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gangs and economics

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Constittuionalist Posted: Thu, Oct 21 2010 5:35 PM

While we condemn all forms of murder, is it technically murder if a gang member (18th street) murders another gang member (crips)? I mean, both are engaging in illegal activities. But are they necessarily engaging in activities because of the incentives made illegal by the government (i.e. drugs, prostitution et al)?

The same goes with a gang member raping another gang member, stealing etc. Or would gangs even happen if we engaged in decriminalization of many activites that are illegal?

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The way the NAP works, killing a murderer isn't murder and taking back stolen property isn't theft. Dealing drugs, prostitution, pimping, etc. aren't crimes, as you yourself seem to suggest. The state might say otherwise, but that's irrelevant from a libertarian perspective.

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Stranger replied on Thu, Oct 21 2010 6:25 PM

If someone walks on your lawn, that does not give you the right to kill him because he is a criminal. Criminality out of context does not carry a penalty. An ethical justice system removes the rights that the criminal does not respect. For example, someone who invades the property of others may have his property invaded. Someone who robs may be robbed. Someone who kills may be killed. Criminals must then pay some kind of penalty in order to buy back their rights and secure once again the protection of society.

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Also see Kinsella's Estoppel theory that someone who initiates force against another person cannot subsequently cogently argue that force should not be used against them in defense/punishment/retaliation.

http://mises.org/journals/jls/12_1/12_1_3.pdf

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Marko replied on Thu, Oct 21 2010 7:34 PM

The type of gangs that would survive are outlaw motorcycle clubs and football hooligan firms. Gangs that are not primarily an enterprise for profit.

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assimilateur:
The way the NAP works, killing a murderer isn't murder and taking back stolen property isn't theft.
I want to make sure I understand what you're suggesting here...  Please bear with me.

By "killing a murderer" and "taking back stolen property" do qualify (internally or otherwise) this statement at all?  For example, is there ever a time after a murder has taken place where killing him would be morally unacceptable?  Or is it perfectly acceptable, morally, in your opinion, to go kill a murderer at any point (say, even 100 years) after he's committed a murder...?  (And yes, I'm assuming we all know, for sure, the murderer committed the murder in question.)

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scineram replied on Fri, Oct 22 2010 7:09 AM

Mises Pieces:

Also see Kinsella's Estoppel theory that someone who initiates force against another person cannot subsequently cogently argue that force should not be used against them in defense/punishment/retaliation.

http://mises.org/journals/jls/12_1/12_1_3.pdf

But then the retaliator cannot cogently argue the attacker should not use force against him given his own use of force.
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Mtn Dew replied on Fri, Oct 22 2010 7:15 AM

What? If you break into my house and steal my TV and I go to your house and take it back I can't cogently argue that you can't come to my house and steal it again?

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Mtn Dew:
What? If you break into my house and steal my TV and I go to your house and take it back I can't cogently argue that you can't come to my house and steal it again?
That depends on how highly "consistency" (i.e. not benig hypocritical) ranks in your value structure.  Is it more important to you to get your stuff back, or is it more important to you that you not do that which you would decry others for doing...?  I think that's where he's coming from.

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MaikU replied on Fri, Oct 22 2010 8:46 AM

I think that only killing a person in self defence is not the crime (unless he hadn't intention to kill you). Just randomly killing a person, who murdered someone else is a crime (according to my principles). Though, I wouldn't care much of a murderers life and probably wouldn't try to stop someone, who seeks a revenge and wants to kill a murderer. But again, he himself becomes a criminal and I would try to avoid such person just like "regular" murderer.

However, "stealing" from the thief what is your own property is NEVER a crime, unless you hurt someone in a process etc. Sure, it has some grey areas and it is hard to be absolutely consistent.

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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acceptable, morally, in your opinion, to go kill a murderer at any point

1. In the context of my own personal morals, no, assuming the murderer has been in some way pardoned by the victim's survivors (perhaps they served a long prison term and/or paid restitution, or the victim's family are pacifists, etc.).

2. If I understand the NAP (the libertarian political ethic I "believe" in) correctly, committing a crime entails the forfeiture of the same property rights the aggressor invaded himself. By that logic, a murderer would forever be fair game, meaning everyone could kill them rightfully, regardless of him being pardoned by the victim's survivors. I might be misunderstanding something here, so feel free to share your take on this.

3. Even if I'm right in point 2, that could largely become moot due to contractual arrangements. For example, being insured could reasonably entail being contractually bound to forgo killing murderers (regardless of the victim being close to you or a complete stranger) who have been rightfully convicted. It's also conceivable that pacifists, who would otherwise be inclined to pardon a family member's murderer, would have to put up with them getting locked up indefinitely instead, based on their insurance contracts.

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That depends on how highly "consistency" (i.e. not benig hypocritical) ranks in your value structure. (...) I think that's where he's coming from.

Well, libertarians are "coming from" the non-aggression principle. According to that principle, there is no inconsistency in using force to get one's loot back from an aggressor. That Scineram would reject the NAP is no surprise, but now they pretend not to understand it as well.

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assimilateur:
Well, libertarians are "coming from" the non-aggression principle. According to that principle, there is no inconsistency in using force to get one's loot back from an aggressor. That Scineram would reject the NAP is no surprise, but now they pretend not to understand it as well.
Well, I happen to consider myself a libertarian and an adherer to the NAP, but admittedly, whether or not "stealing back" your goods from one who stole them is, in fact, consistent....  well, it's something I still struggle with.  Perhaps you could lay out the common reasoning for this here for me?

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assimilateur:
1. In the context of my own personal morals, no, assuming the murderer has been in some way pardoned by the victim's survivors (perhaps they served a long prison term and/or paid restitution, or the victim's family are pacifists, etc.).
My personal morals also say no, but I'm afraid our reasoning is much different.

2. If I understand the NAP (the libertarian political ethic I "believe" in) correctly, committing a crime entails the forfeiture of the same property rights the aggressor invaded himself. By that logic, a murderer would forever be fair game, meaning everyone could kill them rightfully, regardless of him being pardoned by the victim's survivors. I might be misunderstanding something here, so feel free to share your take on this.
This would be something akin to "outlawry" under english common law if I'm understanding it properly.  I think my position differs from this somewhat.

I would have a hard time excusing any non-defensive violence.  This means to me that if, in the process of protecting my life, it is necessary to kill the person who is threatening it, I have no moral objection.  However, if that person is not an active threat to my life, irrespective of whether or not he has murdered someone in the past, killing him would, in my opinion, amount to murder (i.e. aggressive killing).  It is my belief that violence is only non-aggressive if, and only if, it is applied in order to stop an active act of aggression.  The killing of a man who murdered someone after he is no longer actively threatening/committing aggression against anyone does not meet that qualification in my opinion.

I accept that there may be a descrepency here between our ideas partially because I don't recognize "rights" like most people tend to.

So I guess my next question is...  is my understanding of NAP different from the "common" definition?

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Mtn Dew replied on Fri, Oct 22 2010 11:43 AM

It's not aggression to get your stuff back. Stealing is the aggression, retaking what is rightfully one's own is not aggression. Don't equate non-aggression with pacifism.

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Mtn Dew:
It's not aggression to get your stuff back. Stealing is the aggression, retaking what is rightfully one's own is not aggression. Don't equate non-aggression with pacifism.
I'm curious who this is addressed to, and what specifically... 

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Perhaps you could lay out the common reasoning for this here for me?

I'm not sure what kind of answer you're looking for. They steal from you, the loot is not lawfully theirs, ergo you can get it back. I don't see how that needs a justification other than the concept of self-ownership and the NAP.

 

That said, I do not think that allows you to use disproportionate violence. A pickpocket or shoplifter is clearly non-threatening. Opening fire on them would be a crime, breaking their wrist when they refuse to give up your property, not so much. Contrast this with a "hot" burglar (one who plies their trade while the home owners are present) or a mugger. I don't think I have to state the obvious here.

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assimilateur:
I'm not sure what kind of answer you're looking for. They steal from you, the loot is not lawfully theirs, ergo you can get it back. I don't see how that needs a justification other than the concept of self-ownership and the NAP.
That doesn't explain much to me.  You assume I know exactly what you're talking about when you say "self-ownership" and "NAP."  One of my recent posts (though admittedly it's not in reply to you, I don't think) points out that I am starting to think that my idea of NAP and what most people (at least in this community) think of as NAP might differ.

I would prefer that you actually provide the justification rather than assuming I know what you're talking about.  I'm really very interested in understanding better.  Thanks.  :)

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I base most of my (admittedly rather dilettantish) understanding of libertarian theory on Rothbard's and Block's work. Thus I found it appropriate to quote For a New Liberty by Murray N. Rothbard (not as a justification, but as a clarification of terms):

The libertarian creed rests upon one central axiom: that no man or group of men may aggress against the person or property of anyone else. This may be called the “nonaggression axiom.” “Aggression” is defined as the initiation of the use or threat of physical violence against the person or property of anyone else. Aggression is therefore synonymous with invasion.

The right to self-ownership asserts the absolute right of each man, by virtue of his (or her) being a human being, to “own” his or her own body; that is, to control that body free of coercive interference.

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Mtn Dew replied on Fri, Oct 22 2010 1:43 PM

I was referring to you ladyphoenix.

"That depends on how highly "consistency" (i.e. not benig hypocritical) ranks in your value structure.  Is it more important to you to get your stuff back, or is it more important to you that you not do that which you would decry others for doing...?"

I don't decree people getting their stuff back. It's not hypocritical to get one's stuff back.

Again - I think you're confusing the NAP with pacifism - although I do agree about the death penalty from a moral point of view. 

 
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Mtn Dew:
I don't decree people getting their stuff back. It's not hypocritical to get one's stuff back.
Ok, as I haven't yet reached the conclusion that it isn't hypocritical, would you explain what leads you to your conclusion?

Admittedly, where I stumble in this (as I have actually discussed very recently with a friend of mine) is that more often than not, "getting my stuff back" is going to involve violating the property or person of another, even after the fact.  The question I have been kicking around is whether or not that violation (violence) is defensive, as I siad, after the fact.

A purse snatcher takes my purse on the street, he gets 10 feet away and I hit him with a taser.  Pretty straight forward.  The proximity of the events lends itself to the conclusion that the purse snatcher was still in the act. Some thief steals your car in the night.  A year later, you find out that this dude 10 blocks from you is the dude who took the car and it's still in his possession.  Are you morally "in the clear" breaking into his garage to get it back?  Would you compensate him for the damage you did to his garage?  Should you?  What if he'd sold the property to an innocent person?  Would you be justified to violate their property (i.e. break into their garage) in order to obtain your property?

These are all questions I struggle with.

Mtn Dew:
Again - I think you're confusing the NAP with pacifism - although I do agree about the death penalty from a moral point of view.
You are incorrect.  I do not confuse NAP with pacificsm.  Pacifists, as I understand it, wouldn't even attempt to defend themselves against the aggression others would commit against them.  I am certainly not of that mind.  I have no problem with protecting myself (or my family), even if the consequence of doing so means ending the life of another. 

I consider myself to be an adherent to the NAP, I do not, however, understand how the NAP allows the killing of a person who is not actively a threat to your life.  That is where I find that the death penalty isn't consistent with the NAP, as I understand it.  If, by the death penalty, we are referring to killing a person while he is trying to kill you in order to stop him from succeeding, I'm all for it.  If the death penalty is a bunch of people deciding a man who is bound and tied should be executed... I can't say I agree with that.  That doesn't even take into account that the death penalty is usually carried out by states, which presents even more of a problem for me.

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Mtn Dew replied on Fri, Oct 22 2010 3:34 PM

The hypocritical comment doesn't make sense to me. I'm arguing it's wrong to initiate violence against someone, not that violence is always wrong. It's hypocritical if I say it's wrong to initiate violence and then do so, or if I say it's wrong to steal and then steal. I'm not arguing that.

If somebody steals my car they've violated my rights. Let's just say they steal $100.00. If a year later I take $100.00 from their wallet I haven't violated their rights. In fact, I would be well within my rights to take $100.00 and then some. To go back to the car situation I would be within my rights to break into the garage up to a point. I couldn't destroy their house because that's not proportional at all, but it's not justice if someone takes $100.00 and then only pays me back that exact amount at a later date - there is more owed than that.

I suggest you read Rothbard's "The Ethics of Liberty". I haven't read "Man, Economy, and State", but I thought it's the best thing he wrote. He goes into the details of the NAP and applying it to real situations. One of the components is proportionality.

I'm against the death penality for several reasons, but I don't think killing a murderer violates the NAP. Executing Hitler would not have been an act of aggression.

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J.R.M. replied on Fri, Oct 22 2010 4:47 PM

I haven't read the ethics of liberty yet, but here's an excerpt on punishment: http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard145.html

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Stranger replied on Fri, Oct 22 2010 6:49 PM

But then the retaliator cannot cogently argue the attacker should not use force against him given his own use of force.

When both parties are using force on each other the argument has long ended. The intent of the measure is that using force against the attacker will force him back to lawfulness due to prisoner's dilemma-style incentives.

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Stranger:
When both parties are using force on each other the argument has long ended. The intent of the measure is that using force against the attacker will force him back to lawfulness due to prisoner's dilemma-style incentives.
Do you mean to imply that all "force" is equal?

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Mtn Dew:
The hypocritical comment doesn't make sense to me. I'm arguing it's wrong to initiate violence against someone, not that violence is always wrong. It's hypocritical if I say it's wrong to initiate violence and then do so, or if I say it's wrong to steal and then steal. I'm not arguing that.
Let me start from the beginning, becuase I think I may be failing to communicate clearly here.

If you ask John Q Libertarian and NAP adherer, "When is it acceptable to use violence against another individual?" I expect his response to be, "Only defensive violence is acceptable, morally."  If I were to press the issue, "Please tell me what you mean by defensive." I expect his answer to be something like, "A defensive act is an act which is meant to stop an act of aggression in progress.

Would you agree with this?  If not, tell me where you differ in your position.

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Mtn Dew replied on Mon, Oct 25 2010 10:35 AM

I would agree with that. Under such a philosophy I could firebomb your house and you would have absolutely no recourse. It's nigh impossible for stop every crime in progress, so under a philosophy you're describing once a crime is committed punishment is not allowed.

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Mtn Dew:
I would agree with that. Under such a philosophy I could firebomb your house and you would have absolutely no recourse. It's nigh impossible for stop every crime in progress, so under a philosophy you're describing once a crime is committed punishment is not allowed.
Of course it's impossible to stop every act of aggression in progress.  I don't think anyone would argue that it is possible. 

I don't understand, however, why it is you think that I would have absolutely no recourse for such an act.  There are plenty of consequences which don't involve me hunting you down and seeking revenge.  Justice doesn't, in my world at least, equal "revenge."  Also, one can achieve justice without having to violate the NAP.

The question is whether or not me breaking into your house to take back a pair of shoes you stole from me a year ago does, in fact, violate the NAP.  Given what I described in my previous post...  I think the case could be made that it does.

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Mtn Dew replied on Mon, Oct 25 2010 11:02 AM

So what is the recourse for someone that firebombed your house? Let's say you find out a week later it was a guy 5 houses down. What do you do?

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Mtn Dew:
So what is the recourse for someone that firebombed your house? Let's say you find out a week later it was a guy 5 houses down. What do you do?
Tell me, do I know without a shadow of a doubt that it was him?  And am I readily able to convince others with the same certainty?

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Mtn Dew replied on Mon, Oct 25 2010 11:26 AM

Let's say he comes to you and says, "Yeah, I did it. What are you going to do about it?"

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Mtn Dew:
Let's say he comes to you and says, "Yeah, I did it. What are you going to do about it?"
I make sure all of his neighbors and anyone who he might do business with are aware of his actions and I file a claim for damages with an arbiter.  Were he insured against such an act, I'd file a claim with his insurance company, and were he not, I'd contact his insurance company and explain to them the level of risk he poses thereby all but guaranteeing they'd drop him as a client.  In short, I would make it very difficult for him to do business.  Anything less than a completely self-sufficient hermit would have difficulty securing the necessities for his own survival.

Naturally, this assumes that his neighbors and the people who would do business with him do, in fact, care that he has shown himself capable of committing such an aggressive act.  But I don't see why woul be an unreasonable assumption.  Even today I can't imagine anyone I would do business with willingly doing business with Timothy McVeigh while he was alive.

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MaikU replied on Mon, Oct 25 2010 1:33 PM

Agression doesn't have to be "in progress" to be stopped. What about stolen property? So a person wouldn't have a right to "steal" his property back from a thief? (assuming he knows where he lives, etc.)? Thief is in a state of agression as long as he have a stolen property and as long as he doesn't bring this to the rightful owner.

 

I am not saying that what would happen. I believe, it is more practical to ask a third party (DRO whatever) to do that rather than myself. But just for the sake of argument, it is justifiable to seek restitution and use AGRESSION if necessary even after the crime. And it is part of the NAP principle.

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(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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MaikU:
Agression doesn't have to be "in progress" to be stopped.
If it isn't "in progress" it has already stopped.  Unless you're talking about aggression which hasn't yet occurred...  You aren't, are you? 

MaikU:
What about stolen property? So a person wouldn't have a right to "steal" his property back from a thief? (assuming he knows where he lives, etc.)?
I haven't been convinced one way or another.

MaikU:
Thief is in a state of agression as long as he have a stolen property and as long as he doesn't bring this to the rightful owner.
Why? 

MaikU:
I am not saying that what would happen. I believe, it is more practical to ask a third party (DRO whatever) to do that rather than myself. But just for the sake of argument, it is justifiable to seek restitution and use AGRESSION if necessary even after the crime. And it is part of the NAP principle.
Forgive me.  This doesn't make sense.  "Being aggressive doesn't violate the non-aggression principle."  I can't say I understand that one.  It's either aggressive, which violates the NAP, or it's defensive, which doesn't.  If you're using "aggression" after-the-fact then you are, by definition, violating the NAP. 

Perhaps you mean "violence," instead?  Or force?

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Mtn Dew replied on Mon, Oct 25 2010 3:05 PM

So self-sufficient hermits ARE allowed to commit crimes without repurcussions?

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MaikU replied on Mon, Oct 25 2010 3:42 PM

Forgive me.  This doesn't make sense.  "Being aggressive doesn't violate the non-aggression principle."  I can't say I understand that one.  It's either aggressive, which violates the NAP, or it's defensive, which doesn't.  If you're using "aggression" after-the-fact then you are, by definition, violating the NAP. 

 

So by the same definition agressing in self-defence when the crime is in progress is violation of the NAP? That would be absurd. That's why I think it is necessary to understand, that NAP doesn't work only in a present action. As long as there is a victim which didn't get a restitution from a criminal, the crime is in progress, so to speak.

By crime, I mean, as long as a thief didn't bring the stolen property to the rightful owner, the thief is commiting an act of agression and it is justifiable for a victim under the principle of the NAP to seek a restitution from the thief. It is a part of self-defence in my view. And that restitution can be anything, from "stealing" your property back or by forcing (violently, if necessary) a thief to give your property back (also, assuming you know where the thief lives).

That's how I understand NAP. :)

If NAP (and self-defence) was only justifiable as long as the crime is literally in progress, then there would be no use of it at all. NAP wouldn't work (by this definition) after the crime. And it would be impossible to justify any DRO actions (or just restitution, to put it simply).

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MaikU:
So by the same definition agressing in self-defence when the crime is in progress is violation of the NAP? That would be absurd. That's why I think it is necessary to understand, that NAP doesn't work only in a present action. As long as there is a victim which didn't get a restitution from a criminal, the crime is in progress, so to speak.
I'm going to say that I understand where you're going with this and I think that we are having a language issue.  :) 

The NAP, as an idea, can only be logically consistent if "aggression" and "self-defense" are mutually exclusive.  A behavior may be violent or forceful, but if it is in self-defense it cannot be "aggressive."  So "aggressive self-defense" like you talk about above would be self-contradictory.  This is where I was confused about what you were saying before. 

MaikU:
By crime, I mean, as long as a thief didn't bring the stolen property to the rightful owner, the thief is commiting an act of agression and it is justifiable for a victim under the principle of the NAP to seek a restitution from the thief. It is a part of self-defence in my view.
This I dig, completely.

MaikU:
And that restitution can be anything, from "stealing" your property back or by forcing (violently, if necessary) a thief to give your property back (also, assuming you know where the thief lives).
This is what I don't quite buy...  because it hasn't been effectively demonstrated to me.  This is the core of my issue.  Is it really just an a priori assumption on the part of NAP adherers that violating a violator is not considered "aggressive?"  I have yet to see anyone give me a real reason other than "it just is."

MaikU:
If NAP (and self-defence) was only justifiable as long as the crime is literally in progress, then there would be no use of it at all. NAP wouldn't work (by this definition) after the crime. And it would be impossible to justify any DRO actions (or just restitution, to put it simply).
Why wouldn't it "work?"  What do you mean by "work," exactly, anyhow?  Do you mean that it is incapable of seeing that justice is served?  Or is there some other criteria you're using to gauge its effectiveness?

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Mtn Dew:
So self-sufficient hermits ARE allowed to commit crimes without repurcussions?
Nope.  By definition, people who are self-sufficient hermits, voluntarily, have no reason to interact with other people.  They wouldn't be violating the property (or bodies) of others.  People who would commit what you're calling "crimes" do have a need for some sort of "social" interaction, even if that interaction is something you'd consider morally questionable.  THOSE people being essentially FORCED to become self-sufficient hermits would view such a state as "punishment."  They don't WANT to live like that.  That is the repercussion.  Not to mention, it is a very hard state for humans to live in.  Why do you think "solitary confinement" is a punishment in the current US prison system?

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Mtn Dew replied on Tue, Oct 26 2010 7:15 AM

You completely evaded the question.

Let's imagine Joe. Joe lives in the woods. Joe doesn't need anyone to survive - he owns a big plot of land and lives a simple life. He is, however, a bit of a weirdo. He decides one day to go into the city and robs a bank in plain view of everyone and then flees back to his plot of land. He's got $10,000 in cash on his land, are you saying it would be a violation of (your skewed view of) the NAP to go onto his property and retrieve the money?

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Mtn Dew:
You completely evaded the question.
I did no such thing.  You didn't appreciate my answer.  That doesn't mean I didn't answer the question.

Mtn Dew:
Let's imagine Joe. Joe lives in the woods. Joe doesn't need anyone to survive - he owns a big plot of land and lives a simple life. He is, however, a bit of a weirdo. He decides one day to go into the city and robs a bank in plain view of everyone and then flees back to his plot of land. He's got $10,000 in cash on his land, are you saying it would be a violation of (your skewed view of) the NAP to go onto his property and retrieve the money?
Let me first start by saying that I haven't cast ANY aspersion upon your character, your argumentation, nothing.  I have been polite and sincerely inquisitive.  I don't appreciate either a) the accusation of dishonesty in saying that I evaded anything and b) that my views are somehow skewed.  My viewes are no more or less skewed than yours are from perspectives other than your own.  I don't resort to being obnoxious simply because I disagree.  I would appreciate the same courtesy. 

So actually replying to your content here, let me ask you a question.  If Joe is a completely self-sufficient hermit, what use does he have for $10,000 cash?  Where's Joe's motive for stealing that money?  I ask becuase it seems highly unlikely that a completely self-sufficient hermit, one who is voluntarily so, would have any reason whatsoever to acquire money/goods from others.  Sure it's possible, but it doesn't seem like a meaningful scenario.  In the unlikely event that such a thing would occur, I would hope that someone keeping $10,000 would care enough to protect their property.  Let us not forget that in an ancap society people wouldn't hesitate to defend themselves and their property against theives.  I think it also highly unlikely that sort of theft would take place without putting the hermit at significant risk of physical harm or even death. 

My hope would be that if he were stupid enough to attempt such a feat, he'd be shot.  Otherwise, I have no answer.

Here's where you're going to really start to dislike me, I'm afraid.  The fact that I can't answer that question beyond, "the owner of the property had better shoot him," doesn't bother me.  A single, highly unlikely circumstance does not make me think that what I've proposed isn't reasonable in the vast majority of cases.  The goal of advocating the NAP is not, at least in my case, to "cure" the problem of "aggression."  It is simply to make aggression much less likely by making the consequences of acts of aggression much more immediate and dire.  Stamping out aggression is not possible without killing everyone in the world save for yourself (or myself).

Man is a social animal.  The vast majority of men cannot handled extended solitude.  The prospect of being literally forced into a solitary situation (let alone one where you could starve if you don't already have enough food/water to survive because you are unable to trade goods or services) is enough incentive to make [most] men comply with demands for restitution, though again, my hope is that people who are willing to [intentionally] commit such acts of aggression in the first place are readily removed from the gene pool.  I'd even be willing to put their bodies on display, like the english did to pirates, with notes saying, "this is what we do to thieves and murderers."

Don't think that I'm a pacifist.  I'm not.  I am simply asking for someone to demonstrate to me, logically, how it is not aggressive to take property from someone who isn't in the act of stealing something from you.  If it's an a priori assumption, I can live with that.  Just say the word.

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