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NAP, State and Society

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Jargon Posted: Thu, Oct 11 2012 7:36 PM

Pretend for a moment that you do not subscribe to the NAP.

Would you still want a Minarchical government, or would you prefer something different? Would your ideal society have Nat'l defence, infrastructure, and courts & police? Or only one or two of those, or more than the three of those? Would you add branches of government beyond the 'nightwatchman state' because you believe that a more desirable outcome could be attained? Or do you just reject the idea of 'designing society' from the start as an inherently elitist concept?

EDIT: To rephrase: do you believe the NAP 'holds you back' from envisioning an optimal society? Or is a society which abides by NAP the optimal one.

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cab21 replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 7:52 PM
so rejecting nap, meaning subscribing to the agression principle? sure why not set up a government to serve me and take over the world.
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Or do you just reject the idea of 'designing society' from the start as an inherently elitist concept?

Well, not just because it's elitist, but because its consequences are terrible.

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Jargon replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 8:03 PM

You don't have to reject libertarianism, non-interventionism, or free markets simply because you reject the NAP. David Friedman for example, does not believe in it yet is an anarchist.

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cab21 replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 8:06 PM

how can there be a free market if it's ok to initiate agression against each other? reject nap then murder, rape, theft and more are all acceptable.

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Jargon replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 8:09 PM

You dolt. We don't have NAP today, is murder and rape acceptable?

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cab21 replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 8:40 PM

we have parts of nap. murder and rape not being acceptable is nap.

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David friedman is an anarchist through utilitarianism.

There is NAP today, infact most people in america believe in the NAP, they just do not apply it to the state.

 

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Jargon replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 9:25 PM

There aren't any 'parts' of NAP. murder rape and theft are all categorically acts of aggression. Anyways if you aren't interested in discussing the original topic of this post , please let's not talk about this anymore as I'd like the thread not to be derailed.

 

@ Aristippus - So can you not think of any one function, granted identical starting conditions for state and anartopia, that the state could perform more desirably?

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Keeping true to the original point of the thread, I'd like to say that in order to examine what I would believe in if I didn't subscribe to the NAP, I'd have to take a look at my mindset towards governance before I learned anything about libertarianism. Before I discovered this wonderful thing called libertarianism, I could best describe myself as having a progressive mindset, however you have to remember that before this I was extremely young, so I really didn't have any room to think about the consequences of what I wanted to see in the world. Regardless, if I didn't believe in the NAP today I would probably still have that progressive mindset of "other people should do things MY way." The NAP is, in my opinion, the very foundation of what libertarianism is, and without it's proper understanding I would still be blindly encouraging coercion by promoting the monopolies of the state as you listed.

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hashem replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 9:35 PM

Jargon:
Pretend for a moment that you do not subscribe to the NAP.

I don't subscribe to the NAP. The NAP is a trick, because it's actually not opposed to aggression. To borrow from cab21, it's really just another in a long line of 'aggression principles' that seek to use aggression to enforce some moral standard.

I still wouldn't want a government, because I'm a person and I know what it feels like to be used as a resource against my will. I don't wish that anyone should experience that.

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Could you please expand more on how it's not opposed to aggression?

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hashem replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 9:44 PM

I apologize for being unclear. The NAP is just a rule for property, to be strict it's a negative rule, indicating what isn't acceptable but not saying what should be done if it's violated.

What I meant to communicate was that the NAP is almost universally invoked as a basis for some aggressive system of morality-enforcement. I actually don't support the NAP so I don't have to pretend, and I still wouldn't support statism because I know what it feels like to be used and hurt and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

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Malachi replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 9:58 PM
I apologize for being unclear. The NAP is just a rule for property, to be strict it's a negative rule, indicating what isn't acceptable but not saying what should be done if it's violated.
this is exactly the case. Its actually an entirely separate argument that recommends violence in response to aggression. I presume you reject that argument, can you say why you dont feel that an aggressor estops himself from a claim against you if you use violence to dissuade him?
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hashem replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 10:01 PM

can you say why you dont feel that an aggressor estops himself from a claim against you if you use violence to dissuade him?

Certainly, but again I'm not sure what you mean so can you please clarify so I can be sure my answer makes sense.

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Neodoxy replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 10:11 PM

"Would you still want a Minarchical government, or would you prefer something different?"

Nah brah, I'm mostly in it because of the good that it does for society, not because of the NAP. Up to a point anyway.

So I'm for the ladder, even though I think that you're going to have people argue that the NAP society is inherently the optimal society, and that you're going to actually have to define yourself some terms before real discourse actually occurs.

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Malachi replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 10:14 PM
Someone who has assaulted me cannot coherently object to my assault of him. To deny that violence in the act of self-defense is moral requires a belief in some authority greater than the individual.
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Neodoxy replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 10:15 PM

I'm going to open up a can of worms.

@Malachi,

What about the assaulting individual being superior to the assaulted individual?

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Jargon replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 10:21 PM

@ Malachi - What if one could prove that it was necessary to engage in a certain degree of aggression against someone in order to prevent a higher degree of aggression?

@ Neo - By optimal I mean most desirable in terms of outcome for all the constituents of the society/state. I don't think I can coherently ask for a metric other than your subjective preferences for a society which would/might result from certain institutions.

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hashem replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 10:22 PM

I guess I just really don't understand what you mean or how it's relevant. Note, I'm not saying you don't make sense and that it is in fact irrelevant.

can you say why you dont feel

Maybe if you point out how I implied that I didn't feel such a way it would start to become clear, but I'm still unclear on what you mean by the rest of it.

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Malachi replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 10:27 PM
Ontologically superior? I believe that it would be wrong to attempt or contemplate assaulting God, regardless of whatever claims one might believe one to have against Him. I dont know what other context in which someone could be my superior and be relevant to the discussion at hand.
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Neodoxy replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 10:28 PM

Jargon,

No I understood what you meant, and I still say that it's because of the society that I advocate libertarianism, it's just that usually people get chewed up around here for not being really clear and explicit with their wording, especially on topics such as this.

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cab21 replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 10:32 PM

what would the minarchy be without nap? the nightwatchman concept that i am familar with is the ayn rand one which has its at least simular to nap philosophy.

with the republic idea

a populations is free to do any but...

a government is only free to do what is delegated to the government and all powers are reserved.

so constitutional republic would be the closest i can say i would do

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Jargon replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 10:37 PM

@ Neodoxy - So nightwatchman then?

@ Cab- Ok, but which powers would be granted to the government in the constitution?

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Malachi replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 10:38 PM
@ Malachi - What if one could prove that it was necessary to engage in a certain degree of aggression against someone in order to prevent a higher degree of aggression?
@Jargon - I think such a proof would require one to assume that attributable consequences to an act have a finite timespan. I disagree, and by way of example tender an ideological viewpoint. Consider, arguendo if you must, that violence tends to be historically notable and traumatic to the aggressor as well as the victim. Now consider the long-term effect of a series of violent acts on increasingly pacifistic victims. Suppose that the terrible crimes against humanity reached a sympathetic worldwide audience and that violence of all types became socially unacceptable, much as the greater part of the world rejected slavery just a few short generations ago. Given this viewpoint, one might not endorse self-defense. Also consider that cost-benefit calculations would preclude defensive violence for many people who believe in concepts such as reincarnation and karma.

to answer your question, in tne event of such a proof I doubt I personally could object to their violence. But given larger, perhaps theological beliefs, i can understand why an individual might coherently object.

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Neodoxy replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 10:59 PM

"So nightwatchman then?"

Under some circumstances, yes, but under most circumstances anarchism, or minarchism as a transitional stage to that point.

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@ Aristippus - So can you not think of any one function, granted identical starting conditions for state and anartopia, that the state could perform more desirably?

Yes of course, many individual functions, but at the cost of others.  For example, in the short-term it might be able to provide good x for cheaper than the market, but at the expense of the production of other goods (through taxation, inflation etc.), and also at the expense of the production of good x in the long-term (due to bureaucratism, lack of competition, calculation problem).

The question is difficult to answer beyond that since I don't know what the starting conditions in fact are.  Are they people from the West of today?  England of the 18th century?

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Autolykos replied on Fri, Oct 12 2012 8:24 AM

Jargon:
@ Aristippus - So can you not think of any one function, granted identical starting conditions for state and anartopia, that the state could perform more desirably?

I'm inclined to answer no to this question, but I'm wondering what you mean by "more desirably"? Do you mean more desirably to me?

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Autolykos replied on Fri, Oct 12 2012 8:27 AM

hashem:
I don't subscribe to the NAP. The NAP is a trick, because it's actually not opposed to aggression. To borrow from cab21, it's really just another in a long line of 'aggression principles' that seek to use aggression to enforce some moral standard.

What distinction, if any, do you make between "aggression" and "violence"?

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cab21 replied on Fri, Oct 12 2012 4:51 PM

rejecting nap because of responsive control seems to be the same as siding with a rapist should the rapee prevent the rape. is the rapee just supposed to say "i don't approve, but i don't want to impose and control you  so i will submit mr rapist"?

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hashem replied on Fri, Oct 12 2012 10:45 PM

@ Autolykos

What distinction, if any, do you make between "aggression" and "violence"?

I use the term aggression because it is what's referred to by the non-aggression principle. If it was called the non-violence principle, I suppose I would use the term 'violence'.

@ cab21

The rapee is free to use whatever violence he deems important. But he shouldn't invoke some magical "morals" or "rights". Let him do what he will based on the cost:benefit algorithm his brain has arrived given the society he does/doesn't value to various extents on various levels.

The phrase "you get in where you fit in" is ultimate. It explains so much of the reality of homo sapiens. Some people can fit in by manipulating others, and so they invoke morals to get in that way.

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cab21 replied on Sat, Oct 13 2012 12:50 AM

that cost benefit analisis has to do with what surrounding people accept. a people that side with a rapee rather than a rapist would likely be preferable to many people. if a rule against rape is manipulation, then people choose to be manipulated as part of a cost benefit analises, that it is preferable not to rape.

what word do you want to use for a societys accepted practices? morals are the judgement of human action, so there would have to be some common judgements that people would find preferable. judgements aren't magical, but they can be common and shared by a community.

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Groucho replied on Sat, Oct 13 2012 1:25 AM

Jargon:

Pretend for a moment that you do not subscribe to the NAP.

[...]

EDIT: To rephrase: do you believe the NAP 'holds you back' from envisioning an optimal society? Or is a society which abides by NAP the optimal one.

I don't believe the NAP is something that is simply "abided by" - it is a basic principle that cannot be divorced from the concepts of fairness and justice or right and wrong. To deny it at it's most basic level requires a psychopathic personality. But people can be easily hoodwinked into denying it when a little creativity is employed.

The "problem" with the NAP is that it is sometimes viewed as inconvenient when people desire a contrary course of action. Sometimes people want to do things like that. At this point the NAP is usually reified into some abstract value system, like Budhism or something - rather than a principle or axiom inherent in functioning of "peaceful interaction" - and discussed using broad collectivist terms outside the domain of individual actions.

But maybe a more interesting question would be "when would you, personally, disregard the NAP for your own benefit?" What would you do for a Klondike Bar? What would the Devil have to offer for you to sign on the dotted-line? (I'm an atheist, mind you). But that's a different question than the one you're asking - isn't it?

EDIT (heh, figured I throw one of my own in): thnk of the rattler on the Gasden flag. That embodies the NAP.

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Autolykos replied on Sat, Oct 13 2012 9:53 AM

hashem:
I use the term aggression because it is what's referred to by the non-aggression principle. If it was called the non-violence principle, I suppose I would use the term 'violence'.

Okay, but that doesn't answer my question. So I'll ask it again: what distinction, if any, do you make between "aggression" and "violence"?

The reason I ask is because you've asserted that the non-aggresion principle "[seeks] to use aggression to enforce some moral standard". To me that implies that you consider the words "aggression" and "violence" to be synonymous. While you're free to do so, most people who believe in the non-aggression principle seem to do otherwise.

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hashem replied on Sat, Oct 13 2012 2:57 PM

@ cab21

that cost benefit analisis has to do with what surrounding people accept.

And what people accept is influenced by what manipulation they've been subjected to. My point is that the purpose of the concept of morals is to manipulate people to suppress the natural drive to conquer everything (the insatiable demand for liberty and power).

Rape isn't "wrong", whatever that would mean. Rather, people have spread propaganda (for better or worse is irrelevant) about how we shouldn't rape. People who don't understand the fact/value dichotomy stop there and accept the moral propaganda. Others couldn't care less (politicians, and thugs—but I repeat myself), and will rape. Others simply acknowledge the drive to have sex with whomever they want whenever they want, but are mature enough to temper it for rational reasons: because they've experienced suffering and project their suffering onto potential rape victims, or because their friends wouldn't like them if they rape people, and so forth.

what word do you want to use for a societys accepted practices?

This is—to borrow a phrase from Thunderf00t—a malformed question. "Society" doesn't have accepted practices. Society is made of individuals of the genus homo sapiens. The natural drive for homo sapiens is to conquer everything (aka to satisfy the unlimited demand for power and liberty), tempered by the drive to have social relations, restricted by the same drives/temperaments of others, manipulated by others, all subject to environmental factors. Environment is key, which is why I always bring up the crusoe-rased-in-a-cave scenario.

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hashem replied on Sat, Oct 13 2012 3:01 PM

Sorry for the double post, I was trigger happy and forgot to respond to this.

Autolykos:
Okay, but that doesn't answer my question. So I'll ask it again: what distinction, if any, do you make between "aggression" and "violence"?

The reason I ask is because you've asserted that the non-aggresion principle "[seeks] to use aggression to enforce some moral standard". To me that implies that you consider the words "aggression" and "violence" to be synonymous. While you're free to do so, most people who believe in the non-aggression principle seem to do otherwise.

I'm using aggression as synonymous with violence in the same way as Rothbard, because I'm going by his definition of the NAP: "No man may initiate aggression against the person or property of another." He didn't say use aggression, he said initiate aggression, because he supports the use of certain types of aggression (aka violence, if you prefer). For example, he supports "defensive" or "retaliatory" aggression, but not "initial" aggression.

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Malachi replied on Sat, Oct 13 2012 3:04 PM
My point is that the purpose of the concept of morals is to manipulate people to suppress the natural drive to conquer everything (the insatiable demand for liberty and power).
do you consider this insatiable demand to be an axiom in your system? Or is it something you might care to justify?
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hashem replied on Sat, Oct 13 2012 3:08 PM

An axiom, the fundamental, natural psychology of homo sapiens. Our drive is to conquer everything, tempered by our drive to have social relations. This is probably the drive of all genes, but homo sapiens happens to be the most resilient, robust, capable, intelligent.

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Autolykos replied on Sat, Oct 13 2012 3:09 PM

hashem:
I'm using aggression as synonymous with violence in the same way as Rothbard, because I'm going by his definition of the NAP: "No man may initiate aggression against the person or property of another." He didn't say use aggression, he said initiate aggression, because he supports the use of certain types of aggression (aka violence, if you prefer). For example, he supports "defensive" or "retaliatory" aggression, but not "initial" aggression.

Okay, then using your semantics, I think the "non-aggression principle" should be more accurately called the "non-initiatory-aggression principle". Does that make sense?

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hashem replied on Sat, Oct 13 2012 3:11 PM

Yes. Or the non-initial-aggression-principle. Or whatever.

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