Free Capitalist Network - Community Archive
Mises Community Archive
An online community for fans of Austrian economics and libertarianism, featuring forums, user blogs, and more.

Arguing with yet another teacher.

rated by 0 users
This post has 19 Replies | 4 Followers

Top 75 Contributor
Male
Posts 1,018
Points 17,760
Kelvin Silva Posted: Wed, Nov 7 2012 9:27 PM

Teacher X is a social democrat liberal keynesian.

He told me that

1. Property isnt absolute

(what the hell does this mean? i must question him during our next encounter if we have)

2. Austrians use the wrong methodology. He was making an attack at crusoe economics. He threw the evolution argument about how man evolved from caveman into an industrialized world.

Me: fair enough, but the premise still remains the same. We trade 1 good for another good and multiply that by millions of people which make up the economy.

So it all stems from crusoe and human action axiom.

Its an apriori deduction.

He told me that theres more to an economy than just trading.

I said: then tell me what they are.

He ended the conversation by telling me that i would be late to class.

3. He said that libertarians always misread locke, saying that private property is estate, and some other crap i forgot.

I said: sure, property is not only what you produce, its also what your ideas are, and you yourself as a self owner.

<I didnt really understand what he was getting at here...>

--Thoughts? What more should i say? Did i miss anything?

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
"The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.org

  • | Post Points: 50
Top 75 Contributor
Posts 1,288
Points 22,350

He ended the conversation by telling me that i would be late to class.

That means he had nothing to say against you.  You were right.  Economics is concerned with interpersonal exchange, which requires trade between two parties, which are made up of individuals acting.

The Voluntaryist Reader: http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com/ Libertarian forums that actually work: http://voluntaryism.freeforums.org/index.php
  • | Post Points: 35
Top 75 Contributor
Male
Posts 1,018
Points 17,760

I wonder if you recall one discussion on the forum we had about how this guy was thrashing austrian economics because it gave no insight on the meaning of life, etc, etc....

I think the teacher maybe was trying to get at this?

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
"The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.org

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 232
Points 4,905

On the Locke issue, I find that progressives tend to "debunk" a theory by going to who is generally thought to have originated it. So they'll go to Locke to attack property rights, or they'll go to Adam Smith to attack capitalism.

Try using Hoppe's argumentation ethics (that deals with property,right?)

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 75 Contributor
Male
Posts 1,018
Points 17,760

Hmm i havent read hoppe much.

But i will.

Basically how i derive property rights is this:

If it is given that we own ourselves, then anything that comes out of the body, we also own (with the exception of another human).

And as such, labor that comes out of our bodies, mixed with nature's resources, become an object of use, and property of the maker.

The first discoverer, claimer, and enforcer of a piece of land, owns it, and its resources.

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
"The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.org

  • | Post Points: 65
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 232
Points 4,905

The only Hoppe I've read is the introduction to Democracy the God That Failed where he talks about the Austrian monarchy vs America, so I'm not familiar with argumentation ethics, and I could be getting this completely wrong. I think the core point is that if you engage in debate in the first place, you acknowledge that people can change their mind. Thus, you admit that self ownership exists, and all other property rights come from there. 

Again, I could be completely wrong.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,679
Points 45,110
gotlucky replied on Wed, Nov 7 2012 10:10 PM

Kelvin,

The vast majority of libertarians derive property rights as you do, and I used to as well. However, I think there is a much stronger case for libertarian property rights than if you just start at "because I used it first". While I think first use is basically a good rule, I think the reason why people are attracted to it is neglected by libertarians: we are libertarian because we prefer social cooperation over conflict. First use is one of the best norms for the vast majority of situations for a variety of reasons, though there are other norms that can pick up where first use is inadequate.

Ultimately, what it comes down to (in my opinion) is that people who reject the libertarian view of just property prefer social conflict as a means to ends. In other words, the ends justify the means. If they have to rob a "rich" man (I put rich in quotes because clearly the tax burden in America falls mostly on the middle class and not the elites) in order to pay for "charity", then clearly they believe that the ends justify the means. It doesn't matter to them how the "charity" receives the money. It could receive it through social cooperation or conflict, it doesn't make a difference to them.

Anyway, if you just say to other people that first use is moral because it is, there is no reason why anyone will necessarily agree with you. If you frame the debate around social cooperation against social conflict, then you are in a much stronger position. Your teacher must now defend conflict as a means to ends, whereas you are the one defending cooperation.

Watch him squirm.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 75 Contributor
Male
Posts 1,018
Points 17,760

While I think first use is basically a good rule, I think the reason why people are attracted to it is neglected by libertarians: we are libertarian because we prefer social cooperation over conflict.

Would this be a utilitarian type of argument?

It is justified because it leads to the best benefit?

Its the only way humans have been shown to cooperate.

 

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
"The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.org

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,679
Points 45,110
gotlucky replied on Wed, Nov 7 2012 10:26 PM

Well, I'm actually not a consequentialist nor a utilitarian, but I think those arguments are actually stronger than the moral ones in many cases. I just happen to prefer cooperation over conflict because I do. I believe in the golden rule (ethic of reciprocity) because I do. I didn't reason to that belief, though I did use reason to cut away at all my beliefs and find their foundation, and my worldview sort of restructured on its own. However, not everybody will necessarily recognize the immorality of aggression, and that is where the power of the consequentialist and utilitarian arguments enters.

Crusoe, Morality, and Axiomatic Libertarianism by Nielsio explains briefly what I'm talking about. People can prefer libertarian property rights because it protects their own property rights. If you want your house to not be invaded, then you support the rights of others to have their houses not invaded. That sort of thing.

So when someone makes the argument for aggression, this is a threat to everyone's property rights. It's one thing to support the invasion of someone else's property if they started it, but it's another thing to support invasion for just any old reason. Perhaps you've heard this quote before:

 

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

 

That's the strength of a consequentialist libertarian property rights argument. If you aren't consisent, then it could be you who gets aggressed against by the state.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 75 Contributor
Male
Posts 1,018
Points 17,760

Id also like to tell the teacher about the anaolgy of geometry.

How we start with 1 evident statement, and derive other laws from it.

If this is invalid, then its like learning algebra and calculus without even learning to add and subtract.

Any topic, including economics, must first start with the basics, then build up further from there.

 

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
"The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.org

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,679
Points 45,110
gotlucky replied on Wed, Nov 7 2012 10:43 PM

Kelvin Silva:

Any topic, including economics, must first start with the basics, then build up further from there.

Keep that in mind, and you will go far in any subject. You are lucky to be able to realize this at such a young age. So many people overlook it.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 75 Contributor
Posts 1,612
Points 29,515

He ended the conversation by telling me that i would be late to class.

That means he had nothing to say against you.  You were right.  Economics is concerned with interpersonal exchange, which requires trade between two parties, which are made up of individuals acting.

It does not mean you were right...

I have argued with professors.  You need to not forget what they say for people to believe that you know what you are even talking about.  I'd have a solid foundation when trying to argue with professors.

Don't let the sycophants here build your ego up too high.  What we know is that we know little.

You guys are on level one of economic dialogue as well.  Arguing about level one stuff (professors are arrogant, so), even if you think it is fundamental to the reduction of their account you should aim at the high places and then reduce them as you argue; not start at the bottom...they will not know that you have a system in mind if you start arguing ideological points at the bottom.

Forum trolls haven't "gone far."  That is why we post...

"The Fed does not make predictions. It makes forecasts..." - Mustang19
  • | Post Points: 35
Top 75 Contributor
Male
Posts 1,018
Points 17,760

Yes that is true.

WHen i first saw the teacher i told him that i was just learning and did not know that much.

I like Nielsio's video. It clears up alot of things ive been thinking about....

Its a social construct.

Next time i see him im going to be less aggressive. I dont want to make a mistake then have him rub it in.

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
"The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.org

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 75 Contributor
Posts 1,288
Points 22,350

It does not mean you were right...

Can you read?  I didn't say that that meant he was right.  He was right for other reasons (those which I outlined in that post).

The Voluntaryist Reader: http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com/ Libertarian forums that actually work: http://voluntaryism.freeforums.org/index.php
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 150 Contributor
Posts 639
Points 11,575
cab21 replied on Wed, Nov 7 2012 11:03 PM

i dont think people neccicarily own what they create, they do in a sense, but they can sell what they own before they create it.

i can buy a icecream cone, then the person that labors to make the icecream cone does not own that cone, i own that cone. the person who made the cone also traded his labor for money, not the icecream cone. he has gotten the ful product of his labor, the money he agreed to exchange for his labor, while i have gotten the full product of what i traded for, the icecream cone.

there is also the owning ideas stuff, as long as it means others can copy ideas and own those ideas as well, as one person would not be able to own the idea in another persons head, but each person can own his brain and any ideas formed in that brain.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 75 Contributor
Male
Posts 1,018
Points 17,760

i can buy a icecream cone, then the person that labors to make the icecream cone does not own that cone, i own that cone. the person who made the cone also traded his labor for money, not the icecream cone. he has gotten the ful product of his labor, the money he agreed to exchange for his labor, while i have gotten the full product of what i traded for, the icecream cone.

This is called employment.

Labor can be sold. Labor is the property of the laborer, but one can still hire the laborer for his labor.

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
"The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.org

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 200 Contributor
Male
Posts 444
Points 6,230

Kelvin Silva:
Basically how i derive property rights is this:

If it is given that we own ourselves, then anything that comes out of the body, we also own (with the exception of another human).

And as such, labor that comes out of our bodies, mixed with nature's resources, become an object of use, and property of the maker.

The first discoverer, claimer, and enforcer of a piece of land, owns it, and its resources.

I would recommend listening to Stephan Kinsella's class "Libertarian Legal Theory: Property, Conflict, and Society" which he released for free here:

http://libertarianstandard.com/2012/01/01/kinsellas-libertarian-legal-theory-course-audio-and-slides/

My long term project to get every PDF into EPUB: Mises Books

EPUB requests/News: (Semi-)Official Mises.org EPUB Release Topic

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,439
Points 44,650
Neodoxy replied on Wed, Nov 7 2012 11:48 PM

1. You're right, that's meaningless because it could mean many things.

2. Crusoe economics has relatively little to do with Austrian Economics, as evidenced by both Rothbard and Mises warning about the dangers of relying too heavily upon it. There is more to an economy than just trade; production and other interactions which go into human decision making... Not that you deny this and not that he would be able to articulate this in a very coherent way.

3. Here I think he might be on more solid ground. From what I've read Locke really wasn't much of a propertarian and he justified property rights from both god and the need to keep man alive (a utilitarian argument). This doesn't mean that many of his basic ideas cannot be extended towards libertarian ideals, both utilitarian and deontological.

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 75 Contributor
Male
Posts 1,018
Points 17,760

Crusoe economics has relatively little to do with Austrian Economics

He was trying to attack the methodology upon which both of them are founded upon. I basically have to explain to the teacher that economic theory must be founded a priori instead of posteriori. I must learn to defend the methodology. Thats what sets apart AE from all the rest.

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
"The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.org

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 4,987
Points 89,745

Kelvin, the deduction of property rights you propose above is how I had understood libertarian theory before going into it further. But upon a sober analysis, it's is a tragic non-sequitur. How does owning myself mean that I own anything I make? I think that if you add a few more steps in, then there is a more solid foundation to that based on morality, but I'm slowly coming to accept the utilitarian argument for property as an emergent norm to resolve conflict.

Plus, gotlucky's point about "I used it first" is a pretty good one.

As to Locke, yes, he has a theory of property, but he also believed in limitd accumulation. Hence, the proviso vs. non-proviso Lockeans.

  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (20 items) | RSS