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Hermann Goering on Anthropogenic Global Warming

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I just find it not very appropriate to have a group named "herman goering...."

It is odd that Hitler and Göring are quoted as if they were great thinkers or persons that u wanna compare things to.. It is taking things out of the context and mixing them with a new ideology.

U could use statements from every person. It is just interesting that some people feel that they have to use exactly these.. To me this is suspicious..

 

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TokyoTom replied on Sun, Apr 13 2008 9:27 AM

Andy, it seems you don`t understand this initial post, which towards the end specifically quoted Goering and explained why - to show how rules use our reflexive tribal reactions (alleging foreign enemies and appealing to patriotism) to manipulate us into giving them greater power.

Goering explains that this is what the did, and the initial poster (hjmaiere) makes clear that the same thing happened in the US with the case of 9/11 - and argues that all of the concern about "climate change" is generated by elites, and therefore not "real" - other than a real attempt to deceive and manipulate us:

"Of course the critical-analysis-shunting effect of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center was milked for all it was worth. The predatorial classes managed to use it to manipulate the U.S. government into invading and occupying an entirely unconnected and militarily debilitated country, not to mention institutionalize warrantless wiretapping and torture. But a threat to the tribe doesn't have to be a traditional foreign enemy to be useful to the predatory class"....

I agree with hjmaiere completely about 9/11. I would go further and say that the policy of division and tribal conflict has been even more expertly played - witness how fear of gay marriage won Bush the 2004 election, and how his administration and Republicans have also peddled fear of unwed mothers who want abortion, fear of enviros and fear of immigrants.

But puzzlingly, the same group has NOT been peddlingly fear of climate changes - rather, that must be a conspiracy by the whole world (that hates our freedom and superior economy and can really be concerned about climate change, but must simply be using it as a way to take over the US economy) and by enviros and other America-haters at home (whom we should be very afraid of). 

Clearly, the parasitic/predatory class now in power has decided to act as a roadblock to action on climate change, but why - is it because they are the true clear-eyed, honest leaders? Or are they just protecting their own economic interests, which are very closely tiied to fossil fuels - and happy to help them to continue to get a free ride on GHGs at the cost of everyone else?

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool."

-- Richard Feynman

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TokyoTom replied on Sun, Apr 13 2008 10:35 AM

Ego, I would say that Austrian thinking doesn`t lead at all to your conclusions, even given your premises. 

If there were clear and enforceable rights relating to the atmosphere then the enforcement of those rights and the differences in preferences among bpeople would lead to changes in economic behavior, including voluntary transactions, investments in technology that reduces how one`s activity infringes on others, etc.

Finding ways to enclose various commons and to minimize inefficiencies inherent in externalities to private behavior are what have driven the success of man, from an evolutionary perspective and up to the present.  (See Yandle and Ostrom)

I see no reason why figuring out how to establish rights and rules realting to our use of various commons - from the oceans and regional ecosystems to the atmosphere means anything like a restriction of choice.

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool."

-- Richard Feynman

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Juan replied on Sun, Apr 13 2008 10:50 AM
Tom:
Juan, I`m having difficulty continuing to find motivation to respond further in the face of your obtuseness, hostility and zero-sum approach to discussion. Even when we agree, you find a reason to crow and to question my good faith
1) Obtuseness : "the quality of being slow to understand" : I guess that if you use a fancy synonym for stupid, then you're not hostile...you're a lawyer ?

2) I don't think I'm discussing your good faith. I'm saying that your position doesn't match reality (no GW) and is not consistent with libertarian principles ('gov't is essential' you say).

I`ll keep testing my reality; you feel free to keep telling me that I`m wrong, without trying to persuade.
I'm not sure what you mean. I am free to tell you you're wrong (since this is not the mostly green and totalitarian mass media). And you in turn are free to prove me wrong. However, I wouldn't say I'm interested in persuading you, only in showing how weak your position is.

You think GW exists and will lead to catastrophe because state 'experts' say so. Let me ask : What do state experts say about, for instance, central banking ? And, do you believe them ?

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

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Stephen Forde, you make a fair point regarding the burden of proof and the civil nature of the problem.  I'm reminded of Rothbard's comments in his Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution, where he wrote:

The basic libertarian principle is that everyone should be allowed to do whatever he or she is doing unless committing an overt act of aggression against someone else.  But what about situations where it is unclear whether or not a person is committing aggression?  In those cases, the only procedure consonant with libertarian principles is to do nothing; to lean over backwards to ensure that the judicial agency is not coercing an innocent man.  If we are unsure, it is far better to let an aggressive act slip through than to impose coercion and therefore to commit aggression ourselves.  A fundamental tenet of the Hippocratic oath, "at least, do no harm," should apply to legal or judicial agencies as well.

I'm not completely sure how I feel about this stance, though I certainly do see its merit.  My only concern is that if we follow Rothbard here, we would undoubtedly be placing the entire burden of the impacts of climate change on the victims, and allowing those who benefitted from their suffering to escape all accountability for their actions.  I suppose the question is one about the nature of the burden of proof.  If we knew that anthropogenic climate change were occurring, and that it was going to cause damage, but didn't know exactly what the damage would be, we would likely not be able to hold anyone to account in court with our current standards of proof.  But we know that damage will be done, and who would be doing it!  I'm just uncomfortable saying that in such a case, we should be restricted from any sort of intervention. 

All that being said, I see your point, and I think it's a good one.  However, one thing you said puzzled me: that it is impossible to know that someone will commit a crime in the future, and so people should not be held accountable for future damage.  It seems to me that in talking about committing a crime, one is referring to the action which brought about a particular rights violation.  In the case of climate change, the question seems to be about whether a rights violation will occur, and what the precise nature of that violation will be.  The action, on the other hand, has already occurred.  If climate change will violate rights, then it seems that in regards to a given contribution, the crime has already been committed.

Regarding the idea of a criminal threshold, I'm not sure I agree with your characterization of the issue as one where a person crosses the threshold so that everyone before him is innocent and everyone after is guilty.  It seems to me that the capacity of the atmosphere to accommodate radiative forcings without producing harmful effects is, in a sense, a natural resource.  Further, in our current living situation, people need to use some of that "space" in order to live even the most minimally sufficient lifestyles--after all, we emit CO2 when we breathe.

The debate over what constitutes a legitimate appropriation of a resource is far from settled, and I won't try to do it here.  But I submit that at the very least, I should not be deprived of a natural resource that I need to live by someone else's appropriation, where they used the resource for something comparatively unimportant (I know how difficult it is to say that something is objectively unimportant, but I think it's reasonable to say that some things are clearly less important than living).  So I don't think that all emitters of CO2 should be held accountable after the threshold is crossed; those who are forcing the climate in only those ways necessary for some minimally acceptable lifestyle are innocent in my eyes.  But the exact implications of a proviso on appropriation for discussions of accountability aren't clear to me so far.

You made the point that under some alternative system of dealing with climate change, insurance and legal firms would have incentive to figure out the precise nature of the climate change phenomenon in order to best serve their clients.  But I see no reason that such research couldn't be done now (unless you're suggesting that the IPCC is crowding out private research).  In fact, several people have tried to use the court system to fight climate change.  The problem, as you pointed out, springs from the uncertainties involved in assessing the damage, and also from the issue of standing.  Given that the damage hasn't been caused yet, and we can't know its nature before the fact, it's been thus far held that there's no basis for pressing charges.  But as I said earlier, I find this somewhat disconcerting.

On your point about modelling, I've expressed somewhat similar concerns in the past; you might be interested in this: http://libertarian-left.blogspot.com/2008/01/do-you-believe-in-global-warming.html

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jetblackjp replied on Sun, Apr 13 2008 12:52 PM

Hi, I'm new to these boards and would just like to weigh in on the issue.

http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.SenateReport

I would also like to refer you to page 75 of the Club or Rome's 1991 report: First Global Revolution

http://books.google.ca/books?hl=en&id=8RNKHGbzUuAC&dq=first+global+revolution&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=FNnsOSAbZF&sig=7qjqkWHoXf1HEWMgM63ymLIkQm0#PPA75,M1

Having some formal scientific education(in biology - currently in 3rd year) but not enough in this specific field to qualify the arguments used in this discussion, I would just like to say that there is much more debate among scientists than is generally perceived. As in all fields of science, there is no uniform view on the subject. Proponents of anthropogenic global warming, however, have many advantages over opponents when presenting their case before the general public. The very issue, proponents claim, amounts to the gravest of existenial crisises that man can face - our very existence depends on whether we can act now. Whereas opponents urge caution and more research(as if there isn't enough amirite?) - undoubtely proponents want more research too(it's what scientists live for).

To be honest, I have trouble committing to either side on the issue simply because I cannot ascertain the validity of eachother's claims. But I will say this, I am opposed to all governmental action in this affair. If individuals feel the need to use fluorescent lightbulbs and reduce their consumption of carbon products then all the better for them.

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No, I do understand the initial post, just do not find these comparisons to be appropriate..

 

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I wonder if you supposed "Left Libertarians" see any similarities in "fighting global warming" and "fighting global terrorism"? Both socialists and neocons have pretty much invented crises that can be solved if only (suprise,suprise!) we give up certain rights and freedoms. Well forget that. Any problem that the free market and thus free people cannot solve either does not need to be solved or in fact, cannot be. 

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TokyoTom replied on Sun, Apr 13 2008 10:05 PM

Andy, Hermann Goering's words on how the managed to capture German state by the use of appeals to patriotism in the face of alleged external and internal threats provide important lessons that bear repeating - and are certainly almost spot-on for how the Bush administration has manipluated US public opinion and put political pressure on opponents.

The relevance of those words on climate change is another matter.  Who are supposed to be the here - the rest of the world, with the valiant Bush being the good guy?

Certainly there are rent-seekers and power seekers who are happy to try to find a way to ride and manipulate a wave of public concern.  That there are such people is simply a fact life that we always have to deal with, especially if the state is involved - and is a good reason for the general Austrian and libertarian approaches for limiting government in favor of voluntary, private and coordinated efforts.

But the concern about rent-seeking simply doesn't tell us that there is no real problem.  And those who are concerned about rent-seeking should not allow themselves to be caught up in a tribal reaction against evil enviros -  which the slightest scratching will inform that this is indeed an attempt to manipulate, but by the entrenched fossil fuel interests who want to protect their present privileges to freeely use the atmosphere as a GHG dump.

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool."

-- Richard Feynman

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Ego replied on Sun, Apr 13 2008 10:09 PM

TokyoTom, I posted further up this thread about the solution to this "problem", but I don't think we are going to agree.

From what I've heard the concensus among scientist is not nearly as sound as the statist planners would like us to believe. In any event, what do you propose we do?

Don't allow leftists to play games with definitions! Some of the libertarian-leaning leftists at this forum will try to redefine "left-wing" back to its original defition (Third Estate, limited government, free-markets, laissez-faire reforms, etc.). Fine! We non-leftists can't stop them from using their own personal definitions; they can use whatever labels they want to describe any concept they want.

However, they have the audacity to then use their personal definition of "left-wing" (remember, the original definition, which is no longer valid) to prove that modern leftists are more libertarian than modern rightists! They will say that libertarianism is "inherently leftist" (again, using the original, no longer valid definition), and use that to insist that we should prefer and side with modern leftists over modern rightists.

Question their motives.

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CopperHead replied on Sun, Apr 13 2008 10:15 PM

 Don't any of you "left libertarians" see the similarities between the calls to "fight global warming" and the calls to "fight global terrorism"? Cause I got to tell you from where im sitting they seem like pretty much the same thing. That is to say they are both drummed up crises that can only be solved if we (suprise,suprise) give up certain rights and freedoms. The fact of the matter is, if a free market and thus free people cannot solve a problem it either does not need to be solved or it in fact cannot be.

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hjmaiere replied on Sun, Apr 13 2008 10:40 PM

CopperHead:

 Don't any of you "left libertarians" see the similarities between the calls to "fight global warming" and the calls to "fight global terrorism"? Cause I got to tell you from where im sitting they seem like pretty much the same thing. That is to say they are both drummed up crises that can only be solved if we (suprise,suprise) give up certain rights and freedoms. The fact of the matter is, if a free market and thus free people cannot solve a problem it either does not need to be solved or it in fact cannot be.

Exactly.

 

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TokyoTom replied on Sun, Apr 13 2008 11:20 PM

Juan:

Sorry; I'm definitely not saying that you are stupid.  You are obviously smart.  But you are obviously hostile, and I do think that as a result you keep missing the point - even when it is the chief point of hjmaiere's post  You say:

I thought it was clear that the allusion to nazism underlined the totalitarian features of 'enviromentalism'.

Was that even remotely his point?  He says:

Specifically, a threat to the tribe will very reliably invoke people's instinct to shut off their own individual critical analysis and submit to tribal consensus. In our evolutionary past there were situations where this instinct was critical to the survival of the tribe as a whole, but as our ability to survive extended beyond a hand-to-mouth existence, such instincts increasingly served as a mechanism of intra-tribal predation. The predatory classes thus establish, concentrate, and institutionalize political authority by routinely invoking threats to the tribe. ... But a threat to the tribe doesn't have to be a traditional foreign enemy to be useful to the predatory classes. An icon of imending moral decrepitude or the environmental catastrophy du jour can be just as effective.

hjmaiere is trying to first show that, because of our tribal nature, we can easily be misled by claims of threats to the tribe, viz., even smart people can be manipulated.  He then show that this is exactly what the Bush administration has done.  Finally, he argues that elite predatory classes are trying to do the same thing with respect to alleged environmental crises by trying to stir up a wave of fear and manipulating those who believe it to be real, for their own benefit.  Okay, there may be some who fit this bill, at least in part, but hjmaiere is not arguing that everyone who is concerned is part of the elite, predatory class - rather, he is implying that practically everyone is being manipulated. He is saying that we need to be careful of being manipulated by elites via tribal reactions; you helpfully display a tribal counter-example, by presuming that hjmaiere is acting like you, in pretending as if everyone who professes a concern about climate change or our shared environment is a totalitarian.  Haven't you just proven his point about tribal responses mess with our critical facilities?

Another example of how you miss the point is here:

TT:  The solutions are being proposed by a MUCH wider swath than those "enviros" whom you hate so much.

You:  Hm. So this is not about truth, but about numbers ?

TT:  Don't be deliberately obtuse.  The point is that you dismiss all others by simply focussing on a strawman - the evil enviros, who aren't in charge of anything, anyway.

You also claim to have won an argument when you say we should do away with subsidies, when it's a point I've made elsewhere many times, over an over.

You also keep throwing out sweeping, conclusory unsupported statements like this, and refuse ever to engage when I try to explain what I mean - based on any number of staunch Austrians and libertarians:

You don't care about the rights of the individual. You're interested in protecting the 'enviroment' by violating individual rights, through government, wich is essential (so you claim).

your position ... is not consistent with libertarian principles.

 

Finally, as you yourself conclude, you are not interested in persuading me, but only in showing how weak my position is.  In short, you are treating me as an enemy, and are not interested in productive engagement, but in defeating me - but since you refuse to try to understand what my position is or my reasons for it are - you are really not attacking me, but a strawman, and an unsupported one at that. 

 

Fine; you can have a war.  But I'm not going to join it.

 

 

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool."

-- Richard Feynman

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TokyoTom replied on Mon, Apr 14 2008 12:14 AM

hjmaiere, will you be responding to my last post?

Coppperhead, welcome to the boards.  While I'm not a "left-libertarian" but a ridht-wing, socialist enviro-fascist totalitarian libertarian, let me attempt a quick response.

Sure, I see similarities between the calls to "fight global terrorism" and the calls to  "fight global warming" - but they seem to be rather shallow similarities to me.  Is it the same set of elites that are behind both? 

The first case seems to involve a narrow set of US interests aligned with US and ME fossil fuel interests and defense contractors that appeal to US patriotism and exceptionalism; the second is global and says that the US needs to cooperate with the rest of the world in addressing shared problems realting to shared resources (the atmosphere, oceans etc.) and the problem of poor governance and development in the poorer areas of the world. 

Is there a serious problem with terror, other the one we helped to create and can't resolve by the use of military force?  Are there serious issues relating to the demands that modern markets and technology place on shared but unowned open-access resources, or with respect to poverty in the third world resulting from corrupt governance and thievery that benefits partiicular elites and ethnic groups?

Are you seriously suggesting that appeals to "fight global warming" are really just disguised attempts by everybody - those who hate our freedoms and our economy - to take over the US? 

Or are those people asking us to give up our freedom, or asking us to cooperate in addressing shared problems?  When ranchers start talking about whether they should take joint steps to manage the range, when farmers discuss ways to manage and share water resources, or when fishermen do the same with respect to protecting fisheries, are they engaging in an act of collective theft of the freedom of those who don't want to go along?

The fact of the matter is, if a free market and thus free people cannot solve a problem it either does not need to be solved or it in fact cannot be.

The fact of the matter is, free markets and free people are already quite busy trying to address climate change, quite apart from trying to prod governments.  But we DO have governments - what, precisely, are we supposed to do about them?  Why can't we push them to, for example:

  • eliminate capital gains taxes,
  • reduce corporate income taxes, and
  • accelerate depreciation in order to get the incentives right for replacing high carbon emitting machines and activities with cleaner processes, and
  • eliminate subsidies and regulations that distort energy consumption and investment decisions and increase carbon emissions?

Aren't these things that require us to actually fight for greater economic liberty from the state?

Sure there are some rent-seekers looking for favors - that's rather quotidian but it's obviously worth paying attention to.  But don't let the fact that your hackles rise at the suggestions that (i) we have various problems of varying degrees of concern that are the result of the lack of effective private property rights and (ii) and climate change looks like one of them distract you from the rather evident and very effective rent-seeking game that has already been played in the US over the past 30 years by the fossil fuel interests.

THERE BE RENT-SEEKERS, you say.  Yes, indeed - but that doesn't absolve us from the responsibility of looking at cases where markets, because of a lack of clear or enforceable property rights (or government ownership), do not allow people to work out their differing preferences.

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool."

-- Richard Feynman

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Ego, are you really comfortable with the stance that children don't represent anything more than the actions of their parents, at least to the extent that the resources used by a child are morally equivalent to the parents using those resources for themselves?  I'm not saying you're wrong, it just seems like a really weighty thing to say.

Copperhead, I guess I do see some similarities between concern over climate change and concern over global terrorism.  It does seem like public officials have had a lot to do with the discussion, and many of the proposed solutions are ones which are inherently reliant on central planning and increased government control.  I assume that's what you were trying to tease out?  But what's your point?  Public officials are also involved in discussions about the crisis in Darfur, and most of the proposed solutions are also state-oriented, interventionistic, and in many ways imperialistic.  As far as that goes, I'm behind you 100%; libertarians need to resist the urge to see things in the terms in which they are painted by our government officials, who tend to have a completely different way of seeing things than we do.  But that doesn't mean that what's going on in Darfur isn't a problem.  And neither does it mean that climate change isn't a problem.  Where rights are being violated, it's our responsibility as libertarians to come up with positions regarding the proper response to those rights violations.  That doesn't mean a state-backed response, or anything in particular.  But it does mean that at the very least, we need to take a position, and back that position up with reasons that reflect the nature of the issue being discussed.  It's not a coherent position to say that "If climate change were happening it wouldn't be a problem because climate change isn't happening."  Nor is it a coherent position to say "Libertarians don't need a position on climate change because our opponents' positions don't reflect libertarian ideals."

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hjmaiere replied on Mon, Apr 14 2008 11:32 AM

TokyoTom:

hjmaiere, will you be responding to my last post?

As far as I can tell, you have fairly restated most of my thesis, but I seem to have failed to fully communicate its implications. For now I will only re-emphasize that although specific people benefit from specific government policies, what I wanted to draw attention to is the accumulation and institutionalization of political authority for its own sake. Some politicians might honestly mean well—their concern over the environment or the less fortunate might be genuine—but this is completely irrelevant. The predatory classes operate by taking advantage of people's instinct to conflate institutionalized authority and the voice of tribal consensus.

The State, that is the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly, also, it lies, and the lie that creeps from its mouth is this: "I, the State, am the People."Nietzsche in Thus Spake Zarathustra

The politicians who are purportedly concerned with anthropogenic climate change and the politicians who are purportedly concerned with U.S. policy regarding Iraq tend to be the same people. It is no coincidence that they have had so much success rallying attention to the former cause while simultaneously being so politically impotent regarding the latter, even though in theory they enjoy plenty of popular support and legal standing regarding the latter, and even though addressing the latter would also just happen to have a huge and immediate impact on fossil fuel consumption.

The politicians' courses of action regarding any issue, and the issues themselves, are instinctually selected first and foremost for their service to the further accumulation and institutionalization of political authority, because politicians and the self-imagined intellectual elite instinctually conflate such authority with the establishement of tribal consensus.

There was one other, bigger example of political hypocrisy that I wanted to bring up as evidence, but it deserves its own thread...

 

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Juan replied on Mon, Apr 14 2008 1:25 PM
Tom:
He[hjmaiere] is saying that we need to be careful of being manipulated by elites via tribal reactions; you helpfully display a tribal counter-example, by presuming that hjmaiere is acting like you, in pretending as if everyone who professes a concern about climate change or our shared environment is a totalitarian. Haven't you just proven his point about tribal responses mess with our critical facilities?
Would you mind explaining how my position, wich is that of the minority, and wich is backed by solid reasoning, is as tribal as the position of the believers in GW, who believe in non-problems for emotional reasons ?
You also claim to have won an argument when you say we should do away with subsidies, when it's a point I've made elsewhere many times, over an over.
Are you being obtuse ? In this thread it was me who borught up the point of equality before the law, while you complained about the subsidies for big oil and ignored the subsidies for 'eco-friendly' firms.
Finally, as you yourself conclude, you are not interested in persuading me, but only in showing how weak my position is. In short, you are treating me as an enemy
You say 1+1=3. I say you're wrong. You conclude my intention is to treat you as enemy. Not very rational, are you ?

As to your claim that you represent the Austrian school while I suppose don't : According to you the state has a role in creating property rights. Would you mind commenting on this ? .

"Are You an Austrian?

1. What is the correct economic status of private property?

A Property is a naturally arising relationship between human beings and material things. Property and enforceable property rights make possible economic calculation, a wider and more productive division of labor, and therefore increasing levels of prosperity. Indeed, civilization itself is inconceivable in the absence of private property. Any encroachment on property results in loss of freedom and prosperity.


B Property is at the heart of most serious inequalities and oppressions in modern civilization. Only by regulation, transfer payments, redistribution of property, and common ownership can society arrive at fairness, justice, and human dignity for all.


C Property is an important component of our social system but its status as a "right" is contingent. It must be subject to regulation and modification for the general good. The state must intervene to prevent abuses of economic power, even at the cost of reducing traditional prerogatives of owners.


D Property is central to prosperity and economic growth. Accordingly, it is of the utmost importance that the state, or more abstractly the law, maintain and modify the bundle of property rights in such a way as to allocate transactions costs in such a way as to promote maximum growth and economic efficiency. Property does not arise naturally, but is the end product of the legal system. "

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

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CopperHead:

 Don't any of you "left libertarians" see the similarities between the calls to "fight global warming" and the calls to "fight global terrorism"? Cause I got to tell you from where im sitting they seem like pretty much the same thing. That is to say they are both drummed up crises that can only be solved if we (suprise,suprise) give up certain rights and freedoms. The fact of the matter is, if a free market and thus free people cannot solve a problem it either does not need to be solved or it in fact cannot be.

 

Who specifically are you talking to, and why do I detect a smug attitude towards the prospect of left libertarianism? And why do you appear to be lumping all of us together? I consider myself a left libertarian and I disagree with Donny With An A (who likewise considers himself a left libertarian) about this issue. I always took a fairly neutral stance on the issue. On one hand, I think those who outright deny that there is any issue of climate change at all are wrong. On the other hand, I find the radical environmentalists who propose global warming as imminent apocalypse to be wrong. 

Even granting the existance of a problem, the problem would appear to be one that is largely outside of human control since we cannot reverse a process of nature. But I also don't see a problem with using the market and the technological innovation therein to develope more environmentally friendly products and methods of production. While global warming as end of the world might be a drummed up hysteria, all environmental concerns are not and it would be silly and vulgar to brush aside all such concerns as statist conspiracies to crush the market and implement socialism (although unfortunately the bulk of the environmentalist movement does appear to be geared towards that).

Nonetheless, regaurdless of wether or not the problem is real or the extent to which it poses a serious threat, I would agree with the sentiment that all of the political solutions presented for climate change so far are non-solutions and mere political power grabs.

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TokyoTom replied on Mon, Apr 14 2008 10:16 PM

hjmaiere:  You are of course absolutely right that we should be concerned - indeed, vigilant - about how the elite try to use the state for their own ends and how they seek to manipulate our tribal reactions to misdirect us and to fool us into enabling them.

But, as I have noted, that concern, while valid, tells us nothing about whether in fact there is a problem (climate change, overfishing, destruction of ecosystems in developing nations) that should concern us - problems that Austrian economics tell us are likely to arise with respect to resources for which there are no clear or enforceable property rights and rather open access.

Further, you should be careful of your own tribal reactions, especially when it is rather easily determined that there is a powerful bunch of corporate insiders and political enablers who are deliberately doing their best to stoke them.  It's clear that Republicans have helped the fossil fuel producers, utilities and auto firms to do that with "enviros".

Don't get me wrong - I'm not a huge fan of much of the environmental hard core.  They're strident, they don't listen, and many of them really have no clue about why their appeals to have government "solve" things are actually counterproductive.  But they're not evil fascists, and even if some are, they usually still have a point about the misuse of government by corporations or the absence of property rights or misgovernance in other countries.  And people forget where these enviros came from, in the first place - they are a response to obvious earlier wrongs of big, secretive and arrogant government and misbehavior by corporations, to the Vietnam war, to open air nuclear bomb tests at home, to rampant industrial pollution made possible by corporate subversions of the common law, to government involvement in and subsidization of nuclear power - all issues where libertarians and Austrian would share a large degree of the "enviros" concern.

Instead of handicapping their own agenda by hating enviros, Austrians ought to be saying, yes, yes, we agree that we need to oppose the misuse of government by corporations, but in order to really sove problems we need to not make the government bigger, as the corporate rent-seekers have all of the advantages in that battle.

But even Austrians, even those attuned to tribal reactions, seem to have a very difficult time letting go of a good hate (a hate that results in them dancing to the tune of insider rent-seekers).

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool."

-- Richard Feynman

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Ego replied on Mon, Apr 14 2008 10:48 PM

I have no problem stopping rights-violating pollution; however, I feel that it's much too hard to prove that x-tons of carbon is criminal, y-tons is acceptable, etc., and my question above concerning children still stands.

The problem with most environmentalists is that -- despite what the origin of environmentalism may be -- they are using using/abusing the environment as the "question" for the "answer" of socialism that they've long advocated.

 

Don't allow leftists to play games with definitions! Some of the libertarian-leaning leftists at this forum will try to redefine "left-wing" back to its original defition (Third Estate, limited government, free-markets, laissez-faire reforms, etc.). Fine! We non-leftists can't stop them from using their own personal definitions; they can use whatever labels they want to describe any concept they want.

However, they have the audacity to then use their personal definition of "left-wing" (remember, the original definition, which is no longer valid) to prove that modern leftists are more libertarian than modern rightists! They will say that libertarianism is "inherently leftist" (again, using the original, no longer valid definition), and use that to insist that we should prefer and side with modern leftists over modern rightists.

Question their motives.

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Stephen replied on Mon, Apr 14 2008 11:22 PM

Donny with an A:
You made the point that under some alternative system of dealing with climate change, insurance and legal firms would have incentive to figure out the precise nature of the climate change phenomenon in order to best serve their clients.  But I see no reason that such research couldn't be done now (unless you're suggesting that the IPCC is crowding out private research).
 

In Walter Block’s “Environmentalism and Economic Freedom: The Case for Private Property Rights” published in Journal of Business Ethics 17: 1887-1899, 1998 endnote 16, he states

 

 

            It is only because murder and rape are illegal that there was a call for a forensic industry, capable of determining guilt based on semen, blood, hair follicles, DNA, ect. If these activities were legal, these capabilities would not have developed. Similarly, when one can sue for pollution, it is of the utmost importance to determine guilt or innocence; hence, the establishment of environmental forensics.

 

 

 

            I think the point he makes here applies to the issue of anthropogenic global warming(AWG) as well.  The precedent of governments treating air pollution in general as a legislative-regulatory issue, rather than a common-civil legal issue ensures that AWG will be treated the same. And because it would be virtually impossible to sue anyone, even if there were undeniable evidence available, there is no market for any kind of climate forensics which could link back specific damage to specific CO2 emission. If AWG is existent, there would be no market to prove a causal relationship between CO2 emissions and global temperature. There is no reason why such research couldn’t be done, but there is also no profit incentive to do it.

 

            I wasn’t suggesting, nor do I see how the IPCC could crowd out private research. The incentives simply exist for state funding and scarcely do for private funding.

Donny with an A:
  If we knew that anthropogenic climate change were occurring, and that it was going to cause damage, but didn't know exactly what the damage would be, we would likely not be able to hold anyone to account in court with our current standards of proof.  But we know that damage will be done, and who would be doing it!  I'm just uncomfortable saying that in such a case, we should be restricted from any sort of intervention. 

            I agree. If it can be demonstrated that an activity will cause damage, we should be allowed to get an injunction to force the activity to stop. 

 

Donny with an A:
However, one thing you said puzzled me: that it is impossible to know that someone will commit a crime in the future, and so people should not be held accountable for future damage.  It seems to me that in talking about committing a crime, one is referring to the action which brought about a particular rights violation.  In the case of climate change, the question seems to be about whether a rights violation will occur, and what the precise nature of that violation will be.  The action, on the other hand, has already occurred.  If climate change will violate rights, then it seems that in regards to a given contribution, the crime has already been committed.

 

            I think our differences here come from the fact that I’m trying to apply sort of a Rothbardian-Blockean ethical framework to the problem, while I think (but I’m not 100%) yours is Lockean.  The only way to resolve these differences is to get into homesteading theory and the foundations of our ethical positions.

            If you and TokyoTom have convinced me of anything, it is that Libertarians shouldn’t be avoiding the ethical issues surrounding climate change and just dismissing the science. This is what I was doing before, because the ethical issues seem really difficult to figure out. AWG seemed like a tragedy of the commons problem without the possibility of the usual solution of homesteading. I look back on my previous position and it just looks like a major cop-out. And I’m sure it does to many outside observers as well when the more well known Libertarians do it.  

            In terms of strategy, it would be better for Libertarians to put their main efforts into solving the ethical dilemma, rather than dismissing the science. First of all, it’s Libertarian’s main strength. If Libertarians can prove that the market can do a better job, at producing sound climate science (if there is a good reason to even produce it), that it can supply higher quality justice than the state, and combine that with the proof that the market can provide better cheaper solutions than massive government regulations (George Reismann), than it doesn’t really matter if the IPCC is right or wrong.

 

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TokyoTom replied on Tue, Apr 15 2008 12:27 AM

 Ego, I already addressed your proposal regarding children - did you miss it?  Anyway, it's hard to take it seriously - state-imposed limits on numbers of children is not consistent with libertarian or Austrian views.  The fact that people largely bear their own costs for their children is what has led to the demographic shift in the developed nations. 

Austrian approaches to environmental issues focus on improving property rights (or other cooperative mechanisms that better internalize external costs), in order to enable people to make transactions based on their preferences.

I think your final sentence is largely a strawman, but so what?  Do we get more trackion demonizing those with disagree with, or by accepting that there is a problem with property rights that doesn't force people to bear all of their own costs and frustrates the ability of people to express their preferences?

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool."

-- Richard Feynman

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Ego replied on Tue, Apr 15 2008 1:00 AM

TokyoTom:

 Ego, I already addressed your proposal regarding children - did you miss it?  Anyway, it's hard to take it seriously - state-imposed limits on numbers of children is not consistent with libertarian or Austrian views.  The fact that people largely bear their own costs for their children is what has led to the demographic shift in the developed nations. 

Austrian approaches to environmental issues focus on improving property rights (or other cooperative mechanisms that better internalize external costs), in order to enable people to make transactions based on their preferences.

Yes, I missed that response.

For others who are reading, my post was this:

TokyoTom, here's the problem I have.

Let's assume the following 2 things:

  1. Humans are the main cause of global warming
  2. We can determine the point at which one's "carbon output" is a violation of others' rights (let's assume it's 10 tons per year)

If we were to be consistent in our views (and we must be), we must ban having children. At the very least, we must limit the number of children one can have. If I'm violating your rights by emitting 11 tons of carbon per year as opposed to 10, then I'm certainly violating your rights by emitting 10 tons of carbon and "emitting" 5 children, each of whom emit 10 tons per year, for a total of 50.

I don't like that path at all. In order to maximize rights and liberty, we shouldn't focus on something as nebulous as "global warming". Should we combat "global cooling" for people who plant too many trees? Our environmental efforts should focus on combating carcinogenic emissions instead.

You responded with this:

Ego, I would say that Austrian thinking doesn`t lead at all to your conclusions, even given your premises. 

If there were clear and enforceable rights relating to the atmosphere then the enforcement of those rights and the differences in preferences among bpeople would lead to changes in economic behavior, including voluntary transactions, investments in technology that reduces how one`s activity infringes on others, etc.

Finding ways to enclose various commons and to minimize inefficiencies inherent in externalities to private behavior are what have driven the success of man, from an evolutionary perspective and up to the present.  (See Yandle and Ostrom)

I see no reason why figuring out how to establish rights and rules realting to our use of various commons - from the oceans and regional ecosystems to the atmosphere means anything like a restriction of choice.

I am not saying that my proposal is Austrian! Definetly not. I was saying that my proposal follows logically from setting a criminal-level of carbon output.

I think your final sentence is largely a strawman, but so what?  Do we get more trackion demonizing those with disagree with, or by accepting that there is a problem with property rights that doesn't force people to bear all of their own costs and frustrates the ability of people to express their preferences?

Oh, I was just responding to your point about the origins of the environmental movement (aside from the fact that it's suspicious).

Again, I'm not opposed to stopping any pollution that violates rights; I'm just worried about violating others' rights in the name of something as murky as this.

 

Don't allow leftists to play games with definitions! Some of the libertarian-leaning leftists at this forum will try to redefine "left-wing" back to its original defition (Third Estate, limited government, free-markets, laissez-faire reforms, etc.). Fine! We non-leftists can't stop them from using their own personal definitions; they can use whatever labels they want to describe any concept they want.

However, they have the audacity to then use their personal definition of "left-wing" (remember, the original definition, which is no longer valid) to prove that modern leftists are more libertarian than modern rightists! They will say that libertarianism is "inherently leftist" (again, using the original, no longer valid definition), and use that to insist that we should prefer and side with modern leftists over modern rightists.

Question their motives.

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It might be beating a dead horse at this point, but I figured this might be of some interest: http://libertarian-left.blogspot.com/2008/04/what-does-it-mean-to-advocate-market.html

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CopperHead replied on Tue, Apr 15 2008 10:22 PM

TokyoTom:
Sure, I see similarities between the calls to "fight global terrorism" and the calls to  "fight global warming" - but they seem to be rather shallow similarities to me.  Is it the same set of elites that are behind both? 

I don't think it matters one lick whos behind the calls, what matters is what they want us to do about their respective drummed up crises. Again the solutions to both are pretty simple and pretty much the same:"Give up certain individual rights and freedoms for the sake of the greater good"

TokyoTom:
The first case seems to involve a narrow set of US interests aligned with US and ME fossil fuel interests and defense contractors that appeal to US patriotism and exceptionalism; the second is global and says that the US needs to cooperate with the rest of the world in addressing shared problems realting to shared resources (the atmosphere, oceans etc.) and the problem of poor governance and development in the poorer areas of the world. 

I don't care what either phony crises appeals to. Just because fighting global warming appeals to "good hearted left wingers" such as yourself doesn't make it any more righteous. And what is this bit about poor governance? Is there good governance?

TokyoTom:
Is there a serious problem with terror, other the one we helped to create and can't resolve by the use of military force?  Are there serious issues relating to the demands that modern markets and technology place on shared but unowned open-access resources, or with respect to poverty in the third world resulting from corrupt governance and thievery that benefits partiicular elites and ethnic groups?
 

Well first, yes there certainly are real problems with terrorists! I find it laughable that you completely dismiss terrorism as if it doesn't exist but your willing to wage jihad on the sun beacuse Al gore says it's given are planet a "fever".

TokyoTom:
Are you seriously suggesting that appeals to "fight global warming" are really just disguised attempts by everybody - those who hate our freedoms and our economy - to take over the US?
 

Wow don't believe I said that now did I? I believe the appeals to fight global warming are for the most part sincere just like the appeals to fight global terror. What I object to is fighting them at the cost of my own rights. I fail to see any difference in giving up these rights to kill Osama or to kill off Co2. 

 

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TokyoTom replied on Wed, Apr 16 2008 3:20 AM

Ego, it doesn't sound like in principle we are so far apart - but floating non-Austrian proposals about limiting children seems a bit extreme.

I share your reluctance to "violate others' rights in the name of something as murky as this."  What have I advocated here, other than changes in government policy to INCREASE individual and corporate freedom?  But let's not ignore that in the absence of property rights and enforcement mechanisms in important shared resources like the atmosphere means that costs are being shifted involuntarily, for the gains of a few. 

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool."

-- Richard Feynman

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TokyoTom replied on Wed, Apr 16 2008 4:31 AM

Copperhead, you won some points (particularly with hjmaiere) with your initial post comparing AGW and terrorism, but you just lost plenty by mixing up your own legitimate views with fairly trollish nonsense.

If you don't like my hyperbole in trying to show what I see are the clear differences between the rent-seeking behind AGW and terrorism, it's fair to say so, but it's something else to then come back (i) slinging around unfounded conclusory terms like "good hearted left wingers" and (ii) finding "laughable" the offensive strawmen that you set up ("you completely dismiss terrorism as if it doesn't exist but your willing to wage jihad on the sun beacuse Al gore says it's given are planet a "fever"). 

Our discussion was simply about rent-seeking - where do you come up with "left wing"?  As I specifically noted, I'm a right-winger.  Call me good-hearted if you wish, or too statist for your satisfaction, but please try to base your conclusions on what I've said, and not your preconceptions of who cares about climate change - or terrorism.

And of course I have NOT "completely dismissed terrorism as if it doesn't exist" - rather, I've indicated that if it's serious, it's because we "helped to create [it] and can't resolve by the use of military force".  See the difference between your black and white strawman and my important nuance?  I believe that my position is the considered conservative and libertarian one.

And where do you get off laughing at the offensive claptrap that I want to "wage jihad on the sun beacuse Al gore says it's given are planet a 'fever'"?  Al Gore doesn't pull my strings, I am concerned about climate change for the same reason practically all scientific bodies (and a lomg, long list of others) are, I see (as I specifically noted) an obvious problem in Austrian terms with the atmosphere and other important open-access resources that lack clear or enforceable property rights, and I acknowledge (as I also specifically noted) and remain concerned by the inevitable rent-seeking that also accompanies the "government action" case.

Dolt.  Just because you can't walk or chew gum at the same time doesn't mean others can't.  Get yourself some nuance and some basic civility.

Ironically, can't you see that your willingness to so quickly stereotype those you disagree with is the very type of shallow, reflexive tribal reaction that hjmaiere writes about?  Let's rush off an attack enviros!  Too much fun letting your unearned hostility and contempt flow (and too much hard work exercising a little self-control)?

Of course, if you want to persist, you're in good company with the lovers of reason at Mises, sadly:

http://mises.com/blogs/tokyotom/archive/2008/02/19/cool-rationalists-or-conservatives-and-neocons-on-the-environment.aspx

http://mises.org/Community/blogs/tokyotom/archive/2008/02/24/george-reisman-or-how-i-learned-to-hate-enviros-and-love-tantrums.aspx

http://mises.com/blogs/tokyotom/archive/2007/12/17/holiday-joy-quot-watermelons-quot-roasting-on-an-open-pyre.aspx

Sorry, but I just have no appetite to respond to you further.  Funny how that works.

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool."

-- Richard Feynman

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Juan replied on Wed, Apr 16 2008 9:27 AM
Tom,

I'm still waiting for you to comment on the status of property rights. Are they natural as the Austrian Quiz seem to suggest ? Or are they created by elites to promote 'efficiency' or some other collective 'common good' ?

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CopperHead replied on Wed, Apr 16 2008 10:37 PM

TokyoTom:

And where do you get off laughing at the offensive claptrap that I want to "wage jihad on the sun beacuse Al gore says it's given are planet a 'fever'"?  Al Gore doesn't pull my strings, I am concerned about climate change for the same reason practically all scientific bodies (and a lomg, long list of others) are, I see (as I specifically noted) an obvious problem in Austrian terms with the atmosphere and other important open-access resources that lack clear or enforceable property rights, and I acknowledge (as I also specifically noted) and remain concerned by the inevitable rent-seeking that also accompanies the "government action" case.

Well its fine for you to be concerned about global warming just as its fine for george bush to be concerned about global terorrism. What concerns me is that you seem to be trying to conjure up instances where libertarian principles cannot apply(in your mind) as an excuse to support "government action".

TokyoTom:

Dolt.  Just because you can't walk or chew gum at the same time doesn't mean others can't.  Get yourself some nuance and some basic civility.

Okay way to show me your civility tom! I didn't think my post would be taken as so offensive by you and frankly I think your overreacting a great deal. Not to mention your the one who completely twisted my original post into something I clearly did not say.

TokyoTom:

Ironically, can't you see that your willingness to so quickly stereotype those you disagree with is the very type of shallow, reflexive tribal reaction that hjmaiere writes about?  Let's rush off an attack enviros!  Too much fun letting your unearned hostility and contempt flow (and too much hard work exercising a little self-control)?

Well perhaps if enviromentalists such as you, weren't always attacking mankind itself, folks like me wouldn't take such offense to your ramblings.

TokyoTom:
Of course, if you want to persist, you're in good company with the lovers of reason at Mises, sadly:

Yes there are lots of folks out there who just aren't as concerned about the enviroment as you are, so what? And theres nothing like the self righteousness and arrogance of enviromentalists like you to encourage that.

 

 

 

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TokyoTom replied on Thu, Apr 17 2008 2:29 AM

 CooperHead:

Okay way to show me your civility tom! I didn't think my post would be taken as so offensive by you and frankly I think your overreacting a great deal. Not to mention your the one who completely twisted my original post into something I clearly did not say.

I'm just reacting to you, and justifiedly.  You didn't think I would find your patently offensive remarks to be offensive?  Or was it that you just didn't think I would care?  In either case you deserve to have a pissed-off reaction.  If you want to comment here in a civil manner, then people are happy to have a conversation, regardless of how much you disagree with them. 

Frankly, if you're serious about commenting here, you'll take responsibility for your own behavior, instead of trying to cover up what's indefensible with more weak, irrelevant and offensive justifications - like somehow I provoked your offensiveness with my "ramblings" and because I must be one of those "enviromentalists [who are] always attacking mankind itself",  or that it is the "self righteousness and arrogance of enviromentalists like [me]" who are really the problem.  Get real - how you feel about "environmentalists" generally is no excuse for your own rudeness.

It's your tone, and not my response, that's the problem.  If that's how you want to be, take it somewhere else.  Or you can prove yourself worthy of having a serious conversation.  Your choice.

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool."

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TokyoTom replied on Thu, Apr 17 2008 5:17 AM

 

Juan:  I am not sure whether you want a real conversation, but given your persistence, I'm willing to take the chance.

Was what your score on the Austrian quiz?  Mine was 95%.  Not that it's that important; it just means I have some idea of what Austrian views are.

The Austrian test "answer" on property is quite brief; my views are more nuanced:

Property is a naturally arising relationship between human beings and material things. Property and enforceable property rights make possible economic calculation, a wider and more productive division of labor, and therefore increasing levels of prosperity. Indeed, civilization itself is inconceivable in the absence of private property. Any encroachment on property results in loss of freedom and prosperity.

Property doesn't exist by in nature, but is a relationship created by man - and meaningful only to the extend that it is mutually erspected by others (i.e., "enforceable").  It is certainly not the only relationship by man and material things - there are no property rights in some things and shared property rights in others, and men also often take things that others say belongs to them (viz., a denial of or indifference to "property" of others). 

"Property" as we know it is a human institution, but it is hardly unique to man.  Other animals also try to capture and defend resources - treat them like personal property - often very effectively, but it does require diligence and expenditure of energy.  But cooperation (and some reciprocal recognition of "pecking orders", rules of priority and use developed in animals because it provided some advantages over a constant, no-holds-barred squabble over resources.

Does property require law?  If you mean written law, then of course not.  Humans had recogizable property rights land before we had written language.  But property of course requires relatively clearly understood and accepted rules, and social mechanisms to enforce those rules - both to allow those whose rights are violated to seek redress and to provide disincentives to violations.   Written law of course is certainly created by elites, and used to enforce property rights.  These laws are in some ways simply codifications of common, unwritten rules, but they also involve some element of deliberate choice and decisions that elites were in a position to manipulate in their favor.  Is written law still useful?  Yes.  Is written law complete and satisfactory as is?  Read Mises.

You might recalled that I previously discussed Mises and Yandle, in the context of explaining exactly these points earlier.

Do "property and enforceable property rights make possible economic calculation, a wider and more productive division of labor, and therefore increasing levels of prosperity"?  Yes, indeed. 

Is "civilization itself is inconceivable in the absence of private property"?  This is certainly a rather broad and vague statement.  Have we had a spectrum of societies, some of which, for one length of time or another, did not officially recognize private property, or considered most property to be "collectively" owned or owned by the state?  Sure, but to the extent that internally they did not acknowledge private property they had severe problems with economic calculation, a productive division of labor, and increasing levels of prosperity.  Some of these groups are still around, starting with various religious sects.  But even the societies that declaimed private property still acted as if the state owned property, and would defens such property against outsiders, and in any event, as human nature has evolved to include a concept of property, even in the radically communistic societies a fairly large streak of private property was respected as a practical matter, and helped these societies to function.

Does "any encroachment on property results in loss of freedom and prosperity"?  Well, encroachment by whom?  Without a state, the effectiveness of "property" is entirely dependent on the ability of the one claiming it to defend his position, which ability depends to a large extent on the willingness of others to accept his claim.  As the material environment continually changes, so too will "property" change in societies - with or without laws.  If the encroachment is by the state, then I pretty much agree - and am worried about theft and manipulation by elites.  All taxation may reduce freedom, and is likely to reduce prosperity, but besides that, are state actions with respect to resources that are not owned "encroachments on property"?

Is TokyoTom a radical, man-hating enviro fascist commie?  Who knows; but he's certainly a snake in the grass who can't be trusted, that's for sure.

Hope the above is useful as a place for further discussion.  Forgive the arrogant sarcasm at the end.

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Juan replied on Thu, Apr 17 2008 12:51 PM
Tom:
Was what your score on the Austrian quiz? Mine was 95%.
Since the quiz is a bit slanted towards anarchism, my score is 100%. Anyway...
Austrian quiz:
Property is a naturally arising relationship between human beings and material things.
Tom:
Property doesn't exist by in nature, but is a relationship created by man.
To me that sounds opposite to the view of property as 'natural'. A 'natural arising' relationship is not the same thing as a 'man-created' relationship, is it ?
"Property" as we know it is a human institution, but it is hardly unique to man.
So you seem to accept that property is in some way not an exclusively human relationship ?
Does property require law? If you mean written law, then of course not. Humans had recogizable property rights land before we had written language. But property of course requires relatively clearly understood and accepted rules.
Alright, but those rules are not to be created by 'our shared tool of government', as you put it. Considering the way property rights are tampered with by governments, it doesn't make sense to me to advocate involvement of government in the creation of rights, in the first place. If you do, despite the record of government as a destructor of property rights, I think it is legitimate to question your motives.

All taxation may reduce freedom, and is likely to reduce prosperity, but besides that, are state actions with respect to resources that are not owned "encroachments on property"?
State action is coercion. You seem to be proposing that the politicians act as if they can appropriate unowned resources. I don't think they legitimately can.

As to how many people lend support to enviromental issues (a point you raised in other posts) : There are enviromental ideologues who indeed oppose human freedom. There are people who are in it for the money, for instance, the ones involved in the ethanol scam. The mass media and mainstream 'scientists' also are highly motivated by profits. And a part of the general public just believe what they are told without much critical thinking - they can't be bothered. So, I'm not sure how this heterogenous group of supporters validates your position.

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TokyoTom:

It's your tone, and not my response, that's the problem.  If that's how you want to be, take it somewhere else.  Or you can prove yourself worthy of having a serious conversation.  Your choice.

I must apologize, I was not aware that my type had such an overt and offensive tone. Perhaps I'll change the font someday.

 

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TokyoTom replied on Fri, Apr 18 2008 6:05 AM

Juan:
There are enviromental ideologues who indeed oppose human freedom. There are people who are in it for the money, for instance, the ones involved in the ethanol scam. The mass media and mainstream 'scientists' also are highly motivated by profits. And a part of the general public just believe what they are told without much critical thinking - they can't be bothered
 Juan:  Thanks for your comments.

Yes, property is natural and, as a relationship can be observed in nature.  But for there to be property, there has to be not merely a substance, but something that does the valuing of it. 

I think you can see that I agreed that man evolved to cooperatively treat material things as property, if they are materials that are desirable and capable of being treated as property.  Other aninals animals similarly - but not to the same level of sophistication - treat things as property (they are territorial, and expend energy defending resources that are important to them).

As for my view of the role of government, particularly with regard to property, I wish that you would relax a little bit and read more carefully what I say, both here and at my blog.  Some you might not like, but I suspect most you would agree with.  I obviously do not believe that it is necessary to have states in order to have property, and I clearly recognize that states very often mess with property, in ways we would all agree is bad.  But undeniability what we view as property in lay terms are things that are codified in laws, rules, regulations and in the "common law" - a body of written court cases by state-appointed officials.  That's just how things are, not a statement of my preferences.  And it's quite fair to observe, as Mises, Block, Cordato and Rothbard do, that what gets codified as law is what elites decide should be codified, which is often one-sided or leaves the property owner off the hook for damages for which he is responsible.  These points should be unobjectionable.

One difficult question is what to do when the law is normatively wrong.  Do we just let it lie, because we prefer state inaction over more coercion (in the form of correcting the rules)?

I'm not in favor of the state itself homesteading, but is it coercion if it does so without using assets taken from others?  An interesting question, perhaps, but I'm not really advocating that.

Yes, there are various people who lend support to environmental issues - including the Austrians I've named above, who quite obviously are concerned and believe that the solutions lie not in hating enviros but in understanding that the problem is a lack of clear and enforceable property rights (and government ownership), which prevents people from reaching deals over resources and results in people fighting over resources or over the governemtnthat controls them.

 

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool."

-- Richard Feynman

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Whether or not global warming is a fact of the matter, Austrians should be discussing libertarian approaches to it, so that should the evidence ultimately be found in favour of GW, we have a ready response to silence those who'd rather use the heavy hand of coercion.

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*applause*

 

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TokyoTom replied on Fri, Apr 18 2008 11:19 AM

Austrians should be discussing libertarian approaches to it

You mean some libertarian response other than calling all those who are concerned enviro-fascists?  Other than saying that the science must be a scam because anybody who is convinced must be a rent-seeker?  You mean maybe libertarians should actually listen to guys like Cordato who say that "environmental" problems are really simply political battles over resources that result when there are no clear or enforceable property rights?  Isn`t that so much harder than actually hating people?  You mean we actually have to think and discuss, and even try to talk with and persuade all those socialist/statists out there?  Yuck!   But it`s so much funner and satisfying to question the motives of and "laugh" at people who think we need to have jihad against the sun, and then insult them more when they get offended!

Is it a libertarian approach, Jon, to say, hey - maybe we can make substantial progress towards adapting to and mitigating climate cvhange by deregulating power production and distribution (so sellers can sell at margin costs rather than blended rates, introduce competition and the like), eliminate capital gains taxes and energy subsidies?  Or is that too statist?  I`m not really sure if pushing for deregulation is really libertarian, since involves getting the state to do something, but I keep making suggestions like those, as well as taking the heat for everyone`s tribal fantasies about how evil anyone who cares about looming unsolved problems must be.

Well actually of course it`s been high time for the past few decades to talk about libertarian approaches, and momentum is rapidly building for more statist ones.  I`m starting to feel that libertarians really are not fundamentally serious, either about serious resource issues generally or serious about battling statism.  Insular tribalism is more comfortable.

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hjmaiere replied on Fri, Apr 18 2008 3:58 PM

Jon Irenicus:

Whether or not global warming is a fact of the matter, Austrians should be discussing libertarian approaches to it, so that should the evidence ultimately be found in favour of GW, we have a ready response to silence those who'd rather use the heavy hand of coercion.

No, anthropogenic global warming is a manufactured issue, selected specifically for its ability to slough off "libertarian approaches." As I originally explained, the actual science never really made much sense in the first place, and the further you dig, the more strained and contrived the qualifications and revisions and inferrences get. Do not confuse the existence of a government-sponsored consensus for rational discourse. Most importantly, pay attention to the arguments offered for public consumption in support of anthropogenic global warming. When they aren't outright lies, they always take two forms: appeals to authority, and scare tactics. Environmentalism itself has clearly been called upon to play the role of civil religion.

I mean, how more obvious can it get?

No, as far as political discourse is concerned, the only real point to be made is that the nature of the State is such that the institutionalization of authority in any form sufficient to address anthropogenic global warming would only do far more harm than anthropogenic global warming itself could possibly do. More importantly, it already does.

 

 

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TokyoTom I shall assume you're being sardonic.

Hjmaere, I'm not well versed in the science of the matter, my point is simply that it's worth putting thought into should the science prove correct. Should it not, it'd be no real loss as we'd have had a chance to expand libertarian thinking in new directions anyway. Just some thoughts.

-Jon

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