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To AnCaps: are minarchists really libertarians?

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Balrogo replied on Fri, Jun 29 2012 12:05 AM

I think minarchism is incoherent but that isn't the standard for libertarianism. I would say contemporary anarcho-capitalism seems to be more of a subset of a libertarian/classical liberal body of thought rather than the other way around, since the total number of complete anti-statists is small compared to the whole mass of thinkers involved.

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gotlucky replied on Fri, Jun 29 2012 12:07 AM

@Torsten

Nazi Germany may not be the best example, but the point is that there are no certainties.  The invaders and defenders can either win, lose, or both withdraw.  The defenders have a homefield advantage, and it has been shown repeated throughout history that a small defending force and withstand and repel an overwhelming invading force.

The libertarian nation is most likely going to be the defending force, as it wouldn't be much of a libertarian nation if it was invading other nations.  And what's more, is that many defending nations have repelled indvaders without having to bomb and murder the invader's civilian population.

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Balrogo replied on Fri, Jun 29 2012 12:13 AM

I'd like to inject myself into the discussion here just to link to a relevant article I read recently about nonviolent civilian defense

http://mises.org/journals/jls/20_3/20_3_2.pdf

I've taken a seminar in nonviolent conflicts and there really are some pretty inspiring examples of effective nonviolent noncooperation. It seems to me that ultimately for an anarcho-capitalist society to work that its going to require some action like this, because that individual human actors that make up the constituent parts of the "State"(s) hold a lot of advantages in terms of force production. The problem is less getting people to work together against foreign invaders than it is getting them to recognize that "their" State is no less coercive or legitimate than the other one.

 

Just my two cents

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Torsten replied on Fri, Jun 29 2012 12:38 AM

@ Gotlucky, 

Sure there are no absolute certainties in war. And there are certain advantages to defensive and offensive strategies. Usually the smaller defending force does win, when there isn't a strategic advantage in occupying.

Would the Red Army have succeeded in invading and occupying anarcho-capitalistic societies in Poland, Germany and Rumania? I think we can be pretty certain of that. 

Historically it was almost always statist regimes that succeeded in invading, occupying and subdueing more anarchistic societies. However it has also proven to be an advantage for the occupying force, when there was already a state-like apparatus in place the invader would be able to use.  

 

 

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gotlucky replied on Fri, Jun 29 2012 12:44 AM

There have not been many anarchistic societies, so there is not a huge pool to draw from.  Most anarchistic societies have been a lot smaller than statist societies, so part of the problem is that there is just overwhelming force.  Imagine America as an anarchist society.  That's what, 300 million people?  Try invading a nation of 300 million people.  That's not gonna work out so well for the invaders.

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Torsten replied on Fri, Jun 29 2012 1:16 AM

Give the examples for the anarchistic societies. 

OK, size could be a factor.

If I imagine the US of today as anarchistic. mmmh what gives you the idea one had to subdue them ALL at ONCE. One could do that piece by piece, since the one member of such an individualistic society won't feel an obligation for the other that shouldn't be too much of a problem. 

I also smell some contradiction in terms here. 

 

 

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If I imagine the US of today as anarchistic. mmmh what gives you the idea one had to subdue them ALL at ONCE. One could do that piece by piece, since the one member of such an individualistic society won't feel an obligation for the other that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Indeed, this is another important issue. And suppose for a moment that a handful of gigantic DROs did posses all the military capacity within the continental US, so that a foreign invader would be presented with a united front - is that a good situation domestically? Sounds to me like the fears of the DRO-become-State realized.

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gotlucky replied on Fri, Jun 29 2012 11:10 AM

Torsten:

Give the examples for the anarchistic societies. 

Are you asking me to provide examples of anarchistic societies?  I don't know why you are asking me, as you are the one who made a claim that "almost always statist regimes" successfully invaded "more anarchistic societies".  Such societies have been medieval Iceland, medieval Ireland, Somalia, and the Apache.  There are certainly more.

Interestingly, regarding the Apache, they weren't conquered until they stopped being anarchistic and centralized.  Before that, nations that were far stronger could not conquer them.  See Austrolibertarianism as a Starfish.

Somalia is currently improving its standard of living.  But if the US decided to invade, who would win?  It's a good question, as right now, the US still hasn't beaten the people of Afghanistan or Iraq.  There are still people fighting against the US military in those countries.

Torsten:

If I imagine the US of today as anarchistic. mmmh what gives you the idea one had to subdue them ALL at ONCE. One could do that piece by piece, since the one member of such an individualistic society won't feel an obligation for the other that shouldn't be too much of a problem. 

You are making the fallacy that in an anarchist society, people won't care about others.  I see no evidence to support this belief.  In fact, there is plenty of evidence to the contrary, considering that anarchists refer to the division of labor and voluntary exchange.  How did the American rebels beat the English?  After all, there was no American state at the time.  Not all of the colonists even supported breaking from England.  So, why did the colonists band together to fight the English?

Torsten:

I also smell some contradiction in terms here. 

I don't.  So you can either provide what you believe to be a contradiction, or you can not make such assertions.

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The Texas Trigger:
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?

I'm just sayin', anarcho-capitalists don't get a monopoly on the definition of libertarian. Most libertarians aren't even anarchists, and libertarian can be used in different ways, Mises is considered one of the greatest libertarians of the 20th century, even though he was a minarchist (not to mention FA Hayek, who thought that a welfare state was desirable).

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"I'm just sayin', anarcho-capitalists don't get a monopoly on the definition of libertarian. Most libertarians aren't even anarchists, and libertarian can be used in different ways, Mises is considered one of the greatest libertarians of the 20th century, even though he was a minarchist (not to mention FA Hayek, who thought that a welfare state was desirable)."

Classical Liberals. Not libertarians. I'm not poo-poo'ing Mises or Hayek but they weren't libertarians. 

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Classical Liberals. Not libertarians. I'm not poo-poo'ing Mises or Hayek but they weren't libertarians.

"Classical liberal" is a term that is used by libertarians to describe themselves, there is no distinction, anarchists do not get to marginalize our "libertarianess" just because we believe in some government.

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""Classical liberal" is a term that is used by libertarians to describe themselves, there is no distinction, anarchists do not get to marginalize our "libertarianess" just because we believe in some government."

No, a classical liberal is an individual who accepts the notion of government and tries to limit its size and scope while advocating certain liberty-oriented ideas. You cannot be a libertarian (which infers the adoption and practice the NAP) and still accept government. That is the plumline of libertarianism, the NAP. Sure there are secondary tenets but that is the basis for legal code and social interaction. It is the basis of all libertarian political philosophy. Just because some individuals dislike certain government programs or departments does not mean you are a libertarian. It's definition requires an all or nothing view. Either government is acceptable or it is not and if it is acceptable then you are outside the principle of NAP. You are arguing for the principle of coercion and debating the frequency it is acceptable to use.

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Torsten replied on Sat, Jun 30 2012 2:00 AM

I think only a few hear don't believe in some government/governance just not in the present form of the modern centralised state.

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@Andrew: Nope, because "libertarian" can also simply mean someone who is fiscally conservative and socially liberal (not to mention utilitarian libertarians who do not believe in natural rights). It's not an "all out or nothing view", if that was the case then the majority of self described libertarians would not be minarchists.

Anarcho-capitalism is just one form of libertarianism, get over it. ;)

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"Nope, because "libertarian" can also simply mean someone who is fiscally conservative and socially liberal (not to mention utilitarian libertarians who do not believe in natural rights). It's not an "all out or nothing view", if that was the case then the majority of self described libertarians would not be minarchists.

Anarcho-capitalism is just one form of libertarianism, get over it. ;)"

Yes you can be a fiscal conservative or a social liberal and if you also accept the NAP then you maybe considered a libertarian. Just because you want to lower government spending or want to be tolerant of the social choices of others alone does not infer that you are a libertarian. Whether you listen to Walter Block or Roderick Long, essentially polar opposites in defining libertarianism, it revolves around the concept that you cannot aggress against another human being. That is one of the basis of rights. It is the starting point of what is and is not allowed in the legal world. If you believe that it is acceptable for a human being to aggress against another human being, then you are not a libertarian. If you believe it is not acceptable, then all that is needed is for you to work out your cognitive dissonance. 

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And if you listen more to Walter Block, you can hear that even he acknowledges that the majority of libertarians are minarchists when he talks about anarchism vs. minarchism.

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"And if you listen more to Walter Block, you can hear that even he acknowledges that the majority of libertarians are minarchists when he talks about anarchism vs. minarchism."

Source?

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Torsten replied on Sun, Jul 1 2012 12:57 AM

 It is the starting point of what is and is not allowed in the legal world. If you believe that it is acceptable for a human being to aggress against another human being, then you are not a libertarian. If you believe it is not acceptable, then all that is needed is for you to work out your cognitive dissonance. 

But then the question remains  what constitutes (on act of) aggression? Does that only apply one human bashing a stick over the head of another one (physical aggression or violence)? Or does that also apply to the more subtle forms of aggression (threats, coercion, symbolic violence, etc.)? And what would be the status of fraud, which includes deception for gain (and loss of someone else)?

I am sure one needs to look into other examples, cases and questions of definition here as well. 

 

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Source?

Here: http://youtu.be/BRb9bw08Wy0?t=8m6s

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Question for bloomj31

Do you believe that only coerced cooperation can be considered cooperation, i.e. that there`s no such thing as voluntary cooperation?

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Johnny Doe:
 Do you believe that only coerced cooperation can be considered cooperation, i.e. that there`s no such thing as voluntary cooperation?

I'm not sure how to answer this.

As a 1st person observer I think I'm able to observe clear distinctions between voluntariness and coerciveness.

At the introspective level I personally experience voluntariness and coerciveness as distinctive things.

Does that answer your question?

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Hello vive!

Your observations on 1) are correct. The term libertarian has always been associated with socialist/communist/anarchists. What I find interesting is how few folks claiming the label "Libertarian" for themselves have even the most elementary knowledge of the history of where the term came from, that it was from its very inception anti-capitalist, as it is, and that the notion of "anarcho"-capitalism is simply nonsense. One would think that given the amount of admiration many have of Rothbard that they would at least be aware that he himself said that one cannot be an anarchist and a capitalist. (One of the few correct assertions he made about anarchism. He was quite ignorant of anarchist thought as far as I can tell, and from most everything I've seen. Oh, and this goes for Mises as well). Much of this confusion has been cleared up at 'Anarchist Writers' 'What would an anarchist society look like'. The author does a fine job of outlining the history which is usually, virtually never in fact, considered before throwing these concepts around. This is why you can end up with odd oxymoronic deviations such as "anarcho"-capitalist, a non-existent category, and some see nothing odd about it. I mean, those with even a minimal understanding see how odd it is, but then again I have yet to meet almost anyone claiming to be an "anarcho"-capitalist who knows anything about anarchism. But they sure know (or pretend to) their Mises, Rothbard and Hayek.

Regarding 2), I'm not sure what you are saying. Are you referring the the "Libertarian" here in the correct sense which you've recognized in 1) i.e. the actual libertarians of the anarchist/socialist/communist type, and the "purging fake libertarians" as those calling themselves "libertarian", but thinking it is compatible with capitalism? Just need clarification. And if this is the case, what are you recommending if not purging the fakes?

Thanks!

 

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Hi Buzz!

I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with several things here, though I'll stick to the last assertion regarding "anarcho"-capitalism. I've been a student of anarchism for probably over 30 years now, and I'm of the opinion that there is no such category as "anarcho"-capitalism, nor has there ever been, nor can there be, unless, of course, we simply decide to change the meanings and definitions of terms. Historically, anarchism has always been anti-capitalist. This is not even an issue as far as I've been able to determine. I've seen nothing in anything I've ever read on anarchism which even hints that capitalism is compatible. But if you have any mateirals which may enlighten me to this, and when the change occurred, I'd be most interested in reading it. 

Also, since I'm here, and since you seem to at least believe there to be such a category as "ancap", not that you are one yourself, perhaps you might be able to tell me how one can be anti-hierarchical and authoritarian structures and be a capitalist at the same time? How can capitalism be made to create equality, as anarchism requires? I have many more questions not unique, and very basic, but these will do for now.

Thanks!

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kropotkinbeard:
Your observations on 1) are correct. The term libertarian has always been associated with socialist/communist/anarchists. What I find interesting is how few folks claiming the label "Libertarian" for themselves have even the most elementary knowledge of the history of where the term came from, that it was from its very inception anti-capitalist, as it is, and that the notion of "anarcho"-capitalism is simply nonsense.

It's only nonsense given certain definitions. Use different definitions and it's no longer nonsense. No one's obligated to use certain definitions for words like "libertarian" or "anarchist" - not by history or by anything else. All you're saying, then, is that you don't like how some people use those words. That's your problem, not theirs.

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Chyd3nius replied on Sun, Jul 1 2012 10:43 AM

Answer depends on how "libertarian" is defined and what is meant by "anarcho-capitalism".

-- --- English I not so well sorry I will. I'm not native speaker.
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"Here: http://youtu.be/BRb9bw08Wy0?t=8m6s"

So you believe a sardonic remark about the inconsistency of minarchists infers that Walter Block actually believes that 80-90% of "liberatarians" are minarchists? 

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Papirius replied on Sun, Jul 1 2012 11:34 AM

There's a trend among libertarians to see minarchists as not consistently upholding NAP.

Also, some AnCaps have a deriding attitude how that's like as if theft cannot be ok on mondays but wrong on tuesdays and so on, "because according to all statists theft is wrong for somone- the public, but ok for others- state employees enforcing taxation".

But who really upholds NAP consistently? How many people think NAP should be practiced in lifeboat situations? That would mean that people who think that in some situations NAP should not be upheld in lifeboat situations are also inconsistant and pragmatist and without principles like the statists are, and Murray Rothbard and Walter Block, and all other libertarians who say that NAP should not be applied in lifeboat situations could too be mocked as "okaying theft on mondays, but not on tuesdays", or even worse "okaying murder on mondays, but not on tuesdays".

Also, if some NAPist differantiate between civilized life and lifeboat situations, why some NAPists couldn't differentient between tha value of life and property? The first group of NAPists says that NAP doesn't apply in lifeboat situations, so leaving some situations completely without the obligation to uphold ethical principles that are to be upheld in other situations;

why couldn't the second group of NAPists argue that there should be a gradation, eg. that breaking NAP in regards to life is worse then breaking NAP in regards to property, and that therefore that taxation, although it is in itselft a violation of NAP, is justifiable in order to have a state for the purpose of perserving NAP in regards of life.

To me, that sort of differatition- in order to preserve the principle in regard to situation 1 (life) which is regarded as more important, a limited breach of principle is allowed in situation 2 (property) - is less incosistent then saying that NAP should be uphelp in situation 1 (civilized life) but it is ok for it to be totally discarded in situation 2 (lifeboat situations).

Also, if one were to accept two views- firstly- that interventions are consistent with NAP, and secondly- that the Georgist theory is the correct definition of property, he would be totally consistent in supporting both libertarianism / NAP and a state which imploys taxation.

 

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"But who really upholds NAP consistently? How many people think NAP should be practiced in lifeboat situations? That would mean that people who think that in some situations NAP should not be upheld in lifeboat situations are also inconsistant and pragmatist and without principles like the statists are, and Murray Rothbard and Walter Block, and all other libertarians who say that NAP should not be applied in lifeboat situations could too be mocked as "okaying theft on mondays, but not on tuesdays", or even worse "okaying murder on mondays, but not on tuesdays"."

 

I will answer your questions in order:

1. Libertarians

2. All libertarians

Rothbard and to my knowledge Block both agree that NAP should be applied in lifeboat situations. 

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Papirius replied on Sun, Jul 1 2012 11:59 AM

"Of course, many formulations, such as Rothbard's and Block's, avoid this objection by either specifying that the NAP only applies to a civilized context (and not 'lifeboat situations') or that it applies only to legal rights (as opposed to general morality.)"

http://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Principle_of_non-aggression#Consequentialist_criticism

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i just started reading this thread and i knew that mises wasnt anarchist, but can anyone point me to a good reading by mises concerning his views on state intervention and how he justifies it? 

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All want more liberty (we'd rather be able to fly than just walk, ie inherited feet, invented shoes, crutches, wheel, plane)

We employ means to get more liberty (totalitarianism, anarchism, physical and mental exercise, eat, buy, sell, vote)

 

I think much of the failure in society's attaining liberty is their thinking that  the ends require a different means. In many respects, it makes sense that a different means would be applied.

If my end-goal is to have more leisure, then my means must be more work, which is in apparent opposition to my ends-goal. People think that in order to attain greater liberty, they need to do the opposite, give away liberty, in order to attain the end, liberty. Work for leisure, statism for liberty. 

Explain to someone a society of anarcho-capitalism and they'll love such a place. But they'll not believe that such a place can exist without the 'real world, brutal work of statism'.

What they fail to realize is that, when you exchange your leisure for work you can easily reclaim your leisure because it isn't given to a third-party. But when you hand over your liberty to a third-party in order to attain more liberty, that third-party cannot be trusted to give it back. 

When your leisure is exchanged within yourself for work it is still within you and you can easily re-exchange it because your self-interest is top priority. When liberty is handed over to a third-party, you lose possession, therefore reclaiming it will usually require you to take extraordinary measures and usually at a high cost.

It must be made clear to people that the world you would like is the world it would take.

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a more succinct summary

 

 

 
When your leisure is exchanged within yourself for work in order to attain more leisure, it is still within you and you can easily re-exchange it because you never transferred ownership to a third-party. When liberty is handed over to a third-party, there is a transfer of ownership. Even if that transfer is said to be contractual and implicitly or explicitly temporary, you lose possession, and 9/10ths of the 'law' is possession. Reclaiming it may require you to take extraordinary measures and usually at an extremely high cost.

Why? Because no one except maybe your family and small circle of loved ones (and that's highly suspect under difficult circumstances) prioritizes your interests as highly as you do. If you don't hold it, you don't own it. So if there is something that you highly value, such as your liberty, I'd suggest you not transfer ownership, especially to someone that claims to have your best interest at heart. We know that's a lie, now don't we?

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As I said, if we change the definition of the word "anarchism" then we can call it anything. So, why not call it "dog"? After all, dogs are "anti-state", too. (I've heard, which, of course, alone doesn't make one an anarchist at all) If one is going to use the term "anarchist" how it was originally used, and for the reasons it was originally used, then, no, one cannot, or at least should not, change the definition to include something as brazenly contrary to its original meaning. This is what the the term "meaning" means. This would be little different than were I to decide to start using the term "bachelor" for "married men" as well. Well, yes, I 'can' do this, but, firstly, why would I. Secondly, given that both terms "bachelor" and "married man" already have definitions, as does anarchist, why change it? Thirdly, even if I were to change it, why would I change it to entail the exact opposite of what the original term was based? It's at this point where someone may wish to offer the "No True Scotsman" fallacy, but this would itself be a fallacy as there IS a definition of anarchism, as well as certain tenets and principles which would qualify someone as an anarchist. Being a proponent of capitalism is most defintily not one of them, nor has it ever been.

To use your logic then were I to decide to star referring to all married men as bachelors, and someone disagreed with my use of the term, then that's just their problem. I hardly think this is my problem. I'm not a lingustic relativist. Words have meanings, usually. Anarchism is, by defintion, anti-hierarchical and anti-authoritarian structures. Period. This is an integral part of the defintion of the word. Capitalism doesn't fit. A more appropriate term should be concocted instead of hijacking a term with it's opposite.

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kropotkinbeard,

Do you use the word "gay" to mean "happy" or "homosexual"?

Words have meaning based on context. If someone uses a word to mean a particular idea, then it would be nonsense to frame what that person is saying with a different definition. But if you know what definition he is using, even if it is a nonstandard definition, then there is no problem. Successful communication occurred, however silly it may be.

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Uhh...I for one respect the "opinions" of Noam Chomsky. And in order to know whether or not one believes they agree or disagree with someone or something it's usually a good idea to know something about it to begin with. Firstly, your comment "A man who subscribes to anarcho-synicalism..." isn't an argument. It infers both that you know what "it" is, as well as that this is what Chomsky is. However, I've seen no evidence to support this. Secondly, this goes for the term "socialism" as well. And I'm afraid it is you, not Chomsky, who has the defintions and terms backward.

A word of advice; When attempting to take on Chomsky it would behoove you to be well prepared. This is why about 99.9999% of his critics fall short. I've been studying the anti-Chomskyites for many years now, and if there is one constant it's that they do not know Chomsky at all. This is usually quite easy to demonstrate as well. And while I'm all for someone challenging Chomsky, as he himself would encourage, it's first necessary, at least if one wishes to be honest, to know what his 'actual' positions are first so as to be able to critique them. This is trivially basic. It's just amazing how few people do. And this even includes folks who have written mounds on him.  (See David Horowitz, Oliver Kamm, etc...) This is the way it usually looks:

Chomsky: My position is X,Y,Z

anti-Chomsky: Chomsky believes A,B,C

Me: Uhhh...No, Chomsky's position is not A,B,C. It's X,Y,Z

anti-Chomsky: He's your idol! You agree with everything he says! You worship Chomsky! (ad infinitum)

Me: Huh?  I simply said that Chomsky's position is X,Y,Z, as is indictated in every book he's ever written, and in everything he's ever said, publicly anyway....

anti-Chomsky: Chomsky believes A,B,C!

It pretty much goes on like this for a while. Then I ask the "detractor" to provide evidence to support their assertions, which, of course, would mean actually referring to Chomsky's materials, and this simply doesn't happen. It would mean actually reading them, and, well, if you know anti-Chomskyites you'd know that this borders on spiritual treason. 

 

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http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/infer?s=t

 

Usage note 

Infer  has been used to mean “to hint or suggest” since the 16thcentury by speakers and writers of unquestioned ability and eminence: The next speaker criticized the proposal, inferring that itwas made solely to embarrass the government.  Despite its long history, many 20th-century usage guides condemn the use,maintaining that the proper word for the intended sense is imply and that to use infer  is to lose a valuable distinction between the two words.

"The best way to bail out the economy is with liberty, not with federal reserve notes." - pairunoyd

"The vision of the Austrian must be greater than the blindness of the sheeple." - pairunoyd

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The term "gay" used to mean happy. Over time it began to be used to mean homosexual. However, when it became to be used to indicate homosexuality it did not assume the opposite of the term gay i.e.hate. But to use your logic, again, we could simply refer to "anarcho"-capitalists as "cheese", and it doesn't matter as long as one understands my use of the term "cheese". And if they don't understand my use, then, well, that's just their problem.

Sorry, but I simply believe that words, or at least most words, have actual meanings and defintions, and that they should be used appropriately, and for specific reasons.  That the term "anarchist" has been hijacked is a non-issue in my opinion. Non-issue in that it has happened (at least by some).  One need only briefly look at any number of places on this very website. The more interesting issue is why folks would use it, and what the purpose is of their using it. Is it simply because the anti-government aspect of anarchism appeals to them? This alone is not nearly enough to be able to claim the title. Most 'actual' anarchists would be spinning in their graves were they to see how the term is being used now i.e.as the virtual opposite of that which intended. Again, if one wished to begin referring to those who consider themselves "pacifist" as "Nazi", well, I have a feeling that the pacifists wouldn't look upon this very highly, nor just sit back and accept the new term, casually proclaiming that it's just a term, and terms change over time. I mean, I doubt they would. 

Another reason that it's not a good idea to bastardize the meanings of terms is that, as we can see now at places like Stefan Molyneux's 'freedomainradio', there are entire generations of young folks listening to his "ideas", who think of him and themseleves as "anarchist", and therefore internalize notions which are very much at odds with what anarchism has always been. It's basically anti-educational. They aren't what they think they are. Needless to say that there are few, actually, none that I've met on his site, that have read any anarchist writings at all. Well, I believe this to be a serious problem on several levels. One is that they're simply ignorant of the history of what they're talking about. Secondly, they're referring to themselves and their positions inaccurately, and often fight to maintain their newly found status among like-minded "anarchists", which aren't anarchists at all. Thirdly, they end up making claims which they believe are "anarchist", but which aren't at all, and are often the opposite. There are more reasons, but that's enough for now.

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yes

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This is supposed to be a "more succinct summary" of what? 

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kropotkinbeard:

The term "gay" used to mean happy. Over time it began to be used to mean homosexual. However, when it became to be used to indicate homosexuality it did not assume the opposite of the term gay i.e.hate.

I never said that it did. I am merely pointing out that words do not have a fixed meaning. Their meanings are based on what people think they mean. I am also pointing out that it doesn't make sense to insert your own definition into what someone else is saying. You would no longer know what that person is attempting to communicate.

kropotkinbeard:

But to use your logic, again, we could simply refer to "anarcho"-capitalists as "cheese", and it doesn't matter as long as one understands my use of the term "cheese". And if they don't understand my use, then, well, that's just their problem.

I never said that it was their problem if they don't understand you. As far as I'm concerned, it's your problem. You are the one attempting to communicate an idea, and other people are not understanding what you want to communicate. That's not their problem. It's yours.

You can use words to mean whatever you want them to mean. No one is stopping you. But if you use nonstandard definitions, then the onus is on you to clarify what your definition is.

kropotkinbeard:

Sorry, but I simply believe that words, or at least most words, have actual meanings and defintions, and that they should be used appropriately, and for specific reasons.

I accept your apology. It is a shame that you are under the impression that words have objective meanings. Words do not have truth values. It can be true that someone uses a word in a particular way. It can be false that someone uses a word in a particular way. But the sound itself has no inherent meaning.

kropotkinbeard:

That the term "anarchist" has been hijacked is a non-issue in my opinion. Non-issue in that it has happened (at least by some).  One need only briefly look at any number of places on this very website. The more interesting issue is why folks would use it, and what the purpose is of their using it. Is it simply because the anti-government aspect of anarchism appeals to them? This alone is not nearly enough to be able to claim the title. Most 'actual' anarchists would be spinning in their graves were they to see how the term is being used now i.e.as the virtual opposite of that which intended. Again, if one wished to begin referring to those who consider themselves "pacifist" as "Nazi", well, I have a feeling that the pacifists wouldn't look upon this very highly, nor just sit back and accept the new term, casually proclaiming that it's just a term, and terms change over time. I mean, I doubt they would. 

I prefer it when words keep their meaning, more or less. It makes things less confusing. I think it is silly to redefine most words to mean whatever one wants them to mean. But sometimes there is an advantage to redefining certain words. Anarchist may have been used by communists originally, but the etymology of anarchy is "without ruler". Libertarian anarchists trying to change the meaning of anarchy to what the parts of the word means is a good thing, in my opinion.

kropotkinbeard:

They aren't what they think they are.

No, they are exactly what they think they are. Words represent concepts. They know what they are conceptually. They use a word to represent that concept, and you would prefer if they used a different word. But they still know what they are. And so long as other people know what they mean by it, then other people know what they are.

kropotkinbeard:

Needless to say that there are few, actually, none that I've met on his site, that have read any anarchist writings at all. Well, I believe this to be a serious problem on several levels. One is that they're simply ignorant of the history of what they're talking about. Secondly, they're referring to themselves and their positions inaccurately, and often fight to maintain their newly found status among like-minded "anarchists", which aren't anarchists at all. Thirdly, they end up making claims which they believe are "anarchist", but which aren't at all, and are often the opposite. There are more reasons, but that's enough for now.

No, they are referring to their positions completely accurately. They are in fact anarchists. That you prefer a different meaning doesn't change what they are. That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

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