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Ed Herman and Noam Chomsky's Propaganda Model

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VanDoodah Posted: Sat, Aug 8 2009 3:02 PM

Hello all; this is my first post on the Mises forums.

I've read Chomsky's "Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda", his discussion of the coroporate media in "Understanding Power: The Essential Chomsky", and am currently reading "Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media", co-authored with Ed S. Herman, and I was wondering what people on these forums think of Chomsky's analysis of the mass media? Obviously the internet makes it harder to control and "filter" the news, but when applied to, say, the New York Times or the Washington Post, do you believe that it is a valid model? Only, I know that the market anarchists and libertarians on here will strongly objects to Chomsky's economics, but his criticisms of American foreign policy and the corporate mass media seems to bridge the ideological gulf between his left-anarchism and your right-anarchism (apologies is you dislike the term, only market anarchism includes left-wing ideologies as well, so I deemed it inappropriate in this context.)

Cheers,

Fintan.

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I've never read Chomsky but I would like to ask what you mean by 'left' and 'right' anarchism?

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By "left-anarchism" I mean the people who identify/identified themselves as left-wing e.g. anarcho-communists, anarcho-syndicalists, collectivist anarchists and mutualists. By "right-anarchism" I mean anarcho-capitalism, which is what I meant to write in the first place.

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Fintan:
By "left-anarchism" I mean the people who identify/identified themselves as left-wing e.g. anarcho-communists, anarcho-syndicalists, collectivist anarchists and mutualists. By "right-anarchism" I mean anarcho-capitalism, which is what I meant to write in the first place.

Well I would confer onto you the idea that capitalism is actually a leftist ideology. Frederich Bastiat sat on the left side of the French assembly with Proudhon. The right is heriarchical, reactionary and oppressive in trying to sustain a system of monarchs and mercentalists. Capitalism is about free trade and free buying/selling.

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There is no left and right.  Anyone who calls themselves a left or right libertarian is being disingenuous.

The only time I refer to myself as right, is so I can identify myself as separate from the ideologically collectivist libertarians who call themselves left-libertarians.

Proudhon was an anti-Semite who endorsed violence against Jews.  He is a terrible icon for freedom, and anyone who considers him as a libertarian is badly mislead.  Unfortunately, this is about 75% of those who claim to be market anarchists from what I have seen online.

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Fintan:
I was wondering what people on these forums think of Chomsky's analysis of the mass media?

It's as good as any socialist can muster.  It's partially worthwhile, as a narrow critique.

I read Chomsky before I was a libertarian and his foreign policy critiques shaped my view of the world for sure.

Fintan:
his criticisms of American foreign policy and the corporate mass media seems to bridge the ideological gulf between his left-anarchism and your right-anarchism

Chomsky is a collectivist.  That is the gap.  Collectivism.  It can't be bridged by critiquing policy or specific industries.

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As I understand it, Chomsky is an anarcho-syndicalist. Also, from my reading, I gather that Chomsky is strongly opposed to any kind of utilitarian communitarianism, or "mob rule", which is what many people associate collectivism with. If you read his stuff about negative and postive liberty, it's pretty clear that he is opposed to violence and coercion in the name of "the collective".

 

Obviously there are unbridgeable ideological gulfs between, say, Chomsky's anarcho-syndicalism and the anarcho-capitalism of these forum posters, but I don't see why his critiques of the media and US foreign policy necessarily tie into any ideologicals system. Neoconservatives or imperialists may hate them, but I'm pretty sure that modern liberals, conservatives, all kinds of libertarians etc can agree with his material on these topics.

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Conza88 replied on Sat, Aug 8 2009 7:32 PM

What LS said. There is no left or right. It is part of the states cloak of ideology. Use it and you box yourself in. Don't do that.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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liberty student:

There is no left and right.  Anyone who calls themselves a left or right libertarian is being disingenuous.

The only time I refer to myself as right, is so I can identify myself as separate from the ideologically collectivist libertarians who call themselves left-libertarians

Ah so there is a distinction Surprise

liberty student:
Proudhon was an anti-Semite who endorsed violence against Jews.  He is a terrible icon for freedom, and anyone who considers him as a libertarian is badly mislead.  Unfortunately, this is about 75% of those who claim to be market anarchists from what I have seen online.

Question: You are against endorsement of violence yet ambivelant towards the 'isms' I often speak of? Could it be true? Could my weeks of argument swayed you!? Be still my beating heart! Stick out tongue

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Laughing Man:
Ah so there is a distinction Surprise

Yeah, there are sincere libertarians and insincere ones.

Laughing Man:
Question: You are against endorsement of violence yet ambivelant towards the 'isms' I often speak of? Could it be true? Could my weeks of argument swayed you!? Be still my beating heart! Stick out tongue

I have no idea what this means.

You should quit changing usernames and lose the animated avatar (notice no one has one).

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liberty student:
Yeah, there are sincere libertarians and insincere ones.

Well you follow Block right? So libertarians are, according to Block, individuals who follow the NAP. Have you enriched your definition of libertarianism?

liberty student:
I have no idea what this means.

Not too long ago we were talking about racism, sexism, xenophobia etc in my 'Cybernetic Brains and the march towards egalitarianism' During that discussion I got the feeling that you are ambivelant to those 'social woes' and now you are sayng icons of freedom shouldn't endorse violence.

liberty student:

You should quit changing usernames and lose the animated avatar (notice no one has one).

I just liked his name better. As for my animated avatar, I'm an animated individual Smile

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I. Ryan replied on Sat, Aug 8 2009 8:37 PM

liberty student:

Yeah, there are sincere libertarians and insincere ones.

Do you often recognize the proponents of different-than-your-ideology ideologies as disingenuous or dishonest or insincere?

This is very simple: The reason that we "libertarians" reject collectivism is because we know that collectivism does imply coercion. The reason that other "libertarians" do not reject collectivism is because they believe that collectivism does not imply coercion.

If I wrote it more than a few weeks ago, I probably hate it by now.

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Laughing Man:
Well you follow Block right? So libertarians are, according to Block, individuals who follow the NAP.

I don't follow anyone.  I am not a child.

Laughing Man:
During that discussion I got the feeling that you are ambivelant to those 'social woes'

I don't see social woes where the market is working.

Laughing Man:
and now you are sayng icons of freedom shouldn't endorse violence

???

Laughing Man:
As for my animated avatar, I'm an animated individual

No one else has one because they are annoying.  Don't be a cad.

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I. Ryan:
Do you often recognize the proponents of different-than-your-ideology ideologies as disingenuous or dishonest or insincere?

Yes.  But remember, you pronounced me delusional, so my answers should probably be judged by you within that context.  So that was a delusional yes.

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I. Ryan replied on Sat, Aug 8 2009 9:32 PM

liberty student:

Yes.  But remember, you pronounced me delusional, so my answers should probably be judged by you within that context.  So that was a delusional yes.

OK. Again, I acknowledge your concession.

If I wrote it more than a few weeks ago, I probably hate it by now.

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liberty student:

I don't follow anyone.  I am not a child.

No need to be hostile. I merely meant it as an individual who influences you.

liberty student:
I don't see social woes where the market is working.

Well the market isn't working for individuals who experience racism, sexism and xenophobia.

liberty student:
???

Did you not say that Proudhon serves as a poor icon for freedom merely because he endorsed violence against Jews. Yet you say that social woes don't exist where the market works. Anti-Semitism is a social woe, so you must either concede that just because Proudhon was an anti-semite doesn't make him a poor icon for freedom or that the market cannot work due to anti-semitism and if that is true then why can't it also be applied to racism or sexism?

liberty student:
No one else has one because they are annoying.  Don't be a cad.

Well I like it and as far as I know it does not transgress any rules on this forum.

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garegin replied on Sat, Aug 8 2009 10:41 PM

cultural preference and violent inclination are two different things. if you must know most people in the world and america are basicly anti-semites, yet they pose no treat or even plan initiate violence against jews

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Angurse replied on Sat, Aug 8 2009 10:43 PM

garegin:
if you must know most people in the world and america are basicly anti-semites.

How do you prove that one?

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garegin replied on Sat, Aug 8 2009 10:48 PM

ive talked to people from wide ranging backgrounds. ghetto blacks, puerto ricans, yuppie whites, low-mid class americans, arabs, italians. irish, russians, carribean immigrants. they all basicly believe that jews own america and the world

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garegin replied on Sat, Aug 8 2009 10:49 PM

by anti-semite i mean the vauge notion that jews own the money supply.

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garegin:
cultural preference and violent inclination are two different things.

Did Proudhon run around beating up Jews?

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Angurse replied on Sat, Aug 8 2009 10:55 PM

garegin:

ive talked to people from wide ranging backgrounds. ghetto blacks, puerto ricans, yuppie whites, low-mid class americans, arabs, italians. irish, russians, carribean immigrants. they all basicly believe that jews own america and the world

I wouldn't consider that to represent "most people in the world and america" but ok.

garegin:
by anti-semite i mean the vauge notion that jews own the money supply.

Thats a far cry from the standard definition of anti-semitism, but ok again.

Lets not sully this thread any longer.

 

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Here is a hypothetical:

I believe that the human race is a virus on the face of Earth. Therefore I deduce that I should persuade individuals to commit suicide with me in 10 years. From now until that 10th year, my goal is to get as many people to commit suicide as possible without actually killing them.

Am I a libertarian?

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rofl i don't think libertarianism is left or right, its off the political spectrum.  the political spectrum shows the different flavors of statism, libertarianism is anti-statism

do we get free cheezeburger in socielism?

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garegin replied on Sat, Aug 8 2009 11:01 PM

i always kid my soc-dem history teachers. if being a leftist is good why arent all of them anarcho-communists?

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Angurse replied on Sat, Aug 8 2009 11:02 PM

Is that related to the OP at all, would it not be better in a new thread?

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Angurse:
Is that related to the OP at all, would it not be better in a new thread?

Its like an indirect next step in the discussion I was having with Liberty Student.

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garegin:
i always kid my soc-dem history teachers. if being a leftist is good why arent all of them anarcho-communists?

Because Anarcho-Communism isn't really leftist. Socialism [ which can be used in relation to either Communism or Fascism ] is actually the middle ground between lassize-faire capitalists on the left and reactionary mercentalists/monarch conservatives on the right.

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garegin replied on Sat, Aug 8 2009 11:12 PM

back to the topic. to answer the OP- the angle that chomsky and other leftists are coming from regarding the mainstream media is basicly obvious to all people. people like to manipulate things in their favor to forward their agenda. in chomsky's view those people are basicly the people behind the millitary industrial complex

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I. Ryan:
OK. Again, I acknowledge your concession.

Since you consider me delusional, then it would have to be a delusional concession, whatever that is worth in your little scorebook.

I've conceded little to you, but then I don't consider debate with you particularly useful.  I'm only replying these days because you cry and moan if I don't give you attention.

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Laughing Man:
Well the market isn't working for individuals who experience racism, sexism and xenophobia.

Because there is not a free market.  Leftoids can't have it both ways.  They cry and moan that Walmart is not a free market institution, then they say the market doesn't work at Walmart because there is bossism.

If one is a "market anarchist" then I take that to mean, they value the market as a mechanism for dealing with relationships.  If one believes we need unions, and to crusade against women voluntarily choosing to be subservient to men, or someone discriminating with his own property, or someone voluntarily submitting to a boss, then they don't believe in voluntarism and the market process.  That's just basic, deductive logic.

Laughing Man:
Did you not say that Proudhon serves as a poor icon for freedom merely because he endorsed violence against Jews. Yet you say that social woes don't exist where the market works. Anti-Semitism is a social woe, so you must either concede that just because Proudhon was an anti-semite doesn't make him a poor icon for freedom or that the market cannot work due to anti-semitism and if that is true then why can't it also be applied to racism or sexism?

I ignored most of this.  It made little sense to me.

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liberty student:
Because there is not a free market.  Leftoids can't have it both ways.  They cry and moan that Walmart is not a free market institution, then they say the market doesn't work at Walmart because there is bossism.

True we don't live under a free market right now but do you think that the 'isms' will just be rendered useless if we did?

liberty student:
If one believes we need unions, and to crusade against women voluntarily choosing to be subservient to men, or someone discriminating with his own property, or someone voluntarily submitting to a boss, then they don't believe in voluntarism and the market process.  That's just basic, deductive logic.

Considering unions, i believe voluntary ones in which the parties of workers and managers actually work on equal terms in the sense that a workers party can say 'we want better conditions' and the manager can just as well say 'Not going to happen' then the whole workers union can leave to boycott [ peaceably ] and voice their distaste for the corporation. It is difficult for unions to do such without engaging in coercion, this is true. Which is why we often see unions as a coercive institution. However, if a union were to peaceable do such boycotting etc then what is the harm? Are we as consumers not also to voice our opinions concerning other corporations? Can we not say 'Don't go to Mega-Mart, they treat their employees badly' in the hope that it will inspire an individual not to go to Mega-Mart? Concerning subservient women I would not deny them free-will and free choice however I would ask them why they not feel the need to empower themselves? After all they are individual each with uniqueness and with a will. To propogate the idea that an individual needs a master in order to function is to me akin to saying we need a government to keep us in line, and since we are all anarchists it does not logically follow that we are against the state yet ambivalent towards a master/slave dicotemy when it comes to social interaction. Perhaps you say it is voluntary which sure it could be, however just like we use our ideas to combat the fabricated need for the authority of government, I think we should also combat the fabricated need for a select group of women or men or any race to be subservient to anyone. Concerning discrimination of property, of course an individual has a right to use his/her property as they deem however I would ask them why they do not see the value in trading with as many individuals as possible in order to enrich their lives even better? Concerning voluntarily submitting to a boss, again it is free will but is not the goal of capitalism to enrich as all? It raises all boats does it not? One of the goals of capitalism concerning labor is that it reinvergates competition between employeers concerning the labor market which is a scarce resource. Therefore the natural course of capitalism is increased production [ for the employeer ] and increased standard of living and wages [ for the employee ]. It is a positive sum interaction. Why should we be so uncaring concerning the interaction between employer and employee when we are capitalists who want the greatest amount of productivity which increases the standard of living of all? Why should we look at it as a zero sum interaction where the employer gets what he/she wants and then that is it?

liberty student:
I ignored most of this.  It made little sense to me.

I shall explain. You said Proudhon serves as a poor icon for freedom because he endorsed violence against Jews [ obviously a terrible thing ]. Yet so far no one has shown evidence that Proudhon actually physically beat up Jewish people. Now Anti-Seitism is a social 'flaw' just like racism, sexism, xenophobia etc. You also say that social 'flaws' do not exist where the market operates.

liberty student:
I don't see social woes where the market is working.

Now the market was working [perhaps not a fully free unfeathered market ] but voluntary exchange was happening to some degree so there was in a sense a market enterprise. Now while in this market was Proudhon still an anti-semite thereby making him a poor icon for freedom [which contradicts your premise that a working market removes social woes] or was the market not working against anti-semitism making Proudhon still anti-semitic and therefore a bad icon for freedom?

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garegin, why do you feel so consistently in this thread that you are able to speak for all people?

why would an individualist make such references?

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Laughing Man:
True we don't live under a free market right now but do you think that the 'isms' will just be rendered useless if we did?

They better be or we have to completely re-think non-aggression.

The alternative to the market is coercion.  If you're going to maintain the market can't do the job, then you're allowing for a justification for coercion, to achieve a desired end.

That said, I don't pretend to have perfect knowledge.  I'm merely trying to understand a priori truths.

Laughing Man:
Considering unions, i believe voluntary ones in which the parties of workers and managers actually work on equal terms in the sense that a workers party can say 'we want better conditions' and the manager can just as well say 'Not going to happen' then the whole workers union can leave to boycott [ peaceably ] and voice their distaste for the corporation.

In a free market, no one with negotiating power will organize.  They will start their own firms.  Those without negotiating power will always try to organize, but without state backing or violence, they will be unsuccessful. The history of labour was one of private violence, which was transmuted into state violence.

FYI, I am pro-labour, but I know what is in the interest of the productive.  Self-employment, not picketing.  Capital accumulation in a free market should be much easier than it is under a state institutionalized debt scheme.

I didn't read the rest, too long, no line breaks.

Laughing Man:
I shall explain. You said Proudhon serves as a poor icon for freedom because he endorsed violence against Jews [ obviously a terrible thing ]. Yet so far no one has shown evidence that Proudhon actually physically beat up Jewish people. Now Anti-Seitism is a social 'flaw' just like racism, sexism, xenophobia etc. You also say that social 'flaws' do not exist where the market operates.

Where is the market?  I don't care about anti-semitism per se in this scenario.  I care that Proudhon was for violence, which makes him a lousy libertarian icon, and an individual who was clearly ANTI MARKET because you can't be for violence and the market at the same time.  Again, basic deductive logic.

Laughing Man:
Now the market was working [perhaps not a fully free unfeathered market ] but voluntary exchange was happening to some degree so there was in a sense a market enterprise. Now while in this market was Proudhon still an anti-semite thereby making him a poor icon for freedom [which contradicts your premise that a working market removes social woes] or was the market not working against anti-semitism making Proudhon still anti-semitic and therefore a bad icon for freedom

See above.

No hard feelings, but I wasted so much time here the last two weeks picking nits with people who don't clarify my position where there is doubt, that I'm only going to reply to concise arguments.

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Angurse replied on Sun, Aug 9 2009 2:08 PM

liberty student:

They better be or we have to completely re-think non-aggression.

Are you saying that if "isms" like racism and sexism didn't disappear in a free environment, like you expect them to, aggression would have to be reconsidered?

Personally, I don't see anything wrong or un-libertarian with certain "isms" per se, as long as they don't lead towards aggression there isn't a problem by me. Perhaps I've misread you though.

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Angurse:
Are you saying that if "isms" like racism and sexism didn't disappear in a free environment, like you expect them to, aggression would have to be reconsidered?

Absolutely.  That is what is implicit in the sexism, bossism, racism position (which is not my position)

Angurse:
Personally, I don't see anything wrong or un-libertarian with certain "isms" per se, as long as they don't lead towards aggression there isn't a problem by me.

That is how I feel.  However, there are many libertarians who believe that in a system of voluntary relations, women choosing to be voluntarily subservient to men, are in fact engaging in sexism against themselves, and this is bad.  As is the worker who works for a boss who is not nice to them (bossism).  Forget whether they have made the cost/benefit analysis and accepted the bad boss as a cost offset by pay, there are some folks who would see such a voluntary situation as woeful and worthy of condemnation, group action etc.

Angurse:
Perhaps I've misread you though.

You haven't misread me.  Anarchist Cain is staking out a position he has not fully considered (I believe).  I am offering reductios in an attempt to jar him away from the progressive and collectivist perspectives that permeate some sects of libertarianism.

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Angurse replied on Sun, Aug 9 2009 2:42 PM

liberty student:
Absolutely.  That is what is implicit in the sexism, bossism, racism position (which is not my position)

I did misread you, I thought you were saying you would reconsider aggression if the "isms" didn't disappear.

liberty student:
That is how I feel.  However, there are many libertarians who believe that in a system of voluntary relations, women choosing to be voluntarily subservient to men, are in fact engaging in sexism against themselves, and this is bad.  As is the worker who works for a boss who is not nice to them (bossism).  Forget whether they have made the cost/benefit analysis and accepted the bad boss as a cost offset by pay, there are some folks who would see such a voluntary situation as woeful and worthy of condemnation, group action etc.

As long as the social action doesn't involve aggression it seems fine, perhaps annoying, similar to religious missionaries, but acceptable nonetheless.

 

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liberty student:
They better be or we have to completely re-think non-aggression.

Ok then we want the same thing. You believe that the market will handle it and I believe it will take some persuasion [ not coercion ]. This is strange though because we both want the same ends [ the end to 'isms' ] but I have a slightly different method.

liberty student:
The alternative to the market is coercion.

Not necessarily unless persuasion is considered coercion.

liberty student:
If you're going to maintain the market can't do the job, then you're allowing for a justification for coercion, to achieve a desired end.

Well the market is just a giant mass of individual action. I welcome a free market, I absolutely do but I believe that we should be asking WHY people engage in racist actions instead of saying they CAN'T engage in racist actions. Surely we can craft a logic argument as to why it is in the individual's best interest to not be a sexist/racist.

liberty student:
Those without negotiating power will always try to organize, but without state backing or violence, they will be unsuccessful.
'

Well we cannot predict that. Perhaps they will be. If a union can use non-violent, non-coercive measures in order to protest a company, then more power to them for achieving such a hardship.

liberty student:
I care that Proudhon was for violence, which makes him a lousy libertarian icon, and an individual who was clearly ANTI MARKET because you can't be for violence and the market at the same time.  Again, basic deductive logic.

Well do you think that racism and sexism implies an existing sentiment towards violence against the specific class. Perhaps even a dehumanization of the class they hate making it more likely for them not to recongize rights of that group thereby making violence easier?

'Men do not change, they unmask themselves' - Germaine de Stael

 

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Angurse:
As long as the social action doesn't involve aggression it seems fine, perhaps annoying, similar to religious missionaries, but acceptable nonetheless.

Sure.  But these folks portray this as a libertarian position, THE ORIGINAL libertarian position.  If they were willing to differentiate themselves I wouldn't have such an issue with it.  But their view isn't consistent with the market and voluntarism, which probably explains why they can deify Proudhon as some sort of market anarchist.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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Laughing Man:
Not necessarily unless persuasion is considered coercion.

Why would you persuade people to stop acting voluntarily?

Laughing Man:
You believe that the market will handle it and I believe it will take some persuasion

So you don't believe in voluntarism.  You think you know better what people should do.  They can't make the right decision on their own.  Correct?

Laughing Man:
Surely we can craft a logic argument as to why it is in the individual's best interest to not be a sexist/racist.

Sure, there are costs to it.  But if people are willing to pay the costs of injecting heroin, then they might be willing to pay the cost of avoiding usury, or discriminating against another race.  You can't have a free market, if you're going to push back against non-aggressive voluntary action.

Laughing Man:
Well we cannot predict that.

Yes we can.  Organized labour relies on privilege for negotiating leverage.  In a free market, your only privilege comes from property.  Labour has no property where a firm is concerned.

Laughing Man:
Well do you think that racism and sexism implies an existing sentiment towards violence against the specific class.

I dunno.  I'm not white.  I have put up with a lot of racism.  I think people are stupid.  But in a free market, stupid people can't climb on my shoulders, so they will smarten up or breed themselves out.

I've only been sexually discriminated against by women who did not want to have intimate relations with me.  Which is fine, because I have discriminated against the advances of a few women in my time.

Laughing Man:
Perhaps even a dehumanization of the class they hate making it more likely for them not to recongize rights of that group thereby making violence easier?

Dude, we got such bigger problems than this jive.  That's why ALL is forever organizing chapters, and LvMI is booming in a recession economy.  People who experience racism, aren't attracted to this anti-racism stuff.  No one with any self-esteem wants to be associated with being a victim or claiming their are dehumanized.  We humanize ourselves, no one else can do it for us.  Until leftoidal progressives get this, they will be forever tilting at windmills.

If you want to oppose racism, oppose the state.  There is no greater collectivist or racist entity than the state.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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