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vaguelyhumanoid Posted: Sat, Jan 15 2011 4:28 PM

Hi. I'm a bit of a dissident here:  a left-libertarian mutualist, albeit one with an affinity for Austrian School economic thought.

Things I like: music, swimming, philosophy, linguistics, economics, extraterritorial law, laissez-faire socialism, bioregionalism, youth liberation, Stirnerite egoism

Things I dislike: prejudice of any sort, dogmatism, statism, intellecutal property, limited-liability corporations

-----

Hopefully, we can have a productive discussion on liberty, as opposed to a shouting match about "ebil soshulistz steelin teh freedomz".

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Welcome to the forum!

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken.

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Welcome to the forums. I hope, too, you can have a productive experience here. I'm still relatively new here myself, however I've taken on the Anarcho-Capitalist's side. Did you have something specific you wanted to talk discuss?

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vaguelyhumanoid:
Things I dislike: prejudice of any sort

There is at least one performative contradiction in here, maybe two.

Welcome.  We need mutualists who understand AE, because we don't have any here right now.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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@Free Radicals, not really. I guess there's always how I think "anarcho-capitalism" is an incredibly unfortunate term for propertarian anti-statism.

@Liberty Student, what performative contradiction is there in disliking any sort of prejudice? If it's that I'm being prejudiced against prejudice, there's 2 main problems with that:

1. "Prejudice" implies irrationality. You're presuming that I don't have a good justification.

2. How can one be "prejudiced" against an idea?

 

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vaguelyhumanoid:
@Free Radicals, not really. I guess there's always how I think "anarcho-capitalism" is an incredibly unfortunate term for propertarian anti-statism.

That's why we have "voluntaryism".

 

vaguelyhumanoid:
@Liberty Student, what performative contradiction is there in disliking any sort of prejudice? If it's that I'm being prejudiced against prejudice

Yes.

 

vaguelyhumanoid:
1. "Prejudice" implies irrationality. You're presuming that I don't have a good justification.

I thought you were into AE?  All prejudice is rational.

 

vaguelyhumanoid:
2. How can one be "prejudiced" against an idea?

???

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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1. Good... can you drop "ancap", then? It's an utterly bizarre term leading to all sorts of semantic confusion.

2. All prejudice is rational? The guys waving the "God Hates Fags" signs are rational? The KKK are rational? Or are they not "real" prejudiced people?

3. What the hell in Austrian economics says "all prejudice is rational"?

3. OK, I guess you can be prejudiced against an idea, but how do you know I am?

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@ vaguelyhumanoid:

I believe that LS is simply impling that all human action is rational from the reference point of the actor, even if seems irrational to us.

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It depends what you mean by rational.  Does it imply objective or subjective value?

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Human action is necessarily always rational. The term “rational action” is
therefore pleonastic and must be rejected as such. When applied to the ultimate
ends of action, the terms rational and irrational are inappropriate and meaningless.
The ultimate end of action is always the satisfaction of some desires of the
acting man. Since nobody is in a position to substitute his own value judgments
for those of the acting individual, it is vain to pass judgment on other people’s
aims and volitions. No man is qualified to declare what would make another
man happier or less discontented.

Rationality and Irrationality; Subjectivism and Objectivity
of Praxeological Research

http://mises.org/books/humanaction.pdf

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vaguelyhumanoid:
1. Good... can you drop "ancap", then? It's an utterly bizarre term leading to all sorts of semantic confusion.

I am not the cult leader this month but I will bring it up at our next annual shareholder meeting.

vaguelyhumanoid:
2. All prejudice is rational? The guys waving the "God Hates Fags" signs are rational? The KKK are rational? Or are they not "real" prejudiced people?

3. What the hell in Austrian economics says "all prejudice is rational"?

Praxeology.  See JD's responses.

vaguelyhumanoid:
3. OK, I guess you can be prejudiced against an idea, but how do you know I am?

You told me.  You said you are prejudiced against prejudice of any sort.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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hopefully by joining the forums, you can learn about Austrian Econ.,

My Blog: http://www.anarchico.net/

Production is 'anarchistic' - Ludwig von Mises

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Sigh.

The way Mises defines rationality - as behavior using means to achieve ends - isn't the same as (1) most people in day to day conversations use it and (2) isn't the only way to comprehend the word. Prejudice, in the Misesian sense, is, of course, rational: it's a conscience application of the human mind. In another sense - a sense more commonly used - one could call prejudice 'irrational', because it (supposedly) is based on a lack of comprehension and understanding of certain relationships. Just like doing a rain dance is rational in the Misesian sense, but a lot of people would call it 'irrational'. 

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

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1. What if someone makes the wrong assumption about what will satisfy their subjective desires?

2. I didn't say I was prejudiced against prejudice, I said I disliked prejudice. You're distorting my statement to make me look like I'm saying something totally nonsensical when I'm not.

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@vaguelyhumanoid

to answer your first question, then people will adjust their value scale to meet their desired ends

My Blog: http://www.anarchico.net/

Production is 'anarchistic' - Ludwig von Mises

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vaguelyhumanoid:
2. I didn't say I was prejudiced against prejudice, I said I disliked prejudice. You're distorting my statement to make me look like I'm saying something totally nonsensical when I'm not.

"Things I dislike: prejudice of any sort"

You judge prejudice (dislike) before you know what the prejudice is.  What if I say I am prejudiced against rape?  What if I say I am prejudiced against rotten tomatoes?  What if I say I am prejudiced against the state?

Humans don't function "rationally" by being impartial.  Everyone has a bias, everyone prejudges because perfect knowledge is not possible.

If you had said prejudice of certain sorts, ok, that makes sense.  You're judging the prejudgment on its merits.  But you said of any sort, which means you had prejudged other people's prejudgments.  And frankly my good sir, people prejudge, as you did in your OP when you assumed that you'd get the

"ebil soshulistz steelin teh freedomz"

response.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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filc replied on Sat, Jan 15 2011 8:04 PM

@Vaguelyhumanoid.

Replace prejudice with "Preference" and you will see why people have a hard time following you.(I being one of them)

If what you mean by prejudice is:

  • To make a judgment about an individual or group of individuals on the basis of their social, physical or cultural characteristics.

It would be extremely naive of me to assume you don't practice preferences to some degree along those lines. (We all do, it's part of being human) It's what makes a world culturally rich, and not a dull state of affairs where we are all exactly the same.


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I guess my terminology was badly chosen. I meant discrimination against people for race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion (criticizing religion doesn't count as prejudice), etc.

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vaguelyhumanoid wrote the following post at Sat, Jan 15 2011 9:23 PM:

I guess my terminology was badly chosen. I meant discrimination against people for race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion (criticizing religion doesn't count as prejudice), etc.

Though most of us would share your dislike for discrimination we must keep in mind that such a strategy of prejudice was probably socially optimal to our ancestors. It possible that our distant ancestors saw less than 100 humanoids in a lifetime and thus all the more reason to be suspicious of anyone who doesn't resemble their bodily color, etc. It was only with increased population density that we developed a different set of prejudices, but such genetic factors are not easily swept away with "I have a dream" speeches

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I'm quite aware of how difficult it is to put an end to discrimination. However, it should still be pursued, albeit through voluntary means.

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VaguelyH,

If you're not bisexual, you discriminate.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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I meant discrimination against people for race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion (criticizing religion doesn't count as prejudice), etc.

I'd still take issue with that, as it can be "rational" (in the colloquial sense) to discriminate/act on certain stereotypes depending on circumstances. I would find discrimination repugnant if the circumstances are such that the discriminator has the opportunity to gain the relevant information but chooses not to or ignores the information so as to act on the stereotype (e.g. an employer hiring a person based on race), but discrimination can be understandable if it is very costly or just unreasonable to gain information (e.g. a cab driver ignoring a black man in a bad neighborhood). And, of course, there are times when someone simply must discriminate, like casting only white males to play Abraham Lincoln, refusing to admit straight men to a lesbian bar, allowing only Catholics to run Catholic schools, etc.

Still, welcome. We seem to have quite a few active left-libertarians lately, which is nice to see.

"People kill each other for prophetic certainties, hardly for falsifiable hypotheses." - Peter Berger
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MaikU replied on Sat, Jan 15 2011 8:45 PM

Hey OP, welcome.

Can you please define "laissez-faire socialism"? It is first time I see these two words in such a way (and I am still newbie in economics in general sense, so..)..

 

P.S. I think, some people get similar reaction when they hear about "anarcho-capitalism", though. haha.

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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MaikU replied on Sat, Jan 15 2011 8:46 PM

liberty student:

VaguelyH,

If you're not bisexual, you discriminate.

 

 

haha I see what you did here.

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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"if you're not bisexual, you discriminate"

Haha, did you get that from a Walter Block's joke?

My Blog: http://www.anarchico.net/

Production is 'anarchistic' - Ludwig von Mises

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LibertyS, you know what I mean. Also, I am bisexual, so that kinda backfired.

Michael, not letting straight men into a lesbian bar isn't prejudice/discrimination. Not letting lesbians into a bar that isn't themed around sexual orientation is. Not letting black people play Abraham Lincoln  in a play isn't discrimination. Not letting black people come to the play is. What I mean is racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. I call such things "prejudice" or "discrimination".

Maik, I guess by laissez-faire socialism I mean a non-hierarchial, cooperative economy in a free-market society, like mutualism or genuinely anarchistic forms of ancom.

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I too hate racism, sexism, statism but that's just me.

I'm up to my ears in isms.

Enemy of the state
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Michael, not letting straight men into a lesbian bar isn't prejudice/discrimination. Not letting lesbians into a bar that isn't themed around sexual orientation is. Not letting black people play Abraham Lincoln  in a play isn't discrimination. Not letting black people come to the play is. What I mean is racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. I call such things "prejudice" or "discrimination".

Either none of that is discrimination, or all of it is. Why would you say that someone who's black can't play Abraham Lincoln? Plus, I'm pretty sure that casting actors for a play is entirely based on discrimination, if you look at it that way.

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken.

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Angurse replied on Sat, Jan 15 2011 11:29 PM

Michael, not letting straight men into a lesbian bar isn't prejudice/discrimination.

Of course it is. "discriminate - recognize or perceive the difference"  The straight men are being distinguished from their not-straight, not-male counter parts and being excluded due to it.

Not letting lesbians into a bar that isn't themed around sexual orientation is. Not letting black people play Abraham Lincoln  in a play isn't discrimination. Not letting black people come to the play is. What I mean is racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. I call such things "prejudice" or "discrimination".

Picking and choosing between forms of discrimination you find to be acceptable doesn't change anything about its nature.

"I am an aristocrat. I love liberty, I hate equality."
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vaguelyhumanoid:
Also, I am bisexual, so that kinda backfired.

 

Was it prejudiced of me that, looking at your picture, I assumed you were bisexual?
 

I have a problem with uniform opposition to prejudice, because there is such a thing as rational prejudice.  I strongly believe most prejudices are rational.  I'm a probabilistic thinker so I prejudge all of the time.  If I moved from a city with a murder rate of 2 per 100,000 to a city with a murder rate of 20 per 100,000, I would be prejudiced against the people in that city by thinking that they were 10 times more likely to murder me than the people in the first city, even though they've never actually murdered me.

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William replied on Sun, Jan 16 2011 12:30 AM

 

 Good... can you drop "ancap", then? It's an utterly bizarre term leading to all sorts of semantic confusion.

My thought on this:

http://mises.org/Community/forums/p/21846/387661.aspx

"I am not an ego along with other egos, but the sole ego: I am unique. Hence my wants too are unique, and my deeds; in short, everything about me is unique" Max Stirner
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MaikU replied on Sun, Jan 16 2011 6:10 AM

On discrimination:

 

I agree here with OP, but there needs to be some clarifications. What in our society is called discrimination, 99 percents of the time it is NOT, in a sense, that it is the same, as picking a partner for sex. People "discriminate", but it is not a real definition of it. Picking man over woman for a job is not a discrimination either. Picking white person over black - too (though, there may be exceptions).

 

According to wiki, it is prejudicial treatment of an individual based solely on their membership in a certain group or category. It is irrational and mostly, if it is not (if person is aware of it), it is for bad reasons. Bad parenting? Kids playground?

But yeah, I agree with critiques in most part, because it is very ambiguous concept and almost lost its meaning in a modern world, where everything can be accused of it.

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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vaguelyhumanoid:
LibertyS, you know what I mean. Also, I am bisexual, so that kinda backfired.

It didn't backfire.  You've staked out a position whereby anyone who is heterosexual is engaging in sexual discrimination.  Is that correct?

Also, I have no idea what you mean. 

vaguelyhumanoid:
Maik, I guess by laissez-faire socialism I mean a non-hierarchial, cooperative economy in a free-market society, like mutualism or genuinely anarchistic forms of ancom.

Do you feel a division of labor is beneficial to an economy?  If so, how do you reconcile the division of labor with non-hierarchy?  Are we all supposed to grow our own food and weave our own clothes?

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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MrSchnapps replied on Sun, Jan 16 2011 11:30 AM

Are we all supposed to grow our own food and weave our own clothes?

And run our own fiber to the backbones.

“Remove justice,” St. Augustine asks, “and what are kingdoms but gangs of criminals on a large scale? What are criminal gangs but petty kingdoms?”
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Also, not to mention that many people desire hierarchy in businesses. A lot of people want to be told what to do and a lot of people don't. This is how hierarchy in business naturally and voluntarily forms. In many cases, without it, the business wouldn't last long.

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z1235 replied on Sun, Jan 16 2011 12:17 PM

Liberty Student:
Everyone has a bias, everyone prejudges because perfect knowledge is not possible.

True.

vaguelyhumanoid, pre-judgment is the best (and only) alternative we have to POST-judgment, i.e. omniscience (or choosing an action after exercising it i.e. with full knowledge of the resulting state of affairs produced by it). Discrimination, too is inherent in action. My preference for (or choice of) an apple over an orange, is an act of discrimination. My preference to move my finger over keeping it still is an act of discriminating one state of affairs over another.

Z.

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BramElias replied on Sun, Jan 16 2011 2:42 PM

Prejudice comes (if I am correct, English is not my native language) a pre judgement. So you act without

having all the information. That's not wrong, that's necessary for survival.

 

 

Most people feel that stereotyping is wrong and unfair.

Why should one person be affected by the actions or qualities of the rest of his or her demographic? Of course, people are individuals with their own moral values (or lack of), intelligence, and talents. Stereotyping is, however, a method that people use, consciously or subconsciously, as an efficient way of economizing on information costs.

For example, if somebody offered you $1 million to solve a complex mathematical problem and, furthermore, you could choose anybody on a university campus to help you, I doubt you would choose the Paris Hilton–type sorority girl or the Abercrombie and Fitch–wearing fraternity boy. Now consider the young man wearing glasses and a pocket protector in his short-sleeve, button-down shirt: would you not think that he is a better bet?

http://mises.org/daily/2282

English is not my native language
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From Online Eytmology Dictionary:

 

prejudice (n.) Look up prejudice at Dictionary.com
late 13c., from O.Fr. prejudice (13c.), from M.L. prejudicium "injustice," from L. praejudicium "prior judgment," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + judicium "judgment," from judex (gen. judicis) "judge." The notion is of "preconceived opinion;" the verb meaning "to affect or fill with prejudice" is from c.1600. Related: Prejudiced; prejudicing.
judge (v.) Look up judge at Dictionary.com
early 13c., "to form an opinion about," from Anglo-Fr. juger, from O.Fr. jugier "to judge," from L. judicare "to judge," from judicem (nom. judex) "to judge," a compound of jus "right, law" + root of dicere "to say" (see diction). Related: Judged; judging. The O.E. word was deman (see doom). Meaning "to try and pronounce sentence upon (someone) in a court" is from late 13c. The noun is from c.1300. In Hebrew history, it refers to a war leader vested with temporary power (e.g. Book of Judges), from L. judex being used to translate Heb. shophet.
opinion Look up opinion at Dictionary.com
c.1300, from O.Fr. opinion (12c.), from L. opinionem (nom. opinio) "opinion, conjecture, what one thinks," from stem of opinari "think, judge, suppose, opine," from PIE *op- "to choose."
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