Atheism Plus; do many subscribe to this movement?
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22-06-2015, 03:47 PM
RE: Atheism Plus; do many subscribe to this movement?
@Drunkin Druid

You’re in luck! I just made a little research on internet and seems that the work Michel Foucault on micro powers was translated in English a few years back. If I am not mistaken the book title is «De-Facing power». You can probably found good resume on internet too. His debate with Chomsky is also on Youtube and I think there is one of them where Foucault argument are subtitled. Sartre has written a few good things about political actions and power in a modern democratic states. Considering is reputation, he probably was translated too. In English, you could try to read Jack London (yes the same guy that wrote White Fang) who's much better when it comes to newsletters and editorials than historical fiction. His views on freedom and capitalism are worth the read, but he may put you out when he seems to devolve into some sort of light version of fascism. These are very good reads in my opinion if you want to put some time on the subject of governance.
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22-06-2015, 04:00 PM
RE: Atheism Plus; do many subscribe to this movement?
(22-06-2015 01:08 PM)epronovost Wrote:  
(22-06-2015 12:35 PM)cjlr Wrote:  The particularly fascinating thing about striking that balance is that, necessarily, the precise specifics of any given instantiation will satisfy nobody. That's baked into the compromise implicit in striking a balance in the first place!

One of the most famous Canadian Prime Minister was named Sir Wilfrid Laurier. He held office at the turn of the 20th century. He was known for being a man of compromise and use his skills to reach them to solve, albeit temporarily several, crisis from natives rights to French vs English linguistically and political rights. He was massively unpopular in all groups, but was elected three times. I guess that everybody knew that to know when a good compromise is reached all the opposing groups must feel cheated of something. Living together, in peace in such massive groups is very hard. Sometimes I am impressed we managed to stay together and productive beside all our disagreements. I thought you might like the little historical anecdote.

Indeed, but also, as it happens, I am an alumnus of Wilfrid Laurier University...
Tongue

Participation in society necessitates a sacrifice of freedom - complete freedom of action precludes recognition of any rights of others, after all. The classic libertarian response is to dodge the point through disingenuous evasion.

... this is my signature!
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22-06-2015, 04:29 PM
RE: Atheism Plus; do many subscribe to this movement?
(22-06-2015 11:45 AM)epronovost Wrote:  
(22-06-2015 11:21 AM)Drunkin Druid Wrote:  Ok. So some are saying libertarianism supports the idea of zero government. I would have called that anarchy.
But I have a question that's been kicking around in my head for a while.
I don't know if a country without a governing body could work or not so I won't make any assertions.
Here's the problem I have. I think most of us would agree that a person can be good without gods. I know right from wrong so I don't need some invisible dude telling me not to kill. I don't need god to control my behaviour. Isn't believing that we need government to control behaviour kinda the same thing? Unless many theist would rape and murder if you could convince them there's no god. I dunno. Any perspective?

You seem to be confused by what a government actually is or at least you are using to different usages of the word at the same time. In a democratic state, or at least in a democratic inspired state, the government is nothing more than the institution that serves to enforce and structure the collective decisions of a majority of the members of the society as to how it should work and how should we all agree to behave with one another. It's what Rousseau called «le contrat social» (the social contract). When we say a government is necessary to build an organised society it's not because the government has moral authority over us. The government is simply enforcing the rules/laws we have decided for ourselves. It's a way to deal with the small minority who would break the «social contract» for their own gain despite the fact that it may cause (h)arm to others or to the collective. Most people will never face law enforcement agents, but some do and for very good reason. Libertarianism offers no solution do deal with individuals or even groups of individuals that would cause arm for their own profit. It also offers no solution to glaring problems like the oppression of a small group by a tyrannical majority. It also undermine the greatest tool for human advancement: cooperation in large groups. History so far has demonstrated that human happiness, prosperity and cohesion can only be found with a careful balance between individual freedom, collective boundaries, minority protection, wealth redistribution and supple justice and governance system.

Well stated.

I've discussed the idea of libertarian beliefs with a number of other people, and I think the majority of people who would best align with the Libertarian party do not believe in the elimination of a central gov't. As it pertains to the U.S., a lot of people feel that the central gov't overreached their authority and have dabbled into areas that were originally reserved to the states. Education is one example of this where it was never included as a part of the U.S. Constitution; however, we have a centralized gov't agency that oversees education, and the state gov'ts are ultimately beholden to it. A number of people who believe in limited gov't would see this as a violation of states rights or a violation of the idea of federalism that is supposed to be in practice today. The Feds should not encroach on the States, and vice-versa.

Now, I think you can argue that there is a lot of confusion about what libertarianism actually is - including those who profess to be actual Libertarians. I believe libertarianism is on a continuum. While you'll see some who are anarchists who want to see the gov't abolished and zero regulation on commerce, these types are a very small minority. On the flip side, those who favor the civil liberties side and are more than happy with a command economy are a small minority as well. This is what I think libertarianism means to a majority of people within the U.S., and IMHO is what can be achieved in practice is as follows:
  • An effective central gov't that primarily focuses on 1) National Defense and 2) As a regulatory state to maintain standards by which all compete on a fair and level playing field (economically)
  • By necessity, departments like the FDA, EPA will be needed in order to ensure that others do not violate our "inalienable rights" (life, liberty and property rights).
  • A limited social safety net is needed for those who fall through the cracks and need some assistance UNTIL they can get back on their feet. I would include gov't funds for training/schooling to aquire new skills to be relevant in the labor market
  • A gov't that does not play the role of activist. That includes handouts for corporate welfare that favor one corporation over another or incentivising corporations to pursue certain technologies while discouraging others.
  • The gov't should not be using the tax code or enacting laws that encourage one social behavior while punishing other behaviors.
  • The U.S. gov't needs to remove itself from foreign military bases and focus more on national defense as opposed to playing world politics. Our NATO allies are more than capable of seeing to their own national defense.
  • Abolish the Patriot Act
  • Defer issues like Abortion and Gay Marriage to the states - no need for Amending the Constitution

No doubt there are other issues. Does this make me less of a libertarian, or am I not a "pure" libertarian? I'm sure that I am not. However, I think it best describes my political beliefs.

Shout out to Rousseau. He along with Locke and Hume were enormously influential to our founding fathers when drafting the U.S. Constitution.
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22-06-2015, 06:05 PM
RE: Atheism Plus; do many subscribe to this movement?
@Plan 9 from OS

You forgot Montesquieu. You owe him the idea of the separation of the legislative, executive and judiciary powers as well as the separation of state and church. Has for your political position, you do qualify to be a libertarian if you would like to wear that label. It would make more of a minarchist than an anarchist amongst their ranks so you could be consider a «soft» libertarian. I would agree that it defines well your political positions and despite the fact that as a «soft» socialist we wouldn't agree on many points, we do share some points in common.
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22-06-2015, 06:24 PM (This post was last modified: 22-06-2015 06:46 PM by Cosmic Discourse.)
RE: Atheism Plus; do many subscribe to this movement?
Politically, I identify as a mutualist. For those unfamiliar with the term, it may be referred to as left-libertarianism, free market anarchism or libertarian socialism. While I don't believe any individual completely aligns with a specific political theory, it does best express my general leanings.

I describe mutualism as socially progressive and fiscally undecided. It's pro free markets but anti capitalist; pro social justice and civil liberties. Though in a utopia the preferred scenario would be to abolish government, the general stance is that what can't be accomplished through mutual cooperation should be fought for through participation in the political process.

There's many other nuances to the platform, but I can feel my brain starting to hurt, so I'll stop here.
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22-06-2015, 06:48 PM
RE: Atheism Plus; do many subscribe to this movement?
(22-06-2015 11:03 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  "I agree with you on that point. Libertarianism offers no protection against the less cooperative and respectful side of our nature. I only meant to correct a factual error when it came to the economical perspective of this ideologie."

No worries. Just pointing out that either version (left or right) of Libertarianism pushes for individuals controlling how society operates, but not through government. If not through government, then through individual choice and consumption. That would create a chaotic and fragmented system of rampant inequality.

... or rampant opportunity, with the right regulation.

Assigning responsibility for society's operations to government diffuses accountability just as much as assigning such responsibility to the private sector, except that the private sector doesn't have the power to quash dissent like the government does.

Just as in our Constitution power was split between three branches of government, I'm cool with power being split between the private and public sector, and setting each to watchdog the other.
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22-06-2015, 06:51 PM
RE: Atheism Plus; do many subscribe to this movement?
(22-06-2015 06:48 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(22-06-2015 11:03 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  "I agree with you on that point. Libertarianism offers no protection against the less cooperative and respectful side of our nature. I only meant to correct a factual error when it came to the economical perspective of this ideologie."

No worries. Just pointing out that either version (left or right) of Libertarianism pushes for individuals controlling how society operates, but not through government. If not through government, then through individual choice and consumption. That would create a chaotic and fragmented system of rampant inequality.

... or rampant opportunity, with the right regulation.

Assigning responsibility for society's operations to government diffuses accountability just as much as assigning such responsibility to the private sector, except that the private sector doesn't have the power to quash dissent like the government does.

Just as in our Constitution power was split between three branches of government, I'm cool with power being split between the private and public sector, and setting each to watchdog the other.

I have no idea what you mean by this. The public sector is made up of private individuals appointed by others through election to regulate themselves and the private sector.

The only rampant opportunity I see available through the reduction of government is the exploitation of the people and the environment by corporations and the 1%.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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22-06-2015, 07:14 PM
RE: Atheism Plus; do many subscribe to this movement?
(22-06-2015 06:48 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(22-06-2015 11:03 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  "I agree with you on that point. Libertarianism offers no protection against the less cooperative and respectful side of our nature. I only meant to correct a factual error when it came to the economical perspective of this ideologie."

No worries. Just pointing out that either version (left or right) of Libertarianism pushes for individuals controlling how society operates, but not through government. If not through government, then through individual choice and consumption. That would create a chaotic and fragmented system of rampant inequality.

... or rampant opportunity, with the right regulation.

Assigning responsibility for society's operations to government diffuses accountability just as much as assigning such responsibility to the private sector, except that the private sector doesn't have the power to quash dissent like the government does.

Just as in our Constitution power was split between three branches of government, I'm cool with power being split between the private and public sector, and setting each to watchdog the other.

If you think the private sector can't quash dissent like a government does, you are unfamiliar with some of the dark corner of our history.
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22-06-2015, 07:31 PM
RE: Atheism Plus; do many subscribe to this movement?
(22-06-2015 06:51 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I have no idea what you mean by this. The public sector is made up of private individuals appointed by others through election to regulate themselves and the private sector.

You forgot to mention one element of the equation, which is the law. Assigning broad powers to government, which can back up those powers with actions like incarceration, or extended regulation, or property seizures lacking court review ... well, you're a nice, trusting individual, I suppose.

Assuming that government employees don't have venial impulses, and wouldn't use powers vested in them to pursue those impulses, seems a touch quaint to me.

By splitting up some of that power and vesting it into private hands, we might be able to form a counterbalance to the silicon fist that hovers over our heads nowadays.

(22-06-2015 06:51 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  The only rampant opportunity I see available through the reduction of government is the exploitation of the people and the environment by corporations and the 1%.

Which prompts the question, is that because that is the only opportunity available, or the only one your filters let into your thought processes?

You seem to think I'm a libertarian purist; I am not. There is room for a reasonable discussion here, but I'm not an ideologue, and I won't entertain one, either. I'll let you tell me what sort of interaction you desire.
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22-06-2015, 07:33 PM
RE: Atheism Plus; do many subscribe to this movement?
(22-06-2015 07:14 PM)epronovost Wrote:  If you think the private sector can't quash dissent like a government does, you are unfamiliar with some of the dark corner of our history.

If you think the powers of law is in the hands of the private sector, you need a civics lesson. Can a company put you in prison?

That was my point. I hope that clarifies it for you.
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