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To AnCaps: are minarchists really libertarians?

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The Texas Trigger Posted: Tue, Jun 5 2012 8:32 AM

Currently, I am of the opinion that minarchists are as much libertarian, as the social contract is a contract, or Intellectual property is property. They are kind of poser-libertarians.  

I take the Hoppe perspective that you either choose to accept the state or reject it. Any argument other than this one is a question of "how much slavery are you willing to tolerate?" and the only option for pure libertarians is to reject the state in all cases. 

What are your thoughts?

painful to say this sometimes, as even Mises was no AnCap.

"If men are not angels, then who shall run the state?" 

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And according to Noam Chomsky the only "true" libertarians are the ones who viruntly criticize and oppose capitalism since throughout history most "libertarians" have been commies (and you, Texas Trigger, are a poser). http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-rolleyes007.gif

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gamma_rat replied on Tue, Jun 5 2012 10:19 AM

Och, there are no True Scotsmen on this forum.

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Autolykos replied on Tue, Jun 5 2012 10:34 AM

Buzz Killington:
And according to Noam Chomsky the only "true" libertarians are the ones who viruntly criticize and oppose capitalism since throughout history most "libertarians" have been commies (and you, Texas Trigger, are a poser).

Troll harder. no

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Autolykos replied on Tue, Jun 5 2012 10:35 AM

@OP:

I think minarchists are less libertarian than anarchists because they don't adhere consistently to the self-ownership and non-aggression principles. They advocate a minimal state employing aggression against (would-be) competitors.

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Since when did anyone on this forum respect the opinion of Noam Chomsky. A man who subscribes to anarcho-syndicalism; the only political philosophy more absurd and ill-conceived than socialism. 

Yeah, he's a brilliant linguist, but he is referring to a totally different use of the word. You don't see any of us confusing a liberal in the modern sense with the classical meaning of the word, do you?

 

"If men are not angels, then who shall run the state?" 

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I personally veiw Minarchists as mini-statists.

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1) And according to Noam Chomsky the only "true" libertarians are the ones who viruntly criticize and oppose capitalism since throughout history most "libertarians" have been commies (and you, Texas Trigger, are a poser).

Geneologically speaking, this is correct - the word "libertarian" and "anarchist" has an association with anti-capitalistic and even ant propertarian leftism.  I think it may even have that conotation to this day in Europe,  However, in America this is tilting at windmills.

 It is like most liberterians here trying to take back the word "liberal" - it a stupid counter productive idea

 

2) Your average guy off the street who calls him self a libertarian has no clue what "anarcho capitalism" or "the Austrian School" is, nor does he know who Rothbard is.  Liberterianism is simply not an esoteric acadamic term anymore, but refers to a real socio-political phenomena that affects all stripes of people (which I would think should be ultimately seen as a good thing).  It is probably best just to deal with it as such, rather than go "purging" fake libertarians - and try to communicate with people on their own terms.

 

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Wheylous replied on Tue, Jun 5 2012 11:47 AM

Vive as always saves the day.

There's no hard definition of libertarian. It's an umbrella terms that a lot of people like to use. I include minarchists, AnCaps, other voluntaryists, and left-libertarians. I do not include state-socialists and minimal-Republicans, though. You have to draw the line somewhere, imo. As in I can't call Stalin a libertarian. Words just lose meaning at that point.

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Wheylous replied on Tue, Jun 5 2012 11:49 AM

Since when did anyone on this forum respect the opinion of Noam Chomsky. A man who subscribes to anarcho-syndicalism; the only political philosophy more absurd and ill-conceived than socialism. 

Chomsky is not completely disrespected here. I do find many of his ideas and critiques ridiculous and easily demolished, but some of his ideas are respected (ask vive if you want to know more).

About the AnSyn part - To me, at least, it's much more favorable than socialism. Or maybe I'm thinking of AnCom.

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acft replied on Tue, Jun 5 2012 4:45 PM

I would say Minarchists are indeed libertarian in the party ideology sense. However, I would say they are less consistant with their principles than an ancap might be. For example, while I share most principles of libertariansism, I do not consider myself libertarian since, apparently, there can even be socialists who are cosniderred libertarian. ( I am an ancap)

A post on a blog that sums up my views in the matetr can be read here, I hope it adds to the conversation.

 

 

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acft replied on Tue, Jun 5 2012 4:47 PM

ancaptivity replied on 06-05-2012 11:51 AM

 

"I personally veiw Minarchists as mini-statists."

I agree

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Anenome replied on Wed, Jun 6 2012 1:07 PM

Autolykos:

@OP:

I think minarchists are less libertarian than anarchists because they don't adhere consistently to the self-ownership and non-aggression principles. They advocate a minimal state employing aggression against (would-be) competitors.

I defy you to find a point of aggression in my proposed essentialist state.

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That would first require you to lay out your current incarnation of your proposed "essentialist state".

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Anenome replied on Wed, Jun 6 2012 1:30 PM

Autolykos:

That would first require you to lay out your current incarnation of your proposed "essentialist state".

True, working on it. ACFT and I have been going over it here if you want to stop in and take a look.

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So you just demanded me to find a point of aggression in something that you're still working on?

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Anenome replied on Wed, Jun 6 2012 2:47 PM

Autolykos:

So you just demanded me to find a point of aggression in something that you're still working on?

I demand nothing. You can just as well wait until I'm ready to reveal the plan formally.

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When I used to subscribe to minarchism it was because I liked some of what anarchists had to say but not all of it.  I came to the conclusion that I could not accept the logical conclusions of the moral premises I'd based my political philosophy on and thus I rejected those moral premises as well as minarchism.

Are minarchists libertarians?  Well that depends on how one defines libertarian.  If a libertarian is, as Block says, one who subscribes to inviolable property rights and the NAP then minarchists are not libertarians.

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Anenome replied on Wed, Jun 6 2012 4:21 PM
 
 

bloomj31:

When I used to subscribe to minarchism it was because I liked some of what anarchists had to say but not all of it.  I came to the conclusion that I could not accept the logical conclusions of the moral premises I'd based my political philosophy on and thus I rejected those moral premises as well as minarchism.

Interesting, would you elaborate on these 'logical conclusions' you came to reject?

 
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ask vive if you want to know more)

Thanks for the vote of confidence, but outside of some policy critiques, I have no idea how much I can talk about LL's.  To me they are a notoriously ambiguous species where I always "misrepresent their postion".  Keynesians, sane Conservatives, smarter Marxists, neoclassicals can actually say something I can wrap my head around - LL's and fringe radical neo-leftists have yet to prove to me they are saying anything.  And American styled Left Libs have yet to prove they are saying anything we are not.

We should do a 'Crocidile Hunter" styled documentary examining their various habits, rituals, and customs.  Maybe that would help shed light on the matter

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Anenome:
 Interesting, would you elaborate on these 'logical conclusions' you came to reject?

I realized that to be logically consistent I would have to advocate the abolition of taxes as well as other things and I couldn't accept that.

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Anenome replied on Wed, Jun 6 2012 7:42 PM
 
 

bloomj31:

Anenome:
 Interesting, would you elaborate on these 'logical conclusions' you came to reject?

I realized that to be logically consistent I would have to advocate the abolition of taxes as well as other things and I couldn't accept that.

Wow, I didn't expect that kind of answer. What could possibly be wrong with abolishing taxation? There are alternatives after all. Taxes are compulsory. But we could achieve the same thing any tax can achieve in a voluntary manner with subscriptions. This still allows for mass action and society-wide crowd-funding of a goal worth achieving without turning it into tribute and putting people into jail for not paying a tax.

Also, it is both immoral and vicious to force people to pay for something that they do not personally support or are against philosophically. You really support the idea that, say, a catholic who is against abortion should be forced to pay for government programs giving abortions to people?

I think if you think through the implications of abolishing taxes that, while it may seem scary and impossible, there are alternatives that are morally superior and still practicable. Come see how deep the rabbit hole goes :)

So, what are these other things then?

 
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Anenome:
 What could possibly be wrong with abolishing taxation? There are alternatives after all.

There are always alternatives but clearly taxation is a more effective way of getting the funds.

Anenome:
 But we could achieve the same thing any tax can achieve in a voluntary manner with subscriptions. This still allows for mass action and society-wide crowd-funding of a goal worth achieving without turning it into tribute and putting people into jail for not paying a tax.

It's simpler to just tax.

Anenome:
 Also, it is both immoral and vicious to force people to pay for something that they do not personally support or are against philosophically.

I don't accept that premise.

Anenome:
 You really support the idea that, say, a catholic who is against abortion should be forced to pay for government programs giving abortions to people?

Abortion issues are a complex set.  I don't see any simple answer to them.  I might support such a thing, it depends.

Anenome:
 I think if you think through the implications of abolishing taxes that, while it may seem scary and impossible, there are alternatives that are morally superior and still practicable

It doesn't seem impossible.  Just morally undesirable.  Taxes are a much simpler way of acquiring the funds and people are used to paying taxes.  Why would I want to live in a country that couldn't tax its citizens?

Anenome:
 So, what are these other things then?

Most of it is law/defense related.  I'm not necessarily opposed to all the welfare programs either.  None of those could exist in the way that they do in a privatized system.

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Anenome replied on Thu, Jun 7 2012 1:33 AM
 

bloomj31:

There are always alternatives but clearly taxation is a more effective way of getting the funds.

Are you not disputing then that taxation is inherently aggressive-coercion and thereby immoral?

bloomj31:
It's simpler to just tax.

Simpler perhaps, but it's not moral, it is an aggression, a use of force.

bloomj31:
Anenome:
 Also, it is both immoral and vicious to force people to pay for something that they do not personally support or are against philosophically.

I don't accept that premise.

Aha, so you don't accept taxation as force and thereby immoral. But can you defend your view and explain why you don't accept the premise?

bloomj31:
Anenome:
 You really support the idea that, say, a catholic who is against abortion should be forced to pay for government programs giving abortions to people?

Abortion issues are a complex set.  I don't see any simple answer to them.  I might support such a thing, it depends.

The exact issue doesn't matter. Just answer whether you would support taxation to pay for something that the person being taxed is opposed to having their money fund.

bloomj31:
Anenome:
 I think if you think through the implications of abolishing taxes that, while it may seem scary and impossible, there are alternatives that are morally superior and still practicable

It doesn't seem impossible.  Just morally undesirable.

MORALLY undesirable? How could it possible be -morally- undesirable to rely on a voluntary means of gaining funds over a coercive means of gaining funds??? This is unpossible :P

bloomj31:
Taxes are a much simpler way of acquiring the funds and people are used to paying taxes.

I'll contend that taxes are not actually simpler at all. First of all, to tax you have to pass laws requiring taxes, then you have to create a bureaucracy to enforce taxation, namely the IRS, and then compel companies to give you taxes taken from people's paychecks, then there's prosecutions for those who don't pay, etc., etc.

In a voluntaryist subscription method, all you have is a monthly recurring charge that leaves people's bank accounts. There's no law, no prosecution, no enforcement bureaucracy, etc.

bloomj31:
  Why would I want to live in a country that couldn't tax its citizens?

For one thing it would be a much more prosperous society, because the standard of living would be much higher. Americans pay some 50%+ of their income in taxes of all kinds, even those who don't pay income tax still pay numerous other consumption taxes and employment taxes.

bloomj31:
Anenome:
 So, what are these other things then?

Most of it is law/defense related.  I'm not necessarily opposed to all the welfare programs either.  None of those could exist in the way that they do in a privatized system.

Defense-wise, I'm sure people would be willing to pay for their own defense.

Welfare-wise, I'm sure in such a system that many would voluntarily fund private-welfare. So that's a non-issue.

As for law--I have no idea what law has to do with it.

 
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Anenome:
 Are you not disputing then that taxation is inherently aggressive-coercion and thereby immoral?

Taxation is obviously based on coercion but coercion is not necessarily immoral.  It's certainly not necessarily immoral to me.  I don't accept the libertarian premise of self ownership.

Anenome:
 Simpler perhaps, but it's not moral, it is an aggression, a use of force.

I don't subscribe to the concept of self-ownership and/or the NAP.  I do not believe that aggression is normatively immoral just that it must necessarily violate someone's descriptive morals.  But there are other considerations.  I myself do not like having to suffer the coercion involved in paying taxes however I am willing to do so if I am given reasonable assurance that everyone else will have to pay as well.  This seems to be predominantly the case in this country so I am satisfied with that particular aspect of the system.

Anenome:
 Aha, so you don't accept taxation as force and thereby immoral. But can you defend your view and explain why you don't accept the premise?

I accept that taxation is based on force but not that force is immoral in the normative sense.

Anenome:
 Just answer whether you would support taxation to pay for something that the person being taxed is opposed to having their money fund.

Sometimes.  I don't reject anything based on that fact alone.  Other information would be required to make a more reasoned judgment.  There's obviously a constitutional element to your original question.

Anenome:
 MORALLY undesirable?

A system based purely on voluntary interaction isn't moral to me.  Here I'm using moral in a descriptive sense not a normative sense.  It's not something I'd want to live in.  

Anenome:
 I'll contend that taxes are not actually simpler at all. First of all, to tax you have to pass laws requiring taxes, then you have to create a bureaucracy to enforce taxation, namely the IRS, and then compel companies to give you taxes taken from people's paychecks, then there's prosecutions for those who don't pay, etc., etc.

All of that is already in place.  

Anenome:
 In a voluntaryist subscription method, all you have is a monthly recurring charge that leaves people's bank accounts. There's no law, no prosecution, no enforcement bureaucracy, etc.

And what if people don't want to pay?

Anenome:
 For one thing it would be a much more prosperous society, because the standard of living would be much higher.

Probably true.  Still don't find it interesting.

Anenome:
 Americans pay some 50%+ of their income in taxes of all kinds, even those who don't pay income tax still pay numerous other consumption taxes and employment taxes.

Not sure if your numbers are accurate.  Some of that money goes to stuff I'm interested in having for the most part.  Still I'm always open to talks about cutting taxes and reducing spending.  I do think reform is drastically needed for many federal and state programs.  I'm also always open to talk about reducing business regulations.  I've studied some economics I understand the importance of the market.  It's the proverbial golden goose.

Anenome:
 Defense-wise, I'm sure people would be willing to pay for their own defense.

Ofcourse they would but I see no reason to believe our defensive capabilities would be anything like what they are now.  Not interested.

Anenome:
 Welfare-wise, I'm sure in such a system that many would voluntarily fund private-welfare. So that's a non-issue.

Quite possible but those programs wouldn't look anything like the way ours do now.  Not that I like all of them.

Anenome:
 As for law--I have no idea what law has to do with it.

A fully privatized legal system would lack any kind of final arbiter.  Absolutely not interested under any conditions.

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Anenome replied on Thu, Jun 7 2012 4:02 AM
 
 

bloomj31:

Taxation is obviously based on coercion but coercion is not necessarily immoral.  It's certainly not necessarily immoral to me.  I don't accept the libertarian premise of self ownership.

Coercion is only not immoral when it's being used to stop or restrain an aggression. Taxation is itself an aggression. What's your take on the NAP?

If you don't own yourself, who does own you? And if they own you, why is it literally impossible for them to control you? Ownership  means control, and it is incontrovertible fact that you control yourself and therefore are a self-owner.

bloomj31:
I don't subscribe to the concept of self-ownership and/or the NAP.

On what basis?

bloomj31:
  I do not believe that aggression is normatively immoral just that it must necessarily violate someone's descriptive morals.  But there are other considerations.  I myself do not like having to suffer the coercion involved in paying taxes however I am willing to do so if I am given reasonable assurance that everyone else will have to pay as well.  This seems to be predominantly the case in this country so I am satisfied with that particular aspect of the system.

Whatever you tell yourself to sleep at night I guess :\

bloomj31:
I accept that taxation is based on force but not that force is immoral in the normative sense.

Are you consistent then? Are you willing to similarly endorse other forms of aggressive coercion? For instance, rape is force, but perhaps according to you, it is not immoral in the normative sense?

bloomj31:
Anenome:
 Just answer whether you would support taxation to pay for something that the person being taxed is opposed to having their money fund.

Sometimes.  I don't reject anything based on that fact alone.  Other information would be required to make a more reasoned judgment.  There's obviously a constitutional element to your original question.

Well, then I think your position despicable and borderline evil and there's not really much left for us to talk about.

bloomj31:
Anenome:
 MORALLY undesirable?

A system based purely on voluntary interaction isn't moral to me.

How is that even possible. The Jews did not willingly go to the gas chambers, you see any room for calling that event ethical at all, in any sense? I do not. The only moral interaction is a voluntary interaction.

bloomj31:
Here I'm using moral in a descriptive sense not a normative sense.  It's not something I'd want to live in.

You treat ethics / morals as if they are whims, which is ridiculous. It will always be wrong to murder, to rape, etc. And the key fact about every crime is that it involves an aggressive coercion. Without the aggression there is no crime.

bloomj31:
Anenome:
 I'll contend that taxes are not actually simpler at all. First of all, to tax you have to pass laws requiring taxes, then you have to create a bureaucracy to enforce taxation, namely the IRS, and then compel companies to give you taxes taken from people's paychecks, then there's prosecutions for those who don't pay, etc., etc.

All of that is already in place.

That still doesn't meet your qualification of 'simpler'. A voluntary subscription would be a piece of cake to setup. The key problem here is that you don't agree that aggression is wrong. Which is, frankly, laughable.

bloomj31:
Anenome:
 In a voluntaryist subscription method, all you have is a monthly recurring charge that leaves people's bank accounts. There's no law, no prosecution, no enforcement bureaucracy, etc.

And what if people don't want to pay?

It's their money, thus it is their right to not pay. If they think something worthy, then they will pay. If not, they don't owe you to pay. You are speaking as if their money were not their own, which is ridiculous.

bloomj31:
Anenome:
 For one thing it would be a much more prosperous society, because the standard of living would be much higher.

Probably true.  Still don't find it interesting.

So you're cool with poverty, gotcha. Have fun with that.

bloomj31:

Anenome:
 Americans pay some 50%+ of their income in taxes of all kinds, even those who don't pay income tax still pay numerous other consumption taxes and employment taxes.

Not sure if your numbers are accurate.  Some of that money goes to stuff I'm interested in having for the most part.

So because you're interested in the end the immoral means simply doesn't bother you. That's rich.

bloomj31:
  Still I'm always open to talks about cutting taxes and reducing spending.  I do think reform is drastically needed for many federal and state programs.  I'm also always open to talk about reducing business regulations.  I've studied some economics I understand the importance of the market.  It's the proverbial golden goose.

You apparently haven't studied ethics enough to pair it with whatever economic knowledge you may have :\ I don't think it would be a productive discussion since you accept aggression, which is the only evil the world knows and you somehow don't see that.

bloomj31:
Anenome:
 Defense-wise, I'm sure people would be willing to pay for their own defense.

Ofcourse they would but I see no reason to believe our defensive capabilities would be anything like what they are now.  Not interested.

Perhaps not, but perhaps it shouldn't be as it is now. Seems to me we do a lot more offense than defense these days. I'm unwilling to steal money from people at the point of a gun to run off on frivolous wars. And if a war was ever needed, like the Afghanistan war to get Osama, you don't think people would put up the funds? I think they would.

It's stupid wars like Clinton going into Bosnia and bombing aspirin factories that would be abandoned.

bloomj31:
Anenome:
 Welfare-wise, I'm sure in such a system that many would voluntarily fund private-welfare. So that's a non-issue.

Quite possible but those programs wouldn't look anything like the way ours do now.  Not that I like all of them.

Once again the supposedly noble end justifies evil means for you. You'd make a good dictator, believing you were doing the right thing even as you ordered people murdered. Hitler genuinely believed he was doing the world a favor by exterminating the Jews too :\

bloomj31:
Anenome:
 As for law--I have no idea what law has to do with it.

A fully privatized legal system would lack any kind of final arbiter.  Absolutely not interested under any conditions.

Not quite true. My idea of an essentialist state contains a final arbiter in the form of a court of last resort. A court of last resort is one of the essential features of any nation, one that can compel attendance and genuinely use responsive coercion to end an aggressive act, with legal sanction.

 
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Anemone:
I demand nothing. You can just as well wait until I'm ready to reveal the plan formally.

Didn't you just say this: "I defy you to find a point of aggression in my proposed essentialist state." Why yes, you did. If that wasn't a demand, then what was it? And how exactly is it honest to challenge me on something that - apparently - you haven't fully revealed yet? I would very much appreciate answers to these questions.

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Merlin replied on Thu, Jun 7 2012 8:28 AM

I think something like this did come up once on the forums, and I can say now what I said then: those we now call ‘minarchists’ actually invented the term ‘libertarian’. So, whether an-caps think that minarchists are real believers in the NAP or not, saying that minarchists are not real libertarians is intellectually dishonest at the very least. Minarchists homesteaded the term libertarian!

Let us not play the trick the soc-democracts played on us when they called themselves “liberals”, arguing that libertarians where not real ‘liberals’. If I think that the an-cap position differs notably form the minarchist one, than I should find a proper term for my (and not their) position.

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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Anenome:
 If you don't own yourself, who does own you? And if they own you, why is it literally impossible for them to control you? Ownership  means control, and it is incontrovertible fact that you control yourself and therefore are a self-owner.

The ownership of this body is currently a joint venture between the state and myself.  I have certain rights over it as does the state.  My brain is ofcourse the sole source (as of now) of my "will to act" but it may not always be the case.  Either way, the fact that I am physiologically in control of "myself" does not mean that I have any definitive legal claim to my body.  Such a claim requires the force of law which I, by myself, do not possess.  Ownership is obviously not just base level neurophysical control, it's also the ability to protect and I cannot protect myself just by myself. I exist within a state that exists in part to protect me.  So this body like my brain is partially owned by the state and thus by the society into which I was born.  I am not free in any way shape or form, nor is anyone else though obviously some brains come to that conclusion which is interesting.

Anenome:
 On what basis?

On the basis that it's patently absurd.  Ownership isn't just control, it's a legal distinction.  It's a societal claim.  Ownership is a product of material contest it's not innate.

Anenome:
 Are you consistent then? Are you willing to similarly endorse other forms of aggressive coercion? For instance, rape is force, but perhaps according to you, it is not immoral in the normative sense?

I think there are biological underpinnings for the action of rape as well as the relatively common sense of utter disgust people feel for it.  Rape and the moral feeling commonly associated with it are an interesting subject, one evolutionary psychology has addressed in a way that's really opened my eyes.  I ofcourse will always despise rape with the intensity of the sun but that's not just because it's aggressive coercion it's because my brain has been programmed to have that response over time.

Anenome:
 Well, then I think your position despicable and borderline evil and there's not really much left for us to talk about.

That's unsurprising.  You will surely have a negative gut level reaction to any sort of moral system which doesn't accept your premises.  Such is the nature of man.  In-group out-group thinking.

Anenome:
 How is that even possible. The Jews did not willingly go to the gas chambers, you see any room for calling that event ethical at all, in any sense? I do not.

The extermination of the Jews by Hitler was a magnificently pure example of what happens when certain people are viewed as less than human.  Equal moral consideration was denied to them simply because of their race (although really the issue was far more complex than that.)  Those same nazis would presumably have been willing to die to defend their families.  They were not unethical human beings their system of ethics was just keen on dividing people by race to determine who was superior and who was inferior.  It was obviously not viewed as unethical to a group of people who saw Jews as nothing but vermin basically.  This sort of callousness for a perceived outgroup is not uncommon in human history, the Holocaust is just a particularly vile example of misguided reasoning.

Anenome:
 The only moral interaction is a voluntary interaction.

That's pure nonsense, I see no reason to believe there is any normative value to voluntary interaction.  It is ofcourse something humans have evolved to be capable of doing.  Cooperation can lead to some amazing things.  But cooperation and reciprocal altruism are just a part of human nature, they're not the whole picture.

Anenome:
 You treat ethics / morals as if they are whims, which is ridiculous.

They are signals in the brain.  They proscribe ways of dealing with others.  They're most certainly not just whims, there's a biological basis for them.  That doesn't mean that all moral feelings are weighted evenly within the human brain or that the brain's valuations cannot be changed or that they're objectively right.

Anenome:
 It will always be wrong to murder, to rape, etc. And the key fact about every crime is that it involves an aggressive coercion. Without the aggression there is no crime.

This is likely to be a good bet but I don't think it's because they are objectively wrong as actions I think it's because they involve a disregard for the social order in a way that human beings have evolved to show no tolerance for.  I mean imagine a primitive group of human descendants who all carry genes that cause them to constantly murder one another.  Would that group have passed their genes on?  Seems unlikely.  Most of us are descendants of beings that learned to cooperate.

Anenome:
 That still doesn't meet your qualification of 'simpler'. A voluntary subscription would be a piece of cake to setup. The key problem here is that you don't agree that aggression is wrong. Which is, frankly, laughable.

Aggression isn't necessarily wrong.  It requires contextualization.  It requires a consideration of consequence.  This is why not everyone is an anarchist.  Not everyone is programmed to attach 1's and 0's to everything.

Anenome:
 It's their money, thus it is their right to not pay. If they think something worthy, then they will pay. If not, they don't owe you to pay. You are speaking as if their money were not their own, which is ridiculous.

Well I have no desire to live in a society like that.  They don't own their money, that's patently obsurd.  No man is an island.  Private property is an illusion though clearly a useful one as it's necessary to allow for productive commerce.  That doesn't make it right that just means it's indispensable.

Anenome:
 So you're cool with poverty, gotcha. Have fun with that.

Poverty is inevitable.  Someone will always be at the bottom of the totem pole.  That being said, I recognize the value of the market because I've studied Austrian Economics.    I would never advocated a complete abolition of free enterprise, it's far too productive.

Anenome:
 So because you're interested in the end the immoral means simply doesn't bother you. That's rich.

First of all, I don't think taxation is necessarily immoral.  Second of all, I cannot view actions in a vacuum.  I need to think about ends as well as means.  One without the other is not a sufficient basis to render a solid moral judgment.

Anenome:
 I don't think it would be a productive discussion since you accept aggression, which is the only evil the world knows and you somehow don't see that.

I have personally investigated such a hypothesis and found it wanting.  Aggression is not evil in and of itself and it's certainly not the only perceived evil.

Anenome:
 Perhaps not, but perhaps it shouldn't be as it is now. Seems to me we do a lot more offense than defense these days. I'm unwilling to steal money from people at the point of a gun to run off on frivolous wars. And if a war was ever needed, like the Afghanistan war to get Osama, you don't think people would put up the funds? I think they would.

I don't know, I'm not interested in finding out.

Anenome:
 You'd make a good dictator, believing you were doing the right thing even as you ordered people murdered. Hitler genuinely believed he was doing the world a favor by exterminating the Jews too :\

Ofcourse Hitler believed he was right.  So does everyone.  So what?  His ethical system was soundly rejected.

Anenome:
 Not quite true. My idea of an essentialist state contains a final arbiter in the form of a court of last resort. A court of last resort is one of the essential features of any nation, one that can compel attendance and genuinely use responsive coercion to end an aggressive act, with legal sanction.

How can it compel attendance if compulsion is wrong?

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MaikU replied on Thu, Jun 7 2012 3:48 PM

"Taxation is obviously based on coercion but coercion is not necessarily immoral.  It's certainly not necessarily immoral to me."

 

And rape obviously is not immoral to a rapist. Again, what's your point? That you are a sociopath?

"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:
 And rape obviously is not immoral to a rapist. Again, what's your point? That you are a sociopath?

I am not a sociopath.  I'm a normal human being.

My point is that no action in and of itself can be moral or immoral.  Even ones which are almost universally seen as such are not necessarily wrong.  There is a biological and evolutionary reason for the now almost universal condemnation of rape (this was not always so) and I believe it has to do with what we've come to value in our social order over time.  As I'm sure anyone can imagine, rape has an obvious reproductive purpose for males, it just comes at the potential expense of the female's reproductive capacity.  Female reproductive capacity is obviously of import for the purposes of reproduction but other moral considerations have come to take precedent over the baser one of reproduction.  Sex is also pleasurable.  It has both a proximate moral cause and an ultimate moral cause.  Thus rape for pleasure or for reproductive purposes could be seen as an affront to the social order.

Actions require contextualization.  One requires knowledge of an action's effects, of the purpose of the action in both a proximate sense and in a broader social sense to be able to come to any meaningful conclusion about the relative morality of an action.  Viewed in a vacuum with no reference point whatsoever, it would be impossible to determine the righteousness or wrongfulness of any act except in a very limited personal sense.  An individual's descriptive ethics are of no more fundamental value that any other's but a more innate and fundamental rubric for measurement also exists within nature: that which persists and that which does not.  That which is accepted within the social order and that which is not.  Also the human capacity for reason gives us the ability to question our own actions and to change our values over time.  Rape being wrong seems like a no-brainer because it reflects an evolution of a moral circle that now encompasses the rights of women as well as men as well as the growing allowance for reproductive autonomy for females and now it's just been seen that way for so long it only seems natural.  But it doesn't necessarily have to be seen as wrong.  It was not always so.  Taxation persists because people accept it.  They accept it because they understand that while they live within this society, there are certain dues that must be paid.  They do not revolt as long they feel they have an input in the system and that, more importantly, the system basically works to give them the things they want.  Thus the coercion necessary for taxation is viewed differently than the coercion used to commit a rape because it's not really the coercion that's seen as immoral but instead the act viewed within the context of the established social order.

The values that we've evolved to have concern, among other things, maintaining a cooperative social order.  A cooperative social order has been conducive to the furthering of the species, and, far more crucial, the furthering of individuals within the species.  Humans have the capacity to understand the golden rule.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  This is, in many ways, the foundation of the social order.  Obviously violent acts such as rape tear at the fabric of that social order and must be suppressed.

Taxation tears at the social order as well to some degree though I believe the market process can survive a certain level of taxation just fine.  I think a majority of people are fine with paying their taxes as long as they don't seem too high, as long as everyone else pays theirs and as long as that money is used for things they want at least to some degree.  They bow to the authority of the social order.  Some people refuse to bow but they're rare and they can be easily dealt with.  As long as the market process is not fundamentally destroyed, a societal order that uses taxation as a method of redistribution can continue to exist.  It's only when the proverbial golden goose is killed that there's a real problem.  This is why complete socialism is completely unsustainable.  It completely destroys the market process leaving nothing left to be taxed and leaving its people either dead or starving.

When you take the position that taxation is inherently wrong you are challenging the established social order.  Perhaps one day not enough people will except taxation so that a system founded upon it will be impossible.  I doubt such a day will come to pass because I think the reason for the acceptance of taxes has to do with a hard-wired deference for authority and for the feeling of community.  This is still ultimately the goal of many libertarians.  But people do accept taxation, we do live in a society that understands that everyone pays their share.  One day this may not be so.  In the meantime, however, I see no reason to disassemble a system that, while flawed, can still generate some things that I personally enjoy for the sole purpose of validating a moral concept that is not widely held or understood and that for me personally represents an affront to the things I value.  I will not support libertarians in their quest to convince people that our social order needs to change to disallow coercion for the purpose of taxation.  Not that my support really matters but still.

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Anenome replied on Thu, Jun 7 2012 5:41 PM
 
 

You subscribe to what's called ethical socialism--that notions of right and wrong are determined by the collective rather than by reality and reason.

Rand demolished this argument for me with her ethical system derived from reality.

In fact, aggression is necessarily wrong from an objective point of view and can be determined objectively as a property violation. That you don't see this, that you quibble about so-called evolutionary ethics, tells us exactly what kind of person you are.

Taxation is just as much an aggression as is theft. Labelling something an aggression is achieved by putting that act in context. Taking money from someone is the action that is not necessarily right or wrong until context is given. But when you understand that the money is being taken against the will of its owner and at the point of a gun, then you say it is an aggression and it is wrong, every time.

The only cogent difference between theft and taxation is that taxation has legal sanction. But something having legal sanction does not make it ethical necessarily.

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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Anenome replied on Thu, Jun 7 2012 5:57 PM
 
 

They bow to the authority of the social order.

Meaning, most people accept the socialist principle upon which most modern societies are predicated today.

  Some people refuse to bow but they're rare and they can be easily dealt with.

Dealt with in what fashion?

As long as the market process is not fundamentally destroyed, a societal order that uses taxation as a method of redistribution can continue to exist.

It can, but it will stagnate, and would not be able to compete with a truly free society.

  It's only when the proverbial golden goose is killed that there's a real problem.

In any compromise between good food and poison, it is only death that can win. You're advocating a mixed economy, without realizing the true cost.

This is why complete socialism is completely unsustainable.  It completely destroys the market process leaving nothing left to be taxed and leaving its people either dead or starving.

The free market is predicated on individualism, on voluntary exchange--it is your proverbial 'golden goose'. Yet you reject the values that created your prosperity, individualism and voluntaryism, and seek to use force--the very thing which you admit does not work economically.

Well, I will show you and the world a new way. I will replace your political system of force and socialism with one predicated on individualism, and we will see what a nation looks like and the success and power it can achieve when BOTH the economy and the political system are predicated on individualism and free exchange.

And you know what, all those people who produce your golden goose, the people you justify oppressing with force because you want to, because you don't have the courage to reject evil means, those people are going to come to my society where they can live fully in line with their values.

And your golden goose will be gone.

And I guess that means that you would be willing to attack me and my society with war in order to prevent your golden goose from fleeing the coop, is that right? Or you will do what Belgium did, and conscript feeling citizens into the military, against their will, to prevent them fleeing the country.

You are an evil person, and you will be in part responsible for the tyranny that is produced in this world because you are helping to produce them by your value structure.

 
Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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Anenome:
 You subscribe to what's called ethical socialism--that notions of right and wrong are determined by the collective rather than by reality and reason.

No I subscribe to evolutionary ethics which says that morality and ethics are inherent characteristics of man that have developed over time within a certain evolutionary context.  I subscribe to the idea that reason is a cognitive process that occurs within the physical realm of the human brain and is thus governed by physical properties.  Before I can render some silly "objectivist" judgment on humanity (which is impossible anyways because no man is capable of being an objective observer) for the values we've generally come to follow, I try to find out what their origin is and why they exist the way they do.  I then try to understand what sort of moral systems are consistent with that human nature and I do not think atomistic individualism is generally compatible though it does seem to attract a certain amount of people which is interesting.  This is not to say that people do not experience individualism, it's to say that they are social animals that exist within a social context, the social order.

Anenome:
 In fact, aggression is necessarily wrong from an objective point of view and can be determined objectively as a property violation.

And who is this objective observer that determines what is necessarily wrong?  Who objectively determines what is and is not property?

Anenome:
 That you don't see this, that you quibble about so-called evolutionary ethics, tells us exactly what kind of person you are.

An inquisitive one not bound up in irrational faithfulness to Rand's crackpot ethics?  Yes I think so too.

Anenome:
  But when you understand that the money is being taken against the will of its owner and at the point of a gun, then you say it is an aggression and it is wrong, every time.

Who says it's wrong every time?  Where is this objective viewpoint coming from?  

To me, it matters just as much as where the money is going as it does where the money came from.  Who says I'm objectively wrong?

Anenome:
 Meaning, most people accept the socialist principle upon which most modern societies are predicated today.

They don't just accept it.  As Pinker points out, people are not blank slates.  The reason they accept it is because it reverberates within their natural moral programming.  People show a natural deference to authority.

Anenome:
 Dealt with in what fashion?

There are any number of ways.

Anenome:
 It can, but it will stagnate, and would not be able to compete with a truly free society.

And where is your free society?

Anenome:
 In any compromise between good food and poison, it is only death that can win. You're advocating a mixed economy, without realizing the true cost.

I do not accept your analogy.  The process of taxation is not necessarily a deadly poison to the market process anymore than tylenol is necessarily a poison to an average man.  In extreme doses it's deadly.  Taken in moderation it can actually be quite helpful.  I cannot understand the entire cost of a mixed economy but after analyzing the prospect of a free society I'll take the mixed economy any time.

Anenome:
 The free market is predicated on individualism, on voluntary exchange--it is your proverbial 'golden goose'. Yet you reject the values that created your prosperity, individualism and voluntaryism, and seek to use force--the very thing which you admit does not work economically.

No it's predicated on mutual cooperation and reciprocality as well as voluntary exchange.  Ofcourse individuals act but they do so within a social context that, in the case of the market, allows people to voluntarily choose what they want.  This is not the only process in which people can mutually cooperate and seek reciprocality though the government process is far less voluntary.  Someone always gets the short end of the stick but this is a price worth paying to those who participate.

Anenome:
 Well, I will show you and the world a new way. I will replace your political system of force and socialism with one predicated on individualism, and we will see what a nation looks like and the success and power it can achieve when BOTH the economy and the political system are predicated on individualism and free exchange.

And you know what, all those people who produce your golden goose, the people you justify oppressing with force because you want to, because you don't have the courage to reject evil means, those people are going to come to my society where they can live fully in line with their values.

And your golden goose will be gone.

K well you have fun trying to make Galt's Gulch.  Don't be surprised when everyone doesn't jump ship.

Anenome:
 And I guess that means that you would be willing to attack me and my society with war in order to prevent your golden goose from fleeing the coop, is that right? Or you will do what Belgium did, and conscript feeling citizens into the military, against their will, to prevent them fleeing the country.

Build your society first then we can worry about destroying it.

Anenome:
 You are an evil person, and you will be in part responsible for the tyranny that is produced in this world because you are helping to produce them by your value structure.

No I am a good person and you are a fool.

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Morals, ethics and other customs are not exactly inherent characteristics of man.  Obviously they exist through the framework of innate abilities, but they are a result of cultural rather than biological evolution.  On this see Hayek, The Fatal Conceit, a work I highly recommend.

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acft replied on Thu, Jun 7 2012 8:36 PM

Bloomj31 said

“Most of it is law/defense related.  I'm not necessarily opposed to all the welfare programs either.  None of those could exist in the way that they do in a privatized system.”

www.ancapfreethinker.com the current post addresses defense.

Private property is an illusion though clearly a useful one as it's necessary to allow for productive commerce”

Are you a self-identified socialist, communist or Marxist?

Would you object to the term “Moral Nihilist” or “Moral Subjectivist” to describe your world view.

Are you religious?

 

 “Some people refuse to bow but they're rare and they can be easily dealt with.”

I truly admire his honesty here. I wish all statists were this honest, and then maybe libertarians wouldn’t be so peace loving. Bloomj’s worldviews is part of the reason why I don’t believe in embracing non-violence under all circumstances. Statists are ready willing and able to kill us all if we threaten their system and they have demonstrated both this will and ability in the past. There really isn't much to say to these people.

 “But people do accept taxation, we do live in a society that understands that everyone pays their share.  One day this may not be so.  In the meantime, however, I see no reason to disassemble a system that, while flawed, can still generate some things that I personally enjoy for the sole purpose of validating a moral concept that is not widely held or understood and that for me personally represents an affront to the things I value.”

HAHAHA just a FEW problems. And yeah EVERYONE pays their fair share. Good Lord. Well… I would say look into inflation, corporate tax structure, the concept of net tax beneficiaries, the fact that state employees do not pay taxes, the complexity of the tax codes, property tax inequalities, income tax inequalities, among other things if you are honestly contending that everyone pays their fair share.

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Acft:
 Are you a self-identified socialist, communist or Marxist?

I'm an American Right Wing Conservative.  To be a statist one must advocate some degree of socialism whether it be legal socialism or road socialism or whatever.

acft:
 Would you object to the term “Moral Nihilist” or “Moral Subjectivist” to describe your world view.

I guess moral subjectivist.  But that's because I've yet to find any substantial grounds for objective ethics.  Except for God but I can't exactly cite God now can I?  The bible is absolute rubbish imo.  Entertaining but rubbish.

acft:
 Are you religious?

I'm a strong believer in God though I wouldn't describe myself as "religious" I don't go to synagogue.

acft:
 I truly admire his honesty here. I wish all statists were this honest, and then maybe libertarians wouldn’t be so peace loving. Bloomj’s worldviews is part of the reason why I don’t believe in embracing non-violence under all circumstances. Statists are ready willing and able to kill us all if we threaten their system and they have demonstrated both this will and ability in the past. There really isn't much to say to these people.

I wish I didn't think it would come to violence but I think it probably will.  We're just too different.

acft:
 among other things if you are honestly contending that everyone pays their fair share.

I didn't say there weren't problems.  Maybe it's not entirely fair,  but people pay their taxes and that's what's required.

Also your link is broken.

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acft replied on Fri, Jun 8 2012 6:30 PM

Bloomj31 Thank you for your responses.

You said :

"I'm an American Right Wing Conservative.  To be a statist one must advocate some degree of socialism whether it be legal socialism or road socialism or whatever."

Are you suggesting that Being an american Right-Wing- Conservative who is clearly for taxation and law is somehow different from being a statist? We might be using different definitions here.

"I guess moral subjectivist.  But that's because I've yet to find any substantial grounds for objective ethics.  Except for God but I can't exactly cite God now can I?"

Fair enough.

"I wish I didn't think it would come to violence but I think it probably will.  We're just too different."

Agreed.

"I didn't say there weren't problems.  Maybe it's not entirely fair,  but people pay their taxes and that's what's required."

Understood. Although there are more than a FEW problems with the tax system, it seems whatever they are you feel they are outweighed by the benefits of said system. OK.

"Also your link is broken."

My apologies.

ancapfreethinker.info The current top post explains a bit about defense.

 

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acft:
 Are you suggesting that Being an american Right-Wing- Conservative who is clearly for taxation and law is somehow different from being a statist? We might be using different definitions here.

No.  And the difference between me and a minarchist is a difference in degree not in kind.

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aervew replied on Fri, Jun 8 2012 7:11 PM

 

 
minarchists are matured anarchists. its the next stage that a lot of anarchists here have not arrived in yet. when one realises that security production is paradoxial, one grows out of it. He who protects you, Owns you. You  cannot pay more for protection than you can pay for extortion. Because of that, protection is necessarily extortion.
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