who denied there are differences? How does that mean one cannot incorporate the two together? Can you not be, say, a Mormon Libertarian? Catholic Libertarian? Buddhist Libertarian?

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Conza88 replied on Thu, Mar 25 2010 11:14 AM

wilderness:

Conza88:
Yes.. and yet how is that relevant? Hark back to the anarcho-capitalist / libertarian society "model", and what is the problem? The racists can go live in their own onclave if they so choose, some communities would be diverse, others homogeneous - your "issue" or "problem" is null.

It's about a diverse community maintaining their diversity and not allowing a current resident to spontaneously develop a racist attitude.  There doesn't need to be whole contracts drawn up and rules posted in each community on how that community will behave.  They can spontaneous choose to live a certain way and out of that certain norms will arise, etc...

Yeah, obviously - and that's where ostracism, rational exchange and discussion, open communication come into play. I don't think there is a lot we disagree on at all, about the above & earlier... it's just the point, to me at least - remains: that Libertarianism is a political philosophy. The "thick" libertarians are wrong in trying to extend it over into the personal ethics / "social justice" sphere.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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wilderness replied on Thu, Mar 25 2010 11:23 AM

Conza88:
wilderness:
I don't think Sage is conflating political and personal.

My impression is that it's an attempt to 'universalize' what is ethical / unethical within the individual sphere.

How?  It's not an appeal to coercion.  So it's only appeal is via choice.  I see nothing wrong with that.  I see this basically how I raise my son.  I teach him what I think is ethically right.  And sometimes being a virtuous individual might mean being outnumbered.  It doesn't mean that people are necessarily aggressive against one another.  It's how they raise their childs and how individuals within the society are being supportive in their virtuous ambitions or lack thereof.

Conza88:

wilderness:
But the issue is social.

It's not universal. If an individual has yellow fever. He discriminates against another women, due to race. Is this unethical / immoral? What about the other isms?

No it's not universal.  It's based on the preferences that individuals maintain in their relations.  It's a form of social justice that isn't political justice.

Conza88:

wilderness:

Plauche:
To keep the difference between the two types of justice clear, it will help to rename them: 1) We have political justice which pertains only to rights and is legitimately enforceable. And 2) we have social justice which pertains to our moral obligations to others and is not legitimately enforceable.

Plauche footnote to above:
This definition of the term ‘social justice’ obviously differs from popular usage; nevertheless, I can think of no more appropriate term for this type of justice. There is a sense in which one can speak of personal justice too, e.g., “I owe it to myself.”

Yeah, I'm not a fan of the term as I think it breeds confusion.

Or it's a new term.  Maybe it is confusing.  But after I read the definition I gave above, plus, any other points Plauche made in that article.  I wasn't confused.

Conza88:

wilderness:
Plauche:
Social justice is, as Aristotle remarks, complete virtue with respect to other people. It involves the fulfillment of the requirements of the other virtues with respect to other people, but unlike political justice is not legitimately enforceable. To enforce social justice by law, regulation or other means involving the threat or use of initiatory physical force is to set it in conflict with political justice, to undermine the very foundations of society, and to harm both the aggressor’s and the victim’s well-being.

I probably need to re-read particular parts of Nicomachean Ethics, lol.

yes.  this would be something found in there.  And I've actually thought about re-reading that someday too as I now know a lot more and will be able to under that particular work in-depth more than I did before.

Conza88:

wilderness:
It can be called ethical conduct.

That's a better term imo.

Well.  There might be a difference in definition as I said in my previous post.  For some reason Plauche felt the need to be creative and come up with this term.  I mean, I'm sure he's heard of 'ethical conduct', but for some reason he felt the need to not use that word.  Or maybe Plauche was getting too creative.  I don't know.  But I wouldn't jump the gun, personally, unless I knew more about the reasons to devise a new name.

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wilderness replied on Thu, Mar 25 2010 11:29 AM

Conza88:
wilderness:

It's about a diverse community maintaining their diversity and not allowing a current resident to spontaneously develop a racist attitude.  There doesn't need to be whole contracts drawn up and rules posted in each community on how that community will behave.  They can spontaneous choose to live a certain way and out of that certain norms will arise, etc...

Yeah, obviously - and that's where ostracism, rational exchange and discussion, open communication come into play. I don't think there is a lot we disagree on at all, about the above & earlier... it's just the point, to me at least - remains: that Libertarianism is a political philosophy.

I understand that.  I don't necessarily disagree with that either (on libertarianism being a political philosophy).  But the individuals that are trying to live such a political philosophy are not always engaged in political relations.  Sometimes I'm simply shootin' the shit with another person at the cafe and what comes up in the conversation might have to do with how they are being treated by X-person.  What Sage brought up is simply another talking point to beef-up those that are libertarian inclined, to also be able to engage in topics of discussion that are real in this world.

Conza88:
The "thick" libertarians are wrong in trying to extend it over into the personal ethics / "social justice" sphere.

what?  It's wrong to discuss this kind of stuff?  Surely you didn't mean that.

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Conza88:
Libertarianism is a political philosophy

Call it what you like, if you decide for some reason to make liberty the only political value without any real arguments in favour of such a position, it's to your detriment. Likewise, if you decide to ignore the important arguments put forth by Angurse, you'll be worse off. There's been a lot of work done that shows the importance of informal institutions, culture, for the feasibility of various sorts of formal institutions. If these informal institutions are lacking the feasibility or even desirability of the formal institutions would be undermined. 

 

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hayekianxyz:

Conza88:
Libertarianism is a political philosophy

Call it what you like, if you decide for some reason to make liberty the only political value without any real arguments in favour of such a position, it's to your detriment. Likewise, if you decide to ignore the important arguments put forth by Angurse, you'll be worse off. There's been a lot of work done that shows the importance of informal institutions, culture, for the feasibility of various sorts of formal institutions. If these informal institutions are lacking the feasibility or even desirability of the formal institutions would be undermined.

I would say it is most accurate to call libertarianism a legal philosophy or system of punishment. There is also "Libertarianism" in the sense of politics and the various disparate movements.

The logical conclusion of libertarianism in practice is anarchy. The cultural values of the people in a hypothetical free society are a whole separate matter. There is a proper scope of the law that can be defined, then we can speculate on what sort of extra-juridical institutions would spring up, given whatever set of cultural norms.

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wilderness replied on Thu, Mar 25 2010 11:57 AM

hayekianxyz:
Conza88:
Libertarianism is a political philosophy

Call it what you like, if you decide for some reason to make liberty the only political value without any real arguments in favour of such a position, it's to your detriment. Likewise, if you decide to ignore the important arguments put forth by Angurse, you'll be worse off. There's been a lot of work done that shows the importance of informal institutions, culture, for the feasibility of various sorts of formal institutions. If these informal institutions are lacking the feasibility or even desirability of the formal institutions would be undermined.

I don't think that was necessarily on point.  You write that as if Conza doesn't already know that.  He does as my back and forth with him shows.  He was, as he pointed out to me, trying to make sure that the clear lines of distinction between political and personal ethics are maintained.  He's effort was philosophically valiant.

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Angurse replied on Thu, Mar 25 2010 2:04 PM

E. R. Olovetto:
The logical conclusion of libertarianism in practice is anarchy. The cultural values of the people in a hypothetical free society are a whole separate matter. There is a proper scope of the law that can be defined, then we can speculate on what sort of extra-juridical institutions would spring up, given whatever set of cultural norms.

Its more connected than that though. Its not just mere speculation about what would spring up, as fun as that may be, its what aspects - besides the political - are necessary to keep said society free. The proper law can only exist as far as it is accepted, and various aspects of life will ultimately play a factor, will they not?

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Angurse:

E. R. Olovetto:
The logical conclusion of libertarianism in practice is anarchy. The cultural values of the people in a hypothetical free society are a whole separate matter. There is a proper scope of the law that can be defined, then we can speculate on what sort of extra-juridical institutions would spring up, given whatever set of cultural norms.

Its more connected than that though. Its not just mere speculation about what would spring up, as fun as that may be, its what aspects - besides the political - are necessary to keep said society free. The proper law can only exist as far as it is accepted, and various aspects of life will ultimately play a factor, will they not?

I am kind of busy. Is there something I missed that you feel is important? Adding personal values to the equation ruins the whole thing. How was Aristotle's definition of politics, something like "affairs of the town" (city-state, whatever)? Separate this into what applies to libertarianism as a properly delimited legal philosophy and what doesn't.

The appeal to popular sentiment, such as "racism is bad", can be expressed without culling all the skinheads. This requires our thymological category of understanding. I judge the majority of folk in my society to value multi-culturalism and I value such a concept as well (if I understand what it really entails). I would expect no opposition from the neighbors in my area to a provision of a homeowner association agreement banning the display of swastikas. We now have binding law without having to artificially import personal values into a legal philosophy that should apply to all people equally.

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Angurse replied on Thu, Mar 25 2010 2:53 PM

What are you talking about? Nobody is proposing importing personal values into legal philosophy at all.

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Angurse:

What are you talking about? Nobody is proposing importing personal values into legal philosophy at all.

Are we talking about "non-enforceable obligations" again? The term doesn't even make sense.

OK, "various aspects of life will ultimately play a factor". Yes, I think it is good that we have advanced beyond the myth of divine rule. Next to fall is democracy. But what about acceptance? Racism can be "rooted out" effectively by how the economics of racism and anti-racism plays out. What is the point of this?

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I think Angurse and myself are making similar points here, so let me have a try. Property rights don't exist in a vacuum, no matter how well property rights are monitored and enforced there will always be incentives for individuals to break these property rights. Unless, of course, they believe in them. This is the point I'm trying to make, unless there is a culture that meets certain necessary requirements, the formal institutions will break down. 

Let me give you an example, there are no positive pecuniary returns to voting, unless individuals felt some obligation to vote, or some positive return from voting (in the form of expressing their preferences), democracy would quite simply breakdown. Now, I can't tell you what it would be replaced with, but it most certainly wouldn't work if there wasn't some trace of a democratic ethic. 

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Angurse replied on Thu, Mar 25 2010 4:11 PM

Olovetto,

I (and Hayekian more eloquently) have explained the points multiple times now. Lets try this a different way, Have you ever read Democracy: The God that Failed? If not read it, in it Hoppe goes into detail about why libertarianism needs conservative values, its a good demonstration of thick libertarianism. (Lets ignore whether you agree with his proposals. Other authors like Sciabarra and even Rand (for Objectivism) go even further.

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hayekianxyz:

I think Angurse and myself are making similar points here, so let me have a try.

Angurse:

I (and Hayekian more eloquently) have explained the points multiple times now.

OK. Well, I will read through the thread again. If I am missing something please quote it. A lot of what I am seeing is very vague and seems like politician-speak. Who decides what is racist, sexist, ageist, speciesist, handednist? Who pays for the psycho-killer that constantly attacks the jailer without a state's prison institution, itself funded by criminal behaviour?

hayekianxyz:
Property rights don't exist in a vacuum, no matter how well property rights are monitored and enforced there will always be incentives for individuals to break these property rights. Unless, of course, they believe in them.

Sure, a polycentric legal order or a democratic republic both rely on the acceptance of the people. What I am saying is that you can "combat racism" without making libertarianism into something it isn't. Libertarian legal theory doesn't arrive at a maximum punishment with forward-looking, "societal incentives" in mind. The task is reconstructing an involuntary exchange, a historic event, as best as possible and seeing what actions might be taken to best make the victim whole again. 

There are of course the practical considerations of two or more opposed claimants, as well as the arbitrator(s) to keep in mind. Will people continue to hire me if I try to enforce a trespassing penalty on someone fleeing a mudslide? The same methodology of Austrian economics applies to the legal aspect of praxeology. This is Gedankenexperiment ("thought experiment") and allows us to consider "ideal cases" with regards to law. Read this PDF, at least pages 13-14 regarding the "premium for scaring" and the heuristic device of the revolver with 1,000 chambers.

An "ideal case" for the aspect of the "threat premium" would be one where a robber loaded 3 of 6 chambers of his revolver and raised it to someone's head. That every case won't be so cut and dry doesn't preclude us from considering the situation. The fact that WE are not the two claimants in a dispute or an arbitrator in a real, live case does preclude us from injecting our own personal values as to whether we think one ought to choose to act to pursue a hypothetically maximum allowable punishment.

hayekianxyz:
This is the point I'm trying to make, unless there is a culture that meets certain requirements necessary for the formal institutions to sustain themselves. 

What requirements? Any society can be seen along a continuum from one of purely voluntary interaction, the contractual society, to one of choice-always-secondary to the whim of a ruling elite, the hegemonial society. Every political ideology conforms to this model, regardless of the meaningful content attached to either pole.

Angurse:

Lets try this a different way, Have you ever read Democracy: The God that Failed?

Yes, I have read it roughly two times over now and own the book. See Block's Plumb-Line Libertarianism: A Critique of Hoppe.

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Angurse replied on Thu, Mar 25 2010 8:59 PM

E. R. Olovetto:
Sure, a polycentric legal order or a democratic republic both rely on the acceptance of the people. What I am saying is that you can "combat racism" without making libertarianism into something it isn't. Libertarian legal theory doesn't arrive at a maximum punishment with forward-looking, "societal incentives" in mind. The task is reconstructing an involuntary exchange, a historic event, as best as possible and seeing what actions might be taken to best make the victim whole again. 

Nobody is disagreeing with this sentiment though, thick libertarians aren't contending that libertarian legal theory need be extended at all. The idea is that for a libertarian society to remain libertarian it will require more than just legal theory (and a market) as they will break down if the people don't respect said institutions (i.e. culture).

E. R. Olovetto:

What requirements? Any society can be seen along a continuum from one of purely voluntary interaction, the contractual society, to one of choice-always-secondary to the whim of a ruling elite, the hegemonial society. Every political ideology conforms to this model, regardless of the meaningful content attached to either pole.

Yes, the point is that a culture of respect for voluntary interaction has to be maintained, and that a legal system isn't enough to do so. As to what said culture consists of is a different story though.

E. R. Olovetto:
Yes, I have read it roughly two times over now and own the book. See Block's Plumb-Line Libertarianism: A Critique of Hoppe.

Then you understand what thick libertarianism is. Look, Block even makes the exception of crime, if, say, libertine lifestyles ultimately lead to drug use - then crime - for a libertarian society to last such cultures obviously should be shunned.

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Sage replied on Fri, Mar 26 2010 1:39 AM

Conza88:
Your fallacy is conflating political philosophy, with personal ethics.

Well, I've presented arguments to the contrary (again, see the Johnson piece). Maybe my arguments don't work. But once they're on the table, it's dialectically incumbent on you to actually address them, instead of simply claiming over and over that I'm wrong.

Conza88:
How you can then somehow inject the concept of "justice" is beyond me.

Do you happen to think that political philosophy is objective, while personal ethics is subjective?

Conza88:
And what is morally permissible? What's the standard here? The theory of justice?

On the virtue ethics perspective, what is morally permissible is determined by the theory of morality, of which justice is a subcategory. Moreover, with the unity of virtue, one cannot specify the content of any one virtue independently of the content of all the other virtues (see Long's example of courage and prudence here).

Conza88:
Now why is it more than a personal affair? And what kind of "justice" are you talking about? Surely not the natural law -> natural rights -> natural justice kind.

And we're also to contend that this society of 'libertarians' has fallen for polylogism?

Could you provide an example of "justice" being obtained then, outside of "rights" / the NAP ?

First, yes, I mean natural law justice, i.e. the virtue concerned with rights. Second, I never claimed that racism requires polylogism. (Do you think Justin Barrett is a polylogist?) Third, my position is more subtle than that. I'm not arguing that thickness considerations are a matter of justice itself; rather, they're connected to justice. See the Johnson piece linked above. Long's "Culture and Liberty" might also be helpful.

E. R. Olovetto:
Racism can be "rooted out" effectively by how the economics of racism and anti-racism plays out.

I disagree. Sure, for a given set of cultural attitudes, market competition will do the best job in minimizing racism. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't work to change cultural attitudes to minimize it even more.

hayekianxyz:
There's been a lot of work done that shows the importance of informal institutions, culture, for the feasibility of various sorts of formal institutions.

See, for example, Boettke et. al on "Institutional Stickiness" and Claudia Williamson's paper "Informal Institutions Rule." They argue persuasively that informal institutions like culture are the decisive factor in the feasibility of formal institutions. As Burke put it, "Manners are of more importance than laws".

Chris Sciabarra also makes the same point with his tri-level analysis in examining social problems in terms of the personal, cultural, and structural.

AnalyticalAnarchism.net - The Positive Political Economy of Anarchism

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Conza88 replied on Fri, Mar 26 2010 3:14 AM

Angurse:
And the model provided still requires a near uniform culture (in the realm of property) for it to be sustainable.

Grundnorms.

"The libertarian seeks property assignment rules because he values or accepts various grundnorms such as justice, peace, prosperity, cooperation, conflict-avoidance, and civilization.[14] The libertarian view is that self-ownership is the only property assignment rule compatible with these grundorms; it is implied by them."

[14] "Grundnorm" was legal philosopher Hans Kelsen's term for the hypothetical basic norm or rule that serves as the basis or ultimate source for the legitimacy of a legal system. See Hans Kelsen, General Theory of Law and State, trans. Anders Wedberg (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1949). I employ this term to refer to the fundamental norms presupposed by civilized people, e.g., in argumentative discourse, which in turn imply libertarian norms.

That the libertarian grundnorms are, in fact, necessarily presupposed by all civilized people to the extent they are civilized — during argumentative justification, that is — is shown by Hoppe in his argumentation-ethics defense of libertarian rights. On this, see Hoppe, A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism, chapter 7; Stephan Kinsella, "New Rationalist Directions in Libertarian Rights Theory,"Download PDF Journal of Libertarian Studies 12, no. 2 (Fall 1996): 313–26; idem, "Defending Argumentation Ethics," Anti-state.com (Sept. 19, 2002).

For discussion of why people (to one extent or the other) do value these underlying norms, see Stephan Kinsella, "The Division of Labor as the Source of Grundnorms and Rights," Mises Economics Blog (April 24, 2009), and idem, "Empathy and the Source of Rights," Mises Economics Blog (Sept. 6, 2006). See also idem, "Punishment and Proportionality,"Download PDF pp. 51 and 70:

People who are civilized are … concerned about justifying punishment. They want to punish, but they also want to know that such punishment is justified — they want to legitimately be able to punish … Theories of punishment are concerned with justifying punishment, with offering decent men who are reluctant to act immorally a reason why they may punish others. This is useful, of course, for offering moral men guidance and assurance that they may properly deal with those who seek to harm them.

Angurse:
3) You haven't responded to the claim that some cultures won't remain libertarian at all The "problem" isn't null - you simply ignored it.

Yeah, in the realm of property - which is what your scenario stipulated - i.e a libertarian society, that also apparently becomes "racist".

The "argument" / or "claim" is nonsensical, and resembles a bad joke - that's why. My contention is that a libertarian society wouldn't even be possible to start with, if private property isn't "respected". You then go assume / claim - ohhh, these people are libertarian, they believe in property - etc, OOPS oh wait, they're all actually racists / nazi's, now they'll no longer be libertarian.

Angurse:

Conza88:
It makes no sense, if you have no understanding on the differences between political philosophy and personal ethics - nor what Libertarianism - really is.

How does that mean one cannot incorporate the two together? Can you not be, say, a Mormon Libertarian? Catholic Libertarian? Buddhist Libertarian?

What does religion have to do with political philosophy? And no, natural law is neither religious or anti-religious. Talk about muddying the waters... not clearing them. What kind of question would you have to be asked, to give any kind of justification for that linkage?

"What political philosophy are you closest associated with?"

- "OH, I'm an Calvinist Libertarian."

- "Tongue Tied"

Pointless injection of irrelevant labels that are unnecessary to what is being asked.

 

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Conza88 replied on Fri, Mar 26 2010 3:17 AM

wilderness:

Conza88:
wilderness:
I don't think Sage is conflating political and personal.

My impression is that it's an attempt to 'universalize' what is ethical / unethical within the individual sphere.

How?  It's not an appeal to coercion. 

Yes, I know it's not. I see it as an attempt to "'universalize' what is ethical / unethical within the individual sphere."

So '"ageism is always wrong", "sexism is always wrong", "racism is always wrong" - and by that I mean, it seems to imply it is wrong to discriminate, and condemns as such as not being in line with "social justice". My case is it's all about context (individual) - you need a heavy lifter, you discriminate against a female - sexism! and so on it could go.

wilderness:

Conza88:
The "thick" libertarians are wrong in trying to extend it over into the personal ethics / "social justice" sphere.

what?  It's wrong to discuss this kind of stuff?  Surely you didn't mean that.

What I meant is it's wrong to try extend the label of libertarianism to it. By no means at all, do I not mean talk about personal ethics.

Essentially, I believe in what ever "culture" is necessary is in line with the "grundnorms"

- "The libertarian seeks property assignment rules because he values or accepts various grundnorms such as justice, peace, prosperity, cooperation, conflict-avoidance, and civilization.[14] The libertarian view is that self-ownership is the only property assignment rule compatible with these grundorms; it is implied by them."

Whatever other "cultural" factors etc completely unnecessary for the establishment & maintenance of liberty. Follow the NAP and it allows for individuals to be "left wing", or "right wing"... and as in the Rothbard quote, in such an environment - i.e anarcho-capitalism, certain sections of society may favor certain other different cultural norms - great, diversity in the marketplace!

What I stingently object to - is the libertarians - who believe it needs to be either a "left wing" culture, or a "right wing" culture - that needs to be associated with Libertarianism - in order for a Libertarian society to actually prevail - or be maintained. Because it doesn't.

This is more a general post now:

Libertarianism is Unique; it belongs neither to the right nor the left: a critique of the views of Long, Holcombe, and Baden on the left, Hoppe, Feser and Paul on the right

The present paper defends the position of libertarian centrism, or libertarian purity (Gregory, 2006), or plumb line libertarianism,1 vis a vis its two competitors for the libertarian mantle: left wing libertarianism and right wing libertarianism. Appearing in the present Journal there is no need even to carefully define terms such as “libertarian,” as would otherwise be the case. For, amazingly, all parties to this debate are staunch libertarians. There are no differences between any of us as to the primacy of the nonaggression axiom, coupled with private property rights based on homesteading. All principals to this debate agree with these basic premises. Where we differ is in terms of the logical implications of these founding axioms. In section II we take to task Long, Holcombe, Baden and other New Age, feminist, hippie libertarians. Section III is devoted to an equally sharp evisceration of the right wing, conservative, traditionalist position of libertarians such as Hoppe, Feser and Paul.2 The burden of section IV is to explore the issue of which cultural patterns, left or right, are more conducive to libertarianism? We conclude in section V with an attempt to woo back into the libertarian mainstream3 these outliers, both sets of them.

....

8. In my view, it is not at all a “mistake” to “think… that political power (is) the only problem,” that is, as far as libertarianism is concerned. Here, I define political power along Oppenheimer lines12 to include any and all initiations of violence, or threats thereof, against innocent people. This would include, of course, government; but it would also incorporate other uncivilized behavior such as that perpetrated by robber gangs, or, even, individuals who brutalize innocent victims on their own account. Of course, there are other problems that libertarians are involved in combating: bad breath, the heartbreak of psoriasis, losing chess games, cancer, the list goes on and on. But, here, libertarians who do so are not acting qua libertarians. This is a distinction that is crucial for a clear understanding of this philosophy.

...

Posit, however, that Long is totally correct in his assessment. One day, perhaps soon, our libertarian ranks will be bolstered by thousands, nay, tens or hundreds of thousands of Austro-libertarian ex New Agers, all of them clutching volumes of Atlas Shrugged and Human Action, and sounding rational for the first times in their lives. What of it? Why should we ally ourselves with them now? Worse, where is the argument for at present considering them allies? Even worse than that, what is the case for considering ourselves as part of a movement that now (shudder, groan) includes them? It cannot be denied that the views of these people, when comprehensible, are pretty much aligned with ours when it comes to personal liberties (pot smoking and all types and varieties of fornication should be legal, particularly the most kinky ones17) and to foreign policy (although many of them are pacifists, and libertarians certainly need not adhere to that doctrine). But, when it comes to economic freedom, these people foam at the mouth in anger at the very idea.

One might as well posit individual vs. team sports athletes as more compatible with libertarianism. That is, track runners are more libertarian than basketball players, since the former compete on their own, and the latter are part of a collective enterprise. This is a similarly improbable claim with no support whatsoever. No, the latter are not, because of this fact, more libertarian than the former, and hippie New Agers are not libertarians, nor are we associated.

... more good parts follow, not going to make this long though. This is the "left" side being refuted, part III is the "right".

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Conza88 replied on Fri, Mar 26 2010 8:11 AM

Sage:

Conza88:
Your fallacy is conflating political philosophy, with personal ethics.

Well, I've presented arguments to the contrary (again, see the Johnson piece). Maybe my arguments don't work. But once they're on the table, it's dialectically incumbent on you to actually address them, instead of simply claiming over and over that I'm wrong.

I believe I had. And I've "presented the counter" (see Block above piece), it's actually linked too in the Johnson piece - except, it has more than two lines, and doesn't get skipped over and goes on to lampoon Longs position.

"But if coercive laws have been taken off the table, what should libertarians say about other religious, philosophical, social, or cultural commitments that pursue their ends through non-coercive means, such as targeted moral agitation, mass education, artistic or literary propaganda, charity, mutual aid, public praise, ridicule, social ostracism, targeted boycotts, social investing, slow-downs and strikes in a particular shop, general strikes, or other forms of solidarity and coordinated action?"

- Libertarian qua libertarian, they have nothing to say. As a general ethicist, by all means.

Sage:

Conza88:
How you can then somehow inject the concept of "justice" is beyond me.

Do you happen to think that political philosophy is objective, while personal ethics is subjective?

No. This gives an outline really.

"Rasmussen and DenUyl are not satisfied. The view just canvassed confines ethics to rules that apply to everyone. Questions about the good life have no objective answers: here mere preferences reign supreme. In brief, the right is prior to the good:

"The general tendency has been to consider the good as essentially privatized and the right as universalized. The good. . .has come to be regarded as the object of one's own interest, the object of one's desires, or those things one regards as beneficial. It is said to stand in contrast to what one may do with any right. What one may do by right is what is allowed to, or demanded of, or required by, all agents equally and universally. . .there is an inevitable tendency in the distinction between the good and the right to deprecate the moral nature of the good to the enhancement of the right. In other words, what is impartial and universal tends to take precedence over goods, which are, almost by definition now, partial and particular."(pp.22, 26)

They defend instead an Aristotelian view. The good for a person does not consist of his whims and desires, whatever they may be---far from it. Rather, each person has a natural end or function: his leading a flourishing life. This view, which they term perfectionism, "holds that eudaimonia [happiness or flourishing] is the ultimate good or value and that virtue ought to characterize how human beings conduct their lives."(p.111)

Does not a problem at once threaten them? They deny that the good life reduces without remainder to preferences: the good is objective. Yet they are also favor a political system in which people are free to act as they please, so long as they do not initiate or threaten force or fraud. But are there not many actions that fall within these bounds that an objective ethics would condemn? Suppose that I spend most of my days drinking myself into a stupor. I threaten no one with force, but surely I am not living in accord with my Aristotelian natural end. I am doing what is objectively wrong: how then can I have a right to do it?

Many supporters of natural law view matters exactly as these questions suggest. There can be no right to violate the demands of morality. Thus, Heinrich Rommen, a distinguished historian of natural law, remarked that rights are: "the sphere of right that is 'given' with the nature of a person."(p.64) Your rights are defined by your duties, and there cannot be a "right" to do what is wrong.

The authors answer with their key thesis: The mandates of personal ethics do not directly determine the nature of political arrangements. Liberalism is not  "a 'normative political philosophy' in the usual sense. It is rather a political philosophy of metanorms. It seeks not to guide individual conduct in moral activity, but rather to regulate conduct so that conditions might be obtained where moral action can take place. To contrast liberalism directly with alternative ethical systems or values is, therefore, something of a category mistake."(p.34)

The combination of an objective personal ethics with a political system of freedom is, then, logically consistent. But why should we adopt it? Why not, rather, enact a political system whose metanorms require that people conform to their objective end?

The authors' version of ethics excludes this suggestion. They embrace "individualistic perfectionism." There is no fixed pattern to which every individual, in his pursuit of eudaimonia, must conform. Rather, "the generic goods and virtues that constitute human flourishing only become actual, determinate, and valuable realities when they are given particular form by the choices of flesh-and-blood persons. The importance or value of these goods and virtues is rooted in factors that are unique to each person, for it is not the universal as such that is valuable. . .Human flourishing is not simply achieved and enjoyed by individuals, but it is individualized."(pp.132-33)"

Sage:

Conza88:
And what is morally permissible? What's the standard here? The theory of justice?

On the virtue ethics perspective, what is morally permissible is determined by the theory of morality, of which justice is a subcategory. Moreover, with the unity of virtue, one cannot specify the content of any one virtue independently of the content of all the other virtues (see Long's example of courage and prudence here).

Yes - Nicomachean Ethics (p104, Penguin Classic) has a nice table of them. And how are you going - to go about applying these to the cases I mentioned?

Sage:
I'm not arguing that thickness considerations are a matter of justice itself; rather, they're connected to justice.

I still don't see how they are. Maybe this might help - "Could you provide an example of "justice" being obtained then, outside of "rights" / the NAP?"

Sage:
See the Johnson piece linked above.

Thickness from consequences—the effects of liberty

Finally, there may be social practices or outcomes that libertarians should (in some sense) be committed to opposing, even though they are not themselves coercive, because (1) background acts of government coercion are a causal precondition for them to be carried out or sustained over time; and (2) there are independent reasons for regarding them as social evils. If aggression is morally illegitimate, then libertarians are entitled not only to condemn it, but also to condemn the destructive results that flow from it—even if those results are, in some important sense, external to the actual coercion. Thus, for example, left libertarians such as Kevin Carson and Matt MacKenzie have argued forcefully for "libertarian" criticism of certain business practices—such as low-wage sweatshop labor—as exploitative.

You... have... got to be kidding me... (the brackets around "libertarian" is mine)

Providing jobs for the poor, is exploitative? rofl! Confused No

"For much of his career, Murray Rothbard endorsed a form of thin libertarian anarchism, arguing that libertarianism will get nowhere until we realize that there is and can be no libertarian culture (Left-opportunism: The case of S.L.S., part one, in Libertarian Vanguard, February 1981, p. 11)."

Didn't know that.. thanks.

The gradualism that is pushed next is clueless. Again, this whole conception of essentially assuming the conclusion and is if anything - utopian in it's own right.

"Sciabarra’s critique of Rothbardianism, and his later writing foreign policy, have emphasized the dangers of directly pursuing libertarian policies in contexts where libertarian individualism and anti-authoritarianism are not well-established in the local culture. All this strongly suggests that Sciabarra prefers a form of libertarian gradualism, and suspects that any form of immediatism depends on non-dialectical disregard for the cultural base necessary to sustain liberty."

How is it even possible to get to the point where there would be pursuing / or an implementation of libertarian "policies" (freedom is actually the absence of public "policy"), without there being the proper underlying structure? i.e grundnorms?

"Second, it should be clear that I have not attempted to provide detailed justifications for the specific claims that I made on behalf of particular thick commitments"...

Haha! You can say that again. Big Smile

Sage:
Long's "Culture and Liberty" might also be helpful.

It might be - hopefully more so than the other article. I'll check it out in due time.

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Angurse replied on Fri, Mar 26 2010 8:36 AM

Conza88:
Grundnorms.

Yes, you are going the point of the thick libertarian is that you are going to need more, beyond that of just political philosophy.

Conza88:

Yeah, in the realm of property - which is what your scenario stipulated - i.e a libertarian society, that also apparently becomes "racist".

The "argument" / or "claim" is nonsensical, and resembles a bad joke - that's why. My contention is that a libertarian society wouldn't even be possible to start with, if private property isn't "respected". You then go assume / claim - ohhh, these people are libertarian, they believe in property - etc, OOPS oh wait, they're all actually racists / nazi's, now they'll no longer be libertarian.

OK. You seem to have a serious reading problem. The society starts off libertarian, as already stated, members however have various cultural attitudes that could lead to un-libertarian actions.

Conza88:
What does religion have to do with political philosophy?

The exact same thing general culture does.

Conza88:

"What political philosophy are you closest associated with?"

- "OH, I'm an Calvinist Libertarian."

- "Tongue Tied"

Pointless injection of irrelevant labels that are unnecessary to what is being asked.

You are the one harping on strictly political philosophy not I, the entire point is that people aren't guided strictly by political philosophy but an array of factors, that could lead to ignoring/changing said political philosophy.

"I am an aristocrat. I love liberty, I hate equality."
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Conza,

Thank you for that post and those quotes: absolutely devastating to the "thick" libertarian position-- although you almost ruin it with your little mocking sneers.

"the obligation to justice is founded entirely on the interests of society, which require mutual abstinence from property" -David Hume
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filc replied on Fri, Mar 26 2010 11:07 AM

What exactly is a thick and thin skinned libertarianism? 

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If you mean the way the terms thin/thick are normally used here... thin libertarianism: libertarianism is the NAP and the NAP alone; thick libertarianism: libertarianism is comprised of more values than just the NAP which are required to sustain it (this varies according to whether the libertarian identifies as culturally "left", "right", "centre" or "none of the above", and includes things from worker solidarity to support for traditional familial structures...)

On this...

I threaten no one with force, but surely I am not living in accord with my Aristotelian natural end. I am doing what is objectively wrong: how then can I have a right to do it?

They would argue that flourishing is a self-directed activity that must be fulfilled through rational choices by the actor, or to put it another way, you can't compel someone to be moral because then they're not doing so of their own volition but being forced by you. Conditioning does come into this though.

Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

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Sage replied on Fri, Mar 26 2010 12:45 PM

Conza88:
I believe I had. And I've "presented the counter" (see Block above piece)

I've yet to see a single substantive argument. Furthermore, I've read Block's paper; it's mostly bluster and sheer assertion. He just claims that thicklib is wrong without addressing the arguments given to support it.

Conza88:
Libertarian qua libertarian, they have nothing to say.

Repeated assertions do not an argument make.

For the readers, the thicklib position is that libertarians qua libertarians do have something to say about social and cultural commitments, and that this is plumbline libertarianism.

Conza88:
Providing jobs for the poor, is exploitative?

Right, you know, because we live in this perfect free market world where businesses never collude with governments to violently repress workers and unions. Oh wait...

Conza88:
Haha! You can say that again.

Your insulting commentary isn't helpful.

AnalyticalAnarchism.net - The Positive Political Economy of Anarchism

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Sage, do you believe that I can associate with who I choose or not? What are specific "libertarian values" besides valuing the NAP? How can an "unenforceable obligation" be called an obligation?

Democracy means the opportunity to be everyone's slave.—Karl Kraus.

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filc replied on Fri, Mar 26 2010 1:23 PM

Sage:
Repeated assertions do not an argument make.

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Conza88 replied on Fri, Mar 26 2010 11:59 PM

Angurse:

Conza88:
Grundnorms.

Yes, you are going the point of the thick libertarian is that you are going to need more, beyond that of just political philosophy.

I don't exactly care for these "labels" at all, since I reject the divide. Essentially though - those other "values", by which you think I am actually going "thick" are actually implicit within "thin".

"Grundnorms.

"The libertarian seeks property assignment rules because he values or accepts various grundnorms such as justice, peace, prosperity, cooperation, conflict-avoidance, and civilization.[14] The libertarian view is that self-ownership is the only property assignment rule compatible with these grundorms; it is implied by them.""

...

That the libertarian grundnorms are, in fact, necessarily presupposed by all civilized people to the extent they are civilized — during argumentative justification, that is — is shown by Hoppe in his argumentation-ethics defense of libertarian rights."

So the NAP... "thin" contains the necessary "values" or "culture' or whatever you want to call it... as such, no more are necessary for a civilized society to "maintain" itself.

"Let us consider first the libertarian property assignment rules with respect to human bodies, and the corresponding notion of aggression as it pertains to bodies. Libertarians often vigorously assert the "nonaggression principle." As Ayn Rand said, "So long as men desire to live together, no man may initiate — do you hear me? No man may start — the use of physical force against others."(8) Or, as Rothbard put it:

The libertarian creed rests upon one central axiom: that no man or group of men may aggress against the person or property of anyone else. This may be called the "nonaggression axiom." "Aggression" is defined as the initiation of the use or threat of physical violence against the person or property of anyone else. Aggression is therefore synonymous with invasion.(9)"

 

And as such, the whole march off into "thick" land is a sad attempt of trying to smuggle in through the back door, under the guise of "culture" the persons own prejudices towards either the "left" or "right".

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Conza88 replied on Sat, Mar 27 2010 12:02 AM

HT: Kinsella

Ortega y Gasset, writing in 1937:

“Ser de la izquierda es, como ser de la derecha, una de las infinitas maneras que el hombre puede elegir para ser un imbécil: ambas, en efecto, son formas de la hemiplejia moral.”

(“To be of the Left is, as to be of the Right, one of the infinte number of ways available to people for choose how to become an idiot; both are, actually, forms of moral hemiplegia”).”

Leonard Read: “Neither Left Nor Right: There is No Simplified Term to Distinguish Libertarians,” The Freeman, 1956.

Why, you are neither left nor right!”

This observation, following a speech of mine, showed rare discernment. It was rare because I have seldom heard it made. It was discerning because it was accurate.

Most of us seem always to be reaching for word simplifications—handy generalizations—for they often aid speech. They take the place of long, drawn-out definitions. Yet, care must be exercised lest these word-shorties play semantic tricks and do a disservice to those who use them. Such, I fear, is the case with “left” and “right” when used by libertarians who, I hope to demonstrate, are neither left nor right in the accepted parlance of our day.

...

Where does this leave the libertarian in a world of Moscow word-making? The libertarian is, in reality, the opposite of the communist. Yet, if the libertarian employs the terms “left” and “right,” he is falling into the semantic trap of being a “rightist” (fascist) by virtue of not being a “leftist” (communist). This is a semantic graveyard for libertarians, a word device that excludes their existence. While those with Moscow relations will continue this theme, there is every reason why libertarians should avoid it.

One important disadvantage of a libertarian’s use of the left-right terminology is the wide-open opportunity for applying the golden-mean theory. For some twenty centuries Western man has come to accept the Aristotelian theory that the sensible position is between any two extremes, known politically today as the “middle-of-the-road” position. Now, if libertarians use the terms “left” and “right,” they announce themselves to be extreme right by virtue of being extremely distant in their beliefs from communism. But “right” has been successfully identified with fascism. Therefore, more and more persons are led to believe that the sound position is somewhere between communism and fascism, both spelling authoritarianism.

The golden-mean theory cannot properly be applied indiscriminately. For instance, it is sound enough when deciding between no food at all on the one hand or gluttony on the other hand. But it is patently unsound when deciding between stealing nothing or stealing $1,000. The golden mean would commend stealing $500. Thus, the golden mean has no more soundness when applied to communism and fascism (two names for the same thing) than it does to two amounts in theft.

The libertarian can have no truck with “left” or “right” because he regrets any form of authoritarianism—the use of police force to control the creative life of man. To him, communism, fascism, nazism, Fabianism, the welfare state—all egalitarianism—fit the definitive description that Plato, perhaps cynically, gave us centuries before any of these coercive systems were evolved:

The greatest principle of all is that nobody, whether male or female, should be without a leader. Nor should the mind of anybody be habituated to letting him do anything at all on his own initiative; neither out of zeal, nor even playfully. But in war as well as in the midst of peace—to his leader he shall direct his eye and follow him faithfully. And even in the smallest matter he should stand under leadership. For example, he should get up, or move, or wash, or take his meals . . . only if he has been told to do so. . . . In a word, he should teach his soul, by long habit, never to dream of acting independently, and, in fact, to become utterly incapable of it.

Libertarians reject this principle and in so doing are not to the right or left of authoritarians. They, as the human spirit they would free, ascend—are above—this degradation. Their position, if directional analogies are to be used, is up—in the sense that vapor from a muck-heap rises to a wholesome atmosphere. If the idea of extremity is to be applied to a libertarian, let it be based on how extremely well he has shed himself of authoritarian beliefs.

Establish this concept of emerging, of freeing—which is the meaning of libertarianism—and the golden-mean or “middle-of-the-road” theory becomes inapplicable. For there can be no halfway position between zero and infinity. It is absurd to suggest that there can be.

What simplified term should libertarians employ to distinguish themselves from the Moscow brand of “leftists” and “rightists”? I have not invented one but until I do I shall content myself by saying, “I am a libertarian,” standing ready to explain the definition to anyone who seeks meaning instead of trademarks.

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Conza88 replied on Sat, Mar 27 2010 1:17 AM

Angurse:
The society starts off libertarian, as already stated, members however have various cultural attitudes that could lead to un-libertarian actions.

Like what? And how do you think the individuals involved will deal with it? You act as if all individuals don't hold the "cultural attitudes" you possess, then the libertarian society as we know it will crumble, lol. Even if it "could" - libertarians qua libertarians have nothing to say about. 

"Libertarianism, then, is a philosophy seeking a policy. But what else can a libertarian philosophy say about strategy, about “policy”? In the first place, surely-again in Acton’s words-it must say that liberty is the “highest political end,” the overriding goal of libertarian philosophy Highest political end, of course, does not mean “highest end” for man in general. Indeed, every individual has a variety of personal ends and differing hierarchies of importance for these goals on his personal scale of values. Political philosophy is that subset of ethical philosophy which deals specifically with politics, that is, the proper role of violence in human life (and hence the explication of such concepts as crime and property). Indeed, a libertarian world would  beone in which every individual would at last be free to seek and pursue his own ends-to “pursue happiness,” in the felicitous Jeffersonian phrase." - TEOL, Chp 30.

The Libertarian Forum - 1973, exchange between Halliday and Block. This is part of the Editors note.

"How about Professor Block's second premise, that evil is only the initiation of violence? Here I think it is possible to partially reconcile the Block and Halliday positions. It is a question of what context we are dealing with. I would agree with Block that within the context of libertarian theory, evil must be confined to the initiation of violence. On the other hand, when we proceed from libertarianism to the question of wider social and personal ethics, then I would agree with Halliday that there are many other actions which should be considered as evil: lying, for example. or deliberately failing to fulfill one's best potential. But these are not matters about which liberty - the problem of the proper scope of violence - has anything to say. In short, qua libertarian there is nothing wrong or evil about breaking dates, being gratuitously nasty to one's associates, or generally behaving like a cad: here not only do I join Professor Block, but I would expect Mr. Halliday and all other libertarians to do the same. On the other hand, qua general ethicist, I would join Mr. Halliday in denouncing such behavior, while Professor Block would not."

I agree with Blocks response to Halliday, but also Murray's note. I emailed Mr. Block, wondering if the characterization was correct. Response: "I'm shocked that I ever wrote it. I don't think I meant it. I agree, fully, with Murray." So, Walter would also join.

Angurse:

Conza88:
What does religion have to do with political philosophy?

The exact same thing general culture does.

Nothing, yeah just as I thought.

Angurse:
You are the one harping on strictly political philosophy not I

That's probably because that is what libertarianism is.

In "Big-Government Libertarians," MNR:

"Libertarianism is logically consistent with almost any attitude toward culture, society, religion, or moral principle. In strict logic, libertarian political doctrine can be severed from all other considerations; logically one can be – and indeed most libertarians in fact are: hedonists, libertines, immoralists, militant enemies of religion in general and Christianity in particular – and still be consistent adherents of libertarian politics. In fact, in strict logic, one can be a consistent devotee of property rights politically and be a moocher, a scamster, and a petty crook and racketeer in practice, as all too many libertarians turn out to be. Strictly logically, one can do these things, but psychologically, sociologically, and in practice, it simply doesn't work that way."

TEOL - Chp 20:

For we are not, in constructing a theory of liberty and property, i.e., a "political" ethic, concerned with all personal moral principles. We are not herewith concerned whether it is moral or immoral for someone to lie, to be a good person, to develop his faculties, or be kind or mean to his neighbors. We are concerned, in this sort of discussion, solely with such "political ethical" questions as the proper role of violence, the sphere of rights, or the definitions of criminality and aggression. Whether or not it is moral or immoral for "Smith" - the fellow excluded by the owner from the plank or the lifeboat - to force someone else out of the lifeboat, or whether he should die heroically instead, is not our concern, and not the proper concern of a theory of political ethics.[5]

I kind of see the 'thick' attempts, as similar to those of mainstream economist: (link)

"The trouble is that most economists burn to make ethical pronouncements and to advocate political policies...

That leaves him with the first choice: to make crystal clear that he is speaking not as an economist but as a private citizen who is making his own confessedly arbitrary and ad hoc value pronouncements.

Most economists pay lip service to the impermissibility of making ethical pronouncements qua economist, but in practice they either ignore their own criteria or engage in elaborate procedures to evade them. Why? We can think of two possible reasons. One is the disreputable reason that, if Professor Doakes advocates policy X and basically does so as an economics professor, he will be listened to and followed with awe and respect; whereas if he advocates policy X as plain Joe Doakes, the mass of the citizenry maycome to the perfectly valid conclusion that their own arbitrary and ad hoc value judgments are just as good as his, and that therefore there is no particular reason to listen to him at all."

These libertarians are merely trying to do the same thing, instead of proclaiming it's not as qua libertarians, but general ethicists.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Angurse replied on Sat, Mar 27 2010 2:20 AM

Conza88:
I don't exactly care for these "labels" at all, since I reject the divide. Essentially though - those other "values", by which you think I am actually going "thick" are actually implicit within "thin".

"Grundnorms.

So the NAP... "thin" contains the necessary "values" or "culture' or whatever you want to call it... as such, no more are necessary for a civilized society to "maintain" itself.

Goodness gracious! Hoppe himself is a thick-libertarian.

"Let me now come to an evaluation of contemporary conservatism, and then go on to explain why conservatives today must be antistatist liberals and, equally important, why libertarians must be conservatives."

The quote block given only explains the formation of formal institutions and the reasoning behind them, nothing about environment and culture and their dynamic interplay as Hoppe has.

Conza88:
Like what?

Like... the examples already given! Is it really difficult to imagine that peoples non-political philosophical beliefs could effect their views on political philosophy? Read North, Sciabarra, Long, Boettke, Hoppe, etc...

Conza88:
And how do you think the individuals involved will deal with it?

Honestly, why wouldn't individuals deal with it? Given their... beliefs.

Conza88:
You act as if all individuals don't hold the "cultural attitudes" you possess, then the libertarian society as we know it will crumble, lol. Even if it "could" - libertarians qua libertarians have nothing to say about. 

Just no. I've already made it clear that I'm not expressing any view on which cultural attitudes support libertarianism and which don't.

"Yes. I think the point trying to be made is that a racist libertarian society, won't stay libertarian for very long. Although, I'm sure another thick libertarian could make the case that a libertarian society would collapse if it was built alongside "multi-cultural values" or what have you as well."

"I believe Roderick Long gave the example of Nazi Libertarians, while conceivably possible, doesn't seem likely to respect others liberties for very long. Same for racists, etc... And then there is the conservative counter-argument..."

"Are you even reading me? I'm not making any argument, I'm pointing out the (one of) thick libertarian argument, why you continue to defend thin libertarianism from me is quite baffling."

I haven't once presented my own cultural views and presented them as the best. So please refrain from spewing complete lies. Please.

Conza88:

"Libertarianism, then, is a philosophy seeking a policy. ..

           ...while Professor Block would not."

I'm not sure of the relevance, neither quote address the issue of culture and its effect on people.

Conza88:
Nothing, yeah just as I thought.

So, why do you continue to repeat quote blocks about what libertarianism is, when I'm clearly not speaking about what the political philosophy is at all. Its as if you refuse to.. um... read.

Conza88:

That's probably because that is what libertarianism is.

In "Big-Government Libertarians," MNR:

"Libertarianism is logically consistent with almost any attitude toward culture, society, religion, or moral principle. In strict logic, libertarian political doctrine can be severed from all other considerations; logically one can be – and indeed most libertarians in fact are: hedonists, libertines, immoralists, militant enemies of religion in general and Christianity in particular – and still be consistent adherents of libertarian politics. In fact, in strict logic, one can be a consistent devotee of property rights politically and be a moocher, a scamster, and a petty crook and racketeer in practice, as all too many libertarians turn out to be. Strictly logically, one can do these things, but psychologically, sociologically, and in practice, it simply doesn't work that way."

The last line sums up the point perfectly - psychologically, sociologically, and in practice, it simply doesn't work that way - I've already made this point. Yes, one can be a libertarian while holding various cultural and religious attitudes, like a Nazi libertarian or libertine libertarian, being logically consistent doesn't mean the libertarian views will continue to be held though.

Conza88:
For we are not ...  theory of political ethics.[5]

Exactly, this isn't simply about the theory of political ethics.

Conza88:
These libertarians are merely trying to do the same thing, instead of proclaiming it's not as qua libertarians, but general ethicists.

Yet, I've made it clear the two are not the same, nor should they be.

 

"I am an aristocrat. I love liberty, I hate equality."
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Angurse:
So, why do you continue to repeat quote blocks about what libertarianism is, when I'm clearly not speaking about what the political philosophy is at all. Its as if you refuse to.. um... read.

Instead of calling them thick or thin libertarians since you are not trying to speak about political philosophy, it would seem appropriate to drop the noun "libertarians" which is the term used to denote a political philosophy.

I really think that's all Conza is maintaining.  If it's not about political philosophy then why use the term that names a political philosophy?

It's not necessarily a question to you, but a question to all that like to label a political philosophy with additional signifiers, ie. thick and thin.

It's one reason I don't like the terms.  The other is the 'group-think' that making such classes as thin and thick settles into.  It offers no insight into the dynamic nature of individuals that on one issue might be thin and on another only thick.  At it's most self-admitted near absurd, thus not wholly impossible, position, such terms might be a form of divide and conquer due to the underlying dynamics that are glossed over as being non-existent and how a political philosophy is somehow labeling who I am outside of politics doesn't make sense.

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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Angurse replied on Sat, Mar 27 2010 12:02 PM

wilderness:

Instead of calling them thick or thin libertarians since you are not trying to speak about political philosophy, it would seem appropriate to drop the noun "libertarians" which is the term used to denote a political philosophy.

I really think that's all Conza is maintaining.  If it's not about political philosophy then why use the term that names a political philosophy?

It's not necessarily a question to you, but a question to all that like to label a political philosophy with additional signifiers, ie. thick and thin.

It's one reason I don't like the terms.  The other is the 'group-think' that making such classes as thin and thick settles into.  It offers no insight into the dynamic nature of individuals that on one issue might be thin and on another only thick.  At it's most self-admitted near absurd, thus not wholly impossible, position, such terms might be a form of divide and conquer due to the underlying dynamics that are glossed over as being non-existent and how a political philosophy is somehow labeling who I am outside of politics doesn't make sense.

I agree that the label thick-libertarian itself is useless, as are all labels, but I think the point is that it denotes a core political philosophy as while indicating that it is part of a broader group of values.

"I am an aristocrat. I love liberty, I hate equality."
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wilderness replied on Sat, Mar 27 2010 12:22 PM

Angurse:
I agree that the label thick-libertarian itself is useless, as are all labels, but I think the point is that it denotes a core political philosophy as while indicating that it is part of a broader group of values.

Said that way I can't disagree with you because you explained yourself very well here.

I came at it from the opposite direction which I think Conza is doing.  It's as if you are reading the story from the left column to the right column and I am reading it from the right to the left, ie. opposite direction.  It gives the name a whole other meaning.  The way I was reading it, is the noun (libertarian) is being added upon by the adjective, ie. thick or thin.  The noun is staying political and the adjective is determining the kind of politics, ie. the noun.  Read the way you put it, the noun is political but the adjective is a whole separate concept, yet, such a concept is still being discussed within a class of political individuals called libertarians so the thin and thick by such an effort might only have to do with libertarians and nobody else.  But is that true?  Are there no thick and thin socialists?  I don't know.  But it would seem the way you are using the terms thick and thin they are not dependent on libertarian, ie. the politics.  So if thick and thin are not dependent on politics then thick and thin has to be able to be used with other political stances.  Now if thick and thin can't be used by other political stances and if the thick and thin are only "indicating... a broader group of values", then I don't really have a problem with that.

To attach non-political values to a political term will make it a bit flustering unless of course it is vetted out as to what you mean, I mean, Conza means, etc....  I think Conza sees the adjective as influencing the noun.  Adjectives do that.  That's why they are grammatical of that sense.  But if thin and thick are nouns too and libertarian remains a noun, then I think that's what you are talking about.  And as I said how can I really have a problem with that because that would be what I'm saying and what Conza and even E.R. are saying.  Political is not 'these broader values'.  We are all agreeing with that.  But does the grammar and thus meaning if thick and thin are adjectives placed onto the noun really doing that?  I incline no.

So I'll just say 'I know what you mean' and agree with you because I do agree with your underlying meaning.  I just wonder about the grammar and if it's really stating what we actually mean.

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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wilderness:
To attach non-political values to a political term will make it a bit flustering

But political values are just one type of value that people hold, they're inextricably tied to the non-political values that people hold. 

I think Angurse, Sage and I have thus far understated our case, it isn't simply a matter of a libertarian society not existing without values conducive to its existing. It's a matter of the society just not existing if the formal institutions of self governance aren't compatible with the culture. 

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"

Bob Dylan

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hayekianxyz:
wilderness:
To attach non-political values to a political term will make it a bit flustering

But political values are just one type of value that people hold, they're inextricably tied to the non-political values that people hold.

I never said otherwise.

hayekianxyz:
I think Angurse, Sage and I

What's funny is I agree with Angurse and Sage and yet you've failed to realize this, and that realization being a formation of thought means you've not been able to think what that would mean.

hayekianxyz:
have thus far understated our case, it isn't simply a matter of a libertarian society not existing without values conducive to its existing. It's a matter of the society just not existing if the formal institutions of self governance aren't compatible with the culture.

nobody disagrees with that, even Conza, and though the argumentative ethics that E.R. understands are objective, I will not deny that E.R. not only knows them because they are objective but also because philosophy in and of itself is a maintenance of culture on a very practical level.  Obviously Argumentation Ethics are not bodily legal enforcement, ie. physically capturing a criminal.  Yet discourse would prevent such an action if all individuals involved are willing to involve themselves in the discourse.  It's why logic is considered a science by some, notably, the Aristotelian approach.

edit:  And I apologize Conza and E.R. if I've said something you two disagree with, but this is how I see your stances.  Let me know if I'm off.

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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Its more connected than that though. Its not just mere speculation about what would spring up, as fun as that may be, its what aspects - besides the political - are necessary to keep said society free.

Welcome to the thick libertarian club, Angurse. Have a cookie.

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