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Voluntaryist Revolution?

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SkepticalMetal Posted: Wed, Sep 5 2012 6:28 PM

This is something I've been thinking about for a while now. I definately don't like violence, however it has occurred to me that under the non-aggression principle, we have a right to revolt because of government interference and regulation of our property, etc.

So my question to you all is, right now, would a revolution be a just cause?

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Okay, so the question remains...what do we do?

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Under libertarian principles, do we have a right to go around killing cops ("pre-emtively")? Some might argue that even if a particular cop's existence does not threaten one's life or property directly, even his presence in a vicinity is an implied threat.

For those worried for legal ramifications... if you were playing a computer game like Skyrim, for instance (and you were trying to play it according to libertarian principles), would you consider killing city guards OK, even absent of a specific threat from them? Or would that be a violation of NAP?

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SkepticalMetal:
Okay, so the question remains...what do we do?

Well, technically you never asked that question.  You just asked if a revolution would be a just cause.

As for what to do, I think Tom's on point:

Winning the Argument for Freedom

What's Next for the Liberty Movement?

 

And of course there's the Stuff we can do thread.

 

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Sorry, I never meant for my response to you to sound like I didn't get a straight answer in the first place, because you did give me one. My bad.

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Based on the theory of proportional force, killing cops would not be justified. I would not support a violent revolution. We need cultural change, people.

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I like that idea wayyy more, but how would that come about, specifically? Would we use Mao's Cultural Revolution as a template (except this time, with no retarded power-hungry ideology in mind)?

Because truthfully I can't say I particularly like the idea of chucking a bunch of ancient statues of Confucius out a window, lol.

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Did you look at any of the links I provided?

 

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Yes. In fact I was just thinking about asking what would be good content for flyers to put up. Where would you say that the best place to post flyers are? I'm not sure that where I live, a local business would be eager to put up anti-state flyers or something like that, but obviously there are more options.

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Last time I checked the Cultural Revolution ended in lots of killing and imprisonment.

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I appreciate your interest and I believe we need more discussion on this. Could we start different threads for it, though? I'd like to flesh out ideas more and not mix up topics.

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Well when you say "cultural change," I couldn't help but think how that might be brought about. All of this aside, I'm really just asking how you think that could happen, as in sooner rather than later.

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If you're asking me, go ahead if you'd like to create the thread yourself, I'll just go into that one when you put it up (if you yourself want to put it up).

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Today I'm learning libertarians are free riders. First a guy asks me to translate a sentence from a language I don't even know, and then you. *shakes head*.

 

I'm teasing.

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...What?

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Nevermind. Thread's up:

http://mises.org/community/forums/p/31178/488570.aspx#488570

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gotlucky replied on Wed, Sep 5 2012 11:23 PM

@FlyingAxe

Welcome back!

FlyingAxe:

 

Under libertarian principles, do we have a right to go around killing cops ("pre-emtively")? Some might argue that even if a particular cop's existence does not threaten one's life or property directly, even his presence in a vicinity is an implied threat.

For those worried for legal ramifications... if you were playing a computer game like Skyrim, for instance (and you were trying to play it according to libertarian principles), would you consider killing city guards OK, even absent of a specific threat from them? Or would that be a violation of NAP?

I don't think that we have a right to go around preemptively killing cops, with perhaps the one exception being for the cops that have murdered others. But even then I am quite hesitant. One of the key libertarian beliefs regarding law is that the plaintiff must be the victim of the defendant (or have somehow acquired the right to sue on the victim's behalf). If the cop has not aggressed against you in particular, I'm not so sure that you have the right to kill him or even do any harm to him whatsoever. The one exception being if you are acting on the victim's behalf (and with the victim's consent) - but then the question of proportionality kicks in.

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FlyingAxe replied on Thu, Sep 6 2012 12:04 AM

Thanks.

What's the principle/theory of proportionality? Where can I read about it (from libertarian perspective)?

For instance: do I have a right to defend my property with deadly force? A guy stops me on the street and asks for $5 (million) in my wallet. He won't kill me, unless I don't give him the money. I happen to know how to kill him. Am I justified in doing it for 5 (million) bucks?

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gotlucky replied on Thu, Sep 6 2012 12:30 AM

FlyingAxe:

What's the principle/theory of proportionality? Where can I read about it (from libertarian perspective)?

This is a good excerpt by Rothbard from The Ethics of Liberty. But the basic idea is reciprocity: "life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth..." I wrote a little bit about my thoughts on it here. Most people find restitution to be preferable (and if true restitution/restoration/undoing could be done, I think almost all people except for the really sick and twisted would prefer that to retribution), but retributive justice is the basis for restitution. If you beat me up, and whether or not I want restitution, I may not beat you up more than what you did to me, else I would be in the wrong.

Not all libertarians agree on this, but it's a fairly standard viewpoint.

FlyingAxe:

For instance: do I have a right to defend my property with deadly force? A guy stops me on the street and asks for $5 (million) in my wallet. He won't kill me, unless I don't give him the money. I happen to know how to kill him. Am I justified in doing it for 5 (million) bucks?

The way I see it, it all depends upong what the aggressor is doing. If some guy pulls a gun on you, he has certainly threatened you with deadly force. You are within your rights to use deadly force too, as the aggressor is the one who first raised the conflict to that level. But if the guy just grabbed your wallet out of your hands (maybe you were paying at the store), you do not have a right to just shoot him. He has certainly wronged you, but not to the same degree that you would be acting against him. If you just shot him, you would be in the wrong.

Someone might try to pose a scenario where the mugger's gun isn't loaded and you don't know it. But it's beside the point. The point is that the mugger has raised the level of conflict to deadly force. He has not only threatened your life, but he intends for it to be a credible threat. Anyway, I'm a little tired*, so this post is probably a little out of order, but Rothbard's chapter is probably far more illuminating (I can't remember if I agree with everything he says in that chapter, but I certainly agree with the general gist).

 

*Not that I'm going to go to sleep right now.

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FlyingAxe replied on Thu, Sep 6 2012 12:38 AM

Well, what if the mugger belongs to a known organization that stops people on the street and mugs them. If they resist, they get kidnapped, and if they resist kidnapping, they get killed. So, you know (by knowing the organization that the mugger belongs to, whose membership he displays loud and proud) about the implied threat of deadly force.

Re: retribution: thanks for the link. (Btw, not that it's relevant here, but in the original text, "eye for eye" meant  monetary restitution, not knocking out someone's eye, according to the majority interpretation.)

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gotlucky replied on Thu, Sep 6 2012 12:56 AM

Re: retribution: not that it's relevant here, but in the original text, "eye for eye" meant  monetary restitution, not knocking out someone's eye, according to the majority interpretation.

The ancient rabbis were quite wise overall, imho. As the wiki points out, the rabbis humanized the principle. Whereas Hammurabi's code was actual retribution, the rabbis eventually worked it out to restitution. I think this is a general human tendency, that people would prefer being made whole instead of making the other suffer. After all, if your wife was murdered, would you rather her murderer be executed or somehow undo your wife's murder? Of course, you might be against executing the murderer anyway, but the point is that I think most people would prefer undoing the crime if at all possible. Reciprocal retribution is a limiter on violence. Instead of killing any person who has wronged you, you may only do to him what he has done to you.

But there must be violence or the threat thereof for there to be restitution. If we were to rely upon criminals to grow consciences and then pay restitution, we would be very lucky indeed if victims ever saw restitution. Reciprocal retribution limits the violence that can be used or threatened in order to receive restitution. Of course, the victim might decide he prefers the retribution to the restitution, but in a system of customary law, this would be the exception rather than the rule. See Clayton's post on A Praxeological Account of Law for why this is likely.

Well, what if the mugger belongs to a known organization that stops people on the street and mugs them. If they resist, they get kidnapped, and if they resist kidnapping, they get killed. So, you know (by knowing the organization that the mugger belongs to, whose membership he displays loud and proud) about the implied threat of deadly force.

Well, this is getting into knowledge of social norms and customs, and it is entirely relevant. If a mugger is part of a group that kidnaps and kills people who resist, that knowledge is entirely relevant to the matter at hand. Perhaps there are some libertarians who believe that it is irrelevant and that only the immediate facts of the case are relevant, but I think it would be foolish to throw out the extra knowledge. If there is an implicit threat of deadly force, there is still a threat of deadly force. What constitutes an implicit threat can only really be known through social norms and customs, but they are still threats nonetheless.

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Anenome replied on Thu, Sep 6 2012 1:46 AM

I suggest that you do not have a right to conduct a violent revolution until the point when voting in change is no longer possible.

That is, when tyranny is total.

At that point, you could say the state's control over you is analogous to an individual being assaulted to the point of being overpowered, at which point a fight to the point of death may legitimately ensue.

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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Yeah. Overall I like your idea of seasteading much better than any revolution, and if they attack us from there, that would be the justification to retaliate.

 

The problem is, with something like seasteading, there are so many things that could go wrong, the main thing being that the government could easily suppress the free flow of goods essential to making a place like that prosper.

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Who would you even be revolting against?

Are you sure that's a fight you really want?

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I don't think any of us want it. I know Brian Doherty once said something like libertarians will always go to a bookstore before an armory. I think the whole thing about this thread is that we're just examining that if it would be a just conflict under the NAP.

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I think it might be a just conflict under the NAP.

But isn't there a potential problem figuring out who (in particular) is really violating your property rights to begin with?

Wouldn't you have to target those people in particular to avoid becoming an aggressor yourself?

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Autolykos replied on Thu, Sep 6 2012 11:25 AM

bloomj31:
Who would you even be revolting against?

Are you sure that's a fight you really want?

Is that a threat?

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

Voluntaryism Forum

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Marko replied on Thu, Sep 6 2012 11:55 AM

Duh. Obviosly we have a legitimate right to revolt and repel the aggression against us and it is impossible to argue against a rising on doctrinal grounds, only on grounds of tactics or aestetics if you lean that way.

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Marko replied on Thu, Sep 6 2012 12:00 PM

Under libertarian principles, do we have a right to go around killing cops ("pre-emtively")?

No we don't. What I want to know is why pose the question in the context of this thread? A revolution does not equal what you are describing.

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bloomj31 replied on Thu, Sep 6 2012 12:24 PM

Autolykos:
Is that a threat?

It was a question.

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Autolykos replied on Thu, Sep 6 2012 12:25 PM

Yeah, I call BS on that. Try again.

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

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bloomj31 replied on Thu, Sep 6 2012 12:27 PM

Lol k.

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Autolykos replied on Thu, Sep 6 2012 12:35 PM

I rest my case. You think you can make threats like that and not be called out on them? Guess again, buddy.

From now on, I'm going to call you "Idea Pig" - "Pig" as in "Police Officer".

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

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bloomj31 replied on Thu, Sep 6 2012 12:36 PM

Are you saying that you read that question as a veiled threat?

Is it possible you're being hypersensitive?

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Autolykos replied on Thu, Sep 6 2012 12:40 PM

bloomj31:
Are you saying that you read that question as a veiled threat?

Of course I did.

bloomj31:
Is it possible you're being hypersensitive?

Hypersensitivity is a matter of opinion. If this is your way of saying, "I think you're being hypersensitive", then let me inform you that I couldn't care less.

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

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Bloom and Autolykos,

I do not know the context of any other of your debates however given my reading of this thread Autolykos' interpretation of one of your posts as a threat is uncharitable. Your later post is about who would be a legitimate target is a good question one in fact Walter Block begins to answer here

Also please refrain from calling him the Idea Pig- even if he is, which I'm far from saying, it is out of place on a discussion forum.

The atoms tell the atoms so, for I never was or will but atoms forevermore be.

Yours sincerely,

Physiocrat

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Autolykos replied on Thu, Sep 6 2012 12:57 PM

Fair enough, Physiocrat. I disagree that my interpretation is uncharitable, but I will honor your request.

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

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Your later post is about who would be a legitimate target is a good question one in fact Walter Block begins to answer here

 

This is great. What I've been looking for (for philosophical reasons, not practical...). Thanks.

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David B replied on Thu, Sep 6 2012 3:13 PM

Can I simply suggest that not only are there peaceful things we can do, there are probably certain types of discussions that don't advance our cause but can only become sound bites on national media after arrests are made?  Discussing any kind of violent response in society might be one of those things. 

Anyone involved in the FSP?  While there's some silliness going on with a couple of the guys that insist on getting arrested, I've continued to think that even the 1000 that moved can make a big difference through activism and education.  Might take much longer (20+ years) than they may have thought initially.

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