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Rights, Property, and State

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Brainpolice has posted an excellent opinion of why you cannot logically determine the specific scenarios which constitutes as 'aggression' without explicating whether each scenario constitutes as 'aggression'.

Anarchist Cain, by the way, I did not intentially enlarge the text.  My browser did.

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Anarcho-Mercantilist:
you cannot logically...

lecturing about 'logic' again? oh dear. spare me the explosion.

the moon is french bread. elephants are putting on a show at the palladium. the cat is building nuclear bombs in your basement.

brave new world indeed.

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

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hashem replied on Tue, Aug 4 2009 10:42 PM

Anarcho-Mercantilist:
Roderick Long has proven that only the 'right to be not aggressed' exists.

Then we are in perfect agreement -- as long as the "right not to be aggressed" is actually the right to have property, and defend it against aggression. The point is that aggression exists, so in order for a right to mean anything, it must be defended.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect. —Mark Twain
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hashem:

Anarcho-Mercantilist:
Roderick Long has proven that only the 'right to be not aggressed' exists.

Then we are in perfect agreement -- as long as the "right not to be aggressed" is actually the right to have property, and defend it against aggression. The point is that aggression exists, so in order for a right to mean anything, it must be defended.

Correct.  Rothbardians usually denote the terms the 'non-aggression principle', 'property rights', 'individual sovereignty', the 'non-initiation of force', 'liberty', and 'freedom' to mean the same exact thing.  Although those terms may have different connotations, its denotations all mean the same exact thing within the Rothbardian context.  We will show a proof below.

  1. An individual has property rights if and only if he is not aggressed against. (premise)
  2. An individual is sovereign if and only if he is not aggressed against. (premise)
  3. An individual has liberty if and only if he is not aggressed against. (premise)
  4. Rothbardians define 'aggression' as the 'initiation of force'. (premise)
  5. Inversely, non-aggression equals the non-initiation of force. (4)
  6. Liberty equals the non-initiation of force. (3, 5)
  7. Rothbardians treat 'freedom' and 'liberty' as exact synonyms. (premise)
  8. Freedom equals the non-initiation of force. (6, 7)
  9. Individual sovereignty exists if and only if property rights exists. (1, 2)
  10. Individual sovereignty exists if and only if liberty exists. (2, 3)

If one changes the definition of the 'non-aggression principle', then the meaning of all of the other terms will change.  (All of the terms are exact synonyms.)

One must define such terms 'empirically'.  For example, Rothbard does not classify abortion as an act of 'aggression'.  "Abortion is always murder" is a value that would be contradicted by the belief if an embryo is not a person.  Such belief would be 'empirical': what is recognized to be the biological prerequisites for manhood.

My point is that people will have different interpretations of 'aggression' unless you categorize whether if each specific case constitutes as an act of 'aggression'.  For example, unless you specifically categorize 'abortion' as not an act of 'aggression', the anti-abortionists can logically interpret that the 'non-aggression principle' prohibits abortion.

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hashem replied on Thu, Aug 6 2009 6:24 PM

@Anarcho-Mercantilist,

In all fairness, let me clarify that you know nothing about Rothbardism. You are the one who falsely claimed that Rothbardians consider nuclear weapons to be in violation of property rights, an absurd claim at best, an absolutely unfounded one at worst, strictly in contradiction to the very words of the text from which it fails to be drawn, For a New Liberty.

Now you are falsely claiming that to Rothbard certain terms mean exactly the same thing (granted, "within the Rothbardian context"), again in outright contradiction to the very texts that I suspect these ideas come from. I would assert this most recent allegation attempts to derive from For a New Liberty and The Ethics of Liberty, based strictly on my opinion that almost nobody actually reads anything from Rothbard besides random quotes from those two books.

In these texts, he makes it Windex clear that freedom and liberty are not the same thing. He makes it clear that aggression is the initiation of, or the threat of initiation of force; that abortion is an act of defense and thus cannot be called murder, whether you consider the fetus a human being or a potential human being.

All the terms are not exact synonyms, especially not freedom and liberty, which he distinguishes at length in his chapter on Hayek in TEoL. These words do not all mean the same thing. In these cases, various words merely imply characteristics of other words. I think it is strictly anti-Rothbardian to claim that two different words mean exactly the same thing.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect. —Mark Twain
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hashem:
In all fairness, let me clarify that you know nothing about Rothbardism. You are the one who falsely claimed that Rothbardians consider nuclear weapons to be in violation of property rights, an absurd claim at best, an absolutely unfounded one at worst, strictly in contradiction to the very words of the text from which it fails to be drawn, For a New Liberty.

I have not read For a New Liberty.

hashem:
In these texts, he makes it Windex clear that freedom and liberty are not the same thing.

Rothbard had defined 'freedom' as a synonym for 'liberty' within the eighth note of chapter six.

hashem:
Now you are falsely claiming that to Rothbard certain terms mean exactly the same thing (granted, "within the Rothbardian context"), again in outright contradiction to the very texts that I suspect these ideas come from.

I have never claimed that Rothbard treated those terms as exact synonyms.  I meant that we should treat those terms as synonyms, in order to be logically consistent.  For example, it would be logically inconsistent to have a different denotation of 'property rights' from the denotation of the 'non-aggression principle'.  The above proof demonstrates that we must treat those terms as synonyms in order to be logically consistent.

hashem:
He makes it clear that aggression is the initiation of, or the threat of initiation of force; that abortion is an act of defense and thus cannot be called murder, whether you consider the fetus a human being or a potential human being.

I never have said that Rothbard had defined a 'person' as a child outside the womb to prove the legitimacy of abortion.  It seems like you had misinterpreted my paragraph by treating the third sentence as an extension of the second sentence.  Let me rephrase my paragraph below.

My point was that one must define the term 'aggression' in a case-by-case basis about real-life situations.  Otherwise, the definition of 'aggression' will become a "floating abstraction."  This "floating abstraction" will have multiple different interpretations when we apply it in a case-by-case basis.  This is similar to the notion that some people will classify the emmission of carbon dioxide and the blocking of sunlight on a farm as acts of aggression and others will not.  Unless we classify whether if the emmission of carbon dioxide and the blocking of sunlight constitutes as 'aggression' in this case-by-case basis, we cannot define 'aggression' without leaving the possibility that it can lead to multiple interpretations.  This is my point.

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hashem replied on Thu, Aug 6 2009 9:18 PM

Anarcho-Mercantilist:
My point was that one must define the term 'aggression' in a case-by-case basis about real-life situations.

Yes and no. Yes, we must define aggression. No, we mustn't redefine it ad hoc. "“Aggression” is defined as the initiation of the use or threat of physical violence against the person or property of anyone else." Therefore the job of the law is to decide whether a given scenario meets that criteria, but never to redefine the criteria ad hoc.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect. —Mark Twain
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hashem:
"“Aggression” is defined as the initiation of the use or threat of physical violence against the person or property of anyone else."

That definition is circular in the sense that it uses terms that refer to the same thing as the word as you are defining.  For example, property rights exist if and only if non-aggression exists.  However, that definition uses the term 'property' in the phrase "violence against the person or property of anyone else."

In addition, the term 'violence against the person' used here can refer to 'violence against his individual sovereignty'.  As we have proven above, the terms 'non-aggression', 'property rights', and 'individual sovereignty' all refer to the same exact thing. 

Therefore, you can replace the word 'person' with 'individual sovereignty' and 'property' with 'property rights'.  After that, because those terms function as synonyms to 'non-aggression', you can replace those two with 'non-aggression'.  So your definition will turn out as: "aggression" is defined as the initiation of the threat of physical violence against that a person's 'right to non-aggression'.  That seems circular in this sense.

Also, I did not mean that we must define the 'non-aggression principle' as 'ad hoc' in the sense that we must define it very precisely up to the emmission of carbon dioxide and blocking sunlight from a farm.  Rather, I meant that we should define it with at least some real-wold case-by-case examples in order for it not to be circular.  For example, we should classify taxation as a form of 'aggression' and abortion as not as a form of 'aggression'.

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hashem replied on Fri, Aug 7 2009 2:03 PM

Anarcho-Mercantilist:
As we have proven above, the terms 'non-aggression', 'property rights', and 'individual sovereignty' all refer to the same exact thing. 

No, they can be understood, in the context of the Rothbardian system, only after the system is built, or at least only when building upon previously defined terms.

Once you start inter-changing words, their specific meanings become worthless. Logically, all languages would fall apart, since all words are defined by other words ad infinitum. Languages have different words that can be used to mean very similar things in certain contexts, but they are still different words with different meanings.

Aggression is aggression. (A=A; A doesn't equal not A.) Well, how can we understand the meaning? With language; by using different words. If the words meant the same thing, there would be no use for both of them -- then, logically, no use for any of them. If English or even Rothbard aren't accurate or precise enough, consider learning German.

The rule is non-aggression. Aggression is concretely defined. The job then becomes to determine whether each individual case falls within the boundaries of "the initiation of the use or threat of physical violence against the person or property of anyone else." To catalog specific definitions of individual terms, dictionaries have been invented, or in Rothbard's case, language and his own system.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect. —Mark Twain
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Conza88 replied on Fri, Aug 14 2009 8:41 PM

This may be of use to some of you.

"It has often been maintained, and especially by conservatives, that the development of the horrendous modern weapons of mass murder (nuclear weapons, rockets, germ warfare, etc.) is only a difference of degree rather than kind from the simpler weapons of an earlier era. Of course, one answer to this is that when the degree is the number of human lives, the difference is a very big one.4  But another answer that the libertarian is particularly equipped to give is that while the bow and arrow and even the rifle can be pinpointed, if the will be there, against actual criminals, modern nuclear weapons cannot. Here is a crucial difference in kind. Of course, the bow and arrow could be used for aggressive purposes, but it could also be pinpointed to use only against aggressors. Nuclear weapons, even "conventional" aerial bombs, cannot be. These weapons are ipso facto engines of indiscriminate mass destruction. (The only exception would be the extremely rare case where a mass of people who were all criminals inhabited a vast geographical area.) We must, therefore, conclude that the use or the threat thereof of nuclear or similar weapons, is a sin and a crime against humanity for which there can be no justification."

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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I think that could go in the other thread on "war" I think.  that's where a discussion on nuclear weapons was.Smile

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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